Changes in the RSU Alumni Association in 2022
Events, emotions, and new people. That is the aftertaste that 2022 has left for the Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) Alumni Association. Ahead lies 2023, a year that will be just as great, unforgettable, and full of new accomplishments. But first, let us look back at the year that has passed.
Although the year started with quite strict COVID-19 restrictions, this did not stop the association from organising various events. To celebrate the spring, the association organised a photo orientation competition in order for the students to get to know the university, feel a sense of belonging, and have fun.
The alumni association has been giving lecturers the opportunity to receive a targeted scholarship for the past nine years in cooperation with RSU and the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation. This scholarship gives lecturers the ability to modernise and create new study courses in four months.
At the repeated request of its members, the association continued to develop its popular project Zināšanu soļanka (Knowledge Soup). RSU alumni, students, staff, and friends could meet virtually for discussions, both serious and fun. To make the discussions even more exciting, we invited guests from different fields to share their thoughts and experiences on the set topic. The theme on the menu for this event was “coexistence”.
The first guest was RSU graduate Laura Valaine. She is a psychotherapy resident and a doctoral student in the RSU Medicine programme. The second speaker was Ēvalds Dukuls, a journalist at LTV and the creator of the video series Dzīvei nav melnraksta (Life Doesn’t Have a Draft) and many other works. The event was also attended by Diāna Dadzīte, who is a para-athlete who finds a solution to improve the quality of life in every situation, as well as Andris Šuvajevs, a guest lecturer at RSU who works in the field of social anthropology.
General meeting, graduations, and a new executive director
The alumni association organises a general meeting every year. This year’s general meeting was special because it concluded with the election of a new RSU Alumni Association Executive Board (see picture below). Two main objectives were set for the coming years to foster growth and increase the value of the association: attracting international alumni and promoting research. The members unanimously agreed on the new board: Dins Šmits, Romans Lācis, Liene Ņikitina-Zaķe, Ruta Siliņa, Juris Šleiers, Ieva Lejniece, and Artūrs Kalva.
The biggest events of the year for the alumni association are the summer graduation ceremonies, when students from different faculties become alumni and can help the association continue developing. In five years, the RSU Alumni Association has grown from 100 members to being the largest association of its kind in Latvia, comprising more than 1,370 alumni who all hold diplomas from RSU, the Medical Academy of Latvia, and the Rīga Medical Institute.
Paula Feldmane-Jumīte became the new Executive Director of the RSU Alumni Association at the end of the summer.
‘The RSU Alumni Association provides support and invites graduates to get involved to help students, recent graduates, and the University with ideas. Alumni can help make the University a place people want to return to,’
Intelligence Club and film nights
As autumn cama round, in-person events resumed and the RSU Alumni Association Inteliģences klubs (Intelligence Club) dinner could be held for the seventh time on 15 September 2022. All members of the association were welcome to attend. The event was opened by a special guest – Mārtiņš Kazāks, President of the Bank of Latvia.
The Intelligence Club New Gen event has already become a tradition and it took place on 22 September. Members had the opportunity to watch the short film Elza in the cosy premises of Kino Bize while enjoying delicious snacks, as well as to discuss and analyse the film with the well-known psychotherapist Artūrs Miksons.
Inspired by the film night, the idea for a new series of events, Filmu lidojums ar Artūru Miksonu (Film Flight with Artūrs Miksons), was born. Two Film Flight events took place in 2022 where attendants could explore a film from a psychological perspective and analyse a well-known film in the lead up to the festive season.
Scholarships for lecturers and students
The association is very grateful for its long-standing cooperation with the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation. A lot was accomplished in 2022. At the end of autumn, lecturers were chosen to receive targeted scholarships to update study courses and they are currently working hard. Meanwhile, applications for the spring call have just closed. It is a pleasure to see motivated and dedicated lecturers who want to make the learning environment more accessible and of higher quality, so that future graduates have a more fulfilling learning experience.
The pharmaceutical company Olainfarm has been cooperating with the association for eleven years, awarding scholarships to the brightest students from the RSU Faculty of Pharmacy to promote excellence in the Latvian pharmaceutical industry. Three 4th and 5th year pharmacy students from Latgale will receive a scholarship of EUR 1,400 and the opportunity to undergo a placement at Olainfarm by the end of this academic year.
The year passed by in a flash, with many different events and emotional moments. The association was able to implement new ideas and set new goals. Thank you to everyone who was with the Alumni Association and was part of this wonderful year!
See you at new and exciting events in 2023!