WILKES-BARRE — DJ Nick Filipek clearly — and literally — sees a difference between his old third-floor office in a different building and his new first-floor, glass-wall office that let’s him see people stroll down South Main Street.
“There are speakers outside, and I can watch people react,” Filipek smiled as he played songs Tuesday morning in his new studio for Wilkes University’s radio station in what used to be Bartikowsky Jewelers. “The other day a guy was walking by, heard the music and started bopping. He saw me, and I started moving to the music. It’s very cool.”
Filipek is one of many communications students at Wilkes who have new work space in the $4 million Karambelas Media and Communications Center carved out of the former jewelry store. The university offered a tour of the facility two days ahead of the official dedication Thursday.
The building brings together all major communications programs: the Wilkes radio station, TV station, the Beacon newspaper and student-run public relations company Zebra Communications.
Communication Studies Chairman Mark Stine talked of “convergence” of media and “cross-training students to work in, or at least know about print, video, radio and online formats.” He showed off the state-of-the-art, high-definition, digital equipment, including a roomy video studio with a large control room sporting wall-to-wall screens.
He emphasized how a story being worked on by students specializing in one medium could now be readily carried over to others literally by walking down the hall. One room near the front entrance of the building has a curving glass window akin to half a fishbowl. Stine said it is intended as a space where those in different media can gather and exchange views.
Allyson Sebolka had a simpler reason to praise the new facility, which combines programs previously scattered among several buildings: “I used to have to run across campus, in high heels, to go from radio to TV to newspaper,” the junior said with a laugh. “It’s much easier to go between them now.”
Senior Jackie Kurovsky — soft spoken enough to know she will likely work off air as a producer if she goes into television — said the center “is something I’ve been looking forward to since I was a sophomore.”
Junior Luke Modrovsky does sports for the newspaper, radio and weekly TV news show. Previously, that meant working in three separate buildings. He also said it was useful to meet people in other communications programs that he had never run into before the new building opened this semester — though he did have one small lament.
“One freshman I met called me ‘Mister’,” he recalled with a bit of a sigh.