REPORT WKU ALUMNI IDEAS ON WKU INTERNATIONAL REACH
July 8, 2010
International Reach’s WKU Alumni Association LinkedIn Group Report
By Luis Ore - WKU Alumni Board of Directors member – gathering suggestions
from WKU Alumni Association LinkedIn Group.
This report summarizes some ideas that were shared during an attempt to bring
in together ideas, suggestions and initiatives from some WKU Alumni Association
LinkedIn Group members with the purpose of sharing their voices and thoughts
with the WKU Alumni Board. This conversation began when a question was
posted with the purpose of engaging WKU Alumni connected through LinkedIn
while fostering a space to build upon each others’ ideas, experiences and
expertise. They responded to the question: How can the WKU Alumni Association
help WKU fulfill the “with International Reach” part of the university’s vision: A
Leading American University with International Reach”?
Summary of some ideas offered by WKU Alumni:
1. Attract more international students which would add experience to all
students attending WKU.
2. WKU should connect with the “Education USA initiative” (US State
Department) It with students who want to attend universities in the USA.
3. Provide ways for WKU Alumni doing international work or working
internationally to connect with each other.
4. Develop Alumni groups or student mentoring programs: Utilize Alumni
overseas alumni to promote or create Alumni groups or student mentoring
programs to share international experiences.
5. Tap into the international experience of its alumni to share experiences
with current business students as well as prospective international
students, sharing real world experience of international business, via
seminars, guest speakers, online webinars, etc.
6. Attract more international students by providing scholarships.
7. Seek donors to establish a series of scholarships for a pool of scholars that
seeks to provide international education to a group of students. (Example:
McDonnell Scholars Academy. http://mcdonnell.wustl.edu/)
8. Seek collaboration or partnering opportunities with faculty with
9. Encourage faculty and students to create and develop joint initiatives and
10.Host recruitment events in target countries; establish one or two
international recruiters for this purpose.
11.Have Alumni in their country of residence to host recruitment events.
12.Establish a global recruitment director at WKU to coordinate the work of
these “international recruiters” – Alumni spread internationally. Establish a
unit with goals and objectives, a strategic plan and measurement of
success. Allocate some funding for this type of position.
13.Establish a WKU alumni /international student community manager. This
manager could get together alumni and perspective international students
through social media (LinkeIN.com, Facebook.com, Xing.com, etc)
14.Marketing to spread the word of the programs in place and the part of the
“international reach” part of the vision, share information of what WKU is
doing toward its “international reach”. For instance, sharing stories of WKU
Alumni achieving big things abroad.
15.Support short-term international programs focused on building capacity
and encourage WKU alumni (graduates) to apply for long-term placement
international programs like PeaceCorps, and share those experiences with
WKU students. Example for short assignments:
16.Sponsor international service learning programs; WKU students could learn
at WKU and then take them abroad to apply the learned skills.
17.Establish a committee or task force to work with diverse WKU offices and
stakeholders on campus to create synergies to present proposals and
suggestions to advance WKU’s interests in being a university “with
18.Provide finding for study abroad programs.
19.Promote programs to foster a better awareness and global mindset to WKU
students to equip them for real world of interdependence, globalization,
and global context by fund pilot programs that can positively impact
abroad, students could engage in service learning and civic engagement
20.Alumni chapters in the US could help WKU connect with "international
communities" in the US so WKU students can have exposure and learning
experiences in different environments collaborating with service learning
projects with marginalized international communities or communities of
refugees in the US and gain some cross-cultural experience.
21.Collaborate with existing international programs and events on campus to
further WKU’s interests in being a university “with international reach”.
22.Alumni with international experience/contacts can serve as mentors for
prospective students abroad, for students with a study-abroad-experience
seeking an outlet, for international students interested in building an
American and abroad network. The need: Current US students need
mentors and role-models to help answer the question "what can I do with
my international study abroad experience that will get me a better job?"
Many are unsure of the benefits of study abroad experiences. Suggestion:
Alumni with international contacts/experience could serve as mentors for
prospective study abroad students AND those that have returned and need
seek an outlet AND for international students looking to build an American
network both in the US and abroad (home country).
23.WKU has undergraduate Study Abroad Ambassadors. Suggestion: Why not
having an Alumnus version found via an online community search engine
that could match current students with alumni based on categories such as
career/major/countries/home town etc? This can be great tool for the WKU
Study Abroad Office to point students (and their parents) to.