Interactive Media students provide mentorship while supervising TV studios

During the 2020-21 academic year, graduate students Matthew Harrell G’21 and Madeleine Horrell G’21 served as studio managers, ensuring that undergraduate students could broadcast and televise during the pandemic.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there were many questions about how the School of Communications could ensure the hands-on studio experience Elon students loved.

Matthew Harrell G’21 and Madeleine Horrell G’21

“We still wanted to put in a method to where students can use our studios, but also do it in the safest manner that we could think of,” said Bryan Baker, director of technology, operations and multimedia projects.

Nearly a year later, the studios have operated smoothly and safely with help of Interactive media graduate students Matthew Harrell G‘21 and Madeleine Horrell G’21, two of this year’s three studio managers who oversaw COVID-19 cleaning protocols, scheduling and worked with students to create safe projects in the McEwen Communications Building’s studios.

As an undergraduate at Campbell University, Harrell worked in a news studio, serving in several capacities, from editor to director. While his main focus this year was to enforce COVID-19 guidelines in the studios, Harrell said his favorite part of serving as a studio manager was mentoring undergraduate students.

“I always enjoy being able to work with the students and help them with their shoot and just to kind of bounce ideas off of them,” Harrell said.

Horrell, who oversaw scheduling time slots for the studios, said working in the studio allowed her to focus on practical skills, something she sought when looking at graduate programs. As someone who loves to organize and schedule, Horrell said the position was a natural fit, and she loved to see a different a different side of campus, as well.

“The iMedia program is small and it’s easy to only see the other people in the cohort with me,” said Horrell, who graduated from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, in spring 2020. “I like being able to get out, talk to engineers, find out what’s happening with them and their lives.”

Despite the studio manager positions being formed due to COVID-19 guidelines, Baker said he hopes to continue to have Interactive Media students work in the studios in future years.

“The fact that there’s some oversight over the studios as far as scheduling goes, that makes a whole lot of sense,” Baker said. “I don’t know if it would involve as much of the COVID language moving forward, but I definitely think that there’s some opportunities there.”

For more information about the Interactive Media graduate program and to meet this year’s cohort, visit