What’s Next Session Scheduled for April 7

PRSSA What's NextOn Monday, April 7 in Lanigan 102, PRSSA will be hosting its annual What’s Next Session, which features a panel of professionals from a variety of different career paths. The event is centered around public relations and marketing.

Those who attend the event will have the opportunity to watch the panel discuss various topics and issues relating to their profession. Following the panel discussion, time will be available for the audience to network with the professionals. During this period, refreshments will be provided.

The What’s Next Session, aptly named, is designed to give students a sense of direction and an understanding of the years following graduation. It does this by allowing students to learn more about the different niches of PR and marketing.

Graduation can sneak up on anyone, so it is important to think about life after Oswego. I am only in my second semester, and while it may seem like graduation is far off, it will come up quicker than I expect.

The panel discussion begins at 7 p.m. and goes until approximately 8:30, when networking opportunities will begin.

WTOP: The Beginning of Something New

Studio at WTOPThis semester, I am expanding my horizons by becoming a part of the TV world at WTOP.

I have no plans to be in front of the camera – at least anytime soon. Instead, I chose to be a part of the crew, operating a camera for the nightly news.

Joining WTOP is not something that I necessarily need for my career path – at least Public Relations. However, one of my biggest interests revolves around television. I am fascinated in what goes into television programming. From sporting events to ceremonies, to national news programs, to local programming, I love having a look behind the scenes of it all.

So, joining WTOP was something simply for fun. Just because it is for fun however, does not mean I cannot take away anything from the experience.

I look forward to learning what goes into a news program, how a TV team works together, what certain positions entail, and most importantly, how to perform at my best for my assigned position.

Working a camera may seem like nothing, but on the day of my training, I learned there was a whole lot more to it. Learning terms, controls, different cameras, and positions can be intimidating at first.

I tend to get nervous about a lot – pretty much everything, even the simple parts of life. I like to think that is what drives me at times. Jumping into WTOP, I was extremely nervous.

I was nervous about what I could control. I was nervous about what I could not control.

A friend of mine, who is a member of WTOP, got an earful of questions from me the week leading up to my debut behind the camera.

After training, a run through, and the first few weeks of live shows, I feel much more comfortable.

I am still far from perfect.

I have much to learn and I can only get better with practice. As a whole, I feel happy, comfortable, and confident, especially with the team of people around me at WTOP.

I am sure I will be getting a call from NBCUniversal any day now for a job behind the camera.

I am kidding, of course.

But down the road, who knows?

PRSSA Brunch Fundraiser on March 9th

American Cancer SocietyHelp fight cancer while fighting your hunger!

PRSSA, the Public Relations Student Society of America, is hosting and promoting a special fundraiser this weekend.

In support of the American Cancer Society, brunch will be served this Sunday, March 9th, at The Shed in Oswego.

Tickets are $10 and can be bought at the door. A percentage of all proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.

The brunch begins at Noon and lasts until 3 p.m. This way, it is possible to sleep in and still catch a nice meal to start the day.

The Shed can be found at 1 Washington Blvd right here in Oswego. I’ve personally never been there yet, but I have heard great things about the food.

We have been working very diligently at PRSSA in the recent weeks to promote this event and we hope to make a difference. Even if it is small, it is still worth it.

Who knew you can fight cancer with bacon?

Valuable Weather Lessons Learned

Oswego WeatherWhen people think of Oswego, they will in many cases associate it with weather. Not just any weather. Winter weather. Wind, snow, frigid air, and icy conditions all come to mind.

Some people embrace the cold months of winter. Others? Not so much. Either way, there is no hiding from it in Oswego.

Back home, I have of course experienced my fair share of winter storms – I live in New York State, so there is no missing it. Being right on the shore of Lake Ontario in Oswego, however, brings an extra twist.

It only took a short time of being in Oswego to learn of ways to handle the weather.

An umbrella is not always a friend

A logical person might think that an umbrella is a good solution for dealing with precipitation in Oswego. In many cases, it is. When walking through the wind tunnels of Oswego, however, it can be a different story.

Unless you want to be going to class Mary Poppins style, an umbrella may not always be the best option. Windy conditions can make this a challenge. An umbrella can only do so much when the rain is coming in sideways, anyway.

I have seen several broken and torn umbrellas in the trash since I have been here. Fortunately, none of those umbrellas were mine.

Covering up in layers, cutting through buildings when possible, and taking advantage of the buses on campus are the best ways to stay dry, warm, and happy.

Have boots on the ready

Obviously, boots are important in the winter, even though I rarely wear them. Typically, I depend on plowed and shoveled sidewalks when walking to class.

However, the best use for boots, I have found, comes during a late night fire drill.

Being half asleep, standing outside in the cold in the side of a snow bank, waiting to get back inside, is pretty inconvenient. It is even more inconvenient in improper footwear. Flip flops or shower shoes certainly are not the best way to go about it.

No amount of hair gel can stop the wind’s work

I do not really worry about my hair– okay, maybe a little. With the wind in Oswego, I am just glad that I do not worry about it more.

It gets windy sometimes – more than sometimes. In the warmer months of the year, a small breeze feels great. During winter, the massive wind gusts are not as refreshing. They are also harsh on the hair.

Hats are a great idea to stay warm anyway, but to keep that hair looking good – essential.

Hat hair? Well, that is a different story for a different time.

It really is not that bad – most of the time

Oswego definitely gets its fair share of winter weather, but so does everywhere else in the northeast. Is the weather something to be prepared for? Definitely.

At the same time though, Oswego weather can be overhyped. The legendary stories of people using ropes to walk to class are a prime example of this.

The weather in Oswego is manageable – especially after learning what I have.

Still, it does not always have to be fun.

Getting Settled Back in at Oswego

There is no better welcome back than winter weather.

There is no better welcome back than winter weather.

It has now been two weeks since returning to campus after a long winter break and it seems like I have not missed a beat. While my first semester last fall was a bit of a transition (the first semester of college can do that), moving back to Oswego was seamless.

The hardest part was bringing back my belongings to campus. Why I brought so many things back with so much already in my room, I have no idea.

I am simply back in the rhythm of things, so much so that it feels like I was never gone. Despite the six-week break, it all feels the same. It is still the same Oswego that I remember (minus the mild days associated with fall weather).

Just because it all feels the same, however, does not mean it is the same. New classes are an obvious difference when a semester begins, as is the Oswego weather. Even groups of people can change.

A friend of mine left Oswego at the end of last semester to attend another school. There are also those who I no longer see in my classes. Fortunately, I have been able to remain good friends with these people.

Those are just some changes, however. The biggest changes are yet to come and are the ones I am most excited about.

With a new semester, comes a fresh slate and new opportunities. In many cases, there is the potential to continue what has already been started. For me, that means continuing my involvement with PRSSA and student blogging.

In other cases, it means starting something new and testing the waters. This is about getting involved in other areas. This semester, I am joining WTOP, the student-run television station on campus. I will be a part of the crew as a camera operator.

Public Relations (my major) may not have much to do with holding a camera, but being a part of WTOP has a lot to do with trying something new, meeting new people, and having fun.

So as I go deeper into this semester, I look forward to new opportunities while enjoying the ones I am already a part of.

It is good to be back.

My WNYO Experience

WNYOI have always believed that it is a good idea to set goals for the future. One of the biggest goals I set for myself – from the very first day at Oswego – was to get involved with the campus’ TV, radio, and newspaper organizations. My ultimate goal when I leave Oswego is to be able to say that I was a member of WTOP, WNYO, and The Oswegonian.

I started my first semester here as a member of the PRSSA, the Public Relations Student Society of America, which I have blogged about in the past. For my first semester, that was the only club I joined. With my classes, PRSSA, and my obligations of writing about motorsports, I was quite concerned about overbooking myself as a first year student, so I took a conservative path for getting involved.

As the second semester approaches, I cannot wait to get involved more.

A friend of mine, Justin Dobrow, happens to host a radio show on WNYO every Saturday night, called Saturday Night Beats.  I have had the privilege of getting to know Justin through my classes – he is in four of my five classes this semester.

Justin took the opposite path I did – he is involved with just about everything, it seems. Being involved with WTOP, WNYO, and having a job on campus with the responsibilities of class (just to name some of his activities) is a lot to take on, but he balances it quite well. Fortunately for me, he was generous enough to invite me to the studio to watch him in action. I, of course, jumped at the chance.

Quite honestly, I did not – and still do not – know a lot about radio. I was not even sure if this is something that I would be interested in. Having a chance to see how it works was exactly what I needed.

Thanks to Justin, I was able to watch and learn along the way. He answered every question I had, and even put me on the air. It was pretty amazing and was the highlight of my weekend. I left the studio more excited about radio than I was when I walked in. I also had a lot more knowledge about WNYO and I now know that I am extremely interested in becoming involved with the organization.

So, as next semester nears, I am excited to join at least another club. Whether it’s The Oswegonian, WTOP, WNYO, or a combination of them, I am eager to get involved. Even if I don’t check everything off of my list next semester, I know that I one day will.

I would like to thank Justin once again for inviting me and introducing me to WNYO. It certainly was a great experience.

There is No Place Quite Like Home

Last weekend was the final NASCAR race weekend of the season. As a huge race fan, I needed to soak as much NASCAR in as possible. The NASCAR offseason is less than 100 days, but it is long enough for me. So, I needed my fix before the dark, cold winter without my favorite sport.

Living on campus, the basic cable offered here does not include all the channels I need to watch racing. I can access the Sprint Cup race itself on the channels available through the cable package, but I wanted to watch the whole racing weekend. Practices, qualifying sessions, and pre-race shows were all part of my plan. I wanted a whole weekend dedicated to one of my favorite things: auto racing. In order for me to close out the NASCAR year, I wanted to watch as much racing as possible. Like the NASCAR nerd that I am, I did just that.

Fortunately, I live fairly close to home – less than an hour away. It was one of the reasons why Oswego was a great choice for me. It is far enough away, but close enough too.

I have also been fortunate in that I have gotten the opportunity to go home a few times before last weekend. I went home for my high school football homecoming game as well as other times to visit with family.

In addition, last weekend offered me the opportunity to celebrate my grandma’s birthday and my dad’s birthday at home. Our family has a lot of birthdays in November.

As much as I love Oswego – and I love it here – there really is no place quite like home. Since first moving here in late August, I appreciate the times with my family even more, despite the fact that Oswego has become my home as well. I know that this holiday season will mean a great deal more than in the past just from being away.

I feel like I already owe a lot to Oswego in my short time here, but one of the biggest things I have gained is a greater appreciation of where I come from.


Oswego and My Love of Hockey

OS_HockeyJust over a year ago, I was not a hockey fan. I had absolutely no interest in the sport and, quite honestly, had no knowledge about it.  I was primarily a fan of football and auto racing and I had no intentions to expand my horizons.

Oswego changed that.

It all began last year when I visited and toured college campuses in the spring and summer months. Oswego was on my list of potential schools, but I needed to check out the campus before considering anything further. Visiting Oswego made all the difference in the world.

The campus tour was terrific and made me fall in love with the school right away. Leaving the tour, I knew Oswego was going to be my choice. The highlight of my tour was most certainly the ice hockey arena. The place looked amazing to me – it still does. It looks professional and quite honestly, it looks like a big deal.

I could instantly picture myself sitting in the stands – maybe even in the Steve Levy Press Box – enjoying the thrills of a college hockey game. I knew from that moment that I needed to get myself to an Oswego State Lakers game.

After the visit, I began to follow hockey more closely. Once the NHL season finally started after a frustrating lockout, I was able to watch hockey on a frequent basis. Thanks to the many hours of NHL coverage on TV and an online NHL rulebook, I was able to learn the basics. I would not consider myself an expert by any means, but I have learned quite a bit in the recent months, especially how to enjoy the sport.

For my high school senior class trip, I went to New York City where I saw my first NHL game in person. The game took place in Madison Square Garden, where the New York Rangers played against the Toronto Maple Leafs. For those keeping score, the Rangers won the game.

Getting to watch any professional sport in person is amazing, but this was even more exciting as a new fan of hockey. The visit was something I will never forget.

Last weekend, I was finally able to attend a game here on campus, checking that off of my Oswego bucket list. I attended both the men’s game against Fredonia on Friday and the game against Buffalo on Saturday. While one night was better than the other for the Lakers, both nights were extremely enjoyable for me.

The energy in the arena was incredible, something I was thrilled to be a part of. The excitement displayed by everyone, especially those in the student section, was amazing. People were shouting and chanting, showing our team support, and maybe even rooting against the opposing team now and then. The energy of the crowd was just as exciting as the game itself.

After attending my first two games here, I cannot wait for another home game to come around.

I cannot believe how quickly I have fallen in love with hockey. Thanks, Oswego.


PRSSA Meeting: Donuts, Cider, and Registration


It’s crazy to think that we are already past halfway through this semester. With midterms in the rear view mirror, the focus begins to shift on closing out this semester and starting a new one. That means it is time to register for spring classes.

As a freshman, I really have no clue what registration is all about. Despite meeting with my peer advisor and learning my registration date, which was helpful, there is still a lot that I do not know. What are the classes that I should take? What professors should I consider having? What are the helpful hints and tips of registration that can make the process go smoothly for me?

For those like me, who have many questions and uncertainties with registration, PRSSA is hosting a registration assistance meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 22nd in Lanigan 101. While current members are invited to participate, non-members are invited to join as well. Anyone willing to learn more about registration can come to the meeting.

At the meeting, the e-board made up of fellow Oswego students will go over MyOswego and Degree Works. They will discuss how those programs relate to the registration process. They will also answer questions about what classes people should or may be interested in taking, which professors to take classes with, and even information concerning internships. Any other questions relating to registration and courses will be answered as well.

Oh, and donuts and cider will be served. That’s cool too.

Once again, the meeting takes place Tuesday, October 22nd in Lanigan 101. It begins at 7:30 p.m. Hope to see you there!

Technology and News: A Necessary Combination?

Photo Credit: FoxNewsInsider.com

Photo Credit: FoxNewsInsider.com

We live in a very technologically advanced time. It seems there are always new phones being introduced to the public, new operating systems like iOS7, new apps with amazing features, and even new cars with incredible capabilities. Taking a step back, it is amazing to watch all these advancements unfold.

Many people believe technology is a good thing, a way to solve problems and make life easier. Others, however, disagree. Some say technology can cause more problems than it fixes, hurting society as a whole. While a controversial topic, the same idea applies to the media today and how it relates to news.

Photo Credit: FoxNewsInsider.com

Photo Credit: FoxNewsInsider.com

There is perhaps no bigger part of society more impacted by the advancement of technology than the media. In an age where there are new ways to gather information about what is happing in the world, an important question is brought up: what is necessary in reporting?

A few weeks ago, Fox News launched a brand new, technologically advanced studio. Called the “Fox News Deck,” the revamped studio features a massive video board and multiple “BATS” (Big Area Touch Screens) where “information specialists” gather details to report on. Viewers can watch as these “information specialists” work on massive screens to bring the public the most up-to-date information in real-time.

The switch to the new studio layout has gained quite a fair share of attention – especially through parodies from “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.”

Stephen Colbert devoted a whole segment of his show to poke fun at the “Fox News Deck.”

“Yes, the Fox News Deck,” Colbert said on his program. “It’s like Star Trek’s holodeck. It feels like you’re surrounded by news, but it’s all an illusion.”

“That’s a big map,” Jon Stewart said on “The Daily Show” referring to Fox’s massive video board. “You do know though, that no matter how huge you blow up your in-studio maps and monitors, our televisions are still the same size.”

Some call these innovations futuristic. Others call them meaningless. The question is: are these modifications really necessary?

Does having a giant screen with large monitors interest viewers? Do these features enhance the news? Are these features turning into the news itself? Has the “news” turned into a “show” more than anything else?

These are all questions for the viewers of Fox News and news programs in general – Fox is not the only network that has made big technological changes. Some people may prefer the advanced style of reporting with the most up-to-date technology available to TV networks. Others may prefer a more simplistic, old school style of the news.

In defense of these networks, reporting the news is not the only responsibility. Ratings need to be solid, especially in comparison to competitors, to sell spots to advertisers at a decent price to make a profit. Reporting news is just as much of a business as anything else. So, if these kinds of changes help with viewership and overall interest of programs, then it can be deemed a success. Only time will tell if it pays off.

As a college student in the Communication Studies Department, this is a huge topic of discussion. In one of my courses, Introduction to Mass Media, we devoted a whole class to discussing this hot issue relating to the media. For many of us in the lecture hall, we have a planned and desired future in the media. Even as a Public Relations major, the characteristics of the media and news reporting can impact how I do my work in my field. The media is constantly evolving, job titles are constantly changing, and the future is very uncertain. Still, I look at this as an exciting time and I look forward to finding my place in this crazy environment one day.

Even for those college students not associated with studies similar to mine, they are still impacted. Anyone who consumes media and news is affected by these changes like the ones made by Fox. Consuming and understanding news is an important part of keeping up with society. If the process of reporting news is altered, it can change how people view the world.

So, with all these complex changes, the debate continues. Is this good?