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Press Pass Journalism Summer Camp at the U of I !

It is with great Joy and Pride that I announce that I have led and completed my Press_Pass_Picfirst journalism summer camp at the U of I!. Great students from 13 years of age to 17! High school students who have never put a newscast together. Six days later, they shot, wrote, produced, reported, edited, and anchored their own 5 minute newsbreak!….using equipment for the first time! They even did the studio work, technical director, teleprompter, studio camera, playback…and on and on. I couldn’t have had a better group of students. They were truly awesome! They are my Magnificent Seven! Hugs….

Thank you to Dr. Jan Slater who put the idea of a camp into my vision, Rhiannon Clifton for your Directorship, Thomas Warren for assisting with the organization, and Ken Erdey for setup. I’d like to also send a special thank you to Casey Ludwig and Kyle Potthast who kept us going each and every day, John Paul for the impromptu text messages and visits to the Richmond Studios to help me put out fires, Rich Martin for your continued support of my projects-assisting with their success, Susan Conrad for helping me stay organized and ready, Jane Dowler for making sure all of the important behind-the-scenes bolts and screws were tightened and ready just in time for camp, Walter Stroganoff who brought your engineering magic, Taylor Judd and Meghan Smith for getting us set up online and with equipment, Dexter Smith who helped make sure we had the kits to get the job done, Anisa McClinton, Jessica Corso and Elizabeth Jassin for your mentoring and guidance for the students as Interns, Steve Bardwell for the impromptu phone call assistance, and to the parents-who trusted us to give their loved ones an experience of a lifetime. It was a wonderful, intense, 7 days! Best to Everyone! I’m so proud of my students and I look forward to seeing you all go on to do great things!


Dr. Collins

Students Final Projects On YouTube for Viewing!


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MediaPalooza 2016! NewsBreak Time!

mediapalooza 2016

Once again, I had an awesome time working with awesome students AND their parents for Mediapalooza 2016! There were some real stars in the making! It was exciting AND fun to see these students learn and experience what it is like to take a class in the College of Media at UIUC! I threw them, well, softly encouraged them with intensity (smiling), into the task of producing their own short news break! The room was filled with the same feeling one would find in a professional newsroom…Deadline…Technology Problems….Stress….Deadlines….and Running out of time. In other words, Deadlines! Lol…

With great attitudes and lots of support, they gave it their best and believe or not…in less than one hour they helped put their break together. They had no preparation, had not worked in this class lab before nor did they choose their subjects…Yet, still, they were ready for the challenge and I COULD NOT be more proud of their efforts! They literally had about 15 good minutes to put something together. I knew their stories would not be perfect, but their efforts and attitudes were! Two key ingredients towards being successful! We laughed together, worked together, and made something happen. It was so much fun! I’m really hoping to see them in one of my Multimedia or Broadcast classes in the near future!

A special thank you to my student volunteers who helped make this project possible as well as fun, Omoyele Ajayi, Fangyi Liu, Alicia Lee, and Hyun Jun Lee! In all sincerity, I COULD NOT have done this without them. So, thank you! Taylor Judd for his online assistance, Mike Bohlmann and Meghan Smith and their assistance with equipment!

A special thank you to Stephanie Drucker who was leading the march (Great Job!) and Shalayne Pulia who offered assistance just when I needed it (Whew!). Thank you.

Finally, a special thanks to Megan Tucker Zwilling who amazes me each year she pulls a rabbit out of her hat, purse, and laptop bag called called MediaPalooza.

Now….(Drum roll please….rrrrrrrrrrr…..). I present to you …. 15 minutes of FUN at MediaPalooza covering Music and Politics with Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Kanye and Free Kesha!

Have a great day!

Professor Collins


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Success at IJEA Once Again!


Once again, IJEA News breaks were a success! I had some really awesome High school students who were eager and ready to learn and make it happen! In 3 hours they wrote, shot, reported, edited, and produced a News Break! This is hands-on experience at its best! In addition, I had THE BEST U of I student volunteers who helped our aspiring journalists every step of the way! With the valuable hands-on assistance and expertise from my right hand…Ken Erdey and my left hand…Mike Bohlmann…we did the almost….nearly….impossible in 2-hours!

Journalists for a Day!

Journalists for a Day!

Help a group of students from Illinois High schools who, 99% chance, we’ve never met or worked with, nor have they met or worked with each other, produce and record a short Newscast! But…WE did it! 4 of them!!!! Continue reading

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Assignment 1 Avilez


Simba Pillow Pet

“Why won’t this start recording?” I asked myself as I repeatedly pressed the photo shutter button. It took me two days to realize there is a separate button to take videos. That was however the purpose of our first assignment. It was meant to allow us to get acquainted with our camera equipment.

When we first received this assignment I wasn’t too worried about it because I own a Nikon DSLR so I’m familiar with the basic settings of this type of camera. I won’t lie I thought I was ahead of the game. Needless to say this assignment was a humbling experience.

Getting the still shots went pretty smoothly, but the videos took some work. After watching a few youtube tutorials I finally found the video record button. I also had some problems with focus when working with the record function. I particularly had difficulty with the pan left and right shots. My focus kept going in and out and you could hear my tripod moving in the recording. Once I got the hang of everything finding places with good light to shoot was fun. I took some shots around my apartment to practice and then I walked to a nearby park to get some natural light shots.

The editing process was much more stressful to me than the actual shooting. I had never worked with Adobe Premiere before and I am kind of a slow worker. I started to get stressed because most of the class was way ahead of me. I worried that I wouldn’t finish the assignment by the end of class especially when I noticed some of my shot were not the correct size. With the help of one of my classmates however I caught up.

After completing assignment one I feel much more confident in the editing process. Now I want to work on my focus issues when filming for assignment two. I also want to plan better for the editing process by choosing the exact shots I want to use before getting to class. I look forward to seeing my progress in these blogs throughout the semester. My video can be viewed here.

Graduation Day

Press_Pass_PicWell on the first day of this camp if u didn’t already  read I didn’t know what to expect. I was overwhelmed and completely confused, but I have to say now that it’s over I’m really sad. I learned so much from Professor Collins that’s I can’t even say all that I learned. In 7 days I learned what she teaches in a full semester. I may not have these skills mastered but that will come in the future. I’m  confident in my capabilities to produce a successful news break. The skills I learned at camp will not only help me in the field but these are skills I can take with me everyday. I want to thank everyone at the camp and everyone that made this camp possible! Thankyou so much Professor Collins for believing in me and not settling for anything less than my best I hope I’ll get to see you again! Once again Thankyou this experience and for everyone I have met truly and unforgettable experience. #standby 🙂

Final Reflection Blog- Tkachuk


Time at camp flew by!! It’s hard to believe it’s already Friday and time to go. Throughout my time at camp, I learned so much about broadcast journalism and made so many new friends. The system of support I had throughout the entire week is amazing, as I always felt like I had someone to talk to if I was feeling frustrated.

Seeing the finished product of a complete broadcast written, produced, and anchored by me is amazing, as I never thought we could all accomplish something like this in one week. This camp has inspired me to pursue journalism or communications as a college major, and has given me great insight into what it would be like to be a student at U of I.

Coming out of this experience, I feel like I am much stronger and more able to adapt to new and challenging classes. I am so thankful that I was able to come to this camp, and it was a trip that I will never forget.


Flynn Press Pass Experiences

IMG_20160630_092145020_HDRWell, the last time I wrote a blog I was considering dropping all ideas of majoring in journalism. However, after being here for almost 7 days I feel more relaxed and positive. It’s like once you figure out how to work the cameras ,adobe editing, and figure out how to work under pressure everything is a breeze. Well, maybe not a breeze but you feel almost accomplished after everything is done and finished.

I may not be the most famous anchor or filmed, but I think that there may be hope for me yet.The truth is this camp has opened up my eyes to whether or not I’m interested in broadcast journalism. I’m not positive that I want to be on an news show and wake up at 4am for the morning news but still have to wear makeup and look pretty, but I think that this program did open up my eyes to how much respect I now have for people who do broadcast journalism.

If I’m going to be honest though my favorite part of this has probably been producing and writing. I think this program has defiantly opened my eyes to consider a job in producing or in regular broadcast. Although, my dream job is working on a magazine. But, this program just showed me that I have more options than I thought I did. Also, this program gave me some insight as to what it would be like to go to the University of Illinois- Champaign.

Forever Confused ( Possibly Future Fighting Illini???? Possibly future anchor/producer/editor )

Natalie Flynn

My Experience at Press Pass- Collazo

This past week has been a rollercoaster of emotions. I’ve felt frustrated, tired, excited, rushed, anxious, but most importantly, now I feel accomplished. I have learned so much in so little time. It was an experience I wouldn’t change for anything.

The first couple of days I was so stressed because I thought it was impossible for me to finish on time, but somehow I did. Everyday I improved in every aspect which makes me very proud. Discovering these skills about me is pretty great. They will definitely be useful for my future.

Also, I fell in love with this campus and the people. Everyone was so nice whenever I needed to interview them. I will surely consider the University of Illinois as a college option.

I think the best word to describe this week is extraordinary. I will never forget this week and the people I’ve met.

Last Reflections – Navarro

Honestly, it feels like I’ve been away now for months on end from my hometown, but here’s my thoughts on this camp seven days later. At first, the camp was pretty stressful – writing scripts until 2 am and only getting four hours of sleep consequently ; running around for four hours looking for that one, perfect shot ; and the endless leg cramps I would get from sitting the majority of the day. I can say that the camp hasn’t really gotten less stressful over time, but the other campers and I have just learned to tolerate this learning environment.

The teaching method that Professor Collins taught us wCl1p2UeXIAE9Vpyas, quite… strict. We learned LOTS of formatting things about writing scripts and how to do roles present in a television studio like Richmond Studios that we spent the majority of the time in. There was lots of yelling, and some campers cried during lunch because it was that stressful. I felt like I’ve learnt a lot things about journalism, but the method of teaching was quite interesting. I ever felt like I actually had any “free time,” as the majority of the time we had to work on scripts or shoot film for our packages or we had to take interviews for our VOSOTVOs. One camper quoted the experience perfectly, “it feels like we’re working a nine to five without getting paid.”

Despite being a College of Media, almost no emails were sent to me about roommates, schedules, and really anything else about the camp experience despite promising that in the application and in the confirmation email. It wasn’t until I got into the camp that I really knew the people who were in the camp.

I wouldn’t trade the experiences for the world. The friends I’ve made during this camp will last, hopefully, for a long time. I feel extremely ready if I would need to get an internship or another opportunity that would require the skills that I learned during this camp. Seriously, this experience was amazing.



First Day Reflection- Collazo

The first day of the Press Pass was not how I expected it to be, yet it was extremely interesting. I learned so much in such a short period of time. At first I was very nervous since but throughout the day those emotions keep changing. By the end of the day I was more surprised than anything. I learned things I had no idea about and that’s why I came here. This program is showing me how great the media world can be but also how much dedication it takes to be part of it. I learned about the RTNA Code of Ethics, the things to be kept in mind, the pregnant I, VO, VOSOTVO, rule of thirds, and the roles of the producer, writer, anchor, everything! I feel like I learned what any college student has to learn in a semester. Also, I enjoyed seeing my classmates’ projects because I saw how we all got very different things from the same space. This was such a productive day; I can’t wait so see what is next.Cl1p2UeXIAE9Vpy

Reflection Blog Montgomery

So far in the Press Pass camp I’ve had numerous of emotions. First I was excited then nervous then frustrated then stressed but now I’m determined. I had previous experience with editing and shooting video and also making news packages but never have I ever been that stressed making one. I think I’m at a love hate relationship with the words “vo and vosotvo”.  So far I love the camp and I can tell that I will be learning a bunch of new things, I just hope I will be able to keep up. I can’t wait to see how everything comes together for the showcase I’m sure everyone has learned some new skill already whether its something as little as taking notes. One thing my broadcasting teacher drills me about every time I anchor is my tone. I can tell by the end of this week I will not have to worry about him ever saying that to me again (among other things). I keep telling myself to stop typing but I have so much to say I think I better end it here.

Fun on Campus

Fun on Campus

Thankyou Professor Collins.