Archive for November, 2011

How to Change a Life: Prison Fellowship Program Helps an Ex-Convict Turn His Life Around

November 30, 2011 2 comments

After being charged with first-degree murder and serving over twenty-two years in prison, Steven Gunning is now a new man. Gunning spent his sentence at the Lino Lakes Correctional Facility where he experienced a transformation in his life. In the time Gunning spent incarcerated he became a born-again christian and got involved with the Prison Fellowship program.

Gunning’s Path

Steven Gunning was sent to prison on April 17, 1989 for first-degree homicide. He was 32-years-old and faced many years in prison alone. He went in as an angry, difficult  and troublesome man. But through his hard times he found a light that helped him overcome this rough path. He gives the Lord all the credit for giving him the strength and courage to become a better man. And the Lord  lead him to the Prison Fellowship outreach program were he was given support and guidance. Gunning was released from prison on October 6, 2011. He hadn’t seen his family in well over 20 years. Gunning said that being with his family over Thanksgiving was the most emotional and joyful moment of his life.



The Impact and Affect of the Program

The program is formed to connect with inmates and help them overcome the mistakes that they’ve made in the past. Mentors work with different inmates in order to correct their bad behavior and give them the encouragement and support the inmates need to succeed in life and have a positive outlook. Gunning gives thanks to the program for providing him with a spiritual foundation.

What does Prison Fellowship Provide?

Prison Fellowship ministries is a christian-based outreach organization that focuses on criminal justice reform. The program provides the following:

  • Prison visitation
  • In-prison bible studies
  • Seminars
  • Mentoring
  • Educational training
  • Work and life-skills training
  • Counseling

With all that this program has to offer, inmates have the oppurtunity to do something positive with their lives and become more satisfied with themselves by learning what it means to be a better person and making a real connection with the mentors.


Want a College Degree? The University of Minnesota State Mankato Can Help

November 7, 2011 1 comment

When considering where you want to continue your education after high school, keep in mind that the University of Minnesota State Mankato is second in college rankings with a total enrollment of 15,547, and it continues to increase. As of this year, Minnesota State is only behind St. Cloud State as the largest institution of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

Minnesota State Mankato Is Growing In Attendance. So, what gives?

Whether you receive a college scholarship or you have to pay for tuition and classes out of your own pocket, we all face the same dilemma. Choosing a college can be difficult. You have to make the tough decision of where you’ll attend the next 4 years of your life, as well as where you’ll receive an education that will set you up for a career that will last you a lifetime.

Minnesota State is a well-known and respected institution. The school has a strong and rich history, dating back to when it was founded in 1868. The school is known for being the first public college in the United States to be headed by a woman, Julia Sears, in 1872. Mankato offers many different courses and career paths, as well as a campus that’s student friendly and maintained in great condition.

MSU Campus

Minnesota State is experiencing a high demand of incoming students each year, and it’s because of this that Mankato has been forced to expand. Located at 7700 France Avenue South in Edina, Minn. lies the satellite campus of Minnesota State that’s only 3-years-old but is growing larger every year. There were about 420 students attending the Edina location when it first opened in 2008 and now there are nearly 700 students, and officials project that the enrollment will continue to increase by 10 percent annually. Up until this fall Minnesota State leased a total of 12,271 square feet of  space, but now the campus has expanded to 27,000 square feet after some renovations were made in order to withstand the increase in student population.


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What Makes A Good News Story: Fundementals of Audio Recording

November 1, 2011 2 comments

Developing a news story or interview that is appealing to the listener can be difficult unless you know what you’re doing. I’m  here to offer a view suggestions that can help you become better at organizing, creating and distributing a news story or interview with the use of an audio recorder. I’ll share with you the knowledge I’ve acquired from the “Telling Stories with Sounds” course I took just recently.

Key Points That I Learned

  • Planning the right story: When choosing a story you’ll want to keep in mind that places, people and things are all very important. Discovering stories with strong audio potential can help your story immensely, meaning, find somewhere with plenty of opportunities for sound. Anywhere that has a public event would work well. You want to capture as much voices, music and other noises as possible.
  • Research your subject: Before doing a story on a place, person or thing, you should take the time to do some research on the subject so you have some information that can help you with your story. You want to know as much as you can about what you’re working on so there are no surprises or setbacks.
  • Properly prepare for an interview: Talk to the person that you will be interviewing in advance. Make sure that the person is fully on board and ready for the interview and that they’re also someone who will make a good interview, meaning they’re interesting and have something important to say that will help your story. Have a script ready of what you want to talk about. Discuss when and where the interview will take place, what kind of questions will be asked and also share a little bit about each other, like why you want to interview the person, so you feel comfortable with each other and there’s no awkward tension. You should also remember to not only interview the main subject, but ask other people questions as well, such as family, friends, co-workers, etc. The more perspectives and opinions you can get will enhance the overall depth and quality of your story.
  • Pack the right gear, and enough of it: Bring what is necessary. Bring more than what you think you’ll need. Different jobs call for different types of equipment, so make sure you have the right stuff. Microphones, recorders, cables, headphones, batteries, recording media and a bag to carry it all in. Always double-check you have what you need, and then pack some more. You don’t want to be recording a crucial story only to find out that your battery is dead.
  • Recording in the field: Make sure your subject answers questions thoroughly, that they’re descriptive, and try to only ask open-ended questions so there are no short, dull answers. You want to be aware of your surroundings as well. Refrain from recording in places with unnecessary noises and distractions.  Make sure you and your subject are speaking clear and that the microphone is positioned right.
  • In the studio: Gather all the work you’ve done and finish the final product. Put together your pieces in order, edit sounds and voices, and add any other parts that are needed to complete your story or interview.

The main thing to remember in making a good news story is to plan your work and work your plan. It always pays off to be prepared so that everything can run as smoothly as possible. If you want more help in making a good news story, review the Basics of Audio Reporting for further information.