Alumni Academy

Alumni Academy.

Thanks to everyone who participated in our first three semesters of Alumni Academy. Stay tuned for details about our next Alumni Academy later this year.

Learn from university experts, get exclusive access to UB researchers and talented alumni, 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. Don’t miss this exclusive online experience just for alumni and loyal friends.

As a member of the fall 2021 class, you’ll get:

  • Seven LIVE virtual sessions, along with video recordings of the entire series 
  • UB "back to school" gift mailed in advance to make sure you’re ready for the semester
  • Opportunity to participate in virtual happy hour and other Alumni Academy exclusive activities
Tuition Information

This series has limited seats—register now! 

Cost: Only $99 for the semester

Fall 2021 Alumni Academy Syllabus

  • Tuesday, September 14, 2021 | 7 p.m. ET

    Mark Alnutt, Vice President and Director of Athletics, UB.

    Semester Kickoff: A Conversation About UB Athletics

    Mark Alnutt has tremendous success with our student athletes on the fields and courts as well as in classrooms. Challenged by moving to a virtual learning model midway through the spring 2020 semester, student athletes responded by posting a 3.261 grade point average, the highest single-semester grade point average in school history. It capped another successful academic year that saw the football team win its second bowl game. In addition to providing updates about UB’s teams, Alnutt will give an overview of the Stronger Together Task Force in response to racial injustice issues. There also will be time to answer your questions. 

  • Thursday, September 23, 2021 | Noon ET

    Choose One
    Woman in sunglasses with shopping bags.

    What Does the Future of Retail Look Like?

    First the ecommerce revolution and now Covid-19: these two marketplace and societal earthquakes have sent the retail sector, the nation’s largest private employer, into a tailspin. Half of all department stores and one in four malls are expected to close by 2021 and 2025, respectively. Lindsey will discuss what the future looks like for this critical part of the U.S. economy. 

    Marijuana buds spilling out of a prescription bottle onto a prescription notepad.

    Keeping the Medical in Medical Marijuana

    Medical marijuana, CBD, recreational marijuana: what’s the difference? As New York and other states move to expand access to cannabis, patients and users struggle to understand the benefits and risks of its use. It is important to be an educated consumer, and Bednarczyk will discuss the myths and potential benefits surrounding cannabis use.

  • Tuesday, October 5, 2021 | 7 p.m. ET

    Buffalo skyline at sunset.

    UB’s Role in Buffalo’s Comeback

    Dean Shibley will discuss the complex relationship between the university and its city, and how UB has played an important role in Buffalo’s resurgence. Learn how UB and the School of Architecture and Planning have collaborated to advance this renaissance, putting world-changing innovations in urban research into practice here, and grounded the future of education in architecture, urban planning and real estate development. 

  • Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021 | 7 p.m. ET

    Choose One
    Fake News logo over a digital map.

    Social Media Misinformation: Why Is It So Prevalent?

    The information age has been heralded for its connectivity, diversity and accessibility. But what began as a utopian promise turned out to be, at times, chaotic, dark and misleading. Misinformation has been casting its shadow on individuals and societies from time immemorial. Ophir will introduce the sources of online misinformation and discuss the psychology of believing and sharing it and ways to debunk misinformation to stop its spread. 

    Older white man sleeping on a pillow.

    Sleep for Healthy Aging

    Recent studies demonstrate that short sleep duration increases the risk of dementia in individuals 50 years and older. Weiss will discuss the impact of sleep on memory, cognition, mental health and physical well-being. We will describe how impaired sleep contributes to dementia and physical deterioration, and you will learn how to improve your sleep quality for better health.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021 | 7 p.m. ET

    Two young men discussing a topic with energy.

    Unleashing Entrepreneurs and Startups in Western New York

    Richard Gardner, Director, UB Startup Ventures and Richard Kim, Associate Director, UB Investor and Entrepreneur Partnerships

    As Buffalo’s resurgence blossoms, UB is supporting the region’s dreamers and doers. UB is a powerhouse of intellectual talent that can be unleashed to help startups in their early stages. With access to world-class talent, affordable lab and office space and a vast network of partners, mentors, collaborators and supporters, entrepreneurs who work with UB accelerate innovations into profitable ventures. 

  • Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021 | 7 p.m. ET

    Choose One
    The lights hanging above the main stage at UB Center for the Arts.

    Behind the Scenes with UB’s Center for the Arts

    With artist-filled studios and multiple theaters that host countless theater, dance and music performances each year, UB’s Center for the Arts (CFA) is a buzzing hive of artistic activity. Ever wonder how lighting, sound, set design and direction come together for a show? The CFA's director, staff and award-winning production team will take you behind the scenes to see how the magic is made. 

    Hand-held lab equipment.

    Innovations from the Lab

    UB students are finding new and innovative ways to diagnose and treat vascular diseases through working on new medical devices, including artificial intelligence and 3-D printing. Ionita has dual appointments in the departments of biomedical engineering and neurosurgery, and directs the endovascular devices and imaging lab at the Canon Stroke and Vascular Research Center. He’ll also discuss how UB partners with biomedical technologies to bring new jobs to Western New York.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021 | 7 p.m. ET

    Shep Gordon, BA ’68, Talent Manager and Hollywood Film Agent.

    A Conversation with Supermensch Shep Gordon

    Gordon is known in the entertainment industry as having an eye for talent and an innate understanding of what people find entertaining. Over the years, he has managed the careers of Alice Cooper, Groucho Marx, Raquel Welch, Luther Vandross, Kenny Loggins and countless others. He’s also credited as creating the "celebrity chef", which revolutionized the food industry. Mike Myers created a documentary on his life to celebrate this well-loved manager and producer, titled Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in Rolling Stone magazine. This conversation is not to be missed!