In August 2019, I stepped into a new role as a coordinator of the Program Social Media Fellowship Program, at The Graduate Center, CUNY. My role there is to lead a team of graduate students who model and promote digital strategies to foster community engagement with the academic and scholarly work of the students, alumni, faculty, and staff of the institution.
The Graduate Center Program Social Media Fellows (PSMFs) began as a pilot program with several specific goals, such as helping programs develop social media presences, encouraging faculty and students to make use of a multi-user WordPress platform developed by The Graduate Center (CUNY Academic Commons), and to work with Program Executive Officers to develop pages on the Commons to solve problems resulting from the limitations of the Kentico platform, which is otherwise used by Graduate Center Programs. The PSMFs shared the more general charge to explore best practices for creating digital scholarly communities using social media—in recognition that the strategies employed by corporations and brand marketing firms do not suit the communities that form a public research university.
Over the past several years, the PSMFs have significantly increased the digital presence of their respective programs and helped foster dozens of communities that connect current students, faculty, prospective students, and alumni via various social media platforms. They hold regular training sessions to empower GC community members to use the same tools and share online resources and tools to support these vibrant communities and expand the GCs digital footprint.