Office of Alumni and Family Relations
The Office of Alumni and Family Relations is dedicated to creating programs and providing service to alumni and members of the extended community of parents, students, and prospective students. Working in partnership with a dedicated campus community of faculty and other colleagues, we intend to showcase the very best aspects of a CC education.
Here’s a sampling of what we do:
- Homecoming and Reunion events
- Travel Study, both nationwide and around the globe
- Special summer programs
- Regional chapter events (athletic, admissions-related, cultural, service, social, educational)
- Affinity groups (Fifty Year Club, LGBTQIA+, Veterans, Students and Alumni of Color, etc.)
- New student send-off parties and new student orientation events
- Student Alumni Association
- Professional development events
- Career networking events
- Coordinate volunteers crucial to the success of our campus partners
- Manage data, publicity, social media, and networking technology to help connect alumni
Our focus is on creating opportunities for engagement among alumni and between alumni and CC. And last but not least, we’re listeners. Please feel free to contact any one of us for more information and to share ideas.
Meet the Staff
Kristie Damgaard, Interim Director of Alumni and Family Relations
Kristie is a third generation native of Colorado. She graduated from Colorado State in 1999 with a B.A. in Business and
Debra Zarecky, Director of Parent and Family Programs
Debra has been at CC since 2005. A liberal arts graduate, she was drawn to the energy and vitality of campus almost immediately and worked first in the Office of Student Life before joining the Shove Chapel staff as chaplain’s office manager. She has been in her current role for over two years, first in the Office of the President and now as part of the Office of Alumni and Family Relations. She is excited to continue managing programs across the college that help parents and families stay connected with and positively support their students. Debra has a B.A. in English from Allegheny College with a double minor in
Stella comes from a family with proud ties to Colorado College. Her two older siblings are both CC graduates. She returned to Colorado Springs after completing her graduate studies in Sweden. Stella received dual master’s degrees in political sciences and development studies from Uppsala University. She received her bachelor’s degree in international studies from Hanover College, during which she studied and worked in Turkey. Prior to joining the Alumni Office, Stella worked with the Butler Center at Colorado College. After working in a campus department integral to the student experience, Stella is excited to be part of the office and to connect with alumni across the regional chapters. During her time off, and at the office, Stella likes to turn up the music and dance like nobody's watching.
Brittany Almeida '14,
Brittany is a native of Colorado Springs and a 2014 graduate of Colorado College, where she earned her degree in psychology. While at CC, Brittany minored in Spanish, served as secretary of SOMOS, and volunteered at Centro de la Familia. She also gained advertising and event planning experience as a student employee for Conference Services and Summer Session. After graduating, Brittany worked for Galvan and Gardner Property Management before joining the Alumni Relations team in March 2015. She is excited to be back at CC and looks forward to working with the alumni community. In her free time, Brittany enjoys baking, hiking, reading, and spending time with her husband, family, and friends.
Michael McNamee III, Assistant Director for Career Volunteer Initiatives
A native of Montana, Michael earned a B.A. in Journalism and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Wyoming. He started his career in public relations for Big Brothers Big Sisters, where he continues to serve as a volunteer. He has mentored the same Little Brother for more than nine years. Prior to joining CC, Michael worked at the University of Wyoming in Admissions and Career Services and was an instructor. Michael loves traveling, exploring the outdoors, and playing music.
Judy Kanagy, Alumni Relations Coordinator
Judy is a Midwest transplant who has no plans of returning to Illinois, Ohio, or Iowa, where she lived until moving to Colorado Springs almost 30 years ago. A graduate of Bluffton University (B.A. in English and Physical Education) and of Illinois State University (M.S. in Physical Education and Athletic Administration), her early career included teaching and coaching, working as a carpenter and painter, as an
Nichole Ridenour, Alumni Relations Coordinator Off-Campus Programs
Nichole came over to the Office of Alumni and Family Relations from the Colorado College events team, where she worked with community events held on campus. She is a native of Colorado and has strong family ties in the area. She loves to travel around the state as well as overseas, when possible, to explore new landscapes, scenery, and cultures. Prior to coming to CC, she was the program director/head women’s soccer coach and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) liaison for the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS). She was the program founder and was responsible for all aspects of running a NCAA Division II team. Nichole obtained her master’s degree in educational leadership from UCCS, and she received her bachelor’s degree in biology with emphasis in chemistry from the University of Minnesota-Morris. Nichole and her family like to spend their free time playing sports, exploring the outdoors, trying new activities, and spending time with family and friends.
Lily Lauer, Alumni Relations Coordinator On-Campus Programs
Lily is a California native with ties to Wisconsin through her husband, John. She graduated from California State University, Chico with a B.S. in business administration with a concentration in marketing. Prior to spending a season raising and educating her children, she sold advertising space for a national magazine and served as the marketing coordinator for a software firm. Recently, she worked in marketing and as a communications specialist for a nonprofit. She spent four decades dancing, and as a triple-threat, performing in local theater productions. She and her husband are the proud parents of three Colorado College Tigers: Jake ’17, Josh ’19, and Ariel ’21.