Panthers Pay It Forward
Florida Tech alumni show love for their alma mater through student recruitment
via The Florida Tech Today by Stephanie Herndon ’07
We all remember college—the classes, the dorms, the campus activities and the way our lives grew and changed during that time. Many alumni look back fondly on their time at Florida Tech and realize it made them part of who they are today.
With the impact Florida Tech has made on so many lives, it is easy to understand why so many alumni are helping recruit new students, sharing with them how Florida Tech provides a fantastic atmosphere to budding professionals and brilliant minds entering college. Reaching out to new students not only brings back that exciting time in an alumnus’ life, but also helps the student along the path of choosing a university to attend.
Rebecca Mazzone ’04, ’09 M.S., started recruiting new students for Florida Tech while she was still a student herself, as a Student Ambassador. She continues today by volunteering for Discovery Day events and campus meetings with high school counselors such as the Sunshine State Tour. She also volunteers as a contact point for prospective students, discussing classes and campus life with them and answering questions from the perspective of someone who has been a Florida Tech student.
“For some of us, college experiences are a large part of who we are. Being able to reach back and help the university, no matter how, is a way to keep in touch with a part of ourselves,” she says.
But you don’t need to have recruitment experience to help. Take, for example, Sara Fieberg ’01, ’09 M.S., who volunteered to represent Florida Tech at a high school college fair in Wilmington, Mass. As an alumna who loves her school, she spoke with prospective students about the Florida Tech experience, from classes to student life.
“I talked about what made me choose and stay at Florida Tech, everything that made me enjoy my time there. It made me happy that I could be proud of where I went, show that I love the school and try to share that with someone else,” explains Fieberg.
She recalls the appreciation of students and parents at meeting an alumna who has “been there, done that,” walked in the shoes of a Florida Tech student, because “we really, truly know what it’s like to be a student there.”
She also attended an alumni reception in Boston where prospective students mingled with alumni too.
“This time was more relaxed,” she says. “The students, usually invited by their admissions counselor, were already interested in Florida Tech and just wanted to learn more. We mingled, talked about their goals and gave them an impression of what life at Florida Tech was like.”
Alumni don’t need to be near campus or even attend official events to get involved in recruitment. Many alumni have recommended deserving prospective students for the Alumni Endorsement Grant. Recipients of this grant receive $1,000 annually, renewable for up to four years, toward their full-time undergraduate tuition at the Melbourne campus.
Alumni can recommend as many students as they wish. Just ask Vic Ross ’90, who has personally endorsed over 25 students for the Alumni Endorsement Grant, in addition to years of volunteering for campus recruitment events.
He comments, “If you find a deserving student, endorsing them is such an easy thing to do—just sign the form and turn it in. It’s not much work on your part, but it means a lot to the student receiving the grant.”
Mazzone shares similar sentiments, having received thank you letters from recipients she has endorsed and even some parents expressing their thanks for supporting the student in their quest for a Florida Tech degree.
“I just like to help,” Mazzone admits. She sees these grants as an opportunity to invest in the potential of these students and feels the university will also benefit.
“Alumni help define the university, and the university shapes the students. Do some good now and hope it goes forward.”
How have you helped student recruitment? Consider contacting the Florida Tech Alumni Association at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how.