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Sparking conversation

Few things bring people together like great conversation. And that’s the impetus for Open Dialogue, a new program introduced this fall.

Open Dialogue is an opportunity to collaborate, discuss, challenge and otherwise engage in meaningful and thoughtful conversation. From mentorship panels to lectures to discussion forums covering current issues and historical events, the offerings will be as unique and varied as the subject matter.

Sheila Blair-Reid (BComm’86), executive director of alumni engagement, says the program is an excellent way to bring alumni, students, the greater Dal community and members of the public together for thought-provoking discussions and valuable learning opportunities. “Knowledge sharing can be invaluable when it comes to guidance and information. That’s as true for students as it is for our alumni. As a community, Dal values lifelong learning and Open Dialogue is one of the many ways we’re able to offer it,” she says.

Last academic year several faculties hosted mentorship panels, which have become increasingly popular among students and alumni alike. Mentoring events provide opportunities for students to connect with and learn from the alumni community. Dental Hygiene in the Real World, a panel discussion hosted by the Faculty of Dentistry last spring, featured dental hygiene alumni with a variety of experiences. The event attracted more than 75 percent of the graduating class. “It was such a great opportunity for students to see the exciting possibilities for their own careers,” says Shauna Hachey (DDH’04, BDH’12), who moderated the event. “Alumni provided insight on a variety of topics from ethics to the importance of giving back to the community.”

Open Dialogue brought female leaders in the STEM fields together for a discussion forum and networking event this fall. Also, in October, the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences and Health collaborated with the Dalhousie Art Gallery as part of the Gallery’s exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion. Faculty members from Arts and Social Sciences, Health and Architecture and Planning explored the lasting effects on communities and health care following the explosion that devastated the city in December 1917.

With events planned throughout 2018 (including those hosted by alumni chapter volunteers nationally and internationally), Open Dialogue’s range of engaging and informative topics will offer something for everyone.

For more information on Open Dialogue and other events, visit