Published: April 20, 2017

A presentation at the MAPE showcaseThe University of Colorado Boulder’s Department of Media Studies celebrated its first graduating class of Media and Public Engagement master’s students during the MAPE showcase on April 11.

The event, held at Impact Hub Boulder, gave students a chance to present long-term projects focused on public engagement with fellow students, faculty and staff. 

Student Meg Miner turned an entire conference room into the “Black Formation” installation, exploring depictions of the singer Beyoncé Knowles in the media. Attendees browsed posters, paintings, tour merchandise and tablets displayed around the room as a television screen played clips of the singer. 

“My background is in sociology, so I’m really interested in social equality and issues of race, in particular, and police brutality,” said Miner, referencing Knowles’ controversial performance at the 2016 Super Bowl. “Her performance was kind of this perfect meld of pop culture and all of those things.”

Across the room, international student Simon Hegelund offered up baked goods at his presentation on Back to Basics Kitchen, a Broomfield based restaurant focused on serving locally-sourced, organic products. 

Hegelund created a public media strategy for the business as his project and was hired to carry out the plan this summer. The goal of the project is growth, Hegelund said, but not necessarily for the purpose of profit. 

“If they have greater volumes, they can drive down the prices and it can be available to a larger amount of people,” he said. 

For her project, Cay Leytham-Powell, who is focused on environmental issues, contrasted the use of apocalyptic narratives in discussing climate change with themes of resilience. Specifically, she looked at sea level rise in coastal Louisiana, where every hour, a swath of wetlands the size of a football field disappears. 

Other graduating students who presented at the showcase included Angela Chiarmonte, who presented a project on Big Foot, Kaley LaQuea, who presented a booth called “Break the Cycle” focused on domestic violence and homelessness and Alex Pilnick, who used 360 video in an effort to show the human aspects of wildfires.