UHD Expands Social Media Program
Gator Correspondents Helping Share University's Story
By Paige Caldwell
In the technological age that we live in, we no longer have a choice in whether we use social media. The question is how well we use it. The University of Houston-Downtown makes a concerted effort to communicate through social media with poise and purpose.
Pew Research Center found in 2018 that 88 percent of adults, aged 18-29, use social media. As another channel of communication, social media is fail-safe way to reach a sizeable portion of an organization's target audience.
Last year, UHD's Office of University Relations launched the Gator Correspondents program in which students were tasked with providing messages for the University's social media platforms and writing articles for UHD News. The initiative proved to be successful in providing more student-centric content on UHD's channels of communication.
This fall, the program expanded its Gator Correspondents initiative to empower students as social media ambassadors. These ambassadors are students who are engaged leaders dedicated to conveying a wealth of accurate knowledge about UHD that spans a variety of academic focuses and extracurricular interests. They also are passionate about social media. As Gator Correspondents, these students will gain leadership experience, exposure to social media storytelling, and networking opportunities . Moreover, they wield the power to share UHD's stories through a student's lens.
These new Gator Correspondents have UHD-branded social media accounts for either Instagram or Twitter and are asked to share their UHD experiences each day.
To kick off the program, each student is introduced and featured individually during one of the first four days of class during Welcome Week.
Meet our Gator Correspondents:
“I’m Isbah Khan, a third-year student studying mathematics and philosophy. Outside the classroom, I'm a member of the Scholars Academy and the University Honors Program. I also enjoy engaging with various student organizations on campus. Currently, I'm a work-study student with the Office of Community Engagement and Service Learning and a research student at the HOUSTON Academy. It's because of UHD that I have been able to participate in such great opportunities that have enriched my academic career and set me up for a brighter future after college.”
“My name is Evelyn Garcia. I am an senior English major minoring in psychology. Presently, I am part of the Honors Program and have been a Gator Correspondent since last year. Outside of school, I enjoy reading and I am training my dog, Cookie, who I adopted earlier this year. I'm looking forward to graduating in May!”
“My name is Alejandra Villarreal and I'm a Houston native. I began at UHD as an accounting major; however, after working with underprivileged students while studying abroad in Costa Rica, I had a change of heart. I began my teaching journey in 2017 and it has been comforting to know that I am attending a University where its goals and teaching missions align with my own. In addition to attending school and working as a substitute teacher, I'm a student ambassador for Urban Education in the College of Public Service. It's hard to picture myself at any other university!”
“My name is Carlos Guajardo, a senior majoring in history with dual minors in philosophy and sociology. I enjoy finding deeper meaning in things and I hope to teach, edit or possibly go into law. I love UHD and chose it because of its downtown location and convenience to businesses and other networks that connect us to our potential future opportunities. I choose to #FinishUHDStrong because this University is filled with students striving to earn a degree even while overcoming obstacles, which motivates me to do the absolute best I can.”
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) – the second-largest university in Houston – has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.
As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 61,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).
For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.