CELEBRATE! Week 2010 & 2011 Booklets
Elon College, the College of Arts & Sciences
In both spring 2010 and 2011, I worked with the CUPID coordinator and another PWR student to produce the CELEBRATE! program of events booklets. CELEBRATE! is an annual week-long series of events at Elon University that showcases the success of the arts and sciences at the university. It includes the annual Student Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF) Day. The week is sponsored by Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, which partners with CUPID every year to produce CELEBRATE!’s lengthy and often complex schedule of events. For the 2010 program, I did a lot of on-the-job learning with InDesign software, information organization, photo editing, and collaborative project work. By 2011, I was prepared for the tasks of the job and assumed more of a leadership role while working with an underclassman PWR student, who was not the same student I worked with in 2010.
Working on the CELEBRATE! 2010 booklet was the first real experience I had working for a client. Because the booklet is distributed across campus and provides students and faculty with a means of keeping track of the week’s presentations and performances, Elon College wants and expects it to be clean, clear, concise, and professional looking. I also quickly realized that creating the booklet meant creating a publication that would directly be a reflection of the university and its standard. Creating something for a client meant fulfilling all the client’s goals and expectations, in a way that also represented the client appropriately.
To fulfill Elon College’s expectations for the CELEBRATE! brochures each year, careful project management was extremely important. A vast amount of date, name, title, location, and other information must be kept track of for every event and presentation during the week. SURF Day, just one day of CELEBRATE! Week, comprises almost 200 individual poster and oral presentations by students and some faculty—all of which are listed in the program booklet. In both 2010 and 2011, I worked with the second PWR student to design color-coded spreadsheets not only to house all the information but also to keep track of what had already been put into the booklet, what was missing details, and what might need to be checked specifically by the CUPID coordinator.
All that information had to be organized clearly within the booklet itself, of course. We were careful each year to incorporate numerous university photographs within the booklet as a means of both showing what kinds of performances and activities happen during CELEBRATE! and breaking up the extensive text of the document. For example, photographs were placed at every point in the booklet where a new day’s schedule began, and they were also placed within the SURF Day information to distinguish visually the different sessions of the day. Lines, bold text, italic text, and tab spacing were all used throughout for specific aspects of information (e.g., italic text for presenter names). Colored text was even used in the 2010 booklet to help distinguish events, but we determined in 2011 that dark, bold text could achieve the same effect while also reducing print costs.
As I mentioned in the context section, my learning experience in 2010 prepared me for when I worked on the CELEBRATE! booklet again the following year. With some specific project management experience under my belt, I was able to help guide the second PWR student (who was new to the project that year) through the processes of creating and effectively organizing the booklet. The client and project management experience I gained through CELEBRATE! was also something I brought to later PWR projects that helped me be a useful group project member and organizer. In the end, both the 2010 and 2011 booklets received positive feedback from the client, and they were also well received by the people who used them to sort out the schedule of SURF Day and CELEBRATE! Week as a whole.