Montclair State University can be toured all over the world now.
Now streaming on Amazon Prime’s “The College Tour” series, viewers can dive into an hour-long tour of Montclair State. Being offered on other streaming platforms as well, such as Apple TV, Roku TV and “The College Tour” app, all eyes are on the school.
Unlike most tours where you get a feel for an experience, “The College Tour” episode about Montclair State takes you on more of a personal journey as viewers meet students ranging from freshman to alumni who have and still are using Montclair State’s vast programs and opportunities to soar higher.
The project of creating this episode was disbursed throughout campus. Administrators, students, employees and a whole production team started their journey back in August. Students, also known as the cast members, were either recommended and asked to be a part of it or volunteered to do so.
Nikki-James Soto, a senior studying psychology who is also a part of the five-year teaching program, is featured in “The College Tour” episode. Her experience started when her advisor recommended her for the project after getting word about it.
After a quick interview process with the producers and Marilyn Joyce Lehren, a staff writer for the university communications and marketing team, Soto was accepted in no time. Though she never got to pursue her interest in acting in her later years, she felt this was her time to shine.
“I thought it was more like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Soto said. “When is a potential teacher going to get to work with a film crew … It was really something that I didn’t think I would get a chance to do, ever.”
Soto was not at all hesitant to be a part of this experience and her whole family is excited to see her on TV, but she also hopes it will impact future and current Montclair State students.
“I think [‘The College Tour’ episode] will definitely add some Red Hawk pride into a lot of students,” Soto said. “And I think people will see it and be like, ‘That’s my school.'”
The outline of the episode consists of each cast member running their own segment. Highlighting all Montclair State has to offer in just an hour isn’t such an easy task, but Lehren worked on the logistics of the project.
Lehren wore many hats during the process. Having to cast students and alumni, work with them on their scripts, be present during the filming, help out in the editing process and plan the watch party, there is no doubt Lehren was a big contributor to the success of the episode. Lehren shared why Montclair State decided to say yes to this episode.
“The university’s admissions office pivoted to virtual tours and open houses, and when Montclair [State] was approached by ‘The College Tour,’ we saw a great opportunity to reach even more prospective students around the country and world by partnering on this project and taking advantage of all the streaming platforms,” Lehren said.
Another inspiring student featured in the episode, Jack Barteck, a senior television and digital media major with a concentration in sports media and journalism, did a segment on what he knows best — sports.
Barteck alone is a part of many organizations on campus, most of which take place in the School of Communication and Media. From being a part of the Red Hawk Sports Network to running the sports section at the WMSC radio station, all the way to live-action reporting of games with “Inside the Nest,” Barteck is a busy student. Luckily, he found time to be a part of a great production for the school he appreciates.
“I feel like, you know, it’s the least I can do,” Barteck said. “And to be able to have this opportunity is pretty cool. I love Montclair State …. and I hope that in this episode people will see and say, ‘I want to do that. I want to go to Montclair State.'”
Givonna Boggans is always one to forge her own path and she did just that when it came to being a part of “The College Tour” episode. A senior journalism major with a minor in business, Boggans inquired about the episode herself so she could be a part of it to share her story.
“I believed my experience at Montclair [State] would connect and inspire others,” Boggans said.
In the episode, Boggans dives into the production of news and media and shows how far she’s gone with the tools Montclair State has given her.
Graduating in May, Boggans is already involved in an internship with ABC News and will be moving to South Carolina after school to pursue an on-air reporting job with a CBS affiliate network.
“Somebody out there will watch ‘The College Tour’ and relate to something in my journey that could change their life forever,” Boggans said.
Montclair State capitalized on its ability to reach audiences anywhere at any time to show them exactly what the Red Hawk experience is like. But most of all, they made sure to expose what makes Montclair State what it is. Students’ voices, smiles, experiences and success is what drive the entire episode and campus itself.
The episode was celebrated on Thursday, March 24 with a “watch party” at the School of Communication and Media that invited cast members and family, faculty and even Rocky the Red Hawk.
It is now streaming on all platforms, including YouTube, which is linked on the Montclair State University website.
“The College Tour” of Montclair State is destined to make current and future Red Hawks soar to greater heights.