Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies Beth Baunoch of the Community College of Baltimore County recently received a grant to create a production house in Baltimore. Taking her grant back to her roots in teaching at community college, Professor Baunoch created a podcast crew for CCBC students to join and learn how to be podcast producers through her production house, ForReal Media (FM).
The student producers working on the first podcast for FM called Good School., attended their first conference called the Conference on Community Writing hosted by the Coalition for Community Writing that took place over the weekend of October 21-23.
Over 200 speakers presented at their conference including professors, writers, and media producers who spoke on different topics ranging from classrooms, the pandemic, production, politics, etc. all leading back to the general theme of community in writing.
The student producers from FM spoke for the first time outside of CCBC’s campus, to talk about their current podcast Good School. Each producer shared their experiences being on the crew, while sharing their upcoming hopes for the project.
“Being a part of the conference was amazing for us as CCBC students,” Producer Katlyn Drescher said. “I never imagined that an opportunity as great as that would arise for me, but the podcast continues to give us more and more possibilities!”
Talking about their project, Professor Beth Baunoch returns to the theme of community writing during the prerecorded presentation by reviewing how the crew began during the pandemic. Baunoch recalls the “excitement” of the crew for their first meeting.
“They worked really hard to be a part of this crew and everyone was genuinely excited to be there. And, you know, again, everyone in quarantine, it was nice for us to see each other.”
Professor Baunoch explained how the crew worked together to come up with the topic focusing on higher education for their current podcast Good School., with the common similarity being community college students, their various experiences, and struggling to answer the question, “what makes a good school?” The crew built a community around community college students and professors with the same question, to further investigate their answer.
While Baunoch shares her knowledge teaching her crew how to research and create episode treatments, she claims she “did not do this on her own.”
Baunoch explains how she has had podcast professionals such as WYPR’s Aaron Henkin and David Ridgen, host of the podcast, Someone Knows Something, present workshops to the crew to strengthen their knowledge.
The conference consisted of pre-recorded and live panels. Although FM’s presentation was pre-recorded, the podcast producers attended like-minded panels to network, meet potential interviewees, and gain inspiration for their higher education investigation.
"It was awesome to be a part of the conference and to get another chance to share what I am working on,” sophomore Producer Oliva Yates said. “The topic of higher education is so important and it’s a part of everyone’s life, but there are parts of it we haven’t confronted or talked about as a society. That’s one of the main reasons why I always get excited when we have a platform to share what we are working on.”