My Internship

This summer I had the pleasure of interning at Big Country Baptist Assembly summer camp. I was a part of the camera crew that made videos for the camp. I met so many people and made new lifelong friends. The experience I had at the summer camp was also very educational.

What I did

My main job as an intern was to video the campers during worship services and camp activities. I would walk around and get the campers in action so we could make recollection videos each day. I made sure to get plenty of quality shots for the editor to choose from so we could make the best possible video. This was a fun job for me and it helped me gain experience for future projects.

What I learned

For me, the biggest thing I learned was how to meet a deadline. All of the camera crew had to get their videos in on time so we could edit the videos and add music to it for the night service. I also learned how to work as a team, and to do a quality job, whether one of my videos was picked or not. All of the campers really enjoyed our videos and that was a cool feeling. I am glad I had the opportunity to intern for this summer camp.

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The Summer Internship of a JMC Student

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Internships are a huge part of the JMC department at ACU. Every JMC student is required to have at least one internship before they graduate. Last semester, AD/PR major Peighton Eubank began to search for an internship that was right for her. Peighton met a British man named Matt Alexander at CEO chapel who had launched a company called Need. She was intrigued by this company and believed it could be the perfect internship for her. After chapel, she got his email address and continuously emailed him about interning until she received a reply. He set up a Skype interview with her, and just like that, she received the internship.

What her Internship was About

Peighton explained that Need is a curation of men’s products, but first and foremost it is a men’s and women’s clothing line made in Dallas. Peighton worked as an AD/PR intern at Need. Some of her duties included:

  • Communicating with the Dallas Morning News
  • Working with bloggers to get Need’s products featured on their websites
  • Handling all of Need’s digital marketing and social media outlets

Learning Experience

The biggest lesson Peighton learned through her internship at Need was that “working harder than the people around you, even in the littlest things, will get you noticed.” She emphasized just how important working hard and getting noticed at an internship is. The hardest part of the internship for Peighton was the pace. Everything she did was extremely fast paced and there was a lot expected from her on a daily basis.

Through everything she learned from her internship, the advice she has for other JMC students about internships is to do as many as possible. “Internships are great for networking and getting your name out there. Be adventurous and do it in a different city than Abilene or where you’re from.”

Behind the Scenes {Gutenberg Edition}

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For the past twenty-three years, ACU has hosted the Gutenberg Celebration that honors three specific JMC alumni. These honorees were selected for this award because they have been successful in their careers and have positively impacted the world and the community around them.

The main purpose of this event is to honor these professionals for their outstanding work. Another important goal for this even is to allow current ACU JMC students to make connections with these professionals.

As a current account director for Morris & Mitchell, my team and I are in charge or planning and executing all the details of the Gutenberg Celebration. My main purpose as the event planner is to put on an even that meets the goals and expectations of the JMC Department.

The planning for this event started in the spring semester and has not stopped ever since then. Dr. Bacon, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication Char, is the head of the Gutenberg Event.

Simple things that are the basis of the whole event include:

  • Sending invites out early
  • Deciding on a theme
  • Scheduling meetings
  • Coordinating a team

A junior JMC student, Claire Heath, the account coordinator of the Gutenberg Event says she is, “excited about this event and the incredible opportunity the Gutenberg always brings the students.”

Heath also gave advice on event planning in general, “Don’t forget the trash cans!” Although that may seem like a simple statement, that is something to think about before the event. In reality, event planning is all about keeping up with the little things. Remembering even the smallest details plays a huge role in the success of the larger event.

All in all, the planning of the Gutenberg Celebration 2015 is well underway. It is sure to be a fun and important night for all current JMC students and alumni.

Peer-to-Peer Learning in the JMC Department

Collaboration is an integral part of the journalism and mass communication industry. In ACU’s Journalism & Mass Communication department, professors encourage students to collaborate by implementing peer-to-peer learning. This approach to education instills in students valuable leadership and communication skills.

What is peer-to-peer learning?

In a typical classroom, students may sit in rows of desks and listen to a professor speak in lofty vernacular about any given topic. In classrooms implementing peer-to-peer learning, students teach their own peers about practical topics. At ACU, peer-to-peer learning takes form in required labs taught by upperclassmen, which accompany traditional lecture courses taught by ACU faculty. In the JMC department, students teach a variety of labs, including:

  • Communication Design
  • Writing for Electronic Delivery
  • Introduction to Visual Media

What does peer-to-peer learning really look like?

Upperclassmen (called Teaching Assistants, or TAs, in the classroom) provide unique insight for younger students while teaching labs. Many TAs have completed the same coursework they are teaching, so they can communicate insights a professor may not think to teach.

For example, the final project in Communication Design, formerly known as Publication Design, requires each student to create a mock-up of a magazine in Adobe InDesign on a topic of his or her choosing. Many students enrolled in Communication Design have never used InDesign before. However, through peer-to-peer learning, students can fluently navigate InDesign and create a portfolio-worthy product by the end of the semester.

Peer-to-Peer Learning

TA, Logan Sartain providing written feedback on an assignment in the Writing for Electronic Delivery lab.

Why is peer-to-peer learning valuable?

From both the teaching and learning ends of peer-to-peer learning, students acquire skills required for professionals world of journalism and mass communication. Students become more valuable in the workforce when they are accustomed to collaboration with peers and are open to learning on the job. The JMC department is doing its part to prepare students for success in the journalism and mass communication industry.

A Word to the Wise

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I sat down with Joyce Haley a professor in the JMC department to ask her about her college experience and if she could, what would she tell her freshman self.

What was important to you when picking out the college that you went to? 

“My parents would only pay for a Christian college. I picked the one that had the fewest rules. I really wanted to go to UCLA where my friends were going.” 

Do you think that your college experiences helped prepare you for “real life” and a career? 

“College prepares you for “real life” in many ways. I was grateful for a liberal arts education that exposed me to a broad understanding of art and literature and other aspects of culture.”

What are some things you would tell your freshman self if you could talk to her now? 

“I would tell my freshman self to pay attention in class and study harder.”

“Like everything in life, you get out of the experience what you put into it. It doesn’t make any sense to me to pay good money to go to a school and then to be whiney about assignments and/or opportunities to learn and develop as pre-professionals. Just do it.” – Joyce Haley

Food for Thought: Insight from Joyce Haley

  • “Know your self and pick a college that just feels right to you, not your parents or friends.”

  • “If you have strong and specific career goals, make sure the school is well-positioned to be a good launching pad to help you achieve those goals.”

  • “I was grateful for exposure to subjects I really disliked, but later found useful like statistics and business law.”

Funding for the JMC Production Studio

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Production Studio Funding

I recently sat down with Nathan Gibbs, one of the people involved in fundraising for ACU’s production studio renovations. In our discussion, we talked about why this development is important for the current and future JMC students, why this is a necessary change and how this could positively affect ACU.

Professor Gibbs explained to me why updating this space is important. As a department, we have a TV studio that is impressive in its structure; the production space is even bigger than that of the local TV stations. The production studio has tons of potential, but it is not serving us well because it is missing some fundamental necessities. For example, it is still in standard definition, although it needs to be in high definition.

Nathan Gibbs

“Right now it is very difficult to train students, and talk about really detailed elements in a picture if my monitor and my equipment is not high resolution,” said Gibbs.

The JMC Newscast and the Ken Collums Show are both shot in the production studio, and while the current set up is manageable, with the new renovations production would be much more efficient.

Gibbs said a challenge they have been facing is the Vision In Action Campaign. Strategically speaking, there is more priority for a project like that in comparison to the studio project. They are currently waiting for that to wrap up so they can raise their profile a bit, in terms of fund raising.

The Vision

Gibbs said he wants the students to be able to shoot for commercial clients, like Morris & Mitchell and 99 West do, but that means we need the kind of backdrops that you would need for that sort of thing. “We need green screens, we need cyclorama walls that are curved in the corners, so that you can have this really perfect background,” Said Gibbs.

Not only would this help our students by giving them more commercial experience, it would also benefit ACU by providing them with marketing opportunities. The main goal is to further students’ academic experience.

“The studio still has equipment from the ‘80’s, and that shouldn’t have happened,” Gibbs said. “We are preparing students to be leaders in the industry, and for them to be competitive they need to have advantages they are coming out of college with. We want to be able to provide those advantages to our students.”

Life as a Worker at 89.5 KACU

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Haley Remenar, Convergence Journalism major, reports news, weather or all other program listing for the day on the radio station. Last September, after an email to the director to see if she could meet and take a look around the radio station, she applied online and got hired the next day. So her first day actually going to the studio to look around like she initially wanted, turned into her first day of training.

Studio Spectacle

Remenar expressed a funny memory with me that occurred one day while working in the production room. She got locked in and no one could hear her banging on the door because the room was sound proof. She texted her boss, who happened to be next door working, to look up and let her out of the locked room.

Remenar’s favorite class in the JMC Department was Media Issues with Doug Mendenhall. Remenar says it impacted her because it was her first ever college course. It was a 8 a.m. and the fact she looked forward to going every time sheds light on the situation. Remenar quotes, “when I would go in I just felt connected talking about what’s happening in the media today.” She realized then she wanted to be the one to make the news happen and make a difference in the world.

Impact on Remenar

An alumnus Remenar met at the Gutenberg dinner really impacted her because he was from Abilene and went on to win an award and own his own company in Nashville, TN. At his company he works with celebrity’s such as Carey Underwood and makes music videos. Remenar indicated how she would really love to do an internship there.

Faith and Works

Remenar talked with me about why she chose journalism and how it ties into her faith as a Christian. “Journalism is asking questions but speaking the truth,” she says, “and that is what faith is. It’s knowing the truth and spreading it.” She can use the skills she learns in the news industry to teach the gospel.