Story by Dan Steinberg, communication professor
The Five Cardinal Experiences give Otterbein University students the opportunity to take their new classroom knowledge and apply it to the workplace. Experiential learning is at the root of an Otterbein education.
Meet Robyn Henry, class of 2000, former theatre major and current associate producer for Production Glue, a special events production company in the heart of New York City. Henry recently spent Super Bowl week helping Nike to create memorable experiences for fans, managing obstacle and 40-yard dash courses, building interactive Nike product displays, staging news conferences and symposiums with the likes of Kobe Bryant and Bo Jackson, and hosting fan-friendly track competitions with former Ohio State NFL standouts, such as Pittsburgh Steeler Will Allen.
“Experiential marketing is a booming industry as more and more companies want their products out there in innovative ways,” Henry said. “Each fan got a start and finish line photo as well as a slow motion video as souvenirs. My specific role was to help develop and execute programming as well as manage the floor staff for the open sessions.”
Among other recent projects, Henry show-produced New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio’s inauguration ceremony, project-managed Martha Stewart’s Made in America Awards Gala and Craft show in Grand Central Terminal (in an historical monument and active train station), and helped launch Kobe Bryant’s new Nike sneaker in Los Angeles.
“Otterbein gave me a great base for everything I’ve done so far thanks to the hands-on approach to learning,” said Henry, who earned her master’s degree in International Event and Festival Management in Edinburgh, Scotland. “My knowledge gained as a theatre major in scenery, lighting and audio are invaluable to what I do now.”
Henry also credits Otterbein for helping her establish great relationships she still maintains. “One of my friends from Otterbein, Sheryl Warren Wisnieswki, is at the Sochi Olympics right now helping with NBC’s coverage of the Games.”
The experiences one takes away from Otterbein come in many forms. For Henry, her take aways include classroom and experiential learning, applicable skills and lasting relationships.
“Otterbein’s small-school experience allowed me to develop in so many ways,” Henry said. “Otterbein gave me a great foundation to build my career upon. I will always value the total experience of an Otterbein education, from working on theatre productions, to the unique viewpoints of the Integrative Studies (general education) classes, the focus on community service, and the close-knit community."