New OU Campus Assistance

We’re excited to announce two new resources available to individuals who develop, edit and maintain websites in OU Campus!

Websmith

Websmith is a new users group for people who maintain websites in OU Campus. We’ll use it to:

  • Connect with OU Campus users in other departments and offices
  • Participate in focused learning about OU Campus and/or web content
  • Celebrate success of group members and other departments
  • Highlight new concepts or ideas
  • Identify and share best practices, tips and tricks
  • Express pain points and identify solutions to common problems

 

If you’re interested in joining Websmith, sign up online (even if you can’t make the first meetings). We’ll add you to the email list and keep you updated with more information.

Dates

  • Wednesday, July 6, 1 p.m. (Schaap 3101)
  • Tuesday, August 2, 1 p.m. (Martha 240)

 

For the summer, we’ll be using the first hour of our Open OU Labs (see below) for Websmith. We’ll announce meeting times and locations for the fall semester at a later time.

 

Open OU Labs

We’ve blocked out time in a computer lab for you to drop in and ask questions, get help, or simply work on your website with fewer interruptions. I’ll be working in the lab the whole time, and we hope to have a couple of our summer student workers join us, too.

Dates

  • Thursday, June 23, 8 a.m.–12 p.m. (Schaap 3101)
  • Wednesday, July 6, 1–5 p.m. (Schaap 3101)
  • Tuesday, July 19, 8 a.m.–12 p.m. (Schaap 3101)
  • Tuesday, August 2, 1–5 p.m. (Martha 240)
  • Thursday, August 18, 1–5 p.m. (Martha 240)

 

There’s no need to register — just show up with your questions!

On Wednesday, July 6, and Tuesday, August 2, the first hour of each open lab will be used for Websmith.

The Intern

“So what are your plans for this summer?”

Your junior year is right around the corner and you hope to find some work opportunities that will benefit your major. As the school year continues, you’re doing an great job in class. You’re a few weeks fresh into a new line of work as a lifeguard for the local pool. It pays well and it’s an easy job, but you need something more for the summer: an internship.

An internship is important because:

  1. It may be a requirement, depending on your major
  2. It gives you a better chance of getting a job after college
  3. You gain experience from the field of your study
  4. You have a better idea of what you want to do for a career

 

Despite these great reasons, our motivation for finding internships can suffer. As students, we believe that it is hard and competitive to find an internship. We assume that we have to either know someone or have some experience in a particular field in order to land an internship. Our confidence drops. We soon think we can’t get the internship. Eventually we become content with what we already have and end up working at the same place we worked in high school, lifeguarding again. It’s been an easy job and it’s paid well. Why bother leaving the norm if you’re all set financially?

Meet Kelly Arnold, a sophomore at Hope College, majoring in communication. This summer, she took the opportunity to be an intern at University of Michigan. She says her daily routine is always different:

“I work around 25 hours a week doing a variety of tasks, mainly writing professional blog posts for the UMSocial website, interviewing individuals from around our community for a series we have called Wolverines of Ann Arbor (similar to Humans of New York), coordinating a monthly Twitter chat we have called #UMichChat, and assisting in making our university account’s Snapchat stories. It’s busy, but so fun! And yes, it pays. I don’t know how I got so lucky.”

Over the past two weeks, UMich has tweeted about both of her blogs: Evaluating the Instagram Evolutionand Express More: What 140 Full Characters Means for Brands.

How did she get the internship? It goes way back to her days in high school, when she was the editor-in-chief for her school newspaper. While there, she contacted Nikki Sunstrum, the director of Social Media at the University of Michigan, for an interview on an article. After the interview, Kelly kept Nikki’s contact info and went her own way.

“[A year later]  I was home for Christmas, trying to map out my summer. My dad asked me, “What do you really want to do this summer?” In a dream world, I thought, I would be doing what I want to eventually be doing professionally: working in social media. I remembered I still had Nikki’s contact, and shot her an email, figuring what’s the worst that could happen? She ended up responding within 24 hours, saying how happy she was to hear from me, and that I should send my resume in. Some writing submissions, phone interviews, emails, creative prompts, and months later, I received word that I got the internship!”

She took a chance and simply took action of curiosity. She isn’t the only one that has this type of testimony. Take myself for example.

I was getting ready to end my sophomore year still not knowing what my plans were for the summer. I didn’t want to go back home, so I looked for a local job. A sales position opened for Home and Company and Tip Toes, two retail stores in Downtown Holland. I took the chance and applied. Did I want to work at a baby store for the summer? Not really. But I had to find work. Eventually, I got the call. I had an interview, and then I was offered a job position for both stores. Shortly afterwards, my boss, Matt Holmes, realized I was a communication major. He discovered that I wanted to go into public relations and marketing, so he gave me the chance to be social media coordinator for both stores. There, I learned a lot about marketing, and I’m grateful Matt gave me that opportunity. With that experience, I finally had something under my belt for the next job.

Recently, I’ve been hired as a student worker for Public Affairs and Marketing for Hope College. I believe that this job will definitely benefit me for the future. And I don’t think I would’ve had this opportunity if I never had the social media position for Tip Toes and Home and Company. You have to start somewhere, right?

So take a chance. Go and explore. Start somewhere that you know will benefit you in the long run, even if it’s a baby store. Kelly nailed it when she said, “I guess something I’ve taken away from this experience, and apply to my life on almost a daily basis, is this: It’s always worth it to ask for what you want.” Break out of your comfort zone and take a risk of applying for that “scary” internship. Don’t live your college life as a lifeguard; live it in a way that will catapult you to the trajectory of your career path after Hope College. In the famous words of Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” So take it.

About the author: Raoul Adwan is a Communication major at Hope College and a student worker in the Office of Public Affairs and Marketing. 

New Features of the New Website

If you guys are anything like me, you’ve never really paid a ton of attention to the Hope website. In fact, as a freshman (three whole years ago now!) I found myself getting confused between KnowHope, KnowHope Plus, and the regular Hope website because they all looked so incredibly similar to me. But within the last year or so, the Hope site has been slowly undergoing a huge makeover.

As an intern for the Office of Public Affairs and Marketing, I’ve watched the website go from slightly dated and difficult to navigate to a modern and helpful space for students to get the information they need. Because the old design was a bit more challenging to surf through, I was unaware of all the amazing features our site already had, as well as the new additions that make it even more connected to the student body.

One of my favorite things about the new site is the news section. Essentially the News section is one big calendar that posts various press releases about campus happenings, as well as features students’ Instagram, Twitter and blog posts about the college. It’s shocking to me how many students don’t even realize their posts are featured on the site, simply because they’re unaware of what the News section is. We try and feature as many different students and student groups as possible, so you never know who you may see on the site! It’s a fun and unique way to open the communication door between students and the college.

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 3.39.38 PM

Another feature that has become a lot more student-friendly is the events section of the home page. This section not only lays out all the upcoming events for the week, but also provides a photo of the building where the event will take place. This works to benefit prospective students, who may not know where, say, Lubbers Hall is. It also reminds current students of the many opportunities for learning and growth that Hope continually offers.

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 3.38.00 PM

These are just a couple of the features our new site boasts, and the more I navigate through the site, the more I find. I recommend students of all kinds, whether prospective, underclassman, or upcoming seniors, to spend some time on the site and become familiar with all it has to offer. You never know when it may come in handy!

New employee photos

What’s so newsworthy about new employee photos? We take new photos every August, right!? Well, for 2016 we decided to shake things up a bit.

For several years, our employee photos have been done in a consistent style. The background featured familiar “clouds” in natural hues and a vignette framed a closely cropped smiling face. Since our rebranding a few years ago and the launch of the new web site last fall, it seemed time to refresh the style of the faculty and staff photos, as well!

We partnered with Jon Lundstrom of Junebug Photography for the makeover. A more modern gray backdrop, friendly pose and catchlights make for an engaging image. Additionally, we’re shooting these photos so we can see more of you — from about the elbow on up.

We love the difference in Chris Bohle’s photo:

chris_bohle2

This summer we have scheduled multiple photo sessions for employees so that everyone has the opportunity for an update. All photo sessions take place in the DeWitt Center Lounge from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Bring your smile and join us!

  • Tuesday, June 28
  • Thursday, July 21
  • Thursday, August 25

New sites for departments, offices and programs

As we enter the summer months, we know many departments and offices on campus have told us they intend to spend this time working on their new websites. This is great news and we’re here to help and support you! We’d also like to congratulate the 20+ departments, offices and programs who have already launched their new sites throughout this past academic year. Here’s a full list:

 

A beautiful website for a beautiful campus

The web team has spent the past 1.5 days at HighEdWeb Michigan 2016, a regional conference that tackles the latest and greatest in higher ed website strategy, management, design, marketing and technology. There’s so much that’s worth sharing (and even more that’s going to help us shape and refine how we work at Hope) but I wanted to pass along one article in particular that provided an interesting perspective on the form and function — the beauty — of websites:

How to Care for Your Digital Campus” by Brian F. Hawkins

Brian presented at the conference, and I encourage anyone involved or interested in Hope’s website to read it. Here’s a bit to whet your appetite:

Much has been written since then about the importance of maintaining a beautiful campus, and successful institutions continue to make significant investments in campus architecture and green space. As we move to an era in which the campus extends beyond the traditional brick and mortar to the online and digital landscape, however, we must not repeat the mistakes of those 19th-century institutions. Colleges must invest in building digital campuses that are just as inspiring, vibrant, and functional as the stone arches, sculptures, and flowers that adorn our physical campuses.

More:

If I were to plant a tree outside my office, our landscaping department would have fresh sod in its place by tomorrow morning (and my boss would be seriously evaluating my employment status). I cannot plant a tree at will, so why should I be allowed to clutter the digital landscape? It’s time we tend to our digital campus with the same professional care and planning that we devote to our physical campus.

Much of the article reinforces that our new content governance and web team structure is on the right track.

Read the whole thing.

Case Study from OmniUpdate

ouThe provider of our OU Campus CMS, OmniUpdate, recently featured Hope College in a new case study. Read about how we put together a plan, built a foundation for change using user personas, enhanced the user experience and are now fulfilling our vision for changing the way Hope College communicates online. OmniUpdate also previously produced a video testimonial about Hope College late last year.

By implementing OU Campus, the Hope College web team was able to focus more on the needs of their website visitors and less on resolving technical issues with their CMS. OU Campus’ open API and gadgets allowed the web team to further enhance the CMS by adding functionality on their own. Read more…