Can we talk?  Marian University is introducing a new event in this year’s Homecoming schedule and everyone is invited.  Conversations, Connections and Community, which will take place on Thursday, September 21st, is a gathering of Marian faculty, staff, students and alumni, along with leaders from the local community and the general public, to discuss issues surrounding higher education and career development.  There will be presentations, panel discussions and opportunities for the audience to ask questions. Topics will include:

  • The Brain Drain in Wisconsin: How to Keep Talent from Leaving the State
  • Bridging the Generation Gap in the Workplace
  • ChatGPT – The Implications for Business and Education
  • Engaging in Career Conversations

Some of the special guest experts include Sarah Van Buren, Director of Business Intelligence, Envision Greater Fond du Lac; Kayla Gabler, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Church Mutual Insurance; and Anne Zizzo, Founder and CEO of The Zizzo Group, as well as local business leaders from Michels Corp., Naviant, Badger Liquor, Northwestern Mutual, Society Insurance, Edward Jones, Bank First, CliftonLarsonAllen, Fond du Lac County, NAMI of Fond du Lac, Destination Lake Winnebago Region Visitors Bureau and more.

The event is free and open to the public and begins at 9:25 am in the Stayer Center Auditorium at Marian University, and concludes with a Reception from 3:00 – 5:00 pm.  Parking is available in the parking lot next to the building at South National Avenue and East 2nd Street.

One of the topics, ChatGPT, has been contentious at many universities, but Marian University professors have collaborated across departments for a unique approach – to examine how to harness the power of ChatGPT to improve practices in Business and Education, and do so through the lens of Marian’s values-based education.

“At Marian University, we are exploring the ethical integration of AI to enhance both our community and educational standards,” said Johanna Groene, Adjunct Professor in Education at Marian. “Through the use of ChatGPT, we are fostering environments where critical thinking thrives, laying a solid foundation for a harmonious and inclusive workplace and society.”

Marian Professor of Business James Gray sees the event as part of Marian’s efforts to get students connected to the community before they graduate. “As part of our core values here at Marian University, we promise students that we engage in a lifelong learning process of seeking truth, appropriating knowledge and values to transform the individuals, our community and the world,” said James Gray.  “With Conversations, Connections and Community, we’re putting that promise to action, so students can make those connections with people in our community and realize their role in helping make our community better.”