COM Nominated for Shorty Award
Among seven colleges cited as best in social media
When Micha Sabovik oversaw the launch of the College of Communication’s YouTube channel and its first series, COMlife, she never imagined that four years later COM would be competing for a national award. But tonight, Sabovik (COM’96,’06), COM assistant dean of student services, and a team of COM students will be sitting in a New York city ballroom as nominees at this year’s Shorty Awards, which honor the best in social media.
Now in its sixth year, the Shorty Awards recognize achievement across all platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. COM is one of seven nominees in the BN College category, sponsored by Barnes & Noble. But what makes the nomination unique is that COM is the only school within a larger university nominated for the award. The competitors, chosen from among 250 nominees, are COM, the University of Houston, Binghamton University, Illinois State, Texas Tech, Rowan University, and last year’s winner, West Virginia University.
“The other candidates are all large universities and that gives us a little extra pride,” says Sabovik.
To be eligible, nominees could submit only one Twitter handle for consideration, and BU chose @comugrad, which is run by COM’s Student Services. “It’s a Twitter handle that lets students know what’s happening at the college, news about COM alumni, and job postings,” says Sabovik. “We also include items that we find entertaining.”
To be nominated, schools are required to solicit tweets from students, alumni, and friends supporting their nomination. COM faculty, students, and alums flooded @comugrad’s Twitter feed with support, in 140 characters or less, citing reasons COM’s social media platform deserved to be honored.
“The nomination firmly implants us in the social media realm,” says Sabovik. “It speaks to how passionate our students are about social media, and it’s a great showcase for COM and for BU.”
“Social media has brought an entirely new dimension to education,” according to the Shorty Awards website. “Colleges are using Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and blogs to connect students with each other and with their school in unprecedented ways.”
COM’s social media adventure began four years ago with the reality YouTube series COMlife, which documents the experiences of COM students throughout their time at BU.
“We started it at a time when we didn’t have a large social media presence,” Sabovik recalls. “We had just started our undergraduate Twitter handle and started putting COMlife on YouTube. Everything kind of grew from there.”
Today, she oversees COM’s five Twitter handles, Facebook page, Instagram, and YouTube channel with help from a number of dedicated students. “I’m so thankful that we have such great students at COM and BU,” she says. “I rely on them significantly to help create great content and that is part of the reason why we’re being recognized. It’s not a singular operation; it’s collaborative.”
Joining Sabovik and Thomas Fiedler (COM’71), COM dean, at tonight’s Times Center ceremony will be four students who have been involved in producing content for COM’s social media platforms, Gregory Huntoon (COM’14), William Dowsett (COM’16), Aaron Bland (COM’14), and Kelly Natoli (COM’14). New York–based alum Mark Denega (COM’09), who was instrumental in starting COMlife, will also attend. The ceremony, being hosted by actress and comedian Natasha Leggero, is being broadcast live online.
If COM does take home the top prize, Sabovik will have to do a little wordsmithing at the podium. “The acceptance speeches are limited to 140 characters,” she says. “Although I tweet all the time, it will be hard to get all the thanks and appreciation in with under 140.”
Kat Sorensen can be reached at email@example.com Comments