TWIN FALLS — If you graduated from the College of Southern Idaho, the college wants to help you stay connected.
Earlier this year, CSI created a new alumni association. It tried launching an association in the past, but it didn’t work out.
Reylene Abbott, a 2015 CSI alumna, was hired in August as alumni relations coordinator. Her job: to start an alumni association from the ground up.
Abbott said she sees the association as a hub for telling alumni stories and for graduates to feel like “lifelong family members.”
“When I graduated, I felt kind of disconnected from CSI,” she said. “I want to make it my job to make alumni feel valued and find ways to plug them back into the college.”
Heading into the holiday season, it’s a time when many people come home, Abbott said, and she encourages alumni to drop by the CSI campus. “CSI does represent home for a lot of individuals, including me.”
Abbott is working to create an alumni database. Alumni are invited to share their contact information via CSI’s website.
She’s also working on organizing alumni events. In September, more than 300 people attended the college’s first alumni and community barbecue. Now, Abbott has ideas for future events, such as an alumni night during the men’s basketball season.
She’s also working to create a discovery visit for alumni. They’ll take a guided tour specific to academic programs and activities they were involved in, have coffee with their favorite professor, and learn about ways to get plugged back in with the college.
An alumni mentoring program, with more than 60 alumni and 40 students, is already underway.
“It’s been pretty successful so far,” Abbott said.
After doing a quick interview with interested participants, she pairs students with a mentor or two based on career interests and their similarities.
“I try to be really intentional with who I connect students with,” she said.
Alumni lend support to current students after that.
Said Abbott said: “I love walking through the student union area and seeing students meeting and having lunch with their mentors.”