West Virginia University
13 Dec

Dr. Bailes

James | December 13th, 2010

The Story

Dr. Julian Bailes has been getting some national attention for not only himself, but the Ruby Memorial Hospital as well. My multimedia group decided we wanted to do a focus piece on not only the doctors work at WVU’s hospital, but also dive into his personal life as well. Dr. Bailes is from the State of Louisiana. He played football in high school, and had a short career (due to a neck injury) at Northwestern State, where he completed his undergraduate. Dr. Bailes then went on to Louisiana State University where he received his medical degree. He then went on to work for many different organizations, most notedly the Pittsburgh Steelers professional football team. Dr. Bailes then came to WVU and is one of key personnel in the neurological department.

The process

This project was one of the more difficult ones that we took part in. there was many steps that my team had to go through. Being one of the top neurological surgeons Dr. Bailes time is extremely precious. We were only able to get two sessions with him, that lasted only 15 minutes a piece. also the only way to make an appointment was to go through the public relations deptartment at Ruby. in Dr. Bailes defense, when we had him in interview, he was very cooperative, entertaining, and has a lot of information to tell you. one of the more pleasurable interviews i been a part of. Thanksgiving break did not help matter either

What to take away

Make sure you talk to appropriate people. Especially if he is a high value “target” like Dr. Bailes.


Dr. Bailes contact in

Dr. Bailes Profile

Multimedia piece done by group

13 Dec

Mixed Martial Arts: Multimedia

Julia | December 13th, 2010

Mixed Martial Arts: What is it?

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport that allows a wide variety of fighting techniques and skills, from a mixture of martial arts and non-martial arts traditions, to be used in competitions. The rules allow the use of both striking as well as grappling techniques, both while standing and on the ground.

Adam Zeradnik has been training and practicing Mixed Martial Arts since 2008 and can be found most days and nights training at Morgantown Martial Arts. He won his first fight on December 5, 2009 and also did well in his second just a few months ago.

Despite Adams love for cage fighting, he follows a seemingly normal life. He graduated from West Virginia University; he owns his own business and maintains a relationship.

Adam credits much of his success to his friends, family and his girlfriend Danielle. He is being modest, Adam trains nearly everyday. His college wrestling background gives him a great advantage but Mixed Martial Arts is about using every page in the book. He studies boxing and jujutsu in his spare time. And every Friday he can be found at the gym sparring ( practice fighting).

Adam also exercises great control over his diet in order to remain in his weight class, a skill he admits to honing while on the WVU wrestling team.

Upon learning that my group had an 100% GO on this topic I was nervous. I didn’t know anything about mixed martial arts or what it entailed. However I was pleasantly surprised. MMA is like any other sport, you have to love it, breathe it, and live it if you plan to excel. And Adam certainly shows these qualities.

I’ve learned about his journey as a mixed martial arts cage fighter and hope to see him reach his goal of becoming a Pro fighter.

Do you want to take a peak inside Adams life?
Check it out here:

Learn More About Mixed Martial Arts

13 Dec

While growing up in Monongalia County, I heard from friends about the state of the neighboring county’s schools. We knew not to complain about our own schools. It was depressing to hear that the students didn’t have the basic facilities that we took advantage of everyday.

I didn’t know how bad the students actually had it until we recently made the trek to Preston County to report on the recently passed $39.6 million bond. It was shocking to see whole wings of schools closed because of the unsafe conditions of the buildings.

Two years ago the State Board of Education had to take charge of Preston County because of the conditions of the buildings. That’s when they brought Superintendent Larry Parsons in. He had actually gotten bonds passed in several other West Virginia counties, such as Mason, that were in a similar state of disrepair.

Until reporting on this story, it was a mystery to me as to why the residents of Preston County decided not to pass the bond. Apparently when the last bond was passed, in 1989, there were hard feelings after school consolidation. These feelings seem strange to me, but I guess it makes sense because Preston County is full of small, tight-knit communities.

My favorite part of reporting on this story was look on the principals, teachers, and students’ faces when they spoke of the upcoming renovations. It’s a little thing, but might improve school spirit and help a little with Preston’s tough economy.

9 Dec

Multimedia: Mixed Martial Arts

Devin | December 9th, 2010

This week my group and I finished work on another multimedia project which covers an amateur mixed martial arts fighter here in Morgantown. His name is Adam Zahradnik and he is 1-1 in his career for fighting. He has been involved in MMA for about two years and seems to love every minute of it.
He trains twice a day, every day of the week and says he is in much better shape than he was before he started. The gym where he trains is pretty small, but somehow they managed to set up a cage inside to spar in which is just about full size; and I must say it was pretty awesome.
I was the one in the group charged with taking the majority of the photos for the project so I spent a considerable amount of time at the gym with them. I was mostly just shooting away getting the best pictures I could, and sometimes I got sucked in.
I couldn’t put the camera down and, especially when the cage was set up, I was constantly shooting. There were a few times when I was up against the cage taking pictures and they would slam against it and I would have to jump back to avoid getting hit.
This was hands-down the most fun assignment I’ve ever been a part of. Other assignments have been interesting and challenging, but this one had everything. I guess it didn’t hurt that I’ve always been a fan of UFC.
I had so much fun taking the photos for the project and I’m always happy to see them used in something that people will see. I worked on the print story as well but it’s rewarding to have been more involved in more of the project.
The print story is centered around Adam’s girlfriend, Danielle Thomas. It explores how she feels about what he does and how she copes with it and supports him. She is becoming more of a fan of MMA the more Adam becomes involved.
Danielle still worries about him and doesn’t want him to get hurt, but she supports him to the fullest and does a lot for him because, as she says, he can’t do it all on his own.

If you’d like to follow up more on the story the link to Adam’s gym is:

Here is the link to the video portion of the project:

And the full footage from his first fight can be seen at:

So here is the full print story:

Danielle Thomas reaches the house just as the sun’s last rays reach over the mountains. She should feel a sense of shelter stepping into the home and out of the chilly air, but it’s not that simple.
Because this home isn’t really a home. It’s Morgantown Martial Arts-the gym where her boyfriend and amateur mixed martial arts fighter Adam Zahradnik trains twice a day, seven days a week.
MMA is one of the fastest growing sports in America. In West Virginia, amateur fights are forbidden, but it is legal to train in all forms of martial arts. The most popular professional MMA organization is the Ultimate Fighting Championship, called UFC. Fights are televised more and more widely, most notably by the television network Versus.
Danielle seems out of place in this world. She is a quiet and friendly college student who smiles easily-not the demeanor one would expect from someone watching their boyfriend toss around a punching or a training bag that weighs in excess of 100 pounds.
She pays no attention to his grunts as he works; she occasionally checks her phone and is quite conversational.
It has been hard to get used to, but her experience started with Adam’s first fight in Ohio. Before the fight began, the possibility of injury or hospitalization for Adam was on her mind.
Her brother and father, fans of the sport, attended with her, which provided some comfort. Friends and other family members are supportive as well, though some of them often ask if she is ever concerned about the possibility of him getting hurt.
The start of the fight was the hardest. She knows he would not allow himself to get hurt or give up before any serious injury, but also knows he’s a competitor.
Regardless of her initial fears, once the fight began Danielle was a different person. Where before she was ‘a bag of nerves,’ she is now a hardcore enthusiast. On the video recorded at the fight, there is a clear, shrill voice cheering for Adam, which at one point encourages him to punch his opponent in the back of the head. That voice was Danielle’s.
“I just wanted him to know that I support him and that I’m there with him,” Danielle said. They laugh about it now, but there is sincerity in her support for what Adam is doing.
For Danielle, this has been something that has grown on her. Not usually interested in watching sports on television, through learning more about MMA, she started to appreciate it.
“We watch the fights all the time now,” Danielle said. “He gets excited when I recognize one of the fighters.”
The second fight was a much different scenario. With no family by her side, and a much younger and fitter opponent opposite Adam in the cage, she was very worried before the fight began.
“I just was hoping he wouldn’t get knocked out or have to go to the hospital,” Danielle said. “On television, those guys are pretty torn up after a fight.”
Through the first two rounds Adam was in control. Sticking to his wrestling style, he was working to make his opponent submit. It was not until the third round began that Danielle was given just cause for worry. Adam took a hook to the face at the start. Despite a quick recovery and a solid effort through the rest of the round, Adam was dealt a loss by decision.
The decision was heartbreaking for both of them.
“He had him the whole time,” Danielle said. “Just one good punch landed and that really swayed the judges I guess. I think he got screwed.”
Adam is still training and waiting for his next opportunity to fight. Danielle tries to focus on providing encouragement as well as motivation when Adam needs it. She cooks for him leading up to a fight to ensure he is getting the right balance of nutrients.
“I have to be more patient with him, more understanding, more supportive,” Danielle said. “He’s so passionate about it, but he can’t do it on his own.”
Throughout the experience Danielle has never asked him to quit, but they have talked about how far he would like to take it.
“It’s scary for me to think this is the only thing he would pursue,” Danielle said. “I would like it to remain extracurricular.” Currently, Adam works for a moving business he and his friend and roommate Derek Baylor started.
Going forward, Danielle will continue to support him in any way that she can. The time spent helping him achieve his goals has taught them a lot about each other.
“It’s been good for our relationship as a whole,” she said.

9 Dec

Preston County Bond

Alexander | December 9th, 2010

On Nov 2, a $39.6 million dollar bond was passed for renovations on Preston County schools. Superintendent Larry Parsons was a vital part in getting this bond passed after 21 years. We spend weeks learning the facts of this bond and why it hasn’t passed. This year it passed because of the collaboration of different things, such as building new schools and making people feel like Preston County is on the rise. It was nice to show how a community can come together for one County and give a better life for them and their children.The new schools and renovations will begin in the summer of 2011 and continue for the next three to seven years.


Parents Excited about new County Bond

As Jeremy Bolyard, a lifelong resident of Preston County, remembers the poor conditions of Tunnelton-Denver Elementary School when he attended, he is relieved knowing that his daughters will be some of the first to reap the benefits of a brand new building when they begin school at Tunnelton over twenty years later.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average age of Preston county schools is sixty-three years, twenty-one years over the national average of forty-two years.
On November 2, 2010, the Preston County Board of Education passed a $39.6 million bond to build new schools and renovate others. The bond also comes with an additional $24 million from the state School Building Authority. Fifty-three percent of voters were in favor of the bond. It was the first to pass in over twenty years.
Tunnelton-Denver Elementary was built in 1952.
“My elementary school was really bad, sometimes the heat didn’t work, and once they had to shut down an entire wing because bricks started falling off the walls” said Bolyard.
Bolyard is the father of two girls. His oldest daughter is four years old.
“It is nice to know that Chloe and Mariah won’t have to deal with the way that the schools are now. No one wants to have their kids exposed to asbestos and all that stuff,” he said.
Since 1973, eight bonds were proposed and were all rejected until 1989, when an $8.8 million bond was passed to help renovate three schools and build two, including Preston high school. Much of the opposition can be attributed to residents who disagreed with the consolidation of many schools into few.
A similar pattern of rejected bonds resurfaced from 1989 until the new $36.6 million passed last month.
Larry Parsons, superintendent of Preston County schools for the past year, played a major role in convincing residents, who are primarily senior citizens, to stand in agreement with the bond.
“You look for those who were denied a voice in the past. You convince senior citizens that this is the time to invest because (they) want to be more secure,” he said. “You don’t want what you’ve worked for all your life, primarily your home or your farm, to be devalued.”
He also emphasized on the value of recreation when trying to get people on board.
“They (residents) don’t drive to Morgantown or Charleston or Pitt. They go to things around their community schools that their children or grandchildren are here to present to them that are most precious.”

The new Tunnelton-Denver school will be combined with students from Preston Middle School and will accommodate approximately 346 students from pre-k to eight grade.
Bolyard, who rejected a job promotion to stay in Preston county, is overjoyed that his girls will have an opportunity for a better learning experience.
“We (him and his wife) knew that we wanted kids and we wanted to be somewhere that had decent schools for them to go to,” he said.
National research done by Glen Earthman, education expert and author of Planning Educational Facilities: What Educators Need to Know, shows that there is a direct correlation between conditions of facilities and achievement results of children.
The new bond will be paid over fifteen and a half years.
According to Superintendent Parsons, the initial work on the first major projects will begin this Summer and will continue over three to seven year period.

Story 2—Link by Alex Borrero
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5JiDJJm3Hs Hyperlinks

SPMS Lunch
SPMS Closed Section

6 Dec

Local MMA fighter

Casey | December 6th, 2010

This was probably my favorite project/story that I did in this class. Adam, like Fletcher’s Grove, was very easy to talk and went out of his way to make himself available to us. It made the whole thing incredibly easy. The print aspect of our piece was more focused on Danielle Thomas, Adam’s girlfriend.
It was incredible to get that perspective on the life of an MMA fighter. Danielle surprised me a little. First, she was incredibly enthused during the fights. The actual video of his first fight captures her clearly screaming and cheering on Adam like a crazed supporter. In person, she’s very quiet and friendly, but during his fights she is maniacal. It’s an interesting contrast in personalities in her, and in him as well.
She made herself available to us during one of Adam’s training sessions. We watched him train while we talked, and we interviewed her on camera again after his training. Just watching him train was fascinating. The amount of work and effort that he puts in on a daily basis is staggering.
This was honestly the most fun I’ve had working on a project. Hanging out with the two of them for two weeks and getting a glimpse into their everyday lives was very rewarding because they are so interesting. The dynamic of watching someone live out this double life contributes to that a lot.
The technical aspects of the project seemed to run pretty easily. Tim and Julia were wizards with the video editing and made the environment very easy to have everyone’s ideas come to life. I feel like this experience has been good as its taught me to view a story in different dynamics other than just print and feel like it’ll be good for whatever I end up doing after school.
The subject matter itself was not something I was incredibly interested in, even though I’m very enthusiastic about sports. Following this guy’s work ethic has made me respect the sport as a whole much more, and I could definitely see myself following the sport on a casual basis as a result.
Another thing about all of this that was rewarding for me personally was the how personal it was. It captured his personality well, and showed all sides of who he was as a person. I love features and profiles, so getting to focus my mutimedia projects on profiles of a band, and then Adam was an added bonus for me.

Here’s a link to Adam’s facebook, if you want to friend him and follow him more/learn more about him: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25808772

Here’s Danielle’s as well: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25831568

This is a link to more info on MMA as a whole: http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/

6 Dec

Local Mixed Marital Arts Fighter Packs a Punch

Timothy | December 6th, 2010

Mixed Martial Arts is one of the fastest growing sports in America. Adam Zahradnik, a local Morgantown fighter, began his training in 2008 at Morgantown Martial Arts. Zahradnik’s graduated from West Virginia University where he spent time on the wrestling team before beginning his MMA training. He won his first fight on December 5, 2009 and split the second a few months ago. Zahradnik maintains a job and a relationship with his girlfriend Danielle all while training and fighting.

The 25 year old Bridgeport, West Virginia native says the sport is growing because spectators want to see fighters in the rawest form. He says cage fighting satisfies the need humans crave from their primal nature. The sport features a more violent approach than wrestling because fighters can strike opponents. Zahradnik believes his wrestling background has helped him in his training because of the technique he uses during his fights and the conditioning his body goes through.

Zahradnik also says having support from his friends and family is one of his biggest motivations to continue fighting. He says he’s not sure how long he will fight or if there is a future, but he believes he can do well because of the support he carries. As an already accomplished amateur, Zahradnik says fighting and training are his passions and wants to reach higher places in the world of Mixed Martial Arts.

This story was a lot of fun to cover as a journalist. Visually it was great because there were so many opportunities for great video and photos. It was easy to get shots of him training because of the movement involved and the natural sound that took place in the gym. I got a lot of shots of him sparring with his trainer and practicing boxing and wrestling techniques. Zahradnik was great to work with and enjoyed being covered. He gave two exception interviews where he was very honest and open about the sport and what he does. Coming up with interesting questions for him about his schedule was important because he had a lot to say. He was a fun character to be around and anyone could see his passion for the sport and his enthusiasm to be the best at what he is doing.

This project was a lot of fun to put together was well because it was a topic that is constantly at the forefront of the sports world. The video seemed to flow together well because Adam was so easy going. His personality really stuck out during the interviews and shows in the final project. I really enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the growing sport. Being able to capture a local fighter’s dream was just an incentive.

Check out ESPN’s Mixed Marital Arts page!

15 Nov

Mountaineer Week

Julia | November 15th, 2010

Mountaineer week has been a time-honored tradition here at West Virginia University for sixty-one years. Activities include the PRT cram, craft shows, and countless other activities. For this story I focused on two events Mountaineer Week was hosting this year, looking at an old tradition and also a brand new one. The Beard Growing Competition and The Inaugural push-up touchdown competition.

The first-ever beard growing competition was held in 1949. And is still one of the most anticipated events of the week. Any contestant that wants to is encouraged to enter. The only requirement is that they refrain from shaving their beard for four weeks. The contestants were judged on fullness of their beards and the top three received cash prices and congratulatory plaques. This year’s winner of 100 dollars and a champion’s plaque was Matthew Cree, a junior athletic coaching education major.


In addition to this old tradition the first ever Mountaineer Week Push up competition was held Nov. 10th . This competition was formulated by Rebecca Durst (last years Mountaineer.) She is known for laying right beside the male cheerleaders to perform their traditional push-ups when the Mountaineers score! Nineteen females participated in the competition. Carolyn Nelson, a senior psychology major, won the competition doing one hundred 74 push-ups. She received an i Pod for first place.

Both of these events took place within an hour of each other, and were located right inside the Mountanlair by the food court.

Students walking through the lair on their way to classes couldn’t help but stop and join the onlookers. A couple females even jumped in the Push-up competition because there were no pre-sign ups, ( anyone who wanted to could compete.) This made for an interesting crowd, and numerous participants.

The Mountaineer spirit is always high, and with the onset of Mountaineer Week, there is “Mountain Men” in the air. And winner of this years Beard Competition (Matthew Cree) divulged that he is considering running for Mountaineer next year. He wants to put his beard growing skills to good use.

Matthew also is excited to show his father his new championship plaque. He is currently stationed in Iraq and was cheering Matthew on from ever seas.

Cree Interview Extras:

Mountaineer Week is over for this year but that doesn’t mean that our Mountaineer family has to remain quiet in the stands. Be loud, Be proud, Be a Mountaineer!

15 Nov

WVU Host Veteran Summit

James | November 15th, 2010

The Story

West Virginia University recently hosted a conference to benefit the service members who are now full time students. The conference was held at the WVU Alumni center and hosted a number of activities. Veterans were given a chance to meet other veterans, listen to some guest speakers and have a chance to meet some employers who sole purpose was to find veterans to provide them with potential jobs. All of this was done because of the WVU Military Veteran Department.

When i was at the Veteran Summit I had a chance to meet Steve Ernst. Ernst was a Marine who served in two tours in Iraq and was now a student here at WVU. Being a Veteran, he knew that there were benefits that were available to him, but had a hard time actually getting those benefits to him. This is were the WVU Military Veteran Department came into play. Ernst said after a few visits to the department, he had the benefits that were available to him, and found about some more that he did not know about.

The Process

This is story was one of the easier ones that I have done here at WVU. Being part of the military, I felt that very comfortable going into the Summit and getting the shots. I first arrived to the alumni center and approach the greeters who were in charge of letting people know where the go. I informed them i was from the J-school and that I was interested in talking to a student/veteran. After the coordinator found out why i was there and who i wanted to talk to, he pointed in the direction of Mr. Ernst. I told him that i was there and wanted to do a story on Veteran/students and the benefits they get from the school. He was ok with conducting the interview, so i went out to my car and grabbed my camera.

I found it extremely beneficial to approach people and introduce yourself WITH OUT your camera if you are meeting them for the first time. A camera is a very intimidating thing, and the greeter who I first meet thanked me for this time. The applause was just an example, but i felt that most of my interviewees were more comfortable and had better things to say when you let them know a head of time that you will have a camera or that you will be coming back with one.

After i was finished with the interview, I went and got some shots of the WWII memorial that is across the street from the Mountainlair, and then started the grind in editing the video for class

What to Take Away
Try to do something that you are comfortable with. I have experience with the military and was in comfort zone with this one. i know this will not always happen, but when it does, take advantage with it


WVU’s veteran homepage
Department of Veteran Affairs homepage
WV division of Veteran Affairs homepage

Some Extra Stuff

here is the video footage i used for KDKA:

Here is the Package that I am currently working on for West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Note: this package is not completed. I am still in the process of editing

15 Nov

WVU Women's Soccer Team Dreams Big in NCAA's

Timothy | November 15th, 2010

The West Virginia University women’s soccer team won the Big East Tournament last weekend for their 2nd title since 2007. The Mountaineers finished the season with a 16-4-1 record and earned their 11th straight NCAA Tournament berth. This weekend the Mountaineers defeated Morehead State 2-0 and Penn State 2-1 and advanced to the Sweet 16. WVU extends its winning streak to 14 straight games and will play Boston College on Friday night in Newton, Massachusetts.

Head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown is in her 15th season at WVU. Izzo-Brown started the program back in 1996 and has never had a losing season as a Mountaineer. Her teams has earned at least 10 wins for the past 11 seasons including an 18 win season in 2002, 2007, and 2010. Coming in to this season, she has compiled a .691 winning percentage ranking her 20th among active coaches. Her 7th ranked Mountaineers look to continue dominance in the NCAA Tournament.

Senior forward Megan Mischler has been WVU’s consistent force since her freshman year in 2007. The 2-time Big East Champion netted 7 goals and racked up 16 points this season. Mischler also helped the Mountaineers to victory scoring 5 game winning goals during the 2010 campaign. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native is 1 of 3 senior starters for the Mountaineers and is in her 4th NCAA Tournament appearance.

The WVU women’s soccer team is one of the lesser known sports programs, but they always put up consistent winners. Covering the team was a great experience because it allowed me to understand how good the team really is. I was extremely impressed with Coach Izzo-Brown and the way she carried herself during practice. Her natural ability to coach and her experience has helped the Mountaineers achieve greatness for many years. Megan Mischler was also impressive because of how poised and confident she was. Her leadership has shown throughout her 4 years at WVU, and her ability to score and win games has been huge for the Mountaineers. Both Mischler and Izzo-Brown say the Big East Championship is great for the school and for the community.

Shooting this story was relatively easy but also required decent camera work as well. The lighting on the two interviews was not the best because of the sun and how bright it was. Looking back, I should have moved to a different position on the field so I didn’t get as many shadows in Coach Izzo-Brown and Mischler’s face. Also, I should have asked Coach Izzo-Brown to take her hat off. It was distracting and is made the shadows look worse. Shooting the actual practice was a challenge because of the constant movement. I had to take the camera off the tripod in order to follow the motion of the soccer ball. I really enjoyed covering the lesser known WVU sports programs. They were easier to work with and they always wanted the coverage.

WVU’s big win against Penn State

Information on WVU’s Sweet 16 matchup.


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