Scholar Q & A: Stephen Burke '13

Zachary Tomanelli (a class of 2011 journalism major from Marlboro, New York) spoke with Stephen Burke (a class of 2013 television-radio major from Old Lyme, Connecticut) about the impact the Park Scholar Award has had on Burke's college experience.

Q: It’s your second year in the program - thus far what has the Park Scholar Award allowed you to do?

A: I would say the award has allowed me to become more involved on campus than I possibly could have without it, because the financial stability frees up time that I would have had to spend worrying about finances or working. Instead, I can really get involved and commit myself to a number of organizations on campus.

Q: What are some of those organizations?

A: I am the president of the IC Haitian Relief Effort. I am also involved with IC Food for Thought and Water for Sudan. I also work with ICTV — I am the news editor for Experts Say, and I’ve also edited several other shows this year. I am also a co-chair for Megaphone Media Productions this year.

Q: What’s Megaphone?

A: Megaphone is one of the Park Scholar group service projects. We work with local organizations to provide them with various media. This semester we are working with the Community School of Music and Arts, the Discovery Trail (which is a partnership of Tompkins County museums) and a group called Musicians for World Harmony. We will be making brochures, informational videos, websites and other media for these groups.

Q: You mentioned you are the president of IC Haitian Relief. Tell me a little more about that group.

A: The IC Haitian Relief Effort started up last year. After the earthquake, a group of Park Scholars and I started the group — we felt as if we needed to do something. We also recognized that immediately following the earthquake lots of groups on campus were going to be fundraising, but after that it was going to die down. We wanted to come in and keep people’s minds on Haiti, so that is what we have been doing this semester — raising awareness and recognizing that the issues there don’t go away when the media stop covering them.

Q: Tell me a little more about what you do with ICTV.

A: I’m the news editor with Experts Say, which is ICTV’s only political talk show. We do a show every week, where we discuss the different political issues of the day. It’s not a partisan show, it’s not a biased show. It’s a very balanced political talk show. I do all of the news editing — which means I edit any of the video going over the people talking. I edit any packages or any soundbites we use as well.

Q: Can you talk a little bit about the impact of the Park Scholar community as a whole?

A: Having the Park Scholar community is great because it gives you a group of people you can always fall back on. It’s very easy to become friends with other Park Scholars because they all have similar interests. Everyone is interested in the media. Everyone is interested in community service. It’s very easy to make friends, and even if they aren’t your best friends, they are still people you can talk to. It also gives you people to talk to across classes. It is so useful talking to upperclassmen who have taken classes you are considering, or really anything. Having the Park Scholar community is such a great resource.

Q: Any interesting memories or thoughts you have taken from the first year and half of the program that you’d like to share with others?

A: I really loved living in the HOME program as a freshman, with all of the other Park Scholars. It was great living all together the first year. We really bonded; we became very close. And you are not just living with Park Scholars — the first-year Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars and a number of international students also live in HOME, so you participate in some incredible programming and discussions. I think it is a great facet of the program.


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