The STPF Alumni Network has been 50 years in the making. What began as the first class of seven fellows has grown to the current - also the 50th - class of 300. Altogether, there are more than 4,000 alumni worldwide.
Now, the STPF alumni engagement team who was introduced in November is kickstarting the STPF Alumni Network’s pilot year. That translates into a year of alumni-only programming, communications, and other activities happening this September through August 31 of next year. This undertaking follows a multi-year commitment by AAAS and STPF Director and alumna Rashada Alexander (2009-11 Executive Branch Fellow at NIH) to invest in the STPF Alumni Network. The momentum from celebrating the fellowship’s 50th anniversary was an incredible rallying point for alumni.
Programming for the STPF Alumni Network pilot year is grounded in the recommendations and feedback provided by alumni in recent years. In addition, there will be continuous opportunities for you to provide ideas and feedback to help shape the Alumni Network.
“That’s why it is so essential that all alumni participate in the STPF Alumni Network pilot year,” said STPF Alumni Engagement Director Jessica Soule. “It’s in the name – the STPF Alumni Network: it can’t exist without alumni fellows who are a large, diverse group spread across the globe.”
Recently, STPF rolled out an alumni-only newsletter, Alumni Focus, that all alumni receive six times a year. This fall, new STPF alumni will receive a “Welcome Series” to greet them to the fold – acknowledging that the transition from fellow to alum brings with it much change, challenges and potential. There will be an “Engagement Series” for existing alumni to ensure that they know how to take full advantage of the pilot year.
You may have already seen invitations to regional alumni gatherings happening across the country. On July 14, a group of 30 alumni gathered for a luncheon in Denver. Next up are gatherings in Portland OR in October; Atlanta in November; and San Francisco in December.
“This is just the start,” Soule shared, “We’re hearing from alumni in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia who want to organize events. I’m loving the enthusiasm for the ‘STPF world tour’!”
Events in DC and nationwide are the tip of the iceberg. The pilot year will also feature more virtual alumni chats on themes related to career growth, professional development, and life transitions. The hope is that whether an alum is searching for their next position, launching a new venture, or transitioning to retirement, they’ll find an STPF conversation and community that adds value.
“All of these activities are meant to activate and connect alumni, to help them meet their goals and impact science policy,” said Alexander. “Let’s face it: STPF alum are an incredible bunch.”