Visitors from Costa Rica meet with journalism faculty and students, learn about university branding efforts
Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014
MANHATTAN -- Two representatives from the communication and marketing office at the Technological Institute of Costa Rica in Cartago are on the Kansas State University campus until Thursday, Jan. 30.
Carla Garita, director, and Johnny Gomez, coordinator of editorial services, are shadowing staff members of the university's Division of Communications and Marketing and participating in classes in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Under Garita's direction, her office has unified its institutional image, developing a single brand called TEC: Tecnologico de Costa Rica. The office also has developed strategic alliances with national media. Garita has been with the office for 16 years and she also teaches marketing and entrepreneurship in the institute's School of Business Administration. Gomez was on the team that changed the name from press office TEC to the communication and marketing office. He has been with the office 16 years and was a reporter for La Nacion, the largest newspaper in Costa Rica, for eight years.
The purpose of their visit is to learn about the Wildcat Way, Kansas State University's institutional branding campaign, and to apply what they learn to their own communication and marketing efforts. They also are sharing what their office does in Costa Rica with A.Q. Miller School students and faculty.
"We believe it's important to establish strong international connections, and we've had some recent exciting developments with Costa Rica," said Birgit Wassmuth, director of the A.Q. Miller School. "During January intersession, we had a group of public relations students in Costa Rica under the direction of faculty member Barb DeSanto, and we are hoping to establish ties with TEC, also."
Gloria Freeland, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications, coordinated the Costa Ricans' visit. She worked on an English-language newspaper in San Jose, Costa Rica, from 1978-1980, and she most recently visited Costa Rica in all 2012 after receiving a travel grant from the university's international programs office.
Garita and Gomez have also met with the international programs office staff to discuss the university's English language program and the universities' exchange programs.
While in Kansas, Garita and Gomez visited the Steamboat Arabia Museum in Kansas City and the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan, and they attended "Green Day's American Idiot" performance at the university's McCain Auditorium and a Hale Library concert.