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Mass Comm teams with Grand Junction Rockies

A cross the street at Suplizio Field, the Grand Junction Rockies are gearing up for baseball season. On campus, the team has already generated excitement due to a new partnership with CMU’s mass communication program. Two interns, supervised by faculty and staff, will produce and direct telecasts of the minor league teams’ home games. Ten additional students will provide production assistance throughout the season.

“Back in December, [Rockies management] approached President Foster and asked if we’d be interested in doing this,” said Dan Flenniken, Associate Professor of Mass Communication. “The timing was good because last year, with the help of IT and other staff, we broadcast a whole series of DII sports events. It really let us get our feet wet in sports broadcasting.”

Seniors Kevin Strong-Holte and Kelly Parkhurst were selected to be interns after undergoing an application and interview process through the mass comm program. The students who will be assisting them have taken video production courses or have participated in previous live broadcasts. The skills they demonstrated while using complex equipment packages during those telecasts give Flenniken the confidence that the partnership will be a successful one.

“Having students that are already up-to-speed on . . . sports broadcasting is a benefit,” he said. “Watching our students perform, it was just like, ‘We can do this.’”

No other university has the relationship that has been established between CMU and the Grand Junction Rockies, but the partnership is also notable because only two other teams in the Pioneer League broadcast their games. The league’s goal is for each stadium to be able to telecast games by next summer, so fans can follow their favorite team online wherever they go.

While Strong-Holte and Parkhurst spend their summer with the Rockies, more mass communication students are interning across the country. Their internships range from coordinating storytelling camps for under-served local high school students at the Colorado National Monument, to writing for a newspaper in California.

“We have a total of 15 internships going on this summer, which I think is a record. To me, that’s the perfect stepping stone for our students . . . to get that first job,” Flenniken said.

The telecasts are available at MiLB.TV. A subscription is $39.99 for the entire season, and includes all 66 minor league teams across the country. •

Media Contact

Dana Nunn, Director of Media Relations

dnunn@coloradomesa.edu

970.248.1868 (o)

970.640.0421 (c)