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Celebrating five years of the CERN Alumni Network, with gold!

Alumni awards 2021
(Image: CERN)

On 8 June 2022, we celebrated the fifth anniversary of the CERN Alumni Network and its vibrant community, which has grown to more than 7800 members.

The network was established for multiple reasons, namely to enable former members of personnel to stay connected with the Organization and its people, to demonstrate the positive impact of a CERN experience through its alumni, to establish a network of ambassadors in support of CERN’s mission and to support those in their early career if and when they decide to leave the Organization. The diverse alumni community orbits around the alumni.cern platform, the heartbeat of the programme.

For the fifth anniversary of the programme, CERN alumni who are actively “giving back” to both the network and CERN gathered for a LinkedIn live, which was broadcast from the CCC (CERN Control Centre) and attended by both Rende Steerenberg, head of the Operations group (Beams department) and Charlotte Warakaulle, the Director for International Relations. The broadcast was also an opportunity to connect with alumni based in London, Stockholm and Madrid who are actively involved in supporting CERN and its Alumni Network, either as members of the CERN alumni advisory board, as regional or interest group managers, or by assisting our HR team in sourcing talent in their respective countries.

In Madrid, we met CERN alumna and Ion Biotec co-founder Ana Megía Macías. Along with representatives from the Medical Applications team in CERN’s Knowledge Transfer group, Ana announced the imminent creation of a CERN Alumni MedTech group. “During our time at CERN and in our subsequent careers, we work in diverse fields and acquire special capabilities. Sharing our experience and knowledge with others can have a huge, positive impact. Therefore, I am keen to give back and co-found a CERN Alumni MedTech group to share my experience with other members.”

The celebrations continued well into June, when the alumni relations team was awarded the CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education) Circle of Excellence gold award for the CERN Alumni Second Collisions online event, held from 1 to 3 October 2021. “What better accolade and greater honour than to be recognised by leaders from one’s industry?” commented Rachel Bray, head of CERN Alumni Relations. “We dedicate this award to the multiple teams and colleagues across CERN who contributed to Second Collisions and made it such an innovative and memorable success.”

The CASE judges commented: “We felt this was a highly innovative event, with the virtual re-creation of the CERN site giving alumni the opportunity to revisit and explore iconic buildings and take part in a variety of activities, from keynote speeches to networking. We liked the use of in-house resources to deliver the virtual environment and increase internal buy-in, with events moderated by CERN colleagues and alumni award recipients nominated by CERN directors. Judges also commented on the creative use of the virtual booths, which featured CERN spin-off and start-up companies, as well as internal exhibits, and included job opportunities.”

You do not need to have left the Organization to take part in this vibrant community. Members of personnel are welcome to activate their account on the alumni website. Furthermore, the Office for Alumni Relations is seeking CERN colleagues who wish to speak in our online series “News from the Lab” and showcase their fascinating work to CERN alumni. Contact alumni.relations@cern.ch if you are interested.