About ISU Student Media


Media student working at Tribune Star upon graduating early


From reporter to editor to editor-in-chief, Marissa Schmitter has spent her college career focused on the media.

Schmitter, a native of Spencer, Ind., first wrote a column on the happenings at her small-town high school, Owen Valley, for the local paper.

"I've always known that I wanted to work in the news," said Schmitter. "I was in high school when I started writing. Once I got to Indiana State, I wanted to work in Student Media so that I could say I had experience once I graduated."

Schmitter began in Student Media during the fall of 2014 in her freshman year. During a call-out meeting for the Indiana Statesman newspaper in October, she was hired as a features reporter writing student interest stories.

"From October to February, I reported on features, then I moved up to the features editor until the end of that school year," Schmitter said. "I worked as the photo editor for the 2015-16 school year. Now I am the editor-in-chief."

Schmitter waited to join Student Media until October of her freshman year so that she could settle into college life.

"I knew media is the path I wanted to take, but I didn't want to burn out," said Schmitter. "I was still trying to get my bearings like any other freshman, so after move-in and the culture shock of college, it was time I started working on my career."

Martha Milner, the director of student publications at Indiana State University, met Schmitter during Schmitter's freshman year.

"When she began, she was quiet and reluctant to speak up, but now she is a strong leader as editor-in-chief," said Milner.

Of all of the work done in Student Media, Schmitter's favorite position has been editor-in-chief.

"Editor-in-chief is stressful but it's fun," said Schmitter. "You get a little bit of everything. I work with photography, read all of the articles, and put it all together with the design software."

Schmitter was hired at the Tribune Star newspaper in Terre Haute after seeing a job posting in an ISU journalism Facebook group, Sycamore Journalists.

Lori Henson, assistant professor of journalism, founded Sycamore Journalists to give students a place to share news and jobs outside of the classroom.

"I saw the job on Sycamore Journalists, and thought ‘This is literally perfect for me,'" Schmitter said. "I interviewed and got a job working in their design department."

Schmitter begins working fulltime at the Tribune Star after graduating early in May.

Like most first days, Schmitter was nervous about how fast-paced her new job would be and how formal the office was.

"The Tribune Star puts out a two-section paper every day, and the Statesman only does eight pages every three days, so the Trib Star is a lot faster-pace," said Schmitter. "Everyone was nice which was good to find out immediately because I was afraid that they would be a lot more formal because we are such a casual paper at the Statesman."

On her first day, Schmitter was pleased to find out that they used the same design software as the Statesman.

"The design software is the same but the content management system is very different," said Schmitter. "I spent that first day trying to get the content management system down. On my second day, they had me designing a whole section of the paper."

While her first day at the Tribune Star was filled with nerves, Milner said she believes Schmitter is up for the challenge.

"Marissa has a quiet strength about her," Milner said. "She deals with people in a way that builds trust and confidence. She doesn't show anxiety or stress which makes people feel that everything will be fine."

In Schmitter's three years of college, Henson said she has seen Schmitter become a confident leader.

"She comes across as shy and quiet, but in the past three years I have seen her confidence build," said Henson. "She has also gained a great deal of leadership experience and knowledge about the community as editor-in-chief of the Indiana Statesman. I could not be more proud of all that she has accomplished."

With guidance from her coworkers, Schmitter is confident she will succeed at the Tribune Star.

"If I did not work at the Statesman, I would not have this job," said Schmitter. "People who don't join Student Media won't get jobs as easily. They won't have the same hands-on experience at their own pace."

Media contact: Morgan Gallas, Strategic Communication Specialist, Student Media, Indiana State University, (219) 246-1805 or mgallas@sycamores.indstate.edu


Sycamore expands horizons with ESPN3, radio and newspaper


Around the age of 13, Rob Lafary, '17, learned he was too short and too slow to play professional sports. "When you're little and into sports like I am, professional basketball or baseball are what I wanted to do, but that obviously didn't happen," James "Rob" Lafary said. "Maybe if I was taller or faster, but media has combined my love of sports with the skills I actually have."

Lafary is no longer trying to make it big in the sports industry as an athlete, but he is now pursuing his sports dream from a media angle. He is learning and succeeding in Indiana State University's Student Media.

A Versailles, Ind. native, Lafary is a senior communication student with a focus in journalism. He began his work in media at a local radio station, WIKI, in Madison, Ind. He started at Indiana State in August 2014. After attending a job fair during his first semester without any luck, he applied to the Indiana Statesman newspaper.

"I went to a student job fair, I didn't see anything that really stood out, and so I went to the Statesman office" Lafary said.

Within five minutes of leaving his resume with the newspaper, the Statesman staff offered him the job of sports editor.

"I still work for the Statesman, just in a different capacity now," Lafary said. "I was the sports editor two years ago and last year. Over the summer, I transitioned into the sales side, so now I am the student advertising manager and write on the side when they need me."

Lafary also works for Indiana State's Sports Network producing content for ESPN3, and has done work with most departments within Student Media.

"I've done things for WZIS, the radio station, and broadcasted games," Lafary said. "I've held my own show called ‘Sycamore Game Day' on WZIS and worked on ESPN3 and the Statesman."Before coming to Indiana State, Lafary worked at a local radio station in Madison, Ind.

"This is my 12th year of broadcasting and writing," Lafary said. "Student Media has helped me expand my horizons. I was so used to radio, and Student Media has provided me the opportunity to expand my broadcasting and writing. Now I can say that I've done things for ESPN and done advertising work."

Not only has Lafary learned about different forms of media, he has also been able to cultivate relationships with people in the field.

"My boss, Brian Fritz, has been my biggest mentor here," Lafary said. "He is more than a boss though. I consider him a really good friend because he's been there to help me with career and life issues."

Fritz, media sales consultant for Student Media, saw himself in Lafary when they first met."Rob's seriousness reminded me of myself when I was a college student," Fritz said. "It was very apparent in interactions with Rob that he was serious about acquiring and developing skills that would help him succeed."According to Fritz, their friendship is not a rarity as the staff on campus works to help students."I have several former students that I have stayed in contact with through the years and I'm sure Rob will be one of those even after he graduates," Fritz said. "The most rewarding thing about my job is not only seeing students develop and graduate, but also following their progress as they begin building successful professional lives as young adults using things they learned while at Indiana State."

Lafary has found success with the skills he developed from working with Student Media. While baseball and basketball did not work out for him, radio did. Lafary has a career waiting for him post-graduation with WIKI in Madison, Ind.

"The radio station I work for back in Madison offered me a job over winter break," Lafary said. "I am going on as a full-time production director, and I will be doing sports broadcasts still along with selling advertisements on the side."

Student Media is designed to have students practicing skills they can use in the media field."Rob has come a long way and done a lot during his time in Student Media," said Rich Green, WISU/WZIS general manager. "He is the perfect example of what students should get out of Student Media. The work he has done in news writing, radio, and TV are skills he can take directly to his career."Much of what Lafary has learned in Student Media is applicable to his career with WIKI.

"I can take some of the stuff that I know from writing and selling advertisements for the Statesman and bring that to WIKI," Lafary said. "WIKI will be more challenging than anything I've done in Student Media because there is less room for mistakes, but every day that brings a challenge my way and it's a chance to accept that challenge and make the product better."

Student Media has allowed Lafary to reach his goals, and he recommends it to students considering joining.

"[Communication majors] are not going anywhere if they don't get involved in media," Lafary said. "I've met so many people who say they have these media goals and want to work in things like broadcasting or on TV, but they don't do anything about it."

Lafary encourages communication students to join Student Media so that they learn as much as they can before leaving college.

"The more you are in media, and the more effort you put into it, the more you will get out of your time in Student Media," Lafary said. "Hopefully all of the work helps you find a career that you are passionate about."

Media Contact: Morgan Gallas, strategic communication specialist, Student Media, Indiana State University, (219) 246-1805 or mgallas@sycamores.indstate.edu


ISSN - Real 'Live' Experience

As March Madness kicks into high gear, some Sycamores will be watching the coverage from a pro’s perspective. A new arrangement with ESPN offers State students the opportunity to learn what it’s like to be behind and in front of the camera for big games.

Indiana State and ESPN have teamed up to offer an additional hands-on learning for students with the formation of ESPN3, yet unlike other universities in the Missouri Valley Conference, ESPN3 at State is the only program completely student-operated.

Before MVC schools and ESPN signed a nine-year contract during the summer of 2015, the rooms in the lower level of Dreiser Hall were mostly empty or used for storage. Now, those rooms are flush with fiber cables and state-of-the-art video equipment to broadcast Sycamore sports globally. ESPN3’s live broadcasts have included coverage of volleyball, football, men and women’s basketball on campus since its debut this past fall. Students also produced and live-streamed a college football National Signing Day special. As the program on campus expands, so will the coverage of sports — potentially soccer, softball and baseball as well as other potential programming.

“The big picture is it gives your university exposure, your town exposure,” said Christopher Jones, sports video manager. “It’s about giving exposure to our student athletes, but also, it’s a great opportunity for students who are interested in doing television and video and learning how to do a national broadcast.”

Exposure through ESPN could aid coaches in recruiting by increasing Indiana State’s appeal to prospective athletes and promoting the university’s communications program to high school students who want a career in front — or behind — the cameras, Jones said.

Read the full story Here.


Syc Creations: Community Semester Video

The Syc Creations team put the Community Semester video together for the College of Arts and Sciences to explain the value of a liberal arts education. To view the video, click here. 

In the banner above, Student Media and Syc Creation team members Stacy Brownbridge, Holden Theriault, and Seth Payne are on set.



Syc Creations project: CAS Video

The Syc Creations team put a video together for the college of arts and sciences. View the full story here.


ISU Student Media at Homecoming 2015

Student media getting ready for the Homecoming parade.Sycamore Video poses for a picture at tent city.
WZIS bradcasing from tent city.Student media getting a picture taken before the parade.

For more info click here


  Syc Creations project: Student Athletic Fund Thank You

Syc Creations video project: Student Athletic Fund Thank You.

Indiana State University's Syc Creations team fully put together the Sycamore Athletic Fund Thank You video. (As seen on the rightside of GoSycamores website).

This video was shot in just two days with multiple scenes and the Syc Creations team turned the video around with full video editing and production in just a matter of three days to be ready to show at the first home football game at halftime.

For more information click here.


ISU students host live sports broadcast on ESPN3

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – ESPN is giving college students an experience of a lifetime. This week students at Indiana State University have been hard at work, producing and airing their own sports broadcast on ESPN3. It’s part of a 10-year deal between ESPN and ISU.

For more information click here.

Eyes on the Prize - ISUSM signs 9 year contract with ESPN

Terre Haute, IN


For many involved with Indiana State University's student media, signing a 9 year contract with ESPN is a pretty big deal.

"It gives students real life opportunity. Real life experience to where they're building legitimate real resume reels and they'll go out into the world with real professional experience," Chris Jones, Video Sports Manager said.

Although students have the opportunity to join student media groups that deal with news, commercials and film, this opportunity is a fresh start for ESPN 3 grad assistant, Seth Payne.

"This is a lot different in the fact that it is all live and it's sports," Payne said.

Which definitely broadens the horizon. But first, Payne has a lot of preparation to do.

"I spent yesterday in here from about 12:30 to a little before 7:30, so I spent seven hours in here learning," Payne said.

View full story and video here.

Students taking the Gender Studies 450 class held their annual Take Back the Night March Wednesday evening. It’s an event that supports victims of sexual assault, gender violence, relationship violence, and stalking.