It has been a tradition in the Department of Educational Administration and Foundations (EAF) to go the extra mile to build relationships with their students and alumni. Faculty, staff, and administration are passionate about preparing the best educational leaders, and relationships among the cohorts and between the students and department are a big part of that process. EAF’s latest initiative is an innovative and fun way of cultivating a future generation of leaders.

This spring, among the virtual classes, meetings, and conversations, the department launched the EAF yearbook in which current EAF students who have children during their graduate program submit their child’s name and photo for virtual recognition amongst the cohort and department. Oftentimes, a cohort will celebrate milestone events of their peers with small parties and this recognition takes it just one step further.

“Building connections with our students and alumni is always a priority for EAF,” said Dr. Len Sutton, EAF department chair. “This year it became even more important as everyone tries to build meaningful connections in an online world. We hope this initiative makes our students feel special and helps build connections amongst the cohorts.”

Personal connections among students, faculty, and staff help create a sense of belonging and value as a student and a sense of loyalty after graduation. EAF’s efforts also include an annual gala with awards and recognition of students, alumni, faculty, and staff. They hope to host the gala next year as well as a family picnic for doctoral students in August.

We would love to hear how you are building connections with your students and alumni. If you are interested, please send your initiatives to Molly Davis at