Lumen - The University of Adelaide Magazine The University of Adelaide Australia
Lumen Summer 2012 Issue
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Alumni embrace social media

Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter mean it is easier than ever to stay in touch with friends and family. But what about your university?

With more than 130,000 alumni located across more than 100 countries, the University of Adelaide maintains a very active social media presence.

University Digital Media Strategist Mal Chia said social media was an extremely efficient communication channel which allowed alumni to stay connected with their alma mater.
"For lots of our alumni, their time at Adelaide Uni was a great experience and we try to use social media to sustain that experience," he said.

"We've also found it's a great way for graduates who, for whatever reason, have lost touch with us to re-establish that connection.

"When you combine our social media presence with the Adelaide onLION network, these are some excellent tools for alumni to stay in touch with the uni and their uni colleagues."
They're tools utilised by Health Science graduate Karen Salter, who is working overseas after recently completing her degree.

Karen finished her Bachelor of Health Sciences this year (she'll graduate next year) and is now based in Timor Leste (East Timor), where she is project coordinator for the Rotary Safe Motherhood Project.

"I use Facebook to follow the University of Adelaide, the Overheard at the University of Adelaide group, and a few other student groups like Adelaide Uni Health Science Students," she said.
"It's good to know what is still happening at the university, particularly within the health science faculty.

"I'm interested to know how my previous lecturers and peers are going with their research and like it when I hear a particular success story from them.

"Keeping in touch with what is happening at the uni also makes me remember all those fun student times, which I guess is a bit nostalgic!"

Karen's location and job mean she isn't always within easy reach of a computer or the internet - but that's something she's taken in her stride.

"I'm working together with a midwife from Australia and some Timorese staff in conjunction with the Ministry of Health to improve the capacity of the local midwives and increase access to the health service for the local community," she said.

"It has been such an amazing opportunity to travel, live in another culture and gain the type of work experience a recent graduate could only dream of."
Karen's social media experience is by no means atypical, says Mr Chia.

"We're really proud of the fact that at the University of Adelaide, the conversation on social media is two-way.

"We hear all the time from our graduates about what they're doing now, and we love to keep them informed about alumni achievements and what's happening at the uni now that they're not there.

"Social media allows us to do this in a way that's quick, simple and user-friendly - and we also have fun. It's a great way to communicate with the uni!"

Story by Ben Osborne

Karen Salter in East Timor

Karen Salter in East Timor
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