November 20, 2012 | 9:34 a.m.
By Tricia Theurer, Communications and Marketing Specialist for University Relations
In October, about 175 alumni and students gathered at Bethel for an annual “Alumni Night” event hosted by the chemistry department. The event started five years ago with just a handful of alumni in a panel discussion and has grown into “one of our department’s featured and most anticipated events of the year,” says Wade Neiwert, associate professor and chair of the chemistry department.
The goal of Alumni Night, he says, is to help current students connect with alumni, provide an opportunity to network, and demonstrate the wide breadth of options available to chemistry and biochemistry majors.
The event included more than 150 current students, ranging from freshmen to seniors. They mingled with 27 recent alumni whom Neiwert calls “exceptionally successful . . . whether it be in medical school, graduate programs, teaching, or going directly into industrial research positions.” Each alumnus had their own table and was joined by students interested in hearing more about their background and current pursuits. Students learned more about such topics as what it’s like to attend medical and graduate school, the decision-making process involved in applying to schools, how to succeed in the job application process, what teaching in private and public schools is like, and other options in the health field and in chemistry.
Neiwart adds that the alumni, who “have generously and consistently given back with their time and who are truly dedicated and committed to seeing that same level of success continued in current students, look forward to being invited back to participate in Alumni Night. Not only do they get to share about their own experiences, but it provides a great chance to reconnect with their friends.”
In addition, the department collaborated with the Office of Communications and Marketing to develop a recruitment video of the event “to capitalize on the presence of our alumni on campus in order to capture their stories and experiences,” says Neiwert.