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

Women have come a long way

Women have come a long way

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As I mentioned before, I am the news director at the radio station on campus, WRMU.  I actually applied for a different position my sophomore year and ending up getting news director because the directors at that time said they thought I would fit the position.  When I started out, I really didn’t have too much of an idea what I’d be doing so I kind of did my own thing.  I started interviewing people who I thought the campus and the community of Alliance would enjoy hearing from.  I’ve covered local events as well and attend the elections each year at the Stark County Board of Elections to report back with live results as they come in.

Last semester, I was driving down State Street (which is the main street in Alliance) and I saw all these women, men and children standing along the road holding signs and yelling something. I didn’t know what was going on but I was pretty sure that they were protesting something.  I always have my recorder on me (for reasons like this) and I decided to stop and interview one of the women.  I was directed to the “leader.”  She told me that they were a group protesting abortion.  It is something that they do every year on that date, and on that specific date, there are also people from all over the country doing the same thing.

I immediately took the audio to the radio station, put a story together and put it on-air for our listeners to understand what was going on in our city.  We actually received an e-mail from a listener about this story who said she didn’t agree with the protesters, but she was glad we did a story so people could see both sides of the argument.

This past week, I attended an event called the “Women’s History Month Dessert.”  Since March is Women’s History Month, the school decided to kick it off by having women in power positions from the city come in to speak with our female students.  Any student was welcome to attend and we all had roundtable discussions.  The keynote speaker was Janet Weir Creighton who is the former mayor of Canton.  She is currently working as a commissioner in Stark County and she spent one year working in the White House alongside President Bush.  She was so fascinating to talk to.  I loved hearing her stories about being in the White House and the other things that she has experienced being in politics for so many years.

Another person I talked to was Phyllis Phillips, who is the ONLY woman on the Alliance City Council right now.  She talked to me about what her duties are as a councilwoman as well as other stories about her life.  She attended Malone College (now Malone University) and she told me that when she went there women and men students had all separate classes.  She said that the times were even staggered so the females and males would never pass each other walking around campus to get to their classes.  I cannot imagine being in school today and having to be completely separated based on what sex you are. It makes me realize truly how far women have come over the years.

I also spoke with Victoria Wood at this event.  She is the executive director of the Alliance and Minerva Red Cross.  She talked to me about what type of person you have to be in order to work at the Red Cross and what she does on a daily basis.  She had interesting stories as well because she is also retired from the military.  I talked to her about what it was like to be in the military as a woman and if she felt that she was treated different because she was a female.  She said there are definitely differences but that they say they are changing things (or trying to) today.

I put some of these stories together already.  They take a long time to sift through all of the interviews to find out exactly what information I’d like to use.  So far, I have two done on Janet Weir Creighton.  If you’d like to listen to her whole speech, which is really interesting and about 15 minutes, that is on the WRMU part of the Mount Union website.  My two stories about Creighton are there as well.  Also, feel free to check out any of my other podcasts that are listed there.

http://www.mountunion.edu/2011-podcasts

I’m sure there will be plenty more news opportunities and stories to come.  Stay tuned!

-Shannon

Spring break… ALREADY?!

Spring break… ALREADY?!

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Ahh, spring break … where does the time go?

It seriously feels like just yesterday that I was signing the lease for our off-campus house for my junior year with my four best friends.

“This year is going to be SO much fun!” I remember us all saying that with excitement. Heck yea, it was a blast – but the year is already almost over!

As cliché as it sounds, time goes by unbelievably fast, and especially in college. This is my second to last spring break I’ll ever have. Wow. Just thinking about how quickly this year flew drives me crazy. It truly teaches me not to take anything for granted — yeah, yeah, we hear it all the time — but seriously, the friends you gain and the memories you make. Take it all in and let nothing pass you by.

This post got me thinking about the past +2.5 years and all of the memories I’ve made. It’s hard to narrow it down to just one favorite so I’ll share a few:

  • WRMU took a director’s road trip to the Youngstown area where we went to a radio station, TV station and then got dinner. Shannon and I were so obsessed with the dinner we ate that we made a special trip all the way there just to get it again.
  • There is a huge rumor within the Mount Union community that Chapman Hall is haunted, right? Well, a group of ghost hunters came up on a Friday night to try and figure out whether this was true or not. You can bet that we were there, video cameras in hand, filming this experience for Studio M. (I won’t tell you what we found! You’ll have to find out for yourself.)
  • The WRMU staff loves to volunteer and do things together. So, one Saturday this past fall, we went out to Salem to spend the day at Alchemy Acres. We spent the whole day hanging out in the beautiful weather and playing with animals.
  • The First Ever R91 JAMBOREE! – The shows on WRMU used to be called “The After 10s” but we went ahead and gave the shows a makeover and decided to call them the “R91 Shows.” In celebration of the change, we decided to introduce the new concept to the campus by holding a party in Campus Grounds! We gave away prizes, free merchandise, had food, games and more. It was a successful event and we had a blast.

Trust me — the list can go on and on.

Have a great spring break!

-samantha

Nice to meet you :)

Nice to meet you :)

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Well, hello there.  My name is Shannon and I am one of the authors of this blog.  I’m really excited to be blogging about Mount Union and my experiences here because I really have had some cool moments and I love to write.

First of all, I’ll start with a little bit about myself.  I am from Concord, Ohio, which is a town in Northeast Ohio.  It is in between Mentor and Painesville.  I really enjoy going to Mount Union because home is only a hour and a half away.  When looking at schools I considered Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and Baldwin Wallace in Berea, Ohio.  Miami was about five hours away from home and I did not want to be that far in case I wanted to drive home for the weekend.  On the other side of the spectrum, Baldwin Wallace was about 40 minutes away from home and that was just a little too close.  I wanted to feel like I was going away, while still feeling close enough to home, so Mount seemed perfect.

I visited campus my junior year in high school and absolutely fell in love with it.  Now, if you’ve ever been on the campus, you know what I’m talking about.  Everything is so green here and the buildings are really nice.  Aside from that, the people at this school are incredible.  When I came for a visit, I heard a statistic about the ratio of students to professors and was very impressed.  This was another deciding factor in why I wanted to come to Mount.  I didn’t want to go to a large public university and just be another statistic, another number, in a classroom or giant lecture hall.  Here, the professors will meet with you outside of class any day to discuss class work or anything else that you are concerned with or interested in.  Well, that’s a little bit about why I came to Mount Union, now I’d like to tell you a little bit about my life since I’ve been here…

I am currently in my third year of school here and have been really involved each year.  I will probably go further in depth with these positions at a later date, but for now, here are the organizations that I have been involved with.  I am currently the assistant editor of our school newspaper, The Dynamo, and have been the commentary editor, student life editor, writer and photographer.  I still write and take pictures for the paper on a weekly basis, because as I said before, I have a strong passion for writing.

I am also involved with the radio station here on campus, WRMU 91.1 FM, and I have held the position of news director for the past two years.  I am also a member of Student Senate, the Association of Women Students (AWS), our school’s television station which is called Studio M, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and a few honor societies on campus.  I have loved being at a small, private school because there are so many opportunities to become involved in and you can really dip into whatever it is that you are interested in.

My major here at Mount Union is communication.  Within the major, we have what we call “concentrations” and those are basically just areas to specialize in.  My concentrations are media studies and public relations.  I also have two minors which are English and psychology.

So, that’s a snapshot of who I am and what I do here at Mount Union, I hope you continue to check out the blog to see what else is going on campus, in my life and in the communication department.  :}

Meet Samantha

Meet Samantha

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Hi : ) I’m Samantha and I am a junior communication major concentrating in both public relations and media studies with a minor in sport business.

To give you a little preview of who I am, I’ll start with what I’m involved in here at Mount Union. I am the president of our fairly new (and growing) Public Relations Student Society of America (aka PRSSA) chapter as well as the front page editor of our student-run newspaper, The Dynamo. I am the public relations director of our campus radio station, WRMU 91.1 FM, where I also have a radio show called “Late Night Jams.” I’m also involved with our campus TV station, Studio M, where I do some PR tasks as well as work in front of the cameras. As you can tell, I have a strong passion for communication, especially public relations. The more I get involved in what this school has to offer, the more I fall in love with the field.

My involvement here at school has really opened up new doors for me. My hard work earned me an awesome internship with the Cleveland Indians last summer where I had the time of my life … I was able to be on the field for batting practice, met all the front office employees and even interacted with many players. Aside from those great opportunities, I attended press conferences and was able to work game-day photography. I’ve also met some really great people from the trips we’ve taken and have had some fabulous opportunities. Once, we took a trip to Fox 8 News in Cleveland where we met Mount Union graduate Stefani Schaefer and I was able to read a story live on the morning news!

I was born and raised in Cleveland and I could not be more proud. I am a huge Tribe fan (could ya tell?) whether they win or lose. Some of my hobbies include reading, writing and social networking. Lately, however, I’ve fallen in love with kickboxing and Zumba thanks to the classes offered here on campus. I also have a strong passion for traveling!

To learn more about life here at Mount, check back to our blogs; they’re going to be pretty awesome!

-samantha