Every single person at a university, whether they realize it or not, is working to create a successful graduate.

Professors craft a rigorous curriculum to sharpen the mind, activity staff devise compelling programming, dining service members nourish the soul — all with the shared mission of bolstering students to their highest potential. For a Wildcat to turn their tassel on graduation day is to also acknowledge the abundance of goodwill they have received from the Daemen University community.

In recent years, the university has seen a surge of graduates who were compelled to return the favor by joining the faculty and staff of their alma mater.

“Coming back to work at your alma mater is a true testament to the institution,” explains Director of Alumni Relations Emily Kraft Hockwater ’16. “People don’t always think about working where they went to school, but plenty of alums find immense value in giving back to their alma mater.”

Since 2020, over a dozen graduates from nearly as many academic backgrounds have become Daemen employees. The cohort brings with them an intangible dedication to the university that permeates every aspect of their job.

“Deciding to return to Daemen was a no-brainer when the opportunity to work here presented itself,” explains Arianna Coppola, a career advisor who graduated in 2021 with a masters of social work.
“I knew that I would be coming to an environment where I could continue to grow at a professional and personal level, while carrying out my passion of helping others.”

Many of these alums were highly involved in campus life as students and have found that the experience of working at Daemen often echoes that previous chapter of their life.

“This environment encourages me to be at my best for myself and those around me,” said Shelby Janczyk, a 2018 graduate of the Graphic Design program who is now a key player on the Marketing & Communications team. “I am always very excited to share students’ stories and connect them to the Daemen community.”

When asked, these alums assert that it is only inevitable this trend will continue into the future.

“As long as Daemen enables each student to succeed in their own way,” Mark Poblocki ’16, assistant director of Housing & Residence Life observes, “there will be graduates who will return so they can be a part of replicating like experiences for the next generation.”