FreshTV welcomes first-year students eager to learn

Fifty-seven students are gaining valuable camera and editing skills this fall through the accelerated training program offered to first-year students.

FreshTV, an accelerated training program for first-year students during the fall semester, kicked off the 2019-20 academic year with one of the largest groups in the program’s history. Fifty-seven students are spending their Monday nights learning camera skills, how to edit video content and participating in workshops.

J.D Grant (left) and Brian Segovia chat before FreshTV begins. Also pictured is Ridley Randolph.

Bryan Baker, director of technology, operations and multimedia projects, has advised the FreshTV program for seven years and called the role one of “his favorite aspects of his job.”

“I really feel like the students get access to me and other faculty members, and the workshops and lectures that we give,” Baker said. “They get access to gear right away, too; Equipment to go ahead and start working on projects and start discovering what their passion is.”

Baker is supported by Abby Igoe, assistant director of multimedia projects, and for the first time, a teaching assistant, senior Jared Mayerson.

Mayerson said he has enjoyed building relationships with the students, helping them build their skills.

“My favorite part about FreshTV has honestly been interacting with the students, it’s actually made me reconsider my overall career path,” Mayerson said. “I really have enjoyed and benefited from interacting with the students and helping them. And it’s made me really consider wanting to be a professor as an end goal.”

Brandon Talton (left) and Jacob Van Buren talk about the presentation from Hal Vincent, faculty director of Live Oak Communications.

Joey Gentile, a cinema and television arts major, said he decided to join FreshTV for the opportunity to gain experience.

“I never had anything like this in high school,” Gentile said.

Mary Kate Douglas, a cinema and television arts majors in FreshTV, agreed with Gentile. She said a challenge she has faced was “thinking everyone had more experience.”

“My biggest challenge initially was thinking that everybody else knew so much more than I did,” Douglas said. “I’ve gotten over that by realizing that we are all freshmen. So even if you have prior knowledge, you’re still going to be treated as a freshman, and therefore no one gets left behind.”

This semester, the FreshTV cohort will participate in a 72-hour film festival, continue to host guest lecturers, and work in small groups to produce the FreshTV show for their final project.

“I’m excited to see how it all comes together,” Igoe said. “A lot of them are picking up the camera for the first time, and they’re all very, very new to the world of video production, so I’m excited to see their growth. I know that big end of the semester production is going to be a lot of fun to see how far they’ve come.”