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    GIA Member Spotlight -Alyssa Grovemiller

    GIA Member Spotlight: Alyssa Grovemiller

    Alyssa Grovemiller (she/her)
    Director, Alumni and Constituent Engagement
    The Ohio State University College of Medicine 

    We caught up with Alyssa Grovemiller to discover more about her, what she’s up to, and what we can learn from her.

    Briefly describe your current role.
    I lead the College of Medicine alumni team. We do outreach to our more than 35,000 alumni including our School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

    Briefly describe your career journey and what led you to institutional advancement in academic medicine.
    I started my career working for nonprofit organizations in fundraising and constituent outreach, with a short period of time working for state government. I’ve been at Ohio State almost 13 years now and started at the University Alumni Association and also worked at our College of Pharmacy. I like working with our professional school alumni. 

    What achievement in your current job are you proud of? 
    I’m proud of the work we’ve done to modernize our Reunion chair and giving program. We spent 2020 reimaging how we could utilize our Reunion program to raise money for our capital project. We used data to help classes set meaningful but attainable goals, and we brought our engagement center in to make it a wrap-around experience so alumni could register for the event and give a gift to their class project. It created alumni ownership of our new building, so as we move into the space, they will feel like they are a part of making it happen. We’ve also discovered along the way that our alumni will advocate for giving if we give them tools and that most of our first-time gifts came not from our 5 or 10 year class, but our 25 and 30 year classes. To date, we’ve raised nearly $2 Million for the capital project and helped our development team find other individual donors for the space.

    What was a mistake you made and how did you learn from it? 
    Once upon a time (not in this role), I had to sunset a golf outing because it wasn’t raising money or bringing in new people. I did my homework and presented my case to both my boss and the unit leader. They both agreed, and we did end the event. But I didn’t do the same coalition building with the volunteer leader of the event, and they took it personally. I was able to repair the relationship, but I learned that just as much of doing the right thing is about building the right supporters as it is the data. You need to remember both the relationships AND the data.

    What innovation or trend in the field inspires or motivates you?
    I love the direction the industry is moving around making data-informed decisions. In a relationship-based industry, making sure we are balancing telling our story supported with data. It also keeps us from getting stuck in doing the same thing year after year.

    What advice do you have for other institutional advancement professionals in academic medicine?
    The best part about working in this industry is learning from your peers. Get to know them and learn from them whether they work in small shops or big shops; they all have insights into how they’ve solved problems and come up with creative solutions.

    We want to shine the light on you! If you want to connect with others, share stories, and highlight best practices by being featured in the Member Spotlight, please contact gia@aamc.org for submission guidelines.