SAA builds student-alumni rapport

You don’t have to pay to join, you receive free stuff and you have the opportunity to mingle with alumni and learn what the real world is like. Sounds too good to be true, but it’s not – it’s the Student Alumni Association (SAA), which serves as a link between students, administration, faculty and alumni.

“Networking is the No. 1 thing we do,” said Amy Schmitt, SAA president.

Through its mentor program, the organization pairs students with alumni who have gone into a field the student is studying.

“The mentor program gives us contacts and answers questions about potential careers,” Schmitt said.

SAA is also one of the sponsors for the Alumni Lecture Series. With that connection, SAA members have been able to shadow major political figures such as Newt Gingrich, George Stephanopoulos, James Carville and this semester’s speakers, poltical strategists Paul Begala and Mary Matalin and journalist Bob Woodward.

SAA works at all Northern Kentucky University alumni events, which allow students another chance to mingle with alumni.

Alumni benefits are important, Schmitt said, because students have the chance to talk to alumni, as well as receive dinner when they work the events.

Shelia Perry, a senior social work major, is happy to be in the association because she said it allows her to see how important alumni are on campus.

“I joined SAA due to the fact that I’m going to be graduating in May,” she said. “I wanted to be part of an organization that gives back and represents alumni.”

SAA belongs to the national Student Advancement Program and attends its yearly conferences with schools from all over the country.

“We earn money every year to send our members to state and district conferences,” Schmitt said.

To raise money for this year’s conference in Charleston, S.C., members of SAA will work the ticket stands at all NKU home basketball games.

“Any student can join any time,” Schmitt said. We’re an open organization with no fees associated with it.”