Regents tour the Experience Lab as part of campus visit

Sunday, April 10, 2022 - 6:00am

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents, along with University President Ted Carter, Chancellor Ronnie Green and Executive Vice Chancellor Katherine Ankerson toured the CoJMC Experience Lab on April 7 as part of a comprehensive campus tour. 

The tour was the first NU Regents’ tour of any NU system institution since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. 

During the stop at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, the Regents got a behind-the-scenes tour of the progress of the Experience Lab. The Experience Lab is a collegewide program that, beginning in fall 2022, will require every CoJMC major to work for five hours per week for three semesters in one of the college’s media outlets or agencies. Each agency and outlet is run by two student leads and advised by a faculty liaison. Local media outlets and agencies have also volunteered their staff to serve as professionals-in-residence and mentor students enrolled in the Experience Lab. 

To support the Experience Lab and make learning visible across the college, campus and community, the college added new spaces this year. These spaces, as well as current and planned renovation projects supporting the Experience Lab, were showcased to the Regents. 

The first stop was 90.3 KRNU, the campus radio station, on the second floor of Andersen hall. KRNU will celebrate its 50th anniversary at a June 11 event, after a two-year delay due to COVID. The Regents met Rick Alloway, general manager for KRNU, who will be inducted into the Nebraska Broadcasters Hall of  Fame in the fall. 

The Regents then visited the Unlimited Sports Lab, which is under construction. The lab is sponsored by Pepsi Bottling Company of Lincoln, which will install graphics in the space and provide underwriting support for Unlimited Sports broadcasts on KRNU. Construction on the Unlimited Sports Lab is scheduled for completion in May 2022. Still to be added is a small set to support future pre and post-game shows so students can come to you live from the Unlimited Sports Lab. 

The Regents also visited new faculty offices under construction from two underutilized classroom spaces. The offices will make way for the Don & Lorena Meier Studio. 

The final stop in Andersen Hall was the future home of the Don & Lorena Meier Studio, a project beginning in May 2022. The state-of-the-art television studio and newsroom will support students in Nebraska Nightly, a weekly live news show, and Nebraska News Service, a statewide wire service sharing news with Nebraska. The project is supported by a generous donation from the Don & Lorena Meier Foundation, founders and producers of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. 

After wrapping up in Andersen Hall, the Regents headed across Lincoln’s Centennial Mall to the third floor of the Lincoln Children’s Museum. This space, leased in August 2021, is now the home of the Agency and the three advertising and public relations-focused Experience Labs. 

Regents visited conference rooms and working spaces supported by Agency sponsors, including many local advertising and public relations firms. Each sponsor has committed to the financial support of the Experience Lab and designed their room to mimic the look and feel of their agency, providing students an opportunity to explore different cultural environments and increasing the visibility of local agencies to future employees. 

The Agency houses Jacht, a student-run advertising and public relations agency, Buoy, another student-run agency focused on mission-driven and nonprofit clients and Heartland Webzine, which tells stories of economic and community development in Nebraska. 

The last stop on the tour was the Perry Multimedia Lab and Photography Studio, a project beginning in May 2022. The Perry Lab will be the home of Production House, a new Experience Lab launching in fall 2022. Production House will provide video production, photography and live streaming services for the campus and community. 

“We were honored to host the Board of Regents during their UNL campus tour,” said Shari Veil, dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. “It’s a chance to showcase the college’s momentum and how we are engaging our stakeholders to chart the future of journalism and mass communications education in Nebraska.” 

During their campus tour, the Regents also visited the College of Engineering, the College of Education and Human Sciences, the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, the College of Law and the soon-to-open Scarlet Hotel at Nebraska Innovation Campus.


Group of people speak  in the hallway
The Board of Regents visit 90.3 KRNU during their tour of the CoJMC Experience Lab on April 7.
Group of people speak  in the Agency
Students Valerie Uribe and Ilana Lewis (center) discuss the Experience Lab with the Board of Regents on April 7.
Group of people speak  in the Agency
The Board of Regents visit the Agency as part of their Experience Lab tour on April 7.