All posts by Nikki O'Meara

Neurons to Nations

Posted on: May 19, 2017

Typically, the academic discipline of communication conjures up images of students preparing for careers in journalism, advertising, public relations, radio, television, film and cutting-edge areas in media and information, such as virtual reality.

At ComArtSci, we are committed to training students for careers in these professions through the wealth of experience that our faculty bring to the classroom.

At the same time, the quality of education and reputation of our college rests on the research of our faculty, who pursue research on a range of topics at different levels of analysis, which lends credence to the claim, “from neurons to nations, we study communications.”

In the last few weeks, three major research projects by our faculty reinforce the neurons to nations theme.

In a publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a highly prestigious journal, Ralf Schmäelzle and his research team used fMRI to examine activation patterns in the brain to study social isolation and its relationship to social networks on Facebook.

By relying on activations in collections of neurons, they reported that those with sparse Facebook networks respond to social isolation differently than those with richer Facebook networks. That’s pretty cool science.

In another study, conducted in seven countries, with over 14,000 respondents, Bill Dutton and his team examined the role of computer search algorithms on the diversity of political information.

In this cross-national study, they tested the conventional wisdom about fake news, filter bubbles and echo chambers, topics that have come to dominate our discussions about politics in the United States and around the world.

Though between-country differences were evident, they found that the alarm over fake news and filter bubbles is overblown. Their findings indicate that netizens are smart and active consumers of information and can tell the difference between fact and fiction.

Another notable research accomplishment is Kami Silk’s grant, that focuses on human interactions. This line of research falls between neurons and nations and can be categorized as individual-level analysis.

Through a grant from the National Institute of Health, Kami and her team will develop continuing education modules to train pediatricians to engage in discussions with adolescents about breast cancer risk.

These three research projects offer a glimpse of ComArtSci’s research agenda that spans from neurons to nations. Communication is a rich phenomenon that touches all aspects of life. To fully appreciate its nuances and effects, faculty in our college engage different theories, methods and research tools at different levels of analysis.

Hence, neurons to nations is not just a slogan. It is an apt description of how we do communication science in ComArtSci.

By Prabu David

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ComArtSci Researchers Receive Grants to Fund Environment and Breast Cancer Projects

Posted on: May 16, 2017

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For 14 years, researchers from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences (ComArtSci) have partnered with the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP) to study the effects of environmental exposures on breast cancer risk.

In March, that partnership grew when a team of ComArtSci researchers, led by Kami Silk, associate dean of research and director of the Health and Risk Communication M.A. program, received two grants totaling nearly $500,000 to facilitate their on-going research in the field. The grants are co-funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Tailoring educational and outreach materials
The first project to receive funding, led by Silk and her research partner Richard Schwartz, professor and principal investigator of the BCERP at MSU, aims to better understand public perception of breast cancer and the environment. The team was awarded an Opportunity Fund Grant of $70,286 from the BCERP Coordinating Center.

For this project, titled “Cross-site Formative Audience Analysis Research to Facilitate Effective Outreach Efforts and Communication Strategies," the duo has partnered with community advocates across the U.S. to conduct focus group sessions with individuals from varying geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds to better understand their needs and risks.

“Partnerships are important for receiving Opportunity Funds due to the transdisciplinary nature of the BCERP. So a multi-site project with advocates across the country made a lot of sense, especially because most advocacy groups do not have resources to do this level of formative research with their communities,” said Silk.

Findings from this research will also be used to help create a national survey to gather information about breast cancer and the environment from a wider and more diverse group, ultimately helping to better tailor education and outreach materials to the needs of different audience segments.

Training pediatric healthcare providers
The second project to receive funding aims to design and deliver advanced training to pediatric healthcare providers on the topic of breast cancer and the environment. This type of training will help facilitate increased communication with patients and caregivers about adopting breast cancer risk reduction practices, particularly for adolescents.

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Kami Silk

The project, titled “Training Pediatric Health Care Providers as a Primary Information Source for Communicating Environmental Risks for Breast Cancer," received an NIH R21 grant for $414,367 and is being developed by Silk, Sandi Smith, from the Department of Communication, and Stacey Fox, from the School of Journalism. The funding will provide the means for the team, joined by the Michigan State Medical Society and Michigan Hospital Association, to create a program that will build continuing education units for doctors.

“One of the things that emerged over our 14 years with the BCERP is the need to reach beyond the lay public as a primary target audience for information about breast cancer and the environment. We need to include health care providers in the conversation because they are trusted sources of health information and they can help parents and caregivers understand how to reduce early environmental exposures,” said Silk.

With this training, doctors will use continuing medical education units to become better informed on the risks associated with exposure to certain chemicals – such as PFOA and BPA – as well as learn the results of BCERP research, including both epidemiology and biology studies. The training will focus on helping pediatric health care providers translate BCERP research into actionable recommendations for parents and caregivers, such as what chemicals to avoid whenever possible.

“There is a window of susceptibility for girls as they go through puberty. Reducing environmental exposures during this critical time frame is a precaution that makes sense based on BCERP emerging science,” said Silk. “There was a genuine interest in the idea of training pediatricians about environmental exposures as a strategy to reach parents and caregivers with BCERP findings and recommendations. We are excited to be able to develop communication training that is evidence-based and useful for pediatric health care professionals.”

More information
For more information about the BCERP and the ongoing research of its investigators, please visit bcerp.org.

By Nikki W. O'Meara

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Studies in Interpersonal Communication Result in Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award

Posted on: May 8, 2017

The interest to pursue a career in interpersonal communication started at a young age for Samantha Shebib, whose ultimate goal was to be accepted into MSU’s Ph.D. Communication Program. Tracing back to personal experiences, Shebib connected immensely to the field of communication because it is relatable to every demographic.

Unknown“It has always been my dream to be a Spartan,” said Shebib. “I have been lucky enough to get the opportunity to work with the impeccable faculty and students in the Department of Communication. It’s crazy to look back on all those years I put into it and to see my hard work pay off. It’s an extremely rewarding feeling.”

Shebib identifies herself as a post-positivist researcher who studies interpersonal/family communication, nonverbal communication, physiological responses, social support and most importantly, quantitative research methods. She has bounced around several different regions of the world to endure rigorous academic success, beginning with her Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University in May 2014, followed by her Master of Science in Communication Studies from Illinois State University in May 2016.

Most recently, Shebib received the Outstanding Master's Thesis award from the School of Communication at Illinois State University on April 17, 2017. The award is given each year to one student only and was designed to promote a high-quality master’s thesis. Shebib’s thesis was titled "Financial Conflict Messages and Marital Satisfaction: The Mediating Role of Financial Communication Satisfaction."

“At Illinois State, my advisor was Dr. William R. Cupach and my former committee member was Dr. Kevin Meyer, both who nominated me for this award,” explained Shebib. “My thesis was interested in examining the proposed mechanisms through which different financial conflict messages influence marital satisfaction, specifically through the mediating variable of financial communication satisfaction. This empirical work, and the work I continue to do at MSU, is aimed at constructing a theory in marital conflict.”

Shebib believes that marital conflict is an important area to study because of its impact on children that become exposed to it.

“Since conflict is inevitable in all relationships, a theoretical framework to understand why people engage in destructive and dysfunctional strategies when conflict occurs would be extremely beneficial and would add important insight when trying to make sense out of marital discord,” explained Shebib. “Not only do children exposed to marital conflict have a greater risk for a host of behavioral and emotional problems, but it also socializes children to handle conflict the way their parents handle conflict. If I can disentangle and make sense out of marital conflict, well, then I think I can tackle conflict in other relationships, too. Fingers crossed.”

By Emmy Virkus

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The Link Between Brain Activity and Social Networks

Posted on: May 4, 2017

This story was originally published on MSU Today

The structure of the social network to which a person belongs could shape how their brain responds to social exclusion, according to a new study led by a Michigan State University researcher.

Ralf Schmaelzle, assistant professor of communication, poses on Tuesday April 14, 2017.

Ralf Schmaelzle, assistant professor of communication, poses on Tuesday April 14, 2017.

The study is authored by assistant professor Ralf Schmäelzle, from the College of Communications Arts and Sciences, and published together with a team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the Army Research Lab in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers looked at the brain’s response to social exclusion under fMRI, particularly in the so-called mentalizing system, which includes separate regions of the brain that help consider the views of others.

“The finding here is that these regions, which are in different places in the brain, show greater connectivity in response to social exclusion,” Schmälzle said. “They go up and down together, almost as if they’re dancing together, doing the same moves over time, and this ‘coupling’ of their activity increases during social exclusion.”

To create the experience of social exclusion, the researchers used a virtual ball-tossing game called Cyberball with 80 boys ages 16-17. While in the fMRI machine, each participant saw a screen with two other cartoon players — who they believed to be controlled by real people — and a hand to represent themselves. All three participants in the game take turns tossing a virtual ball to one another.

For the first phase of the game, the virtual players include the test subject, tossing him the ball frequently. The game then shifts to exclusion mode, and the virtual players stop throwing the ball to the participant.

“During exclusion, people might begin to ask themselves, ‘What might that mean when people are excluding me?” Schmälzle said. “They may ask, ‘Have I done something wrong?’ or ‘Why are they doing this?’ and such kinds of thought might engage mentalizing processes.”

The researchers also were able to access, with permission, the test subjects’ Facebook data, giving them a snapshot of their friendship networks. They found test subjects who showed a greater increase in brain connectivity during social exclusion were those in sparse networks. In sparse networks, the friends of a person tend to not know each other. In dense networks, by contrast, many of a person’s friends are also friends with each other.

“Social network analysis and thinking about social networks has been around a long time in sociology,” said Emily Falk, associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School and director of its Communication Neuroscience Lab. “But it’s only recently that these kind of quantitative measures of social networks have been combined with an understanding of the brain. How do your brain dynamics affect your social network and how does your social network affect your brain? We’re at the very tip of the iceberg right now.”

In addition to Schmälzle and Falk, study authors include Matthew Brook O’Donnell, Christopher Cascio and Danielle Bassett, all from the University of Pennsylvania; Javier Garcia and Jean Vettel from the U.S. Army Research Lab; and Joseph Bayer from The Ohio State University.

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Fake News and Filters Aren't Fooling Internet Users

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This story was originally published on MSU Today

Despite what some politicians argue, fake news and biased search algorithms aren’t swaying public opinion, finds a Michigan State University researcher.

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William Dutton

Commissioned and funded by Google, William Dutton, director of MSU’s James and Mary Quello Center in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, and researchers from Oxford University and the University of Ottawa, conducted a survey of 14,000 internet users in seven nations: United States, Britain, France, Poland, Germany, Italy and Spain.

“The role of search in the political arena is of particular significance as it holds the potential to support or undermine democratic processes,” Dutton said. “For example, does online search enable citizens to obtain better information about candidates for political office and issues in elections and public affairs, or do the processes underlying search bias what citizens know in ways that could distort democratic choice?”

While there are country-specific findings, universally, concerns about internet searches undermining the quality and diversity of information accessed by citizens are unwarranted, the study found.

Indeed, search plays a role in how internet users obtain information about politics, but there are several factors that come into play, Dutton said.

“The results from our study show that internet users interested in politics tend to be exposed to multiple media sources, to discover new information, to be skeptical of political information and to check information, such as that seen on social media, by using search,” he said. “These findings should caution governments, business and the public from over-reacting to alarmist panics.”

Key findings:

  • The argument that search creates “filter bubbles,” in which an algorithm guesses what information a user wants based on their information (location, search history), is overstated. In fact, internet users encounter diverse information across multiple media, which challenges their viewpoints.
  • Most users aren’t silenced by contrasting views; nor do they silence those with whom they disagree.
  • News about fake news has created unjustified levels of concern; people use search to check facts and the validity of information found on social media or the internet.
  • Cross-nationally, there are consistent patterns of media use, but people in France and Germany use search engines less and rely more on traditional media. In Italy, residents use search more frequently. Out of the seven countries in the study, internet users in Poland trust search the most to keep them informed and in Spain, users are particularly prone to use the internet to check facts. In the United Kingdom, people use search less, placing more trust in broadcast media.

Most research on internet searches has focused on one platform, such as Twitter or Facebook, Dutton said. The MSU study is one of the first to concentrate on the wider context of a person’s informational and social networks and the wide range of media people consume.

The study can be downloaded from the Social Science Research Network.

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New faculty, expanded directions foster innovation in stuttering research at MSU

Posted on: May 1, 2017

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For 1 percent of people in the United States, the simple act of saying hello can cause stress. Even more children—about 5 to 8 percent—experience difficulties in daily communication caused by the speech fluency condition known as stuttering.

Michigan State University has been a long-time champion in the study, research and clinical practices in the field of stuttering and other language, speech and voice disorders. Professor Emeritus Paul Cooke pursued extensive research into stuttering, and an ongoing study abroad program continues to immerse students into practices and research on an international scale.

In 2017, the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders within the College of Communication Arts and Sciences began strengthening programs and partnerships that will impact the nature and treatment of stuttering on a regional, national and international scale.

In the spring, J. Scott Yaruss joined the CSD team to focus on helping speech-language pathologists improve their ability to provide meaningful and lasting support for people who stutter. Professor Yaruss brings decades of experience in working with people with fluency disorders through research and clinical practice, including his most recent work with the University of Pittsburgh.

"There's lots of excitement around our department here at MSU," says Yaruss. "We have the opportunity to draw on the expertise of our faculty interested in stuttering, and to look at neurological development using different methods. There's pervasive interest across the department, as well as with other universities and organizations for strong partnerships."

Road to innovation
Yaruss says he noticed first-off the incredible camaraderie and collaboration among members of the CSD faculty. The growing team, he says, will examine the nature and treatment of stuttering, and leverage new and existing technological capabilities in the process.

CSD Faculty

CSD Faculty

Among the team members are Adjunct Assistant Professor Soo-Eun Chang, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan who maintains a research lab at MSU. Chang conducts large-scale longitudinal studies using multimodal neuroimaging methods to examine the neural bases of childhood stuttering, while Assistant Professor Amanda Hampton Wray examines a range of communication disorders, including stuttering, by measuring electrophysiological activities.

Other contributors in stuttering research include Assistant Professor Fan Cao who explores neural bases of phonological deficits in language and reading disorders. Associate Professor Laura Dilley examines how neurocognitive systems for processing of speech may be different for people who stutter compared with those who don’t. In 2018, new faculty Bridget Walsh will come on board to apply near-infrared spectroscopy and other methods to study neural processing of people who stutter. Yaruss himself will focus on the neurology of stuttering using a range of methods, as well as applied research on clinical intervention.

Yaruss adds that the CSD team plans to develop programs that help future and current speech pathologists increase their comfort level working with people who stutter. He also looks to strengthen partnerships across universities, including several in Michigan and throughout the Midwest, to research stuttering and other fluency disorders.

"We have an opportunity to develop an emphasis that encompasses many aspects of stuttering, and to bring it together through basic and applied practices," he says. "Our field has expanded in so many ways. We can make strong cases for helping people who stutter lead a full life."

Amanda Hampton Wray concurs.

unspecified-1Like Yaruss, she understands that stuttering in children can contribute to social isolation and bullying, and negatively affect academic success. In adults, people who stutter frequently are channeled into jobs with fewer opportunities for advancement, or have difficulty doing everyday things like ordering off a menu or engaging in casual conversation.

"Stuttering has a significant impact on the way a person interacts and communicates in our world," Hampton Wray says. "Communication is critical for quality of life and social interaction. If we can find ways to alleviate someone's stress and anxiety, and improve their quality of life, we make a positive impact on society."

Hampton Wray came to MSU three years ago, and along with Chang, was one of just two faculty with a research focus on stuttering at MSU.

"It's really exciting to be in a place where there will be lots of people looking at the same question but from different angles," says Hampton Wray. "We've been very fortunate to attract some of the top researchers here. When we have more people thinking about the same thing, it builds collaboration and encourages brainstorming. That leads to innovation and our ability to impact the field."

By Ann Kammerer

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MSU Alum Betters His Craft in Directing and Film

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When Jacob Kornbluth was an Interpersonal Communications major at the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, he had an interest in relationships and uncovering the reasons why people lie. His curiosity in people and all of their complexities mixed with an impulse to learn about concepts he didn’t understand, ultimately resulted in ideas worthy of portraying in film. Ideas that kickstarted his career.  

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Jacob Kornbluth

“I work as a director full time, though I spread my work over short-form and long-form (projects),” explained Kornbluth. “I co-founded a nonprofit with Robert Reich, Inequality Media, that makes short (2-3 minute) videos to explain complex economic issues in a way everyone can understand. In 2016, the videos had 100 million views. As it goes for 2017, the audience has continued to grow and videos have already reached over 70 million views.”

Jacob hopes to make 25 to 50 videos this year. He just released LOVE & TAXES, a feature-length comedy that he directed. Later this year, he plans to release a feature documentary called Saving Capitalism, a Netflix Original Film.

Past success led to future lessons
Kornbluth’s previous work includes a documentary he made after the financial crash of 2008 called Inequality for All. This piece won a special Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, was released by The Weinstein Company and did the best at the box office for any issue documentary since Waiting for Superman. Kornbluth says that to this day, his favorite part of the process was truly understanding the bigger issue by the end of it.

“When I made Inequality for All ... my friends and I were sitting around trying to figure out what happened,” said Kornbluth. “I was watching the news after the crash in a way I hadn’t before. I was trying to make sense of it all, and it felt like the more I learned about what happened, the less I understood it. I didn’t have a financial background, so I went into a period of deep and focused study for a year to figure it out. Now, I refer to this period as my own ‘grad school’.”  

Currently residing in Berkeley, California, Kornbluth is in production on Saving Capitalism, a follow-up to Inequality for All. In collaboration with Robert Reich, it is another piece that tells a compelling story while making sense of tumultuous economic times. Since the 2016 election result, the premise of the story changed from a transition in liberalism and conservatism to the importance of economic power as a whole.

Making his mark
After his time at ComArtSci, Kornbluth has bounced around all over the globe making moves in the industry. Following graduation, he immediately moved to San Francisco looking for a fresh start. He then immersed himself into the theatre culture by directing three comedies, which led him to working on film crews. Eventually, Kornbluth found his way to Los Angeles to immerse himself in the film business.  There, he directed his first comedy film, called Haiku Tunnel, that went to Sundance and was distributed by Song Pictures Classics.

Unknown-1Later, he moved to New York City and created a narrative drama called The Best Thief in the World starring Mary-Louise Parker and other New York Theater actors. Kornbluth’s admiration for theatre led to working as a screenplay writer. He then encountered the itch to get back into directing, this time in documentaries.

“All of (my) work on stories has informed my work as a documentary director,” said Kornbluth. “I believe, first and foremost, a movie needs to be entertaining and fun to watch.  When I bring that approach to ‘big issues,’ the results have been interesting to audiences. My hope is to continue that work going forward.”

Green roots
Kornbluth draws a direct line from where he is today back to his personal experiences as a Spartan. His passion still springs from his own curiosity, which has motivated him while striving toward personal and professional long-term goals.

“My work in film today tends to focus on the big issues, things like economic inequality and climate change, in a way that is personal and approachable,” said Kornbluth. “It’s a genuine privilege to tell stories that help others make sense of the big questions we all share.  I feel like I’m just now getting better at visual storytelling, and hope to spend a lifetime improving on my craft.”

By Emmy Virkus

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Junior Gains Presentation Skills and Confidence Through Internship With The Big Ten Network

Posted on: April 27, 2017

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After a successful internship reporting on live TV for a local news station in Nantucket, advertising junior Kayla Wright set her sights on the Big Ten Network. She applied for MSU BTN, even though she knew there were an overwhelming number of applicants. She got the interview, was offered the internship and was thrilled to accept it.

Wright was the marketing intern for MSU BTN this past year and helped set up the Big Ten tailgate, assisted with advertising, set up home basketball games and, with the help of another intern, facilitated the Instagram contest at each home basketball game.

“It was all about getting the fans that were coming to the games interested in doing the Instagram contest,” Wright said. “We even got to present our ideas for the contest to the BTN marketing team in Chicago. This required knowing a lot about Big Ten, having confidence and being prepared. It was a great challenge.”

Some of Wright’s ideas included using props for the contest with the hashtag visible on them, so people would remember and use it. She also suggested that the interns go to the games after they run the contest to be more educated on what BTN was covering that day.

Interning for a large company like BTN taught Wright the importance of being professional, being on time and how to be a good employee.

“My presentation skills increased, as well as my social presence,” Wright said. “The internship really helped with my confidence, too, as I was always engaging with a really diverse range of people.”

Wright said the interns would have to be prepared to talk to fans, as well as Fox representatives that would come in. They would have to explain what they were working on. One of the representatives posted a photo of Wright and the other marketing intern doing the Instagram contest on LinkedIn, which was great publicity for the MSU Big Ten Network.

“The internship was a lot of talking to families, fans, alumni and just really trying to learn more about people,” Wright said. “I tried to make everything more personable.”

Wright is also getting a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation.

“I have always been interested in the media industry, but I have many interests,” Wright said. “I have even thought about starting my own business. If I have an idea, I just go for it. I love coming up with new ideas and being innovative, which will hopefully help me in all aspects of this industry.”

By Meg Dedyne

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In the Moment

Posted on: April 18, 2017

As we come to the close of this academic year, it is time to pause and reflect on this year of “new faces and new spaces.” We end the year having added 36 new faculty over a span of 18 months and a sparkling new media center that nurtures the birth of new ideas every day. It is indeed a greenhouse where ideas sprout and take a life of their own.

It is important to remember that new ideas sprout from seeds, many of which were sown by professors like Bob Albers and Darcy Greene, who will retire this year. Bob is a legendary figure among our broadcasting students. Three decades ago, he was given a difficult challenge of creating a broadcasting program with limited resources. Like the engine that chanted “I think I can,” he has mentored generations of broadcasting students. At a recent alumni event in Los Angeles, I was touched by the genuine outpouring of goodwill from those who have benefitted from his mentorship and gone on to successful careers.

Bob is also one of the architects of the Media Sandbox, a signature program in our college. Bob’s definition of the Sandbox as a curriculum and creative community has stuck with me. And the new faces and spaces in our college are a manifestation of this creative community he envisioned. Generations of undergraduate students with a yen for making movies will remember Bob through the Albie awards that were created in his honor.

Darcy Greene was one of the first professors in the college to teach interactive media. From designing websites to e-books, Darcy’s skills evolved with changes in technology, media and journalism. Although she has won numerous awards for her photography and design, she prides herself on the awards her students have won and her face lit up when we talked about her students who have gone on to stellar careers. Darcy will be recognized this year with a lifetime achievement award from the Society for Newspaper Design.

In Bob and Darcy, we find the inspiration, values, intellect and dedication required to build something new. They have served as pillars of broadcasting and visual communication in the college and their legacy has now evolved into the Media Sandbox.

Bob likes to day, "The Sandbox is both curriculum and creative community." My hope is that the Sandbox is a space that fosters creativity, community and collaboration in the media arts, where work is play.

Too often these days, we worry about results and awards. In doing so, we lose the joy of the process - the process of creating and the process of teaching. When focused obsessively on outcomes, we become oblivious to moments of “being in the zone” and finding joy in everyday experiences.

Bob and Darcy can retire with satisfaction, knowing that they have instilled in their students and colleagues the notion that the journey is as important as the destination. There is more joy in the process than in the reward. Let’s be intentional about enjoying the process because work is play.

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Sandbox Summer Classes to Provide Creative Outlet for MSU Undergraduates

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If you were that kid in high school carrying a camera around to capture the latest and greatest, designing for yearbook, sketching and drawing, even playing video games - the College of Communication Arts and Sciences has entry-level media and communication classes just for you.

Now, every Michigan State University undergraduate student with a passion for creativity will have a shot at delving deeper into their chosen craft this summer as ComArSci’s Media Sandbox unveils 13 completely online class offerings.

For the first time ever, these creative classes are available to students outside of the college. That means students studying traditionally non-creative topics will get the chance to gain a deeper knowledge of creative skills like photography, videography and design from one of the top communications colleges in the country.

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“The classes will improve your skills beyond what they are now and give you insight into a craft you’ve always loved,” said Karl Gude, director of the Media Sandbox.

Students can take the online classes individually or earn “badges” by taking specific classes together. Acting like a coat of arms for newly developed skillsets, the badges include: The Illustrator, The Gamemaker, The Animator, The Filmmaker, The Web Designer, The Graphic Designer and The Creative. Each badge completed not only provides additional skills but also personal pride points for LinkedIn profiles, resumes, personal websites and more.

About the Media Sandbox
The Media Sandbox is a “creative state of mind,” said Gude. It’s a place where play is work and where “people collect, collaborate and do creative things together.” Students in the program not only benefit from learning and exploring creativity, they also gain knowledge through workshops, field trips, experienced speakers and dedicated faculty.

“I’m excited to spread the word about Sandbox,” Gude told us. “We’re not just a curriculum, we’re a community and we’re growing. There will be lots of events coming up that will be open to all.”

Ready to Enroll in Sandbox Summer Classes?
Media Sandbox is still accepting applicants to these fully online summer classes. Visit the Sandbox Summer Classes website to learn more and apply today.

By Nikki W O'Meara

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