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Electronic arts seniors screen thesis films at annual showcase

Seniors in the electronic arts program will showcase their culminating works at the Electronic Arts Student Showcase on May 9. The event will feature three senior thesis films and other short, creative work produced by electronic arts students. The senior thesis films include:

Counting to 1000

Good and evil is not always black and white. Detective Callow examines this gray area while investigating a gruesome, botched home robbery attempted by Donny, a low level criminal, and his merciless crew. During an interrogation, Donny and Detective Callow piece together what went wrong with what should have been an easy job, and discover that the intentions of those involved are not at all as they appear.


  • Josh Pfaff, director and writer
  • Samantha Rohde, co-producer
  • Logan Sparlin, creative director
  • Joshua Moore, sound designer
  • Andrew Westmaas, co-producer and sound designer


  • STAR Award for Outstanding Collaboration Program, Missouri State University
  • 2nd place, Student Scriptwriting Competition – Short Subject, 2016 BEA Festival of Media Arts
  • 3rd Place, Student Promotional Video, 2016 BEA Festival of Media Arts
  • Honorable Mention, Dramatic Script, 2016 MBEA Awards

Bad beat

Liz has lived with her abusive father her entire life. From a young age, she has had a power that she cannot control — the supernatural ability to tell if someone is lying. Her father, a Las Vegas pawn shop owner, uses her gift for his own gain in a high stakes poker game that could spell trouble.


  • Ryan Huegerich, writer and director
  • Ben Vossmeyer, producer and sound designer
  • Eric Roberts, special effects and script supervisor


  • Honorable Mention, 2016 BEA Awards


Max, a local DJ, spends his nights headlining nightclubs and concerts in hopes of becoming the next big thing in the trance world. After an unfortunate accident, Max loses his hearing. He has to find a way to cope with his new disability and continue his career.


  • Kong Thao, writer and producer
  • Hillary Huong Vu, visual effects coordinator
  • Vicky Hedgecock, animator
  • Kelly Meyer, co-producer and animator
  • Colin Robertson, score composer
  • Alex Lee, composer

See the films and hear from filmmakers

17th Annual Electronic Arts Student Showcase

When: May 9, 7-9 p.m.
Where: Plaster Student Union Theater
Admission: Free and open to the public


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Students learn about storytelling in media intersession course

Students who want to analyze contemporary movies and TV shows for credit this summer should check out the summer summer intersession course, MED 300: Storytelling Across All Media.

Rich Amberg, assistant professor in media, journalism and film, will teach the class, which runs from May 16 to June 3.


Learn how story models work across media

Rich-AmbergAmberg said students will learn to apply the fundamentals of storytelling to film, TV, web content, new media, and includes both scripted and unscripted content. To do that, they will watch many films and shows, from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” to “Kill Bill” to “The People v. O.J. Simpson.”

“We’ll pull them apart to see how they work in different story models. We’ll then be applying those storytelling skills to all forms of media — news stories, videogames, advertising, social media, documentaries, etc.”

Amberg noted that strong storytelling skills are in high demand in the workforce, but often difficult to find.

Sign up for the class

MED 300: Storytelling Across All Media

May 16 to June 3
Monday-Friday, 1-5 p.m.

Interested students should contact Amberg by email.

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Student video illustrates the MSU experience

Taking inspiration from the “Draw My Life” video trend, a group of students in Lucie Amberg’s course MED 130, Fundamentals of Media Convergence, used a class assignment to share their Missouri State stories.

Collaboration, multimedia skills lead to dynamic video

The six students — Alec Gura, Carter Williams, Collin O’Hara, Megan Burke, Hill Zhang and Ryan Chaney — created the video for their final group project that punctuated the skills they’ve learned this semester in collaboration and multimedia  — audio, video, web and social media, Amberg said.

“(The course) introduces the foundational skills to start thinking collaboratively … and understanding how you fit into a larger team as a media professional, the roles you’ll play and the media you’ll be working with.”

The course is required for all media, journalism and film students.

Students’ stories resonate with university

Lucie Amberg
Lucie Amberg

Amberg said all her students produced noteworthy work, but this video particularly hits on something that resonates with the department: Why is Missouri State and the media, journalism and film department a great place for students?

The topic is also close to Amberg’s heart. In addition to teaching courses, she works for the for the university as a new media specialist, often responsible for developing recruitment materials.

She did not, however, influence the content of the video. Instead, she offered broad instructions for the assignment — everyone has to contribute to a timed multimedia project that incorporates storytelling techniques — and let them go to work.

“I saw them at the whiteboard, doing their thing, and I asked them if they wanted me to know what they were doing or just see the end product. They wanted me to wait,” she said. “It came together beautifully. And it turned out to be a great recruitment piece for MSU.”

What is your MSU story?

Find the College of Arts and Letters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share your MSU experiences.

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‘Taking flight’: MJF adds intersession course on drones

Media, journalism and film instructor Leonard Horton will be teaching a summer intersession course on drones, MED 300 Drones: Taking Flight.


Get best practices on flying these small aircraft

The goal of the course is to provide a basic framework for where and how to fly drones. Users at all levels — beginners to experts — will benefit from the course.

hortonHorton said his course will cover best practices, drone registration and policies surrounding drone flight.

“Drones are so popular now, and affordable. The issue is that if you fly them without the proper knowledge, you can cause some serious problems. They are not like the remote controlled air planes we grew up with. These are actual aircraft. People need to know best practices.”

He said drones will be available, so students don’t need to buy or bring their own.

Many class sessions will be spent outside flying drones with local drone expert, Jason Preston of 417Drones.

Want to register?

The course registration code for MED 300 Drones: Taking Flight is CRN 34998. Contact Horton by email for questions or more information.

MED 300 Drones: Taking Flight

May 16-20
9 a.m.-noon
Craig Hall 316

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‘Show-Me Chefs’ spicing up the Public Affairs Conference

The crew of “Show-Me Chefs,” the media, journalism and film department-produced reality cooking series, will be serving up a mouth-watering demonstration at this year’s Public Affairs Conference.

Show-Me Chefs season one
Show-Me Chefs season one

Event features health living, local food

The “Show-Me Chefs Show Us How” presentation will be held in Missouri State’s Plaster Student Union Theater on April 8. Keynote speaker Natalie Allen, an MSU dietetics instructor, and Quintin Eason, MSU’s executive chef will discuss healthy living and the importance of buying locally.

A featured highlight of the event will include a preview of the season two pilot. There will also be a live cooking competition between two chefs.

Ryan Gilyard, a “Show-Me Chefs” producer, helped organize the presentation: “One of the most important components of ‘Show-Me Chefs’ is bringing the community together. It is because Missouri State University plays an important role in the community that the show aims to be the bridge between local food producers and the greater Ozark area.”

Season two airs this fall

Show-Me-Chefs-620x413-300x200“Show-Me Chefs” is currently filming season two. Its first year was a success both on and off screen.

The show’s executive producer, Dr. Deborah Larson, leads the advanced television class for the students who produce this show. The experience is teaching them cultural competence, ethical leadership and collaboration, she said.

“We are working with professional business people all over the community — culinary, agriculture, food production, business sponsors and the television business — to make this an entertaining broadcast television show that people will want to watch and support season after season. It’s collaborative learning and leadership at its best.”

Season two premieres this fall on KOZL-TV. Visit their website to catch up on season one or to browse photos and videos.



Come to the PAC event

When: April 8, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Where: PSU Theater
Who can attend: The event is free and open to the public


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COAL helps ‘Build Healthy Communities’ at this year’s Public Affairs Conference

The College of Arts and Letters will be involved in several events throughout this year’s Public Affairs Conference, April 5-8.

Communication professor chairing conference

This year’s theme is “Building Healthy Communities: Body, Mind and Spirit. The 2016 provost fellow and conference chair is Dr. Elizabeth Dudash-Buskirk, an associate professor in the communication department.

COAL-sponsored events

The following are events sponsored by COAL or its departments:

The-f-Word-ExhibitThe f Word: Stories of Forgiveness exhibit

April 4-8
7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Meyer Library, rm 107

COAL is sponsoring this banner exhibition, which tells the stories of people whose lives have been shattered by violence, tragedy and injustice, as they learn to forgive, reconcile and move on. The exhibition is the brainchild of British journalist Marina Cantacuzino and photographer Brian Moody who have collected numerous accounts from across the globe, including stories from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Marianne Pearl.

MarkUmbreit-PACRestorative justice in the 21st century: An international social movement loaded with opportunities and pitfalls

April 6
Noon-1 p.m.
PSU Theater

This plenary presentation, sponsored by COAL, will provide an overview of restorative justice as a social movement, its achievements, opportunities present and a small but growing number of pitfalls involving unintended negative consequences.

From its humble beginnings in the mid-1970s, restorative justice has developed into a worldwide social movement with policies and programs developing in numerous countries and in in nearly every U.S. state, from small pilot projects to major system-wide initiatives.

Presenter: Mark Umbreit, director of Center for Restorative Justice, University of Minnesota

ZackExley-PACInformation, technology and the class gap: How does information sharing affect community health?

April 6
7:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.
PSU Theater

The department of communication will sponsor this plenary session that will explore the marginalization of those who are technologically disadvantaged and consider the impact this new class system might have on healthy community building.

A technology gap has been created by a class gap, but the class gap looks different than it used to: Instead of simple economic differences, we now see accessibility differences, technology differences and educational differences that define the “haves” and “have-nots.” Have technology and access become a friend or the enemy to communities?

Presenter: Zack Exley, senior advisor to the Bernie Sanders campaign

PeterGray-PACDecline of emotional resilience among college students: Causes and potential solutions

April 7
7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
PSU Theater

In this plenary presentation, co-sponsored by COAL and the Student Activities Council, Peter Gray will examine how the overemphasis on academic performance and the loss of free play in childhood and adolescence may contribute to the anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts that plague college students today.

Gray contends that it is in play and adventure, away from adults, that young people practice the emotional, social and practical skills required to become effective adults.

Presenter: Peter Gray, research professor of psychology at Boston College

Show-Me Chefs Show Us How

April 8Show-Me-Chefs-620x413
1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
PSU Theater

The department of media, journalism and film and COAL will team up with community sponsors for this event. Campus nutritionists will join MSU’s new executive chef Quintin Eason to speak with students about eating on campus and campus options in conjunction with the MJF department’s hit reality television cook-off series, Show-Me Chefs. The show’s producers will also host cooking demonstrations, provide recipes and offer a local food perspective on how to eat well on a college student’s budget.

Visit the website for a complete schedule

Students interested in arts and letters will find many events at this year’s conference appealing. From discussions on how healthy communities are impacted by social media or the arts, to the importance of civil discourse in a democracy and the role of language in our emotional well-being.


For a complete conference schedule, visit the Public Affairs Conference website.

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Screenings bring ’70s to life with films from era

Two more films will be screened as part of the event series The 70s Experience.

The screenings, which are free and open to the public, are sponsored by the media, journalism and film department, College of Arts and Letters and College of Humanities and Public Affairs.

Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Maggie Smith stars as a headstrong teacher in a private school in 1930s Scotland who ignores the curriculum and influences her impressionable 12-year-old charges with her over-romanticized, often fascistic world view. The Academy Award-winning film was directed by Ronald Neame in 1969.


Attend the screening

Date: March 16
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: Temple Hall, Rm 002

A Clockwork Orange

Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 dystopian crime film is set in future Britain, where charismatic delinquent Alex DeLarge is jailed after a horrific crime spree. He volunteers for an experimental aversion therapy developed by the government in an effort to solve society’s crime problem.


Attend the screening

Date: April 5
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: Carrington Hall, Rm 208

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Film screening explores anime film ‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya’

Dr. Tim White, associate professor in media, journalism and film, will be screening the Academy Award-nominated anime film “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” at 7 p.m. March 19 in the Plaster Student Union Theater.

More about the film

When a peasant farmer discovers a tiny girl hidden inside a shining bamboo stalk, he and his wife raise the child to become a member of Japan’s noble class. But the beautiful Kaguya longs only for a simple country life.

The 2013 film is Isao Takahata’s take on Japan’s oldest folk story, “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.” It was made using a hand-drawn style reminiscent of Japanese water colors.

Learn more about anime

White will be teaching his popular intersession course in Japanese Anime at the end of this semester. Contact White by email for more details.

Event details

Date: March 19
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Plaster Student Union Theater
Admission: Free and open to the public

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MSU student films win awards at media arts festival

The Broadcast Education Association has announced the winners of its 2016 National Festival of Media Arts, and several media, journalism and film students were recognized, including Best of Festival winner Becca Thompson.


Missouri State winners

The complete list of Missouri State winners are as follows:

Best of Festival, Student Scriptwriting category

  • Becca Thompson on set of "Counting to 1,000"
    Becca Thompson on set of “Counting to 1,000”

    Short Script: “When the Morning Comes,” written by Becca Thompson

2nd Place

  • Short Script: “Counting to 1000,” written by Josh Pfaff and Becca Thompson

3rd Place

  • TV Spec Script: “Abracadabra,” written by Madison Auten
  • Mobisode/Webisode: “Backstage,” written by Christian Douglass and Lauren Johnson
  • Promotional Video: Indiegogo fundraising video for “Counting to 1000,” director/edited by Josh Pfaff, produced by Andrew Westmaas and Samantha Rohde, with audio by Joshua Moore and Andrew Westmaas

Behind the scenes of “Dead on Time”

Honorable Mention

  • Short Script: “Twisted Fate,” written by Ryan Huegerich
  • Animation/Experimental/Mixed Video: “Dead on Time,” written and directed by Sara Silkwood, sound design by Alex Scott and Logan Fritts, cinematography by Josh Pfaff
  • Feature Film: “The House Next Door,” written by Christian Douglass





Awards presentation

The 2016 competition entry window ran from November 15 to December 15, and winners were announced last week.

Prizes will be awarded during BEA’s annual convention and Festival of Media Arts, April 17-20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Few spots left for Trans-Siberian study away trip

Media, journalism and film students will have the opportunity to travel to Russia this summer on a study away trip with Associate Professor Dr. Andy Cline.


Cline will lead several media students on a 10-day train ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Dr. Paul Rollinson, from the department of geography, geology and planning, will join the trip with his students, as well.

“This trip is the last great rail adventure on earth and will offer media students the opportunity to produce a documentary film under challenging physical and cultural conditions,” Cline said.

Production component allows students to film experience

As of Feb. 5, there were four spots left in the program, which will take place over May 22-June 5. The program fee is $3,279, and the deadline to apply is March 1.

MJF students will work on three projects to complete their experience:

  • A short video for COAL and Study Away about the trip
  • A documentary (topic to be determined) about the TSRR
  • A personal project for publication on the Springfield Report website

Associated courses include: JRN 300 (3), MED 300 (3), GRY 470 (3), or RUS 297 (3).

Trip itinerary

  • Depart Springfield on May 22, arriving in Moscow on May 24
  • Board the train on the Trans-Siberian Railway on May 25 from Moscow, traveling to Vladivostok with a two-night stay in Lake Baikal
  • Depart Vladivostok on June 3, arriving in Springfield on June 5

Find out how to apply

Visit the study away website to apply, or contact Cline by email or at 417-836-4923.

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