Young Alumni Programs: Out of This World!You wouldn’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that students gathered around the four young alumni were absolutely enthralled. But as it happened, those four young alumni are rocket scientists part of the team from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) that built the Mars Rovers. They had returned to campus this spring to share their experiences in a multimedia presentation.
The gathering on March 29 of Troy-area young alumni, Red & White Student Organization members, and students from the Space Society club was part of the Rensselaer Alumni Association’s Back-to-Campus Speaker Series. (See "All in a Sol's Work.") Attendees talked with the alumni, who are members of the classes of ’94 and ’96, about their experiences at Rensselaer and at JPL, as well as the challenges and projects that await them in the future.
Like many of the students who turned out to see the Rover alumni, senior Wally Morris used the opportunity to network and find out more about processes and shortcuts to getting hired. “Being a part of the space program is my dream,” Morris says. “The alumni were unbelievably helpful, giving advice and taking resumes.”
Students weren’t the only ones to benefit from the interaction. The young alumni in attendance also were able to network with the NASA alumni and with each other. “What a fantastic event! I loved getting to see my former classmates again; they are doing absolutely wonderful things with their lives and their Rensselaer education,” says Michele Cannistraci ’96, a teacher who lives in the Capital Region.
“I am inspired by their stories of the Mars Rovers and am excited about their success. I learned so much from them and can’t wait to pass on their stories to my high school physics students.”
The RAA and the Office of Alumni Relations together provide a full range of programs designed specifically for young alumni. Events include pub nights and hockey games, networking and mentoring events, regional activities, and volunteer opportunities. Or, you just might have dinner with a bunch of rocket scientists!
To take part in an upcoming young alumni event, contact Jacqueline Baker at email@example.com or (518) 276-4132 to find out more.
Alumni Travel Program: Just the Ticket!
The Alumni Travel Program, which is led by W. Robert McIntosh ’60, Michael Wellner ’64, and Carl Westerdahl, has proven to be very popular. The “Passage of Peter the Great” trip to Russia, scheduled for a July 18 departure, has sold out. A second departure on Aug. 31 is now being planned.
A highlight of the remaining trips will be “Alumni College in Ireland,” Aug. 11-19. Irish culture expert John P. Harrington, professor and dean of Rensselaer’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, will be our special guest. Harrington is a “native son” who has written and lectured extensively on Irish literature and culture.
“Dean Harrington’s decision to join our Irish adventure adds a whole new dimension to what was already an exciting program,” says Carl Westerdahl, a director of the Alumni Travel Program. “His knowledge and understanding of Irish culture and theater is certain to enhance the experience for all members of the Rensselaer community who participate.”
The remaining 2004 RAA trips are: Tour America’s Great National Parks, June 18 July 2; Passage of Peter the Great: Russia, Aug. 31 Sept. 10 (first trip for July is sold out); Alumni College Abroad in Italy, July 28 Aug. 5; Alumni College Abroad in Ireland with Special Guest Dean John Harrington, Aug. 11 19; River Cruise from Holland to Hungary, Sept. 5 20; Trans-Canada Rail Odyssey, Sept. 28 Oct. 10.
Programs for 2005 are now being planned, and your ideas and suggestions for future trips are welcomed. Contact the alumni office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 276-6205, or visit the RAA Alumni Travel Web site at www.alumni.rpi.edu/tours.html.
Homecoming Weekend Oct. 1-2, 2004
@RPInet Alumni Web Community
New Volunteer Relations Program Director Laura Bedford
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|Rensselaer Magazine: Summer 2004|
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