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As you may know, the University at Buffalo has implemented a distance learning model for our students and is moving to a remote work accommodation for our faculty and staff to the extent possible. It’s important to share that, in this ever-evolving situation, our two guiding principles are the health and safety of our community, and the continued academic progress of our students.
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While we won’t be able to see you in person at UB programs and events in the short term, we are working on ways to keep your connection to UB – and to each other – strong. Pursuant to recent University, CDC and local health department guidelines, all alumni, in-person gatherings, including events, conferences, meetings and other forums, are being cancelled or postponed until at least early June.
Published November 17, 2015
When UB's GroW Home Team needed help with a crowdfunding campaign to fund their work on their ultra-efficient, solar-powered architectural masterpiece for the Department of Energy's Solar Decathalon, they turned to Dr. Lance Rintamaki, Associate Professor of Communication. Dr. Rintamaki, in turn, looked to the students in the COM department to determine how to get the message out, and the funding in. Together with COM students and the GRoW Home Team, Dr. Rintamaki conducted extensive research on crowdfunding and created an outreach message that helped the Team raise $45,000.
The GRoW Home Team's dreams, however, were bigger than just fundraising. The GRoW Home competition, held in Irvine, California, featured not only contests judging the features of the house itself, but also a Communications Contest which evaluated teams on their communications strategy, electronic communications, public exhibit materials, public exhibit presentation, and audiovisual presentation (http://www.solardecathlon.gov/2015/competition-contests-communications.html). Dr. Rintamaki coordinated with Adjunct Instructor Debra Kolodczak to create a GRoW Home communication graphics class, in which undergraduated students created a PR Kit for the Team. In addition, Dr. Rintamaki worked with UB's chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, who took over the UB GRoW Home social media campaign, interviewed students, and gathered fun facts about the house.
Altogether, this powerhouse communication team, under the direction of faculty advisor Martha Bohm, made new marketing materials, created signage for the house itself with informational design, developed a web page, developed video, and took lots of pictures. Undergraduate Communication student Stephanie Acquario was so inspired, says Rintamaki, that she spent a great deal of time at the house, even assisting with work on the house itself.
UB's GRoW Home entry took second place in the overall competition, and earned third place in the Communications Contest. While third out of fourteen teams is impressive in its own right, Dr. Rintamaki notes that the Communications Contest placement was particularly impressive because UB's grassroots team of exceptional students pitted their work against professional PR companies - and still came out on top.