Meet the Staff: Crysta Moon

Posted on Jan 9, 2018 in Alumni News, Career/Life, and News

Crysta Moon, coordinator of membership and business development, KU Alumni Association

Crysta Moon graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and minor in Business. Choosing to attend KU was an easy decision, as Crysta, c’17, is a third-generation Jayhawk and native of Mission, Kansas. Some of her favorite childhood memories include coming to Lawrence with her parents and brother for KU football and basketball games. Before joining the membership and business development team, Crysta was an intern for the alumni association for nearly two years, which prepared her to tackle any “Tegan or Teri project” that lies ahead. In her free time, Crysta enjoys watching KU and Kansas City sports teams, watching movies, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.

I became a Jayhawk because…​

I became a Jayhawk because of my family. I’m a third-generation Jayhawk, so the decision to continue the tradition was an easy one. I love being a part of a huge KU family and sharing stories and experiences with other students and alumni.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

The view of the Campanile and Potter Lake from Snow Hall. Some of my favorite childhood memories are playing around the lake and on the Hill before a KU football game. Later, as a student, it was my favorite sight to see when walking to and from class.

My favorite KU memory is…

The many hours spent in Allen Fieldhouse camping for KU basketball games!

My best advice for college students is…

Enjoy every moment and take advantage of all the opportunities presented to you. There are so many ways to meet new people and get involved on campus and in the Lawrence community. So take the chance, because those are the moments that make your college experience memorable. Also don’t forget to establish your camping group for basketball early, that’s very important.

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Meet the Staff: Keon Stowers

Posted on Sep 28, 2017 in Alumni News, Career/Life, and News

Keon Stowers, assistant director of student programs, KU Alumni AssociationKeon Stowers, c’15, assists with student programs for the KU Alumni Association, including advising the Student Alumni Leadership Board. Previously, he represented the KU Office of Admissions helping to recruit first generation and underrepresented students to campus. Keon served as a two-time team captain for KU Football and was featured on Big 12’s Champions for Life series. When Keon isn’t spending time with his beautiful family, he can be found manning the BBQ pit.

I became a Jayhawk because…

When I first got a call from KU I actually had to look on the United States map to find where Kansas was. But after visiting KU for my official recruitment visit, I fell in love with the people. Most importantly, I fell in love with this school and everything the Jayhawk stands for. Now I get the honor of raising two little Jayhawks!

How has KU propelled you into your current career?

After graduating and moving home for a year I returned to KU seeking job opportunities, and that’s where I found an opportunity to work in our Office of Admissions as a recruiter. During my time there I learned so much more about the university and what we have to offer here. I truly believe that my past experience working in the office of admissions has given me great insight on my new role here as Assistant Director of Student Programs.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

Having lunch at the Market in the Union. It gives the perfect view of Memorial Stadium on a beautiful Lawrence day!

Kansas football players

My favorite KU memory is…

Snapping the horrible Big 12 losing streak against WVU and celebrating with the student section as they rushed the field. It was only our second win that season but it was our Super Bowl and I’ll never forget that game and the euphoric feeling of celebrating with my peers.

My best advice for college students is…

Get involved on campus early. KU has more than 600 student clubs and organizations, pick one and join. That way, you have an immediate cohort of friends to lean on when college gets tough. Also, it gives you a chance to build relationships and build your network for professional opportunities after you walk the hill.

Learn more about the programs Keon works on, including the Student Alumni Network and the Student Alumni Leadership Board. For more information about student programs, contact him at

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Meet the Staff: Ally Stanton

Posted on Sep 21, 2017 in Alumni News, Career/Life, and News

Ally Stanton, director of student programs for the KU Alumni AssociationAlly Stanton, j’10, g’12, directs student programs for the KU Alumni Association, including advising the Student Alumni Leadership Board. Previously, she represented the KU Office of Admissions helping to recruit future Jayhawks to campus. The former KU softball student-athlete also spent time as a graduate assistant for the KU Leads program within KU Athletics where she helped advise the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and facilitated leadership programming and retreats. Ally can still be found on the ball diamond, playing slow pitch for the 2016 Lawrence Parks and Rec Co-Ed Lower League Champions, the Squids in Space.

I became a Jayhawk because…

I visited campus for a KU softball camp and the feeling I had on campus was magnetic. When I returned home to St. Louis it felt like Jayhawks were coming out of the woodwork to tell me and my family all the great things about KU. It became a no-brainer to become a Jayhawk after that.

How has KU propelled you into your current career?

When I returned to KU in a career capacity, all the people who were there for me as a student immediately became helpful colleagues and friends. Jayhawks want to help other Jayhawks regardless if they are students, graduates, faculty or staff.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

Allen Fieldhouse on a non-gameday afternoon.  We occasionally had plyometric workouts in the Fieldhouse as a team, because there are lots of stairs to run up and down in that place. The lights were always off, so our only light leaked in from the windows at the top of the building, making super-dramatic shadows inside. It all felt very special and secret, and you’d forgot how much your body was just dying from the workout.

My favorite KU memory is…

Coming back to work here after spending some time away working at another institution. That first week back in Lawrence was wonderful. That feeling of ‘coming home’ was exciting and reaffirming.

My best advice for college students is…

There’s nothing on Netflix that will be as cool as any of the programming and opportunities outside the classroom that are available to you on campus. And they are mostly FREE! Go meet the KU Common Book author. Soak up the Spencer Art Museum. Attend a film screening with the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Go see a speaker at the Dole Institute of Politics.

Learn more about the programs Ally is responsible for, including the Student Alumni Network and the Student Alumni Leadership Board. For information about student programs, contact her at

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Meet the staff: Ryan Camenzind

Posted on Aug 2, 2017 in Alumni News, Career/Life, and News

After walking down the Hill in May, Ryan Camenzind, j’17, promptly earned his first job and joined the KU Alumni Association staff in a new role as digital media coordinator. His first day on the job was July 10. As a member of the digital media team, Ryan will help increase the Association’s digital footprint by writing stories and contributing digital content for a wide range of alumni communications.

Ryan graduated from the J-School with a degree in strategic communications and a minor in business. As a KU student, he worked as an account executive with The Agency, assisted KU Media Productions on projects such as ‘Good Morning KU’ and served as a marketing specialist for the UDK. Most recently, he has worked as a communications assistant for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, writing stories for their blog, email and social media channels.

Originally from Wichita (East High School), Ryan’s interests include spending time with his family of four Jayhawk boys and two Husker parents, eating cereal, cheering on the Jayhawks in all sports (Ryan has been to basketball, football, volleyball, soccer and baseball games), habitually checking Twitter, and outdoorsy activities such as hiking and camping. We are thrilled to have Ryan join our team at the KU Alumni Association.

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Changes to network branding streamline alumni participation

Posted on Mar 20, 2017 in Alumni News, Career/Life, and News

Danny Woods and Nick Kallail pose with the bronze statue of James Naismith outside the DeBruce Center

Staff members on a mission

When Nick Kallail and Danny Woods joined the Alumni Association as staff members in August 2016, their mission was simple: Grow the Association’s 59 national networks and connect more alumni with KU. Less than a year into their new roles, the two Jayhawks have found a distinct way to accomplish that.

Kallail, d’04, l’07, assistant vice president of alumni and career programs, and Woods, j’12, assistant director of legacy and alumni programs, developed a new volunteer support strategy that makes it easier for Jayhawks to volunteer their time and service and participate in alumni events across the country.

“We took everything that was already in place and put a brand on it,” says Woods.

Event buckets

That meant funneling popular alumni events like watch parties, networking breakfasts and community service projects into clear, concise categories, or “buckets.” They are:

  • Hawk Happenings, which gather Jayhawks to enjoy live sports and entertainment events;
  • Rock Chalk Cultivate, which gives alumni the opportunity to learn a new skill—often from other Jayhawks;
  • KU Cares, which rally Jayhawks to give their time and service to a community cause; and

A few of the more memorable events Kallail and Woods have organized in the past year include a KU vs. Iowa State men’s basketball watch party for 180 Jayhawks at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle and a toy drive in Tampa, Florida, that raised more than $2,000 in gifts for foster families.

New roles for volunteers

The two also created new designations for alumni volunteers who serve their networks. Instead of assigning traditional titles like president, vice president, treasurer and secretary, Kallail and Woods developed roles based on the volunteers’ primary responsibilities in their respective Jayhawk communities, including social media and event coordinators and admissions and legislative liaisons.

“We wanted to empower more people within the network,” says Woods.

Communication is key

Each alumni network maintains its own Facebook page to promote local events and share photos and updates. Network leaders also share a private Facebook page, which Kallail notes is a great way for networks to learn what other Jayhawks are doing across the country and discuss best practices for alumni engagement.

“I look at our network leaders as a family,” Kallail says. “They need to know each other and see what others are doing.”

Preparing future leaders

Also important to Kallail and Woods is preparing current KU students to become active alumni when they leave the Hill. The two meet regularly with the Student Alumni Leadership Board and other student groups in KU Admissions, Endowment and Athletics. They also are planning an event to introduce students to the Lawrence alumni network.

As evidenced by the enthusiastic turnouts and strong alumni response to events in the past few months, Kallail and Woods are confident they’re on the right track.

“This isn’t a new plan,” Kallail says. “The house was already built; we’re just tricking it out.”

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Meet Heath: Part 6

Posted on Feb 19, 2016 in Alumni News, Career/Life, and News

Eulich Jayhawk Adams Alumni Center |
KU Alumni Association President Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09, was unanimously elected by the national board of directors in November 2015. Get to know President Peterson through this six-part series titled Meet Heath.

What was your favorite class, instructor or professor as a KU student?

I thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Bob Frederick’s courses in the Health, Sport, and Exercise Science Department. I had the opportunity to take multiple courses from him. He was many, many things—he genuinely cared for his students, possessed a tremendous amount of industry experience and wisdom that he applied to course content, he had the best stories from his time as KU’s Athletics Director. Most of all, he was a true gentleman and one of the finest Jayhawks to ever live.

What advice do you have for today’s KU students?

1. Start building your network now – as we say through the Student Alumni Association, one Jayhawk connection can change your world.
2. Understand the experience you are having today was built on the backs of generations of alumni.
3. When you leave the Hill, join the Alumni Association, get involved in your local alumni network, advocate for the university, and when you have the ability, give back to an area of KU that you are passionate about to ensure future generations continue to receive the same quality education and experience you are receiving now.

That’s a wrap! We hope you enjoyed this six-part series about our new president. Still have questions? Email us at

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Meet Heath: Part 5

Posted on Feb 12, 2016 in Alumni News, Career/Life, and News

KU Alumni Association President Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09, was unanimously elected by the national board of directors in November 2015. Get to know President Peterson through this six-part series titled Meet Heath. Enjoy!

What is your most memorable KU sporting event?

I have two.  I will never forget when we unleashed years of frustration on the gridiron against Nebraska at home in 2007.   We won 76-39.  After winning on the road at KSU, at CU, and at Texas AM, we knew we had something special in the making.  The other event was easily the 2008 Final Four.  Beating Carolina, winning the title in dramatic fashion, and then taking over Rita’s on the River Walk is about as good as it gets.  The only thing better would have been to be able to walk out of the arena onto Mass Street!

Last week, we found out Heath’s hidden talent. Next week, find out who Heath’s favorite professor at KU was, and read the advice he has for today’s students.  Email us at

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KU Alumni Association earns Bronze Award from United Way

Posted on Feb 8, 2016 in Alumni News, Career/Life, and News

United Way Bronze Award, 2016
The KU Alumni Association was recently honored with a Bronze Award from the United Way of Douglas County. The award was presented based on the level of employee participation in this year’s United Way campaign. Some of our staff members posed for a photo, which will be included in a campaign celebration slide show at the United Way’s annual meeting and dinner on Feb. 17.

Pictured above: Steve Hill, Jennifer Jackson Sanner, Angie Storey, Danny Lewis, Heath Peterson, Karen Whipple, Marcia Wilson, Heather Hawkins, Dwight Parman, and Colleen Gregoire, vice president and campaign director for the United Way.

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Meet Heath: Part 4

Posted on Feb 5, 2016 in Alumni News, Career/Life, and News

Jayhawk trailer
KU Alumni Association President Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09, was unanimously elected by the national board of directors in November 2015. Get to know President Peterson through this six-part series titled Meet Heath. Enjoy!

How do you spend your time outside of the office?

My time and energy outside of the office is mostly invested in family. My wife and I are raising three little Jayhawks: Beau (8), Presley (4), and Claire (2). We have our hands full keeping them fed, bathed, healthy, on time to various activities and in their own beds at night! I enjoy being involved in my kids activities— school, sports, and otherwise. Carrie and I also enjoy raising them in Lawrence and the KU community.

Do you have any hidden talents?

My trailer backing abilities are off the charts high. My family owned a small trucking company in Hugoton. As a kid,  I backed semi trailers into the shop for maintenance. I also spent six years pulling the Rock Chalk Wagon (the Alumni Association’s cargo trailer, generously provided by Monte and Kay Johnson) around Kansas, as well as in downtown Chicago, Dallas, and numerous other places for KU events. I can drive backwards almost as well as I can drive forward!

Next week, Heath tells us about his most memorable KU sporting event. Have a question or comment to share? Email us at

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Meet Heath: Part 3

Posted on Jan 29, 2016 in Alumni News, Career/Life, and News

Commencement 2015
KU Alumni Association President Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09, was unanimously elected by the national board of directors in November 2015. Get to know President Peterson through this six-part series titled Meet Heath. Enjoy!

What is your favorite KU tradition?

It’s hard to beat the Rock Chalk Chant in Allen Field House or waving the wheat in Memorial Stadium, but my favorite KU tradition as a student was easily walking through the Campanile for the very first time on Commencement, followed by the walk down the hill into the stadium to celebrate earning a KU degree and becoming an alumnus.   My pride in KU was off the charts high that day, right along with the temperature.  It was blazing hot,  but well worth the sweat!

Over the years, I have grown to believe our greatest traditions are those of service and giving provided by alumni and friends.   The contributions of time, talents, and resources from alumni and friends are the reason the Jayhawk experience is second to none.

Next week, Heath shares a little about how he spends his time out of the office—and also reveals a unique hidden talent. Have a question or comment to share? Email us at


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