A producer and camera crew from Oregon Public Broadcasting were on campus Dec. 9 shooting footage for an annual program set to air in either January or February.
The program focuses on the process of acquiring financial aid and is targeted to high school upperclassmen and their parents.
Dean of Enrollment Services Dan Preston is one of the show’s panelists who will answer questions and explain the process of getting financial aid. He has been part of the show for the last 15 years.
Steve Amen of Oregon Field Guide will host the show.
Kate McMahon, the show’s producer, graduated from Linfield in 1998 with a major in mass communication. She has previously worked for ABC Nightline. In 2006, one of the films she worked on, “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary.
The footage McMahon and her crew shot will be featured in the show to give examples of various colleges in the state, McMahon said. They filmed Associate Professor of Health and Human Performance Janet Peterson’s Nutrition class, Assistant Professor of English Anna Keesey’s Iraq War Across the Genres INQS, KSLC student-powered radio and captured general footage of the campus.
“We talk about going off to college in the show, and Linfield really captures the look and feel of a college,” McMahon said. “Unlike other campuses, I had a better idea of where to shoot, so we didn’t have to scout the location.”
The program normally broadcasts live on OPB, with a phone bank set up for viewers at home to call in with questions. This year, the panel discussion will be filmed ahead of time, but the phone bank will still be available during the broadcast, with financial aid administrators available to answer questions.
“It is good for us as a college to be a part of a program like this,” Director of Public Services Mardi Mileham, said. “Anything we as educators can do to educate the general public about things like financial aid is beneficial to us, as well as to them because financial aid can be a very complex issue.”
Linfield is a member of the Oregon Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, and the program is made in conjunction with the OASFAA and OPB.
Preston became involved with the program because he has been a member of the association since 1987 and was once its president. The association’s current president is Linfield’s Director of Financial Aid Crisanne Werner.
“I seem to do a little above-average in public speaking,” Preston said. “So they said, ‘We need to keep you a part of this.’”
This year, the program will feature information on the aid that is still available, despite the current economic crisis. High school seniors are likely already accepted and enrolled in college and financial aid programs, but juniors and their parents are facing more of a struggle with finding aid. The show hopes to emphasize that there is still money available, McMahon said.
Because the program is aimed at incoming college students, Preston encouraged all those who are currently students at Linfield and need financial aid assistance to seek guidance in the Financial Aid office in Melrose Hall.