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Meeting Minutes

NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ALUMNI CONSTITUENT SOCIETY
Meeting Minutes - August 29, 2013

Members Present:
Nat Baker, John Bergman, Terry Coleman, James Davis,  Jimmie Eflin, Tracy Hendricks,  Emily Kress, Jason LeMaster, John Maher, Bruce Oldham, Juan Carlos Ramirez-Dorronsoro, Amanda Smith, Dean Smith, Laura Waldron. Present via telephone: Danesa Stolz. Guests: Karee Buffin and Sue Taylor.

Call to order
The meeting was called to order at 3:20 p.m. by President James Davis. The board welcomed guest, Karee Buffin, administrative coordinator, NREM, and incoming Alumni Programs liaison, Tracy Hendricks. The board thanked Sue Taylor for her outstanding service as liaison from the Alumni Programs office.

Minutes – June 25, 2013
Eflin requested that Karee Buffin’s former employment be removed from the minutes. The minutes were unanimously approved as amended following a motion from Maher and second from Coleman.

Alumni Council
Coleman reported that the Council had not met since the last board of directors meeting.  The next Council meeting is September 7, 2013.

Department Update
Eflin reminded the board that Connie Tyner retired from the department and then introduced Karee Buffin as the new administrative coordinator. In other staffing news, Amy Rhodes will be coordinating the department’s newsletter this year. In addition, the department lost two faculty members when Paul Chandler retired and Brian Lepore moved out of state. Megan Sharp has been hired to assist in Chandler’s area and the department is seeking approval for a tenure line soil professor.  

The number of NREM majors is stable at 125, but enrollment in 101 continues to decline. At its peak, 3-4 years ago, enrollment was around 400 and it now sits at 115. Kress asked if the department had considered sending NREM students to speak to elementary education classes to promote the 101 course.  She said it seemed like a natural interest for many in the ELED program and that it had been effective when she did this while she was at Ball State.

Baker asked if it was more important for the department to focus on 101 enrollment or to focus on  increasing the number of majors. Eflin noted that both are very important as 101 is a feeder to the major. Classes need to be filled and the number of majors determines the ability to hire faculty. Eflin also noted that the department is not currently classified as a STEM major by ICHE, even though it is classified as one by the National Science Foundation. Several board members expressed that they will contact ICHE and request that NREM to be classified as STEM.

Eflin asked the membership to provide him with their business cards. He plans to post them in the department to show parents and students the types of jobs that are available to graduates.  This request should also be sent out to all alumni via the newsletter.

Eflin reported that the department was one of a limited number of schools approached to pay for an advertisement on the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) website.  Coleman said that Ball State and Amy Gregg are turning out great graduates in interpretation and recreation. He said it is something the department should promote and be known for.  A. Smith and Stolz each noted that NAI is most likely to reach professionals, potential master’s students, or those looking to change careers and not necessarily undergraduate students.   Baker agreed, but noted that professionals who are approached by high school students interested in their career may see Ball State’s affiliation with NAI and encourage students to look at Ball State.  He asked if paying to advertise with NAI might include booth space at a national convention and A. Smith asked if advertising would make faculty or students members of NAI. Kress suggested that the department ask to contribute an article about a project or topic for the NAI newsletter if advertising cannot be worked out. Coleman suggested that the department negotiate for these types of benefits and not limit dollars to the website advertisement.

Ramirez-Dorronsoro noted that the department is looking into ways to help students become better  connected to the alumni society. He suggested that new graduates could receive active membership for one year from the department. Kress said that the board might be able to assist with the active membership instead of purchasing pins for new graduates.  

Eflin invited the board to attend the department’s fall picnic on September 5 at 5:00 p.m.  Reservations should be emailed to Eflin by September 4.  In addition, he encouraged the board to stop by during finals week (December 9-13) for the department’s crockpot wars in the conference room. Eflin noted that a new graduate breakfast may be possible for spring commencement as the department will be participating in the morning ceremony.

New Business
Career Panel
The alumni society with hold a Career Panel on November 13 from 5:00 p.m. – 7: 00 p.m.  Eflin stated that last year’s career panel was very well received and nicely attended. Taylor suggested opening the Career Panel up to all students in the interest of growing the 101 courses.  A suggestion was made to increase representation on the panel among all areas of NREM, with less of a focus on parks. LeMaster agreed to represent public health at the panel and Maher was asked to represent manufacturing.  

Internship & Career Fair
The annual Internship & Career Fair is scheduled from noon-4:00 p.m. on January 30, 2014. A luncheon for all exhibitors will be held prior to the fair. Baker, LeMaster, Oldham, and A. Smith will represent their organizations at the fair.  

D. Smith mentioned surveying 2013 attendees to gauge their experience. Waldron noted that plans are underway to survey participants now that the fall semester is underway. 

Davis requested that board members bring door prizes again for next year and asked that suggestions for new exhibitors be sent to Waldron.

2014 Alumni Awards Dinner
The NREM Alumni Awards Dinner will be held on Friday, April 4 at 6:00 p.m. in the Alumni Center. The awards committee consists of co-chairs, Coleman and Bergman, and Eflin, Stolz, Baker, LeMaster, and Hendricks.   Taylor and Oldham have potential award nominees, but more are needed to grow the awards program. Taylor requested that the board look through professional publications for names and ask the alumni programs office to research a Ball State connection. Coleman noted that help is needed from faculty.  Davis asked Eflin to request that faculty provide us names of former students that they are still in contact with or who had great potential as a student or who they know professionally. Coleman will contact Tom Lowe, Don VanMeter, Charles Mortensen, Horst Siewert, and Hugh Brown to find out if they are in contact with potential award recipients. Taylor asked Eflin to contact Brian Lepore as well. Taylor suggested that award criteria be changed to add the active status requirement.  

The awards committee will meet at 3:00 p.m. in the Alumni Center’s conference room 3. This is prior to the fall Career Panel.

Cardinals After Work at the Downtown Rock Bottom
Taylor stated that the Rock Bottom event has tremendous potential , but the board cannot continue to take on the expense with so few attendees. The board should look at inviting more than just the hard sciences. She also suggested that the board consider waiting until 2015 to try this event again as the awards dinner is so early in April. Oldham agreed that the event is not drawing alumni back in the way the board had hoped.  Bergman and Davis suggested that the board collaborate with the Indy Chapter to help energize downtown Indy Ball State graduates.

Ramirez-Dorronsoro suggested that a BBQ in Muncie instead of a room at the downtown Indy Rock Bottom might be more cost effective. Coleman explained that the central location of Rock Bottom for a  large number of alumni working downtown made it an ideal location. Bergman added that while the event hasn’t taken off, it has only been done twice. He discouraged the board from giving up on the event too early. Coleman will contact Dean Maggiotto to determine if he is interested in pursuing this event and if he is available for a potential February date.

River Clean-Up
Maher coordinated canoe rental with the White River Canoe Company for the annual river clean-up on Saturday, September 21 at 10:00 a.m.  Those interested in participating should make their reservation with Waldron by September 13.

Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 5:10 p.m. following a motion from Bergman and seconds from Maher and Coleman.  The next meeting will be January 30, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.  in the Alumni Center board room. This meeting follows the annual Internship & Career Fair.

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NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ALUMNI CONSTITUENT SOCIETY
January 31, 2013

Members Present:
Nat Baker, Terry Coleman, James Eflin, Kyle Johnson, Emily Kress, John Maher, Bruce Oldham, Amanda Smith, Dean Smith, Danesa Stolz, Sue Taylor, Keegan Waggener, Laura Waldron, and Denise Wright. Guest: Amy Gregg.  

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by former president, Terry Coleman at 4:27 p.m.  

Minutes
Minutes from the November 28, 2012 meeting were unanimously approved after a motion from Kress and a second from Oldham.

Alumni Council
Coleman noted that Council had not met since the last NREM Alumni Society’s board of directors meeting. Council will meet on February 9, 2013.  

Department Update
Eflin reported that he does not have specifics on the number of NREM majors and minors this semester, but, despite a slip in 101 enrollment, all NREM classes are full.  In faculty news, Pichtel is on sabbatical in Scotland and will go to India. Popovicova is at the Costa Rica Center this semester. She and the students are blogging about their experiences. Gregg is the new graduate program advisor.  Two faculty members will resign at the end of the semester. Lepore is moving to Oregon and and Chandler is retiring.  Eflin added that they have not received authorization to rehire for the soil science position as of yet. If there is a rehire, it will most likely be a 1-2 year contract position and not tenure line.  

Eflin stated that NREM faculty had their college meeting with President Gora last week and a majority of the meeting focused on budget and the changing funding formula by the state.  There is a focus on recruiting high impact, STEM undergraduate students. NREM is not currently classified as a STEM program and the department will work to change this.  

Bylaws Update
The NREM Alumni Society Bylaws relating to the Council Representative (Section 3) list the term of service as two-years.  After a motion from Maher, and a second from Wright, the motion carried to make the term a three-year term and put it in line with other Council and society terms. In 30 days, the society will vote again via email to solidify the vote.  

Awards
Coleman reported that the awards committee is in need of additional nominations for award recipients. Faculty could be very beneficial in providing names. Johnson added that faculty do not have to know what an alumnus is up to now, just provide names of outstanding students for the committee to follow up with. Eflin will send a list of outstanding seniors and graduate assistants to Taylor.  

Awards Dinner
Wright will work on a PowerPoint presentation for the Awards Dinner again this year. She requested that faculty from the department provide her with photos of staff, GAs, and scholarship recipients be sent to her. She would also like to receive any alumni society activity photos for the presentation.   

The board agreed to continue to provide prizes for the class with the most members in attendance.  

Due to advanced booking of the Alumni Center, the best date available for the 2014 awards is April 4.   

Cardinals After Work at the Downtown Rock Bottom – March 14, 2013 from 4:30 – 7:00 PM
Coleman noted that Dean Maggiotto enjoyed the 2012 event and would like to see it grow. Coleman suggested that board members each encourage 5-8 people to attend. It will take approximately 200 people for the event to break even. Taylor added that a gift component is now added to event registration forms. Alumni will have the option to make a gift to NREM, their own department, the Alumni Association, or another campus fund.

Auction items. Coleman reported that one auction item will include dinner for the recipient and guest with Dean Maggiotto and his wife, Ellie, at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Darleen Lugenbuhl contacted the restaurant management and they will underwrite a portion of the dinner, up to $300. Coleman asked if the alumni society would be willing to cover remaining costs of the dinner if the gift and the auction sale price are not sufficient. Kress made a motion to approve this funding, D. Smith, seconded, and the board unanimously approved covering additional costs associated with the Ruth’s Chris meal.  With regards to additional auction items, Oldham has spoken to an artist who can do Ball State art. Oldham is hoping to have a framed print for the auction. A. Smith added that she has prints that can be donated to the auction.  Is there a way to get gift in-kind credit?  Eflin believes that this can be done. Taylor will look into this, but also suggested that A. Smith email her with details about the prints and include photos. Stolz can donate a Fishers Parks & Recreation program to the auction. Eflin will talk to faculty about purchasing gift certificates for massage services offered on campus. Coleman will work with Waldron on purchasing Ball State logo items, per the November board decision to fund such items. D. Smith suggested that a minimum amount be set for all auction items. It was reiterated that all auction proceeds go back to the NREM Alumni Society fund.

Reception Publicity.  A. Smith requested a .jpg post card for alumni to post on personal Facebook walls. She envisions it as being a save the date, but it can link to online registration. Waldron will check with Steve Fulton about this.  

Commencement Luncheon Potential – May 4, 2013
Eflin announced that the NREM Commencement ceremony will be at 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. He noted that a luncheon for graduates and alumni would be more feasible than a brunch. In addition, it is difficult to make lunch reservations for a large group on Commencement. He  suggested a lunch be held at the Christy Woods Shelter, like the fall picnic. Eflin had suggested that the faculty carry-in food items for the lunch. After much discussion, the board decided that catering might be a more appealing option. This way, faculty and alumni would be able to mingle with students and families and not be cooking or cleaning up.  Coleman suggested that NREM and/or the Alumni Society underwrite the cost of a caterer. Eflin will talk with the faculty at an upcoming meeting.

It was also discussed that requesting a nominal fee for the meal would also encourage students and families to make reservations in advance and to follow through on their attendance plans.  Eflin said that there should be approximately 30 NREM graduates at May Commencement. Assuming that students will bring approximately six guests, the board will base catering numbers on this and the number of faculty and NREM Alumni Society members who make plans to attend.  

Taylor will investigate the cost of hiring a shuttle to transport families from the Christy Woods Shelter to the Commencement festivities and back.   

River Clean-Up
Maher will look into dates for a fall river clean-up. He requested that the clean-up not be made mandatory for students and possibly that it just be offered to students in a water resource class.  

Career Panel Review – November 28, 2012
D. Smith expressed that the panel was very good and that it was attended by approximately 40 students. K. Johnson noted that a few students who attended the Fair, remembered him speaking at the panel in the fall. Gregg really enjoyed the panel and would like to see it continue in the fall.  It was suggested that a smaller panel would be more effective – six alumni or so.  It was noted that that was the original size of the panel, but a student panelist and a couple of board members in attendance that evening were added to the panel at the event.  

Internship & Career Fair Review - January 31, 2013
One hundred and seventy-one students attended the Fair.  Stolz suggested that proof of attendance not be provided in the future. She noted that many didn’t need it, but also that the Career Center tracks attendance and can easily provide proof to professors upon request. Eflin agreed.

Stolz also reported that the raffle of logo items was very popular. She suggested that exhibitors be required to bring 10 items in the future, even candy bars if logo items are not available.  

Gregg provided some feedback from students who attended the fair.  They would like the exhibitors to have a better understanding of what students are looking for and request increased diversity in the organizations represented.  (NOTE: Registered attendees included:  three private consulting firms, one county health department, one zoo, one museum, one county GIS department, one county emergency management department, one environmental program from the Indiana National Guard, four local divisions of federal agencies, two non-profits, one professional association, and six parks related organizations (i.e., forestry, county parks, and state parks in Indiana and Ohio).  

Stolz and A. Smith noted that students still need to submit an online application to work with their organizations and not simply provide them with a resume. Eflin noted that students will be given clearer information on attire, demeanor, and that some organizations will require online applications.

D. Smith requested information on how many attendees receive internships or summer jobs after the Fair. Stolz would like to survey exhibitors as well. Waldron will survey the exhibitors and check with the Career Center about surveying student attendees in the fall to see if they received internships or employment and request feedback on their experiences. D. Smith agreed that these would be good statistics to have and that it may also be a great marketing tool.  

Upcoming Events
Cardinals After Work Reception at Indianapolis Rock Bottom
 – Thursday, March 14, 4:30 – 7:00 p.m. 

NREM Alumni Awards Reception and Dinner – Friday, April 19, 6:00 p.m.  

Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 6:50 p.m. following a motion from Eflin and a second from A. Smith. The next meeting will be held at 4:00 p.m. on June 26, 2013 at Strawtown. Thanks to Oldham for arranging space. An additional meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. (Please note this is a time change). A home football game will follow.


 

 

NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ALUMNI CONSTITUENT SOCIETY
November 28, 2012

Present: 
Nat Baker, John Bergman, Terry Coleman, James Davis, Kyle Johnson, Tim Johnson, Emily Kress, Jason LeMaster,  John Maher, Bruce Oldham, Amanda Smith, Dean Smith,  Sue Taylor, Laura Waldron, Keegan Waggener, and Denise Wright.

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 4:05 p.m. by President James Davis.

Minutes
The minutes from the August 30, 2012 meeting were unanimously approved as written, following Coleman’s move to approve and Bergman’s second. Alumni Council . Council last met during Family Weekend, September 22, 2012. Bergman noted that President Gora spoke to the Council about increased enrollment and applications, continually improving SAT points and increased GPA scores for incoming students. This was Julie Stroh’s first meeting with the Alumni Council. Stroh became the executive director of Alumni Programs at the beginning of September.

Internship & Career Fair –  Thursday, January 31, 2013
A. Smith suggested that CRIPE and IPRA be invited to the Fair.  Oldham said that IPRA would participate and he is working to increase the relationship between IPRA and Ball State University. He is hoping to bring the state conference to Ball State in the near future. Davis would like breakdown of NREM majors/concentrations to help the society determine the  organizations that should be targeted for the Fair. Taylor noted that Stolz and A. Smith have traditionally rounded up door prizes for the Fair.  Should this be pursued again? Wright loves the idea of door prizes and believes that students enjoy them as well. A. Smith agreed and said she is willing to bring items to the fair. Davis will email Stolz and determine her interest.  The board decided to ask the vendors to bring door prizes when sending in their event confirmation. Tentatively, the following board members plan to be in attendance at the fair:  Baker, Coleman, Davis, Johnson, Oldham,  A. Smith, and Wright. Waldron will send the board a message and registration form so board members can invite their professional contacts to the Fair. This personal connection will help. Board members should copy Waldron on any invites.  For homeland security it was requested that the focus be on chemical security.  Davis will talk with DNR engineering.

Awards 
The Awards Committee will meet on January 17, 2013 at 5 p.m. in the Alumni Center. Let Taylor know if you need to participate by phone.

Rock Bottom – Thursday, March 14, 2013 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Dean Maggiotto and several CSH faculty will be in attendance. The society needs, and anticipates, higher participation for the 2013 event. The goal is to have at least 150 alumni and friends in attendance. Taylor can print posters that board members can distribute and electronic communication also will be utilized. Oldham asked if Rock Bottom will allow the society to post a flyer in the building the week or so before the event for promotional purposes. Wright asked if the event could be advertised on the Indy Center television. Board thinks yes.  (Side note: Taylor checked with Rock Bottom and has a poster approved). Bergman suggested making the Indy chapter aware of the event. A. Smith, Oldham, and LeMaster will work on promoting the event to Hamilton County alumni.  Baker offered to call alumni. Davis agreed that he would make calls as well.  Wright suggested inviting former professors and the board agreed. A. Smith will invite Alumni Council president Fred Cox.

The board would like to have Charlie Cardinal in attendance and will promote the appearance in registration materials. Wright asked if another celebrity CSH grad might be a draw to the event.  Baker suggested local meteorologist Pamela Gardener.  Bergman requested that prizes or giveaways be available at the event.  Coleman and Oldham suggested that the board determine an amount from the society’s budget to cover small door prizes. After some discussion, Oldham made a motion to allot $200 from the NREM Alumni Society for prizes to be sold at a silent auction, with money raised going back to the NREM Alumni Society. Coleman offered to man the auction and is willing to look into auction items.  A. Smith seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.  In further discussion, the board suggested items such as a signed Ball State football, Ball State artwork/print, and other Ball State memorabilia be pursued for the auction.At the request of the board, Taylor said she will try to have a Rock Bottom flyer available by the Internship & Career Fair. Coleman moved to charge $20 for the Rock Bottom event.   Bergman added that registration materials need to promote that the cost includes one free drink and heavy appetizers.  Coleman asked if a line item for a gift will be on the reservation form.   Taylor noted that a separate line item can be included. Baker suggested doing that at the awards dinner as well and the board agreed. Baker noted that if each board member brings 11 or 12 guests, 200 people will attend and the event will break even. Coleman withdrew his initial motion and submitted one for Taylor to determine the fee, but that it will not exceed $20, even with credit card fees.  Davis and Wright seconded the  motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Board membership 
Expiring terms were reviewed and all members re-upped their commitment. Taylor  will check with Stolz on her membership plans.

Adjournment
The next meeting of the NREM Alumni Society's board of directors is Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. in the Alumni Center. This will follow the Internship & Career Fair, which runs from noon-4:00 p.m. Board adjourns at 5:45 p.m. for the meet and greet and career panel in WQ.