Communication Connection

Friends of Com Newsletter

Alumni News

From Student to Staff: Mrs. Kelli Queen

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

By Lauren Rogers

It reveals a lot about a university whenever alumni decide to accept positions offered by their alma mater. It showcases the strength in community present here at UNCW. The University of North Carolina in Wilmington takes pride in producing the brightest and most well-prepared graduates. Whenever an alumnus is able to move into a position at the school from which they graduated, it speaks on behalf of the University’s confidence in their own degree program, as well as the individual’s personal dedication and loyalty to the university. Mrs. Kelli Queen graduated in 2004 from UNCW’s Communication Studies program with a minor in English. As a student, she participated in a lot of campus activities including work-study opportunities and internships in both Communication Studies and English. After graduating, Mrs. Queen moved back to her hometown up north where she worked for a year, before hearing about the job opportunity here at UNCW.

She now works as the Special Events Coordinator and heads the Department of Donor Relations. Among other things, the department manages all events that the chancellor attends. Her job involves reaching out to alumni, sponsors, local businesses, and private donors about receiving funding for future school enhancement plans here at UNCW. Mrs. Queen does a lot of community outreach and fundraising in addition to all the programs that she helps coordinate. She manages various special events and activities throughout the year to show our appreciation for contributions from the community, such as the Scholarship Donor Appreciation Dinner and the creation of personalized thank you notes to send out during the holiday season. 

The skills and talents that Mrs. Queen developed here at UNCW have helped her tremendously in her current career. Her degree in Communication Studies allowed her to develop the essential people skills that she needs to effectively collaborate with community members. Her English minor has also helped her tremendously with critical thinking and writing skills as well as the creativity involved in event planning. She says that one of the most valuable classes offered by the Department of Communication Studies is Interpersonal Communication; she uses these skills on a daily basis when thanking donors, reaching out to alumni, coordinating events, etc. According to Mrs. Queen, most people use interpersonal communication skills on a daily basis whether they are aware of it or not. Having formal training in the subtleties of these skills gives her an advantage in the world of business and public relations. Another course she found surprisingly useful was Storytelling in the Community, which brought her out of her comfort zone and gave her the confidence to present her thoughts and ideas in a riveting manner.

As you can see, the Department of Communication Studies here at UNCW cultivates a strong understanding of human interactions and communication skills—skills that the University itself looks for when hiring its staff and faculty members. Mrs. Kelli Queen is an excellent example of how valuable the skills learned as a student can be in the world of careers, and how essential it is to show appreciation for the organization which gave you these skills.