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UNG chosen for national ROTC publicity campaign

Dr. Holly Carpenter Desai, far right, an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of North Georgia, provides technical assistance during a recent photo shoot on the university's Dahlonega Campus. Cadet Ariel Rolle, standing to her left, was featured in the scene.

Images from the University of North Georgia (UNG) featuring the university's students and cadets could be coming soon to a billboard or magazine near you.

UNG was selected as the site of new publicity photographs to promote the U.S. Army's Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) programs. New York-based advertising agency McCann NY handled the U.S. Army project, which featured four days of shooting on the Dahlonega Campus from Sept. 24-27 and involved about a dozen agency representatives, a photographer, crew members, a producer, and stylists.

ROTC photo shoot
Tiffany Perez, a UNG student, is made ready for her scene
in the recent ROTC photo shoot held on the university's
Dahlonega Campus.

Lt. Col. Marc Young, officer marketing manager with the U.S. Army Marketing & Research Group, said the images will be used nationally. Young, along with agency representatives and the photographer, visited UNG for location scouting and casting prior to the shoot and remained throughout the shoot.

"The purpose of this photo shoot was to replenish ROTC images for use in future marketing campaigns," Young said. "Future campaigns may include print and web advertising to attract future prospects to enroll in ROTC. Cadet Command may also access the images for use in local ads and marketing-type campaigns." 

Cadet Blake Schaper, a senior from Alpharetta majoring in biology/pre-med and the commander of the university's Corps of Cadets, said UNG's selection for the project is a testament to the school's excellence.

"The cadets of UNG getting selected to participate in this nationwide ROTC recruitment project is just another way that the cadets of the Boar's Head Brigade are standing out amongst their peers," he said. "Participating in the photo shoot turned out to be a great experience! I've never done anything like it before and it was definitely a different way to get involved here at the University of North Georgia." 

Schaper was among the some two dozen UNG cadets and students selected during a two-day casting call on the Dahlonega Campus that included snapping headshots and conducting brief interviews. A handful of professional actors were used to round out some scenes.

Roderick Bonner, a senior from Huntsville, Ala., majoring in business at UNG, was one of those selected during the casting call.

"It was a surprise to me. I really didn't think I'd be selected and it was a fun experience," Bonner said. "I got to see what models go through in a photo shoot; it's a lot of sitting and waiting while the crew moves things around."

But the shoot wasn't just fun and games. Bonner, who is considering studying sports marketing, said he learned a lot about marketing during the shoot.

"It was great to see how everything goes together as far as marketing and advertising, and I got see just how much goes into making sure things look right," he said. "There is a lot of attention to detail that goes into photo shoots and promotional materials."

The photo shoot featuring Bonner involved relaxing with two cadets and other students in a grassy area near the front of the Library Technology Center. Other scenes included students and cadets socializing around campus and several scenarios relating to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education that featured UNG's biology and chemistry labs and the George E. Coleman Planetarium.

A photo shoot held in the Hoag Auditorium also re-enacted cadet commissioning ceremonies, featuring four cadets in dress blue uniforms (often called Army service uniforms or ASUs) being sworn in by a commissioned officer. Sydney Roth, a junior cadet from Woodstock, Ga., studying nursing, was one of those chosen to take part in the commissioning scene.

"I was surprised to be selected, but I'm really proud that UNG was selected. I think that's a testament to the quality of our military program," Roth said. She won't really commission until summer 2015, but she enjoyed the opportunity to take part in the photo shoot. "I enjoyed feeling a little bit like a super star, having my hair and makeup done. I thought the staff was very professional. I also enjoyed it because it made me think about my future. It made commissioning feel a little more tangible, so I appreciated that."

Uniform type is one reason UNG was selected for the project, as the Army wants to highlight the new dress blue uniforms. While cadets at the nation's service academies and other five senior military colleges wear uniforms that are specific to the school, UNG cadets wear Army uniforms.

Young said UNG's long military tradition and mix of civilian students and cadets also played roles in the selection of the Dahlonega Campus for the photo shoot.

"We chose the University of North Georgia because it offered an environment rich in cadet excellence and traditions," said Young, a 1994 alumnus of the university and Gainesville, Ga., native. "We also felt UNG would offer a beautiful background to our imagery and assist in attracting qualified candidates to ROTC programs nationwide."

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