Post of an Inspiring Journalism Student
Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more.
Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more.
By: Kyle Bruzek
COVID-19 is not doing a lot of favors for people these days. Whether it is playing sports to learning in the classroom, everything seems to be going in a lot of different directions.
Cleveland State University made a decision in late March to move classes to online for the rest of the academic year, which impacted a lot of on-campus activities, including students in the film major.
The school of Film & Media Arts is one of the programs impacted greatly by the shutdown because a lot of students are filming their projects, and a lot of hands work on each one. Students have had projects halted, and canceled, while they wait for more on what will be happening.
Frederic Lahey, director of the school of Film and Media Arts, commented on what is being done with students, and how they will go about the rest of the semester and into the fall. He said that moving online has been smooth for the most part, but it has been frustrating for students, and yet they have found a way to be creative working from home.
“Of course we have film studies and writing courses that aren’t so bad in the remote setting, but spring is our big production semester and it has certainly been frustrating for the 200+ students who had planned to shoot during this time,” he said. “Since the quality of every production is dependent on the level of preproduction preparation, we have been honing those skills. Some classes are shooting iPhone docs at home. Some are experimenting with Zoom productions.”
He goes on to say, “A number of our students have been able to utilize the free postproduction software offered by Adobe and Avid. Few students have the ‘horsepower‘ of our Mac labs for editing and effects, and many are making do with editing on their phones. Fortunately, an online consortium of film school instructors are sharing best practices on a Facebook site.”
As students try to make the best with their work at home, they did receive some good newsabout what the future of their projects would be.
Lahey and his faculty have decided to let students use the equipment through summer semester and the first part of fall semester. He said they are committed in every way to give the students the opportunity to finish their films.
“We are committed to giving our students the opportunity to shoot and edit the films they intended for this shutdown period,” he said. “We are already seeing discussions of Hollywood methods for safe shooting and we have seen the shooting strategies and rules adopted by Australia, Sweden and Denmark who are the countries ramping up their production capacities.”
“We have told students that when we are allowed to open,” he continued, “we will let them check out the production equipment approved by their production faculty during the summer and fall until an Oct. 15 cutoff. We will also allow access to our editing labs and servers so long as they obey our social distancing and COVID-19 safety instructions. As the School of Film & Media Arts, we will, of course, be following directives from the university.”
Freshmen through junior class students do not have to worry about graduation yet. But there are still some graduating film students who are waiting to see how this project would affect their grade.
Lahey said he would put those fears to rest, saying the school will not hold anyone back and will graduate everyone scheduled to graduate.
“We will not hold students hostage to the anomalies of our current situation,” he said. “We will examine the work and intent of our students and graduate them as they would have graduated were they not prevented from finishing their final projects. We expect that everyone who was expecting to graduate will graduate. Some have already asked if they can still finish their projects after they graduate. We will honor the commitment that we have made to all our students of the COVID era, and give them the access they need to complete their projects for a successful launch into the industry.”
As summer courses are quickly approaching, Cleveland State has decided to put all the classes online up until the fall semester. With concern from students about how the spring and summer classes would interfere with one another, Lahey has said with the small number of classes in the school, it is not a big concern and that more decisions will have to be made as well.
“We don’t run many classes in the summer,” he said. “Only a couple of online classes, internships and thesis projects. So it really doesn’t impact at all. Our Odyssey summer program for high school students was to start up this summer, but the decision on that program is still a few weeks out.”
While there is still some time before the fall semester begins, Lahey said the school is beginning to look ahead to possible solutions if the semester happens to be remote as well. He said there are a lot of plans in place where some classes might be run in a hybrid style. But he also said this is a great time for the film students as well for the future.
“We have gotten approval from the Office of the Provost to cap our specialized classes that really need access to gear and facilities so that they will run small enough to allow for social distancing rules,” he said. “Meanwhile we will run our writing and film appreciation classes on a remote basis. We are also looking at running hybrid-style classes where portions of the classes will be online and half the class can come to the studios, say Tuesday, while the other half comes on Thursday for workshops.”
“Rule #1 is do no harm and ensure the safety of students, staff and faculty,” Lahey continued. “Rule #2 develop stories, plan productions, test, rehearse, collaborate, shoot and edit under university and industry guidelines until a vaccine is broadly available. This is a trying time for filmmakers, like it is for everybody else. But filmmakers are very good at creative problem-solving. This downtime is a great opportunity to deepen our characters, tighten our stories, develop our aesthetic language and focus on the essential for our future shoots.”
Junior film student Andrew Sperhac was one of the students affected by the closure of the campus. He said that after he heard the news, a lot was going through his head, and he was nervous not knowing what to expect.
“Basically the day I found out I was really stressed,” he said. “The one thing that made me the most nervous was wondering if I would be able to complete my Production 3 film class, which I needed to graduate. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen because if I had to take the class again, I was on the verge of dropping out.”
As students try to make plans to work on their projects in the summer, Sperhac said that there is still some uncertainty if he can get his whole group back together. But he is all for working on the project in the summer.
“So our plan for our group is that we don’t know,” he said. “Our film got half-way done shooting, and is canceled till the end of the semester, at least. I ideally would like to come back to finish the film with my group. If it happens to be in the summer in June or July, so be it.”
Sperhac, and company were working on their film called “Life of a Vegan Warrior,” when the stoppage happened. He said it was very upsetting to see all their hard work be put to the side.
“To see all our group’s hard work (to) be taken down by this is very sad,” he said. “We were ready to do some editing after break. Which, of course we could not, and that was one thing that truly was a bummer, and not being able to work on the something that we all want to do in some way or somehow in the future.”
Hannah Park is also one of those students who has felt the effect of her film classes moving online. She feels Andrews’ frustration, but understands what needed to be done.
“I think more than anything, I was frustrated,” she said. “It wasn’t announced until after campus officially closed that we wouldn’t be able to access our equipment, so there was still a little bit of hope that we’d get something done. Once they shut down campus and the number of Covid-19 cases started to rise, there was no way.”
Park was also one of the students who were in the middle of a film project when hearing the news about the shutdown. She was filling many roles during that time as she was a producer, first assistant director, and production designer in a number of different projects as well.
She has been in the film school since she has started on campus at Cleveland State. She said if she and her group are all not able to work on their projects until the summer, it will be devastating.
“Many of our productions are getting pushed back until the summer, but still nothing is certain with my group,” she said. “It’s a waiting game, but our director, Lahey, and the professors have been very honest with us in this whole situation. We had an entire course last semester to plan and prepare these films, so not being able to finish would be a devastating blow.”
Park’s professors have been providing available resource films for her and others to use at home. They were given to students like Park, who did not have final footage of film to edit on their projects. With those resources they were only allowed to use the equipment and people readily available in their homes to do any small assignment.
Park says it is great what the professors are doing to provide resources to continue the classes online. Some of the work is just hard for her to get enough motivation to do.
“I think the biggest challenge is finding motivation to get things done,” she said. One of the best parts of school is having a group like in film class to help support you. When you lose that, it’s easy to lose steam and procrastinate.”
By: Kyle Bruzek
It has become a really dark time in the world of sports. Including for college athletes who had their spring season cut short due to the coronavirus.
As the world continues down the road of uncertainty, there are many things,like the fall sports season, that have yet to be determined moving forward. While it is still too early to make a decision, fall teams have still already been affected in a few ways by the virus.
In the spring and summer months leading up to the fall season,college athletes and their teams are able to work out and get some preseason work in. But for now it will have to be done from home and over Zoom calls or whatever else teams are using to stay in touch.
Hannah Greene, a member of the Cleveland State University volleyball team, is one of many fall athletes who isfeeling the effect of not being able to do in-person workouts with her team. While it may not be enjoyable doing workouts by herself from home, she said at least being able to work out virtually is helping her team stay together as a team.
“So currently, we are split into partners, and every day we work on our five-day workout packet, and every Friday during spring we do a team Zoom yoga call,” she said. “Some of us have been combining partners and making it into group workout sessions, and every day we have been getting stronger and still getting better. But doing it together makes it more fun, and still tries to facilitate it how it would be if we were at school. By following this routine, italso helps us stay as one and also stay in shape.”
Greene will be a senior when the fall academic year begins. But not knowing what will happen with her senior season is not concerning to her at the moment. She said it is all about thinking positive and hoping for the best.
“This is one of the last things I’ve honestly been thinking about,” she said. “I’m a positive person, so I’m really taking it one day at a time, and hoping this comes to an end shortly and we can get back for summer to train. I really try to keep my mind off the entire thought by telling myself what I can control right now, and that’s simply getting better every single day.”
Looking forward to the actual season itself, no one knows what will happen between now and August. With a lot of uncertaintyabout whether the seasonwill be played, Greene said the team’s positive mindset has not changed andteam members are still looking ahead.
“All of us have been positive, from my teammates to my coaches,” she said. “We are all just continuing to remain optimistic. Right now there are very few things we have control of, and that’s our mindset and attitude. Understanding this, we all are keeping a positive attitude in hopes that we are going to see each other soon — whether that’s wearing a mask or hazmat suit.”
When Greene and the team can get back together and, hopefully, prepare for the upcoming season, there will still be a fear of someone possibly catching the coronavirus until it is completely under control.
Greene said she will not have any fears about the virus after she and her teammates get back together and that they just need to keep doing what they have been doing.
“I won’t have any fears. Knowing we all have been quarantined and staying home for one another will be enough for me,” she said. “We just are remaining safe and staying smart because we all want to be back in the gym as soon as we can. Even when we, hopefully,get back to school in the summer, we just have to remain smart and take (the) proper precautions we have been taking.”
Apart from the virus talk, Greene is excited about what her team can do ifit can take to the court this fall. She said this season will be filled with a lot of great teamwork, andshe islooking forward to making a run in the Horizon League conference.
“When the season goes on as planned,I am so excited for this year’s team,” she said. “It’s filled with a lot of great chemistry, and a lot of great attitudes, and girls who want to work hard and compete. I’m looking forward to another chance at winning the Horizon League, and securing a spot in the NCAA tournament.”
On a personallevel, Greene knows what she can do and knows what it takes to help her team get to where they want to be. But she said she has her sights set on one big achievement.
“One goal I have for myself is to earn Horizon League Player of the Year,” she said. “That’s been part of my motivation to keep working and pushing my limits.”
By: Kyle Bruzek
The coronavirus pandemic continues to play spoiler to Cleveland State University athletics. Not only is it affecting athletics, it also is affecting the way the Viking athletic medical staff handles its business.
With no athletes to attend to right now, the medical staffers have less on their plate to contend with during this time. But they are the ones who are working to help protect the student athletes against the virus.
Without spring sports, the medical staff is trying to remain positive and look forward to the fall athletic season. Head athletic trainer Jackie Wise is taking all the steps necessary to protect the fall teams if they can get back on the field.
“As a medical profession, we will continue to follow best practices with wearing gloves, hand washing, cleaning the treatment tables and equipment that our S-A’s [student athletes] use,” she said. “We have hand sanitizer readily available. We will also follow any extra precautions that are recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”
Taking all the precautions needed to keep Cleveland State’s team’s safe is always the staff’s number one priority. But the virus did hit close to campus when women’s basketball coach Chris Kielsmeier showed symptoms.
While it was a scary feeling around the staff and teams, Wise said even though this was a hectic point in time, they were able to remain calm and follow all the protocols.
“We were all very worried about [Kielsmeier] when we learned he had tested positive,” she said. “Our athletic department is a close-knit group and it did make the coronavirus a lot more real when it happened to one of our family members.”
“Our director of athletics, head team physician, President Sands, and Forest Faison, senior vice president for research & innovation/chief healthcare strategy officer at Cleveland State, came up with a plan to contact all those who were in direct contact with [Kielsmeier] and had them all self-quarantine,” she said. “Most importantly, we are all thankful that [Kielsmeier] is going to be okay and is getting better daily.”
As top health officials are putting rules in place like the social distancing guidelines, it can become harder for the trainers moving forward. While trainers do help the athletes stretch and get ready for games, it may now be harder if the trainers cannot get as close for the time being.
Wise said that, although the fall sports season is still months away, fans, players and medical staff just have to remain patient.
“We have to be patient through this process and see what steps are needed to integrate back into the work environment,” she said. “When we get to return to campus and our student-athletes are permitted to return to practice and competition again, it should be safe for all of us to go about our jobs.”
With long hours on the job each year, it takes away from the amount of time the medical staff can see their families. With the coronavirus spreading, trainers now have even more of a challenge in staying away from their families.
Wise said that there is always a concern of spreading it, even though a person may not show any symptoms. She also said to follow the steps that health officials have been saying since the beginning.
“There is always concern that we could unknowingly pass the virus on to a family member,” she said. “Keeping away from those who are most vulnerable, cleaning/sanitizing everything, hand washing, etc., and self quarantine at the first signs of COVID-19 symptoms,” are the steps she outlined.
While everyone is changing the way they are doing things for the time being, Wise says it will feel different but an answer to this virus will help get situations back to normal.
“I assume it will feel a bit different at first,” she said. “I hope there will be a treatment or a vaccine available so all of us can return to work, enjoy our families, friends and social activities again.”
Spring sports came to a sudden end over spring break because of the Coronavirus Pandemic. The Horizon League and Cleveland State have cancelled all athletics indefinitely for the rest of the academic year.
Cleveland State teams impacted by this sudden news were softball, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s tennis. All teams were away in different states during break, when they were told to return to campus.
Cleveland State was not the only university affected by the news. The entire NCAA felt the effects, including March Madness, the Frozen Four in hockey, and both the Women’s college softball World Series, and the college baseball World Series.
Spring athletes are not able to finish out their season due to the unfortunate circumstances, including sophomore softball Player Lindsay Ward.
Ward, who is a redshirt sophomore, is very upset about the way her and her team’s season has ended. She called the way the season ended an absolute nightmare.
“(For) a student athlete this has been an absolute nightmare,” she said. “ Our team has put countless hours into practicing since our season ended last May, and we were just starting to get the results we’ve earned,”
With the early end to the season, the spring sports teams have more time on their hands then normal. While it might not be all doom and gloom, Ward said having this time can actually help in some aspects.
“We were in the thick of our season, so between games and school we had a lot to juggle,” she said. “But now the season is over, we are finding ourselves with too much time on our hands. From here I can work out at home, train like we did in the summer and complete our online schoolwork. But the change of pace has been extremely hard to adapt to.”
With the shutdown of the spring sports the seniors on each team have played their last time as a Viking. Which just a few days ago, the NCAA granted the seniors their extra year of eligibility if they want it.
Ward is witnessing this with her sister Hallie who is a senior on the softball team. She says it’s hard seeing this cancellation happen to her sister.
“I can’t put into words what it feels like to see my sisters senior season stripped from her,” she said. We grew up training, practicing, and playing together, so I have seen all the blood, sweat, and tears she has put into the game her whole life.”
While it is still hard to digest all of this from the athlete’s point of view. Ward says she fully understands the situation and how important everyone’s health is.
“Our team fully understands the situation and how important our nation’s health is,” she said. “But it does not mean our team is upset: our team chemistry is the strongest it’s been since I’ve been here at CSU. We played each game for each other and developed so much as a team these past few weeks of playing.”
Here is a podcast interview I did with a Cleveland State Lacrosse player Rob Humphreys. This was pre recorded before the season was canceled due to the Coronavirus.
We have just recently finished our second editon of the Cleveland Stater. Bunch of brand new stories that have been published and have been exciting to read. For my stories they went shockingly smooth after a hiccup. My two stories were previewing the club baseball team here at Cleveland State. While the second one came together last minute, and that was the Womens soccer team. Their story was really interesting. They have started a book club of sorts, where they read a book each semester of school and then sit around and talk about it. It is a really cool way for team bonding as well. I talked to the head coach and a player, they were both excited about the new tradition. But for the most part the stories went good, but there are still somethings in my wirting that I need to work on, and be able get fixed for the next editon and beyond.
Story #3 Club Baseball
Cleveland State’s Club Baseball team is ready to lace up the cleats and hit the field for the second half of its season. The season which began back in the fall has started off nicely for the Vikings.
It is sitting 7-6 overall with a 4-5 record in the New Penn Central Conference. It also ended the first half of the season on a three-game win streak.
The Vikings are one of six teams in the conference. Joining them are Kent State University, The University of Akron, Bucknell University , Penn State University, and Bloomsberg University of Pennsylvania.
The team is not a member of Cleveland State’s Horizon League teams. It has not been a member of the conference since 2011 when the Varsity team ended.
Ending on a three game winning streak was just part of the recent success for the Vikings. But Vice President and junior shortstop Jaret Glassman said there he is happier with the improvement with the team.
“There has been significant improvement from what there has been in the past two years,” he said. “It’s really good to see how far we have come. We are over .500 which is awesome, and every game we have played in there hasn’t been a game where we have been outmatched. We have been neck and neck.”
With the split season, the first half of play stops in early November and picks up again early in march.
The team will continue to practice during the break. Team president and junior Center Fielder Alex Radzin says taking a spring break trip to Florida and playing over break will also help shake the rust off.
“We usually take a trip down to Florida to play conference games, but they are not as important as the regular season,” he said.
“It is just a week full of baseball,” he said, “just to get us ready for the remainder of the regular season to give the team a chance to see some live pitching and see different speeds of pitches along with different arm slots pitchers have to get us ready,”
Playing club teams against big name schools is exciting, Razdin said, adding that players teams like those in their conference shows the type of talent each team has.
“”It gives you a good sense of what it could have been even though it’s not,” he said. “But playing at Penn State and playing their club team shows you what you could have been playing at. I find club baseball to be better than real Collegiate,”
The one goal for the Vikings in the second half of the season is to make the postseason. But according to Jaret Glassman, he has one important goal for the team.
“Just do well and have fun,” he said. “that’s the one thing we will base it off of. We will go out and we will fundraise and get spirit wear like sweatshirts, jackets, pullovers and we got new jerseys this year. But it’s just about having fun while we are playing,”
The team will make their home debut of the second half of the season the week of March 16, as they will play host to The University of Toledo in a non conference matchup at Brookside Reservation Park in Cleveland. The park is located at 3900 John Nagy Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44144.
Story #4 Womens Soccer
The Cleveland State Women’s Soccer team started a new tradition within their program just a couple of weeks ago when it decided to read a book each semester as a team and discuss it at certain sessions.
The first book that the team has picked out for the semester is “Culture Code” by Daniel Code, a book about how to make the best organizations effective.
According to head coach Dallas Boyer, this type of activity is a way to make the team not just better on the field but off as well, as team members will have more of a chance to bond and connect.
“So much of what we are teaching and prioritizing in our team culture is the development of the well-rounded person,” he said. “So it’s not enough to simply teach the technique and tactics of our sport. We need to make sure that we are also creating individuals who are working on how to be better leaders, better followers, better critical thinkers, better communicators, better problem solvers, better teammates.”
“We need to help facilitate their ability to effectively come together and create for themselves the world they’ll be working in,” he continued “a team environment that helps them become the best student-athletes they can possibly be.”
The Book reading involves everyone on the team, from the coaches to the players he explained. He said he wants the team to buy in to what the book club is about while also listening to what each player has to say during the discussions.
“First, that they buy in,” Boyer said. “It’s one thing for us as coaches to feel that this is an important process for them to go through individually and as a team, but it won’t have much value unless they truly invest in it.”
“After that, it’s important that there is real follow-through in the way they take the suggestions and ideas they’ve shared together in these book club discussions and then actually make them a part of our daily environment,” he said. “If the group agrees that a topic from the book is, in fact, something that we can better incorporate to our own daily environment or team culture, we need to make sure we don’t just talk about it there but actually make it happen in our daily routine.”
Not only has it had an effect on the coaches, but also on the players as well. Freshman Lina Feltovich says that doing a team bonding like the book club helps bring the team closer together.
“It brings us closer together, while building team chemistry between all the players which helps workout the issues we may have and gives everyone a voice,” she said.
While Coach Boyer wants the buy in and help the players get along with one another, Feltovich said that her take-away from doing the book club is improving the team culture.
“I just want to keep strengthening our team culture, and grow closer as a team,” she said. “I also want to see our team grow closer as a team so we are better prepared for the fall season.”
Besides seeing her teammates on the field, she sees them more now with the start of the book club. Seeing her team during practices and games during the fall, and now during spring Feltovich said that doing this book club is only going to help the players learn more about the team.
“It helps seeing each other more because we will actually learn more about each other as well as growing closer with each other,” she said. “ It is bigger than soccer, and we need to develop stronger relationships.”
I have never written for any type of news outlet before. Whether it was in school or a public outside world publication I never got the chance. My first two stories when well, and I talked about a Cleveland Student athlete who won swimmer of the week in the Horizon League, along with the 102 athletes that made the Horizon league honor roll.
It was good to get in my first story, and get the semi experience to interview people, gather facts and be able to write a story and see how a news room would operate in the real world. Overall it went really good, there are mistakes that I saw and were able to understand what I did to fix them for the next edition.
Story #1 Fall Honor Roll
A total of 102 Cleveland State University athletes received recognition for the 2019 fall semester. They were honored by the Horizon League to be apart of the conferences Honor roll list.
The Horizon League conference announced that a total of 1,047 student athletes made the list for the 2019 fall semester.
The Vikings come in sixth on the total list of athletes behind front-running University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee with 142 athletes.
The Honor Roll list is an accomplishment for students who fall under three criteria. They must be playing a sport during the most recent or current season. While the athletes must also have completed three semesters (or four quarters, at the same institution, and must have a cumulative GPA of 3.20 on a 4.00 scale.
Two Viking teams, the men’s Swimming and Dive team and the Women’s soccer team, tied to have the most athletes on the list with a total of 15 athletes.
With the 102 athletes receiving recognition this fall, Cleveland State athletics surpassed last year’s fall Honor Roll which had 97 athletes on the list.
The university also honored the academic performance of 41 other members of Viking athletics who do not play on Horizon League affiliate teams.
Those sports were Lacrosse that led the way which had 26, Wrestling with seven, and both men’s and women’s fencing that each had four a side.
Story #2 Swimmer of the Week
Jack Krusinski, a member of the Cleveland State University Swim and Dive team, took home Horizon League Swimmer of the Week honors, for the week of Jan. 6.
During that week, Krusinski had a strong showing, winning 7 of 9 in his races. During that success, he had a stretch where he went 3 for 3 against Miami University, and 3 for 3 against conference foe University of Illinois at Chicago.
Krusinksi, who is only a sophomore, has won the award for the second time this season. However, it feels good to him to win the awards, but he explained it’s more than an individual effort.
“I guess it feels pretty cool,” Krusinski said.”I don’t really think of it of being a sophomore, I’m just trying to help my team out, win and get a few points. It is truly about the team to be honest.”
With winning the award, Krusinski is not the only member of Cleveland State men’s Swim and Dive team that has won this award.
He shares the honors of Swimmer of the Week with his teammate junior Dominik Niedzialek, who won the same award on Oct. 22.
Krusinski, not only shared the honors with his teammate, but also sharing the spotlight with mens and womens basketball who are having terrific seasons as well. Krusinski believes It is all about representing all of CSU athletics.
Despite the team falling short to Miami and splitting with UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago), having a stretch like he did.
Krusinski knows that having a strong showing against a school like Miami, which is from the Mid-American Conference, can boost his and the team’s confidence going forward.
“It definitely boosts my confidence a lot”, Krusinski said, “lots of yardage under our belts, and it boosts our team confidence a lot we were really trying to do well vs Miami,” Krusinski said. “Overall it was a good meet for us and it was good to race some very fast kids.”
It was not the first time that the Swim and Dive has faced tough competition this year. They have faced teams from tougher conferences including University of Akron from the MAC Xavier University from the BIg East, and MIchigan State University from the Big Ten.
Krusinski looks to continue his success along with the rest of the Swim and Dive team as they prepare for the Horizon League Conference Championships.
The first chart is the Football championships. Even though Ohio State has been running rough shot over teams, and winning championships. I have decided to share how the schools in the Big Ten have worked out with the Big Ten championships.
Here we have the basketball championships. It is different from the football one and has showed how the two sports in the school have differed and with a couple different schools having more success.