Montclair State University Press Room

Red Carpet Rollout

Montclair State University Press Room I March 28, 2022

On screen and off, students and alumni shine at The College Tour premiere

“Here at Montclair, our motto is ‘Carpe Diem’ (seize the day) and every one of our cast members has done exactly that,” says Joseph Brennan, vice president for Communications and Marketing. Brennan, at far left, is shown with cast members Sal Parrinello ’16, ’18 MBA ; Natalya Kozlovski, Givonna Boggans, Nikki-James Soto and Victoria Povolo.

Rolling out the red carpet ahead of The College Tour’s Season 4, the student and alumni stars of Montclair State University celebrated on March 24 with an Oscar-worthy Watch Party.

With the cameras rolling, the cast treated a live and at-home audience to clips from The College Tour and 20 different stories about what life is like at Montclair.

Complementing the on-screen cast, students worked behind-the-scenes filming the live broadcast and reporting a story they would title “Soaring and Streaming.”

The full episode is available on the University’s YouTube channel and website.

The national rollout on Amazon Prime Video launches in April, with the episode streaming on a number of platforms, including Roku, Apple TV and Sony, and The College Tour app.

Behind the scenes: Watch what it’s like to be part of The College Tour as a crew films Montclair students and President Jonathan Koppell.

PHOTO GALLERY

Kaya Maciak, a senior Communication and Media Arts major, co-hosts The College Tour premiere. “I can probably say that all of us who were ambassadors on this, we can check acting now because this is our movie.”
A look from behind the scenes with Broadcast and Media Operations, which ran the livestream, directed by University Videographer Christo Apostolou ’17, with School of Communication and Media graduate Jonathan Padilla ’20 and current students Mike Banovic, Gabby Taylor, James Lynch, Jared Stock and Daniela Jimenez Valdez.
Co-hosts – Joseph Brennan, vice president for Communications and Marketing, and seniors Kaya Maciak and Jack Barteck – react to the audience during an interview segment with Sienna Grant Mitsak and Jennifer Burlage.
In his segment, Anthony Gachetti, a junior studying Earth and Environmental Science in the combined Bachelor’s/Master of Arts in Teaching program, describes what he’s learned giving campus tours as an ambassador.
Third-year Visual Arts major Sienna Grant Mitsak, in yellow, celebrates with family and friends. Mitsak, who founded her own hair-care brand while in college, says the opportunity to share her story on The College Tour was amazing. “Every day I really aim to help people on their journey with embracing their natural hair and going on their self-love journeys. I always give them affirmation, so to be able to be on this screen is honestly a dream come true.”

Photos by University Photographer Mike Peters.

The College Tour: Coming Soon on an App Near You

Montclair State University Press Room I March 14, 2022

A watch party on March 24 provides for a sneak peek of Montclair’s big moment

Watch the live stream on Youtube.

There’s a tradition among students who perform as Montclair State University’s mascot, Rocky the Red Hawk: it’s a secret until they cross the graduation stage wearing bright yellow talons to make the “big reveal.” But for one member of Team Rocky that unveiling will be happening on multiple streaming platforms when he unmasks on the television series The College Tour.

“This is the coolest kind of reveal for Rocky that you could do,” says Sean Risch ’22, who graduated in January with a degree in Theatre Studies. He represents Montclair along with 18 other students and alumni in the University’s hour-long episode that begins running in April on Prime Video, IMDbTV and additional channels. “Being Rocky was a personal thing and sharing that with America is just … awesome.”

Ahead of the national rollout, Montclair is offering a sneak peek of the program – and Rocky – introducing the cast and taking viewers behind the making of The College Tour at a premiere on Thursday, March 24. The watch party will include a reception beginning at 6 p.m. in the lobby of the School of Communication and Media and an in-person and live-streamed program (on the University’s YouTube channel) at 7 p.m. in the School of Communication and Media’s Presentation Hall.

Behind the scenes: Watch what it’s like to be part of The College Tour as a crew films Montclair students and President Jonathan Koppell.

A crew from The College Tour visited campus last October, taping 20 different segments that cover all things Montclair, including campus life, academics, internships, research and service opportunities. “The crew let me be my complete, authentic self,” recalls Nikki-James Soto. “I like to try new things and meet new people, but I didn’t know what I was walking into.”

Soto is a senior with a double major in Psychology and Elementary Education and, as part of Montclair’s 4+1 program, will earn her Master of Arts in Teaching next year. Putting herself in front of a camera wasn’t part of her college plans.

“I want to be a teacher. I want to work with kids. I never thought that I’d get a chance to do any sort of production,” Soto says. “But I had such a fun time and was able to have friends be a part of it too. This is something we’re going to have a memory of forever.”

Produced by Emmy-nominated and award-winning TV producers, The College Tour helps prospective students around the country travel virtually across America for an inside look at colleges and universities. Montclair’s episode is part of Season 4 on Amazon’s streaming service, IMDb TV, on The College Tour’s app (Android, iOS) and website; Roku, Apple TV, LG Smart TV, Samsung Smart TV, Sony, Philips Smart TV, Amazon FireTV, Android TV and Montclair’s YouTube.

A crew from The College Tour visited campus last October, taping 20 different segments that cover all things Montclair, including campus life, academics, internships, research and service opportunities. “The crew let me be my complete, authentic self,” recalls Nikki-James Soto. “I like to try new things and meet new people, but I didn’t know what I was walking into.”

Soto is a senior with a double major in Psychology and Elementary Education and, as part of Montclair’s 4+1 program, will earn her Master of Arts in Teaching next year. Putting herself in front of a camera wasn’t part of her college plans.

“I want to be a teacher. I want to work with kids. I never thought that I’d get a chance to do any sort of production,” Soto says. “But I had such a fun time and was able to have friends be a part of it too. This is something we’re going to have a memory of forever.”

Produced by Emmy-nominated and award-winning TV producers, The College Tour helps prospective students around the country travel virtually across America for an inside look at colleges and universities. Montclair’s episode is part of Season 4 on Amazon’s streaming service, IMDb TV, on The College Tour’s app (Android, iOS) and website; Roku, Apple TV, LG Smart TV, Samsung Smart TV, Sony, Philips Smart TV, Amazon FireTV, Android TV and Montclair’s YouTube.

PHOTO GALLERY: Meet Some of the Stars of The College Tour

Nikki-James Soto, seated, left, films a segment of The College Tour with her friend Stephanie Grajales, a senior English major in the dual certification K-6 Education and Teacher of Students with Disabilities program. “This is something we’re going to have a memory of forever,” Soto says.
“If someone said to me a year ago I’d be promoting Montclair on a show, I wouldn’t believe them,” says cast member Samantha Wilk, a sophomore with majors in Psychology and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. “Falling in love with your university in a global pandemic is as hard as it sounds.”
In Montclair’s episode, Sean Risch ’22, who graduated in January with a degree in Theatre Studies, says playing Montclair’s beloved mascot Rocky the Red Hawk was the role of a lifetime.
Ciara Chanel Allen, a senior, expresses gratitude for the scholarship support that has helped her pursue a BFA. “Montclair State University has molded me into the person that I wanted to be. Confident, independent, outspoken and unapologetically myself.”
Gian Paul Gonzales ’07, a former star athlete and now a high school history teacher and motivational speaker, describes the concept of being “All In”… committing to your personal dreams no matter the obstacles you face. At Montclair, Gonzales says, he “developed a love and a passion for how I could help my community, not by studying something that happened in the past, but by being inspired to want to change the present.”
Amazing Race winner Alex Boylan, host of The College Tour, right, enjoys coffee and conversation with University President Jonathan Koppell.

Watch the livestream of the episode’s premiere on March 24 on YouTube.

Register to attend the watch party in person.

Story by Staff Writer Marilyn Joyce Lehren. Photos by University Photographer Mike Peters. Videos by Videographer Christo Apostolou.