UConn Featured in Episode of New ‘College Tour’ Series’ First Season
An Amazon Prime show that highlights the whole UConn experience, from academics to the Dairy Bar
Stephanie Reitz, UConn Today | July 7, 2021
UConn’s top-notch academic offerings, vibrant student activities, research opportunities, Husky spirit, and many other qualities are being highlighted in an episode of The College Tour, a new series streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
UConn was selected to be featured in the new show’s first season, and the video is now available on UConn’s YouTube page. It features 10 students who, as the show notes, “arrived in Storrs, Connecticut, with big plans and have discovered even bigger ideas, better answers, and what matters most.”
“They will show you around campus, share some of their favorite things about UConn, and inspire you. From undergraduate research to influential faculty and life-changing extracurriculars, they share what it means to be part of UConn Nation,” the episode’s description reads.
The College Tour was launched to tell the story of colleges and universities nationwide, with each episode focusing on a specific institution. Its host, Alex Boylan, is part of a team of Emmy-nominated and multi-award-winning producers who worked with UConn Enrollment Planning & Management and UConn Communications to coordinate and create the episode.
“The idea for The College Tour TV series came to me from my 16-year-old niece. Because of the pandemic and finances, she wasn’t able to travel to tour colleges,” Boylan says. “So, using our skills as executive producers, we created a series inspired by her and millions of other young people who are interested in attending college.”
“We know that many of our students come to UConn having heard good things from others who are already part of our campus communities. This lets our students share their experiences on an even broader scale and helps tell the UConn story to prospective students and families from farther afield,” says Nathan Fuerst, UConn’s vice president for enrollment planning and management.
“Although it’s oriented towards people who are less familiar with everything UConn has to offer, we encourage our alumni and others to watch it, too – you’ll get such a sense of pride and Husky spirit by seeing these amazing students in action and learning more about the University’s diverse range of offerings,” he adds.
The 30-minute episode provides an in-depth look at many aspects of life and learning at UConn, as told by students who are featured in segments from about three to four minutes each:
• Sean Roach ’22 (CLAS) of Cheshire, a double major in urban and community studies and psychological sciences, shares his experience finding support and friendship in the UConn living and learning communities program, and ways in which students build community through on-campus living.
• Laura Nardelli ’21 (CLAS), who hails from Yorktown Heights, New York, and graduated with an individualized major in organizational behavior and leadership, leads viewers on an in-depth look at life in Storrs – the “Heart of the Northeast” – and activities in the changing seasons, the unique cultures of the regional campuses, and offerings in Downtown Storrs.
• Shane Young ’21 (BUS), a finance major from South Windsor, discusses the breadth of experiential learning opportunities available for students to participate in research, leadership development, Study Abroad, and finding ways to pursue personal passions.
• Nicole Wiggins ’21 (ED), a special education major from Methuen, Massachusetts, shares the many opportunities available to students to become involved in groups and activities such as Club Sports, Fraternity & Sorority Life, Huskython, as well as the Oozeball and One-Ton Sundae traditions.
• Cydney-Alexis DeLaRosa ’21 (ENGR), a biomedical engineering major from Albany, New York, gives viewers a first-person look at ways in which students can have a hands-on role in research at UConn, the involvement available across all majors, funding available to allow students to pursue individual research interests, resources from the Center for Career Development, and other opportunities.
• Adam Lynch ’20 (ED), ’21 (MA), a secondary math education major from Wethersfield who received his Master of Arts degree in curriculum and instruction, spotlights UConn’s athletics and how cheering on the many Husky teams on campus – along with playing casual sports with friends — creates unmatched spirit and community.
• Brianna Chance ’23 (SFA) of New Haven, who is studying vocal performance in an integrated bachelor’s and master’s program in music education, introduces viewers to the wide range of arts and creative experiences and offerings at UConn, including groups to support students in expressing their cultural and ethnic backgrounds and using the arts to explore topics that spark their passion.
• Grace Brangwynne ’21 (CLAS), a political science major from Seymour, shares the many ways in which students are supported in their health and wellness journey, including through UConn Recreation activities, Club Sports and Intramural Sports, and mental wellbeing initiatives from UConn Student Health and Wellness.
• Riley McNaboe ’22 (ENG, CLAS), a double major in biomedical engineering and Spanish who hails from Burlington, features the wide range of dining options available at UConn through Dining Services’ eight dining halls and retail spots, the incomparable Dairy Bar, the availability of special diets such as Halal and gluten-free, and food options in Downtown Storrs.
• Maura Sanchi ’22 (CAHNR) of Norwich, an environmental science major, spotlights UConn’s commitment to sustainability across the board, including in food sourcing, recycling and composting, construction practices that emphasize features such as “green” roofs and rain gardens, the Spring Valley student farm that provides food for UConn dining halls, and student activism to help guide the University’s sustainability policies.
Amazon Prime’s ‘The College Tour’ to film a Columbia episode this summer
An Amazondocumentary series highlighting college lifestyle and culture across the U.S. has selected Columbia for an episode of its upcoming second season.
It was announced May 24 that Columbia College Chicago will be featured in the Amazon Prime series “The College Tour.”
According to Andrew Whatley, senior director for enrollment marketing communications, Columbia got involved in“The College Tour”when they were approached by the series producersto do an episode.
“Columbia really is a unique place,” Whatley said. “I want to do everything I can to find that and to make sure [students discovering Columbia] know everything they need to know about us.”
Students were given the opportunity to send in their own auditions via Handshake to be featured in the episode.
“We want them to bring their authentic voices to it; we want them to be telling a story from their own experience in their own hearts,” Whatley said.
One student who applied and was selected to be featured in the episode was sophomore film and television major Jewel Baker. Baker said she learned about the opportunity to apply through Columbia’s Instagram page.
“I was really excited,” Baker said. “I think it’s going to open the eyes for individuals all over the world on what all Columbia can really offer.”
Another student who applied to be featured in the episode was Jacklyn Elliott, a junior film major. She thinks the episode will be a great way for incoming students to learn more about the school.
“I think a lot of the time when you go to orientations or campus tours, you might get speeches and stuff from teachers, whereas this is 100% student stories,” Elliott said.
Although the episode is still under development, it is currently planned to have 10 segments,each highlighting a unique part of the Columbia experience, such as Columbia’s emphasis on creativity and Columbia events like Manifest.
Senior film majorBertram Rodgers was also selected to be featured in the episode. He said heis excited for the opportunity to be an ambassador for the school.
“I am not a traditional student,” Rodgers said. “I’m older than the average age of a Columbia student.One of my main objectives is to serve as an example … that it is never too late for change.”
Daniel Levin, a junior creative writing major selected for the episode, believes a massive platform like Amazon Primewill give Columbianational and global exposure.
“I love Columbia and I have wanted to give back for such a long time,” Levin said. “I know how big of a difference a college tour can make or break your college acceptance journey.”
According to Alex Nelson,content marketing manager for the Undergraduate Admissions Office, this episode with Amazoncould boost enrollment.
“I think a 30-minute episode that really tells the story of Columbia can have a really strong influence and hopefully help prospective and incoming students see themselves reflected and think that Columbia is the right place for them,” Nelson said.
Filming will take place on campus from July 19 through July 22. The finished episode is slated to be released on Hulu and Amazon Prime by early October 2021.
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