Greg Johnson, a junior from Lonsdale, Minn., and Zach Greenberg, a senior from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, took an interest in creating the podcast following a suggestion by Assistant Professor Dani Johannesen. As the idea developed they consulted James Pogatshnik in Media Services on campus.
He felt the idea would not only be feasible but the two could use the sound equipment in Media Services along with Pogatshnik’s skills in editing.
“I have had an interest in broadcasting,” says Greenberg. “And, I have done announcing for softball, baseball, and intramural basketball.”
To start, Johnson and Greenberg came up with a mission statement that included what they wanted to achieve. This statement served as a guide to Johannesen in grading the project and determining its success.
They chose sports, a topic the two student-athletes enjoy, and shared the pilot episodes with a target audience for feedback. “Our feedback was greater than expected,” says Johnson. “We considered our target to be anyone ages 14 to 50 who enjoys sports.”
Last spring they developed five episodes for their class project. It took about three hours to create a script along with the time it took for a run-through. Using a shared document, they would develop topics for the episodes, research statistics, and key points of interest they wanted to cover. Their final presentation to the class focused on the extent to which their product achieved its mission statement.
“I was impressed by their level of presentation and I am particularly interested in the way a podcast project like this one could improve public speaking, interview, and research skills,” says Johannesen.
When their application for a Crookston Research and Creative Works grant was successful, the two knew they would be able to take their podcasting experience to the next level.
Fast forward to spring 2019, Johnson and Greenberg have reset their goals and moved out of the test phase and into creating a podcast designed to reach an even broader audience based on their model. Each week until May 4, the two will produce, with the help of Media Services, a half-hour, a weekly broadcast that will talk sports at all levels.
“With support from the grant, we are taking something we enjoy and looking at the way it might build a resume and enhance our career goals,” says Greenberg. “When we interview for jobs, employers will see how involved we were with our community and school.”
“This opportunity allows us to take a student project and develop the experience way beyond the classroom,” Johnson concludes.
Johannesen agrees. “This project is an example of how students transform what they learn in the classroom into an in-depth, professional application that will benefit them beyond their academic career.”
Listen to episodes of the original podcast project by visiting www.youtube.com/channel/UCro1AS8p0JnlXb6zuCA8yiw
PHOTOS: At the top, left, is Zach Greenberg and at the bottom, right, is Greg Johnson