Virtual College Fair: a Pitt-Johnstown Presence at an Event in Ecuador

Mike Morlacci

posted January 31, 2017

Students use computers to learn about Pitt-Johnstown via a virtual college fair

Pitt-Johnstown's Director of International Recruitment Sui Chen and international student Marco Morocho attended a college fair in another continent without leaving the office.

They were simulated in representing Pitt-Johnstown at a virtual college fair in Ecuador, South America, on January 16-20, 2017, titled “ferias360 hyperfair.” 

Hyperfair, Inc. – a San Francisco-based VR company – provides a self-service platform for Social Virtual Reality for the Enterprises. Presenters and attendees can access Hyperfair 3D immersive platform from a web browser or with VR headsets.

The platform allowed for Pitt-Johnstown to self-create a VR booth (see image below), upload digital assets, and engage with potential students through interacting avatars.

The virtual booth was staffed by avatars of both Chen and Morocho.

"This online college fair allowed me to communicate from my office, instead of going to the country, which saves money and time," said Chen. "The fair was very organized. Each day, there were certain time-blocks reserved for different high schools. It turned out that students were mostly interested in Engineering, medical school and law school programs.

"This online college fair helped me gain experience with consulting students from Ecuador, or south American students."

All told, 275 people visited the Pitt-Johnstown virtual booth, 115 contacted the University and 48 showed an interest and expressed a hope that they will receive an application form and learn more about Pitt-Johnstown.

"Marco was extremely helpful during the week; he came to my office multiple times and sit for hours to answer questions to students whose could not speak English well. Marco is from Ecuador and he is familiar with the culture, and it helps to build trust and credibility to the students."

"I would be definitely interested in participating in another online virtual fair in the future."

Virtual College Fair

Avatars peruse the Pitt-Johnstown virtual booth at the virtual college fair

The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown is marking its 90th anniversary well as the 50th year of the campus in its Richland Township location. Pitt-Johnstown was founded in 1927 and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” The distinctive combination of Pitt-Johnstown’s people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success. Pitt-Johnstown is the regional leader, educating for success in the Real World.