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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Adventures In Alumni Relations

Adventures in Alumni Relations

Here's the Alumni Relations Staff during our 125th Kick-off Event with alumna Dr. Ruth. We have a fun job!
(left to right: Rosella Garcia, Paulina Melin, Dr Ruth and Alejandra Merheb)

July 2103 - Global TC Day

As you can see from the recap in our August Newsletter, Alumni Relations had a great time planning Global TC Day, and we are especially grateful to the many alumni who helped to coordinate or host events in their backyards. It was also a pleasure for us to hit the road and get out and meet alumni at some of these events. Here is a bit more about our adventures:

Rosella Garcia, Director of Alumni Relations 

Seoul, South Korea: July 25

While the celebrations officially had begun 10 days prior, I was eager to see how this first-time, worldwide event would play out on July 25th, so I set my sights on the Far East to celebrate Global TC Day among our alumni in Asia.  Being 13 hours ahead of New York, it was exciting to wake up in Seoul, South Korea on Thursday morning bright and early with a sense of excitement already building -- and it wasn't because of the jetlag! I took to the streets -- with my friends Flat Dodge and Flat Dewey in tow - to grab a cup of coffee and let them do a bit of exploring before lunch. At lunch, I was treated to a traditional Korean meal -- complete with many, many courses of delicious local treats (and at least 3 types of kimchi) - with two of our local alumni leaders, Changdai Kim and Daekwon Park -- who were also instrumental in gathering our alumni for the Seoul event.

I was delighted to see so many faces at this event -- where I met such special alumni, students and friends. Our local alumni in Korea have made a concerted effort to stay connected and come together regularly to support each other and TC. It was my delight to receive a giant check that evening on behalf of the TC Fund, which was not only a symbolic but also a generous gesture of that very support. While our meeting room overlooked the Gangnam district of Seoul, of recent Korean Pop music fame, we resisted the urge to dance; however the networking -- especially among a group of fresh-faced, recent alums -- could not be stopped, and we ended up staying over an hour past our scheduled end time. 

Once we said our final good-byes, I could not help but be overwhelmed with pride in this successful event that brought together nearly 40 people, but I was also filled with excitement as posts using our #GlobalTCDay from other alumni gatherings in the Pacific and then Europe started to populate the Dashboard. You could almost see the time zones moving around the world on this site we set up to aggregate the activity across our social media. With each passing hour news from other events or adventures of Flat Dewey and Dodge also came in via twitter and Instagram, as well as our inboxes. And while I was fighting to stay awake, I couldn't let myself call it a night until I knew that our "Trans-Atlantic" event had gone off without a hitch. Thanks to wifi and FaceTime and one of my obliging colleagues, I was able to participate in President Fuhrman's "toast to TC."

After a short-night's rest, or more accurately a long nap, it was back to the Dashboard to watch the news and pictures from our East Coast evening events come through, which were followed in quick succession by our Midwest and West Coast gatherings. It was especially gratifying to see these images of the TC family -- many who were strangers before this day -- come together for such diverse and creative ways to celebrate this special day. Read more about what the rest of the Alumni Relations Team experienced on the West Coast.

Alejandra Merheb, Associate Director of Alumni Relations

Portland, Oregon: July 25

Global TC Day was such an awesome opportunity to hang out with alumni we haven't seen in a while and I was thrilled that I got to visit our alumni in Portland, Oregon. Our Global TC Day Ambassador, Kristin Quakenbush, did much of the heavy lifting by planning an informal dinner at McMenamin's Courtyard Restaurant at The Kennedy School. This venue was so fun because, fittingly, it used to be an elementary school! Each room was appropriately themed with Detention Hall (cigar bar), Honor Roll (specialty cocktail bar), The Boiler Room (a two level bar with remnants of the boiler room), and the Courtyard Restaurant - which used to be the school's cafeteria! Here we are sitting at our tables in the old cafeteria...

From left to right:  Bruce (look at the camera, Bruce!) and Nancy Smith, Erin Anderson, Lillian Green, Kristin Quackenbush, Amy Spofford, Jana's boyfriend, Jana Rone, Shannon Hennrich, Robin Tiller, Donna Komitor and me.

We had a great showing of alumni - more people joined us than originally expected - and we're always so happy to have that happen! The more the merrier!

We had a chance to reconnect the TC network, catch up on everyone post-graduation and hear about everyone's experiences at while TC. It was a great night with great people.

We'll be sure to visit again soon as we make strides to create a Portland Regional Group.

Rosella Garcia, Director of Alumni Relations
Taipei, Taiwan: July 28

After two weeks of Global TC Day events and gatherings, the time finally came for the last event – which was held in Taipei, and I was thrilled to be a part of this event too. A few of our local alumni leaders: June Chen, Antonio Lee and Patrick Ko were instrumental in organizing this event at a local “paintertainment” spot called the Escape Artist. Here too, I was just overwhelmed by the showing of TC alumni, students and friends who were so happy for this opportunity to celebrate TC and to get to know one another. As we went around the room with self-introductions and alumni shared their fields of study and current roles, I was reminded of what makes Teachers College such a special place. In one room with over 20 people, we had nearly all 10 Academic departments represented; from Nutrition to Developmental Psychology and Applied Linguistics to even a Klingenstein grad – not to mention our new students who were eager to start their Art and Art Education and Economics and Education programs this fall. The fellowship and networking at this lunch gathering also seemed to outweigh the painting, but some of our alumni did get in touch with their creative sides at the end of the afternoon. I was happy to make such great connections for TC in Taipei – and look forward to future events!