How long does it take a UD communications student writer to be a story, rather than just writing the stories of others? Nearly four years, apparently.
Meredith Hirt, a senior business major, has been part of the staff since her first year at UD.
“We focus on the best parts of the University,” Hirt said. “The people, the places, the alumni … they’re all important to us.”
For Hirt, the typical workday consists of some writing, editing a few stories and monitoring social media. The UDQuickly blog is one of the biggest parts of Hirt’s daily assignments, as is networking.
“I really love this job,” she said. “Every day I meet new people and learn a lot about the people on campus.”
Hirt said reading flyers and communicating with everyone she comes in contact with often plays a big role in finding stories as well.
“Alumni are a big part of the readership, so making sure they’re not left out is part of my job,” Hirt said. “With the My Old House section of the website and UD Magazine, they’re a huge factor. … I am in charge of organizing and assigning the rest of the writers to cover specific houses in the student neighborhood.”
As one of the most popular sections of both the magazine and the blog, My Old House is a point of pride for Hirt, especially as a soon-to-be alumnus.
“The feature is so telling; of our current students and alumni … It shows how proud people are to be here at Dayton,” she said.
Hirt is one of six student writers on the communications team. Generally, each post idea or pitch is made to associate director of communications Audrey Starr, who began working at UD in October 2012.
“The blog features some of what you see in the magazine, but it is composed of a lot more than that,” Starr said. “It’s dynamic; a snapshot of what campus is right now.”
Hirt has learned over the years that her job isn’t like most. It is part desk work, part adventure. But all of it is something both she and Starr see as important to the culture of campus.
“We are here to share the University story,” Starr said. “We have a lot of ways to do that, and including student voices is a critical piece.”