When Casey Wieder served as an Assistant Director of Athletic Enrollment at Ottawa (Kan.) University, he was able to use one of his passions – broadcasting sports – to expand multimedia opportunities for students at the school.
“With my background covering athletic events at the NAIA level, I was able to help the institution transition over to a new software that was more conducive for production of athletic events,” said Wieder, the Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Enrollment and Media at WWU. “As interest began to grow I was able to help mentor several students in the areas of play-by-play, color commentary, graphic design, radio and video streaming.”
Last October, Wieder brought that multimedia experience to William Woods, where in addition to his athletic department responsibilities, he is also the coordinator of a new program at The Woods called Media Corps. The new program will begin with the Fall 2023 semester and will provide opportunities for WWU students to gain experience in a wide range of media, including broadcasting, production, radio and journalism, to new forms such as podcasting, streaming and social media. It will also benefit the entire WWU community as a whole through increased broadcast and digital coverage of University events, from campus speakers to theatre performances to athletic events.
“This program will allow our students to find their passion in media while also receiving ‘on the job experience,’” said Wieder, whose background includes serving as a radio play-by-play and color commentator for men’s and women’s college basketball and college football. “At larger institutions, you wouldn’t receive the opportunity to be a producer for an event, operate a camera, create graphics, and sell ads. Media Corps at William Woods will give our students the opportunity to do all those things.”
Students participating in Media Corps at WWU will have the opportunity to not only learn from professors in the Communication department by taking required production and survey classes, but to translate that knowledge into covering events on campus. The University already has an on-campus radio station (94.9 FM, The Pulse) that will facilitate the broadcast of athletic and other programming to not only the Fulton community but through online platforms as well. The Woods is also considering other forms of software that will help increase the entertainment value of fans, students, parents and alumni who want to connect with the institution through the coverage of lectures, guest speakers, theatre performances and other campus events, or to tune into Owls athletic events streaming on wwuowls.com. Through Media Corps, William Woods students will play a crucial role, and gain valuable experience, in production, graphic design, interviews, advertisements, commentary and play-by-play.
“Media Corps will provide our students with the opportunity to not only gain real-world experience in the digital media profession along with their coursework, but will also give students a greater opportunity to shape and be a part of the ‘voice’ of the University,” said Tony Weed, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Professor of Communication at WWU. “It will help provide students interested in any media-centered profession a wealth of experience and knowledge, along with a professional portfolio upon graduation, which has a value that cannot be understated as they move forward into their careers.”
Currently, the University is recruiting high school seniors who would be interested in Media Corps, which will also include an annual scholarship, for when the program officially begins with the Fall 2023 semester. Being a Communication major will not be a requirement for participation in Media Corps, to ensure that students in other majors who have a passion for podcasting, broadcasting, graphic design or other forms can still get the opportunity to take part.
“We expect both current students, along with new students who arrive on campus this fall, to have an interest in Media Corps, and are welcoming of them looking to be a part of this new and exciting program,” said Wieder.
Current or prospective students who are interested in Media Corps are encouraged to contact Wieder at email@example.com.