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Media, Journalism & Film Department Blog

Animation program listed as top in nation

ElectronicArtsStudents-BlogFeatureAnimation Career Review (ACR) has placed Missouri State’s animation program as 21st in its Top 50 Public Animation Schools and Colleges in the U.S., and 13th in its Top 25 Public Animation Schools and Colleges in the Midwest.

How programs are ranked

ACR ranks schools according to:

  • Academic reputation
  • Admission selectivity
  • Depth and breadth of the program and faculty
  • Value as it relates to tuition and indebtedness
  • Geographic location

ACR publishes the results to help prospective students interested in careers in animation and gaming choose a college. ACR generates more than 225,000 unique visitors per month.

About MSU’s animation program

Students interested in majoring in animation can do so through a BFA in art, with an animation emphasis, or BS in electronic arts, with an animation emphasis.

Missouri State’s animation curriculum explores 2D and 3D animation techniques. Students begin building their portfolio throughout the program, preparing them for careers in gaming, advertising, film, television, broadcast, and/or education.

Want to know more about animation?
Contact Vonda Yarberry by email or at 417-837-2356.

Posted in Electronic Arts, Faculty & Staff Accomplishments, News | Leave a comment

MJF Showcase to highlight student creativity

This year’s media, journalism and film showcase provides an overview of exciting student achievements — including short films, award-winning journalism and creative works.

Key details

    • When: Tuesday, May 12
    • Hours: 6:30 – 10 p.m.
    • Where: Plaster Student Union Theater
    • Free and open to the public

Learn more about the department of media, journalism & film

Posted in Event, Media Production, News, Print and Internet Journalism, Student Showcase | Leave a comment

EA seniors to debut their thesis work

The 16th annual Electronic Arts Showcase will feature the latest in film, animation, documentary and other digital achievements.

Students shoot a scene from the film, "Dead on Time."
Students shoot a scene from the film, “Dead on Time.”

The screening will include:

“Dead on Time”
An experimental narrative film based on the album, “Dead Man’s Bones”

A futuristic video game

An interactive scavenger app for mobile devices

“High Hoax”
A documentary chronicling the formation of a DIY band

The SEEK app offers new students a fun and interactive way to explore campus.
The SEEK app offers new students a fun and interactive way to explore campus.

“What Makes Us Human”
An original short film

Event details

Date: Monday, May 11
Time: 6:30 – 10 p.m.
Location: Plaster Student Union Theater
Admission: Free and open to the public

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The Standard wins 25 college media awards

Standard LogoMissouri State’s student-run newspaper The Standard earned 25 Division I awards at the Missouri College Media Association (MCMA) annual contest last weekend. Submissions are judged by reporters and editors across the state.

About the MCMA convention

The awards were announced at the annual MCMA convention, held this year on April 11 in Maryville, Missouri. Nine students and faculty advisor Jack Dimond attended the event, which offers professional development sessions and panel discussions.


1st Place

  • Sweepstakes — Staff
  • News writing — “Conference championship moved to Illinois State” by Trevor Mitchell, Mike Ursery, Eli Wohlenhaus and John Robinson
  • News Photography — “Memorial march” by Evan Henningsen
  • Advertising — “Springfield Family Laundry” by Brooke Partridge
  • Sports Page — “March 18 sports section” by Nicolette Martin
  • Special Section/Supplement — “Back to Campus”
  • Sports Column — “It’s time to end the Terry Allen era” by John Robinson
  • Entertainment Review — “‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ ‘unlike any traditional movie'” by Nic Deckard

2nd Place

  • Best Overall Newspaper — Staff
  • Story Illustration — “Share a Coke with Boomer” by Nic Deckard
  • Editorial / Op-Ed Page — “Nov. 11 opinion page” by Peyson Shields
  • Special Section/Supplement — “Basketball preview”
  • Website Homepage — Staff
  • Feature Writing — “I run for life” by Amber Duran

3rd Place

  • Feature Photography — “Jazz lounge” by Evan Henningsen
  • Sports Photography — “Football Bears squander opportunities … again” by Raven Kohlenberger
  • One Multimedia Element — “Standard Sports Challenge: Eli vs. Marcelo Bonani” by Eli Wohlenhaus and Erin Snider
  • Sports Writing — “Women’s handball team captures first place …” by John Robinson
  • In-depth News Reporting — “Homecoming protest and its aftermath” by Trevor Mitchell and Annie Gooch
  • Sports Column — “Royals season preview” by Eli Wohlenhaus

Honorable Mention

  • News Writing — “Breaking Gates can break MSU’s bank” by Trevor Mitchell
  • Page One Design — “Oct. 28 issue” by Rose Marthis
  • Sports Page — “April 15 sports section” by Nicolette Martin
  • Column — “Let freedom ring” by Mike Ursery
  • Entertainment Review — “Spirits say don’t see ‘Ouija'” by Trevor Mitchell
Posted in Award Recognition, News, Print and Internet Journalism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

COAL to host Public Affairs Conference guests

The College of Arts and Letters will be sponsoring a series of guests and performances at this year’s Public Affairs Conference April 14-18.

From film producers to voice actors to journalists and educators, the Missouri State community and general public will have an opportunity to hear from industry leaders on important topics at the free conference, themed “The Ethical Citizen: Can You Make a Difference?”


Bread_Puppet1Bread and Puppet Theatre

Founded 50 years ago by Peter Schumann, Bread and Puppet is known for its political undertones juxtaposed with oversized papier-mâché puppets and the serving of bread with each performance. Students will workshop and perform with the company during its visit to MSU.

Its conference show “The Shatterer of Worlds: Chapel with Naturalization Services for Applicants Requesting Citizenship in the Shattered World” is a walkabout political performance referencing the moment the first atomic bomb was dropped and the bomb’s chief architect Robert Oppenheimer recalled Bhagavad Gita’s Hindu prayer: “Life, the splendor of 1,000 suns blazing all at once, resembling the exulted soul, is become Death, the shatterer of worlds.”


Dates: April 16, 17 and 18
Times: 7:30 – 9 p.m.
Location: Hammons Student Center West Court
Admission: April 16 performance is open to MSU students, faculty and staff only; April 17-18 is open to the public
Tickets: Free, but tickets are required. Tickets can be picked up at JQH Arena, Hammons Hall or PSU Theater box offices, or by calling 1-888-476-7849 (shipping and handling fee will apply for phone reservations).


McEwenSean McEwen, film producer

McEwen, a Missouri State theatre arts alumni, is now an award-winning director. He co-founded a media technology company and hopes to launch on network television and film in early 2015. He consults on various film and media projects, synergizing his expertise regarding finance, production and distribution.


Special COAL workshop/discussion: “The film industry”
Date: April 14
Time: 3:30 – 5 p.m.
Location: Craig Hall, Coger Theatre
Admission: Free and open to COAL students, faculty and staff

Panel: “Face to face in a technological age”
Date: April 15
Time: 9 -10:15 a.m.
Location: Plaster Student Union, 313
Admission: Free and open to the public

Panel: “Are all leaders created equal? The individual’s journey to ethical leadership”
Date: April 15
Time: 3 – 4:15 p.m.
Location: Plaster Student Union, Ballroom East
Admission: Free and open to the public

Special high school session: “Ethics and you: Choosing how to live your life”
Date: April 16
Time: 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Location: Plaster Student Union Theater
Admission: Free and open to the public


amadiIke Amadi, voice actor

Amadi is a Nigerian-born, American voiceover and television actor who immigrated to the U.S. at a young age. His voice work can be heard on NFL Network, CW, Spike, CBS, TWC Sportsnet and SNLA, as well as in video games like Mass Effect 3, GTA V, Call of Duty – Advanced Warfare and many more.


Panel: “Arts and Education: How we teach future generations”
Date: April 15
Time: 9 – 10:15 a.m.
Location: Plaster Student Union Ballroom East
Admission: Free and open to the public

Special COAL workshop/discussion: “Voice overs”
Date: April 15
Time: 3:30 – 5 p.m.
Location: Craig Hall, Balcony Theatre
Admission: Free and open to COAL students, faculty and staff

Panel: “Service above self”
Date: April 16
Time: 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Location: Plaster Student Union, 313
Admission: Free and open to the public

Special panel: “Ferguson and beyond: Race relations in modern America”
Date: April 17
Time: Noon – 1 p.m.
Location: Plaster Student Union Theater
Admission: Free and open to the public

PACPublic Affairs Conference

The Ethical Citizen: Can You Make a Difference?

What does it mean to be an ethical citizen? Explore the definition, practice and implications of ethical citizenship during the 2015 Public Affairs Conference

April 14-17, 2015

All events are free and open to the public. No registration is necessary for conference events.

Connect through social media

All conference attendees are encouraged to connect to MSU through social media. If you attend an event, we want to hear about your experience!

Post about it on Facebook or Twitter and tag your posts with the official hashtag: #CitizenBear. Those tagged posts will be pulled to the #CitizenBear Tagboard. Go to web and new media’s site for more conference social media tips.

Posted in Electronic Arts, News, Public Affairs | Leave a comment

Production begins on reality cooking competition

show me chefs logoThe media, journalism and film department began work on its next web series, “Show-Me Chefs,” this week at the downtown Springfield business 319 Event Center.

About ‘Show-Me Chefs’

The series, a reality-show cooking competition, will shoot throughout April and air during the fall semester on the partnering network KOZL-TV. Others partners include 319 Event Center, KOLR-10, Farmer’s Market of the Ozarks, Care to Learn and Mama Jean’s Natural Market.

Series format

The series will feature local chefs who will be paired with local culinary arts students. Each will face off in three rounds highlighting certain ingredients, four quarter round shows, two semi rounds and a finale.

Judges will also be local residents. Both the winning chef and student will receive prizes.

mcgee bowers
Hosts Samantha Bowers and Lakyn McGee

Student involvement

Students across many College of Arts and Letters departments will be involved to help produce and promote the series.

The show will be hosted by broadcast journalism students Lakyn McGee and Samantha Bowers; directed by media production students Courtney Youssef and Megan Morris; produced by alumnus Daan Jansen and communication graduate student Chelsea Eichholz; and executive directed by Deb Larson.

Purpose of series

In addition to providing hands-on experiences for Missouri State students, this series hopes to highlight local food growers, organic and sustainable food production practices. The chefs will be working with locally produced meats, cheese, produce, wine and spirits.

Posted in Electronic Arts, Faculty & Staff Accomplishments, Media Production, News, Print and Internet Journalism, Public Affairs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

First-generation freshmen find place at MSU

Film screening, panel discussion bring student issues to light

First gen screenMarli Coonrod and Shelby Morrison are like many other Missouri State freshmen. They go to class, hang out with friends and study. But they share a unique title with a small population of students: they are first-generation students — or the first of their families to attend college.

On Saturday, March 28, they will join MSU President Clif Smart in a panel discussion exploring issues facing first-generation college students. The discussion will be accompanied by a film screening of the award-winning documentary “First Generation.” The film’s director, Adam Fenderson, will also take part in the panel.

Leading up to the event, Coonrod and Morrison talked about their experiences as first-generation students so far.

Marli Coonrod

Major: Public relations
Hometown: Nevada, Missouri

Marli CoonrodWhat inspired you to go to college?
Knowing that I would be the first of my family to have this opportunity. There was no way I was going to let it slip through my fingers. Ever since I stepped foot on campus that first week of classes, I have been determined to get involved and make every minute count. I think another factor that kept me pursuing to attend college is my younger sister. I feel that if she sees me excelling and growing so much here, not only in the academic aspect but also through leadership in my organizations, then she will want to follow in my footsteps and attend college.

What challenges have you faced as a first-gen student?
Coming into college as a first-generation student was terrifying because I had a great amount of the weight on my shoulders — from applying for scholarships, filling out the FAFSA and making deadlines for the admissions process. My parents didn’t know how to help me, as they also have busy lives, so I had to step up and take responsibility. Even though this was tough and contributed stress to my life, I wouldn’t change it because it has helped me learn, grow and prove to myself that I can be the one to change this all for my family by graduating college.

What advice would you give to future first-gen students?
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. I think that was my biggest downfall. I tried to do everything on my own, and it was unnecessary because there are so many people out there who want to help and make sure you succeed. Also remember that you are not alone. Nearly 7,000 of Missouri State undergraduates are also first-generation students. Don’t ever give up or get down on yourself thinking no one understands how tough it is. Trust me, there are so many of us first-generation students that do. You’re going to do great things out in the world, and make your family proud!

Shelby Morrison

Major: Cell and molecular biology
Hometown: Wood River, Illinois

ShelbyMorrisonWhat inspired you to go to college?
The biggest inspiration to further my education was my high school English teacher. I had the privilege of being her student for three years, and she always told me (and my classmates) that we were all totally capable of getting a college education, even if that meant doing it on our own. She reassured me time and time again that I needed to follow my dreams and better myself the way I wanted to do it, no matter how much money it may cost. Without her, I wouldn’t be here at Missouri State.

What does being a first-generation student mean to you?
Being a first-generation student means facing some different challenges than some of my classmates. The biggest problem I’ve faced is the financial aspect. I have had to pay for college solely on my own, so I had to take out quite a bit of student loans just for this year already. But it also means making a better life for my family and myself, and making them proud.

What advice would you give to future first-gen students?
Definitely do your research. It’s always better to know “too much” than to not know about a form, a deadline or an event that could be very beneficial to you. Don’t be scared; this is a huge, brave step in your life and it will be worth it, even on the tough days. Never lose hope and always think positive!

Event details

Date: Saturday, March 28
Time: Film screening, 7 p.m.; Panel discussion, 8:45 to 9:45 p.m.
Location: Plaster Student Union Theater  — 1110 E. Madison Avenue, Springfield, MO
Parking: Available in Lot 24 (access off National Ave, one block south of Grand Street) or Bear Park North parking garage next to Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts — take MSU Shuttle to PSU.
Sponsored by: MSU’s College of Arts and Letters and the Office of the Provost


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Notable political consultant to visit campus March 23

ashfordPolitical consultant John Ashford will be on campus March 23 to speak to students about how modern technology is employed in analyzing political audiences and in devising and targeting appropriate messages to that audience. Dr. Donal Stanton will host Ashford’s presentation in his 5:30 p.m. class at Craig Hall, room 204. A reception will precede the presentation at 4 p.m. in Craig Hall, room 334.

About Ashford

Ashford is the chairman and chief executive officer of The Hawthorn Group, an international public affairs and public relations firm in Washington, D.C. Hawthorn helps corporations, associations and non-profit organizations solve communications problems. Ashford, a Missouri native, worked on hundreds of candidate and corporate campaigns before co-founding The Hawthorn Group in 1992. Ashford will be bringing on a 12th Missouri State student this summer for The Hawthorn Group’s internship program.

Event Details

Date: March 23
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Craig Hall, room 334

Date: March 23
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Craig Hall, room 204

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Miami Web Fest to screen ‘A Little Help’

A little HelpThe media, journalism and film department’s second Web series, “A Little Help,” has been selected to screen at the 2015 Miami Web Fest, Oct. 1-4. The four-part series recently won a bronze Telly Award and has four nominations in the upcoming 2015 LA Web Series Festival.

About ‘A Little Help’

“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.

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Student film selected for Kansas City festival

maraThe 2014 student film “Mara” has been selected to screen at the Kansas City FilmFest at Cinemark Place on the Plaza, April 15-19.

Other accolades

The short film has been awarded honorable mention in the 2015 Broadcast Education Association (BEA) Festival of Media Arts and is a finalist in the upcoming 36th College Television Awards.

About ‘Mara’

The retro-noir film was a student project that debuted at the 2014 electronic arts student showcase. Set in the dystopian Mara City, the film follows an ex-government soldier on a mission to complete one last job for a mysterious old flame. It was written and directed by Taylor High and produced by April Clore, Wes Walker and Evan Pollock. Executive producers included Missouri State professors Diana Botsford, Mark Biggs and Colby Jennings.

About the festival

The annual, juried film festival features more than 100 local, regional, national and international films. From second-graders to professionals, filmmakers have the chance to show their work and compete. More than $200,000 in cash and prizes have been awarded since 1997.

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