Branding, Strategic Comm HQ officially unveiled

Category:  News
Thursday, November 1st, 2018 at 9:10 AM
Branding, Strategic Comm HQ officially unveiled by Amber Chisholm
Photo: Britton Rozzelle

There was plenty of buzz on the second floor of Baron-Forness Library on Oct. 25 as a new Edinboro University service was brought to light. 

Three faculty members cut a red ribbon, unveiling the Center for Branding and Strategic Communication, part of the NWPA Innovation Beehive Network and a service meant to assist businesses in the region.   

Edinboro University is one of four colleges involved in the Beehive Network, along with Mercyhurst University, Gannon University and Penn State Behrend. 

Dr. Anthony Peyronel, the executive director of the center and a professor in the communication, journalism and media department, started the event with serious and lighthearted thanks to all involved in getting both the center and the Beehive Network to where they are today. 

“This project represents so much work from so many people,” said Peyronel, referring to the six faculty members and more than 60 students who have participated in the center’s work. 

Students from several different areas of campus, including graphic design and public relations, are involved, as are graduate assistants from the communications program.

Many agree with Peyronel, stating that the most exciting aspect of it all is the students and faculty from different departments working together to serve local clients.  

Piper Olsen, a senior art student who will be working in Pittsburgh upon graduation in December, offered words of thanks and encouragement during opening speeches. “My experience at Edinboro wouldn’t have been the same without it,” said Olsen, who has already worked on several projects for the Beehive, including Protect My Brother, an organization that works to prevent gun violence. 

Cor’Rales Dupree, who founded Protect My Brother in the summer of 2017, has enjoyed the experience of working with the Beehive.  

“I’m really thankful to be a part of it,” said Dupree, who shared that he is working with a lot of people on Edinboro’s campus, including EU’s wheelchair basketball team, whose next season starts Nov. 10.  

Other clients the Edinboro branch of the Beehive has taken on include One Leg Up, a new product line of rubber dog toys, the Sarah Reed Children’s Center, and Conneaut Lake Park. 

Sam Comfort, executive assistant to the president, was impressed with the facilities. “I think it’s a great thing. I think it’s a great opportunity for students as well.” 

Dr. James Fisher, interim provost and professor of political science, was also pleased with the center. “We like initiatives that help students and the community at the same time,” he said. 

Michelle Vitali, a professor in the art department, is also involved, offering her expertise on the 3-D printing operations in the office.

Visitors and workers both will notice the green and gray with honeycombs on the outside wall, along with a mural reading “THE HIVE” on the inside. 

Credit for these murals, which included over 200 hours of work, first goes to Brigette Davitt, an associate professor of graphic and interactive design who is also creative director for the center.  

Davitt wanted the artwork, which she collaborated on with students, to show “the energy and the passion and the youthfulness of the students that are in the space.” She views the center as a turning point in her career, reminding her of how lucky she is to be stepping outside of the classroom. 

In mention of the classroom, Mark Cummings, a member of the project advisory board, stressed that opportunities like this cannot be taught inside one. “It’s about career education. It’s about preparing [students] for the real world,” he said.  

Both Cummings and Olsen agree that nothing can replace the real-world experience of working with a client to solve a marketing communications problem.  

Davitt would explain what the honeycomb structures on the wall represent, relating it to relationships among those of different backgrounds and experiences.

 With all of this and more, the chance to build a hive of one’s own is now possible in a brand new way.

Amber Chisholm can be reached at

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