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Student and Community Involvement student staffers gain field experience

By Megan Alvarez

Frostburg State University prides itself on being “One University. A World of Experiences,” and for many of its students that statement proves to be true. The Department of Student and Community Involvement (SCI) is home to many student leaders who have spent their summer expanding their experiences at various jobs and internships. 


Blake Grudzien

Blake Grudzien

Senior, Mass Communication major
Videographer, Social Marketing Team
“I learned how to understand TV ratings and use them to be successful with ideas in the market.”
Blake Grudzien spent his summer living in West Hollywood, CA where he had the opportunity to work in Casting and Development for Kinetic Content, which is located in Santa Monica, CA. During his typical day, Grudzien was “expected to do research for any new possible television shows,” which consisted of “watching premieres of shows for the week and checking its ratings in comparison to other shows on the same network to see what people are watching” in order “to be more accurate with new show.” Although “doing the research for shows and finding people in the world that would be appropriate to cast for the show” was hard, Grudzien says the best part was “working with people at the internship and contributing to their ideas to come up with new shows.” The one thing Grudzien will take from this experience as he works towards his future is “more knowledge of the industry and more experience with a successful company in the industry.”


bennie watson

Bennie Watson

Senior, Mass Communication major 
Graphic Designer, University Programming Council
“In the field there are no teachers; the training wheels are off.” 
Over the summer Bennie Watson worked in Capitol Heights, Maryland as a Video Production Intern for HD Productions/Griggo Productions. With this, Watson had the opportunity to help build a Cyc Wall for the studio and travel to New York to film Jack Thriller, a comedian signed to G-Unit Records, which is 50 Cent’s label. Starting out with only wanting to do hip-hop, Watson says the hardest part was working with a new variety because he was “forced to do mainly corporate things like cooking shows.” However, “being able to shoot different projects” was one of his favorite parts. Watson holds a lot of gratitude for this experience because “in the field there are no teachers; the training wheels are off,” and he was really able to practice what he learned in the classroom. This experience is something Watson says he will hold really close to him as he has the opportunity to “come home and work on [his] craft” as he builds his own brand, which he is calling “Big Ben Visions.”


Megan Dignan

Megan Dignan 

Senior, Art and Design major
Lane University Center Building Manager
“I learned so much about customer service, professionalism, leadership and management in just three months.”
For those who do not know, the Lane University Center (LUC) relies heavily on student workers for its daily operations. For the past four years, Megan Dignan has served as a student building manager for LUC, but when three professional staff members resigned from the University in June for better opportunities, Dignan was entrusted to fill in for the summer. Stating that she was responsible for the “essential parts of the Technical Services Coordinator, Events Coordinator, and Director positions,” Dignan had the opportunity to “interact with other professional staff members in SCI” as well as “outside clients who were booking weddings, conferences, and meetings in the Lane University Center.” Although juggling duties of the three professional staff positions during a 30-40 hour work week was overwhelming, Dignan says the most rewarding part was “knowing that I was able to keep the operation going and that Rob Webber (the former Director of LUC) had trusted me enough to let me take on that role.” 


justin smith

Justin Smith 

Senior, Exercise and Sports Science major
Van Driver, Office of Civic Engagement 
“I definitely feel a lot more comfortable being able to fix up my own odds and ends around my home instead of having to call a friend or repairman.”
Throughout his time here at Frostburg, Justin Smith has been highly involved on campus. For the past three years Justin has served as a van driver for the Office of Civic Engagement in addition to being an ORIE Peer Mentor, a member of AmeriCorps and ECHOSTARS, and even serving as the current President of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. It is clear Justin has gained a lot of rewarding experiences, but the summer internship he completed for his capstone has taught him a lot. Justin resided in Edgewood Commons where he worked 40 hour weeks as maintenance staff. Despite a slight learning curve for the first two weeks, Justin learned many valuable new skills such as “how to change regular lights into LED lights, change and replace thermostats, fix holes in drywall, unclog [drains], and how to change regular light switches to motion sensors.” To him, “having the skills to fix up [his] own home when something breaks” was the most rewarding part of his summer internship. 

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