All posts by Savannah Swix

Edward Maibach shares research about communicating climate change

Posted on: April 25, 2017

Picture1On April 21 – one day short of Earth Day – the College of Communication Arts and Sciences welcomed Dr. Edward Maibach, director of George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication, to speak at the annual Bettinghaus Endowed Lecture organized by the Department of Communication and the Health and Risk Communication Center.

During a time when questions about our impact on the planet seem endless and recurring, Maibach highlighted how important it is to encourage people to learn and discuss the issue of climate change and its effects. He shared with faculty, students and staff of the college about his research on TV weathercasters as vehicles to spread news about this important issue via a segment called Climate Matters.

He spoke about how people trust scientists to provide information related to the environment and other scientific debates. However, just behind that group, people rank TV weathercasters high on the list of trustworthy sources. Maibach supported this by explaining that they have the trust of the public, access to the public and great communication skills. He credits experiential learning as a factor that helps people engage with issues and become more knowledgeable and aware of matters like climate change.

“Dr. Maibach’s work is cutting-edge both in terms of methodology and substance. He is creating innovative models for studying the effects of the news on people’s beliefs and attitudes," said Maria Lapinski, professor in the Department of Communication. 

Partnered with Climate Central, an independent organization of leading scientists and journalists researching and reporting the facts about our changing climate and its impact on the public, Maibach and researchers provide the newscasters with the information and digital content necessary to reach audiences such as maps, severe weather trackers and more. So far, 390 weathercasters have been a part of Climate Matters and numbers are growing.

Dan Totzkay, a Ph.D. Communication student, attended the lecture and called it “exciting and interesting.” As a fan of Maibach’s work, Totzkay said the presentation got him thinking about his own research and taking inspiration from Maibach to design better campaigns and know where to look.

Being that Maibach’s lecture was on the day before Earth Day, it was fitting that a group of people came together to educate themselves about how being conscious of issues such as climate change can benefit the future of our planet.

“Not only is it Earth Day, but also the March for Science. It’s about protecting the Earth,” said Totzkay. “We’ve only got the one, so this is pretty pertinent because, for whatever reason, (climate change has) become so controversial, even though it shouldn’t be … I think finding people like weathercasters or anyone else who people will listen to is so crucial.”

The next part of Maibach’s research is in the works. Currently funded by the National Science Foundation, among others, the team recently submitted a second NSF grant proposal. Together, Maibach and his researchers are preparing for the future of the organization.

The Bettinghaus Lecture was endowed by former Department of Communication Chair Erwin P. Bettinhaus and his family, friends and colleagues. Bettinghaus also served as the Dean of the college for 20 years.

 

By Savannah Swix

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MIPA reinforces value of journalism skills for students exploring college and careers

Posted on: April 21, 2017

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Haley Kluge decided to be a journalist at age 10. Rory, her favorite TV character from Gilmore Girls, worked as a student editor and writer at Yale University. Kluge wanted to be just like her.

So when it came time to pick electives at Grand Ledge High School, Kluge enrolled in journalism 101. That first class, she says, started a four-year odyssey that spanned working as a contributor and editor of her school newspaper and yearbook, and culminated in her decision to study journalism at Michigan State University.

Kluge's passion for the press grew into a real-life understanding of what it takes to gather and present news and information. And much of what she learned, she says, was solidified by the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA): a statewide program for high school student journalists, teachers and advisers housed and coordinated by the MSU School of Journalism.

"MIPA gave me that backbone in scholastic journalism and ethics that is so valuable as a high school student," says Kluge, now a senior in the MSU School of Journalism. "It allowed me to get so much more value from my journalism education and exposure to different things than simply a normal classroom experience."

Building a strong core

Today, Kluge is wrapping up her bachelor's—a journey characterized by internships at high-profile media companies including Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan and the New York Times. She stays involved with MIPA by working in the program's office and helping coordinate the association's annual summer camp.

"Because of MIPA, I was already a step ahead of my peers when I started college," she says. "I was exposed to so many things, and still use the skills I learned in MIPA summer camp to this day."

MIPA Executive Director Jeremy Steele says students like Kluge represent the ultimate goal of the nonprofit organization: to spark young people's interest in journalism, and to prepare them for college and careers in journalism or other fields. Composed of scholastic journalism teachers and advisers and their students, MIPA promotes and recognizes excellence in high school journalism through training and educational resources, conferences, contests workshops and a summer camp on the campus of MSU.

"We're seeing a new appreciation for journalism and what it teaches," says Steele. "High school journalism classes are essentially a 21st century civics class. And they embody virtually all of the standards schools implement in English classes—including how to write in different styles like commentary and non-fiction and how to interview and research."

About 170 high schools and middle schools across the state are members of MIPA. This includes 300 student media outlets and 220 teachers. Students at those member schools typically enroll for courses or electives that involve the production of yearbooks, newspapers, broadcast video, and other forms of digital and contemporary media. MIPA also is a resource for high school journalism teachers.

Similar to an athletics or music organization, MIPA provides opportunities for members to participate in events—in this case, a variety of conferences, training sessions and workshops for journalism students, advisers and teachers. About 2,000 teachers and students attend a fall conference in Lansing each year, and another 1,500 come to the MIPA Awards each April to showcase their work. Winners are selected from more than 4,000 entries.  In the summer, an average of 350-400 students attend a five-day camp at MSU, enabling them to work with professional journalists and journalism educators in areas like design and graphics, photography, digital media, advertising, production and writing.

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Huron High School senior Lyna Ikharbine was among nearly 80 students from five schools who participated in a one-day workshop on the MSU campus in March. Ikharbine is enrolled in yearbook production class at her school, and says she takes journalism electives to learn more about design and how to express ideas.

"I'm strengthening my communication skills and learning how to write non-fiction," says Ikharbine. "I'm also learning how to write persuasively and without bias."

Huron High School junior Gena Harris says she was drawn to study journalism after she guest wrote articles for her school newspaper on the Black Lives Matter movement and the recent Trump travel ban.

"I enjoyed the process of researching, interviewing and writing the stories," she says. "It allowed me to understand what different people and races go through. I also saw that certain parts of journalism could be applied to other classes I'm taking, like law."

Steele acknowledges that while many students get their start on journalism careers through high school programs, many others don't.

"The core of what journalism teaches—researching, writing and visual communicating—are things kids can take with them to college or on any career path they're headed down," Steele says. "And there is a lot of research that shows that kids who are involved in scholastic journalism are more civically involved and active in their communities."

MIPA was founded in 1921 and has been housed at the Michigan State University School of Journalism since 1982. To learn more about MIPA, click here.

By Ann Kammerer

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Junior Strengthens Audio Interest Through Student Organizations, New York Field Experience and Music

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Over spring break on the New York Field Experience trip through the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Arthur Jones, media and information junior, was not only able to observe audio, video and music industries individually, but he was also able to see his interests work together in the media industry as a whole.

His interest in audio started his senior year of high school, when he took a class with someone who owned a local recording studio.

“I knew I liked to play music and thought the class looked neat at first, but I happened to really like the recording aspect of the class,” Jones said.

The one visit that Jones found particularly interesting during the New York City Field Experience was the group’s stop at MTV.

“We learned how important their social media teams are,” Jones said. “Because their demographic is early to late teens, they constantly have to stay up-to-date with new app trends. Whenever something new comes out, they have to learn how to best apply it to their audience.”

The biggest thing he learned from alumni on the trip was the fact that, in college, you never truly know what city you will end up in.

He also learned a lot about careers in the audio industry.

“I knew New York was a big media market, but I really learned so many valuable pieces of information related to all things audio,” said Jones. “Whether it’s in TV or radio, doing something in audio would be my dream job.”

The market in New York City made Jones aware of potential job opportunities.

“I definitely am more open now and saw the possibilities of different careers in the media industry,” Jones said. “The New York trip really broadened the potential I saw in the different jobs I could do.”

A change in tune

Jones first came to MSU as a student in the James Madison College. When he discovered that he wasn’t passionate about what he was studying, he left MSU to study at a community college in his hometown. He pursued a music degree and learned how to play an instrument – the double bass. When he returned to MSU, he decided to major in media and information with a minor in music.

“Even though there aren’t a ton of audio classes, MSU has so many students making student-films and other projects as well,” Jones said. “I was pulled into the fiction film class and Theatre 2 Film. I also work at Recording Services in the music building.”

In addition to all of those commitments to expanding his craft, Jones also plays in the concert orchestra at MSU.

Valuable skills learned

Jones doesn’t regret taking the time away from MSU to learn what he wanted to do. He said the experience was “valuable.”

“I thought I wanted to do international relations, but I realized the reason why was to be on NPR,” he said. “It’s still a dream job of mine to work on an NPR special, but I feel like I can accomplish that with what I am doing. By leaving and coming back, it made me very secure in what I want to do.”

His advice?

Jones suggests if students don’t know what they want to do, to think about an interest and pursue it more.

“You have to think, ‘Could I do this for years?’” Jones said. “College is the time to figure out your interests and experiment with those interests. At MSU, there are so many clubs, which makes it fun and easy to try out anything and everything.”

By Meg Dedyne

 

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Bob Albers prepares for retirement from MSU, premieres film at CCFF

Posted on: April 18, 2017

MSU Media Sandbox photography exercise; with Zydecrunch, performing atop the Comm Arts & Sciences parking ramp. 9/17/12. photo: w.r. richards/CAS-MSU

After a 35-year career teaching at MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences in the Department of Media and Information, Senior Video Specialist Bob Albers will retire after the current spring semester.

Albers teaches one of the Communication Arts and Sciences classes that many ComArtSci students choose to take as a part of their degree programs. The course is called Story, Sound and Motion, which explores the central role of storytelling, sound and editing in media communication. That being said, the number of students that have had the opportunity to learn from Albers reaches into the thousands. He has had a particular impact on students who have taken his documentary capstone class. In fact, last year, a film produced by students in Albers’ class, From Flint: Voices of a Poisoned City, earned entrance into several film festivals and even won a Student Academy Award.

Before he retires, Albers has been able to cherish the relationships and connections made during his time at the college. The department recently celebrated the sixth Albies Awards, an Oscar-like awards ceremony recognizing students for their work in production and film. It simultaneously commemorates Albers and his name for the impact he has had on the program.

At this year’s Albies, Albers was celebrated with a plaque from the students, “It was one of those bittersweet things. I think, ‘Why am I leaving? I’ve got this group that I’m a part of that I am still connected with and I can tell they care about me’ ... So, I’ll miss that.”

Celebrating his craft and most recent film

You have likely experienced that moment when you’re doing the thing you love and you enter this state of being where you’re absorbed in the action or performance, commonly referred to as being “in the zone.” Albers’ recent documentary film, Chasing the Moment, follows 11 individuals who have experienced those moments and continue to seek them out in their lives every day.

The film features a chef, a marine sniper, a pulitzer prize-winning photographer, dancers, an Olympic Silver Medalist and more. It recently premiered at the Capital City Film Festival in Lansing on April 8. 

“(The film is) about how do you get to that place where everything goes away and you’re not thinking about anything, you’re just being whatever it is that you do,” said Albers.

Like the people in his film, Albers said he has experienced this sensation, too. Before entering the classroom, he was a college basketball player at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, where he studied psychology. He said the feeling was present as an athlete, but it also happened later when he picked up the classical guitar and when he went to art school to study sculpture and photography, too.

Throughout the course of his life, he’s been a teacher of various subjects and crafts, including teaching science to junior high school students, giving guitar lessons and, today, mentoring and educating future directors, editors and other industry professionals about all aspects of film and documentaries.

Albers’ teaching went beyond the classroom during the 4.5-years of production for Chasing the Moment. He selected a handful of MSU students and two faculty members to assist him.

“Some of them were involved in the shooting (process) and so I feel as if that’s a window into the professional world for those people,” said Albers. “They get to do classes, but then they get to work on a big project."

The 2016 Albies attended by over 200 members of Telecasters, alumni, staff and guest. 04/23/2016. Photo Credit: Amanda Pinckney

Leaving a legacy

Albers’ ability to connect with his students dates back to the 90s when Bob Gould, a professor in the School of Journalism, was a student of Albers’. When Gould later returned to ComArtSci as a professor, he said Albers was a friendly face to see walking the halls.

“The first semester teaching here, I leaned on him a little to get some professional advice, but every time I would see him in the ComArtSci building, I would smile and was a bit nostalgic. In fact, even today, 10 years later, I still feel that way when I see him or talk to him,” said Gould. “He had that kind of impact on me and so many other students. His kind soul and quiet demeanor always creates a calming effect when stress levels are high. I’m sad to see him retire, but it is so well deserved.”

Gould said one of the last things he did as a student at ComArtSci was create a small documentary as an independent study with Albers. Now, 30 years later, Gould’s daughter, Ilene, a freshman media and information student at MSU, is doing the exact same thing.

“He knows how to teach creative, out-of-the-box thinking and I’ve definitely learned better ways to approach storytelling," said Ilene. "He’s just a genuine and kind person and shows a lot of care for his craft, but most importantly for his students."

His daughter’s work with Albers has impressed Gould and he is happy to know she had the chance to learn from one of the greats.

“When I heard Bob might be retiring, I told my daughter that she should take an independent study with him and learn as much as she can from him. I thought it would be a really cool thing for two generations to share that special mentorship,” said Gould.

Just as Gould and his daughter have enjoyed learning from him, Albers has taken equal joy from teaching, “I really do like teaching a lot and I enjoy being around young people. You know they say it keeps you young, but I don’t think that’s true, maybe a little bit younger than you would be if you weren’t involved with young people. They see the world differently than I do, maybe clearer in some ways than someone like me does. That’s a thrill.”

What’s next?

Albers, a Kentucky native, looks forward to moving back to his home state after 37 years away to build a home with his wife and “get to know Louisville again,” especially through his photography.

By Savannah Swix

 

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Communication junior to spend summer interning at BCPM in New York City

Posted on: April 14, 2017

New York City is like a second home for communication junior Allie Baer. Having traveled to the city almost every year since she was young will make her summer internship position with BCPM a smooth transition. BCPM is a global public relations agency, specializing in brand building and communications in New York City.

“I thrive in fast-paced environments and am thrilled Allie Baerfor this opportunity,” said Baer.

Baer’s personal and professional connections enabled her the chance to interview with the company over the phone. Just a few days later, she was offered the position, which she excitedly accepted.

“I can’t wait to be a part of such an outstanding agency,” Baer said. “I knew BCPM was a top public relations agency and it was started by two strong women, which really appealed to me. They offered me a position in the fashion department, so I am excited to learn more about that industry as well.”

Baer admires how the company got its start. She said it shows women choosing their career paths and pursuing what they want to do.

“Their client list spoke volumes for me,” Baer said. “BCPM works with high-level clients, including fashion and travel. I’ve been interested in both of these industries as it relates to public relations and now I will get to learn from professionals how these industries work.”

She describes this internship as her first real-world experience.

“I’m on my own at MSU, but this experience will be different,” Baer said. “I will be working and living on my own, which is exciting and scary all at the same time.”

How she started the search process

Baer started networking and applying for internships earlier this fall to get ahead of the summer internship season. At the time, she was a part of a course that met for two hours on Fridays, facilitated by Karin Hanson and Rachel Ruis. Each week, they brought in MSU alumni to speak to the class and offer advice about the networking process, the importance of attending career fairs and industry insight.

“They told us to not be afraid to reach out,” Baer said. “Talk to people, learn about what they do. A lot of their advice was about trying new things and how to use LinkedIn effectively, as well.”

Baer used LinkedIn to look for internships and find alumni at companies she wanted to work at. Now, she’s using LinkedIn to find her peers she will be working with this summer at BCPM.

Her advice?

“Don’t be afraid to reach out,” Baer said. “Spartans are always willing to help you. Don’t give up. I started applying in September and I just accepted this internship within the past month. Everything happens for a reason. Once I interviewed with BCPM, the process took only six days. So don’t give up and don’t get down on yourself. Always keep trying.”

By Meg Dedyne

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Communication Senior Selected as Speaker at 2017 Convocation

Posted on: April 10, 2017
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Matthew St. Germain

Graduation day is an experience that college students think about often – whether it be with excitement for the future or perhaps a fear of the unknown. However, before they cross the stage and turn their tassels, some of the university’s finest representatives offer them words of wisdom as they transition to alumni and seek refuge in the real world.

One of those people is Matthew St. Germain, a communication senior from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences and this year’s Convocation Student Speaker for the Class of 2017.

Selected by the Associated Students of Michigan State University among other student applicants, St. Germain hopes to give the graduating class, family and friends a very “Matt-like” speech, he said.

“People can expect some pensive thoughts tempered with a little goofiness and inspiration. My hope is to make this significant life event even more enjoyable and memorable, and to send my fellow students off with an encouraging ‘hoorah!’” said St. Germain. “It is an honor to represent the graduating Class of 2017, and I hope to give a speech worthy of their world-class accomplishments.”

St. Germain is heavily involved in university life as a member of the University Academic Hearing Board, an undergraduate researcher, an intern at the MSU Federal Credit Union, a previous member of the Spartan Marching Band, RHS Representative as well as an apprentice of the University Carillonneur at Beaumont Tower.

“My co-workers know me as ‘Smiley,’ and I do my best to learn something new every day. I try to live very intentionally, and be grateful for the smallest things in life. I believe every moment of every day is an opportunity to demonstrate leadership and be the change you wish to see in others, and ultimately, the world,” said St. Germain. “I am never afraid to be my goofy self, but I also work extremely hard to demonstrate love and kindness to all. It may be cheesy, but I believe that something as simple as a genuine smile has the potential to turn someone's life around.”

He hopes to someday take his talents and enthusiasm into a future of helping others as a member of the Peace Corps or possibly working in developing countries on community and environmental sustainability. His goals might even provoke him to consider running for elected office, he said. St. Germain will enroll for the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s Program in Communication with a specialization in Non-Profit Fundraising in the Fall of 2017.

Michigan State University’s Spring Convocation ceremony will take place on Friday, May 5 at 1 p.m. at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

By Savannah Swix

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Film by MSU professor and WKAR producer to air on PBS

Posted on: April 7, 2017

LATIN MUSIC USA (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

A groundbreaking documentary on Latin Music from WKAR producer and Michigan State University professor John Valadez will air nationally in primetime on PBS this May.

His film, The Chicano Wave, is the third hour in a four-part series, called Latin Music USA. This entertaining and insightful documentary dives deep into the history of Mexican American music to showcase how the Latino culture is a part of all of us. Featured in Valadez’ film are musicians and performers like Selena, Ritchie Valens, Los Lobos, Linda Ronstadt and more.

John Valadez

John Valadez

“In America, we are all interconnected in ways that are complicated, often subtle, unseen, and unarticulated, and so this series, Latin Music USA, that’s kind of what it’s about. It’s about making unexpected connections that are actually very beautiful and surprising,” said Valadez. “The show is about music, but in a sense it is really America. It’s about what it means to be American.”

Valadez believes a film like this would not have been possible without the expertise and thoughtful research of scholars from Chicano/Latino Studies Programs like the one at MSU’s College of Social Science. He states, “You do not get something like Latin Music USA unless there are dedicated folks writing the books; unless there are people exploring and elucidating the history; unless there are talented musicologists who are placing it in context.”  

Valadez has often been called “the hardest working Chicano in the Doc Biz,” and in this case the dedication has certainly paid off. The series will be shown on primetime national television in May, with Valadez’ film broadcast on May 5 on PBS at 9 p.m. – Cinco de Mayo.

In addition to his role with WKAR, Valadez has joint appointments as professor of practice with the Department of Media and Information and the Film Studies Program at MSU.

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ComArtSci freshman visits New York City through Field Experience course

Posted on: April 6, 2017

ashleyreedJournalism freshman Ashley Reed wasted no time gaining experience in the media industry.  She spent her first college spring break touring New York City with fellow classmates on the NYC Field Experience - Media Production trip with the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. ComArtSci offers six different field experiences designed to help students explore career options and network in their field.

“This trip was a huge eye-opener for me as a freshman, because I wasn’t completely sure of what I wanted to do when I came to MSU,” Reed said. “But going to New York put things into perspective for me and helped me see that I can pursue the dreams that I have.”

The trip took students to various media companies, ranging from coverage of music, radio, video — you name it. They met with executives that work in the business, as well as Spartan alums, who explained day-to-day life as professionals in the city.

A love for media at a young age

Growing up, Reed knew that she wanted to be involved in the media industry. She always imagined having her own television show. She decided that majoring in journalism would allow her to explore all of her media interests.

“My favorite part of the trip was seeing people do what they love,” Reed said. “I know in my family, most people who did or didn’t go to college, aren’t doing what they love to do. Going on this trip, I am now more hopeful that I can do what I love to do, especially going as a freshman and knowing I will still have more guidance.”

When Reed was around eight years old, she started singing and songwriting. She began with short stories, which turned into poetry, which turned into songs.

“After I started doing this, I just wanted to keep creating more things,” Reed said. “I really opened up and wanted to know what else I could create. I started making little music videos and getting into cameras. Everything I created, I had to figure it out by myself.”

Her senior year of high school, Reed started The Belle Society, which is a women empowerment group. She started the social media pages for the society and produced videos and facilitated photo shoots, too.

“This is where I self-taught and learned how to do most of this stuff. This society was also a way for my peers and me to lift each other up,” Reed said. “My love for all things media came in high school.”

Seeing opportunity in the city

Reed says she would love to be the female version of Ryan Seacrest one day. In fact, her biggest take-away from the trip was that dreams like this one are actually possible.

“One of the most memorable moments from that trip was meeting an alum that now works at MTV,” Reed said. “It was great to hear how he started as an intern and then came back to work full time.”

The students also visited an alumnus that is working as a news reporter at ABC News. He allowed the students to come back and watch his team in action.

Reed said it was great to be around media professionals and to see MSU alumni making an impact in such a large city.

If she could do anything, she would want to be a singer, songwriter, television personality and producer — she would do it all.

“I love hosting and producing videos, but sometimes it’s hard for me to just focus on one thing,” Reed said. “The possibilities and options of the media industry have always just grabbed my interest.”

By Meg Dedyne

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MSU Game Design Ranks among Princeton Review’s Top 20 and #1 in Big Ten

Posted on: April 3, 2017

One day, you’re at home playing your favorite video game after school. The next, you’re stepping into a classroom to learn how to design the next generation’s go-to game.

With a brand new multi-million dollar media space and technically-skilled faculty, Game Design students at Michigan State University are receiving an education that ranks among the Princeton Review's top 20 and number one in the Big Ten conference.

At number 10 for undergraduate programs, and with a graduate program right behind that at number 11 in a separate ranking for graduate schools, MSU is making its presence known.

We have made significant investments in our program in the last year including hiring three new games faculty, creation of the interactive media and motion capture studio and revising our curriculum within Media and Information to add several new game art and design courses,” said Brian Winn, director of undergraduate studies and an associate professor in the Department of Media and Information.

gelStudents who enroll in classes for the game design program, housed in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, come from a variety of majors including studio art, computer science and engineering as well as media and information.

“Our program is very interdisciplinary,” said Winn. “Students collaborate on teams (in classes), assuming the role most closely related to their major, to build game projects. This gives them a very authentic game making experience that closely resembles the real-world.”

The program and its courses enable students to graduate with priceless knowledge, which translates into an impressive portfolio of creative work completed as classwork or for external clients.

The curriculum offers students the option to work with both games for entertainment and serious games. Johannes Bauer, chair of the Department of Media and Information, explained that serious games are strong at the graduate level.

He added that the program’s students show immense talent for furthering the industry, “The students have a very deep knowledge in game design and game development. Some of them come from more of a creative side, others come from a technical and programming side. Our curriculum offers them both opportunities.”

With spaces like the Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab and the recently opened Immersive Media Studio, fit with the technology to design and produce virtual reality gaming experiences, the program at Michigan State University continues to help students use and build upon their individual skill sets and support them to excel in their future careers.

For Peter Burroughs, media and information senior, the program has taught him new ways to evolve his talent for traditional art that he discovered in high school and apply it to 3D modeling, concept art painting, visual effects, art direction, project management and asset implementation. In addition, he says the program has to work with others and to embrace the skills and contributions they bring to the team.

“The professors and upperclassmen have taught me an incredible amount about making video games, and my peers in the program have become like family to me,” said Burroughs. “Working together during all-nighters will do that to you!”

By Savannah Swix

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Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s Programs Offer Undergraduates Connection to Higher Education at MSU

Posted on: March 31, 2017

bamaStudents in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University are offered unique experiences and opportunities during their undergraduate years. From top-tier faculty to international competitions, state-of-the-art technology, innovative learning spaces and reoccurring networking events, it’s no wonder that many students want to stick around to continue their education.

With the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s programs at Michigan State University, undergraduate students from across ComArtSci – including journalism, advertising + public relations, communication and media and information – can apply to complete their master’s degree in just one year.

The programs allow students to use nine credits from undergraduate courses toward receiving their master’s degree – cutting the two years often required to receive a master’s in half.

Constantinos Coursaris heads the Department of Media and Information’s Linked B.A.-M.A. program. He said the faculty who contribute their knowledge and resources to the program are a major advantage for students to consider when thinking about applying.

He added that students learn “the professional demands of not only today’s, but also tomorrow’s, workplace that leverages the power of media and information – from game design and the creative arts, to user experience and the management of information and communication technologies.”

In the classroom, Linked B.A.-M.A. students often apply their growing knowledge and skills to hands-on work created for real-world clients. Celina Wanek is currently enrolled in the media and information program for media management and said working with her classmates to develop client-ready projects for organizations outside of Michigan State University has been her favorite part.

I would highly encourage (other students) to apply,” said Wanek. “It's definitely a full year of work but knowing that it's just a year and being almost done is incredibly rewarding.”

Linda Good, director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Advertising + Public Relations, said these programs are for students dedicated to the pursuit of higher education and aiming to increase their value as professionals in their industries.

“As they seek positions that may not require a master’s degree, having the master’s degree gives them an edge over students that don’t have it. They’ve only added a year, basically, to their studies and they enhanced their knowledge base, their experience base and their network by completing the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s degree (program).”

For more information about all of the Linked B.A.-M.A. programs, click here.

By Savannah Swix

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