Stephanie Geddes (BA UTSC 1968; M. Ed 1987) graduated from the very first class at UTSC. It was a tight-knit community, she recalls, where everyone knew each other, and today, she misses those friends.
“We knew everybody,” says Geddes, who has remained active and engaged with her alma mater. “We all kind of drifted apart. It’s been difficult but we’ve tried to reconnect,” she adds.
With the successful November 18 launch of UTSC’s new online alumni hub, UTSC Connect, alumni of all years are able to do much more than find their classmates: they are able to gather, connect, and lean on each other for mentorship, career advice, events, networking and more.
“We really tried to think of everything,” says Alumni Engagement Officer Corey Formica, who has been helping to coordinate the new platform. “As a proud UTSC alumni myself (from the Class of 2000), I can tell you how hard we have worked to make a platform that alumni of all years can enjoy.”
Thus far, the hub has been a hit with alumni. More than 75 users pre-registered for the platform, signaling that UTSC Connect offers the connection experience and services that alumni are looking for.
Why UTSC Connect?
UTSC Connect offers registered alumni users a seamless platform that integrates a number of features and services. Alumni are able to open themselves up for mentorship or mentoring experiences, for instance, which will create opportunities for users to connect in a casual virtual environment.
Registered users are also encouraged to join Departmental groups which will aid alumni in finding their peers more easily and hear about updates and events tailored to their UTSC degrees. Photo galleries let users upload photos of recent alumni events, and a central feed – similar to that seen in the social media platform, Facebook – gives users the ability to post messages to the entire alumni body.
Meanwhile, unique networking features such as a jobs board and a business directory, give UTSC alumni a competitive and community-spirited edge when searching for opportunities.
Geddes adds, “One of my reasons for volunteering – beside being grateful and wanting to give back – is that I wanted to reconnect.”
Now, with UTSC Connect, she can.