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Sign up for Grad Studies ‘Campus Quest!’ virtual s...

Sign up for Grad Studies ‘Campus Quest!’ virtual scavenger hunt, chance to win prizes

Bethany Cardenas, who works on communication projects at Middle Tennessee State University’s College of Graduate Studies, sits with a selection of MTSU-themed prizes on Aug. 16, 2022, at the Sam H. Ingram Building on campus that are available to graduate students who play the college’s new “Campus Quest!” virtual scavenger hunt that launches next week. (MTSU photo by Stephanie Barrette)

The College of Graduate Studies staff knows that embarking on a graduate school journey is a lot for one student to take on and want to support their students in every way possible. And also having some fun doing it!

So the staff put together a virtual “Campus Quest!” scavenger hunt for continuing and newly admitted graduate students to get them engaged with the MTSU website and the multitude of university services and resources available to them.

As participants complete scavenger hunt tasks, they’ll earn points for their efforts and will even be entered to win prizes such as MTSU-themed tumblers, décor, clothing and more. 

Middle Tennessee State University graduate students can sign up now to participate in the College of Graduate Studies’ “Campus Quest!” virtual scavenger hunt that will be available to play the first week of the fall 2022 semester, Aug. 22-26. Participating students will be entered into a drawing to win one of the pictured MTSU-themed prizes. (MTSU photo by Stephanie Barrette)
Middle Tennessee State University graduate students can sign up now to participate in the College of Graduate Studies’ “Campus Quest!” virtual scavenger hunt that will be available to play the first week of the fall 2022 semester, Aug. 22-26. Participating students will be entered into a drawing to win one of the pictured MTSU-themed prizes. (MTSU photo by Stephanie Barrette)

“Knowing about the resources available to them across our campus is one way to make graduate school a much more manageable project,” said Sarah Hendrix, strategic communications manager for the college. “We believe it is important for the graduate population to be aware of these resources because we care, not only for the academic well-being of our students, but for their mental, social, physical and financial well-being as well.”

Students can sign up to participate now at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/campus-quest in time for the first day of the hunt, Monday, Aug. 22 — also the first day of fall semester — and can join the hunt up until it ends at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 26. 

Bethany Cardenas, a staff member focused on communication projects who worked on the technical aspects of the hunt, said staff formed the scavenger hunt idea after scoping out a similar MT Engage event. 

“We wanted to create a way for graduate students to engage with and thrive at MTSU that would also be accessible and inclusive for all our students, including the number of students who study online,” Cardenas said.

“We learned about the scavenger hunt that Bonnie McCarty, manager of the Adaptive Technology Center, had run for years, and it seemed like a good fit for our needs. She (McCarty) generously provided us instructions, advice and infrastructure to build our own hunt.” 

Hendrix and Cardenas first developed the hunt themes and tasks that would best expose students to online resources such as the Registration Guide and services such as the Career Development Center and wrote out task descriptions. 

Cardenas created the bright, cityscape graphics that guide users through the hunt with detailed instructions, made the Google forms that users fill out to complete tasks and worked with the university’s Information Technology Division to get the website up and running.  

Bethany Cardenas, who works on communication projects at Middle Tennessee State University’s College of Graduate Studies, clicks through the college’s new “Campus Quest!” virtual scavenger hunt instruction guide that she helped design on Aug. 16, 2022, at the Sam H. Ingram Building on campus. (MTSU photo by Stephanie Barrette)
Bethany Cardenas, who works on communication projects at Middle Tennessee State University’s College of Graduate Studies, clicks through the college’s new “Campus Quest!” virtual scavenger hunt instruction guide that she helped design on Aug. 16, 2022, at the Sam H. Ingram Building on campus. (MTSU photo by Stephanie Barrette)

Players win two points for each task completed, can redo tasks they get wrong and earn a ticket for each set of 16 points they receive, which enters them into the prize drawing at the end of the week. There are 48 points up for grabs, equating to three prize-drawing entries, for completing all the tasks. 

For the extra industrious players, Hendrix revealed that there are bonus point opportunities that can earn students a fourth entry to the prize drawing. 

“You’re going to give the people who read this article an advantage,” she said. “Taking a picture with friends on campus will earn players bonus points — the more friends they get in the picture, the more bonus points they receive.” 

The staff plans to draw winners the week of Aug. 29 and post the winners’ names on the scavenger hunt’s landing page and contact them via email or phone.

Cardenas said that 70 students have signed up for the hunt so far, and the college absolutely plans to host another.

“We have new students beginning in the spring, so we’ll plan to host it again the first week of classes of each semester,” Cardenas said. “We’ll get feedback from the fall participants and tweak it for next semester.”

To learn more about the opportunities available at the College of Graduate Studies, visit the website at www.mtsu.edu/graduate

— Stephanie Barrette (Stephanie.Barrette@mtsu.edu

Bethany Cardenas, who works on communication projects at Middle Tennessee State University’s College of Graduate Studies, sits with a selection of MTSU-themed prizes on Aug. 16, 2022, at the Sam H. Ingram Building on campus that are available to graduate students who play the college’s new “Campus Quest!” virtual scavenger hunt that launches next week. (MTSU photo by Stephanie Barrette)
Bethany Cardenas, who works on communication projects at Middle Tennessee State University’s College of Graduate Studies, sits with a selection of MTSU-themed prizes on Aug. 16, 2022, at the Sam H. Ingram Building on campus that are available to graduate students who play the college’s new “Campus Quest!” virtual scavenger hunt that launches next week. (MTSU photo by Stephanie Barrette)

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