University of Delaware
Social media was the focus of the third annual "Evening of Conversations and Connections" held in New York City for UD alumni.


Social media focus of 'Conversations and Connections' alumni event in New York


12:49 p.m., March 26, 2014--An expert panel featuring University of Delaware alumni conducted a lively interactive discussion about social media at this year’s third annual “Evening of Conversations and Connections” held earlier this month in New York City.

The event was hosted by Vornado Realty Trust in cooperation with the New York City Alumni Club. 

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University President Patrick Harker and Provost Domenico Grasso joined UD alumni, friends and a group of students who tweeted during the event and networked with business leaders after the discussion.

The alumni panel represented technology, education, communications and other industries and tackled the past, present and future of social media. Panelists also shared the UD experiences that helped them succeed in their careers. 

Students used the Twitter hashtag #UDCandC specifically created for the evening and questions were submitted online during the event. 

Panelists included Scott A. Barber, a 1996 graduate and manager, user Operations, Facebook; Ryan Maguire, a 2007 graduate and digital content strategist in UD’s Office of Communications and Marketing; David L. Margalit, a 1997 graduate and former senior adviser in the office of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Joseph M. Perello, a 1990 graduate and co-founder and managing partner, Catch New York; and Emmy Award winner Julia C. Willmott, a 2007 graduate and manager, content and programming, Nickelodeon Digital.

Anne Giacoma Barretta, a 1983 graduate and adjunct professor of communications at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J., and vice president of the University of Delaware Alumni Association (UDAA) board of directors, moderated the panel.

Thoughts on ‘Conversations and Connections’

“I am always impressed with the level of expertise our alumni have on a multitude of topics, and their extensive knowledge on the theory and practical application of social media was no exception,” said Cindy Campanella, a 1984 graduate and assistant vice president of UD’s Office of Alumni Relations. “Too often people think that only the younger generation are adept in social media, but the questions asked by the students in attendance demonstrated their yearning to more deeply understand the comprehensive impact of social media, most notably the pitfalls of a constant on-line presence.”

Campanella added, “Everyone in the room learned successful tips on social media that relate directly to their personal and professional lives. I thank everyone for their involvement in making the evening an enormous success.”

“The mission of UD’s New York City Alumni Club is to provide a number of meaningful shared experiences for UD alumni as well as their families and friends, increase the visibility of the University here in the greater NYC area, and grow club participation,” said club president Richard Greenberg, a 1977 graduate who is a national bank examiner with the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

“I am very delighted that ‘Conversations and Connections’ went a long way toward helping us fulfill our mission and engage our local alumni,” Greenberg said. “I am delighted to also help show our UD students that the excitement of being part of the UD community continues well beyond graduation. For all of this I am thankful to the many who worked hard to make our event a success.” 

Nicole Sullivan, a communication major in the Class of 2015, said she “was thrilled to have the privilege of attending the ‘Conversations and Connections’ event. Traveling to New York is always a treat, but entering a room filled with excited and passionate UD alumni was an even better one. It was a perfect opportunity to get students networking with professionals, and through the camaraderie shared between UD alumni and undergraduates it was also the perfect place to build strong connections.”

Sullivan said the panel discussion on social media “was also beneficial,” adding, “It’s pretty incredible how LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media platforms play a huge role in all different aspects of a company, especially employee selection. I personally took away great tips for my social media presence and got firsthand information on the importance of its effective use within industries across the board.”

Given the success of this event, Sullivan said she “will definitely look to attend another NYC Alumni networking night in the future.”

Tweets about ‘Conversations and Connections’

Appropriately, the event generated social media comments from participants and attendees.

Joey Silver (@BlueHenJoey), a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, tweeted: “I must say, #UDCandC was an incredible experience. I will take the lessons I learned tonight with me post-graduation. Thank you @UDcareers!”

About ‘Conversations and Connections’

The “Evening of Conversations and Connections” alumni series highlights Blue Hen industry leaders, living and working in and around New York City and the rest of the U.S., where they are today, and how UD played a role in their rise. 

Events provide an opportunity for alumni to connect with friends, make new contacts and learn from successful Blue Hens why they have such a passion for UD.

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