Meet Abbey Stanzione, alumni engagement officer for the VCU College of Engineering

Abbey Stanzione

Development and Alumni Relations at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) recently expanded its team with the addition of a new role: the alumni engagement officer (AEO). The AEOs help boost alumni involvement and support through planning and executing dynamic programming for VCU’s colleges and schools.

Below, Abbey Stanzione, alumni engagement officer for the College of Engineering, gives us a glimpse into who she is outside the office.

What is your superpower? 

I think if you ask some of my family or close friends, they would say I could read minds. I don’t know that it applies to all people but I am pretty good at knowing what my family and friends might like or not like, and can sometimes anticipate their train of thought. But my guesses can be pretty spot on, and it shocks the person when it does happen. 

What is your hidden talent?

I’d have to say it’s my patience when it comes to savoring things. For example, I could make a cake last a month by rationing slices per week or take weeks to finish a TV show that everyone else binged in a weekend. I like to savor things like that to prolong my enjoyment but my family often finds it frustrating when I don’t let them finish off the cake. 

What would you do if you weren’t an alumni engagement officer? 

This is a tricky one. My dream job would be to design and organize homes. I like watching home improvement shows, and I like finding the perfect decor or furniture piece to go in my home, so I think if I knew more about starting a business, I’d consider giving that a shot. 

What is the most important item on your bucket list (if you have a bucket list)?

I really want to visit Iceland and see the aurora borealis! I know you can see them in some parts of Canada but the goal is to visit Iceland to see them. 

What was your favorite subject in school?

English! I never minded reading the required summer reading before the school year started because I like reading new books. I wish I was better at the writing part of that class but the reading I really enjoyed. 

What is something most people don’t know about you? 

I am weirdly good at thumb wrestling! It isn’t often that people challenge me to a thumb wrestling match but I’d say I have a pretty good winning streak.

What book character do you most identify with?

You know for as much as I read, I can’t think of a character I most identify with. I often relate to parts of characters from books that I read but no one particular character stands out to me. It could be I haven’t read the right book yet! 

What is your favorite way to unwind? 

I like to unwind either by exercising, going for a run or a walk, or by reading. I read over 50 books last year, and I hope to hit at least 50 again this year!

What is your favorite local restaurant/food truck/brewery? 

I love Italian food so I would have to say my favorite restaurant in town is Edo’s Squid! I don’t go too often; I like to save those visits for special occasions like my birthday. 

What is your top priority for engaging alumni?

I really want to connect with VCU alumni from the College of Engineering and learn why VCU is special to them. I want to provide them with fun opportunities to engage with the school as alumni, and I think learning why they love VCU is the best way to plan those events.

Do you have a book recommendation for Abbey? Or do you want to learn more about how you can connect with the College of Engineering? Email her at