This week I sat down for an interview with Dr. Jessica Smith, one of the 99 West Media faculty advisors. In our Interview we talked about what 99 West is, what she does as an advisor, and what the goals are for 99 West this year.
What Does 99 West Do?
Dr. Smith told me that 99 West was always envisioned to be the student media experience for multimedia majors. It was made to allow for more creative production, commercial production and video and web projects that didn’t really fit under the news umbrella. 99 West is a little bit more specialized, and less a part of an entire campaign like something Morris & Mitchell might do. That has always been the goal, to provide that experience and to push multimedia students to do the kind of professional work that they are capable of.
What Does The Faculty Advisor Do?
The faculty advisor does a multitude of different things, and they are working on something new almost every week. Dr. Smith told me that just in the past week she has:
- Gone to the staff meeting,
- Supervised production of The Ken Collums Show,
- Met with a potential client,
- Met/corresponded with Cade White, the other faculty advisor,
- Met with the 99 West director, Erika Thrasher.
Many of the responsibilities of the faculty advisors go on behind the scenes; they make sure clients are taken care of and the projects are moving along smoothly.
99 West’s Goals For This Year?
“It has been really exciting to be part of a new organization. Every year had something new to create,” said Dr. Smith.
The first year they spent quite a bit of time trying to answer the question of who 99 West is, and determining what they want to focus on. They worked on building a portfolio they can show to potential clients. The second year they did some great work. They wanted to create a stronger organization within the staff by letting the director have more control, instead of the advisors.
This year, 99 West has a largely new staff. Dr. Smith said that it is exciting to be able to build on what they did in the past, and use that as a platform for the future. The focus is on getting everyone a variety of experiences in many different types of client environments.