2019 Sessions

These are just a few of the sessions coming for 2019! Check back regularly to see more added!

The Big Interview — Part 1
This session will help you prepare for a press conference. You’ll learn how to research for an interview, what types of questions are good and bad, the importance of being a good listener, and how to get new, fresh information out of your interview.

The Big Interview — Part 2
Put what you’ve learning in your interview skills session to the test. In this interactive session, you’ll get the opportunity to participate in a live press conference with an Illini coach or celebrity.

Create Your Own Ad
What makes consumers loyal to sports and entertainment brands? How do you find the strategy that will best persuade them? You’ll then create an ad of your own during this interactive class.

Illini Media
In this panel discussion you’ll go behind the scenes of the what the Illinois College Press Assn. calls the No. 2 student newspaper in the country. You’ll also learn more about WPGU, the student-run alternative radio station, and the Illio yearbook. Many famous alumni called the DI home, everyone from Simpsons producer/writer Larry Doyle, film critic Roger Ebert, novelist Dave Eggers, advice columnist Dan Savage, and Chicago Cubs SVP Mike Lufrano.

Documentary Film Production
Learn the life cycle of the documentary process, from funding to productions to distribution. You’ll find out about everything that goes into long-form storytelling and get practical tips about turning your idea into reality.

Founded in 1999 by the late Roger Ebert, University of Illinois Journalism graduate and Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic, Roger Ebert’s Film Festival (Ebertfest) celebrates films that haven’t received the recognition they deserved during their original runs. The festival gives these films and their filmmakers a well-deserved second look. Learn from one of its organizers, Andy Locke, about what it takes to run a film festival and how you could bring one home to your school.

Fighting Illini Productions (FIP)
The video unit of Illini athletics, will be on hand to share how to get hands on sports video production experience. They’ll explain the skills you want to learn in college and jobs you can get following this career path.

GoPro 101
You will learn the basics of videography and how GoPro cameras are changing the way we capture movement and action. We will discuss GoPro as an established brand that partners with surfers, skateboarders, snowboarders, and even base jumpers in wingsuits and what that means for fan engagement, advertising, and consumer culture.

How to Watch a Movie
Wait. What just happened? Talking’s definitely allowed in this interactive session where you’ll deconstruct a classic movie, developing a keen eye for spotting everything from geopolitics to product placement. You’ll learn how cinema and media shapes impressions of social issues from an expert in James Bond movies.

Mobile Journalism
News is now and in your hands. Learn the latest techniques for bringing stories to life while on-the-go with your smartphone.

Movie Reviews
If you like film, then you more than likely have opinions about what you see. And while the explosion of the internet makes it easy for anyone to set up a movie review website, this hardly qualifies them as a professional film critic. You’ll then take a crack at writing your own review.

On Air and On Deadline
Think TV broadcasting is for you? Practice reading copy from teleprompters and learning how to sit behind the anchor desk and read to the camera. Walk away with a professional on-air clip.

Get smart about the fasting growing trend in media. More than 57 million people are hooked on podcasts, with listenership up 75% in five years. What makes a good podcast and how can you start one of your own?

Unleash your creativity and visual artistry through photography. Composition, capturing awesome moments, and learning the secrets of great photography will be revealed. Discover how to take meaningful photos.

Photography Lab
Cover an event photographically. Shoot Overall, Medium and Closeup pictures that show Action, Interaction and Reaction. Tell a story. Remember that it’s not the camera you are holding but your vision and understanding of the event that will make great pictures. Answer the question: Why am I taking these pictures and why will my audience be interested in seeing them?

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­The Pitch
This session will help you better understand how to package and pitch your ideas, whatever they might be. We’ll cover presentation basics, audiences, bringing ideas to life, getting support and answering questions.

Sports Play-By-Play
Sportswriter and Illini play-by-play announcer Brian Barnhart will share some behind-the-scenes experiences and day-to-day duties involved in being the “Voice of the Illini”. He’ll show examples of score sheets and prep methods and play a few audio excerpts before opening it up for a Q&A.

Sport Media’s Future
Explore the emerging impact of eSports on today’s culture and learn about the future of sports media from an ESPN writer who also appears on SportsCenter and NFL Live.

State Farm Center
Learn how this venue puts on big sports and entertainment events and get a tour, too.

Storytelling with Data
Many stories are now told with data, especially through its visualization. This session will show examples of story-telling with data and include a discussion of the ideas on how to do that well. If time permits, we will do a simple, fast example of how to use data visualization to begin the telling of a story.


Scavenger hunt
This way to the Quad! Work in teams with smartphones to explore the Illinois campus and its myths and mysteries.

The Skinny
Ask current students anything you want to know about attending Illinois. Find out how   they selected their major, why they chose Illinois, and what to consider during the application process.

Nights Out
Spend evenings at the Illini Union and our Sports Complex. (Supervised by RAs.)

Awards Ceremony You’ll earn special awards for outstanding performance in several categories