Redesigning New Student Programming with Wildcat Welcome 2020 @ Northwestern

From June 2019 to December 2020, I served as the Director of Engagement & Marketing for the department responsible for creating New Student programming.

Traditionally, Wildcat Welcome was a 10-day physical onboarding program replete with tours, learning and dialogue spaces, and events designed to expose new students to the campus.

In March 2020, however, our plans for in-person programming were drastically altered in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a member of a ten-person team, we set to work completely restructuring both the marketing leading up to the events and the programming itself to prepare for an all-digital paradigm.

With so much uncertainty surrounding the circumstances students would be entering months-later, we converted a three-month advertising timeline to a month-long daily content calendar. “30 Days to Northwestern” was born.

A purple and white graphic that reads "30 Days to Northwestern".

This process required throwing out the entire playbook for how Northwestern would market itself to its new students. Primarily, this meant de-emphasizing content revolving around in-person activities in favor of a student-driven narrative. We worked to showcase peer advisers from all over the globe and tapped into the massive network of current students to support our content efforts.

Before the Arch was my child in this regard. A narrative podcast centering rarely-heard narratives in higher education, each episode focused on an identity that experienced marginalization on-campus. The goal of the venture was to connect new students with those identities to their peers, regardless of physical proximity to campus.


The other campaigns in rotation with Before the Arch
No Place Like NU, School Pride, U Rah Rah, and Parent&Family Orientation – highlighted specific features of the current-student experience. Content was spread dynamically across multiple platforms. This included Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and webpage spreads.

This 7-point, 30-day interactive marketing plan successfully onboarded 2,000 new students to Northwestern University by adapting previous communication plans to the current realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this role I even generated the first-ever Northwestern University Instagram AR filter of a campus monument: the Weber Arch.


The “U! Rah! Rah!” series was a solo effort to create the first-ever traditions-oriented video content at Northwestern. Previously, campus traditions would be discussed and handed down in an informal, in-person setting. Now, we needed a way to get all new students on the same page as to where campus values and activities come from.

Xanadu

february 2020
graphic designer, brand designer
northwestern university | evanston, il
wave productions

team

produced by Sophia Barron
directed by Shane Eichstaedt
scenic design by the effervescent Isabella Noe
photography by Evan Robinson-Johnson

Assistant Director Alyssa Coughlin
Musical Director Rae Covey
Music Supervisor Lexi Vollero
Choreographer Autumn Thelander
Stage Manager Carol Lee

press

Hello, Dolly!

february 2019
northwestern university | evanston, il
the dolphin show

team

produced by Casey Watson, Andrew Harlan, and Austin Manross
directed by Isabel Perry

press

  • “77th Annual Dolphin Show ‘Hello, Dolly!’ hopes to brighten up Cahn Auditorium,” the Daily Northwestern
  • ”Goodbye Winter Break, ‘Hello, Dolly!’ North by Northwestern
  • “Behind the scene of the Dolphin Show’s production of ‘Hello, Dolly!’ the Daily Northwestern
  • “The Dolphin Show’s 77th annual production, the classic Hello Dolly!, began its run this weekend with much enthusiasm and aplomb,” Scene & Heard

Xanadu

february 2020
lighting designer
northwestern university | evanston, il
wave productions

team

produced by Sophia Barron
directed by Shane Eichstaedt
scenic design by the effervescent Isabella Noe
photography by Evan Robinson-Johnson

Assistant Director Alyssa Coughlin
Musical Director Rae Covey
Music Supervisor Lexi Vollero
Choreographer Autumn Thelander
Stage Manager Carol Lee

press

Venus in Fur

february 2019
graphic designer, brand designer
northwestern university | evanston, il
lipstick theatre

Brief to create a sexy, text-based brand that evoke elements of BDSM and kink culture present in the play itself.

This design package featured flat illustration, typesetting and text design, and subtle texture work.

Included program, social media images, and print poster/banner designs. Graphics created in Adobe Photoshop and layouts created in Adobe InDesign.

team

produced by Rachel Khutorsky
directed by Jessica Levin

Cabaret

october 2018
graphic designer and marketing lead
northwestern university | evanston, il
arts alliance

Brief to create a seamless marketing and brand image that evokes the newspaper, graffiti, and neon aesthetic chosen as the director’s vision.

every team member received a professional headshot, framed with an animated version of the Cabaret logo for social media sites. Logo designed in Photoshop and animated in After Effects.

team

produced by Jane Emma Barnett & Aleah Matthews- Runner
directed by Kelsey Robins

Jasper in Deadland

february 2018
northwestern university | evanston, il
lovers and madmen

team

produced by Jonathan Gelb
directed by Noah Watkins

press