June 20, 2018
Computer? Check. Full tank of gas? Check. Snacks, colleagues and a desire to learn? Check, check and check. That could only mean one thing – road trip! I, along with three of my colleagues, jumped in a van yesterday and headed south to Hoosier country. Once again, it’s time to gather with our counterparts from around the Big Ten (and a few other schools) for our annual Big Ten Plus media and marketing conference.
I’ve never been to Indiana University before so I was really looking forward to checking out campus. It certainly didn’t disappoint. Even though it was sweltering, we took advantage of a quick walking tour to check out the place – it’s really quite stunning. There are lovely shaded paths and gorgeous limestone buildings. And, everywhere we looked, plenty of that famous Hoosier hospitality.
Today we’ll spend the day learning from each other and special speakers. It’s a chance to connect, check out some best practices in our field, share success stories and puzzle out solutions to challenges. It’s also a great opportunity to spend some time with really talented colleagues from around the Big Ten – yes, even those from that other school in Michigan. Because, while all of us are rivals on the fields, court and ice, we’re partners in educating tomorrow’s leaders and solving big problems to make our world a better place. The power of the Big Ten is a pretty amazing thing.
One of the subjects we’ll be exploring will be the role of social media. In fact, some of us will spend a whole day just on that topic. When I began my career in higher education, I couldn’t have dreamed how the rise of social media would impact not just my field but pretty much the entire world. But, while it definitely has connected the world, there are definitely some drawbacks, especially with excessive use.
Dar Meshi, an assistant professor of advertising and public relations, put some research behind that concept by exploring some of the neuroscience behind social media use. His data shows that people who use social media excessively might show the same responses in the brain as drug and alcohol users. Check out his FACULTY VOICE: The neuroscience behind social media use, to learn more about his work.
When some people hear “Indiana” they think basketball. But some Spartan students also thought “basketball” when figuring out how to give something back to their community. Sophomores Billy Wetzel and Lockie Woods, Social Science Scholars, decided to take their love of sports and turn it into a way to be role models for some local kids. Read their STUDENT VIEW: Shooting hoops, changing lives, to learn more about their experience.
When most people hear “Big Ten” they think athletics. And sure, that’s true. We have some great teams, fun rivalries and some pretty entertaining games. But the Big Ten is so much more than that. We’re all pretty similar in that we’re putting thousands of students on their paths to future success. We also are all doing research in our states and around the world. We’re finding cures and forming real solutions. And, we all have our areas of expertise. It will take all of us to change the world for the better, and we often collaborate on projects.
We’re called the legends and leaders and we truly are. While we might joke about a football game, we also respect each other deeply for our shared commitment to the real work going on at our universities in classrooms, labs, fields, hospitals, theaters, greenhouses and more. Next time you sit down to root on the Spartans against one of our Big Ten rivals, cheer loudly for the Green and White, but applaud the other school too. In this business of making tomorrows better for everyone, the Big Ten is a force to be reckoned with. #SpartansWill.
Photo: The Student Building, Indiana University