The VCU Social Media Institute will shortly begin its third year. College students from Iraq and Virginia Commonwealth University will work in project teams for four weeks to design and implement social media campaigns for 10 nonprofit organizations in the Richmond area. More than 50 nonprofits have applied to the program this year, stressing the popularity and impact the program has had during the previous two years. Funded by the United States Embassy in Baghdad, the program is a cooperation of the international nonprofit FHI 360 as well as the Global Education Office and the School of Mass Communications at VCU.
The 25 Iraqi students come to VCU through the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP), which allows each student to participate in a six-week program that includes classroom instruction as well as active educational opportunities with special week-long programs at the beginning and end in Washington and New York. The cultural program for the Iraqi students is run by Amanda Velez and Meredith Katz from VCU’s Global Education Office.
The academic social media program has been hosted by VCU since 2010 and will be run this year by Vivian Medina-Messner and me. A variety of social media experts are supporting the program through their lectures and their advice to the students. Please visit the Institute’s website for more details on the program details and lecture. Also follow the Institute’s Twitter account, which will publish regular updates on the activities and social media campaigns after the program’s start on July 2.