ust ordinary people? Students at BYU–Idaho are having remarkable experiences as they learn to work in extraordinary ways. Some are finding their niche in the offices found on the BYU–Idaho campus as they work alongside university administrators and staff. These remarkable students look like most others students you would meet on a stroll around campus. But a glimpse into the offices reveals the impact of their efforts.
irst, let’s look in the Alumni Office adjacent to the LDS Foundation offices at BYU–Idaho. It is late and the phones are ringing. Cheerful, enthusiastic students from the Student Alumni Association (SAA) are gathering pledges for the Student Legacy Endowment area of the BYU–Idaho Fund. Knowing that student donations are being matched by other donor contributions adds to their sense of purpose. Toss self-gratification aside. These students realize the importance of enabling the success of others. Some 60 active members of SAA along with members of other campus organizations volunteer to help raise funds. The joy is in their voices; the success on this night comes from exceeding the goal set for the telefund.
lans for the telefund are coordinated through a council of five students: John Anderson, a junior from Hayden Lake, Idaho; Michael Fowler, a junior from Lancaster, Calif.; Jake Woodhouse, a sophomore from University Place, Wash.; Britney Armstrong, a sophomore from Nampa, Idaho; and Hannah Irvine, a senior from Basin, Wyo. This council works in conjunction with two administrators from the Alumni Office. The SAA Council meets weekly to discuss the different activities in which they are involved. In addition to the telefund, SAA helps plan and produce events such as homecoming and graduation activities. They assist with the Alumni and SAA web pages to facilitate enduring bonds between past, present and future students. Together, SAA and the Alumni Office foster a sense of tradition cultivating future alumni leadership. They serve as ambassadors and uphold Church values while maintaining and enhancing the “Spirit of Ricks.”
hile helping others, students are gaining benefits of their own—including an increased sense of leadership. “I get to see all the behind-the-scenes things that are going on. Before I was involved in this organization, I participated in the events but never knew how they were put together,” says John Anderson, president of the SAA. “You don’t realize that people pray about these things; the inspiration and ideas come because our Heavenly Father wants them to happen. Ideas aren’t just being pulled out of the air.”
ow move the clock ahead a few hours and journey across the parking lot to a small, unassuming building that houses KBYI and KBYR. Student announcers and programmers are working side-by-side with the professionals. A group of marketing students are busy with the task of developing and implementing a marketing plan for the two radio stations. Along with the change from Ricks College to BYU–Idaho came new call letters for the university’s radio stations. KBYI is the former KRIC and continues to broadcast throughout Eastern Idaho, Western Wyoming, and Southeastern Montana. KBYR, like its predecessor KWBH, broadcasts to an approximate 15-mile radius around Rexburg.
t doesn’t take a lot of rethinking to realize the need to establish recognition for the new names, but there is a lot of brain power in finding a marketing plan. That need brings together students with diverse academic backgrounds including: Vladimir Vladimirov, a junior marketing major from Bulgaria; Jennifer Cameron, a senior communication major from Dubois, Idaho; and Mark Hartvigsen, a junior English major from Rexburg. Since the group formed at the beginning of Fall Semester 2002, they have developed a marketing/communication strategy that includes posters, billboards, newspaper ads, telefund, and Web sites. Their invitation to KBYI listeners is to tune into programs of jazz, news, opera, or the classics as they “Rediscover Radio.” Their KBYR tag line stresses inspirational programming that “enlightens the mind, enhances the soul.”
ladimir enrolled at BYU–Idaho after serving in the Idaho Pocatello Mission. He says he considered other options but realized he would be passing up a great opportunity. “I was going to transfer. I was planning on moving elsewhere, maybe to a different state; but then I was hired to work here... It has been such a great experience. I don’t think I could ever get that anywhere else. So it’s not only the academic part, the reason why I’m here. My major is marketing, and I get to apply what I learn in my classes. It gives me hands-on experience. It will be great for my future.”
ladimir and the others are also making the future of Brigham Young University–Idaho brighter. The Student Alumni Association and KBYI marketing team are just two examples of how BYU–Idaho students are making a difference. They exemplify the qualities encouraged by President Gordon B. Hinckley as he recently stated, “The work of the world isn’t done by geniuses. It is done by ordinary people who have learned to work in an extraordinary way.”
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