Lehigh University’s Iaccoca Institute operates a special summer program that has given us much support. The Pennsylvania School for Global Entrepreneurship has given us teams of elite high school students to work on projects designed to support Artslehigh’s mission. They miraculously fit in the research and execution in their intense five week program. Each year they’ve impressed us with their abilities, professionalism and enthusiasm for our program.
The ground breaking work each team has done frequently was a catalyst to doing more intensive work with students during the academic year. The first team in 2007 produced a video to experiment with podcasting video as a supplementary marketing effort of an upcoming Jazz concert the following season. which led to four semesters of podcast projects with marketing courses in the College of Business and Economics. The first reaction to the intense learning curve of the podcast assignment was not positive. College students were worried they wouldn’t be able to do all the research and execute a finished video in the 15 week semester. First time video editing can be a time consuming learning curve. When we showed them what a 6 member team of high school students was able to produce in five weeks – they found some initiative. The Governor’s School team produced a video and developed a comprehensive marketing plan to give more promotional relevance to the topic of faculty member Bill Warfield’s “Beneath the Stacks” composition. Take a look.
The 2008 team produced a second video that was more directed at the incoming students. They were charged with less direct message: one of encouraging students to try something new and discover their own creativity. Their video was fun, quirky and spoonful of encouragement to their peers.
In 2009, the PA Governor’s Schools had their funding cut. But Lehigh University kept their program, and in a transforming year they continued to deliver great projects to the companies that were partnered with student teams. ArtsLehigh took a break from working with a team, to offer other companies a chance to work with the students.
2010 we were lucky enough to be invited back to work with a team of students. Their charge this year was to explore the capacities of location based social media FourSquare and GoWalla. They used the software to build tools for incoming Lehigh University students and campus visitors to inform them of all the places in our local community with a variety of search options: coffee houses, cultural venues, even free wi-fi locations. We wrote about their work in a previous post. These students again didn’t fail to blow us away with their passion and openness to trying something new. As a result of their work, we were better positioned to refine our social media practices and strategies, as well as offer more ideas to our university colleagues.
We just met the 2011 team yesterday. After a brief meeting in our building, we discussed the mission of our program, and their project. We can’t wait to tell you all about their work after their final presentation on July 28th.
Every year, we are honored to be able to work with these students, and the brilliant colleagues that run the program. If you see a group of extremely young looking professionals wandering around South Bethlehem, know that they are all on a mission to change the world.