The Indiana University Northwest Office of Development welcomed two new professional staff members to Sycamore Hall this summer, one who is a longtime Northwest Indiana resident and another who recently came to the area from Los Angeles.
Yvette Doss, of Crown Point, is the university’s new assistant director of development. Donald Parker, of Wanatah, is the new development coordinator. Both positions are charged with developing relationships with IU Northwest donors and community partners and with raising funds in support of university scholarships, academic programs and initiatives, as well as in support of the IU School of Medicine — Northwest. IUSM-NW is located on the IU Northwest campus and serves as a partner with the university in the new College of Health and Human Services (CHHS).
Doss is a lifelong California resident who graduated with a B.A. in philosophy from U.C. Berkeley and who also studied in the university’s graduate journalism program. Before relocating to Northwest Indiana in January, Doss served as executive editor of Ciudad magazine, a Latino-themed culture and lifestyle magazine in Los Angeles that was published by Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corporation. Doss is also a freelance writer and has done radio commentaries for National Public Radio and Chicago Public Radio.
Doss’ most recent essay for NPR, “Finding Equality Through Logic,” which aired earlier this month as part of the network’s “This I Believe” feature, can be read and heard at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93192093.
Her IU Northwest post is Doss’ first job in higher education.
“I have an interest in the fundraising side of the non-profit world,” she said. “I considered jobs in non-profit in L.A., and it was always a direction I had wanted to go. So, for me, I see the university as a big non-profit. I’m really fascinated by the mechanisms that people use to bring money in to support good causes and to build institutions.”
As assistant director of development, Doss will work with university departments to identify donors that have an interest in IU Northwest’s fundraising initiatives. She will be responsible for fundraising and for providing stewardship to IU Northwest donors.
Doss came to Northwest Indiana in January with her husband, Martin Albornoz, when he joined the Munster-based Northwest Indiana Times as director of interactive media. The couple and their two daughters — Zoe, age 5, and Emily, age 4 -- are acclimating to the area’s weather, which is quite a change from the more predictable L.A. climate.
“It was a rough winter. But I was expecting the snow and the cold,” Doss said. “I wasn’t expecting this humidity.”
Doss said she was pleased to join the university development team at such an attractive, friendly campus as IU Northwest.
“It’s very pretty,” she said. “It’s a cute campus. I really like the medical-school apartments, the ones with the ivy on the walls. It looks like it could be Harvard or someplace like that.”
Doss’ hobbies include spending time with her daughters and making gemstone jewelry inspired by her Mexican heritage.
Since joining IU Northwest, Doss has begun familiarizing herself with university programs and meeting with departments to discuss projects and a variety of fundraising objectives.
“I’m just slowly getting my feet wet and learning everything there is to learn here,” she said. “I’m excited to be here.”
Parker came to IU Northwest from the Post-Tribune, where he worked for more than eight years as the newspaper’s education coordinator.
In that role, Parker oversaw the paper’s Newspapers in Education programs and interacted with educators from participating Northwest Indiana schools. Parker also worked with representatives from the region’s various universities, including IU Northwest, on the “Education Exchange” page, which ran weekly in the Post-Tribune during the academic year and featured news and information about the advantages of pursuing higher education in Northwest Indiana.
Parker’s previous positions have included executive roles with the Boy Scouts and the local American Cancer Society. A Danville, Ill. native, Parker has lived in Northwest Indiana for 19 years.
In the IU Northwest Office of Development, Parker will contact and cultivate current and potential donors to support IU Northwest activities.
Parker said the prospect of helping to develop a new college at IU Northwest, particularly one like CHHS that addresses the health and human services fields that are so critical to Northwest Indiana, is part of what attracted him to the position.
“It’s exciting to be part of the new fundraising team at IU Northwest,” Parker said. “There’s excitement in helping to bring new initiatives to campus, and there’s excitement in adding this kind of public service to Northwest Indiana. That’s why I’m here.”
Having worked indirectly in the education milieu for many years, Parker said he was glad to become a higher-education professional.
“I have worked with staff and been privileged to know several of the presidents and chancellors of some of our colleges and universities here in the area,” Parker said. “I’m excited to have the opportunity now to go to work in an academic environment and be a part of that.”
In his spare time, Parker is an avid bicyclist who also plays bass violin in area orchestras. The graduate of the University of Illinois and Illinois State University also enjoys reading history and politics.
Associate Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of Development Pat Giannini said that Doss and Parker bring complementary skills and backgrounds to the university.
“I am pleased that both Yvette and Don are working with the Office of Development,” Giannini said. “Yvette brings journalism skills and experience with writing grant proposals, while Don comes to us with a wealth of community contacts and a history of developing partnerships. Their backgrounds and expertise will strengthen fundraising at IU Northwest. I look forward to working with them both.”