by Heather McDorman
St. Charles Community College
Like the famous race, I zoomed in and out of Indianapolis. The trip was about quality, not quantity, and the fast-paced visit was well worth it. District 3’s Full Circle Marketing in the Circle City was chock full on good information.
The highlights of my visit included an interesting opening keynote by Andy Goodman, co-founder of The Goodman Center and author/speaker/consultant. His tale of storytelling resonated loudly with me (and many others, I’m sure).
Recently, my staff conducted an exercise to write a new mission statement for our department. During the exercise, we agreed that one of our key purposes is to tell the college’s story. Listening to Andy’s stories, and the illustrations he provided about the impact of good storytelling, really hit home for me and stirred up some ideas about how we could be doing a better job, not only at storytelling but at being accountable to our college-wide mission, vision and values through storytelling.
Before lunch on Thursday, I took in Anthony Juliano’s (from the Asher Agency) talk on social media and connecting to our constituencies. As I travel from district to district, the topic of social media is HUGE, but honestly, each presenter has his/her own take on social media, its metrics and best practices. I appreciated Anthony’s approach – a good mixture of facts, insights and examples (Ivy Tech uses discussion boards to communicate with students and prospective students!).
My last stop was the Awards Luncheon, where new District Director Mae Hanna welcomed attendees. Mae is new, but she is full of energy and enthusiasm and I was really impressed by her big heart and desire to provide a great conference experience for the district.
One of the unexpected delights of the lunch was a welcome by Ivy Tech Community College’s President Thomas J. Snyder. Just back from the first White House Summit on Community Colleges, President Snyder gave us a first-hand account of the activities and shared the experience of an Ivy Tech student who attended alongside the college president. You could see the excitement on his face as he ran down the day’s events and the sense of hope he shared about the important moment in the national spotlight.
Finally, it was my pleasure to spend time with Dr. Laura Meeks, president of Eastern Gateway Community College, who I presented with the district Pacesetter of the Year Award (pictured right, with District 3 Director Mae Hanna). Based on the nomination, this woman is a powerhouse and not afraid to make changes at her college. Her words of acceptance were warm and well received.
It was an honor to meet with two presidents who really understand the value of marketing and communications and the role we play in the success of the college and our students.
And as quickly as I zoomed into town, I was off again, returning to my institution, St. Charles Community College, to meet with our Higher Learning Commission accreditation liaison on Friday. Zoom, zoom!