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Are You Being Served?

Members of the Alumni Council swapped their pens and papers for pie servers at Sharples on Saturday, March 21, during their spring meeting. They not only dished up a variety of sweet treats but healthy servings of conversation about a wide range of topics involving life beyond Swarthmore, including moving to a new city, finding housing, professional and personal mentoring, and options beyond graduate school. There was a steady flow of students throughout the evening and, judging by the empty serving dishes, it was a crowd pleaser!

In addition to offering up confections, the Alumni Council completed a full agenda of activities during the weekend related to student engagement and mentorship. This included a screening of Minding Swarthmore, a documentary about the College, and discussions with Greg Brown, vice president for finance and administration; Kaaren Williamsen, Title IX coordinator; and Lisa Shafer, director of the Swarthmore Fund. The group also ratified a slate of nominees for new council members, who will begin three-year terms this fall.

Friday, March 20, council members were also involved in two separate events on campus aimed at helping students prepare for experiences after Swarthmore. The council and Career Services co-hosted Life Beyond Swat: Explained, roundtable discussions over light hors d’oeuvres that allowed students and alumni to explore how to ease the transition from classroom to workplace. Topics included how to be most effective during internships, workplace communication and culture, networking and professionalism, and self-promotion.

In addition, the Lang Center’s Social Innovation Forum hosted Way-Ting Chen ’94 for a presentation and discussion titled Blue Garnet: Making Lasting Impact Real. Students braved a snowstorm to hear about Way-Ting’s experience at Blue Garnet (which she co-founded with Jennifer Li Shen ’94). Discussion ranged from examples of transformational projects with nonprofit and foundation clients to striving for meaningful balance while changing the world.