Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Welcome to a new virtual era

A year ago, we began telling the Bloomsburg University story in a more profound voice to more people. And in the past 12 months, it’s only gotten better.

Last February we launched a redesigned university website, followed a few months later by a new sports website. Each made an immediate impact with a sleeker design, more captivating layout and simpler navigation, as well as increased connectivity with social media.

The new BU website is helping to reinforce the issues and direction of our strategic plan, Impact 2015: Building on the Past, Leading for the Future, in an efficient and interactive manner.

In this day and age of immediacy, we can’t wait for external media – predominantly newspapers, television and radio – to tell our story. There’s a growing audience eager to learn more about the talented and intelligent individuals who learn, work and live here. They want the story sooner than later. And we’re committed to do just that. Plus, who knows these engaging stories better than we do?

As a result of our enhanced web presence, more than 7 million people over the past year saw weekly examples of why BU is a university of choice among a growing number of prospective students and a university that develops individuals to be contributing citizens.

One example is the story of Lisa Lapina, a senior education major, who spent the summer in Zambia, Africa, researching the effects of poverty on the education of at-risk children. Lisa took us on her journey through a blog on our website, which eventually led to several on-campus presentations this last semester and a full-page story in the Pennsylvania State Education Association online magazine.

Another successful web launch was the story of the innovative after-school program our Languages and Cultures department has with two Bloomsburg elementary schools. Our students are introducing French and Spanish to more than 100 second- through fifth-graders at an earlier age, as well as gaining an added year of classroom teaching experience themselves. This pilot program drew the attention of My College Guide, an annual magazine mailed directly to the homes of 130,000 high-achieving high school students nationwide. My College Guide featured our story in its online edition this past fall.

Dozens of new features, commentaries and news items pop up on our website and social media every week. Most recently many of our online audience expressed surprise to learn that we have an Ice Hockey Club team, which by the way is closing in on a second consecutive league championship. An update on their progress is expected this week, as are new videos documenting a Quest winter break trip to Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, and a photo gallery showcasing the impressive turnout for the recent student-led environmental awareness event.

You never know what you may learn on a given day through our online presence, no matter how many years you’ve been connected with BU. In case you may have missed out this past year, don’t worry. There are plenty more projects in the works for 2011 that will make our website even more engaging and accessible to you!

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