December 4, 2018

Affinity and Beyond: Bringing Students and Alumni Together With the Education Alumni Affinity Group

by Choya Randolph, M.F.A. '18

Ruth S. Ammon affinity group

The Ruth S. Ammon School of Education has a long list of alumni who have accomplished much. Alumni who have gone on to become teachers around the globe, principals changing the state of failing schools, even sports performance specialists for the NBA, are just a few examples of what students can do with their Adelphi degrees.

But what if there were a group where Ammon School students and alumni could come together and build long-lasting bonds? During the October 2018 Spirit Week 10 Under 10 Induction and Reception, Adelphi’s first alumni affinity group was announced—with big plans to come.

“This is the first alumni group that has representation of all the program units under one umbrella,” said Jodie Sperico, Adelphi’s executive director of alumni relations. “It’s cosponsored by the School of Education and Alumni Relations and was formed to strengthen the connection between alumni and the school, as well as create meaningful opportunities for students to learn and leverage alumni success and experiences.”

The Education Alumni Affinity Group has high ambitions. Goals include developing meaningful partnerships with alumni in professional fields and arenas, creating opportunities for sponsored mentorships, engaging Adelphi constituencies through educational and cultural events, and connecting successful alumni to students to foster networking relationships.

The leadership team comprises distinguished Ammon School faculty and staff. Assistant Dean Patrice Armstrong-Leach; Dana Battaglia, chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders; Professor Emeritus and former Ammon School Dean Ronald Feingold, Ph.D.; and Diana Feige, Ed.D., and Mary Jean McCarthy, clinical associate professors in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, form the steering committee of the organization.

“The School of Education is represented by student organizations such as Future Teachers of America, the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA), Inside the Teachers’ Classroom and Panther Prowl,” Armstrong-Leach said. “These student organizations and alumni groups are the heart of the Ammon Affinity Group.”

Inside the Teachers’ Classroom and Panther Prowl find successful alumni interested in coming back to their alma mater to be active in events such as principal talks or rising senior occasions. Future Teachers of America and NSSHLA are established programs that offer Adelphi undergraduate and graduate students opportunities to develop leadership and professional skills and to give back through volunteer service.

Though the group is in the vanguard at Adelphi, it is actively looking ahead. In April, National Donate Life America Month, the affinity group will support the first-ever Organ Donor Awareness Campaign. Current students and alumni will gather for the Fifth Annual Ruth S. Ammon Endowed Lecture in Education on February 26, 2019, and will support the Education Symposium and also provide student-volunteer support for the June 2019 AIESEP Conference.

“This is really important. We’ve been working together with a number of different people,” Sperico said. “The overarching theme is to grow and strengthen the alumni community as a whole.”

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About Adelphi: A modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning

Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. It serves almost 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online. 

More than 116,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.

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Taylor Damian
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