Back to School
Summer 2015 has been busy for Service Management and IS Communications: numerous student prep activities span the entire summer, with the finale happening at the end of August with Welcome Weekend.
Destination Kent State
Summer kicked off with Destination Kent State (DKS). Organized by the Office of Student Success Programs, DKS is our first contact with incoming freshmen.
“DKS is a great opportunity for us to make a good impression on students and show them who we are,” explains Tom Mahon, Manager of Training & Outreach. “These kids are already excited to join Kent State, so they’re very receptive to learning about the cool stuff we have going on, in addition to all the standard, need-to-know content.”
With four different touchpoints over the course of the two-day program, we have frequent opportunities to reinforce that message, and new additions to this year’s activities were designed to draw more attention. “We streamlined our DKS presentation and pumped up the energy in our stage presence,” explains Mahon, “but the real star of the show is the new Resource Fair booth.”
New for 2015, IS moved away from the standard “event table” and invested in a Division-branded event booth. “The booth creates a welcoming space for visitors and visually represents our unique Information Services identity,” describes Octavian Maianu, Director, IS Communications. “We’re removing the table completely, eliminating a physical barrier between us and the students without having to sacrifice space for information.”
The culminating event each summer is Welcome Weekend, an activity-packed four days as students move into campus residence halls. The 2014 event marked a shift from inside the halls to outdoor tents in various locations across campus. “Welcome Weekend is all about welcoming students to Kent, making the transition as smooth and comfortable as possible for them and their parents,” says Ron Dear, Sr. Applications Support Analyst. “Providing tech help can play just as big of a role in reassuring new arrivals as giving directions or carrying boxes.”
After the success of Welcome Weekend 2015, one thing is for sure: the IS tents are here to stay. “Moving outdoors last year was a huge success and a great learning experience,” says Jay Frye, Director of Service Management. “This year’s addition of branded tents made it very clear who we were and what we were there to do.”
With seven special event locations across campus, the efforts of the IS staff resulted in over 3000 student interactions during Back-to-School.