All posts by Kim Popiolek

Journalism Student Explores Internships in Every Medium

Posted on: February 19, 2016

Krista Wilson

Journalism sophomore Krista Wilson started gaining work experiences early on in her college career. The fall of her freshman year at MSU, she already had lined up an internship with City Pulse as a reporter. She spent her first semester on campus covering all kinds of stories – from Lansing’s small businesses to arts and culture grants.

Her experience on her high school’s newspaper helped her get the job, but working for a weekly publication taught her a lot.

“In high school, I had a couple weeks to do a story, compared to City Pulse where I had to learn how to really manage my time better,” she said. “I had maybe three to four web stories a week, so it was intense.”

Wilson also is involved with MSU Telecasters, which has been especially helpful, since someday she hopes to work as an entertainment reporter.

“I was able to start on-camera reporting. I look at these videos now and see what I could have done differently and what I will do differently,” she said.

Krista Wilson 2Currently, Wilson is working as a host for Planet Radio 100, an Internet radio station. As a host, Wilson interviews artists about their music on air. She also reports on current events and localizes stories to Detroit.

She first heard of the opportunity on She applied, did a phone interview, and started the job as soon as she finished spring semester.

All of these experiences have helped Wilson find her strengths and interests in a journalism career path.

“When I go to be an entertainment reporter, I can say ‘Okay, this is what I want to do.’ I feel like I really have a purpose here. (My internships have) confirmed my goals,” she said. “I actually like radio hosting more. I feel like there’s more freedom. Even though it’s journalism, it’s entertainment, so you have more freedom to be creative than when you’re just reporting on the facts. Your personality is more part of the package.”

Wilson received the MSUFCU Internship Award, which helped cover her expenses during her summer at Planet Radio.

Even with three work experiences under her belt, she’s not stopping. Wilson currently is searching for another broadcasting internship for the summer.

She encourages her fellow students not to discount their own experiences, even if they haven’t had an internship yet.

“Any experience you have is good experience. They shouldn’t feel like they’ll be turned down or rejected because they don’t have prior experience,” she said. “If they had a journalism class where they had to do a video or a story, they can use that stuff from class and use it to apply for internships.”

By Kelsey Block, Journalism and Arts and Humanities double major

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Persistence Pays Off for ComArtSci Senior

Posted on: February 10, 2016

Michelai Graham -  City Pulse

Michelai Graham, a Journalism and Media and Information double major, isn’t afraid to travel far and wide for the things she’s passionate about. Originally from Sacramento, California, Graham chose to come to Michigan State to study journalism after falling in love with the field in high school.

After joining MSU Telecasters and working as an Assistant Director, Graham knew she also loved Media and Information and decided to participate in the “Beyond Bollywood: A Taste of Indian Media” study abroad program this past summer. She’s worked with IMPACT 89 FM and ComArtSci’s own DMAT lab.

She says her dream job is to some day be an investigative documentary filmmaker. But until that day, she’s gaining experience wherever she can.

Most recently, she worked as an intern for Lansing’s alternative weekly newspaper, City Pulse. As an intern, Graham wrote stories for the arts and culture section. She covered everything from summer arts festivals to infant French immersion classes.

“Everyone in the office was so nice about helping me get to where I needed to be,” Graham said, adding that she was able to improve her writing substantially by the end of the summer.

Michelai Graham India“I am a horrible headline writer, it’s usually the last thing I try to do,” she said. “But at the end of my internship, (my editor) was actually using my headlines.”

Graham first found City Pulse after attending ComArtSci Connect. She talked with a lot of larger media companies at the career event, and, while she recognized that they were great companies, she found herself drawn to the idea of a smaller organization.

“I noticed these were all good media companies, but I knew what type of goals I had and what I wanted to do,” she said.

So, Graham got in touch with the Arts and Culture Editor.

“I was consistent with reaching out. I just told them I was going to be in the area and kept reaching out to them, and they called me in for an interview and hired me the same day,” Graham said. “It was just a matter of being persistent.”

Graham received the Adrienne M. Johns Communication Arts and Sciences Internship Award in connection with her internship at City Pulse. She said ComArtSci Career Services has been instrumental in helping her find professional opportunities.

“Utilize Career Services. Julie (Hagopian) is awesome. They’ll teach you how to create a resume from scratch,” Graham said. “And definitely read the emails. Really just take advantage of all the resources. I think ComArtSci has opened the door for opportunities I never thought I would ever have.”

By Kelsey Block, Journalism and Arts and Humanities double major

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Grad Student Earns Fellowship in Seattle

Posted on: February 8, 2016

Ameilia Havanec_Crosscut mainAmelia Havanec graduated from the University of Rochester with a bachelor’s degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. So how did she end up at Michigan State studying journalism?

“I wanted to know everything there is to know about journalism,” she said, adding that she’s always wanted to be a science writer and was first attracted to MSU because of its reputable environmental journalism program.

This past summer, Havanec worked as a science and technology editorial fellow for Crosscut Public Media, an online magazine based in Seattle. She credits her networking with helping her land the position.

“I networked a ton,” Havanec said. “Any job I’ve had, I never got because I filled out a form. Every job I got was through some kind of networking.”

As a fellow, Havanec specialized in technology and science writing.

“I never wrote about technology before, so this was another place for me to expand my skill set,” she said.

She also noted the benefits of working for smaller companies like Crosscut.

“You can really write about what you want,” she said. “You have more fluidity, more freedom.”

Havanec is a recipient of the Marge Sorge Internship Award.

“I wasn’t getting paid and I was moving cross-country. It helped to alleviate a lot of the financial setbacks I might incur in even pursuing this internship,” she said.

Amelia Havanec_Crosscut main 2Before she got to Crosscut, Havanec worked as an assistant in a number of laboratories. She also wrote for Scientific American and Imaginova Corp., through which her work was picked up by major news agencies like U.S. News and World Report, FOX and MSNBC.

Havanec credits the College of Communication Arts and Sciences with helping to give her confidence in her career.

“The more experience I get, the more confident I am in knowing what questions I can ask,” she said. “When I say I’d like to be a science writer, it’s not that I know everything. I just have confidence in knowing how to ask a question and get to the point of what they’re trying to say.”

Havanec also said her fellow CAS students have helped to inspire her.

“It’s really cool interacting with other students and seeing what they are producing and writing,” she said. “I know that there’s a lot more I need to learn, and it’s cool being here to see other students learning the same things.”

But Havanec also has a bit of advice to offer other students: do your research, especially before heading into an interview for a science story.

“Spend an entire day researching that person or organization, and whatever you’re writing about,” she said. “Really take detailed notes, because the more you know the better questions you have to ask.”

By Kelsey Block, Journalism and Arts and Humanities double major

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School of Journalism Partners with Smithsonian Latino Center

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Comic panels by Adam Lopez, created in the MSU Journalism course Comics, Culture and Graphic Novels.

The School of Journalism at Michigan State University is excited to announce a strategic partnership with the Smithsonian Latino Center (SLC).

This long-term sustainable partnership will focus on SLC's online expansion project that will in turn create experiential learning opportunities for Michigan State student journalists interested in Latino culture. The students will research and design interactive, informative and engaging experiences for those who visit SLC's online digital initiatives. This unique opportunity has been made possible by the Smithsonian Latino Center through its generous sponsors such as The Walt Disney Company and Target.

The Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum Educational Advisory Committee selected MSU’s School of Journalism as a strategic partner because of the school’s effective use of immersive journalism strategies to engage audiences. MSU will aid the Smithsonian Latino Center in research and design of eProducts and services as they apply to the Smithsonian Latino Center’s rebranding initiative.

“We are excited to partner with Michigan State University’s School of Journalism to create immersive learning experiences using faculty and student knowledge of state-of-the-art virtual reality technology, animation and 3D modeling that will showcase Latino programing, research, collections and outreach,” said Melissa A. Carrillo, Director of New Media & Technology, Smithsonian Latino Center.

JRN_Paris_OulcusRift main

Conference attendees at the recent Immersive Education International Summit held at the University of Paris experienced the immersive 360-degree animated interactive Oculus Rift version of the Smithsonian LVM Placita, created by the MSU School of Journalism.

SLC offers collective experiences and resources in a transmedia virtual museum model that relate to the representation and interpretation of Latino cultural heritage.

“This collaboration creates the highest level of scholarly research and industry-level production experiences for our students,” said Lucinda Davenport, Director of the MSU School of Journalism. “This real-world opportunity will help our students to be better prepared to exceed the current expectations that await them in the industry. We greatly appreciate the partnership opportunity and generous support from the Smithsonian Latino Center and its sponsorship partners The Walt Disney Company and Target Corporation.”

The goal is that anyone can learn about Latino culture with the use of innovative technologies to immerse themselves in digital storytelling. MSU Journalism Professor Stacey Fox will head the initiative and work with students to produce animated stories, interactive and animated comics, immersive 3D journalistic works for Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard. The students also will produce iBooks, games and augmented reality experiences.

Lucinda Davenport Paris

Lucinda Davenport, Director of MSU's School of Journalism, meets with Juanita Roman from the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum for strategic partnership talks at the Sorbonne, Paris, France.

The MSU-SLC partnership via the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum (LVM) was showcased at the recent Immersive Education International Summit held at the University of Paris (Sorbonne). Using Oculus Rift technology, audience members could “walk around” and experience the interactive and animated LVM Placita through MSU’s prototype.

Davenport and Fox presented at the Sorbonne in Paris with Carrillo of LVM and Disney Animation Studios. Davenport met with the Smithsonian LVM team and its other strategic partners from commercial industry and higher education, including faculty from the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP).

Fox presented on immersive journalism and led several workshops. She co-taught with Katie Fico, award-winning Stereoscopic Supervisor at Disney Animation Studios, on Storytelling Through Animation with an emphasis on culture, while demonstrating the 3D scene and character design for the LVM Día de los Muertos celebration. She also led a workshop on interactive immersive environments.


Katie Fico, Stereoscopic Supervisor, streaming live from Disney Animation Studios in California for teaching workshop with MSU Journalism Professor Stacey Fox on Animation Storytelling and Culture.

MSU’s School of Journalism has partnered with the Smithsonian Latino Center’s Latino Virtual Museum on other projects. Last fall, students produced media content for the Día de los Muertos Festival and in 2016 students will create an immersive experience that features works by Latino artists, in collaboration with the University of Illinois-Chicago, to be shown in April at the international Latino Art Now conference. In addition, students will develop several animated episodes, interactive comics and 3D augmented reality interactive experiences leveraging Google Cardboard technologies.

For more information on MSU’s School of Journalism, visit For more information on the Smithsonian Latino Center, visit For more information on the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum transmedia project, visit

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AD+PR Faculty Rate Super Bowl Commercials

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Super Bowl ad votingA commercial for Prius in which a team of bank robbers used the car to elude police earned the top grade in the Michigan State University Department of Advertising + Public Relations’ list of best commercials aired during this year’s Super Bowl.

This marked the 19th year in a row the MSU faculty have rated the Super Bowl commercials.

“Prius was a surprise winner that just floored the faculty,” said Advertising + Public Relations Instructor Robert Kolt, who organized the event. “It featured an exciting chase with lots of twists and turns. And it included four men in a car not normally driven by men.”

Taking second place was a Doritos spot in which a baby, via an ultrasound, craved the snack his father is eating.

Third through 10th places for ads included:

  • Honda Ridgeline, which featured a flock of singing sheep.
  • Audi, which featured astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
  • Tied for fifth was a Snickers commercial in which actor Willem Dafoe morphs into Marilyn Monroe, and a T-Mobile spot in which Steve Harvey re-lives his Miss Universe gaffe.
  • Sixth was a spot for avocados that were on display in an alien museum.
  • Seventh was a TurboTax commercial in which Anthony Hopkins was not selling out.
  • Eighth place was a Budweiser commercial in which actress Helen Mirren issued a stern warning against drunk driving.
  • Ninth place was a Heinz ketchup ad that featured dachshunds in hot dog buns.
  • Tenth was a spot by small business Death Wish Coffee.

Super Bowl ad rating iclicker“A good ad reinforces the brand,” said Advertising + Public Relations Professor Patricia Huddleston, who attended the event. “It has a clear message that people can take away and has something memorable about it.”

This year, the MSU faculty came up with a number of new categories for the ads:

  • Prius and Doritos were judged the “most creative” commercial.
  • An Acura ad featuring the music of Van Halen won the award for “best production.”
  • The “funniest” commercial was Doritos.
  • Heinz ketchup was deemed the “most memorable.”
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Media Sandbox Creative Challenge Focuses on Issues Facing College Students

Posted on: February 5, 2016

Media Sandbox Challenge 2016 posterThis year’s Media Sandbox Creative Challenge is to choose an issue facing college students, such as binge drinking, sexual assault or depression, and craft a unique, creative message that will help MSU students deal with that issue.

“This year the challenge is more personal,” said Karl Gude, Media Sandbox faculty member and Graphics Editor in Residence for the School of Journalism. “It deals with how to help students handle some of the problems they face in college. I hope that the groups will find creative and workable solutions that will help students heal and deal with these issues.”

The Media Sandbox Creative Challenge is in it’s fifth year and there are no limits to what students may create. This is the first year the Media Sandbox is not dictating what students have to produce.

“It’s up to them to create a media campaign that will get the job done,” Gude said.

The challenge theme was chosen because Media Sandbox faculty wanted students to use their communication skills to help each other, rather than have them work on a corporate- or college-focused theme, as they have in the past.

Students who participate may do so alone or as a team and will need to choose one of the following topics:

  • binge drinking
  • sexual assault
  • depression
  • anorexia
  • anxiety
  • obesity
  • racism
  • suicide

They then must craft a unique, creative message to help their fellow students with this issue.

Although plenty of students have entered previous competitions, “the challenge for them is finishing it,” Gude said. “This year, however, we will have set a series of completion goals throughout the semester that will help students stay on task.”

The prizes are $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second and $1,000 for third.

Judges for this year’s competition will include highly successful alumni from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, chosen by faculty and administrators.

For more information on the competition, including deadlines and progressive goals, see the Media Sandbox Creative Challenge web page.

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Register Now for 2016 Media Summer Camps

Posted on: February 4, 2016

media-summer-camp-20150709-v12 copy

Each summer, the Department of Media and Information offers media camps for middle and high school students. These camps are pre-college exposure programs for students interested in media and technology topics, including game design, 3D animation, web design, digital cinema and TV production.

Each camp includes five full days of interactive and intensive instruction with MSU faculty and staff, resulting with a showcase of student work on the last day.

Program Director Luke Kane says that more than 80 percent of students who participate say they have an increased interest and proficiency in technology as a result of the camps.

During the three weeks of camp in 2015, the Department of Media and Information hosted 231 students in 12 different courses.

media-summer-camp-20150717-007 copyRegistration for Summer 2016 is now open. For the early bird discount, register before Feb. 29.

This summer, a new Audio Programming course will be offered to the high school level to teach students how to compose their own digital music and audio.

Students may participate in day-only instruction or choose to stay overnight as a visiting residential student.

The day-only camp includes all instruction, instructional materials, computer facilities, all daytime activities and supervision. Students will receive a lunch meal plan through university cafeteria services. Camp hours run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The Overnight/Residential option includes all the features of the day camp and more. Overnight lodging for five nights (Sunday-Thursday) as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner meals throughout the week are included. There will be night recreational activities and overnight chaperone supervision.

Media Camps kick off in July and run for three weeks:


  • Beginner Game Design
  • Digital Cinema
  • Game Design with Minecraft
  • Intro to Programming using MInecraft


  • 3D Animation
  • Beginner Game Design
  • Mobile Game Design
  • Miss Media Michigan Girls Tech Camp


  • 3D Animation
  • Advanced Game Design
  • Audio Programming
  • Beginner Game Design
  • Digital Cinema

For more information, including informational videos, or to register, visit the Media Summer Camps web page.

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Producer of Oscar-Winning Film to Coach Theatre 2 Film Students

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Kathleen Glynn featureThis year’s MSU Theatre 2 Film project will benefit from the advice and expertise of Kathleen Glynn, producer of the Academy Award-winning film, “Bowling for Columbine.”

Theatre 2 Film is a large-scale, collaborative project between the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, College of Arts & Letters and College of Music where students take an original student play and adapt it for the screen. The full-length feature film, created entirely by students, will be shown at this year’s Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF).

Glynn will visit Michigan State’s campus periodically to advise students and faculty working on the project. She also will help with other MSU entries to the TCFF and organize visits by high-profile media artists and filmmakers who will work closely with the student filmmakers in workshop settings.

"Kathleen brings a wealth of award-winning experience and talent from the movie industry that will have a profound impact on integrated media arts at MSU. Her presence on campus will be of benefit to both students and faculty," said Prabu David, Dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. "We are looking forward to working with Kathleen to make MSU a destination university for students interested in media arts."

Glynn produced “Bowling for Columbine,” which received an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2002. She also has two Emmy Award nominations to her credit, taking home the Emmy statuette in 1995 for Outstanding Information Series as the producer of the NBC show, “TV Nation.”

She served as executive producer of “Sicko,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2008, as well as “Capitalism: A Love Story,” “Slacker Uprising” and “India’s Daughter.” She was the producer for “Fahrenheit 9/11” (the highest grossing documentary of all time) and “The Big One” and was co-producer of “Canadian Bacon.” She also produced the television series “The Awful Truth.”

The multitalented Glynn has also worked as a costume designer for film and television, having designed costumes for the films “Malcolm X,” “Canadian Bacon” and “My New Gun.”

This year marks the second year in a row for MSU’s Theatre 2 Film project. Last year’s team produced “(313) Choices,” a contemporary human drama of interwoven stories set in and around Detroit, which premiered at the 2015 Traverse City Film Festival.

“This collaboration between ComArtSci, CAL and the College of Music is an excellent example of how shared efforts create a robust arts and culture experience for MSU students," said Christopher P. Long, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters. “Our three colleges are committed to providing future academic programming that enriches the undergraduate learning experience and provides faculty opportunities to work together on innovative media arts projects in and outside of the classroom.”

The 2016 TCFF is scheduled for July 26 to 31 at multiple locations in Traverse City, Mich.

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Advertising Senior Explores Fashion Industry in Chicago

Posted on: February 3, 2016

jessica baltusis mainAdvertising senior Jessica Baltusis got her first taste of the business world in high school when she participated in DECA, an international marketing association for high school and college students.

When she got to Michigan State and heard about the Advertising program, she immediately decided that is what she would major in.

“You get the business aspect, but you also get the creative side and the communications side,” Baltusis said. “I got all aspects of what I wanted in my career in one major.”

Baltusis put all those skills to work as an intern with Trunk Club this summer. Located in Chicago, Trunk Club is a fashion company that pairs clients with personal stylists.

While at Trunk Club, Baltusis rotated throughout different departments. She also helped work on sales and marketing, shadowed stylists and even worked with her own clients.

“At a startup company, you get so much more out of it,” Baltusis said. “I was able to see how the company works from the ground up and I feel like I actually contributed.”

At the end of the summer, Baltusis and her fellow interns presented an idea to the CEO to expand Trunk Club to college students.

“It was awesome,” she said. “He was actually listening to our ideas as interns. It blew my mind.”

Baltusis first heard of the opportunity at Trunk Club through a friend whose sister was working for the company.

Baltusis also received the Adrienne M. Johns Communication Arts and Sciences Internship Award from ComArtSci, which helped cover living expenses in Chicago. She applied for the award while she was studying abroad in Greece.

“I didn’t even know they had scholarships to help out with internships, and when I found out, I was super happy,” she said.

In her four years at Michigan State, Baltusis has worked for The State News, Westport (an engineering firm) and for her sorority. She’s also a member of the MSU Marketing Association.

“When I first started out as a freshman, I knew I wanted to do advertising and marketing, but I had no idea what I really wanted to do. I think that’s why I started doing so many different things,” she said.  “(ComArtSci) has given me all the tools I need to succeed, and I think that sometimes people don’t realize everything it has to offer.”

By Kelsey Block, Journalism and Arts and Humanities double major

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ComArtSci Connect Set for Feb. 19

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Screen shot 2016-01-12 at 11.28.39 AM


The ComArtSci Connect career fair returns Friday, Feb. 19, to give students the opportunity to network with industry leaders and employers.

More than 60 businesses are expected to attend, offering internships and job opportunities to motivated students.

“Through a collaborative effort between our student organizations and the college, we are bringing great companies to ComArtSci to allow students to meet with employers face-to-face,” said Karin Hanson, Director of Employer Relations and Professional Transition for the college. “Students should not only be prepared to learn more about opportunities, but pitch why an employer would want to hire them for an internship or career position.”

Leading up to the event, beginning on Monday, Feb. 15, there will be resume workshops and presentations to help prepare students for the career fair.

ComArtSci Connect takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. on the first floor of the Communication Arts and Sciences Building.

For a list of all the businesses attending, see the ComArtSci Connect 2016 Participants page on the MSU Career Services Network website.

For more information on ComArtSci Connect, including a complete schedule, see the ComArtSci Connect event page.

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