New Campus-Based Video Production Company Gives Students Experience

Lakeside Media@SUNY Oswego launched as a student-staffed, faculty-mentored video production business, complete with professional responsibilities that include everything from on-time delivery of high-quality video to bookkeeping.

“It’s actually professional experience that these students will be getting, with faculty oversight,” said Julie Pretzat, dean of the School of Communication, Media and the Arts. “The work is contracted and the students are paid.”

The enterprise evolved over several years, starting with an award-winning, student-produced video whose contract ran through the video business of communication studies faculty member Marybeth Longo ’11. The video about a communication system for Upstate first responders tied for third place in the instructional/educational category of the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts, a national competition.

“We thought, ‘Why not keep this going?” Longo said.

Lakeside Media@SUNY Oswego launched with three contracts in hand: a video to help students know University Police and its duties better, another on the dangers of synthetic marijuana and a third on the college’s Title IX program.

Clients in the run-up to the new business have included the Oswego County Division of Promotion and Tourism and the SUNY Oswego technology department’s advanced manufacturing program.

“This is a job,” Longo said. “There’s no academic credit. They’re not getting student work, they’re getting professional work. This gives them a big leg up on becoming self-sufficient.”

Students Amanda McKnight ’17 (right) and Matthew Cancél ’17 operate video equipment for Lakeside Media@SUNY Oswego, which has launched as a student-staffed, faculty-mentored video production business.

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