Associate Director of Regional Programs and Networks Coordinates Programming for Alumni Clubs

Faraneh Carnegie ’05, associate director of regional programs and networks, staffs external events, meets with current and potential volunteers and is the staff liaison to the Alumni of Color Network.
Posted 02/27/08
Q: Faraneh, you are a recent Wesleyan alumna and now associate director of regional programs and networks in the Office of University Relations. Did you ever imagine you’d end up working at your alma mater?

A: I wanted to stay at Wesleyan after graduation. I applied for the position in University Relations on the recommendation of my colleague Frantz Williams ’99, associate director of parent development. I was intrigued by the opportunity to travel and meet with Wesleyan alumni and parents around the country, and I was interested in seeing Wesleyan’s operations from a different vantage point.

Q: At Wesleyan, what did you major in and what activities/groups were you involved in as a student?

A: I majored in French studies and history. I was a Senior Interviewer for the Office of Admission and an Editor for Historical Narratives, an undergraduate journal produced by student in the History Department. I was also a writing tutor and Red and Black caller.

Q: How did your degree, or experiences at Wesleyan, help prepare you for working in University Relations?

A: While at Wesleyan I learned the importance of flexibility and innovation, which are invaluable assets when dealing with alumni volunteers. Wesleyan alumni and parents are quite passionate and vocal and have no reservations about expressing themselves. As an alumna myself, and having had such a great experience at Wesleyan, I feel well-placed to advocate for Wesleyan’s needs to alumni and parents.

Q: Please explain what Regional Programs and Networks are.

A: Regional Programs and Networks is a subsection of the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations. We coordinate the programming for alumni and parent clubs in all of the regions in the U.S. where we have a concentrated group of alumni. I work specifically with the Alumni of Color Network.

Q: What is your role with the Alumni of Color Network?

A: I serve as staff liaison to the Alumni of Color Network. I work closely with student groups and the Office of Diversity and Academic Advancement to engage alumni of color and facilitate meaningful interaction between alumni and students of color.

Q: How many members are in the network and what are your objectives?

A: The Alumni of Color Network includes all Alumni of Color, alumni who self-identify as Black, Latino, and/or Asian Pacific American. The Alumni of Color Network includes the Asian Pacific American Alumni Council (APAAC), the Black Alumni Council (BAC), and Wesleyan Latino Alumni Network (WesLAN) Each Council develops events and programs that reflect specific interests and experiences of alumni of color. The Councils work to establish ties between alumni, students, parents of students of color and the University. The Network also promotes interests pertaining to communities of color and collaborates with University offices to assist and support on- and off-campus programs.

Q: And what is your role with the Alumni of Color newsletter?

A: I am the editor of the Alumni of Color Newsletter. All alumni of color receive the newsletter via email. The Newsletter typically includes a feature story on an alumnus/a, campus happenings pertinent to alumni of color and articles on issues of diversity. Alumni are also encouraged to share their updates with each other in the “Here’s What We’re Doing section of the newsletter.

Q: Who are the key people you work with?

A: I work closely with Sandy Tello ’06, assistant director of regional programs and networks, and Christine Colfer, administrative assistant. Jen Jurgen, senior associate director of regional programs and networks, supervises our team.

Q: How do you spend the bulk of your day?

A: I spend much of my time working closely with our alumni volunteers, on the phone, via email and occasionally in person to plan and pull together events in their regions and to update them on what’s happening at the university. I also spend a lot of time creating invitations, print and for web, updating our regional club pages and drafting briefing materials and remarks for our events.

Q: Do you have to travel for your job?

A: Yes I do. I’m on the road a couple times a month staffing events and meeting with current and potential volunteers.

Q: As a staff member in University Relations, are you involved with Homecoming/Family Weekend or Reunion and Commencement Weekend events?

A: We’re all very involved in staffing events during Homecoming/Family Weekend and Reunion and Commencement Weekend. It’s a great opportunity for us to meet alumni and parents and showcase the University. I am specifically responsible for coordinating the Annual Dwight L. Greene Symposium during Homecoming/Family Weekend.

Q: What do you like best about working in UR?

A: It’s a wonderful working environment! I really enjoy working with my colleagues; specifically my immediate team, and I really enjoy the work I do. It’s really invigorating to spend time meeting and working such a dynamic group of alumni and parents. The Wesleyan community is really unique.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I grew up in Maine and Jamaica. My parents still live in Maine.

Q: What are your hobbies and interests?

A: I really like to read and I’ve recently gotten really into running. My goal is to complete a half-marathon at the end of the summer. I also love fashion and fancy myself as Stacey London from What Not To Wear.

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor