Re-imagining the alumni voice
Marlene Stern to lead new Alumni Council
UM alumna Marlene Stern [DipOT/77, BOT/83] has been appointed by the Alumni Association Board of Directors as the inaugural chair of the newly formed Alumni Council.
The Alumni Association is launching a new Alumni Council that will bring together a wide representation of alumni to provide meaningful input on emerging issues that support the vision and mission of the University and its commitment to teaching, community engagement and research. All voices will be heard, as the Alumni Council strives to fully reflect the diversity of UM alumni through representation from all faculties and colleges, and a variety of constituent groups.
Recognized for her ability to engage and inspire others to create positive change, the Alumni Association Board of Directors, chaired by Peter Wheatley [BSc(ME)/07, ExtEd/10, MBA/15], is delighted Stern has accepted the role. Most recently, Marlene lent her skills to UM’s College of Rehabilitation Sciences, establishing a partnership with Amsterdam University of Applied Science. Diversity of alumni perspectives is important to Stern in creating the new Council.
“To truly represent our alumni community, all voices must be at the table,” said Stern. “We need the perspectives and experiences of alumni from all faculties and colleges, and a variety of backgrounds who can speak on behalf of their constituent and alumni peer groups. This level of diversity we are trying to reach hasn’t been achieved with any existing UM alumni body, but it’s more important now the ever to change. The timing of the Council launch is intentional as it coincides with the UM Alumni Association’s 100th anniversary as it was formed in 1921.”
The Council will operate in an advisory capacity as a standing committee of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and work closely with UM’s External Relations unit to ensure the perspective of graduates are heard. UM’s President, Michael Benarroch, and Vice-President (External), John Kearsey, are ex-officio members of the Council.
“Along with students, faculty, staff and donors, alumni are a significant part of the UM community as the University’s greatest ambassadors, advocates and champions, whether they are participating in Homecoming and reunions, volunteering, supporting our students and research through giving and mentoring, or celebrating their achievements,” said Kearsey. “The Alumni Council is another way to deepen this meaningful connection and engage alumni to provide feedback and advice. President Benarroch and I look forward with great enthusiasm to working with Marlene and the Council.”
About Marlene Stern
An occupational therapist, Stern has held senior positions in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre. She has worked to expand roles for occupational therapists as clinicians and managers in hospital and community practice. She has also co-authored numerous papers on initiatives like client-centred practice and tools, building a community of scholarship for clinicians, and developing web-based networks for clinical leaders to promote evidence-informed practice.
In 2021 she will be launching Nudge UV (with Hennie Corrin [BN/77]), a social entrepreneurship company established to help reduce the risk of skin cancer and support melanoma clinical trials. Its colourful reminder products nudge people to be sun safe.