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LUNCH & LEARN - Come & Play: Building Bridges Across Campus & Developing Supports for Students

2023wed06dec12:00 pmwed1:00 pmLUNCH & LEARN - Come & Play: Building Bridges Across Campus & Developing Supports for StudentsVirtual Event | EVENT COMPLETE

Event Details

You are invited to join SOCHE for a virtual lunch and learn entitled “Come and Play: Building Bridges Across Campus & Developing Supports for Students,” on Wednesday, Dec. 6, beginning at 12 p.m. ET. The session will be presented by Cara Calabrese, Abi Morgan, Jerry Yarnetsky, and Elizabeth Staarmann from the Miami University Library.

Board game culture has seen a resurgence in the last few years, as a hobby and through game design as a scholarly field. Since 2017, a group of Miami University library staff have developed an event series centered around board games, with long-standing goals of fostering collaboration with student organizations, campus centers, and faculty, while also providing a safe, fun place in the library for students to destress. The series has been highly successful with over 3,000 attendees who range from students, faculty, friends, and even parents.

The team will share how they have used this popular event to increase engagement with the university community, which has yielded a positive increase in the perception of the libraries across campus. The power of Games Night is that it has real flexibility to benefit students, faculty, and staff in totally different ways for all these groups.

Academically, they have teamed up with Games & Simulation program professors to play-test student games. They have partnered with student groups such as League of Geeks to promote community among students who enjoy gaming, and UNIDOS, the Latinx student group, for cultural sharing. The team used targeted grants from university offices to create events for students’ families and to create entertaining, stress-free alternatives to the college party scene. The libraries are a natural host as they already act as a bridge-builder for the university community.

Participants will gain information regarding:

  • How the Library Games Committee reconnected and built relationships with other departments on campus and students
  • The library’s role in student success, retention, and mental health support and how board games can support them all.
  • Ways to market a unique event to colleagues, potential partners, and students that can embed the library in university culture, leading to increased value of the library on campus.
  • Ideas they can implement in their own spaces.

We invite you to learn about how the Miami University Library has approached the creation of what has come to be a signature event series and share your experiences with creating your own gaming-based or other unique events aimed at supporting students in a non-traditional way.

Registration for this event will close on Sunday, Dec. 3.

When: Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 12 p.m. ET

Where: SOCHE Zoom platform (link sent at least 24 hours prior to event)


  • Personnel from SOCHE member schools: $5
  • Personnel from NON-member schools/organizations: $10
  • Students: FREE

Questions? Contact Mindy Claggett at SOCHE

Student Registration Fee Policy

Registration Cancellation Policy

Registration for this event closes on Sunday, Dec 3.

About the Presenters

Cara Calabrese
Acquisitions & Access Librarian
Miami University

Cara Calabrese is the Acquisitions & Access Librarian for Miami University Libraries (MUL), and Library Gaming Knights Committee Co-Chair. She is a former member of the MUL Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Committee, a current member of the ALAO Diversity Committee, & ALA Core Diversity & Inclusion committee Co-Chair. Previously she was an ERM Librarian for UW-Madison and is a former Resident Librarian.

Abi Morgan
Social Science Librarian
Miami University

Abi Morgan is the Social Science Librarian for Miami University and past Co-Chair of the Library Game Nights Committee, and a member of the MUL Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee. She currently teaches a first-year research experience course with Humanities and Social Science Scholars.

Jerry Yarnetsky
Web Services Librarian
Miami University

Jerry Yarnetsky is a web services librarian at Miami University where he focuses on user experience, information architecture, and accessibility. He regularly teaches a course on interaction design and development at Miami. He’s been a “Games Knight” since 2018 and focuses on marketing and being a radical greeter each Games Night. Previously served as a librarian and library director at Montgomery County (Pa.) Community College and is a former journalist.

Elizabeth Staarmann
Library Associate
Miami University

Elizabeth Staarmann is a library associate at Miami University. She has been with the library since 2015. She is a member of the Library Gaming Knights Committee, the DEI Strategic Plan Committee, and the DEI Committee.


(Wednesday) 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm(GMT-05:00)

Councils & Committees

SOCHE is dedicated to advancing higher education through active collaboration, resource and knowledge building, and effective professional development programs. To accomplish this, SOCHE administers 16 active Councils and Committees. The purpose of a SOCHE Council or Committee is to provide an opportunity for representatives from higher education to be a resource for one another, share information and best practices, identify common challenges, and, ultimately, broaden awareness of the resources, services, and activities in higher education. SOCHE is also dependent upon the Councils and Committees for substantial input on annual professional development programs.

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