After a slower January in which many schools were still on winter break, February has been a busy month for the OrcaTV team. Aside from the personal weirdness of being a Patriots fan living in Philadelphia (ask me about my friends who stole my Pats hat ON MY BIRTHDAY, please!) I’ve been working with schools to support important initiatives through the OrcaTV channel. In February, I was ecstatic to see vibrant Black History Month conversations and some creative campus events celebrating diversity and inclusion. On OrcaTV channels nationwide, campuses advertised events such as the University of Mary Washington’s Step Show, which is sponsored by the James Farmer Multicultural Center and features step teams from around the country. At Pace University, our student ambassador, Rachel, put together a breathtaking slideshow to feature fashion designs from a Pace freshman who was using fashion to inform conversations about Black History Month.
After upwards of fifty school visits in 2017 and countless student engagement-related phone calls, I’ve learned a lot. I get really excited to fly out of Terminal D in the Philadelphia airport because I know there’s a Jamba Juice there, and parking on a new campus is by far the hardest part of a school visit.
The fall 2017 semester is over, and what an incredible three months it has been! When I started out as a student ambassador at George Mason University, I had never reached out to student organizations on campus despite being an active participant. During my time with Apogee, however, I have learned valuable skills like these and helped in Mason’s goal to reach out to the community and make contributions beyond the bounds of its campus borders!
It’s been almost two years since I finished my Master’s at the University of New Hampshire. I can still vividly recall my last finals experience in which I had to write four twenty-page papers in one week. Don’t ask me why I left them all until the bitter end – there was definitely a good reason for it. Probably something to do with leading three sunrise New Hampshire Outing Club hikes and planning the English Graduate Organization holiday party the week after Thanksgiving. Regardless, I remember seeing the time on my iPhone tick by as I pounded away on my keyboard and finished the last vestiges of my academic career around 3:00 am, slouched in the wooden chairs of Dimond Library’s second floor.
Two of Apogee’s university partners, SUNY Canton & SUNY Potsdam, recently published an article in ACUHO’s Talking Stick titled “IT’s Role in Student-First Experiences.” Authored by housing, IT, and business administrators, it sheds light on a challenge many SUNY institutions are facing: the fierce competition to recruit and retain students, especially within on-campus housing. This, combined with a sharp increase in Wi-Fi enabled devices using the campus network, develops into a perfect storm. We’ve seen this at many other institutions in the northeast, where competition to recruit students is cutthroat. In these desperate times, institutions need to work with providers that align within their strategic plan. Specifically, The SUNY system’s strategic plan highlights two core values that tie nicely into this article:
For the past several weeks, my friends in Philadelphia have been bemused as I’ve recounted my adventures of conferences, happy hours, and networking events galore. With EDUCAUSE and the Apogee Customer Technology Seminar falling within the same three-week period, I’ve had a packed conference schedule that has finally started to wind down for the holidays.