Advanced Feature Courses Prepare Students for Careers in Broadcast Journalism and Digital Media Production

Advanced Feature Reporter on golf course, screenshot     FSU Mens Basketball advanced feature screenshot

RTV4682 Advanced Feature Production and RTV4686 Advanced Feature Reporting are two courses in the Digital Media Production (DMP) program within the FSU School of Communication. These courses are designed to give students professional experience opportunities as part of their undergraduate curriculum.

Students in the Advanced Feature Production course act as the production crew on program features, which includes videography, editing, audio, and graphic design. They work with students in the Advanced Feature Reporting course who are given on-air experience, starring as reporters. Together, they produce broadcast level features highlighting topics relating to FSU and the Tallahassee community.

“This course has been described by previous students as a ‘production boot camp,’” said Jim Garbarino, Advanced Feature Production instructor, Executive Producer of Seminole Productions, and Director of Development and Outreach of the DMP program. “You are guaranteed to learn the skills you will need to be successful after college.”

In the past, students in these courses provided the content for Seminole Sports Magazine, highlighting and promoting FSU Athletics.

Although the show ended in 2020 – Communication students contributed to the show during 23 years for a total of 800 shows and more than 2,000 features – Course instructors Jim Garbarino and Tim Fordyce expanded the scope of the course to move beyond athletics to include the entire FSU community by featuring students, programs, faculty, and administration.

     FSU Cheerleading interview

“Through hands-on, experiential learning, our talented Advanced Feature Reporting students develop into skilled, creative storytellers,” said Tim Fordyce, Advanced Feature Reporting instructor and Senior Administrative Specialist in the Office of University Communications. “Working under real-world deadlines in collaboration with their shooting and editing counterparts, they become adept at pitching newsworthy stories, conducting face-to-face interviews, writing feature scripts, and producing professional broadcast television stories of interest to the Florida State University community and beyond.”

“Coming into the course very inexperienced was slightly overwhelming and I was quite unsure of myself,” said Emily Peters, a former student. “However, [the instructors of these courses] took this doubt and helped me determine the kind of reporter I wanted to be.”

While there were many obstacles that the students had to overcome due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were still able to make the best of the situation and produce successful and engaging projects.

    Advanced Feature Story screenshot

“The hard work of our talented students has been recognized with multiple awards over the years, and help make FSU communications students some of the most sought after and marketable graduates in their field,” said Garbarino. “Students from this course have moved on to positions at major networks, media groups, sports teams, and private companies all over the world.”

“To be honest, this class has felt like the bulk of my college career and has pointed me in the direction of where I would like to go career-wise. I don’t know what I would have done (or who I would be!) without the experiences and friends I’ve made throughout this class!,” said Grant Gibbs, a former student of the program and 2021 graduate.

The features below are produced by students in both the Advanced Feature Production and Advanced Feature Performance classes. Highlighted topics from the Spring 2021 semester include the new LGBTQ+ Housing Option, Dr. Christian Hubicki, The College of Nursing Senior Buddies Program, and even two international features on the FSU Panama Campus, as one student attended the course remotely while living in Panama.


College of Nursing’s Senior Buddies Program

The Covid-19 pandemic has been hard for everyone, but especially our senior citizens. This is why Florida State’s College of Nursing is hosting a buddy program where older adults can connect with young nursing students to form engaging and knowledgeable experiences within the field of medicine and in life. This program promotes safe, supervised, and confidential interactions that meet via telephone and video chat.


FSU Hockey Club

Established by students of Florida State in 1997, the FSU Hockey Club gives previous hockey players the experience of participating on a competitive Division 2 level team while having the Georgia Columbus Civic Center as their home arena. This feature highlights not only their background but also their accomplishments as a Florida State independent league.


FSU New LGBTQ+ Housing Option

Florida State University will now be offering gender inclusive housing to its residential students to be able to choose or select someone to live with regardless of their gender identity at the university. This story emphasizes how FSU is taking huge steps to make the campus community more inclusive as well as more progressive to make our university somewhere the LGBTQ+ community can call their home.


Hang Tough Foundation

This is a foundation dedicated to building hope, building community, and building Hang Tough Heroes. Located in Tallahassee, this foundation offers resources and encouragement to families during their journey with childhood illness and special needs.


FSU Panama Campus Overview 

FSU Panama is an international branch campus of Florida State University located on the isthmus of Panama, operating a broad curriculum program for over 50 years. This story focuses on its history, student organization, and an insight into its volume of international student population.


FSU Panama’s Pride Club

The FSU Panama campus provides students with many facilities such as student housing, computer facilities, research facilities, athletic facilities, and different types of student-run clubs such as the FSU Panama Pride Club. This story highlights the story behind it and how due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the Panamanian strict law enforcements, members of the Pride Club continue to stay in contact virtually with the hopes of being together again soon.


FSU Sport Management Program Feature

The school’s sport management program has climbed its way to the No. 1 rank in the United States. With four possible undergraduate majors to choose from, a master’s program, and doctoral program, Sport Management is a broad, impressive, and elite program at Florida State University.


FSU Super Seniors Feature

Spring 2020’s senior athletes got their last season as a Seminole stolen from them. The Covid-19 pandemic forced all of them to end their collegiate athletic career short and for a week they thought they would never get to wear the FSU jersey again. However, the NCAA decided to give every spring sport athlete an extra year of eligibility.


FSU Football’s Camren McDonald’s Yoga Classes at Landis Green

Junior athlete Camren McDonald started holding yoga sessions on Landis Green for all Florida State University students to participate in. This feature highlights his life before becoming a Florida State athlete and what encouraged the motive behind starting the yoga sessions.


Men’s Basketball and Drummer Boy Cleveland Yates

Majoring in Jazz Studies and Communications, FSU basketball player Cleveland Yates, is not only talented on the court but also musically. Yates is considered a world class drummer and is a part of the FSU music school.


Recycling Championship 

FSU has been recognized for its efforts in conservation by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. This feature highlights the work of FSU’s Solid Waste and Recycling Department, which recycled 1,322 tons of materials, composted 405 tons of materials and donated or re-sold 1,465 tons in its most recent year of tabulation.


FSU Flying High Circus 

Florida State University is one of the only universities in the nation that provides a professional high-level circus training. Every year, the Flying High Circus gets more and more overpowered by their student-produced performance, undermining all the hard work and talent that goes into each production.


FSU Cheerleader Grant Gibbs

Athlete and cheerleading advocate, Grant Gibbs, puts in work on and off the field as he juggles being a Florida State athlete, an active member of LGBTQ+, and pursuing dreams of being a journalist. Gibbs has had a long journey transitioning into the sport of cheer, but it has transformed his life and made him the person and leader he is today.


Beach Volleyball Maddie Anderson 

This feature highlights student athlete Maddie Anderson, who was recently acknowledged for her highlights on the Pre-Season ALL-CCSA Watch List of 2020 for her performance on FSU’s beach volleyball team. Maddie has experienced traveling the country for six months as a home-schooled student while participating in tournaments in a variety of states before coming to Florida State.


FSU Student and Entrepreneur Maia Billman

Maia Billman has experienced an overwhelming amount of growth with her business intended to spread love, light, and truth. She started off making hats with patches on them, and now makes beanies, sweatshirts, t-shirts, selling them nation-wide in all 50 states. With her overwhelming amount of growth, she has used this to try to inspire young girls with a great message behind each product she sells.


Women’s Basketball Izabella Nicoletti Feature

Izabela Nicoletti is a redshirt sophomore from Brazil, who has suffered a knee injury that has stopped her from playing on the women’s basketball team. This feature highlights her journey and the hardships faced throughout her basketball career. Nicoletti is a strong competitor and has proven that nothing will stop her in pursing her dreams.


Dr. Christian Hubicki and Tallahassee Cassie 

Dr. Hubiki is a man of extraordinary talents and an impressive resume. He is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at FSU and FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, specializing in Bipedal Locomotion. He is now the head of the robotics laboratory that has come to acquire an extremely impressive robot named Tallahassee Cassie, who can walk around and move on two legs just like humans.


The Leach Center and the Covid-19 Pandemic

Due to Covid-19, FSU’s Leach Student Recreation Center was forced to close their doors like every other gym. This story promotes how the Recreation Center has learned to accommodate to restrictions due to the pandemic, as they realize how important staying active is to their students.


Diversity Talks Podcast 

Two faculty members at FSU have launched a podcast this semester called “Diversity Talks”. The podcast is focused on understanding and incorporating diversity into our everyday lives. Each episode will include a special guest, have a learning objective, and will explore strategies for implementation of diversity at Florida State and beyond. The first season of the podcast will be devoted to understanding the scope of diversity in America and applying the micro-organization of Florida State to conceptualize.


DWF Magazine 

This student-produced magazine highlights the diversity of our student-body on campus by embracing how different cultures embody fashion trends and movements. By creating a space for students of all majors to gain hands-on experience working in various roles within a fashion publication, DWF presents the opportunity to thrive in a creative, fashion-forward, and team-focused environment.


FSU Track and Field Ruta Lasmane

The Latvian champion and student athlete has long dreamed of continuing her family’s golden legacy and becoming an Olympian herself. While she’s only been in Tallahassee for a few months, the freshman star is planning on cementing her name on FSU athletics forever.


Black Student Union at FSU

This story highlights the university’s BSU, and their different events hosted throughout the Black History month to celebrate Black success and acknowledge the trauma Black and African Americans have gone through and still go through such as the Afro-Funk fest.


The Big Event 

For the past 26 years, the Big Event continues to prove that volunteering is more than just yardwork, it can be life changing to those in need. This story highlights how participants found innovative ways to serve the community while staying safe during a global pandemic and how they plan on using their alternatives to their advantages in years to come in order to ensure that the positive message remains the same.


Kameron Kerns 

For Florida State’s Golden Girl, Kameron Kerns, becoming part of the Golden Girls team was another step in a life-long pursuit. This feature highlights not only her life before becoming a Golden Girl but also the level of physical talent, physical techniques, and leadership skills that essential in executing the team’s routines.


Women’s Golf Taylor Roberts

While being a high school freshman, Taylor Roberts committed to the FSU Women’s Golf Program making her one of the youngest and earliest recruits the team has ever had. The direction and leadership Roberts was looking for, and the determination Coach Amy Bond saw in her, was the perfect match.


FSU Institute of Politics 

The Institute of Politics at Florida State University is a world-class, nonpartisan, and nationally renowned institute that promotes engagement in politics by students and citizens. Housed within the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, the IOP supports applied political research by a cadre of world-class scholars and will mobilize the talents of our alumni, students, faculty, and friends while taking advantage of our location in Florida’s Capital City.


Men’s Basketball Scottie Barnes 

Scottie Barnes is a consensus five-star recruit for the Florida State University, having several top analysts rank him as the fourth-best player in the 2020 recruiting class. Named the ACC freshman of the year 2020 and the fourth-best player in the 2020 recruiting class by ESPN, numerous top universities like Kentucky, Miami, Oregon, Florida approached him with scholarships, but he committed himself to the Florida State University.


Men’s Baseball Chase Haney 

Chase Haney is a sixth-year baseball star and team captain who faced his toughest opponent last spring when the Covid-19 pandemic cancelled what he thought would be his last season. Presented with the tough decision to return or strike out on his own, Haney’s high expectations for Seminole Baseball left him to remain one last season in Tallahassee.


Golf Beatrice Wallin 

For Sweden’s Florida State golfer, Beatrice Wallin, golf was a passion that took some time but eventually sparked at a young age. Currently a junior, her success at FSU led her to compete in the U.S. Women’s Open Championship that took place in December of 2020.


FSU Alumni Association 

The FSU Alumni Association is an important organization that provides programs and services for thousands of fellow alumni and students nationwide. All alumni, friends and fans are encouraged to join the FSU Alumni Association as a way to stay connected to Florida State, and this story highlights the association as a whole and the importance of FSU Alumni connection which strengthens the university and increases the value of your FSU degree.


FSU InternatioNoles Athletes

Coming to an entirely different country to take part in a sporting program comes with a lot of baggage. For example, having to adjust to a new country with different traditions and thousands of miles away from your home and family, language barriers, and many education obstacles. This story emphasizes the perspectives international athletes, and the hardships that they had to encounter with this enormous decision.