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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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"UB Coast to Coast provides networking experience for media, entertainment alumni"

This summer, UB alumni who are interested in the fields of media and entertainment will be right at home in Los Angeles, Calif., for the first UB Coast to Coast Media and Entertainment Conference (UBC2C).

Scheduled to take place on June 27 and 28, UBC2C will feature workshops on acting, writing, directing, music production, independent film production and marketing, as well as new trends in media coverage of the entertainment industry.

Roma Mandzyk, alumna and external affairs officer in the College of Arts and Sciences and coordinator of the UBC2C, explains that UBC2C is similar to events that have taken place on the UB campus in the past.

According to Mandzyk, in 2002, 2004 and 2005, alumni who have made their careers in the entertainment and media industry in Hollywood came to UB to give presentations. However, it was difficult to coordinate a time when these presenters were all available and able to travel to Buffalo.

"It was hard with their schedules and wasn't as feasible as we wanted it to be," Mandzyk said. "So we decided [to have this conference] with the help of two Los Angeles alumni who are chairs of this event... Rosalyn Garrett and Christine La Monte."

Garrett and La Monte, both members of the Dean's Advisory Council, will each hold one of the nine workshops that will take place at the conference.

Other alumni presenters include Alan Zweibel, Rob Liberman, Bobby Collins, Ted Kryczko and Linda Philips Palo. A keynote speaker is still to be announced.

Mandzyk believes that Los Angeles appeared to be the perfect place to hold the conference this year. About 4,000 UB alumni across all academic departments have made their homes in the entertainment- and media-rich city.

"Following the success of the previous versions of this type of model, a lot of people were coming from Los Angeles. A lot of them say that there is a kind of UB mafia there," Mandzyk said. "There's a lot of people who graduated from UB there that are in that [media and entertainment] industry. We have a big community there. It's more than a lot of us thought. That industry is of interest to our students, so we decided to start with Los Angeles."

According to Mandzyk, the UBC2C this year is the first of a continuing series, with the conference expecting to be held in 2010 in New York City. The conference will focus on television and advertising, specifically that which comes out of New York City-based industries.

Mandzyk believes that all those involved in UBC2C are excited to network at and learn from the event.

"The dean's advisory council is really excited about this model - having off-campus events centered around alumni that have great expertise to offer to students and to fellow alumni," she said.

Mandzyk noted that many other schools have held conferences similar to UBC2C and UB is using them as a model. Emerson College, the University of Texas at Austin, Harvard and Yale are some examples of colleges that already hold entertainment and media conferences.

Mandzyk believes it's important for UB to step up and provide resources for its creative studies students.

"The media studies program at UB is only getting better and bigger and this is one of the things we do to help support the creative majors here at UB," Mandzyk said.

Although the coordinators of the event anticipate that mostly alumni will attend, the event is open to the general public as well. There will also be a limited number of student scholarships offered, which will pay for travel, lodging and attendance at the event.

Mandzyk hopes all who attend the conference will leave with new connections and expert advice on how to break into the media and entertainment field.

"The most important part of this whole thing is the connection, through meeting these great alums who have done these wonderful things," she said. "In L.A., it's all about who you know. For that industry, I think this kind of symposium or conference is perfect because it brings people together and helps them to get the connections to help their careers go forward."



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