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Admissions teams with media resource center to create customized videos

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Most universities send an acceptance letter to students who are admitted.

Wichita State does the same, but this semester, the admissions department is trying something else to attract admitted students: making personalized videos to welcome admitted students to WSU.

“We wanted to put together an opportunity for students to see they would have a place here at Wichita State,” said Bobby Gandu, director of admissions.

Admissions personnel teamed with the Media Resource Center in the fall to tackle the challenge of producing personalized videos for each admitted freshmen and transfer student. The Media Resource Center spent about a day recording video and audio and tracking each place in the video where each admitted student’s name would appear in the video.

Inside each video, which are identical, is a space for each student’s name to be dropped into. So far, about 4,400 videos have been created and emailed out.

“That probably takes the majority of the time, putting these trackers in a two-dimensional space in three dimensions,” said Garrick Enright, a producer, editor and videographer with the Media Resource Center, who produced the admissions videos.

The video takes place in a dorm room in Shocker Hall, in the plaza outside Shocker Hall, outside the fireside lounge in the Rhatigan Student Center and at Charles Koch Arena. Each location in the video has something where each student’s name appears, such as on a jersey held by men’s basketball head coach Gregg Marshall.

“The goal was to essentially make them feel like this is the place that they could feel at home,” Gandu said. “That we are basically saving their seat for them and we’re waiting for them to be here.”

Enright said he enjoyed working cross-departmentally with admissions. He also said it’s great to help the university recruit students.

“Just being able to create a custom video for anyone who gets accepted is really cool,” Enright said. “If I had gotten that when I was a student, I would’ve definitely shared it. I would’ve been excited to do that. To be able to have that kind of impact and getting people to come to Wichita State, that’s a pretty cool thing.”

Greg Matthias, Media Resource manager of video series and cable television, said the project was challenging.

“It was something that we hadn’t done before,” he said. “It gave us an opportunity to be challenged. We had to research the software and then we had to make it work.”

Full metrics of the project’s success are not yet available, but admissions has received anecdotal feedback from people.

“We’ve had multiple parents comment to us about it that they really appreciated it and it made them feel a bit more comfortable about sending their student to us because they knew we were taking some time and energy to create that video,” Gandu said.

Gandu said like with every admissions project, his team will look at metrics, feedback and a focus group to see how it affected students’ decision to come to WSU. His expectation is the project will be a regular undertaking.

“The MRC did a great job putting together the technology,” Gandu said. “Between the partnership of the MRC and our team, we pulled this project off to hopefully great success.”

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