For the fifth year in a row, 1stGenYale offered “Alumni Perspectives: Navigating Yale & Beyond” as part of the First-year Scholars at Yale (FSY) program – but this time we went virtual!
Over 123 participants — including 72 FSY students, 14 counselors, 3 faculty and staff, and 34 alumni — joined our program for over three hours one Saturday afternoon. Marvin Chun, dean of Yale College, welcomed our alumni, who ranged from recent grads to a member of the Class of 1956. Alumni also represented Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Architecture, and SOM and a broad diversity of cultural, ethnic, gender, and racial backgrounds, geographic locations, and political thought. For many of our alums, it was the second, third, or fourth time participating in our FSY program.
Suzanne Solensky ’83 created and moderated the program, working extensively with Michael Fitzpatrick, the associate director of academic affairs for Yale’s summer session.
The virtual format for this year’s “Alumni Perspectives” was not a drawback, but an opportunity. Students and alums connected meaningfully in multiple ways — first through a prerecorded panel discussion with four alums and then through Zoom in a large group setting, in online chats, and in smaller breakout sessions on open topics and on different career fields and explorations. Alums welcomed the newest members of the Yale family and brought students, virtually, into their homes and backyards and into their lives by honestly sharing their stories.