Grinnellians for Life

Join Grinnell Connect!
Mary Knuth Otto ’63

A highlight of the spring Alumni Council meeting was the presentation focusing on Grinnell’s career communities, a recently launched addition to the Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS). There are seven: Arts, Media, and Communications; Business and Finance; Education Professions; Government and Social Services; Health Professions; Law; and STEM. 

I was part of a group meeting with Rachel Edwards Harvith ’00, who heads the Arts, Media, and Communications Career Community. Rachel has an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa and has been involved in theater in a number of places including Chicago. She is eager to engage with students about networking, museums, being an artist, and portfolio development. For the alumni community, her goal is to build a web of connections not only between students and alumni, but also among any Grinnell alums she can snag to engage with her in this broad-based Career Community. 

All of the Career Communities and their directors can be found on Grinnell Connect on the “Groups” page. Each Career Community Group provides a specific space online for industry-based conversation between students and alumni.

For alumni who would like to get involved with CLS, additional opportunities include hosting a three- to five-day externship over spring break, offering a Grinnellink Internship, sharing internship and employment opportunities, and recruiting students for internships and/or jobs. And if offering career help isn’t a possibility, you can participate by serving as a homestay host for externs or interns coming to your community.  

So, if you are already a member of Grinnell Connect, great! If not, join now at From there, create an account through Facebook, LinkedIn, or your email account. As you develop your profile, be sure to personalize it to indicate how you are “willing to help.”

Then, find people you know, offer your services, and respond to requests. Also download the new Grinnell Connect app onto your phone at, where there are specific instructions for iOS and Android. From there, you can even use the app to locate fellow Grinnellians who might be in your vicinity at the moment.  

Alumni Council members are already participating with CLS through Grinnell Connect. We look forward to crossing paths with you electronically, or to learning from the app that you’re close by and we could get together to share Grinnell stories over a drink or a cup of coffee!

New members, leaders, and retirees  

The Alumni Council elected a slate of four candidates for membership beginning in June 2018: Debby Feir ’68 (Atlanta); Debbie Gottschalk ’90 (Newark, Delaware); Andrea Jackson ’95 (Solana Beach, California); and Jocelyn Wyatt ’99 (New York City). Ryann Haines Cheung ’93 was elected president-elect for 2018–19, and Fritz Schwaller ’69 will assume the role of president for the coming year. Finally, this year’s president, Peter Calvert ’79, thanked retiring council members Lara Szent-Gyorgyi ’89, Angela Onwuachi-Willig ’94, Saurabh Saraf ’05, and Allison Brinkhorst ’11 for their service. Their contributions were further recognized at a dinner at Grinnell House.

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