A Huskie You Should Know: Spotlight on Operating Staff

A Huskie you should know: Spotlight on operating staff
Featured civil service employee: Colleen Leonard

 Alumni story is Leonard's success story

Collen LeonardColleen Leonard engages with NIU alumni through writing for social media, the website, bimonthly enewsletter and Northern Now. As a publicity promotion specialist for the Office of Alumni Relations, she also markets events and arranges mascot appearances for Mission.

“Colleen’s effort and work ethic changed the way we communicate from the Office of Alumni Relations,” said David Haas, director of operations for the NIU Alumni Association.

Leonard said, “I am a perfectionist at heart and am driven to do a thorough job. Sharing alumni successes is a way to educate Huskies, whether it’s allowing them to see job opportunities or give back to their communities.”    

Haas said, “The attention to each of our social media channels has more than doubled since she joined the team.”

Alumni Relations is currently the top account at NIU, and they have had the greatest audience growth of all NIU divisions on Facebook and Twitter.

Leonard said, “Huskies enjoy hearing about the successes of other Huskies and their colleges, reliving college memories and seeing what Mission has been up to. Those are a few ways we engage alumni.”

One example of an alumnus with whom Leonard engaged is Scott Kluth who founded the Coupon Cabin website.

“He has built his own empire, yet he is so dedicated to giving back and involves his whole staff in choosing charities every year. He was one of the easiest people to talk to and I admire him for his work ethic and community contributions.”

Leonard also gives to the community with her dedication to the communiversity garden next to the Barsema Alumni & Visitors Center during her lunch hours in the summer.

“It’s a way to relieve stress to see what’s growing out there and to pull weeds. Many of my co-workers enjoy the garden too and it has led to sharing recipes.” 

Leonard also enjoys gardening during her free time at home.

“Like my job, I enjoy it because I am constantly learning. My goal is to become so good at gardening that someday I’ll have a garden that looks like it came out of a magazine.”

Leonard said that learning about alumni accomplishments is one of the aspects that makes her job interesting and exciting.

“Alumni stories are my successes. Whenever I come across interesting alumni, I get excited about how they’ve contributed to the world and sharing their stories is a powerful thing because it can impact others.”

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