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Staying Connected in Unconventional Times

June 1, 2021

Jessica Walcott Murray

Jessica Walcott Murray

We at Maxwell are hopeful for a fall semester that allows us to finally come back together for some in-person events. Like many of you, I miss the programs, receptions and networking events that bring together members of our alumni family to share their experiences at and since Maxwell.

While we haven’t been able to see each other in person over this past year-plus, we have remained connected. Maxwell has hosted nearly two dozen virtual forums that, by my best count, drew over 2,400 guests from 43 countries and 47 U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia. These and most other virtual events held since the spring of 2020 are available online for anytime viewing. Visit to check out our library of fully captioned and accessible recordings.

One memorable “faculty Q&A”—informally dubbed “Meet the Jamies”—featured a conversation between Jamie Winders, professor of geography and the environment and director of Syracuse University’s Autonomous Systems Policy Institute, and Jamie Baker, professor of law and director of the University’s Institute for Security Policy and Law.

Last fall, during the University’s virtual Orange Central weekend, we hosted a discussion that revisited women’s history at Maxwell. Carol Faulkner, associate

dean and professor of history, led the conversation with Kristi Andersen, professor emeritus, and student Kyaira Coffin. A few months later, we marked International Women’s Day with an alumni panel led by Kristen Patel ’90 B.A. (Econ/PSt), Donald

P. and Margaret Curry Gregg Professor of Practice in Korean and East Asian Affairs. Kristen was joined by three distinguished alumnae working internationally: Nuria Esparch ’00 M.A. (PA), Shiro Gnanaselvam ’93 M.P.A. and Jacquie Williams-Bridgers ’77 B.A. (UrSt)/’78 M.P.A.

We also held a virtual panel discussion exploring issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. The event was moderated by history Professor Gladys McCormick, who is leading a schoolwide plan to address racism, biases and structures that affect the underrepresented. Alumni who shared their experiences include Wesley

Dias ’74 B.A. (PSc), Lisa Y. Gordon ’90 M.P.A., Kishauna Soljour ’16 M.A. (Hist)/’19 Ph.D. (Hist) and James Willie ’98 M.P.A.

For information on upcoming events, be sure to check out alumni. There are other ways to connect with Maxwell. Send a note to (or visit to let us know about promotions, career changes and other professional accomplishments. Also, consider a virtual visit to Maxwell to meet with students—there are many options available, from classroom visits to career talks offered by the Palmer Career Center. To learn more about these opportunities, reach out to

While all of us at Maxwell look forward to a time when we can safely come together face-to-face, we’re grateful for the technology and interest that has fueled our virtual event series and allowed us to connect online with so many of you.

Stay in touch and be well,

Jessica Murray
Director of Alumni Relations

Published in the Summer 2021 issue of the Maxwell Perspective

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