Newport News Public Schools TV and the Telecommunications Center

TV camera operator

As usual, NNPS Telecom handled video production of this spring's Christopher Newport University graduation ceremonies.

This year saw the non-traditional style event used during the COVID-19 pandemic continue as the norm. Rather than have one lengthy ceremony with larger crowds, the university held two smaller ceremonies and hosted "event zones" on campus that the graduates and families could participate in at their own pace.

The Telecom team covered the two processionals, the two commencement ceremonies, and the Latin Honors ceremony held the day before commencement.

The two-session commencement made for a very long production in terms of time, but the team persevered and the students gained a lot of hands-on experience.

The TV team set up all their production equipment outdoors on Thursday, only to have the event moved indoors due to impending bad weather. They had to strike the equipment and set it up again inside.

On Friday, Telecom covered the Latin Honors ceremony recognizing faculty promotions, honors graduates, and a surprise honorary doctorate awarded to both CNU President and First Lady, Paul and Rosemary Trible.

Telecom Supervisor Ray Price and Instructor Carl Daniels, Jr. shared directing duties over the two-day production event. Telecom alumni working on the production were: Collin Smalls, Joshua Stuck, Brandon Hedgepeth, Muriel Gamble, and Tyson Odette.

First-year Telecom students Peniel Bejirond, Fantasee Carey, and Victor Soto rounded out the crew as camera operators. Peniel and Fantasee had production experience from working on the crew during football season, and had also been crew members for the CNU Holiday Happening broadcast.

"They all did an outstanding job," said Hedgepeth, former Telecom intern, who served as audio technician and stream coordinator, as well as social media manager.

Some of the students received training as technical director during the production and were able to try out that role, too.

The production wrapped after about 10 hours on Saturday - a long but rewarding day for the crew.