I feel like I just finished my new guy training and here I find myself at the end of another incredible summer at Schipul. It has been quite a productive three months, creating Tendenci overview videos, a series of training videos, taking photos for BARC, and even a commercial featuring a very tiny (and cute) Guinea Pig. I started my first internship at Schipul as Senior in High School and now three internships, (got the hat trick!) and four years later I am starting my Senior year in college. I’ll be returning to Brooklyn, NY where I am studying film at Pratt Institute.
It’s been an honor calling Schipul family over the last four years. Being surrounded by talented and fun people has become an integral part of my education and one that I am thankful for during the short time I’m here in the summer. These goodbyes sure don’t get easier I’ve learned, but I’m excited about the next phase in my life and what adventures await me.
It is difficult to sum up into words what an incredible ride it has been these past [almost] 5 years at Schipul. It is even more difficult to express the impact each one of you has had on my life walking in these doors every day. You all have become my second [crazy] family which is why my decision to start a new adventure in my life has not come easy…
At the end of August, I will be moving to Austin, TX to start a new chapter and of course, keep things extremely weird. But no matter where life takes me, I will always be a Schipulite and remember everyone that has made my Houston world absolutely amazing. So with that…here’s a little gem [highlight reel] of some of my favorite Schipulite moments…queue Phillip Phillips….
I am most honored to be welcomed back into the Schipul tribe and to be going for new guy round two.
I first joined the Schipul community back in 2008 as an intern while studying at Rice University.
My experience at Schipul was so mind blowingly amazing that I went on to create a self designed major at Rice in Communications, Culture, and Society based on the mission and culture at Schipul.
After graduating from Rice, I moved back to my hometown, NYC, where I worked in the financial services industry, but Schipul was never far from mind.
I am thrilled to be back and look forward to bringing visibility to the amazing people and organizations we work with and to partnering with our clients to grow their reach and strengthen their communities.
I have so much to be thankful for. So much more than I could ever articulate or capture in a blog post. Even while I’m drafting this entry in my bedroom, I hear my boyfriend, his son, and our niece and nephew giggle over a movie they are watching in the living room. Between the laughter, I hear them recounting their favorite parts of the festival we attended today, and every couple of minutes my sweet dog, Stanley, punctuates their snickering with a goodÂ squeakÂ of his toy from behind the couch. The distinct smell of “taco night” is still strong in our apartment even though the dishes have been done for hours. My life is full. I am blessed.
Of all these blessings, this year I am choosing to document some of my simplest and sweetest memories of my father. Dad was unexpectedly taken from us this summer, and while my heart is broken that he is gone, I am abundantly grateful for his love, his lessons, and all the sweet, sweet memories.
The Haunting on Glenmeadow Drive
Like most small kids, my little brother and I loved to play good guy/bad guy games. We were four and five, respectively, and it was his turn to be bad guy. He had me tied up with a jump rope in a bedroom closet and aggressively robbed me at finger point, shouting demands in his best “bad guy” voice. It was all in good fun until Dad, doing some handy work in the attic, heard us playing through the ceiling vents. Dad threw the breaker switch, knocking out the power in that part of the house, leaned facedown into the vent in the bedroom, and let out his loudest, scariest “MUWAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!” Toby ran screaming and probably scarred for life, while I tried furiously to squirm out of the triple-knotted jump ropes. Terror doesn’t get more pure than that, and Dads just don’t laugh harder than that.
Roughhousing With Class
When we played, we played classy. Tummies had to be settled, all dangerous furniture was moved out of the living room, and my Dad blasted his record (yes, as in a RECORD) of the William Tell Overture through my parents’s turntable with surround sound audio. Games of choice included, but were not limited to,Â Bunkin’ Bronco, Tick Tock, and of course, the Tickle Fight. Dad would take my siblings and I (four total) all on at once. The Universe stopped and bedtime was forgotten about. We would play until our cheeks were burning and our sides were sore from laughter, and after awhile, without us even knowing it, our eyelids would start to fall. He’d gather us all up at the same time (he was the strongest man in the whole, wide world), and drop us each into our respective beds with a kiss on the forehead. I’ll never sleep so well again.
The Playground Dad Built
I had friends with cool swingsets, or even a neat pool slide, but no one had a backyard like ours. Each piece of that backyard was
truly assembled with love, sweat and tears. There was the seesaw Dad built with his own hands. Kids from all over the neighborhood came just to take a turn on that seesaw.
We also had the Sesame Street swingset, because it just doesn’t get cooler than swinging with Big Bird. And we had the four-seater spinny thing we never really knew what to call. We just called it “Mayonnaise-Mustard-Ketchup” because it was white, yellow and red, but it was AWESOME! And the tire swing, you just can’t have enough fun on a tire swing.
Then there was the beautiful sandbox Dad built us from scratch. It really was a work of art, handcrafted and flawless. But before he installed the masterpiece he worked so hard on, he bought every color of paint he could find, gave us each a paint brush, and just let us go, and somehow, it was a little more beautiful when we were done.
Dad’s New Best Friend
We had a relatively strict no pet policy growing up. We were able to weasel our way into a couple of small rodents here and there, even ducks, but Dad was particularly adamant about no dogs. We would beg, and we would cry, but Dad would squint his eyes and curl his lips under, and we knew his decision was final.
That all changed in my sixth grade year. Each day my Mom came to pick me up from school, my little brother already in tow, and each day she saw the neglected litter of new puppies born at the house across the street. They were dirty, flea-ridden, hungry, and just so cute. One afternoon Mom hit her breaking point. Instead of just pulling up in front of the school for me to jump in the van, she parked the car and hopped out with my brother. With a determined look on her face, she marched across the street and knocked on the dog owner’s door. A brief chat and twenty dollars later, we had a puppy.
We played with him all afternoon in the front yard. He was frightened and excited at the same, and so were we. How would Dad react when he got home? When Dad finally pulled into the driveway that evening, we hid the puppy underneath a blanket and between boxes in the garage. We tried so hard to keep our faces straight and act normal, but Dad could of course sense the giddy anxiety in us all, and the frightened puppy shaking violently beneath the sheet didn’t help much either. Dad glanced across all of our “straight” faces, looked down at the quivering sheet, and pulled it back with a swift, hard tug. Dad couldn’t even be mad. In that moment, he knew he had just met his new best friend. He named him Rufus, and that second began a 15 year journey the twosome would enjoy together, side-by-side every step of the way.
I am so grateful for my father, the time we had, and all the sweet memories. These are by no means all of my memories of my father, or even my favorite. They are just the ones that are making me smile today. Thanks, Dad.
If you’ve been busy watching the Olympics news on Twitter, you might have ran across another trending tweet stream @MarsCuriosityÂ has been trending over the weekend as the Mars Lander “tweeted” the details of its last few days in space preparing to land on Mars.
The Curiosity Mars Lander Â successfully touched down at approximately 12:14am central time Monday morning. At 12:32am central time, the lander tweeted its safe landing to over 600,000 followers. Â
Curiosity also has aroundÂ 147,000Â Facebook FansÂ cheering on its mission on Mars. Â That’s a pretty impressive online fan base for a robot that’s millions of miles away. Â Do you think @AstroRobonaut is wondering how @MarsCuriosity managed to more followers than he did?
I’m known at Schipul as the resident “Space Geek” but all of us were excited to hear about the safe landing, and we want to share our excitement for NASA’s incredible work with this Mars Lander mission.
Two Extraordinary Accomplishments for NASA!
Smooth Landing for MarsCuriosity
Landing a robot on Mars is no easy task and comes with the added challenge of a 14 minute communication delay. Â And NASA made it look so easy this morning when Curiosity Mars Lander touched down on the red planet’s soil. Â Curiosity is the first Mars lander since the Phoenix mission in 2008.
Curiosity is carrying some pretty advanced equipment to assist it with the mission objectives that includeÂ 17 cameras, an infrared lazer to vaporize small rocks, and x-ray vision plus many other advanced scientific equipment.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be getting more images and analysis of the Martian Landscape courtesy of Curiosity. Â The mission objectives for Curiosity include:
Try to determine if there was ever life on Mars
Study the Martian climate and geology of Mars
Bring back data to help with planning a human mission to mars.
Watch the Mars Lander Curiosity Landing on NASA Television’s YouTube:
Social Media in Space
In addition to successfully sending this Super Robot to Mars, NASA should be commended for its successful use of social media marketing to help revitalized the organization’s PR and community awareness. Â In addition to MarsCuriosity’s astounding number of followers and fans, @NASA has over 2.5 million fans, has had its YouTube videos watched over 33 million times, and has photographs that you can’t find anyplace on Earth on the official NASA photographer Flickr.
NASA has used social media to grow a huge following of space enthusiasts and has integrated social media throughout their website and other media outlets. Â If you head over to NASA’s Social Media Connect PageÂ Â you’ll find hundreds of accounts for various projects and NASA employees across a dozen different social platforms including Google, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Youtube, and more.
If you’re struggle with managing your organization’s social media marketing and staying on top of what’s being said about you and by whom on the internet, you might take a cue from what the digital media team at NASA is doing because they are doing it right.
Learn More about NASA and Social Media
NASA at the Houston Social Media Breakfast Club August 31st, 2012
Learn how NASA turned reluctant employees into social media stars to enable NASA to expand its digital marketing efforts on August 31st at the Houston Social Media Breakfast Club.
Amiko Kauderer, NASA’s Social Media Lead and Web Manager at the Johnson Space Center, will share her strategy to engage employees to become active social media users to build your brand, balance employee participation with management concerns, and more… (we’re hoping she might tell us who is behind @MarsCuriosity’s twitter persona). Â Amiko has over 14 years of experience in digital marketing and communications, and among her many responsibilities at NASA, she manages multiple NASA social media accounts, including the @NASA_Johnson twitter account and teaches the astronauts how to tweet.
The conference will focus on social media strategies specific to those in government roles that involve public relations, marketing, and communications. Â Learn more and register on the Ragan conference website.
Mars Lander Curiosity took several images upon landing and my favorite is the one with the lander’s shadow in the image:
Good luck, Curiosity! We are excited to see what you’ll send us next.
Today is Friday the 13th – known as an unlucky dayÂ – but we’re not scared! In honor of today as Friday the 13th, we’ve collected some superstitions from some of the Schipulites. They range from holding your breath while driving by a cemetery to how to choose (and not choose) a potential mate!
Did you know? Fear of Friday the 13th is calledÂ friggatriskaidekaphobia
We asked the Schipulites: Do You Believe in Superstitions?
Check out our video interviewing the Schipulites on their superstitions.
This February, we’re sharing Tips & Tricks we Schipulites love at schipul.com/love. With Valentine’s Day just a week away,Â we also wanted to share this love poem with you, our clients and friends.Enjoy!
Geek Love, a Poem from the Schipulites to You!
In Schipul-land this Valentine’s, we want to spread the LOVE
By sharing things that currently have set our hearts abuzz.
As sometimes happens when you have a talented and ambitious staff, three of our long time employees are moving on to new challenges as we close out 2011. All three have had a huge impact on the company and we wish them the best. These ladies have not only helped shape the face of Schipul, they also hold a special place in our hearts.
Jennifer Ulmer, Partner
Well, J hasn’t left us fully yet and is still helping us as a consultant. But after 12 years she has chosen to seek a new path in business. The good news is she has given us plenty of notice and is still around to answer questions and help with our long time clients.
Jennifer joined us 12 years ago as employee number 6. She spoke with candor then and speaks with candor now. Under Jennifer’s leadership Tendenci, our software product, has generated over 5 million in revenue over the last few years. Her work speaks for itself as it powers so many of our client sites.
Katie Laird, Communications Director
Katie has been the brand ambassador, evangelist, communications director, and PR goddess for Schipul. In her 6 years with Schipul, she has handled web design, client projects, operations, communications, PR, social media, public speaking, etc. etc. etc. And brought her own brand of quirkiness and joy to everything she does.
Katie is one of those people who sees a challenge, tackles it with full force, and does it with a smile. After 6 years, we will miss seeing her face every day. We are excited for her in her new position at blinds.com. She will continue to be a force of nature there as she was here.
Lyndia Makol, Senior Designer/Developer
Lyndia Makol is a power house. She is an expert web designer and developer who understands web marketing and always fights for what is best for each client. Lyndia is the person that you can trust to get things done, and get them done right. We will miss her dearly. BUT we are beyond happy for her as she takes on the biggest challenge of her life… motherhood!
Over the last 4 years, we have seen Lyndia learn and grow (and get married!) and now continue her journey to take care of her growing family.
We wish all three good times, personal growth and that they may continue on the path to seek meaning. As 2011 comes to a close, we look forward to 2012 with new adventures for each of them. And we miss them already.
Thank you more than we can say to Jennifer, Katie and Lyndia for not only your contributions to our company, but your contributions to the clients we are here to serve. We greatly appreciate your dedication and we miss all of you dearly.
It’s a tradition best explained by being there, I suppose.Â But this video might shed some light on our love of sharing a holiday with family and co-workers on the seat of a speeding scooter.Â We hope your Thanksgiving was an exciting one, too!!