This fall, Youngstown State University has unveiled a new means of showcasing and sharing the success stories of its students.
Readabout.me releases personalized news updates about student accomplishments such as making the dean’s list, studying abroad or winning a scholarship, which are then distributed to hometown newspapers.
Each student receives the news releases via email and is encouraged to share them through social media. Each student also receives a readabout.me achievement “badge.” Once the badge is received, students can claim their profile, which creates an online readabout.me portfolio that includes news releases highlighting their achievements and their badges.
William Woodruff, a junior majoring in music recording, said it’s a good promotional tool for students and the university.
“I think giving us a way to show off in a sense is an awesome idea, especially if we can get that recognition out on social media,” he said.
Ron Cole, director of university communications at YSU, was looking for a new way to broadcast students’ achievements to help in their search for recognition and job placement.
His main goal for this semester is expanding YSU’s involvement in readabout.me and increasing public awareness about this new spotlight for student success. He is trying to meet with student organization leaders and faculty chairs across campus in an attempt to gather more students’ stories and achievements.
“We are limitless in terms of how much we can handle and process. I challenge this university’s population to overwhelm me,” Cole said. Megan Gabel, a senior majoring in social work, said she is happy for the exposure that readabout.me can give her and fellow social work majors.
“Social work isn’t really a major that gets a whole lot of spotlighting. I am interning in the spring, and to have somebody recognize that would go a long way with prospective employers,” she said.
Cole has already met with Bryan DePoy, dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts, who has expressed interest in participating.
“It’s a great opportunity for students whose successes may get overlooked to really get their achievements out into the spotlight,” DePoy said.
YSU faculty and staff play a major role in gathering and sharing student achievements. They can contact Ron Cole and submit a template, including the student’s full name, email address, hometown and a brief summary of the achievement for which they will be recognized.