Penguin Media Works prepares for international competition

By Molly Burke

The Penguin Media Works club took a hit from the pandemic, but this year, it’s ready to make a comeback as the club prepares for its upcoming video and audio competitions. 

Max Grubb, senior lecturer in the communications department, is the faculty advisor for the organization. He said the club has plans to get back on its feet after the pandemic.

“COVID really did us in, so the club has basically had nothing happening in the last couple years. So, we’re trying to basically rebuild it from the beginning and to provide an avenue for students to be creative and to pursue interest in the electronic media field,” Grubb said.

Penguin Media Works is a part of the Broadcast Educators Association, an international group of electronic media faculty members. Grubb said the BEA provides students with many opportunities. 

“We at Youngstown State [University] are an institutional member of BEA, which means our students have free membership in the association as undergrads or graduate students,” Grubb said. “They also have access to scholarships. BEA gives over $30,000 a year in student scholarships to BEA institutional members.”

As a part of the BEA, students in Penguin Media Works can also compete in international competitions. This year, Grubb said the club will compete in a video competition in the fall and an audio competition in the spring. The students are now getting their team ready for the video competition which is set for Oct. 22-24. 

“They have 48 hours to participate in the video competition. On Friday, they are going to get emailed instructions on the genre. Usually, they have to be assigned to put a character in their creative endeavor, and oftentimes there may be a line they have to put in the script somewhere, they may even have a sound effect or music. So, they’ve got those elements, but from there on it’s wide open for however they want to do it,” Grubb said.

The students will then collaborate to make their video of about five to six minutes, and will have to submit it on Sunday. The videos will be evaluated by BEA judges. 

“I’m proud to say in our first year, in February 2020, we took second place internationally in the audio competition,” Grubb said. “So we know what the possibilities are, particularly because that was just the first year in the club. We’re very fortunate that we’ve got some very talented students in our program. We’re looking forward to these competitions.”

The club’s president is senior communications major, Joshua Herbert. He said there is a wide range of skills students can learn in Penguin Media Works.

“[The club is] free for anybody to join, anybody outside of communications is more than welcome to join,” Herbert said. “We’re going to have guest speakers come in and talk about the industry. It’s a good opportunity to build on your resume. It’s going to get you real-world experience in the field of communications.”

Zoe Bechdel, sophomore telecommunications major, is the public relations manager for Penguin Media Works. She explained why she got involved in the club and encouraged other students to join. 

“I’ve always been interested in everything to do with film, like writing, and I want to learn more about directing, so it just seemed interesting to me,” Bechdel said. “I encourage other students to get involved, anyone interested in anything media-related, I think it will be very helpful for them.”

For those interested, the club meets every Monday at 3 p.m. in Bliss Hall, room 2019. For more information, contact Max Grubb at mvgrubb@ysu.edu or check out the BEA website

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