Outcomes Arrow


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This summer, Rob McKinney, junior sports broadcasting and sports information major, learned exactly what it meant to work in the news business.

The news industry has a history of early mornings that start well before 9 a.m. This is the time during which McKinney thrives in action. He began interning with WJPA Radio Station in Washington, Pennsylvania, in May 2016.

McKinney’s title as news reporter led him to covering a variety of events. He covered Washington County council meetings and different trials. He also worked Saturday morning news.

“I went into the station at 3:30 a.m. and read the day’s updated news every top of the hour,” said McKinney. “My favorite experience thus far was my first Saturday morning by myself.”

McKinney noted that he may have made his share of mistakes, but learned quickly what to and not to do in just eight short hours. He also had the opportunity to interview Governor Tom Wolf and State Representative Pam Snyder while working on different news stories. Through all of his early mornings, McKinney persisted because he said that he loves what he does and that it is worth it when you have a passion for the field of broadcast.

When he reflects on how his experience at Waynesburg helped him prepare for his summer internship, he noted that Lanny Frattare has helped him become the professional he is today.

“I applied to this internship because my advisor, Lanny Frattare, gave me the opportunity, and I knew it would give me tremendous professional experience,” said McKinney. “All of my radio and announcing classes with Lanny helped prepare my voice and my pacing to be an effective broadcaster.”

McKinney’s internship was not exactly what he had expected because he did not think he would be able to be as involved as he was. When thinking about his future endeavors, McKinney speaks highly of his internship with WJPA.

“My internship helped me by showing me how professional radio works,” said McKinney. “I hope to be on television one day reporting the news, and working with news currently can only help.”

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Drew-Brown.JPGJunior communications (sports broadcasting and sports information) major Drew Brown has always shown a strong interest in video editing and production work. This past spring, Brown began to put those skills to work at ROOT Sports in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, fulfilling a dream come true.

“Ranging back to when I was in ninth grade, I always told myself I was going to apply for an internship at ROOT Sports once I went to college, in hopes that I could further my career in the field of video production,” said Brown.

In March, Brown started a year-long role as an in-studio video production intern. He works alongside the ROOT Sports game day production staff, assisting with the creation of highlight packages that are used for Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Penguins pregame and postgame shows, as well as in-game highlights.

Other responsibilities have included the creation of video packages pertaining to storylines and talking points which are discussed on the pregame and postgame shows. Brown has also experienced writing “shot sheets” for the on-air talent personalities, such as Rob King, Stan Savran, Paul Alexander and Dan Potash.

All of his work so far has certainly exceeded Brown’s expectations, providing him with an experience that is grateful to have.

“I have enjoyed it more than any other job or internship I have worked before,” said Brown. “I spend my days at work doing something I have wanted to do since I was 14 years old.”

Even though he doesn’t always consider his work to be “work,” the internship has provided a few challenges, namely how quickly projects move.

“Working on the fly has been one of the more challenging aspects,” said Brown. “My “Around the League” videos, for example, where I am cutting together plays and highlights from other MLB or NHL games, need to be done at a quick, busy rate.”

Of course, the exciting aspects of his job have outweighed the challenges. Brown’s timing for experiencing the Stanley Cup playoffs could not have been more perfect. Because of ROOT Sports’ coverage of the Penguins, Brown was able to see the Stanley Cup in person and take pictures with it.

Another fun experience for Brown was being interviewed for a series of commercials that have been airing on the station.

“A quote of mine was used in an Andrew McCutchen commercial,” he said. “Seeing myself on TV along with receiving texts from friends and family saying they saw me has been a cool feeling.”

Brown realizes how fortunate he has been to study with professors such as Bill Molzon and Lanny Frattare at Waynesburg University. Their knowledge and expertise, combined with his ROOT Sports experiences, will be priceless in the future.

“This experience has given me the chance to see the daily operations of a major sports network, one like I hope to work for one day,” said Brown.

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Two Waynesburg University students traveled this summer from their hometowns in Western Pennsylvania to intern at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Both had the opportunity to serve as undergraduate researchers in graduate student laboratories, though in different areas.

Junior Emily Ankrom, a biology major at Waynesburg, worked in the R.B. Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry, which focuses on DNA nanotechnology.

Ankrom, with the help of a graduate student mentor, spent the summer researching how to visualize DNA liquid crystals. While Ankrom’s classes at Waynesburg significantly helped her understand scientific research concepts, she had little experience with DNA nanotechnology, which she said was one of the biggest difficulties of the internship.

“It was challenging right off the bat to enter into a research lab that focused on subject material almost completely foreign to me,” said Ankrom. “I had to spend quite a lot of time on my own, researching background information and reading scientific papers to understand what I would be doing.”

Thankfully, Ankrom had graduate students in the lab with her to mentor and guide her work. She loved being able to see firsthand how much Purdue’s graduate students and professors love what they do.

Ankrom is a member of the American Chemical Society and the Biology Club at Waynesburg. Other students in those organizations showed her how valuable an undergraduate research position could be and helped her apply. Now that she has research experience under her belt, Ankrom has solidified her aspirations to go to graduate school after Waynesburg.

“Before this research internship, I had no clue what grad school was like,” said Ankrom. “Being able to peer into the landscape of graduate school research has helped me visualize the journey I will be embarking on.”

Sophomore Lauren Petrina also secured a position as an undergraduate researcher at Purdue, but she was placed in a different lab than Ankrom. An engineering-chemistry major, Petrina worked in Professor Hilkka Kenttamaa’s lab, specializing in understanding crude oil.

Petrina entered into her research internship at Purdue just after her freshman year at Waynesburg, an unusual circumstance. Waynesburg professors in charge of the American Chemical Society, of which Petrina is a member, encouraged her to apply, though they warned her that freshmen usually don’t get accepted.

But a few months later, Petrina was in a lab with graduate students, getting more hands-on experience than she ever expected.

“I thought I was just going to be an assistant to the graduate students – that is not the case at all,” said Petrina. “I was able to ask questions, contribute my thoughts and feedback and even make suggestions.”

Petrina’s research included analyzing heavy crude oil to understand whether it can be converted to light crude oil, which is used in cars. Supplies of light crude oil have been depleted, so petroleum companies work with labs like Petrina’s to discover whether heavy crude oil is useful. Petrina said she would not have been able to complete her work without having taken Waynesburg’s organic and inorganic chemistry classes.

Like Ankrom, Petrina said the passion of the graduate students in her lab was evident, and she is grateful for the opportunity to work with them.

“If I decide to go to graduate school, I will already be ahead of the game because I will have had experience in a graduate laboratory,” said Petrina. “All of the knowledge I gained through this internship will be useful for the rest of my life.”

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Austin-Anderson-2.jpgAs the crowds roar loudly, you will find Austin Anderson providing the play-by-play for the games of the Chicago Bandits professional softball team. This summer, the sports broadcasting/sports information major is working as an announcer and sales intern for the Chicago Bandits.

A portion of his internship includes making sales calls to local businesses, selling tickets and taking on other office operation duties. Austin said this part of his day was the most challenging.

“Making cold sales calls is challenging; it’s the first time I’ve done that,” he said. “But that’s a good thing because many of the entry level broadcasting jobs include sales work.”

The latter half of his work day is where Austin shines. With each play of the game, he announces the live broadcast of the Chicago Bandits’ games. Anderson rotates between the roles of associate announcer, interviewer and play-by-play announcer.

“Being able to call games for a team on a consistent basis is great; I haven’t had that experience before,” Anderson said.

Anderson credits his classes at Waynesburg with preparing him for his internship. Sports Announcing I and II gave him the experience he needed and Sports Information and Management helped him see how a franchise operates.

“For this internship, WCTV, WCYJ, WUSN and GreeneSports.net have been the most beneficial,” he said.

Anderson said the Department of Communication taught him about what it means to be a broadcaster. He also noted that professionalism and preparation are the two most important skills he has learned from his professors at Waynesburg.

Over the past few years, Anderson said that he has been a sponge while learning from Lanny Frattare, who has had a very successful career in the sports broadcasting industry. Additionally, Richard Krause, assistant professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication, has taught him about professionalism and what is expected of him in the field.

In July, Anderson was the lead play-by-play announcer.

“This was a huge opportunity for me, as I was the main announcer for 10 of the 14 innings during two games,” he said. “I was in charge of running the pre-game show and the [games]. Those were the two most important games of the summer for me.”

Anderson is taking the skills he has been taught at Waynesburg into the field of announcing, where he is applying what he knows while continually adapting to his surroundings.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Kimmi-Baston.JPGOn the fifty-seventh floor of the US Steel Tower in Pittsburgh, Pa., soon-to-be senior Kimmi Baston is working as a summer intern for the largest employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC.

Baston, a journalism major with minors in marketing and public relations, is serving as a summer associate in the Marketing and Communications Department for Clinical Marketing at UPMC.

Baston is creating promotional materials for clinical services and works specifically with emergency/trauma medicine, neurology, neurosurgery, plastic surgery and urgent care. She also interviews former patients about their treatment at UPMC. Among a list of other tasks, she will be planning several marketing initiatives.

The biggest challenge thus far has been familiarizing herself with the medical lingo she has to incorporate into her writing.

“I have to research and learn about every condition, treatment, policy, hospital, doctor and service before I can even have a prayer of writing about it,” said Baston. “It’s awesome – I love getting to learn so much about medicine in addition to what I’m learning about my field.”

More than 5,000 applicants applied for the Summer Associate Program, while only 94 were selected.

“That’s such a small percentage of people to be hired, so I’m so honored and in awe that I am one of them.”

Baston credits Waynesburg for helping to prepare her for this opportunity. As the executive editor of the student-run newspaper, The Yellow Jacket, member of the Society of Professional Journalists and a leading scholar, among other accolades, her experience at the University is what set her apart from the competition.

“I have to be professional, take initiative, work well on a team and communicate effectively,” she said. “I’ve developed all of those skills through all of my WU activities. It’s possible I could be in an elevator with one of our four chief officers at any time, but thanks to WU, I’m not nervous about it.”

Baston talked about how Waynesburg further prepared her for her internship at the healthcare company that is highly involved with the surrounding region.

“The fact that I possess the skills to do my work is a total tribute to being so involved in journalism and having such great instruction at Waynesburg,” said Baston.

Baston’s favorite experience thus far was the Pittsburgh Penguins’ victory parade after winning the Stanley Cup. She and her fellow interns were recruited to pass out posters to fans to promote the “Thank You Pens” initiative.

“Pittsburgh pride is infectious, and I am honored to be a part of an organization that, despite its enormous size and many responsibilities, continuously cares so much for the community and its people,” said Baston.

Along with her daily tasks, Baston also has the opportunity to attend networking events. Working along fellow interns, she is experiencing life in a corporate world and is putting into action what she has learned at Waynesburg.

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