Sunday, May 31, 2009

Big shoes to fill

Hello Park School students, colleagues, alumni, and fans:

As you know, Dean Dianne Lynch has accepted a wonderful opportunity to become President at Stephens College, and I'll be Interim Dean for the next academic year. She certainly leaves big (red!) shoes to fill, and we all are indebted to her for her visionary leadership and boundless energy.

I may be new to the Dean's suite, but I'm not new to Ithaca College's School of Communications. In fact, I began here as (what I thought at that time would be) just a summer student taking some TV-Radio production courses. When I pulled up to the campus, however, I started to fall in love. And after I experienced a wonderful summer of learning and great teamwork among my fellow students, I was hooked. I transferred into the College and graduated from the TV-R department in (gasp!) 1974.

After 5 years in graduate school, I was recruited back to teach in what was then called the Educational Communications Department (now Strategic Communication) -- and lo and behold 30 years later, here I am. (Well, there were a few department and graduate program chair stints, 2 years as Associate Dean, and a year as Interim Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies on the journey here.) Needless to say, I'm honored and excited to lead the School, and I'm especially eager to meet our new students.

I'll keep up many of Dean Lynch's wonderful traditions, including this blog -- so please send me information that you'd like me to share. I'm also very interested in your ideas about the future of the Park School at this important juncture in our history.

Hope to see you around campus, in the studios, at some of our fascinating lectures and screenings, and up in the Dean's suite. Stop by and say hello -- and if you're not in Ithaca, please do so by phone or email.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Four years, hundreds of posts, and a million memories later....time to say goodbye....

It started right here, in 2005.

I was in New York, at the Media Summit, and I opened up blogspot, created a file I serendipitously called "All Things Park," and voila! "the blog" was born.

At that point, the big news was mobile delivery (and by the way, the Media Summit was the event that also spawned Cellflix, the first student film festival for work shot on cell phone....)

I had been the dean of the Park School for six months. I was deliriously happy to be in Ithaca. And anything was possible.

And you know, that's still the case.

Since then, we've been through a lifetime (in Internet time) of magic moments, big victories, amazing events, and extraordinary accomplishments.

This space has documented a mere smattering of that history, but just to remind you....

We've marked the arrival of our collective media heroes and heroines -- from Seymour Hersh and Bob Woodward to Bill Moyers, Tom Wolfe, and Christianne Amanpour -- to the Park School and Ithaca College.

We've celebrated scores of your national media awards, recognition of the extraordinary excellence of the work you do, day after day, month after month, year after year.

We've announced the arrival of new faculty, new programs, new degrees, new clubs, new projects, and even the infamous Wii to the Park School faculty/staff lounge (for which I got up at 4 a.m. to be accosted by a very rude, very in-your-face gamer in the Target parking lot). New, new, new. That's us. Always recreating ourselves, always better, always ahead of the curve.

And we've shared the news of big internships, job possibilities, alumni connections, and Parkies-only opportunities (ooohhhhh, and there have been so many, many, many of those...).

You -- all of you: students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents -- have been the producers and creators of these extraordinary events and accomplishments.

And I have been proud to serve as your historian, your reporter, and your greatest fan.

The time has come -- such times inevitably do arrive in a culture that's all about change and moving forward and getting better -- for me to sign off, to embrace my own next big adventure, and to turn the blog over to you -- the community that owns it.

There will be another reporter to capture your achievements and your announcements; that lucky writer is to be announced sometime in the weeks to come.

And I will leave you with a single thought that captures, I think, my own experience in the Park School since 2004:

If you can dream it, you really can do it.

The blog has recorded hundreds of examples of your dreams, and the hard work, talent, energy and commitment that have made them real.

It has been an amazing five years. We have much to be proud of.

And I will miss you all.

Parkies ont un grand temps en France!

Parkies having a BLAST in France!
This just in from Janice Levy, our extraordinary (and French-speaking) photography professor, who is leading this year's France trip....wish I were there (hey, in fact, I wish we ALL were there!)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's summer. You have time TO VOTE (and VOTE and VOTE....)

Hey guys,

It's summer. You're all finished with classes, exams, projects, papers, presentations...and yes, even if you're working, there are still more hours in the day for you to....


You know how this works. We've done it lots of times before. And Parkies WIN because you all are...well, Parkies. And you take the time to help each other out, knowing that when it's your turn, we'll all help you, too (that's what community is all about, after all....)

So today, it's Brian Barnes' turn. And here's the deal:

Brian has written an exceptionally wonderful screenplay for a short film (remember that old rhyme you used to say when you were a kid, about stepping on a crack and breaking your mother's back? Of course you do....).

So wonderful, in fact, that it's a finalist in a competition, this one sponsored by the National Film Board of Canada (how's *that* for international acclaim?).

It's now part of an online voting contest - which is, of course, where you come in.

We need you to vote.

Here's how you vote:

1) Go to this link:

There is a list of videos.

2) Click on "Don't Step on a Crack" by Brian Barnes. It is in the middle column, 2nd to last row.

3) Watch the video if you want! Laugh, cry, be merry.

4) To the right of the video is a voting ballot. Type in your first name, e-mail address, and click the little box beside "Don't Step on a Crack." A check mark will appear.

5) Press submit and you're done.

And then, of course, you can do it again (or at least, I can't find the rule that says you CAN'T do it again!)

Voting ends May 30th.

Brian thanks you. And so do I.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Of COURSE a Parkie is going to win this competition (and a visit to United Talent Agency)

All you need to do is shoot a 30-second video about why YOU want to travel to LA for a week, hang out at United, and meet the people who will eventually hire you to hang out there all the time.

Here's the deal:

People’s Choice and Hollywood powerhouse United Talent Agency (UTA) have joined forces to offer the Hollywood Insider Experience, an extensive one-week introduction to the world of business entertainment spent inside the Los Angeles talent agency that represents hundreds of Hollywood elite. The experience will offer exclusive opportunities in the realms of film, television and music including set visits, industry power lunches and a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of a premier talent agency.

Beginning on Tuesday, May 5, interested applicants can submit a :30 video to the People’s Choice website,, explaining why they deserve this opportunity. Members of UTA and People’s Choice will review the video entries and post the top three candidates on the website for fans to choose their favorite. The winner will receive travel and accommodations for their one week stay in Los Angeles during the summer of 2009. Participants can sign up at no cost to be People’s Choice community members at, enabling them to enter their submissions. All rules and regulations are also available on the website.

“UTA has developed a truly unique experience, one that is sure to provide real insight into the business of Hollywood,” said People’s Choice President Fred Nelson. “We are thrilled to offer this opportunity and urge anyone with a desire to see the entertainment industry from the inside to apply.”

The Hollywood Insider Experience is one in a series of collaborative opportunities designed by People’s Choice to give entertainment enthusiasts an influential voice in the industry. Recently, People’s Choice teamed up with Rascal Flatts to offer fans the opportunity to design the cover art for the band’s latest album. Currently, People’s Choice is working with Queen Latifah to record a new song for her album, Persona, featuring an aspiring singer/songwriter, chosen by the fans at

About People’s Choice
The People’s Choice community at serves as a year-round destination for entertainment enthusiasts to voice their opinions on pop culture. The community was created in 2007 in conjunction with The People’s Choice Awards, which remains the only show voted on entirely by the public for awards in music, movies and television. Fred Nelson is the President of the People’s Choice. The show is produced by Procter & Gamble Productions. More than 13 million entertainment enthusiasts voted for the 35th Annual People’s Choice Awards which aired January 7, 2009 on CBS.

Contact: Johanna Bradford (212) 474-5816

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Highly competitive. Fast track. What are the chances? (6 in 1200)

And so it begins....

This time of year, my office gets daily reports about the exceptional and wonderful jobs our May grads are some of the most competitive and exciting media organizations in the country.

Today's big news comes from Adam Rivera, who has been accepted into the NBC News Associate program, one of the most competitive programs in the country.

Here's how NBC describes it:

The News Associates program is a fast-track opportunity for people with the goal to learn news gathering and production skills.

News Associates gain real-world experience honing research skills, developing news stories working in a news bureau, participating in field and studio show production, on the nightly news, a morning news program, cable news, or on a "magazine" program.

Each News Associate is assigned a mentor who is an experienced staff member. News Associates undergo an intense week long orientation filled with workshops, lunches with guest speakers and training.

Over 75 percent of the News Associates who've completed the program have gone on to various producing positions with NBC News. Some are currently with "Dateline," "NBC Nightly News", "Today" or with MSNBC, CNBC, or our Burbank bureau.

Here's how we describe it: Parkies really are the best!

It's YOUR turn (and stop by Saturday to see what this year's winners have accomplished!)

The Park School of Communications is pleased to announce the 2nd Annual David R. Ames Film Award. This award is designed to inspire creativity and recognize the talents of young scriptwriters and filmmakers. Thanks to the generosity of David R. Ames '72 and matching funds from the Park School this award will provide funding up to $10,000.00 to produce the winning original script selected by a panel of faculty judges.

All full-time Park students are eligible and encouraged to submit a short narrative script for consideration. Finalists will be asked to put together a production team filling all key crew positions, a production proposal and pitch their projects to the award committee. Script deadline is at 5:00pm on Thursday, September 3, 2009.

The selected projects team will be enrolled in a 1-credit mini course during the SP10 semester. Projects funded by this award can not be submitted towards any other credit bearing course. The award will go towards the production of a short, narrative script to be shot over Spring Break 2010.

The much anticipated screening of this year's David Ames Award winners will be on Saturday, May 9 at 9:00pm in the Park Auditorium.

For more details visit:

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

It's Fusion, It's Art, It's a Fellowship...and this summer, it's a PARKIE!

The Fusion Arts Exchange (FAX) is a government-funded fellowship program that brings undergraduates to the University of Southern California's film program for six weeks of film production, classes, seminars and workshops.

This summer, 15 students from Egypt, France, Lebanon, Mexico and the Philippines will participate in the program.

And so will five students from around the United States.

One of those lucky and talented five (of course!) is a Parkie:

Christina Bryant, a Cinema & Photo major (class of '11), will head to California on July 6 and will be there until August 15.

In addition to the classroom work in writing and production, Christina and her fellow Fellows will visit studios, production and post-production facilities, special effects companies and other entertainment-related sites.

How's *that* for a great way to spend your summer vacation.....

Doing good work -- globally: Summer internship at UNESCO

This just in from Kati Lustyk:

Summer Internship working on the new UNESCO website

We are currently searching for summer interns to work on helping define and launch the new UNESCO website. Duties vary from editorial, technical to promotional activities.

The central web team offers a young, dynamic and challenging environment for highly motivated persons looking to gain practical experience working on one of the UN´s most successful websites.

UNESCO.ORG has over 1.5 million visitors per month from around the world and publishes content in over seven languages. The site is currently undergoing a total overhaul including a content renewal and development of a new user interface.

Sounds exciting? Then visit our website to find out if you have the right profile and submit your candidature
Feel free to contact me directly once this has been done, with a short letter of introduction and motivation.

Stephen Roberts
Web Coordinator, UNESCO

Monday, May 04, 2009

Park Gets EVEN COOLER: Game Design and Immersive Media, Documentary Studies and Production.....

Documentary Studies and Production, B.A.
Game Design and Immersive Media, B.F.A

Applications are now available for students interested in transferring into these degrees. Information is below. Specific curriculum requirements can be picked up in the Dean's Office (Park 311).

Documentary Studies and Production Degree

The documentary is a creative way of exploring our world with a camera and microphone. It’s hands-on storytelling that entertains audiences while advancing their understanding. Documentary producers can express their passions through video, film, and photography, and they have a real opportunity to change the world for the better. The Park School at Ithaca College offers the only undergraduate documentary program of its kind in the country. Our B.A. degree in Documentary Studies and Production features courses from television, journalism, and cinema and photography, with a mixture of real-world production experience and opportunities for industry internships. This major also provides students with the aesthetic, critical, ethical, and historical perspectives necessary to understand and appreciate the subject.

If you’ve been drawn to documentaries such as An Inconvenient Truth, March of the Penguins, Bowling for Columbine, or Super Size Me, this program is for you. You may also be interested in the Documentary Production Concentration, a related program within the Television-Radio Department that specializes in video production.

Our faculty includes authoritative scholars and award-winning documentary makers with extensive experience in the field. Your training will enable you to develop practical skills, and you can take advantage of opportunities within the Park School to build your resume and portfolio with documentary films, trailers, and impressive proposal books.

Game Design and Immersive Media

Opportunities for game and immersive media content developers exist in almost every industry. The Park School’s newest major requires an exciting and demanding mix of classes including computer science, art history, screenwriting, video production, 3D animation, and game design. Beyond mastering the skills necessary to create games and immersive content, students learn to critique and analyize the place of videogames in modern culture. A required minor outside the Park School enables students in the degree to build on their mix of technical skills and liberal arts background in their search for content for the games they will create.

While the idea for a game might originate with an individual, it takes a team, often a very large team, to bring that idea to fruition as a game we all want to play. The Game Design and Immersive Media degree will prepare you for a variety of jobs. It’s not enough to know how to program a game. And it’s not enough to just take classes in game design. You will examine how videogames have affected mainstream culture, take classes in art history to develop a feel for how to illustrate and communicate the visual style of a game. You will play a wide variety of games – board and card games as well as videogames. You will study the industry and learn to work in groups and to manage large projects. And of course, you will create all kinds of games – board games, 2D games, levels, characters, 3D games, casual games, mobile phone games—drawing on content learned in classes you will take in other departments around the college. You’ll create content in virtual worlds such as Second Life. All of this to prepare you to work in immersive media production across media platforms and content types, from film to television to advertising.

An Internal Transfer Application can be downloaded at:

Please note: This is an open application process with no specific deadline until further notice. Once the two degree programs are registered with the New York State Education Department we will be able to review applications and admit students to the programs. We anticipate that this will happen sometime over the summer of 2009, so please give us a summer contact phone and address in your application form.

Too many amazing options, too little time.....

ICTV's fearless leader arrives at the ICTV-WICB game Saturday afternoon just in time to watch WICB score...three times. What's up with that!?!?

You know it's the end of the semester in the Park School when there are at least three extraordinary events going on every single minute....and there's just no way to be at all of them at the same time.

Take the past few days, for example:

The Ithacan held its annual banquet on Thursday night. I missed it the past few years, so I made a point of being there this year.

Good thing, too: If I hadn't, I would have missed seeing an entire staff of talented, committed and exceptional journalists receive much-deserved recognition for their accomplishments this year.

And I wouldn't have gotten all choked up listening to Erica Hendry say all kinds of really nice things about me (thank you, Erica), nor been there to receive the Year in Review signed by all of those amazing journalists, just for me (thanks, you guys).

And finally, I wouldn't have heard Erica play the was a once-in-the-life-of-a-Park-dean affair, no doubt about it.

But while I was enjoying the Ithacan's celebration, I was missing what I understand was one of the best Park events in recent (or even not-so-recent) times: The first (annual) Golden Doorknob Awards presentation.

Steve Gordon showed up in a tux, Pete Johanns was his usual Pete-y self, and four films walked away (well, you know what I mean) with cash prizes.

Here's the rundown:

First Place:
Derek Hartman '11, John Ungaro '10, Mike Sutter '11, Kyle Begley '11, and Matt Rigby '11

Second Place:
Tim, His Child, Her Mother and The Doorknob
Edward Bursch '09

Third Place:
Shuffles and Spite
Chris Nolen '09 and Christina O'Rourke '09 (written by: Courtney Clark '09)

Parkie 100 Award:
Past Out
James Heasley '12, Abby Smith '12, Daniel Gendron '12, David Reynolds '11 Stephanie Wisniewski '12

And as if that wasn't enough, while we were all at those events, the Senior Photography Exhibit was holding its gala opening at the very same time downtown. I managed to visit the exhibit this weekend, thank heavens - and it was very VERY worth visiting. (I'm always awe-struck by the work at that event....)

And that was just Thursday.

TVR's Video Workshop held its screening Friday night: from a cooking show to a Rozatones video to a fast-frame portrait of New York City, the work was the best I've seen in years. Really. Impressive.

Saturday brought the Cine Prod I and Animation screenings, and the second round of Video Workshop.

It was also the date of the annual WICB-ICTV baseball showdown....after a slow start, ICTV came on in the final innings, and walked off with the game, 17-14.

Take a look:

Now that's what I call an action-packed weekend....