UCF Journalism Students Launch Campus Magazine
Twenty students at the University of Central Florida have pooled their talents and created the university’s first student-produced magazine.
Centric was founded this spring by students enrolled in the Magazine Editing and Production course offered by the Nicholson School of Communication. The magazine was created under the mentorship of Instructor Rick Brunson.
“This is very much a student-produced effort,” Brunson said. “I was the advisor, mentor and coach, but all the story ideas, execution and choice of design came from the students.”
With Centric, the students aimed to unite the university community by embracing UCF’s unique programs and opportunities. The magazine showcases stories that capture the heart of UCF through sharing the lives of past, present and future generations of students.
Stories in the first issue include a behind-the-scenes look at the life of Knightro, UCF’s mascot; a student report from a once-in-a-lifetime ride in a Goodyear Blimp; and the story of Kyle Coon, a freshman wrestler who is legally blind.
The idea to create a student-produced magazine was presented to Brunson by Bob Chandler, director of the Nicholson School. The school provided funding for the first issue.
“It’s been really inspiring just experiencing the level of freedom and trust that we’ve received as students to create a product to the absolute best of our ability, not only from Professor Brunson, but also from the department,” said Kelli Ordonia, a student who served as the magazine’s managing editor.
Typically, Magazine Editing and Production has been taught as a lecture class by industry professionals serving as adjunct professors. In transforming the class into a hands-on course, Brunson worked to figure out each student’s strength, organize teams and help the students remain focused.
According to Brunson, having a mixture of talents was essential to successfully producing the magazine. He credits the class’ diverse mix of writers, editors and designers with helping the magazine get off the ground.
When choosing topics to cover, he encouraged students to focus on innovative stories about inspiring people that haven’t been shared before.
“There were a lot of hours dedicated to the magazine outside of the classroom, but it was worth it because we had so much fun,” said Chelsea St. John, Centric’s art director.
Production of Centric is planned to continue when the course is taught each spring. To ensure that the class has all of the talents needed for the magazine’s production, students will need the instructor’s permission to enroll.
“I hope the magazine becomes a spring tradition at UCF,” Brunson said.
Click here to read the magazine’s first issue.