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Bennett to rework school website

John Bennett is no stranger to the VSU campus.  His return  means VSU is in for a “digital facelift” thanks to new plans in the works spearheaded by the new social media and web content manager.

Bennett leads a team  working to revamp VSU’s web site to make it more interactive and accessible to current, former and prospective students.

“It’s going to be a good experience for every member of the campus to use,” Bennett said when speaking of the changes to the VSU website.

In the works is a brand new interactive VSU website that has a button for every possible need a visitor may require.

 “It will be tailored to current and prospective student needs to the point where if you click one button, a student can find everything on campus and its activities,” Bennett said.

The site will also feature a one of a kind social media page to manage every social media account via Facebook, Twitter, or any other type that every student organization on campus has.

In addition to managing the sites, it will rank the most visited pages and topics on the pages for users to easily connect to what they want to see.

“I searched for every official and unofficial social website account that involved a VSU organization,” Bennett said. “And out of literally hundreds of sites, the new VSU Social Media page will organize everything for each student.  There was not a lot of collaboration and the Social Media Page will change that.”

Bennett also spoke of a robust calendar section that will show more events each month and make larger events stand out.

“For events like the Happening that just occurred, we hope next year to collaborate with every organization and have a Twitter hash tag so more people can find out and connect  much easier,” he said.

“The new website for VSU has to be finalized but will be coming soon,” Bennett said.

Bennett graduated from VSU in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in English and recently graduated the doctorate in public administration in May.

He is also teaches several online VSU classes.

“I’ve been lucky to experience VSU as an undergrad, grad student, instructor and now staff member,” Bennett said .

From 2000 to 2011, Bennett served as the director of student media for both Savannah College of Art and Design campuses in Atlanta and Savannah, overseeing the school’s print, radio and television programs.

“Picture the Spectator, blazeFM, Odradek and On Tap having their own independent department from the school,” he said. “ I was over that.”

Bennett is also a former writer for the Spectator during his undergraduate days.

Much has changed at VSU over the past 22 years since Bennett’s days as an undergraduate. The pedestrian mall was an actual road that you could drive through and the student union was much smaller.

“I like the changes on campus,” Bennett said. “VSU student life is a lot more vibrant now. ”

As a native to Valdosta, Bennett is excited about the changes and his contributions to the VSU campus website.

“My grandmother taught in the art department for 30 years so VSU was a part of me growing up around the school.”

Outside of creating new, interactive media controls for VSU students, Bennett is an avid cyclist.

“I’m a cofounder and board member of a bicycle advocacy organization in Savannah, and I write a regular column on bicycling for the alternative weekly newspaper there,” Bennett said.

Bennett is also a nationally certified bicycle safety instructor.

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