Alumna shares responsiblity of ensuring student success

Alumna shares responsiblity of ensuring student success Image
Alumna shares responsiblity of ensuring student success April 18, 2017

Anna Gibson, a two-time alumna, has been a member of the Young Alumni Council since its start in 2014 and at times has been a one-woman show for the organization.

CSU Degree/Year

May 2012: Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and Labor Relations

Concentration: Human Resource Management, GPA 3.95, Summa Cum Laude

December 2014: Master of Labor Relations and Human Resources, GPA 3.97


Lincoln Electric, Talent Acquisition Specialist

What is your volunteer role?  How long have you served in this or other volunteer capacities at CSU? 

Cleveland State's Young Alumni Council

  • Executive Committee, Inaugural Member – 2014 to Present
  • YAC is a constituent committee of the Cleveland State University Alumni Association which creates and supports programs and services that specifically benefit recent graduates and current students.
  • Social Media: I manage our LinkedIn Group page as well as our EventBrite account.
  • Plan/attend/support YAC events such as Viking Night Out, Almost Alumni Dinner, 5 Under 35, Life Skills 101, Golden Apple Awards and Lunch & Learn Professional Development: Building Your Brand.
  • As a member of the Executive Committee, I'm working with members who joined in 2015 and 2016 to complete our bylaws and formalize our group's membership structure. We are about to begin a recruiting cycle for new members, and plan to hold officer elections late spring/early summer 2017.
  • As the only remaining inaugural member, it is exciting to see our newest members step up to take leadership roles with YAC. We are now seeing events occur on a recurring annual basis and continue to add new events to our calendar as well. 

Why did you become a volunteer?

After finishing up my undergrad degree in 2012, I became more and more active on campus. Volunteering with CSU SHRM at the VA Domiciliary was the first step towards volunteering for the University as an alumna. Witnessing firsthand the impact that passionate, dedicated students could have on the community was a catalyst to continue to volunteer in some capacity. And I was literally at the right place at the right time. My role as president of CSU SHRM had come to an end and I was ready to take on a new volunteer role at CSU. The formation of YAC began in Spring/Summer of 2014 and the rest is history!

What is most rewarding about being a CSU volunteer?

  1. Sharing Viking Pride
  2. Planning events for young alumni and students to enjoy
  3. Connecting and building relationships 

Memorable volunteer experiences?   

Homecoming Parade:

As a newer chapter of the Alumni Association, YAC has struggled over the first few years to maintain active members. Recruiting new members hasn't been the issue, rather keeping them engaged and actively involved with YAC. So for the first two years, I was the only YAC member to walk in the Homecoming Parade (although I was able to convince my husband, also a CSU Alum, to join me in 2014). So when the parade for 2016 rolled around I was on a mission to get our newer members to attend. And I succeeded! 4 members, plus a spouse or two were lined up to walk with me. Unfortunately we were rained out…. Everyone had a blast at VikeFest in Mather Mansion despite the weather! Fingers crossed for another great turnout for Homecoming 2017.

Almost Alumni Dinner:

As an HR professional, I know the importance of networking. So I've volunteered at a few Almost Alumni dinners. The first time I attended, students thought I was a student too (quite a compliment!). Since these events are for the entire university, I don't always get to meet or dine with business students. Plenty of engineering, liberal arts, and urban affairs students. So how could I help them? One evening I met Kelly, a physical therapy doctoral student. We got to talking about working part time while managing a heavy course load. I asked if she'd looked into a GA position on campus. Told her all about my AMAZING EXPERIENCE. Then gave her the contact info for my former boss in the College of Business. It took a few emails and finally meeting at a Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner, but they finally clicked. I had the pleasure of visiting the COB Undergraduate Advising Office this past fall. Seeing Kelly at my old desk, working on Student Engagement Programs reminded me of the importance of volunteering and connecting with other fellow Vikings. Because sometimes networking is enough.

Alumni Recognition Reception

I was honored to receive the David Balint Outstanding Volunteer Service Award at the first-ever CSUAA Alumni Recognition Reception on January 19, 2017

Why do think people should find time to volunteer? 

Volunteering has many positive outcomes: watching months of planning unfold in a matter of a few hours for a successful event; helping students develop their professional skills; personal growth; giving back to the community through Make a Difference Day; or even simply making a donation on CSU's Giving Day. There are so many ways that CSU alumni can volunteer!