A group of 10 trailblazing Montclair State University juniors and seniors began a unique journey today as the first cohort of the School of Communication and Media’s “Semester in LA,” a new residential program that establishes the University’s permanent presence in Los Angeles.
The inaugural class of 10 SCM students are enrolled in full-time credit loads through a combination of in-person classes focused on the Los Angeles media industry taught by an LA based media professional, online Montclair coursework, and internships in the media, entertainment, and lifestyle fields, a signature of this program. Creating a further sense of community, LA students Sofia Ambrosio, Jason Cortes, Sean Ennis, Thomas Ferman, Jessica Gault, Becca Kobik, Kayla McCullough, Kayla McCullough, Morgan Monfriedo, Chloe Naphy and Grace Scanlon are grouped together in Burbank apartments made available through the program.
“It’s an honor to join this program and experience real-world production life in the heart of the entertainment industry,” said junior Film and Television major Chole Naphy. “I’m also excited about the wonderful weather and hope to establish roots in LA that will help with my career goals.”
“The Semester in LA program has granted me the opportunity to work on-site in LA, which is a dream come true,” said senior Film and Television major Sofia Amrbrosio. “I’m super stoked to meet more people and expand my network in the entertainment industry… and soak in the sun while I’m at it!”
Students worked throughout the fall semester with the College of the Arts Career Services team in securing their internships. Among the students’ placements are roles at film and media production company Rugged Entertainment, online entertainment magazine MXDWN, strategic communications and consulting agency firm Hiltzik Strategies, fitness company Heat Dance LLC, skincare company NuReveal, and management and production agencies Grandview Automatik and 101 Studios. Throughout the semester, students will have opportunities to interact with a broad range of industry leaders, including producers, screenwriters, directors, network and studio employees, agency executives, and above and below-the-line production professionals.
Montclair in LA places SCM as one of a small group of universities that maintain a residential program in Los Angeles focused on film, television, and entertainment. It continues the School’s ascent in becoming one of the nation’s most respected and comprehensive across the vast array of disciplines in communication and media. School of Communication and Media Director Dr. Keith Strudler and Assistant Professor Guy Nicolucci created the program and are excited about what the first semester in Los Angeles means for SCM and its students. “This is a historic day for our students, program and University as we officially put our Montclair State flag in the ground in Los Angeles,” Dr. Strudler said. “In addition to the amazing opportunities at our growing, on-campus curriculum, our Semester in LA program will enhance our students’ learning experiences and networking opportunities, and create friendships that will last a lifetime.”
More than 70 students applied to the program, which requires an application and interview process. Students who are interested in applying to the program for the Fall 2023 semester should check the School’s website and social media channels early in the Spring semester for updates and directions.
Story by Keith Green, School of Communication and Media
About the School of Communication and Media: Founded in 2012, the School of Communication and Media offers a range of dynamic programs in communication and media to a talented and diverse student population of over 1,650 and growing. Offering degrees in film and television, social media and public relations, advertising, journalism and digital media, sports communication, animation and visual effects, and an MA in public and organizational relations, the School prepares the next generation of communication and media practitioners and leaders. The School houses award-winning student programs that include WMSC Radio, The Montclarion newspaper, Hawk Communications PR Agency, the Red Hawk Sports Network, Hawk+ OTT streaming platform, and News Lab, as well as the Center for Cooperative Media, which serves the public by working to grow and strengthen local journalism. Recent national School recognitions include an Edward R. Murrow Award, several Marconi Award nominations, and a College Television Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.