How Far Would You Go?

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How Far Would You Go?

I often talk about the opportunities we have to enhance our relationships with the students under our charge, or the times available to us to lift them up. This is an area of emphasis for our program at the Student-Athlete Academic Center (SAAC) at FIU. So much so, myself and two team members (@Hglez9 & @aliriccobono) created the i3 group. i3 stands for iCreate iInnovate iInpsire. This group is charged with coming up with creative ways to connect with our student-athletes through innovative opportunities.

Together, we have established several new initiatives in the SAAC to drive positive attention towards our student-athletes. This past week, however, might be one for the record books. We wanted to showcase our Back to Back to Back Conference USA Champions, @FIUSwimDive, by coming up with an engaging way to drive social media traffic their way. We also wanted to acknowledge our @NCAA 10M Bronze Medal winner, Rebecca Quesnel, on her accomplishment’s this Spring.

The idea was organic and took root quick. Schedule an interview with Becca to discuss her performance, but to make it interesting – interview her where she is comfortable. 33 feet above the pool, outside in her elements, on a slab of concrete that sways when the wind blows. The idea, that began as a ‘what if we did’, took off like wild fire. Who could we get to interview Becca on the 10M dive? Why not pick someone who has issues with heights? We could use that to showcase how comfortable Becca is in her environment, while also showing how uncomfortable everyone else is when standing over 30 feet in the air. By doing so, we could emphasize just how amazing her talent and accomplishment truly Is.

So, how can we generate positive traction for @FIUSwimDive just off an interview? Easy enough – we could FaceBook LIVE the event and host a watch party for her teammates in the SAAC. We could promote the interview on our social media channels and throughout our program to get more eyes and ears engaged. We felt confident in our programming, but felt something was missing. In the end, we needed someone to literally make a ‘splash’. We started throwing out names. We wanted to find the person who would be least expected to be found on the 10M tower – and then more importantly – who we could convince to jump off?

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As someone uncomfortable with heights – who doesn’t like sudden drops – and someone who would be least expected to be an ideal interviewer; our i3 group came to the same conclusion. Me. It was at that point that I had a decision to make. How far would I go to promote the success of our student-athletes? Would I be willing to step out of my comfort zone, and into the elements, to try and gain positive publicity for our worlds ahead students? Well, It looks like we are going to find out. Tune in this Tuesday at 1:00pm EST where we will FaceBook LIVE our interview with our NCAA Champion, Rebecca Quesnel, through our FIU SAAC FaceBook account (@SAACFIU).

It is our sincere hope that this project accomplishes the goal to get you to follow @FIUSwimDive, @FIU_SAAC and @FIUAthletics. As a Director, if there is anything I can do – such as face my fear of heights and jump off a 10M tower- to showcase our elite student-athletes, it is my hope that I always have the courage to do it. To me, the opportunity to show our students at @FIU_SAAC how we truly are student-centered absolutely outweighs the slight possibility of getting hurt.

Thank You for Reading my latest post!  Please be sure to tune in next Tuesday for the FaceBook Live Event, but ALSO be on the lookout for my next Interview with a Leader in Higher Education.  I’m excited to announce that Kim Durand, Senior Associate AD at The University of Washington, will be our next guest!

Feel free to reach out to me at any time!  📱 307-223-6429 🐤 @WesDMaas 💻 Wmaas@fiu.edu

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