Sunday, October 25, 2009

recent alum achievements

Chris Baxter (Journalism '08) had his first professional investigative story run front and center in last Sunday's newspaper, The Morning Call , published in Allentown, PA. It's also featured on the right-hand side of the Investigative Reporters and Editors Web site. Check it out - and congratulations to Chris who's hoping for positive change to come from this.

And .... Charles Woodard's (CPMA '09) senior thesis film "Patriot" was selected for screening at the Big Apple Film Society Festival. It was entered in to the experimental section of the festival, and will be showing on Friday, November 6th, at 6PM. Nice job, Charles.

less than a week left to vote for WICB!

We want another Woodie -- so get out the vote!

We have less than a week left (voting ends on October 26th) and the Top 25 are about to be narrowed down to the Top 5. The clock is ticking and help from the whole school could mean another huge victory for WICB, the Park School, and Ithaca College.

Don't forget...Voting is unrestricted and unlimited so keep on clicking!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Quacking the case: The Park School ducks

(photo, courtesy Dr. Corey Young)

For those of us who usually access Park Hall through the parking lot entrance in the morning, it's been a bit lonely this last week. We had gotten used to some enthusiastic quacking and fast waddling of little webbed feet to welcome us when were arrived... and occasionally our greeters even made it into the lobby.

Alas, our two Park ducks are no longer with us. They made a "splash" with their own story in the Ithacan about a month ago, and since then, they've been at the center of quite a drama.

As the weather was getting colder this September, many Park students, faculty, and staff who had been feeding them during the mornings came to me with concerns about their inability to fly south (one of them seemed to have a malformed wing). I was willing to build a shelter, and Associate Dean Virginia Mansfield-Richardson was even willing to donate one of her unused dog houses. But we needed to get more expert advice on how to best ensure their safety.

Thus ensued quite a research project -- ably led by Dr. Mansfield-Richardson who happens to have a Ph.D. in journalism and work experience in an animal hospital. Finding a home wouldn't be easy -- since they were not technically domestic animals, many shelters would not take them in. We finally got the Cayuga Nature Center to agree to accept them -- but not until Friday October 9.

Fearing that the weather or coyotes would bring harm to the ducks, Dean Mansfield-Richardson implored her friends at Colonial Veterinary Hospital to take them in for two nights until the Nature Center could accept them. Devan Johnson, a sophomore Documentary Studies and Production major and Kit Straley, a Biology major, consulted with faculty in Environmental Studies on how to handle the situation. It's not as easy a task as one may think: a person must be a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in order to legally transport ducks, and as much as many of us would have made them house pets, that's not legal either. Luckily, Devan is licensed to transport wildlife, so one piece of the puzzle fell into place.

Sadly, just as we lined up Devan and Kit to chauffeur the ducks, they noticed that only one could be found near the pond where they normally spent their days. After a number of calls to Safety, we found out that tragically one of them had been killed by a run-in with a car in the parking lot earlier that day. Devan, Kit, and Dean Mansfield-Richardson easily got the remaining duck into a cardboard box and took it to the vet hospital where it was fed fresh grapes and tomatoes and visited by several faculty and staff. On Friday Oct 9, the duck traveled to its new home, the Cayuga Nature Center, where Tom Trencansky, the Director, is really smitten especially since he had a pet duck as a child- - and he has named her "Parker".

The Park Sustainability Club is taking on the task of raising funds to build an appropriate habitat for Parker as a donation to the Cayuga Nature Center. We are also in the process of looking for another duck that can't fly to give Parker a friend again.

It's just one more story about the big hearts and endless energy in the Park School -- even for our feathered visitors. Maybe we should set up a Duck-cam at the Nature Center?

a day on the set with Matt Damon!

This just sent by alum and film director Bill Carraro (left) - on the set with Matt Damon and Park student Greg Dunbar (right).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Park and the international documentary scene

This just in from Mexico:
Professor Patty Zimmermann presented the keynote:
"The Open Space Project: Towards a Collaborative and Relational Theory of International Documentary" with Helen De Michiel, from the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture at the Quinto Congreso International de Teoria y Analisis Cinematografico, convened by Sepancine in collaboration with the Festival Internacional de Cine de Morelia. The Morelia International Film Festival is one of the premiere film festivals in Latin America. You can follow Professor Zimmermann's travels and presentations during her sabbatical year at

And while you're at it, check out this documentary piece, "A Schoolgirl's Odyssey," by our own Park alum Adam Ellick ’99, featured front-and-center on Sunday's New York Times homepage. It's Part 2 of his package on the life of a young Pakistani girl and her family caught up in their country's politics. The first part, "Class Dismissed in Swat Valley," appeared earlier this year. Adam followed the family for six months to produce the package.

Wait-- there's more:
On Sunday November 1 at 10:30pm, Syracuse PBS station WCNY will

screen an hour-long program of Ithaca College student documentaries.
The documentaries will screen in the following order:

“Dealing With Deer” by Matthew Lesko

“Downhill Climb” by Silvia Briga, Lucien Delabruere, Brent Ross

“J.R.” by Kassandra Kittle, Peter Sachs, Neth Weidemann

“Ghostly Encounters” Sarah Bello, Kevin Duckett, Vesna Illievska

The work was produced in Professor John Scott’s Nonfiction Production
class (TVR 29900) and from two Video Workshop classes (TVR 49100)
taught by Professor Scott and Professor Tom Nicholson.

The alumni connection

When I talk with prospective students and families, I tell them that the Park School offers them the "Three C's" that will prepare them for a great future: concepts, confidence, and connections.

An incredibly important part of the connections is our very loyal group of alumni -- now over 5,000 strong. Last week, our Park School National Alumni Board was with us on Thursday and Friday, visiting classes, talking with students and professors, and providing their perspectives on trends in the communications industry. Board members in attendance were:
  • Dominic Cottone - M.S. 2000 - HR/ Training specialist at Razorfish in Chicago, a leading new media advertising firm
  • Andy Orgel - TV-Radio 1974 - Chairman & CEO of Global Media Group
  • Kelli Grant - Journalism 2004 - Consumer Reporter for
  • Carole Irgang - TV-Radio 1986 - Owner of her own marketing firm
  • Bill Carraro - Cinema and Photography 1981 - Independent film producer, currently producing "The Adjustment Bureau" starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt.
  • Michael Kaplan - Comm. Management 2985 - Sr. Vice President, G2 Direct and Digital advertising agency
  • David Lebow - Comm Management 1983 - President and CEO of Internet Broadcasting Systems
  • Cole Louison - Journalism 2000 - Writer for GQ / Conde Nast
  • Rodd Perry - Comm Management 1990 - Co-president, The Ant Farm (producers of movie trailers)
  • David Spiegelman - TV-Radio 1981 - President, Domestic TV Distribution, Weinstein Company

This past weekend was also alumni and homecoming weekend - and a highlight was the screening of our Golden Doorknob film contest winners. This is revival of a tradition from the 1970s when now-retired film professor Skip Landen required all of his Intro to Film students to produce a film that had the plot of a person meeting his or her demise by a doorknob. The best film received a "Golden Doorknob" award at the end of the year -- and many famous producers proudly display them next to their Emmys! This tradition was revived a few years ago in the form of a content for students, sponsored by alum Bill Carraro.

Our alumni are not only successful, but they are passionate about wanting to help the next generation of IC Communications students succeed. We have their emails, phone numbers, and a promise that they'll happily talk with students and help with internship placements, job hunting advice, and general mentoring.

So-- the next move is YOURS.

Monday, October 05, 2009

and the lucky French trip winners are...


The students chosen to go on the study trip to France in May are:

Emily Britz
Caylena Cahill
Zaneta Clarke
Rebecca Coffman
Alexander Dean
Deanna Deano
Jacqueline Dong
Alyssa Hume
Charlotte Hyman
Niko Mason
Kevin McCall
Kevin Metz
Sarah Paolantonio
Matthew Rakow
Sarah Reichle
Alana Sawyer
Jacquelyn Simone
T.J. Slipko
Mary Wilusz
Stephanie Wisniewski

The Five Alternates (in case any of the above cannot go are:

1. Nathan Loucks
2. Kayla McCormack
3. Chloe Scutt
4. Taylor Long
5. Catherine Hanu

Professor Janice Levy, who will be conducting the trip abroad,
will be in touch with you soon
to arrange times for your required
mini-course during the spring to prepare you for this
great opportunity.