Tag Archives: Shawn Heilbron

End of an awesome week

Colin Maloney preparing for one of his numerous interviews at the Ducks game.
Colin Maloney preparing for one of his numerous interviews at the Ducks game.

It is the last day of the program, and I cannot believe this is the final blog post I will write. This week has been amazing. I met 18 incredible teenagers who not only share my interest in journalism but also are just incredibly fun, and I will miss them all greatly.

Besides having fun with my fellow campers, this week has been jam-packed with truly unique experiences. I got to participate press conference with Stony Brook’s Athletic Director Shawn Heilbron, learned photography from the Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist John Williams, interviewed cancer survivors and baseball fans, learned how a news broadcast is made and got to see an actual newsroom at Newsday.

The thing I most valued about this program was it made me go outside my comfort zone.  I had to interview complete strangers, which was at first absolute terrifying because working for my school newspaper Tarmac, I usually knew my interview subjects. But after several interviews, I began to relax and really enjoyed conducting the interviews.  Besides the interviewing, I also had to take and edit stills and video, which I had never had to do for my school program. But, doing all these things gave me valuable experience that I hope to use back at the Tarmac.

In closing, I would like to thank to all the professors for all the hard work they did and my fellow Greene Team members for being the funny, creative, and awesome. You guys made the week fly by and I hope to see you all again.


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A great Greene ending

The lectures are over, the articles posted, and the week-long Greene program will officially close in less than 24 hours.

And wow, what a week it’s been.

A first day photograph featuring John Wiliams' back (clearly, I had no idea what I was doing -- yet).
A first day photograph featuring John Wiliams‘ back (clearly, I had no idea what I was doing — yet).

As is said in the bio Reid wrote of me, journalism is not my primary passion – the reading and writing I’ve always loved has been fiction and flowery language. The creative writing class in my high school was linked to a journalism one, but, even then, my interest in journalism was rather secondary.

A glimpse of the campus.
A glimpse of the campus.

This week, however—holding a microphone and interviewing randoms in “man on the street” segments, researching and writing, asking questions in a press conference setting, working the tech board in a television studio—has been enlightening.

A view from the back of Studio B.
A view from the back of Studio B.

It’s hard, even, to pick highlights to reflect on here. From all the special guests and unique opportunities of the week, so many stand out. (And, additionally, writing this blog has really been a blast).

Moment of silence for the computer I'm going to miss so much when I return to a tiny laptop.
Moment of silence for the computer I’m going to miss so badly when I return to my little laptop.

Reporting at the Ducks game and in all formats throughout the week (at the Emergency Operations Center, the Shawn Heilbron press conference, last night’s “man on the street” segments) has been my favorite. It’s not so much of a stretch from what I already love—as president of Massapequa’s Drama Club, I’m no stranger to improv, which is what the interviews mostly came to be. Still, holding the mic and asking questions was a rush each time.

SBU! (Photo Credit: Courtney Taylor~)

The aspects of journalism I had been unfamiliar with also ended up being intriguing and enjoyable—photography and film, for example—and the teachers of those lectures really made them easy to understand (professor Ricioppo for film and John Williams for photography).

Dual-screen photography action.
Dual-screen journalist action.

The week has been jam-packed with special guests from the field: Bob Herzog, who brought sports journalism to life; Matt Clark, the investigative journalist who truly piqued my interest (I’ve always wanted to write, of course, but after seeing the movie “Agent Cody Banks” when I was a kid, I became crazy about the idea of being a spy—this seems to be the perfect blend of the two); Sandra Peddie, another investigative reporter, busting crimes and getting to the bottom of things (while also being an engaging speaker and intriguing professional).

Just around the corner from where the news magic really happens. (Photo by me!)
Just around the corner from where the news magic really happens. (Photo by me!)

Speaking to people pursuing journalism in the real world has been enlightening, and hearing their stories furthered my interest in journalism from secondary to, perhaps, a bit higher.

Madison Flotteron and Courtney Taylor anchoring at the Stony Brook University School of Journalism broadcast studio on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Photo by Wasim Ahmad.
(Photo Credit: Wasim Ahmad)

While the special guests of the week were exciting and interesting for the bits they were here, the professionals I was with for the entirety of the week—Professor Ahmad, Professor Duffy and Professor Dowdy—were incredibly informative and interesting in their own rights, teaching us the business that they themselves are passionate about.

Sitting down this morning to edit my piece with professor Duffy and professor Dowdy was an extremely valuable journalistic experience, as their classes on writing have been throughout the week.

Team Wasumsauce!
a little late for #tbt, but throwback to earlier in the week!

And, of course, as member of Team Wasumsauce, I’ve really enjoyed professor Ahmad’s courses on blogging (three blog posts in one day, so, clearly) and the photo side of journalism, as well as his guidance on our group’s stories. Outside of his intriguing courses, I’ve had a great time as a member of his team: working at the Ducks game, going on an impromptu tour of campus after we all missed the bus and hearing about his experiences in the field.

(Photo Credit: Wasim Ahmad)
(Photo Credit: Wasim Ahmad)

Outside of class altogether, I’ve met a ton of interesting, intelligent and all-around cool people in this program, and being on a real college campus has been an eye-opening experience as well.

So, with the week coming to its finale (finishing off with a movie and tomorrow’s closing ceremonies), I’d be amiss if I left out my thoughts on journalism altogether after this week.


I don’t know where to begin—it’s exciting, it’s thought-provoking, and I know now that I would find my life lacking without pursuing journalism in some avenue—a minor, a double major, who knows?

a final newsroom selfie to tie it all together -- a journalist with a press pass.
a final blurry newsroom selfie to tie it all together — a journalist with a press pass~

Nevertheless, the Greene Program has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I learned to use a camera from a Pulitzer prize winner on the first day, amongst all the other extraordinary opportunities the program has given me—that certainly doesn’t happen every day!

I come away from the program with skill, interest and a heightened love for written word—the Greene legacy, fulfilled.

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A photo of  the new Stony Brook Arena at Stony Brook University on Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Photo by Hanna Da'Mes.

Stony Brook’s home court advantage

As summer is quickly coming to an end, Stony Brook University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams look forward to their upcoming fall seasons in the newly renovated Stony Brook Arena, designed by NK Architects and Popolous with Fortunato Sons Contracting Inc.

“Before the game, the arena will be a great atmosphere for fans,” said Adam McLeod, the assistant director of athletics. “And we find that a lot of times the players draw off the fans and really when you a great atmosphere you know that helps the team.”

Construction on the arena started in June 2012 and cost $21.1 million. The 40,000-square-foot renovation holds 4,008 seats; three times the 1,800 seats that Pritchard Gymnasium features.

Additionally, four luxury suites were built into the arena, which also features two video boards, three scoreboards, three concession stands and four men’s and women’s restrooms.

“We’re excited about packing the place, our goals is to sell out every game and put 4,000 people in the seats, build a great environment and go from there,” McLeod said.

As school as school starts up again in the fall, Stony Brook University will not only have a new arena, but a new athletic director as well. Shawn Heilbron was introduced as Stony Brook’s new athletic director in May 2014. Heilbron said he is excited about the new arena and is working toward growing it with more opportunities and fans.

“We want to have a great show so that when people come to a game they tell their friends,” Heilbron said. “We want to bring concerts in. We want people outside of the Stony Brook community to come on campus and experience the arena. It is a great way for people to see what Stony Brook is really about.”

Women’s basketball player Brooke Proctor, a senior who has been playing for the school for three years, believes that the new arena was well designed.

“It would attract the fans of Long Island and bring the women’s team into a new level and bring a new vibe to the game,” Proctor said, adding that she’s looking forward to the new, louder sound system. “It would give the players more energy to do well.”

Despite the anticipation for the new arena, the players and staff expressed an emotional connection toward Pritchard Gymnasium because it has been the location of practices, failures and success.

“Pritchard has its place in all of our hearts,” said Carson Puriefoy, a junior and guard on the men’s basketball team. “It was a great atmosphere. We had one of the best home courts in the country, I think. But I think we can make this arena a great home court as well.”

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Stony Brook University's new Athletics Director Shawn Heilbron speaks to the Greene Team at the School of Journalism's newsroom on Monday, July 21, 2014. Photo by Wasim Ahmad.

New director heads SBU athletics

Shawn Heilbron officially became Stony Brook’s new athletic director on July 1, but it took a lifetime of work to get him to this point.

Heilbron grew up in Dallas, Texas. As a Cowboys fan, one of Heilbron’s role models was Roger Staubach, the Cowboys quarterback. “ He (Staubach) was Mr. America, a great quarterback and a great person.” said Heilbron. “I had chance to meet him when I was a kid, and I really looked up to him growing up.”

This interest in sports led Heilbron to the college of communications at the University of Texas at Austin, with the end goal of becoming a sports broadcaster. However, he changed his mind during his senior year.

“My senior year in college, I had a crossroads moment where I did an internship at the local ABC affiliate in Austin, and I thought ‘This is the first step in my first step toward my career in broadcasting.’ The only problem was it just wasn’t for me.”


After graduating, he returned to Dallas and attempted to find a job with one of the city’s numerous professional sports teams. The only team that gave him a shot was a minor league hockey team, the Dallas Freeze. The job only lasted six months and he received no salary. But it gave him his first experience working in athletics.

After his job with the Dallas Freeze, Heilbron went on to a job at Southern Methodist University (SMU), which involved him working to help market the college’s sports. Heilbron greatly enjoyed this job.

“I loved the energy of the college campus, I loved the fact I was involved not just in one sport but multiple sports,” he said.

He then went on to work at Pinnacle Trading Cards, a private sports cards company, but returned shortly to SMU as director of marketing for athletics. This was the point when Heilbron confirmed that he wanted to work in college athletics.

“I loved working with student athletes and realized that we were doing was trying to change lives student athletes’ lives better,” he said.

After eight years at SMU, in 2006, he accepted a job at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) as associate director for development. In this capacity, he oversaw most of the fundraising for UCLA athletics.

However, living in Los Angeles was a hard adjustment for Heilbron, his wife and their three children. So in 2011, Heilbron took a job at Oregon State University as senior associate athletic director. He oversaw fundraising there as well, and helped to raise millions of dollars for Oregon State’s sports programs.

His family enjoyed living in Corvallis, the small, quiet town where Oregon State is located. But they missed the excitement of living in a big city. While in Corvallis, Heilbron realized that his next career move needed to work not just for him professionally, but for his family as well.

The opportunity he was waiting for came earlier this year, when he received the offer from the Stony Brook. Heilbron knew the job was right for him professionally.

“I knew Stony Brook was incredible school with an athletic department that was growing and accomplishing great things,” he said.

He also knew that its location on Long Island and being near New York City would make it great for his family. As a result, Heilbron decided to accept the position at Stony Brook and begin not only his tenure as the university’s athletic director, but also the next chapter – for himself and his family.

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New athletic director has high hopes for SBU sports

Shawn Heilbron already has big plans as the newly hired athletic director of Stony Brook University.

The university has made huge strides in athletics in recent years, climbing from Division III to Division I athletics, and Heilbron said he plans to continue building on this progress.

Keeping the students’ academic success in mind, Heilbron said his goal is to enhance football and basketball to bring in more revenue and more championships for all sports, including women’s.

Heilbron stresses the idea that his student athletes will be ready for life after college. His coaching staff is on board with this idea.


“We have coaches that are committed to doing it the right way, with integrity, with conviction, developing our student athletes,” he says. “They know it is a great academic institution and they don’t want to compromise that just to have success. They are committed to helping student athletes achieve their dreams.”

And Heilbron has a strategy to achieve this multifaceted strategy.

“I am committed to all of our sports having that same heightened experience,” Heilbron says, adding that to do this, he needs to raise money through the lucrative sports – football and basketball.

“I am committed to giving my student athletes the unbelievable experience they deserve. I believe one way we can do that is growing our football program. It’s a way we can increase campus pride, it’s a way we can increase additional revenue and invest back to all of our sports. . . To compete at the highest level takes incredible diligence and incredible commitment and it takes a plan.”

It will take Heilbron’s marketing and communications background to accomplish this goal.

“We have to get Stony Brook students really excited about what it means to come and support,” he said. “It’s not just about watching the game; it’s about the campus experience. It is about pride, so we need to reach out to the students, the campus community. It starts with a plan and a process and we will work very, very hard to start right here on campus and build up from there.”

Building up athletics programs will include boosting women’s sports.

“We plan to grow women’s sports just the same as any other sport,” Heilbron said. “It starts with opportunities, it starts with making sure that we are funding our programs properly so they have opportunities to succeed.”

Increased revenue from football games will improve athletics all around, Heilbron says.

“If football does make the jump to the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) level, that would mean adding women’s sports because of Title IX, which is an exciting thing to think about,” he says. “We just hired a new women’s basketball coach who I am very excited about. And with the new (basketball) arena, we feel like women’s basketball has a chance to do some great things.”

Heilbron said he plans not only to raise money, but also to win championships: “We care more about winning, we care more about them lifting trophies.”

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Interviews with a thousand words and learning about pictures worth a thousand words

It is Tuesday, the second official day of camp. The first day was a tight can full of fun surprises. To pick up where I left off yesterday, the interview with Shawn Heilbron was great; I got to ask him about what intentions he has to improve women’s sports, as it had been demonstrated by various sources that he wants to focus on football and basketball. He answered fluently, and he couldn’t stop smiling – he has a lot in store but I believe that information will be released in a story later on the week. He said that working job after job he hadn’t really found that one dream one up until he was at UCLA, where he realized he wanted to be an Athletics Director, and now he is one. I wanted to ask what is he aiming for now, but didn’t get to do so.

After the press conference, we got to learn photography with John Williams, which was fun because I took photography in the fall semester of my junior year and didn’t remember everything vividly. We learned a lot more about techniques from his Pulitzer Prize winning perspective.

Observing the Greene Team practicing photography as a longboarder cruises behind.
John Williams observing the Greene Team practicing photography as a longboarder cruises behind.
After dinner we learned about broadcasting with Professor Ricioppo, specifically we practiced getting good B-roll shots and he told us about his career.  He taught us his “go to” trick of playing with the foreground and background while focusing on something.  I’m excited to use all these new things we are learning.

It was a long day but not in the bad way. After the broadcasting lesson/lecture/seminar/practice we went back to the residence halls where I met Shakir and Reggie, two boys in a pre-med camp that assured Jason and I that they will have our backs in a couple years if we come across any medical issues. Then I headed down to the lounge where I met another boy, Matt, who is at a Math camp and I started conversing with him alongside Madison, Noelia, and Lea. He told us that he is participating in about four camps this summer to kill time. I mean, I wouldn’t mind deriving and integrating or deciphering other hieroglyphs of the mathematics language in my free time, but I wouldn’t do it for two weeks just to pass time! The boy is pretty much learning in an organized form of education year round.

After chatting in the lounge, I headed to the dorm for bed and then, in the blink of an eye and a tiny puddle of drool, the sun was shining and I was greeting the morning with a yawn. I got dressed and then it was breakfast time, the morning news showed unrest in various nations and an editorial about the US’ immigration issue made me wonder about where could the xenophobic opinion, shared by many, have come from in a nation that was founded by all sorts of European immigrants?

After breakfast we went to the newsroom and learned about news writing, and midway through the lesson Sandra Peddie, an investigative reporter from Newsday, came in and talked to us about her career.  The day was still young and we are about to learn more about photography with John Williams.

Every person we have met whom has shared his or her career with us has demonstrated that the field is far from boring, more of a career in which every step you reach for a branch that is higher and higher as you soar over a river in the jungle of informing contemporary beings on events that are concurrent with everyday life.

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‘Privileged to help tell their story’

ACtion Shot Alejandro jumps over Madison  and Noelia
Action Shot:  Alejandro jumps over Madison and Noelia

People often say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I never really grasped the true meaning of that saying until yesterday. We had a four-hour lesson with Pulitzer Prize winning photographer John Williams. Williams told us some of the basics of taking a quality photo including light sensitivity, field of vision, and shutter speed. He taught us how to capture someone in motion, pan a shot, and capture details accurately as possible. It was a ton of fun, as we could take pictures of basically anything we want including our classmates running, jumping and doing cartwheels. After this exciting lesson, we had a quick dinner at the Student Activity Center. We then returned to the newsroom for a lesson in operating video cameras with Professor Rick Ricioppo. We learned how to handle the video camera and the tripod properly. We then headed outside to practice shooting videos. It was difficult to find anything that interesting to videotape and most of my group’s shoots were just of people walking through the frame. However, it was interesting to learn about a skill I didn’t have any real experience with. Right after this lesson, we were assigned the teams we would be working with the rest of the week.

Today we had another a photo lesson with Williams. We practiced the techniques we learned yesterday and took portraits of our classmates. After the portraits we finished up our photo class, and Williams told us that this would be his last class with us. I was very disappointed to hear this because William’s class had been my favorite part of the program so far.

After the photo lesson and lunch we were given our teams’ assignment. My team had to write two articles on Shawn Heilbron. I did the article focused on Shawn’s life story, and Laura and Lisa worked on an article describing Heilbron’s vision for Stony Brook. Then we attended an event, which presented cancer survivors with college scholarships. Laura and I interviewed the some of the people running the event and some of the recipients of the scholarships. It was fascinating to hear these survivors’ story and I feel privileged to help to be able to help tell their story through my work.

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Photography + press conference + pretzels …

We hit the ground running on the first official day, instantly immersing ourselves in photography and film. While learning from Newsday Photo Editor and Pulitzer Prize winner John Williams was a unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience, I highly doubt my blurry shots will be winning the prize next.

My previous experience in photography – the renowned selfie and occasional picture of my little sister doing something cute – were definitely lacking when compared to the technique and set-up needed to take the perfect “action shot.”

My attempt at an action shot of Leslie -- oops.
My attempt at an action shot of Leslie — oops.

Another new experience yesterday was the press conference with Stony Brook’s new athletic director, Shawn Heilbron. It was seriously cool – I felt like a real-deal journalist covering a beat with my notepad and voice recorder. Heilbron seemed like an ambitious professional.

Shawn Heilbron and SBU President Sam Stanley (photo credit: Stony Brook University)

The last class of the evening was about filming to “capture the moment” – the final segment of Prof. Ricioppo’s mantra. While it’s hard to pick a highlight in such a packed day, running around with a camera and tripod and taking ten-second clips of happenings on campus was definitely up there. It really was great – taking shots of fountains and wandering students at dusk, climbing and crouching to get the perfect angle, and holding back laughter while someone else in the group was filming was the perfect way to end the day.

One of the better shots of the day.
One of the better shots of the day.

While I was exhausted (and starving – in what world is 5 p.m. dinnertime???) on the walk back to the dorms, the fun wasn’t over yet. After a quick call from home (and some disdain from my mother as I ate M&M’s at 9:30), my roommate Mary Kate and I heard a knock at the door – the Greene Team girls were assembling in a dorm for Scattergories and snacks.

Of course, I was beyond sold on that idea (has there ever been an invention more brilliant than triple-stuffed golden Oreos?). We crowded into the room, sitting in a circle around a slew of snacks and game cards (huge thank you to Kayla’s mom) and joined the game. It was a great time, and a really neat game.

My roommate Mary Kate and I played as a team, scrambling to think of unique boys’ names and celebrities in accordance to the letter chosen for the round (in a stroke of brilliance, she used “Nancy Regan” for celebrities whose names started with “N,” and I got a point for “Octavius” in the category of boys’ names that started with “O.”).

Today looks like another full day, especially now that our teams have been selected and our stories will be pursued in the afternoon.

Fingers crossed for a good one!

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A selfie with Noelia

Photography class featuring selfies

Yesterday was quite an eventful day. We worked from morning until night nonstop, but I enjoyed every moment of it.

The new director of athletics, Shawn Heilbron, paid us a visit to discuss how he will be making improvements on Stony Brook’s athletic programs. Heilbron said he is eager to get started in his new position. This was the first time that Heilbron has met with student journalists at Stony Brook in his new position.

A selfie with Noelia
A selfie with Noelia
In the afternoon, John Williams taught us how to work the cameras and showed us cool techniques to get a photo just right. Noelia Vazquez and I got a little creative and took a selfie!

It was such a pleasure working with Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and Newsday assistant photo editor, John Williams. He had so much knowledge on the subject and has so many interesting experiences from years of traveling the world. Williams taught us how to take still and action shots. We had a lot of fun shooting the action shots because we got to play around. We were running, tumbling, and jumping and the photos came out very well. Williams was as enthusiastic as we were and was happy to see us get so involved with the photography.

Arm Jump Rope


Journalism Jumps

In the evening, Kelly Colligan worked with Noelia Vazquez and I on our video camera practice. We had so much fun! We asked people to do some pretty random things for us in our shots. For example, we found some guy to throw a penny into a fountain and then we had a lady read for us on a bench. Our inner-stalker side came out when we got footage of a man riding around on his bike and he had no idea we were filming him.

When I got back to the dorms at night I was disturbed by a Snapchat that my sister sent me. I have been gone for barely 24 hours and she has already moved into my room. Now I know what to expect when I go away to college!

My sister, Morgan, is currently taking over my room when I am away. She is wearing my Vineyard Vines whale hat, my white scarf, and my Coach pocketbook.
My sister, Morgan, is currently taking over my room when I am away. She is wearing my Vineyard Vines whale hat, my white scarf, and my Coach pocketbook

Bonding with all the Greene Team members has been fantastic. I can tell already that I will stay in touch with the people here for a long time to come. We are all getting along great and I have already made so many new friends, as well as become even closer with Sharon Ahmed and Alejandro Serrano from school.

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Monday madness for the Greene Team

panning your subject

Yesterday was full of photography, cartwheels, and Double Stuf Oreos. We started the day by blogging and interviewing the new Athletics Director here at Stony Brook, Shawn Heilbron. I’ve never interviewed a subject among eighteen others, so that was really interesting. Heilbron was very well spoken and enjoyable to listen to. He gave us exactly what we needed to write our article.

After lunch, we got the privilege to learn from a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, John Conrad Williams. After seeing what an incredible photographer he was, I was a bit intimidated. But after Williams showed us some basic skills of photography, I became more confident. We ventured out of the ice-cold newsroom, and out to take photos of the fountain, and then on to portraits. After experimenting with the camera’s ISO, shutter speed and aperture, we moved on to action shots. We jumped, cartwheeled, and leaped across the grass, while our partner tried their best to capture the shot. One of my shots came out really cool, so I inserted it into this blog post.

Following our photography lesson, we ate dinner. I decided to make instant mac & cheese in the cafeteria’s microwave. Solid choice. Once everyone had finished eating, we began our broadcast lesson. Rick Ricioppo was our instructor, and he helped us assemble the camera on the tripod, and get the most out of our videos. Towards the end of the lesson we got the chance to test out our new skills and tape some scenes outside. We filmed everything from footsteps to still nature. I’m excited to see how our (very random) movie comes out.

After a very long day, we situated into the dorms. All the girls gathered in one room to play a fun game called Scattergories. We laughed at every single response while shoveling down Double Stuf Oreos and Doritos. Party games and junk food is always a good time. After a few rounds of playing, my roommate Yaya and I went back to our room. I’m so glad Yaya is my roommate because we are so much alike. We will definitely keep in touch after this program ends. Let’s just say there’s never a dull moment in room C211.

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And so the work begins

This morning we met Sandra Peddie an investigative journalist for Newsday. Hearing her talk about her experiences with Bob Greene and watching how excited she was to share her stories truly made me realize that investigative journalism is my career goal. Photography is also on my mind, though yesterday was the first time I ever truly did photography other than vacation snapshots or the more-than-occasional-selfie.

Capturing Prof. Ahmad capturing students. Photo by Jason Reid.
Capturing Prof. Ahmad capturing students. Photo by Jason Reid.

Everything we started yesterday really does have me hungry to learn more. We had our first press conference and we practiced with video cameras later that day as well. Oddly enough, never once did I feel overwhelmed by a task. I even came out of my shell a bit and asked Shawn Heilbron, SBU’s new athletics director, a question during our press conference. Today is a new day, however, and apparently this is where the work truly begins.

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A jam-packed day with lots of lessons

Monday, the first full day of the Robert W. Greene program, was a really excellent experience. In my previous blog post I described the excellent breakfast here, and I finished before we had the interview with Shawn Heilbron.

Heilbron is the new addition to the Stony Brook staff. He is the new Athletic Director and has high hopes improving Stony Brook’s sports reputation as a whole. In the interview we got to listen to Heilbron’s story as to how he got to be where he is today, and then we proceeded by each asking questions, acting like a real reporter. Through the question and answers we discovered that he is interested in building up the football and basketball program, and then marketing them to get more of an audience at the games. He would then use these funds from the games to fund the other sports equally, and even has hopes of starting up a new women’s sports team.

After the interview with Heilbron we headed out to lunch. Lunch was pretty good, there was a various amount of options, but I can personally say that the pizza was really good.

John Williams Photography ClassJohn Conrad Williams then came in and taught us about the ISO, aperture and shutter speeds of the camera. We then took the cameras outside and practiced taking pictures of moving targets and of each other. This was one of the best parts of the day, going outside where it’s not  -20˚ like in the newsroom.

Kelly Colligan by Reid RubioAfter the photo lesson, we took a dinner break, which was basically the same food as lunch, which was fine by me as long as there is pizza. Next, Professor Rick Ricioppo came in and taught us about the topic I’m most interested in—broadcast journalism. We learned the basics, most of which I had already known from my class in school, but I did learn a few things about layering which was really nice.

Even though the day felt never-ending, I did learn some really exciting new things that I can’t wait to take back to my broadcast program in my school and share.

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Highlight of my summer already

These past two days have been by far the most eventful of my summer. Besides having to go through a drivers’ education course, I have not done that much with my summer. I have numerous reasons—or really excuses—for this: Studying for my final exams drained me, drivers’ education took up too much of my day to do anything else and several others.

photo1But since I started the Greene Institute yesterday, I have had no time for excuses. I met my awesome roommate, Reid Rubio, learned how to take more professional-looking photos with my iPhone, played a very close and down-to-the-wire game of pool with some of my fellow Greene Team members and spent my first night in a dorm room. That was only the first day.

Today after a quick breakfast at the Student Activities Center, we got right to work learning the fundamentals of news and preparing for our first interview later today with Shawn Heilbron, Stony Brook’s new Athletics Director. In comparison to the rest of my summer, these two days with the Greene Team have been full of excitement and new experiences, and I am looking forward to what the rest of the week will bring.

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Busy day, great start

Well, it’s the first full day of camp and it is more comfortable than school, yet we are still learning which is great.  Breakfast wasn’t bad, but waking up was rough this morning.  So far, I’ve learned that improvisation can be key, it is easy to get lost on campus, “to do” checklists are helpful and asking questions is better than wondering.

Last night went swell, after the barbeque and farewell to parents we discussed story ideas and it was very similar to budget meetings I have with my school paper. The major difference was that we weren’t gathered in a circle.  After the latter we were left to downtime in the lounge where we ordered pizza and attempted to watch Monsters University—it is actually hard to watch a movie as other camps are deep in conversation and you are barely getting away from the sound of greetings and ice breakers with your fellow camp mates.

It is interesting how similar my roommate and I are.  Jason is from Baldwin and our music tastes compliment more than just each other’s ears, clothing style fashion is in the same ball park, we are both going to be editors-in-chief our senior year and we share similar opinions on everyday teenage things such as sleep (rules).

Jason, staring off into the distance of the newsroom
Jason, staring off into the distance of the newsroom.

There are only five dudes so it is not hard to interact or chill with everyone in one dorm, which is pretty cool.  The dorms are spacious.  I wonder why there are more girls than guys—is this how the journalism and communications field is?  We all get along which is always a good thing, there are all sorts of other people here and it is pretty cool.

We are now off to interview the new Athletic Director, Shawn Heilbron.  It looks like it’s going to be a busy day, but it will be fun.

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A great ending leads to a busy beginning

Last night was fantastic. After we had a story talk, we all got together and ordered pizza. This pizza was some of the best I’ve ever had and I really can’t wait to get more. Then, we sat back and watched Monsters University courtesy of the Math and Science camps that are also attending Stony Brook right now.

During the first full day here at Stony Brook University, it’s not even noon yet and we’ve already been up and moving for the past few hours. The day started with a loud knock on the door at 6:30 am…. way too early. My roommate and I, Colin, had to try to find the energy to crawl to the bathroom and get ready by 7:15 a.m.

Kelly and IAt 7:30 a.m., we were escorted to breakfast by a Conference Assistant. Of course, being the health fanatic that I am, I had a wholesome and balanced breakfast of Lucky Charms cereal and Pepsi this morning.

Since then, we headed to the newsroom, which is equipped with some really cool, state of the art iMacs for the journalism program. We then researched the new Director of Athletics, Shawn Heilbron, who came in for an interview with us at 11 a.m. We developed questions for the interview.

Out of all the people here, who are truly amazing, one person that really stood out to me was Kelly Colligan. Kelly is a fantastic individual who is really talented at journalism and playing volleyball. It is so great to be meeting such interesting people here.

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First Days at the Brook

I’d never stayed in a residence hall before, but with five siblings, I am no stranger to sharing a room. Thankfully, this time, my roommate has neither stolen my clothes nor gotten me grounded – although, to be fair, the week is still young.

In addition to a great kick-off barbecue and opening classes (I don’t think a blog about One Direction qualifies me as a pro in the “Art of Blogging,” but nevertheless, the course and subsequent lesson on photography were interesting), my roommate Mary Kate and I hit it off from the start. It was awesome to meet someone equally interested in Game of Thrones, writing (of course), and history – prompting a discussion of historical figures we wished we could meet (her list included Queen Elizabeth I and Alexander the Great, mine Robespierre and Abraham Lincoln) – definitely a conversation I don’t have every day.

Also on the subject of things not done, I was able to complete my profile of Reid Rubio last night (a thousand apologies for it being ridiculously late). A nasty and time-consuming sinus infection, a summer job, and general forgetfulness can never really be a good combination (again, my apologies).

Our press conference for Stony Brook Athletics Director Shawn Heilbron starts soon, which should be a really unique event. The press conferences I’ve seen on TV are always these super serious, tensions-running-high events, and while this certainly won’t be crafted along those lines, I’m excited to have the experience of working a real press conference.

It’s been a great start, and I look forward to the rest of the day and week!

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Blog #1: Not too shabby

I have survived the first night here at Stony Brook. My roommate, Yardalie, is so nice and a really good singer. I always mispronounce her name, so I gave her the nickname “Yaya.” She says she likes it, so it works. Last night I finally convinced Yaya and my other friend Noelia to sing. The kids here are all so talented and diverse. Last night we all ordered pizza and watched Monsters University. Despite how juvenile the movie sounds, it’s actually very entertaining. The staff here is really welcoming too.

We went to bed earlier than expected, around midnight, and woke up pretty early. Let’s just say I’m not a morning person. We made our way over to the Student Activities Center, or the SAC. I enjoyed an overwhelmingly healthy meal of Lucky Charms and a sesame bagel. We are now sitting in the (very chilly) newsroom, writing these blogs. Earlier, we researched the new Stony Brook Athletic Director. Shawn Heilbron. It feels so weird to be researching and gathering interview questions. Although it’s only been four weeks since I last did this, it feels like forever.

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