Rogers State University student and Claremore native Cole Chandler turned his class capstone project into a glimpse of college student isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it recently won an official selection at the Will Rogers Film Festival, held November 4-7. The video project was also nominated honorable mention by the Graphex Art Directors Club of Tulsa.
Chandler’s film for his advanced broadcast practicum class gives viewers a raw view of the new normal as college students finished their spring semester.
“The film portrays the mindset many of us felt throughout the pandemic. I am an optimistic person, but the quarantine took a toll on me,” Chandler said.
Chandler’s professor, Mr. Lee Williams, said Cole exceeded his expectations for his final film.
“Cole is our most advanced student in still photography and creative conceptualization,” Williams said. “He is a doer, and he excels at creating projects both individually and leading a group.”
In the practicum class students are expected to take what they’ve learned from their basic video class and show off their hard work.
“Our students step up conceptually by crafting longer stories including creative work and a documentary. We want them to attain professional shooting and editing skills,” Williams said.
The department of communications at RSU explores the role that information plays in everyday life, including the technology required to deliver it. A communications degree helps prepare students to be better communicators in an information-driven world.
Chandler has held multiple jobs and roles on campus as he earns his degree in corporate communications. He is the vice president of production for Channel 42 and the lead assistant to Toni Li, a high fashion and editorial photographer in Tulsa.
“Cole has great potential, and I know he will succeed with any task or project he is given. It takes an eager learner and willingness to put in the work to succeed, and that’s who Cole is,” Williams said.
As a resident advisor at RSU, helping students adjust to campus life is one of Chandler’s passions.
“My personal experience as a freshman led me to become an RA and guide students as they navigate through their first year of college. The peer to peer guidance is valuable for incoming freshman,” Chandler said.
Chandler encourages incoming freshman to take it all in and distinguish yourself from everyone else.
“The instructors at RSU truly care about our success. Receive instruction from your professors and always aim to surprise,” Chandler said.
After graduation next spring, Chandler plans to work for a studio in Tulsa to produce high quality commercial work.
Students enrolled in RSU communications courses work with real world clients in public relations strategies, internships and corporate media productions. RSU’s broadcasting faculty have more than thirty years of experience in the commercial television industry.
Rogers State University is a four-year regional university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Tracing its roots back to 1909, RSU celebrates 20 years as an accredited institution awarding bachelor’s degrees this year.
RSU has been a leader in distance learning and was the first Oklahoma university to offer degree programs entirely online. RSU is consistently recognized as one of the region’s most affordable colleges, with more than half of last year’s graduates earning their degree without taking out a student loan.