OXFORD, Miss. — Two MTSU media students got a hands-on taste of their future careers during the recent Lens Collective 2019 multimedia storytelling workshop at the University of Mississippi.
Christine Eschenfelder, an assistant professor in the College of Media and Entertainment’s School of Journalism and Strategic Media, accompanied students Christyn Allen of Robbins, Tennessee, and Brandon Casteel of Greeneville, Tennessee, to this year’s event, which is an in-depth workshop that focuses on cultural preservation through digital storytelling. Students document for a day and spend the next day editing and producing content.
Casteel, a junior video and film production major, and his partner for the video story, Neely Mullen from the University of Mississippi, covered a story in Glendora, Mississippi, about a fifth-generation farmer in the Mississippi Delta working land that has been in his family since 1857.
Allen, a junior journalism major, and her partner, Alie Skowronski from Ohio University, went to Water Valley, Mississippi, to tell the story of a couple who run a business centered on naturally raised produce, homemade bread, and their own jars of pickles and preserves. And they have a lot of chickens.
(Watch both of their stories at the bottom of this story.)
Lens Collective’s 2019 theme was covering the land of the Mississippi Delta. Schools including Penn State, Ohio University, and Ball State also attended the Oct. 23-26 workshop. In all, the workshop attracted 35 students and 19 mentors representing seven universities.
Although it rained (poured) the entire day during the video shoots, Casteel said, “Coming to this conference was one of the best opportunities that I have ever received in my undergrad career … for a boy coming from the Smoky Mountains, coming to the Delta was an experience on its own for me. Students in the upcoming years are going to be so fortunate to have this same opportunity that I received this past week.”
“They truly distinguished themselves and our SOJSM program,” Eschenfelder said. “I am quite proud of the work they accomplished.”
For more information about the Lens Collective, visit https://www.lenscollective.org/.
— Jimmy Hart (Jimmy.Hart@mtsu.edu)
Casteel’s story with Ole Miss partner Mullen can be viewed below:
Allen story with Ohio University partner Skowronski can be view below: