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Faculty Seminar: Hear From Our Faculty

 One of the most eye opening activities and one of my favorite field trips was when we were allowed into a sound editing room at Warner Brothers. 

Photo credit: 

        Shilpa Dave

        2015 Faculty Fellow

        Department of Media Studies

        University of Virginia
  


I appreciated the opportunity to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s Faculty Seminar, specifically, talking with, and learning from, experts in different aspects of the Television industry that included my fellow Seminar members as well. One of the most eye opening activities and one of my favorite field trips was when we were allowed into a sound editing room at Warner Brothers. We were able to see how different sound effects, from musical score to incidental sounds were incrementally added to create a scene in a television show.

In addition, the panel with the network executives and schedulers was illuminating; especially when they talked about what innovations and trends they liked on other networks and shared their thoughts about the future of the industry.

The seminar was a wonderful experience and I hope this is the beginning of many events and interactions between my students, my colleagues, my department at UVA and the Television Academy Foundation.  Thanks to everyone at the Foundation and all the participants.

“The program brings together faculty from colleges and universities of all sizes, from all areas of the country, and representing different training and expertise.” 

Photo credit: 

        Claudia Calhoun

        2015 Faculty Fellow

        Media & Film Studies

        Skidmore College
  


The Television Academy Foundation’s Faculty Seminar was an invaluable experience. I was amazed by the quality and range of programming that was organized for us: panels with executives, showrunners, directors, crew, and guild representatives; trips to studios; and dialogues with industry insiders. Among the highlights was our trip to the live broadcast of Dancing with the Stars, after which we were able to hear directly from the producer and director, the latter of whom had placed a camera in the control room, so that we could see what live directing looks like. (It looks incredibly difficult!)

I was also impressed by the diversity of the Faculty Fellows as a group. The program brings together faculty from colleges and universities of all sizes, from all areas of the country, and representing different training and expertise. The seminar enabled me to make connections with teachers and scholars outside of my usual academic orbit, who taught me new and better ways to approach the study and teaching of television. It was also a joy to spend time with people who share a love for Television as much as I do. 

The seminar deepened and expanded my understanding of the workings of the Television industry in Los Angeles, increasing my confidence in my scholarship and as an advisor to students interested in careers in Television. Since returning from the seminar, I have encouraged all of my students to apply to the Internship program or to submit their work to the College Television Awards, having seen first-hand the valuable experiences that the Television Academy Foundation provides. I am so pleased that I attended the seminar, and that I have been invited into the Television Academy Foundation family.


“It was Monday morning, two hours into the Faculty Seminar, when I first turned to another participant in the program and asked, “Is this real?” 

 

Photo credit: 

        Bryan Greenberg

        2015 Faculty Fellow

        Department of Business

        Elizabethtown College
  


It was Monday morning, two hours into the Faculty Seminar, when I first turned to another participant in the program and asked, “Is this real?” We were sitting in the offices of the Television Academy – the organization behind the Emmy® Awards – listening to the team behind Bessie, an Emmy Award winning HBO film starring Queen Latifah. This was much more than just a behind-the-scenes talk,  it was a conversation that touched upon larger and deeper issues, from the economics of the industry, to the impact of changes in media distribution, to the racial and gender issues surrounding not only the life of the film’s protagonist, but of the production itself. All of this before lunch on day one. For a self-proclaimed television nerd, an academic who loves the how’s and why’s behind the industry, and a sociologist (if not by degree, than at least by interest), it was total bliss. 

When I returned to school after attending the Seminar, my students asked me what it felt like to participate. The word that kept coming to my mind was, “blessed.” I feel honored and privileged that I was chosen to spend a week learning from some of the most amazing and creative minds in Hollywood, and that I was able to experience the program with an incredibly diverse and engaging group of faculty. I walked away with new course ideas (two in development for the 2016-2017 academic year), insight into new internship opportunities for my students, the framework for two papers, and an energy and excitement for teaching that I hadn’t felt in years. I’m eternally grateful to the entire Television Academy Foundation team  and the many donors that made all of it possible. It was an amazing and uplifting experience, and I hope every faculty member has the opportunity to live it.  


“Through the seminar, the Foundation provides scholars with real-world experiences and unparalleled access to television industry professionals...” 


        Kevin Clark

        2014 Faculty Fellow

        Professor & Director,
        Center for Digital Media Innovation and Diversity

        George Mason University
  


It is my belief that "content is King," and since media content can be delivered on many different screens and in varied formats, participating in the Faculty Seminar exposed me to the process of creating television programming for these multiple platforms. As a scholar and educational media designer and consultant, I became interested in the Faculty Seminar program in order to learn about the process of creating television programming, explore ways to effectively integrate digital media into television, and see how television programming can be used to reach different audiences.

The tour of DreamWorks Animation and Warner Bros. studio were memorable learning experiences that showed me how digital media can be used to entertain and inform adults and children alike. Another highlight of the Faculty Seminar experience was attending the See Jane Salon hosted by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, titled "Reel vs Real Diversity in Hollywood: Influencers on-screen and behind-the-scenes." This symposium provided invaluable insights and contexts regarding issues of diversity in media.

The knowledge, experiences, and connections that resulted from my participation in the Faculty Seminar have been helpful in shaping my work on the use of media in the education of children, as well as how to utilize media to change perceptions around issues such as increasing participation by youth of color in STEM careers and disciplines. Through the seminar, the Foundation provides scholars with real-world experiences and unparalleled access to the Television Academy Foundation, its leadership and staff for making this opportunity available, and for continuing to be supportive in my scholarly efforts and activities related to television and media.

 

 

“The Faculty Seminar was full of sessions, tours, and Q&A opportunities that made me remember why I love teaching media” 

         Dr. Donna L. Gough

        2014 Faculty Fellow

        Chair & Professor

        Department of Mass Communications
        Claflin University
  


The Faculty Seminar was full of sessions, tours, and Q&A opportunities that made me remember why I love teaching media. This fellowship renewed my commitment to excellence in media education because I was surrounded by so many people, professionals and educators, who are excited by what they do, and are committed to producing the very best work that they possibly can. Not only was it heartening to be chosen for this prestigious program, but it was also an honor to speak with and learn from media industry professionals—busy people who took time out of their very hectic schedules to share their knowledge with us.  The industry is changing so fast that it is a struggle to keep up; it was affirming to know that, as faculty, we are on the right track and are teaching our students well. It was even more valuable to get new insights and explore new developments in the industry. All of the faculty fellows were so excited to be a part of the program and to share experiences that the week was simply not long enough. Many of us, both professionals and educators, are eager to stay connected to each other and the industry.  

 Some of the seminar highlights were tours of DreamWorks and Warner Bros. Studio, as well as panels with network programmers, showrunners, production crew members, and legal representatives. And who could forget the incredible Paso doble with Alfonso, Whitney and Lindsey on Dancing With The Stars? 

I extend my deepest thanks to the Television Academy Foundation for allowing me to be a part of the Faculty Seminar program. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Television Academy Foundation for the wonderful opportunities that you have created, and the work that you do to support media education. We stand with you!

 

“Having the opportunity to be immersed in the field for a one week 'tune-up' has proven invaluable to my personal and professional development.” 

Steven Kleinman

2014 Faculty Fellow

Assistant Professor Communications Media

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

 

My time spent in Los Angeles attending the Television Academy Foundation’s Faculty Seminar was one of the most unique, exciting, and informative weeks of my life. I feel truly privileged to have been given the opportunity to participate in this once in a lifetime experience.

It is our job as educators to provide students with the skills and information necessary to be successful industry professionals. This can be exceedingly difficult in media related fields, considering the breakneck pace at which the industry changes both technically and theoretically. This is precisely why the Faculty Seminar is such an incredible learning resource for professors. Having the opportunity to be immersed in the field for a one week “tune-up” has proven invaluable to my personal and professional development.

Being able to pick the brains of industry leaders who actively are involved in charting the course of television’s future has provided me the ability to teach and advise my students more effectively than ever before. Prior to attending the seminar, I always told my students to “specialize in something.” In other words, being laser focused on one area of the industry, whether it be writing, editing, or anything in between, was the most effective way to get a job. However, nearly every speaker at the seminar championed the importance of being a “well-rounded” individual who can do a little bit of everything. This has fundamentally changed the way I approach curriculum and has altered my courses for the better!

I cannot begin to thank the Television Academy Foundation, and all of the sponsors and professionals who make this seminar possible.