Ostrow launches exclusive social network for its community

hand holding phone with Ostrow Connect home screen
Author

John Hobbs MA '14

Posted

21 Oct 20

Ostrow Connect offers USC dentistry faculty, staff, students and alumni the opportunity to stay connected.

LIVING IN A PHYSICALLY DISTANCED WORLD as a result of a global pandemic can necessarily lead to a loss of a sense of community.

Temporarily gone are the ceremonies, events, galas and small get-togethers that help foster a solid community. 

It was partly with this in mind that the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC partnered with Graduway, a leading provider of alumni networking software, to create Ostrow Connect. 

“We recognize how isolating a global pandemic can be and thought a virtual solution could provide the safe and healthy camaraderie that we all need so much right now,” said Dean Avishai Sadan. “This platform is a powerful networking tool that can really help to build an even stronger, closer Trojan Dental Family.”

Launched in mid-October, Ostrow Connect is for the USC dentistry community only, which includes faculty, staff, residents, students, alumni, continuing education participants and potential employers.

To get started, participants register with some basic information and await approval from site administrators. 

Once accepted, Ostrow Connect community members can then build out their profiles, with the option to include information about their education, professional experience and willingness to help, with mentorship, shadowing opportunities, networking or simply to meet for a cup of coffee. They are also asked open-ended questions meant to better identify themselves to the community. 

The platform includes a newsfeed (much like you would see on Instagram or Facebook), where members can share pictures, news stories and updates; a  job board; a calendar of upcoming events; group pages for student and alumni organizations and a mentoring match-up functionality.

Ostrow Connect’s first major programming push takes place Nov. 2 through Nov. 7, during USC’s Homecoming Week.

Throughout the week, the Office of External Relations and Student Life will hold alumni spotlight series, photo contents (show your USC office decorations, dress your pets up in Trojan gear!) and virtual events sponsored by the Century Club Alumni Association, including a virtual performance by the Trojan Marching Band, a virtual tour of the L.A. Memorial Coliseum and the dental school, a virtual Paint-and-Sip class and a Trivia Game Night.

“We hope that these virtual events provide an opportunity for our community to come together and join in the rich tradition of USC Homecoming,” said Danielle Barr ’07, MNLM ’20. director of alumni relations and events. “Our constituencies can interact, engage and even compete with one another during these exciting events.”

While the virtual platform may have been born out of the need to connect during a tumultuous year, it’s the hope that Ostrow community members will make Ostrow Connect a permanent part of their virtual life, she added.

To sign up for Ostrow Connect, visit ostrowconnect.usc.edu.

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