Anderson, Indiana

AU alumna having a BLAST in social media

Mon, 2012-10-08 08:00 -- univcomm
October 8, 2012

Anderson University alumna Heike Baird majored in English and minored in Spanish while at AU. With a new position at BLASTmedia, she has an opportunity to exercise all of the skills she learned during her college career in the evolving world of digital media.

After graduating in 2010, Baird became a project editor at John Wiley & Sons, a publishing company boasting several AU alumni as employees. During her time there, she helped develop and oversee the “For Dummies” book series, where she worked on up to six books at a time. “I oversaw author relations, art, technical editing, copyediting, and deadlines for my titles,” said Baird. The books she worked on include the second edition of Catholicism For Dummies, Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies, Success as a Mediator For Dummies, and Biology Workbook For Dummies.

Baird recently started a position as a social media account executive at BLASTmedia. “I've always been interested in communication,” said Baird. “I'm interested in the ways that words are used across genres of communication, from British novels to the lyrics of popular hip-hop songs to Tweets. I especially think the way that Twitter forces us to create messaging in 140 characters or fewer is fascinating.”

With her new position at BLASTmedia, she will have an opportunity to apply her passion for communication through new outlets like social media while adapting to a new environment. “Heike always struck me as someone who could learn about and adapt to a variety of communication challenges very rapidly and creatively,” said Dr. Kevin Radaker, professor of English and chair of the English department.

Baird’s thirst for knowledge was evident in her college career. “One of the reasons Heike has prospered in this early stage of her career is that she has an appetite for knowledge and intellectual curiosity,” said Deborah Miller Fox, assistant professor of English. “Though students don't recognize this during their undergraduate experience, the classes they take at Anderson University, both within their major and within the liberal arts curriculum, strive to nurture this curiosity, reward a strong work ethic, and plant a love of knowledge within them.”

This nurturing was evident in Baird’s time at AU. “My English classes at AU ensured that I had no shortage of opportunities to practice writing,” said Baird. “I received top-notch writing critiques from Dr. Borders and Dr. Radaker during my tenure as an English major. Their coaching improved my communication skills significantly.”

Baird’s post-graduate career has not been the first time that she has had the opportunity to explore editing and social media. During her years at AU, she edited the Echoes yearbook and worked with social media in the Alumni Office. “I think social media is a great field for communicators who enjoy learning new things often. Social media changes every day,” said Baird. “It keeps me engaged and encourages me to wrap my brain around new technologies and new ways to communicate.”

— Lydia Hawley is a sophomore from Homerville, Ohio, majoring in communication arts and dance. Hawley is an associate with Fifth Street Communications, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.