Class gains tools for the toolbox

By Matt Tidman, a senior from Wilmore.

Brittany Beck gets her picture taken for class public relations.

WILMORE, KY—Not many college students can say that they planned an event to promote a new Disney movie. Asbury College students in a special class with Prof. Greg Bandy can. These students are spending the semester producing the “Engaging Culture” weekend to include both Narnia Night, promoting the newest Disney film “Prince Caspian” and the Highbridge Film Festival.

Students in the Special Events Production and Promotion class make the grade and get real-world experience through dividing into four teams: marketing/public relations, graphic design, video and event management. Each team works together producing the different facets of the event. They come together during class times to discuss their progress and get feedback from the other teams in a production studio-like environment.

Megan Scott ’10, a graphic designer for the event, listed teamwork as the main reason she decided to take the class. She added that the experience was like working for an actual production studio.

“The brainstorming at 2 a.m. and the rush of working together as a team to make the most dynamic piece we possibly can… knowing that we couldn’t have done it without each other—it is such a rush,” Scott said. “The creative process is just amazing to be a part of.”

Along with the late-night brainstorming sessions, students are also learning the concept of balance while working in a professional environment.

“While hard work is important, it is also important to take time to spend with God, with family, and with friends—and with myself,” said Will Sears ’08, the director of public relations for the events. “There is a time to be driven and passionate, to advance the cause. But there is also a time to be introspective.”

Not only do students get a better grasp of working together in college; they also build their portfolios.

“Some of my students have walked out of our program in the last few years with better portfolios than I had after 20 years of working in the industry,” said Greg Bandy, assistant professor and instructor of the class.

Students gather during class time for team meetings and feedback.

Sears agreed that the event was helping his portfolio.

“This kind of experience is valid in an interview setting and will certainly distinguish me from almost all other young people who will be entering the workforce when I do,” he said.

Both Sears and Scott recommend this class to students interested in planning an event. Sears said that this class is a good fit for students who take the initiative and are professional.

Bandy agreed on the level of professionalism needed to complete this class.

“My goal is to guide and mentor talented students who want to excel as professionals at all levels and also help them develop a solid work ethic and the invaluable ability to work with others,” Bandy said.

The students’ hard work pays off later this semester as Asbury College hosts the “Engaging Culture” weekend beginning April 25 with Narnia Night and the Highbridge Film Festival.

“It’s an exciting time to be an Asburian, because global opportunities—many of them professional in nature, not just missionary opportunities—are increasingly at the helm of our students,” Sears said. “The time has come for Asbury to be the leading Christian institution in the nation, and I believe we will play an increasing role of setting the bar for what is to be a 21st century, truly Christian, college.”

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