Finding My Way at the Modern Media Conference

As a senior at Oglethorpe, my current goals involve deciding where I want to go with my life, which paths I wish to embark upon and which journeys I will undertake.  Ironically, on a physical plane, my navigational abilities are not exactly “present.”  Maps and signs befuddle me, as do landmarks, and I can find myself getting lost in ways that are so bizarre as to be impressive… from a certain angle, that is.  While my “impressive” skills at getting lost were no different at Georgia State’s Modern Media Conference (it took me half an hour to find the cafeteria), in a deeper sense, there was some direction to be found—the type of direction that every college senior ultimately desires.

Debra Bryant '12 and Marisa Manuel '13 at the conference

I chose to attend Georgia State’s conference because of my editor position with The Tower literary magazine, as well as my internship with Oglethorpe’s Pegasus Creative (the University Communication department’s newly-launched student communications agency that gives us the opportunity to gain real world experience in a collaborative team environment).  The conference, held September 28-29, was packed with more than 20 guest speakers from major media outlets such as CNN, ESPN, WSB-TV, HLN, and WXIA.   I was accompanied by Director of Communications Renee Vary, Assistant Director Debbie Aiken ’12, and Pegasus Creative’s Web Content Development Intern Debra Bryant ’12 (who also came on behalf of The Nightcap, the Evening Degree Program’s newsletter.)

The four of us had numerous lectures to choose from, some headed by photojournalists, others by newspaper editors, and a few by the professors at Georgia State themselves. The variety of seminars offered went far beyond what I had anticipated, and I used up an entire booklet taking notes on what was discussed.

Throughout the course of the day, I was able to attend five sessions, ranging from a passionate lecture called “Get to the Damn Point!” (something which I have admittedly not done yet—read on!) to an informative presentation on what makes student government an exciting body to report on. (As a member of our school’s SGA, this was especially topical for me!).  Journalist and Editor Michael Koretzky ended the conference with several stories concerning his own experiences in the professional world; he encouraged the audience to “be fired for the right reason,” before recounting several situations in which he was fired for just that.

So, what is the “darn” point of me writing this?  Well, there are several points I wish to share with you—I had fun, I learned a lot, and I hope to have more opportunities like this in the future.  Is this where I want to go with my life?  Do I want to work in PR, journalism, broadcasting, or some other form of media?  I don’t know, but I now see them as options, which puts me a step closer to finding my way than I was before.

“Football” Fever!

In the summer of 2010, all eyes were focused on the 2010 FIFA World Cup and one Petrel alum kept the world’s soccer fans updated, play-by-play, on the world’s largest sporting event. Sportscaster Brent Latham ’97 played soccer at Oglethorpe and reported on World Cup action on He was also 1/7th of a team of American soccer bloggers around the world.  Brent sounds off about World Cup action at

Landon Donovan and the U.S. team were ousted from the tourney last week…Which team are you rooting for?

We asked Petrels around the world if they watched the World Cup that year, and here’s some of the responses we got…

@Evan Britton ’11:

“Absolutely. Argentina, Brazil and Chile were my teams but it’s down to just two of those now…Brazil and Argentina

:( ” 


@Kofi Nketiah ’10:



@Dr. Herschler:

“Of course!  My Dad grew up in Europe and he played soccer in the 1950’s…so I grew up around the sport.  It’s kind of sad that Japan and the U.S. are out of the competition, but I’m still enjoying  the game…”


@Julie Vaughan ’09:  “I think it’s going to be between Brazil and either Argentina or Germany.”