Thursday, December 6, 2012

What It Means to Study MJD: An A to Z Guide

Here at St. Mike's I am a proud, 4-year member of the media studies department. Bergeron has been my second home and the professors have been stand-in parents. (Okay, the parent thing is a bit extreme, but they do look out for me.) Here is a comprehensive A-Z guide to the Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts department.

A - Awesome. I had to say it. The MJD department is small and tight-knit, meaning students get one-on-one teaching from professors; hands-on experience in media whether it's journalism, marketing, or videography; and a network of students and alumni who want to help each other.

B - Bergeron. Bergeron is the media studies building. Located next to the tennis courts, it is a one-story building with computer labs and the professor's offices. Talk to most majors and they will tell you this is their second home. Talk to most students and they'll have no idea what Bergeron is.

C - Competitve. I don't mean cut-throat, Hunger-Games competitive. I mean that students within the department and within classes push each other. With each project, news article, or presentation, students are raising the bar.

D - Design. Part of the Digital Arts section of the major includes design projects for both print and web using programs in the Adobe Design Suite. The major gives you knowledge of platforms such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Premiere.

Courtesy of the SMC Defender
That is the Fall 2012 Editorial Staff.
E - Editing. If you choose to take on the addition of journalism (It is five extra courses.), you will take Publication Editing and Design. You will work as an editor for the paper and not only edit the writers in your class, but you will work reporters in Investigative Reporting.

F - Fun. Sorry I'm not sorry for being corny. Through all the hard work and late nights, I have so many fun experiences. This department teaches courses such as "Adventure Film Making" and "Media and American Politics," both of which have incredible learning components outside the classroom.

G - Global Communications. In school you hear horror stories about particular professors, certain exams, or even some classes. Within MJD, Global Comm (as students call it) is one of those classes. I will promise you this: It's not that bad. It's a few big web design projects which require analysis of global media paired with a discussion-based course. I actually looked forward to attending this class.

H - Hectic. I tend to tell really bad jokes on tours. One of them has to do with me running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Now I'm not saying I'm always stressed and crazy. I will say that sometimes I procrastinate and my life gets a little hectic. Just prepared to learn time management.

I - Impressive. I am constantly impressed by the work that students produce within the department. We have extraordinary talent in both students and professors. More importantly, the people with talent are willing to help all of us.

J - Journalism. The MJD department was previously known as Journalism and Mass Communications. In my sophomore year, the deparment transitioned. Majors are now Media Studies and Digital Arts majors and can opt into having an emphasis in journalism. I am one of those people and highly recommend adding it on.

K - Knight. MJD students may live in Bergeron, but it doesn't mean we are seperate from the rest of the school. Unlike many schools, students at St. Mike's move between departments across campus. I take theater classes and political science majors take media classes. Above all else, we are Purple Knights.

L - Law. You probably weren't expecting this one, but law plays a huge role in our rights as journalists. We are the ONLY profession protected by an amendment. There are also many rules in terms of what is libelous and how far can we push.

M - Media Studies. Media studies means studying how the human experience is changed by media including how we interact with technology, social media, ect.

N - New Media. New media is now known as Digital Media, but the class hasn't changed. This is one of the intro level courses all MJD students take which teaches you the basics of Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver.

O - Observation. Part of the senior research proposal is observation. We are required to observe events, meetings, and people relating to our chosen topics. Observation is a key way in which we can draw new conclusions for our projects.

P - Possibilities. The MJD department opens up a world of opportunities for students. Just because I came into the department sure that I was going to be a broadcast journalist doesn't mean the classes wouldn't open my eyes to my potential in marketing and public relations. This department is about more than just journalism.

Q - Question. This is simple enough. As a reporter and student of the department, you ask alot of questions both of professors and sources. Don't be afraid to ask about what is on your mind.

R - Revolution. Media revolutions is an introductory media studies course that all majors and minors take. Like a history course it looks at a media timeline and discusses its effects on society.

S - Sensationalism. In our writing classes, we are constantly learning to walk the line between engaging journalism and sensationalism. It is part of the ethical battle of being a journalist.

T - Technology. As an MJD major, you have access to some very cool technology including video cameras, DSLR cameras, waterproof cameras, and helmet cameras.

U - Undervalued. I believe that the potential of the MJD department is extremely undervalued. Without this department, I never would've become an intern in Los Angeles, competed in a film festival, produced a paper, or become an adventure film maker. I now see the potential.

V - Vicious. Admittedly, that's an aggressive word choice, but I use it here to describe the passion of the students. Students are willing to pursue their passions with furver. We all want and expect big things from ourselves and we can be our harshest critics.

W - Winners. Our school always puts together a team for the VT International Film Festival "Sleepless in Burlington" competition. We didn't win this year, but maybe you can be on next year's winning team?

X - ..... Well, this is awkward, but after looking through the dictionary, I am finding no appropriate words that start with "x"...

Y - Year. It's amazing what you'll learn in a year in this department. At the end of your freshman year, you could know how to create entire websites and design logos. Now, those skills create some possibilities.

Z - Zany. Every department has their quirks. We have a lot of them, but maybe we just notice them more because we spend more time together than in most departments. I love the program and all the people in it.

Now you've heard our ABC's. I hope you join MJD.


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