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Jane Strode Miller '81 presented a virtual talk on careers

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Knox Together Virtual Series Keeps Alumni Connected to Campus, Even in a Pandemic

Jane Strode Miller '81 presented a virtual talk on careers

Even during this time of pandemic and social distancing, Knox College alumni still manage to find ways to connect with the College, each other, and current students. One example is the new Knox Together Virtual Series.

“We wanted to bring a bit of Knox to alumni with our events this year,” explains Sarah Byrd, executive director of alumni engagement and annual giving. “We have been intentional and strategic with our planning for the content of these events, and we want them to be meaningful for alumni.”

The series debuted in October when Jane Strode Miller ‘81—a food industry executive, founder of the career advice website JaneKnows.com, and recipient of a 2017 Alumni Achievement Award—presented “You Don’t Have to Be Perfect. Just Be Your Best You,” a video workshop on career development. Ole Forsberg, Knox assistant professor of mathematics and chair of statistics, followed up in early November with a lunchtime video discussion on political polling. Another facet of the series, “Learn from the Prairie Fire,”  spotlights videos of Prairie Fire student-athletes offering tips on topics such as improving soccer footwork and developing a more powerful golf swing. 

Ongoing and upcoming programs in the series deal with career advancement, nature, and Seymour Library. Additional Knox Together Virtual Series events are in the works and will be scheduled throughout 2020 and 2021.

Byrd says that Knox created the series in the wake of the success of this year’s KnoxProud Day in June. Because of the pandemic, alumni gatherings for KnoxProud Day took place online, instead of in person. “People said they were excited to be able to connect with fellow alumni in a virtual space,” she says. 

She adds: “I think COVID-19 forced us to think outside the box. We looked for the silver lining.” Gathering in a virtual space “definitely expands opportunities” because people generally can participate more easily, no matter where in the world they might be. 

The Knox Together Virtual Series events are meant to appeal to a wide range of alumni and the interests they’ve expressed in terms of staying connected to Knox, Byrd says. For instance, alumni often have said they’re eager to learn more about Knox faculty members’ research and to receive advice that will help in their career paths.

Suggestions for future events are welcome, Byrd says. They can be emailed to engage@knox.edu.

Keep checking for upcoming events and catch up on past programs in the Knox Together Virtual Series.

Photo at the top of the page: Jane Strode Miller presents a workshop on careers.

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Printed on Monday, November 30, 2020