Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Making Her Mark
Successful SDSU alumna Nikki Clay uses her talents in the workplace and as a volunteer at her alma mater.
As an undergraduate volunteer and student leader, Nicole "Nikki" Clay was very involved at San Diego State. So it seemed logical for her to stay connected to campus long after graduation.
"I decided to join the Alumni Association early on," she remembered. "It provided a bridge between the university and the real world, where SDSU alums were having success in the community."
Finding her niche
Nikki found her own success as a partner at Carpi & Clay, a government relations firm with offices in Washington, D.C., Sacramento and San Diego. She enjoys helping clients navigate the complicated machinations of government.
Nikki's work in government affairs also suits her interests and her personality. "I tend to be very straightforward," she assessed. “I also like to collaborate and build consensus.”
Dedication to "State"
Those traits have served Nikki well in a variety of campus and community capacities including her board membership with The Campanile Foundation, a presidential term with the SDSU Alumni Association and as co-chair of the Alumni Center Campaign and the university's centennial celebration in 1997.
"She's a highly effective dynamo," said SDSU Alumni Association Executive Director Jim Herrick. "If you want to get something done, you definitely want to have Nikki involved."
Choosing to remain connected
Why has she stayed involved at her alma mater for so many years?
"There are a number of reasons. It's essential for the university to have input from its graduates," she explained. "I think that's the most important part of the puzzle, and it has become even more so as the university looks to its alums and the larger community to financially support its mission.
"Education provides the leverage for positive change, and that's what San Diego State does. Staying involved has been a positive experience for me, and I hope my contributions over the years have made a difference."
Indeed, they have.