By Jayne Fenton
A video produced by students of Danielle Wiggins, an adjunct professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University, who also serves as an instructor of electronic media for Upward Bound, appeared on the Council of Opportunity in Education’s Facebook page this fall. JMC Assistant Professor Gene Shelton recommended Wiggins as an instructor for an electronic media elective course in the Upward Bound Program.
“It was my first time serving as an official instructor for a course and I fell in love with it.” Wiggins said. Wiggins has taught the course each summer since 2009.
Wiggins earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She worked for WEWS-TV in Cleveland as an associate producer, and began her journey as an adjunct instructor for Kent State in fall 2010. Wiggins has also started her own business, Vision Ideal Media, where she assists small businesses and non-profit companies with producing multi-media materials.
Upward Bound is a Federal TRIP Program which gives high school sophomores and juniors the opportunity to work in a collegiate atmosphere, ultimately encouraging them to continue onto college after high school graduation.
According to the U.S Department of Education, “The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education.”
Wiggins’ electronic media course produced a video that explains the benefits of Upward Bound for students. She said her goal for the class was to show the power of the media. “Many of the students were in tears when they spoke of the impact the Upward Bound program is having on their lives,” she said.
Because of the federal budget crunch, Upward Bound is in danger of losing its funding, Wiggins added.
“The students had a unique opportunity through the mini-documentary to be the voice for students empowered to achieve at high levels because of Upward Bound.”
On Sept. 7, the Council for Opportunity in Education posted Wiggins’ class video on its Facebook page.
“It was my hope that the video would spread virally and be used as an advocacy tool to support Upward Bound in front of power players in Washington and locally,” Wiggins said. “I’m glad that we reached our goal.”
To watch the video Wiggins class created, click here.