On the steps up to the UC Breezeway, two graduate students, Brandi Robinson and Ann Masterman, carry a small white camcorder into the book store.
Robinson films their surroundings while Masterman describes their location in detail.
The video they shoot is one of the many technological and interactive innovations UM’s graduate school hopes will attract prospective students into applying for admission. If the project is approved by the graduate school’s dean, Terri A. Scandura, it will be designed to be featured prominently on the graduate school’s blog and promote video sharing from current graduate students as a way to encourage feedback and provide information to interested applicants.
“Grad students, these are the things you can bring back home to mom and dad,” Masterman said.
Robinson is the public relations graduate school assistant and Masterman is the graduate assistant to Scandura. The two assistants are creating a five minute video tour of the university campus for 20 incoming graduate students, which will provide information about certain centers in the campus that students could never get from a walking tour.
“When you’re an undergrad, they hold your hand, but once you’re a graduate student they set you free,” Robinson said.
Robinson said that the video could help out-of-state graduate students gain knowledge about the campus without necessarily having to know anyone from the campus.
“We want to make it less of a mission,” she said.
Robinson and Masterman started their tour with a ride on the Hurry ‘Cane shuttles, with Masterman discussing how convenient it is for those not used to the Florida heat. At Stanford Circle, the two shot around noted areas such as the UC Rock and Toppel Career Center.
As the filming ended, Robinson and Masterman discussed the future of the video tour.
“We’re trying to test it out, to see if Dean Scandura likes it. She likes new innovations,” Masterman said.
Once the video is approved, the girls intend to post it on the graduate school blog, where students can give feedback. They want to make biweekly videos.
Masterman said that improving graduate student communication is key.
“What we hope to do in Dean Scandura’s five year plan is to improve structures and policies,” Masterman said. “We want to make it a user-friendly atmosphere.”