ITGA Connects, Courageous Conversations and Water Cooler Series

ITGA is launching a series of webinars on topics that are of interest to our members, ranging from the economic impacts of COVID-19 to emergency management and community resilience. To register for the webinars, please click on the links below. 

Wednesday, October 21, Noon-1:00pm (EDT)
New Pilot Project "Water Cooler" Conversation for Community Relations Professionals: Join Courtney Kienow, Director of Community Relations, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA, and ITGA Board member; Walter W. Woods, M.A., Coordinator for Outreach and Strategic Initiatives, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, MD; and Maria Barry, Director of Community Relations, American University, Washington, DC, for this pilot "Water Cooler" conversation. 

Remote working has many people missing impromptu conversations that used to naturally come up around the water cooler, coffee maker, or even passing each other in the hallways. ITGA wants to create a similar, virtual space to share among similarly-positioned professionals. We’re launching a pilot project; 60 minutes of facilitated conversation specifically for people in the position of Community Relations. The goal will be to create a space to deep dive into shared challenges, successes, triumphs and lessons learned as directed by members of the group. Through candid conversation and dialogue the goal of this “water cooler” conversation is to offer a sense of connection with others in the “field” that do what we do and know what we know. Space will be limited to ensure quality networking and connection. Please email and provide your name and title to register. This conversation is for anyone in the Community Relations field but is limited to a small group. Your registration information will be sent to you via email. 

Wednesday, Oct. 28, noon-1:00pm (EDT)
ITGA Data Digest: COVID-19 Focus Groups Report
Join Janet Lillie, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President for Community Relations, Michigan State University and ITGA Board member; and Joelle Brown, Assistant Director, Global Community Engagement, University of Iowa, Wednesday, October 28, noon-1:00pm (EDT) for this upcoming webinar.

ITGA’s 2020 Data Digest focused on the intersections of COVID-19 and town-gown relations. To explore these intersections, ITGA hosted a first set of focus groups in May 2020 and a second set of focus groups in September 2020. Participants were ITGA members who reflected a diverse array of higher education institutions and communities. This webinar will explore data and key learnings from the September 2020 focus groups with topics including pandemic-related policy enforcement, economic development, and spring semester planning. Additionally, this webinar will also be a time for discussion and idea sharing as ITGA reflects together on some of the toughest challenges COVID-19 has brought to town-gown communities. To register, click here
Wednesday, Nov 11, 12:00-1:00pm (EDT)
"Now, hear my point of view": College student experiences during the Coronavirus pandemic. Join moderator Mayor Steve Patterson, Athens, Ohio (Home of Ohio University), and panelists Demarcus Joiner, SGA President, The University of Alabama; Archana Chaudhary, Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdon; Mason Zastrow, Iowa State University; Taylor Smith, University of Guelph, Canada; and Maggie Nedoma, Ohio University to hear the student voice!  

University and college students across the U.S. and beyond did not have the spring semester they expected, and the fall semester does not appear to be any better. While most campuses spent the summer planning for some semblance of face-to-face instruction, the increases in positive COVID-19 cases in college communities resulted in institutions reverting back to fully online instruction. Unfortunately, most of what is heard revolves around the financial and operational impacts on the institutions of higher education, but rarely do we hear from the students themselves. 

From the loss of athletics to the loss of study abroad opportunities and extracurricular experiences, there is no doubt the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way students live and learn. This 2-part courageous conversation will highlight the voices of students. It will begin with a conversation about the students’ experiences from March to Fall semester. Near the end of fall semester, these students will continue their courageous conversations and provide insight into their experiences, challenges, and lessons learned. To register, click here

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