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Arts / Entertainment

CSU Media Festival featuring alumni Sept. 22-25

September 20, 2010

On the heels of last year's highly successful inaugural event, the 2nd Annual Colorado State University Media Festival will be held in Denver and Fort Collins, starting with a reception on the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 22 at the CSU Denver Center.

CBS News London correspondent Charles D'Agata in Baghdad at the scene of a car bomb.

Charles D'Agata headlines festival

CBS News correspondent Charles D'Agata will headline the second annual CSU Media Festival.

Charles D'Agata, a 1990 CSU journalism graduate and CBS News correspondent based in London, was the first American journalist in Baghdad after the U.S. invasion in 2003. He will headline a festival program including more than 35 accomplished media producers. 

D’Agata will deliver the keynote address on Friday, Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. in the Lory Student Center, North Ballroom.

Open to students and public

The CSU Media Festival offers an opportunity for students and the general public to meet producers, writers and photographers behind some of today’s most popular television, film, print, public relations, social media, and Web productions.

It’s a critical time in the media industry, with professionals and educators re-defining the way media are created, delivered and consumed. Colorado State University’s Department of Journalism and Technical Communication, the College of Liberal Arts, and the Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation, are bringing together nationally and internationally recognized media alumni for the second annual CSU Alumni Media Festival.

The Festival is scheduled for Sept. 23-24 on the Colorado State University campus. 

The changing media landscape

Festival panels will focus on timely issues facing the journalism industry - including the changing media landscape, reality television, social media, and the internet.

Entries from the 2009 inaugural CSU Alumni Media Festival.

The panels will also include celebrated authors, sports reporters, filmmakers and publishing experts. All panels are open to CSU students, faculty and the general public, and begin at 9:30 am, Friday, September 24.

“This is an excellent opportunity for us to gather working professionals, educators and students together to address the changes we’re seeing in journalism,” said Greg Luft, chairman of the CSU Journalism and Technical Communication Department.

“Not only is this an opportunity for top journalists to showcase their work but they can share with the public a unique insight into the industry.” 

Focus on media specialties

In addition to the keynote address, expert panel discussions will focus on a variety of media specialties, including reality television; social media; sports media; authorship; and photography, among others.


Wednesday, Sept. 22
CSU Denver Center
475 17th Street
Denver, Colo.

5:30 p.m. - Open reception for alumni; no charge
6:30 p.m. - Introductions and announcements
7 p.m. - Fast, Fun and Furious: Premiere Showcase: Best of 2009 and 2010 Media Festival entries

Thursday, Sept. 23
Eddy Building, Room 100
CSU Main Campus

7-9 p.m. Eye Candy: Adventure, Extreme Sports and Travel

The festival's Premiere Showcase will feature the best of 2009 and 2010 entries.

This showcase presentation features select works from 2010 entries.

Friday, Sept. 24
Lory Student Center, North Ballroom
Rooms 224, 226, 227, 228, 230, 234
CSU Main Campus

8:15-9:15 a.m. - Morning reception for speakers and visiting alumni
9:30-10:45 a.m.
- First group of sessions (open session)

Session A: Young Guns of Reality TV: (Jamie Switzer, moderator)

  • Dan Lehan ’08, Line Producer, High Noon Entertainment
  • Stephanie Ross, ’05, Story Manager, My First Sale
  • Jenna Frederich, ’06, Associate Producer, HGTV Bang for your Buck

Session B: News, Blues and Views: Journalism is no longer changing direction. It’s already going everywhere. (Kris Kodrich, moderator)

  • Aimee Heckel, '01, reporter, Boulder Daily Camera, independent author
  • Samantha Anderson Briggs, ’05, news anchor/reporter, KRDO-TV, Colorado Springs
  • Jenny Strachan, ’93, Assistant GM / Director of Public Media at KPLU Public Radio, Seattle
  • Kris Browning-Blas, '85, Denver Post Style, Food and Dining
  • Jon Stone, '02, Executive Producer, KDVR-TV, Denver

Session C: Grab the Media, Satisfy Clients, Deliver your Message (Sarah Pooler, '86, moderator)

  • Matt Ruggles, Video Production Manager, Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Independent Photographer
  • Susie Scott, co-owner and producer, i25 Productions
  • Jessica Clark Roe, '96, Media Relations, Kamlet-Reichert Law Firm
  • Cory Vasquez, Senior Public Relations Manager, ReMax International
  • Tyffani Peters, Principal, MediaMonger Communications

11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Second group of sessions (open session)

Session D: Authorship: Literature, Childhood and Catching up with Crime. (Donna Rouner, Moderator)

  • Todd Shimoda, '77, '91, author of several novels, most recent: Oh!
  • Fred Shook, author, professor emeritus, Teddy Bears and Textbooks
  • Steve Jackson, '79, author of numerous books examining true crime events

Session E: Passion, Publication and Packaging: Turning pages can still be cool. (Cindy Christen, Moderator)

  • Andrea Sowell, '98, publisher, SHOT Magazine
  • Carmen Ruyle Hardy, '99, co-publisher, Journey Magazine
  • Michelle Crockett, M.S. '09, Editorial, Custom, & International Strategy Director at Penton Media
  • Clay Lambert, ’86, Editorial Director, Wick Communications and Managing Editor, Half Moon Bay Review

Session F: Moments and Memories in Time: Photo and Video in 2010

  • Mike Watson, '99, videographer, producer, KFMB-TV, San Diego
  • Dave Althouse, '04 photojournalist, KDVR-TV, Denver
  • Steve Nowland, ’00, photographer, RCG and Associates

12:50 p.m. - Keynote address, Lory Student Center, North Ballroom

1-1:45 p.m. - Baghdad Café, North Ballroom, open session

  • Welcome: Ann Gill, Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Greg Luft, ’79, Chair, Department of Journalism and Technical Communication
  • Keynote introduction, Jim Benemann, ’78, Primary Anchor, KCNC-TV, Denver
  • Keynote speaker, Charles D’Agata, ’90, CBS News Correspondent, London

D’Agata was the first American journalist in Baghdad 10 months before the U.S.-led invasion and was an embedded reporter during the Iraq War. He witnessed first-hand the fall of Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit and was one of the first reporters in Fallujah when U.S. Marines fired on Iraqi civilians. 

Since 2003, D’Agata has covered every major event in Iraq, including the first suicide bombings at the U.N. and the Jordanian Embassy; the establishment of the Green Zone; the capture of Saddam Hussein; the handover of power; the fight for Fallujah; the fall of Tikrit; the country’s first free and fair elections, and the trial of Saddam Hussein. He's covered virtually every major story in Europe and Asia during the last 10 years.

2-3:15 p.m. - Third group of sessions

Session G: The Voices, Images and Sounds of Sports (Pete Seel, Moderator)

  • Reed Saunders, '03, Voice of Coors Field and the Colorado Rockies
  • Grant Meech, '07, sports reporter, Wichita, Kan.
  • Gary Ozzello, ’78, Senior Associate Director of Athletics, CSU 

Session H: The Impacts and Uses of Mobile and Social Media (Jamie Switzer, Moderator)

  • Izzy Abbas, '90, business development consultant, VarVee
  • Pauletta Tonilas, '85, Public Information Manager, RTD Fasttracks
  • Dianna Hemphill, '04, Communications Director, American Cancer Society
  • Tom Milligan, CSU Vice President of External Relations

Session I: Science, Society and Scenic Visions (Joe Champ, Moderator)

  • John Calderazzo, English professor, Colorado State University
  • Sue Ellen Campbell, English professor, Colorado State University
  • Brian Jones, physics professor, Colorado State University
  • Lindsay Simpson, ’10, producer, Wyoming Game and Fish Department

3:30-4:45 p.m. - Special joint session: Crazy, Cool and Courageous

It's Wild, It's Crazy, and it's produced by CSU Alumni. Collection of entertaining and amazing shorts from festival entries

6:30 p.m. - Media Festival Awards dinner: Dinner seating for ticket holders only; must register in advance

7:30 p.m. - Awards ceremony in the Lory Student Center Cherokee Park Ballroom. Open to all. 

Saturday, Sept. 25, 11 a.m.
Hughes Stadium
Fort Collins

11 a.m.Ag Day Barbecue, Hughes Stadium 

2 p.m.Football: CSU vs. Idaho 

Contact: Journalism and Technical Journalism Alumni
Phone: (970) 491-6310