Meet your student callers

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On March 12, 2009

“Hi, Mr. Jones. This is Amy calling from the civil engineering department at Missouri S&T. How are you this evening?” This probably sounds familiar to you since 90 percent of Missouri S&T donors contribute through the annual phonathon program.

Missouri S&T’s Miner Phonathon program helps keep our alumni connected to their alma mater, but it is also essential to the university’s fund raising program. Last year alone it raised a record $1 million to benefit scholarships and other campus programs. This level of support provides significant financial benefits in addition to enhancing the university’s reputation.

Surveying agencies like U.S. News & World Report use a university’s alumni donor participation rate (the percentage of alumni who give money to the university) as an important part of the criteria they use to determine rank. Missouri S&T’s participation rate last year was 19 percent. That beats the national averages of 11 percent for public institutions and 17 percent for private institutions.

Students like the ones highlighted here will continue to call. Like you, they value their Missouri S&T education. We hope you’ll take time to chat.

“Thank you for your pledge, Mr. Jones. It was nice visiting with you.”

Teona Robinson, senior
Major: civil engineering
Hometown: St. Louis
Favorite Rolla pastime: skating
Most memorable call: “I was speaking to a man who graduated in 1969. He had a sense of humor, was very sweet and we had a great conversation. He even offered me a job in his company.”

James “Andy” Bird, sophomore
Major: mechanical engineering
Hometown: Springfield, Mo.
Favorite Rolla pastime: Hang with friends and go to A Slice of Pie
Most memorable call: “I got to talk to an alum who is a forensic engineer. He told me about how he never knows what he will do each day and how his job involves a lot of projects in which he gets to blow stuff up. His company bought him a new sports bike so he could ride it and be knowledgeable enough to address the court on its safety.”

Matthew Morrow, senior
Major: architectural engineering
Hometown: Lawson, Mo.
Activities: Miner football player, track and field
Best thing about working in phonathon: “I love the atmosphere that is brought in by the student callers. What makes them so great is that everyone learns not to take the bad calls to heart and to share the good calls, especially the funny ones, to make everyone’s night a little better.”

Shristy Bashyal, graduate student
Major: master’s in business administration
Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal
Favorite spot on campus: The library
Most interesting thing she’s learned: “Good communication skills. As an international student, I had problems while communicating with native English speakers. After working in phonathon for two months, I have not only been able to communicate properly, but I can also use American slang.”

Kiran Rangaragan, senior
Major: engineering management
Hometown: Bangalore, India
Favorite spot on campus: Rec center
Most memorable call: “I talked to an alum for an hour and a half. His advice to me was really helpful and I still remember it: ‘To be successful, take risks as early as possible in life, because the later part of life is for you to enjoy the fruits of those risks.’ I learned a lot about the American way from him. He had an Indian roommate during his time in Rolla, so I was not surprised he knew quite a lot about India.”

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On March 12, 2009. Posted in News, Spring 2009