Two departments team to offer virtual professional development opportunities to alumni, community

Alumni Relations and the Center for Adult and Continuing Studies have partnered to offer Grand Valley alumni and community members a professional development webinar series.

The next presenter in the "Lakers Learn More" series is Diana Lawson, dean of the Seidman College of Business. Lawson will discuss "Leading Change" on Wednesday, August 12, from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. RSVP online on the Alumni Relations events page.

headshot, Diana Lawson seated at desk
Diana Lawson is the next presenter in the webinar series; 'Leading Change' is August 12 beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Image Credit: Amanda Pitts

Kyle Barnhart, Alumni Relations assistant, said the series offers alumni opportunities to hear from experts on topics relevant to personal and professional life.

"The webinar series has allowed us to reach alumni across the country, including those whose schedules make it more difficult to attend in-person events, and provide a professional development opportunity, which is something alumni have wanted," Barnhart said.

Previous webinars are archived on the Alumni Association's YouTube channel. 

Melissa Peraino, director of educational outreach, Center for Adult and Continuing Studies, said the partnership with Alumni Relations was natural as the two departments serve similar people.

"We both work with adults who are lifelong learners, some in formal opportunities, and others more informally," Peraino said. "We wanted to create an opportunity in which alumni and lifelong learners from the community could re-engage (for alumni) or be connected to the expertise of the university and could do so virtually, broadening the reach of those we serve."

The webinar series is one aspect of the online outreach by Alumni Relations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other efforts are highlighted below. 

-- “Virtual Community” includes videos, webinars, podcasts and other at-home activities. Most are led by alumni, including a yoga session recorded by Danny Poole, ’71, from Denver; a song performed by Kari Lynch, ’10, of the Kari Lynch Band from Nashville; and professional tips on making the most of virtual meetings by Jennifer Maxson, ’94, of Jennifer Maxson & Associates Inc. from Grand Rapids. 

two people holding puppets
Wimee's Words with Kevin Kammeraad, '98, and Michael Hyacinthe, '13, is one video example produced by alumni.
Image Credit: Kendra Stanley-Mills

-- “10 Minutes or 10 Questions” is a series of conversations with faculty and staff members led by Chris Barbee, Alumni Relations director.

-- Professional Networking was created to support Lakers for a Lifetime as they launch, advance or pivot their careers. This page includes links to the Laker Lifetime Learning (L3) account and Career Center.