Alum Liaison - Roads Taken Project

Requisition Number: 
The Alum Liaison’s job is to identify, contact, and recruit alumni of College First to participate in a National Science Foundation research project exploring education and career paths. The Alum Liaison serves as the representative of College First to alumni. The Alum Liaison will attend online training, participate in monthly calls with project leaders, obtain contact information for potential program alumni, maintain the contact lists, and collect data with the goal of response from at least 40 percent of the alumni. This person will also collect and analyze resumes from participating alumni. The ideal candidate would be an alumnus or former staff member of College First with excellent communication and organizational skills. This is a part-time resource position working ten hours a week for approximately 12 months.

Roads Taken: A Retrospective Study of Program Strategies and Long-term Impacts of Intensive, Multi-year, STEM Youth Programs (National Science Foundation, AISL, 1906396) brings together representatives from six long-standing youth programs and education researchers to collaboratively explore the long-term (15 – 25 year) impact of STEM-focused, intensive (100+ hours/year), multi-year programming. Research questions include: How did these programs affect youth's lives as they progressed toward and into adulthood? What program strategies and what participant attributes contributed most to the staying power of these effects? What life events and social structures supported and inhibited participant outcomes? The project has the potential to 1) guide practitioners in program improvement and improved program outcomes; 2) provide insight into achieving program goals, such as equity, increased well-being of participants, an informed citizenry, and a diversified STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)  workforce; and 3) inform decision-making.

Duties and Responsibilities: 
  • Identify, recruit, and communicate with program alumni to encourage them to participate in research.
  • Examine program records and use an address look-up subscription and alumni network to develop a contact list.
  • Maintain an up-to-date contact list of program alumni.
  • Invite alumni to complete an online questionnaire and submit resumes, aspiring to a 40 percent response rate.
  • Carefully follow research protocols provided by the project.
  • Attend online training sessions.
  • Code alumni resumes using a specific protocol.
  • Communicate project status, successes, and challenges with the project team.
  • Attend monthly online meetings with project leaders and Alum Liaisons from five other science and technology institutions across the United States.
  • Share successful recruiting techniques with project leaders other Alum Liaisons.

Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired

  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.

Our ideal candidate will have the following:

Education level

  • High school diploma


  • Direct experience with College First as a participant or staff preferred
  • Experience in customer service or retail useful

Specific skills

  • Create and edit documents in Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Experience and comfort level in learning new software
  • Familiar with the vocabulary used to discuss science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and careers

Personal characteristics

  • Respect for confidentiality of data
  • Organized
  • Ability to carefully follow research scripts and protocol
  • Professional and friendly telephone presence
  • Enthusiasm for accomplishing work as a team
  • Determination to reach goals



Physical Demands: 
Office setting. Frequent sitting, standing, walking, bending, listening, speaking, and typing. Use of office equipment including computers, telephones, copiers, scanners, and fax machines. Some requirements for lifting, pushing, or pulling items less than 30 pounds.
Why Apply?: 

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, or basis of disability, or any other federal, state, or local protected class.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.