At the IUP Graduate Scholars Forum on April 6, 2011, graduate students Bill Gasior and Brenton Kelly won for the virtual tour they created for the Communications Media Department.
In the Fall semester of 2009, Dr. Kurt Dudt, the Communications Media Department chair, discovered the need for constructing a virtual tour for the department. In order to gain a competitive edge and to satisfy the increased need for online promotional materials, he asked Gasior, an Adult Education and Communications Technology master’s graduate assistant at the time, and Kelly, a Communications Media undergraduate at the time, to come together and take on the task of creating the first ever Communications Media Virtual Tour.
When Gasior and Kelly began constructing the virtual tour, they realized that it must encompass and showcase all the unique aspects that the Communications Media Department had to offer. It also had to provide information about the department’s faculty, students, degrees, and resources using a combination of different forms of media. They accomplished this with three overall goals for the website:
- To make the site as interactive as possible
- To create some novelty appeal within the site
- To make a site that could be used as a promotional tool for potential students to use
The final product was not only a hit within the Communications Media Department, but it proved to be a huge promotional success and even attracted attention from other departments within Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Having accomplished such a huge task for the Communications Media Department, Gasior felt it more than necessary to enter the Communications Media Virtual Tour into the first Graduate Scholars Forum at IUP. On April 6, 2011, Gasior and Kelly presented their product during the open forum and, much to their delight, won best-in-show honors from the College of Education and Educational Technology. They each were awarded $500 in travel funds from IUP to support their participation in a conference, forum, or other professional development experience.
Much time, hard work, and dedication paid off, not only for Gasior and Kelly, but for the Communications Media Department as well.