StuPubs takes the Big Apple

A couple weeks ago, I hopped on a plane in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where I spent my spring break, and flew to the east coast where I met some of my Student Publications friends to spend a couple days at the College Media Association National Conference.

The event was Sunday – Tuesday and filled with great speakers and experiences, but, of course, we spent some personal time in the evenings to explore NYC. From networking opportunities to yearbook critiques to Broadway shows, we experienced a lot in our short couple of days in the Big Apple.

Here’s a short run-down of the trip and our time at the conference.

One big positive of the conference: it was incredibly well-organized and easy to attend. We were never confused as to where to go and the hotel was easy to navigate.

Additionally, the sessions were informative and insightful. We heard from a couple students who were also from a Christian university about their struggles in being suppressed as a media organization at a Christian school. The yearbook, newspaper and website critiques were also incredibly informative and gave us good insight into improvements to consider.

One big negative of the conference: mother nature. Of course, there was no way for the conference staff to control mother nature and the blizzard it brought to the east coast on Tuesday, but changes could have been made. By the time we arrived in NYC on Saturday, the forecast was already calling for 18-24 inches of snow, and we began to worry. More importantly, the keynote for the conference was supposed to speak on Tuesday night. For us, we ended up having to fly out on Monday, completely missing the much-anticipated keynote.

Sure — the conference staff could not control mother nature. However, they could have easily anticipated the forecasted storm and moved up the keynote a couple of days for everyone to have the opportunity to hear from him.

Regardless, it was a great conference, and I’d go back in a heartbeat.

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Mara Schiavocamp of ABC News spoke at one of the sessions and offered some great advice as to building relationships in the communications business. 

 

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Blogging is important, duh.

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Yep — that’s me. And you’re probably wondering how I got here. The internet, that is.

Well, I guess you could say I was born into it. While I sure remember the times when dial-up was still a thing (loud, cranky noise and slow internet gaming), I don’t remember a time when the internet wasn’t a thing. For some, that’s a blessing and others a curse. For me, it’s a blessing. Why? Because the internet has revolutionized the way we communicate, and the internet is the reason we have blogs.

Everybody loves a blog, right?


Who am I?

If you couldn’t tell by this site’s URL address or title, my name is Kaleb Turner. I grew up in Pangburn, Arkansas, (a town of 601 people) and now I go to Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, (just 20 minutes away) where I study public relations.

I’m the editor-in-chief of the Petit Jean yearbook at Harding. (It’s a national award-winning book, y’all). That’s where I spend most of my time. I’m also a resident assistant on campus, which basically means I make sure the 27 freshmen guys that live on my hall don’t burn down the dorm.

Why public relations?

Communication has always seemed like a natural fit for me. It’s always come easy and seemed like a thing I’d be good at. The fall semester of my freshman year I decided public relations was the right fit for me because of the people studying that field at Harding. I think that says something special — public relations is all about connections and people, and it’s connections and people that brought me to the field.

What do you do in your free time?

What’s free time? Haha! Funny joke. But, really.

If I do have any free time, you can find me in Armstrong 239 where I’m snoozing away or you can find me around town with my friends.

I also love to travel.

Post-undergrad?

Who knows what post-undergrad holds? Really, though — who knows? Please tell me how to get into contact with them. Maybe it will find me in an agency, at a nonprofit or on the campaign trail. Those are just some possibilities.


Back to blogging

Like I said, everybody loves a blog. Well, probably not. But a big audience of people do, and utilizing a blog correctly can reap a big harvest.

For McDonald’s, blogging takes the corporate facade and translates it into the story of the thrid-generation McDonald’s owner/operator.

For St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a blog lets donors know where their money is going because they read the story of how the newly-purchased equipment found new treatment options.

For me personally, blogging is just a way to contain my conscious stream of thoughts. Spring break trip? Going on the blog. Christmas Day pictures? Going on the blog. 2016 year in review? On the blog, for sure.

No matter the purpose — blogging puts a voice on a subject or topic and tells a story. And at the end of the day, that’s what communication, in whatever form, is about. It’s about telling a story.

I hope you’ll continue to read as my story unfolds.

–K

Spring Break – days five & six

My tiredness got the best of me on Tuesday night, so I didn’t have a blog post for Wednesday. But never fear. It’s here.

Wednesday (03.08.2017) we spent the day in Duluth, Minnesota, which is on Lake Superior. Despite the chilling wind (two-degree windchill) we really enjoyed our trip to Duluth, and I will definitely be back again.

We spent the afternoon milling around Duluth and checking out Lake Superior. When it got too cold, which didn’t take long, we took refuge in a hotel lobby where we purchased a deck of cards and played a couple of games.

The day in Duluth ended with dinner at Grandma’s, one of Sam’s favorite restaurants. Then we took a short trip across the canal into Wisconsin just to say we did it.

Wednesday highlights:

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Lake Superior // Blue skies and waters on Lake Superior for the day.
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Lake Superior // A lighthouse watches over the lake and incoming ships.
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Lake Superior // Taking refuge from the 30-mph wind and bitter cold.
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Lake Superior // We decided to take refuge inside. Not a bad decision at all.
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Downtown Duluth // Kendall spending some time in a souvenir shop in downtown Duluth.
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Overlooking Duluth // We drove to the top of a nearby mountain and enjoyed some breathtaking views of the city and lake.
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Overlooking Duluth // We drove to the top of a nearby mountain and enjoyed some breathtaking views of the city and lake.
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Dinner time // The canal lift bridge overlooks our dinner destination.

Thursday (03.09.2017) took us back to the Twin Cities — lunch and a cathedral visit in St. Paul and a museum stop in Minneapolis.

Earlier in the week, we tried to visit the Cathedral of St. Paul, but it was locked. Today offered more success. After lunch, we spent some time taking in the beauty of the cathedral.

Then it was off to Walker Art Institute. Some of us visited the museum while others enjoyed coffee across the street.

The day wrapped up with dinner at home and another card game.

Thursday highlights:

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In St. Paul // Visiting the Cathedral of St. Paul. Beautiful.
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In St. Paul // Visiting the Cathedral of St. Paul. Beautiful.
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In St. Paul // Visiting the Cathedral of St. Paul. Beautiful.
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In St. Paul // Visiting the Cathedral of St. Paul. Beautiful.
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In Minneapolis // Making our way over busy traffic as we headed to the Walker Art Institute.
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In Minneapolis // Making our way over busy traffic as we headed to the Walker Art Institute.
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In Minneapolis // A park separated our car and the nearby coffee shop, but the trek across offered some picturesque views of wildlife.
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Back home // Ronnie tries to convince the others to make a strategic move in the card game. A great end to the night.

Tomorrow is my final day in Minnesota. We’ll be visiting the Mall of America again before I get dropped off at the airport. Then it’s off to New York City for the College Media Association Conference.

Minnesota has been an incredible place to visit, and although I’m looking forward to NYC, I’ll sure miss the land of 10,000 lakes.

-K

Spring Break – day four // 03.07.2017

A Tuesday that would usually find us in class and around Harding found us instead at the Mall of America.

Lunch, shopping and arcade games — all on the agenda. My familiarity with the small malls of Arkansas didn’t prepare me for the behemoth of this Minnesota staple. For four of us, we only made it to the second floor to visit the food court, and that’s with about six hours spent in the mall.

Six hours. Only one floor. Yeah, it’s huge.

The other three made it up to the third and fourth floors where they spent some time in the arcade. We’re considering returning so that we get a glimpse of the what the rest of the mall looks like.

Today in seven photos:

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Mall of America // I’m a sucker for a shot with good lighting so long as I’m not in it.
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Mall of America // I’m a sucker for a shot with good lighting so long as I’m not in it.
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Mall of America // I’m a sucker for a shot with good lighting so long as I’m not in it.
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Mall of America // Some passersby, a mother and son, and a cool fountain.
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Mall of America // Taking a break from the walking and shopping.
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Mall of America // Showcasing our finds for the day that filled the back of the car. I’m not going to tell you how many of those bags are mine.
 
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Heading home // The setting sun cast rays through the back window of the car as we headed home.
 

We spent the rest of the afternoon and night at home. For me at least, the Mall of America was a first, and it didn’t disappoint.

Tomorrow we head to Duluth where the high is 25 degrees with high winds. Wish us luck.

-K

Spring Break – day three // 03.06.2017

Today was day three of our much-welcomed break from school. Unfortunately, some of us had to do some schoolwork today, but that didn’t stop us from having a great day.

We spent our day in the Twin Cities: St. Paul and Minneapolis. We ate brunch at Black Coffee and Waffle Bar. (I had the “One Bad Pig” waffle —  a golden waffle with a thick slice of ham and swiss cheese on top — and it was incredible.) After stuffing our faces, we headed into downtown Minneapolis to The Foshay observation deck. Incredible views with some incredible lighting for photos.

After exploring downtown Minneapolis, we headed back to the house for a couple hours, played a game and ate tacos for dinner. There’s nothing much better than tacos.

The night wrapped up with a trip back into St. Paul with some friends from Sam’s church.

Twin Cities wrap-up:

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On the road // Heading into the Twin Cities.

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Black Coffee and Waffle Bar // Gourmet waffles and lattes — a perfect pair.

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Black Coffee and Waffle Bar // Gourmet waffles and lattes — a perfect pair.

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Foshay // Atop the observation deck at Foshay Tower.

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Foshay // Atop the observation deck at Foshay Tower.

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Foshay // Atop the observation deck at Foshay Tower.

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Foshay // Atop the observation deck at Foshay Tower.

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In the city // City scenes in downtown Minneapolis.

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In the city // Trying to figure out what piece of music was painted on a downtown wall.

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Back home // Playing an exciting game of Betrayal at the House on the Hill. Don’t worry — we defeated the dragon.

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In the city // Lightning lit up the St. Paul sky.

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In the city // The Smith Avenue bridge creates a picture-perfect nighttime scene.
Tomorrow takes us to the Mall of America! Stay tuned.

-K

Spring Break – day two // 03.05.2017

It was easy to fall asleep last night after an early wake-up time and a 14-hour drive. This morning was welcomed with monkey bread and fruit pastries for breakfast. Thanks, Patti!

The day was cool and cloudy with temperatures in the upper 40s and low 50s.

We headed off to church where we received a warm welcome. Lunchtime found us at the home of one of the families from the church. We had lunch and got to hang out with the other families there. It was a great lunch with even better company. Thanks to the Maynards for hosting us.

We spent the afternoon in Hastings and Red Wing along the Vermillion and Mississippi Rivers. The nighttime was filled with hanging out and watching Sam’s senior video.

Today’s highlights:

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Vermillion River // Waterfalls of the river near a mill in Hastings, Minnesota.
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Vermillion River // Waterfalls of the river near a mill in Hastings, Minnesota.
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Vermillion River // Waterfalls of the river near a mill in Hastings, Minnesota.
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Vermillion River // Kayakers float down the river on a cool, cloudy day.
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Vermillion River // Kayakers float down the river on a cool, cloudy day.
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Vermillion River // Spiderman Silas climbing a rundown mill.
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Vermillion River // Model status. Thanks for posing, Ronnie.
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Vermillion River // Downstream from the falls and mill.
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Vermillion River // Thanks to Sam’s dad, Laine, for letting me borrow some boots.
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Vermillion River // Downstream from the falls and mill.
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Back home // We’re gathered around the TV watching Sam’s senior video. Sweet mems.

Tomorrow’s agenda is still undecided, but I’m sure it will be filled with laughter and memories.

-K

 

Spring Break – day one // 03.04.2017

Today marked day one of Spring Break 2017. Kendall, Sam, Silas, Hannah, Chance, Ronnie and I packed our things into two cars and took off for Minnesota where we’re staying for the week.

It was a day filled with short naps, lots of laughs and an Iowan pit stop that smelled like manure. But hey — that’s all part of the fun.

The trip, totaling travel time and pit stops, took 14 hours and 10 minutes. It wasn’t too bad considering the high-quality friendship and memories. Podcasts, audiobooks and the “Hamilton” soundtrack made the road trip a little more bearable, too.

Here are some highlights from day one.

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We’re off // Sam, Silas and Kendall pick me up to begin our 13-hour car ride together.
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Fueling up // Stop number two in Ozark, Missouri.
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On the road // Sam in the driver’s seat and Silas in the passenger’s. Somewhere in Missouri.
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On the road // Kendall in the driver’s seat and me in the passenger’s. Somewhere in Iowa.
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Nap time // Hannah sleepy because of a 5 a.m. wake-up time.
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Fueling up // Getting off the highway for our final stop before reaching Sam’s home. Somewhere in Iowa.
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Fueling up // Kendall moved to the back seat for the final leg of the trip. Somewhere in Iowa.
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Home // We finally arrived at Sam’s home in Woodbury, Minnesota, around 8 p.m. Happy to not be in the car anymore.

Also, a huge shoutout to Sam’s parents for opening up their home to us this week. We already feel so welcomed!

Tomorrow is church and lunch. And seeing Minnesota in the daylight.

-K