By Hannah Marshall
A growing number of students at Greenville University who have a love for podcasting are beginning to create their own podcasts and publish them through G.U.’s new podcasting platform, Podlab, under the guidance of Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies Matt Bernico ’10.
Bernico (at right) held G.U.’s first podcasting class two years ago as an interterm offering. But G.U. students have been interested in producing podcasts for much longer than that. When G.U. alums Jakob Lewis ’08 and Andy Mills ’07 were students, podcasting as a media form was still in its infancy. After their studies at G.U., they went on to work with successful, nationally recognized podcasts like Nashville Public Radio’s Neighbors (Lewis) and The New York Times’ The Daily (Mills).
The pair helped to establish a precedent for podcasting studies at G.U. and set a high bar for podcast excellence. Students have risen to the challenge. Since that first interterm podcasting class, Bernico estimates that 60-70 students have been involved in podcasting at G.U., including members of the Papyrus staff, as well as students in Comm 101 Media Communication and Comm 315 Advanced Topics in Media Communication.
Senior Kelsey Knoploh (at right), co-host of the podcast Mirrored Media, says, “It’s rare to be able to study podcasting techniques and build up a portfolio in undergraduate studies. I’ve learned a lot about interviewing people and asking questions. I also feel as though I’ve learned a lot about constructing narratives and piecing together content that may not immediately appear cohesive.”
When Andy Mills was a G.U. student, he created an Individually Tailored Education Plan (ITEP) in storytelling. Storytelling—digital narratives—is the emphasis in Bernico’s podcast classes, rather than the more common journalism emphasis.
Senior Megan Burns appreciated that in Bernico’s class, she was able to publish the podcasts she created on SoundCloud as part of the coursework, too. “We [learned] about the actual promotional side, not just the creation of the podcast itself,” she says.
Burns is considering focusing on podcasting for her senior thesis: “I want to look into the history of radio, of it being a male-based medium. Then, looking at how podcasting opens a window for women to have a voice.” Killer Designs, Burns’ true crime/serial killer podcast, is also featured on Podlab.
In addition to the podcasting classes, Bernico hopes more students will get involved podcasting about their own interests and majors and that these podcasts can also be featured on Podlab. Junior Logan Murphy certainly found his niche in his sports podcast, Murph’s Pitch. Murphy says of podcasting at G.U., “What I think is unique about podcasting at G.U. is the open-endedness. You’re given a blank canvas and the freedom to run with your work however you please.”
Ultimately, Bernico—who, by the way, co-hosts the podcast The Magnificast—wants to continue to support students’ broad interests; podcasting is one great platform for that.
For students who find their interests don’t fit neatly into one area of study, the Center for Visual Culture and Media Studies (CVCMS), which houses media communication as well as English, art and digital media, is a great place to land. There, students have the freedom to explore in an interdisciplinary setting.
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