If a department does something cool but no one knows about it, did it really happen?
For students and faculty in Emory’s chemistry department, this isn’t a variation of the philosophical thought experiment about the tree falling in the forest but a new effort in recruiting and outreach.
The department created the position of outreach coordinator to help recruit graduate students and faculty and create greater awareness of the department contributions across campus and in the community, says Sarah Peterson, who began her job in August and who had worked on campus before and after receiving her doctorate in English in 2008.
Information about Emory University is available on nearly every leading social media platform, but many colleges, departments, programs and campus organization also have their own presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and other platforms. Visit Emory’s Social Media Directory to find out more.
As a graduate student she was one of the first to go through the Theory Practice Learning program at Emory’s Center for Interactive Teaching.
“In the program, you learn about teaching technology, how to use it in the classroom and how to create social networks on Facebook, Twitter and blogs,” Peterson says. “You think about what you do in the classroom or in a lab and the broader impact it has in the society and culture we live in.”
For now, Peterson’s primary avenue of getting the word out is the chemistry department’s Facebook page, launched in the fall. She uses the social networking site to advertise upcoming events, publicize prize winners, tout new faculty publications and announce Emory Sustainability projects. Peterson currently is doing most of the posting, but she hopes that faculty and graduate students will take that up and join in as the site gains traction.
“They were looking for someone with a varied background who could be a benefit to the department and knew how the campus operates,” Peterson says. “One of my main jobs is to create new relationships on campus with people who may not realize they need a relationship with chemistry.”