Mass Communications Department Hosts High School Media Conference

Matthew Krauss, Columnist • mfkrauss17@ehc.edu

Emory & Henry College hosted the first Middle Appalachian High School Media Association (MAHSMA) conference on Saturday, February 24. The event brought lower attendance than expected, with one student and her teacher attending. The conference was supposed to serve as an awards ceremony to recognize high school students in the Appalachian region who are doing work in the Mass Communications field.

“This year was more of a test run,” said Mass Communications work study and senior Orion Rummler, who helped organize the event along with Mass Communications Professor Mark Finney and senior Sara Foster.

Finney was satisfied with the way the event was organized, but he did say that he wished it had been better attended. He said, “MAHSMA was designed to provide resources for high school teachers in the region and award students for their work in media.”

The Middle Appalachia High School Media Association is a new initiative for local high school teachers and students to be awarded for their mastery of projects involving Mass Communication efforts. The fair aimed to offer resources for students in the form of exposure to panels of students and faculty members with Mass Communications experience.

The day allowed prospective students to the college to learn about the strengths of the E&H Mass Communication program. Junior Sydni Coleston from North Surry High School in Mt. Airy N.C. had the opportunity to visit the broadcast room where WEHC records its shows. Right now, she said, her interests lie in photojournalism. She has learned photojournalism through her work on yearbook, but she said she also wants to “explore the possibility of local broadcast news.”

Students also got to see the campus radio station as sophomore Sam Mungai showed the guests how he operates the equipment used to host his Saturday night call-in show.

The event allowed Emory & Henry students to share with their fellow students the best parts of collaborating on mass comm projects, which, according to junior Ali Cosnotti, is “helping others understand a story that needs attention.”

Danianese Woods, a recently hired Mass Communications professor, asked her to take pictures of the event for promotional purposes on the college’s website.
The event utilized the team efforts of students and faculty members. Mass Communictions work study Orion Rummler organized panels and scheduling for the event, while fellow work study Sara Foster created graphics for the event programs and judged high school media submissions.

The event also showcased the recent and important work of the I.D. center through employees Alana Simmons and Travis Proffitt. They shared their views on how to communicate diversity in the media. The MAHSMA conference was the first of its kind on the E&H campus, as it attempted to help the next generation of college students discover a potential career in journalism.

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