Fafard returns to JSC as Alumni and Development Office database manager


Agathe Fredette

Mary Fafard

Recent Johnson State College graduate, Mary Fafard, returned to the institution as the alumni database manager for the fall semester, less than four months after completing her degree.


Fafard graduated with a B.A. in Communications and Community Media (CCM) with a concentration in Public Relations. Shortly thereafter she was contacted via email by Lauren Philie, the director of development and alumni at JSC, to gauge her interest in working for her alma mater.


She then submitted her application and was interviewed separately by both the search committee and JSC President Elaine Collins, before ultimately being offered and accepting the job. “After working in the marketing office all last year, I felt that working at the college would be a nice next step for me,” Fafard said. “I applied for a lot of jobs, but this one made the most sense for what I want to do career wise.”


As the Alumni Database Manager, Fafard is focusing largely on fundraising. “I enter gifts into the database that are donated to the college, track who they’re from what fund they need to go to, and who solicited the gifts,” she said. “I also pull reports on different alumni groups and year-to-date fundraising.”
Fafard feels that her four years as a student at JSC helped prepare her for her new gig in many ways including her degree, interning, and overall familiarity with the campus and its people.


“I am very comfortable working here,” she said. “I did a lot on campus as a student and I think that most of the faculty and staff respected my work ethic then so it was a really easy transition to become a staff member.”


Fafard has found her CCM major useful as she has transitioned to this position. “The communications and marketing classes I took as a student have helped me become passionate and knowledgeable about the field,” Fafard said. “I’ve already sent out my first e-newsletter to over 6,000 alumni and I have plans and ideas to grow alimni engagement online.”


When discussing her previous experience with the JSC marketing department, Fafard said, “Interning in the marketing office has prepared me for so much; my design, writing and content creation abilities really grew during my time there. That position also gave me a look into what it takes to run a college and the behind-the-scenes stuff, which has been invaluable to where I am now.”


Although Fafard is still very green as a JSC employee, she has not shied away from setting goals in her new role. “For now, I’m settling in and expanding my ‘Raiser’s Edge’ knowledge, which is our constituent database,” she said. “I hope to become proficient in that software and have been attending a lot of webinars to get there.


“I also want to see alumni engagement grow on social media and that is something I will continuously work on,” Fafard added. “I am also looking forward to learning more about fundraising and being involved in big campaigns for the college.”


Overall, Fafard expressed tremendous gratitude for the opportunity to debut her professional career at JSC and the welcoming reception she’s received upon her return.


“I just feel really lucky to have landed a job where I am encouraged to be creative and use what I learned as a student,” she said. “I’ve really appreciated every staff and faculty member who has approached me in the last few weeks to congratulate me on this positon. I also still have friends that are students here and it’s nice when they stop by to say hi and check in.”