Author Archives: Shannon Brys and Samantha Severo

About Shannon Brys and Samantha Severo

Shannon Brys and Samantha Severo are the authors of this blog. We are both juniors and communication majors at the University of Mount Union with concentrations in public relations and media studies.

Opening doors

Opening doors

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Aside from my jobs at the Winking Lizard and Bob Evans as a server, I am also employed at Hermes Sports and Events this summer. I was an intern at Hermes last summer and spent the summer waking up early on the weekends to head out to races and help with management and also helping run the sporting tournaments that were in the Cleveland Corporate Challenge. During the week, I worked 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the office in Cleveland doing prepwork for the races, running errands for the company, talking to clients, getting runners into the system as they sent in their registration forms and a bunch of other odd and end tasks.

I’m really excited because this month they emailed me and asked me if I’d work a race for them. This race was in Brecksville and they asked me if I could be there at 6:30 a.m. It is a very early morning but it’s so awesome to be out there and see everyone excited to be active and run a race. This time, I helped with registration before the race started and then results when the runners had finished coming through the finish line. I was done with work by 9:30 a.m. and then could go and have the rest of my day to get things done.

That’s one reason I would most recommend internships. They will open doors for you and if the company does want to keep you around and pay you for work, they will.

Hermes also asked me if I would go with them on a week-long trip in August to Kansas City, Missouri to help manage the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. That was one of my favorite things to do when I was an intern with them last summer and I was more than happy to say yes to go with them again. I had to take a week off of my other jobs but Hermes is paying me for that week and I love what we do. I also fell in love with Kansas City the first time I went so I’m really excited to be in the city again too. :]

Internships are rough sometimes because most are unpaid, but if they do end up asking you to help when your internship is over, you can be a paid employee and if you already love the company, it’s perfect!

Hope everyone has a fantastic holiday weekend. We’ve got some beautiful weather coming our way!

-Shannon

Opening a new chapter

Opening a new chapter

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The day has finally arrived. Yes, the day where a new puppy has been added to the family!

We’ve always been an animal family. Back in the day my family had dogs, cats, fish, birds, turtles, rabbits – you name it, we had it. We even had ducks at one point! Over time, our number of animals dwindled due to moving around, etc. Over the past few years, my mom and I have been tossing around the idea of getting a puppy, but never landing on an agreement. Finally, Saturday evening, my mom decided that it was time we gave in and got a new addition to the family.

Sunday morning consisted of us visiting local animal shelters, listing the pros and cons of every dog we fell in love with. If it was up to us, we would have taken them all home – but we all know that is a little difficult.

When we thought that Sunday was not our day to find a dog, we found a number in the newspaper of a breeder that lives right down the street. We took a chance and hurried over to the house to find a yard full of puppies! We spent what felt like hours trying to decide which one was right for us.

We agreed on Bella (my mom chose the name!), the little female Morkie (Maltese and Yorkie, how cute!) who stood out among all of the others. We excitedly went to the pet store and stocked up on dog food, toys and all the other fun stuff that comes along with getting a new dog.

As excited as I am that we added a new member to our family, I am getting kind of bummed that school starts in two months and pretty soon I’ll have to leave her home when it is time to go back. However, one of the greatest things about being a student at Mount Union, is that the school is only an hour away from home! How perfect is that? I can come home and visit her whenever I want. Not only that, my mom and her can come up and visit me as well! I’ll be living in the new townhouses this year, which means we’ll have a big courtyard in front of our house for her to play in.

Hope everyone else is having as great of a summer as I am!

-samantha

Back from biking!

Back from biking!

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I’m back home now from the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure (GOBA). It was a long week and we had fun but I am definitely glad to be back at home and sleeping in my actual bed.

The week started out last Saturday evening in Kenton, OH and we woke up the next morning at 5:30 a.m. to head out to Marion, OH. It was a 58-mile ride that day and the morning was really foggy but the rain held out on us, which was really nice. When we arrived to Marion, we found out that we were staying the night at a fairground. They actually had a really nice set-up for us. My family put our two tents right next to an ice cream booth and we got milkshakes after we were all set up. That night, we explored Marion a little and enjoyed the entertainment that the city had provided for us.

One of the events was a game show modeled after the television show ”Minute to Win It.” My sister and I love that show so we wanted to be contestants. The host of the show picked the two of us to go head-to-head in a challenge called “Junk in the Trunk.” If you’ve never seen the show before, this challenge involves a tissue box being tied around your waist with about 8 ping pong balls inside. The point of the challenge is to get all of these balls outside of the box that is on your lower back without using your hands. Molly and I were dancing around and doing backbends until all of our ping pong balls flew all over the stage and we ended in a tie.

The next day we woke up before the sun again to ride 50 miles to Delaware, OH. We were in Delaware all day Monday and Tuesday because Tuesday was a layover day. Those days are optional for riders and the tents stay put that day. While we were in Delaware, my family and I visited a local pool, saw a movie at America’s oldest continuously running movie theatre called the Strand Theatre, did our laundry at a local laundromat and rode about 30 miles out of town to cross the long causeway over a lake.

Wednesday morning we headed to London, which was a 58-mile ride and we were there for two days because Thursday was another layover day. Wednesday night we had our first relaxing night. We spent a few hours just sitting inside the air-conditioned auditorium inside the high school where we were camping. Then after that we walked to a local church that was hosting a dinner for the GOBA riders. The meal was really good. It was $5 for a shredded chicken sandwich, a loaded baked potato, a salad and a drink.

The next night in London was the London Strawberry Festival that they have each year and it was really neat to be there to be a part of it. They had a pageant for the locals and we stayed to watch that for a few hours. There were about eight categories of both girls and boys starting with 20 month-olds. The young kids were so cute and they basically just had to walk on stage, spin around, and answer what their name was, how old they were and what their favorite thing was. The older kids had more difficult questions to answer but it was really entertaining to watch. Molly and I split some fried strawberries since it was the strawberry festival and it was only appropriate. :]

Friday was our trip to Bellefontaine, which was 56 miles. It rained for about the first hour and was mostly up hill so I’d say that was the hardest day so far. We were all soaked by the time we got to the first snack stop but we dried out by the time we arrived to Bellefontaine. Here, we had dinner at Bob Evans and then headed into downtown to enjoy the block party and the annual GOBA song contest. The song contest consists of GOBA riders singing comical parodies of songs that they created about the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure. It’s fun every year and it really brings everyone together to celebrate the last night of the trip.

Saturday we rode 42 miles back to Kenton, which was where our car was parked and our journey had began a week before. It was a really great trip overall, the snack stops along the way each day were so great and all of the small towns were extremely welcoming to this large group. My sister, mom and I wore matching outfits for most of the rides and a lot of riders really got a kick out of that and commented on how we looked like triplets.

Throughout the week, we rode 310 miles. It was a great experience again, as it was last year. I’m excited to travel to a bunch of new places throughout my life and hopefully continue bike riding in the future. :]

-Shannon

Cleveland is HOT

Cleveland is HOT

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As I mentioned last week, the stars of the TV Land sitcom, “Hot in Cleveland” were coming to Cleveland to promote their new show.

I went down to Tower City this past Thursday to see Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick take part in a ceremony where they received the keys to the city. It was a great experience! During the ceremony, stars also expressed their love for Cleveland.

The next night was another home game with the Tribe, and star Valerie Bertinelli was to be throwing out the first pitch! I was able to escort Bertinelli out to the mound while she threw the first pitch to Sandy Alomar Jr.! What another great experience!

Working down at the ballpark is still just as fun as ever. As I’ve mentioned many times, I’ve been seeing what seems like EVERYONE from Mount Union! I even ran into one of my favorite Mount professors on Friday – professor Harry Paidas from the Department of Communication. That was a nice surprise!

-samantha

Bicycling across Ohio

Bicycling across Ohio

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I can’t believe this time of year is already here but it is time for GOBA! What does GOBA stand for? The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, of course! My mom, dad, sister and I are going on GOBA again this year and we are currently preparing for it.

This is a week-long bicycle trip that takes place in Ohio. Every year, the trip is in a different part of Ohio and this year it is right outside of the Columbus area.  Each day we wake up around 6 a.m. and pack everything up to head out to a new city. We bike ride about 55 miles a day to get to each new city and our luggage and tents are carried by semi-trucks.

There’s somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 people that participate in GOBA each year and it is such an awesome site to see – all of the bicyclists riding through the countryside, in the city and on the road to arrive at a camp where we all can explore a new city for the evening. It is a lot of work but it is also so much fun. GOBA is not a race (although some hardcore riders act like it is) so people can just go at their own pace to arrive at the camp whenever they’d like. The reason we wake up so early in the morning is for two reasons. Reason #1 is to beat the heat and reason #2 is to get to the camp ahead of most people to get a good spot to set up our tents (preferably under a tree or on a soft patch of grass).

Every year, they alternate flat terrain and hills and this year happens to be a flat year. Last year was pretty rough with all of the hills. Some of these hills would continue going upwards for a couple miles and we had to walk our bikes because it got too hard. The nice thing about hills though is that when there’s an up, there’s always a down and we were able to coast a little bit and let our legs rest while the wheels did the work. With this year being a flat year, we’re not going to have that same luxury so it will be a challenge as well but I’m excited to take it on!

Here’s the website if you’d like to read more about GOBA: http://goba.com/

Last year, I called into WRMU 91.1 FM once and did a report on-air about how the trip was going and this year I will be doing a few reports as well. They will be online as podcasts after the trip is over, so if you miss them, you’ll still be able to hear them. I’ll also be tweeting throughout our journey so you can follow me @shannonbrys3 if you’d like to get my updates and read about what the trip is like. :]

Also, if you want to listen to last year’s bike trip podcast to get a little taste of what it’s like you can click here and scroll down until you see “Great Ohio Bike Adventure With WRMU’s Shannon Brys podcast”.

So I’m going to go and get back to packing. I will definitely write all about the trip when I get back! Let’s all hope for dry weather :]

Have a great week and think of me out there on my bike!

-Shannon

Putting my skills to work

Putting my skills to work

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Hi there!

All of the kids are out of school and summer has (almost) officially begun! The sun is shining, the greens are bloomed (allergy season is almost over) and, well, it is the best time of the year!

Indians aren’t doing so hot lately, but ya know, that’s ok. We had a fun winning streak while it lasted. A losing streak doesn’t make a difference to me; I am still enjoying my part-time job with the Tribe.

However, I started a new part-time summer gig this week, which will help me keep busy, bring in some extra cash and use my communication knowledge that I’ve gained at Mount Union.

I am starting to do some communication/marketing/public relations work for Aladdin’s Eatery. My mom works in the corporate offices for the restaurant and I’ve always helped out with random tasks. However, now that I want to improve my skills and add some more hands-on experience, I am now moving past the random tasks and having way more responsibilities.

My favorite part of the new gig is working with social media. Ok, I’ll admit it… I am kind of a social media nerd — totally proud of it though! I’ve seen how the Indians used social media last year with my internship, and of course I see how my campus organizations use it, but now I get a whole new point of view! Restaurants have many different and unique ways to interact with their customers and social media has a big influence on many of the ways.

Another one of my favorite tasks that I am responsible for is the calendar making for the restaurants, which will allow me to use my graphic design skills. Even things as simple as making a calendar require a lot of creativity! I will be helping with monthly newsletters and fundraising events as well!

Overall, this job will give me a taste of the whole communication/marketing/public relations field. What is nice is the fact that I am pretty familiar with the business because of my mom, so that will make the learning experience a little bit easier.

This coming week will be full of excitement! The stars of one of my favorite TV shows, Hot In Cleveland, will be in Cleveland for the season premiere of their show and I plan on attending some of the events. I’ll be sure to keep you updated :]

Have a great week!

-samantha

Hard work and passion

Hard work and passion

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My trip to Columbus this past weekend brought much excitement and honor. As I mentioned in my last post, I took a road trip with my mom down to Columbus for the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters awards that took place at the Hilton in Easton.

Mark Bergmann, WRMU’s station manager, met us there and we were able to sit at a table together with people from a radio station in Dover. What’s cool about that radio station is that one of the reporters is a Mount Union alumnus. Her name is Jessica Eggan and I met her last year at these same awards.

Here’s some background about this event: newscasters, writers, photographers and producers from TV news shows and radio stations are given awards for their work during the previous year. Once the professionals submit their work in December, a panel of professionals in another state judges the works. (I think they do it this way so there is no bias). Since the title of the event has ”Ohio” in it, you can assume that the awards are for professionals in the State of Ohio but it also includes West Virginia as well.

Last year at this ceremony, I won my first Associated Press award for a three-part series I produced on global education at Mount Union. I won second place in a category called “Best Documentary or Series.”

Going into the awards this year, I knew it was possible but kind of unlikely that I would win first place in any category. I am afterall, the only college student that was present for the second year in a row. All of these people in attendance are professionals in their field; some have been doing this for decades. It is simply an honor even to win second place.

However, this year I didn’t win second place. As the announcer arrived at my category, he announced the second place winner first … and it wasn’t me. Mark and my mom just looked at me with open mouths because they knew that must’ve meant that I won first place. A couple seconds later, we heard, “… and for first place in best feature reporting, Shannon Brys from WRMU in Alliance for ’Take Back the Night.’” Woah.

Yes, you can say that I may have been the only person at these awards that had tears in my eyes after I received my award. I could not believe that I just beat out professionals from around the state. This is also exciting for me because I set another record for Mount Union.

I am the first student to ever win two professional radio awards, and now I am the first student at Mount that has ever placed first. :]

Hard work really does pay off and it’s awesome when your hard work is also something that you love doing. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to go into the radio field after I graduate from the University but I have such a passion for it and I will continue to be involved in it until I leave Alliance in December. I’m also the program sirector this upcoming semester (which is the same thing as being president of a club) and I’m really excited to teach new students what I already know. :]

Have a great week everyone!

-Shannon

The Tribe Experience

The Tribe Experience

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So this post is definitely going to lack the usual “GO TRIBE” cheering … That winning streak that had the Indians fans coming out of the woodwork has went away … Let’s just hope it’s on a little hiatus and it’ll be coming back soon.

Despite the team’s dry spell, I have been down at every home game, enjoying the ballpark atmosphere. As I’ve mentioned before, I work with a bunch of people from Mount Union and I couldn’t love it any more. Come fall, I will be living with two of my friends from work – Sam and Stephanie. So, it is really nice being able to spend the summer together before a year of school!

Everyday at work I notice different parts of the job that I love more and more, however, I have found that the fans are what make the experience the best.

For instance, do you know how great of a feeling it is to hand a pack of baseball cards to a little kid and watch his or her face light up with excitement? Sure, it is just a pack of baseball cards, but that pack may have made the kid’s day! Sure, you’ll have the fans who get disappointed and complain … you’ll have that anywhere! But the excitement that the grateful fans give makes up for all of the negativity out there.

Also, it is almost inevitable that every single game I work at I see a handful of Mount Union students.  It’s great running into them because otherwise, I wouldn’t see them until the end of August! That’s a long time if you ask me.

Other than working downtown, summer has been going well. I’ve been keeping super busy which has made the beginning of summer fly by – is it already June? Yikes!

-samantha

Island Fridays and Associated Press

Island Fridays and Associated Press

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Ahh, it’s been such a nice week so far. Not only is the weather beautiful but also I finally got to see my fellow blogger and best friend, Samantha. We met up yesterday halfway between our hometowns and it was so good to catch up. :]

Even though it is Friday, and I should be about to have a relaxing weekend, I will be doing the opposite. Today, I am working a double at Winking Lizard and it’s “Island Friday.”  That basically just means that we’re supposed to dress like we’re in Hawaii. The first time I worked a Friday I wore a lei and a bright pink shirt. I think today I’m going to wear a huge yellow flower in my hair :] That’s one thing that I really do love, hair accessories. I have a TON of them!

Tomorrow, I picked up a morning shift at Bob Evans and then I will be working at the Winking Lizard at night. It’s okay though because I really do enjoy working and making money.

SUNDAY, I’m going to Columbus!! I’m so excited. I’m driving down with my mom and we’re meeting Mark Bergmann there. He is the station manager at WRMU, our campus radio station. We’re all going down there for the day because it is the Associated Press Awards. I know that I won either first or second in my category, but we have to attend the awards to find out which one I actually received.

This awards ceremony is really exciting because it is all professionals in the journalism and broadcasting field. They are people from news channels and radio stations that have really great pieces of news and are receiving awards for them. Last year, I was the only college student present at the awards and I wonder if this year will be the same… This year is also exciting because I am the first Mount Union student ever to win two Associated Press awards and that makes me extremely proud. Of course, I wouldn’t be where I am without the help of my radio and journalism professors but it is pretty cool to be a part of history. :]

Well, that’s all for now, I’ll write after the awards to let you know how it went! Have a great weekend!

-Shannon

 

Summer, nice to FINALLY see you!

Summer, nice to FINALLY see you!

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Well, well, well … looks like Ohio-summer has finally arrived. This morning as I was running my errands, the thermometer in my car read a whopping 95 degrees… can we say ‘IT IS ABOUT TIME!’ ?

Unfortunately, our Cleveland Indians have hit a dry spell too, losing to the Red Sox, Rays and Jays. It’s OK though! Everyone is starting to doubt the team, saying the early winning record has went straight to their heads and now they are getting lazy. It has only been a few losses, folks. We’ve been playing decent teams, so we can’t win ‘em all! Here’s to bringing home some more’s… and soon!

The Tribe has been out of town for almost a week now, which means I haven’t been able to enjoy the ballpark lately. However, Sports Time Ohio filmed an in-game promotional clip and has been using it during every away game… guess who the clip stars… moi! It has been nice to check my Facebook, Twitter and text messages to hear from all of my school friends that they have seen me on TV! Maybe that will be my 15 minutes of fame :]

Since I have been away from the ballpark, I’ve been able to spend more time with my friends and family. This weekend I went up to Geneva On The Lake with my boyfriend and we enjoyed a little bit of our Memorial Day weekend there! We actually ran into quite a few Mount Union friends during our trip.

My mom and I soaked up the sun on Monday – the pools around here are finally starting to open and it is all so very beautiful!

Of course, the Jim Tressel incident has pretty much all of Ohio in a rage, along with the Indians’ little losing-streak; not a good weekend for Ohio sports fans. Oh well, there is always tomorrow!

-samantha