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Senior Transitional Member Election

Each year, the Tufts Alumni Council, the governing body of the Tufts University Alumni Association (TUAA), welcomes four members of the graduating class to participate in positions referred to as "transitional member" appointments. The undergraduate senior class has the opportunity to elect four of its peers to serve in this volunteer capacity for a five-year term.

This year we have a slate of four senior candidates. During their tenure, transitional alumni council members will provide energy and leadership to improve young alumni programming and services, strengthen ties between alumni and students, and participate actively on committee assignments addressing relevant issues for younger graduates.

Voting is open via the online ballot through April 27, 2017.

Here are the four candidates who will be taking part in this year's election:

  • Meaghan Annett
  • Tafari Duncan
  • Benjamin Sack
  • Joshua Terry


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Meaghan Annett

Favorite Class: A tie between Western Political Thought I with Professor Sullivan and Human Robot Interaction with Professor Scheutz

Favorite TUAA Event: 100 Days to Graduation

Statement: I chose to come to Tufts four years ago because of the people. I remember my Tufts admissions officer sent me one of those "personalized" emails that said, "Regardless of if you chose to go Tufts, you should choose a place where your friends will be." I have found wonderful people here at Tufts who I have stayed up late eating pizza with, studied for hours on end in the reading room with, and friends who continue to inspire me with all their passions and achievements.

Even if we have not had our chance while on campus to become friends, we are still united by our collegiate experience at Tufts. I want to be a transitional member because I believe it is imperative that the Alumni Association do what it can to foster friendships amongst alums, undergraduates, and the university.

As a transitional member, I hope to strengthen our alum community by gathering input from you to create events and programming that you want and will attend. I am a big foodie, so I will make sure that networking events or get-togethers have great food at them.

Moreover, I plan to make a connection between alums and current undergraduates beginning the day undergraduates step on campus. I want to make the Alumni Association an integral part of the Tufts experience that undergraduates know about from their first year to their senior year. To do this, I will help launch a larger marketing effort so students are aware and excited about the involvement of the Alumni Association at various events throughout the year. This way by the time graduation approaches, students will be engaged in participating in the alum community.

Further, I want to strengthen our own connections with Tufts by encouraging current seniors to write letters to their future selves prior to graduation. Leading up to class reunions, these letters can be sent to alums, like you, to remind you of your Tufts experience and encourage you to partake in alum events.

These are some of many ideas I have to improve the Alumni Association. With your support I hope to be a transitional member and bring these initiatives to fruition. Thank you for your time and consideration!

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Tafari Duncan

Favorite Class: Tie between EM93 (Global Product Development) & COMP 40 (for real tho!)

Favorite TUAA Event: Welcome Back Seniors Reception & Networking Night with Alumni

Statement: Congrats 2017! We lost some on the way, like ostrich head and the original Jumbo statue, but we are almost there! I remember myself as a high school senior, stressed out about final exams, the SATs, the ACTs, you name it. I can still remember the anxiety I got when I received my decision letter, a burst of excitement, and then total crushing fear for the future. Would I like the school? Dewick or Carm? What kind of city was Boston? Jobs? Would I look good in brown and blue clothes?

Imagine if I had received an email telling me that Tufts had announced a new student-alumni mentorship program, and I was being paired with an alumnus in my area who had recently graduated from Tufts. Imagine meeting with that alumni, getting psyched about Tufts, and then staying in contact with them over the next three years of your life, asking them for advice about jobs, gossiping about the latest drama, and so on. Sounds awesome, right? Then elect me to the Council so I can get started!

Well, as a senior transitional member of the alumni council, my job will be to help bridge the inevitable gap between our home base in Medford and wherever our post-grad lives may lead us. As an undergrad, I spent several years as a member of the Committee on Student Life (CSL) representing student opinion and pushing for policies and practices that would benefit students at Tufts. I’ve also raised over $50,000 to support financial aid and other Tufts programs from parents and alumni as a student fundraiser at Tufts Telefund. Now, as a member of the Alumni Council, I will be able to promote programs that will radically improve the student experience at Tufts. Because of my connections to so many different groups and people in our class, I feel I can accurately represent the Class of 2017 in the Alumni Council, which (along with the Board of Trustees) wields considerable influence over not just our post-grad experiences, but also the way that the University itself operates. To start, I intend to fight for more resources and career support for alumni and current students alike, and plan some epic events along the way. Let’s be 17ifferent, y’all!

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Benjamin Sack

Favorite Class: Public Speaking (Deborah Cooney) and Entrepreneurial Marketing (Gavin Finn)

Favorite TUAA Event: Networking Night with Alumni and Senior Dinners

Statement: I am very excited about the opportunity to represent the Class of 2017 as a transitional Alumni Council member. As graduation approaches, I have been reflecting on my past four years as a Jumbo. Looking back, I feel invigorated by the relationships and connections I have formed with both my peers and the faculty. Although graduation marks an end to our undergraduate experience, it does not mean that we are leaving the Tufts community. Rather, as Jumbo Alumni, we will have the opportunity to further develop and strengthen our Tufts experience through the Alumni Association. If elected to the Tufts Alumni Council, I promise to keep recent graduates connected through social media and email blasts so they will be informed of the Jumbo happenings not only in Medford, but also throughout the world.

I was fortunate enough to attend the Fall 2016 Tufts Alumni Council Meeting, and it crystalized my commitment to act as a liaison between our class and the greater alumni network. I saw firsthand how the meetings run and how vital it is to have active representation for each class. I also realized the importance of local gatherings that are inclusive to both recent and older alumni and how effective they can be in strengthening support among Jumbos. As a member of the Track & Field team, I have seen how passionate alumni are about rooting for their alma mater. Thus, I believe alumni should be kept informed of extracurricular activities going on in their areas such as sports competitions and performing arts shows. Additionally, I feel there is a need for more opportunities for current students to network and connect with alumni to help them navigate through the internship and job processes. After attending a networking night, it was clear that alumni want to find internships and jobs for Tufts students, but they lack an easy-to-use interface to connect with students. To start, these interactions could be facilitated by planning more networking nights at Tufts and in cities across the world, bringing back alumni to recruit for their respective industries, and compiling a network of alumni who share common majors and interests.

Although the days on the Hill are coming to an end, it is most important now that we still remain connected. One of the best ways we can impact the Tufts community is to stay an active part of it. Thank you, and I hope you consider me as a representative of the Class of 2017 on the Tufts Alumni Council!

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Joshua Terry

Favorite Class: Entrepreneurial Marketing with Jack Derby

Favorite TUAA Event: Senior Dinner

Statement: As our class finds its way towards graduation, I look fondly back at the awesome community our class has created. As I scroll through old photos or reflect on previous late night conversations with friends, I’m continually reminded of how active Tufts students are in all aspects of their lives and how much of my growth occurred with peers outside of the classroom. We’re students, artists, musicians, athletes, researchers, activists, soon to be professionals and so much more. As a product of this, we have created incredible spaces from bands to consulting groups to sports teams that fill up our calendars. Thankfully, these spaces don’t have to end when our time here does. As such, one of my goals would be to help the Alumni Council continue providing spaces, whether digital or physical, for Tufts Alumni to connect based on shared interests, even as our physical connection to Hilltop fades away.

Looking at the impact the Alumni Council has while young alumni are on campus, I find that the milestone based events act as great bridges between the students on campus and alumni no longer in Medford. The connections made when these groups are brought together can be incredible resource as Jumbos look to navigate the professional and social realms of post-graduation life. Sadly, the long periods between these events may have made it difficult for strong connections to be built. To improve on this I would work on the council to supplement these formal and large events with more frequent informal and casual meeting between the alumni and current students, allowing for easier connections to be formed between the groups and make us future Alumni more easily approachable to the upcoming classes.

To my fellow seniors, congrats on (almost) making it graduation! It hasn’t always been easy, it was almost certainly fun at times, and I know I won’t forget the memories made any time soon. I look forward to providing a voice for our class as we continue to shape Tufts, and building on the great community we have created in our time here.

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