iNRB Offers Christian Media Students Chance to Gain Experience, Connections, and Awards

iNRB NASHVILLE (NRB) – Intercollegiate National Religious Broadcasters (iNRB) provided opportunities not only to gain experience and to network but to exalt Christ, said participants in iNRB events at Proclaim 18, NRB’s International Christian Media Convention.

Approximately 150 students from about 10 member schools – including a new one – took part in iNRB events February 26-28 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville. At the center of the three days of events were 24-hour challenges in film, audio, and news. In the challenges, teams were given topics and a day in which to produce an entry to be judged. Three teams were honored in each category during an awards ceremony on the final day.

“This event is something that our school looks forward to every year,” said Brennen Scarborough, a student at University of Northwestern-St. Paul (UNW), adding iNRB “has been helpful to me because I not only get hands-on experience in my desired field, but I learn how to glorify Christ in it as well. One of the things that this Convention stands for is the relevance of Christians in media. Programs like the iNRB are helping to make that happen.”

Elizabeth Nelsen of North Greenville University (NGU) in Tigerville, South Carolina, said after participating in her second iNRB, “It’s really helpful attending because I have learned how to network and talk to professionals in the future career field.”

Both Scarborough and Nelsen were members of winning teams in the 24-hour challenges. The UNW team of Scarborough, Vanshay Murdock and Isabella Stillone won in the news category, while Nelsen and Bethany Lipscomb took first place in audio as representatives of NGU. The team of Caleb Murphy, Stephen Desert, J.D. Surrett and Nick Yasi – from Bob Jones University (BJU) in Greenville, South Carolina – won film honors.

Nelsen described the win as “the most encouraging experience in my college career. It was such a surprise to win. We tried our hardest but because it was our first year, we didn’t expect taking the win.”

Scarborough expressed gratitude for the attitude of the UNW team. “[E]ven though we were pumped that we won, we care more about producing a good product,” he said.

Dave Berggren, a UNW professor, always tells them their purpose in television news is “to tell good stories,” Scarborough said. “My teammates and I were excited that we were able to win, especially for the second year in a row. But it means more to us to say that we were put under some of the most stressful conditions, we were still able to create good content and we were lucky enough to be recognized for it.”

Hannibal-LaGrange University (HLGU) in Hannibal, Missouri, sent a team to iNRB for the first time, and staff and faculty praised the experience and expressed their intention to continue the practice.

“[E]ven before exiting the event, students were already planning for next year, eagerly looking to bring more students along to be immersed in this rare educational experience,” said Stacy Allen, the school’s director of special projects, conferences, and events. “Several commented on the personal benefits, noting specifically being enriched by the massive wellspring of knowledge, endless information and valuable networking made available to students.”

Allen, wife of HLGU President Anthony Allen, also said, “Hands-on practicum experience, with interaction among the wise and well-seasoned, makes NRB priceless! Investing in the lives of students who invest in communicating God's truths is one of the highest eternal values imaginable. This is why we are determined to continue making the iNRB opportunity possible for all interested HLGU students year after year.”

Christy Jung, assistant professor of media communication at HLGU, said her students “got a chance to practice their skills in a real world environment. They wrote the script, shot the video, interviewed the newsmakers and told the story all on their own without any help from me as their faculty sponsor.

“They learned what it is like to work as a team and to produce quality content on a tight deadline,” Jung said. “They worked really hard to tell the story with integrity and truth. They now have an impressive story to add to their resume reel; this is a story that I think will open doors for them as they begin to seek employment after graduation.”

This year was no different than previous years in at least one respect, iNRB Chair Shur Gopal said.

“Students that attend iNRB every year really love the Lord and come with a lot of passion for Christian media,” said Gopal, who teaches media technologies, film, and video production at NGU.

“The young generation of Christian media professionals are the ones that will have to take over NRB eventually,” he said.

Some helpful changes were made for this year’s iNRB, Gopal said. “[T]he film, news and audio challenges were more streamlined and well-organized than the previous years,” he said. “I was able to bring in more film professionals from Hollywood to be our film challenge judges.”

Gopal has a goal of expanding iNRB’s membership by at least six schools before NRB’s 2019 Convention in Anaheim, California, March 26-29, 2019.

For the list of the winners in the 24-hour challenges, as well as the list of 2018 iNRB Student Production Award recipients, click here.

Christian Vision sponsored this year’s iNRB events.

By Tom Strode

Published: March 22, 2018

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