This week on the Not So Secret Guide to Being a Berkeley Engineer we learn more about the Senior Class Gift Committee with Julia Snippen. The College of Engineering is looking for dedicated and enthusiastic seniors to join the 2018 Berkeley Engineering Senior Class Gift Committee! We’d love to hear from those of you who are interested by the end of day, Monday October 15. The first meeting is on November 2.
LAURA VOGT: Hello and welcome to the Not So Secret Guide to Being a Berkeley Engineer. Today we are discussing the Berkeley Engineering Senior Class Gift Campaign and I’m so happy to have Julia Snippen from the College of Engineer Dean’s Office here with us today! Welcome Julia – can you tell us a little about yourself and how you are involved with the campaign.
JULIA SNIPPEN: Hi. Thanks so much for having me here.
LV: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got how you are involved in the campaign.
JS: Sure absolutely. So I’m the Associate Director of Development for the College of Engineering. Many of you may not know exactly what that is but we’ll talk more about that. It is all to do with fundraising and securing resources for the college. And that is for the entire college no matter what department you’re in the work that I do and the support that I work to Ranglin is benefiting every single student. And it’s a wonderful wonderful job to have. So the senior class gift committee and campaign is something that will start talking about in the fall and winter and then will really start rolling as more of a full fledged campaign in the spring. And it is primarily geared toward encouraging participation from your fellow senior classmates in the College of Engineering to start thinking about philanthropy as you get ready to take the next step of the world
LV: Because we don’t want students to necessarily forget about us once they leave right.
JS: Precisely. This is a really wonderful way to work across different departments and engineering and get no smear classmates bit more and then yes start thinking about what’s your relationship and involvement you’d like to have as well as you know in many ways legacy to the college.
LV: Well thank you so much again for coming in today. So let’s get right to it. Can you tell us a little bit more about the actual committee part of this campaign.
JS: Absolutely. So the committee is open to any seniors as I said from all departments from engineering. What we’re going to do is it’s a relatively low commitment for the fall and winter and then it starts to pick up a bit more in the spring so as you’re considering joining interest that’s something to think about. The main commitment that you’re going to have if you end up joining the committee is a weekly meeting in the spring where we’ll just be checking in on where the campaign is on various events which leads me to the events. We’ll have a kickoff campaign in the spring usually around around mid March or so where the Ides of March of any of you are studied classics. And then there’s going to be a finale event which will take place before commencement. So it’s just it’s another opportunity to say farewell to your classmates and just have a final final hurrah with everyone and reflect back on your experience here. And then on a volunteer basis depending on your schedules I know how busy your engineers are. We do have in the Springs again kicking off more around April will have weekly events informational sessions for your classmates and there will be snacks will be snacks that is always the best way to get people to checkout whatever it is you have to present. And so a quick note on that there were also be committee chair positions available so if you are looking to expand your experience in leadership in marketing and event management there is an opportunity for you and I’ll be leaving a little bit more heavily on those committee chairs to help get the word about out about our events and to help manage some logistics so it’s a different type of experience from research I’m sure.
LV: it’s a great way to if you wanted to work on your soft skills.
JS: Absolutely. I would completely agree with that. And as we all know you know those are things that aren’t necessarily instructive to you in a classroom. So it’s a great opportunity to work on Team Team Building Collaboration and the softer skills like communication and communicating that point you know making a case for why philanthropy is important.
LV: And so what are the funds in this campaign used for.
JS: Very good question indeed. So just to clarify if you are a senior within the College of Engineering I want you to feel control making a gift to wherever is something that you are passionate about. The majority of our gifts. That said the majority of our gifts do go to the Berkeley engineering Fund of which I am one of the biggest fans and that is because the Berkeley engineering fund help support every facet of the entire college. So as you’re wondering what what that looks like the majority of the Berkeley Engineering fund supports student experience so right now I’m sitting in the CAEE with Engineering student services and a great deal of support for CAEE and its programs comes from Berkeley engineering fund. The Berkeley engineering fund also helps support startup packages for new faculty. So think of your favorite professor that you may have. And that’s the thing. Consider how why did they come here. How did we manage to bring them onboard here versus some of our peers our institutional peers which as you may know have a very different funding situation. So it’s it’s really really necessary for us to keep this Berkeley engineering fund robust and strong. It is a source of what we call unrestricted funds which means that they’re discretionary to our Dean. So the more robust that fund is the more able we are to to take care of you know things as they come up but also to ensure that the student experience faculty and also this is very important as I’m sure you know from all of the projects you do and the research that you do labs and classroom upgrades. If we don’t if we don’t keep our equipment up to date if there’s not enough for everyone it’s just not going to be available or as valuable experience.
LV: That sounds I really am excited about all the different things that we do in the center. And I know that we do what we do. Yeah. So when you’re saying that you’re looking for seniors is it specifically just those folks that are graduating in May or also ones that are graduating like the summer?
JS: Yeah. So for those of you who are you know maybe on a slightly different calendar which is totally understandable. The way that we look at it is I would say whichever class you feel you identify most with if you feel that you identify with a class of 2019. You know whether you graduate in the summer or even the winter we have we we will honor that it’s really up to you and where you want to be.
LV: So we’re not looking for people that are specifically walking in Maine which makes it a curse.
JS:Yes. So you don’t have to be walking inmate to be on the senior class Gift Committee if you’re graduating this summer or you’re graduating in December I would certainly count you.
LV: And how many students do you usually have on the committee or what’s your goal of how many people you want to have involved?
JS: Really good question. We’ve had everywhere from you know about 10 people to 20. I like having around 20 of you because it is so great to get to get everyone’s voice in the room and you know we can get better feedback on the campaign ideas we have you know how we’re marketing things for example because I really do want every committee to be to be reflective of how you know what what was your class you’re like and collectively as a college not just different departments. So I really do like to have more voices in the room and also it does help manage the event staffing a little bit as you can imagine.
LV: One of my favorite events that you did one year was give out cupcakes outside of the office. I was able to sneak one.
JS: There you go. Yes. Yeah.
LV: I know you’ve done Bobo Tea. There’s been a bunch of fun stuff.
JS: Yeah yeah. So it will. We’ll work on that together will make those decisions together as a committee of which local vendors we’d like to use. I tend to like we’re reaching out to local businesses around here so the cupcakes you’re talking about are from the cupcake and bakery which was on Durant and they’re actually moving to a new location on Telegraph.
LV: So is there an info section for students who want to find out a little bit more or maybe get some backing for questions going with them?
LV: Yeah that is a great question as well. So we are meeting on November 2nd. That’s a Friday meeting from 9. I’ll be there. We’re still selecting a room. So well we’ll certainly circulate that information but you just want to circle this on your calendar now. Friday November 2nd starting at 9:00 a.m. and I’ll probably just hold an open room till that 10:30 so that everyone can have a chance to come in. I picked that time just because interestingly for the last year the last class year that ended up being a really convenient time. I know it’s a Friday morning but you know you do your one good thing for the day.
LV: And we want folks to sign by October 15.
JS: Absolutely. If you can sign up for the information session just so I have a sense of how many bagels and doughnuts to order by Monday October 15th. That would be fantastic.
LV: And I would be remiss if we didn’t ask a little bit more about the donations for the campaign. So if you’re not able to serve on the committee you don’t necessarily have the time to put into that. If you wanted to just be able to donate. How would you do that?
JS: So you can go to and this is also where you can go to for any information on the committee. It is engineering dot Berkeley dot edu forward slash seniors and you can get all the information on that as well as a link to where you can make your gift.
LV: And we’ll put a link on our podcast site. Is there any gifts associated with giving?
JS: Absolutely. So every year we have different tiers for different giving levels. But every single senior that makes a gift will receive a thank you gift in return as a nice way to commemorate your final year but also as a way to remind everyone that you meet that you were a Berkeley engineer.
LV: I seem to remember that there might be a contest between departments.
JS: Yes. So we’ll also have departmental challenges on and we may do maybe there’s a trivia night for example and you can do a department contest there see how many people get certain trivia questions right. And then also participation. So by participation I mean we’re measuring how many gifts are coming in per departmental seniors versus dollar amounts so we try to keep it even that way to try and do a little bit of some troubleshooting around. You know I know that some departments are much bigger so we have some mechanisms in place to to make it more even.
LV: And being part of the committee you’re part of getting to come up with these different games and prizes.
JS: Exactly. This can be you.
LV: And is there anything else that we didn’t talk about today that we want to make sure we mention?
JS: You know what I will just throw in there only because I get so many requests from people after they’ve graduated the senior class gift is how you can receive your Berkeley engineering license plate frame.
LV: OH, we’ve had people come in and ask for that.
JS: This is how you do it. This is how it happens.
LV: Fantastic. Yes. Well thank you so much for stopping by today and thank you.
JS: Thanks so much. Great great questions and I hope I hope that many seniors are encouraged to check this out on November 2nd.
LV: And thank you everyone for tuning into the Not So Secret Guide to Being a Berkeley Engineer.