Peace, Love and Not War By: Sparty

Posted on: June 22, 2017

This post was originally published on the MSU Mass Media 2017 blog.

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My last day in Belfast was cool and informative. I’ve even picked up a bit of an accent. In the beginning, my friends, Troy and Myself were a we bit confused.  We didn’t know if Belfast was considered apart of Northern Ireland or just Ireland. I’ve over heard some of my friends being corrected by natives.

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Today, all of that was cleared up. There seems to be a division between Irish Catholics and Irish Proestants. The Catholics self identify as Irish and consider Belfast to be in “Ireland.” The Protestants consider themselves British and loyal to the Queen. They are the ones who consider Belfast to be in “Northern Ireland.”

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The peace wall is what separates Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods.  Things are not as bad as they were when the separation first started back in 1969. However, the war between the two are similar to the race war in America and has yet to come to a complete end. The purpose of the peace wall is to minimize violence between the two neighborhoods.

By Devinnia Marie (aka "Sparty")

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“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”

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This post was originally published on the MSU Mass Media 2017 blog. 

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Sparty here! What a long, awesome day. When we woke up in Ballintoy, which is miniscule in comparison to Michigan State, we all packed up our bags and left our first hostel stay of the trip. We hopped back on the bus and head out for our first destination: Dunseverick Castle.

Dunseverick Castle was much different than the castle we went to on Wednesday. This castle is entirely in ruins, and the only parts of it left are two big, stone pillars. It wasn’t a long stop since there wasn’t a ton to look at, but it’s definitely interesting to see how time changes things. I mean, when you stop and think about it, back when that castle stood in all of its glory, I wouldn’t have been able to write a blog post about it.

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From there, we headed over to Derry, where we explored the wall surrounding the old city and learned its history. The wall was used to protect those in the old city from cannons being fired from enemies when the people of Derry were at war. Though they could fire over the wall, it was a smart tactic to build the wall so thick so that it was difficult to break through.

My favorite part of the day was hiking with all of the students up Slieve League, the tallest sea cliffs in Europe. It was hard to keep up since my legs are so much shorter than everyone else’s, and it was one of the warmest days Ireland has seen so far this year, but that four-mile hike was well worth it. The view was breathtaking, even for a doll who never breathed in the first place.

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If you’re interested, Shamrocker Tours posted a picture of us on their Instagram page, so go check it out! Staying at the hostel and being up in the mountains for so long these past few days have made me realize how much we rely on technology, and how we panic when we lose service or Wi-Fi. It has been an eye-opening experience to see how normal it is for people in other areas can do so easily without media and excessive technology.

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Sparty’s Adventure at Dunluce Castle & Giant Causeway

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This post was originally published on the MSU Mass Media 2017 blog. Min 1

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In the last two days, our trip of Northern Ireland was continued. Of course, the green spirit can’t be carried without Sparty, the mascot of Michigan State University.

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Sparty’s had an adventure at Giant’s Causeway and Dunluce Castle, what’s more exciting? He visited a few locations where the Game of Thrones was filmed!

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Sparty has made some new friends. Many people in this region are pastoralists, raising herds of animals — mostly sheep — as a source of both income and nutrition. It’s impossible to drive 5 minutes here without coming across a flock of sheep. It’s true, there are more sheep than people in Ireland.

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By Min Wang

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Sparty Takes on the Guinness Factory

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This post was originally published on the MSU Mass Media 2017 blog. 

Today I had the great honor of going to the Guinness Storehouse with my friend Trevor. I was really excited to learn and taste the best beer in Dublin. I have personally never tasted a Guinness, but Trevor assured me that I would like it. When we arrived to the factory I was shocked at the size of the property. I learned that Guinness was founded in 1759 by Arthur Guinness with a 45 pound loan for 9,000 years. The tour was very insightful, but I felt I would’ve learned more if we had a tour guide.

Trevor1Trevor and I were happy to learn that Guinness had a whole floor dedicated to advertising. They had ads dating back to the beginning of their company. The picture below is from the first time Guinness was featured in a national paper. It was really neat to see that they have preserved Guinness artifacts, and that they are still in great shape today.

Another thing that we learned was that Guinness is important to the economy and the community. They sponsor many local events and have a great reputation as a whole organization.Trevor2

At the end of the tour we were treated to a fresh cold pint in their gravity bar. This bar is a 360 degree bar with great views of Dublin. I will say the I am not a fan of the beer, but I did learn a lot today. I can’t wait to tell my other friends about this day! I would also like to thank   Trevor for being a great guide, and for being an even better friend!

By Trevor Goslin (aka "Sparty)

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Sparty Goes to the Titanic Museum

Posted on: June 8, 2017

This post was originally published on the MSU Mass Media 2017 blogTitanic Sparty

The past few days have been rough for me. I traveled to the U.K. with some friends in the Mass Media in the U.K. program. Unfortunately, they didn’t even buy me a plane ticket, so I had to travel all the way across the pond in a suitcase. Today, they finally decided to take me out for some fun. Our first stop was the Titanic Museum in Belfast, Northern Ireland. While visiting the museum we learned about the history of Belfast, which is where the Titanic was built. I saw tons of pictures and artifacts. We got to read about passengers aboard the ship who survived and who had passed. There was even one little 9 year old boy, Frank J. Goldsmith who was on the Titanic emigrating to Detroit, Michigan! Sadly, he did not survive, but still cool to read about because Detroit isn’t too far from my home at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan!

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After the museum we left and went to a delicious lunch at a pub called McHugh’s. My friends didn’t buy me any lunch (which made me kind of sad), but their food sure did lookTitanic Museum yummy! Some kids got fish & chips and others got bangers & mash. We sat around and chatted for a while before we had to figure out how to pay the bill. The money system in the U.K. is definitely different from America, but were catching on quickly! I’m having so much fun here in Belfast, I don’t know if I ever want to come home!

To learn more about the study abroad trip, follow the students' Mass Media blog.

By Alli Stark (aka "Sparty") 

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6 resources to maximize your student experience at ComArtSci

Posted on: January 24, 2017

At the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your time as a student and prepare for your future as a professional and successful alum. From one-on-one advising to study abroad opportunities, career fairs and resume workshops – you don’t want to miss out.

  1. Academic Advising

Students are welcomed to schedule appointments with their advisors to discuss their major, student life and more. New available dates and times are posted online every Wednesday. Follow these instructions for how to schedule an appointment.

For students with quick questions and busy schedules, Express Advising hours are offered every Wednesday from 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. These meetings are organized on a first-come, first-served basis. Simply sign up in room 189 of the ComArtSci building. Kari Schueller, the director of Academic and Student Affairs, suggests that students take advantage of the 8 a.m. start time, as afternoon hours are often much busier.

  1. Career Services


Looking for internship positions or some extra help perfecting your resume? Student peer advisors host regular drop-in hours at the front desk of the career services office in room 181.

Karin Hanson, field career consultant, emphasizes the importance of having your resume and cover letter reviewed by someone in the office. They work directly with job recruiters, so they know what advice to offer students seeking internships and entry level positions.

In addition to regularly scheduled events like networking mixers and resume workshops, the office organizes the annual MSU ComArtSci Connect Career Fair. The fair is set up to give students the chance to learn about potential employment opportunities at companies across the nation and meet professionals in their field.

ComArtSci students have made great relationships at this event. Read a few testimonials from students who have completed internships they discovered at the career fair.

  1. Study Abroad

Michigan State University is known across the country for being a leader in study abroad programs, with over 275 programs in more than 60 countries around the world.

At ComArtSci, some of the most popular trips include “Advertising and Public Relations a la Mediterranean” as well as the “Mass Media in the UK-London, Scotland and Wales.”

For questions about how to make study abroad a possibility for you, visit the Office of Study Abroad or set up an appointment with Jennifer New, assistant director of Academic & Student Affairs. Peer advisors are also available in-person during walk-in hours as well as online to discuss plans.

  1. Study Away


Want to travel to new places, but not interested in going abroad? ComArtSci’s Study Away Field Experience courses might be the best option for you.

Each semester, the course offers students the opportunity to learn about companies in Los Angeles, New York City or Chicago and it concludes with a trip to the city that was focused on.

Advertising senior Emmy Virkus recently traveled with the program to Chicago and wrote about her experience.

  1. Student Organizations

With creativity around every corner, students at ComArtSci have established many student groups in order to utilize the skills they’re learning in their classes.

Whether you’re a professional behind the camera or a young writer looking for ways to get published, there’s a list of different organizations that you can choose from. A few of our students who lead these groups can also tell you why you should join theirs.

  1. Creative Spaces

The college has been buzzing this year about the recently opened Spartan Newsroom and Immersive Media Studio, fit with a digital animation center and a news desk. The space was briefly open for the first time on election day, Nov. 8, 2016. Students and faculty from the
School of Journalism showcased their skills, providing live coverage and updated information during an event called MI First Election. After officially opening in January, students are now taking classes in the space and using the equipment to produce innovative content.

Students also make popular use of the Digital Media Arts and Technology Lab, fondly nicknamed “DMAT,” located on the first floor of the ComArtSci building. The college offers high-tech equipment, like soundproof spaces, microphones and softwares for work with audio, video and more. Several student-produced shows are filmed and edited here!

The College of Communication Arts and Sciences also headquarters WKAR Public Media, the local TV and radio broadcasting entity. The studios are spread throughout the building, so students are often invited and given the chance to work, gain hands-on experience, contribute to radio programs and even assist as interns on various production crews.

By Savannah Swix

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ComArtSci student organizations help members strengthen their unique talents

Posted on: December 6, 2016

At the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, students’ skills and talents for the creative industry are honed through their education and faculty mentors. Additionally, the work they do outside the classroom on their own time proves dedication to the acceleration of their craft.

ComArtSci students lead several organizations on campus that allow them the opportunity to use the techniques they are building in school to create tangible products and experiences to showcase in their futures.  Each group has its own set of values, its own mission and goals that bring a variety of students together, making  strangers into friends and beginners into young professionals.

Whether it be producing videos, writing press releases, comprising future projects or meeting with top executives in the industry, ComArtSci student organizations have a network for everybody.

MSU Telecasters

MSU Telecasters is the second largest organization at Michigan State University and known for the seven different television shows it produces that range from comedy, drama and are created using a wide array of production styles.

13641295_1245445772155344_21121443097867109_oAnna Young, senior media and information major and executive producer for the club, reflects on the relationships that she has formed as a member.

“My favorite thing about Telecasters is the people,” said Young. “Everyone has so much fun together, both while we're shooting and while we're not. It really has been the best part of my college experience just because of the people I've met.”

Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)

For senior Advertising + Public Relations student Danielle Homic, being the president of PRSSA has broadened her professional network and provided her with various  hands-on learning experiences.

PRSSA has two missions: to serve members by enhancing their knowledge of public relations by providing aimg_1981ccess to professional development opportunities, and to serve the public relations profession by helping develop high quality, well-prepared students.

“I would absolutely recommend prospective students join PRSSA,” said Homic. “We have so many opportunities for members from planning events and case study competitions to joining our student-run firm, Hubbell Connections, as well as writing press releases and blog posts. There are 300 chapters nationwide, all of which have their own strengths and weaknesses.”

Michigan State University Advertising Association (MSUAA)

Communications Director for MSUAA and junior advertising major Sidney Matthews said she loves that a  wide variety of advertising students come together with a similar purpose as members of the organization.r_ga-visit-2

MSUAA is a club that hones in on the advertising industry, giving students countless opportunities to network with top professionals and share personal experiences.

“Hearing from the different executives that come to our meetings and how they got their start inspires me and makes me feel more confident in the future,” said Matthews. “I was hesitant at first and have thoroughly enjoyed listening to our guest speakers and going on the agency tours. Not only have I met a bunch of great people, but I have learned so much.”

To learn more about the various student organizations at ComArtSci and how to find the ones that best fit you, click here.

By Emmy Virkus

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Beyond Bollywood Music Video Goes Global

Posted on: September 30, 2016

For the third summer in a row, ComArtSci students traveled to India, home of the internationally-known Bollywood industry, to participate in a production-based study abroad program.

The students spent about a month in India traveling to cities around the country including Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai, and more learning about Indian media and creating films.

For two weeks of their trip the students, led by Amol Pavangadkar, a senior teaching specialist in the Department of Media and Information, stayed in Hyderabad touring Ramoji Film City, the world’s largest film studio. Senior media and information student Claudia Price compared it to the United States’ Universal Studios.

While in India, the students produced a short film that they wrote, performed, and filmed with the help of a crew from Ramoji Film City. The film features a music video in the same style as many Bollywood films. The students learned the choreography and lyrics to a song in the local language called “Lungi Dance” from the popular film “Chennai Express.”

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By Savannah Swix

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Students return from first-ever Sports JRN Study Abroad program

Posted on: July 13, 2016

sports jrn study abroadAfter a month of exploring the cities of Paris and Rome, 22 students completed the first Sports Journalism Study Abroad program on June 27.

Making Connections

Following their arrival in Paris on May 30, the group wasted no time maximizing the experience.

During the program, the students participated in several unique opportunities including a trip to the French Open, a tour of Eurosport – one of the largest sports networks in the world – and a visit to the headquarters of the Italian Olympic Committee where they were presented with Rome’s bid for the 2024 Olympics. The students also did some sightseeing of classic destinations, like the Eiffel Tower. In addition, they were given a special tour of the Pope’s private gardens in Rome and a trip to Normandy, a region of France, to visit a famous equestrian facility.sportsjrn

The group met with Olympic athletes and reporters from all over the world including Suzette Hackney, a Journalism alumna who now works for the Indy Star as the Editorial Page Editor; Chuck Culpepper, writer for the Washington Post; Jim Bittermann, head of the European Bureau of CNN; and retired sportswriter John Henderson who shared his experience meeting the students on his blog.

Joanne Gerstner, Sports Journalist in Residence at the School of Journalism, and Journalism professor and specialist Lori Anne Dickerson used their connections in the field to make these encounters possible for the students.

“I think the reaction was ‘Wow, journalism is journalism.’ It doesn’t matter where you are, being good at what you do – your reporting, your writing, your sourcing – that’s what wins the game,” said Gerstner.

Lifelong Experiences

Recent graduate Hanna Sprague finished her final credits during the trip. She said that it opened her eyes to unknown career opportunities and triggered her “travel bug.”

The things we learned though meeting with the professionals on our trips were things that no textbook could ever dream of teaching. We were hands-on, live and interacting with some of the most respected journalists, PR professionals and athletes in the world,” said Sprague. “We represented so much more than ourselves. We represented the J-School, we represented Michigan State and we represented the future of sports journalism.”study abroad

Senior Christopher Boggus savored the small things during the trip like cooking an authentic Italian meal with some of the other students and climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower. He called himself lucky to have been a part of the study abroad.

The time I spent over here making new friends and learning from the different journalists and athletes has helped me grow not only as a journalist, but also as a person and a student of life,” said Boggus. “Not to mention just living within the bounds of these cultural differences gives you a certain perspective that I believe is going to be very important for me becoming a more wise and intelligent contributor to this world.”

The Journey Continues

A second Sports Journalism study abroad is reportedly guaranteed, according to Gerstner who said that students have already contacted her to express their interest in the next trip. She explained that, at this time, they are planning to host the trip every other year in order to keep it “special” and coordinate more unique experiences and connections abroad.

“The good news is we pretty much put out the Sparty flag, as we called it, anywhere and everywhere you could go, so we spread the name of MSU Sports Journalism far and wide and every single group and person that came in contact with our students were just like ‘These students are amazing. They’re great. It’s so good to see the future of journalism is in their hands.’ They made some good impressions, so I was a very happy professor,” said Gerstner.

Read the group’s daily blog, see pictures and more on their website.



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Sports Journalism program making a name for itself

Posted on: May 4, 2016

IMG_4134The world is accustomed to Michigan State sports teams making waves.

Another facet of Michigan State sports is making a name for itself, as the School of Journalism is building one of the strongest Sports Journalism programs in the country.

This school year has shown the strength of the program: students getting jobs and internships at ESPN and other major outlets, more than 200 students and alumni involved in the Spartan Sports Journalism Classic, a fully booked inaugural Sports Journalism Study Abroad for summer 2016, and students creating professional content for WKAR platforms.

“All the wonderful things that are happening right now within MSU Sports Journalism is a testament to our fantastic students and faculty,” said Continuing Specialist L.A. Dickerson, who has been building the Sports Journalism program for more than a decade. “We have such strong and talented students who are so eager to take every opportunity, and that’s why they are all doing so well in the field.”

The Sports Journalism curriculum is a specialization offered for Journalism majors. Students within the School of Journalism elect to take Sports Journalism classes, ranging from sports writing to advanced content creation.

The strength of MSU’s Sports Journalism family was on display this past fall, when the Spartan Sports Journalism Classic took center stage. Former NBA and MSU basketball star Steve Smith, now a TBS and NBAtv broadcaster, again hosted the event. More than 50 MSU alumni who are sports journalists and media professionals came from around the country to network and share knowledge with students.

“It was my first Spartan Sports Journalism Classic, and I was completely blown away by the enthusiasm, love and total support from everybody for what we are doing,” said Joanne C. Gerstner, School of Journalism Sports Journalist in Residence. “So many of our students walked away with internship and job leads, critical career advice and a strong sense of what their futures could be like in sports journalism. Not too many schools of journalism can draw upon such as strong roster of caring alumni like that. We truly have something special here.”

The Sports Journalism program is constantly striving to bring new experiences to students. This year, students had the opportunity to exclusively tour ESPN’s College GameDay football set and network with ESPN’s broadcast professionals. They went to Joe Louis Arena to build relationships with the Detroit Red Wings and hockey media. Sports Journalism students also had the experience of doing live broadcasts on The Weather Channel and before MSU football games – opportunities solely reserved for them.

One of the more innovative new features is the addition of a Sports Journalism Study Abroad. The class, which runs from May 30-June 27, 2016, will take 24 students to Paris and Rome to study sporting cultures, sports journalism and storied Olympic histories of both cities. Led by Dickerson and Gerstner, the Study Abroad was filled to capacity within weeks of opening for registration in the fall.

The students are scheduled to interact with sports media from L’Equipe, ESPN, SkySports, as well as learn from Olympic historians, soccer experts, the 2024 Rome and Paris Olympic bid teams, and others involved in the European sports scene. The French Open tennis championship, as well as the 2016 Euro soccer tournament, also will be underway while the students are in Paris.

“We’re helping form the future of sports journalism, and we’re really excited about our students’ potential to make a real impact on the world of media,” Gerstner said. “The interconnectivity of their education, real-world experiences and being globally informed about sports journalism will certainly make our students some of the most well-rounded in the country. There is a real legacy of important sports journalism coming from MSU alumni, and I see our students definitely carrying that forward.”

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