The Ohio State University Alumni Association

The role of a tour host is to enhance your experience, serve as a liaison between you and other tour team members, see that what has been promised is delivered, and engage and develop meaningful relationships with you and other Ohio State alumni and friends.

Kym Adkins

Kym received her master's degree in human resources from Ohio State in 1999. She joined the Alumni Association in 1995 and quickly became our first director of human resources, which is the position she still holds today.

She has served as an Alumni Tour host since 2006. In addition, she actively represents the association by participating in Buckeye Bashes, as well as meeting with and speaking to our alumni clubs all over Ohio and the United States.

Kym is looking forward to her traveling adventures with you, but she is even more excited to learn about your personal Ohio State experiences. 

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Melinda Alonso

Melinda joined the Alumni Association in April 2000. She is the Event Manager for the Alumni House Events Department and helps coordinate hundreds of meetings, each year. Melinda is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in History of Art. Prior to attending Ohio State, she was enlisted for nine years in the United States Navy. While stationed on three ships she was able to travel the world and can say her time in the service was not just a job, it was an adventure. Melinda's warm and friendly demeanor makes her very easy to get to know and she is looking forward to assisting her fellow Buckeye's on their next…

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Alumni tours with Melinda Alonso:

Jacky Bennett

Jacky joined the Alumni Association in September of 2000. She currently is the Director of Conference and Facility Operations, which plans and executes over a combined 1100+ meetings, conferences, and weddings each year. She is also responsible for the maintenance and care of the Longaberger Alumni House. Jacky is a graduate of Otterbein College with a Bachelors degree in English Literature. During her years at Otterbein, Jacky played basketball and belonged to the Sigma Alpha Tau sorority.

Jacky’s outgoing and exciting personality makes her a natural at building relationships. She enjoys making people laugh, sharing…

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Alumni tours with Jacky Bennett:

Brendan Braaten

Brendan has served in his current role as Regional Engagement Officer for the Southeastern US since 2015. As REO, Brendan provides opportunities for Buckeyes to stay connected and engaged with Ohio State such as: regional events that he coordinates, local alumni club opportunities, and student recruitment efforts. Brendan also travels regularly to his region and provides support to the 27 alumni clubs that he oversees.

Prior to working at OSU, Brendan worked in Residence Life for both John Carroll University & The College of Wooster, where he supervised residential populations of 600-800 students, created educational programs,…

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Alumni tours with Brendan Braaten:

Laura DeRose

Laura works in the tour office and is the Assistant Director of Alumni Tours and Communications. Prior to joining the Alumni Association’s Tour Program in January of 2017, Laura worked as an event coordinator for the College of Veterinary Medicine managing alumni and donor events, as well as continuing education programs. Her background also includes over 10 years of working for non-profit associations focused on conservation and animal welfare. Laura grew up in coastal North Carolina and attended East Carolina University where she earned a BA in Hospitality Management. She completed her internship at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

While…

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Kim Gray

Kim has been with the university since 2009, and serves as Senior Director of Special Projects for the Alumni Association. In her role she creates and implements new initiatives that focus on increasing the engagement of alumni, donors, volunteers, and friends to the University.

While not a graduate of Ohio State, Kim enjoys a long history with the university having grown up attending football games in the ‘Shoe and visiting campus with her mother, a long-time employee of Ohio State. She is also married to a two-time graduate and has twin toddlers, Jameson and Delaney, who she hopes consider their father’s alma mater for their…

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Alumni tours with Kim Gray:

Andy Gurd

Andy Gurd is the Chief Advancement Officer for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. He is a native of Belfast, Northern Ireland and grew up in Bainbridge, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland.

Andy had numerous leadership roles at the Alumni Association from September, 2007 to September, 2016, including Chief Operating Officer and Interim President. Prior to returning to Ohio State, he was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for a regional IT consulting firm.

Andy earned his undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University and was Academic-All-Big-Ten while starting at linebacker for the Buckeyes…

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Alumni tours with Andy Gurd:

Natasha Kanakkanatt

Natasha is a 2014 graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs. After receiving her undergraduate degree, Natasha worked in alumni relations and annual giving at her high school alma mater, St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, in Akron, Ohio. Natasha joined the Alumni Association in 2015 and serves as the Assistant Director of Young Alumni Engagement. In this role, she is responsible for managing and executing programs and projects to engage young alumni of Ohio State, including Young Alumni Academy

In her free time, Natasha enjoys reading, traveling with friends and family, spending time outdoors,…

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Craig Little

Craig earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Ohio State in 1984, majoring in secondary physical education. He joined the Alumni Association in October of 1996 and is currently director of alumni societies. He oversees more than 60 special interest alumni organizations and assists with bowl tour preparations.

Craig is a member of the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity and served his chapter as president. He was also an active member of Block O, the Interfraternity Council and Sportsmanship Council. Currently he is the faculty advisor to the Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority and the advisor to Sportsmanship Council. He has great passion…

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Alumni tours with Craig Little:

Lauren Luffy

Lauren graduated from Ohio State in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, before going on to Bowling Green State University to get her Master’s degree in College Student Personnel. After a few years working at other universities, she was excited to return to work for her Alma Mater in 2014 as Manager of Student Engagement at the Alumni Association. In this role, Lauren oversees all of our student outreach, including over 75 programs, managing our satellite office in the Ohio Union, and advising Homecoming Court and the Student-Alumni Council, the student organization affiliated with the Alumni Association.

Lauren…

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Alumni tours with Lauren Luffy:

Addie Natalie

Addie graduated from The Ohio State University in 2004 with a degree in Mass Communications and Social Issues. As a student at Ohio State she was involved on campus with the Mount Leadership Scholars program, the John Glenn Washington Academic Internship program and the Undergraduate Student Government.

She has spent the last 7 years coordinating non-profit programs for students and educators and joined the Alumni Association Tour office in November of 2011. In her role as Assistant Director of Alumni Tours and Operations, Addie is looking forward to working with our travelers as they set to see the world and make lasting…

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Alumni tours with Addie Natalie:

Cheryl Sefchick

Cheryl Sefchick has been with the university since 1989 and joined the Alumni Association in 2015, where she serves as the Director of President’s Club Stewardship, in the Office of Annual Giving. She has been with the President’s Club since 2004 and has worked at the Fisher College of Business, University Development and the University Architect’s Office. Cheryl served in the United States Marine Corps from 1981 to 1984 and was stationed at Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, DC, and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Cheryl lives in Grove City with her husband Tom. Her family includes her son Ben and his wife Whittney, and their son…

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Maggie Sweeney

Maggie has served as the Regional Engagement Officer for Northern Ohio since September of 2016. As Regional Engagement Officer, Maggie works with 24 Alumni Clubs and puts on events for alumni in Cleveland, Akron, and Toledo. Before coming to the Alumni Association, Maggie served as a Hall Director at Ohio State, running many different residence halls on north and south campus.

Maggie grew up a Buckeye on the west side of Cleveland with a painting of Rex Kern and Woody Hayes above the fireplace in her family’s living room. Maggie is a 2009 OSU graduate of the Fisher College of Business with her B.S. in Business Administration-Marketing.…

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Alumni tours with Maggie Sweeney:

Tina Thome

Tina is a three-time graduate of The Ohio State University with an Associate’s degree in general studies from the Marion campus in 1984, Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Criminology in 1986, and a Master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs in 1996. Tina went on to earn a Master’s degree in Counselor Education from the University of Dayton in 2008. After working in University Development for 12 years, Tina joined the Alumni Association in 2013 when the Annual Giving office became a part of the Alumni Association family. Currently she serves as the Associate Director of Special Campaigns with specific responsibility for the…

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Debbie Vargo

Debbie graduated from both Ohio University and The Ohio State University. She spent the first 14 years of her career working on behalf of college students, including six years as director of student recruitment for the Alumni Association.

After hosting her first tour to Italy in the spring of 2001, travel got under her skin (so to speak!) and she's never looked back. Her attention to detail, positive spirit, and sense of humor come in handy whether she's helping you plan your trip or traveling with you as your alumni tour host.

Debbie lives in Columbus and enjoys gardening, traveling, exercising, and most water…

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Alumni tours with Debbie Vargo:

Abby Wright

Abby graduated from The Ohio State University in 2013 with a degree in Hospitality Management. As a student at Ohio State she was a member of the Alpha Phi Fraternity and the International Affairs Scholars Program. For her first few years of school, she also worked as a student secretary for the OSU head football coach.

Abby spent a few years working as an Event Coordinator for Cameron Mitchell Premier Events before joining the Alumni Association as the Event Operations Manager in 2015. In her role on the Alumni House Events team, Abby is responsible for all operational activities related to events or meetings, along with…

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Alumni tours with Abby Wright: