Campus News

Bethel career development director presenting at national conference

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In case you haven’t noticed, Bethel is a small school. It sports a student body of around 2,000 students, compared to nearby Indiana University South Bend’s 8,000 or, for an even more unfair comparison, Notre Dame’s 12,000. So it’s not every day that a staff or faculty member takes the humble Helm’s name to the stage in front of perhaps a thousand people on a national scale. mattandsky Matthew Stackowicz, director of career development and global engagement, is going to Las Vegas in June to present to an audience of college and business leaders from across the nation at the 2017 National Association of College and Employers (NACE) Conference. Stackowicz’s presentation will focus on branding and the usage of cell phones to create a brand for offices or institutions. “I really think the way to engage with the millennial and Gen Z audience is through images,” said Stackowicz. “And it’s so important for those of us who are older, from different generations, to use the power of image to actually highlight what we’re doing.” But Stackowicz isn’t just representing a small school like Bethel by presenting on such a grand scale. He’s also using the school’s own work to illustrate his points. “I will be using a video that we’re creating,” said Stackowicz. “It’s a series called the Career and Calling Series. And it’s just this beautifully well-done video by an alumn(us) that highlights a student’s story on how…he understood his calling through design in designing a longboard.” The NACE Conference received over 450 proposals for presentations, and Stackowicz’s proposal was one of 50 chosen. “Most major universities will be there,” stated Stackowicz, “including the Ivy League schools and then there’s little us, Bethel, and the other small schools around the country. And so, I get to represent Bethel and share what we do and how we use our cameras and our branding in my office to really speak about Bethel in a new light.” Stackowicz said he has three main hopes for his presentation. “One is to really teach others how to effectively use images and photography in a way…that represents the office well,” he said. “Two is to rethink strategy and branding in their office, not just in traditional senses but in new, innovative ways. Three, really to challenge the audience’s understanding…of the power of the cell phone and the ways that they can use that to most effectively engage students.” Those are his outright, cut-and-dried reasons for presenting. But Stackowicz said there’s another underlying hope he has for this presentation. “Bethel has amazing things happening, and so often it doesn’t get heard or doesn’t get shown because we’re a small school,” said Stackowicz. “So what if you magnify that and share what a small little school in Mishawaka, Ind. can actually do. The things that it can create. The students and their outcomes, the stories and lives of what our students do, and think. That is the thing that I can do for Bethel, for the office, is just share that story in a new way to show larger colleges, to show those who are attending the conference that a little school like Bethel has a role in higher education. (Bethel) has a…place to really make a difference in the world.” He went on, “I’m proud of what we do here, I’m proud of our students. And I want to highlight them, I want to share stories, I want to show images that really put Bethel on the map.” Stackowicz ended with this thought: “I think so often the little schools are these underdogs afraid of the big giant schools, and I really just want to emphasize that we all have a place in training up students and helping them find their calling. And we get to be a small part of that, and we get to highlight students’ lives.”
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