RTV department hosting 24th annual leadership conference

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Radio and television professionals from all over Texas will descend upon SHSU this Friday as part of the 24th Annual RTV Leadership Conference.

The conference will be held on the third floor of the Lowman Student Center and will run from 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. Twenty different sessions will be offered during the seven hour conference, with an average of three per hour. Students are free to choose which session they wish to attend each hour.

Along with SHSU RTV students, the conference will also host 115 high school students who attend public schools in the Houston area with radio and television programs.

RTV Coordinator Maryjo Cochran said the conference allows students to network with professionals, which will help them land jobs in the future.

“It’s a really comprehensive day for us,” Cochran said. “By having [the professionals] come, we don’t hold any classes on Friday.”

Cochran said that about 75 percent of the speakers are SHSU alumni and come from as far away as Austin and San Antonio. Many of them were students that she taught, and she said she was happy to have them come back and share what they’ve done in the professional field.

“It’s wonderful to see [alums],” she said. “I think that’s really rewarding as a faculty member that they want to give back to the alma mater.”

The conference will offer sessions such as running radio stations, television news reporting, writing television spots, producing documentaries and free-lance media production. Professionals in the radio, television and video production fields will head the sessions.

They include alumni such as Rick Christie, who produced the 13-part documentary series “The Brutal Truth,” and Business Radio 650 AM speaker Brent Clanton whose son Adam is currently a senior in the RTV program.

The Eubie Junior Awards Presentation and Screening session will be held at 3 p.m. The award ceremony celebrates the winning high school media projects that have been submitted to the university. This year there were approximately 100 entries in 17 different categories from different high schools in the local area, including music videos, animation, newscasts, sportscasts and education. SHSU RTV students and various teachers and professors judged the entries.

Cochran said the Eubie Junior Awards are an opportunity to showcase student productions and also serve as a recruiting tool for the university.

“We’ve got some of the students who won the awards in high school now here,” she said.

Senior Matt Orlando is one such student whose group in high school won two Eubie Junior awards for their sports show, one of which for production and performance. Orlando will be present during the conference to address various RTV issues for high school students.

“The conference has been a great idea,” Orlando said. “It gives us a chance to talk and network with people.”

As far as high school student productions go, Orlando encouraged high school students to stay motivated.

“They’re on the right track, and should keep making projects,” he said. “There’s always someone who’ll be looking at what you do.”