Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Behind the screens: A profile of Sharna Miller and Mariah Mrotek

Web communications student workers Sharna Miller (left) and Mariah Mrotek (right). (Photo by Allison Mueller)
Web communications student workers Sharna Miller (left) and Mariah Mrotek (right). (Photo by Allison Mueller)

Dana Scott/Winonan

Over 14,000 people have read the words of two Winona State University students; however, most of them do not realize it.

Juniors Sharna Miller and Mariah Mrotek are student employees in the Web Communications Department on campus. One facet of their job is to manage the university’s social media accounts.

Mrotek shared what it is like to post on the university’s social media accounts.

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“Maybe they don’t know you did it,” Mrotek shared. “But it’s still cool to know you did that.”

Mrotek is a mass communications advertising major and aims to be a creative director one day. Miller is a social work major with a goal of being a marriage and family counselor. Although Miller’s job in web communications does not directly relate to her careers goals, she said the position has enhanced her professional writing and social media skills.

Mrotek agreed with Miller.

“[It is a] great job to build communication skills,” Mrotek said. “And to break out of your shell.”

There is more to their job other than managing social media accounts. They also build and fix websites for various departments on campus.

“It is my favorite part of the job,” Miller explained. “Because I love helping people, I find it enjoyable.”

Miller and Mrotek both said they also enjoy the opportunities they have gained from this job. Miller shared that earlier that day she snapped a picture of President Olson on Winona State’s Snapchat account, WinonaStateU. They both recall getting the chance to go on the Cal Fremling boat, being on TV and even dumping a bucket of water on President Olson—all while on the job.

Homecoming is the most stressful time for Miller, Mrotek and others working in web communications because there is always something going on.

“We are like the press, trying to get everything documented,” Mrotek explained.

Mrotek and Miller make sure every event is covered, and plan what is going to be posted on each account for each day. Miller shared a document that lays out every event for homecoming, the time which employee will cover it and what they plan to post. They said a lot of coordination goes into covering events on campus on Winona State’s social media accounts, especially during homecoming.

Despite their jobs being demanding during this time, both Miller and Mrotek said they love homecoming and all the events and activities going on around campus.

“Everyone is in a cheerful mood,” Miller said. “It brings everyone together.”

Miller and Mrotek said their favorite social media channels are Facebook and Snapchat. They explained that Facebook has the ability to reach a lot of people, and Snapchat is easy to use.

Mrotek said her favorite aspect of managing social media accounts for the university is “Knowing that you’re giving something back to peers.”

“Our job is to make the university look it’s best through social media,” Mrotek said.

To stay up-to-date on all the homecoming happenings and to see all of Miller and Mrotek’s, as well as we communication’s hard work, make sure to follow Winona State on all of their social media accounts, listed below. If you happen to miss an event during homecoming, or just want to relive it, make sure to look for a video next week that will highlight homecoming events.

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