by Blake Stewart ('18)

At Trevecca, educating a student goes beyond the classroom. Professors aim to provide opportunities for students to serve, lead and engage outside the classroom and into the community.

In the Media Arts department, Prof. Seth Conley provides a course that requires students to work with nonprofit clients, allowing them to learn from leaders while serving others.

The mission of Conley’s Corporate and Organizational video course is to allow students to use video and film skills in a corporate environment to help clients understand the vision of their video all the way to completion.

“The process for our students is to work like an outside production company and initially meet with clients and fully understand what they are trying to accomplish and highlight,” Conley says.


For students, gaining experience outside of the classroom is a vital part of their educational experience. It allows students to develop the skills needed in the workplace such as time management, organizational and leadership skills, patience and working in a group environment.

“It was nice working in a group because that is what the work will be like in a corporate setting,” says Kiersten Ziegler, junior media arts major and director of The Salvation Army video. “It taught me how to manage and deal with stress in groups, time management skills and how my people skills are interpreted into that world.”

A strong portfolio of work is vital for a media arts graduate. Portfolios give potential employers a glimpse of the student’s best work as well as a better understanding to the student’s proficiency and level of creativity.

This course provides that and more.

“A lot of the assignments aside from the project—like creating a sample proposal and then actually making a demo reel were really helpful,” says Zach Vaughn, a junior media arts major. “Also, knowing what it’s like to work with a client is a good experience the course provides.”


CrossBridge, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to ending destructive cycles of addiction, incarceration and generational poverty, is one of the organizations that partnered with students in the video course.

The nonprofit works with Trevecca students through their youth ministry programs by providing students opportunities to be in a paid staff position or engage in mentorships.

Conley’s video course brings a new opportunity for both the students and CrossBridge.

“This video has offered something that Trevecca as a partner has not really offered before,” said Trae Smith, CrossBridge director of youth programs. “In the past the engagement has been in the areas of mentoring and staff, where this offers something that we haven’t had before.”

CrossBridge had two other videos that were actively publicized, but were more than five years old and primarily focused on the services the organization offers.

“For us, the students video did a good job of communicating the why behind what we do,” said Smith. “The way the video was produced and the content did a good job of emphasizing the what, but the story in that video is the first that really says the why and that is something very helpful to our organization.”

Blake Stewart is a recent Trevecca graduate, current freelance writer, former staff member on a U.S. Senate campaign and once upon a time, a member of the United States Army. He loves all things politics and podcasts and taking his dog, Duke, to Nashville’s Shelby Bottoms Dog Park.