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For the third time, the School of Mass Communications has won a major grant by the international nonprofit organization FHI 360 to run a Social Media Institute this summer. The course, which is open to all undergraduate and graduate majors at VCU, is a great opportunity to engage in social media and develop campaigns for nonprofit clients in Central Virginia.
In July, faculty members Dr. Marcus Messner and Vivian Medina-Messner will work with students on social media projects during the four-week intensive summer classes “Social Media Networking” (MASC 491) and “Social Media Seminar” (MASC 691).
The class will bring together 25 VCU students and 25 college students from Iraq, who will spend their summer on the Monroe Park campus as part of the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program. The School of Mass Communications has been selected in a cooperation with VCU’s Global Education Office as one of two schools that will run this U.S. State Department sponsored program this summer.
Students in the class will take part in daily lectures by various social media experts as well as engage in social media project development for local nonprofit organizations in Central Virginia as well as for Iraq.
This 3-credit class, which combines graduate and undergraduate students, will run from July 2 to July 26, 2012, and will meet Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with additional individual and group time for project work.
Undergraduates enroll in MASC 491 – Social Media Networking and graduates in MASC 691 – Social Media Seminar. Advance registration begins on March 26, 2012.
The following are comments from former program participants about the Social Media Institute:
Renee Perron (@reneejperron, Tumblr Support Manager, 2010 participant): “The IYLEP program was a great opportunity for me to immerse myself in the world of social media and develop a deeper understanding of another culture. Not only was I able to tweet during class, but I left with both professional and personal experience that changed my life.”
Kristen Ablamsky (@kablamsky, VCU creative advertising major, 2011 participant): “I am so glad that I took part in the IYLEP program at VCU. It was amazing for the power of social media to be acknowledged in an educational environment. Beyond the amazing professional experience I gained, I would never have had the opportunity to meet all of the amazing Iraqi students.”
Alix Bryan (@alixbryan, Interactive Web and Associate Producer at WTVR CBS 6, 2010 participant): “First, and most important, it’s hard to express how much you can learn from another culture. That type of interaction helps bring things to the surface, helps put so many things into perspective. The immersion into new media platforms and exposure to experts in the community is invaluable. You will leave this class reeling at how much you have learned and feeling very proud of your accomplishments!”
Richard Momii (@rmomii, VCU psychology major, 2011 participant): “Through the IYLEP social media program, I had the opportunity to meet intelligent foreign students and not only create an interesting social media campaign for a qualifying non-profit organization, but present the project in front of our colleagues. Would participate again A++++.”
Stephanie Polickoski (@polickoskisj, VCU creative advertising major, 2011 participant): “Through the experience gained with the IYLEP program at VCU, I was given the opportunity to meet interesting, intelligent students from Iraq, as well as meeting graduate students and other students from VCU that I would not have met otherwise. Learning about the influence that social media could have on businesses and non-profits, as well as how they help each of them out, really helped me to understand how social media could be used for good in the community.”
Suja Amir (MPA student with concentration in Nonprofit Mgmt., 2011 participant): “Excellent experience delving into real world experience of how nonprofits can utilize social media to benefit their organization. The experience highlights the benefits and the difficulties of working with organizations that are new to social media and do not know how to use it or utilize it effectively. Wonderful experience meeting students from Iraq and getting to know their perspective.”
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Updated: March 14, 2012