MEDIA, Pa. — Dana Hallahan joined Penn State Brandywine as the new assistant director of alumni relations in the campus development and alumni relations office in August. She graduated from Penn State this past spring with a bachelor’s degree in biology and minors in human development and family studies and gerontology. Being a Brandywine alumna, Hallahan is excited to return to campus as a full-time employee.
Brandywine: As a recent graduate of the University, what was your deciding factor in coming to work for Penn State Brandywine?
Hallahan: My time as a Penn State Brandywine student had a much larger impact on my life than I ever could have imagined. I came into college believing that the main goal of going to college was to get a degree, but I left getting a new perspective of what the college experience can be like, through different connections, experiences and opportunities.
Brandywine: What are you looking forward to most during your time at Brandywine?
Hallahan: After graduating in May, I knew I wanted to keep in close contact with the faculty, staff and students on campus who were able to support me during my college journey. Now that I work on campus, I have the opportunity to see and collaborate with all the different departments that I love and learn so much from. I’m excited to continue working with them and make sure all the students here have the best college experience they can.
Brandywine: What drew you to working in alumni relations and campus development?
Hallahan: As a student, I was really involved with prospective, incoming and current students through the different clubs and organizations I was involved with on campus. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m really excited to see what the alumni side of Penn State is all about, and there’s no better way to be connected with Brandywine alumni than through this role. I’ve always loved engaging with students while on campus, so now I get to do the same with a new demographic of Penn Staters, the alumni, in my new position.
"My time as a Penn State Brandywine student had a much larger impact on my life than I ever could have imagined."
—Dana Hallahan , assistant director of alumni relations, Penn State Brandywine
Brandywine: What are some goals you’d like to accomplish during your time at Brandywine?
Hallahan: During my time here, I definitely want to bring awareness of the development office to current students because I know when I was a student, I didn’t really know what it was. I also think that the “Once a Penn Stater, always a Penn Stater” mindset is so important, and there is a community of alumni who want to help students and continue to engage in Penn State traditions. I also really want to increase our overall Brandywine alumni participation through different events and engagement opportunities that I’ll be putting on this year, like Homecoming and Family Weekend, tailgates and other community events.
Brandywine: How have your past experiences at Brandywine prepared you to step into this role?
Hallahan: Many of the clubs and organizations I was involved with as a student helped me develop skills that are very beneficial to my new role. As a member of the Brandywine Events and Activities Student Team, I assisted with planning many of the campus-wide events and created marketing materials, and these skills will definitely be helpful when I create events for our alumni. I also was a campus tour guide, which made me very knowledgeable about Penn State Brandywine-specific information, which I will definitely share with those who may be unfamiliar with our campus and are interested in donating. Lastly, my engagement with THON is probably the most important experience that prepared me for this role because it helped me gain a lot of fundraising skills that will help me benefit future students.
Brandywine: What are some of your interests? What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Hallahan: One of my favorite things I do outside of work would probably be baking. I bake all sorts of things like lava cakes and cookies. I also really like to draw, paint and just be creative in some sort of aspect. I like being in nature, going for walks with my dog and exploring new places. I was able to study abroad in Ireland during my time at Brandywine; that was definitely one of my favorite adventures I’ve been on.
Brandywine: Is there anything you’d like to add? Anything you’d like people to know about you?
Hallahan: I’m really excited to be back at Brandywine as a full-time employee! I missed campus a lot over the summer, so I’m just glad to be back.