Interdisciplinary Collaboration Makes for Perfect Job Placement

Interdisciplinary Collaboration Makes for Perfect Job Placement

Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 6:00pm
Spring 2015 Star City News Team
Spring 2015 Star City News Team

For more than six years, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications and the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences have collaborated to educate students who are trained in meteorology and broadcasting. The broadcasting and meteorology graduates are in demand at television stations all across the country.

In 2009, Dr. Mark Anderson, associate professor of earth and atmospheric sciences began bringing his meteorology students to Andersen Hall’s broadcast studio to practice working with a green screen. It wasn’t long before Creighton suggested the students join the Star City News Team as weather anchors.

“Students are trained at the highest level,” said Anderson. “They are more than broadcasters, they are trained meteorologists. Turn on local television and many of the meteorologists you see are from Star City News. Everyone who has actively looked for work has found it with 100 percent placement.”

“Because of Mark Anderson, our newscast is complete,” said Trina Creighton, an associate professor of broadcasting who teaches the advanced reporting capstone class. “Mark trains the students in meteorology and I train them in broadcasting. This is a collaboration that benefits both our programs and our students are the winners.”

Amber Michael, class of 2014, went through this collaborative program and is now the weekend meteorologist for KNOP in North Platte.

“I was considering Iowa State before I made the decision to come to Nebraska,” Michael said.

Reflecting on her experience, Michael said “I know that I couldn’t have gotten a better experience than at University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The professors are selfless and put their students first. Just before graduation, Trina asked if I was looking for a job. I told her there was a job in North Platte I was considering. She immediately emailed the news director. Within a week I had an interview and within two weeks, I had the job. My favorite part of my college experience was seeing myself improve and having people by my side who were interested in me.”

For more than 25 years, Star City News has been a student-produced newscast that airs two 30-minute live shows each week on Time Warner Cable channel 71.16 or channel 80 in Lincoln. SCN covers the news that affects the city of Lincoln and surrounding communities.

Broadcasts of Star City News can be viewed online on the college’s news website,

The Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences offers a program leading to a Bachelor of Science in meteorology-climatology. This program combines basic atmospheric science and climatology courses with a rigorous training in mathematics, computer science, and physics.

Class members listed by hometown and major are as follows:

Columbus — Audra Moore (meteorology & climatology)
Gordon — Brent BonFleur (broadcasting)
Lincoln — Dustin Hoffman (broadcasting); Ingrid Holmquist (broadcasting); Jon Kipper (broadcasting), Emilee Lachenmeier (meteorology & climatology); Amsley Senkbeil (broadcasting); Michael Shively (advertising and public relations & broadcasting); and Tanner Westerholt (broadcasting)
Omaha — Kelsey Murphy (broadcasting & journalism)
Papillion — Ryan Swanigan (broadcasting)

Moville, Iowa — Devon Kleich (broadcasting; Spirit Lake, Rachel Hofstra (child, youth & family services)
Towanda, Kansas — Kaycee Koranda (meterology & climatology)
Ellyn, Illinois — Doug Lowery (broadcasting)
Portage, Wisconsin — Cody Carlin (meteorology & climatology)