By UO student Chelsea Fullmer
The UO Alumni Association is excited to welcome four new staff members to our team: Cynthia Stenger Riplinger ‘01, Damian Foley, Karen Scheeland ‘81 and James Chang. Dedicated to fostering lifelong relationships with the UO, our newest staff members contribute across various realms of the Alumni Association and the UOAA’s mission of helping Ducks become champions, cheerleaders, ambassadors and advocates for the university.
Meet the team:
After working in close conjunction with the UOAA, Cynthia Stenger-Riplinger ‘01 has moved into the Alumni office and fills the International Alumni Relations position. Her areas of expertise include international educational exchange, cross-cultural communication and acclimation, second language teaching and learning, and alumni relations. Her vision is to continue to enhance connections between the University of Oregon and international alumni while supporting UO international recruitment, global student engagement and development efforts. She serves on a campus-wide scholarship committee to assist in selecting UO students for nationally competitive scholarships such as Fulbright, DAAD and BOREN (NSEP). An annual fall highlight is teaching “Mighty Oregon” to new international students during orientation. Cynthia was a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1990-92 in the Czech Republic. She has opportunities to dabble in multiple languages with her involvement with the Eugene Opera Chorus and the Motet Singers. Cynthia is also married to fellow Duck Mike Riplinger ’85 and has three kids, Shannon, Tristan and Kaitlyn.
Damian Foley, our new Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, hails originally from New Zealand and most recently from Louisiana State University. Damian moved to the United States to attend LSU, graduating with a General Studies degree with concentrations in mass communication, sociology and English. Damian also worked as an editor at the LSU Office of Communications and University Relations after graduation and prior to his arrival in Eugene. He worked as a sportswriter, covering LSU athletics and also helped launch a sports magazine. With his father being a journalist and his wife working in public and media relations, Damian is and has always been surrounded by media and communication. In his free time, Damian enjoys running, completing three half-marathons thus far, and other outdoor activities such as cycling and even swimming with sharks. Damian cycled across New Zealand with his father and hopes to participate in the Great White Shark Dive in California.
Karen Scheeland ’81 fulfills the brand new position of Alumni Events Manager. She will be work on our reunion programs and support regional event and engagement opportunities for alumni. After studying dramatic arts at Loughborough University in Leicestershire, England, Karen earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Theatre Arts from the UO and worked as the executive assistant to the Vice President of University Relations prior to coming to the UOAA. Still active in the Eugene theatre arts community, Karen has taught acting at Lane Community College, taught and directed shows at Willamette High School, and became the General Manager of the Eugene Festival of Musical Theatre where they produced Broadway musicals at the Hult Center of Performing Arts for 13 years. While working at the EFMT, Karen worked at the March of Dimes organizing Walk America fundraisers in Bend, Florence and, Coos Bay. Besides theatre, Karen enjoys travelling, sailing, and golf and is a member of the Eugene Rotary Club.
Coming from the UO Lundquist College of Business, James Chang is the new Director of the Duck Career Network. A new position in the UOAA, the Duck Career Network strives to help alumni and students connect on a professional and business level. As the Director of Career Services at LCB, a career advisor at Oregon State University and an admissions counselor at St. Norbet College, James gained extensive experience helping students and alumni find job opportunities. James graduated from Northwestern University with a BS in Communication Studies, and from Bowling Green State University with a Master’s in Higher Education. In his free time, James enjoys running, volleyball, dining in Eugene, visiting wineries, exploring garage sales and watching HGTV.
With the beginning of the school year, these staff members are busy establishing their roles within the UOAA and getting ready for exciting fall events.
Visit uoalumni.com/staff to learn about all the Alumni Association employees.