The ScholarShip was a multi-country study abroad program based on a cruise ship by UC Berkeley & 6 other academic stewards. The inaugural voyage was led by a 200+ international community members from 55+ Countries & over 65 languages.
Devised and Implemented end-to-end participant-powered social interaction through Social Networking tools with 90% adoption and accelerated networking by 7 months. Prior to this initiative there was zero installed user base and zero means of effective prospective participant communication. Organic growth increased to over 700 by ﬁrst anniversary. Participants came from over 60 nationalities and languages.
As Community Manager, I facilitated the advance creation of 12+ student groups; spearheaded early networking (sourcing for scholarships, planning of independent travel, creation of onboard life programs, simulations and seminars among others). Highlights: model of United Nations, Social Justice Group, Oxfam Hunger Banquet simulations, charity drive: collected USD$13,000 for projects at The African Child Initiative in Nairobi, Kenya.
I led the creation of a Higher Education Podcasting Series called NAUTICAST, it was recorded onboard the MV Oceanic II cruise ship during my time onboard. For this project I created and managed the online community 7 months prior to embarkation with 80% of the onboard community registered prior to leaving Greece. I designed the curriculum for the podcasting series and organized with the Dean of the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) of Western Illinois University (WIU) to coordinate with over a dozen department chairs on podcasting content that would be suitable for their faculty and existing lesson plans. Over 16 hours of material was recorded and published in iTunesU (iTunes link: http://bit.ly/1111Q ).
During my studies onboard The Scholar Ship, I had the opportunity to interview and work with senior officials from the United Nations, this work extended to our visit in Guayaquil and Quito to several NGOs, NPOs, Governmental Offices and the United Nations through UNICEF & the UNDP. A small podcast of a documentary on the state of affairs of children & youth in Ecuador and how they are expressing themselves through digital media & learning initiatives through NACE (an NPO) was produced and is available here:
“Soy Ecuador” (“I am Ecuador”)
The making of «Soy Ecuador»:
In our first anniversary, I prepared this video:
(*) Note: This work was done in support of the iTunes U podcasting projects at COEHS | Western Illinois University. They supported me in this journey.
During the September 2007 voyage, students crowd-sourced a photo book which was printed in Hong Kong at the end of the program on December 24, 2007. You can preview the «Hononga» (Maori word for «Unity») here:
Additionally, the January 2008 students created a photo book which you can preview here as well: