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That's All for Now Matewan

It is hard to believe this project is already over. I applied for Dr. Colistra’s capstone class because I knew how hard her students worked, and that they always produce excellent content. I really wanted to push myself with my capstone experience. Another reason I was so excited for this class was because we were working with Matewan. As a native West Virginian, I think every opportunity we can take to help communities out, we should. It has really meant a lot to me to be able to help this community in the way that we have. If this could be done with other small communities all around the state, I think there could a huge shift in tourism. West Virginia has so many beautiful areas, and it’s our job to let people know about them and make them want to visit.

This semester was a rollercoaster for me. I came into the class confident in my abilities, but at some points I was challenged and had to push myself to learn something new or to improve my work. One thing that Dr. Colistra taught me this semester was to always be proud of my work. That is a piece of advice I will never forget.

Student Kelsey Staggers meets with Bill Sutterlin with Dr.Colistra

When we applied for positions in the beginning of the semester, I was nervous. I knew I wanted to be our digital media director, but I was anxious about the web design aspect. The most I knew about web design before I came into the class was how to use a Wix account. There were times when I was nervous that I wasn’t doing the correct thing, but in the end, I learned a lot of new skills.  I now know how to create a content wireframe, the steps that it takes to create a website, and how important it is to stay on schedule, because missing one deadline can push the entire timetable back.

The piece of work I am most proud of that I created this semester was my 360-degree tour. I think I’m the most gratified of it because I did it on my own, and it was my baby. I spent an entire day in Matewan taking photos with a Rico Theta 360 degree camera. I also recorded sound bites while I was down there to make it sound as authentic as possible.  It has really been my goal to make the tour completely immersive. I want people to go through my tour, and then want to visit Matewan to experience it for themselves. 

Students Kelsey Staggers and Kyle Wooding using Rico Theta 360 Camera

My most fond memories from this class are the experiences I have had with my teammates. I was nervous when I first came into class, wondering if we would all get along or if there was going to be one person who wouldn’t cooperate with the rest of us. That certainly wasn’t the case. My teammates are the most hardworking, dedicated group of people I know. We have had so much fun this semester even though we have been doing such serious, real work. Whether it was pulling an all-nighter for the campaign book or just a weekly Sunday meeting, we always had a fun time. I really am going to miss working with this group, but I know we are all going to stay in touch.

Thank you
The one person I really would like to thank for this entire experience is Dr. Colistra. I wanted to take this capstone class because of how much I looked up to her in my research analysis class. I have never met a professor who cares and wants her students to do well, like she does. She has pushed me this semester like no one else ever has. Before this class, I was terrified to think I would be applying for jobs in the next year. Now, I feel prepared that I can go into any interview confident in my abilities. My goal the entire semester has been to create work that would make her proud of me and to always give 100% of my effort.

This capstone is something that I will never forget, and I am so thankful for everyone I have worked with including my professor, teammates, and the committee members in Matewan. I guess that’s all for now, Matewan.