New Web site to link BYU alumni


    By Lynne Hetzel

    The BYU Department of Communications has begun working on a new, more up-to-date Web Site to be launched early this Fall.

    “The new Communications Department Web site will be a cutting edge, dynamic site that reflects the top-notch administration, faculty, staff, students and technological resources available within the department,” said Yvette Arts, project manager for the Communications Department Web Lab.

    Arts is in charge of managing the project with the help of Web Lab staff members, Holly Cox and Josh Mills. She is also coordinating the efforts of the students in the Communications 338 classes who are providing content and graphics for the site.

    Department Chair, Dr. Laurie Wilson, believes the creation of a better Web presence is key to promoting and sustaining the department’s development efforts and academic mission, Arts said.

    A proposal for the new site, submitted by Holly Cox, and Melanie Armstrong and Jed Merrill, two students in the 338 class, recommends that the site become the communications center for the department, with easy access to the tools individuals might need including links to NewsNet, Route Y and other important functions of the department.

    According to the proposal, the site will be a centralized location for information exchange and communication. The department plans to make the site an invaluable tool to students, especially current communications majors/minors, and communications faculty, according to a public relations campaign developed by Adam Christensen, a Communications 338 student.

    The campaign also aims to increase visits to the site from future BYU students, BYU faculty from other departments and alumni, as well as non-BYU visitors – faculty from other universities and non-BYU students.

    Plans for the new site include:

    ? a photo tour of important communications department locations

    ? a virtual video tour of NewsNet facilities, utilizing streaming video/audio to illustrate the cutting edge technology available

    ? FAQs links

    ? online course materials from instructors

    ? access to alumni and internship databases.

    The site will also include information for new students such as applications which students will be able to submit online, schedule plans (Major Academic Plans), scholarship information and contact information for advisers.

    The site will have an overview of the Media Ethics program and a link to the Journal of Mass Media Ethics, which the department helped to establish and which is therefore archived online.

    Information from the proposal indicates that the site will have photographs and short biographical information about staff and faculty members and links to online syllabi and other course material. It will have information on the student computer labs – the hours of operation and what technology and programs are available.

    One important aspect of the site for students will be the internship area. The site will be more integrated with the internship department’s Web site, providing information about available internships and easy access to applications, with the possibility of interactive access to some internship providers.

    The proposal also indicates that the site will post student resumes and portfolios of student work.

    Bobeta Powell, internship coordinator for the department, will work closely with Arts and the students to ensure that the content provided is accurate.

    She has also checked all of the content on the existing Web site with the help of Holly Cox and Sarah Hartsfield, an intern for the department during Winter 2000 semester, made suggestions for changes and updates, and provided feedback on ideas submitted.

    A new portion of the site will be dedicated to Communications Department alumni. Julie Hillman, who is in charge of alumni relations for the department, said a major focus of the department is to re-connect with its graduates and provide them with better services.

    The department wants to invite alumni to become involved in furthering its mission to help graduates become communications leaders, Hillman said.

    Plans to do this through the Web site include a page for alumni to share their knowledge, experience and success by becoming a mentor to current students. Other resources for alumni will include

    ? news updates about the department

    ? a page to spotlight alumni as they have successes in their careers

    ? a class directory page where graduates can access information about and re-connect with members of their graduating class

    ? a job board where alumni can search for or post job opportunities throughout their career

    ? a list of upcoming events and reunions.

    The department wants to provide resources to help alumni succeed, to continue to be a resource for learning and information, according to a recent letter to alumni from Wilson.

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