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!
Our D-SIP interns have a great national reach. Internationally, we have an alum in St. Petersburg, Russia, another in Olancho, Honduras.
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.