Every month the Administrative/Professional (A/P) Council highlights an A/P staff member through a series of questions as another way for the Illinois State community to connect. This month readers can get to know Anna Knepler, assistant director of annual giving and alumni engagement for the Division of Student Affairs.

As assistant director for Student Affairs annual giving and alumni engagement, what do you do?

In my position I strive to engage the alumni of the Division of Student Affairs as well as promote different ways alumni, students, staff, and friends of Illinois State can support the programs and services of Student Affairs through their time, talents, and treasures. Many people ask, “who is an alum of Student Affairs?” Student Affairs alumni are unique and not easily defined. They don’t graduate from the Division of Student Affairs like they do from their college, but they did have an impactful experience in one or more of the programs and initiatives offered by the Division. From being a resident assistant to Alternative Breaks participants, to campus dining staff, to sports club members, they are alumni of Student Affairs. I love the opportunity to meet these alumni and connect them with students who are in the same organizations they were 20 years ago. Hearing their stories is a testament to the great out of the classroom experience we provide students.

How long have you been an employee at Illinois State?
 I started as a graduate assistant at Illinois State in 2013 and have been in my current full-time position since September 2015. I thought I was coming to just get my master’s degree, but I just could not leave!

What do you love most about working at Illinois State?
The people! From our students to employees, to alumni, it truly feels like you are part of a big Redbird family. I love how we collaborate across divisions on campus. We are all here to create the best experience for our students and alumni!

What is one fact about yourself that might surprise people?
Not sure if this will surprise many who know me, but I am one of the biggest Disney fans ever! From the movies, to the parks I love it all! I am looking forward to my next trip to Walt Disney World in September!

When you’re not working, what are you most likely doing?
I love spending time with my friends and family. Whether it is spending time outside, watching movies, traveling, or just hanging out, as long as I am with the people I love I am a happy camper!

What is your favorite spot on campus?
This is tough, but I would probably say the gazebo on the Quad. I will often take my lunch out there on a nice day to meet with colleagues or just watch the students interact. We are so fortunate to have such a beautiful Quad, and I love taking the opportunity to just walk around and enjoy the beauty. I also remember coming to the Quad as a kid growing up in Bloomington, so it is something that I have loved for a long time!

What place would you like to visit that you have yet to see? Why?
 Anywhere in Europe! I want to explore all the old castles and buildings and take in all the rich history.