University News

Western's Educational Opportunity Showcased in Student Video Project

August 7, 2009

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MACOMB, IL - - One of Western Illinois University's core values is educational opportunity, and one of the many ways WIU provides that opportunity is through its hands-on learning activities, programs and courses. Recently, senior broadcasting major Mike Allison (Milan, IL) showcased some of those opportunities in a video he produced for Western's University Relations office.

Through grant funding awarded to University Relations via University Marketing's Campus Area Grant program last spring, Allison was hired by University Relations in May to work on the video over the summer. Allison, who already earned a bachelor's degree in 2006 from WIU in geography, noted the job provided him the chance to get more hands-on experience.

"This project gave me the opportunity to learn more about shooting and editing techniques for a promotional video," Allison said. "Although I have senior status due to my bachelor's in geography, thus far, I've only completed some introductory courses in the broadcasting department, so I'm still getting my 'feet wet' in regard to the video production process."

Allison's video includes: interviews with students about the environmental and biological learning opportunities at Western's Horn Field Campus in Macomb, including video of biology/zoology major Ryan Croegaert (Davenport, IL) demonstrating the high ropes course; Tom Green, professor in the School of Agriculture, talking about some of the urban forestry courses and training WIU offers; and Western alumnae Vanessa Van Hyfte (Moline, IL) and Nicole Murphy (Gladstone, IL), who both work at WQAD in Moline, attesting to the value of their coursework and training in Western's broadcasting department.

Allison said there were some challenges in getting the video completed, particularly because he produced it during the summer session months, which typically is a less active time on many college campuses. Teresa Koltzenburg, public information specialist and new media coordinator in University Relations, supervised Mike's production and noted she is amazed at how well he did with the relatively few resources he had at his disposal.

"Mike did a great job of conceptualizing the content, contacting the individuals he wanted to interview, composing a script and shooting and editing the video," she said. "Mike's video showcases the progression of his skills and is truly a product of his resourcefulness, which is a good skill to have for any professional in any field. He even hired fellow broadcasting student Erin Thurman (Fort Madison, IA) to host the video. Although Mike had completed a group video project for course requirements, this was the first individual video project he produced."

Koltzenburg added that thanks to Sharon Evans, chair of the broadcasting department and associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication, as well as other faculty and staff in broadcasting, the project was relatively easy to get underway.

"Dr. Evans was kind of enough to let Mike and University Relations use the broadcasting department's equipment, and Mike mentioned how Tom Durso, chief broadcasting engineer, as well as how Michael Murray, assistant professor in the broadcasting department, helped him learn more about the equipment and the video-editing process. Their graciousness and assistance enabled University Relations to use all of the grant funding to compensate Mike for his work," Koltzenburg said.

In addition to working on this video project over the summer, Allison completed an internship at WQAD, a television broadcasting station in Moline (IL). Allison plans to continue his coursework at WIU for his bachelor's degree in broadcasting; he is currently working as a production assistant at WQAD.

For more information about the project, contact Koltzenburg at (309) 298-1993 or

Posted By: University Communications (
Office of University Communications & Marketing