Jostens representatives from Northwest Ohio partnered with the department of journalism and public relations this year to host their annual fall yearbook workshop and the response was better than either partner expected.
“Attendance at last year’s workshop, which was held at the Perrysburg French Quarter, was roughy 180 so we were targeting 200 for this year,” Kelly Taylor, the department’s liaison with the Jostens group, said. “We knew changing the venue to a college campus would highlight the educational purpose of the workshop and make it more attractive. We just didn’t anticipate how much.”
Approximately 375 students and their advisers from 39 schools attended the Sept. 21 workshop held entirely on the second floor of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.
“I have received probably 10 to 12 emails and texts thanking me for moving it to BGSU,” Jostens representative Steve Dufrane wrote in a thank-you letter to the department chair after the event. “They loved the format and how smoothly things went during the workshop. The hospitality and professionalism were second to none.”
Taylor also was a featured speaker teaching sessions on yearbook trends, color in design and alternative story forms. “I have been teaching workshops for Jostens for many years and always tell the students about BGSU,” Taylor said. “This time it was awesome to be able to actually show them what a great place BGSU is for journalism and public relations.”
Taylor added, “Plus, BG is my alma mater. I am proud of where I got my start and like to show it off.”
The Office of Admissions played a key role in helping the department make the most of this event. Erica Mills in admissions and her team of students stuffed folders with information about the university and journalism program for each student to take with them. They also staffed a table during morning registration.
Information cards the high school students completed served a dual purpose, doubling as a raffle ticket. Admissions gave away t-shirts and the department gave away jump drives to 15 lucky winners.
“It’s a great partnership between the Department of Journalism and Public Relations and local high schools,” Kathy Bradshaw, department chair, said. “The workshop exposes excellent, highly motivated high school students to the campus and our faculty members.”
Plans are underway to bring the event back next September.