Brielle Dunham moved to Wichita a few years ago to be with family, and says she's excited to get to know her work family at Newman University. Dunham is the new coordinator of alumni relations and annual giving. She will be working very closely with Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Sarah Strole. In fact, they'll be sharing a large office on the second floor of Sacred Heart Hall.
"She is extremely engaging, very positive and friendly," said Strole. "During her interview, her personality was just able to catch everyone instantly and bring them into what she was saying. That was what caught us immediately."
Her new role will entail assisting Strole with events, activities, programs, and services, as well as assisting in the implementation of the Annual Fund plan. Dunham will also be meeting and getting to know Newman University alumni to find out what is working well and how alumni relations can improve. "Brielle is a go-getter. She sees something and runs with it. She makes sure that she's not only paying attention, but you can tell she's logging all the information she needs to know. And very importantly, she is friendly and engaging with everyone she meets and has an amazing memory," Strole added.
Dunham hails from Spring Hill, Kan. After moving to Wichita, she started working as an office manager at a medical service company. She then moved on to a senior care center as office manager before finding her new career at Newman. Dunham said when she saw the job description, she was interested right away.
"The title ending in coordinator stood out immediately," she said. "It's one of my favorite words, I love to coordinate."
Dunham says she looks forward to her knew job duties. "I'm able to juggle a lot of things and I love working with people. I'll be able to use my abilities to multi-task, be personable, and build relationships, all while being productive."
Advancement Services Data Coordinator Angela Perez will be working with Dunham on the technical side of things, helping with reports and the backend of planning events. "She's always willing to go above and beyond," said Perez. "I've known her for about a year and a half, and she's a great fit for Newman."
Dunham's first big task will be supporting the annual Party on the Plaza which takes place on Sept. 24 this year. She and Strole have already been meeting with other committee members handling the event and says she's excited to dig right in. "My first thoughts are, it's huge. There's a lot of room to grow and perfect. It's exciting to see how people work together. It's exciting to be on the team as an observer this year, to be able to help wherever I can, taking mental notes."
When asked what has stood out the most about her experience so far at Newman, Dunham said, "The community, family-style feel of Newman is intriguing. Everybody is super-nice and talkative. It'll be great to get to know everybody and learn all about them."
Senior Development Officer David Alexander was part of the search committee and had great things to say about Dunham.
"We had many applicants. You look at other candidates on paper and think they'd be great, but Brielle came in and just literally blew us away with how engaging she is and her overall attitude," said Alexander.
That trait was important to the committee as they were looking for experienced and capable candidates.
"Brielle saw herself as someone who wants to be a part of the team and is willing to help others succeed. She's so engaging and has that servanthood spirit. She's the kind of person we are excited to work with."