around the collge

Southern Illinois University



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Around the College

Here are some recent events in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.

  • The 39th annual Big Muddy Film Festival will run Feb. 21-26 at various locations on campus and in Carbondale. Started in 1979, the six-day event remains one of the oldest film festivals affiliated with a university in the nation and features both competition and non-competition screenings daily.  There are juried films in four categories: animation, documentary, experimental and narrative. This year’s festival features 80 film screenings from several countries.
  • Ralph E. Becker, a 1955 graduate in speech communications who is considered by many to be among the pioneers of the university’s radio-television program, donated $1 million to renovate and expand the boat house and pavilion on campus lake. Details are available here.
  • The recent CROSS-POLLINATION exhibit on Dec. 9 was a collaboration between graduate students within MCMA and students from the School of Art and Design.  Faculty leaders were Jennida Chase, assistant professor, Department of Cinema and Photography, and Laurel Fredrickson, assistant professor, Art History. CROSS-POLLINATION was a highlight of the college’s fall semester events and drew a large crowd from the university and the community to the Carbondale Community Arts Center. A video explaining the event is here.
  • Jan Thompson, professor, Radio, Television, and Digital Media, was an invited guest of the White House when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Pearl Harbor Dec. 27 to offer condolences to those killed in the attack that started the United States’ involvement in World War II 75 years earlier.  The invitation was a result of Thompson’s work sending former POWs to Japan. Thompson just finished another documentary, “Survival Through Art,” about a POW who started to draw in prison camps to keep his sanity.
  • Jacob Wiegand, a senior from West Frankfort majoring in journalism with a specialization in photojournalism, won six awards recently in the National Press Photographers Association’s Quarterly Clip Contest. The awards were two in spot news, two in general news, one in sports feature, and one in the multimedia category. The photos were taken in summer 2016 during his internship at The Dispatch-Argus newspaper in Moline; the multimedia piece was completed in spring 2016 for the Daily Egyptian, where he is photo editor.
  • “Tommy is America,” a documentary by third-year MFA student Lauren Stoelzle, was selected for the New Filmmakers Los Angeles (NMFLA) DocuSlate event on Dec.3, 2016. This event was presented in partnership with the International Documentary Association (IDA). The film chronicles a relationship between a high school dropout and a university graduate student, highlighting issues of education and social mobility. A trailer to the 20-minute film is here