Dana Beitey, former content marketing coordinator for Newman University Relations, has joined University Advancement as director of Alumni Relations.
The shift, which took place in March, has been a wonderful opportunity for her, she said.
“I’m very excited to take on the role. After five years of interviewing and writing articles about alumni, staff and faculty, this was an easy transition to make. I’m familiar with how past alumni directors worked, I’m familiar with staff and faculty and I’ve seen five classes of graduates go on to start their next steps in life.”
Beitey earned her bachelor’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Wichita State University. She held various customer service and communication roles at Bank of America and was the events coordinator for Starkey Inc. before coming to Newman in 2016.
As content marketing coordinator, the bulk of her duties included interviewing staff, faculty, students and alumni to write stories for the Newman Today newsletter, act as project manager for the Newman University Magazine and help out with content creation such as social media and photography.
Beitey is using many of those skills to bring a fresh perspective to the role of alumni director. Plans such as creating an alumni newsletter and spotlighting alumni and alumni-owned businesses arepart of her goals as director.
The experiences she has already had with the Newman community will play an important role in her aspirations.
“I love interacting with others, so being able to stay connected with alumni is going to be an easy role to take on, not to say that there won’t be challenges, but I love building relationships, so I’m really looking forward to working with alumni.”
Because the University Relations and University Advancement teams have always worked so closely together, she said her workdays don’t feel much different in that aspect.
Moving into this new role has also reminded Beitey of the familial qualities of the Newman community.
“I have always felt very welcome and moving into this role is no different; people are reaching out and there is already a lot of collaboration happening. As usual, everyone is just being very helpful.”
While the main responsibilities as director of Alumni Relations are maintaining strong university-alumni connections and finding ways to serve current and prior students, Beitey has also been working on a few projects of her own.
“I’ve already received some much appreciated feedback from alumni and there seems to be a theme — there is a desire for consistency. Alumni are ready and willing to connect with their alma mater and letting them know there is someone in the alumni director role who can help be that bridge to make those connections is an important goal of mine.”
This goal is empowered by the importance of alumni in a university’s community, along with the inherent value and beauty of staying connected.
“I want alumni to know I am here for them and I want them to get excited about the ways they can stay engaged at Newman. Every individual has a special skill or talent and using that to give back to their Newman community will always result in helping the students — future alumni — succeed.”
Beitey said she knows that being part of the Newman alumni association is important to many graduates — and her conversations and interactions with students and graduates are positive and encouraging.
She added that students at Newman often express how proud they are to be a part of the Newman community and they continuously emphasize the value of the connections they make with their fellow students, faculty and staff as they navigate through their journey.
Beitey agrees and said the connections they are making as a student will be some of the most important ones they will make.
“As soon as they are handed their diploma, graduates become a part of the Newman Alumni Association,” said Beitey. “But that doesn’t mean the one-on-one interaction and personalized relationships they’ve come to rely on have to stop. We want them to engage and collaborate with their former professors and staff they’ve built connections with. But more importantly, we want to provide ways for our alumni to interact and network with each other.”
One program Beitey is looking forward to is the Navigator Alumni Mentorship program.
She said connecting alumni from every generation with students who desire to learn and discover within those matched fields is going to end with amazing results.
“Audrey Hane (Navigator director) and her colleagues have worked really hard to create a mentorship program that will benefit both the students and alumni,” said Beitey. “By forming these mentor partnerships, both parties will be learning from each other as they go along — and that kind of learning is the kind you just can’t help but to get excited about.”
Through carrying out the typical responsibilities of director of Alumni Relations and working passionately to carry out some personal goals as well as the goals of University Advancement and University Relations, Beitey is striving to build that bridge between the alumni and their alma mater.
“Newman feels like family. The personalized relationships students build with faculty and staff continue past their graduation. In general, I think Newman alumni hold their alma mater near and dear to their hearts.
“The skills they build as students and the bonds they form with their faculty last a really long time. And for some — a lifetime.”