Student Expo Offers WOUB Students Live Event Broadcast Experience

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By Kathryn McFadden, Office of Research Communications
WOUB Public Media and the Ohio University Student Research and Creative Activity Expo have worked together for eight years to help communications students get live broadcasting experience. 
Michael Rodriguez, WOUB director of production services and student development, says students' video production skills have grown right alongside the Expo over the years. Rodriguez originally developed the concept of the partnership with the hope that it could serve as a capstone project for trained WOUB seniors. He also wanted to model the program after one of his favorite television shows, Antiques Roadshow. 
"The Roadshow showcases interesting items, just like the academic research Ohio University students enter at the Expo," Rodriguez said.
The Expo, an annual event, showcases Ohio University student research, scholarship and creative activity. This year the event will feature a record 800 projects at the Convocation Center on April 10. 
The WOUB Expo staff includes 10-15 broadcast journalism and media arts and studies students from the Scripps College of Communication. The team produces some video features in advance of the broadcast, (several of which have won awards for the students), and then delivers a 60-minute live broadcast on the day of the Expo. Each year presents new challenges, Rodriguez said. This year the team will attempt to incorporate social media into the broadcast."
The live broadcast adds an element of excitement to the event; participants love having their projects featured on the show. But in the spirit of the Expo, the broadcast is very much a research project for the WOUB students themselves, with the broadcast representing the culmination of several weeks of preparation on their part," said Expo manager Roxanne Malé-Brune, director of grants and special projects for the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity and Graduate College.
Ohio University alumni Brooks Jarosz and Kimberly Kanner attribute their success to the skills they learned covering the Student Expo.
"The Student Expo helped me sharpen my storytelling skills through feature reporting and forced me to think creatively and outside of the box," said Jarosz, a 2009 graduate. 
He now is an investigative reporter at WSYX ABC 6 and WTTE FOX 28 News in Columbus, Ohio.
"With the Expo being an active and engaging event, it pushed me to think beyond my comfort zone and be outside of the studio as an anchor and reporter," he added.
Kanner, a 2008 graduate, had a similar experience. She said the majority of her collegiate experience included television production, and so a live event was what she needed to get out of her element.
"Everything I have learned I attribute to the hands-on experience I had at WOUB," Kanner said. "The ability to work on live shows was huge. I learned how everyone and their position is important to contribute to a production."
Both Kanner and Jarosz work on live events in their careers. Kanner has worked on the Super Bowl and Golf U.S. Open. Jarosz is a fill-in anchor and spent six years working as a multimedia journalist. 
"The Student Expo taught me to think on my feet, be more creative, listen more than speak, and have fun, even if something doesn't go according to plan," Jarosz said. 
The live broadcast/webcast is scheduled to begin at noon, Thursday, April 10. WOUB II will carry the broadcast on channel CatVision and Time Warner Cable in Athens.  The live stream will be available on woub.org. 
The Student Expo is open to the public from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Convocation Center. For more information, visit www.ohio.edu/studentexpo