Donor promotes collaboration for media students
By Hayli Morrison
As print, web and video become more integrated, collaboration is critical for the next generation of media professionals. Until recently, Kedzie Hall lacked adequate creative and collaborative space to meet student needs in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
In February, the new Kedzie Hall Think Tank addressed that need with a relaxed yet practical creative space on the second floor of Kedzie, outfitted with a flat screen television, computer terminals and seating areas.
“I feel we should have a place where students can come together to create the best possible product — even after-hours — without having to go to the Student Union or the library,” said Andy Nelson, head of the school’s journalism and digital media sequence.
Nelson developed the idea with financial support from K-State alumna Lucy Reilly Fitch, senior vice president of corporate communications for Science Applications International Corporation. The space received its name as homage to the think tanks so prevalent in the Washington, D.C. area, where Fitch now resides. As a former K-State Collegian staff member who worked alongside Nelson as an undergraduate, Fitch recognizes from personal experience the importance of such a space to the journalism student’s education.
“I see that the next generation of journalists tend to work in isolation. I think this is incredibly dangerous,” Fitch said. “You lose that human factor, which is where the really good stories live. Just by coming together and talking to people, you learn so much — you often see a bigger picture. We’re losing something in this digital age, so I wanted to make sure students had that opportunity to learn from each other and get that sense of connectedness.”
Renovation projects like the Kedzie Hall Think Tank align with K-State’s goal to provide facilities and infrastructure that meet evolving needs, part of the university initiative to be a top 50 public research institution by 2025.