Research comes from collaboration, and Pioneer scholars have many opportunities to learn from their faculty mentor as well as from the other scholars in the cohort. In addition to exploring new ideas with their peers, Pioneer scholars also have opportunities to interact with program participants from all over the world and Pioneer alumni, both during and after the program!
Pioneer alumni often connect with each other during online events, but also meet up in person! In this series, we share some examples of past “Pioneer on Campus” events, organized by Pioneer alumni. These events are informal, casual meetups where Pioneer alumni connect and learn more about each other’s research and interests.
One recent event occurred at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In 2019 and 2020, UCLA admitted 198 Pioneer scholars, and many attended the get-together, eager to connect with fellow alumni. This event was organized by three Pioneer alumni: Allie from Seoul, South Korea, Aleyna from Istanbul, Turkey, and Jieyue from Beijing, China. Reflecting on organizing the event with Allie and Aleyna, Jiayue (2020, mathematics) noted, “Organizing the event with Allie and Aleyna was successful; the bond of Pioneer brought us together, and we collaborated well even though we had never met each other before. It is exciting to see so many Pioneer scholars with diverse backgrounds enter the same college and unite at the event.”
The bond created through conducting rigorous research with Pioneer gave the alumni a common connection, although they came from many different hometowns and conducted research in many different research areas. “It was great to see how many people would just stop by and after seeing the Pioneer banner just stopped by and had some snacks and had a chat. When the topic of Pioneer came up everyone just became super talkative and because we had that similar experience, we were able to just talk for about an hour about our research topics and research, and how that led us to UCLA. It was really interesting to talk with people who have the same experience,” Allie (2020, Science, Technology, and Society) noted.
Aleyna (2020, economics) agreed, and noted how great it was to have a chance to connect with so many different students, including many other international students. The event also became an opportunity for upperclassmen to share their advice with younger Pioneer alumni. Aleyna shared, “It was very nice to meet like people when we first got there, we were so excited and I think we were such a great team, all of us organizing. We talked a lot about Pioneer and school in general and many of these kids were international, which was nice because it’s always good to meet other international students and the upperclassmen really gave us advice on what classes to take and how to make the most of UCLA.”
Overall, the event was a great opportunity for all Pioneer alumni at UCLA to connect and share experiences and advice. Stay tuned for future Pioneer on Campus events at other universities. To learn more about Pioneer and our alumni network, check out our official Instagram @Pioneer_Academics, our student-run Instagram page @scholarsofpioneer, or our LinkedIn page.