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Epp to lead Alumni Relations

Stephanie Epp

Stephanie Epp recognizes that she has “big shoes to fill and lots of work ahead” in her new position as interim executive director of Alumni Relations. On July 3, Epp will start her two-year assignment with a great deal of enthusiasm and a belief that she can build on “the great work already happening.”

“Stephanie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in forming relationships and motivating people to become involved with Illinois State University,” said Dianne Ashby, vice president of University Advancement.  “In every leadership position she has held, Stephanie has demonstrated her ability to motivate people to work toward common goals and her ability to articulate a vision and plan to achieve success in her professional endeavors.”

Epp and her Alumni Relations team will build a strategic plan for alumni and University relationships. “Our responsibility as professionals is to discover alumni’s interests and existing relationships with Illinois State University in order to create, strengthen and enhance opportunities for them to be involved,” said Epp. “To do that in planned, incremental steps, strategic planning is going to be key.”

Toward that end, Epp will be traveling to meet alumni and visiting with countless college administrators and faculty members as well as gathering information via University publications, web sites and professional networking.  She also intends to target current students as upcoming alumni and position Illinois State as an experience of learning from great faculty with access to a network of 160,000 other alumni from all over the world.

Epp is a doctoral candidate at Illinois State who plans to finish her dissertation by 2007.  Currently she is co-director of the National Board Resource Center in the College of Education.  “We have built a grassroots network of teachers to advance the profession of teaching,” Epp said.  “As co-director, I’ve learned how to move work forward by involving a wide range of partners and stakeholders.”  Prior to her co-director position, Epp worked at the Illinois State Board of Education as a program administrator and for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

A native of Nebraska whose parents still farm, Epp received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Northwest Missouri State University and her master’s degree in curriculum and teaching management at Drake University.  Her early professional life included elementary teaching in West Des Moines, Iowa.

“I don’t see the Alumni Relations position as a professional departure,” Epp said.  “Great teaching involves making connections with people to move ideas forward.  I have seen the power of what a few people excited about an idea can accomplish, and how they can excite others.  I am enthusiastic about assisting in bringing that sense of purpose and momentum into the bigger arena of Illinois State University.”