Social Storytelling, Student Orientation, and a New Way to Knowledge

TIE3 Technology in Education

Location: 103B, Wisconsin Center

MONDAY, 10:45 - 11:30 a.m.

Each year, new-student orientation is a blur of new people, new places, and (lots and lots) of new information that is overwhelming at best. This makes delivering content that is both educational and entertaining a perennial challenge for orientation planners, which is where social media comes in. By now we’re all using social media to market our institutions, but what about using it to engage and teach our incoming students? At Penn State, incoming students learn about technology resources at the university by following Jordan, an imaginary student, on his social media journey through the technology resources, failures, and (ultimately) successes during his first year at Penn State. Complete with corny humor and silly gifs, the presentation makes potentially dry content relatable and memorable, and gives students both a physical and digital way to engage with Jordan through in-person questions and a hashtag challenge in the backchannel. In this session, Montminy and Motycki will discuss how you can use social media, storytelling, and student presenters to increase student engagement, interest, and retention during orientation sessions. They will walk attendees through the strategy behind this approach, how it was executed, and the positive (and lasting) impact this session had at the university.


Jennifer Montminy
Communications Strategy Specialist, Penn State

Jennifer Montminy is a communications strategy specialist for Information Technology Services (ITS) at Penn State, where she leads the creation of strategic communications plans ranging from operational to marketing communications, including alerts, change management communications, awareness and promotional communications, and faculty and student outreach. Montminy serves on Penn State’s IT Transformation Program team, which is responsible for the implementation of the Penn State Service Management Program, for which she leads the end-user portal efforts. She has written for LINK: The Journal of Higher Education Web Professionals, and is on the leadership team of the national Web Conference at Penn State, where she presented in 2014 on the importance of building an internal social media strategy. She can’t get enough of art museums, sunny days, antiques shopping, and being silly with her friends, husband, co-workers, and anyone who will put up with it.

Katie Motycki
Associate Director, New Student Orientation, Penn State

Katie Motycki joined Penn State's Office for Student Orientation and Transition Programs team in January 2013 as the associate director for New Student Orientation. She received her bachelor's degree from Penn State and her master's degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her career path includes orientation programming at La Roche College, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Penn State. She lives in State College, Pennsylvania, and enjoys Zumba, crafting, reading, cheering for the Nittany Lions, and hosting college friends when they come to town!