Born in Montreal and raised in Nashville and Atlanta, new Alumni Relations Officer Stéphanie McManus says she’s loving everything about her new post and Columbus, the “biggest little city” she’s ever lived in.
Q. You’ve lived all over the place—Montreal, Raleigh, Nashville, Atlanta, even Europe. What sets Columbus apart?
It’s just such a welcoming town. You can drive through downtown and it’s not overwhelming, it’s not intimidating. Coming from a place like Atlanta where they’ve grown enormously and have had trouble with transportation and infrastructure, I’ve found that Columbus is poised to embrace economic development and growth. The infrastructure is better and so are the roads—despite the snow and ice!
Q. What are you most looking forward to about your new position at CCAD?
I really look forward to organizing more informal get togethers for alumni. Whether it’s in Chicago, New York, Austin, Seattle, L.A., or Columbus, I look forward to having those fun interactions with them. So many of them have been very successful and are doing innovative things. They’ve learned to collaborate with different disciplines, and they’re incorporating that into businesses they’re creating. It’s amazing.
Q. What have you learned about CCAD alumni?
I’ve already met so many! The alumni really are loyal and have a great spirit. They make my job easy because they want to give back, they want to participate, and they want to engage, so hopefully I can provide a platform or an avenue for them to do that.
Q. You spent the last three years working in Academic Affairs at Savannah College of Art and Design’s Atlanta campus. What do you like about working at an art school?
The creativity. It’s never boring! I feel like you can be yourself, and it’s OK to be unique. It really is a family—students, alumni, faculty, staff—and you feel like you’re part of something important.
Q. What kind of art are you interested in?
Urban fine art photography is really intriguing to me. Something that tells a story of happiness or struggle.
Q. When you aren’t working, what are you doing?
Though I’m nowhere near a professional photographer, I like photography a lot. I love my Instagram account, even though it’s full of filters that make every picture look a lot better. One of my biggest passions right now is eating Jeni’s ice cream. It’s a newfound hobby, and I’m very good at it! I’m addicted to the Riesling Poached Pear sorbet. I’m also enjoying visiting the different neighborhoods in Columbus. I’m really into historic preservation and architecture, just for fun. German Village is beautiful, and it reminds me of Savannah.
Q. What’s the best way for alumni to get connected and stay involved?
There are so many ways they can give back and really make a difference, and it doesn’t have to be in the form of money. We would really like to see alumni coming back to visit classrooms and portfolio reviews. I’d also like to organize more panels where the alumni represent what it is to be a student and then a graduate of CCAD. They’re a huge part of this community. Just because you graduate doesn’t mean you’re no longer part of the family.
If you’d like to connect with Stéphanie, shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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