Alumni have a unique perspective on the College. What impresses them most about SJC?
Carrie Bhada: Our alumni hold the faculty in high regard and are extremely pleased with the physical improvements to the campus. The new programs — Hospitality and Tourism Management, Nursing and SJC Online — are impressive additions to the curriculum, and the alumni I’ve spoken with are pleased to see the College developing progressive programs that will meet the needs of the region.
In what ways can taking part in athletics help students achieve future personal and professional goals?
Shantey Hill: I talk with our student-athletes a lot about this topic as there are countless business journals and magazines that detail why some employers prefer to hire student-athletes. The answer is really simple: taking part in athletics helps students gain valuable transferable skills such as teamwork, time management, problem solving, leadership, drive and resilience, to name a few. Through participation in athletics, students are exposed to a variety of situations and with time become extremely proficient at these skills, thus allowing them to navigate situations and challenges outside of sports with ease. Personal and professional goals are easier to obtain when you are used to setting them and being committed to them, although you know there will be challenges along the way. It’s no different than what they do throughout a sports season.
As Vice President of Marketing and Communications for both campuses, what’s the biggest challenge of coordinating all the various tasks that the department oversees?
Jessica McAleer Decatur: For me, the biggest challenge in my position is being able to balance communication and marketing strategies for two very distinct and very different populations, while still establishing a consistent institutional brand. The goal is to enhance the College’s overall reputation and visibility on the local, regional and national levels through a variety of channels: advertising, media and community relations, government affairs, social media, etc. Each campus is unique, and each area—whether it be academics, recruitment, student life or another—has its own goals and strategies for successful outcomes. My job is to find the balance between the two, which is something I have spent an entire year working on. We aren’t quite there yet, but I think we have made a lot of progress along the way.