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AG J Capstone Presentation. Jessica Petzel, Kyle Spradley, Drew Stewart, Jena Thompson. Purpose. Class composed of four Agricultural Journalism students Aid from instructor Sharon Wood-Turley Survey the current status of communication within the college and with alumni

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Ag j capstone presentation

AG J Capstone Presentation

Jessica Petzel, Kyle Spradley,

Drew Stewart, Jena Thompson



  • Class composed of four Agricultural Journalism students

  • Aid from instructor Sharon Wood-Turley

  • Survey the current status of communication within the college and with alumni

  • Find solutions on improving communication

  • All students passed the IRB test to be certified to work on research projects by the University of Missouri



  • Faculty Interviews

  • Focus Group

  • Survey Results

  • Newsletter

  • CAFNR Alumni Web Site

  • New Media Tools

  • New Class

  • Ties to Recruitment

Faculty interviews

Faculty Interviews

  • Each student was given the task to interview at least four CAFNR faculty members

  • Purpose:

    • Find out what they are currently doing as means of communication

    • Their opinion on what problems exist

    • Find solutions to these problems

Faculty interviews1

Kyle Spradley

George Jesse

Mark Ryan

Bryan Garton

Ingolf Gruen

Jessica Petzel:

Mike Monson

Ken Schneeberger

Stephanie Chipman

Anna Ball

Leon Schumacher

Drew Stewart

Bruce Cutter

Roy Robinson

James Groves

David Vaught

Jena Thompson

CeCe Leslie

Mary Ann Gowdy

Tony Lupo

Dana Brown-Hayes

Faculty Interviews

Faculty interview summary

Faculty Interview summary

  • Each department has been handling its own forms of communication in-house and with alumni

  • Problem with varied approaches to communication, no uniformity

  • No centralized groups or information pieces out to alumni and hardly to faculty

  • Want to see some sort of newsletter out to alumni

  • Some discrepancies between SNR and CAFNR alumni

Focus groups

Focus Groups

  • Five CAFNR alums from the area

  • They felt positive about their CAFNR experience

  • Would like better ways to keep in contact with fellow alums

  • All agreed they would like to see more information coming out of the college, specifically out of their department

  • Interested in info about research, current students, activity of old classmates

  • Want something like MoMentum to come back in which the students create the content

Focus group new media

Focus Group - New Media

  • Most were on Facebook

  • Mainly preferred to receive electronic media and get news online

  • Not really aware of all the new multimedia tools made available

Focus group summary

Focus Group Summary

  • Don’t feel really connected to college

  • Occasionally check in with departments or college

  • Would like to see some communication not related to financial donations

  • All agreed they would rather donate to CAFNR than specifically to their department or to all of MU



  • Electronic survey sent out to 472 CAFNR alums from 1990-Present

  • 122 replied (had 15 undeliverable addresses)

  • Topics investigated:

    • Experiences at CAFNR

    • If they are connected to CAFNR at all

    • Communication

    • How they receive news

Survey results

Survey Results

  • Almost all alums agreed they had a good experience while at school in CAFNR

  • Seeing problems with event attendance within the college

  • The Web site is rarely visited by alumni

  • Alumni would like to have increased communication from the college

I feel satisfied with my experience at cafnr

I feel satisfied with my experience at CAFNR

Current situation

Current Situation

  • People enjoyed their time here, but we don’t have alums coming to events

  • Just over 3% said the CAFNR homecoming tailgate is important to them

  • Around 16% said they had attended a CAFNR event in the past year

Possible solution

Possible Solution

  • Use Facebook to advertise and invite alums

  • Over 60% said they believe Facebook is a positive way to connect to people

  • 70% said RSVP lists to events could possibly prompt more attendance at events

  • With Facebook events you now have an RSVP list



  • Let’s encourage our alums to get on Facebook and connect with all different generations of alums

  • Need to have a managed Alumni group

  • Fan pages could also be made

  • Can easily upload photos and post recent happenings in people’s lives

I enjoy receiving info from the university

I enjoy receiving info from the University

I look forward to receiving mizzou magazine

I look forward to receiving Mizzou Magazine

I have no interest in receiving a newsletter from cafnr

I have no interest in receiving a newsletter from CAFNR



  • From our research and findings from the survey, it is apparent people want news and stories from us

  • People subscribe to several eNewsletters, so why not one from CAFNR?

  • eNewsletters are fairly cheap and can draw more traffic to site with links

  • Archive all old issues along with all old stories on Web site

Content of enewsletter

Content of eNewsletter

  • Stories linked to the CAFNR Web site

  • Reader gets top bar story based on what department they belong to or graduated from

  • HTML based document sent to email so you can click stories to lead into web address of story

  • Decided to use MoMentum as the name due to recognition by other alumni of the now dead print newsletter

  • Sent out three times a semester

Content preferences

Research - 70%

CAFNR events - 68%

Students - 67%

Classmate Updates - 65%

Career Opportunities - 62%

Faculty - 61%

Club Activities - 30%

Study Abroad - 23%

Content Preferences

I get most of my news online

I get most of my news online

Email is my primary means of communication

Email is my primary means of communication

I subscribe to an enewsletter

I subscribe to an eNewsletter

Cafnr alumni web site

CAFNR Alumni Web Site

  • The connector of all the “big ideas.”

    • eNewsletter, blog, social media tools.

    • Create more traffic to the Web site.

  • Need to find specific ways (and reasons) for alums to come to the site.

    • Links from the eNewsletter to site.

    • Regular updates of useful information.

    • Greater emphasis on career development and reconnecting with classmates.

Cafnr alumni web site1

CAFNR Alumni Web Site

  • Transform “The Connecting Point” into Class Notes section.

    • Alums can quickly submit announcements they would like included in the site, blog or Momentum.

  • Alumni in the Spotlight Addition

    • Highlight alums with major accomplishments.

  • More user-friendly layout with emphasis placed on important information.

  • Suggestion: create a front door to both Ag Alumni and SNR Alumni sites

Redesign of cafnr web site

Redesign of CAFNR Web site

Cafnr community blog

CAFNR Community Blog

  • More of an online bulletin of content

  • Blog managed by students

  • Content can be uploaded by students, faculty, alumni



  • The MU Alumni Association already has an online directory so no need to duplicate one for CAFNR

  • Need to encourage our alums to get on

  • Would like to create a CAFNR sub-group

  • Advertise MizzouNet on our CAFNR Alumni Web site

I would feel comfortable sharing my contact information through an online alumni directory

I would feel comfortable sharing my contact information through an online alumni directory



  • Essentially the PR Team

  • Create eNewsletter content and design

  • Moderate the blog

  • Manage the social networking sites

  • Help Genevieve with the Web site

  • Liaison with Career Services

Class who

Class: who

  • Staff members

    • Sophomore standing

    • Instructor approval

    • J2100 or writing sample

  • Seniors as managing editors

    • Perhaps a year-long Ag J capstone

  • Co-facilitator from communications office

  • Sharon Wood-Turley as a possible professor

Class who1

Class: who

  • 2009-10: hire at least three interns

  • 2010-11: trial class

    • Evaluate effectiveness

  • 2011-12: class in full swing

Class challenges

Class: challenges

  • Timing

  • Overwhelmed faculty

  • Student awareness/interest in class

  • Grunt work versus valuable experience

Partnership with recruitment

Partnership with Recruitment

  • Use positive CAFNR alumni stories to recruit new students.

  • Organize an alumni directory would help us see where are alums are located, and allow us to use them for recruitment in that area.

  • Create ways for alumni to connect with prospective students.

    • More emphasis on the CAFNR Connections mentorship program to students. Expand to include prospective students?

    • Facilitate online connections via email, Facebook or the recruitment blog.

The end questions


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