Tuesday, December 18, 2007

If I were you.....I'd predict the future (and I'd do it NOW)

I have to tell you about a new course we're offering this spring (yes, spring of 2008) in the Park School.

We just finalized the details and yes, to take this course you would have to drop something else.

But it would be worth it. In a heartbeat. (And it's going to fill up, so I'd do it NOW.)

Here's the thing:

You know you need to be thinking about how to be a storyteller. Whether you're an IMC, CMD, CPMA, TVR (wow, talk about alphabet soup) or journalism, you need to know how to tell a great story.

A true great story.

And to do it across media platforms.

This is a course designed to teach you to do that.

And although we're probably only going to offer this particular course once, it's going to be a model (I hope) for other courses in the Park School.

It's called NONFICTION LABORATORY: Predicting the Future.

It's about long-form narrative and storytelling across media.

It's about documentary and nonfiction.

It's about how to tell stories across different kinds of media delivery systems -- print, photography, audio, slide shows and the Web.

And it's going to be team-taught by faculty in TVR and Journalism (Ben Crane and Lisa Drew).

And the coolest thing (ever) is that the focus of the class is going to be "Predicting the Future" -- whatever that means in terms of the stories you have to tell.

Here are the details:

How many credits? It's a four-credit LA class.

Who can take it? It's a 200-level course cross-listed in TVR and Journalism, but ANY sophomore, junior or senior in the school can take the course. (Sorry, no freshmen...)

Does it "count" as anything? It "counts" as a sub for the research course requirement in TVR, meaning that it's a sub for Doc, Quant or Qualitative Research. It doesn't "count" for any other degree program...but that doesn't mean it won't "count" as one of the best courses you'll ever take. And that "counts" for something - doesn't it?

When does it meet? OK, so it's at a time when you probably have another class. The question is: Can you take THAT class some other time? Because this one will only be offered once. It will meet from 1 to 1:50 p.m. MWF, and from 4 to 4:50 Wednesdays.

Why am I promoting this course over other courses?
Good question. All of your Park classes are important and valuable. But this is a one-time opportunity, and it's a course that reflects the direction I think we need to go in terms of our efforts to cross department boundaries, bring unique faculty expertise into collaborative teaching environments, and help you all develop an understanding of storytelling across media delivery systems.

It's on Homer. You can enroll now.

And if I were you, that's exactly what I would do.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 17, 2007

28 in 4....and life after Park

This just in from alum Jesse Borrell. There IS life after Park, and it's pretty cool....

In 2002, a team (that I was not a part of) called "Across the Atlas" embarked on a quest to ski all the 28 Colorado Resorts in less than 4 days. Against all odds (and good common sense), they completed the adventure in 3 days, 4 hours and 21 minutes (a
Guinness world record that is still standing) all while raising $10,000 for charity.

In 2007, the Good Ski Guide Magazine and the network Current TV approached the team to attempt a similar world record in California. So on January 1st, we are to ski all 28 major California Resorts in less than 4 days, hence the name 28 in 4.

Where do my production qualifications fit in? I am to be the primary photographer for the event. Not only to I have to snowboard all of these mountains, but I also have to make the participants look good for various magazine articles. Cool huh? I am totally psyched for this event, and am proud to officially say that this is my first semi-professional gig outside of college!

The official website is: www.acrosstheatlas.com

So starting January 1st, probably when most are nursing hangovers and/or keeping to their New Year’s resolutions, the website will be tracking our progress through GPS tracking and picture uploads. Check out the site for other info obviously…

We will!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

One more....and just as important as the first!

OK, guys, time to cast ONE MORE vote for a Parkie in the Ivy Film Festival 48 hour

It's called "Reminiscence," it's the work of Parkie Chris Foito, and you can find it at www.ivyfilmfestival.com/48.

Find it. Watch it. And vote for it.

And we'll do it for you when it's your turn.

Chris appreciates your support.

Me, too.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Great photos, great food, great friends...

It's that time of year again.

The Park School is humming (well, OK, so in some cases it's screaming) as you all rush through the last week of the semester to get your final projects, papers and reading done before the semester ends.

There is a full schedule of screenings in the Auditorium (I am going to attend as many as I possibly can; unfortunately, I am writing this in a Miami hotel room....I had to come down here to participate in a professional conference -- at the worst possible time of year...it's 84 degrees but I would MUCH rather be in Ithaca facing the blizzard and watching your work....)

And the Senior Photo Exhibition opens on Friday night from 6 to 9 p.m. on the Commons. It's called Warship Images: The Final Exhibition and it's being held at
103 The Commons, West Plaza (Below UPS and across the street from the Chanticleer). The exhibition will be on display Saturday, Dec. 15 and Sunday, Dec. 16 from noon-8 p.m. (I WILL make it to this one...I arrive home Saturday morning!)

Take a break from your busy, crazy, incredible schedules and stop by the exhibition and the screenings and the presentations and the award ceremonies....all of the amazing ways the Park School celebrates all of your incredible talent and achievement.


Monday, December 10, 2007

WICB needs great talent...and strong journalism...and you

This just in from Rob Engelsman, News Director at WICB....Think about it: What BETTER way to build your professional resume, make new friends, and make a real difference in your community?

Have you been looking at your second semester schedule and come to the realization that you have a bit too much free time? Do you know how to pronounce names that anchors regularly butcher on CNN and MSNBC? (If you said no the second question don't worry about... I'll just teach you.)

We at WICB News are looking for anyone and everyone who might be interested in short or long form journalism to come help out second semester. If you help out, you will be given at least one newscast a week on VIC and WICB radio (a time commitment of about an hour and a half).

Plus, if you like long form journalism, or intelligent discussion, the ICB News Department runs three shows on Sunday nights that will suit your fancy. ICB Sunday offers a chance to go out and do real local reporting, Pleading the First is a chance to break through the media bias, and Bridging the Gaps does just that, bridging gaps of discrimination and misunderstanding.

So if any of this sounds the least bit interesting to you, shoot me an email at rcengelsman@gmail.com. Meetings will be on Monday nights at either 6:30 or 7 and start when we get back in January.

Thanks for your time, and I look forward to seeing some of you in January!


And in the spirit of the season (and it worked last time...)

Of course more than one Parkie has entered the AquaFresh contest and needs your votes. Dan Haack and his team have already had more than 2,000 views but hey, who knows if somebody else has 2001 and YOU could make the difference?

Please: Take the time to give (your vote) to a fellow Parkie.

Link is:


Vote now, Vote often....

You know this works.

You know that if you take 3 minutes to follow the link and cast your vote, Parkies win. And when YOU need a vote, everybody else will do it for you.

Start with this one. THE DEADLINE IS TODAY and I was supposed to post this last week. So do ME a favor (please) and prove that we'll come through for one another, even at the last minute:

Will Mathewson and J Stretch, Kyle Kelley and Greg Dunbar entered the Aquafresh Extreme Clean Scene Video Contest. The grand prize is $10,000 and 40% of the score is based on youtube views (that’s where Parkies come in).

The video can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MJ25dG9NOo

And the second one is from Kyle Kelley, who entered the Ivy Film Festival 48 Hour Film Competition over Thanksgiving break, and has made it into the Final Round. There is a one week voting period to determine the viewer's choice.

The website is http://ivyfilmfestival.com/48 and the video is called "Handle With Care."

Here's what he says about the film: "It's pretty weird, but hey, it made it to the finals so that's something at least."

At least!

Let's see if we can make it a winner!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Attention Park Students: This just in from Lambda Pi Eta

Attention Park Students,

The annual Park School of Communications t-shirt design contest has
arrived! Submissions are sought for the front or back (or both) of a long
sleeved t-shirt. Anyone in the Park School can submit a design so long as
it meets these requirements:

1. It can have no more than 4 colors
2. It can be either 1 or 2 sided
3. It must be related to the Park School in some way
4. The submission must be sent electronically (preferably as a .jpeg)

The prize for having your design selected is a free long sleeved t-shirt
as well as the honor of having your design on the shirt! Submissions are
due no later than February 1st. This event is sponsored by Lambda Pi Eta.
Feel free to contact the executive board at lambdapieta@ithaca.edu with
any questions you may have. We look forward to seeing your designs!

-Lambda Pi Eta

Falling in love is easy...it's staying there that's the hard part


You have 5 minutes. I know you do, or you wouldn't be reading this.

Could you PLEASE take 3 of those 5 (this is a short post) and fill out a five-question (short, very short) survey about developing and maintaining romantic relationships in college?

A team of students is doing a story for the Ithacan Online, and they want to know: Have YOU ever been in love? How long did it last? And what did you do to make it work (or not)?

Thanks, guys. This is that 'Parkies help Parkies' thing....


Talk about initiative reporting....

One of our alum, Cole Louison, had his first story published in the New York Times this week, about a really amazing woman who paints her house a different color -- including the windows -- every few years.

It's such a great example of initiative reporting, and of a journalist who was determined to discover the story behind a character or an event that everybody talks about -- and nobody understands.

It's worth reading, no matter where you live.

And it's another example of the exceptional career arcs of our Park School grads....

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tie on those bowlin' shoes, do the Park School proud...and give back, just a little

This just in from WICB:

WICB and WVBR have teamed up for the first annual Rock and Bowl to benefit Loaves and Fishe of Tompkins County, a ministry of hospitality and practical help, responding to need in our community.

Loaves & Fishes provides a free daily meal Monday through Friday, serving all who come.

Join us at the Bowl-O-Drome located at 401 3rd Street in Ithaca on Friday December 7th, beginning at 6 p.m. for a high stakes BOWLIN' competition between the radio stations of Ithaca.

Pride is on the line and we're going to raise some serious money for Loaves and Fishes. For this night only, the Bowl-O-Drome will donate $1.50 to Loaves & Fishes for every paying bowler that comes in the door. If your group of bowlers has 5 or more people, $2.50 will go to Loaves & Fishes.

We'll see you with your bowling shoes on!

If anyone has any questions, you can call the station - 607-274-3217; IM us wicbrocks; or check out our website at wicb.org. Hope to see everyone there!

So when you see Seth....and Ellen...and David...and Phil....

So here's how it went:

Last year, Parkie Seth Palmer came to see me with what he (and I) thought was a great idea: Why didn't we have all of the portable equipment in the Park School available for sign-out online?

Why (he asked me) did students have to come to the Park School and stand in line (usually) to reserve equipment, and then come BACK to the Park School to pick it up? Why couldn't they just log on to a secure site, reserve the equipment, and THEN come and pick it up at the appropriate time?

I couldn't think of a reason.

That was late last spring.

This fall, I posed the same question to Ellen and David and Phil (among others) down in TechOps (PPECS).

Their answer was exactly what I've come to expect from them: Sure, we can do that. We can figure out a way to set up a system so students can reserve equipment online.

And over the past six weeks, that's what they've done.

It's Seth's dream come true. And (perhaps especially on a cold February morning when you don't have to walk down from home to come to the Park School to reserve equipment) yours.

Beginning in January, you will be able to log on to a secure Web site and reserve the equipment you need to complete your work.

But first you're going to need to learn how, exactly, to do that.

Ellen is holding training sessions in the Park Auditorium on December 11th and December 13th from noon to 1:05 pm.

Just think how glad you will be to have attended one of those sessions in January, when you know how to use the system -- and how sorry you'll be if you DON'T find the time next week and you have to ...you guessed it....walk down from home to come to the Park School to reserve equipment.

This project is the result of a collaboration between students and staff: a great idea from a student and the implementation of it by a staff whose mission and professional commitment is to serve you well.

Next time you see Seth, shake his hand, pat him on the back, thank him for having the imagination to come up with the proposal AND the initiative to make an appointment to pitch it to the dean.

And next time you're in PPECS, take the time to thank the staff for its willingness to take on yet another project -- not an insignificant hassle and time commitment -- in order to make your life just a little bit easier.

Don'tcha just love the Park School? I do.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

This is so cool....I'm going. You should, too.

Brought to us by Buzzsaw Haircut and iMPrint magazine, a series of multimedia events that reflects

Our Generation's Answer to Sex, Drugs, and Rock n' Roll:

War, TV, and Hip-Hop is a mixed media party taking a second look at three pillars of contemporary American life.

First, "The War Tapes" brings us a perspective on the war in Iraq that is free from embedded anchors, commercial sponsors, and motion graphics. A long-form documentary shot by three soldiers working in collaboration with award-winning documentarians.

Second, a screening aimed spreading awareness about two new media initiatives that want to expand their pool of active producers, not boost ratings by recruiting passive viewers. On the national level, Current TV integrates viewer created content into roughly one-third of its cable broadcasts and is looking for more. At the local level, Buzzsaw Haircut is launching a new digital video component called Buzzsaw TV. Buzzsaw TV will function both as a production unit and as an outlet for locally produced video work to be featured in a video blog, screening events, and an annual DVD release.

Finally, Kidz in the Hall bring us their acclaimed brand of politically conscious hip-hop with an aim to make us rethink the formula for catchy rap music we've grown used to. Co-signed by Just Blaze, 3H (50 cent, Kanye West), and Matty C (Originator of Unsigned Hype) the Kidz debut album, "School Was My Hustle" was rated 3.5 by Scratch Magazine.

War, TV, and Hip-Hop: a night of screenings, live music, free food, and give-a-ways hosted by Buzzsaw Haircut at the Lost Dog Café on Thursday, December 13th, 2007. Doors open at 5:30 PM. 18 to enter, 21 to drink. No cover until 10pm.


5:30 PM: The War Tapes (Documentary)

In March 2004, just as the insurgent movement strengthened, several members of one National Guard unit arrived in Iraq, with cameras. THE WAR TAPES is the result – a uniquely collaborative film from a team that includes Director Deborah Scranton, Producer Robert May (THE FOG OF WAR) and Producer/Editor Steve James (HOOP DREAMS).

Sponsored by Campus Progress

7:00 PM Megg Farrell (Folk Rock / Hawaiian / Blues)

7:30 PM The Tundra Toes (Indie / Country / Tropical)

8:00 PM Current TV Screening

Current TV is a non-fiction cable network that features viewer created content in roughly one-third of its broadcasts. They've recently launched College_Current, an interactive and collaborative initiative aimed at participating in the national student production community by giving student media producers the opportunity to have a voice on a national independent cable network and online studio. Screening will include samples of the work, catering from the Lost Dog, Current TV merchandise give-a-ways, and information about submitting content to the network.

9:00 PM Buzzsaw TV Launch Party

Buzzsaw TV is Buzzsaw Haircut's new digital video component. Buzzsaw TV will function both as a production unit and as an outlet for video work produced within the Ithaca College community. Work produced by or selected for Buzzsaw TV will be featured on a video blog, at screening events, and in annual DVD releases. At Thursday's event we will discuss the future of the project in greater detail and screen some of the work set to be released on the website.

10:00 PM Kidz in the Hall (Hip Hop)

"Gang Starr level respect is definitely hard to earn. Yet, with their guest-free debut, producer Double-O and spitter Naledge are on the right path. The Jersey/Chicago connection's strength is chemistry, matching O's mid-tempo, horn-heavy production with Naledge's acutely observational versis. Sonic repetition does loom, but ultimately their overall cohesion is undeniable. Rookies with producer Rolodexes, take note."

-Scratch Magazine, Jan/Feb (2007)

Sponsored by Buzzsaw Haircut and Imprint Magazine. Free give-a-ways from Homegrown Skateshop.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Networking....we've got you covered

Think about it.

You're a junior or a senior in the Park School.

Chances are good you want to work in the communications industry (just guessing).

New York City happens to be one of the key centers of that industry.

And it also happens to be the workplace of many of our most valuable and generous alumni.

If you were to go to New York on your own, though, it would be pretty hard to get in to see some of these folks; they're busy, they're important, and yes, they're Parkies - but they ARE important and busy.

But no worries.

The Park School has you covered.

You have the opportunity to travel to the city over winter break to spend two days visiting some of our alumni in their workplaces, interacting with them and their colleagues, distributing your resume, and networking in a way that has in the past led to internships and jobs for the students smart and ambitious enough to pursue them.


This year, it's scheduled on January 9-10.

Here are the details:

This is a one-credit opportunity for senior & junior Park majors to explore careers with alumni professionals. During the required two days you will visit the following organizations to learn directly from professionals about their industry, careers in the field, and tips on how to obtain work and/or internships -- to name a few. You will experience and learn from:

Nice Shoes, Post-production video/editing, www.niceshoes.com

Ogilvy & Mather, Advertising, www.ogilvy.com

We are still waiting on confirmation from:
FOX News, Network News organization, www.foxnews.com
Conde Nast Publications, publisher of "The New Yorker," "Vogue," "GQ," etc., www.condenast.com

Attendance is required at all four, 2.5 hour, sessions. Limited to 15 juniors and seniors with preference given to seniors. Students are responsible for their own transportation, lodging and food. This is a one-credit course with required reading, a paper assignment, and 2 required class meetings. Mandatory pre-meeting is on Friday, Dec. 14, from 4-5pm in Park 220 and a mandatory post meeting is on Tuesday, January 29, from 12:10 -1 pm in Park 220. Attendance at these sessions are required.

To register you must bring a copy of your resume and sign up in person with April Johanns, Park 379 (Third Floor) no later than 5:00pm, Monday, Dec. 10. You will be notified by e-mail no later than Wednesday, Dec. 12 if you have been selected to participate.

Attend the NYC Network Night, open to all IC students, and network with alumni from a variety of industries in a reception style format.
Thursday, January 10th, 7-9 pm, Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway (at 45th), NY, NY.
Register with Career Services, Gannett Center, first floor, or call 274-3365.

Back in the Park School....

I spent a lot of time last week doing my favorite thing: watching Parkies do what they do.

I met with some freshmen who have settled in and are feeling at home...overwhelmed by this whole end-of-semester and I-didn't-get-my-classes-for-spring thing, perhaps, but at home nonetheless. "I belong here," one of them told me. Made me smile.

I also met with a couple of upperclassmen who have just returned from Jamaica, where they shot a documentary about a woman her neighbors call "The Mother Teresa of Jamaica," an extraordinary story of courage and generosity of spirit. It was a transformative experience for these students to see the incredible optimism and commitment of the people they visited in the face of such hardship and stark poverty -- and it was a moving experience for me to see their work and to know that they will never view the world in quite the same way again.

I attended the Park Scholars Symposium. It's the event where some of the scholars get up and talk about their projects and their service work, and it's always so inspiring....students went to DC to learn about social justice and activism related to environmental issues and to poverty; they traveled to Africa and to Peru to build a library and to teach underserved children in an urban daycare center; they planned and hosted a major fundraiser for a local nonprofit and painted a bright cheery mural on a local elementary school wall....just to name a few. In other words, they contributed of themselves -- their time, their talent, their intelligence, their passion -- to make the world just a little bit better place for just a few of the people who need some help. Pretty cool.

I hung out with the students who are shooting the ICTV show "BS Detectives," watching one of the characters get killed in the Park lobby (hey, all kinds of things go on in the Park lobby)....They're working like ....well, like professionals. And it shows.

I sat down for a two-hour chat with the Park Scholars Alumni Advisory Board, dedicated Parkies who have gone on to great jobs and interesting careers, and who continue to give back to the school.

And I appeared on the annual "faculty" version of the IC Match Game, where host (and producer) Craig Reid continues to lead a cast of characters -- and I do mean characters -- to shoot a game show that is at least as much fun to play as it is to watch (nobody said I was good at it...but believe me, it didn't matter....).

All in all, it was the best confirmation I could imagine that I am glad to be in the Park School. Because for every one of the conversations I had or the events I attended, there were dozens -- hundreds -- of others just as important and inspiring and valuable that I missed, but that mattered just as much.

And that's why I drive up the hill every morning these days so glad to be here, and so glad to be staying.