Alumni and Friends | News and Announcements

MDIA students get eye-opening tour of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets media production facility

A group of students from the Scripps College of Communication Media Arts and Studies (MDIA) program recently had a “game-changing” experience. Associate Professor of Instruction and Outreach Coordinator Andie Walla took a group of 10 MDIA students to the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets (CBJ) Video Production Day on Friday, Feb. 23.

“Showing students a variety of career opportunities is very important,” said Walla. “Students might not have even been aware that media jobs like this were possible. While we have the awesome partnership with ESPN3 on campus, it's the next level for students to actually travel up to Nationwide Arena in Columbus and see what they have up there.”

Students participated in a tour of the in-house video production facilities as well as a question-and-answer session with professionals on the CBJ media team including the videographer/producer, social media coordinator, team photographer, and an on-air announcer with Bally Sports. 

The experience changed Sophomore Elliot Winkler’s perspective on his future career.

“It got me interested in checking out not just multicamera and live events, but also sports,” said Winkler. “I really enjoy the energy and environment of the arena. I could see myself working at a media position for a sports team.”

One of the professionals they spoke with was a fellow Ohio University Bobcat - CBJ Video Production Manager Andy Hookman. Hookman (B.S.C., ’05) is responsible for the lights, colors, sounds and video elements those in attendance experience during the game. Hookman was a telecommunications video production major.

“I selfishly make a little extra time for the Ohio University students when they come for video production day,” said Hookman. “It’s special because it’s nice to talk about technological stuff with the students who understand it and want to know more about it.”

“It's really awesome to see our students ask questions and approach the panelists to discuss topics further at the end of the event,” said Walla. “It makes me proud to be able to provide this professional opportunity for them and to see what they’ve learned in the classroom. It's up to them now to network and keep in touch with these connections.”

When Hookman was a student at Ohio University he wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted to do with his career until he got involved with experiential learning opportunities provided by OHIO Athletics. 

“That opened the door for me,” said Hookman. “I was asked to work a football game and then became a camera and replay operator for men’s and women’s basketball games. When I started doing that, I learned that there were more video jobs than just film. It clicked for me. I like sports. I grew up playing sports, and I realized that every team has a big video board. Every town has a team. It can be a minor league team or a high school team, and you can get a job with these teams. If sports are interesting to you, and you don’t mind working weekends and holidays, you will love it.”

Freshman Katrina Conover is now thinking about all the career options available in sports production and where those could take her.

“This visit influenced me to keep trying different things in sports because not only can you run cameras, but you can also post to social media and create content which seems so fun,” said Conover. “They talked about the fact that one of the things they enjoy most about their careers is traveling, and that's what I want to do while also creating content.”

“I told the students that the best part of my job is that you can make something the day of a game, and you can play it that night and get an instant reaction from 15,000 people,” said Hookman. “It’s truly awesome.”

About Scripps College of Communication

The Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University seeks not only to educate its students about today's communication industry but to produce innovative leaders who will shape the future of communication and its methods of delivery in a rapidly changing technological landscape.

Scripps provides leadership in communication by preparing students to be effective and responsible communicators in a global society, and by advancing the field through creative activity and research on communication concepts, issues and problems.

The Scripps College of Communication fosters multicultural awareness within a diverse community. It strives to create a climate of civility where leadership and innovation are prized, and responsibility and accountability are understood. The College values curriculum, research and creative activity that provide benefits to people regionally, nationally and internationally.

March 5, 2024
Cheri Russo