Karen Hinds Vadnais, co-producer and director of the award- winning CineMaryland television show, coordinates HCC’s television and radio program.
Jump in and get to work. That’s the essence of HCC’s television and radio curriculum. “Our students are hands on from their very first class,” she says. “They hold video cameras or use audio recording equipment, and start working, because we believe that is the best way to learn.”
One reason this approach works so well is that the college houses a state-of-the-art, all-digital facility that includes a professional television studio, a 16-seat Apple Mac production training lab, and its own radio station. “We have equipment that most community colleges only dream about,” Vadnais says.
Students also have the opportunity to show off their production skills. High quality productions are selected to air on the in-house student television channel and the student-based Internet streaming station, HCC-Radio “The Dragon.” Internship opportunities are available for students with organizations such as Clear Channel Radio, Discovery Channel, and Voice of America. More advanced students can also work on HCC-TV productions.
Mary Weeks and Matt Stovall are two graduates of the program who’ve established successful television production careers. Weeks is the Telly award-winning producer of the Columbia Association’s television show, Columbia Matters. Stovall produces HCC’s own sports show, Dragon’s Lair Update. Weeks says, “One course in production and multimedia design at HCC, and I was hooked.”
According to Vadnais, “More people are drawn to production careers today, so the program is growing. There is a continuing need for qualified people to fill jobs in television, radio, film, and the Internet. That’s why we’re helping our students master skills in a range of areas that include, writing, production, and the web.”
Interest in HCC’s curriculum and facilities is continuing to grow with Vadnais’ outreach in the community, including a workshop for Howard County Public Schools teachers on how to teach television.
e respond very rapidly to the need to get a new course up and running, whether it is necessary as a result of a new certification or licensing requirement, a shortage of a specific type of health care professional, or at the request of an employer," says Hawkins.
A "Reel" Rising Star
In 2010, Howard County resident Qayoe Jones began working as a videocage/lab assistant and teaching assistant in HCC’s television and radio department. Today, she is one of eight college finalists in the 2012 Sprite Films Contest, a graduate student at the Savannah College of Art and Design,and well on her way to achieving her dream of writing,directing, and producing TV shows and films.
“Working with HCC-TV enhanced my skills in production and editing,” she says.
If she wins the Sprite Films contest, a 60-second version of her short film will play in 23,000 movie theatres nationwide. But whether she gets the top prize or not, Jones and her creations are already turning heads.
“Becoming a finalist confirmed that I do have talent and should continue to pursue my dreams,” Jones says. This rising star is eager to continue the career path that began at HCC.