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Social Media Changes Part of College Life

Howard W. Hewitt – The only constant in social media is change. Social media is here to stay. The only certain thing is that it will be different tomorrow, next month, or next year.

Facebook has 1.29 billion users worldwide. Twitter has nearly 300 million users around the world.

find-us-on-facebook-logos-1024x245Wabash Communications and Marketing has recently refocused its social media approach to be more focused and less of a shotgun method.

Here is an easy example to make the point. We used to post to Facebook 30-40-50 times a month but our reach, those who actually see the page, was quite low. That was frustrating so we took the advice of cutting edge social media firm, Blue Fuego, which serves higher education.

Immediately we cut our Facebook posts down to 12-15 a month, fewer links to take site visitors elsewhere, and we concentrated on engaging photos. The results have been overwhelming. Since Blue Fuego started measuring our engagement June 1, our level of activity has increased 151 percent!

instagram-logoWe’ve added several new social media outlets as well. Check out the photos on our Instagram page.  Be sure to follow our account and instagram_heart40 (heart) the ones you like best.

podcast-logoMedia Center Director Adam Bowen has written about our new series of Podcasts. Podcasts are ideal for travelers, business men on planes, and those who want an extended interview instead of a snippet. Read Adam’s post for more details on Wabash Podcasts.

While not exactly a social media tool, the College recently invested in a drone. The photos and video from high above 301 Wabash Ave. have drawn lots of attention on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

We’re always in the business of recruiting new Wabash men. We have adapted a popular social media platform introduced by Blue Fuego to just one other college. The Brotherhood is a fun and ever-changing look at the men, faculty and staff of Wabash College. Scroll through a few pages to get a look at the Wabash Community.

twitter logoWe remain active on Twitter with daily posts and nearly 2,000 followers. Our YouTube channel is where you can find the latest videos and every Thursday’s Chapel Talk. Our University LinkedIn page provides alums and all of the Wabash community to connect.

Social Media is an always-changing medium. What worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. It requires flexibility, creativity, and consistent messaging.

Hewitt is Wabash College’s Director of Digital Media.

Podcasts Offer Deeper Look at Wabash

Adam Bowen – The Media Center in conjunction with Communications & Marketing recently launched an institutional podcast called Wabash On My Mind, in honor of the book written by former president Byron K. Trippet. We’re excited about the unique possibilities of the format to continue to tell the Wabash story.

Laura Wysocki

Laura Wysocki

Our hope for this podcast is that it will become a place where long-form conversations take place between faculty, visiting lecturers, students, or anyone on campus with a compelling story.  We would ultimately love for the podcast booth to become a routine stop for visiting scholars to discuss their work, life, and scholarship while here on campus.  We have many people on campus with fascinating backgrounds and strongly encourage community members to submit proposals for podcast episodes.

The podcast is released every Monday at noon and can be found in iTunes by searching “Wabash On My Mind”.  We have also developed standalone apps for both Android and iOS.  The app can also be found by searching “Wabash On My Mind” in iTunes or the Google Play store.  The link for the podcast can also be found with our other social media links on the Wabash homepage.

If you are interested in scheduling a podcast interview, please contact Adam Bowen in the Media Center for details.

Wabash Men Have Fun Time for Good Cause

http://youtu.be/0MRAh5UqnqM

Howard W. Hewitt – Wabash leadership, faculty and staff take their jobs very seriously.

Wabash students obviously take their studies and extra-curricular activities seriously.

Corey

Egler

But at times we lament that we just don’t have enough fun. While that is arguably not true, we know there is always fun lurking around the next corer. A social media/pop music fad that started in Kentucky has swept the nation. So the long story made short is a group of fraternity men at Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky., set the bar really high with a no-edit lip-sync of Taylor Swift’s hit “Shake it Off.” By the way, that pop hit has more than 170 million views on YouTube. The Transylvania guys are nearing a quarter million views. The initial video challenged visitors to donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society/

Nate

Bode

Those Transylvania Delta Sigma Chi gentlemen really started something. The Challenge was created to get other colleges involved to raise awareness of a good cause. Colleges across the nation are now dancing to #CollegeShakeOff and #ShakeItUp. Students at Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) danced to the Swift hit and challenged IU, Purdue and Wabash College. The Jaguars wanted to raise suicide awareness.

Myers

Myers

So when Wabash men are challenged, they answer the call. The craze came to our attention in the Communications and Marketing office. We turned it totally over to students Corey Egler ’15 and Nathan Bode ’16. Those two deserve all the credit along with videographer Austin Myers ’16.

They managed to talk students, faculty, and staff into dancing for the video. Oh, and their is a brief cameo by one administrator you might recognize. The Wabash men decided to raise awareness for Men’s Health – something of a tradition at Wabash during Movember.

Serious fun!

 

A Lot Goes Into Creating Web Video

Clayton Randolph ’16 – Most people know little about what it takes to conduct an interview, be it video, paper, or any other type of media. The opportunity was presented to me by Associate Director of Communications and Marketing, Richard Paige, to come along and observe.

The goal was to feature what goes on behind the scenes of an interview, in this case a video interview. Adam Bowen, who is the Director of the Media Center, can blow your socks off with his knowledge about video. He knows how to adjust the lights just right, how to make sure the camera angle is near perfect, and can make the audio sound crisp and clean.

There is a lot going on behind the scenes.

There is a lot going on behind the scenes.

Adam brought along two of his summer interns to help with the setup of the interview. Each of the three prepared lights, adjusted cameras, and checked audio. Two cameras, two microphones, three lights, an extra light bulb, extension cords, audio/video cables, and carrying cases comprised the interview room. See photos from our video shoot here.

Setting up the scene can be a challenge. Making sure cameras are in the right place, for the best shot, with the best height, the best light, and everything else in between, is tough. It takes patience. Adam and his interns scurried around setting things up before our first guest arrived. One reflection, and I feel this is true for most, deadlines put people on edge.

The interview was featured Cameron McDougal ’12 and will appear on the Wabash website. Cameron is a bright guy who encompasses everything a Wabash man is and should be. He was actively involved in many activities throughout his time at Wabash. Ask anyone, and they will say what a genuine, caring person McDougal is. The end product will be a short three- to five-minute video interview detailing McDougal’s journey through Wabash and his career choice. The underlying theme of the video is the question of ‘What can I do with a liberal arts degree?’ Cameron embodies that motto. He came to Wabash knowing he wanted to be a dentist, but after taking biochemistry, he opted against it. Instead, he is working towards becoming an agent with the Department of Homeland Security.

For the interview, we were situated in a conference room, which had some trouble accommodating all of the gear plus five to seven other people. It was a little tight but, we made it work and ended up with a neat place for shooting. Between five different combinations of people, Kyle Bender ’12, Mac McNaught ‘76, McNaught/Cameron McDougal ’12, McDougal, and Greg Shipp ‘11, we accumulated around 90 minutes of video. Adam’s team can only make a three to five minute piece. That’s a lot of editing.

Once the interviews commenced, I was able to take some photos of what it’s like behind the camera. Although we are not ESPN, CNN or even Channel 13, the pictures give you an idea of what behind-the-scenes looks like for a video interview. Imagine being in front of multiple cameras and having to answer questions in a clear and concise manner, while five or more people watch. It can be intense.

It’s sometimes intense on the other side of the camera as well.

Clayton Randolph is a rising Junior at Wabash College and current intern in the Communications and Marketing Department.

 

Students Learn Business in LABB Program

Clayton Randolph ’16 – The Liberal Arts Bridges to Business (LABB) program took 18 students from different backgrounds and exposed them to real-world business experience from the end of May until early July.

The two major components of the paid eight-week LABB program included work on a community-based consulting project and a business plan for a hypothetical business each team of students would launch. Participants also learned to write an encompassing budget, advertising and operations plans.

“We take 18 students from across all majors with varied working knowledge of business and we expose them to the major concepts of working in business,” said Roland Morin ’91, in his fourth year leading the LABB program. “They read multiple Harvard Business School cases and business journals and are then asked to apply their liberal arts and Wabash analytical skills to the cases.”

The major concepts taught help make the students diverse in all areas of business. The participants receive preparation and understanding in economics, marketing, decision making, negotiations, procedures, human resources and leadership.

“This is all done at a very high level, but the main concepts are stacked – one upon the other to provide an understanding of what goes into working in business,” Morin said. “LABB allows students to explore topics and help them to see what areas they like most.”

Last year Wabash student employment was the consulting project. This year the Wabash scheduling program was front and center.

“This year’s consulting project was to assess the Wabash scheduling program and make recommendations for improvements to system processes, functionality, and the scheduling of rooms on campus for academic and non-academic events,” Morin said.

Part of the assessment was an open forum for members of the Wabash community to share their thoughts about the current system and suggest fixes. This allowed the students to get a better understanding of the present system.

The spirited campus discussion brought out many strong opinions. “Troubling.” “Incomplete.” “Pre-Internet.”

Perhaps not what they expected to hear. But, it was a practical way for students to experience how negotiations work in the business world. Being a part of the program has already taught students how to look at things from different points of view and has provided them opportunities to suggest fixes.

“Information Technology (IT) is trying to create a system that widely functions the best it can,” said Jake Budler ’17, an economics major. “They encounter people who know little about programming. Those people want it to work for what they need it for. I think there is miscommunication on how it’s used. The purpose of it varies from different people’s perspectives.”

The program concluded with presentations by the three groups of students showcasing their ideas for solving the problem. While philosophies varied from in-house fixes to outside scheduling companies, Morin understands what LABB gives back to students. Each year he witnesses more growth from participants, a sign the program is working.

“This is my fourth year leading this program for Wabash, and each year I am amazed at the ability of the students to make the connections between topics without being prompted,” said Morin. “Each day is different for me, the questions get more complicated and in depth as we add more topics. Facing a class of Wabash students eager to learn every morning is not easy, but it is well worth it.”

Corey Hoffman ’16 loves the idea of what LABB offers. “I have several friends who have participated in the program and they took away a lot,” he said. “It even helped them get more internships later by getting their foot in the door in business. It is essentially getting paid to learn.”

Summer Provides Different Pace Around Here

School’s out and the nights roll in; Man, just like a long lost friend; You ain’t seen in a while; And can’t help but smile.Kenny Chesney

Clayton Randolph ’16 - The Chesney lyrics from Summertime may describe what most college students feel when classes finally end. But at Wabash, a few students remain on campus, some with professors gaining valuable job experience in fields such as Economics, Small Business, College office internships, and conducting research.

To outsiders, it may seem obvious that translates to students and more downtime for everyone.

Associate Professor of History Dr. Richard Warner, who has been at Wabash for 15 years, agreed the summer is a different animal. “The summer is much quieter,” Warner laughed. “One of the favorable differences is that we have very few meetings.”

Since most Wabash professors are actively engaged with students, including clubs and activities, it leaves little time for research. First year Assistant Professor of Political Science Michael Burch has already traveled to Ghana for field research. “As soon as classes ended and grades were in, I went off to Ghana for a few weeks,” he said. “My plans for the summer are to take all of that research and create a couple of articles.”

Warner will be completing a filmography article that outlines what movies will work well in a classroom. “It is a list of films that can be used in History classes, 150 different films.”

Fabian House ‘16 and Tim Livolsi ’16 said the summer is more tranquil.

House, interning in the Admissions and Financial Aid Offices, said the campus is more relaxed. “Weekends can even be quieter because a lot of people leave.”

Livolsi, interning in the Information Technology department, agreed with the laid back description. “I do not have anything to worry about in the evening, compared to during the school year when I have no time at all.”

The two agreed the living arrangements make for an interesting summer and can cause issues. “Independents and fraternity men definitely become closer in College Hall, and there is the kitchen dilemma where a group of guys have to use one kitchen,” Livolsi said. “It is a bit more frustrating because we have to provide food for ourselves and the kitchen is always a mess.”

A summer at Wabash provides the opportunity to meet new people, relax, and worry about when you can start grilling on the George Foreman. For professors, it is a time to catch up on research and attend fewer meetings.

Students and professors seem to agree the change of pace is a nice step away from the rigorous academic environment. Nearly 100 students are taking advantage this summer to work and learn in a less chaotic atmosphere.

Clayton Randolph ’16 is a summer intern in the Communications and Marketing office. He is a History major and Economics minor. Clayton is the lead play-by-play radio broadcaster for Wabash College baseball and also broadcasts Wabash College football. He does sideline reporting for Wabash TV during home football games. Clayton co-hosts The Montgomery County Gridiron Report radio show every Friday night on Thunder 103.9 in Crawfordsville. He also calls county high school basketball games on Crawfordsville’s Thunder 103.9 and True Country 106.3.

State Association Honors Heidi Carl

Wabash’s Director of Financial Aid Heidi Carl was recently honored by the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association.

CarlCarl, in her first year at Wabash, was presented April 22 with the Distinguished Service Award. The award is presented to formally recognize those who have made exemplary contributions to the financial aid profession and to the association..

Carl came to Wabash hoping to increase the profile and strengthen communication with students at Wabash. She has also been an instrumental voice in the re-shaping of the ESH, or student employment, program.

The award honors leadership activities and achievements within the financial aid profession or higher education community.

 

Bachelor Students Reflect on NY Times Visit

Patrick Bryant ’16 – As I prepare to take over the Editor-in-chief position for the 2014-15 production of The Bachelor, it meant a great deal to me that I had an opportunity to attend the “Inside the Times” Student Editors’ Conference that welcomed college students from a number of universities to The New York Times building in Manhattan.  We had the opportunity to hear from a number of Times editors, including senior editors in copy editing, an associate managing editor responsible for weekend content, and editors who have responsibilities in newer multimedia areas.

GuysTimesSquareBefore I share with you some of what we learned, I want to first share some anecdotes from what I observed in conversing with students from other publications.  At our table, we were joined by the Editor-in-chief and two section editors from Brigham Young University and an Editor-in-chief and section editor from Queen’s College in New York City.  I get used to thinking of the size and reach of The Bachelor staff as the norm for most collegiate publications, forgetting that many universities have journalism programs with a few thousand students.  These editors are very insulated from the writing and page design that each and every member of our staff has to concern themselves with.  Where one could call that a drawback, I see it as the liberal arts at work.  Where I have friends and classmates from my high school newspaper publication having to wait until their junior year to begin writing for the paper, our guys have the opportunity to start writing from the first week on.  I made a comment to the editors from BYU that often times the new staffers for The Bachelor do not have prior experience and that some of us higher-level editors take time to teach them how to use InDesign.  How did they respond?  Turns out that they did not really know how to use InDesign either.  They had designers who were insulated from their position and responsible for the page design.  Again, this is a testament to the well-rounded men that are learning everyday inside and outside of the classroom.  Elsewhere there are formal journalism programs teaching less than what our extracurricular group teaches peer-to-peer.

When I think of the nature of the staff, I am quick to think that our prime responsibilities are generating content: coming up with story ideas, interviewing, writing, copy editing, page layout, and distribution.  I was enthused by this conference and the testimonials we heard that there are ways that we, with our manpower, can find ways to innovate.  One way is copy editing.  We received a great deal of literature for copy editing “tips and tricks” and got some practice in proofreading and headline writing.  Also, we talked about the evolving media and the variety of forms it’s taking place in.  Recently, The Bachelor started a Twitter handle @WabCoBachelor.  Testimonials from editors in the realm of social media lead me to believe that we can do a better job in engaging our audience through social media.  Sending out links and referencing stories is one thing, but creating a dialogue where users can generate content and conservation.  Ideally, through this avenue, this could be a marketing tool for the print edition for The Bachelor, but also a supplementary forum for print content.

These opportunities to learn are invaluable to the on-campus collaboration and innovation that are taking place on a consistent basis.  Taking time to ask questions and hear the testimonies of peers at other universities allow the smaller publications like The Bachelor to demonstrate our prowess as an efficient, savvy on-campus resource, but also give us a chance to learn from peer publications in order to improve ours.

Alexander Appreciates Chance to Dive into Journalism

Adam Alexander ’16 – I’ve always wanted to see the Big Apple, but I have never had the opportunity. Thankfully, The New York Times invited The Bachelor to their offices and the College agreed to fund our trip. Patrick Bryant and I learned a great deal on our trip – just as much from the other college editors in the room as from the Times editors.

GuysNCopsAs a prospective student, one of the biggest downsides of Wabash was the lack of a journalism program. I’ve wanted to at least pursue a minor in journalism for many years. But when I saw how other schools with established journalism programs run their newspapers, I became very grateful for Wabash’s unique journalistic opportunities. Editors from the other schools with whom we spoke all seemed to indicate that to even be considered for the newspaper staff, you had to be a sophomore. The editors at our table from Brigham Young University said that they recruit the best students from introductory-level journalism courses; very few of them ever have the chance to become an editor. I, on the other hand, was able to walk onto The Bachelor staff and fill the role of Copy Editor at the beginning of my freshman year. This is a tremendous example of the benefits of a small school like Wabash over bigger universities.

The other editors also seemed to be a bit removed from the whole process of putting the newspaper together. While Patrick and I write stories every week, most of the students at the conference had not written a story the entire year. In addition, very few of them knew how to use Adobe InDesign, the program used to create the actual pages of the paper. When we talked about having to teach each other how to use InDesign, one of the editors in the room said, “That’s what we pay the designers for.” I feel as if they identified significant drawbacks within their own system – they were all so specialized that they did not know how to operate any other part of the paper.

Of course, the Times editors themselves were very helpful. I personally took away great copy editing advice through the use of examples. I learned to be more vigilant of a writer’s math; in one example, an increase from 75 to 90 was cited as a 15% increase. This seems relatively minor, but I believe the whole point of copy editing is to make our stories seem as credible and professional as possible. Little things like typos and math errors undermine The Bachelor’s credibility, so it is my job fix those. We also were given several pieces of general advice for writing stories.

In addition to my personal takeaways of new editing techniques, I think we really learned where we have to take The Bachelor in the future. In order for it to be a sustainable voice of the student body, we are going to have to put a website together. This is not going to be overnight, but I think we can begin discussion now and at least have an online presence (beyond a mere Twitter account) by the time I graduate. We will definitely need more manpower though – as well as an infographic designer.

Kesling ’02 Cites Liberal Arts in Diverse Career Path

Scott Morrison ’14 – Ben Kesling ’02 ha spent his entire life “finding his major” with his liberal arts perspective on life. Monday evening, Kesling gave the fourth and final talk in a series called “The Liberal Arts at Work.”

Ben Kesling ’02 talks about his career journey.

I was privileged to have dinner with Kesling and a few of my fellow current students and then attend his talk titled “Don’t Bury the Lede, A Few Thoughts on the Liberal Arts.”

Kesling’s career has embodied the utility of a liberal arts education. A religion major and member of Sigma Chi Fraternity at Wabash, he went on to attain a graduate degree from the Harvard Divinity School.

About that time, the war in Iraq was beginning, and Kesling was faced with a decision. “I sat and watched the initial invasion of Iraq on a television in a common room in grad school housing,” Kesling said. “I was able to wrestle with these questions of war, politics, and humanity thanks in large part to the liberal arts mindset that I had been able to build. I was able to think not only to the arguments being made prima facie but to the motivations behind those arguments.”

Kesling made up his mind to serve his country as a member of the United States Marine Corps and served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. After deciding that a career in the Marine Corps was not for him, Kesling went to the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern on the GI Bill. He left Medill before graduating in order to pursue his career opportunities and now works for the Wall Street Journal.

His message to students was focused on the importance that liberal arts has had on his life. To Kesling, the liberal arts is not simple dilettantism which entails mere dabbling in subjects in a superficial way.

“A liberal arts approach to life is having the ability and willingness to study a variety of subjects, the capacity to focus in on one when need be, and the humanity to make connections between everything,” Kesling said. “[It is] Like a good physician who knows all of the various organs and muscles in the body and can tell you a great deal about any single one of them but realizes also that the whole physical enterprise ceases to function without the sinews, tendons, and ligaments that connect those parts together.”

Kesling’s liberal arts background and his desire to learn and explore new subjects helped make him be successful as a graduate student, a member of the Marine Corps, and a journalist.

His message was comforting and inspiring as a 22-year-old senior who knows that life may hold a lot of twists and turns ahead. As Kesling never thought he would be a Marine or a journalist while he was at Wabash, I do not know what I may be pursing five to ten years from now.
I would like to thank Dr. Herzog and Wabash College for bringing alumni like Ben Kesling back to Wabash to share their advice and perspectives.

 


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