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‘A Little Help’ Web series receives LA Webfest nominations

A little HelpMissouri State’s media, journalism and film department may have another award winner on its hands. The department’s second Web series, “A Little Help,” has received four nominations from the 2015 LA Web Series Festival, or LAWEBFEST, to be held April 2-5, 2015, in Los Angeles.

Nominations

LAWEBFEST announced the nominations last week, revealing that “A Little Help” will compete in the following categories:

  • Outstanding Student Series (creator Kevin Shabel / produced Deborah Larson, Cibee Jaime, Nich Peltz)
  • Outstanding Actor – Student Series (William Bixby)
  • Outstanding Actor – Student Series (David Greathouse)
  • Outstanding Theme Song (David Greathouse, composer)[general pool]

According to the LAWEBFEST website, each series is anonymously judged by industry and non-industry professionals.

About ‘A Little Help’

Although produced by media, journalism and film, “A Little Help” was an interdisciplinary effort across the College of Arts and Letters, from digital film and media productionelectronic arts and graphic design, to journalism, communication, and public relations.

The series follows comedian Ringo who hopes to pursue his dreams in New York City, but his efforts are thwarted by his dysfunctional friends and family, including his pot-smoking parents.

A group of students, led by screenwriting graduate student Kevin Shabel and digital film senior Nich Peltz, wrote the script, while MSU students, faculty and staff joined community actors to comprise the cast. After more than 250 hours of post-production that also involved a team of students, faculty and staff, the series was launched in July 2014.

About MJF’s Web series model

In an effort to provide more real-world experiences for their students, professors Diana Dru Botsford and Deborah L. Larson collaborated to utilize the Instructional Scaffolding model to create a Web series, the first of which debuted in 2013 with the time-traveling epic, “Epilogue.” That series went on to win numerous awards, including a second place Emmy in the series category of the 34th College Television Awards.

Posted in Award Recognition, Digital Film Production, Electronic Arts, Faculty & Staff Accomplishments, Film Festival, Media Production, News, Print and Internet Journalism | Leave a comment

Spring training: The Standard to coach students interested in becoming reporters

Standard LogoAfter a successful fall semester of training a new crop of would-be reporters, The Standard’s faculty advisor Jack Dimond said the program will continue in spring 2015.

“We covered a lot of ground, and I believe we will be bringing a new group of reporters onto the staff in January who are not only prepared to do good work but confident in their own ability to do it,” he said. “We plan to start recruiting for our January class in the next couple of weeks.”

About the program

Dimond, who also teaches Introduction to Journalism and News Reporting and Writing, said two training groups met 11 times throughout the fall semester. These information sessions covered topics such as interviewing skills, story ideas, basic news writing, access to public records and visual presentation of stories. He said although the content may remain similar for the program’s second semester, he hopes to bring a more formal structure to next year’s meetings.

How to sign up

Dimond said those positions are filling up fast. Students interested in joining should reach him by phone at 417-836-8467 or by email at JackDimond@missouristate.edu.

Posted in News, Print and Internet Journalism | Leave a comment

KSPR sports anchor to teach spring course

HughKeeton-webfriendlyThe department of media, journalism and film has announced KSPR sports anchor Hugh Keeton will be teaching its newest Spring 2015 course, JRN 300: Sports Journalism.

MJF increasing career opportunities for students

The course, offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 11:15 a.m., filled up quickly, a testament to the growing need for such programs, said department head Dr. Mary Jane Pardue.

“We’re delighted to be able to offer sports journalism to our students. We recognize that a number of them are interested in sports reporting, and we’re confident that they will enhance their career opportunities with this experience,” she said.

Students will build a resume in Keeton’s class

Keeton has spent nearly 15 years in broadcast journalism, most of which in sports. The award-winning journalist joined KSPR in 2011 and will continue to anchor its sports programming. He is ready, however, to take on new challenge, he said, — teaching the craft to the next generation of reporters.

“I want to give students a real feel for the job I do every day and give them a working knowledge of what it’s like to work in print and broadcast journalism,” he said. “For me, it will be an intriguing opportunity to meet and interact with students interested in media. It will be refreshing in a lot of ways.”

Keeton said through assignments rooted in real experiences — such as covering sporting events and putting together feature and sports packages — students will come away with tangible work to add to their resumes.

Posted in Broadcast Journalism, News, Print and Internet Journalism | Leave a comment

COAL faculty hoping to gain ‘global perspective’ from Colombia trip

Several College of Arts and Letters faculty will be traveling to South America next week in an interdepartmental effort to increase the college’s “global perspectives” and “cultural competency,” said communication department head Dr. Shawn Wahl.

Five professors representing four departments will depart for Colombia Oct. 25 to visit universities in Bogota and Cartagena, each with educational objectives to benefit both Missouri State and the Colombian institutions. They return Oct. 31.

Wahl said several opportunities are made available by organizing these kinds of trips, including recruitment of international students, building relationships with institutions that Missouri State students can study abroad to, and bringing a broader cultural perspective to COAL’s programs and facilities.

Faculty going to Colombia

Institutions they will visit

Schedule

  • Drs. Morris, Pardue and Wahl will present on research panels the Universidad de La Sabana Communication Week.  Morris will present on debate formats during the 2012 presidential election, Pardue will present on journalism from a U.S. perspective and Wahl will present on Business and Professional Communication in a Global Context (the focus of his 2015 Short Term Study Away course he will teach at Universidad de La Sabana).
  • Dr. Hausback will be perform an international recital at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and teach master classes in trombone at several universities in Bogota.
  • Dr. Jolley will be networking with department head and faculty at all of the Colombian universities to explore study away program and language training programs.

 

Posted in Faculty & Staff Accomplishments, News, Professional Development | Leave a comment

Briana considers her Study Away in Chile a great personal investment

Missouri State student Briana Simmons visits the La Moneda Palace in the Republic of Chile.
Missouri State student Briana Simmons visits the La Moneda Palace in the Republic of Chile.

Three blog entries by Briana Simmons chronicle her Study Away experience in Chile (June – July 2014)

Get up! Right now, get up and leave.

Get out of your comfort zone. Escape the places you’ve become all too familiar with. Get out and learn about the world and all it encompasses and be open to all the things you will learn about yourself.

Study Away is much more than going away for a few weeks to discover new places. These discoveries you’ll encounter away from home will be life-changing. Put yourself in an unfamiliar place, with all these strange delicacies, a hard-to-understand language and see what you can accomplish.

Challenge yourself to make it through the day in this strange place. I can guarantee you’ll sleep with a prideful grin.

I spent two months in Santiago, Chile. Two months seems like a short time, but in complete solace you’ll discover rewarding realities about yourself. What seems like just a few weeks turns into an eternity.

Surely the time only begins to progress when you’ve begun to adjust to your new home. Then, you realize it must all come to an end at some point.

Within my first few weeks in Chile, I easily become a “yes woman.” I tried every traditional dish, went to every hot hangout spot and never turned down the opportunity to try something new.

Some things I enjoyed, others I’d rather keep as a one-time thing, but the ultimate lesson in that is that I did it. I have that experience to keep with me forever.

Study Away is a great personal investment.

# # #

While I was in Chile, I was not only able to gain personally and socially from my experiences, but every day I went to work as an associate editor of an online newspaper and digital magazine.

I had the opportunity to edit the stories of journalists from all around the world before their work was published to the website. I also couldn’t resist the urge to write a few stories myself.

My work experiences were different from anything I’d done before at home.

Simmons waves Chilean flag near San José de Maipo
Simmons waves Chilean flag near San José de Maipo

I had to familiarize myself with Chile and learn about the stories that needed to be told in this place. This was the most challenging to do in such a short amount of time.

You’re bound to face challenges in a foreign country, but if you preserve you’ll overcome them as well.

I had to adjust to my new day-to-day lifestyle. I had to learn new currency so I wouldn’t overspend. I consistently used public transportation for the first time in my life.

I ate food I was unfamiliar with every day, and as a picky eater my taste buds didn’t always agree. I was forced to overcome language barriers with local Chileans who use a different dialect in Spanish and speak very fast.

I was out of place, frustrated and homesick at times, but it was worth every uncomfortable and embarrassing moment.

In our global world, Study Away will help you to accept the lifestyle of others and appreciate your own.

# # #

Have you ever caught the glare of a complete stranger and wondered what their thoughts were as they stared at your clothes, skin or hair?

Perhaps they were judging you for being so different in their space. Have you ever considered maybe just maybe they were simply interested in you and your story?

Chilean fans celebrating a World Cup victory over Spain
Chilean fans celebrating a World Cup victory over Spain

Think about it. When you walk past a person in a wheelchair, a homeless person on the street or a person with the very opposite features than you, you can’t help but look and wonder. I wonder what their story is and what life is like for them.

One thing I learned from my time in Chile is people all around the world care about the same things. We express love, pain and joy in similar ways. I believe we’re all interested in one other whether we’ll openly admit it or not.

Embrace the differences you have with your neighbor. Invite them to get to know you and openly listen to what’ve they endured to make for such great stories.

I was told that traveling abroad would create moments of cultural shock. They were right.

Of course there are selfish reason we do the things we do, but always remember your choices will also affect someone else.

I’ve gained friends from all around the world. I’ve connected with new people from New Zealand, Germany, South Africa, Bermuda, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, France and other parts of the United States.

Undoubtedly, we’ve all impacted the lives of one other.

— Briana Simmons
Senior, Print and Internet Journalism

Simmons at the top of Santa Lucia
Simmons at the top of Santa Lucia
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COAL Homecoming: Master class series brings alumni back to campus to share their crafts

The College of Arts and Letters will be hosting a series of master classes Oct. 16 and 17 as part of its Homecoming event schedule. These classes, presented by COAL alumni in music, art and design, theatre and dance, and media, journalism and film, are open to the public. The schedule is as follows:

Susan LaBarr

Living the Dream – Composing and Publishing Music

Presented by COAL alumna Susan LaBarr, composer (BM 2004; MM 2007)

Susan LaBarr is an active, published composer, with works in print through Santa Barbara Music Company and Morningstar Music. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Music in and a Master of Music in Music Theory in at Missouri State University. In 2011, Susan won the Opus Award for her compositions Two Songs of Love Lost: Forever Gone and At Dawn of Day. This award is selected by members of the Missouri Choral Directors Association. In 2012, Susan served as composer-in-residence for the Chattanooga Girls Choir (TN). More recently, Susan served as the Missouri Composer Laureate, 2012 and 2013, a position selected by the organization Verses and Voices, and chaired by Missouri First Lady, Georganne Nixon. She also works as editor of Walton Music.

Event details

Date: Oct. 16, 4 – 5 p.m.

Location: Plaster Student Union Theater

Matt_RaithelVideo Game Development 

Presented by COAL alumnus Matt Raithel, studio director (Electronic Arts, 2004)

Matt Raithel, studio director at Graphite Lab in St. Louis, helped produced the mobile game app, My Little Pony Party of One, which reached No. 1 ranking in 73 countries by selling over one million downloads in one week (August 3-10). The game was animated primarily by another MSU alum, Matt Stevens (BFA Animation ‘09), under Raithel’s direction. After graduating from Missouri State with a bachelor’s degree in electronic arts, Raithel joined Black Lantern Studios in Springfield, where he served as an art director, director of art and design, vice president of operations and studio president.

Immediately following the class, Raithel will be presenting in the COAL alumni panel, Preparing for that First Professional Job or How I Survived the Biggest Professional Mistake I ever Made!, Friday, Oct. 17 from 1:50 – 2:50 p.m. at Plaster Student Union Theater.

Event details

Date: Oct. 17, 12:20 – 1:40 p.m.

Location: Plaster Student Union Theater

hyche1Contemporary Dance

Presented by COAL alumnus Darrell Hyche II, dancer (BFA, 2013)

In his first year with the St. Louis company Modern American Dance Company, under company director Stacy West, Darrell Hyche II, received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance performance and Bachelor of Science in psychology from Missouri State in 2013 and was a member of the University’s Inertia Dance Company under the direction of Ruth Barnes and Darryl Clark. Hyche has performed with the Springfield Ballet and the Ashleyliane Dance Company. As a scholarship student at the American Dance Festival, he worked with Brenda Daniels, Elizabeth Corbett, Sherone Price and T. Lang. He has also been in repertory works by William Forsythe, Nicholas Leichter and Merce Cunningham. In 2007, MADCO was invited to become the Professional Dance Company in Residence at the prestigious Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of University of Missouri St. Louis.

Immediately following the class, Hyche will be presenting in the COAL alumni panel, Preparing for that First Professional Job or How I Survived the Biggest Professional Mistake I ever Made!, Friday, Oct. 17 from 1:50 – 2:50 p.m. at Plaster Student Union Theater.

Event details

Date: Oct. 17, 12:20 – 1:40 p.m.

Location: Art Annex, Room #5, 1045 E Grand Street

coleclosserGraphic Novels and Modern Storytelling

Presented by COAL alumnus Cole Closser, artist, author and illustrator (BFA, 2011)

Cole Closser, a Missouri cartoonist and illustrator of comics and graphic novels, will discuss the creation and publication of his graphic novel “Little Tommy Lost” which was featured in Juxtapoz magazine (August 2013) and named one of the 10 best graphic novels of 2013 by A.V. Club (the Onion). He is a graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in art printmaking and drawing programs at Missouri State University and a Master of Fine Arts from The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont.

Closser also be attending the COAL Wine and Cheese Alumni Reception later Friday evening, from 5 to 6 p.m., at the Student Exhibition Center where his work is on display.

Event details

Date: Oct. 17, 3 – 4 p.m.

Location: Plaster Student Union Theater

Posted in Electronic Arts, Featured Alumni, News | Tagged | Comments Off

COAL Homecoming: Alumni will visit campus to give professional advice

In a panel titled, Preparing for that First Professional Job or How I Survived the Biggest Professional Mistake I ever Made!, alumni Matt Raithel, Darrell Hyche II and Monte Kuklenski will offer anecdotes and advice on their respective professions on Friday, Oct. 17, 1:50 – 2:50 p.m. at Plaster Student Union Theater.

 

MattRaithel-blogMatt Raithel

Studio director, Graphite Lab (Electronic Arts, 2004)

Matt Raithel, studio director at Graphite Lab in St. Louis, helped produced the mobile game app, My Little Pony Party of One, which reached No. 1 ranking in 73 countries by selling over one million downloads in one week (Aug. 3-10). The game was animated primarily by another MSU alum, Matt Stevens (BFA Animation ‘09), under Raithel’s direction. After graduating from Missouri State with a bachelor’s degree in electronic arts, Raithel joined Black Lantern Studios in Springfield, where he served as an art director, director of art and design, vice president of operations and studio president.

Immediately preceding the panel, Raithel will be presenting a master class in the PSU Theater, from 12:20 – 1:40 p.m. on video game development.

 

DarrellHyche-blogDarrell Hyche II

Dancer, Modern American Dance Company (BFA, BS 2013)

Darrell Hyche II is in his first year with the St. Louis company MADCO, under company director Stacy West. H received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance performance and Bachelor of Science in psychology from Missouri State in 2013 and was a member of the University’s Inertia Dance Company under the direction of Ruth Barnes and Darryl Clark. Hyche has performed with the Springfield Ballet and the Ashleyliane Dance Company. As a scholarship student at the American Dance Festival, he worked with Brenda Daniels, Elizabeth Corbett, Sherone Price and T. Lang. He has also been in repertory works by William Forsythe, Nicholas Leichter and Merce Cunningham. In 2007, MADCO was invited to become the Professional Dance Company in Residence at the prestigious Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of University of Missouri St. Louis.

Immediately preceding the panel, Hyche will be presenting a master class from 12:20 – 1:40 p.m. in the Art Annex, room 5, on contemporary dance.

 

Monte_2161resizedMonte Kuklenski

Senior vice president of facilities and construction, Fox Networks Engineering and Operations (BFA, 1975)

Now a Los Angeles resident, Monte Kuklenski came up during the storied era of Missouri State theatre, sharing the stage with friends John Goodman, Jack Laufer, Tess Harper and Kathleen Turner. After earning a bachelor’s degree in theatre from Missouri State in 1975, he went on to study directing and production at Southern Methodist University, graduating with a master’s degree in 1980 and beginning his career at Fox in 1988.

Later Friday night, Kuklenski will be recognized among the 2014 Bears of Distinction at the Alumni Association awards banquet at the University Plaza Convention Center.

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