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BCnow Turns Two

This week marks the second anniversary of BCnow, the campus, staff and alumni source for news, events and announcements concerning Berea College.

Current team: Stephanie, Mary, Morgan, Kris, Jim, Hollie, Ali, Kirsten

To celebrate our second year in publication, we thought we’d take a look behind the scenes of BCnow and meet the students who keep it running smoothly.

BCnow began as just a thought. After the student-managed website BClive shut down, the newly formed Berea College Webteam was looking for a way to create an online news portal for the BC campus. BCnow was born. Since its inception in 2004, BCnow has enjoyed nearly 350,000 page views. Over the past two years, the all-student staff has published more than 350 articles.

Last year, BCnow was honored with the CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) District III Award of Excellence. BCnow was chosen as one of three institutions awarded in the excellence category. The CASE District III region includes more than 540 member institutions from southeast region of the United States. The award recognized both BCnow’s ability to publish fresh news quickly, but also the content management system that runs BCnow from behind. This system was developed in large part by student Justin Bailey.

BCnow is currently comprised of seven students who regularly write, research and edit articles about campus, student, staff and faculty happenings for the BCnow website. Presenting, in alphabetical order, the student writers and staff:

Morgan Adams is a freshman from Lexington, Kent., and is planning to major in English. She came to work for BCnow in August 2005. “This job has already been a great experience in many ways,” she says. “I’m gaining a lot of insight into the journalistic process, as well as my own writing and reporting style.” After she graduates, Morgan has grand aspirations of being an editor or designer for a cool magazine. “Even if that plan falls through, I will be a writer in any way, shape or form I can manage,” says Morgan.

Ali Duff joined BCnow in October of 2005. She is an English education major originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. She hopes to be a high school English teacher or become a principal.
Ali began working at BCnow so she could gain a repertoire of experience. “I couldn't pass up this opportunity to create a portfolio of my writing and gain experience in a different aspect of writing,” says Ali. “My experience at BCnow will definitely come in handy when I start teaching high school English. [And] the writing I have done here at BCnow will help me in everything I write in the future.”

Kris Hammons is in his first semester of working for BCnow as their technical assistant. His job involves daily updates to the campus calendar and helping the writers with any technical problems or questions that arise. He is from Renfro Valley, Kent., but is a native of Dallas, Texas. His interests lie in photography and graphic design, and he plans to propose an independent major emphasizing in visual arts, business and communications.

Stephanie Henry is a sophomore from Louisville, Kent., and she joined BCnow in August 2005. She is majoring in English and minoring in Women’s Studies. She feels that working at BCnow will help her in her future plans to attend graduate school for a Masters in Library Science. She says, “My research skills that I've learned by working here should help me out a lot in that area.” Stephanie went on to add that her BCnow work experience has already helped hone other skills. “I'm a much more confident writer and I'm a lot braver about interviewing people for stories,” she says. “I'm definitely not timid anymore!”

Hollie Link is a senior English education major from Morgantown, West Virg. Hollie is responsible for daily management of BCnow and its staff, including writing, editing, and assigning articles and has been at BCnow since the beginning. “I first came to BCnow to enrich my educational experience. I thought, ‘Writing and managing, what better way to get practice for a real-world classroom?’” Upon leaving BCnow at the end of this semester, Hollie hopes to leave BCnow in better hands. “My hopes for BCnow is that it continues to get better. I’m looking forward to looking back in 5 years and saying, ‘Wow, this is a long way from where I left off.’”

Jim Morrissey is a junior from Elizabethtown, Kent. and is working toward a psychology major and a minor in philosophy. This is his first semester working for BCnow. “When I graduate from Berea, I will probably get my M.A. and Ph.D. in cognitive psychology,” says Jim. “I enjoy the academic realm so much that I will probably try to teach here, or at a similar institution, in the future.”

Kirsten Rogers is a sophomore Journalism major from Clarksville, Tenn. She plans to work for a magazine after graduating college. After a year and a half at BCnow, Kirsten has gained confidence in herself both as writer and as a person. She says, “If I want it to happen, I'll make it happen.” When Kirsten leaves BCnow she will take away with her a new-found appreciation for diversity. “There are many, many different types of people in the world and we'd all do best to learn to get along with each other,” Kirsten comments.

Mary Rush is a junior English major, Spanish minor from Lorain, Ohio. This is her first semester with BCnow. “I enjoy writing and would like to pursue a career in technical writing or business communications,” says Mary. “I thought working at BCnow would be a great opportunity to gain experience in a different style of writing that would be helpful in the future.” She thinks her experiences here will be beneficial in other ways as well: “I've learned how to keep my sanity working with crazy co-workers!” she jokes.

Over the years, we’ve enjoyed writing many articles. Here are a few of our personal favorites:

Best Feature: Chemistry Students Develop, Test, and Compare Molecules

Best Event Article: BC Celebrates 130th Mountain Day

Best Q&A: Freshman Swimmer Ellard Makes Big Splash, BC's History: At a Bookstore Near You

Best Sports Article: Men Get on the Fast Track @ Berea Invitational

Best Convocation Article: Rozin's Research Far From Frightening

Best Sesquicentennial Article: BC Kicks Off Sesquicentennial Year

Best Preview: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Best Campus Development Article: Chemistry Upgrades Technologies, It's beginning to Look A lot ...

Best Faculty News Article: BC’S History: At a Bookstore Near You, PR and Development Receive CASE Awards

Most Emotional: BC Student Rallies for Women's Rights

Most Exciting: Shutterbugs Capture the West

Most Controversial: Whole Sky Fans Whirlwind of Dialogue, Students To Converge on the SOA

Funniest: Stage Stars Show Shakespeare, Hazelwood Untangles the Web, Class Conjures Chemical Concoctions

Most Important: 3-D Technology Gives BC a New Dimension

Most Inspiring: BC Student Rallies for Women’s Rights, Few Baskets, but Lots of Food & Toys, Students Help Rebuild Homes and Hopes

Best-Written Article: Class Conjures Chemical Concoctions

Best Headline: Observatory Gets Star Treatment

Best First Article: Traditional Powerhouse Gets On Track

Best Illustrations/Pictures: Freshman Ellard Makes Big Splash, BC students Take Back the Night

Best Lead Sentence:
“Have you ever seen a scary movie and found yourself screaming at the characters to avoid the imminent danger, or felt enraged enough at a broadcast commentary or radio talk show to shout your views into thin air?” Whole Sky Fans Whirlwind of Dialogue

"The stakes are high when you put something in your mouth," Dr. Paul Rozin told his Berea College audience on February 23. Rozin's Research Far From Frightening

We hope you had as much fun reading these past news stories as we had writing them. Thank you, our readers, for your continued support in the past two years and the years to come.

BCNow would also like to thank all of its student writers and staff, both past and present, for a great and enlightening two years: Morgan Adams, James Brooks, Justin Bailey, Ashonti Davis, Ali Duff, Brandon Dye, LaTara Clayton, Rose Goble, Jim Hammons, Cary Hazelwood, Stephanie Henry, David Link, Hollie Link, Janelle Macleod, Jim Morrissey, Ruth O'Neal, Mai Nguyen, Casey Poe, Kirsten Rogers, Mary Rush, Nazar Rusli, Stacie Sexton, Samantha Willis, Shane Woodson.

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