Introducing Our 2020-2021 CAAE Fellows

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The CAAE Fellowship Program offers awards to recognize and train senior, mid-level and new alumni relations professionals at CAAE member institutions. CAAE provides funding, mentoring and general support to emerging leaders at a CAAE member institution to accelerate a big idea through this program. 

Jorge Ancona (UC, Riverside), CAAE Chair, Awards & Fellowships Committee, extends a special thank you to Brandy Cox (UArkansas), Donna MacPhee (Columbia), John Valva (Oregon State) and Duane Wiles (UTennessee) for their service on the selection committee.

Robert G. Forman Fellow 2020-2021

Eric Haag, Senior Director of Alumni Programs and Outreach, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Eric’s research will focus on developing strategies to enhance the connection between university leadership (President, Chancellor, Provost, Deans, etc.) and external constituents, and the effectiveness of these enhanced engagement opportunities. This will be done for both in-person and virtual programming, with the aim of enhancing the institution’s reputation. His intent is to connect with peer institutions.

Eric, a Tennessee native, is a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee’s College of Communications and Information, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 2003 and a master's degree in 2004 in Public Relations. Eric spent seven seasons working with the UT football program as a student equipment manager, a graduate assistant for football operations, and then as a full-time football operations assistant. Eric joined the UT Office of Development and Alumni Affairs in April 2006 as Assistant Director of Stewardship and Donor Recognition and transitioned to his current role with UT Knoxville Alumni in 2009. Eric oversees seven staff members on the alumni engagement team, who work together on key programs including Alumni Chapters, Young Alumni, the Chancellor’s Associates, Special Interest/Diversity Councils, Athletic events, Continuing Education/Lifelong Learning, Student Recruitment, and Alumni Scholarships. Eric is married to his high school sweetheart, Tyra, a 2004 UT graduate. The Haags live in Knoxville with their sons Noah (13), Brenton (10), and Eli (7).

Jerry F. Tardy Fellow 2020-2021

Anh Tran, Chief Program Officer, University of California, Berkeley

Anh will conduct an analysis of the current social justice and virtual programs offered by alumni associations. Through evaluation of social justice and virtual programs, she hopes to glean insights on promising programs. From this evaluation, recommendations will be offered for institutions looking to offer diversity and inclusions programs in a virtual environment. 

As the Chief Program Officer at the Cal Alumni Association (CAA) at the University of California, Berkeley, Anh oversees alumni and student engagement programs. Prior to CAA, Anh directed programs to serve thousands of nonprofits across the US. She has served on numerous boards and is currently the CFO of CAA’s Prytanean Alumnae chapter. Anh graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in economics and mass communications and a minor in education, and received her master’s in public administration from the University of Southern California. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in organizational change and leadership from USC.

Lawrence S. Preo Fellow 2020-2021

Yusra Sultana, Marketing & Membership Assistant, University of Arkansas

Yusra’s project will focus on developing a comprehensive communication and marketing strategy for international alumni in a world that has been affected by a global pandemic. She hopes to develop a better understanding of what platforms and mediums have performed well and why. What content are international alumni most interested in and what will be most relevant. Her approach will consist of a mix of surveys, in-depth interviews, and possible visits, where permissible.

Yusra joined the University of Arkansas in June 2019. In her role at Arkansas Alumni Association, she facilitates communication between various campus departments, colleges and societies and their alumni, and caters to their marketing and strategic messaging needs. She also serves as United Way Campaign Coordinator for the University Advancement Division this year, aiming to raise $100,000 in one month for underprivileged and vulnerable segments of North West Arkansas.

Prior to moving to the U.S. and taking on this role, she worked as a journalist for 5+ years giving voice to marginalized communities and dismissed cultures all around the world. She switched from purely print to digital media in 2016 and worked as a digital marketer for 2.5 years, serving as Senior Manager of Content Creation and SEO Strategy in Pakistan.

Yusra is nearing the culmination of her master’s degree in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas. She completed her bachelor’s from Minnesota State University and Lahore University of Management Sciences in English with heavy concentration in literature from Russia, Greece and South East Asia. She has lived all over the globe – from London to China – and loves to serve as a global citizen of the world. 

Bill McCausland

December Tue, 2020 at 19:09 PM

What an outstanding cohort! I look forward to learning from each of you.

Todd McCubbin

October Wed, 2020 at 23:08 PM

I see you SEC colleagues! Congratulations to three outstanding fellows.

Curt Langford

October Wed, 2020 at 22:56 PM

Congrats to these three joining a great tradition of CAAE Fellowships!

Hoopes Wampler

October Wed, 2020 at 19:38 PM

Can't wait to learn from this great group!

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