I’m happy to say that our student bloggers are off to a flying start this year. I can barely keep up with them! But also of note to those in higher education is how the contributors came together. The old-fashioned way. Networking.
This year’s group includes:
– Sherrifa Bailey, a senior public justice and psychology major, McNair Scholar and all-around uber-involved person
– Christopher Cook, a sophomore English major, writer and devourer of pop culture
– Steven DiMarzo, a junior human development major, director of student affairs for Student Association and admissions intern
– Tiffany Duquette, a secondary education and French major studying in Paris, and member of the Laker women’s ice hockey team
– Tess Kaczorowski, a senior theatre major and dramaturg for the student honors production Blood Relations
– Leah Matthews, a senior elementary education major and co-captain of the women’s swimming and diving team
– Katherine Raymond, a junior journalism major, environmental writer for The Oswegonian, secretary of Students for Global Change
– Jose Terrero, a senior journalism and creative writing major, active fraternity member, writer, admissions tour guide
– Meghan Upson, a junior business administration major active with alumni relations and the business dean’s council
– Lizz Wetherby, a junior public relations major, Laker Leader orientation guide and my intern
Most of them I met at various times and identified as potential bloggers. I interviewed Sherrifa for a story and knew she’d be great. I know Tiffany from being a faculty mentor for the women’s ice hockey team. I saw Katherine give a presentation about her group’s activities and read her work in the campus paper. Worked with Meghan on a couple of projects related to her PR internships. Steven asked me about blogging after hearing me present at a student leadership conference. Lizz came to me as an intern because one of her best friends interned here after taking a class from me.
Others were recommended via canvassing my campus contacts. Tess came through a request to the box-office manager for someone who could address the performing arts. I contacted our swimming coach, a blogger himself, who recommended Leah. After a meeting of our social-media team, admissions recommended Jose (who I’d met before in his efforts to start an entertainment publication). As for Chris … he just wandered into our Web developer’s office as a freshman looking for a work-study job and we quickly learned he was a good writer.
So, for the most part, we obtained our bloggers through good old-fashioned networking … and, moreover, from having a genuine interest in getting to know our students. Like most colleges, we don’t pre-approve blog postings — just pre-approve the students who do them — so we need to know we can trust them with the Internet version of a live mic. Plus, recruiting good and interesting people more often than not leads to good and interesting blogs.