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Meet Maddy Edwards, A-B Tech Volunteer of the Month for November
November 1, 2012
Think about what a former successful television and video production business owner would do upon retirement to give back to the community. Then consider what would happen when her talents are coupled with a community college’s efforts to showcase its products.
Maddy Edwards of Asheville contemplated just that and opted for volunteer work that led her to at A-B Tech. “I’ll do anything,” said Edwards. “Put me at a desk, a tutoring station, a file cabinet. I’ll help in any way I can.”
“A volunteer coordinator cherishes those words from a future volunteer,” said Jeralie Andrews, A-B Tech Campus Coordinator of Volunteers and Interns. “There was a much bigger plan for Maddy here, though. It would consume her time in a very positive way and integrate students, teachers, administrators, marketing and information technology staff for a common goal - the enhancement of the college and its many departments, programs and educational offerings in the community.”
Edwards offered to produce a series of videos for the College. The first video, a three-minute, fast-paced production, is geared toward recruiting high school students to the College. Edwards spent her career in almost every aspect of television, including on-air reporting, production, creative services, news and more. A successful businesswoman, Edwards owned her own production company for 20 years.
“When Maddy sat down to talk with me about basic volunteering opportunities in Student Services, I found her to be absolutely delightful – the kind of person who would connect to students in a deep and meaningful way. As she began to talk about her impressive career, I instantly knew that Maddy’s contributions could benefit the greater College and potential students in a truly dynamic way. We are very excited about the work that she is doing both with and for our students,” said Dr. Deborah Harmon, Interim Vice President of Student Services.
With the assistance of Michael Dempsey, Director of Recruitment; Mona Cornwell, Director of Community Relations and Marketing; Jonathan Ross, Digital Media Instructor; Stephanie O’Brien, Director of The Institute for Film and Media Studies; Cris Harshman, Manager of Customer and Instructional Technology; and Harmon, Edwards has formed an advisory board made up of A-B Tech Students.
“Six students are involved in producing this video,” said Edwards. “They are vital in this endeavor since they not only take courses in digital media, film and other related courses, but they are students and understand why kids should want to come to A-B Tech.”
Nicholas Taylor-D’ambrosio, Andre Daugherty, Brian Montross, Mike Shaffer, Jay English and Richard Cancellieri meet with Edwards and are currently developing the concept, script, shot sheet, and music background. The students will also be involved in all of the on-location and studio shoots as grips, advisors, securing releases and organizing the people and other elements being shot when a professional videographer does the filming. They will also be involved in post-production, including editing, graphics, animation and sound, among other essential jobs involved in producing a video.
“Without these students I would be lost,” said Edwards. “Not only are they contributing to the content and organization of this video, but they are enthusiastic, fun and energetic. They make me a better producer.”
Edwards has agreed to produce other videos for A-B Tech and hopes to continue involving students in every aspect.
“Working with a volunteer of Madelyn’s caliber is a rare treat,” Dempsey said. “She brings so much to the table with her professional background and engaging personality. She’s great at engaging students, and they know they’re working with an expert.”
“To be able to say that these videos were produced by A-B Tech students says a great deal about this college and its ability to teach and train students in whatever curriculum or trade they choose,” said Edwards. “Every time I meet with the students and/or the staff here, I am more impressed by A-B Tech. I want everyone to know about the quality here, not only in educating, but in making students feel like they fit in and that the faculty really cares about them and their future,” she says.
Edwards hopes to have this first video completed before the end of 2012. She has agreed to produce several more in 2013 and will continue to involve students.