Learning While Enhancing Education in Tanzania

Posted on: September 3, 2015

Tony Perrelli mainMedia and Information senior Tony Perrelli had always dreamed of going to Africa and says he wants to explore the world while he’s “still young.”

The Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) study abroad, which travels to Tanzania each year, gave Perelli the opportunity to do just that while earning credit for his degree.

This service-for-learning program, led by Jennifer Olson, Associate Professor of Media and Information, and Erik Goodman, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, gives MSU students an opportunity to design and implement real-world solutions to make a positive impact in the Rift Valley region of northern Tanzania. It teaches students how to become socially active citizens and how information and communication technologies can be used to create practical solutions to enhance economic and social development in this developing part of the world.

The study abroad group worked with five different schools – three primary and two secondary – where they updated old computers and installed new laptops in every school. They also ran electricity and Wi-Fi to buildings created specifically for computer use. In order to get Internet in each school, they had to link to one central satellite, which required a lot of climbing up towers and on roofs to aim antennas toward the next closest school.

Tanzania main 1“We got to experience so much. We got to work with some of the nicest people I've ever met and it felt really good to know that we were really making a difference to not only students but to teachers as well,” Perrelli said. “Being immersed in the culture and environment really made me think differently about things and I really hope to return and do more in the future.”

Training the Teachers

The study abroad students also trained teachers on how to use the new software and operating system. Many teachers were either used to different operating systems or never used a computer before.

This experience showed Perrelli just how difficult it can be to teach people how to do basic functions on computers such as typing a word document or posting photos to the Internet.

“The teachers in Tanzania had zero experience with these programs since they never had any access to them prior. This took a lot of time but they eventually got the hang of it,” Perrelli said. “This makes me want to see if there is more of a training aspect to my major where I can use my knowledge to help teach people to become better with computers.”

Survival Swahili

The study abroad began at a small university, MS Training Centre for Development Cooperation (MS-TCDC), in Arusha, Tanzania, where students were taught the basics of the Swahili language so they could understand and communicate in the local language. Called “Survival Swahili, one of the assignments was for students to go on their own without any professors or guides to a local market and shop for food in Swahili.

"It was tough but really rewarding," Perrelli said about the assignment.

The students also went on safaris each Sunday and visited three national parks – Arusha National Park, Lake Manyara National Park and Ngorongoro National Park.

“These safaris were some of my favorite parts of the trip, and they really showed us the natural beauty of Tanzania,” Perrelli said. “We saw the coolest animals and they sometimes got closer than I ever would've imagined.”

Perrelli noted that the biggest thing he gained overseas that he could not have gotten on campus was experiencing a different culture.

“It’s rare for people to actually experience (Africa) firsthand,” Perrelli said. “If I hadn’t gone on this trip, I probably would still believe the stereotypes about Africa that you see in the West. I also wouldn’t have gained the ability to work with people that speak little to no English to set up computer systems.”

Perrelli and the other study abroad participants are planning to keep in touch with the teachers they worked with in Tanzania to see future progress and to see if there is anything they can do to continue to help.

For more information on the program, see the Information and Communication Technologies for Development web page.

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Study Abroad Immerses Student in Jordanian Culture

Posted on: August 14, 2015

Andrew Joseph mainIt’s barely past 4 a.m. and the citizens of Amman, Jordan, begin to stir and prepare for adhan, the Islamic call to prayer. This first Morning Prayer concludes as the sun’s rays just touch the horizon. The Islamic call to prayer, which will occur four more times before the day ends, is a daily centerpiece of Middle Eastern culture, a culture that Communication Arts and Sciences senior Andrew Joseph experienced first-hand this summer.

While participating in the “Arabic in Jordan” study abroad, sponsored by Michigan State University's College of Arts and Letters, Joseph confirmed his belief that such an experience does not "magically" improve oneself and skillset, instead it provides the tools and means to reach one’s full potential.

"This trip reinforced that idea and made me realize how important the experience was as a whole to my growth and education," said Joseph, who further expressed that the study abroad met his expectations in regards to learning about Jordan's culture, dialect, people and viewpoints and he “wouldn't trade this experience for anything.”

Arabic in Jordan is an intensive nine-week study abroad program that focuses on the Arabic language and culture. Students in the program receive around 200 hours of exposure to the Arabic language and Levant dialect at the Jordan Language Academy (JLA) in Amman.

A double major in Media and Information and Arabic, Joseph is working to be fluent in Arabic so he can perform "hands-on research with media and Internet use in the Middle East, as well as help conduct business in Arabic when necessary."

"For both my personal and professional goals, it's important to be able to speak in another person's language when I am trying to learn from them, do business with them, or just simply communicate," said Joseph, who recognizes that using someone’s preferred language is more genuine and leads to stronger relationships.

It was the building of relationships that Joseph could not emphasize enough, as he made a handful of Jordanian friends during the study abroad and “learned infinitely more with them than in a classroom."

"Hanging out and interacting with them forced me to think on my feet and under pressure, but allowed me to do so with people I could laugh with when mistakes were made," he said.

During his nine-week study abroad, Joseph stayed with a Jordanian Christian family.

Arabic in Jordan Study Abroad"They were extremely welcoming and even insisted that I call them Mama and Baba," Joseph said.

The host family's older children, who live in the same apartment complex, visited often. A common practice in Jordanian culture, families and extended families often will rent or buy apartment complexes or numerous floors.

"It took me a while to get used to all the noise from having them all over,” Joseph said, “but I now believe I can study with any volume of noise."

Noise, weather, customs or even world perspectives, Joseph had no problem adjusting to it all, and when it came to food, he was particularly receptive. His favorite dish came while camping in Wadi Rum when the Bedouins prepared a traditional meal for his class, which consisted of meat, potatoes and various vegetables all baked and steamed in an underground oven using coals as the heat source.

"Later that same night, we laid out under a clear sky and I can honestly say I have never seen so many stars fill the sky," Joseph said about the class excursion and noted the pleasure of sleeping in tents and waking up to pure desert silence.

Beyond Wadi Rum, the study abroad exposed students to the rich history of Petra, Aqaba and Madaba while leaving them time to learn on their own. Joseph’s most memorable moment came when he and another classmate were invited to visit a newly acquainted friend's home located north of Amman in the city of Jerash.

"The night was truly the most memorable and fun that I had while in Jordan," said Joseph as he recalled the stories, jokes and food shared that night. "I learned so much and had such a great time that I can only hope to pay back the kindness and hospitality they showed me in the future."

Following his time in Jordan, Joseph continued his travels and is presently on a 41-day trip through Europe. He will return to MSU in the fall to start his senior year when he will participate in the Presidential Fellows Program.

"I think the Presidential Fellows Program is a great opportunity for both current and future leaders of various fields to present and learn about their individual interests tied to the presidency and Congress," Joseph said. "It is a hotbed for new and innovative ideas because it allows myself and the other participants to perform mentored research."

The Presidential Fellows Program offers up to 75 top undergraduate and graduate students from leading colleges and universities across the country a year-long opportunity to study the U.S. presidency, the public policymaking process and presidential relations with Congress, allies, the media and the American public.

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Interning at the Traverse City Film Festival

Posted on: July 31, 2015

Savannah Smith mainHundreds of people attend the Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF), going on now through Sunday, Aug. 2, and amongst this excitement is TCFF intern and College of Communication Arts and Sciences senior Savannah Smith.

Smith, a Media and Information major, is serving as a Video Post-Production Intern, working with the short films at the festival.

“As the short films came in, we took them and converted them into a format that was playable at each venue and then we took those and tested them at the venues,” Smith said. “We also did some graphic design work and made a couple videos here and there.”

Michigan State University has partnered with TCFF to create an annual internship program that provides MSU students an opportunity to immerse themselves in the excitement of a nationally recognized film festival.

“I’ve had a great time working with the festival,” Smith said. “It gets pretty stressful, but it's exciting. Some of the best parts were learning how to use the projectors at the venues, and it was exciting to be a part of such a big event.

“So much goes into organizing the staff, the volunteers, the films, the different venues, the parties. It's a crazy amount of planning. We've also been able to learn a lot of technical stuff about encoding films, and how to work with certain types of files. It's a very specific thing that not everyone gets a chance to learn, which is also very interesting.”

The TCFF internships provide opportunities to engage and work with industry professionals such as artists, filmmakers, directors, writers and managers, each with a broad range of experience.

“Not only do you get to work with some amazing people, you get to be a part of something that is really unique and not like other festivals,” Smith said. “It's also a really good chance to challenge yourself. With this internship, there is a lot of responsibility on your shoulders sometimes, and it's really exciting to get the chance to rise to the occasion and take on a challenge.”

Smith plans to graduate in spring 2016 and pursue a career in video production. This internship has allowed Smith to further improve her skills for future endeavors.

“When I started this internship, I really didn't know what I was going to learn. Whether it was going to be useful for my career, help me as a person, or just be something fun,” Smith said. “But I was pleasantly surprised that it was all three. I have been able to work with and learn about the things that directly relate to my major and career, but I also got to learn important skills that could help me in other areas of my life like leadership, organization skills, and effective communication.”

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Study Abroad Travels to Four Countries in Five Weeks

Posted on: July 24, 2015

Mass Media Study Abroad main

Students who participated in the Mass Media study abroad program traveled to four countries in five weeks and had more opportunities to speak with top executives and industry professionals then they ever imagined.

The Mass Media program pulls students from all majors within the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. During the trip, the students heard from speakers and toured several different businesses.

For many of the students, having the opportunity to hear from Josh Berger, President and Managing Director of Warner Bros. Entertainment in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain, was one of the highlights of the trip.

"When Josh entered the room, I was absolutely star struck," said Advertising junior Ali Kazanowski. "He brought a certain aura into the room with him, one that I want to work towards having someday.”

Along with the opportunity to speak with Berger, students also visited Google Headquarters in London and heard from Communications alumna Jennifer Thompson, who now works in brand propositions for Google's North and Central Europe division.

"Her main advice for the media world was to always say yes to any and every opportunity that presents itself," said Advertising junior Katie Hollemans. "Never did she think she would be working for Google, or in London for that matter."

The 21 participants also toured several BBC locations and visited advertising agencies and museums.

The Mass Media study abroad is led by Professor of Journalism Sue Carter and Specialist Troy Hale, who has a joint appointment in the School of Journalism and the Department of Media and Information. The program is the longest running study abroad program offered by the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

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Study Abroad Takes Students to Japan and South Korea

Posted on: June 16, 2015

Japan Study Abroad

The Department of Media and Information recently concluded its study abroad programs in Japan and South Korea, giving students the opportunity to speak with professionals in the game design industry and to experience a different culture.

The two Technology and Culture study abroad programs, led by Associate Professor Constantinos Coursaris and Assistant Professor Wietske Van Osch, offered students the opportunity to travel to Japan or South Korea or to attend both trips, which ran back to back.

Altogether, 24 students participated, and of those, nine students did both trips.

Media and Information junior Alberta Efaw was one of the students traveling to both Japan and South Korea. She said the experience reinvigorated her passion in game design.

"This really solidified my determination to become a game designer," Efaw said. "I think the most informational company visit was to iNiS. They gave a real look into what life is like for a game designer and really encouraged us to ask any and all questions we had about the field."

Japan study abroad 2Students visited three companies in Korea and six while in Japan, including video game developer iNiS.

"I got the chance to do a little bit of networking and watched several other students do the same," Efaw said. "I think that's something that probably doesn't get mentioned about this program enough, you meet all of these incredibly interesting people and you get to talk to them and form relationships that could help you when you are looking for jobs."

In addition to visiting companies, students also visited universities, shrines, castles and museums in several different cities and took in unique cultural experiences, like having a Kobe beef dinner and lunch at a maid café.

"One of the best parts of the trip was Dr. Coursaris and Dr. Van Osch,” Efaw said. “They were both incredibly dedicated to making sure we had a great time and learned as much as we could."

The Technology and Culture study abroad programs are the only faculty led programs from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences that travel to Asia.

"There are tremendous intrinsic experiences that the Technology and Culture programs afforded our students," Coursaris said. "There has consequently been personal growth for both faculty and students and we are overwhelmed by the student's appreciation."

Japan Study Abroad

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Media and Information Student Accepted Into Presidential Fellows Program

Posted on: May 11, 2015

andrew-joseph mainAndrew Joseph, a junior double major in Media and Information and Arabic, has been accepted into the Presidential Fellows Program, becoming MSU’s 9th Presidential Fellow.

The Presidential Fellows Program offers up to 75 top undergraduate and graduate students from leading colleges and universities across the country a year-long opportunity to study the U.S. presidency, the public policymaking process and presidential relations with Congress, allies, the media and the American public.

“Net neutrality and freedom of speech online have become topics of heated debate in Congress and by President Obama,” Joseph said. “I would like to be a Presidential Fellow in order to prepare myself to address these topics through new policies and regulations as well as research the history of previous presidential and congressional decisions influencing the telecommunications and media sector.”

Joseph previously was awarded the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education as well as the Ira & Jennie Greene Endowed Scholarship from MSU’s Department of Communication.

He has worked as a video team crew member for WDBM in East Lansing as well as a camera operator for MSU Spartan Vision. He just finished a video internship with Peckham Inc. and he is a member of the Arabic Language Flagship Program at MSU.

“Andrew’s enthusiasm for research as it relates to the media has already led him to produce two case studies that reviewed data mining at Google and Adobe’s security breach in 2013,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Dean of MSU’s Honors College. “His interest in telecommunications and what effect policies have on the sector make him a good fit for the Presidential Fellows Program and we congratulate him on achieving this distinction.”

Joseph currently is in Jordan on the Arabic in Jordan study abroad trip, which runs May 10 to July 12.

The National and International Fellowship and Scholarship Office at MSU, administered by the Honors College, helps interested undergraduate and graduate students to pursue major national and international opportunities by providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application process.

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Learning by Helping: Students Bring Technology to Tanzania Schools

Posted on: April 2, 2015

Tanzania study abroad program

Long before Michigan State University adopted the "Who Will? Spartans Will" brand, a group of MSU students showed their will – and ingenuity – by building an Internet-enabled, solar-powered computer system. They then took that system to a remote village in the Rift Valley of northern Tanzania and installed it in an elementary school, giving students and teachers access to the vast educational resources and information of the Internet in a place that lacked not only computers, but the electricity to power them.

Unlike many other international projects, this was not a one-time deal. MSU students, primarily from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences and College of Engineering, have returned every year to bring educational technology to that developing part of the world. The project now encompasses three elementary schools and two secondary schools.

A few years ago, the project became an annual MSU service-learning study abroad program open to students from all majors. The Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) in Tanzania study abroad gives MSU students an opportunity to design and implement real-world solutions to improve the learning experience for African students in Tanzania's Rift Valley.

Each year, the program takes on one big project. Last year's project was to design and install a video conferencing system between the two secondary schools.

Tanzania study abroad main 2"The reason we developed a video conferencing system and why the Tanzanians are so excited about it is because there is a severe teacher shortage in Tanzania, especially for more advanced subjects like physics. With this system, one teacher can teach in two schools at the same time," said Jennifer Olson, Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Information, who leads the program along with Erik Goodman, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

MSU students are making a big difference for the teachers and students at these schools. At the same time, they also come away with many once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

"Our students go to a country halfway around the world that has a completely different culture and see that they are able to communicate with people and install or complete the project as planned," Olson said. "They walk away with a better understanding of different cultures and see how they can work in that culture and how they can contribute."

Linlin Liang, a graduate student in the Department of Media and Information who participated in last year's study abroad, worked on a survey to help gauge program progress and to make future improvements.

"Tanzania is a beautiful country with friendly people, nothing like the stereotypes about the African continent," Liang said. "Students are eager to learn more and access educational materials. Meanwhile, teachers are attempting to improve their teaching skills and gain more knowledge by using computers. The project helped me to be more sensitive to cultural environments and appreciate more about multiculturalism."

eastafricaThis year's program, which runs from May 19 to June 17, will work with the teachers on using the video conferencing system.

"We'll be teaching them how to record their lessons to use in other classrooms and in other schools," Olson said. "It should be a big help in reducing the lack of teachers."

The project is funded in part by corporate partners with start-up funding from MSU. However, to continue the program additional funding is needed.

Private Funds Help Launch Program

When the project first began, Lenovo, a computer manufacturing company, wanted to sponsor a senior capstone design team in electrical and computer engineering to work on technology for creating cost-effective, solar-powered computers for a developing country.

Goodman, who was teaching the electrical and computer engineering capstone course at the time, teamed up with Olson, whose research is in communication technology in Africa, and the idea for a senior capstone design project was approved.

"When we first went to this village and installed the computers, the teachers had never used computers," Olson said. "They were afraid to touch them and wouldn't let the students touch them for fear they would break them.

"Now the teachers are much more familiar with computers. They have email and Facebook accounts and are using computers in their teaching. There also are computer clubs for students, many of whom can speak knowledgeably about using computers and the info that is available."

Tanzania study abroad main 3The program started in 2008 with MSU students designing an innovative, multi-seat computer system and a solar power system to run it. Meanwhile, Olson and Goodman went to Tanzania searching for a site to install the system. Olson's familiarity with the country helped in finding a town with appropriate housing for MSU students and the perfect rural primary school. The town selected was Mto wa Mbu, southwest of Mount Kilimanjaro.

MSU students and professors then traveled to Tanzania and were joined by faculty members and electrical engineering students from Tanzania's University of Dar es Salaam. The group worked from dawn to dusk to assemble, install and test the system in the school – the first primary school in Tanzania to have Internet access.

The team was undaunted by the lack of electricity, the extreme heat and dust, many large and small critters chewing on wires and parts, and excited users who had never touched a computer before.

In the end, the computer system the students designed turned into a strong, rugged system that uses little power. It has forever changed the lives of the Tanzanian students and teachers.

"My experiences in Tanzania both as an engineer-in-training and as a young man are immeasurable," said Eric Tarkleson (B.S. '09, M.S. '13 Electrical Engineering), who went with the first group of students in 2008 and returned 11 times since then as part of the project. "Traveling to a place like Tanzania as an American for the first time shifts one's perspective. My views and ideas are different because of my travels and experiences there."

In addition to the expansion of computer systems, the project has expanded in other ways. A Tanzanian, who is a computer specialist, now keeps things running all year long and does training and repairs when needed. This regular maintenance is vital to the project.

More Funding Needed

Organizers of the long-running project are now raising additional funds to help keep the program going.

Tanzania study abroad main 5"We have sought grants working with Tanzanian partners to expand the program, but so far we have not been successful," Goodman said. "We need support to pay our Tanzanian computer expert who keep the system running when we are not there and to pay bills from our Internet provider."

In addition to the yearly student trip to Tanzania, Goodman and Olson make a second trip to Tanzania each year to set up the next year's program. Also, rental vehicles are needed to transport MSU students and equipment to the remote villages.

For more information on ways to donate to the project, contact Olson at olsonjj@msu.edu; Goodman at goodman@egr.msu.edu or 517-355-6453; or go to the "Tanzania Service Learning Project for Computers in Schools" web page.

(Jane DePriest and the College of Engineering contributed to this story. See a similar article, "Learning by helping: MSU students engineer solutions in Africa," on the College of Engineering website.)

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Students Produce Video Shorts for WKAR

Posted on: March 4, 2015

WKAR interstitials main

Time spent in the classroom has its limits when it comes to real-world experience. Challenging those limits is a course in the College Communication Arts and Sciences (ComArtSci) that offers students the opportunity to work with professional clients and to have their work featured on WKAR.

Led by Amol Pavangadkar, Senior Producer and Teaching Specialist with the Department of Media and Information, TC 442 gives students the opportunity to design and develop television and cinema projects in a team setting.

As part of the class, students produce 90-second video features (interstitials), showcasing local nonprofit organizations to be broadcast on all three WKAR-TV channels between programs.

"The class is extremely engaging and informative," said Media and Information senior Alyssa Cleland, who took the class last fall and worked with the nonprofit Ele's Place. "It was intellectually challenging and it helped me develop the skills I will need to embrace in the professional world."

Students are assigned a client project where they work in groups of four to five, under the guidance of WKAR, to produce an interstitial for a local nonprofit such as the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness, Greater Lansing Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity.

WKAR interstitials 1"My group worked with The Boys and Girls Club of America in Lansing, who couldn't have been more welcoming and excited to have us produce a video for them," said senior Daniel Wogan, who is majoring in Media and Information with a concentration in TV, Cinema and Radio. "The Boys and Girls Club of America Director, James, was really happy to be interviewed, and the whole organization couldn't have been more receptive."

For the past six years, TC 442 (Cinema and Television Projects) has partnered with WKAR to produce local content. The project continues this semester with students working with various organizations, including the City Rescue Mission and Capital Area Humane Society.

"It's more than just a class," said Gary Reid, Director of Broadcasting and General Manager of WDBM-FM, WKAR-AM/FM/TV. "The community wins by having great content, the station wins by having supplemented production, and the students win by having great call letter experience."

Two of the student-produced interstitials that are now airing on WKAR, include:

"I really enjoy working with the TC 442 students," said WKAR-TV Station Manager Susi Elkins. "Professor Pavangadkar recognizes that most of his students will be working for a client at some stage in their career. Our partnership exposes the students to a real-life situation of working for a community organization."

TC 442 is open to juniors, seniors or graduate students studying media and information. Students participate in a production cycle, including planning, budgeting, design, proposal writing, production, testing and evaluation.

"This class gives you the freedom to be creative and produce things in your own image, but at the same time, teaches you how to abide to parameters and the standard to which is expected in this field," said Media and Information senior Aaron Shencopp, who worked with the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum.

WKAR interstitials 3When asked about any major challenges the students face, Pavangadkar shared that they get a dose of reality, such as dealing with rejection and adjusting to complications.

"The reason I started this course is because students need the professional experience," Pavangadkar said. "And, this course gives them the experience they need to survive in the media industry."

Graduates of the class find themselves using what they learned long after they complete the course. Wogan has since been hired by WKAR as an After Effects Artist; Cleland currently is working on several different professional projects as a result of the class; and Shencopp also is using what he learned as an intern at Fox47 where he works on PressPass Daily with Jack Ebling as well as assists in shooting promotional spots and advertisements.

The relationship between ComArtSci and WKAR is unique – one that Reid says is one of a kind in Michigan.

"This is a unique sort of partnership between the college, the students, the station and the community," Reid said. "And to me that is an important point of connection."

Not only is WKAR involved with TC 442, but it also works with students in Advertising 402, Public Relations Topics in Advertising; Journalism 450, Creating and Marketing Journalism Media; and Sports Journalism classes, such as Sports Reporting III 418.

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Award Helps Student Achieve Production Dream

Posted on:

Michael Cauchi mainWith help from a Career Internship Award, media and information major Michael Cauchi was able to pursue a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity interning with a nationally televised talk show in Los Angeles, Calif.

Cauchi, a senior from Novi, Mich., spent this past summer working as a Control Room Intern at "Conan," an hour-long, late-night talk show hosted by Conan O'Brien that airs four days a week on TBS.

"It was my goal to spend the summer working in L.A., and I could not think of a more fun place to do that than 'Conan,'" Cauchi said. "The money from the internship award was helpful because it took some of the pressure off my credits, travel and living expenses. This was essential because it allowed me to take advantage of this amazing opportunity and not worry about the cost as much."

As a Control Room Intern, Cauchi assisted the director and crew in the daily production of the show.

"I loved everything about working at 'Conan'. I handled scripts, run downs, timing out song, and doing anything else that would come up throughout the day," he said. "I was so excited to go to work everyday. It was cool to be on the Warner Brothers lot and see what was going on in the center of the film industry. It also was great to be sitting behind the director everyday learning from him and his experience."

After he graduates in May, Cauchi would like to work in a control room, something his "Conan" internship has helped prepare him for.

"This internship has taught me a lot about the day-to-day operation of a television show at the highest level," Cauchi said. "I learned a lot about what to do and what not to do in a professional control room. I saw what the day-to-day routine was like, learned the dos and don'ts, how a crew comes together to produce a show, and what it takes to make television at that level. Everyone there had a lot of great advice about how to navigate my way through the industry and I could not have gotten that anywhere else.

"This will be a huge advantage for me once I get a job because I will be able to adapt quickly to the professional work environment."

The "Conan" internship also gave Cauchi the opportunity to live and work in L.A.

"I learned a lot just by living in L.A. and loved exploring the city in my free time," he said. "I had never been there before and now when I go back to find a job, I know what to expect and won't be so overwhelmed. Taking the risk and moving out there showed me that living 3,000 miles a way is not as scary as I thought."

Cauchi credits the ComArtSci Center for Careers and Internships and his MSU education with helping him land and succeed at his internship.

"The career office helped me a lot to strengthen my resume and taught me how to show off my skills so I could actually get noticed," he said. "MSU helped me gain tons of production knowledge and experience. Because of this, I was able to talk to the crew about specific things that they were doing, which really impressed them."

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Video Students Document Spartan Stampede

Posted on: February 24, 2015

Spartan StampedeFor the second year in a row, Media and Information video students documented the annual Spartan Stampede, which is hosted by the MSU Rodeo Club and showcases premier athletes from the ranks of the International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA).

This experience, led by Media Information student producer Jessica Niskar and overseen by Broadcast and Systems Information Engineer Brian Kusch, gave 15 students the chance to get live event production experience.

Spartan Stampede 2To prepare for the event, the students met several times to learn the details about rodeos, how to properly approach the videotaping process with regards to a fast-moving live event, and the general breakdown of how to create a successful production.

A month before the event, Niskar's crew scouted the location, then planned their approach. They learned how to work within the parameters of the location, setup and run the equipment, and crew the event. Over three days, the crew worked 30 hours to complete the production.

Following in the footsteps of ESPN, the students decided which stories and themes to follow, and edited those stories accordingly. The students are currently working on the final edit of the Stampede, which will be available online.

For more photos of the event, see the Media and Information Flickr account.

Spartan Stampede 3


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