First published: September 15, 2017
URL to live article: https://polytechnic.purdue.edu/newsroom/recruitment-staffers-explore-unique-ways-connect-prospective-students
Notes about this article: I serve as the technical director and producer for the live broadcasts described here. I transform my office into a makeshift studio, employing a few LED par lights on stands for backlighting. Using a webcam, two omnidirectional microphones (placed just off-camera) connected via a USB-based digital audio interface, an application named Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), and graphics created in Adobe Photoshop, we broadcast to viewers and answer their questions interactively.
Why this is a favorite: My article describes a project which quickly became one of my favorites in recent years. Prior to these occasional broadcasts on YouTube, I hadn’t done any live broadcasting since my radio days more than a decade ago. The audience is small (a few dozen to a few hundred live viewers), but I feel the adrenaline thrill of being “in the moment” with a live audience, running the equipment (using the OBS app as a video switcher), anticipating what’s coming next, and trying to anticipate and prevent problems.
High school students who consider attending Purdue University have long obtained information about academic majors, learning environments, and life as a Boilermaker from websites, print materials, campus visits, and other traditional methods. To encourage prospective students to learn more about Purdue Polytechnic and its majors, staff members are discovering new ways to reach out.
Ryne Kerchner, associate director of recruitment, has hosted a series of live broadcasts for high school seniors via Purdue Polytechnic’s YouTube channel, providing them a way to talk with students, faculty, and staff without leaving home. To date, five broadcasts have featured several undergraduate students and faculty members, the dean, an associate dean, an Office of Admissions representative, and a recent Polytechnic graduate. Kerchner gathers panelists to discuss specific topics and to answer questions sent by viewers via YouTube’s live chat feature.
“We all know how tech-savvy today’s students are,” Kerchner said. “By reaching out to them in an interactive online setting, we hope more high school students will discover that Purdue Polytechnic is unique and that we have a major which matches their interests.”
Additionally, Doug Schreiber, associate director of outreach and recruiting in the Department of Technology Leadership & Innovation, and Kerchner are both attending several Boiler Bridge gatherings, a series of free community events in September and October held in cities throughout Indiana for college-curious youth and their parents.
“Boiler Bridge is helping us make personal connections with families around the state,” Schreiber said. “Ryne and I are glad to represent Purdue Polytechnic at these events.”
Schreiber and/or Kerchner plan to visit with prospective students and their families at the following events:
- Marion County (Indiana State Fairgrounds, September 19)
- Wayne County (Kuhlman Center at Wayne County Fairgrounds, September 20)
- Jasper County (Jasper Co. Fairground Community Building, September 26)
- Floyd County (Floyd County – Education Support Building, October 3)
- Putnam County (Cloverdale High School Cafetorium, October 4)
- Allen County (2101 E. Coliseum Blvd., Fort Wayne, October 5)
- Elkhart County (North Wood High School, Nappanee, October 10)
- Bartholomew County (Columbus Learning Center, October 24)
They previously attended the September 12 event at the Miami County Fairgrounds.