Outstanding Student Leaders: NewsWaves
Max Mowrer and Olivia Womack
If there is one student at Pepperdine who knows what goes on behind-the-scenes in a newsroom it is Max Mowrer, Technical Director of NewsWaves. Mowrer joined the Pepperdine family from Seattle and is currently a junior studying Media Production. He was drawn to the school due to its outstanding production program and proximity to Los Angeles, a city bustling with opportunities in the media industry.
As Technical Director, Mowrer works first-hand with the director of NewsWaves and controls what appears on viewers' screens. He has a passion for the newsroom and the Pepperdine news community. "Everyone on NewsWaves is really friendly," said Mowrer, "It's easy to become involved."
He also enjoys the learning environment that NewsWaves fosters in the studio. "It's a serious job, but it's not soul crushing if you make a mistake," Mowrer said. Everybody is there to learn about news and production."
Mowrer has worked part-time in graphics, such as creating the player biographies and statistics that are seen on television, for the Women's National Basketball Association, and believes the skills he learned while on NewsWaves greatly contributed to his success. He hopes to obtain a career in live sports production after he graduates from Pepperdine in 2015 and plans on remaining in the L.A. area due to the vast opportunities it holds.
Pepperdine was Olivia Womack's dream school since she was 11. After attending a Church of Christ high school in Portland, she wanted to go to Pepperdine because of its strong communication division, and picturesque location.
During her sophomore year, Womack chose Broadcast News as a major while studying abroad in Lausanne, Switzerland. Womack heard about the NewsWaves program at Pepperdine through a friend and chose to get involved during her junior year.
"I really threw myself in," said Womack, referring to participating in the NewsWaves television news program twice a week. She said she felt like she needed to make up for lost time, and did so by working on both the Tuesday and Thursday broadcasts.
Now in the midst of her senior year, Womack is the sports anchor for the Tuesday broadcasts, and the producer for Thursday broadcasts. On average, Womack says that she dedicates about 11 hours a week to NewsWaves.
Her duties as sports anchor includes researching, writing, and reporting on a story assigned to her by the producer.
As the producer on Thursdays, Womack's duties consist of getting to the newsroom a few hours early to set the "run down," which is the list of stories on which the NewsWaves team will report, she then designates anchors their stories while also selecting the videos that will appear during the broadcasts. While on air, Womack proofreads the lines on the teleprompter and makes sure that the technical cues are correct.
Womack said that her favorite part of NewsWaves is, "seeing it come together and being involved in the whole process, from learning stories, to making them into the live broadcast, and the feeling of being on the NewsWaves team."
Womack's dream career is to be a sports news anchor for her hometown NBA basketball team, the Portland Trailblazers.
"NewsWaves is great experience, and before it, I did not know how much work goes into a 30 minute newscast," said Womack. "The experience and responsibilities that I am gaining from NewsWaves will help me in any career path."