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As part of their practicum course during the spring semester, four Point Park University students gained professional experience providing communications services to the City of Pittsburgh for the annual Inclusive Innovation Summit March 28-30.

Known as the Point Park Street Team, the students roles included public relations manager, media liaison and videographer and editor. Todd Smith, digital community specialist with the city’s Department of Innovation & Performance and organizer of the summit, and Megan Fahey, director of Point Park's Center for Inclusive Excellence, served as the group's practicum supervisors.

"When I agreed to host the summit at Point Park, I knew there would be a lot of work to do and that I couldn’t do it alone," Fahey said. "But I also knew that through the practicum course, I would have access to Point Park’s most valuable resource: students."

In addition to the Point Park Street Team, public relations and advertising majors Lexie Slavicek and Cortnie Phillips assisted as volunteers, and Rain Wetzel served as a photographer. 

Fahey added: "They far exceeded any of my expectations or requirements, and they never complained ... I could not have asked for a better team."

Learn more about their experiences below.

Meet the Point Park Street Team

Pictured is Kimberly Keagy. Photo | Hannah Johnston

Kimberly Keagy

Degree pursuing: B.A. in broadcast reporting, December 2019
Hometown: Industry, Pa.
High School: Western Beaver Area High School
Dream job: White House Correspondent
Practicum role: Videographer and editor

Briefly describe what the Inclusive Innovation Summit is and an overview of your duties.

The Inclusive Innovation Summit is an annual event hosted by the City of Pittsburgh where local organizations and businesses come together to showcase their vision for inclusion within Pittsburgh. My role working on the summit was to produce promo videos for social media about sponsors and their contributions towards inclusion.

What was it like working with your classmates on this event?

To be a part of the team and provide a platform to host important conversations towards making Pittsburgh a city for all was a unique experience. Working on this project has been very rewarding. Each video I produced showcased individuals who were determined to building a better version of Pittsburgh.  

Pictured is Casey Davis. Photo | Hannah Johnston

Casey Davis

Degree pursuing: B.A. in public relations and advertising, April 2020
Hometown: Delmont, Pa.
High School: Greensburg Salem High School
Dream job: Publicist
Practicum role: Public Relations Manager

How were you selected for this practicum opportunity?

I was most interested in this practicum opportunity because it allowed me to specialize in public relations. I emailed Megan and soon landed an interview with Todd. After that, we had the chance to be involved in a few projects and I chose to work with the Inclusive Innovation Summit. This was a great event to be a part of.  

Pictured is Julianne Maranowski. Photo | Hannah Johnston

Julianne Maranowski

Degree pursuing: B.A. in public relations and advertising, April 2020
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
High School: Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School
Dream job: Event Planner
Practicum role: Media Liaison

How did your Point Park experience prepare you to take on this role?

As a transfer student, I have been at Point Park for a full academic year. Just in this short amount of time, my experiences and knowledge gained within my degree have grown more than I ever anticipated. The amount of drive and dedication that Point Park students have has really motivated me to take on this role.  

Why would you recommend these types of opportunities to a classmate?

This entire experience has helped me progress in my journey to achieve my dream job. Having the opportunity to work such a big event with the City of Pittsburgh will be something that I can add to my resume, as well as discuss with future employers. The hard work will pay off in the end. 

Pictured is Keera Frye. Photo | Hannah Johnston

Meet Keera Frye

Degree pursuing: B.A. in broadcast reporting with a minor in public relations and advertising, April 2020
Hometown: Ruffs Dale, Pa.
High School: Southmoreland High School
Dream job: Sports Reporter
Practicum role: Videographer and editor

How have you grown professionally as a result of this experience?

This experience has been unique in that working with the City of Pittsburgh has been similar to working with a real client and meeting their needs. The Inclusive Innovation Summit is truly inclusive, so the videos that I've produced for the city during this experience had to have closed captions. Prior to this, I didn't know how to do captions in Adobe Premiere but it's a great professional skill to have. So, this experience has helped me grow professionally by allowing me to gain a new skill and experience working in a real setting with a client.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

As a videographer and editor on the Point Park Street Team, I met new people from organizations I didn't know existed in our community. All of these people are doing such amazing, inventive things to make the Pittsburgh community more inclusive and encourage everyone to work toward whatever they want to do no matter what. Hearing their stories, projects and why they do what they do has been my favorite part of this experience.

More About: Southmoreland High School, Western Beaver High School, public relations and advertising, Downtown Pittsburgh, broadcast reporting, transfer, Greensburg Salem High School, journalism, The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, School of Communication