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2,000 by 2000
A Message from the Executive Director of the Association of Emory Alumni
A little more than two years ago, I wrote in this space about our fledgling Alumni Career Network (ACN) and its importance to our alumni association. I'm pleased to bring you an update.
The ACN is designed to aid and assist current Emory students, recent graduates, and our not-so-recent graduates in what could be called their career health. It provides an opportunity for our accomplished alumni to offer career advice, mentoring relationships, or jobs to those in need within our Emory family. It connects the "haves" of the working world with the "have-nots." It is, as one person on our staff described it, "Emory people helping Emory people."
The most important feature of the ACN is its database of alumni who volunteer to help in a variety of capacities. Most offer to give informational interviews, but many also find themselves gladly doing résumé critiques or helping someone build their network of contacts. Some provide internships, and, in the near future, we hope to offer a structured, year-long mentoring program for students and alumni. This database of volunteers now numbers more than six hundred, a 25 percent increase in the last six months. Our goal for growth is ambitious-two thousand alumni by the year 2000.
Susan Rawls, who was appointed director of the ACN in December 1997, is confident we can reach that goal.
"My responsibility is to find the professionals among our alumni across the country who are willing to share their stories as well as provide internships and jobs for students and alumni," Rawls says. "Emory alumni understand that career readiness is a big issue. Colleges and universities need to provide this kind of service in addition to traditional placement. It's a way for students and alumni to find out what a certain job is like, what it pays, what kind of opportunities they may find."
In addition to the one-on-one connections, the ACN hosts career networking receptions in Atlanta, New York, and Washington, D.C., our three top destinations for recent graduates. These evening events bring our ACN regional volunteers together with hundreds of students and recent grads for informal, roundtable discussions. They've been quite a hit and will grow in number. Cities targeted for future regional ACN committees include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, and Boston.
You might wonder which career fields yield the most number of requests to Susan and her assistant, Alex Zinnes. They are marketing, finance, consulting, general business, law, health care, public health, and mental health services. But truly in the spirit of the liberal arts, recent requests also include creative writing, publishing, conservation, and aviation, proving the point that we need and welcome volunteers across the career spectrum.
It is estimated that members of the Class of '98 will change jobs at least seven times in their careers. When they need help, Emory should be there. "We need to help alumni who have been out of school twenty years as much as the ones who have been out two," Rawls says. "These recent graduates are going to grow up. Contacts made now serve as a seamless lifetime connection to Emory."
I hope you will consider becoming part of our Alumni Career Network. Please call Susan Rawls at 404-727-7362, e-mail Alex Zinnes at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or refer to the form on page 28.
Association of Emory Alumni
A Rejuvenating Week
Fifth Alumni University offers participants a pastiche of popular programs
In June, the Association of Emory Alumni presented the fifth annual Alumni University, a week-long roster of courses, lectures, and social and cultural events for alumni and their friends and family. Participants chose from two sessions of the program, either enrolling in three days of courses or a weekend pastiche of faculty lectures-or both, staying the full week.
The most popular course this year was Learned Optimism: Theory and Practice, taught by Oxford College Assistant Professor of Psychology Kenneth E. Carter '87Ox-'89C. Participants examined research on the emotional and physical benefits of optimism and learned ways of cultivating an optimistic attitude.
"Ken Carter kept us laughing the whole time, and I learned a lot that I'm trying to apply right now," said Maria T. Bohnert '85C, who made her first visit back to Emory in thirteen years for Alumni University. "You can really affect your mood by your thoughts."
The week's most popular single lecture was delivered by Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing Jagdish N. Sheth, who spoke to a standing-room-only crowd on "Changing Demographics: National Identity and Family Values." Also in high demand was Emory College Associate Dean Peter Dowell's Saturday evening lecture titled "Country Game, City Game: Some Reflections on the Mythology of Baseball"-followed by a trip to Turner Field to see the Atlanta Braves play the Toronto Blue Jays.
"That evening was a real highlight," says Alumni University Director Gerald Lowrey '81PhD. "To see the Braves win 20 in the shortest game in the majors so far this year was a real treat. The whole week was a big success, in fact. [Participants] came out of every class and lecture raving about the faculty. They did a tremendous job."
Evening activities also included a barbeque at Lullwater, home of President William M. Chace and JoAn J. Chace, and the perennial jazz coffeehouse with the students of Associate Professor of Music Dwight Andrews.
"The week was just rejuvenating for me," says Bohnert, an accountant from The Woodlands, Texas. "I got to reminisce about being at Emory, but at the same time, the courses and lectures were about moving forward intellectually and emotionally. It was the best of both worlds." -A.O.A.
In the U.S. today, there are twenty times more astrologers than astronomers. More Americans believe in extrasensory perception than in Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. A large percentage of the American public are convinced they've had paranormal or extrasensory experiences, and almost half believe in ufos. People seem to believe many of these phenomena quite strongly, although there isn't any strong evidence for any of them. Are these beliefs harmful to anyone? Most experts in medical fraud agree that billions of dollars are lost in the U.S. economy each year because of quack medical therapies, and the number of lives lost because of those therapies is probably in the thousands per year in the United States.
-Assistant Professor of Psychology Scott O.
Lillienfeld, from his lecture, "Science and
Pseudoscience in the Everyday World"
"The fastest-growing segment of the population is centenarians, people who live to be a hundred years or older. The second fastest-growing segment is people who are eighty-five years old or older. Think about the change and its impact on society. It will affect foods we consume, the beverages we drink. Companies like Coca-Cola are finding that after age fifty, carbonation is not appropriate for the body. The consumption of [bottled] water and non-carbonated beverages, such as iced tea or fruit-flavored drinks, is rising faster and faster."
-Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing Jagdish
N. Sheth, from his lecture, "Changing Demographics: National Identity and Family Values"
"Closing the Circle"
University President William M. Chace (at center in helmet) used a bicycle to "cut the ribbon" at the dedication of a renovated, pedestrian-friendly Asbury Circle on August 27. The brick-paved plaza in front of Cox Hall is now closed to all but shuttles and the occasional service vehicle. Chace also announced additional "Open Space" projects for the summers of 1999 and 2000 that will further enhance pedal and bipedal locomotion.
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