Temple Times Online Edition
    MAY 19, 2005
NewsEventsArchivesPhotosStaffLinksTemple Home

Group connects current students
with Temple alumni

Though only a sophomore, Matt Raisman, an accounting major in The Fox School of Business, is already thinking about the future job market.

In February, he took a major step forward when he landed an internship with a Morgan Stanley branch in Blue Bell, Pa. With a two-year head start on his peers, Raisman hopes the experience will make his resume more attractive when he graduates.

Raisman believes the opportunity for an internship, rare for someone only three full semesters into a college education, stemmed from his involvement in the Temple University Student-Alumni Association, a year-old student group that connects current students with Temple graduates at alumni events like the Founder’s Dinner.

“My internship started because of TUSAA,” said Raisman, whose father, a school teacher, is a Temple alumnus. “I met an alum who works in finance at a networking event, and he referred me to Morgan Stanley. Now, I’m learning all about finance.”

TUSAA formed under the direction of Debbie Cornell-Naughton, associate director for alumni relations, in response to alumni calls for greater interaction with current students.

“Alumni have been very pleased with this program,” Cornell-Naughton said. “They love talking to students and hearing about what’s happening on campus. The Temple connection is something they’ll always have in common with these students, whether they graduated 40 years ago or more recently.”

Junior Carrie Boyer, who along with Raisman is a founding member of TUSAA, works with Temple Telefund, a student-staffed telephone outreach that solicits gifts from alumni. But she said TUSAA goes one better by offering face-to-face interaction with Temple graduates.

“I enjoy letting them know about what’s new at Temple,” Boyer said. “Many times, we’re the only live contact they have with students at the University. They can come away from these conversations with a better idea of what they’re investing in when they give to Temple.”

Boyer added that TUSAA students are typically paired with an alumnus who shares their educational background and that she answers “everything from what we’re studying to new buildings and equipment to what the food is like in the cafeteria.”

Though it’s a young organization, TUSAA is one of only three student-alumni groups at Philadelphia-area schools. Currently, it has 13 members, and Cornell-Naughton hopes to expand TUSAA to 20 students by the start of the fall semester.

Raisman, who boasted of meeting Trustee Lewis Katz and other dignitaries through TUSAA, will continue his membership into next year. In addition to the internship, he said the group compelled him to look to the future in other ways.

“I have a lot of Temple spirit, but TUSAA has made me wonder what I’ll see when I come back to school years from now,” he said. “I love hearing from older alumni and their stories about how Temple has evolved over time. It gives me motivation to give back and come back after I graduate.”

- By Ted Boscia