Asbury College Students Study Up For Beijing Broadcast Glory

By Andrew Lippe

Students from Asbury College in Wilmore, KY will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to assist international broadcasters in the 2008 Beijing Olympics as the school will send 56 students to Beijing where they will help edit, provide camera assistance, and help with audio support.

“We had 120 senior students apply for the roughly 50 positions,” says Jim Owens, chairman of the department for communication arts. “Our goal is to significantly impact their education and in return provide a service to broadcasters who will be working there.”

Asbury College is on a contractual basis with a number of broadcasters for participation in the Olympics. Owens says Asbury’s involvement with the world’s biggest sporting event came out of an experience he had when he was an Asbury student working as a professional at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid.

“I came out of it thinking I learned more in those two weeks that I had in any of my classes that semester, “ says Owens. “The advantage of being involved as a student is a cross-cultural experience. It gives students a chance to see the newest technology. It allows them to work with some of the best in the media industry from around the world. I came home just wowed at the amount of information I picked up as a student.”

Students are preparing for the Olympics with Panasonic HD cameras and even Surround Sound gear. “We’ve been trying to expose them to the different areas before they actually get there,” says Owens.

Asbury College is also in the process of building an HD truck with Panasonic, Evertz, EVS, and Thomson Grass Valley as partners on the project.

“All my media staff teaches television and has worked on Olympics broadcasts before and freelance regularly,” says Owens. “The new HD truck will be used to prepare our students for all kinds of sporting events including the Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010 and the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.”

Owens also wrote a training manual for the broadcast industry called “Television Sports Production.” In fact, for the Beijing games, BOB is using it to help train staff prior to the Olympics.

“The Olympic experience is such a dramatic experience. Having Olympics on your resume is just extremely credible,” adds Owens.

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