Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thank you, Kevin.

A Culture of Yes

Sometimes I talk about a "culture of yes" in the Park School.

It's kind of a corny phrase (hey, that's me!), but it means something that matters.

It means that all of the people who work in the Park School, collectively and individually, are committed to saying yes to our students' big ideas and big dreams.

It means we find a way, somehow, to encourage experimentation, to support the kinds of experiences and efforts and energy that are transformative in our students' lives.

And it means we always - always -- start with 'yes,' and we work our way back to "no" only when we absolutely must.

That ideal plays itself out around here every single day.

It happens when we can find the funding to send you (or your friends) to Washington or Texas or Pennsylvania to shoot a film or a documentary.

It happens when we can cover the unexpected costs of rental insurance (who knew it could be so expensive?).

It happens when we can send some of you to China for the Olympics, or to New York for a conference to present your research.

And it happens when our best faculty advisers willingly accept yet another student advisee -- or three or six -- because they understand and are committed to mentoring and guiding you through your undergraduate years.

A Park Moment

Those are Park moments. They confirm for us why we're here, what we're doing, and why it matters.

Sometimes people do that for us as well.

In the past few months, I've been getting feedback about why we should bring the Avid editing system back into the school.

A couple of our alumni -- professional editors in LA -- talked to me about it at the ICTV 50th anniversary celebration.

Becky Goodling, a TVR major, brought it up during a presentation by the students who went to the Olympics with NBC last summer.

Some of our faculty say they have worked in both Avid and Final Cut environments.

And you know, I listen (really, I do).

So this week, I brought it up with David Priester and Kevin Michael in PPECS.

Kevin is the guy who would have to do the work to maintain a new Avid station (or two). And it's not like he doesn't already have enough to do.

David is his boss, the guy who manages all of the PPECS staff who work to ensure our technology is both available and operational. And it's not like he doesn't already have enough to do, either.

But I asked them, anyway. Should we find a way to bring Avid into the school, not as part of our curriculum (necessarily), but just to give students who want the experience with it to have that access?

It was a Park moment.

David did what he always does: he nodded. (And then he said, appropriately enough: "But where are we going to put it?")

Kevin grinned (he does that, too) and shrugged: "Sure, why not? If it means kids can play around with it, learn something about how it works, so they can put it on their resumes and go out to get a job feeling like they're better prepared....if the kids want it, I'll take care of it, I can do that. That's not a problem."

Later, Kevin came up to my office to tell me he'd done the research, figured out how much it was going to cost, where we could put the two stations -- how we could make it happen.

And then he talked with real passion about why we should always put students first, why we need to be positive and enthusiastic when you push us to improve or even when you break the equipment (hey, you're learning!), and why we must stay current and cutting-edge ourselves so we can ensure that you have the best possible learning experiences, both in your classrooms and outside of them.

He described a Park School that truly is a culture of yes.

I told Kevin that he is one of the people I am most grateful for this Thanksgiving.

I meant it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

One more time! A Parkie makes the NY Times Institute!

We're two for two! Erin Geismar, editor of the Ithacan, has just been informed that she has been selected to join a small group of "best and brightest" college journalists for a two-week institute sponsored by the New York Times in January.

The "New York Times Student Journalism Institute" offers student journalists an opportunity to work with prominent news professionals in a newsroom environment. All expenses for students are paid, including transportation, and students receive a stipend during the Institute.

And the good news -- for Erin, at least -- is that this year's January program will be offered in Miami!

Perhaps even better news? Last year, Parkie Nic Barajas attended the Institute. And the Times hired him when he graduated in May!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

So, OK....we think those folks on the other hill are.....

....interesting. (OK, funny.)

And sophomore Parkie Rachel Hastings and senior Parkie Ed Pietzak have created a new ICTV sitcom all about Cornellians....just to confirm our theory.

Good news is, even the Cornellians themselves agree there's just a touch of truth in the show's presentation of CU stereotypes....and if they are watching, don't you think you should be, too?

Check out the Sun's review.

And now watch the show, delivered online, when you want it, how you want it (Yay, ICTV!)

MTV Party in Park: Come and watch WICB be named best college radio station!

Hey guys,

So here I am, in Wisconsin, at an accreditation visit -- which doesn't mean much to you all, but basically is about evaluating other journalism and mass comm schools around the country.

And I won't be home until midnight tomorrow, unless of course it drizzles or gets even the slightest bit windy at the Philadelphia airport -- which would mean I wouldn't be home until Thursday, at the earliest.

And the only thing worse than traveling all day and sitting in airports and knowing that Philly closes down at the first drip-drop of rain is that it means I'm going to miss the big WICB party tomorrow night, celebrating its award as the BEST COLLEGE RADIO STATION IN THE COUNTRY.

Here's YOUR invitation:


As most of you know 92 WICB won the mtvU Woodie award for Best College Radio Station! We're going to have a viewing party of the award show on Wednesday at 8PM in Textor 103. We hope to see you there!

Josh Giordano
Station Manager

So you have to go, and you have to cheer, and you have to take lots of video so we can put it on the blog and show the world that we are not only the best radio station, but the best school full of amazingly great students who support and celebrate one another.....every day.

Tomorrow, it's in Textor 103. Have fun!

Alyssa Arminio makes the Ellen Show (she got there in her new car....)

So you already know that Alyssa Arminio won a new car on the Price is Right....
And you already know that she (and two other Parkies!) were featured on the Ellen show today -- right?
Anybody have the video so I can post it to the blog? I mean, really: this is a big moment in Parkie "I just won a car on the Price is Right and now I'm sitting here talking to Ellen on national television" history....we all want to be a part of it, right?
I know I do....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

SPJ brings '07 alum back to Park to talk about life at the Washington Post....

This just in from the Society for Professional Journalists chapter:

Come meet Anna Uhls, 07 grad, who is now working for the Washington Post online. She was hired as an editor for the Interactivity section where she worked with the reader involvement functions of commenting, blogging, discussion boards, and several new applications. She then got a job in the politics section of the Post online, and she splits her time in both areas. Anna will be talking about her jobs at one of the best newspaper websites in the country, the challenges, the opportunities, and the future of new media. There will be time for question-and-answer.

7 pm
Monday, Nov. 17
Park 285

So our secret's out....Ithaca really is SO FAB!

Sophisticated, beautiful and rich in natural bounty....that would be us (even the New York Times says so.....)

COULD Alyssa be more excited? I don't think so....

....but you would be, too, if you won a car on the Price is Right!

For the second year in a row, a Parkie out in LA has won a new car from the Price is Right! And this time, Alyssa Arminio not only won a brand new Chevy Cobalt Coupe (lemon yellow, very cool), but her response (you have to watch it!) caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, where Alyssa is interning.

Tune in on Tuesday to watch Alyssa, and two of our other wonderful interns featured on the Ellen show! And wouldn't you know it, Alyssa wins AGAIN...

She must be a Parkie!

Want to be a Park Scholar? (Me, too....)

It's that time of year again: registration is over (and you DID get all your classes, I hope!), it's getting colder (I love it...really, I know most people don't, but I just love the cold weather), and you're counting the days until Thanksgiving break (seven if you don't count today...)

And for those of you who are sophomores, and who have proven what extraordinary students and community participants you are, it's also time to think about applying to be a Park Scholar.

You know about this - right? We now choose up to four sophomores each year to invite them to join the Park Scholars program as juniors (it takes most of the spring semester to do the selecting, so the award starts in the following fall).

Here are the details, just in from PS Director Matt Fee:

During the spring 2009 semester, Park School sophomores will be eligible to apply for Park Scholar Awards. Four students will be selected as Park Scholars, and these students will join the Park Scholar Program as juniors, beginning in the fall 2009 semester.

Award recipients will be selected via the same criteria currently utilized in the selection of Park Scholars: academic excellence; community service; leadership; extracurricular participation; and commitment to the field of communications. For this year’s rising junior selection process, students matriculated in the following degree programs are eligible: Cinema and Photography (but due to previous limitations, only one rising junior award may be awarded to a C & P student for this year); Communication Management and Design; Integrated Marketing Communications; Journalism; and Television-Radio.

As with the existing Park Scholar Awards, international students are not eligible. Transfer students are also not eligible; only those students who have been enrolled in an eligible degree program in the Park School of Communications since matriculating at Ithaca College are eligible to apply.

As with the existing Park Scholar Award, these two-year awards (for a student’s junior and senior years) will cover the full cost of attendance (tuition, room and board). In addition, the award includes stipends for living expenses, books, and a one-time computer purchase of $2,500.

Those students who receive the award and enter the program during the fall semester of their junior year will be expected to meet the same eligibility requirements as current Park Scholars: full-time enrollment at a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester as a Cinema and Photography, Communication Management and Design, Integrated Marketing Communications, Journalism, or Television-Radio major in the Park School of Communications; a 3.5 cumulative grade point average throughout the term of the scholarship; a strong and continued record of community service and extracurricular involvement; participation in Park Scholar academic programming and enrichment activities; and good judicial standing.

You can find additional information here:

We continue to be grateful for the tremendous generosity of the Park Foundation, without which none of this would be possible.

Please feel free to contact the Park Scholar Program ( or 607-274-3089) with any questions that you may have.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Want to go to Africa next summer -- for free? Check out the informational meeting 4 p.m. Friday....and APPLY...

*The Reggie Simmons Memorial Award -- Informational Session*
Come meet last year's recipients and learn about their experience in Africa
Friday, November 14
4 p.m.
Park Auditorium

One of our alumni has set up a memorial fund that will sponsor two Ithaca College students each year to participate in Operation Crossroads Africa (OCA). OCA is America’s premier cross-cultural exchange program designed to promote understanding Africa and its culture.

The Reggie Simmons Memorial Award will recognize the extraordinary accomplishments and contributions of Reginald Leigh Simmons, Ph.D.
Simmons ’75 devoted his life to the people of Africa and this memorial award will provide the opportunity for two students with majors in the Park School of Communications or politics to follow in Simmons' footsteps. Graduating seniors are not eligible.

The 2009 program runs June 15-August 10. Projects are scheduled in Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and more.

For application info, visit:

*Deadline for applications is Monday, December 1, 2008.*

For more information on the Operations Crossroads Africa, visit:

Students interested in applying for the award are encouraged (but not required) to attend the information session.

Monday, November 10, 2008

YIPPEEEEEE! CONGRATULATIONS to WICB: The BEST college radio station in the universe (OK, the thing at a time)

They did it: WICB won the 2008 mtvU Woodie Award for best college radio station in the nation!

And you did it: You voted. You did what Parkies do: You took the time and made the effort to tell the rest of the world what we already know: Student media at Ithaca College is the best there is, any time, anywhere.

I'm in Portland, Oregon (yes, another professional meeting...sigh), got here at midnight last night after spending 12 hours in airports (you can get there from Ithaca, wherever 'there' is - but sometimes it takes awhile). I knew MTV was on campus to shoot video (of us winning? we weren't sure), and I knew they were going to call and make the announcement at 4 p.m....and the worst thing for me was that I was in the air somewhere over the great Midwest when it happened, instead of standing outside the studio listening to the cheers!

WICB beat out 19 other college radio stations from across the country, including stations at Sacramento State University, Auburn University, and DePauw University.

The mtvU Woodie Awards show will air November 19 at 8 p.m. (we'll remind you).

Congratulations to Chris Wheatley, and to every single one of you who contributes so much, every single day, to make WICB the standard of excellence that it is. We are so proud!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

FUSE is hiring (good money, great clips....what's not to like?)

Do you have great stories to share? Are you interested in gaining some real-world magazine publishing experience?

Fuse magazine shows high school students what Ithaca College is really like through stories, photos, and videos created by current IC students. We have spring openings for staff writers, photographers, and a photo editor to assist with day-to-day feature development and production. Yes, these are paid positions! Want to get involved but too busy to join our staff? Contribute your stories or photos, and you'll be paid for what we publish!

Don't miss this great opportunity to gain real-world experience. If you're interested, contact Lisa Maresca at for details.

Learn more about Fuse at

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Parkies rock...totally, dude

This just in from a new freshman Parkie, Luiggi Ramos, who has his own t-shirt design company and decided to create a little fashion statement (OK, a BIG fashion statement!) about being one of, rock stars.
(Want one?)

PS: Some of you have been emailing and asking where you can get one of these t-shirts (way cool). You can just email Luiggi Ramos (you can find his email address in the IC directory online, I don't really think I should post it here), and I am sure he would be HAPPY to sell you one (such a deal!).

And then you have to come up to the dean's office so I can take your picture for the blog!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Planning to apply for the Olympics program? Come and hear from the Beijing interns!

It's hard to believe, but NBC Sports is already planning for the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver -- and if you're interested in applying for the internship program, now's the time to start thinking about it.

Starting at noon today.

Several of the Parkies who went to Beijing this summer or worked at NBC in New York will share their experiences and insights today in a special panel presentation in the Park Aud at noon.

Stop by, hear their stories, and be inspired; the next Parkie Olympics intern could be you!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I LOVE this. I mean, I REALLY REALLY LOVE IT. It might be my new all-time favorite YouTube video. You guys rock.

Your mom votes.

Ask her to click here.

It's the MTV Woodie Award for the best college radio station. (Very cool, huh, mom?)

Ask her to click on WICB.

Ask her to do it again.

And here's another idea: you could do it, too.

Again and again and again.

You and your mom. Bonding and voting, bonding and voting.

I love that idea. Don't you just love that idea?

There's Ithaca College......on CNN! (Thanks, Chloe!)

Chloe Scutt, an IMC major from Dryden, New York, says she didn't vote for the new president-elect.

No matter. When she heard the screaming and hollering out on the quad last night, she joined the hundreds (thousands?) of students who streamed out of their dorms and apartments to chant, march and sing the national anthem.

She also recognized a historic moment, grabbed her video camera, and captured it for posterity.

And for CNN.

Chloe uploaded her segment to the iReport, where it was selected for publication: voila! Ithaca College students were seen around the globe in's special crowdsourcing section AND on its front page.

This afternoon, CNN called to interview her.

Way to go Chloe!

Here's the video (And OK, so somebody in that crowd can't carry a tune -- but whatever: he's doing it with such passion and joy.....):

Whether you woke up happy or sad this morning... was by any measure a momentous occasion in the history of American democracy: the election of the country's first black president.

And whether or not you were happy to see that U.S. map turn blue, there's also no question that -- by any measure -- Parkies in our television and radio studios produced some extraordinary media last night, the kind of informative, accurate, compelling and entertaining breaking-news coverage that proves (once again) that you guys are pros.

My sincere thanks to everybody who worked SO hard to give our community the news we needed, when we needed it. (And I would have been happy to publish a photo of the radio staff, too, if I had one [hint, hint]....)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Greetings from Indianapolis....where the state is red but leaning blue....

Well, I woke up in Indianapolis this morning (and yes, I went to sleep here, too -- just to be clear): I'm in Indiana to serve as a program reviewer for Butler University. It's an interesting place to be on election day: since Indiana is a swing state, its 11 electoral votes are still up for grabs - and is the grabbing ever underway! The Obama and McCain ads are ubiquitous and ugly; I have been watching the news since 6 a.m, and I've counted fourteen political ads: The Obama ads show George Bush in your rearview mirror, his arm around John McCain. The McCain ads show Reverend Jesse Wright, and accuse Obama of being "Too radical. Too risky." It'll be good when that phase of the democratic process is behind us.

The happy news is that America has gone to the polls. Millions of voters got up early and are now standing in line -- long, happy and energized lines -- to exercise their Constitutional right to help elect our next president.

Here's hoping you'll be one of them. (And yes, I sent my absentee ballot last week....of course!)

See you tomorrow.

ThinkWorks Founder Comes to Park

"Rethinking Education and Training in the 21st Century"
Derek Cabrera, founder of ThinkWorks
Thursday, November 13
7:00 p.m.
Park Auditorium

Cabrera's presentation is sponsored by the Department of Strategic Communication and is free and open to the public. A reception in the Park School lobby will follow his presentation.

ThinkWorks, located on Danby Road in Ithaca, is the leading provider of educational products and training services for teaching thinking skills in schools and organizations. Its products and services are based on scientific research developed at Cornell University by Cabrera. Customers include K-12 teachers, college professors, corporate leaders, teams, and specialists in a variety of industries ranging from schools to management consulting firms.


Monday, November 03, 2008

ICTV wins THREE (count 'em, THREE) awards at the College Broadcasters conference in Kansas City

The best thing about being the best is....well, that we somehow manage to keep being the best.

You probably just read the post about the fact that the Ithacan just won two Pacemaker Awards, the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize for college journalism.

And that's not all!

This weekend, at the national conference of College Broadcasters, ICTV received three (three....that's right, THREE) awards for its website, its intro promo, and its live sports production:

Student Media Website:

ICTV Ithaca College

Best Promo:

ICTV Ithaca College
“ICTV Promo Sign On”

Best Live Sports Production:

ICTV Ithaca College
“Bombers Football”

Congratulations to Adviser Pete Johanns and to all of the incredible students who make ICTV the extraordinary television program it is....year after year after year....

The Ithacan: World Class, year after year after year.....

The Ithacan’s status as one of the best college newspapers in the country was reaffirmed this weekend when the paper was awarded the 2008 Pacemaker and the Online Pacemaker awards — widely regarded as “the Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism — by the Associated College Press.

The Pacemaker recognizes overall excellence in college and university print publications; the Online Pacemaker is awarded to outstanding collegiate Web sites. This is the third time The Ithacan has won the Pacemaker in the past four years, and the third year in a row it has won the Online Pacemaker.

The awards were presented at the 87th annual National College Media Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. The Associated Collegiate Press is the oldest and largest national membership organization for college journalists in the country. This year's competition was judged by the staff of the St. Petersburg Times.

The 2008 award is for work published during the 2007–08 academic year. The Ithacan’s 2007–08 editor in chief was current senior Erica R. Hendry. The paper’s 2008–09 editor is senior Erin Geismar.

Please join me in congratulating them and the Ithacan staff for this outstanding achievement.