Ross Knows First-hand the Importance of Transformational Gifts

Posted: October 1, 2021
Courtney Ross photo

Courtney Ross has come full circle in her new role as development director for the ISE Department. A 2011 graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in psychology, she says she received multiple scholarships as a student that allowed her to graduate with minimal debt.

“I am a first-generation college graduate and can attest to the opportunities that I have been afforded because of my education,” she says. “Now, I can nurture relationships with donors who can make a transformational difference in the lives of other students or be the donor behind cutting-edge research or funding students to travel abroad for the first time. It is an extremely rewarding role.”

Prior to working for the ISE Department, Ross, who earned a master’s degree in public administration from Wright State University, served as director of development for the Civil Engineering Department.

“I got into this work because of the people,” she says. “I really enjoy getting to know people and I love the process of trying to find places of synergy to partner. I view my role as a philanthropic advisor – similar to how people have financial advisors. My job is to understand what people are most passionate about and then connect them to opportunities where they can use their resources to make a meaningful difference. I am committed to ensuring that people understand what philanthropic options align with their interests and what might work best for them.”

She says she does “a lot of listening and a lot of connecting” working as development director. “During my five years on the advancement team for the College of Engineering, I have learned that everyone is in a different place in their lives and everyone’s philanthropic journey is different. I also place a lot of value in being intentional and I try to lead with this in all aspects of my life – both personally and professionally.”

In July 2021, Ross was honored with the Inclusive Excellence Award during the College of Engineering’s Above and Beyond Awards. She was recognized for her contributions to the college’s climate and culture.

Ross also has held positions with the Alzheimer’s Association of Miami Valley in her hometown of Dayton. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, baking, and taming the many “plant babies” she raised during the pandemic. “I now have over 20 houseplants,” she says, “which all require a different level of patience. So, it’s been a fun escape and something new to learn.”

Ross looks forward to meeting ISE alumni and may be reached at or 937.608.4505.


Story by Nancy Richison

Category: Alumni