The Office of External Relations (OER) is responsible for all activities related to alumni engagement and philanthropic giving to the Department of Mechanical Engineering. OER endeavors to create a community of connected, devoted alumni who give back to their alma mater through a combination of time, talent, network, and financial support. OER works with alumni on an individual basis to match their interests with the Department’s needs. The Office also builds relationships with corporations and foundations to support students, faculty, research, and operations in the Department. It serves as the primary liaison to the University of Maryland College Park Foundation.

Building a community of engaged alumni and supporters is a team effort. We welcome your questions and invite you to meet with us to learn how you can help – and in turn, how we can help you!

Office Responsibilities

Alumni Engagement   

  • Visiting Committee
  • Design Day judges
  • Career Paths speakers
  • Guest lecturers
  • Student mentorships
  • Sponsored research projects for their company
  • Introductions to key decision-makers
  • Spotlights on website, MechENews, Metrics, social media
  • Attend Department and College events

Philanthropic Support

  • Scholarships, Fellowships, Professorships
  • Lecture Series
  • Capital Improvement
  • Student Teams

Faculty/Staff Giving

Did you know that you can support the Department through payroll deduction or by including UMD in your estate plans?

Please contact us to learn more.

Let’s Help Each Other! Here’s How.

You can help OER to raise funds for students, research, and other projects across the Department by keeping in contact with us when you have interactions with external visitors. We can take it from there!

For instance:

  • Do you have alumni with whom you regularly keep in touch? Please help us to keep our records updated by sharing their contact information. In addition, we can work together to develop individualized strategies for keeping key alumni involved – and encourage them to become donors and champions!
  • Do you host visits from external industry sponsors? Consider including a 30-minute meeting with OER as part of the schedule to explore how the sponsor can deepen their partnership with the Department. This often leads to an introduction to a colleague who can make decisions about the company’s University engagement strategy.
  • Do you hear from alumni about their accomplishments, such as promotions, inventions, or accepted journal articles? Tell us about it! We are always looking for alumni to feature in our communications! Fill out this form.
  • Do you receive invitations from OER to participate in visits from alumni and others? Please join us for these research presentations and/or lab tours. You are encouraged to follow up with all of our visitors directly as their interests and resources apply to your focus area(s).
  • Have you hosted a tour for OER of your lab? We want to know about your research and other needs so that we can talk about your work to others! We’d love a tour!

Upcoming Events

Please check this Google calendar for all of the events managed by OER.

Staff

Heidi Sweely

Director of External Relations

2102B Glenn L. Martin Hall
hsweely@umd.edu
301-405-1364

Heidi handles alumni engagement activities and communications; fundraising communications; is the giving liaison for Visiting Committee, faculty, corporations and engages with individual donor prospects nationwide (divided with College).

Almarie Wood

Major Gifts Officer

3234 Kim Building
aiwood@umd.edu
301-405-9836

Almarie engages with alumni in two departments (ME/AE) and works with individual donor prospects in DC, MD, VA, TX.

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