Expand lifelong engagement with our alumni and stakeholders.

As our alumni body has grown, so has our imperative to expand what it means to be a Sanford alum. New technologies and trends in lifelong learning open up new possibilities for alums to reconnect and interact with students and faculty.

Goal: Engage more faculty in exchanges with alumni through events and programs/ increase faculty participation in alumni events.

Woman smiling at camera. Text: Shy public policy matters, Shandiin Herrera PPS'19

Progress:

  • In 2021, we offered 20 events that were either faculty-driven or partnered with faculty. We have had 14 events with Duke Alumni Association and and regional clubs, which is a direct result of creating an alumni relations position and engaging more faculty.
  • We launched a new Video Blog (vlog) called #whypublicpolicymatters, which features alums from across the world.
  • New alumni engagement efforts both succeeded in increasing alumni participation and are award winning. The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) recognized Sanford with awards for 36 Hours@Duke in 2019 (Bronze) and the #whypublicpolicymatters vlog in 2021 (Silver).

Next Steps:

We will continue to plan and offer alumni networking opportunities, including lifelong learning opportunities. We are developing 1-2 virtual Dean’s Salon events annually. We will continue to encourage faculty-alumni interaction through programs and events.

Bar that reflects 75% progress

Goal: Find new ways to connect alumni with current students and with other alumni for networking benefits.

Embark: Careers for Good, stories from Alumni.

Progress:

  • Career Services staff have created new programs and connections. 
  • We secured additional funding for our EMBARK program, which helps Duke students identify career opportunities in public service and connect with alumni working in nonprofits, government jobs at all levels (local, state, and federal), and public-private institutions. Since the program started in October 2015, more than 850 students and over 100 alumni have participated in workshops, roundtables, career fairs, and DC trips. In the MPP program, we offer general policy and sector specific networking events, like national security.
  • We increased use of Zoom to host career panels with more alumni.
  • Career Services offered valuable panels to showcase alumni with various identities, broadening the support to different student populations.
  • We are connecting student groups like Policy in Living Color, Women in Policy, as well as the Sanford Latin American and Caribbean Student with alumni.
  • We hosted an Identities in the Workplace Career Fair with 85 attendees, as well as pre-event panels of alumni holding various identities.

Next Steps:

We will seek to institutionalize these innovations and continue to connect alumni with students or other alumni, especially for career benefits.

Bar that reflects 75% progress

Goal: Broaden the use of alumni connections for career development and connections to public service.

Progress:

See above.

Goal: Increase faculty participation in alumni events.

Progress:

See above under “engage more faculty in exchanges with alumni through events and programs.”

Goal: Explore new channels for delivering campus-based programming to a broader audience beyond Durham.

Alumna Emily Feng, International Correspondent for NPR via Zoom.

Progress:

  • As a result of COVID-19, we vastly expanded the use of online and streaming programs to reach a broader audience. During the pandemic, the development and alumni relations teams quickly pivoted to online programming. In the 2020-21 academic year, Sanford delivered 28 virtual alumni programs featuring faculty and alumni experts, often in partnership with other schools, Duke Alumni, and the Forever Learning Institute.
  • We made effective use of Zoom and other technologies to bring alumni from all over the world into our classroom and workshops, allowing us to diversify topics and panelists.
  • In 2020-21, DCID offered a short four-class writing course on memo writing for alumni, which was a huge success.
  • Our podcast series, “The ARC of Justice,” in collaboration with WUNC, partnered with the Provost’s office and the Duke Lifelong Learning Institute and premiered on North Carolina Public Radio/WUNC.
  • We adapted our award-winning 36 hours at Duke program to a virtual Dean’s Salon, which we piloted during the pandemic on the topic of tech policy.

Next Steps:

Continue to develop and support these innovations.

Bar that reflects 75% progress

Goal: Engage with policymakers to help facilitate policy dialogue around key themes where Sanford has expertise.

Progress:

See above under “invest in policy connections and deep two-way engagement.”