Alumni Academy

CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer at Alumni Academy.

Special Keynote Session with CNN Lead Political Anchor and UB Alumnus Wolf Blitzer

How would you like to learn from university experts, get exclusive access to UB labs and libraries, engage in intellectual hot-topic discussions, and meet new people from all over the country? UB Alumni Academy offers all this and much more—from the comfort of your home.

As a member of the inaugural class, you’ll access:

  • One LIVE virtual session with UB President Satish K. Tripathi to kick off the semester and learn about upcoming plans for the university. Includes time for a Q&A.
  • Six LIVE virtual sessions, along with the video recordings of the entire series. 
  • UB "back to school" gift bag mailed in advance to make sure you’re ready for the semester.
  • Opportunity to chat and keep the conversation going with rest of the UB Alumni Academy participants throughout the semester via a closed Alumni Academy group.
Tuition Information

This series has limited seats—register now! 

Cost: Only $99 for the semester

Your Alumni Academy Syllabus

  • Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020 | 7 p.m. ET

    President Satish K. Tripathi headshot.

    Semester Kickoff: A Conversation with UB President Satish K. Tripathi

    President Satish K. Tripathi, UB President

    You’ll hear President Tripathi’s thoughts and reflections on this unprecedented time in our history, and how UB is remaining nimble to ensure the safety of our community and the continuation of a robust education for our students.

    His remarks will highlight academic achievements, how the university is making an impact both regionally and globally, and our quest to become one of the top 25 public research universities in the nation.

    There will also be time for a question-and-answer session.


  • Tuesday, October 6, 2020 | 7 p.m. ET

    Choose One
    Galaxy with robot finger touching human finger.

    Artificial Intelligence: Menace or Manna?

    The terms artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and deep learning are part of the modern lexicon, and yet the distinctions among them are often misunderstood. The terms are regularly thought of as synonymous, but each has a distinctly different bearing on our lives.

    This session will describe the differences, and then focus more closely on AI. AI promises to be our greatest assistant on one hand, and our most likely replacer on the other. We will tease apart these two hyperbolic extremes and disassemble science from fiction. Then, we will discuss an AI case study in healthcare. We will first understand how AI is used to predict the outbreak of diseases and viruses, examine what affects the speed and accuracy of AI systems in these environments, and the implications thereof.

    Man in snow and hiking gear in an iceberg.

    Travels to Greenland and Tales of Arctic Warming

    Traveling above the Arctic Circle more than 30 times, visiting Alaska, Arctic Canada, Greenland and Norway to research glaciers, Briner and his team examine the Greenland Ice Sheet and what its history reveals about the future and our climate. This presentation brings to light the impact of global warming and the climate change we are experiencing. Briner’s team comprises undergraduate and graduate students who traveled to the Arctic and performed research in the ultimate experiential learning situation. You will have a unique opportunity to view a photographic journey of their travels.

  • Thursday, October 15, 2020 | Noon ET

    Woman peacefully sitting on a dock by a lake.

    Mindful Self-Care as a Pathway To Embodiment

    This presentation will define positive embodiment and its role in the promotion of wellbeing and the prevention of the effects of stress and burnout. You will learn the dimensions of positive embodiment, including personal practices that help you be with—and manage—the challenges you experience, as well as obtain a sense of purpose or mission in life. Mindful self-care will be detailed as a way of being, and you will be given a specific set of protective practices that promote positive embodiment. This includes an assessment of your own mindful self-care and the creation of mindful self-care goals.

  • Tuesday, October 20, 2020 | 7 p.m. ET

    Choose One
    Woman on stage.

    The Arts Today in Buffalo

    Dancers, painters, poets, drag performers and hip-hop producers. The artists we spotlight at the UB Arts Collaboratory represent every facet of the Buffalo art scene.

    We look for artists with unique perspectives. We welcome experimenters, revolutionaries and iconoclasts. We love activists who are brave enough to pinpoint society’s problems—and visionaries who can see possibilities. Our guiding principle is

    the power of synergy. We know that whenever creative minds come together, great art and big ideas will result.

    Right now, the world desperately needs big, bold ideas. These are tumultuous times—and solutions aren’t going to magically appear. Only passion and creativity can light the world. In the past, the spark has often come from the arts.

    We will share what happens when great minds come together. We will meet the artists and discuss the work they are creating at UB and in Buffalo.

    Blue circles closing around a padlock.

    Digital DNA

    Technology is continuously at odds with our personal privacy and reveals a lot more about each of us than many realize. In the wrong hands, these traces of digital information can potentially be used to perpetrate identity theft or other electronic crimes. Similarly, these electronic traces of “digital DNA” are used by law enforcement to track down criminals. Whether you are concerned about your personal privacy, or simply want to learn more about how your technology is betraying you, this class will change the way you look at your digital devices. This class will also feature a live technology demonstration.

  • Wednesday, October 28, 2020 | 7 p.m. ET

    Dr. Timothy Murphy and colleague reviewing data book in a medical lab.

    Inside UB’s Clinical Translational Science Institute: Advances in Translational Research during a Pandemic

    Participants will receive a virtual tour and preview of Buffalo’s leading research institute. You will learn more about the research process during a pandemic and how discoveries transform healthcare outcomes.

  • Tuesday, November 10, 2020 | 7 p.m. ET

    Choose One
    Laptop with virtual meeting on screen.

    Serving Others In Uncertain Times: Name It and Aim It

    Occasionally on life’s journey, we are reminded of our humanity. At no time in recent history has society been faced with so much uncertainty, volatility and ambiguity. These disruptions are affecting all facets of our lives from different directions at once. We can choose to either serve our family and friends by learning about, experimenting with, and using our strengths with thoughtful intentions, or be oblivious of our surroundings. We can also choose to leverage our strengths to shape our daily actions and interactions, or remain helpless. Most will choose to be part of the solution to provide positive outcomes to enable us to re-imagine the statement: “We are in this together.”

    Painting of James Joyce.

    Inside The UB Rare Books and James Joyce Collections

    This presentation focuses on the UB Libraries’ renowned Rare and Special Books Collection and the Poetry Collection, with a special emphasis on the UB James Joyce Collection. Hear Assistant Curator Alison Fraser and Curator James Maynard discuss their  history and holdings, and go on a virtual tour of highlights from each.​ Begun in 1935 by a donation from Thomas B. Lockwood’s personal collection, the Rare and Special Books Collection comprises more than  17,000 titles, including the four 17th-century folios of William Shakespeare, distinctive first editions, fine bindings, incunabula, and works by fine presses as well as Greek and Roman coins and original art by William Blake. As the library of record for 20th- and 21st-century Anglophone poetry, the Poetry Collection is comprehensive in its assemblage of modern and contemporary poetry publications and holds more than 150 manuscript collections. It is also the home of the UB James Joyce Collection, the world’s largest compilation of manuscripts and other materials related to the renowned Irish author.

  • Tuesday, November 17, 2020 | 7:30 p.m. EST

    Wolf Blitzer headshot.

    Insider’s Look with Wolf Blitzer: Behind The News Desk

    Join UB alumnus and CNN Lead Political Anchor Wolf Blitzer for a timely discussion on the 2020 cycle and the results of Election Day. Wolf will be interviewed by a UB professor of political science. They will save time for your questions.

    *NOTE: Date could change depending on current world events