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News . Feature Stories . Meet CIA's alumni relations director

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May 20, 2019

Meet CIA's alumni relations director

Alex Burrage loves to take in arts and cultural events around Greater Cleveland. "There are so many great things happening right now."

Alex Burrage

Maybe it was inevitable that Alex Burrage would land in a career in arts and culture.

Born in Northeast Ohio and educated at Regina High School in South Euclid, Burrage and her triplet sisters, Gabrielle and Isabella, had the arts in their blood. Their grandmother was a concert pianist, their grandfather an architect. Her mom took the girls to museums and signed them up for young artist classes at CIA.

“I really carry that with me even to the present day,” says Burrage. “I'm always checking out the museum in different cities I go to.”

As a CIA admissions counselor for four years, Burrage represented the mid-Atlantic region.
Now Burrage is in a new role: director of alumni relations and scholarships. She’s part of the team in CIA’s Office of Institutional Advancement, where she will work to build the connection with the more than 7,000 artists and designers who were educated here.

"We are very happy that Alex is joining our team," said Malou Monago, vice president of Institutional Advancement. "Her experience working with prospective students and their families is very valuable to determine what our alumni want. She understands what students are looking for when they choose CIA; now she can help them with what they want as alums."

Burrage earned her undergraduate degree in English at Lake Forest College near Chicago.

“I came out of school like not quite sure knowing what I wanted to do, but I was really interested in the nonprofit world,” she says.

After college, she moved back to Cleveland, started volunteering at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, and eventually was hired to work at the front desk. That blossomed into work on other projects, including archive records management.

“That led me to D.C., where I got my master's in arts management at George Mason University,” she says.

While she was in Washington, Burrage was tipped off by sister Gabrielle—director of Continuing Education + Community Outreach—that CIA needed an admissions counselor covering much of the eastern seaboard. She traveled for college fairs, met art teachers, and visited with students and reviewed their portfolios. She loved the feeling of helping them find their way to the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Over time, she says, she developed an affection that she’s carrying into her new role.

“I'm really passionate about CIA,” she says. “I think alumni should know that they have someone in this role who is really interested in connecting with them, connecting with their ideas, and with the art and design that they're currently doing.”

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What a great day! We've had a blast helping new CIA students get settled into their residence hall rooms. https://t.co/QRybQXQRPl

3 days ago via Twitter

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