New Alumni Relations and Outreach Administrator
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without Tri-C.”
This statement rings true for thousands of Cuyahoga Community College alumni. Michael Culp, newly appointed Alumni Relations and Outreach Administrator at Tri-C, is no exception.
“Midway through 2012, life threw a bunch of curveballs at me,” Culp said. “That June, I lost my dad and also my job. I needed to provide for my son, and I wasn’t sure what my next move was going to be.”
Culp, an Air Force veteran, reached out to his network and learned about the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), which helps unemployed veterans get the training they need for new careers. In fall 2013, VRAP connected him with the Veterans Upward Bound program, bringing Culp to Tri-C’s Metropolitan Campus. At the time, he didn’t realize the impact the College would have on his life.
Three degrees later, including two from Tri-C, Culp is spreading the Tri-C message as #AlumniMike on social media as he works to grow awareness of the College’s relatively new alumni relations initiative and foster alumni engagement with their alma mater. He started in this full-time role last month, after joining the Resource Development team as a part-time coordinator in fall 2016.
“Alumni Relations is focused on cultivating lifelong, meaningful connections between the College and its alumni by connecting alumni with each other, with faculty and with current students,” Culp said. “One of our projects, the Alumni Ambassador program, will provide a way to grow these connections. Many alumni are looking for ways to give back, and this is a way for them to share their time and talents with students.”
Much of the motivation Culp has for growing alumni engagement stems from his passion for Tri-C, developed during his tenure as Board Student Scholar for the 2015-2016 academic year. Appointed by the Joint Student Council, this individual represents the entire student body to ensure that their voices are heard by College administration and the Board of Trustees. In this role, he maintained regular connections with students across the College, fostering relationships that continue to this day. He also traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent student veterans.
After completing an Associate of Applied Science degree in human services, Culp went on to earn a bachelor’s in social work from the University of Akron. He then circled back to earn a second associate degree from Tri-C last summer.
In his spare time, Culp is active in his church and likes spending time with friends and his teenage son. He also enjoys traveling. His bucket list includes a cruise, which he hopes to take later this year.
“From my own experience, I can attest that anyone who has gone through a Tri-C program is not the same person when they leave,” Culp said.
“As alumni, we can make a difference. We are all family. Together, we can lay the foundation for future generations of Tri-C alumni by sharing our time and supporting student scholarships.”