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Pistol Pete holding a laptop with a screen reading "Virtual 20 GPU."

OSU taking intergenerational learning online

Monday, June 8, 2020

COVID-19 put the brakes on this summer’s Grandparent University hosted by the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association, but the popular classes are now back in virtual session.

“GPU is one of our most beloved programs and regularly draws more than 700 grandparents and legacies to the OSU campus every June,” said Jessica Medina-Benningfield, OSU Alumni Association director of engagement. “Our team wanted to make sure our usual participants and any other interested Cowboys could participate this year — even from their own homes.”

At 3:30 p.m. Friday, the first of 10 virtual classes of Grandparent University will be held live on the Alumni Association’s webinar platform. This class, “World of Nano,” and two others will be streamed live on subsequent Fridays while the remaining seven will be recorded and posted online. All 10 will ultimately be made available on demand.

Dr. Shohreh Hemmati, an assistant professor of chemical engineering, will be hosting “World of Nano” in her second year teaching at GPU.

“I decided to participate in this new virtual event to do my small part not only to entertain kids but more importantly to let them learn about the magical world of nano,” said Dr. Hemmati, whose participation is also part of a recent grant from the National Science Foundation. “After one experience, I was truly inspired by the close relationship between the kids and their grandparents and how I can be part of the program to bring them together by scientific related activities.”

In “World of Nano,” Hemmati will introduce students to nanomaterials, their characteristics and production, and one of their applications in nanoelectronics. Other virtual GPU majors offered include architecture, chemistry, microbiology, Oklahoma geology and more.

“Taking GPU online has been a tremendous undertaking by our staff and the OSU faculty members who create the content,” said OSU Alumni Association President Rob McInturf. “We are thankful for the faculty support of this program that facilitates lifelong learning among our alumni and inspires future Cowboys with what they can achieve through an education at Oklahoma State.”

Thanks to the generosity of a sponsor, Legacy Village – Stillwater, all virtual GPU classes will be made available free of charge to anyone interested. Each class will last between 30 and 60 minutes with new classes being released online nearly every weekday from June 12-26.

“We hope everyone with a young child or grandchild interested in learning can take advantage of this unique opportunity to expand their knowledge while also experiencing the incredible opportunities available at OSU,” McInturf said. 

To participate, parents or grandparents can register themselves and their children or grandchildren at

MEDIA CONTACT: Chase Carter | OSU Alumni Association | 405.744.2066 |

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