MANSFIELD - The Mansfield University Department of Communication has upgraded its television production capabilities thanks to the efforts of alumnus Rob Weigand.
Weigand, a 1995 MU graduate, is senior manager of project planning and administration at ABC.
When the network undertook a major upgrade of its facilities in New York City, Weigand contacted Communication Department Chair Kathryn Sue Young to see if MU could use any of the equipment ABC was replacing. That set in motion a donation that will help the department and MUTV, the student broadcast TV club, reach its goal of being able to broadcast live programming.
From left are Rob Weigand, Mark Polonia, Anthony Dario and Tony Fannick outside ABC headquarters in New York City.
"I knew that the Comm Department definitely has a need and has been underfunded in the past, as far as equipment is concerned," Weigand said. "When an opportunity came up to help, it was a no-brainer to step in."
"We are thrilled with the donation of equipment that Rob Weigand was able to secure from ABC in Manhattan," Young said. "The Department of Communication has three core values: connection, integrity and enthusiasm. Rob has remained connected to the department as have many other alums, which enables us to maintain our integrity and enthusiasm. This donation allows us to continue to move forward with some of our program goals. "
Multimedia Resources Director Mark Polonia and students Tony Fannick and Anthony Dario travelled to New York to pick up a palette of studio and field equipment, including DV decks, monitors, switchers and routers.
"All these items will help aid the process of live and studio broadcasts," Polonia said. "One piece has already proven to be highly valuable. A DV deck with sync capabilities that allows us to 'roll-in' pre-recorded material into our switcher. This was an issue in the past and would have cost thousands of dollars to make it happen."
"With the generous donation facilitated by Rob Weigand and ABC, our student-run television organization will be able to broadcast a live newscast for the first time ever on Blue Ridge Cable," Fannick said. "Rob was also able to show us how technology is vastly improving and conveyed the importance for students to stay informed with as many new trends in communication as possible. The trip was truly an immeasurable experience, and I appreciate the useful information that Rob was gracious enough to extend to his fellow Mansfield University students."
"Without Howard Travis (professor emeritus) in particular, the Communication Department and Mansfield University, I would not be where I am today," Weigand said. "This is just my way of paying it forward and helping an institution and community that mean so much to me. ... While money is important, there are many other ways to support MU."