Rising Stars - 2011

Rising Star Awards are designated for professionals with three to five years’ experience in educational advancement who demonstrate achievements, accomplishments, early success and commitment in the advancement field. A $2,000 Presidents’ Scholarship is presented to each Rising Star and is used to support further professional development in the year following their receiving the award.


The three 2011 Rising Stars are:

Andrea Eccleston, Alumni Relations Officer, Student & Young Alumni Engagement, University of Saskatchewan

Brett Hooton, Communications Officer, McGill University, Development and Alumni Relations

Carly Wethersett, Marketing Strategist, British Columbia Institute of Technology



Andrea EcclestonAndrea Eccleston


Andrea Eccleston joined the Advancement Team at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) in 2007 and holds the position of Alumni Relations Officer, Student and Young Alumni Engagement. Her responsibilities include encouraging the development of the student body into successful alumni through increasing awareness of the transition from student to alumni upon graduation, connecting students to alumni, and working to provide programs and services to recent graduates to keep them engaged with the U of S after graduation.


Andrea has implemented a number of new initiatives into her portfolio including the Recent Grad Communication Strategy, a new award for recent grads in partnership with the students union and U of S Alumni Advisory Council, focused on alumni within 10 years of graduation.


Andrea graduated from the U of S with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Land Use and Environmental Studies in 2005 followed by her completion of the Special Events Coordinator certificate course in 2006. In addition to her work with Alumni Relations and volunteering with various local, provincial and national football initiatives, Andrea is currently completing her Master of Arts in Leadership at Royal Roads University.


Andrea's commitment to volunteering began as a student with the U of S Huskie Football Team and she is entering her 12th season as their equipment manager. She volunteered in a number of capacities for the Vanier Cup in 2006 and was a member of the organizing committee for the Football Canada Cup held in Saskatoon in July 2009. Andrea continues to volunteer with Football Saskatchewan and with Team Saskatchewan.


This summer Andrea will travel to Austria as equipment manager for the 2011 Senior Men's Team Canada football team for an international tournament. All of these volunteer opportunities have allowed Andrea the opportunity to meet with and build relationships with U of S alumni across Canada and internationally.




Brett HootonBrett Hooton


Brett Hooton is an e-communications officer for Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) at McGill University. He currently spends his days writing for DAR’s websites – including the award-winning Alumni Online Community (aoc.mcgill.ca) – creating email campaigns, and helping to manage various social media platforms.


Since starting at DAR in March 2007, Brett has produced a wide range of advancement materials, such as ads, speeches, newsletters, videos, news and feature articles, branding packages, and several proposals that resulted in gifts of $1-million or more. His work has earned numerous awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, District 1, and the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education, including the CCAE Prix d’Excellence gold medals in 2010 in the best newsletter and best donor or volunteer recognition program categories.


Brett has also written for print and online publications such as the McGill News, Suite101.com, the Montreal Gazette, and the weekly paper Hour, where he was once the regular theatre critic. He was the lead researcher on two books by McGill History Professor Gil Troy and copy editor on McGill English and Jewish Studies Professor Yael Halevi-Wise’s upcoming book on Sephardic literature (Stanford University Press).


Brett has volunteered for the McGill Alumni Association’s student and parents programs, and he recently lectured on Jonathan Lethem’s Fortress of Solitude for the McGill Reads Book Club. He also sits on the Board of Trustees for the historic St. James United Church in downtown Montreal.


Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Brett moved to Montreal in 1999 to study at McGill, earning a B.A. with Honours in English literature and history, and an M.A. in English literature. He has been married for nearly eight years to his wife Kate, and they have a feisty one-year-old daughter named Beatrix.




Carly WethersettCarly Wethersett


Carly was introduced to CCAE in 2004, when she was awarded a TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellowship following completion of a Diploma of Technology in Marketing Management at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.


Working with the BCIT Foundation, Alumni Relations, and Marketing Communications departments, Carly deepened her passion for marketing and event management, working on Open House 2004 and the BCIT Distinguished Alumni Awards.


Carly received the BCIT President's Award upon graduation, in part due to her role in securing over $160,000 in sponsorship as Student Leader of Corporate Sponsorship for BCIT's Open House. The keynote speaker at Carly's convocation was Rick Hansen, and when he learned of her fundraising success, he offered her a job working with his Foundation, recruiting sponsors for his annual fishing challenge.


Next, Carly worked in the BCIT/UBC Biotechnology joint degree program, as marketing and administrative coordinator. She developed excellent relationships within the life sciences industry, and also completed her Bachelor of Business Administration degree part-time.


Carly transitioned to the Marketing Communications department in the spring 2008 as a marketing strategist. She works with BCIT schools and departments, including the School of Business, BCIT Foundation, and Alumni Relations, on their strategic marketing planning and execution.


Carly continues to stay involved with CCAE, serving as the National Conference co-chair in Victoria in June 2010, and participating on the CCAE Pacific Advisory Committee.