The Tohoku University Alumni Network held its year-end get-together for 2021 on December 17, using the new interactive online platform, GATHER, for the first time. Unlike conventional Zoom-style rooms, the GATHER platform offers a customized space where users can wander around freely and mingle between groups.
About 35 alumni from 14 countries took part. And to help them get comfortable with the platform's functions, there was a warm-up game where participants were tasked with finding photographs of iconic campus scenes and buildings hidden behind objects on the screen.
The highlight of every Alumni Network event is the opportunity to meet up, catch up and revisit memories of school days with old friends. And the highly interactive nature of GATHER, also made it easier this time, to make new ones. Alumni were able to expand their social and professional network by getting to know members who are in related fields of work, or who have similar interests through a name card exchange rally.
Jorge Ascencio, who's originally from Peru, is a regular participant at alumni events. "I think GATHER is a great platform," he said. "And I enjoy these events because they help me connect with alumni from all around the world. I can exchange experiences with them and have discussions on topics of mutual interest, such as sustainability."
The main portion of the event featured a series of virtual poster sessions for alumni and current students to share their work or hobbies. Five members - César Salvador, Fukuya Iino, Kinanti Hantiyana Aliyah, Sonny Kurniawan and Xiang Xiang - gave short presentations and answered questions.
Fukuya, who graduated from the School of Engineering in 1994, currently lives in Vienna Austria. In his presentation, he spoke about his work at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
"The event was great. I had a chance to introduce internship opportunities at UNIDO and other UN agencies in Vienna," he said. "And I also enjoyed attending the other presentations and getting to know what other alumni are doing now. I even had a follow-up conference call with one person I met during the event!"
Fukuya added that he hopes more professors would take part in future gatherings so that alumni can engage with them.
The event ended with a reminder that 2022 marks the university's 115th anniversary. International alumni will have more opportunities to engage and stay involved, and there will be special activities planned for past and current students to look forward to.
To join the International Alumni Network, please visit the links below:
- Tohoku University Alumni Network: https://overseas-alumni.bureau.tohoku.ac.jp/
- To join: https://overseas-alumni.bureau.tohoku.ac.jp/register/
Contact:Global Engagement DivisionTohoku University