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Students Produce Television Commercials for "Real-Life" Clients

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Posted on Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sixteen students in Westminster College's "Commercial Production" class produced 30-second public service announcements (PSAs) for the Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County, New Castle Community YMCA, and Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC).

The class was taught by Dr. David Barner, professor of broadcast communications and chair of Westminster's Department of Communication Studies, Theatre, and Art.

"The experience was a great way to combine service-learning and experiential learning," Barner said. "It was a wonderful opportunity for the students to work with someone off campus who had a real promotional need. In the process, they learned what it takes to create a TV commercial that has impact."

Matt Pereslucha, a sophomore broadcast communications major from South Park, worked on the Crisis Shelter spot. "It was one of those rare opportunities you get that can show what it's like to work out in the 'real world' and what these professionals really go through to make a production like this," he said. "I'm very pleased with the final product for the client and I think it could have a big impact."

Dana Sear, executive director of the Crisis Shelter, was pleased with the outcome. "The spot is really compelling and moving," she said. "I sent it out for my board to look at and they all had nice things to say about it."

Visit to view the Crisis Shelter PSA.

Katelyn Altman, a junior broadcast communications major from New Castle, was part of the team that produced the YMCA spot. "I enjoyed working with the YMCA as part of our commercial production class," she said. "My group was able to come together with a lot of thoughts. We took the ideas and combined them to come out with a great commercial we are proud of."

Sam Migliano, branch executive for the YMCA's Y-Zone, said, "The commercial touched what we are really trying to capture: that storytelling aspect of the kids and the involvement-in-the-community aspect of what we do at the Y."

The YMCA spot can be seen at

Joe Onderko, executive director of the PAC and former sports information director at Westminster, appreciated the work that went into the final product. "I thought it was well-done," he said. "I think it succeeded in getting across the message we wanted. The reaction here was very positive."

Visit to watch the PAC spot.

Contact Barner at (724) 946-7239 or e-mail for additional information.