Asbury College students Beijing bound

As it has for every
Olympics since 1984, Asbury College, in Wilmore, Kentucky, will send a professionally trained contingent
of students to Beijing, China to help international
broadcasters televise the 2008 Games. The school will send 56 students enrolled
in its Media Communications department to China, who have been training on
professional broadcast equipment from Thomson and other vendors since 2005.
Asbury’s technology savvy
Media Communications department, which produces a variety of sports and
entertainment telecasts on and around the surrounding region, is now building a
new 40-foot HD-capable truck; complete with a new Thomson Grass Valley™ Kayak™
HD 250 switcher.
The new truck, which will
hit the road in August and begin producing a variety of local events that will
air on the local cable TV system, will be used to train students for the 2010
Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver,
BC, Canada.
“This year’s students will
begin leaving for Beijing
on July 15 while others will be ready for the start of the games on August 1”,
said Jim Owens, Chairman of the Asbury College Media Communications department.
Asbury College
is the only school in the U.S.
in which its junior and senior level students work in actual paid entry level
professional broadcast positions for various broadcasters at the Olympics. They
have done so for nine Olympic Games.
In support of commercial
broadcasters, Asbury
College students perform
a number of tasks, from footage to video and audio editing to operating
cameras. Unlike other college volunteers, the Asbury students — who are trained
by Asbury College faculty who have worked numerous Olympics games between them
— are paid for their work with the European Broadcast Union, Canadian Broadcast
Corp., the host broadcaster, and others.
The Asbury College Media
Communications department currently operates two Thomson Grass Valley Model 200
switchers, one in a production control room attached to its on-campus
television studios and another on board a 24-foot mobile production truck.

“We really like Thomson Grass Valley
technology and have come to appreciate its reliability and how easy it is to
train students on it,” said Owens. “Once our students leave here, they can
operate a Thomson
Grass Valley
switcher anywhere in the world.”
In 1996, for the Atlanta
Olympic Games, Asbury College sent 173 students to support the worldwide
broadcast, while about 75 students were in Salt Lake City, Utah
for the Winter Olympic Games in 2002.