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Great Art at Eastern talks with Patti Dobson about CommFest and The Chase

GENTRY:  And now Great Arts at Eastern. Coming to you from the Portales Campus of Eastern New Mexico University. I'm Jeff Gentry, Dean of the College of Fine Arts here on KENW, Your Public Radio Network.  Today my guest is Patricia Dobson, of ENMU's Department of Communication. Thank you for joining me today.

DOBSON:  Well, thank you so much for having me.

GENTRY:  And or listeners have heard us together on pledge drives in the past. So, they know you as a recontour. So, this should be fun. So, as you review the spring Fine Arts calendar, what grabs your attention. What can we look forward to this semester?

DOBSON:  I'm just happy that we have things to do. That even though we're in kind of a virtual atmosphere right now, we're still staying connected, we're still staying active. And I think that sends a very strong message that we're adaptable and we're here to make the best of this experience.

GENTRY:  Right now, your undergraduate program is providing more in-person instruction this semester. How is that going?

DOBSON:  Well, you know it's going fairly well. We're having some broadcast classes that are face to face paired with a distance section. And we have health mandates that we follow. And the students are so incredibly respectful of those that it's just making what we have to do so much easier. I think the kids are just so happy to be back on campus. But it's a small thing to do in order to be here. And that makes me very happy. It- it- it brings life to us.

GENTRY:  Right. So, you have a few classes that are on campus. And then you have hybrid and some online all mixed together. And I notice in Fine Arts we have a play opening two weeks from tonight. And I also see some new articles in the chase student newspaper. How is that process working?

DOBSON:  You know, I think this semester the teachers are learning just as much as the students are. The bottom line is that faculty are eager that students are eager. And we're not letting anything like technology issues get down. Eastern has a fabulous tech Department. And we are making use of their services, and they are helping us do a better job with what we do.

GENTRY:  Great. And so, I noticed articles on: Tanzanian Acrobat performances, Dating under COVID-19, and Mary Ayala on Italian Cooking, among other articles. And so how can listeners find The Chase newspaper. I know that you have the print copies, and they're also online.

DOBSON:  Yes, and we have a Facebook presence. So, they can go-. People who are wanting to find us can go to facebook.com and search for ENMU the Chase. And they will find us, and we can connect them to the article. And we can even arrange to send them PDFs of the paper.

GENTRY:  Oh, great yeah, and I notice that their direct website is ENMUthechaseonline.com. Right. And so, listeners can check out our Great Arts at Eastern page. And my producer Shannon Hearn will put that link on there. It's ENMUthechaseonline.com. So, you have stuff going on.

DOBSON:  We do have stuff going on. And it's exciting stuff is different, but we're making the best of a tough situation. And I think that the faculty and staff are doing a wonderful job keeping students as engaged as possible.

GENTRY:  Great!

DOBSON:  And I'm excited for the upcoming production and events in the college. it's an exciting time for all of us

GENTRY:  Right, and real quick, what is CommFest?

DOBSON:  Oh, CommFest. So, any listener: High School student. College or Junior College students can actually submit communication pieces. Like a news package, PR campaign, a documentary, a PSA or a feature story, or a sports story. Things like that to the Department. And we have CommFest, which is a celebration of all things related to communications. The deadline for that is the 12th of March. And the pieces that we received will be adjudicated. And then there will be 1/2 day or day of workshops sometime in April along with a virtual award ceremony for awards.

GENTRY:  Fantastic, Patti Dotson. Thank you for visiting our listeners in me on Great Arts at Eastern. and thanks to everyone for listening on KENW, Your Public Radio Network,

Eastern’s famous Fine Arts Calendar is continually updated at ENMU.edu/FineArtsEvents.

Our listeners can register for the play Everybody at www.enmu.edu/theatrelive) And for upcoming plays, art exhibitions, concerts and more, visit enmu.edu/fineartsevents.