I was invited by a former colleague and fellow Mizzou J-School grad Dani Wexelman to help with the Google Education On Air conference, taking place across the globe May 8 and 9. It was a wonderful experience to see how Google Hangouts can connect people all over the world and a chance to see one of my peers and friends in the cool city of Charlotte.

The Education On Air event was like a convention for educators, with people able to tune in from anywhere in the world. Presenters from all over the U.S. and even Ireland gave their real-world advise and applications over a Google Hangout that anyone could watch for free. Not only was it a live event, people can also go back and view it at a later date from the link.

Dani and I setup the live broadcast from Charlotte, NC, where Valerie Truesdale from the Charlotte-Mecklenberg school district chimed in on technology in schools. Her 53 minute segment helped complete the six hour event. I was first introduced to the concept of Google Hangouts by journalism pioneer Sarah Hill shortly after I graduated from Mizzou. She held, what I believe, is the first Google Hangout on air by a broadcast media outlet on KOMU-TV. Since then, her innovation has led her to trail blaze in the new Brand Journalism realm and has inspired her students. Dani has worked closely with Sarah and seen her experiments first-hand. I was privileged to be invited by Dani to Charlotte to see how those like Sarah have taken it and ran with with the concept.

Another former #MizzouMade J-School grad, Kat Lucchessi — Mizzou Football Director of Multimedia — is using Google Hangout as a way to connect head coach Gary Pinkel, players and the fans on a monthly basis from the coach’s office. The possibilities are endless for how teams, businesses and those that share a common interest can connect through Google Hangouts. I expect others to follow suit.


Charlotte also helped me reconnect with an old friend in another way. Dani and I were friends, working together at KOMU-TV as sports reporters at Mizzou, reconnecting recently as two females in the sports media business. It was great to finally see her in person after so many years!

 

Reunited in Charlotte! #MizzouMade #sportos

 

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It is so important to have that person that shares your experiences and struggles, knows what you are going through, and shares the same ideals and principles in your field. As two female sportos, we are there for each other as we try to navigate through the way females are portrayed in sports and the paths and perceptions that we wish to take in that ever-changing landscape.

We are there to bounce ideas off each other, support each other and vent to each other about the good and the bad. So I encourage you to find that person, reconnect with that person and be there for that person. A friend and a career confidant can be just as helpful as a mentor.

And if you are ever in Charlotte, you have to check out the Epicenter and Pinky’s!

Bug life✌️

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