Alumni College

Alumni College: In the Classroom

A reunion 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 subjects so current you could find them in today’s headlines. It’s guaranteed you’ll learn something new!

Alumni College sessions are free and open to all Alumni Weekend attendees, with no advance registration required.  All Alumni College classes take place on Saturday, June 11th in Benton Hall.


Session I – 8-8:50 a.m.

Public Secrets: How Fiction Influenced the War on Terror
Tim Melley, Director of the Miami University Humanities Center and Affiliate Professor of American Studies
Benton 100
One of the most important legacies of the Cold War is the array of covert institutions that have now become fixtures of U.S. government. Since 2001, these institutions have grown dramatically. What are the consequences of such institutions on the operation of the democratic public sphere? How do citizens exercise oversight of a substantially covert foreign policy? And what does fiction (including films, television series, and even games) have to do with the way we understand and practice democracy today?

Problem Solving in the Era of Common Core

Dana Cox, Associate Professor of Mathematics
Benton 114
It can be hard to interpret media messages about the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM). In this session, mathematics assistant professor Dana Cox will give a brief history of the standards movement in mathematics education followed by an overview of the mathematics within the CCSSM. We will solve some problems from a variety of grade levels and touch briefly on the role technology can play in the mathematics classroom—bring a laptop, tablet, or smart phone!

Morning Meditation - Mindfulness and Contemplative Inquiry at Miami

Suzanne Klatt, Director, Mindfulness & Contemplative Inquiry Center
Benton 115
This session will focus on mindfulness and other practices designed to impact attention, awareness, and well-being, and will include the opportunity for attendees to participate in mindfulness practice. Come learn about Miami's new Mindfulness and Contemplative Inquiry Center, which includes Miami courses designed for students interested in various contemplative practices, and frames contemplative and awareness practices as one component of an individual’s holistic health and educational experience. Dr. Suzanne Klatt, center director, is a certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction teacher who develops programs such as Mindful Leadership, School Based Mindfulness, and many more. The Mindfulness and Contemplative Inquiry Center is based in the College of Education, Health and Society.


Session II – 9-9:50 a.m.

The Art of the Book
Ashley Jones, Preservation Librarian
Benton 204
What makes something a book? How are books constructed? 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 where participants can learn to do a simple binding themselves.

Cooking Up an Estate Plan: Ingredients for Success

Jayne Whitehead, Senior Director of Development for Gift Planning
Benton 100
Cooking up a successful estate plan and charitable tax strategy is not unlike planning a great dinner party. Whom should you invite, what should be on the menu and which recipes will nourish the soul while also using manageable ingredients? Whether you already have a financial planner and investment adviser, or you're just beginning to think about your estate planning goals, this course will guide you in answering key questions about your charitable objectives. Class attendees also will learn about trusts, annuities, charitable vehicles, POAs, wills, the Tax Payer Relief Act and more.

I Love the Smell of the Electoral College in the Morning

Patrick J. Haney, Professor and Department Chair, Political Science
Benton 207
The 2016 Presidential Election cycle has already provided more entertainment than usual—with twists and turns that no one really saw coming. Dr. Patrick J. Haney, Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Political Science Department is our tour guide on a journey into what comes next as we head into the Fall: What is the path to victory for Donald Trump and for Hillary Clinton? Will it be a squeaker or a blowout? And what happens to the Senate and the House of Representatives in this election season like perhaps none other since the Second World War? Not to mix movie metaphors, but this session Dr. Haney will explain, “How I learned to stop worrying and love the Electoral College."

Digital Innovation Centers: Miami’s Emphasis on Experiential Education

Artie Kuhn, AIMS faculty
Benton 114
The San Francisco and Cincinnati Digital Innovation Programs are an opportunity for students to get real-world experience during their time at Miami while also receiving class credit. During the program, students will spend four days a week at an internship, one day a week visiting local startups and companies, continued networking with alumni and business leaders in their respective city, and also complete a unique client-focused senior capstone project. Come learn about what it takes to pull off a program like this, and hear about planned expansion efforts.


Session III – 10-10:50 a.m.

Social Media in 2016
Kelly Bennett, Miami University Social Media Manager
Benton 114
Snapchat, Instagram, Periscope, oh my! Social media is constantly changing the way we communicate. In this session Kelly Bennett will share how the Miami University community is using social media in the year 2016 and will demonstrate how to use some of the most popular platforms.

Charlie Hebdo and Free Speech

Mark McKinney, Professor of French
Benton 115
Through a discussion of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French newspaper, and of other French editorial cartooning, this session will focus on some possibilities and limits of free speech in France. For example, there are laws against racist speech and imagery in France, whereas such expression is generally protected as free speech in the United States. However, French editorial cartoonists, and especially Charlie Hebdo's, still publish cartoons and comic strips that perhaps no editorial cartoonist in the United States would be able to publish today. This is in part because of France's centuries-old tradition of satirical political cartooning and its approach to secularism.

Learning to Walk, Again: An MU CAT Perspective

Amit Shukla, Professor of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering and
James Chagdes, Assistant professor of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering
Benton 204
Gait and posture stability is a big deal as we grow older. At Miami University Center for Assistive Technologies (MU CAT), we are investigating new tools and technologies for detecting and predicting human falls. MU CAT, housed within CEC, is an interdisciplinary center working collaboratively with Scripps Gerontology Center as well as the Center for Social Entrepreneurship in Farmer School of Business. Assistive technology is broadly defined as a technological solution to enable an improved quality of life. Come learn about how the center is identifying socially relevant problems and develop engineering solutions by engaging students and faculty at Miami University across multiple divisions.

Identifying & Combating Misinformation in the Digital Age

Jason Michel, User Experience Librarian
Benton 207
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter continue to grow as news and information sources. But, what is the quality of the information on these platforms? Misinformation, propaganda and fake news clickbait abounds on these platforms. This session looks at the types of misinformation and offers ways to evaluate them.


Session IV – 11-11:50 a.m.

Personality and Profession: How Who We Are Impacts What We Do

Leslie Marmor, Alumni Career Education & Development program
Benton 100
So you're gregarious and a team player in a company that values individual achievement. Maybe you're more comfortable with a plan in an organization that flies by the seat of its pants. Or maybe you're a no nonsense person is a group that celebrates every holiday with a festive get-together. How do you reconcile who you are with what you do and where you do it? Or do you? Join us as we look at how our personal preferences affect our working lives. We'll explore what happens when we feel a disconnect and how to take our personality into account as we move forward in our career.

Healing the Hurts: Panel Discussion

Shevonne Nelson, Assistant Director of Diversity Affairs and Coordinator of GLBTQ Services
Benton 114
This panel of alumni will share their challenges and triumphs of coming to know their LGBT+ identity at Miami. This panel will be moderated by the Coordinator of GLBTQ services who will share tips and strategies on how to create positive environments for all LGBTQ+ individuals.

Ease, Freedom and Choice: The Alexander Technique

Julia Guichard, Associate professor and chair of Theatre
Benton 213
Developed by F.M. Alexander in the late 19th century, the Alexander Technique (AT) is today used by many actors, dancers, singers, athletes and teachers. Because it is about HOW we use our psycho-physical selves in any activity, AT can improve our coordination in everyday life, freeing us from habitual patterns of thinking and moving. This session provides a brief history of the Alexander Technique and interactive activities that put the technique into action.

Epidemic Forecasting & the Spread of Zika

Dhananjai “DJ” Rao, Assistant Professor, Computer Science & Software Engineering
Benton 204
Recent epidemics, including swine flu (2009) and Ebola (2014), have spurred the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) within the Executive Office of the President to establish a multi-agency “Pandemic Prediction and Forecasting Science and Technology (PPFST) group”. The objective is to contain epidemics using “epidemic forecasting” (similar to weather forecasting) to answer questions of “where”, “when”, “how intense?” of an outbreak will occur so that it can be proactively contained. This course will introduce the basics of epidemic forecasting, which involves modeling and simulation. The course will discuss applications of modeling and simulation to forecast and contain the ongoing Zika epidemic in Americas. Pre-requisite: Familiarity with playing dice or card games.


Alumni College: On Location

If interactive learning is more your style, Alumni College: On Location is for you!

Get up-close and hands-on with Miami faculty and staff.

All tours and exhibits are free and open to all Alumni Weekend attendees, with no advance registration required. Check the description for specific information on where to meet.

Miami University Belk Greenhouse Tour

Saturday, 9 a.m.
Jack Keegan, Greenhouse Manager and Instructor
Meet at Greenhouse on Western Campus

Belk Greenhouse was added to the south side of Boyd Hall on Western Campus in 1978. The greenhouse is home to the rare Titan Arum flower, better known as the Corpse Flower, which last bloomed in 2013 and drew thousands of people to Oxford to view the rare plant. Jack Keegan, Greenhouse Manager and Instructor in Miami’s biology department, will host a tour of the greenhouse and the variety of plants growing there. Meet at Greenhouse.

Let’s Make Paper!

Paper Lab, Engineering Building
Saturday, 10-11 a.m. & 2-3 p.m.
Doug Hart, Chemical, Paper & Biomedical Engineering

We use paper every day—so where does it come from? Visit the Chemical and Paper Engineering Department to see a Pilot Paper Machine, and experience the basics of making your own handsheets. It’s easier than you think!
*This is a kid-friendly class

And now, Live from Miami...

King Library Special Collections – Proceed to 3rd floor from main lobby.
Open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, estimated time to see the exhibit is 15 minutes
Marcus Ladd, Librarian, Miami University Libraries

Come see Special Collections' exhibit for spring/summer 2016! Miami students have a great history of television and radio broadcasts, and this exhibit features productions from over a fifty year span. Who knows? You might even recognize someone…

Behind the Scenes Tour of New Special Collections and University Archives Facility

King Library Special Collections – Proceed to 3rd floor from main lobby.
Saturday, 2-3 p.m.
Carly Sentieri, Miami University Curator of Special Collections

Miami University’s Special Collections and University Archives have just undergone a major renovation, and we want to share the results with you! Join us for a special behind-the-scenes look at the newly remodeled space, which is normally off-limits to all library guests. We’ll discuss some of the University’s treasures, and even have some of the oldest and most valuable materials out for you to see!

Brief tour of King Library

Meet in main lobby of King Library
Saturday, 1-5 p.m. 
Every hour on the hour; tour lasts 15 minutes

King Library opened in the fall of 1966 and is known as Miami University's "main" library facility. Open 24/7 during the academic year, King Library is one of the most heavily used public facilities on campus, logging more than one million visitors annually. King Library houses the humanities and social sciences collections as well as the Instructional Materials Center, the Walter Havighurst Special Collections and, as of the summer of 2016, the University Archives. In addition to print and online collections, King Library provides students and faculty with access to technology, private group study spaces, a cafe, the Center for Digital Scholarship, the Howe Writing Center, and the Office of Research for Undergraduates.

Etheridge Hall Open House

Meet at Etheridge Hall Arch
2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Matt Frericks ‘88, Sr. Director of Auxiliary Planning & Facilities

Dedicated in 2013 to honor former vice president for student affairs Robert Etheridge, LEED-certified Etheridge Hall is a significant departure from Miami’s traditional residence hall floor plan design. The hall is comprised of eight individual “houses” totaling 30 residents each. Each house is full of student-requested amenities. This open house gives alumni the chance to check out this new building. Enter at the archway of the hall.

Jay Hayden Baseball Center Tour

Meet at Baseball Center
2-3 p.m.
Led by Coleman Barnes, Sr. Director of Development for Intercollegiate Athletics

The Jay Hayden Baseball Center, dedicated on September 25, 2015, brings together team facilities in one convenient location, creating a student-athlete focused venue with a new locker room and player’s lounge. Come tour the 10,000 square-foot facility, located down the left field line at McKie Field at Hayden Park.

Equestrian Center Tour
Meet at Shriver Center bus stop, Maple St.
3-4 p.m.

In this insider's tour of Miami's Equestrian Center, alumni will learn about the center's history and the day-to-day activities of the horses, riders, and staff. Alumni also will gain first-hand knowledge about the daily care of the horses. Shuttle bus leaves from the bus stop at Shriver Center at 3 p.m.

Questions? The Alumni Weekend staff is here to help.
Email us at call us at 866-682-5867.