By: Ellen Laws
A new source of posting Buzzfeed-like articles has emerged on Gardner-Webb’s campus known as Odyssey. College students around the country are using this social content platform to share their thoughts and ideas with their peers.
The Gardner-Webb chapter of Odyssey was created, and is led, by junior Megan Dellinger. The chapter arose from Dellinger’s desire to write on a grander scale than her personal blog. After contacting Odyssey, she received a response from Liz Posner, a managing editor for Odyssey. Posner said she was impressed with Dellinger’s initiative and offered her the job of Editor-in-Chief, as well as the recruiter and founder of the Gardner-Webb chapter.
According to Dellinger, there are now 16 members of Gardner-Webb’s chapter of Odyssey. The writers are Olivia Bouknight, Keely Brown, Ashlyn Carey, David Cole, Emily DeVries, Austyn Gorski, Raygan Hall, Richard Martin, Christian Vaughan and Haley Walker. The contributing editors are Bekah Rhea, Sierra Severt and Brittany Parker. The photographer is Megan Hartman, and the Social Media Director is Kieran Garvey.
“Gardner-Webb will benefit from the Odyssey via its writers. Odyssey provides articles on a national scale, so Gardner-Webb is getting publicity,” said Dellinger. “Students do not get paid for their work. However, if their article receives the most shares for the week, they get $20.”
For example, Keely Brown wrote an article entitled, “31 Thoughts Athletes Have During 6 A.M. Conditioning.” According to Dellinger, the article was shared 35,045 times. “We did not expect our article to go viral considering we hadn’t been live for 24 hours,” said Dillinger.
“It was so crazy when Megan, my editor, told me! We were both so excited. It was extremely humbling for me too,” said Keely Brown, freshman.
“I was really torn whether or not I wanted to write for the Odyssey, because I had so many prior commitments, but I felt God telling me to do it to glorify Him,” said Brown. “I was really nervous at first because I didn’t know how to operate the website, but everyone has been really patient and understanding, and willing to teach me through the process! They’ve made everything really easy and enjoyable.”
Bekah Rhea, a junior at Gardner-Webb, wrote “Girl versus Resolution,” and is working on another article called, “To the Boy Who Got Away and the Man He is Now.” She jumped at the opportunity to write for the Odyssey partly because she loves to write, but also because she feels as though she can offer some unique perspective.
“What I love about the Odyssey is its potential for influencing campuses all over the nation. It’s basically this huge network of college students writing about life and sharing their passion, and I think that has the potential to influence positive change,” said Rhea.
Students can get involved with Odyssey by submitting an application to www.theodysseyonline.com/apply. They can also email Megan Dellinger at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.