Clothing Designer by Day, DJ by Night: Student Shares Hobbies

(Photo: Courtesy of Benjamin Hayes)

Benjamin Hayes has made a name for himself DJing at various college parties and bars in Auburn, but many may not know about his enthusiasm for fashion.

Hayes has always had a love for vintage clothing.

“In vintage clothing, the only thing that makes a piece look more special is time and age,” said Hayes. “Finding a piece that you’ve never seen anything like is truly amazing.”

In the summer of 2016, Hayes’ friend Baker Donahue created In With The Old, a clothing company that provides students with a centralized marketplace to acquire vintage University of Tennessee apparel.

After hearing about Donahue’s success, Hayes reached out to him with hopes of bringing In With The Old to Auburn. Donahue agreed, and Auburn became the second school to have the clothing company. In With The Old has since expanded to eight other prominent colleges including the University of Alabama and the University of North Carolina.

In With the Old uses Instagram to sell the clothing items. The picture is the product, the caption is the description and the comments are the bids. Customers engage in social auctions, and the highest bidder gets directed to the e-commerce website where they check out with their order.

“In With the Old has a unique platform that exposes the brand and our product to our market in an exciting and engaging way,” said Hayes. “Using Instagram captures our audience in a way that keeps them aware of our products and what we are doing as a company. This is a direct way to get our brand immersed into our market’s daily media intake.”

Most of the company’s products are used goods acquired from thrift stores, alumni and websites such as Ebay, Etsy and Craigslist.

Hayes’ role with In With The Old is to run and manage the Auburn account and to help new schools learn how to run their accounts and make it as successful as possible.

“The first thing anyone notices about Benjamin is the optimism that he radiates into everything he does,” said Stephen Stejskal, who runs In With the Old with Hayes. “I think that kind of passion makes him predisposed to success because he never sees what he’s doing as work. He genuinely takes pleasure in it all.”

Not only does Hayes run In with the Old, but he has designed his own line as well.

You Do You was a small outdoor lifestyle company that Hayes created freshman year of college with his two roommates.

“We made t-shirts and hats basically repping what people loved to do in the outdoors in hopes to help people get out and do what they love,“ said Hayes.

“I love people showing their aesthetic through clothing and showing who they are. You can tell a lot by a person’s closet.”

While designing clothes is one of his main tasks, Hayes still makes time to DJ, a hobby that he has done since freshman year of college.

“My favorite part is definitely the thought that everyone is having a good time because of you,” said Hayes. “While DJing, you’re the reason people are dancing and enjoying the party.”

After graduation, Hayes plans on either getting his master’s degree in footwear design or designing clothes through graphic design and illustration for a brand. He hopes to combine his love for music with his love for fashion one day.

“At some point, I would like to own property around Nashville and other growing cities and hopefully incorporate music with clothing lines in hopes to outfit artists and musicians around the world.”

Auburn Grad Student Inspires Women to Become Leaders

(Photo: Courtesy of Jaylin Goodwin)

Jaylin Goodwin’s charisma, boldness and empathy that she possesses are what set her apart as an influential leader.

She has found her niche on campus encouraging women to not limit themselves and to do extraordinary things.

As a fourth-generation Auburn student, attending Auburn University was an easy decision for Goodwin since it is in her blood.

“I always knew I loved Auburn, but what ultimately brought me here was the educational experience I knew I would receive,” said Goodwin.

While attending Auburn as an undergraduate student, Goodwin was involved in the Freshman Leadership Program, the BIG Event, Omicron Delta Kappa and Mortar Board. She also served as the Panhellenic president and was the campaign manager for a top five Miss Homecoming candidate.

“You have to put yourself places on campus where you know people are going to be different from you which is hard to do,” said Goodwin. “I want to continually reach out to students and help them feel like they are part of the Auburn Family. “

Now a graduate student in communication and journalism, Goodwin is also a graduate assistant for the Women’s Leadership Institute, or WLI.

“Women becoming leaders is an uphill battle,” said Goodwin. “One of my favorite quotes says, ‘Equality does not mean sameness. Equality means each person is valued at the same level as others for their unique contributions.’”

WLI’s mission is to create efforts to end the gender gap created by the underrepresentation of women in politics, corporate boardrooms and the administrations of business and educational institutions.

While her role as a graduate assistant does entail typical office work, Goodwin also does much more outside of the office such as networking with current students and alumni and event planning. In addition, in the spring she will likely help co-teach a few lessons in the classroom of the Women and Leadership course.

“I work to promote the individual instead of the whole,” said Goodwin. “I get to go to work every day knowing I represent an office that works for the advancement of all Auburn women and not just a particular group.”

Goodwin is also very involved with the 125 years of Auburn women celebration.  She has been working on the planning committee and attending meetings with the Office of Alumni Affairs since the beginning of 2017.

She has written articles and traveled around the state interviewing women with the College of Liberal Arts to generate content for the CLA Annual Magazine, as well as online video interviews. Through the Women’s Leadership Institute, Goodwin was able to plan and secure an event for the celebration that will feature Gov. Kay Ivey.

“I basically have done anything and everything in my power to publicize and promote this anniversary and what it means.”

Despite what her roles are amongst the different organizations she is involved in, Goodwin manages to keep her individual identity outside of her titles.

“Jaylin’s ability to dedicate herself to an ideal and follow through is admirable. She is not afraid to speak her mind and champion a cause, even if it is unpopular,” said Jill Moore, the director of Greek Life.

While Goodwin is unsure where she will end up after grad school, she will continue to promote the ideals she believes in, such as diversity, inclusion and equality, wherever she goes.

“I want my legacy for future Auburn women to be that I wasn’t afraid to stand up for what is right,” said Goodwin. “Leaders aren’t defined by their titles, but rather the individual and the work they represent through their actions speak to their capability and quality as a leader.”

FetchMe If You Can

(Photo: Courtesy of Harrison Evola)

With enough dedication, Harrison Evola was able to make his dream of starting his own business a reality, amidst a schedule full of classes.

Evola has always been a people person. He knew he wanted to pursue a career where he could connect with others while also giving back to the community. Then, he came up with the idea to create FetchMe.

Evola was not satisfied when ordering from various food delivery services. He discussed this with his Auburn professors and realized there was a missing piece in their service models. FetchMe was then created.

FetchMe is an Auburn-based concierge service that delivers restaurant food, groceries and personal care items. The business delivers from restaurants such as Chick Fil-A, Little Italy, Big Blue Bagel & Deli and Momma G’s, to name a few. FetchMe also has exclusive partnerships with Tiger Dining and the Auburn Hotel.

Evola’s role as the CEO is to acquire restaurant and business partnerships and to create marketing campaigns to help advertise FetchMe.

Evola majored in entrepreneurship and family business and learned how to start, manage, grow and scale a company.

“I majored in entrepreneurship and family business because I always knew I would start my own company, but I wasn’t sure how to grow or manage when the time came,” said Evola.

Creating the business wasn’t easy for a college student, as it entailed filling out tax forms, getting a business license, hiring drivers, marketing and mastering the proper technology.

“While creating FetchMe, I was able to apply what I learned in the classroom and that was a huge help,” said Evola.

Also, Evola had six years of experience working in the delivery industry, which was very beneficial. In years past, Evola worked at Papa John’s, both in their stores and in their corporate franchise office.

“I have experience operating at both the local and corporate levels and was able to gain insight of how stores interact with customers, successfully deliver food and operate their corporate office,” said Evola.

Since its inception, FetchMe has taken off, and Evola is already making plans to expand. Students will soon be able to get food delivered to them at the library using their Tiger Card.

“The support of the Auburn community means everything to us,” said Evola. “Everyone has been so supportive which has truly made operating as a company so much better. We are truly helping everyone get the things they need, and that is what we are here for.”

From Rosie Assoulin to Marc Jacobs: Apparel Design Major Gets a Glimpse of the Fashion World

(Photo: Courtesy of Hayden Shoffner)

Hayden Shoffner’s love for self-expression sparked her interest in fashion.

“I never was a person who liked just fitting in,” said Shoffner.  “I gravitate more towards unusual things, which is why I enjoy fashion.”

Shoffner is a senior at Auburn University majoring in apparel design.  She had a passion for art, but she soon realized a degree in fashion was what she wanted to pursue.

“In high school I always loved styling and dressing my friends for fun occasions,” said Shoffner.

After graduating high school, Shoffner decided to attend school at Auburn University, knowing its fashion merchandising and fashion design schools had been pronounced as some of the best in the country.

“People always ask me why I chose Auburn as opposed to a fashion or art school,” said Shoffner.  “I have realized it’s the people that have impacted me most.  In the fashion world, many people are super competitive and self-absorbed.  I think having spent four years with very selfless and polite people in the fashion program at Auburn will give me a leg up when I start creating relationships in fashion.”

Shoffner is very active in Auburn’s fashion program, taking part in the school’s Fashion Event every year.  The Fashion Event is presented by the Department of Consumer and Design Sciences and the Apparel Merchandising Association.

“The past three years, I have had collections portrayed in the show, which was exciting because I got to see my work come to life,” said Shoffner.  “Each year, there is usually a very fun theme that allows students to think outside the box when designing.”

For the show, Shoffner’s designs were on display with Courtney Guidy modeling her garments.

“Hayden is an amazing designer, and her style is unique and bold,” said Guidy.  “Walking in the fashion show and getting to wear her design was so special to me.  I think everyone who knows Hayden can agree that we look up to her and admire her style, as she is always so fashion forward.”

Besides her work designing for her classes at Auburn, Shoffner has had a lot of experience with numerous internships.  In the past few years, she has interned for contemporary designer Rosie Assoulin in New York and at two boutiques in Charlotte, Capitol Clothing and Tabor.  Her most recent internship was at Marc Jacobs in New York last summer.

While interning at Marc Jacobs, she was assigned tasks ranging from running samples to different publications such as Vogue, dressing models for fittings and market and also completing competitive analysis projects.

After graduation, Shoffner plans on moving to New York or Europe.

“I would love to work for a fun designer such as Gucci or Prada, but I would also love doing some freelance styling on the side,” said Shoffner.

Wherever she ends up, Shoffner will continue to make a statement in the fashion world by bringing her ideas to life and creating bold and unique pieces.

5 Ways for College Students to Make Their Summers Worthwhile

(Photo: Courtesy of Bennett Souter)

Summer is the season that many college students look forward to most because of the freedom it represents.

This season offers warm days spent recovering from the hustle and bustle of the rigid schedule of the school year.

Unless you take a victory lap or two, you will most likely only have three summers during college, so it is important to make them count. Whether you want to spend your summer being productive, or you just want to be adventurous, the opportunities are endless.

 Get an internship

Internships are a valuable way to apply the knowledge that you have learned in class. Completing an internship can also help give you a better understanding of what career path you want to pursue. Plus, completing a good internship will give you a leg-up over other students when applying for jobs post graduation.

“Internships provide practical, hands-on opportunities in a professional setting,” said Ric Smith, internship director for the School of Communication and Journalism. “They are also a wonderful opportunity to develop relationships with experts in the field.”

 Study abroad

A summer spent in Rome, Italy? It does not get much better than that. Studying abroad is a way to learn new cultures, gain new perspectives and interact with foreign peers. Auburn Abroad offers faculty-led programs to countries all over the world, providing students with eye-opening experiences.

“Studying abroad will return incredible dividends to students,” said Deborah Weiss, director of Auburn Abroad and Exchange Programs. “These dividends include demonstrating the ability to take initiative, to be flexible and to handle unfamiliar situations. You can also learn more about yourself, your goals in life and gain confidence.”

Give back to the community

Dedicating your time to volunteering is a rewarding experience. You can spend all your time volunteering at one organization, or you can try volunteering at different ones. Wherever you serve, you won’t regret spending your summer serving others.  Auburn has numerous nonprofit organizations such as BigHouse Foundation, the Food Bank of East Alabama and Storybook Farm, to name a few, that are always looking for volunteers.

“Volunteers play a critical role in the work of the Food Bank,” said Martha Henk, director of the Food Bank of East Alabama. “Last year we recorded an amazing total of 23,017 hours—the equivalent of 11 full-time employees!  Volunteering with nonprofit organizations gives students real-world experience, helps to connect them with the local community and its needs and provides an opportunity to enjoy the satisfaction of making a concrete difference.”

Get a part-time job in a cool place

Summer is a great time to break out of your comfort zone. Moving across the country for the summer may end up being a once in a lifetime experience if you are bold enough to do it.

“Last summer I drove out to Gunnison, Colorado to be a housekeeper on a fly fishing ranch,” said Elliott Darnell, a senior at Auburn. “The job was humbling but was completely outweighed by the way I was able to spend my time off. Hiking and camping my way through the summer, I was able to see and do things that were amazing beyond belief.”

 Take summer courses

Taking summer courses can be a very beneficial way to get ahead, or in some cases, catch up. Summer is the perfect time to knock out that core class you’ve been dreading, such as history. You’ll thank yourself once fall arrives and you have a lighter load of classes.

“Last summer, I stayed in Auburn and took public speaking and biochemistry,” said Jack Rehm, a senior at Auburn. “In the summer, the classes are smaller, which provides a better learning experience. Classes are also more relaxed because you have less going on in the summer.”

Advocate for People with Disabilites Shares Purpose for Passion

(Photo: Courtesy of Bethany Keel)

Bethany Keel has been passionate about making relationships with people with disabilities for as long as she can remember.

“As the daughter of a special ed teacher, I’ve grown up with a unique perspective of seeing beauty in differences,” said Keel.

Keel, a senior at Auburn, is currently the president for Auburn’s All for Inclusion, an organization that is built upon giving adults with disabilities in the Auburn area opportunities to be a part of the Auburn family.

“Bethany makes all those she encounters feel special and loved,” said Ashley Moates, the founder of All for Inclusion. “She advocates that others see people with disabilities as people who are so much more than their disability and the challenges they face. All for Inclusion is lucky to have her leading by example.”

Though All for Inclusion is a new organization, the members are already very active on campus. The organization grants wishes for those with disabilities and also puts on the Amazing Auburn Program, a talent show for them. Along with that, the organization’s members volunteer for the Bravehearts Center for Place and Purpose, a local post-secondary program that fosters health and wellness for adults with disabilities.

“All for Inclusion’s goal is to bring to light and bridge this gap that has been created between those with and without disabilities,” said Keel. “We all have something to learn from one another.”

Auburn University recently announced the addition of their EAGLES program, a program for students with intellectual disabilities, on campus. This new postsecondary program provides an opportunity for these students to engage in an inclusive, multiyear campus residential experience with a two-year basic program and a four-year advanced program for eligible participants.

“The EAGLES program is a monumental step towards inclusion, and I am so proud to have seen it during my time as a student in Auburn. I cannot wait to see the fruit of other people’s labor in this inclusion effort after I graduate.”

Keel plans to not only support people with disabilities through volunteer work but through her career as well.

She is majoring in special education and plans on becoming a teacher come August while working on achieving her master’s degree online. Keel is also passionate about equipping adults with disabilities to have tangible life and job skills, so she also is interested in pursuing a career involving that.

“Both those with and without disabilities have so much to learn from friendship with one another,” said Keel. “I just hope to open as many doors for those with disabilities, while also raising awareness of the underrepresentation of this population.”

Taste of Chicago Social Media Release

This is a proof of concept example for one of my PR classes.

 

**This Social Media Release is fictional. It is not affiliated with the Taste of Chicago in any way.**

Pitch:

Come spend your summer day at the world’s largest food festival, the Taste of Chicago! This year’s festival is taking place in Grant Park on July 5-9. The five-day festival will feature 34 restaurants taking part in all five days, along with 16 pop-up restaurants and 16 food trucks. But, it’s not just about the food. This year’s music headliners include Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Alessia Cara and the O’Jays.

Background:

The Taste of Chicago has been one of the nation’s favorite outdoor food festivals since its start in the summer of 1980. Attendees enjoy Chicago favorites such as deep dish pizza and Chicago hot dogs along with many diverse dishes, all while enjoying live entertainment and art.

Facts:

Admission is free. Food and beverage tickets are sold in strips of 14 tickets for $10.

Concert tickets range from $19-$50.

Metra and CTA will be offering additional public transportation services for the event.

Quotes:

“As our culinary reputation has grown on the national stage, the Taste of Chicago continues to reflect the vibrant and diverse restaurant community of Chicago and new, exciting culinary experiences and long-time favorites,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Owner of the Cajun Connoisseur, Kyle Kelly, is eager for his restaurant to be featured for the first time this year

“Now the city of Chicago will truly know what true Cajun cuisine is all about,” said Kelly.

Multimedia:

 

 

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