Alumni College

Alumni college classroom with alumni and instructor

Alumni Weekend wouldn't be complete without some time in the classroom, right? Don’t worry – this time around, you won’t be quizzed at the end! Alumni College offers a variety of classroom sessions that explore many subjects. You are guaranteed to learn something new!

Alumni College sessions are free and open to all Alumni Weekend attendees, with no advance registration required.



Be sure to check the final Alumni College Schedule to confirm locations and times.


Alumni College in the classroom

All classroom sessions take place on Saturday, June 10 in Benton Hall.

Session I • Saturday • 8-8:50 a.m.

Growing STEM: Examining Stereotypes to Improve Opportunities for Students

Dr. Amanda Diekman
Professor of psychology

100 Benton
Although there is broad agreement that students today should be more immersed in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), how to engage students remains a challenge. Our research offers a new tool by examining stereotypes about STEM. When people view STEM as allowing them to work with or help other people, they are more positive toward STEM – but it is exactly these elements that people think are missing from STEM work. These communal processes are especially important because they can increase motivation for all students while also opening doors for underrepresented groups. In research that has moved from the lab to the field to the classroom (and back), our lab is exploring these issues and working to improve opportunities for students.

Ferment-about It: Biotech Advances and Ancient Techniques

Dr. Jason Berberich
Assistant professor of chemical, paper and biomedical engineering

114 Benton
Fermentation is the process by which single-celled organisms transform a substance (i.e. grape juice into wine and milk into yogurt). For millennia, fermentation processes have been used to create foods such as pickles, sauerkraut, tofu, sourdough bread and beer. Fermentation also finds applications outside of the food and flavors industry to produce high-value chemicals such as vitamins, hormones, steroids and antibiotics. Industrial, diagnostic and therapeutic proteins are also produced by fermentation. There is a growing interest in producing bulk and commodity chemicals via fermentation. This course will introduce the basics of fermentation processes and discuss how advances in biotechnology will continue to change the way we make chemicals in the future.

Session II • Saturday • 9-9:50 a.m.

All the News That’s Fit (or Biased, or Just Plain Fake) to Surf

Andrew Revelle
Information services librarian
Nate Floyd
Academic resident librarian
207 Benton
While the Internet has ushered in an age of unprecedented access to information, it also has made misinformation more readily available than ever before. Using the same information literacy strategies that are preparing Miami students as critical thinkers and informed citizens, this session, led by two Miami librarians, explores the subtleties of different types of online content, exposes modern marketing tactics that actively work to feed our biases, and offers empowering tips for sifting through the wreckage of the modern information explosion.

Six Sigma: Analyzing Data and Certifying Green Belts

John Richter
Instructor of MME and director of engineering management

115 Benton
The Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering has recently released a Six Sigma Green Belt certification program for engineering students. Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating the causes of errors in any product or service and is considered one of the foremost practices for improving customer satisfaction and improving business processes. The certification offered at Miami is comprised of taking existing classes MME 334 (Quality Planning and Control) and MME 434 (Manufacturing Design), as well as an independent study to complete the program. In this class, we will introduce the basic concepts of Six Sigma and dive into the analyze phase of the improvement process. We will discuss how to analyze data sets to determine and show statistically significant differences.

Medicine and the Humanities: A Brief Introduction

Dr. Kimberly Hamlin
Associate professor of American studies and history and director of the American Studies program
Dr. Tim Melley
Professor of English and director of the Humanities Center

204 Benton
What does an appreciation of literature have to do with medical care? And why should physicians be concerned with the history of medicine? A growing body of research demonstrates that medical practitioners and patients alike benefit from thinking about medicine and health in terms of history, culture, philosophy and literature, not just the biological sciences. In this session, professor Tim Melley, director of the MU Humanities Center, will recap this year's Altman Program on Medicine and the Humanities, and professor Kimberly Hamlin, one of this year's Altman fellows, will discuss the history of disease in the U.S.

Session III • Saturday • 10-10:50 a.m.

The Tea Party in the Age of Trump

Dr. Rachel Blum
Assistant professor of political science

114 Benton
One of the defining trends of the last decade in American politics has been an outsider insurgency in the Republican Party. This movement originally was known as the Tea Party, but more recently resulted in the candidacy and presidency of Donald Trump. This course details the history of the Tea Party movement, explains how it achieved electoral success, and draws lessons for future eras in American politics.

Why the Library is Still “King”

Samantha Brandenburg
University Libraries facilities and planning coordinator
Kevin Messner ’94
Head of Miami Branch Libraries
Erin Vonnahme
Humanities librarian

115 Benton
Before Miami University had a campus, it had the start of a library. Today, even in the age of almighty Google, libraries and librarians remain a vital part of Miami's student and academic life. Learn how card catalogs have given way to online databases, roving “pop cops” have succumbed to coffee shops, and librarians have evolved from managers of information to teachers of information literacy. As King Library celebrates 50 years, we will look at the evolving student needs that today’s libraries must meet through the lenses of facilities, technology and librarianship.

Socially Engaged Engineering and Computing: Creating the Next Generation of Problem Solvers

Clark Kelly
Senior director of external relations and communications, College of Engineering and Computing

100 Benton
Addressing the complex challenges facing the world will require engineers and computer scientists to design solutions that improve the quality of life of individuals and the general well-being of societies. It is imperative for colleges and universities to educate engineers and computer scientists prepared to address both the technical and social dimensions of engineering work; in short, socially engaged engineers and computer scientists. The talk will highlight what the College of Engineering and Computing is doing to make that happen with the huge side benefit of bringing more of the American workforce into high paying careers … think women! The participants will be encouraged to interact in the discussion on how to get more young men and women to come into these technical fields.

Session IV • Saturday • 11-11:50 a.m.

Love and University Honors: Student and Staff Panel

Dr. Zeb Baker
Senior associate director of UHP
Dr. David Pennock
Director of UHP and professor of biology
Elise Yuhas
Assistant director of UHP
University Honors Program students:
    Alex Bronston ’20, Music
    Mitch Hausfeld ’18, Finance
    Dominique Kokoszka ’19, Kinesiology
    Haleigh Richards ’17, Geology
    Alison Tuiyott ’18, Statistics

100 Benton
Calling all Honors alumni – reconnect with your fellow Honors Program friends. Hear from a panel of current Honors students about how the UHP is shaping their Miami experiences. Meet current Honors staff members. Learn about recent changes to the Honors Program and how you can stay connected and engaged.

eSports and Higher Ed: The New College Sports Scene

Dr. Glenn Platt
C. Michael Armstrong professor of interactive media studies
Matt McFarland ’19
Student eSports director
Dr. Phill Alexander
Heanon Wilkins Faculty Fellow in AIMS and visiting assistant professor of composition and professional writing

115 Benton
The world of eSports – short for electronic sports in the form of organized video game competitions with multiple players – has seen a recent rise in popularity with competitive video gaming gaining mainstream recognition. Nearly 30 U.S. universities have eSports varsity programs, including Miami, which launched its teams in 2016. Along with the varsity eSports program that plays games like “Hearthstone,” “League of Legends” and “Overwatch,” Miami offers a first-of-its-kind course in the comprehensive study of eSports. This session will examine the $250-plus million eSports industry and where Miami’s program leaders think the field will go. After discussing the scene as a whole, we will then talk about what we are doing here on campus to further it along, how the varsity program has come to be and where we are looking to see it progress.

Social Justice Panel: A Conversation Hosted by the College of Education, Health, and Society

Moderated by Dr. Michael Dantley
Dean of the College of Education, Health, and Society

102 Benton
Notions of social justice impact our lives on a daily basis. How we work to ensure that children, families and communities all enjoy the vestiges of the American dream becomes the focus of social justice activism. This panel, moderated by the dean of the College of Education, Health, and Society, will offer attendees a chance to hear how Miami faculty, staff and alumni are all working to address social justice issues.

Panelists include:

  • Ozie Davis ’89, community advocate with Ozie Davis and Associates
  • Dr. Denise Taliaferro Baszile, associate dean for Student Services and Diversity and associate professor, College of Education, Health, and Society
  • Dr. Tammy Schwartz, instructor and director of the Urban Teaching Cohort


Alumni College on location

If interactive learning is more your style, Alumni College: On Location is for you! Go behind the scenes with Miami faculty and staff throughout the weekend. Please note: some sessions require advance registration.

Walter Havighurst Special Collections and Archives

Thursday • 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Friday • 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday • 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

King Library third floor
Visit Miami University’s best-kept secret in its new home. Within the Walter Havighurst Special Collections, you can view everything from a rare Shakespeare First Folio to Cradle of Coaches memorabilia. Our archival collections include the Miami University Archives, Western College Memorial Archives and Oxford College Archives. Drop in to view your senior yearbook, peruse student newspapers from your era or stumble upon any number of other treasures.

King Library Then and Now Tours

Thursday • 11-5 p.m.
Friday • 11-5 p.m.
Saturday • 11-5 p.m.

King Library lobby
Drop in at the beginning of each hour for a guided tour of today’s King Library, or stop in on your own to see the changes and view photos of the spaces as they used to be. Considered the main library of Miami’s four campus library locations, King is celebrating its 50th year. See how technology and evolving student needs have reshaped King Library’s spaces and learn about the vital role the Miami Libraries still play in the student experience.

King Library Children’s Resources

Friday • 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m
Saturday • 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

King Library Instructional Material Center, ground floor
King Library’s Instructional Materials Center (IMC) is where Miami’s student-teachers borrow resources for their classrooms. Enjoy a cool, quiet moment amid an impressive selection of children’s and youth books, puppets, games and more. Adults can catch up on the latest newspapers, located within the same space.

Karl E. Limper Geology Museum

Saturday • 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
126 Shideler Hall
Although the Limper Geology Museum is still in the process of being completed, there are numerous displays of minerals, rocks, meteorites and fossils to see. The museum also includes a 4-foot diameter digital OmniGlobe that displays a wide range of geologic, marine, atmospheric, climate and cultural images and animations, as well as planets and moons of our solar system.

Robert A. Hefner Museum of Natural History: NEW Big Cat Exhibit

Saturday • 1-5 p.m.
100 Upham Hall
The Robert A. Hefner Museum of Natural History is pleased to include a new specimen in our exhibition collection: Olga, the snow leopard. There will be brief remarks at 2 p.m. from Cincinnati Zoo staff who cared for Olga; Dr. William and Mrs. Ellen Camm ’73, who funded her preservation; and taxidermist David Might ’84, who ensured Olga's beauty would remain for centuries.

King Library 50th Anniversary Open House

Saturday • 1-5 p.m.
King Library lobby
Whether you remember King Library as King Undergraduate Library, “the Lib” or “Club King,” this 24/7 mainstay of campus life celebrated its 50th year last November. Join us for a birthday treat, then-and-now tours, hands-on MakerSpace activities, gaming in our new eSports Arena and two Alumni College sessions. It’s fun for all ages, we’re air conditioned, and we’re just steps from the MiamiFest grounds.

eSports Arena Tours and Gaming

Saturday • 1-5 p.m.
King Library first floor
Did you know that major eSports tournaments have more viewers globally than Major League Baseball, the NBA or the NHL? Come see what all the fuss is about. Miami University launched its varsity eSports program in fall 2016 and is already competing for national titles. Drop in to meet some of the team members, view one of the first dedicated collegiate eSports arenas in the country and try your own hand at gaming on the state-of-the-art eSports gaming computers.

King Library MakerSpace

Saturday • 1-5 p.m.
King Library, Advanced Inquiry Space (Room 134)
Want to get out of the sun for a couple hours and get a little creative? King Library’s Advanced Inquiry Space is being transformed into a MakerSpace with everything from Legos to book art and button making. Get hands on with a variety of materials and learn how to bind your own book during our 3 p.m. “The Art of the Book” Alumni College session. All ages and experience levels welcome!

“We should be the first to boycott”: Miami University and the Politics of Athletics Non-Discrimination

Zeb Baker
Senior associate director for the University Honors Program
Saturday • 2 p.m.
King Library 320
In March 1947, Miami University’s student body voted into place a non-discrimination policy in athletics, which prevented scheduling opponents that practiced segregation. The policy was the first of its kind in the Midwest, where black athletes had been routinely benched in games against southern opponents. This lecture explores how this policy set a standard by which other Ohio universities defended the rights of their black athletes to compete while laying bare the stresses and strains which defined race relations at Miami for decades to come.

Viticulture and Enology Class with Jack Keegan

Saturday • 2-3:30 p.m.
Armstrong Student Center, Joslin Senate Chamber
Advance registration required. Registration is full.
There is more to wine than just a delicious drink. Come to this class, a shortened version of Jack Keegan’s normal “wine tasting” class, to learn more about wine, how it is produced and what makes wine taste a certain way. A wine tasting (standard 2-ounce tasting pours) with Jack describing each wine will follow this class.

Miami Athletics Open House Events

Saturday • 2-5 p.m.
Meet at the Bishop Circle shuttle stop or park at Yager Stadium

Golf Experience with Coach Zac Zedrick
Golf Offices, Yager Stadium
Join Head Men’s Golf Coach Zac Zedrick and tour the team’s new indoor practice room inside Yager Stadium. Test your short game skills on the putting green and let Coach Zedrick analyze your golf swing and ball flight on Trackman, a launch monitor utilized by the best players and teaching professionals in the world. The 1,200-square-foot facility includes synthetic surface for putting and chipping, along with a practice tee and netting that will allow student-athletes to work on all phases of their games.

Athletic Performance Center Tours
Tours begin on the hour at APC lobby
Visit the new home for Miami Football, the Athletic Performance Center! The APC brings together year-round training and preparation resources, with a dedicated weight room focused on the needs of Miami Football, Softball, Field Hockey and Tennis. The world-class medical/athletic training facilities, provided through an affiliation with Mercy Health, support all Miami student-athletes in injury prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. The new locker room, players’ lounge, auditorium and coaches’ offices provide an inviting home for current football student-athletes while making a statement to recruits.

David and Anita Dauch Indoor Sports Center (DISC)
Open for self-guided tours and athletic activities
Blow off some steam in the David and Anita Dauch Indoor Sports Center (DISC). The DISC opened in 2015 and provides a weatherproof environment supporting the year-round training needs of multiple Miami programs. The facility has a versatile, 120-yard simulated grass playing surface also used for other training and sport-specific activities, as well as club and intramural sports, community and university competitions, camps, and events. The DISC is the only facility of its type in southwestern Ohio.

The Art of the Book

Ashley Jones
Preservation librarian
Saturday • 3 p.m.
King Library 134
This session will explore various types of books and bindings, including historic and artistic variants as well as binding techniques from diverse cultures. Approximately two-thirds of this class will be spent in a hands-on workshop.

Saddle Up! Tour the Equestrian Center

Saturday • 3-4 p.m.
Meet at Bishop Circle shuttle stop
Alumni will learn about the center’s history and the day-to-day activities of the horses, riders and staff. Alumni will also gain first-hand knowledge about the daily care of the horses. Miami's Equestrian Center shuttle bus leaves from the Bishop Circle stop at 3 p.m.