NAADA eNewsletter July 2015
August 2015

NAADA Connections

From the President

Keith Barber, University of Tennessee

Keith BarberOnce upon a time…

This, of course, is the oft used opening line to many fairy tales, but it is also indicative of our profession. Some of you may have participated in the recent NAADA email chain about “donor reply envelope inserts vs no envelope inserts” in alumni publications. Tracee Murph, Coordinator of Alumni Relations at Texas Tech, started the conversation as she was researching how others approached the subject. The number of responses which screamed “No envelopes!” provided more than a hint that this type of initiative is a by-gone practice for institutions. As I was reminded by reading the posts, the written check is quickly dying and our constituents regard online processing as safe. We also can prepare pre-filled forms to expedite giving, and we can drive donors to a specific URL to watch a video about a particular program where they can click to give immediately. (Thanks, Tracee, and all respondents! You rock!)

This exchange caused me to reflect on what other initiatives in our professions have changed so drastically in such a short period of time. Here are a few examples:

  • Alumni magazines mailed quarterly
Hard copy? What’s that?
  • High school recruiting visits
Can you say “Text me”
  • Four signed copies of gift agreements
One electronic signature

At the University of Tennessee we’re heavily engaged in an ag awareness campaign. A few years ago we would have snail-mailed a brochure and offered a phone number (land line, none-the-less) for more information. In our current effort, social media channels are the primary engagement outlets we’re using to communicate our message.

Times change. As professionals and as an association, we owe it to our institutions to thoroughly examine our efforts and to be on the cusp of new business practices. We may find that we don’t need to transform anything, but, like the donor return envelopes and hard copy mailings, we may need to adjust our efforts. It’s then that we’ll live happily ever after. Is NAADA up to this challenge? Let me know.

See you soon!


2016 NAADA Annual Conference ­ Call for Proposals

Dear NAADA members and friends:

The NAADA Education Committee invites education session proposals for the annual conference of alumni, communication, development, student services professionals, and alumni volunteers of land grant universities and colleges of agriculture and related sciences. This year's conference theme is Collaboration in the Carolinas for Agriculture's Future and will be held June 20-24, 2016 in Asheville, North Carolina.

The deadline to submit proposals is October 10, 2015. Feel free to submit your ideas for potential topics and speakers to the Education Committee Chair Mary Ann Parsons.

The following educational program goals for the NAADA 2016 conference sessions will guide the Education Committee in selecting from proposed sessions for our attendees. Session proposals meeting these criteria are strongly encouraged to support the following goals:

  • Provide a collaborative approach which inspires engagement, creativity, and innovation that is relevant across each professional area of NAADA
  • Deliver thought-provoking and interactive programming to stimulate learning across all experience levels
  • Empower professionals in all areas to apply relevant practices to expand their daily work which will increase overall success through collaboration and networking

We look forward to hearing from you!

Keith Barber
President, NAADA
Sennah Honea
2016 Conference Co-Chair
Mary Ann Parsons
2016 Education Committee Conference Chair
Kathy Kennel
2016 Conference Co-Chair

Volunteer Survey

NAADA offers a variety of ways to get involved in the organization to meet the varying needs of members. Each year the Board of Directors sends a call to the membership seeking interested volunteers to serve in the upcoming year. The survey outlines current committee descriptions and annual responsibilities. If you are interested, access more information and indicate interest in volunteering for NAADA here.

If you are interested in volunteering, making new connections and/or serving your professional organization, please complete the survey! If you have any questions about where your talents may best be used, contact Darrin Hubbard at or 651-290-7463.

Meet your 2015-16 NAADA Track Representatives!

Jill Brown
Alumni Track Chair

University of Nebraska

Jill Brown works at the University of Nebraska ­ Lincoln (UNL) as Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for External Relations in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR). Her role includes legislative affairs, marketing, public relations, development and interacting with stakeholder groups. In addition to her duties in the IANR Vice Chancellor¹s office, she is also the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) Alumni Association Development Director. Previously she worked as the Career Placement and Development Coordinator for CASNR and for the Market Journal television program. Jill has a Bachelor¹s degree in Agricultural Journalism and a Master¹s degree in Higher Education Administration, both from UNL. Jill and her husband Lee reside in Lincoln with their 7-year-old daughter Kenzie.

Michelle Hall

Michelle Hall
Communications Track Chair

University of Missouri

Michelle Hall is the marketing communications coordinator for the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri. She writes promotional material and guides marketing projects to completion for College priority areas including development, alumni relations, research, student recruitment and student services to enhance undergraduate and graduate recruitment, retention and job placement, and alumni engagement. She coordinates various communication methods for internal audiences to ensure consistent and meaningful interaction with faculty and staff. She received a degree in communications with a print journalism emphasis from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo. After graduation Hall worked as a staff writer for the Manhattan Mercury newspaper, Manhattan, Kan.; as a marketing coordinator in the office of Media Relations and Marketing at Kansas State University; and as a senior information specialist for the Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri.

Heidi Griswold

Heidi Griswold
Development Track Chair

Oklahoma State University

Heidi Griswold is Director of Development in the College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources (CAFNR) at the University of Missouri. Heidi joined CAFNR in 2007. In her role, she works to develop relationships with alumni, companies, friends, and volunteers of the College to engage alumni, raise financial support and find opportunities for strategic partnerships. She also touches students as advisor to the CAFNR Student Development Board, which provides stewardship to donors.

Prior to CAFNR, Heidi worked for the Mizzou Alumni Association coordinating alumni events, diversity efforts and managing in-state alumni chapters. Heidi earned her Bachelor¹s degree in Agribusiness Management from CAFNR in 2006 and a Master¹s degree in Public Administration: Non-Profit Management from the University of Missouri in 2010.

Tracy Fallon
Student Professionals Track Chair

University of Minnesota

Tracy graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies. She has served as the Coordinator for Recruitment and Outreach at the University of Minnesota, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering department since 2012. In this role, Tracy is responsible for the communications and marketing efforts promoting the BBE department, organizing events to build relationships and creating opportunities for students to connect with prospective employers. Prior to this position, she was a personal trainer for 7 years. Tracy and her family are huge fans of the maroon and gold!

Michelle Hall

Tara Anderson
Volunteer Track Chair

University of Illinois

Tara Anderson served as the young alumni director of the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Resources (ACES) Alumni Association Board of Directors. A 2002 graduate of the College of ACES with a BS in Food & Agribusiness Management, Tara currently serves as the Volunteer track chair for NAADA. Professionally, she holds the role of Director of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving for the University of Illinois School of Public Health, and previously, was Director of Alumni Relations for Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Institute of Technology. She began her career working for the University of Illinois Alumni Association.

Hand Carved NAADA Pens Available

Darrin Hubbard, NAADA

To celebrate the organizations 40th Anniversary, NAADA commissioned the development of a limited supply of hand carved pens. The pens are made out of oak tobacco sticks from Bobby Gaffney’s Farm in Woodford, KY. Bobby was President of NAADA in 1997-98. The pens are available in either right or left handed styles.

NAADA pens

You can purchase a pen for $40, or receive a pen with your contribution of $100 to the NAADA Legacy Fund, Jane Longley-Cook Fund, and/or Ruby McSwain Endowment. As a 501(c)3 non-profit, your personal contribution is tax-deductible and may be given via check or credit card through the NAADA website. If you would like a pen, please include a note in the comments field.

Thank you in advance for considering a gift.

Save the Date: 2016 Annual Conference

NC State and Clemson are excited and are working to bring you a great conference in 2016. Please mark your calendars now and make this a priority for your budget. Right now is the time to take advantage of offering your ideas for educational sessions keeping in mind our theme Collaboration in the Carolinas for Agriculture¹s Future. We look forward to seeing you all June 20-24 in Asheville, NC.

Kathy Kennel and Sennah Honea
2016 Conference Co-Chairs

Coming Soon: Annual Membership Renewals

Reminder: The membership renewal invoices will be sent shortly to campus contacts. Instructions will be provided to pay online, download an invoice and update the membership roster. If you have any questions, please contact Darrin Hubbard at

Welcome New Members

Help us welcome our new NAADA members. Feel free to drop them a note of welcome!

Jessica Murdock, Montana State University, Student Professional
Jennifer Lavey, Montana State University, Communications

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Phone: (651) 203-7246