UMass Lowell Reaches Out with New Student, Staff Blogs

04/15/2008


LOWELL ߝ Going to baseball games, visiting Medieval Manor, making blankets for families in need and attending a study-abroad fair: those are just a few examples of recent posts on UMass Lowell’s blogs.

UMass Lowell recently launched blogs (or Web logs) written by current students and undergraduate admissions counselors in an effort to give prospective students and their families an “inside look” at campus life and the admissions process. 

Blogs ߝ along with podcasts, online message boards and participation in Web social networks ߝ are one of the new ways higher education is reaching beyond campus and traditional means of recruitment.

A UMass Dartmouth study conducted by Dr. Nora Barnes, director of the Center for Marketing Research, found that colleges are implementing these new technologies more quickly than Fortune 500 companies.

“It’s where the students are,” says Elizabeth James, director of marketing in UMass Lowell’s Public Affairs Office, which launched the blogs. “This generation of students expects a more interactive experience online and is skeptical of produced promotional materials. Adding online functionality to our recruitment strategy gives us more tools to reach prospective students and their families.”

The blogs are part of a larger “Web 2.0” approach to make the UMass Lowell site more interactive and give a deeper understanding of students’ experience. Later this semester, the site, called “Hawk Talk” (http://blog.uml.edu/hawktalk/) will add videos, chats, podcasts and other interactive media.

Currently, four UMass Lowell students are blogging on the site: Stephanie Bergeron, a sophomore biology major from Methuen; Jimmy Martin, a junior English/history major from Wakefield; Christian Tiongson, an exercise physiology major from Malden; and Samantha Willyard, a junior from Chelsea majoring in psychology. More students will be joining the bloggers before the end of the semester. Additionally, the “Hawk Talk” page links to Curran Kelleher’s blog, “Life as a Human,” which documents his experience as a foreign exchange student in Germany.

Blogging for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions are Ed Seero, assistant director, and Michael Belcher, director of Outreach and Recruitment, along with admissions counselors. Topics include everything from upcoming deadlines to campus events. Photos posted in the blogs guide students through campus to important and popular locations.

UMass Lowell is the first in the University of Massachusetts system to launch such blogs, and is the third public university in New England to do so.

UMass Lowell, with a national reputation in science, engineering and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. UML offers its 12,000 students more than 120 degree choices, internships, five-year combined bachelor’s to master’s programs and doctoral studies in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, the School of Health and Environment, and the Graduate School of Education. www.uml.edu.

For more information, contact media@uml.edu or 978-934-3224