BHSU mass communication students complete media projects for community organizations

Author: BHSU Communications/Wednesday, April 1, 2015/Categories: 2015



   

   

   

       

           

       

       

            Black Hills State University student Dennis Wilkinson, graphic design communication major from Black Hawk, videos the local Search &amp Rescue team at work. Wilkinson, along with BHSU students Hannah Downs, mass communication and corporate communication major from Madison Amy Varland, mass communication major from Lead and Terrin Black, mass communication and graphic design communication major from St. Onge, are creating a media kit for the Search &amp Rescue team, which will include a promotional video.

            

           

       

   



Black Hills State University mass communication students stepped out of the classroom and into professional roles, completing media projects for community organizations.

Two groups of students in Dr. Mary Caton-Rosser&rsquos mass communication courses have taken on work for the non-profit organization Everybody Matters and the local Search &amp Rescue group. The service learning projects are something Caton-Rosser regularly provides her students, allowing them to work hand-in-hand with professionals in the communication industry.

"It&rsquos really a win-win situation," she said. "Students are always very enthused to step into the shoes of their profession in a real, hands-on way. The impact of their work is realized and that is an important experience for them."

BHSU students Laura Howard, mass communication major from Spearfish Allison Praeuner, graphic design communication and mass communication major from Norfolk, Neb. Anne Orban, mass communication major from Spearfish and Jessica Hill, art and graphic design communication major from Bowman, N.D. are currently working on building a website for the non-profit organization Everybody Matters, which strives to bring individuals from different cultural backgrounds together.

Jan Weaver, the founder of the organization, said the students have been more than helpful in preparing a website for the organization.

"It&rsquos amazing their willingness to help us," Weaver said. "And their enthusiasm. That is just incredible. They aren&rsquot just students working on a project, we consider them part of our organization team."

A second group of mass communication students are working on a media kit for the local Search &amp Rescue team. The kit will include a promotional video, which is being shot by the students. Students working on the kit include Amy Varland, mass communication major from Lead Dennis Wilkinson, graphic design communication major from Black Hawk Terrin Black, mass communication and graphic design communication major from St. Onge and Hannah Downs, mass communication and graphic design communication major from Madison.

"I&rsquom finding I like the personal interaction with clients," Wilkinson said. "It&rsquos refreshing to get out of the classroom environment and work in the field."

Real-world experience and hands-on assignments are something the mass communication program at BHSU strives for in the classroom. Caton-Rosser said the University maintains relationships and networks with the community to provide opportunities for the community and students.

Downs said the work through her mass communications courses shows BHSU is a great educational institution, offering her and her fellow classmates top-notch experiences for a resume. Downs was also part of a student group that spearheaded a video project for the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission this past fall.

"BHSU gives me something tangible to show future employers," she said. "The mass communication program at BHSU is very hands-on. The professors truly do an amazing job of giving us that real-world experience before we&rsquore even done with school."

Howard added the community&rsquos interest in working with BHSU students shows confidence in the mass communication program at the University.

"Having the community approach us to help with projects proves we have dedicated students that are capable of taking on these projects and following through. We have students that get the work done," Howard said.

In addition to these two projects, Caton-Rosser has provided students opportunities to build their own web applications and other interactive programs, complete public relations marketing campaigns and   advertising projects with professionals in the region.

"The community comes to trust the abilities of these students," Caton-Rosser said. "These students will soon be graduating and stepping into careers &ndash and go on to accomplish great work."
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