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Institute launches new Facebook page

Casey Kenney | Friday, March 20, 2009

The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame recently launched a Facebook page as a way to connect with prospective students and share information about academic programs, people and news, according to Joan Fallon, director of communications at the Kroc Institute.

“Peace Studies is not a standard major and the Institute’s programs are really unique, so we are always looking for creative ways to reach out to students and expand interest,” Fallon said.

She said the use of Facebook by college and university administrators to raise interest in programs seems to be a growing trend around the country.

“We are not the only one using Facebook at Notre Dame,” Fallon said. “Notre Dame Magazine uses Facebook, and I am told other programs use it, as well. It seems to be a national trend as other universities and programs are all now utilizing this important tool.”

Fallon said the Kroc Institute attracts students from around the world, and Facebook is an ideal tool to reach out to international students.

“Typically, around three-quarters of the students in our Master’s Degree program are from abroad, and the program has included students from 90 countries,” Fallon said. “With this high level of interest coming from abroad, and since students are increasingly learning about programs online, Facebook provides a very effective way to network and spread information to a diverse range of people. Facebook has a growing international presence, so this is a way to reach students right where they are.”

The Kroc Institute’s page features photos of the program’s interns at field sites around the world. It also provides information for events, frequent updates to news about the program and links to pages on Kroc’s Web site at http://kroc.nd.edu.

Fallon said Kroc staff will monitor the page and respond to comments and questions on the Facebook wall.

“After only two weeks since its launch, the page has already gained over 100 fans. This really attests to the effectiveness of using such a Web site,” she said.

According to a recent news release, the Kroc Institute created the page after staff members consulted with undergraduate Peace Studies students to reflect matters of importance to them, such as learning about their professors. The page includes links to faculty profiles and a community of faculty and alumni.

Current Notre Dame undergraduates will also be able to use the Facebook page as they assess their choice of Peace Studies as a major or minor.