SFS Ups Alumni Engagement With New Annual Magazine
Published: Friday, October 25, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 25, 2013 02:10
To enhance alumni engagement, the School of Foreign Service will launch its first annual alumni print magazine in December.
The magazine will replace the quarterly SFS print newsletter, which will still be sent out online.
“We wanted to switch it up from doing our newsletters to doing a more robust piece,” SFS Communications Specialist Jen Lennon said. “We thought that an interesting way to get to our alumni would be to have a broader piece that would cover more and have substantive pieces about issues in the field as well as profiles.”
SFS Director of Outreach Gail Griffith helped envision the global human development theme of the forthcoming issue.
“Coming up with an overarching theme was one of the most interesting pieces of this for us and one of the most challenging,” Griffith said. “We wanted to be able to speak to where the school is now and wanted to be able to look at where we had been, … what it was really designed to do and how it changed over the decades.”
The first issue will consist of profiles and features on the SFS that broach this theme, including profiles on current undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and alumni. It will also highlight specific programs within the SFS, including the Institute for the Study of International Migration and the new massive open online course on globalization.
While administrators in the SFS Dean’s Office came up with story ideas for the magazine, publishing company Washingtonian Custom Media was hired to conduct interviews, write articles and design it. Funds for the project have come from the communications budget and the discontinued print newsletters.
The dean’s office also sought to incorporate the history and future of the SFS into the magazine.
“We had these nuanced views of where we had been and where we are going that were based on world events, and we wanted to be able to demonstrate that scope and that arc somehow in the magazine,” Griffith said.
The magazine will be sent out to 23,000 alumni after its publication in December and will be available both in print and online.
“I think this gives us an opportunity to reach a constituency we haven’t reached before,” Griffith said. “I hope that it does what our online e-newsletter has done, and that is provoke a conversation among our alumni.”