What is WingSpan?
This semester, my Election Campaign Communication course at UNCW has an amazing applied learning project going on, in which the class, with minimal experience, is producing a political TV show. We are excited to be producing our 3rd season of WingSpan, in which we will get to tackle the upcoming election. Each week’s show will cover a political topic, discussing campus, local, state and national issues, as well as our new segment where we will sit down with candidates running for local office! Each episode will be available both online and via broadcast.
Students are responsible for every aspect of the show - the show's naming and branding, topics, guests, research, scripts, PR, social media and all aspects of production - under my consultation and guidance, making this truly their product. As with similar applied learning projects, this will provide students with the opportunity to dovetail the theoretical with the practical to produce a tangible artifact. This ETEAL funded project provides an authentic experience that enculturates students in a civic engagement opportunity while also doing a service for the greater community.
What makes this an especially unique experience is the opportunity it provides for leaders of and in the community to make a direct connection first, with UNCW, and second, with the public through the show's broadcast. Our goal is to provide constructive conversation on important issues in a supportive, positive, and most importantly, non-partisan learning environment.
Executive Producer: Dr. Jennifer Brubaker
During her 10 years in the Communication Studies Department at UNCW, Dr. Jennifer Brubaker has developed an area of study in Political Communication, creating courses and applied learning projects, such as WingSpan and Run to the Polls, to provide students with a combination of theory and praxis in preparation for post-graduate experiences.
She has an extensive background in political planning and media writing, grown through a combination of professional and academic experiences, covering a vast array of event types and media skills. She developed and coordinates an interdisciplinary minor in Journalism and created and co-coordinates an interdisciplinary minor in Political Campaign Management.
She is a researcher and published author in a variety of competitive scholarly publications. Her research includes studies in political communication, media effects, interpersonal communication, and pedagogy.
A tenured Associate Professor, she holds a Ph. D. (Communication Studies) from Kent State University, an M.A. (Journalism and Mass Communication) and a B.S. (Business Administration) from The Ohio State University.
Dr. Brubaker is an avid runner, yogi and beach enthusiast, living in Wilmington with her husband, Tige, and their three children, Tobias, Cain and Ever.