Second Life Fashion Show Presents Professional Wear for "In World" Interviews

Friday, January 30 2009

Jan. 30, 2009 Photos are available at Written by Joni Kirk MOSCOW, Idaho – With the economy taking a toll on hiring practices, companies are turning to more innovative means of conducting in-person interviews. Second Life (SL), a virtual reality computer environment that simulates real life, offers an economical way to conduct global interviews, and recruiters are jumping on board. "Recruiting is taking place in meta universes right now," said Brian Cleveley, University of Idaho adjunct professor of virtual technology and design, and director of the program's computer studio. "The same questions and same issues arise in Second Life – or in world – as they do in real life. People are asking, 'How do I present myself in an interview?'" The Career and Professional Planning department at the University of Idaho is helping students prepare for this virtual world, and will hold a fashion show in Second Life from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 4; the show will be broadcast on a large projection screen in the Idaho Commons Food Court. "The show will focus on business wear and professional behavior in Second Life," said Cleveley. "People make incredible fashions for the meta universe, and those using SL should take advantage of the opportunities that are available." While Second Life may be a virtual environment, the talents used in world are very real. For the show, the university has partnered with a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) candidate in fashion design from Australia, and the runway coordinator and models are from around the globe. KD Dial, instructor in the College of Business and Economics' accounting department, has provided event management – completely within world. She negotiated the contract with the runway coordinator and is overseeing the show's logistics. Lori Wahl, faculty member in Family and Consumer Sciences, is serving as the fashion industry consultant. An independent designer with international accomplishments, she advises the project’s design and production values, ensuring industry standards are met in world. Wahl will serve as the event's emcee, and will work with models from all over the globe for the show. The Virtual Technology and Design program created the runway, model changing rooms and designer's display pavilion for the university's campus island, Idahonia, which will be the locale for the show. "We also will provide technical support for the runway coordinator during the show," said Cleveley. A panel discussion about recruitment in Second Life and other related topics will follow the fashion show from 1-2 p.m. The panel will consist of Lori Wahl, University of Idaho instructor in clothing and textiles, and an independent fashion designer; David Eames-Harlan, content strategist for Content Authoring Services; and Russell Miyaki, vice president and national interactive creative director for TMP Worldwide. "The discussion will focus on understanding corporate culture and fashion," said Cleveley. "The information will be relevant for physical and virtual encounters." The university's Career and Professional Planning department is very much on board with this approach; in fact, CAPP is looking into bringing recruiters to campus "virtually" for career fairs as soon as this fall. Cleveley said he is "cautiously optimistic" about an extension of the University of Idaho into virtual reality. "Some people may consider Second Life a game," he said. "However, it's really a forum, a community of people, with which we need to be familiar. Students currently in junior high are using virtual interactive worlds, and we need to be prepared for when that generation is in college. It will be here before we know it!" # # # About the University of Idaho Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 150 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit Media Contact: Joni Kirk, University Communications, (208) 885-7725,

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit