The Colby Alumni of Color Network (AOCN) helps alumni of color connect
with each other and engage with the Colby community. The network's
objectives are as follows:
- To establish a connection between
the active Colby alumni of color community and current Colby students of
color, new alumni of color, and prospective Colby students of color
- To foster an atmosphere that provides a full and well-rounded college experience for Colby students of color
- To provide opportunities for diverse alumni participation within the Colby community
- To aid in admissions efforts to recruit and retain students of color
- To aid current students and alumni in their careers
How It Started
As of April 2006, 95 alumni ranging from the classes of 1946 to 2004 in 24 states have volunteered to be part of the AOCN (see list of members). Special thanks to Dimitri Michaud '03 and LeAndrew Rankin '03, who took the initiative to work with the Alumni Office to get the network off the ground in 2004.
Many of you have volunteered to mentor current students or young alumni, to come to campus to speak, or to talk about your Colby experiences and about your careers, and we plan to take you up on your offers as soon as possible.
With occasional newsletters we plan to keep you apprised of what is happening as the network evolves.
We are looking for constructive feedback from you, for ideas, suggestions, and reassurance that we are headed in the right direction to make the network effective for those involved.
We have several projects already in the works. Some of them will involve everyone. For other projects we plan to contact network members individually to see if you will be available to participate as a speaker or help with particular events. If you don't hear from us soon, don't despair—we may need to move slowly as the network grows these first few years, but we will get back to you.
If you're interested in serving as a mentor to current students or young alums, you can make yourself available by filling in the mentoring section of your online directory listing or by contacting the Office of Alumni Relations at 207-859-4310 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a mentor you can expect questions (usually via e-mail) regarding college life—from what it's like to be a person of color at Colby to how to find an internship in your career field, to what's an affordable and safe part of your city in which to find an apartment.
Some questions may need just a brief answer; others may deserve a lengthier response or a phone conversation. It's up to you to respond to inquiries in the way that's most comfortable for you. We also predict that some of you may never hear from students. Either way, we are most appreciative of your willingness to be a resource to current students; we know you have valuable insights to share.
Join the Network
Members of the Dean of Students Office suggest each AOCN volunteer submit an alumni profile page which will be kept in a book for students of color to review as they think about approaching alumni in the network. This will give students a sense of who you are and will make you more accessible to them. If you are interested in joining our network, please either send a single profile page electonically to email@example.com (and indicate whether you are willing to have all or part of your story on the AOCN Web site) or fill out our form online. Please consider including a photo as well.
Some Areas To Consider As You Create Your Page:
- Colby Experience
- What do you see now as some of the pros and cons of your Colby experience?
- What was the climate for students of color when you attended Colby?
- If you could change one thing about Colby, what would it be?
- Who helped you the most at Colby (faculty member, staff, coach, friend, etc.), and how did they help you?
- What do you wish you knew at the beginning that you knew at the end of your time at Colby? What lessons did you learn?
- Professional Experience
- How did you get from your chosen major at Colby to where you are today?
- What was your first "real job" after graduation? How did you find it and what was the hiring process?
- Who was the most helpful in finding an internship or job after graduation?
- What is your current job title, and what constitues the bulk of your daily responsibilities?
- What sort of course work or other preparation would be helpful in landing a job in your field?
- What does your company/organization look for when hiring recent college graduates?
- What personal attributes or skills help make you successful at what you do?
- What do you like most about your job, and what do you find the most challenging?
- Where do you see yourself three to five years from now?
- What single piece of advice would you give to graduating seniors?
Using the Online Directory
The online alumni directory allows students or alums of color to search for members of the AOCN. Search fields also exist for mentor status (AOCN) and graduate education (class year, degree, institution, and major). This is helpful to both students who find the idea of approaching an alum uncomfortable and alumni who are eager to network with others who share their interests and backgrounds.
You also can update your own listing in the directory at any time. Please encourage your friends and classmates to do the same.
Accessing the Directory
Colby's alumni directory is a secure environment available only to the Colby community where you can share contact information, career information, education information, and more. It also allows you to update your own directory listing, upload a photo to display with your listing, hide certain parts of your listing, or create a list of friends and contacts for easy reference. The directory can be searched by name, city of residence, occupation, and many other criteria.
If you have never registered for the alumni directory, you can register now with the seven-digit number found above your name on your Colby magazine mailing labels. If you don't have a magazine handy, you can obtain it by submitting this form.