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A Few Days in Mountaineer Country

On June 11th 2019, we gathered at the JJN office to plan our trip upstate to Morgantown, WV. It had been almost a decade since I had been that far north, so I was excited from the start! On top of that excitement was the whole reason we were going in the first place, which was to film a promotional video for the College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences at West Virginia University! Say that five times fast! It is also referred to as CPASS, for short. Our task was to create a video that the program can use to encourage newly enrolled students to get involved with CPASS by showcasing what the program can offer them. With a wide range of studies including Sport and Exercise Psychology to Athletic Coaching Education and many more, it was obvious why CPASS wanted a very polished and well done promo to get the word out about what they do. They have a lot to offer!

With our gear packed and our plan in place, we set off to Morgantown. It is a much more peaceful and scenic trip than I remember. We stopped in Fayetteville to eat at the original Pies and Pints (which was fantastic as always), and even took a few minutes to drive down the street and refuel with some much needed caffeine from the Cathedral Cafe. Their service and friendliness was spectacular and cannot go unmentioned! A latte seems to taste much sweeter if the person is smiling when they hand it to you! After the coffee, we started the last stint of our trip. Staying invested in good conversations and all the laughs that we burst out made the rest of our time on the road fly by. Before we knew it we were at our Airbnb. Upon arriving, the first thing we noticed was a wealthy number of chickens wandering the premises. Both of us being from southern, WV, this wasn’t as alarming to us as it may have been for folks not from the area. My first thought was of how clean and healthy they looked. They were also very domesticated. You could call for and pet any of the little fellas.

After a very good night’s sleep and pit stop at iHop, we headed over to the campus to meet Lindsay. Lindsay is the director of enrollment management for the CPASS program and would be with us during our two day shoot to show us around, introduce us to all of the individuals we would be working with and give us a crash course into what their program is. She was an extremely valuable asset to have on this project for her amount of knowledge and simply how comfortable she made the process for everyone. You can see clips from her interview in the promotional video as well! 

I, personally, have always been a fan of WVU. Being from West Virginia and having a school that size with such an incredibly successful athletics history is something you can easily respect and appreciate. Having said that, I’ve never followed their sports very closely. Granted, I watch football games with my dad from time to time, but I’ve never been very knowledgable about it. For me, what was even more enjoyable than being there in the midst of such an iconic place was seeing JD get to fulfill something truly special. He has been a mountaineer fan as long as I’ve known him and even longer than that. Watching him hold a camera and make his way through the halls of that place, getting to shoot it professionally and realizing that because of the work we put out there, he has gotten their attention. And from taking a chance and starting his own company, he got to do what he loves in a place that he never thought he could. Those were a very special moments for me, not only as fellow member of this team, but as a friend. And as amazing as it was to meet and work with the incredible people that I did in Morgantown, watching JD made the trip for me.

One thing that hit me pretty quickly was how in depth CPASS actually is. It’s easy from a fan’s point of view to just watch WVU’s athletes on television and root them on, but to see the entire scope of studies surrounding their athletics department was truly incredible. Whether a student is interested in sport management, athletic training, sport and exercise psychology, or any of the other disciplines that CPASS provides, their program is a clear path to a fruitful career. We got to see so many examples of this in our time there by working with the students. Everyone of them were motivated and happy to be a part of the program. If anything can be said about that department, it is that they have a very good way of keeping their students engaged, inspired and always feeling like they are in a family. Every student we spoke with had a clear goal for their future and all of them credited CPASS for helping them map out their university experience with confidence in what will come after!

Our trip to Morgantown is not one that I will ever forget. I’ve been on so many adventures with JD and although there are many to come, this one will always standout. It went by pretty fast but I am more than proud of the work we were able to get done and for the chance to work so close with an institution we admire so dearly. Our last night in the rooms was very enjoyable. We sat up for a quite a while talking about our individual lives and what got us to where we are right now. After 48 hours of surreal experiences, it seemed fitting to trace our steps and wonder where we might be if we didn’t have opportunities like this one. It’s healthy to do that, I think. When you’re a creative person and you get to wake up everyday and create, you’re very lucky. That fact is never lost on us here at JJN Multimedia.

Our last night offered yet another great sleep. I already miss the chickens! But after going over the checkout list and paying extra attention to one of the requests on it, we made our way back to the JJN office and began planning our next journey!

Written by Mike Browning

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