Wanting to build a space for current and former Central State University students to connect with each other, an alumnus created a Facebook group last week with great things in mind. The idea was an instant success.
A couple of hundreds of people joined in “Hire a Marauder Network,” posting on things like job opportunities, mentorship proposals, networking events and more.
“I felt there was a need to connect current CSU students with as many alumni as possible,” the creator of the Facebook group, Dr. Virgil Goodwine told HBCU Buzz. He goes by the name Virgil Goodwine II on the social media site.
Today, approximately 1,774 Marauders have become members of the group and users are very active in it, helping each other succeed and making better happen.
The CSU alumni base is huge, and much larger than what most people realize. With so many across the country, Goodwine said he considered viewing social networking, and in particular Facebook from a job or career networking lens.
“I felt it would be an efficient way to connect current students with alumni with a specific focus on career development and employment opportunities.”
The Black College Experience
Goodwine said that one of the most important things he learned during his undergraduate years at CSU was the “make it happen” and “figure it out” mindset. He added that his time at CSU was at a time where the culture of the school was rebuilding, trying to get back on track.
“We did not have a football team, our band was between 27-80 members (my freshman year was exactly 30 members), class sizes ranged between 5-20, and often the progress wasn’t always seen clearly by everyone,” he said.
But even with that being said, there were many positives that came about because of his experience.
Goodwine said that every student just about knew each other, friendships and families were created, connections with professors were very strong, and the university started to grow with the addition of Foundation Hall I and II dormitories on the yard.
During this time, Goodwine and his colleagues often shared books to get through courses — not everyone could afford books — food (given that they only had one cafeteria), rides to Fulmer’s Market (since there was no Walmart or Speedway for them), and they just appreciated figuring things out.
He said that he is a proud alumnus of CSU as a result of his HBCU experience, noting that his struggles as a student only strengthened his character.
According to Goodwine, a good portion of his Ph.D. was built on the lessons he learned at CSU.
Social Media As A Means Of Communication
Of the group’s opportunities for mentoring and mentee relationships to flourish between current CSU students and alumni, Goodwine said that utilizing things like social media can have a great influence on an individual’s educational and professional development.
He said that his dissertation was centered on persistence and retention in HBCUs, adding that he’s “mindful of the positive results teacher-to-student mentoring and peer-to-peer mentoring relationships have on academic and career success.”
Social network platforms are deemed as a non-traditional model to seek out mentors in your field of study. But obviously, when used effectively, it can be a catalyst for starting and maintaining positive mentoring relationships.
“Any current student or alumni looking for job/career, networking, or mentor/mentee opportunities, the “Hire A Marauder” network is for you!” Goodwine said.