BY AMY HANSEN
As a recent University of Iowa alum, Courtney Bond (B.A. 2007) is grateful for any tool that keeps her connected to her alma mater. Bond, who has her degree in journalism and mass communication, is a proud user of OnIowa.com.
OnIowa is a website that offers a free and secure service to UI alumni. Its many assets include an Alumni Directory, a Hawk Page which each user can personalize a profile, Hawkeye Notes where an individual can post their own recent events, an Alumni Events Calendar, and an Email Forwarding Service that offers alums a free and individual U of I alumni email address.
"I like to use the Alumni Directory and see where my friends ended up; or even see if people graduated," Bond said.
Bond, who is the assistant director of marketing for the Alumni Association, believes that the biggest asset of the website is simply giving alumni of all ages an instrument that had not been previously available. It enables graduates a faster way to stay connected.
"It's much better than ordinary mailings," Bond said.
OnIowa.com was first launched on March 1, 2007. The website began by letting alumni know about all the opportunities it offered and invitations to sign up and log on. The full launch date was April 2, 2007, when the directory search was turned on. So far, OnIowa.com. has 12,000 users.
Barker, the Alumni Association's assistant director of alumni programs, has heard a lot of positive feedback about the website and is very grateful with the response.
"The project itself was a result of a long process. The challenge was just getting it off the ground," Barker said.
Barker noted that OnIowa.com is unique because the Alumni Association has partnered with the UI, including all of its colleges and Internet programs. Each individual college is promoting the website.
"It's a common Iowa theme. No matter what college you're from, you feel at home on the site, " Barker said proudly. Since it is a collaborative effort, many colleges use it as a way to keep in contact with their graduates specifically. Once an alum signs on, he or she can click right to the school's link and get updates and offerings.
"You can get it all in one shot," Bond said.
The future goals for OnIowa.com include increasing its popularity and its users and to have the older alumni sign up. Many of those who currently have accounts are younger and are more familiar with the technology.
Bond agrees that it should become more widely used.
"It's nice because it ties together the university as a whole," she said.
To register for OnIowa.com, go to www.OnIowa.com
and click "Register Now."