Students on campus will be experiencing some fresh “AIR” this fall with the upcoming arrival of a new Alumni-in-Residence participant.
Alumni Relations and Engagement Officer Julia Norman advises that, as of this writing, a few “Ts” need to be crossed and “Is” dotted before she can confirm the first AIR for this academic year. But both she and Director of Alumni Relations Benoît Charlebois are excited about a new season of Pearsonites who will be returning to campus to share their experiences, knowledge and skill with current students and the entire community.
“AIR participants partake fully of life on campus, integrating with the adult team of residents, volunteers, staff and faculty,” says Norman. “Just as they have for two years now, alumni bring their own passions and projects to work on and share with students and the entire community during a several weeks or months-long residency, as well as helping to fill identified needs to complement and enhance scheduled programming.”
AIRs are offered private accommodation on campus and work to genuinely enhance the overall two-year experiential program on campus for students from around the world. With an enrolment nearing 200 this year, Norman notes, there are even more young leaders and changemakers ready to learn from their predecessors.
The fall term (September – December) residency is focused on Programming and Educational Support. Norman adds the broad themes for the spring (January – April) and summer (May – August) terms are Health and Wellness and Retreat and Summer Programming Support, respectively.
“During the spring term, the AIR could work alongside the existing health and wellness team and bring additional capacity to offer initiatives like enhanced yoga instruction, meditation opportunities and so on,” says Norman. “The summer term could give a member of the alumni an opportunity to work on their own project while making valuable contributions to, and acquiring skills, in supporting summer programs like PSYL, PSCL and alumni reunions.”
Former Alumni-in-Residence participant Albert Lluís (YR 24/1999, Spain) put it well when he said earlier this year:
“The moment I arrived, I felt so welcomed by everyone on campus. I enjoy when students connect with me and accept me as part of their community and experience here. Lots – and at the same time very little – has changed since the late 90s. The people on campus are different, yet the spirit is still the same.”