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Community Engagement & Service

COCES Features

CreateAthon@USC

Students and mentors ready for a good night’s work.
And the first CreateAthon@USC: October 25 -26, 2013

In a few short days, the creative electricity generated inside the Coliseum could blow campus circuit breakers. Dozens of students, faculty, staff and professional mentors will work more than 24 hours straight, generating advertising and marketing communications for six different nonprofits: The Edgefield County Theatre Company, Federation of Families of South Carolina, Helen Hill Media Education Center, Harvest Hope Food Bank, Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, and Tutor Eau Claire.

CreateAthon@USC 2013 is the brainchild of SJMC associate professor Karen Mallia and her colleague Scott Farrand, and an extension of the professional pro bono marathon model conceived 16 years ago in Columbia. CreateAthon® was developed by Riggs Partners as a way for a small agency to provide outsize professional pro bono service. Since its inception, 81 agencies and groups in North America have participated in their local markets, impacting more than 1,275 nonprofit organizations, and delivering 2,500 projects valued at more than $15 million.

University of South Carolina is among the first educational institutions to become a CreateAthon OnCampus partner. “CreateAthon is an all around win-win. It’s an amazing way for students to gain real-world experience developing powerful creative work—and working under pressure,” Mallia said. “Students provide desperately needed community service, while polishing their skills with professional mentoring. It unites diverse players from throughout the university with a common purpose. And nonprofits get effective marketing tools to help support their missions in the community.”

Students enrolled in Professor Mallia’s new Creative Leadership course are project leads for CreateAthon. They’ve orchestrated communication strategy planning, event logistics, and recruiting creative volunteers and mentors—testing more than a few leadership theories and principles along the way. Ultimately, CreateAthon volunteers will be delivering the nonprofits the new logos, brand identities, ads, PSAs, posters, web designs, brochures, or videos—whatever marketing communications they need—that help them touch thousands of South Carolinian lives.

It’s just one demonstration of what Gamecocks can do. For further details: http://www.createathonusc.org/

 

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