"Naturally Inspiring" and #inspire part of larger marketing scheme

Alan Fearns/Sun Star Reporter
September 11, 2012

Recently taking notice, #inspire hashtags have been appearing around the Wood Center, Gruening and other popular spots on campus.  This is the work of the UAF street crew, a group of of students and staff members, in an effort to display what is inspiring about attending the university.

Over the last year, the Admissions Office and Communications Department worked to find what attributes make UAF stand apart from other western colleges.  The departments learned that people at UAF are inspired by their Alaskan environment by using focus groups, interviews and surveys.

Field work, sustainability projects and an upcoming research vessel are a few of the opportunities that have given UAF the inspire label .  Many people surveyed also agreed that UAF has a unique sense of community where students and staff feel welcomed by one another.

UAF Street Crew leaves their mark on the Gruening Building. Sept. 5 2012. Alan Fearns/ Sun Star.

“We behave as a tight-knit community.  It’s what living in Alaska kind of requires.  You grow to know your neighbors,” Lael Oldmixon said, Director of Recruitment.

Students and staff are encouraged to take part in the hashtagging by chalking up campus and filling the social networking feeds with #inspire. The UAF Street Crew has a Facebook page that is updated regularly on #inspire activities.  When a daily event sparks inspiration, no matter how simple it may be, gratitude is expressed by the Facebook members.

“One thing that inspires me is seeing people in Signer’s Hall and hearing the hustle and bustle on campus, and the smell of popcorn is an indicator that school has started and we are back on track.  So I instagrammed a picture of the popcorn machine and hash tagged inspire,” Oldmixon said.

People that are interested in learning more about the campaign, can attend the fall convocation on Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m.  Also, free T-shirts and other merchandise are available to students that bring a “Naturally Inspiring” card.  Street Crew members can provide these cards to those who ask.

The current campaign work has been a sort of low-key, teaser according to Oldmixon.  Stay tuned for a big-roll out planned to take place later on this year.

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