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.

Latest happenings

Latest happenings

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Ok, first of all, how ’bout them Indians? A sweep against the Red Sox followed by a 12-3 W over the Mariners… The boys are on an awesome winning streak — let’s just hope they keep it up!

I finally worked my first game of the season on Wednesday against the BoSox. Gonna be honest, the Sox are second to the Tribe in my heart — always been a fan of both (shh!). The game was amazing… sure, the weather wasn’t the best baseball weather but hey, it was still fun. It gave me a little preview of what the summer is going to be like … let’s just say I can’t wait.

Relay For Life was last night here on campus. WRMU DJed the event and had a pretty good time doing so. Relay is such a great cause. At Mount Union, a bunch of campus organizations set up tables and had different ways of raising money. My favorite was the Sigma Nu Fraternity table — they raised money by waxing — yes, waxing — brothers. It was a funny, entertaining way to bring in the donations. A community organization also had put-put set up and my boyfriend and I gave it a shot (we tied). We stopped back around midnight and listened to some students sing karaoke. Overall, the event seemed to be a success. Everyone was having fun while helping the cause.

This morning was the debut of the documentary I mentioned a few blogs earlier. For our public relations class we were told to make a video about the city to be shown at a Poverty Summit… Well, the summit was today and we went up for the premiere! Everyone loved it!

Word on the street is that it is supposed to be 70 degrees tomorrow! Fingers crossed it continues and spring is here to stay!

-samantha

Finding treasures in Alliance

Finding treasures in Alliance

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I feel like a lot of people that go to Mount think negatively about the city that we live in, Alliance.  The city is pretty small and there isn’t a huge shopping mall here.  We have a mall called “Carnation Mall” that has about seven stores inside of it.  We have very few chain restaurants (and no coffee shops).  However, I think that also makes the city very interesting.  It definitely gives the city character and makes this college town different than a lot of others.  I mean, obviously it’d be fun if we had huge shopping areas and tons of fancy dinner options, but I think it leaves us to explore the smaller places more.

There are so many cute little family-owned places in Alliance, and I have made it my mission to check out a majority of these before I graduate in December.  For a class project last semester, we all had to go to a small business and do a presentation on how we would help the company in from a public relations perspective.  I got assigned a small Italian restaurant called Anthony’s.  It really is adorable and it is located on Main Street.  They have really good food (try the sweet potato fries!!).

On Tuesday, the directors of WRMU had our monthly dinner at a place called Andrea’s Garden.  Ohhhh my goodness is this place is sweet.  It is on Union Avenue just right down the street from campus and it is all organic food.  I had heard of the restaurant before but never tried it because … well, I’m not sure why. I guess I just assumed all of the food would be tofu.  Complete misconception.  Organic does not mean vegetarian or vegan.  It simply means that all of their food products are made without chemicals and preservatives.  They have sandwiches, salads, amazing smoothies, teas and so much more.

I had a chicken fajita, which was delicious. It came with a side of sea salt chips and I also had a strawberry banana smoothie. YUUM!  The food all seems healthy (even if it really isn’t) and it’s not too pricy, so I want to tell everyone to check it out! On the dessert menu they had “Dominique’s Chocolate Chunk Cookie (and not one calorie!!).”  And I know I’m very gullible, but I was like, “hey, this is an organic restaurant. And they do make pop without calories so maybe it’s possible??”

Even our station manager was intrigued, so he asked the server and she said that it is just a joke with the owner of the restaurant and of courrrssseee there are calories in it, and lots of them!  So, my dreams were crushed because that would have made my life to know that there were cookies without calories :]

But all in all, Andrea’s Garden was delightful and you should check it out if you’re in the area.  Try the other little places around here too.  There’s Chive’s, Jalisco, Alliance Family Restaurant, Anthony’s, Burger Hut, Blue Fig, Tailgater’s and a bunch more!  Happy exploring!! :]

-Shannon

 

WRMU makes an impact

WRMU makes an impact

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As I’ve mentioned before, WRMU is one of my biggest priorities here on campus. When you first think of a campus radio station, you might just picture a DJ going on air and playing music. Sure, that is somewhat correct, but here at Mount, our radio station is so much more.

Freshman year I stared out volunteering as a part of the WRMU staff. I knew I wanted to get into public relations so I spent time helping the station’s public relations director. As soon as it was time to apply for a director position, I had my application filled out and turned in. Unfortunately, a qualified senior had already taken the public relations director spot, so I was placed as the sponsorship director for my sophomore year. My job was to work with community business and try to, well, get sponsors for our radio station.

Finally, this year, I was able to move up and serve as WRMU’s public relations director. I spend my time promoting the station through fliers, clothing, social media and more.

Above all that, one of my favorite things we do as a station –  and something that I help out with a lot – is our events. Last year, we held (what we hope to continue annually) a meet-n-greet for our late night radio shows, and we had one this year too! A lot goes into planning these events. We find sponsors, get prizes, have raffles, design t-shirts – and the list goes on and on. Each of our events have been a success in our eyes.

This semester, however, we are trying something new. We are holding the first ever “UMUPALOOZA!” It has been an idea we’ve been poking at since last spring and we finally took action and are going through with it. We’re having student musicians play all day in the quad (some bands and some solo acts). We’ll be having pizza from our usual (and favorite) sponsor, Gionino’s Pizzeria and we’ll have games, food and more.

(No, this is not a plug for the event — buuuuut, if you wanna come, it is Thursday, April 14 in the Quad from 4-9 ish. — see what I did there?)

I really admire how a small group of students can put together such a large and exciting event. We all dedicate so much time to planning and throwing these events for the campus community.

Not only is the whole process a great time, we learn so much about event planning in general. From promoting to setting up, finding talent and getting sponsors, everyone has to lend a helping hand.

All of the hard work we all put in to the station has led us all to grow extremely close. WRMU has weekly director meetings and staff meetings every other week. We volunteer in the community, have director dinners, attend other campus happenings, DJ other organization’s events and so, so much more.

I am or have been involved in many other organizations on campus, but the bond WRMU members have with one another is one of the best.

-samantha

Late Night Jams with Shan and Sam

Late Night Jams with Shan and Sam

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Hi everyone!

We have a radio show that is called “Late Night Jams with Shan and Sam.” We usually just shorten it and say “Late Night Jams” though. :]

It is on every Tuesday from 10 p.m. to midnight on WRMU 91.1. And, there are a few different ways to tune in.

  • -Listen on the radio if you are in the area … the dial should be set at 91.1 FM.
  • -You can listen online anywhere.
  • -If you’re on campus, you can turn your TV to channel 2, and we will come through your TV set! :]

If you’d like to call in during our show to say hi or to make a request, the phone number is (330) 823-3777.

Our tagline is “Keep on Shammin’” because we combined Shan + Sam to get SHAM, get it ? :]

Feel free to ask us any questions you have, and be sure to tune in on Tuesdays!!

-Shannon and Samantha

What do you think of when you hear “lecture”?

What do you think of when you hear “lecture”?

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Well, what’s your answer?  Do you hear lecture and think boringlong, monotone? I’m not sure why, but these are usually the words that come to my mind when someone calls something a lecture. I don’t know why they have gained such a negative connotation but that definitely needs to change!

Anyway, the point of my rant is because this past Thursday was the annual Schooler Lecture at Mount Union.  Samantha touched a little bit on this in her blog as well but it was too great for me not to talk about it. Since I’m the news director at WRMU, it is my duty to cover this lecture each year.  It is usually around my birthday and this year it happened to fall directly on my 21st birthday.  It was OK though.  At first I was a little sad that I couldn’t go out to dinner to celebrate the day, but I realized that I could just celebrate another day, and the Schooler Lecture is not an event I’d want to miss.

Since I’ve been at Mount, the Schooler lecturers were Fareed Zakaria of CNN and last year was Greg Mortenson, a humanitarian and author.  He has built schools in third world countries where no schools previously existed.  These lecturers always share their vast knowledge with the people in attendance, and even if you’ve never heard of the person or you don’t really know too much on the topic they’re speaking about, these lectures are always so powerful.

So like I said, this year’s lecture was on Thursday and the man who presented this year was Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson.  He is an astrophysicist and the host of NOVA ScienceNOW on PBS.  When I heard who the speaker was, I have to say I had no idea who he was!  I am not a science person and really do not know a whole lot about astrophysics.  One of my best friends was OBSESSED with the fact that he was coming here and that made me more excited that she had heard of him and really enjoyed hearing him speak. Turns out, a lot of people on campus really knew of him and were fans.

For the radio station, I asked some directors and staff to join me and help out.   What we do for WRMU is attend the press conference, fancy dinner and the lecture as well as write stories at the end of the night to put on-air.  Yes, it is an extreeeemely long night.  We arrived at 4 p.m. for the press conference and I didn’t leave the radio station until midnight.  I’m actually really happy though, despite the long hours, because the night went so well.

The press conference is really exciting.  We broadcast it live because only media people are invited.  This way, anyone who wants to hear the lecturer speak before the actual lecture can just tune into our radio station!  We had a bit of technical difficulties, but right as he began talking, we got it to go through and were on-air. PHEW!

It is a really intimate setting since there are so few people that attend the press conference and that is our chance to ask him our questions.  We even got a picture with him after the conference.  :)

After that, we headed over to the field house where a VERY fancy dinner was held.  Everything was delicious and this was our chance to relax a little bit during this busy evening.

The lecture followed, and that lasted about two hours.  Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is a very smart man but he put all of these technical terms and concepts into very understandable concepts for the common person.  He took off his shoes during the speech and walked around in his socks which I found very cool.  To me that showed that he felt so comfortable speaking up on stage to this very large audience of people.  The audience gave a standing ovation when he was done speaking; I guess everyone had a good time!

After the lecture was over, students are allowed to go up to a microphone and ask the speaker a question.  I really like that Mount Union does that.  For students that are interested in the topic or the speaker, it really excites them to be able to speak with the esteemed person.

I, along with two of the other WRMU directors, went over the radio station after the lecture let out and began working on stories.  We had to think of which topic that he talked about that each of us wanted to write our story on and then we had to find the soundbites from the audio that we had collected.  The stories that we wrote were from the press conference as well as the actual lecture.  As I said, I finished up all the editing just before midnight and put the stories into the system to play the following day!

Listen to the podcasts we produced.

That’s all for now… back to a busy week again tomorrow!

-Shannon

Keep those opportunities comin!

Keep those opportunities comin!

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One word to sum up this last week –  Busy. However, it was busy in a good way.

Wednesday consisted of my Advanced Public Relations class taking a trip up to Cleveland to visit a PR Firm. I’ve told you in previous posts that the opportunities I have received through Mount Union have been awesome, right? Well, add this one to the list.

The firm was amazing. We met some PR professionals who expressed their passion for PR which only made me love it even more, and we learned so much about a real life PR career.

The next day was even crazier because it was Mount Union’s Schooler Lecture. Sure, sure, the word ‘lecture’ sounds boring, but, on the contrary, it was far from boring. Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson came to campus to present this year’s lecture.  Look him up if you aren’t familiar. He was awesome.

I put on my reporter shoes and started the long evening off at the press conference on behalf of WRMU. It was a great experience because all sorts of media representatives were there from the Alliance Review, Canton Repository, etc. We all had the chance to talk with Tyson and ask him anything we wanted. We even got a picture with him!

After the press conference, we attended a fancy dinner in the Peterson Field House.  Trust me when I say fancy – our butter was shaped like flowers. Dr. Tyson answered some more questions and then we ventured to the gym where he was giving the lecture.

“10 Things You Should Know About The Universe” was an amazing speech. He narrowed all of the facts he knew down to the top 10 and relayed some of his knowledge to us. Sounds like it would be hard to understand, but it wasn’t. Dr. Tyson is hilarious and he made everything entertaining and simple(ish).

We put together some stories for WRMU and they went on-air all day Friday (you can check them out on our website!), and then I wrote a story for the front page of The Dynamo.

Overall, Thursday and Friday were great opportunities for me, and it just makes me love being a communication major even more :]

-samantha

How many days until Opening Day?

How many days until Opening Day?

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Second semester is almost over — can you believe it? I know I mentioned in one of my previous blogs how shocked I was that it was already spring break… pfft, spring break already feels like forever ago. Since then, I celebrated my 21st birthday, St. Patrick’s Day and a bunch of other fun stuff in between.

As if this beautiful spring weather isn’t getting me excited already for summer, imagine going down to Progressive Field and enjoying it up close and personal.I’ve mentioned to you before how I am a huge Indians fan and how I even interned with the organization last summer. Well, what I didn’t tell you is how long  I’ve been involved with the Tribe.A few years ago I started working at Southpark Mall at the Cleveland Indians Team Shop where I sold merchandise as well as single game tickets. Now, working in retail really wasn’t my thing, but I met some great people which really opened doors for me. So, as you know, I scored myself an awesome internship last summer and I didn’t want my experience to end there. My supervisor last summer told me to try to get in as many doors as possible down at Progressive — I had already worked in merchandise and creative services, what was next?I signed up to take a class here at Mount (the one I told you in my last blog about the sponsorship proposal) and one of our side projects is to be a part of the ticket sales team! We were able to skip a day of classes and head to downtown Cleveland to visit the ballpark and get some inside training on how to be a “Grade A” ticket salesperson. Now, during this whole semester, we’re working with the Tribe’s sales team and trying to sell tickets for this season!So, now I have stepped into three doors with the Indians… but guess what… it doesn’t stop there.Last fall I applied to be in the Fun Bunch — those awesome people who run around at games promoting the team. As my luck had it, I scored a position with the team and got to work at Snow Days (haven’t heard of it? google it!) over Christmas break and had a blast. We also had the opportunity to work several outside events including the mall tour the team went on. I loved it!Once the season starts (April 1), I will be able to start working games. Let’s just say this summer is going to be awesome. I actually went down today for day one of my training (that’s what I was talking about earlier — up close and personal!) The smell of spring just reminds me of baseball season and I cannot wait to spend my summer nights at the ballpark!-samantha

Oh, it’s Monday

Oh, it’s Monday

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Happy Monday!

You can always tell when it’s Monday at school…  Everyone just seems tired.  It was 68 degrees out today though so I think that brought everyone’s mood up just a little :]  I feel like the weekends always go by way too fast! Ugh.  This week seems like it’s a busy one for everyone.  There are a lot of tests, quizzes and projects happening right now.  It’s fun though – I really do like staying busy, so I don’t mind the work. Just hope I can get some sleep this week!

Tonight, I have three meetings in a row starting at 7 p.m. First is Studio M, which is the television station on campus.  I’ve been involved with the station since I came to Mount three years ago.  It’s really cool being able to know what goes into a television show and how exactly to work all of the equipment.  During the meetings, we usually talk about what is going on, what needs to be filmed and if anyone has any new ideas for TV shows.  There is a sports guy, Billy, who has a couple shows where he interviews coaches and players on the Mount Union athletic teams.

At 7:30 p.m. is the Dynamo editor meeting, which is when all of the editors for the newspaper get together to discuss story ideas and what we’d like to see in the paper for the following week.  This requires us to know what exactly is going on around campus but also to be looking for interview subjects and events to cover.

Then at 8 p.m., the entire Dynamo staff arrives for a meeting.  This meeting is where the editors, writers and photographers get together to collaborate and assign story ideas.  Writers can choose to write about any story that interests them and they are always encouraged to speak up with their own story ideas as well.

I think that’s what I love so much about the media outlets here at Mount Union.  I love being involved and I especially love being a part of the leadership teams, but it is so exciting because we can really take them wherever we’d like to.  If there’s something you’re mad, sad or happy about, write a commentary article for the Dynamo! Have something you’re interested in?  Interview someone or cover an event, and you can use the interview for the newspaper or radio station.

Last year, two of my friends and I had an idea for a television show at Studio M, so we were told to go ahead with it and we ran it a few times.  Our show was called “For Your Entertainment,” and basically the three of us found entertainment news stories that interested us and we discussed them.  It was really fun and I think you can learn a lot about yourself when you see yourself on television.  It helps you to know certain things you do with your hands while you’re talking or maybe it will teach you that you should smile more :]

Everything we do here is always a learning experience … but it is also fun and it is completely up to each individual to make it their own.  Have a great week!

-Shannon

New perspectives at Mount Union

New perspectives at Mount Union

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Coming to Mount Union, I don’t think I fully understood what it meant to study at a “liberal arts” school.  According to the dictionary, the definition is as follows: “the academic courses of instruction at a college intended to provide general knowledge and comprising the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences, as opposed to professional or technical subjects.”  Mount Union tells students that the terms liberal arts comes from the Latin phrase “artes liberals” which can be translated to mean “the education of a free person.”

I remember when I was still looking at schools trying to decide which one to go to, and I really liked Mount, someone told me not to come here because “they make you take a bunch of useless classes.”  I basically ignored that comment and did what I felt was right and came here.  I wondered to myself, “why would the college make you take useless classes?  There would be no point to that.”

The liberal arts studies really does relate to the definitions in the first paragraph because they require that students take classes not only in their major, but in a variety of areas to ensure that we are getting the most well-rounded experience while being in classes.  It doesn’t give students just one point of view, but instead helps students to gain perspectives from all fields and departments.

All students are required to have at least one major and one minor.  I guess the school was talking recently about making minors optional but they decided to keep them when it was put to a vote.  I have at times dreaded the classes that are outside my major, specifically science.  I’ve thought at times that these classes seem like a waste of my time since I won’t be going into science for my future career, but after all is said and done, they have been really interesting.  I took a biology lecture and a geology lecture and lab.  Geology is all about the earth and its layers, reading maps, volcanoes, lakes, oceans and rocks.  It’s actually interesting though, who knew?!  It makes me appreciate the work that geologists do on a daily basis in their careers and it makes me think a lot more about things that we all take for granted.   And although I’m not a history buff or a big fan of geography, it is useful to know certain things and there is such a variety in classes you can take.

My favorite class that I’ve taken at Mount in the past three years is definitely Intercultural Communication.  If you are planning to go to school here or if you already are enrolled, you should take this class.   It consists of half American students and half international students.  There are students in my class studying at Mount from Japan, Ireland, China, Vietnam, India, Russia, Germany and Malaysia.   The reason I love this class so much is because studying abroad was something that I always wanted to do. But once I got to college, I never wanted to leave the campus.  Although I do understand this is different than being completely immersed in a culture … being in this class, hearing all of the different accents and being able to learn first-hand about all of these cultures,  is so fascinating.

Every day in that class, we have group discussions and are able to speak with different people and talk about their experiences growing up in other countries. We talk about what it was like to learn English and other aspects of the culture.  Ahhh, I loooove it!  Today, we had a discussion about the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was interesting to hear the perspective that people from other cultures have on this very heated topic.

I’m sure I will have more to say about this class in the future because it really is so interesting.  I have met so many great people and made really cool friendships.  I would not trade this class for anything and as I said before, I highly suggest you take it, whether you are a communication major or not!

-Shannon : )

Thankful for…homework?!

Thankful for…homework?!

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Yes, you did just read that I am thankful for homework … before you think I’m crazy, let me explain.

The past two semesters have been loaded with work … (maybe not so thankful for that part, sorry professors!). HOWEVER, the assignments that I have been given have actually been great.

While I might not agree with that last statement at first, I come to realize that the assignments we get in school are pretty interesting.

For instance, last semester in my marketing class, we were assigned a huge project where we chose a business to team up with the Inspi(RED) campaign. We had to research a company and I chose Chipotle! We found all these creative ways to team up with RED and do fun promotions. My group got t-shirts made of a red foil wrapped burrito, and we learned new ways to promote our idea. I’m really interested in social media so I focused most of our project on just that. I was able to learn all about Chipotle and get graded on it… (be honest – who is craving a burrito now?)

In my advanced public relations class, we were assigned real clients from the surrounding area and we had to work with them on projects that they assigned to us. My group was given two projects that, at the time, seemed overwhelming (heck, they still kind of do) but they really taught us so much.

The first project was to create a video on Alliance and show it at a convention type event being held on the campus in April. There is so much more to creating a video than just filming – we toured Alliance, saw places we’ve never knew existed, met awesome people who are trying to turn Alliance into the hot spot it once was and also met inspirational people who are dedicating their lives to help the people of Alliance. After taking the tours and learning all we have so far, I really have a new level of respect for the city.

The second project we were assigned was to help a family in Alliance that wants to start up a Carnation business. We met with our client and she had all these goals for her company, including the making of a website, which we are going to be helping her with. We were able to pick out the name for her company, design their logo and got the website and social media up and running – basically help the company blast off!

In one of my sport business classes, we are making sponsorship proposals for a  professional team in Colorado (I chose the Rockies!) and then picking a potential sponsor for the team and creating a plan to go along with it.  We get to be as creative as we want while creating promotional events for our team. Remember my marketing project with Chipotle? Since I’ve learned so much about that company, I’ve decided to use Chipotle as my potential sponsor, and it’s a huge plus that they’re based in Denver. I am really looking forward to completing this project because I’ll learn so much more about both companies and I can use it in my portfolio! (Ok, if you weren’t craving a burrito before, are you now?!)

So, sure, it may seem like an overwhelming amount of work but it isn’t. Would you rather be sitting in class taking notes and listening to lectures? The projects I’ve worked on in school (and those were only a few examples) have taught me so much about the real world and have made me excited to start working someday!

-samantha