When Virginia Tech's Greg Earle was preparing last summer to study the effects of the August eclipse, he found himself spending significant time inside the Moss Arts Center being interviewed by news outlets from the Media Relations Broadcast Studio

Earle, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, 
responded to media interview requests about his research from television stations in Philadelphia and Norfolk – and even the Weather Channel and National Public Radio. 

“I got comments from co-workers and from people as far away as Florida and Missouri. A few people I hadn't heard from in years contacted me to tell me they had heard me on the radio or seen me on TV. The feedback was entirely positive, and mainly conveyed the theme that ‘I had no idea you and Virginia Tech were involved in that kind of work. Thanks for explaining that so clearly.’"

The media relations television and radio studio can broadcast professional live HD video and audio to networks, news agencies, and affiliates interviewing Virginia Tech faculty and staff. The studio is operational around the clock – seven days a week – and the university does not charge for its use. 

Joel Snodgrass, department head and professor in fish and wildlife conservation in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, recently received numerous media interview requests about his research into road salt contamination of groundwater. Many of those interviews took place in the media relations broadcast studio. 

“The technology is well-integrated, making it very easy to quickly establish connections and communicate with people in other locations. This allows you to focus on the interview without technical problems delivering distractions,” said Snodgrass. “The crew quickly got me oriented to the studio and helped me become comfortable with the equipment and process.”

A second studio, located in Roanoke and serving the  Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute, will open this spring. The Roanoke studio will be located inside the studios of WVTF Radio.  

Image of Marc Edwards being interviewed on TV
University Relations producer/director Dan Mirolli monitors a broadcast television interview with Marc Edwards, University Distinguished Professor and the Charles Lunsford Professor with the Virginia Tech  Charles E. Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering .

Both studios are outfitted with professional broadcast cameras, lights, microphones, soundproofing, and transmission equipment. An experienced staff of production technicians is on standby, ready to assist faculty experts and news outlets. 

Allison Quantz, senior producer for “With Good Reason,” a radio program produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and broadcast on public radio stations across America, said working with the Virginia Tech studio is hassle free.

“They’re extremely accommodating throughout the scheduling process, and I can always count on their engineers to capture good quality audio,” said Quantz. “I'm so grateful to have them as a resource and access point for Virginia Tech experts.”

Given the rapidly changing political news environment of the past year, political science professor Brandy Faulkner has become quite familiar with the broadcast studio and the opportunities it provides. 

“You never know who is watching and listening. Because we can become so isolated in academia, it's important to me that the public hear about our research and our interests. I've found that doing these interviews really exposes us to audiences we otherwise wouldn't interact with regularly,” said Faulkner. “It's a good thing because it makes our work more accessible, and it helps us build relationships.”

“I got to do an interview for Fox5 DC following the August 12 ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville. Having been there that day, I was processing that experience, and it was the first time I was scheduled to discuss it publicly,” she said. “It was just so reassuring to have the broadcast team there taking care of all the logistics and talking with me beforehand so that I could just focus on conveying to the public the seriousness of those events.  I've had such wonderful experiences every time I've been in the studio.”

To schedule an interview opportunity from the media relations broadcast studio, or to learn more about how it functions, email broadcast operations director Bill Foy at fwill55@vt.edu or by phone at 540-998-0288 or 540-231-8719.  

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