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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

Freshman
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

Freshman
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

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

Presentation
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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MJF Web series awarded bronze Telly

A little HelpMissouri State’s media, journalism and film department’s second Web series, “A Little Help,” has received a bronze Telly Award. With nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, approximately 25 percent are chosen as winners of the bronze Telly.

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.

Other nominations

“A Little Help” also has four nominations from the 2015 LA Web Series Festival, or LAWEBFEST, to be held April 2-5, 2015, in Los Angeles. The series 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]
Posted in Award Recognition, Digital Film Production, Electronic Arts, Faculty & Staff Accomplishments, Media Production, News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Springfield community conversation about first-generation college students

ISSUES CONFRONTING FIRST-GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENTS

On Saturday, March 28th, Missouri State University will host a panel discussion about the unique challenges faced by first-generation college students. 

Students who are the first in their family to attend college often lack the essential knowledge and experience that many other college-bound students take for granted. Left to their own devices, first-generation students must discover for themselves how to navigate the puzzling process of applying to college and how to deal with a slew of complex financial issues. Once in college, they experience a much higher dropout rate. While there are no easy answers, the success or failure of first-generation students has major implications for the future of America.

Film screening, panel discussion contributes to conversation

At 8:45 p.m., after the free screening of the award-winning documentary, First Generation, the film’s director, Adam Fenderson, will join Missouri State President Clif Smart, two first-gen MSU freshmen students and Hillcrest High School counselor Lynn Schirk for a panel discussion. With input from the audience, they will discuss the special hurdles faced by first-generation students and explore ways in which our community can work to help these students experience greater success in college.

www.firstgenerationfilm.com
Photo credit: firstgenerationfilm.com

Nicole Tortoiello writes in the online journal, The Education Trust:

First Generation, through its poignant story telling, conveys a core truth about our K-12 education system and society.  Low-income students, like their more affluent peers, want to go to college, but they need more help to make that dream a reality. But  many of our high schools and communities are failing to provide those supports in any meaningful way.”

 

 

 


Join MSU for this first-generation community conversation

Event details

Date: Saturday, March 28
Time: Film screening at 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

Posted in Education Issues, Event, Faculty & Staff Accomplishments, Film Series, Master Class, News, Professional Development, Public, Public Affairs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

EA students win media arts festival awards

BEA-festivalThe BEA 2015 Festival of Media Arts awarded several electronic arts students with first place and honorable mention prizes. Their work will be recognized at BEA’s annual convention in Las Vegas, April 12-15.

First place for website

EA students Derek Parker, Rebekah Gourley, Whitney Meador and Stephanie Martin earned first place in the student interactive multimedia competition for their interactive website for interdisciplinary programs.

Honorable mentions in video

Several earned honorable mention awards in the student video competition, including:

  • Animation/Experimental/Mixed category: Sara Silkwood, Logan Fritts and Max Walling, for “Broken Bones
  • Narrative category: Taylor High, April Core, Josh Pfaff and Nick Dugan, for “Mara

About the festival

The BEA Festival of Media Arts is an international exhibition of award-wining student works chosen in the following competitions: audio, documentary, interactive multimedia, 2-year/small colleges, news, scriptwriting, sports, and video. Winners receive recognition and exhibition of their works during at BEA’s annual convention.

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Student film is finalist in College Television Awards

maraAnother media, journalism and film production is gaining ground in the student Emmy award market. The short film “Mara” is a finalist in the dramatic film category for the 36th College Television Awards. Submissions undergo a three-round judging process, culminating in a Blue Ribbon panel that awards first, second and third prizes. “Mara” has moved on to the Blue Ribbon panel.

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.

Other crew included:

  • Josh Pfaff, director of photography
  • Cara Eckert, production designer
  • Tyler Durham, original score
  • Sam Houston, costume and hair and makeup
  • MSU professors Diana Botsford, Mark Biggs and Colby Jennings, executive producers

Actors included:

  • Brian Anderson
  • Melissa Young
  • Maggie Knoedelseder
  • Jon Herbert
  • Shawn Young
  • Ryan Robinson
  • Teri Austin

About the College Television Awards

The nationwide competition awards more than 65 trophies in 13 different categories. Entries are judged by active Television Academy members. Winners in all categories receive cash awards and a trip to Los Angeles for the Nominee Summit at the Television Academy, where they are exposed to industry professionals and undergo development workshops. Students also become part of the Television Academy Foundation alumni network, which provides access to year-round networking opportunities and events.

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MSU president helps COAL raise awareness of first-generation student issues

MSU President Clifton SmartMissouri State President Clif Smart will join a panel discussion hosted by the College of Arts and Letters March 28 to bring first-generation college student stories to light.

About the panel

The panel will convene after the screening of the documentary, “First Generation,” where Smart will join the film’s director/producer, Adam Fenderson, along with a high school guidance counselor and first generation MSU college student, to explore ways in which our community can work together to help Missouri’s first-generation students experience greater success in college.

 

 

Photo credit: firstgenerationfilm.com
Photo credit: firstgenerationfilm.com

About ‘First Generation’

Narrated by Golden Globe nominee Blair Underwood, the film tells the story of four high school students — an inner city athlete, a small town waitress, a Samoan warrior dancer, and the daughter of migrant field workers — who set out to break the cycle of poverty and bring hope to their families and communities by pursuing a college education.

Shot over the course of three years and featuring some of our nation’s top educational experts (Richard Kahlenberg, The Century Foundation; J.B. Schramm, College Summit; Dr. Bill Tierney, University of Southern California), this 95-minute documentary explores the problem of college access faced by first generation and low-income students and how their success has major implications for the future of our nation.

Event details

Date: Saturday, March 28
Time: Screening at 7 p.m.; Panel discussion at 8:45 to 9:45 p.m.
Location: Plaster Student Union (PSU) Theater
Parking: Available in Lot 24 (access off National Ave, one block south of Grand Street) or in Bear Park North, the park & ride facility next to Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts — then take MSU Shuttle to PSU.

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Esteemed magazine publishes professor’s review

BihlmeyerMedia, journalism and film professor Jaime Bihlmeyer has been published in one of the oldest literary peer-review journals in the world, “Moderna språk.” His article reviews the book, “Dwelling in Language: Character, Psychoanalysis and Literary Consolations,” by Margret Gunnarsdottir Champion.

Bihlmeyer’s review

The book, according to Bihlmeyer’s review, explores the “ontological and therapeutic nature of character,” and is “intellectually stimulating — albeit not for the faint of heart.

“Her writing, directed towards scholars in the fields of semiotics, psychoanalysis and literary criticism, is succinct and technical at times. However, enthusiasts in these areas of study will be greatly rewarded for their perseverance,” he concludes.

About ‘Moderna språk’

The journal is dedicated to English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese languages, literatures and cultures. The articles in Moderna språk cover areas within linguistics, literature and culture and the main target group is language teachers and researchers at schools and universities worldwide. Articles and reviews are published twice every year (June and December). The main target group is researchers at schools and universities worldwide, language teachers, and readers with a general interest in languages, literatures and cultures.
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