During this research endeavor, and even prior, my mentor has always provided me with valuable input on projects. Working with Professor Randy Caspersen has been more than a simple mentoring experience. It has been an opportunity to learn from a professional who has been in the field and to explore different media outlets and career opportunities.
As previously mentioned, in addition to the Honors Summer Scholars Program I have had several other opportunities to work on research with Professor Caspersen. Our mentoring relationship began last summer when Professor Caspersen agreed to be my mentor for the McKearn Summer Fellows Program. During that opportunity I was able to serve as the Associate Producer on a documentary about a local organization that gives young people with disabilities the opportunity to perform in musical theatre plays. Before that, I was informally mentored by Professor Caspersen through his instruction in a Studio Production course.
This current mentoring experience has been limited to mostly online and phone based interactions, as I am still only involved in the planning and pre-production phases of my research. Once I begin working on the actual production of the television show, I anticipate that I will work more closely with Professor Caspersen and that we will meet regularly to ensure that the proper plans are being made to produce the show. That being said, Professor Caspersen has truly helped with every step along the way. He has given me valuable insight into the TV world, as he came from working on Judge Judy, to shooting out ideas of different resources I should tap into to ensure the success of the show. He has directed me toward interesting things happening on campus that might make for a good segment and has also pushed me to think of this show in ways I hadn’t before.
It has been incredibly valuable to have a faculty mentor throughout the entire process of being an Honors Summer Scholar, especially one who has worked in the TV world. There are times where I have hit a snag and Professor Caspersen was right there with valuable insight to help me move forward. I am excited to see what this project will ultimately become, and I am grateful to have such a helpful and knowledgeable mentor to work with along the way.