“The Juniata Student Vlogger Team provides authentic and often in-the-moment content that our marketing office just can’t create on their own,” said the team’s adviser, Luke Fragello, director of digital communication. “These videos provide an insider look at student life and share the joys, struggles, quirkiness, and creativity of our students.”
A vlog is a portmanteau for video blog and vlogging is an art form that has proliferated on online platforms like YouTube and TikTok, blending traditional videography with text images and metadata.
“I have always gravitated toward videos and film. I love telling stories and curating experiences.” Rohan Bandekar ’22
“This content is important for a variety of reasons. First, we know that prospective students love seeing these insider views of campus,” Fragello said. “Second, it provides a platform for our current students to share their college stories and journeys, while adding to their portfolio of work for life after college. And lastly, we believe it connects our campus.”
At its heart, vlogging is all about translating experiences and viewpoints for the audience.
“I have always gravitated toward videos and film. I love telling stories and curating experiences,” Rohan said. “When I realized that I could use this medium to do that, I was very interested.”
Covering subjects from the conventional to the quirky, vlogging hybridizes communication and creativity.
“I love how candid and genuine vlogging can be,” said Claire. “Being able to convince your audience to trust and be interested in your story is half the battle when creating a vlog, and to do that, you have to be yourself.”
“I love how candid and genuine vlogging can be. You have to be yourself.” Claire Alfree ’22
The vlog work is extracurricular but is an extension of the team members’ academic pursuits. Claire is studying communication, Rohan is studying Integrated Media Marketing, and Anna and Daniel are each studying Integrated Media Arts.
“Through my vlogs, I hope potential and upcoming Juniata students can get an idea of student life on campus,” Anna said. “I also hope I can illustrate the way that Juniata supports creators of every kind of media and bring more students to the Integrated Media Arts POE (Program of Emphasis) at Juniata.”
A vlog typically has a much different format than traditional documentary-style video storytelling. Each team member lends their own philosophy to their work.
“I am more of a content creator than a vlogger. What drew me into making these videos was being able to do what I am so passionate about — not because I have to, but because I love to,” said Rohan. “It’s the culture of content creation that speaks to me. We, as content creators, don’t have fancy cameras or film sets, but we do with what we have—and that is the pièce de résistance.”
“I get my inspiration from the things around me. I have to be out and about, engaging with people, places, and things.” Daniel Muleady ’22
Through the vloggers’ lenses, viewers experience a day in the life of a Juniata student, learn from Q&As (Question and Answer videos), hear personal stories from the content creators themselves, and even enjoy a guide to fully appreciate the many superior lawns on campus.
“I get my inspiration from the things around me. I have to be out and about, engaging with people, places, and things. That’s when the material I’m passionate about finds me,” Daniel said. “While I don’t make ‘traditional’ vlogs, I get to show people parts of my life on campus through the lens that I see them.”
Inspiration comes from both the expected and the unexpected. Anna finds ideas from tuning in to her peers at other colleges and from watching YouTube. Rohan is motivated to keep creating and curating stories by his teammates’ “amazing” work. Claire says her best ideas come right as she’s about to go to sleep.
“Through my vlogs, I hope potential and upcoming Juniata students can get an idea of student life on campus.” Anna Sule ’22
“I’m inspired by the people I see on a daily basis, especially the other vloggers for Juniata,” said Claire. “I love bouncing ideas off of them and asking them for advice with my videos. They make the brainstorming process so much more fun. I’m so fortunate that my coworkers are always willing to help. They have become my best friends.”
Each vlog is a labor of love, from constructing the concept and capturing the video assets to painstakingly editing and fine-tuning to produce the final project. “From idea to upload, it takes me around one to two weeks to create a vlog, and usually 20 hours total work time,” Anna said.
The end result, whether poignant or hilarious, serves to highlight the best of life at Juniata.
“Ultimately, I want viewers to see how special the Juniata community is to me,” said Claire. “Through my fall semester series, ‘Questions on the Quad,’ I really wanted to show the good vibes on campus despite going to school during a pandemic.”