New Alumni assistant director: Ellen Bassler
Palmer’s Alumni Office recently welcomed Ellen Bassler as the new assistant director. In between traveling to meet with alumni around the country and acclimating to her new position, Ms. Bassler took the time to answer a few questions.
Palmer Highlights: Ellen, you may be new to the Alumni Office, but you’ve been with Palmer for a while. What was your role before this and how many years have you worked for Palmer College?
Ellen Bassler: I started working in the Recruitment Office at Palmer in 2002 with Lisa Walden (who recently retired from Palmer’s Alumni Office as assistant director). When the Recruitment and Admissions departments merged about three years later, I began serving the College as an Admissions representative. I loved the opportunity to work with future chiropractors, but, in truth, I’ve always felt most passionate about working with Palmer alumni. With Lisa’s retirement, I was given the chance to make that dream a reality.
PH: What did you enjoy most about working in Admissions, and what do you look forward to in working with alumni?
EB: Without a doubt, my favorite part about working in Admissions was having the opportunity to establish lasting relationships with prospective students and their families. Whether through prospective student dinners, campus visits, correspondence or phone conversations, it was very satisfying to be a part of the Palmer team that selects, guides and develops these future leaders of our profession. I’m very excited to continue developing these relationships in new ways as these same Palmer students transition from life in the classroom to becoming the type of chiropractors that exemplify Palmer’s reputation for excellence. My son, Dr. Christopher Bassler, graduated from Palmer in 2012 and is now a Palmer alumnus, so I have a vested interest in doing everything I can to help all of our graduates be successful!
PH: The Alumni and Development offices seem to be “moving and shaking” lately with new initiatives and expansions. What can alumni expect in the coming year?
EB: The Alumni Office recently launched our “FIND A D.C.” feature on Palmer’s website where you can click on the link, enter a city/state and view an alphabetical listing of Palmer graduates in that area. It’s a great tool for alumni, patients, prospective students, etc. There’s a link available for alumni to create a listing or update an existing listing, if necessary.
Future updates will include the ability to sort by zip code, and we’re working on finding a way for D.C.s to add links to their personal websites. We want to promote our alumni in every way we can and make it easy for patients to find a Palmer graduate. This is also an easy way for our alumni to update their contact information.
The Alumni Office works diligently to provide our alumni with meaningful services to help them save money and be successful. Before starting my new role, I was completely unaware of all the great discounts available to our graduates via the Alumni area of our website. Alumni can get discounts on office supplies, forms, Google office tours, equipment, credit card processing fees, etc. They can download a Palmer badge for their personal website. I’m looking forward to working with alumni to discover additional products and services we can provide.
One of the things I am most excited about is that my new role allows me the opportunity to use my 12+ years of experience at Palmer to coordinate two new initiatives that Palmer will be launching–the updated alumni association and the Student 2 State Association Program.
The restructuring of the alumni connection to the College will allow a greater opportunity for developing closer relationships with our alumni. Each state will be broken down into districts similar to the way state organizations work. One state representative and several district representatives will be appointed for each state. With more alumni involvement, it will be easier for us to stay connected with our graduates. Participation in this program is free and will also allow interested alumni of all ages the opportunity to work with prospective and current students. If you’re a Palmer graduate, you’re automatically a member of the Alumni Association.
The new Student 2 State Association Program will help our current students be more successful when they graduate. Participation in this program will give current students an opportunity to learn about their state associations and the services they provide to help make transition into practice easier.
I am honored to have the opportunity to work with both of these innovative programs as they are being launched and I’m very excited about the possibilities these programs will provide for everyone involved. I look forward to the future. My goal is to help build the Alumni Office so that our program will be the model that every college wants to follow.