Tag Archives: summer

Guest Blogger Carla Dunn shares her summer internship experience

26 Aug

This entry is courtesy of guest blogger Carla Dunn. Carla is a senior broadcast communications major at LMU.

Summer break… that coveted few months every student looks forward to each year for sleeping in and taking a break from school work. For me I had an extra reason to be excited about my 2011 summer break. I was given the opportunity to be an intern at NBC affiliate WBIR Channel 10 in Knoxville, Tenn. I remember the joy and excitement I felt when I got my acceptance letter late one night. I might have awakened my dorm neighbor with my shout. Shortly behind the excitement was the nervousness of thinking about what my summer might hold for me. I would be working alongside news anchors and reporters that I have watched on TV since I was a child. The question that came to mind was…would I be prepared?  I was entering my senior year as a Broadcast Communication major, and had already completed the majority of BCOM classes.

WBIR Reporter Stoney Sharp

First there was an orientation, a sort of meet and greet where I discovered the other interns who came from as far away as Texas, were just as nervous as me. A week later my first full day was on May 2ndand I soon found my niche with the Channel 10 family. Everyone was extremely nice, and very willing to answer any question I had. I worked mostly with reporters Stoney Sharp and Steve Butera, who offered tremendous amounts of advice and guidance you can’t find in a classroom. For that I am very grateful to them. I also developed a much greater respect for reporters, because not only are they reporters, but they are backpack journalists (BPJ’s). They are the writer, camera man, editor, reporter, and countless other jobs that go into making a news package rolled into one person. Oh, and they must have all that done for the six o’clock news.

WBIR Reporter Steve Butera

My favorite part of being a reporter for the summer was going out into the community and meeting countless precious people. The stories that you cover might not always be good news stories, but the people you encounter along the way of bringing the story to the viewers is very special. One gentleman in particular was dealing with the power outages in Knox County from the storms earlier this summer. He was also blind, a diabetic and required special care daily, but he was a blessing to me because of his optimistic attitude and outlook on life that he shared with me. While we were in his home the electricity came back on and he cried tears of joy. Those kinds of stories are special, and allow WBIR to live up to their motto, Straight From The Heart. They’re a family at Channel 10 and now I feel like I am a part of that.

LMU Student Carla Dunn interned at WBIR over the summer.

Knights Return!

19 Aug

The J. Frank White Academy kicked off the school year on Monday. Following a pretty standard summer filled with trips and summer jobs, the Knights headed back to class at the college preparatory school with some changes to adjust to. Following years of a standard schedule with six 55-minute classes each day, a modified block schedule has been adopted for the new school year.


Principal Jarryd Boster

Principal Jarryd Boster said, “Our instructors told me that there were more lab activities they wanted to do in science, but that the class period was too short to accomplish it,” Boster said. “We looked for ways we could enhance our students’ experiences and strengthen our curriculums. The modified block schedule delivers on all counts.”

The block schedule extends the school day by an hour and half with class in session from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Two class periods per day are extended to 90 minute sessions.

The students, though not bursting with excitement, don’t seem to mind the longer class time.




Along with a longer school day, the Knights were also greeted by a brand new student lounge. Breaks have been built into the day, including one 20-minute break toward the end of the day. The new student lounge includes a snack bar where students can purchase snacks to get them through the day. Beyond the snacks, the longer break gives students the opportunity to socialize, study or check email in the media center.


JFWA Students Hunter Carroll (left) and Trevor Wiley (right) use their 20-minute break to play some chess.




Boy of Summer No More

28 Jul

Here is a summer wake-up call if there ever was one. There are only 25 more days until undergraduate classes start at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU). Just this week we welcomed the first-year medical students at LMU-DeBusk College Osteopathic Medicine and next week the second-years will join them. Twenty-five more days! Students should be packing up and faculty should be dusting off their lesson plans. 

It’s a wake-up call like this that gets me thinking about the things I love about summer.  I love the heat. Not heat indices in the triple digits heat that we are currently experiencing heat, but I love the nice 75-85 degree heat that usually accompanies summer around LMU.  I love that we staff members have much of campus to ourselves over the summer. It is our time to bask in the beauty of our campus with activity at a slightly slower pace. I love watermelon, fresh berries and sweet peaches. And I love baseball.

Well actually, that is a lie. I really only tolerate baseball (sorry, I grew up in upstate NY and was raised on basketball and football), but I am getting to the real topic of this blog post. Summer is the time when baseball reigns supreme. It’s a time when all of us basketball and football fans have no choice but to tune in to the boys of summer.

Scot Shields

It was during the summer about four years ago when I got my first real taste of Major League Baseball and experienced a shift in my views on baseball, and it was because of Scot Shields.

I joined the University in 2005 and during the first year, was pleased to meet and interview one of our most distinguished alumni, professional baseball player Scot Shields. He had been invited to campus for LMU Baseball Legends night, celebrated at a basketball game. It marked the first time he had returned to LMU since becoming one of the best relief pitchers in Major League Baseball (MLB). He was coming off a season where he had led the American League in holds and he was just three years removed from the Los Angeles Angels’ 2002 World Series Championship.

Scot Shields signing autographs at LMU in Decemeber of 2005.

During that visit I was amazed at the openness Scot and his wife, Jaime, shared with the LMU community. In a special alumni meal served before the women’s basketball game, Scot and Jaime, who incidentally met at LMU where Jaime was a Lady Railsplitter Volleyball player, sat with alumni from their era and mingled with everyone at the dinner. It was apparent that Scot had fond memories of LMU and his classmates and was happy to be back.

LMU SID Rusty Peace interviews Scot Shields during Baseball Legends Night.

Between games, Scot signed autographs in the Hall of Fame Room. He was patient and spoke with everyone. He even took off his World Series ring off and let many of the fans try it on. He joked with some of the younger kids and shared stories from the “big leagues” with the fathers.  At the end of the visit, I had one thought: he is just like all the other LMU alumni I had encountered so far: nice, approachable and very fond of his alma mater. I knew from that visit on, I would follow Scot Shields’ career no matter if I worked at LMU or not.

Scot Shields greets fans before a game at the Cincinnati Reds ballpark.Later, I helped organize a LMU outing to see Scot play. It was this trip that changed the way I looked at baseball all together. Since Scot played for Angels who were based on the West Coast, finding a game that was within driving distance of the University and fit in everyone’s schedules was a challenge. Ultimately, we selected a game in Cincinnati, when the Angels visited the Reds. I called the Reds organization and was able to get a block of tickets. We recruited alumni, faculty, staff and students to go and we were off.  Arriving at the ball park early, we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss warm-ups. Scot was known for talking to fans during warm-ups and we weren’t disappointed. He came over and greeted our group and posed for pictures. Though we never got to see him play, the trip was a real highlight for everyone who went. For me, it changed the way I looked at baseball. To see the excitement of a live, major league baseball game in person was far superior to viewing what always seemed to be a slow game on T.V. But more than anything, seeing the players, not just Scot, but most of the players, connecting with the fans really changed my mind.

Scot Shields is pictured with some of his LMU classmates before a game in 2007.

LMU hosted a handful of these road trips to see Scot play during his career. As summer dawned this year it was sad to think the Scot Shields road trips were no more. You see, LMU’s very own boy of summer was no more. On March 18, 2011, following two injury-hindered seasons, Scot Shields hung up his glove. He retired a highly efficient and effective setup man who had spent much of the last decade bridging the gap for the Angels between starter (or middle reliever) to closer.

Upon his retirement, Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said, “He evolved into the gold standard of what setup men are. He could’ve gone a lot of places and been a closer, but he was committed to this organization and this organization was committed to him.” Scioscia went on to say, “Scot accepted that role and became the best at it. He was about winning. If he had to take the ball in the seventh inning and pitch the ninth, he would have done it. Thirty years ago, he would have been getting two-plus, three-inning saves. That’s how good he was.”

Scot Shields made his major league debut on May 26, 2001. He spent his entire career with the Angels, a rare occurrence in this age of free agency.  That season in 2005 before he visited LMU, it was the first of four consecutive seasons he would lead the American League in holds.  He is the only former Railsplitter to ever play in or win a World Series title.

In summarizing his career with the Angels, he points to the Game 7 of the 2002 World Series as his most memorable moment in uniform, but he is also proud of the 2004 season when he and Francisco Rodriguez each boasted over 100 strikeouts in a season, a landmark achievement for bullpen mates.  Shields had a 46-44 record and 3.18 career ERA, averaging 8.1 strikeouts per nine innings. In 697 innings pitched, opponents posted only a .228 batting average and .335 slugging percentage.  Sports Illustrated named him Setup Man of the Decade and he is remembered fondly by Angels fans everywhere as one of the last remaining links to the ball club’s only World Series Championship.

As summer rolls on and the boys of summer keep taking the field, it is sad to think that Scot Shields will not be taking a mound somewhere, but it remains an honor to call him one of our own. Scot, I hope you are as proud to call yourself a Railsplitter as we are.

Scot Shields is pictured with the LMU group.