Students who participated in OHIO's first-ever Semester-in-LA program joined forces Jan. 28 for a screening and panel discussion in Baker Center Theatre.
Ohio University Media Arts & Studies Students who spent their entire fall semester in Los Angeles, Calif. as part of the first every Semester-in-LA program gathered as a group to share their experiences and short films Wednesday, Jan. 28, in the Baker Center Theatre.
The students ventured out in LA to spend time in classes, work at internships, attend productions, and work on their own media projects. Ohio University is the second public university to have an LA program available for students.
“These 20 students that participated took the leap with me and this program,” said Director of the Semester in LA program and associate professor of the school of Media & Arts Studies Roger Cooper. “I was extremely happy with how the experience went. It was the kind of experience you can’t replicate any other way.”
Three projects the students worked on together during their semester were screened at the event. The projects included a “mock-umentary” of the students’ day in LA, a podcast of interviews with the goal answering life questions, and a short film called “Monica The Waitress,” which the students shot in a diner. A panel discussion featuring nearly all of the program’s students followed.
“I think it’s really comforting to know that when you get to LA everyone starts out at the same level as an intern or someone’s secretary,” said Media & Art Studies student Iris Butcher, who interned at Mandalay Sports in Studio City, Calif. “You can’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for different opportunities. At my internship, they wanted to help me learn so I had to put myself out there.”
The goal of the program is not only to give students hands-on experience, but to connect them with alumni in the industry, such as Kyle Bowser, BSC ’81, founder of Res Ipsa Media in Encino, Calif., who helped to conceptualize the program, lent his industry contacts to better the experience for students and taught a class throughout the semester.
Around 40 members in the audience asked questions and were inspired by the students’ reflections. Ohio University student Shyann Williams plans to apply for the upcoming fall semester program.
“The panel was very inspiring, and the program is a great opportunity to make connections and brand yourself. I am very excited to apply for my junior year,” said Williams, a sophomore majoring in journalism.
For more information or to apply for the Semester-in-LA program this fall, please contact director Roger Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original article by By Ellis Wallinger. Photo by Sabrina Schaeffer.