Students are the center of the new design of the website for the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts. Six students representing each concentration of the college are promoting the programs offered through videos and social media.
Students were handpicked by college faculty, said Jemalyn Griffin, assistant director of recruitment for fine and performing arts.
“We wanted someone who was passionate about the arts and students who represented everyone,” Griffin said. “We want to show that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, you can do it here.”
Each student has a custom profile on the site, complete with a note about involvement within the college, photos and a two-minute video showing the students in action. Links to the students’ Twitter and Instagram accounts are also available on the site.
Chuck O’Connor, dean of the college, called the content a “student to student” strategy.
“It utilizes social media, video, photos and fresh content about the students to communicate with potential students about our programs,” O’Connor said. “I can’t think of anyone better to do that than students who are within our programs now.”
Vivian Kim, a senior dance major in the Glenn Korff School of Music said she wanted to get involved with the website to let perspective students know that they aren’t taking a risk by choosing a major in the arts.
“The dance program at UNL is very small, but I have learned so much in the past four years I’ve been here,” she said. “UNL’s got a great atmosphere — the people are friendly, the professors care about the advancement of a student in their class.”
Students participating in the profiles are told to post a minimum of 10 times on their various social media sites, but are encouraged to post more, Griffin said, and are paid as student workers.
Ethan Seagren, a senior in the Film and New Media program said he wanted to get involved to provide students with a better and more accurate understanding of what the film department at UNL looks like. A look at Seagran’s Twitter feed will give perspective students an inside look at various film or VFX projects he’s working on, things happening at his internship with HuskerVision or some “behind-the-scenes” facts.
“Who would have guessed that physics simulations for cloth also work great for train explosions,” Seagren said in a Tweet at the end of October. “Why train explosions…just wait and see.”
Emily Solo, a senior vocal performance major from Des Moines, said she chose UNL because of the people and the program — specifically her current voice teacher, Kate Butler — and wants to stress the idea that students can be successful in Lincoln.
“I want prospective students to know that they can make a career in art,” Solo said. “If you’re willing to take initiative and work very hard, you can do this.”
Griffin said the college plans to recast the students each year.
“The basic content of the website will stay the same,” Griffin said. “But we want to keep it fresh, so we plan on bringing new faces in every year.”