mizzounyc.com: interview with Danielle Kass

I’ve posted our fall newsletter on mizzounyc.com, and as part of the newsletter, I got to speak with a current student at the University of Missouri. A native New Yorker, Danielle had been awarded a scholarship from our local alumni chapter and had left NY behind for the wilds of Missouri in pursuit of a journalism degree.

As one who’s quite proud to admit where she was educated, it’s always great to see the next generation of students striving for excellence. As a freshman, Danielle had already published almost 30 stories in the student newspaper (which is quite competitive, given the strength of the journalism school at Mizzou) and was looking forward to traveling abroad for a semester and studying Russian. Clearly, she won’t be taking the easy road to her degree; I think our scholarship for her was well-deserved.

Sophomore Danielle Kass:
A New York girl in love with Mizzou

The recipient of the 2010 MizzouNYC scholarship seems to be doing well at our home campus. When asked how her first year as a Tiger went, she replies, “My first year at Mizzou was AMAZING.” She says the campus is beautiful and the community at her dorm, Mark Twain, made her feel at home immediately. She lucked out with mostly smaller class numbers, making it easy for her to get to know her professors and embrace their challenges, turning to new classmates and friends to work through everything.

Danielle got involved pretty quickly in activities. She’s already published 28 articles and 4 blog posts as a staff writer for The Maneater. And she’s looking forward to being a facilitator for the You in Mizzou program, which holds discussions promoting diversity on campus.

Danielle is planning to double major in Russian and journalism, concentrating on Strategic Communications. She’s eager to continue her studies in Russian as she began learning the language in high school and loved it. She’s also both excited and nervous about her upcoming pre-journalism classes, J2100 honors (cross-culturalism) and J2000 (news). She says, “The two I’m taking are really challenging, but I think they’re going to be really rewarding.” [The Journalism School now requires 12-13 hours of pre-journalism classes by the end of your sophomore year.] Outside of being accepted to the J-School, Danielle hasn’t set too many long-term goals, but she definitely wants to study abroad, most likely in London.

Read Danielle’s full profile at mizzounyc.com!

mizzounyc.com: interview with Ryan MacPherson

Interview with Ryan MacPherson

Since part of our MizzouNYC website is publishing a quarterly newsletter about our events and members, I’m always looking for new people to profile and promote within our group. I had known Ryan in my last year at the University of Missouri — we did West Side Story together (he was Tony, I was a random Jet girl gutter slut) and later worked together at the Gap in Columbia. I’ve followed his career as an opera singer from a distance, and when I’d moved to New York, we’d reconnected a little online as he gave me advice for what to do around town.

He’d disappeared more recently, but when my close friend Andi did a production of La Traviata with him in Tampa, I saw a chance to contact him and profile him for our newsletter. He happily accepted and answered my questions promptly, in between rehearsals in Vienna for another production.

It’s always easy to write when you have plenty of material, and Ryan’s been busy traveling the globe as an opera singer now for 15 years. You can read his profile on the mizzounyc.com website at www.mizzounyc.com/index.php/news/summer_2011_newsletter#ryan.

mizzounyc.com: brochures

Our alumni chapter here in town, MizzouNYC (the New York home of alums from the University of Missouri), has been growing a great deal over the last few years. We’re always looking for new ways to help people new to town and to advertise the great events that we host in the city.

There had been a brochure a while back for MU students that came to the city over the summer for internships, but it was out of date and difficult to print. So with the help of our board, I revised the brochure and posted it for anyone new to the city of New York.

We’d also been bouncing around the idea of yearbook, something that showed people the variety of activities we host in town, from watch parties to picnics to nights at the museum. So I took stories from our quarterly e-newsletter and put them in a print document that we could distribute and post on the site.

I’ve been working on the website for over a year now, and I’m proud of the robust site it’s become. When I started working on it, you couldn’t find it by searching on any of the standard search engines. After a year of properly tagging headers; adding photos, news and events frequently; streamlining its organization; and repeatedly pointing people to our site via social media and eblasts, it now comes up as the first search result for a variety of keywords related to our chapter. It’s proof that content and organization are the key components of any website, and that adding content frequently — and properly — is the best way to improve your search results.

A small bonus? I heard recently from a communications director of our alumni chapter in Dallas that our website is the envy of other alumni chapters across the country. While I know I didn’t design the site, I take pride in the fact that the work I’ve contributed to it is key to its success.

mizzounyc.com: interview with Trisha Scudder

Interview with Trisha Scudder

As the secretary of the alumni group for my university here in New York, I put together a lot of communication for our members. On our website, I post event details, photos of member gatherings, and try my best to promote both the University of Missouri and local alums to our database in the city. Last fall, we had an event at MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art, where we had private tours of their Matisse exhibit. I had the opportunity to meet an alum from the 1960s, Trisha Scudder, and found the story of her career absolutely fascinating.

Fast forward 6 months. We’re looking for people to profile for our quarterly newsletter, and she immediately popped into my head. After some research, I was able to find her and, thankfully, she was honored to be interviewed for our website. She sent me 4 pages of information in response to my questions, and we talked for almost an hour about our dogs, living in New York, and about our careers. I’m definitely hoping that our paths cross again — hopefully at a MizzouNYC event.

You can read Trisha’s profile on the mizzounyc.com website at www.mizzounyc.com/index.php/news/spring_2011_newsletter#trisha.