Students set to produce Homecoming parade webcast

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- As Homecoming activities kick into high gear at Penn State this week, a group of communications students anticipate the climax of preparations they’ve been making since the start of the fall semester.

Students enrolled in COMM 383A Webcast Production, taught by Maria Cabrera-Baukus, a senior lecturer in the Department of Telecommunications, annually produce the webcast of the Homecoming parade -- which can be watched beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at http://homecoming.psu.edu or http://commedia.psu.edu.

This year marks the ninth in a row that students from the College of Communications have led the webcast of the nation’s largest Homecoming parade.

As part of the course, students receive training in many facets of television production. They then put all that work together for the live parade webcast. Along with gaining practical experience, the students in the course, most of whom are journalism or telecommunications majors, provide a service for the University -- and for Penn State alumni and friends all over the world.

All positions related to the production are staffed by members of the class. Collaboration from College of Communications faculty and staff, personnel from WPSU-TV and staff from Information Technology Services at Penn State help make the webcast a reality.

“My favorite part of the webcast is being able to witness all the work that makes Homecoming a success,” said Emily Hvostal, a COMM 383 student and senior telecommunications major. “I did not know how many people were involved.”

In addition to handling all of the equipment that is required for the live webcast, the class produced a magazine show, which features different aspects of Homecoming preparation. It will air online before the parade begins and focuses on stories such as the creation of the Homecoming logo and some groups involved in the parade.

“The magazine is full of video packages of behind-the-scene happenings,” Baukus said. “It’s good work by the students.”

Student hosts for the parade webcast are selected separately from those enrolled in the class, and they’re excited for things to begin as well.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to get to communicate to viewers the excitement and action of the Homecoming parade as it is happening,” said Jamie Apgar, one of this year’s webcast hosts.

Caroline Goggin, the second host, agreed. “I absolutely love this school, and I feel hosting the webcast is a great way to display just a bit of my Penn State pride,” she said.

Last Updated October 17, 2013