A fantastic edition of the MSP student alumni gathering
On 17 and 18 September, students and alumni of the Maastricht Science Programme came together at Paul-Henri Spaaklaan to attend the annual MSP student alumni gathering (previously known as MSP conference).
After a year of online-only events, all the attendees were happy to meet up again in person, and for many alumni, this was the first opportunity to see the new building in real life, making this extra event special.
Research at Maastricht Science Programme
On Friday, the event started off with a talk by Gideon Koekoek about current research that is going on at MSP, after which Megan Entzinger updated us about the bachelor thesis research, and Hanne Dilien gave a talk about the honours programme. After this, new staff members Lorenzo Reverberi, Claire Blackman and Kyle Jazwa got the chance to introduce themselves in short lightning talks, and finally, there was time for networking and socialising with some snacks and drinks in the new learning spaces. This evening was a great way to learn more about what is currently going on at MSP but mostly to meet old and new friends, and even though officially the programme ended at 20:00, many attendees still continued their evening in the centre of Maastricht.
Students share their experiences
On the next day, it was time for students and alumni to share their experiences. The schedule was filled with talks ranging from how to decolonise science and the role of sleep in fast motor learning and from space bugs to innovation in hospitals. In true MSP style, there was a huge variety in the topics that were covered in the talks, making it an interesting day for everyone. After the talks, it was again time to relax and enjoy some "vlaai" and good company in the learning spaces, and finish off the programme at the MSP building with a fun pub quiz. To close off the day, many of the attendees still joined for a dinner provided by MSP at Restobar Mama.
For the first time, this MSP gathering was organised as a hybrid online and in-person event, making it possible for students, alumni and staff from all over the world who were not able to make it in person to attend the event online. Through video calls with a shared screen and webcam in the lecture theatre, the online attendees were able to follow all the talks, ask questions and even present their own work. Although at times, some technical difficulties had to be overcome, this was a fantastic way to connect with even more of the MSP community, and it will definitely be a feature to keep for future editions.
All in all, this was a fantastic fifth edition of the MSP Student Alumni Gathering full of friends and science, and we are already looking forward to next year!