Noah Drezner, originally from Manhattan, NY, graduated from UR in 2000 with a degree in Environmental Science, before working for UR as a development officer. He is currently a Ph.D. student in higher education at the University of Pennsylvania, researching topics such as philanthropy and fundraising pertaining to higher education. Most recently he was named co-chair of the UR Young Alumni Council and co-chair of the Development Committee.

Is this what you planned to do after you left UR?No! Upon graduation I worked in the development office at Rochester, working on reunion programs and young alumni fundraising. I thought that I was going to continue my career as a practitioner in university development. However, when I left Rochester to pursue my masters in higher education management, I immediately knew that I was interested in a career in educational research and the intersection of philanthropic theory and practice.

What did you major in at UR? Environmental Science.

Was there a particular activity or campus organization that you were heavily involved in at UR? I was very involved at Rochester. Most of my time out of the classroom was spent on the Students’ Association Senate, as a crew chief for the Medical Emergency Response Team and within my fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon.

How did working for the University compare with being a student?I will always be partial to my time as a Rochester student. However, the opportunity to work at Rochester helped cement my passion for educational philanthropy and led me to the research that I enjoy so much today.

Is there some critical aspect of the school that you think really needs to be addressed/changed/fixed?Diversity. I believe that increasing the diversity of the University’s students, faculty and the staff is of the utmost importance. I am very encouraged that one of President Seligman’s first initiatives was the creation of the Task Force on Faculty Diversity and Inclusiveness. Rochester will be a much stronger university when these and other diversity initiatives are realized.

What’s your favorite thing about UR?I would never want the collaborative nature of the student body to change. Some of my best memories are working with classmates on projects or studying for exams and not worrying about how it would affect the mean grade.

What advice do you have for current UR students?Savor every moment; take classes that you might not first consider; this is your opportunity to explore. You never know what passions you might find – this is coming from an environmental science major who now studies higher education.

Fountaine is a member of the class of 2008.

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