Alumni Council news

Life-long friendships inspire Lisa Volpe `88 as an alumni volunteer

Lisa M. Volpe '88 is the sixth of eight children, five boys and three girls, all of whom have had at least some college education. But she is the only one of her siblings to graduate from a small private liberal-arts college, although her father, Salvatore L. Volpe, attended Kenyon for two years in the late 1940s. "My brothers and sisters are all amazed at the kind of experience I had at the College and the degree to which the friends I made there are still important to me," she says.

At college, Volpe departed from her high-school persona in many ways. "In high school, I was very organized. I studied a lot, played basketball, hockey, and soccer, and ran track," she notes. "Kenyon was sort of a growing experience for me; I experimented with independence. In retrospect, I wish I had studied more." Volpe did play basketball her first year, but she laughs when she recalls, "I needed glasses, so I couldn't see the score-board." Later in her college career, she played intramural basketball--on a men's team.

An English major, Volpe worked after graduation as an editorial assistant for an educational publisher in her hometown, Cleveland, Ohio. She then landed a job as a paralegal in a telecommunications law firm. In 1992, Volpe moved to Young and Jatlow, a law firm specializing in Federal Communication Commission (FCC) regulations, where she looked at FCC regulatory compliance and licensing and monitored legislation and industry developments.

Wishing to develop more expertise in the area, she enrolled in 1995 in a graduate program in telecommunications at George Washington University, which she completed in 1998.

"My experience in graduate school was revealing," says Volpe. "I was so much better prepared than most of the other students, especially when it came to analyzing a problem from different perspectives. Some of them just couldn't grasp the idea that there is often more than one correct answer, more than one solution to a problem."

One of Volpe's clients at Young and Jatlow was AT&T, which hired her as a wireless regulatory analyst when she completed her degree. "In all the jobs I've had, I've had to work quite independently and develop my own projects," Volpe explains. "I've always been grateful that Kenyon instills an `I can do anything' attitude."

The Washington, D.C., area has a large number of Kenyon alumni, and Volpe, who lives with P. Kelly Surrick '88, takes enjoyment from fostering friendships within this group. "I would say I have at least ten good friends who are Kenyon graduates I didn't know when I was a student," she says. "I'm not sure what it is that creates this bond. Maybe its our shared training and the fact that I know they will be interested in the work I do for Kenyon."

And Volpe has been a tireless worker for the College. A past president of the Washington egional Association, she was also a career-counseling and phonathon volunteer. She organized Washington's National Service Day projects in 1996 and 1997, turning that task over to Drew Martin '96 in 1998. Add to that her work for the admissions office and her work as housing coordinator for the Extern Program and it is easy to see why she was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award in 1993 and the Anne J. Robinson Award for outstanding regional association president in 1995.

"I guess I do it because it makes me feel that I am still a part of Kenyon," she says. "When recent graduates call me, it gives me a lot of satisfaction to share resources with them on finding jobs and apartments. I always tell prospective students that when you leave Kenyon the connectedness remains. I'm not sure they understand it now but they will."

Volpe is on the Marketing Kenyon Committee of Alumni Council. In her view, word of mouth is still the most effective way to advertise the value of a Kenyon education. "I like to try to instill an ambassador feeling among alumni," she says. "I really think awareness is increasing."

When doubts surface and Volpe begins to wonder, "Do we get things done?" "Are we valuable?" "Does it work?", she says she is reinforced by the friendships she has made on Alumni Council--and by her friends' commitment to shared goals for Kenyon.


Alumni ballot slate for 2000 announced

The Office of Alumni and Parent Relations and Annual Funds has announced the slate of candidates for the 2000 Alumni Ballot.

The four candidates for alumni trustee, of whom two will be elected to nonrenewable four-year terms, are Brackett B. Denniston '69 of Fairfield, Connecticut; Robert K. Scott '58 P'98 of Dillon, Colorado; Ellen C. Turner '80 of Northfield, Massachusetts; and Douglas R. Vahey '86 of Chicago, Illinois.

The eight candidates for Alumni Council, four of whom will be elected to nonrenewable three-year terms, are Scott R. Baker '94 of Toledo, Ohio; David S. Barrie '74 of Moreland Hills, Ohio; James E. D'Orazio of Solon, Ohio; R. Hutchins Hodgson Jr. '61 of Atlanta, Georgia; Robert G. Ix '87 of Darien, Connecticut; Mary Kay Karzas '75 of Culver Indiana; Andrew D. Keyt '91 of Chicago, Illinois; and Yiji Shen Starr '91 of New York City. The winners will succeed Wayne H. Borges '41, Laurie A. Cole '89, Patricia Homans Dillon '85, and N. Preston Lentz '72.

Ballots, which will be mailed in February, must be returned by April 7, 2000, to be counted.

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