Homecoming parade provides hands-on learning opportunity for Penn State students

Nina Trach
October 09, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Each year, the traditional Penn State Homecoming parade provides a valuable opportunity for students in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications.

In what has become a tradition itself, the students produce the webcast of the event that is available to Penn Staters worldwide.

This year marks the 14th in a row that students in COMM 383 Advanced Video Production will produce the parade webcast. Coverage begins at about 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, and the stream (available at wpsu.org/event) will cover the parade from start to finish as it passes the broadcast location on Shortlidge Road near the White Building on the University Park campus.

Dealing with the differences between studio production and field production, the webcast is a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience with the real-life circumstances of broadcasting a live event, especially one that happens outdoors.

In the weeks leading up to the webcast, students have familiarized themselves with the equipment they'll be using and focused on the potential challenges — including lighting concerns and other unpredictable circumstances. They've also worked closely with Homecoming representatives to prepare and conduct site surveys.

“In a TV studio, a lot of these things work when you flip a switch. In the field you have to know where everything goes,” said Bill Hallman, the COMM 383 instructor and webcast adviser. “I’m looking forward to seeing how they perform. This is a great opportunity for experience and to build a reel before they get out into the real world and start applying for jobs.”

Bellisario College students Jabari Butler, Max Celii, David Dominguez, Jianzhang Li, Kylie Malloy, Brett Mchale and Matthew Roden will handle the technical aspects of the webcast. Students Jon Gross, Grace Hayba and Ava Rash will serve as webcast hosts.

“The students producing the webcast take great pride in giving back to the community and allowing alumni, family and friends to participate in this event,” said Matt Jackson, head of the Department of Telecommunications. “Penn Staters in the military and living all over the world can tune in and be a part of a 'We Are ...' experience.”

The Office of Physical Plant, the Office of Telecommunications and Networking Services, and the Homecoming committee also work with the communications students to make the webcast a reality.

The 2018 Homecoming theme is “Guide State Forward,” and Bellisario College alumna Lisa Salters, an ESPN reporter on "Monday Night Football" who earned her journalism degree in 1988, will serve as grand marshal.

Last Updated June 02, 2021