The Newman University Admissions team has partnered with a charismatic student representative to increase outreach to prospective students and to help first-year students along the way.
Abigail Thornton — a freshman in the nursing program and member of the Newman Cheer and Dance team — has been officially named Admissions’ “FlyGal.” Her duties as FlyGal include making videos and other forms of online content meant to guide current and future Jets during their time at Newman.
Admissions Digital Marketing Manager Geoff Louvar spearheaded the creation of this position, as he and several others in Admissions felt that having a social media presence from the student perspective would be the best way to connect with students online.
“We received approval for a part-time student worker position that would solely focus on social media as our Admissions social media ambassador. I’m very grateful for Interim Vice President Paul Carney and Associate Director of Admissions Georgia Drewes for understanding the need and importance of this position.”
FlyGal search process
Finding a good fit for this role was crucial, so Louvar began by looking for individuals who seemed particularly astute in online communication.
“As the Admissions digital marketing manager, I monitor our social media presence. Throughout Abigail’s senior year, she stood out to me during her college search as she liked and shared our social media posts. While following Abigail on her social media, I was impressed that she was very photogenic, creative and outgoing. These are all traits that I have been looking for to promote the Newman Admissions brand and story.”
After seeing that Thornton possessed the skills required for the position and learning that she would be coming to Newman, he asked Head Cheer and Dance Coach Brandy Muncy and Admissions Processing Student Worker Rae Gabrielle Cruz to reach out and encourage her to apply.
“I’m so thankful that she applied and accepted the position,” said Louvar.
Thornton, too, has been very thankful for the opportunity, as it has given her a professional means to embrace her love of communicating and meeting new people.
“I’m always excited to meet people. I know all the counselors here now because I’ve had to interview with them. You never get to know all the people behind the scenes, and I kind of do now, just because I’ve gotten to interview them. It feels like there are a million friendly faces on campus because of it.”
Adding technology to the tool belt
While this job may not directly align with Thornton’s future medical career, it is helping to build upon her knowledge of technology, professional communication skills and overall employability.
“Working with Admissions has definitely given me good opportunities in my future career as well as this one, because I’ve met with a bunch of different people, and I’ve always been a people person so it’s been really easy to chat with them on a personal level. When I interview people, I really get to know them because I care so deeply about them.”
Even if indirectly, Thornton’s work in this position will empower her performance as a nurse by fostering communication and other soft skills.
“This job has given me the opportunity to meet people that have absolutely nothing in common with me and still find ways to connect with them. You know, people aren’t going to walk into the hospital and be exactly like you but you still have to help them.”
Broadening communication methods
As it relates to her efforts on social media, Thornton believes that it is important to cater to the demographics you are trying to reach. For modern-day college students, there are instances in which TikTok could very well be a viable platform for information.
Louvar also reinforced the importance of adapting to online formats as a means of reaching a wider audience.
“Social media platforms are an invaluable tool in our marketing and communication presence. Social media plays an important role in every student’s life, and it’s been an excellent tool to promote events and scholarship opportunities.”
Being a first-year student herself, Thornton is happy to help other students navigate their academic and social journeys on campus.
“I think it’s helpful for people coming into college and people who are here to know that (not) everyone feels prepared.”
Watch Thornton’s (or FlyGal’s) videos on YouTube to explore Newman through a student’s point of view. Videos can also be viewed on the Admissions Facebook page, Flynewmanu.