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CHSP student and SAB member Olivia Hibler networks with Jeanne Gokcen.

CHSP student and SAB member Olivia Hibler networks with Jeanne Gokcen. Gokcen is president of FutureCom Technologies, Inc. and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hearing and speech sciences from OHIO in 1982 and 1984 (respectively).

Photographer: Christine Lentz

Jackson Lavelle, OHIO junior and Cutler Scholar, with Jeff Laturell, two-time OHIO alumnus.

Jackson Lavelle, OHIO junior and Cutler Scholar, with Jeff Laturell, two-time alumnus and vice president and CFO of American Roll Formed Products. Lavelle will apprentice in Boston this summer and made several Boston-area, Bobcat contacts.

Photographer: Christine Lentz

Cita Strauss, Madisen Medley and OUAA Board Chair Bill Hilyard at the OUAA’s student networking event.

Cita Strauss, Madisen Medley and OUAA Board Chair Bill Hilyard at the OUAA’s student networking event. “Many will argue that (networking) is the most important factor when looking for a job,” said Medley.

Photographer: Christine Lentz

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Students network “family style” with Ohio University Alumni Association Board of Directors


During the winter meeting of the Ohio University Alumni Association (OUAA) Board of Directors, current and former board members mingled with more than 33 students during an Italian-style “Dinner en Famiglia.”

According to Cita Strauss, OUAA board member and chair of the Student Engagement Committee, the event was a natural extension of the OUAA’s program, “Dinner With 12 Strangers”, which builds connections between students and their alumni or faculty hosts by bringing them together for an evening of good food and conversation.

“Every table had a great time and great discussions,” said Strauss, who earned her bachelor’s degree from OHIO in 1977 and her master’s degree in 2006. “I saw business cards being handed out, and I’m already putting the word out for one of the students about a summer job opportunity in Cincinnati. It was a remarkable bunch of students.”

Alumni participants included 18 current board members and seven members of the Thomas Ewing Society, which is made up of former OUAA board members. These included CEOs, vice presidents, scientists and pilots. Student participants were members of OHIO’s Student Alumni Board (SAB) as well as OUAA student employees.
The OUAA provides students with access to a vast network of Ohio University alumni.

“Networking plays an important role in job searching today,” said SAB President Madisen Medley. “For students, networking is an opportunity to receive advice from professionals who are already in the work force and know what it takes to succeed. OU alumni play a large role in the networking that takes place at OU. They go above and beyond to present advice and connections that may aid a student in the future, while staying connected to Ohio University.”

“These events offer food, fun and fraternity,” she said. “Students will get delicious free food. They’ll meet other students and make connections with alumni that will further them immediately, this summer, next year, after collage. You just never know where one conversation will lead. Especially if it’s Bobcat based!”

Strauss hopes that the “12 Strangers” and “Dinner en Famiglia” concepts expand even further to provide a networking-style event open to the larger student community.