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Back to class …

… for alumni?

By Heidi Wicks

Gandhi famously said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.”

As the pandemic descended, the Office of Alumni Engagement began brainstorming new ways to connect with alumni, and help them continue learning, in a newly disjointed world.

Since April 2020, the office hosted numerous virtual sessions that explored topics and themes ranging from folklore to archaeology, from neurodiversity to cannabis, and from religious studies to vaccines.

During the sessions, faculty, staff and alumni experts share their expertise with viewers, and take questions for an interactive experience.

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The sessions have been drawing large audiences, with more than 8,000 views to date.

They are recorded, archived and shared on the alumni website, as well as social media platforms, which combined have almost 20,000 followers.

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Lynn Squires, associate director of the Office of Alumni Engagement, says she is encouraged by the numbers.

“It’s wonderful to see our alumni and friends engaged and continuing to expand their learning,” she said.

“We have found that audiences, presenters and participants have left the events feeling excited, invigorated and educated. The comments and feedback forms show that viewers are keen to expand their minds and views of the world. There are so many topics that Memorial can share knowledge on and we’re excited to continue to offer this program.”

“(The event) was well presented and helped me understand how I can recognize my own prejudices and thereby change my own behaviours accordingly.” – Participant in Implicit Bias 101

MUNalum 101

The series featured a number of topics and all presentations can be enjoyed in the recordings.

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Due to the success of the series and the interest in continuing with further topics, the office branded the program as MUNalum 101.

“The name represents a passion for learning, education, connection and engagement, pride, celebration and knowledge. The 101 is meant to flow with first-level courses, such as Biology 1000 or English 1000, and gives audiences an introduction to the subject, often leaving them with a thirst to learn more,” said Ms. Squires.

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Upcoming event: Berries and the Brain

The first official MUNalum 101 event is Berries and the Brain.

Memorial pharmacologist and neuroscientist Dr. John Weber will discuss his incredible research findings on the link between the two. The event takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 14. You can register for this free event anytime.

Recorded presentations

Past 101 sessions can be found on the Office of Alumni Engagement’s website.

If you have an idea for a future MUNalum 101 event, connect with the alumni office.


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