In College of Fine Arts and Communications, Experiential Learning, Masterclasses

Students from the College of Fine Arts and Communications travel internationally to gain real-world experience and share their talents while studying abroad, competing, performing and interning

Each year, students in the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications take the knowledge and skills they have learned in the classroom and make their mark on their local and global communities. From New York to Europe, these students are having inspiring learning opportunities all over the globe.

Read more about how students from the College of Fine Arts and Communications answered President Kevin J. Worthen’s call for inspired learning during June:

Contemporary Dance in Europe Study Abroad

(Courtesy of Kiersten Robertson, and McCall McClellan)

BYU dance students traveled to Europe on the Contemporary Dance in Europe study abroad to attend several large dance festivals, take masterclasses and learn more about the history of contemporary dance, which originated in Europe. 

Additionally, the Contemporary Dance Theatre (CDT) company will compete for the Grand Prix title in Prague. CDT previously won the Grand Prix title in 2015. They will be showcasing choreography from guests, faculty and students for the European judges and other festival participants from over 14 countries.

In addition to increasing their technical and historical understanding of the genre of dance, students toured cities, visited museums and experienced much of what European culture has to offer. 


China Spectacular Digital Media Team

(Courtesy of Adam Durfee and Megan Adamson)

Behind the group of dedicated performers in the China Spectacular were four communications students and two communications professors, Adam Durfee and Steve Fidel. This digital media team shot video footage, captured photos of the action and helped run the social media campaign of the 40th anniversary tour — BYU’s biggest tour to date.

“My favorite part about covering the BYU Spectacular was seeing how much effort performers put in. There were seven performances and they gave their all to each of their audiences,” said Rachel Keeler, a member of the China Spectacular digital media team. “You could see how much the Chinese people loved the performers for it. It was truly an incredible experience!”

Keeler felt that the hands-on experience she had in China pushed her to use all the skills she had previously learned in the communications program, but also helped her develop abilities that could never come from sitting at a desk. 

“It’s something that can’t be learned within the walls of a classroom — only through going out and doing it with the help of a mentor,” said Keeler. “That is why internships are required in this major and study abroads are encouraged — they push you to reach limits you couldn’t have reached through standardized learning.”


International Advertising and Awards Study Abroad

(Courtesy of Jeff Sheets)

School of Communications professor Jeff Sheets and 26 advertising students traveled to France, England, Monaco, Germany and Scotland on the International Advertising and Awards Shows study abroad to attend some of the most prestigious advertising award shows in the world. Students also learned more about global and diverse cultural ideas addressed in international advertising through various field projects and events.

Part of the trip included attending a significant industry event, which had a section dedicated to play and its critical role in developing creativity. Students slid down a hippo slide into a ball bit; featured next to the ball pit was a quote taken from research done by fellow BYU students from the Marriott School of Business.


Internship with Lionsgate

(Courtesy of Rollins Wimber)

BYU film student Rollins Wimber was accepted for a summer internship at Lionsgate, a highly respected entertainment company. While looking for summer internships, Wimber turned to a friend and BYU alum to get his foot in the door at Lionsgate. 

“Leverage your BYU alumni connections,” said Wimber. “Filling out online applications likely means your resume gets dropped in the pile, but knowing someone in the company makes all the difference. I applied to a lot of film internships and got nothing until I started reaching out individually to BYU alumni.”

This internship has stretched him, allowed him to grow in technical skills and helped him see that with hard work and dedication he can succeed as a filmmaker. 

“I’ve realized it’s possible,” Wimber says. “It’s not like all the other people have some gift you don’t — you’re just as good. Don’t underestimate your BYU education.”


Internship with Radio America Network

(Courtesy of Jennifer Borden)

BYU news media student Jennifer Borden is interning for the Radio America Network in Washington D.C. this summer. As an intern, she storyboards, engineers, edits and publishes various episodes and podcasts. Borden also helps develop, edit and publish videos for YouTube and Facebook Live.

“​I put a lot of the skills I have learned in class to work,” said Borden. “Now I have a good number of finished projects that prove I can deliver on the skills I’ve learned at BYU.”

Borden will have researched and assembled a video project about interest rates by the end of her internship. 

In addition to the opportunity this internship has given her to strengthen her portfolio, Borden has been able to interact with the American Veterans Center, which shares an office with the Radio America Network. 

“I was able to interact with some very cool veterans — that made me very proud to be the daughter of a veteran,” said Borden. “Living in Washington D.C. placed me in an environment where I constantly met really amazing people.”


Field Study Documenting More2Life Foundation

(Courtesy of Kris Boyle)

BYU communications professor Kris Boyle and students Jenae Hyde and Lindsey Peterson headed to New York to document the BYU Football team’s annual More2Life Foundation trip. BYU head coach Kalani Sitake created the More2Life foundation with the intention of helping disadvantaged youth through mentoring, education and athletic opportunities. 

Boyle and his students were able to witness and document firsthand the mutually beneficial experience for all involved. The team spent two days with BYU football players and coaches in Harlem filming and photographing the interactions and events. The content shot and edited by Hyde and Peterson will be published on the website for the new sports media journalism sequence that will launch this fall.


National Association for Media Literacy Education’s Biennial Conference

(Courtesy of TMA Newsletter)

Department of Theatre and Media Arts professor Benjamin Thevenin and media arts students Sam Burton, Cristin Dickey and Elias Gold traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the National Association for Media Literacy Education’s biennial conference. The group from BYU presented “Media Literacy Goes Outside” — which is based on their experiences in one of Thevenin’s classes — and led a workshop.

In addition to attending sessions and workshops at the conference, Thevenin and his students met up with TMA graduate Alexis Romero Walker, who also presented at the conference. Walker is currently working on her PhD at the University of North Carolina. 

The group also toured the city and visited famous sites including the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of the American Indian.

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