Communication Students Serve Community with Video Projects

Posted: April 27, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Beau Cribbs

For the past five years, Cindy Lont’s Theories of Visual Communication class has teamed up with nonprofit business clients to assist them with their promotional or educational videos, and this year is no different.

In the past, Lont’s classes have worked with the Brain Injury Services of Northern Virginia, Loudoun County Care Givers, Elizabeth’s House for Homeless Teen-Age Mothers and Fairfax County Leadership Program for At-Risk High School students.

This semester, the class has taken on two new clients: Northern Virginia Training Center and the National Capital Area Lyme Disease Association.

Working with the client, each team of seven to nine students led by an executive producer will write, produce, shoot, edit and complete a final video.

Jacqueline Mehlberg, a senior communications student, is the producer for the group involved with the National Capital Lyme Disease Association.

“While everyone in our group has specific designations, like producer, videographer, writer, editor or graphics, each member in our team has stepped outside of his or her role to contribute to the project in multiple aspects,” Mehlberg says. “I have been very impressed with all of my classmates and have learned from each of them.”

Lont comments, “It has been a wonderful experience for all involved.” She notes that in the past, her classes have won various awards for their final projects, been invited to Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meetings and fund-raising events, and been given certificates of appreciation from clients.

The focus of a project like this, according to Lont, is not only to provide students with the skills to produce a short promotional video, but to serve the local community. “Working with real organizations and serving the community by producing web sites, videos and even logos, has taught students how to apply theories of visual communication in real-life settings, working under the constraints of the real world,” she says.

And while students like Mehlberg admit that experience in video production will be invaluable for her resume, she also has a perspective on why this project has been so effective over the last several years. “I am so glad we are able to provide some small assistance to a group of people who are in great need of it.”

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