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iMedia teams share finished work from "Fly-Ins"

Students in the Interactive Media program this month aided nonprofit organizations in Iceland, Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama as part of their studies.

Interactive Media student Lindsey Taylor walks her audience through a virtual tour of the Boruca website her team created after visiting Costa Rica.


Graduate students in Elon University’s Interactive Media program on Jan. 25 shared completed projects from recent visits to nations where nonprofit organizations sought their help in developing more robust online presences.

Teams traveled to Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico and Iceland this month as part of the “Winter Fly-In” component to the master’s program offered by the School of Communications. Students filmed video, developed logos, shot photos for online galleries, and created Facebook and Twitter accounts to aid the various agencies in spreading word of their existence and impact in their local communities.

The latest projects, presented in Studio B in the School of Communications, included:

Citizens Foundation: With the help of iMedia students, the Icelandic nonprofit that builds and promotes democracy via online tools was able to incorporate video interviews into its website while launching social media accounts through Facebook and Twitter.

Tortuguias: The Panamanian non-governmental organization dedicated to preserving sea turtles and other marine life welcomed an Elon iMedia team to help centralize its disparate online efforts into one redesigned website.

Boruca: The Boruca, an indigenous people of Costa Rica living in the mountains near the Panamanian border, are fighting to preserve a cultural identity that dates back many centuries, and iMedia students visited the region to assist in building an interactive website for sharing the language, culture and craft of the population.

Academia Natanael: In need of rebranding to more clearly define its purpose, the Academia Natanael, a Mexican child development program in the Yucatan Peninsula, asked iMedia students for assistance. A revamped website with video promotions, plus a branding guide for use of logos, was the result.

Campanario Biological Station: On a remote peninsula that juts into the Pacific Ocean, this Costa Rican eco-tourism and natural preserve lacked a consistent visual brand, and in addition to a new logo, iMedia students created a series of videos and a stronger Facebook presence to educate readers about the cultural preservation also at the forefront of the organization’s mission.

“The value of these fly-ins is that you get to use all the skills from the classroom in a real-life situation with clients,” said David Copeland, Elon University’s A.J. Fletcher Professor and director of the graduate program. “It’s all of a sudden not an academic exercise anymore. It’s an exercise of what you see in the world.”

Copeland added that the completed projects are only part of how students grow from the fly-in program, which is now in its third year. “For almost every student who takes part in one,” he said, “this is a life-changing experience.”

Eric Townsend,
1/25/2012 5:05 PM