Summer Showcase encourages Nebraska high school seniors to more seriously consider UNL for college

Monday, August 15, 2022 - 11:30am

By Amber Rodiguez

The College of Journalism and Mass Communications (CoJMC) kicked off its class of 2023 recruitment with the annual Summer Showcase on July 28.

The showcase started with a tour of Andersen Hall led by CoJMC’s student ambassadors. The 12 high school seniors and their families who attended got a sneak peek of Andersen Hall’s current renovations and the newest areas ready for the fall semester, such as The Pepsi Unlimited Sports Lab.

After the tour, the seniors split off from their parents to attend industry-related workshops led by CoJMC faculty and student ambassadors. The workshops had activities featuring each of the college’s four majors so the high school students could get a taste of what current CoJMC students learn in the classroom.

Assistant professor of sports media and communication Jason Stamm and assistant professor of practice Kaci Richter introduced the high school seniors to media equipment and led a broadcasting and sports media workshop.

The seniors learned how to use technology by practicing with different cameras and recording newscasts. They also acted as sports announcers by recording play-by-plays from sports clips they found on YouTube.

In the other workshop, assistant professor of practice in advertising and public relations Kelli Britten led a branding activity for half the time and assistant professor of journalism Chris Graves led a reporting activity for the other half.

During the branding activity, the students tested their creativity skills by collaborating to design a logo and advertisement for a bottle of soap, based on its smell. During the reporting activity the students practiced interviewing each other and used the information they learned to practice writing profiles and story introductions.

While the high school seniors were practicing new skills in the workshops, their families attended a parent information session. Assistant director of advising Andrea Gaghagen and career development specialist Natalie Roetman described advising expectations and career opportunities at CoJMC. Assistant director of recruitment Alex Fernando also described the two CoJMC learning communities offered for first-year students, Pressbox and Media Smarts.

After the workshops and information sessions, the seniors and their families had dinner at The Agency with CoJMC faculty. The student ambassador team wrapped up the event with a Q&A panel where they explained their internship experiences and class projects, as well as their favorite college memories and the connections they’ve made with CoJMC faculty.

“My favorite part of Summer Showcase was being able to share my passions with the high school kids,” said student ambassador Jaeyln Gross. “I had no idea the College of Journalism and Mass Communications existed when I was in high school, but it has changed my life so I love sharing about it.”

For Jefferson High senior Juliana Oltmanns, interacting with faculty during the workshops and talking with student ambassadors about hands-on career opportunities like HuskerVision was a highlight.

“By attending, I was able to get a clear idea of the values and goals of the program and that is to work with students from day one in order to help them succeed in their journalistic futures,” Oltmanns said. “Seeing this firsthand made me even more interested in the programs that UNL has to offer.”

Getting a glimpse of the media industry through learning from CoJMC professionals and participating in workshops at the Summer Showcase encouraged Oltmanns to more seriously consider UNL and the CoJMC as a top college contender as she enters her senior year of high school.