Alfred University News

Notable alumni serve on panel discussions at DC Purple City Leadership Forum

Twenty-five Alfred University students and a group of faculty and staff traveled to Washington, D.C., last week for a three-day event which allowed students to engage with alumni who have enjoyed successful careers in the nation’s capital.

The DC Purple City Leadership Forum was held Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, March 29-31. The goal of the program was to provide students with an experience focused on leadership and public policy. From an informal reception at the home of Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, through a day-long series of panel discussions, and a culminating tour of the White House, students networked with and learned from members of the Alfred University community working in the federal government, for non-profits, and in the public and private sectors.

“The concept of the program was leadership,” said Diana Maguire, associate professor of management at Alfred University and an organizer of the event. “Because this was in Washington, D.C., there are so many opportunities to highlight leadership, from activism, to involvement in non-profits, to working for the government.”

Alfred University press release in DC Purple City Leadership Forum

Sponsored by the Alfred University Division of University Advancement and supported by several alumni donors, the event was organized by Maguire, alumna Danielle Johnson-Kutch ’03, and Melissa Van Winkle, director of Alumni and Constituent Development in the Division of University Advancement. Johnson-Kutch is director of Government Affairs at DocuSign and is an active member of the Alfred University community, leading the DC Purple City group and serving as vice president of the Alumni Council and as a member of the Judson Leadership Center Advisory Board. 

Students, along with Maguire and Van Winkle; Abby Hurley, coordinator of Alfred University’s Judson Leadership Center; and Lukas Perry, arts counselor in the Alfred University Admissions Office, traveled by bus to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. The Alfred University contingent attended a reception at the Georgetown home of Alejandro and Tanya Mayorkas that evening. The Mayorkases’ daughter, Mimi, is set to enroll at Alfred University in the fall as a fine arts major.