Wilkes University freshman Christine Walsh applied to be a resident assistant – and became a bit of an Internet sensation in the process. As part of her application, Walsh, a Lebanon Township, N.J., native, created a video to the tune of the Grammy Award-winning “Uptown Funk.” It has garnered more than 11,000 views – and counting. You can view the video here.When Elizabeth Swantek, Wilkes director of residence life, shared the video on Facebook, it went viral in a matter of days, racking up thousands of views from all over the country. It drew the attention of the Association of College and University Housing Officers International, a professional organization for people who work with student housing on college and university campuses. They interviewed Walsh for an article on their Web site, boosting views of the video still more.
Walsh, who wrote the song parody, acted in the video, sang the song and edited the video, has been surprised by the attention it’s received on and off the Wilkes campus.
“I’ve received messages from New Hampshire and California. One day I was walking down the hall and a business class was watching my video,” Walsh says. “People stop me on campus and say ‘I’ve seen your video.’ And I’ve had email from business faculty saying, ‘We haven’t met you yet, but we can’t wait to.’ It’s been unbelievable.”
A management and digital design and media art double major, Walsh also is in Wilkes’ honors program. She also is an ambassador for the admissions office at Wilkes, where she gives tours and answers questions for prospective students. She says she didn’t create the video to garner attention. She did it in response to an interview question for the resident assistant position: What is the first activity you would do with your hall residents?
“I said I would make a video incorporating all their names. We would create the video together. I’ve found making videos together really creates a bond,” Walsh says. She will find out whether she is hired for the resident assistant position when she returns to campus from spring break on March 14.
She began making videos as president of her class at New Jersey’s Voorhees High School to promote a fundraising event, “Pie Your Teachers,” in which students throw pies at favorite faculty. She’s continued, including producing a video to promote the business – Easy Flow Cookies – that was part of a freshman business class. All first-year business majors at Wilkes are required to create a business on campus.
Walsh is carrying on the Wilkes tradition in her family: Her mother and aunt also graduated from the university, which is in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. She is the daughter of Kathleen and Michael Walsh and is a triplet, with a brother, Michael, attending Bowdoin College in Maine and a sister, Hannah, at home.