Engagement Profile: Nikki Kanakkanatt

photo of Advancement employee

Nikki Kanakkanatt, Young Alumni Engagement Manager

Nikki Kanakkanatt graduated from Ohio State in 2014 with a bachelor’s in public affairs. Even before earning her degree, she knew she would be a lifelong Buckeye. Nikki plotted a course that would have her working in University Advancement within five years of graduating.

She did it in one.

In 2015, The Ohio State University Alumni Association offered her the role of young alumni engagement manager. “Working with alumni at my alma mater was always my goal, and it’s so rewarding to have this opportunity. Every day I get to meet new people and help them connect with Ohio State. When you network with Buckeyes, there is no end to the amazing collaborations that can happen.”

Through events, programs and one-on-one interactions, Nikki helps recent graduates explore opportunities to engage with the university and fellow alumni. She wants them to know their relationship with Ohio State isn’t over after graduation. It’s just beginning.

“Young alumni want to stay connected with their alma mater, and they’re often surprised to learn how much we want that, too. My job is to help them see the possibility of lifelong engagement — an active partnership — with the university they love. What that looks like depends on each person’s interests. We build it together.”

Nikki believes this collaborative spirit permeates every aspect of the university. She sees Ohio State actively encouraging all Buckeyes to partner in creative new ways and contemplate every perspective.

“We have an abundance of intellect and kindness. It’s who we are as Buckeyes. We value diversity in people and in ideas. I’ve seen this as a student and as a staff member, so I can say it’s woven into everything we do. There are no bad ideas. We consider each one. You may not be able to act on all of them, but you always learn something in the process. That motivates people to give their best, and it’s what keeps me here at Ohio State.”