FAQs for Prospective Alumni Society Board At-Large Directors

FAQs for Prospective Alumni Society Board At-Large Directors
Question Answer
How does someone become an At-Large Director (ALD) on the Smeal Alumni Society Board (ASB)? Each December, an email is sent to all Smeal alumni calling for applications (to be due in late January). The application consists of: a). a personal statement (maximum of 500 words) describing past and current volunteer involvement within Smeal (with an emphasis on last five years of service) b). one page resume or biography c). a letter of support from at least one person familiar with your Smeal involvement (e.g. current ASB At-Large Director, Hammond Society member, faculty member, student protégé).
When are applications for the ASB Director positions due? Applications are due January 31 of each calendar year that the open seats are solicited to the eligible public at large. This is communicated by the Smeal Alumni Relations Office.
How many open positions are available each year and what is the typical term for each of the positions? The number of open positions is determined by the number of ALD who are finishing their terms that year (typically between 3-5). Each ALD can serve two (2) three-year terms, per the ASB Constitution.

How is the Smeal ASB different than the Smeal Board of Visitors or departmental or degree advisory boards (such as the Smeal Finance Advisory Board, Smeal Accounting Advisory Board, or the MBA Alumni Advisory Board?)
The Alumni Society Board is focused on alumni engagement. The mission is to enhance the college and raise awareness about opportunities for alumni. The Board of Visitors serves as a board of advisers to the Dean, focusing especially on providing counsel and stimulating advances in areas of strategic importance to Smeal and to Penn State. Other departmental or graduate degree advisory boards also focus specifically on promotion, growth, and strategy behind those programs.
How is the Smeal Alumni Society Board different than the Penn State Alumni Association Alumni Council or Society Boards that exist within other Penn State colleges or campuses? The Penn State Alumni Association Alumni Council represents the entire Penn State alumni community (all colleges, campuses, etc.) The membership base is larger (over 75 council members) and is elected by all alumni (other than for honorary or special appointees) in annual voting conducted by the national Alumni Association. Each college and campus also has their own Alumni Society, governed by an Alumni Society Board.
What does the selection committee consider when reviewing applicants for At Large Director positions? Is the selection method qualitative or quantitative or both? The committee considers service to Penn State, with an emphasis on quality of service to Smeal as a volunteer for at least two years. An applicant should focus on their involvement from within the last 5 years. Knowledge of the role of an ALD on the ASB is helpful as well, as is familiarity and level of interaction with current board members (by way of participating in events, initiatives, and committee work).
How can I improve my chances of being selected to serve on the Smeal Alumni Society Board? Attending Impact Smeal Day events can be very helpful, as it is an opportunity to attend a great event and interact with students, but also to meet and interact with current board members on a more personal level. Reaching out to current board members to get input into the ALD role is helpful as well. Serving on an Alumni Society Board committee or participating in an activity like mentoring or job shadowing are great ways to gain volunteer experience.
Does financial commitment make a difference in the evaluation process to serve on the Smeal ASB? Financial commitment is not a prerequisite to be selected to the ASB. Board members are encouraged to participate at a giving level of their ability, and we strive to have 100% giving participation on the Board, though it is not a requirement.