Lock Haven Graduate Spearheads Launch of Professional U

Lock Haven


When 1978 Lock Haven University graduate, Dr. Philip Burlingame, joined the Lock Haven University Alumni Association board of directors, he believed his 35-year career in academia could positively impact students' pre-professional experiences at Commonwealth University-Lock Haven.

In less than one year, Burlingame and a team of alumni volunteers have helped the university's Center for Career and Professional Development launch Professional U, a groundbreaking initiative that integrates successful alumni into the student experience. Professional U opens doors to highly-impactful mentorship, internships and other career development opportunities that help distinguish Lock Haven graduates above their job-market competitors.

Establishing Professional U at Lock Haven began with the formation of the Alumni and Professional Engagement Committee, a group of Alumni Association board members that includes Burlingame (chair), Terri (Wise) Koehler '85, Brandon Pardoe '92, Kyle Losch '15 and Emilee (Mallams) Sassani '15/'17M.

In partnership with Dr. Darwin Kysor, CU-Lock Haven's director of employer engagement, the team embarked on the task of adopting Professional U, a program already in place at CU-Bloomsburg, and tailoring it to meet the unique needs of Lock Haven's student and alumni populations.

"The Alumni Association's Professional Engagement Committee is just getting started, but we have already made significant strides," Burlingame said. "Our committee has customized Professional U to fit the Lock Haven community, and alumni can now register to volunteer their time and expertise."

Burlingame envisions Professional U as a transformative force for both students and alumni.

"This program will help the Alumni Association connect with many graduates who have never volunteered before," he said. "We have thousands of alumni who have built outstanding professional careers, and I am sure many will be happy to provide volunteer help to current students."

What sets Professional U apart is its adaptability and inclusiveness. Alumni can choose the level of involvement that matches their availability and interest, making it accessible to everyone. Whether they can spare a few hours to review resumes or commit to a year-long mentoring relationship, each volunteer can make a meaningful difference in the lives of Lock Haven students.