Center for Media Studies
By Camille Adams, ‘16
PLU’s new Center for Media Studies (CMS), which launched in fall 2014, is breaking ground by supporting students pursuing communication and new media projects in ways like never before. The Center offers opportunities for new programs and initiatives to take shape in accordance with student interests and innovation. CMS also provides ongoing and increasing support for pre-existing programs. For instance, MediaLab at PLU, an award-winning applied research and media production program established in 2006, premiered “Waste Not: Breaking down the Food Equation” in November 2014 as one of the first promotional and productive endeavors by CMS.
Fall 2014 also saw the creation of a new program called PLU Showrunners, which focuses on creative works such as entertainment television for students of any major. On Feb. 9 on PLU’s student television station Mast TV, Showrunners will premiere a new series titled “Dear Emily,” a 24-webisode adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “A Little Princess.” In its support of Showrunners, CMS has created opportunities to bridge and form connections between majors, departments, student media, and professional media.
“Namibia Nine,” another production of student filmmakers at PLU, will premiere at PLU on Feb. 28, 2015. “Namibia Nine” tells the story of nine Namibian students who studied at PLU roughly two decades ago in the time prior to Namibia’s independence.
CMS also offers a broad landscape of support through advisement, promotion, and encouragement, all of which permits students to pursue media production and projects from news to narrative to entertainment and beyond.
As a student screenwriter and producer, I deeply appreciate the support and opportunities afforded the Center for Media Studies at PLU. For three years, I have co-written and co-produced student television programs for PLU student media that have appeared on Mast TV. While I have loved the experience of pushing these projects through to completion, the process of creating entirely student-written, acted, directed, and edited products, my colleagues and I struggled to extend our reach beyond our small groups of friends and roommates.
Now, through CMS, we have been given the opportunity to see Showrunners grow and evolve into something permanent, professional, and organized. It has always been important to our production process that all students are welcome, regardless of their majors, years, or career aspirations. In keeping with those principles, CMS encourages any and all students interested in digital media to pursue these passions, whether for a short time or as a vocation.
The professorial and professional advice provided through CMS has been essential to the development and improvement of Showrunners this past year. As I begin to step out into the professional world – seeking informational interviews, internships, and one day, permanent jobs in the ever-changing media landscape – I continue to discover how invaluable my experience with CMS at PLU has been. The lessons I have learned and the skills I have developed through the founding and undertaking of Showrunners are all transferable skills in the professional workplace. CMS provides students with these highly valuable lessons and hands-on experiences that speak volumes in my desired profession. CMS helps students to experiment with media, discover their passions, and take their knowledge, and the University, beyond the campus and boldly into the new digital age.
And to learn more about the Center for Media Studies at PLU, click here.