Students Compete for Best Solution


At approximately 8 a.m. Feb. 18, around 30 students and eight local organizations met in the Griffin Hall Digitorium to kick off MashComm36.

The event, the first of its kind to be held by Northern Kentucky University, allowed students 36 hours to find solutions to problems that the organizations were facing in the areas of public relations, communications, marketing, web design and more.

After Paul Miller of Circus Mojo started the event with balancing acts and juggling, the students were split into their teams. They were then directed to take one of the eight opera boxes in the Digitorium, which would contain an envelope telling them which organization they would be working with.

Over the course of the 36 hours, the students worked together to create mock-ups of websites, re-vamp logos, improve social media sites and more.
While they were there, students were provided dinner and entertainment by the The Bostic Family Tent Revival Band and Playfully Yours.

The winning team, working with the Covington Education Foundation, included NKU students Brittney Hidenrite, Kevin Kloentrup, and Miranda Faith Thompson. The team created a new letterhead, motto, and a logo with Pantone colors for consistency across platforms. They also offered solutions for the foundation to better-receive donations, such as the implementation of PayPal.
“There were so many amazing contestants and phenomenal presentations, we were floored,” said Thompson, a junior communication studies major. Thompson went on to say that both she and Hidenrite were shaking when they went down to accept their award and that they were shocked to win, since teammate Kloentrup had become sick and couldn’t attend the final presentation.
Zachary Hart, associate professor of public relations, organizer and judge at the event, explained some of the reasoning that went into the final decision. “It was tough. What we looked at was the goal of the event, which was to come up with a solution that would be ready to go at the end of the weekend.”

Greg De Blasio, assistant professor of public relations in the communications department, event organizer, and judge, seconded Hart’s sentiment. “The group made a strong impression right off the bat. They made genuine changes [in] how [Covington Education Foundation] were going to attract attention and donors. Not only was the design presented, but the specifications and file were handed over to the client.”

The second runner up was the team representing the South Kenton Nittany Lions, and the first runner up was the team representing Richards Electric Supply.
“It was neat to see people that volunteered for something that they didn’t have to do,” said Hidenrite, a senior graphic design major and member of the Covington Education Foundation team.
Due to the success of the event, Hart said that he believes it will become a yearly tradition, and the communication department will use the experience from this year to fine-tune the event in the future.