By Robert Lopez
Telecommunications and theatre and dance faculty, as well as President Blaine Brownell and other university leaders, will head to Los Angeles this weekend to meet and establish networking ties with alumni working in the entertainment industry.
Sponsored by University Development, the function will provide an opportunity for faculty to discuss ideas with industry notables, which could help graduates obtain work in Hollywood.
"We keep track of e-mail we get from alumni, so they can help each other as they go from job to job on a freelancing basis," said Nancy Carlson, chairperson of the telecommunications department. "And in freelancing, networking is everything. Perhaps we can help (TCOM graduates) get a job or make more money or make an imprint on society."
Among the people they are scheduled to meet with in a reception on Saturday are Larry Moskowitz, executive producer of "First Monday," Peter Adee, President of Marketing for Universal Pictures, who directed the publicity campaigns for such films as "Jurassic Park," "Spy Game" and "A Beautiful Mind," and Ball State graduate Martha De Laurentiis, who produced last year's "Hannibal."
"Hopefully we're going to get them involved financially, but we also want to get them involved with ideas, by encouraging them to give us ideas," said Scott Olson, Dean of the College of Communication, Information, and Media. "We're trying to get them interested in what we're doing, to get them to say, 'wow, how can I get involved?'"
The event is the second such reunion (with Los Angeles alumni) that the TCOM department has been involved with. This year the faculty hope to showcase some university projects, such as student films and Web media during the Digital Media Summit (a gathering of industry heads) to demonstrate some of the plans they have for the $20 million Icom grant the telecommunications department received last year.
"The conference will bring in some of the most important media leaders in the country," Provost Warren Vander Hill said. "A lot of them of have heard about the grant and are trying to find out what we're doing with it, and a lot of Ball State graduates in the industry want to find out."
"We're calling it a show and tell," Carlson said. "We're proud of what we've done and we want people to see it. Fortunately, a lot of those people are Ball State graduates.