Niagara University launches free mobile applicationby jmaloni
Niagara University has launched a free mobile application to help iPhone, iPod Touch and Android devices connect to campus from anywhere in the world.
The app is currently available for download in the Apple iTunes Store and the Google Play Store (Android Market), and can be accessed by visiting www.niagara.edu/app.
App users can get mobile access to news, events, scores, social media channels, admissions information, academic programs, course listings, an employee directory, library catalogs, dining hall hours, and much more. Users can even listen live to WNIA, the campus radio station, and play the Niagara battle song directly from their mobile devices.
"The new app is an exciting way for future and current students, alumni and friends of Niagara University to stay abreast of the remarkable things happening on our campus," said Tom Burns, associate vice president for public relations, communications and marketing. "This app also provides unique tools for families considering Niagara as a college option. Our intention is to continually update this new communication tool with fresh and relevant content and compelling new features."
Parents and prospective students will find information on counselors, applying to Niagara, and an interactive map that includes a brief video overview and photo library of every academic building on campus.
"We want our growing number of prospective students and parents who have smartphones to have a tool in their hands to get to know Niagara better," said Dr. Kevin Hearn, vice president for student affairs and interim dean of enrollment management. "This app will certainly not replace the personal nature of the counselor-to-student interaction, but it will make our information more accessible and enhance the experience of a college-searching family."
Niagara graduates can find information on alumni events, submit a class note and make a gift to the university, all via their mobile devices.
"Our alumni are going to be extremely excited about having this type of connectivity to the university," added Christine O'Hara, Class of 1988, M.S.Ed.'06, executive director of alumni engagement. "Aside from the alumni-specific features, I know having all of the campus news and sporting event schedules in one spot will be very appealing to those who love to keep in touch with their alma mater."
The mobile application was designed by Matt Villnave, '02, assistant director of information technology, and coordinated by Michael Freedman, associate director of public relations and manager of online content. By developing the app in-house, Villnave estimates the university saved tens of thousands of dollars in initiation costs and annual fees.
"We are constantly seeking ways to optimize our resources, and my inclination was that we could develop a higher-quality mobile application - one that can be updated by our public relations office in real-time - and utilize our monetary resources elsewhere," Villnave said.
Matthew Nadler, president of the Niagara University Student Government Association, also played a significant role in the mobile application's development. Over the past few months, he assembled focus groups to meet with Freedman and Villnave so that they could most effectively gauge student interest.
Several new ideas arose from these meetings, such as including meal plan balances, polls and club information, and adding a feature called "Share Your NU," which allows users to submit their own photos for possible use in university marketing materials and on social media sites.
"I'm very pleased that the university continues to put such an emphasis on involving students in the development and implementation process," said Nadler, a senior from New Rochelle. "I know that we are quite confident that the app was improved due to our input, and we believe that the university community will find it to be very helpful."
For more information about Niagara University, visit www.niagara.edu.