Communications students to produce Homecoming parade webcast

Students from the College of Communications will apply what they've learned in the classroom when producing their sixth consecutive live webcast of Penn State's annual Homecoming parade.

The webcast will begin at approximately 5 p.m. and last until about 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8. Coverage of the parade may be found at http://psucommedia.com online.

Students from two separate classes taught by Maria Cabrera-Baukus will handle the production. Students in COMM 498B Webcast Production will present the parade itself while students in COMM 383 Production Administration will produce supporting features and segments of the broadcast that focus on different aspects of Homecoming and what goes into organizing the event.

"In my classes I strive to provide the students with 'real world' situations. The idea is to have the projects reach beyond the walls of the classroom," said Cabrera-Baukus, a senior lecturer in the Department of Telecommunications. "Producing the magazine show about Homecoming and webcast of the Homecoming parade does just that, giving the students a real experience and a real taste of what a production like this is like."

More than two dozen communications students will gain practical, hands-on experience while producing the webcast. Jalelah Ahmed, a senior broadcast journalism major from State College, Pa., and LaSaundra Powell, a junior broadcast journalism major from Brooklyn, will serve as hosts of the live coverage.

"LaSaundra and I have great chemistry. Combine that with our preparation and enthusiasm and we really hope to enhance the show," said Ahmed. "I am thrilled to have this opportunity to gain great experience and participate in the Homecoming parade that I have attended since I was a child."

"I have done everything I can to prepare for the broadcast including reading over last year's script and watching footage from events such as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade to gain tips," said Powell. "I am extremely excited for the experience and to get great footage for my resume."

Other faculty and staff from the College of Communications involved in the parade webcast include: Matt Jackson, associate professor and head of the Department of Telecommunications, and Chris Maurer, Mozley-Bryan and Mike Zelazny, who will provide technical support.

"The Department of Telecommunications is very excited to be producing the live webcast again," Jackson said. "Students get to apply the skills they have learned in their courses and produce a live event that will be viewed by Penn State alumni and friends all over the world. We’re happy to provide student with an opportunity to practice their skills and, more importantly, to give something back to the community."

Along with the College of Communications and the Department of Telecommunications, the webcast involves collaboration and coordination between several other Penn Sate units, including WPSU-TV, the Office of Physical Plant and Information Technology Services.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010