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Strength in Numbers

March 28, 2017

By Laura Valenti
On Thursday, March 2, alumni and nursing and health professions undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students gathered at Three Parkway with three additional participants via the webcast for a meeting to discuss reengaging the CNHP Alumni Network. Laura Valenti, executive director of College Engagement, Marketing and Communications and Jenny Carolina-Bell, director of Campus Partnerships in the Office of Alumni Relations, facilitated the conversation and discussed the network's history and reasons for renewing it — the growing number of CNHP alumni with interest in networking/mentoring activities from alumni and students, resume review and career roundtables where alumni and their employers would have an opportunity to recruit future nurses and health professionals. Looking back at why the College of Nursing and Health Professions Alumni Network was inaugurated — to provide a forum for alumni to associate with one another, students and the general alumni of Drexel University, to promote the professional growth of CNHP’s graduates through alumni programming and to recognize the unique contribution of CNHP alumni to Drexel University and the larger community — these reasons are clearly in keeping with the purpose of the organization.
Throughout the evening, attendees shared ideas and made recommendations. Some included asking alumni to give lectures on pertinent topics like addiction, the Affordable Care Act, health literacy and American Nurses Association/Nurse Practitioners Coalition to name a few.
The assembled group decided a fall kickoff made the most sense and set specific goals: 1. Establish an alumni speaker’s bureau; 2. Plan a student/alumni career networking panel event. Panel events held in previous years in conjunction with Steinbright Career Development Center, were quite successful — Steinbright staff advised junior and senior undergraduates about resources available to them at the center followed by an informal reception, a networking opportunity where students and alumni could meet one-on-one to discuss the career paths specific to CNHP that students might take; and 3. Investigate options for a community service event. 
Valenti shared a list of upcoming events with the group, many of which are listed on CNHP’s website. Some highlights include the reception for music therapy alumni in Rochester, NY on March 17, the Dornsife Center health fair in celebration of the opening of CNHP’s Community Wellness HUB on April 8, the BAYADA Home Health Care Speaker Series and Awards on April 26 and Dr. Robert Wicks’ continuing education lecture, “The Resilient Clinician,” and celebration of 45 years of the Physician Assistant Program, both during alumni weekend being celebrated on Friday and Saturday, May 19 and 20.
To meet these goals, the group who attended the meeting will move ahead with a tentative meeting over the summer. These are the first steps taken for the College of Nursing and Health Professions Alumni Network to take root and flourish. Anyone interested in becoming a member is encouraged to get in touch with Valenti or to attend an upcoming meeting in the 2017-18 academic year.