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Alumni News

The Next Generation of Networking

The Office of Alumni Relations has taken career networking to a new level through its GW LinkedIn Virtual Networking Hours.

Students, alumni, faculty, and staff from around the world are invited to a monthly online speed-networking hour, allowing them to expand their GW connections without leaving their desks.

In August and September, more than 220 people participated, with registrants across nine time zones, from 21 countries and 26 U.S. states. Participants spanned a range of ages, representing the class of 1963 to the class of 2016, with all GW schools represented.

During the networking hours, Colonials can connect with each other based on career paths and shared experiences. The program is open to the more than 22,000 members of the GWAA LinkedIn Group.

Participants select an "industry cluster" upon registration, which pairs them with fellow Colonials in the same cluster during the event.

Industry clusters cover the wide-ranging interests of GW grads, including arts, media and communications; business and economics, education, training and social services; health sciences, nursing, medicine and public health; public policy, government, law, international development and affairs; and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Throughout the hour, participants "meet" with numerous people as they rotate through a series of eight-minute text-based chats.

Brazen Careerist, which administers the virtual networking, also has a GW connection. School of Business Board of Advisors member Ed Barrientos, MBA '90, is CEO and chairman of the board of the career-focused networking site. Brazen Careerist offers real-time tools and online events for professionals to provide networking opportunities.

For a demonstration, visit To learn more about this resource, contact Michael Steelman, director of GW alumni career services, at

From The GWAA President

Jim Core, MA '96

Dear Fellow Colonials,

The journey to a strong alumni community begins long before graduation day; it starts with the student experience, from day-to-day interactions to milestone moments on campus. Each unique GW experience comprises countless memories, achievements, and important lessons, both inside and outside the classroom.

It is because of these moments that GW continues to build a foundation for its alumni community. Today, the student-alumni connection remains more important than ever, as the global GW community becomes increasingly widespread. I want to highlight several programs that serve as a significant bridge between students and alumni. Not only do these programs provide an opportunity for alumni to become involved with GW, but they also provide a window into life beyond college for current students. By participating, students can see, firsthand, what it means to be part of the GW community and how this connection is a lifelong resource.

Earlier this year, GW's Colonial Ambassadors program was reinstated; the first iteration was founded in the early '90s. The Colonial Ambassadors are an elite group of students that act as liaisons for GW's Office of Alumni Relations, connecting the student body with alumni relations initiatives and supporting activities (see story below).

Although the Colonial Ambassadors program is the "newest" student-alumni resource, there are several other ways for students to make alumni connections—and for alumni to have an impact on current students.

A long-standing favorite, the Dinner With Alumni program provides an opportunity for students to have dinner with D.C. area alumni in a variety of fields and professions, from restaurateurs to lawyers to scientists. In the 2011–2012 academic year, 41 alumni hosted dinners for 200 students.

Another popular program is the "How Do I Become A…" lecture series, designed to expose students to careers by bringing distinguished alumni back to GW. Featured jobs have included political "junkies," White House administrators, and CIA operatives. Sponsored in part by the alumni association, this series is a valuable resource for students as they plan internships and careers—yet another example of what makes the GW experience so unique.

Last but not least, the annual Summer Send-Offs remain an integral part of attending GW. Alumni and parents host send-offs each summer in cities throughout the world, offering new students and their families an opportunity to meet current members of the GW community, including parents, students, alumni, and university administrators. 

As students, our job was to approach our education and the world with passion, dedication, and vigor. As alumni, our job is to not only support the institution that changed our lives, but to help the GW community thrive and grow. I encourage you to give back to GW by participating in one of these exciting and meaningful programs.

To learn more, contact Molly Kastendieck, associate director of student and young alumni programs, at


Jim Core, MA '96
President, GW Alumni Association, 2011-13

D.C. Congressional Delegate Honors Alumni

William Atkins

D.C. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton recognized GW alumni in November for what she called their "good sense" to go to the university—and to choose a career in public service in the District.

"Let me say how wonderful it is to invite the alumni of this extraordinary university to an event like this to show our appreciation for you," Rep. Norton told the more than 100 attendees at a reception at U Street's Ben's Next Door. Attendees also heard remarks from Shawn Stokes, director of the D.C. Department of Human Resources, and music from a jazz ensemble from the School Without Walls.

Sonya Ali, manager and owner of Ben's Next Door, joked that the restaurant is the university's "U Street Campus."

Save the Date: 2013 Women and Philanthropy Forum

On Thursday, May 9, GW will host its fifth annual Women and Philanthropy Forum at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C.

This event brings together prominent women in the D.C. and GW communities to explore the important role that women hold in enhancing human welfare through their visionary philanthropy.

GW has been privileged to have a diversity of speakers at past forums—from Ellen Malcolm, MBA '84, founder and chair of the board of EMILY'S List, to Ambassador Nancy Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

We hope to see you in May—mark your calendar for this standout event!

The Alumni Network in Action

About 400 alumni and graduate students mingled in the Marvin Center during GW Alumni Networking Night in D.C. in November. The event, which also included an optional networking workshop, brought together alumni from all schools to make professional connections.

Brady Gallery Exhibits Paintings by Clarice Smith

George Washington University's Luther W. Brady Art Gallery is exhibiting paintings by two-time alumna Clarice Smith from Jan. 17 to March 15.

Ms. Smith, who was also an honorary degree recipient in 2012, served as a member of GW's art department faculty from 1980 to 1987. She has been painting professionally for 35 years and has had several solo exhibitions in museums and galleries in the United States and abroad. Ms. Smith presently serves on the Board of Commissioners at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Learn more about the exhibit, Clarice Smith: Captured Moments, at

University Revives Colonial Ambassadors Program

Members of the new class of Colonial Ambassadors volunteer at Midnight Breakfast with GW Alumni Association President Jim Core, MA '96.

Jessica McConnell Burt

The Office of Alumni Relations launched its newest program for students this fall to help connect the student body with alumni initiatives and activities.

The Colonial Ambassadors program, which was first formed in the early '90s and originally operated through the Office of the President, was reinstated in October.

Today, the new class of ambassadors supports the division of Development and Alumni Relations by promoting student engagement with alumni and alumni-related activities, preserving GW traditions, and encouraging a spirit of philanthropy.

The 16 ambassadors will serve for at least one year, and will attend meetings, training sessions, and other activities including GW's Alumni Weekend celebration. In addition, each ambassador will serve on one of four committees: Alumni Relations, Community Building, Traditions and School Spirit, or Public Relations and Recruitment.

"Programs like the Colonial Ambassadors give our alumni the unique opportunity to form a strong, yearlong relationship with current students," says Jacqueline Hackett, BA '08, MPP '10.

As a young alumna, Ms. Hackett, who serves on the student-alumni initiatives committee for the GW Alumni Association Board of Directors, knows the value of these relationships.

"The important link between students and alumni helps strengthen the entire GW community," she says.

To learn more about the Colonial Ambassadors and other student-alumni programs, visit