Your Invitation to Participate / Harvard GSD Alumni Research Initiative

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THE SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED; RESULTS TO BE SHARED IN THE COMING WEEKS.

GSD alumni are members of the alumni community of nearly 13,000 graduates spanning 105 countries. This community of brilliant and diverse professionals makes an impact across a growing array of disciplines and industries. In 2014, the GSD undertook an all alumni survey to better understand the School’s alumni community and identify ways to strengthen alumni connections to the School; and prepare for the Grounded Visionaries campaign. This initial survey provided insight into the how well the GSD experience prepared them for their careers, their communications preferences, and their levels of engagement. It also identified that nearly half of the initial 3,000 respondents were no longer practicing in the field they studied at the GSD. The results of this investigation helped to inform and direct the ways to engage alumni. Consequently, there has been an increase in the number of alumni who are participating in activities, as well as connecting with the School through social media, email communication, and website visits. However, there has been continued interest to gain a greater understanding of careers alumni are pursuing either inside their disciplines of study or the growing number of professions embracing the value of design education.

In the final year of the Grounded Visionaries campaign, the GSD is interested in building on these findings through a second alumni research initiative. This follow up investigation aims to gain a greater understanding of the range of disciplines in which alumni may be involved professionally and how the knowledge and skills developed at the GSD may have prepared them for these endeavors. The School is also interested in understanding the social impact our alumni have on their local and broader communities through their professional contributions and volunteer endeavors. A collaborative process engaging a number of alumni, the GSD Alumni Council, and faculty helped inform the survey development, which included Anita Berrizbeitia MLA ’87, chair of the department of landscape architecture and professor of landscape architecture. “As a Department Chair and Professor at the GSD, I want to learn more about the varied and multifaceted career paths of our alumni, so we can better prepare our students for their professional lives after the GSD, said Berrizbeitia. “At the School, we are also interested in celebrating the lasting impact of our alumni on the built environment and society.”

As a Department Chair and Professor at the GSD, I want to learn more about the varied and multifaceted career paths of our alumni, so we can better prepare our students for their professional lives after the GSD. At the School, we are also interested in celebrating the lasting impact of our alumni on the built environment and society. ~ Anita Berrizbeitia MLA ’87, Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Professor of Landscape Architecture

Feedback from alumni is vital in helping the GSD to understand if and how the knowledge and skills they refined at the School have influenced their careers and professional specialties. We want to ensure that efforts for both current students and valued alumni will be meaningful and well-served for the professional paths created after graduation. Regardless of current professional pursuits, participation in this research is of great value and will help define the value and relevance of design education.

We are asking alumni to share their thoughts in an online questionnaire, which should take about 10-12 minutes to complete. Participation by Monday, January 29 is essential to this effort. All alumni should have received an email with a personal link to take the survey.

As of Monday, January 22, over 2,000 alumni had completed the survey with nearly 500 others who had started, but not completed this questionnaire. We hope you will participate or complete this investigation to provide useful information for the School. Thank you in advance to alumni for their support on this important research initiative and for helping the GSD strengthen its understanding of the alumni community and enhance the education for its students. The School looks forward to sharing key learnings in our research with you in the coming months following the completion of this investigation and complete review of outcomes.