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Faculty Speaker Series

Photo of Alumnae Hall with WCAA Virtual Faculty Speaker Series Text

The Wellesley College Alumnae Association brings Wellesley "home" to you with virtual faculty lectures for alums. The online series takes place at varied times throughout the year, giving alums all over the world a chance to participate. Recordings of past lectures are available to watch at any time. 

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Past Lecture recordings

February 28, 2024
12:00 PM ET

Career Education Update with Jen Pollard, Executive Director of Career Education & Associate Provost

Please join the Alumnae Association for an update from Career Education.



March 14, 2024
7:00 PM ET

Carolyn Anderson, Assistant Professor of Computer Sciences, Demystifying Large Language Models

The recent rise of large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT and Bard has sparked both anxiety and excitement around how AI will impact society. Will LLMs make us more productive and free us from tedious tasks? Will they put writers and other creatives out of work? With this talk, Professor Anderson seeks to demystify LLMs by showing how experts investigate the abilities and limitations of LLMs. She will present two glimpses at the potential impact of LLMs: an exploration of LLM creativity playing and generating puzzles from NPR’s Sunday radio show, and an investigation of how well LLMs understand beginning computer science students. Professor Anderson will argue in favor of viewing LLMs as partners to humans, rather than as saviors, competitors, or replacements.

Note: This topic may be updated to align with current trends.


April 11, 2024
7:00 PM ET

Linda Charmaraman, Senior Research Scientist; Director, Youth, Media & Wellbeing Research Lab, Social Media and Adolescent Mental Health: How Wellesley College Students Address Research, Practice, and Policy Implications

This webinar will discuss recent health advisories highlighting the need to address growing research on positive and negative uses of social media for adolescent mental health. These advisories come from the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the U.S. Surgeon General's office. Dr. Charmaraman will give an overview of how the Youth, Media, & Wellbeing Research Lab at the Wellesley Centers for Women has conducted studies about adolescents' social technology use (e.g., use of social media sites, gaming, smartphones). These studies also provide meaningful research and action experiences to Wellesley College students. From generating research questions and hypotheses to writing grant proposals and collecting data, students understand how research gets off the ground. Through data analysis, interpretation of findings, and disseminating via articles, blogs, podcasts, and Instagram, students gain an insider perspective of how research collaborations and translation of that research to the public can benefit the world they live in.