Stories are at the heart of everything senior Skylar Rispens does. And, she does it all.
Photo. Web editing and design. Writing. Social media.
You name it, she does it well.
Skylar says according to her parents, she’s been passionate about telling stories even before she could talk.
She graduated from Helena High School and set out to study journalism at UM. She says she shaped her course work to dig into photography and writing. But, she’s also been the multimedia producer for the Montana Native News Project and during her trip to Korea this last spring with Montana Journalism Abroad, she was the web content editor as well as a photographer.
This fall, she’s the photo editor of the new iteration of the Montana Journalism Review project.
Skylar writes, “With the guidance of the professors and variety of class options at the School of Journalism I have gained unparalleled reporting experience that has shaped me into a confident and eager reporter.”
This summer, she spent 10 weeks as an intern in Butte, reporting for the Montana Standard. There, she covered stories like the annual Montana Folk Festival to following an infrastructure bond proposal from committee to school board approval.
Her favorite assignment at the Standard was a world-class mountain bike race. She not only reported on the race, but documented it with incredible photo work too.
We are constantly hearing from students that one of the J-School’s biggest strengths is the dedicated, talented, fearless, experienced, fun, doors-are-always-open faculty.
The Social Media and Engagement class set out to tell that story via Instagram. Over the coming weeks, we will highlight these stories, which illustrate the personalities, philosophies and experience of our top-notch faculty. This week, we give you Associate Professor Lee Banville.
Lee joined the University of Montana faculty in 2009 after 13 years at PBS NewsHour, where he was editor-in-chief of the Online NewsHour.
With a background in web and digital reporting and social media, Lee teaches courses that include digital and web reporting, audience engagement.
Because he teaches the introductory media history and literacy course (J100), he’s often the first professor students have when they enter the J-School. We’re all lucky for that because Lee makes learning just about anything fun and interesting.
And yes, that includes Media Law, which he also teaches, focusing on access and open meeting laws. Lee also co-teaches election reporting every two years.
We welcomed new students to the University of Montana School of Journalism this week with “J-Con” — a special convocation just for journalism students. There was much meeting, greeting, learning and laughing. And, there was pizza. Because, there’s always* pizza in the news business, right? *There’s often pizza.