Sunday, January 29, 2006

Cell Flix Update: NPR, Inside Edition


The judges' final decision is in, and the winner of the first Cell Flix Festival competition will be announced tomorrow.

National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" will air a four-minute piece on the festival tomorrow (Monday), sometime during the first hour of the show. And we expect a crew from the early-evening entertainment program, Inside Edition, to be on campus tomorrow to shoot a segment. There are other pretty exciting possibilities in the works; we'll keep you posted.

The visibility of Cell Flix around the world has drawn new kinds of public attention to the Park School as a place where students and faculty are engaging in creative approaches to media production. Alumni are already emailing me, telling me that their colleagues are now asking them about Park, and about what kind of place it was to go to school. One '03 alum says she posted the newspaper story above her desk because she's proud to have studied at a school that 'gets it.' The point? We're not a cell phone school - but Cell Flix isn't about cell phones. It's about being ready to engage with the next new platform, technology, and creative opportunity. And if we can establish a reputation as that kind of school, that's good news for everybody -- faculty, students, and alumni.

Now that the process is finally coming to a close, I want to take a minute to acknowledge the work of several people who have really stepped up to make this event more successful and high profile than anybody could ever have expected it to be. In particular:

-- Three of our faculty -- Meg Jamieson and Nick Muellner in C&P and Peter Johanns in TVR -- took the time and energy to review all of the entries that met the minimal requirements to come up with the "top ten." After viewing all of the entries, I was really glad that I wasn't the one who had to make those decisions - -and I was really grateful that three of our most expert faculty had volunteered to do it for us.

-- the students who have been featured in the media coverage, including (in particular) Suds, whose photo accompanied the AP story that was published in newspapers all over the world, and who therefore became something of the representative Park student for the competition; Sasha Stefanova, and Mike Potter. They responded to the media with professionalism, thoughtfulness, and an ability to articulate their ideas with clarity and precision;

-- the alumni who took time out of their incredibly demanding schedules and lives to select the winner. David Lebow and Rodrigo Bellott came to the work from very different professional perspectives -- David as Executive Vice President and General Manager of AOL Media Networks, and Rodrigo as an independent filmmaker -- and they independently selected the same entry as the best: proof that platform doesn't alter the qualities of a great story;

-- and finally, the above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty work of Melissa Gattine in Park's Special Programs office, who has been juggling national media requests for the past three weeks with the skill and calm of a real PR pro. Everybody wants something NOW, everybody wants to be sure none of the other media is getting it first, and nobody has a clue about how to deal with the file formats and transfers involved. Melissa has managed to maneuver through the maze with grace and good humor -- and without a single glitch. The media can be...ummm, difficult, at best, and they're always ready to move on to something else if there's the slightest annoyance or problem. Thanks to Melissa, there were none -- and to the benefit of all of us, that means the media stuck around long enough to get the story.

As always, an idea is nothing more than an idea -- and, as I've been told by Cell Flix judge David Lebow -- the world is full of extraordinary ideas. The real test is in the execution. I introduced what seemed like the wacko idea of a mobile-delivery film festival to the Park School, but its success is a credit to the faculty, students, alumni and staff who together made it a reality. My congratulations and gratitude to each of them.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

We celebrate you.

In recognition of the extraordinary accomplishments of our students, I would like to invite you to the second annual Student Recognition Reception from 7-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 1, in the Park Aud/Lobby.
The event will honor student work that has been acknowledged in some way during the past year.

It's an opportunity for all of us to get together and really celebrate why we're here and what we care deeply about.

Please join us.

(And yes, there will be food.... including chicken fingers! wahooooo.....)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Blog from LA?

We would like to continue the tradition of featuring an LA blog on the Park School homepage. If you are in LA this semester and are interested in sharing your experience, please let me know. To check out last semester’s LA blog, visit:

Good Morning America!


We just heard from Good Morning America -- literally 10 minutes ago -- and they say they think they're going to air the Cell Flix segment tomorrow (Wednesday) at 7:50 a.m....unless something more newsworthy comes up, in which case it will be aired on Thursday.

So it goes with network news programs... but in the meantime, best guess is that it's tomorrow at 7:50 a.m.

And don't worry: we'll tape it and it'll be all over the plasma screen in the lobby. Of course.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Since nobody can predict the future better than you can...

....I need your help.

I've joined a college-wide committee charged with looking ahead to 2010 and identifying the kinds of learning experiences, campus environment, and social experiences students will need and expect to have. Global culture is changing at lightspeed, and we have no crystal ball, but it's a valuable exercise just to have the opportunity to think critically about the questions.

As always, it seems to me that the best place to start in considering the next generation of Park students is through a conversation with our faculty and staff, and with the school's current and former students. So I'm asking you for a little bit of your time and imaginative energy: Take a few minutes (please) to consider the following news articles published about "wired" campuses in the past few months, and let me know: Does this reflect your experience? your relationships with technology? your "ideal" campus environment? And if it were you planning the IC experience in 2010, what would it look like? What amenities -- technological or otherwise -- would it involve?

And finally, if you were responsible for recruiting the next two generations of IC students, what aspects or elements of the college would you emphasize and promote?

The articles are here; in case the links aren't reliable, I've included the urls as well.

Newsweek, August 2005: High Tech Hot Spots

Forbes: America's Most Connected Campuses

If you want to read even MORE interesting information about today's college kids and the changes we need to be thinking about, try these:

Boomers, Gen-Exers & Millennials: Understanding the NEW Students

Taking back the Web: New generation, technologies return Net to social roots
The "millennials" usher in a new era

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Doc from someone who knows...

Jeremy Levine included me on an email he sent to several students about his experience in Doc Research. There are many (many) great courses in Park, but Doc Research is often cited when I ask students about the hardest and most rewarding course in the school.

For reasons that I don't understand, enrollments this semester are way down. Here's what Jeremy has to say about it;

Hey all,

I just wanted to reiterate that doc research really is a an incredible
experience and if you are even considering it, I would highly encourage
you to come to class this week and check it out. There really is no other
class where you can find yourself in Finland chasing women who pick up
cars and other large objects for a living or in Arizona
shoulder-to-shoulder with a bunch of armed guys in camo and think "hell,
this is for class."

It really is a lot of fun and, if this interests you, will probably be the
biggest resume builder of your entire career at Ithaca College. Of course,
it will be challenging, but that comes with the terriroty.....
classes meet MWF from 1-2 with an extra W session from 4-5 pm. I highly
encourage you to stop by...... Hope to see some of you soon,

Monday, January 16, 2006

Scholarships: You're NOT applying?!?!?

The Park School has a wide variety of scholarships available to students across the school -- and the really odd thing is, so few of you ever apply for them.

Just think how happy and proud your family would be if you were to call home and announce that you won the Linden scholarship (or the Cogan scholarship, or the Ceracche scholarship, or the Hanna scholarship, or the Herman scholarship, or the Landen scholarship, or the Lebow get the idea....)
Information on how to apply for each scholarship can be found at

Good luck!

Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen: The Many Meanings of Family

Please share with potentially interested students, friends and colleagues-

Out of the Closet and onto the Screen: The Many Meanings of Family, will present its first two spring semester offerings in January. "Daddy & Papa," an award-winning examination of the personal, cultural, and political implications of gay fatherhood, will be shown on Tuesday, January 24. A screening of "Our House," an exploration of growing up with gay and lesbian parents, will take place on Wednesday, January 25. Both events are scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in Textor 102 and are free and open to the pubic.

Candid and revealing, "Daddy & Papa" looks at some of the complex issues surrounding gay fatherhood, including the effect of sexual orientation on children, the challenge of white gay men raising African American children, the changing relationship of gay fathers to the gay community, and the impact on children being raised without a mother.

To make "Our House," filmmaker Meema Spadola traveled to urban, rural, and suburban communities across the country to profile the sons and daughters of children being raised by gay or lesbian parents. "Our House" was named "best documentary" at the 2000 New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

The next Out of the Closet event will take place in February and feature a series of six short films. Additional screenings will take place throughout March and April.

For more information, contact the Ithaca College Office of Multicultural Affairs Center for LGBT Education, Outreach & Services at 274-7394 or .

Light in Winter opens with Park Prof's Ballad

Michelle C. Berry, assistant professor in TV-R and Poet Laureate of Tompkins County, will open the 2006 Annual Light in Winter Festival this Friday, January 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Ithaca's State Theatre.

Professor Berry will sing her original ballad about a hero from the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans who alone saved nearly 500 people during Katrina. She will be accompanied by musicians Fe Nunn and Chris White. After the ballad, famed Middle Eastern musicians Simon Shaheen and Qantara will take the stage.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

New York Networking....amazing.


A group of us is in New York City this week for Network Days and Night -- and I can't imagine why every single Park senior isn't with us. (OK, so the course only enrolls 15 students....but I can't believe at least 50 of you weren't begging for overrides.....)

On Wednesday, we spent the morning with David Lebow, vice president and general manager of AOL Media Networks. He offered students some outstanding but very commonsensical advice about how to get a job, how to keep a job, and how to love a job. Bottom line: Want to be successful? Do what you love. Have passion for your work. And do what it takes -- meaning jump higher, stay longer, start earlier and work harder than everyone around you. Pay your dues, hang on to your integrity, don't burn bridges, and learn to take a calculated risk (as in, sure, yes, I can do that.....even if you only THINK you can do that....). I took lots of notes; even at my age, this is very good advice.

On Wednesday afternoon, Andy Kadison, senior vice president of Sony Music Studios, and his amazing staff spent more than three hours with us, talking about life in what has to be the country's most successful, active, and fabulous recording studios. We took a tour of the facilities -- unbelievable -- and he told us all kinds of stories about the stars, from Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash and Kanye West to Cold Play and Kelly Clarkson. One of the studio's employees, a Park alum, got his job after he visited the studios seven years ago -- during Network Days!

A smaller group of us were lucky enough to get tickets to the Daily Show on Wednesday night, thanks to alum Chris Regan, one of the show's senior writers. Jon Stewart is funnier in person than he is on television -- and so was the guy who warmed up the crowd. Pretty cool.

This morning, Stuart Zimmerman, senior vice president of advertising sales for Sony Pictures Television - Tri Star, introduced us to the realities of the television business. Students came away from that presentation understanding that the process is so complex and so enormous that just about anybody who wants to do anything -- from production to public relations -- could find a job at Sony.

And this afternoon, the group went to ABC News 20/20, where Angela Chambers, a producer, gave them the grand tour.

Tonight, we're headed to the Copacabana Club for an evening of networking -- an annual bash that draws between 150-200 IC alumni interested in meeting each other, and in recruiting graduating seniors for jobs.

All in all, it's been an extraordinary couple of days. I'll head home tomorrow more convinced than ever that Park has some of the most generous, thoughtful, and successful alumni in the world. And the most incredible part is that they would all be delighted to help you find that first job. Or second. Or third.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Cell Flix sitings....

Media coverage of the Cell Flix festival continues to show up around the world; we got phone calls today from Tokyo, Vancouver, and London...

For those of you interested in entering the competition ($5,000 cash! and would we love it if a Park student won!), check out the rules at And contact Melissa Gattine ( with questions.

Park Students on National Television!

America's Most Wanted came to Ithaca in October to do a story on the one-year anniversary of the Collegetown Creeper and the on-going hunt for Abe Shorey. They interviewed Police Chief Lauren Signer and some of the victims of Shorey's attacks. They also interviewed some Ithaca College students, ICTV's Lindsey Knox and the Ithacan's Chris Baxter. They aren't sure if the student interviews will make in on the national air, but the story will be playing this weekend! Be sure to tune in on Saturday night (January 7th) at 9pm ET/PT and 8pm CT on Fox.