Congratulations are in order for D-SIP’s two newest doctors—Molly Dobson and Shelley Strickland. In December, Molly was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at winter commencement. Her gifts of time, talent and money have shaped D-SIP into what it is today. Besides being the founding donor, Molly always volunteers to be a guest speaker in the Friday class to share her journey and thoughts on philanthropy with the summer interns. A specific gift of Molly’s allows D-SIP to place four of its interns into Ann Arbor community nonprofits. Molly has always been a wonderful supporter of the program and is well deserving of her honorary degree.
It is no joke that Dr. Shelley Strickland defended for her Ph.D on April 1, 2013. It is also not a joke that more than 20 D-SIPers were in the audience. Shelley came to Ann Arbor to pursue her Ph.D in higher education and to develop the curriculum for the D-SIP program. D-SIP has been benchmarked by at least 7 other institutions of higher education, and has been nationally recognized by the Council for Advancement and Secondary Education (CASE). Such success would not have been possible without the unique educational curriculum created by Shelley. While there were many D-SIP alumni at Shelley’s dissertation, there were hundreds of others supporting her throughout the country. Alumni demonstrated their support by donating to D-SIP in honor of Shelley. Their gifts will provide more funding for Shelley’s educational class and curriculum. We will keep you posted with how the money is used!
Congratulations to Molly and Shelley. D-SIP is lucky to have such incredible individuals involved in the program, and D-SIP certainly would not be what it is today had they not been involved.
Every year in August we honor alumni at our Closing Ceremony with two annual awards: the Chrissi Rawak Award of Distinction in Development and the Block M of Honor for Community Impact. The first award is named after Chrissi Rawak, one of the visionaries behind the creation of D-SIP, and recognizes an alum of D-SIP that excels in the nonprofit sector. The Block M of Honor for Community Impact is awarded to an alum who does not work in the development field, but who has applied their D-SIP fundraising skills and knowledge to better their community.
This past year, four alumni were awarded. Kellen Sarb, D-SIP ’07, and Sophia Luong, D-SIP ’07, were awarded the Chrissi Rawak Award for Distinction in Development. Kellen was a fundraiser at the University of Boston for five years and recently just accepted a position at MIT’s Sloan Business School in fundraising. Sophia has committed herself to working in development at the University of Michigan, first working for the Ross School of Business and now currently fundraising on behalf of the Law School. Both were recognized their commitment and excellence in the field which has led to multiple promotions for both.
The Block M of Honor for Community Impact was awarded to Alana Font, D-SIP ’11, and Rita Razalan, D-SIP ’11. As a senior, Alana transferred her D-SIP skills by taking a lead in fundraising for the Ross School of Business Class Gift Committee. Rita, as a senior, applied her skills and took a lead in fundraising at St. Mary’s Student Parish. It is always rewarding to see D-SIP alumni impact the community, but as student philanthropy is a value held by U-M development, it is especially exciting that Rita and Alana fearlessly took on fundraising with their peers and the greater student body.
D-SIP granted these awards in pairs this year due to the unique friendships held by the winners. Their friendships grew in D-SIP and remain strong today. Through keeping in touch and sharing best practices, both pairs were able to maximize their efforts and push forward excellent fundraising practices that created tremendous impact for the receiving nonprofits. Congratulations Kellen, Sophia, Alana, and Rita!
For the past two years, the new class of interns have been given $20 and a challenge to do the most good. This challenge is funded by the 2009 D-SIP interns. The class of 2009 wanted to ensure interns would get to know each other early in the summer. The way to ensure this–they made a class gift, specifically to fund team-building. For the 2010 D-SIP interns the team-building money was used to create a ropes course. But since then, the gift has been used to send the interns into the community in small groups to do the most good with $20. Please watch the videos below to see the impact $20 dollars can have from D-SIP 2011 and D-SIP 2012.
But first, know that 2009 was not the only class to give to D-SIP! The tradition of giving started the very first year, when the interns of 2007 decided to make a class gift to the general D-SIP fund. 2008 followed their lead and gave money to provide coffee for interns on Fridays during class (Interns usually go through 3-5 pots of coffee each Friday!). 2010 also gave to the general D-SIP fund. And, 2011 is still giving in order to sponsor a Friday lunch, where the 2012 interns can continue to bond.
The Development Summer Internship Program as a whole (work, class and leadership development components) led to a paradigm shift due to it being such an eye opening experience. To this day when reflecting on my summer as a D-SIP intern, I continue to redefine my professional aspirations.
In order to gain a deeper understanding into how this thought process came to be, let me backtrack a little. During my time in D-SIP as an intern for the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology Office of Development and Alumni Relations, I had the privilege to work on the 9th annual Movement for Life Golf Invitational. The annual event served as a major fundraiser in which proceeds benefit research in therapies for people with motor disabilities. From my work component I gained valuable skills including: marketing, leadership, collaboration and adaptability. Furthermore, through many successes and challenges experienced while planning this event, I was able to gain lasting lessons regarding professionalism and where I wanted to translate these newfound skill sets into a future work setting.
Originally when starting D-SIP I felt destined to become a businessman in the sport industry as an agent or a member of the front office for one of my favorite professional teams. However, since participating with D-SIP I have become open to working in the nonprofit sector for my favorite charity, as a development officer or even in athletic community relations because I still have an unwavering passion for sports.
Overall, this modification has taken me from solely thinking on an individual level, such as achieving economic independence, to also including more community based goals in which my accomplishments would benefit many. I have come to this understanding from assessing my strengths gained from D-SIP. I now understand and value trying to afford others with the same opportunities that were provided to me. Additionally, it is now clear that I seek to work with others as a team to bring positive change through the work I do.
Since finishing D-SIP, and as I prepare to enter a career setting, I am now confident in my overall ability to present myself as a valuable addition to any organization. This confidence is the result of understanding the importance of proving myself every day. Whether it is by being on time or presenting my deliverables to supervisors, all of this can be attributed to what D-SIP taught me
Above all else, what I will continue to apply most from D-SIP is always remaining cognizant of how I can impact the world from a personal, professional and philanthropic standpoint.
Kyle Nowels, D-SIP ’11