CHE Alumni & Advancement Workshop Series

Partnering with D3 Advancement Studio and Gretchen Dobson LLC, CHE will host a series of workshops to benefit community members with a strong interest in Alumni & Advancement issues.

Series 5: Alumni Partnership

Developing Brand Ambassadors and Agents to Shape Impact and Change

Oct 26th, 2022, Wednesday 9 am Beijing time | Sydney 12 noon | New York 9 pm (previous day)

As more alumni engagement activities shift to online modalities, we are connecting with a spectrum of stakeholders, from highly-committed alumni leaders to broad audiences of alumni with shifting opportunities for meaningful engagement. This session will review tips, techniques and online solutions to create environments that facilitate connection, community, and volunteerism with specific cohorts of alumni. An open Q&A session is included.

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Wednesday, Sept 22nd 9-10 PM Beijing time

Thursday, Sept 23rd 9-10 AM Beijing time

Note that the content is the same for both timeslots; you only need to register for one.

This session will summarize today’s trends in alumni relations that include:

  • digital engagement
  • metrics and use of performance tools
  • increased global focus
  • alumni partnerships: ambassadors and agents

In this general opening session, the panellists will explore how these four trends in alumni engagement have developed before and during the pandemic, and the impact of each through unique cultures and case studies. This session includes an open Q&A period.   

Each of these four topics will be explored in greater detail through future sessions in this new CHE Alumni & Advancement webinar series. 

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Unlocking the Power of Digital Engagement and Communities

Nov 4th, 2021 Thurs 8 AM Beijing time (11 AM AEST)

Nov 4th, 2021, Thurs 5 PM Beijing time (8 PM AEST)

Across the world, our timetables for planning in-person alumni events are varied. Regardless, the experience of the last couple of years has exposed us to the potential and power of digital engagement. Digital activities provide a tremendous platform from which to initiate, amplify and scale up engagement. Virtual engagement supports the building of alumni communities across industries, regions and causes, with the added ability for alumni to self-organise.

This workshop will explore digital engagement, its strengths, its challenges, how to implement a successful digital strategy, and how to leverage alumni communities in the digital realm.

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Data-driven Engagement: Using Metrics and Business Tools to Drive Performance

Mar 16th, 2022, Wed 5 PM Beijing time | London 9 AM | Dubai 1 PM

Mar 17th, 2022, Thurs 8 AM Beijing time | Sydney 11 AM | New York 7 PM (previous day)

Data is a constant in the modern world. With an increasing focus on ROI and increasing effectiveness, data is an asset that can be used to drive performance forward.

This session will look at a few ways in which metrics and data can be used more productively in alumni engagement, including engagement measurement, segmentation, program design and assessment, and reporting. It will also explore how alumni work can impact high-profile rankings, directly and indirectly, as an area of great interest to many institutional leaders. We’ll share some tools, offer discussion on hot topics in measurement and rankings, and provide some tips for getting started or becoming more evidence-driven in your shop. A Q & A session will also take place.

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From Local to Global: Why Alumni Engagement Knows No Boundaries

June 15th, 2022, Wed 9 PM Beijing time | London 2 PM | Dubai 5 PM | New York 9 AM

June 16th, 2022, Thurs 9 AM Beijing time | Sydney 11 AM | New York 9 PM (previous day)

Institutions are increasingly ‘going global’ by looking beyond the boundaries of a single campus- and Institutions are increasingly ‘going global’ and engaging alumni across multiple campuses, networks and new partnerships to fulfill their objectives of educating global citizens. Local and international alumni are key partners in nurturing and leading initiatives that support student recruitment, mobility programs, and professional development, just to name a few. Special guest Wei Loon Leong, Director of International Alumni Engagement at the University at Buffalo (US), will share some highlights of institutional case studies that build upon themes of sustainability and value for money relating to international alumni involvement with recruitment, study abroad and lifelong learning. Participants will come away with new ideas for action and/or replication for future planning. An open Q&A session is included.

The Speakers & Panellists:

Mark Sollis,

Creative and Strategist, D3 Advancement Studio

Having served in leadership roles in higher education in Canada and the UK, he works closely with institutions and colleagues in the areas of strategy and planning; stakeholder engagement, including digital engagement; metrics and performance management; and organisational development. His post-secondary experience also includes media relations; student leadership; finance; major project management; as well as serving as strategic counsel to higher education executives.

Mark is a proud graduate of Mount Royal with a Bachelor of Applied Communications (Journalism).

First having worked remotely beginning in 2009, 95 per cent of his practice is now conducted online across Australia, Asia-Pacific, Canada and the United States.

Gretchen Dobson, EdD

Global Engagement Specialist, Gretchen Dobson LLC

Gretchen Dobson is a global engagement strategist, author and academic with 28 years of experience working across six continents. Dobson advises CEOs, governing boards, embassies and policymakers on best practices in digital and other creative strategies and solutions that enable institutions, companies, organizations and governments to identify, track, engage, and manage relationships with their global stakeholders and brand ambassadors.

Dobson is the author and editor of multiple books on international alumni topics.

Dobson received her BA and MA from Boston College, and her EdD from the University of Pennsylvania. She holds adjunct faculty appointments with the University at Albany and Endicott College’s Graduate Schools of Education. She is based in New South Wales, Australia.

Anton John Crace
Editor and Program Designer, QS

Anton John Crace is editor and programme designer at QS Quacquarelli Symonds. His experience includes working as the Asia Pacific editor of The PIE News, an international education media outlet, and he was recognized as the Universities Australia, Higher Education Journalist of the Year in 2019 at the National Press Club of Australia.

Wei Loon Leong
Director of International Alumni Engagement, University at Buffalo (USA)

Wei Loon Leong was appointed as Director of International Alumni Engagement of the University at Buffalo in October 2013. Mr. Leong is member of a team responsible for the engagement of over 280,000 UB alumni with the university. UB’s current international alumni population is over 20,000 residing in over 144 countries and regions around the world

Since assuming this role, alumni engagement efforts have resulted in the growth of alumni engagement metrics. Most notably, the number of international individual donors to the University increased by 28%, 51% of which are first time donors. The increase led to the highest number of international individual donors in the University’s history during a global pandemic affected fiscal year of 2021.   

A native of Malaysia, he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 2003, and an MBA from the UB School of Management in 2005.


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