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Communications student presents SURE research

A School of Communications student was one of more than 30 Elon undergraduates who gave their Summer Undergraduate Research Experience final presentations July 23 in the Koury Business Center.

Dan Koehler presented his SURE research July 23 that centers on the Elon Academy Alpha Class.

Senior media arts & entertainment major Dan Koehler, who was mentored by School of Communications associate professor Brooke Barnett, has been working on a documentary that follows the first cohort of Elon Academy students (the Alpha class) from their acceptance into the academy through their high school graduation.

Koehler said he’s spent the summer plowing through 250 hours of footage, reading transcripts and “finding the narrative spine” of the documentary. After cutting together about 20-25 minutes of footage, Koehler said he thought he was well on the way to constructing an informative and entertaining film. But, as it turned out, he was a little off base in his assumption.

“I did workshops with filmmakers and realized I was completely off track,” Koehler said. “The story was not coming together. People weren’t really sure what the Elon Academy was in the first place because I was worried so much about the characters in the first place, so I didn’t give (viewers) a grounding so they knew what was going on.”

He got to editing again, and now he said he has a documentary that’s coming together well. He shared about seven minutes of the film as part of his research presentation.

The Elon Academy is a college-access program for academically talented high school students in Alamance County with a financial need and/or no family history of college. Students in the four-week residential program attend classes at Elon University for four weeks during the summer prior to their 10th, 11th and 12th grades.

Colin Donohue,
7/23/2010 11:41 AM