Monthly Archives: February 2013

Photo Slide Show Assignment

This was a quick, in-class assignment where we were asked to gather still photos through windows around campus, make them into a slide show and add music (using iMovie), and then post the finished piece to YouTube. The choice of music was a little unfortunate as the singer started singing about jumping off bridges just as we see the slide of campus rooftops!

If I had to do this project all over again, I’d wish for a different POV. Shooting through windows resulted in window reflections and dark photos. I shoot strictly manual (no flash) and it was an overcast day and there just wasn’t enough available light. Given more time, I could have produced better work. Even so, it’s good multi-media practice, gave me a chance to learn iMovie and an excuse to set up a YouTube account!

Here is the link to my post:


Free Parking Policy

This was an audio assignment where I asked students and faculty how they feel about the new, free parking policy. I had to take audio recordings and edit everything in Audacity, which really forced me to learn how to use this software. I was so proud of myself by the time I was finished!

There is one track that I should have left out because you can’t hear the speaker. But, other than that, I think I did a pretty good job.

Multi-media/Article Review

Shejuti Paul’s opinion article “College students should choose sleep over cramming” in Kaleidoscope/Opinion is well-written and informative. And oh so true! I am in a constant state of sleep deprivation and I’m sure you other non-trads can relate too.

It contains some good statistics and a still photo. I would have liked to see some links in the story, especially to those great sources of stats! Interviewing one or more sources (e.g. experts) and quoting them would have lent the story even more credibility and a little more personality. But it was still a great article.

Read the article at

You can access Kaleidoscope’s main page at

Multi-media Article Review

Mariana Simoes and Max Nilsen’s article “16 Great Startups College Students Are Working on Right Now” is upbeat and inspiring. No matter a student’s age, great ideas abound and we should take advantage of them. This article is about students who just dove in and pursued their dreams. I prefer to wait for graduation, but I admire these students’ initiative!

I tend to be guilty of thinking that, because I work and go to college full-time, that my life as a writer is, well, on hold. And it is, but, hey, it isn’t all bad. Those ideas are still percolating around in my overtaxed brain, and I’m making note of them, even if I’ve decided to wait to implement them. So that has to count!

This article is well-written and makes good use of multi-media. Good still photos and lots of helpful links were included. The only improvement I would suggest is getting more spontaneous shots (of the students doing what they love) to replace the posed ones. Oh yeah, and including video or audio. Hearing the students would make their stories more personal. Great job!

To read Mariana and Max’s story, go to

Business Insider can be accessed at

Blog Review

“The best place for college students to find a job,” a blog by Suzanne Lucas aka the Evil HR Lady, discusses how campus recruiting and career centers have evolved to better serve students needs. She explains that students majoring in fields where they are trained to do specific jobs are better served by traditional centers that post open positions. Conversely, students whose degrees can be applied a variety of ways may benefit more from learning the skills needed to get less obvious positions. For these positions, networking and obtaining experience is vital. Internships are particularly helpful.

This blog was informative and interesting with a touch of humor. Suzanne kept her blog short and linked to the full article, which was published on CBS News’ Money Watch.

The Evil HR Lady actually has vast archives of job-related advice and information for employed students and job-seekers alike. Her site, while packed, is packed with information (as opposed to advertisements). I will definitely be adding the Evil HR Lady to my Favorites!

To read Suzanne’s blog, go to

More blogs by Suzanne can be found at

Blog Review

Steven Marks’ blog “Technology for Modern College Students” offers four tips on increasing efficiency through the use of available technology such as Smart Phones and E-Readers.

Many of us own and already use the technology Steven mentions but might not be using it to its fullest potential. If you are like me, perhaps you’ve been too busy to delve too deeply into the capabilities of today’s programs and gadgets. But taking a moment to learn how some of these resources and tools can be used for college will save you time – and possibly some aggravation – later on.

Whether you’re new to technology or need a reminder to use the gadgets you already have, Steven’s short, easy-to-read blog contains good advice to make college life a little bit easier. My only criticism is that 2 out of the 3 links provided in the blog itself led to disappointing destinations. Conduct your own research if you want to follow up on the tips Steven provides.

The site, AC Voice, is run by Amherst College students who write on a variety of topics. The site is well-organized, clutter-free and informative.

Steven’s blog can be found at

Visit to view more student blogs on AC Voice

Article/Multimedia Review

Steven Bell’s Library Journal article “Nontraditional Students Are The New Majority/From the Bell Tower” starts out discussing Williston State College in ND, which has seen a dramatic increase in non-traditional students over the past three years as a result of the region’s oil boom. Oil workers attend Williston to take safety courses and other training.

However, the article goes on to discuss national trends and statistics concerning non-traditional students, a population that is expected to increase substantially by 2019, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Steven also references a New York Times special report that notes how educational institutions are preparing themselves for the expected surge of non-traditional students. He reminds colleges that non-traditional students have different challenges than their more traditional counterparts, especially in the area of retention.

In the remainder of the article, Steven shares information gleaned from a national report made to Congress and the Secretary of Education titled “Pathways to Success.”

This article was informative and contains helpful links to the National Center for Education Statistics, New York Times report and the Pathways to Success report. I’m a big fan of links in articles; they make it much easier for the reader to transition to sources used in the article and conduct additional research.

I’m not certain I would have chosen Williston State College as the lead over the results of the reports Steven mentions, but it did give the article a more personal touch. I wonder if he might not have two stories here, instead of one, though.

This was a good print article, but it did not contain any still photos, audio or video. I noticed there were no quotes either. The inclusion of photos or other media and perhaps a quote or two would have given the article a little more personality.

Read Steven’s article at

Blog Review

Tami DeLand’s “How to Take a Nontraditional Path to College” is an interesting blog profile about Tabatha Nentl, a middle-aged woman and mother who returns to college after 20 years to study interactive media and graphic design at Minnesota School of Business – St. Cloud.

I can relate to Tabatha (and not just because she shares my name!). She points out something I, too, noticed after I started attending college: Seemingly unrelated information from different classes is in fact connected. As you move your way through college, you start to see the patterns. It’s something I’ve really come to appreciate about higher education.

I also share Tabatha’s amazement over fellow students who don’t seem to understand that good grades are the result of hard work. They are not just handed out.

The profile is well written, just the right length, and contains many good quotes from Tabatha.

You can read Tami’s blog profile at

My Favorite Place on Campus


This photograph was taken my Clint Mullins at The Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts, my favorite place on the South Puget Sound Community College Campus.

Attached is the audio for this assignment.


Blog Review

In her blog, “Group Suggests Improvements in Aid System With an Eye to Completion and Nontraditional Students,” Becky Supiano reports that a coalition organized by HCM Strategists released a report entitled “The American Dream 2.0: How Financial Aid Can Help Improve College Access, Affordability, and Completion.” The report includes the coalition’s recommendations regarding simplifying the student aid system and dealing with the needs of non-traditional students in particular. The report also calls for more transparency in the student aid system and shared responsibility in completing college.

The blog is a brief summary of the report but contains several helpful links. My only suggestion would be to include a short bulleted list of highlights from the report itself to pique readers’ interest.

The report is informative and visually appealing. To view the blog and access a link to the report, visit