Alumni News: Message Board

Spring Summer 2024 Issue

The following conversation between Melissa Salazar, Susquehanna University’s new associate vice president for advancement, and the executive officers of the Alumni Association’s Executive Board is the f irst in a future series featuring alumni initiatives.

Headshot of Kyle Robertson '11 Kyle Robertson ’11, President

Melissa: Given that your presidency ends this June, what are you most proud of and do you have any wisdom to share?

Kyle: Having served for the last 13 years, it is difficult to select a singular experience! I am proud of how our members step up to strategize, innovate and learn about the university’s most pressing matters.

We engage with alumni, students, faculty and staff providing insights ranging from alumni engagement and stewardship strategies to how alumni can support student outcomes and champion diversity and inclusion. One of my many joys is learning how our alumni positively impact the trajectory of the university and students. Whether you write a note to incoming students, share your experiences at Break Through or give during OneSU, you are providing a tangible benefit to the community that we all call home.

Regarding “wisdom,” I believe all Susquehanna alumni should understand the value and purpose of our collective engagement. I’m often asked why I give so much of myself to SU, and the answer is, “because it makes a difference.” 

Jamie Malachowski ’09 Hindman, First Vice President

Melissa: What do you hope to accomplish as the incoming president?

Jamie: It’s an honor to be the incoming president and represent the Alumni Association. Kyle — and the presidents before him — has done an exceptional job of leading and engaging the community. I will strive to continue their great work in representing all alumni voices.

Building on an exceptional foundation, I’d like to specifically continue efforts on:

  • Stewardship: Ensuring alumni know they are appreciated by the university.
  • Alumni Interactions: Increasing alumni engagement with the entire Susquehanna community.
  • Service and Leadership: Strengthening alumni-ambassador relationships and ensuring we are directly supporting the university’s short and long-term goals.

We have an impressive group of leaders and advocates on the executive leadership team, the Alumni Board and within the Advancement Office. I look forward to outlining specific and measurable goals and hosting my first Alumni Board meeting as president this Fall. Go Susquehanna! 

Valarie Bastek ’06, Second Vice President

Melissa: What should alumni know about the board and its work?

Valarie: I was initially intimidated to join the Alumni Board because none of my friends were members. The beauty of participating, however, is the different perspectives each member brings from the alumni community. This sense of community is nurtured and supported within this group.

The board has championed key initiatives like Break Through, the annual student-alumni networking conference, and is growing a relationship with the Student Alumni Association, which fosters relationships that continue as students graduate and become part of our alumni community.

I joined because I wanted current students to hear different perspectives about career paths, but I stay because I value the relationships that Susquehanna has allowed me to develop and enjoy working with others who care so much about SU.

Craig Housenick ’98, Incoming Second Vice President

Melissa: How has your involvement been meaningful to you?

Craig: My involvement with the Alumni Executive Board has been a pleasure and incredibly satisfying. Susquehanna invested in me at a time when college would have been unattainable. I hope to show through my service that this investment was worthwhile and warranted, and that the collective investment of the alumni community in current and future students is a worthy one.

By making myself available as a resource to the current students and administration, I can aid in creating a university we can all be even more proud of.

DID YOU KNOW that you can nominate a fellow Susquehannan to be considered for Alumni Executive Board membership? Learn more about board selection and submit your nomination

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