Erin Hensley

March 10, 2017


The Emerging Practice Award was created in 2015 to recognize NASPA members who are leveraging technology to make real differences within their institutions, as well as highlighting strategies, programs and techniques that can contribute to greater development and support of technological advancement in the profession. This year, we are very proud to award the 2017 TKC Emerging Practice award to Anthony Doody, Kait Zullo, and Elyse Washington for their work at Rutgers University!

All three team members currently work at Rutgers University. Anthony serves as the Senior Director for Student Engagement at Rutgers, while Kait is the Assistant Director of Student Engagement Marketing and Elyse is the Assistant Director for Major Programs and Events.Together, they created a community of learning designed to educate student leaders and Student Affairs professionals about tools, strategies and analytics for social media engagement. Over twenty professionals from all departments within the Student Affairs division were invited to bring a student leader to share in and contribute to the learning. Engagement team agenda items included: learning new platforms and analytics software; eviewing external case studies; developing cross-collaborative promotions and strategies; establishing event calendars and file asset sharing systems; sharing best practices; and creating policies and divisional training programs.

The team was created in response to the challenge of trying to connect with and promote initiatives to students through digital spaces amidst a great deal of digital competition and “noise.” As part of this initiative, they created a social media playbook that includes best practices and guidelines. Each member of the group was encouraged to contribute to the community of learning by researching and presenting on various social media analytics, platforms, and topics including: SnapChat Geofilters, Facebook Analytics, YouTube Analytics, WordPress, Google Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Promoted FaceBook Ads, Instagram, Pinterest Analytics, MailChimp Analytics, Hootsuite, TweetDeck and Radian6.

Professional staff often partnered with students in the development of presentations. The educational experience served to increase their collective quality of standards, expectations, and common language. Using Radian6, we taught team members how to use real-time online social media monitoring across multiple channels to analyze volume, overall sentiment, key demographics, influencers, and trends. Overall, they believe that learning communities such as these that feature #SApro/student collaborations could become a high impact model of learning. As many programs struggle to connect to students in digital spaces, using best practices and evidence to influence strategy and decision-making can help professionals more effectively reach target populations and rally support, pride, and advocacy. In addition, this kind of team approach has been an effective model that can be replicated by other institutions during times of crisis.

Congratulations again to Anthony, Kait, and Elyse for their hard work on the development of this community of learning, and for contributing to the TKC’s mission of furthering the development and use of technology within the student affairs field. 

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