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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!

 


Extraordinary Encounters

Indiana pastors with the Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program worshipped with Nobel Prize Laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu last Friday on his 83rd birthday.

Indiana pastors with the Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program worshipped with Nobel Prize Laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu last Friday on his 83rd birthday.

“Check out the attached picture,” Associate Professor of Religion Derek Nelson ’99 wrote to me in an email last Friday. I opened the attachment to find what you see here: Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in liturgical vestments, standing with a group of Indiana pastors from the Wabash Pastoral Leadership program.

So what are they doing in South Africa? (Other than receiving Holy Communion from one of the most famous peace activists on the planet, that is—and on the same day this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winners were announced.)

That’s pretty much what everyone I told about this photo has asked. Apparently the Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program—one of the College’s four Centers of Distinction—is also one of the College’ best kept secrets.

Time to get the word out.

Funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. and founded in 2008 by Professor Emeritus Raymond Williams H’68, the program selects up to 18 Indiana pastors who in their first five to ten years have demonstrated high potential for significant leadership. They participate in a series of meetings, conversations with outstanding leaders, and two study tours over a two-year period. I have photographed a few of the sessions here on campus. I have seen the safe space and remarkable support, guidance, and inspiration the Center provides these gifted and dedicated servants of their congregations, and that they give one another.

They express their gratitude for the program in testimonials on the program’s Web site that capture well the deep need the Center is meeting: “I had been told plenty of times that I needed to be a good leader, but I was given little space or time to reflect on leadership,” one pastor writes. “Part cloister and part think tank, the Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program has been a tremendous gift in my life that has created a community for theological and practical reflection on leadership.”

“The Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program was the greatest opportunity to grow as a pastoral leader I’ve ever been given,” writes another.

The current group is the second immersed in a study tour of South Africa, and Associate Director Libby Manning says “the trip has tied together so many of the community issues we have been studying with the pastors. We’re learning about the ways that education, conflict resolution, economics and immigration play into the health and well-being of our communities, and the place that the churches have in that ongoing process.”

The pastors toured Robben Island on Monday, guided by a former prisoner there and cellmate of Nelson Mandela, Eddie Daniels.

While most of the visit is carefully arranged, the encounter with Desmond Tutu was “mostly a case of being in the right place at the right time,” says Nelson, who in 2013 was named the Center’s director. A colleague of Derek’s was hosting the pastors at Stellenbosch University at the same time the school held a conference with Bishop Tutu. “So the pastors were on his radar screen, and the dean of the cathedral in Cape Town invited them to daily Mass.”

The pastors are blogging about their experience in South Africa at the Center’s Web site, where you’ll see one way the College’s original mission—”the training of teachers and preachers”—is being lived out in new, important, and unexpected ways.

 


On To Year Two

Yesterday was my one-year anniversary on the Wabash campus, and such a milestone served as a good time to hit the brakes and reflect on the knowledge gained in the last 365 days I’ve managed to put in the rear-view mirror.

I’ve asked a series of questions in every Wabash interview I’ve done in that time. A stream-of-consciousness thing, quick thoughts to see how people think. On this occasion, I felt like looking at the wisdom of the answers to one question in particular:

What advice would you give your 10-year-old self?

The answers loosely fell into three categories: don’t take life to seriously, try new things, and work hard.

That’s simple, right? Not exactly.

Ivan Koutsopatriy ‘16.

Ivan Koutsopatriy ‘16.

With a year to reflect and a little institutional knowledge now working to my advantage, each answer now carries a little more weight.

The guys who fell into the “don’t take life too seriously category” are some of the most focused and driven people around, like Ivan Koutsopatriy ‘16, Scott Purucker ‘16, Derrick Li ‘14, Jared Lang ‘08, and Brent Bolick ‘91.

Koutsopatriy simply stated, “Do you,” when I asked him that question. Sage advice from a guy who was described as having “a core of energy that is just bottomless,” according to chemistry professor Lon Porter.

Those who championed new experiences relied on the benefits of lessons learned.

Brian Kopp ‘98, a senior vice president for sports solutions at STATS, Inc., said, “Don’t be afraid to try new things and to make mistakes because sometimes that’s when you learn the most.”

He’s a guy who is using captured data to change the way NBA head coaches, some of the most regimented people you’ll ever meet, think and analyze the game.

“Take advantage of a lot of different opportunities,” said Steve Ganson ‘73, who has officiated high school basketball for 37 years. “Don’t let something strange scare you away,”

Those are words of wisdom from a Wally who caught the officiating bug during his Wabash days as a manager when the basketball coach suggested he referee the team scrimmages even though he had zero experience and admits now that he didn’t know much about the game back then.

Acclaimed artist and art advocate Matthew Deleget ‘94 took a more practical role in advice distribution, stating, “There is virtue in working hard and people who work hard have greater insights into things.”

“Study as a hard as possible,” was the response from biology and German double major Jingwei Song ‘15.

While insights gained from studying more and working hard are undoubtedly beneficial, I’ll end with the thoughts of Emmanuel Aouad ‘10, who said, “Do everything exactly the same and you’re going to be all right.”

I’m still not certain whether Emmanuel intended to deliver such a thought in the hopeful regard that we all eventually find our passion, or that he was experienced enough to be patting himself on the back. In true Wabash fashion, he delivered it with a smile and all the confidence to say there wasn’t a wrong interpretation.

That reminds me of something a professor announced to the class on my first day of graduate school. “There are no wrong answers here,” he said. “You will only be judged by how intelligently you defend your positions.”

My education continues. On to year two.