Community Engagement Showcase

The core idea that works in modern marketing and in social media marketing is building an online community – a community that cares about your message. When you provide something of value, people will be excited to be part of your company or project. Many appreciate true community services and original projects become easily active. University if Nevada, Reno is providing community based learning experience and stimulates community research that will address community issues.

On Thursday, April 24th, the Office of Service & Civic Engagement (OSLCE) hosted the first UNR Engagement Showcase. Students presented projects in categories that provide service, create change and apply community research. Marlene Rebori, Director of OSLCE at UNR opened the ceremony:

“I want you to consider the showcase a marketplace of ideas – learn, converse, engage, share different aspects, network with each other and inspire!”

Truly there were multiple interesting projects that give something of value to the community. Between a recycle bike, wilderness awareness, and the food bank projects the one that stood out to me the most was a project conducted by the School of Community Health Sciences. One of the courses they offer includes a field study abroad. Recent project that students worked on was a women protection trip to Kenya. Future courses will be taken to Turkey, Cuba and Kenya in a matter of public health.

IMG_2134During the event a presidential award for excellence in engagement was given to a group of biochemistry students. Morgan Hines and Sumayya Bekkun presented the Food and Tobacco demographics of Washoe County. The group recognized that rich food availability is correlated to Tobacco usage in certain neighborhoods.

I personally engage in a project that provides value to Reno’s startups and to UNR students. UNR Tech Connect is a project that we presented in the engagement case.

We developed the project in a Participatory Journalism graduate course. After two month of design thinking, interviews, research and information processing we came up with UNR Tech Connect. It is a news site and an upcoming event – a startup career fair. I am glad to take a part in a project that got such a positive response from the startup community, UNR, EDAWN, City of Reno and other sponsors. The project proved to me that great ideas that are important to the community get the desired recognition. Please follow my blog to get news about connections that serve a community. This principle works for successful marketing and social media campaigns.

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