A dedicated student crew at Western Connecticut State University is taking full advantage of their technological tools and social media expertise to present WCSU’s 12th annual “Election Connection” news production providing local coverage of Connecticut races as well as weather updates and exploration of important issues.
Since its debut in November 2011, “Election Connection” has provided election night coverage of news and race results featuring an anchor team of students and faculty, supported by student reporters covering key races and voter concerns. This year’s show airs on election evening, Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 8 p.m. to midnight.
“Election Connection” will stream over the “WCSU Studio Election Connection” YouTube portal, on Facebook and over the WCSU website at www.wcsu.edu/live. A radio simulcast will air on WXCI-91.7 FM. Social media access is available on Twitter @ElectionCT.
Executive producer Dr. JC Barone, WCSU professor of Communication and Media Arts, observed that students participating in the interdisciplinary course that produces “Election Connection” stay late after class and work weekends because they are driven by a commitment to the program.
Under Barone’s supervision, the student production team is led by Producer Allison Johansson, of Danbury; Director Stephen Grant, of Brookfield; Technical Director Quinn McLaughlin, of Southbury; and News Director Joshua Rodriguez, of Naugatuck. Anchors for the show are Jacob Schultz, of Newtown; and Alec Ryjacek, of North Babylon, New York. Stephen Puglisi, of Naugatuck, will provide weather updates as a student meteorologist. Election Connection’s race analysts Jacob Nicolari, of Southbury, and Kelli Carvajal Renville, of New Milford, will deliver updates on local, state and national races of import. Other students in leadership roles include Studio Floor Manager Richard Stefan, of Danbury.
Other students performing various reporting and production roles are Dan Sousa, of Pawling, New York; Tyler Bowe, of New Milford; Madelyn Hurlburt, of New Milford; Ryan Nason, of New Fairfield; Jessenia Mendieta, of Danbury; Jimmy Cannizzaro, of New Milford; Messier Vu, of Danbury; Brenden Castro, of Stratford; Nazmia Dionis, of Killingly; and Dylan Disalvo, of Bethel. Technical streaming support is provided by Scott Volpe, assistant director of WCSU Media Services.
Barone has drawn from his extensive professional experience to design the course as a vehicle to train students in media and news production for the demands of today’s job market. “This year’s election is important with many state races to report on,” he said. “Word has spread that this is an educational experience that will help students in their careers regardless of what their discipline is.”
WCSU’s “Election Connection” productions have earned recognitions from professional organizations in the communications field, including honors in the category of Studio Multi-Camera Production at the national Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts as well as Student Production Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Boston/New England. Additional recognitions Telly Awards for Live Coverage and a Communicator Award of Distinction from the International Academy of the Visual Arts. “Our goal is consistently to deliver quality programming to the community and Connecticut,” Barone said.