As a collective, we like to shine the spotlight on those members who have received outside recognition for their efforts in the realm of media and technology. This last academic year, one of our members, Andrew Valdez, received national attention for his social media campaign for Palo Alto College, one of the Alamo Colleges. Andrew began working for Palo Alto in June 2012 as a Senior Multimedia Specialist. Since his arrival, his contribution to the Alamo Colleges has been noted. His work can be reflected in the renovation of both the Facebook and Twitter accounts of the campus. Prior to his involvement, Palo Alto had multiple pages for each social media outlet, making it confusing for students to get in touch with their campus. Andrew has since empowered both students and employees to continuously engage online. Furthermore, he has successfully opened up a line of communication and continues to keep an ongoing dialogue between the college and its students through the use of social media.
In addition to managing the campus’ Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Linked In and Twitter accounts, Andrew is also on the planning committee for PACfest, an official Fiesta event hosted by the college. This year’s event improved on the success of a unique and innovative attraction that was suggested and implemented last year by Andrew and his team. His idea was to incorporate the use of social media and blend it into the event, providing real time comments and feedback. The idea was named Social Media Alley, which included large screens on either side of a walkway that projected live status updates about PACfest using the hashtag “#PACfest”. The Alley also offered onlookers a chance to see what their community and classmates were posting on Instagram and Twitter so they can be informed of the best entertainment, games and food during the event. Check out this years event below.
Originally, Andrew thought this campaign would win a certificate and possibly state recognition, however he was later informed that the PACfest Social Media Alley campaign was nominated for one of the best Social Media Campaigns at the 2014 National Council for Marketing & Public Relations Conference. The conference was held in New Orleans and Andrew was in attendance to accept the Paragon Gold Award for Social Media Campaign of 2013, which was top honors in that category beating out several colleges such as Tallahassee Community College and Colorado Mountain College.
One of 10 institutes to receive the “Young Historians, Living Histories” grant from the Smithsonian Institution, the Institute of Texan Cultures in downtown San Antonio set in search of documentarians with a unique understanding of new media and an inherent appreciation of history to help fulfill the program’s goal of encouraging young historians to “explore and better understand the history and culture of the Asian Pacific American community while learning to utilize new technology.”
Having recently completed several new media projects over the past months, highlighted by a dynamic presentation at TEDx San Antonio, the Convergent Media Collective at UIW was contacted by Angelica Docog, the director of the Institute of Texan Cultures. After gathering a diverse group of Asian Pacific American high school students from San Antonio and the surrounding area, Angelica contacted the Collective to help the students learn to shoot video, record audio, and capture engaging oral histories. Over the coming months, the Convergent Media Collective helped shoot, produce, and edit video pieces of young Koreans and Korean immigrants B.J. Yang and (insert other names here) telling their unique stories about coming to America and their encounter with the American culture. Dr. Joseph Lopez, along with Collective members and recent UIW graduates Jonathan Guajardo (’13) and Joel Pena (’13), spearheaded the project and helped the young historians develop their shooting and editing techniques.
The students showcased their films at the CAAM Film Festival on Marc 15th in San Francisco and received the notoriety which comes from contributing to the prestigious Smithsonian Institute. Angelica described it best when she said, “Aside from recording historically significant material, these students will contribute to the Smithsonian Institution’s body of work.” All in all, this was a great opportunity for our Collective to team up with the Institute and the Smithsonian to help young Korean-Americans tell their stories and experience their culture in a new and exciting way.
The Convergent Media Collective is proud to announce Corina Zavala, a member of the collective successfully defended her dissertation on April 29th at the Sanchez building at the University of Texas at Austin. She is receiving her degree from the Cultural Studies in Education program, housed out of the Curriculum and Instruction Department in the College of Education.
Her work focused on the women’s experiences during the Chicano Movement, she performed writing sessions with four women from Crystal City who experienced the movement taking place in their city and their words are shared and analyzed through a very unique and powerful lens that is sure to add to the canon of Chican@ studies and education alike.
Her dissertation committee consisted of some of the top scholars in the field, such as Dr. Luis Urrieta, Dr. Douglas Foley, Dr. Cinthia Salinas, Dr. Noah De Lizzovoy and Dr. Allucquere Sandy Stone.
On behalf of the Convergent Media Collect we congratulate Dr. Corina Zavala and her great accomplishment!