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Student Success


MCJ student one of 6 chosen for Capital Public Radio’s Next Gen Training Week

Oct. 17, 2016

Tyler Bartlam, a Media, Communications and Journalism major at Fresno State, gets to spend this week diving into her specialty area, producing content for radio, digital and social media platforms, at Capital Public Radio‘s Next Gen Radio Training Week in Sacramento.

“I’m really looking forward to working with all the different professionals that’ll be there. I know there will be so much to learn from them. I hope to be a sponge!”

Bartlam, who expects to graduate this semester, is one of six students from Central Valley colleges and universities chosen to participate in the second Next Generation Radio Training. The six student journalists are selected through a competitive application process.

Bartlam submitted a couple of different samples of her work for the application:

“First was a story I wrote for 102w about the Fresno State police officers riding new electric bikes. I also submitted a section of a radio story I was doing on mental health services offered by the Student Health Center. The last two samples I sent in were from interning at 940 ESPN in Fresno.”

Each student has been paired with a one-on-one mentor. Bartlam’s mentor is a reporter/producer at WCPN in Cleveland.

Next Gen is a full-scale, digital-first multimedia training week with emphasis on “radio storytelling.” With one-to-one mentoring and training, we are committed to the professional development of undergraduate and graduate students who are focused on journalism.

“What I love about journalism is the power to inform,” said Bartlam, who would like to work in public radio after she graduates. “There is so much going on in the world and so many stories to tell. Journalism can tell those stories and connect people.”

Here are the other students selected for this year’s program:

  • Anjali Bhat studies Communication and English at UC Davis.
  • Robert Juarez majors in journalism at San Joaquin Delta College.
  • Justina Sharp majors in Journalism at American River College.
  • Sami Soto Studies Government-Journalism at Sac State.
  • Marianna Sousa studies Communications at Sacramento City College.

The project work will be showcased along with all Next Generation Radio projects at

Next Gen Radio is funded in part by the California Endowment and sponsored by Capital Public Radio, Sacramento State University and NPR.


Graphic design student gets to work with Lin-Manuel Miranda

Sept. 15, 2016

Dominic Grijalva parlayed social media interactions with Lin-Manuel Miranda, an idol of his, into a job as a freelance designer for Tee-Rico, Miranda’s official artist merchandise site.

An in-depth article in 99U ( details how this relationship developed over time between the Fresno State graphic design student Dominic Grijalva and the creator of “Hamilton”. 99U is a website that aims to empower the creative community.

“As a fellow Latino actor, I was inspired by his work and excited to see what he’d do next,” Grijalva said in the 99U article. “I really liked that Miranda engaged with his social media followers, and would reply or comment to posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. Occasionally, he would respond to me, and I always wondered if he knew who I was.”

Grijalva found out the answer was yes several years later. Read Jacqueline Lara’s 99U article in its entirety here.

Grijalva, 24, won a 2016 Fresno Advertising Federation Student Addy Award in the Best of Show for Students category for a poster he designed promoting the Selma Arts Center production of “12 Angry Men” (photo at right). His design went on to the Addy regional and national awards.

Grijalva plans to graduate in December 2017. His designs can be viewed on his website. In the 99U article, he says his dream job would be to work for SpotCo, an advertising firm that handles marketing and branding for Broadway shows.


Student documentary to air on PBS on Sunday

Aug. 19, 2016 – A documentary entitled “Fresno to Fiji,” produced by MCJ Professor Jes Therkelsen and four MCJ students who traveled to Fiji in 2015, will air on Valley PBS, Channel 18, at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21. The film will later be available on demand on PBS’s website.

From left, Kylie Dunn and Maddie Byers eat pineapple.

“This was an incredible opportunity for our students on two levels,” Therkelsen said. “First, it allowed them to immerse themselves in a very different culture. We were living in the village and working alongside the Fijians. Second, it gave my MCJ students a unique hands-on professional opportunity to create a documentary film in an international setting.”

The four MCJ students are Mike Demmers, Michael Price, Jordan Nicholson, and Yvette Mancilla.

Mancilla, 22, graduated in May and is now working for Banjo in Las Vegas as a global media associate.

“Many part of the trip were memorable,”she said, “but part of a service-learning trip is learning about others’ lives and understanding new cultures. The Fijian way of life was a genuinely open-hearted one, and their outright kindness is something I remember to keep with me at all times.”

More photos from the trip can be viewed here.

~ By Lisa Maria Boyles

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