Making headlines

The University of Utah is using a new system called Merit Pages to share personalized stories about its students’ accomplishments. The program customizes stories by putting students’ names in the headlines and then shares the news with their hometown papers, high school principal and guidance counselors, state representatives and family members. Additionally, students can post their stories on social media and customize their individual profile pages with pictures and work experience, and connect them with LinkedIn.

Example of a Merit story

“I am constantly amazed by what our students accomplish before they even graduate,” said Annalisa Purser, associate director of communications at the U. “They’re starting businesses, earning national awards, presenting research, volunteering and interning all over the world. We are excited that this tool allows us to recognize them for their hard work.”

When university writers produce stories about students, Merit Pages generates custom headlines and uses zip code information to distribute the content to the most relevant audiences. It also alerts students, through their university email account, each time a new post is made on their behalf.

“Providing our students with transformational experiences that set them apart from their peers upon graduation is a hallmark of a University of Utah education,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dan Reed. “Our students have opportunities to apply what they learn in the classroom in a variety of settings in Utah communities, national and international service and research and scholarship. As a model public institution, it is our responsibility to share this work with the communities that have invested in our students, and this system allows us to make this process even more meaningful.”

To learn more about Merit Pages and how to customize your page, click here.

If you have any questions, concerns or story ideas, email unews@utah.edu.