McLean’s service endorsed

The Rambler, which began publishing in 1915 as the Crimson-Rambler, has had a varying history. For the past four years, however, The Rambler has enjoyed immense success (as evident by scores of intercollegiate press awards, including 30 this year alone), and while she’ll defer accepting any credit, this is thanks in large part to Student Media Adviser Terri McLean.

McLean, who was the first person with the primary designation of Transylvania’s student media adviser, recently announced that she’ll be leaving the university with “mixed feelings.”

Student Media Adviser Terri McLean has instructed Rambler staffers for four years.

“I fell in love with Transy when my son walked into Old Morrison in 2002 on a visit,” said McLean. “On a board in President Shearer’s office, was scribbled ‘Welcome Brad McLean. President Shearer would like to meet you.’”

In addition to advising The Rambler staff members on how to become better journalists, McLean also oversees The Crimson, Transy’s yearbook, and she assists in the public relations office by writing faculty and alumni profiles.

McLean brought an exuberant and contagious amount of enthusiasm to the position, in addition to over 20 years of experience. Before coming to Transy she worked at the Lexington Herald-Leader from 1980 to 2001, after which she worked as a freelance journalist and high school journalism teacher. Then, in 2008, Associate Vice President for Communications and Public Relations Sarah Emmons approached McLean with the idea of becoming media advisor.

“I like to say that the job of student media adviser fell into my lap…Sarah called and asked if I was interested in the job. The interesting thing was, at that time The Rambler had ceased to publish and was in a state of flux,” McLean said.

The state of flux didn’t last long, as McLean quickly came on board and resurrected the paper.

“In a couple of weeks we had a staff of seven to get us started. The only qualification was desire – desire to give students a voice on campus,” said McLean.

With the help and advice of McLean, The Rambler has grown well beyond the staff of seven and maintained a consistent campus presence. During her tenure, McLean saw the volunteer-only, tightly staffed weekly newspaper of Transy receive over sixty awards from the Kentucky Intercollegiate Press Association.

On a personal note, McLean has impacted my life more than any other person on this campus. Her love for journalism – for finding the truth and light in every story – has rubbed off on me and shaped my future. I’ve spent more one-on-one time with her learning, hands on, about writing than anyone else. In addition to teaching me, she has been a friend and an advocate who would put herself on the line to defend what we both knew was right.

In her own words, McLean calls it the “greatest privilege to mentor some of the most accomplished students and watch them grow as student journalists and as people.”

The true privilege, however, belongs to the staffs of The Rambler and broader campus community. McLean, with her office in the basement of a men’s dorm, isn’t the most visible person on this campus, but the positive effect she leaves behind will affect students for years to come.

I am proud to offer her this, my final endorsement as managing editor.

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Signage an effective change

When he first came to Transylvania’s campus, President R. Owen Williams announced to me in my first interview with him that monitors would be placed around campus to communicate special announcements, advertise events and promote campus organizations, among other things.

Today, more than a year later, there are 10 of these digital signage monitors around campus, one each located in the alumni and development office, the Beck Center, the Campus Center Canteen, the Cowgill Center lobby, Forrer Hall Front Lobby, Jazzman’s Café, the Rafskeller and the library, as well as outside Carrick Theater and the cafeteria.

According to Vice President for Information Technology Jason Whitaker, there are hopefully more on the way so that eventually every classroom building on campus displays one.

These monitors, much like your own student newspaper, showcase visually appealing designs containing information important to the campus community. They reduce clutter on campus walls by lessening the need for fliers and they integrate technology into the design of campus that, before, was painfully missing. In short, they’re pretty cool.

More than that, though, the digital signage monitors represent what good things can happen when the people working behind the scenes to oversee our campus collaborate and synergize.

The idea came from the president, was researched by Whitaker and the IT department and then installed by the physical plant. On a daily basis, the monitors’ content is controlled by the publications department, and staff in each building can add content to their building’s monitor. This interdepartmental, collaborative work is what’s best for our university.

In addition, submitting content is easy and can be done from the Inside Transy home page, creating yet another efficient way to get information to students.

For these reasons, I am happy to endorse the digital signage monitors as a truly successful project that has positively impacted our campus.

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