Five Minutes with Megan Stevens
Earlier this year, Stevens welcomed Megan K. Stevens, who deftly wears several hats: assistant vice president for annual giving and alumni engagement at Stevens, and executive director and executive secretary of the Stevens Alumni Association (SAA). She comes from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where she managed a team that produced region-and interest-based programming for Lehigh’s 85,000 alumni.
The 16-year higher education veteran and Ohio native has arrived at Castle Point at an exciting point in Stevens’ history.
She also has a last name you’ll never forget.
What Inspires You About Stevens Alumni, and What Makes Them Unique?
Stevens alumni are passionate, dedicated and determined. I’ve met lots of alumni so far, and all of them are extremely dedicated to seeing Stevens succeed and flourish, and I want to nurture that in the best way possible. Stevens is in a unique position of accelerated growth and change, under the past ten years of President Farvardin’s leadership, as well as over the next ten years, as we embark on a new Stevens Strategic Plan as well as a joint planning process for our division and the SAA. So, this is a great opportunity for alumni to be a part of the continued transformation. We want their voices heard because they know and love this place.
Can You Discuss Some of Your Top Priorities for the Coming Year?
We need to provide more opportunities for alumni to engage in industry-based networking, to mentor students and each other, and provide career resources across all alumni life stages. I’m excited to say that work in this area is already underway. It will need to be very technology-focused, so we’re demo-ing some technology solutions now that we hope to bring online later this summer, to allow alumni to network and mentor in really purposeful ways. This has been a top priority since I arrived. We also need to be sure we’re providing pathways to engagement for all alumni. This means no matter how much time you have to give, where you live, how you identify, we want you to find your place in our alumni community. We’re likely to include “flash” and micro-volunteering opportunities — for those alumni who want to be involved but have very little time, perhaps they spend one hour per month helping a recent graduate hone their interview skills. The growth of affinity networks based on racial and ethnic backgrounds and sexual and gender identity, and continued intentional virtual and hybrid programming, are also on the horizon.
Can You Share Any Fun and Engaging Activities that You’ve Done with Alumni in One of Your Previous Roles?
At Lehigh, I was responsible for establishing and growing the alumni network in India. This required cross-institutional partnerships with Admissions, International Affairs and the President’s Office, to name a few. Alumni also had the opportunity to attend an event at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi when there was a Lehigh alumnus serving as the U.S. ambassador to India. One of the industry-based networks at Lehigh that I worked closely with focused on alumni in the financial services industry. Every year, they host a workshop for students, focused on career readiness for this industry. It’s inspiring to see these alumni spend their Saturday paying it forward, and they’re so passionate about helping students. I see this same energy in the alumni I’ve met at Stevens. So, this is a good example of some industry and career engagement-based programming we’re going to be energizing.
Are You Any Relation to the Stevens Family?
No, not that I’m aware of — I’ll have to brush up on my family genealogy to be sure! There is so much rich history and tradition here at Stevens, so I hope we all feel like a part of this family, no matter our last name.
— As told to Beth Kissinger