Tag : division-of-communication-theatre

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Public Relations alum: Molly Harrington

By: Noelle Beans

Molly Harrington

Molly Harrington graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) in 2015 with a degree in Public Relations. She grew up in the Wesleyan Church, so Wesleyan universities were always on her radar. Her sister attended IWU, so she had the chance to visit and get to know the campus while her sister pursued her degree. When it came time for her to visit colleges, Harrington followed her older sister’s footsteps. She personally felt at home at IWU, because it felt like a good fit.

As a student, Harrington became involved in Student Government Association, a few different jobs and eventually became a Diversity Coordinator for Martin Hall. Through these activities, opportunities and positions, she was led to a great group of friends as well as a well-rounded community.

Within the IWU community, Harrington grew spiritually. The fact that she was now on her own, no longer under her parents, had a significant effect on her. Harrington said, “I needed to learn what and why I believe in things for myself.” It was a slow process, but through friends, classes and a new church, she did just that: wrestled with her faith and made it her own.

Additionally, Harrington grew academically as IWU’s communication classes gave her real life experience. She believes the Division of Communication & Theatre does a great job of connecting students with organizations and people in the community for projects. It gave her the opportunity to learn how to be a professional in a “safe environment.”

Harrington’s career is now as the Director of Scheduling (employed by the United House of Representatives) for Congressman Paul Mitchell of Michigan. She creates and maintains his daily schedule, travel plans and other office manager duties. Harrington said, “I am his gatekeeper.” She admits the intersection between faith and career can be tricky, but in her work she chooses to form her beliefs and views on things from her faith and defends them from that position.

Where Harrington is at now was never where she expected. Growing up, she always wanted to be an interior designer, and now she has found herself in politics. “It is okay if your first job out of college isn’t in your degree,” Harrington said. She is not working in the PR field, but she loves what she does and knows that she is getting experience. Lastly, Harrington encouragingly expressed for current students that, “You will eventually make it to the field you studied in, but you aren’t a failure if you don’t start there.”

 

 

Written by Noelle Beans, a writer for the Alumni Center. Noelle is a freshman Nursing and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College.

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Spotlight on the Division of Communication & Theatre

By: Dezaray Barr

As the year comes to an end, this semester’s spotlight on the Division of Communication & Theatre at IWU comes to a close. As the series wraps up, be sure to review the eight alumni who have shared their journeys with the IWU community.

 

Kim Barth graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2014, after double-majoring in Education and Theatre performance. Today, Barth teaches Theatre to Elementary students at a school called P.S.195, located in the Bronx. “I love that I get to bring what I call the magic of theatre to kids who don’t have a lot of experience with that and wouldn’t if they didn’t have this program,” Barth said. “Introducing kids to an art form that changed me, and did a lot for me growing up, is exciting for me.”

Upon arriving at Indiana Wesleyan University in the fall of 2009, Kendra Emmett-Goldwasser was intending on studying education. When she began to register for classes, she discovered all the education classes were full and her advisor encouraged her to register for a theatre elective. Little did she know, registering for this class would change the rest of her life.

Cody Konschak graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2012, after majoring in Theatre performance. Konschak had a heart for theatre all throughout high school, and after finding out IWU had a theatre program, it was a simple decision to pursue what he had always loved and had natural talents in.

Rob Pelance graduated from IWU in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in technical theatre and a minor in business administration. Pelance currently serves as a sales engineer at Sweet Water Sound in Fort Wayne, Indiana where he sells musical equipment. He also owns a recording studio, Duir Tree Studios, where he works part time. Pelance is currently in the process of developing a business, Mix Matcher, where independent musicians can contact recorders within their specific budgets.

Shaelie Clark graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in the Spring of 2016, after majoring in Media Communication. For Clark, she has always pictured a career in news reporting. “I think I was probably 6 or 7, and I was playing with my doll house,” Clark said. “I remember my mom was watching the news, because my parents were always watching the news, every night at 6 … we were that family, and my mom made the comment ‘you know, you should do this when you get older.’ I don’t know what it was about that comment, but it just stuck with me my whole life. I guess that’s just what I pictured was ‘Oh, I’m going to be a news reporter!’”

Ben Smith was a Media Communication major, who graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2009. “I think a lot of people say you just felt God’s presence right when you got on campus with the buildings and the people you interacted with, the admissions staff. As I went throughout that visit day, I just really felt like that’s where I was supposed to be,” Smith said.

Amanda Gubbins graduated in 2012 with a major in communication studies and a minor in Public Relations. The biggest thing about IWU Gubbins appreciated, was how intentional professors and faculty were about teaching how to integrate faith into the workplace.

Adam Fike began his IWU career as a Criminal Justice major, but decided, after meeting a friend in the Media Communication major, that he would switch to Theatre Performance with a concentration in Technical Theatre. “I really loved the group that we had. It was a tight group of students, faculty and staff,” Fike stated.

 

Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a sophomore Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU Dezaray is involved in PRSSA leadership and runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.

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Adam Fike: The Final Installment of the Spotlight of the Division of Communication & Theatre

By: Emily Lehner

adamAdam Fike began his IWU career as a Criminal Justice major, but decided, after meeting a friend in the Media Communication major, that he would switch to Theatre Performance with a concentration in Technical Theatre. “I really loved the group that we had. It was a tight group of students, faculty and staff,” Fike stated.

Fike continued to work in the IWU scene shop throughout the rest of his college years. He said, “I can’t remember exactly how many shows I did, but I always had my hand in the productions we were putting on.” Behind the scenes was where Fike preferred to be, so he only performed in three plays during his time at IWU. “Anything I wasn’t performing in, I was picking up technical work in,” he stated.

Although entering the theater world outside of IWU was a difficult transition for Fike, he believes some aspects of IWU’s Theater program prepared him greatly for life outside of college. His senior year, he took an internship with The Phoenix because of help from an IWU Alum. He learned how truly difficult it is for actors and technicians to find work. “The field is very competitive and most people end up leaving,” he said. These realizations taught him to be dedicated and focused to his passion.

Fike believes that him and other theatre alumni have done very well outside of college. “We all have done well. We all have stayed in theater, and we all have found our niche,” he said. He recognizes that growth in creative departments is crucial.

When asked about how IWU influenced him spiritually, he spoke of how IWU picked him up from a season near disbelief in God and walking away from faith. “I knew how to say the right things and act as if I had it all together, but I was very far from that,” he stated. During his senior year, he finally realized how much he needed Jesus to carry him. “Being able to just complete school was a testament to his faithfulness,” he said.

This period of his life brought him strength when he moved outside of the IWU sphere. “Theatres aren’t going to believe or conform to what you are comfortable with all the time. Many of the people that work in the Theater industry have really terrible experiences with Christianity,” he stated with sadness. Fike has learned to be a light to those he works with, and to show the loving side of Christianity to every he meets. “I’ve learned to love and respect those regardless of whether I agree with them or not,” he said.

Fike currently works in sales and customer service at Allstate Insurance. He previously worked with Actors Theater of Indiana for two seasons, and still occasionally does production work for them.

 

Written by Emily Lehner, a writer for the Alumni Center and a sophomore Writing major at IWU. She is active on the cross country and track teams. She is passionate about using her writing skills to share the good news of Christ with others and writes often on her personal blog at www.emilylehner.wordpress.com.

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Amanda Gubbins

By: Heather Cox

Amanda Gubbins

Amanda Gubbins

Amanda Gubbins graduated in 2012 with a major in communication studies and a minor in Public Relations.

Gubbins grew up in Evansville, Indiana and when the time came to look at colleges, she began looking at Christian colleges. Unsure of exactly what it was she wanted to study, Gubbins started by looking at the communication programs offered at different schools. Her piano teacher had a daughter who had been at Indiana Wesleyan, and they told Gubbins a communication building had recently been built, and suggested she look into it.

Upon visiting IWU’s campus, Gubbins said she was very impressed with not only the communication program, but with the overall atmosphere of campus. Ultimately, she decided IWU would be a good fit for her, and her college search ended.

Gubbins had decided to look into communication studies because she had grown up around it. Her dad was a video guy, and she had always enjoyed media and writing, so she was looking for something which combined those gifts and talents together.

While living on campus, Gubbins was also involved with a variety of activities. She worked with the radio station for one semester, and also did things for the communication division, such as being a part of different panels that would take place. She was also very involved in residential life.

“I was always involved in residential life with my dorm. I worked at the desk for a couple different years. I never was an RA, but my junior year I was roommates with an RA, and we lived on a floor with all freshman girls, which was really fun because I got to be the big sister to the unit,” Gubbins said.

Gubbins while helping with the bike race.

Gubbins while helping with the bike race.

Gubbins also became involved with her church and the community of Marion. She began an internship with the City of Marion, working alongside the Marketing Director. She wrote a lot of press releases for community events, and was able to help with a bike race which was held every summer.

“I was working right in City Hall located downtown, so I got to know the area a little bit more and actually make friends with some of the people in the office,” Gubbins said. “It showed me a different side of Marion we didn’t usually see from campus, and gave me the opportunity to get off campus and try some different things.”

The biggest thing about IWU Gubbins appreciated, was how intentional professors and faculty were about teaching how to integrate faith into the workplace.

“Now I’m working full time, and I still find myself thinking back on those things we talked about,” Gubbins said. “What does it mean to be a world changer each day in everyday life, and when you are in the workplace how do you take those opportunities to live out your faith?”

Before graduating from IWU, Gubbins had hoped to become a Communication Director for a non-profit or a missions oriented organization. Though she is not currently in that position, she can still see herself doing that in the future.

Following graduation, Gubbins moved out to Southern California to join her family who had recently moved there. She became heavily involved in her church, volunteering with various things, when a friend from church recommended she looked into Specialized Equipment Market Association, or SEMA.

Gubbins took the opportunity and began as an administrative assistant at SEMA, doing a lot of event preparation. In addition to this, the company also wanted someone with writing skills to write a monthly column for the magazine they had.

Gubbins said IWU’s Digital Storytelling class within the Communication Department helped her gain this position, as she was able to show them a portfolio of her work including writing, photography and voiceovers.

“Through that, I got to start working with our publications team here because I connected with them and wanted to learn more about how to do that better,” Gubbins said. “I started working with them closely, and then it was about 2 ½ years later and a position opened up for Managing Editor for the monthly magazine so I got to start doing that too.”

Gubbins said she really loves what she is doing now, and could see herself doing humanitarian work or missions work in the future, using the skills she is developing at SEMA.

 

Written by Heather Cox, guest writer for the Alumni Office. Heather is a Junior Journalism major at IWU. She is also the Editor of GrantCOnnected.net, a community news site run by IWU students. She is unsure of where life will take her after college, but she knows she never wants to stop writing!

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Ben Smith: A Dream of Christian Radio

By: Heather Cox

Ben Smith working

Ben Smith

Ben Smith was a Media Communication major, who graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2009.

An Evansville, Indiana native, Smith knew he wanted to attend a Christian University when he began the search for a college. Originally, IWU was not on his radar, as he knew little about it. When it came to be spring break of his senior year and he had still not made a college decision, he decided a road trip was in order.

Smith headed out to go on several college tours.

He began by touring other schools in Northern Indiana, but he said when he stepped onto Indiana Wesleyan’s campus, it felt different.

“I think a lot of people say you just felt God’s presence right when you got on campus with the buildings and the people you interacted with, the admissions staff. As I went throughout that visit day, I just really felt like that’s where I was supposed to be,” Smith said. “So on the way home we were supposed to visit some other schools, but I really felt like God had given me that so didn’t even visit any other schools we had planned on visiting, and I guess the rest is history!”

When it came to choosing Media Communication as his major, it was not a simple decision. Smith was unsure of what he wanted to study, but it was his parents who pointed out that he was very interested in music, concerts, and radio.

“I didn’t even realize you could major in that,” Smith said. “But when I visited Indiana Wesleyan, they had a small college station that was run out of College Wesleyan church. I looked at that and was really excited about getting involved with radio.”

While Smith was a student at IWU, he said the Communication Department was going through changes. This included Elder Hall being built, and the radio station was moved and placed there.

Smith also became very involved with the radio station while on campus. He was a staff member for two years. By his junior year he was the Music and Promotions Director, and by his senior year he had become the Student Manager.

Smith’s interest in music even drove him to perform at McConn with some of his friends.

“My senior year I lived with a bunch of guys in a Townhouse who were musical, so we would kind of play around … we played at McConn a couple of times,” Smith said.

In addition to being involved on campus, Smith was also involved with the community surrounding campus.

Ben Clark and the members of Bowman House during his sophomore year

Ben Clark and the members of Bowman House during his sophomore year

“I was involved in outreach on campus–I was an Outreach Coordinator my sophomore year in Bowman House, was involved in getting students involved in a variety of outreach activities, and I was involved in a local church at Lakeview, and I came to College Wesleyan as well,” Smith said. “I was involved in a ministry through the Boys and Girls club, YMCA and things like that in the community.”

Two of Smith’s classes which were most influential for him include broadcast classes he took with Dr. Randall King and Dr. Mark Perry, which have helped with his job today.

As for his favorite aspects of IWU, Smith was sure to mention his lifelong friends he made as a student, and the professors he is still in contact with.

In addition to that, Smith’s overall favorite thing about Indiana Wesleyan was God’s presence throughout every campus aspect.

“I think the overall aspect is Christ bringing everybody together,” Smith said. “from academics to things in the dining hall and the student center, and of course with friends and worship services and chapel services, just the presence of Christ on campus in every aspect of the student life and life at IWU.”

Following graduation, Smith had hoped for a job in Christian radio right away, but said God did not open that door quite yet.

For a short amount of time Smith did a little bit of social work, but quickly realized that was not for him. It was then that he started putting more emphasis on finding a job in radio in the fall of 2009, and was hired part-time at WIKY, the number one adult contemporary radio station in the Evansville area.

Eventually, the station even gave Smith a Christian music program on Sundays to play Christian music and do giveaways and contests. In 2014, Smith was hired by the radio station full time as the Director of First Impressions.

Smith worked there until the company was bought by a larger conglomerate broadcast company in the fall of 2014, when he was let go. By April of 2015 however, Smith was hired by Thy Work Network, a Christian radio station in Evansville, where he is currently working.

“I have a regular afternoon program five days a week where I’m on the air for four or five hours each afternoon. We play music, and do contests and stuff like that,” Smith said. “We also have a lot of teaching networks on the station so we have a lot of pastors who have preaching segments.”

Smith said he loves Christian radio and loves where he works. As for the future, he hopes to someday work in a larger market, possibly in Nashville or Louisville.

“A lot of my family lives here in town, so I don’t want to move too far away from them, but would love to move to a bigger market in Christian radio and maybe work for a nationwide network of stations like K-Love or something like that,” Smith said. “And again, the station I work at now is great, just kind of thinking of the future maybe moving to a bigger market, bigger area where there are more opportunities.”

Smith’s advice for current Indiana Wesleyan students would be to make sure to get involved in different activities, even outside of chosen majors. In addition to that, Smith said he would want to encourage students to get involved in outreach opportunities as well.

“I would say get involved and definitely cherish the time at Indiana Wesleyan,” Smith said. “And it may seem at times that it’s going kind of slow or you’re bogged down with finals or classes and everything, but I would say those are some of the best memories I have had my entire life– friends and most importantly being able to be in a Christian environment over those four years.”

 

Written by Heather Cox, a writer for the Alumni Office. Heather is a Junior Journalism major at IWU. She is also the Editor of GrantCOnnected.net, a community news site run by IWU students. She is unsure of where life will take her after college, but she knows she never wants to stop writing!

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Shaelie Clark: A Childhood Dream of Being a Reporter Fulfilled

By: Heather Cox

Shaelie Clark

Shaelie Clark

Shaelie Clark graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in the Spring of 2016, after majoring in Media Communication.

Clark was first introduced to IWU through her youth pastor’s daughter who was a student during Clark’s senior year of high school. At the time, Clark was living outside of Indianapolis in Greenfield, and had been unsure of where she wanted to go to college.

“She took me up there for a visit, and I just kind of knew the minute I walked on campus– I was like ‘I think this is the place!’” Clark said.

Part of what drew her to IWU was the communication department. Clark had always known she wanted to be a news reporter, so after learning about the TV station on campus, she was even more excited.

For Clark, she has always pictured a career in news reporting.

“I think I was probably 6 or 7, and I was playing with my doll house,” Clark said. “I remember my mom was watching the news, because my parents were always watching the news, every night at 6 … we were that family, and my mom made the comment ‘you know, you should do this when you get older.’ I don’t know what it was about that comment, but it just stuck with me my whole life. I guess that’s just what I pictured was ‘Oh, I’m going to be a news reporter!’”

While living on campus, Clark was heavily involved with the communication department, making sure she gained good experience for future employers to see.

Starting her freshman year, Clark became involved with Crossroads, a TV program on WIWU-TV on campus. She began by attending meetings, and it was not long before she was joining the staff on shoots. By her sophomore year, she had a leadership position producing the show, and eventually began co-hosting the show.

Shaelie Clark participating in Crossroads while a student at IWU

Shaelie Clark during a Crossroads show

“I would not be at this job right now if it weren’t for Crossroads, or if it weren’t for the TV station staff and the professors that I had,” Clark said. “Crossroads is how I learned how to shoot video, how I learned how to be a reporter, basically so I could do my job now.”

Clark also picked up a weekly shift at 94.3 The Fortress, a radio station run by Indiana Wesleyan students for the community of Marion, during her sophomore year as a student.

“That did wonders for me as well, because up to that point I was real awkward on camera,” Clark said. “But radio teaches you to how to ad lib and how to talk to people because you’re not worried about a camera, you’re just talking, so that helped a lot and that helped my vocal performance.”

A few of Clark’s favorite parts of IWU include McConn and the friends she made on campus, but she also highly valued her relationships with her professors.

Shaelie Clark and communication professor Mark Perry, photo obtained from Facebook

Shaelie Clark and communication professor Mark Perry, photo obtained from Facebook

“Our division had really great professors, and I really enjoyed the fact that I wasn’t just their student; they actually cared about me,” Clark said. “Even with me being out in the job now, they text me, they ask how I’m doing, and they watch my work and say ‘Hey, saw your latest story!’ That really means a lot. They don’t even know how much it means. So I loved being able to go get coffee with my professors and I loved them knowing more than just my academics, they knew what was going on in my life.”

During spring break of her senior year, Clark headed down to Evansville for an interview at Channel 14 News, in hopes to begin her career in news reporting.

“I really liked the Evansville market. It was the place I wanted, and it was the place that really felt like I needed to be. It was the same feeling when I knew Indiana Wesleyan was the school,” Clark said. “Not even a week later, I heard from the News Director who asked me to come down. I came down, and when I got back I heard I had received the job!”

It was only two weeks after graduation when Clark packed up and moved south to start her career.

“I’m really glad that I did that, because I was able to get started sooner and get to start knowing the area sooner,” Clark said.

When it comes to plans and goals for the future, Clark said she is trying to take things day by day, but the ultimate goal is to earn her way to reporting for Indianapolis.

“I’m really the type of person who always has a plan and has life figured out, but I’m trying to just go day by day for once in my life,” Clark said. “Obviously I’m probably not going to stick around here my whole life, but I would love to go back to Indy. Because Indy is home, so I’d love to work for a news station up there. It’s the news station I grew up watching. When I pictured my future I kind of pictured it there.”

As for advice for current Indiana Wesleyan students, Clark says to enjoy school while it lasts!

“I would say to enjoy the time you have in school. Don’t try to wish it away, because life is too short,” Clark said. “I’d also say to get involved, figure out what you want to do, and if there’s any opportunity at school to start getting your feet wet in that profession, such as communication, or nursing, or anything really, start picking up any opportunities you can to get involved, because that’s what’s going to help you stand out, and that’s what’s going to get you a job in the end!”

 

Written by Heather Cox, guest writer for the Alumni Office. Heather is a Junior Journalism major at IWU. She is also the Editor of GrantCOnnected.net, a community news site run by IWU students. She is unsure of where life will take her after college, but she knows she never wants to stop writing!

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Cody Konschak: For the Love of Theatre

By: Heather Cox

Cody Konschak graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2012, after majoring in Theatre performance.

Konschak was a military kid throughout his childhood, growing up in multiple places, and discovered Indiana Wesleyan while in high school. As a freshman in high school, his family began to attend New Life Wesleyan church in La Plata, Maryland, where he was baptized. Konschak said the majority of the pastors at New Life had either graduated from IWU, or had taken classes there at some point. Konschak was introduced to IWU through his pastors and also attended events at IWU, such as Fusion.

Konschak had a heart for theatre all throughout high school, and after finding out IWU had a theatre program, it was a simple decision to pursue what he had always loved and had natural talents in.

Soon after moving to campus, Konschak was hired on by the theatre department as the master carpenter, which helped him become immersed into the program at IWU.

“I helped build all of the sets, and I did that my entire time throughout college,” Konschak said. “I would say theatre pretty much dominated my experience. I fully immersed myself in it.”

Theatre is where Konschak says he found his happiness while at school. Specifically, one of his professors, Greg Fiebig, had a large impact on Cody’s experience at IWU, and the two remain in regular contact today. “He [Fiebig] kind of helped bring me out of my shell or take me outside of the box and really think about things from a different perspective,” Konschak said. “Being very open to other perspectives and being able to look at things from different angles.”

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Cody Konschak performing on stage.

Konschak also said he made great friends while he was a student at Indiana Wesleyan, specifically those who also immersed themselves into the theatre department. “You do stuff with them from the time you wake up, to the time you go to bed, over and over again,” Konschak said. “It’s just one party all the time–it’s a blast. You hang out with these amazing people, and get to know each other and really build off of one another, and you help each other become better versions of themselves.”

Before graduation, Konschak’s plan was to head to New York City to continue pursuing theater as a career. It wasn’t long before a professional theatre company one hour north of New York City hired him on to work with them. It was a tough decision, but Cody had to turn the opportunity down.

“I decided not to do it- not because I didn’t want to, but because I absolutely could not afford my student loan payment with what they were paying me,” Konschak said. “I kind of just made the decision to take a break for a little bit.”

Following this decision, Konschak moved to Indianapolis to pursue sales. Konschak said theatre has actually helped him with his success in sales marketing, as it has made him a flexible and adaptable person.

Konschak’s success in sales has recently moved him to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where he is excited to enjoy warm weather instead of the cold Indiana weather. He is now the Manager for Alliances and Partnerships for a technology firm called AAJ Technologies.

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Cody Konschak performing as Tony in West Side Story.

Konschak hasn’t been in Florida long enough to seek out theatre opportunities, but before leaving Indianapolis for Ft. Lauderdale, Konschak was able to be a part of a popular community theatre’s production of “West Side Story,” playing the lead role of Tony.

As for future hopes and goals, Konschak is not anywhere close to being done with his love for theatre. “Ideally I would like to get involved in professional theatre down here in Ft. Lauderdale. I miss it a lot; it’s really what makes me happy,” Konschack said. “I’ve been involved in a few different companies, constantly figuring out if this is what’s going to make me happy, and it’s not that I’m not happy–I enjoy what I’m doing–but I absolutely love theatre without a doubt.”

 

Written by Heather Cox, guest writer for the Alumni Office. Heather is a Junior Journalism major at IWU. She is also the Editor of GrantCOnnected.net, a community news site run by IWU students. She is unsure of where life will take her after college, but she knows she never wants to stop writing!