Alumni Association Elects Two New Council Members

By Caitlin Burns | May 13, 2020

Headshots of Maya and Stacey

The Arcadia University Alumni Association Leadership Council will welcome two new members: Maya Johnson ’97 and Stacey Downey ’88. Both begin their tenure on June 1.

Voting for the Leadership Council election opened on April 17 and continued until May 1. During that time, members of the Arcadia University Alumni Association Leadership Council voted via an electronic ballot to elect the new vice president and representative-at-large.

As outlined in the current AUAA bylaws, only members of the Leadership Council had voting responsibility. However, to be inclusive, all alumni were presented with the slate of candidates, asked to review the ballot, and encouraged to contact their alumni representatives on the Leadership Council to encourage them to vote for the candidates who would best serve the Alumni Association in alignment with the University’s mission-critical work.

This year’s election saw an increase of alumni engagement in voting by 55 percent—an important indication of the University’s collaborative efforts to modernize the Arcadia University Alumni Association to bring about a new era of meaningful engagement for a stronger, more unified Association.  

Kerry Costello Leraris ’92, ’94MEd, president of the Arcadia University Alumni Association, was encouraged to see her fellow alumni engaged in the election process. “I am excited and thrilled to be working with our newly elected officers,” said Leraris. “Their qualifications and leadership abilities will be an asset to our alumni community. I would like to thank all the members of the Leadership Council for their commitment in electing such stellar individuals to represent and lead them over the next three years. Thank you to everyone for your hard work and dedication to such an amazing organization.”

The newly elected vice president and representative-at-large were announced during the Leadership Council meeting on Saturday, May 2, which was held virtually via Zoom.

Maya Johnson ’97
A healthcare administration graduate, Johnson was elected vice president of the Alumni Association Steering Committee of the Leadership Council. Since 2013, she has served on the Volunteer Cultivation Committee, first as a member and then as chair, and on the Recent Graduate Trustee Nominating Committee. She has also served as an Honors Program Mentor and supported alumni as the Class of ’97 Class President, Leadership Council Representative, and Class Editor. As a member of the University’s Aspirational Steering Committee, Johnson’s alumni perspective helped to identify strategic priorities and initiatives that would inform the vision for the University’s adaptive strategy, Arcadia 2025.

Johnson is a member of the Jones Poundstone Society. She is also the recipient of the 2020 Mary Louise Armstrong Wolf Award, which is presented to a graduate in recognition of outstanding volunteer service to Arcadia University through Alumni Association committee work and/or work as a class officer.

“The Alumni Association not only preserves the important history that built the foundation of the institution that is now Arcadia University, but also infuses agility and innovation in its practices in order to maximize reach, influence change and, ultimately, stay relevant,” said Johnson. “I welcome the opportunity to share my experience in these areas to provide further support to Arcadia’s progress in moving the University forward.”

Johnson is associate vice president of Human Resources for the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.

Stacey Downey ’88
Elected to the representative-at-large position of the Alumni Association Steering Committee of the Leadership Council, Downey has eight years of experience volunteering for the Alumni Association. An English major, Downey served on the Leadership Council from 1998 to 2003 as the Class of ’88 Class Officer. A resident of Washington, D.C., she served as a D.C. Career Mentor starting in 2016. She is also the Class of ’88 Class Editor.

After graduation, Downey entered the United States Peace Corps, living in Poland for two years before studying and working in the Middle East and the Republic of Georgia. She currently works in adult education as a program analyst for the DC Government and serves on the board of directors as secretary of her faith congregation. 

“As a first-generation college graduate who now works in education and has taught English and writing in colleges in the U.S. and abroad, I credit Beaver/Arcadia with being a major pivot point in my life,” said Downey. “I look forward to the opportunity to give back and to contribute to Arcadia’s growth and development.”