Students Visit Time Warner Research Labs – The Highlander

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Michael Gombita, Reporter

 The communications department offered a very special trip to students who have volunteered their time in student media.

    Dozens of majors and non-majors visited Time Warner’s research lab in New York City.

    Students had to meet a Martz bus before departure 6 a.m. Nick Vitale, junior communications major, did not get enough sleep.

    “I only slept for an hour because I forced myself to do Mr. Kimbrough’s Film and Filmmakers [class] paper,” said Vitale. “I woke up at 4:20 a.m. and I was pretty excited going.”

    Students toured the media lab where they learned about the research strategies Time Warner uses to discover whether audiences will like products, which may include films and film trailers, and even product placement in retail stores.

    A Time Warner guide explained both quantitative and qualitative research methods.  For example, in a room staged to resemble an average living room, high-tech equipment measures the eye movements of viewers watching content on a television screen.  Data analysis reveals how the viewers felt about the content, and how often they attended to it.  In one study, researchers measured the habits of dual screen users, those who watch television programming while they also use a second device to post on social media.

    Afterwards, students had a couple of hours free to roam the city. Sean Lynch, first year communications major,  did not have a planned itinerary, but he enjoyed his time.

    “A group of us just walked around. We didn’t have spots in mind,” said Lynch. “We did walk around the piers of the Hudson, but other than that, we made the most of it.”

    Students visited a variety of tourist attractions, restaurants, and shops. Lena Williams, first year business major, did her share of visiting the city’s retail stores.

    “We went to some pretty expensive stores such as Dash, American Apparel, Lush, and Chanel,” said Williams. “We also used the subway for transportation and went to Bantam Bagels, which is one of Oprah Winfrey’s favorite foods.”

    Williams has a major interest in fashion so a trip to New York City was perfect for her.

    “I enjoyed seeing so many different types of fashion,” said Williams. “That is the one thing I love about New York is seeing all the different types of fashion.”

    Other participants decided to get the all-around view of New York City and get the “tourist experience,” which is what Matt Scanlon wanted to do.

    “We took a ferry to see an awesome sight-seeing tour of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Statue of Liberty,” said Scanlon.

    Scanlon and five friends rushed to board the New York Water Taxi because the main attraction for the group was the Statue of Liberty. Unfortunately the group found a flaw in their plan.

    “We got on the wrong ferry,” said Scanlon. “We only got to see the Statue of Liberty from the boat and were not allowed to get off.”

    The group of friends seemed to find the brighter side of the tour.

    “It would have been nice to go to the actual statue, but we made the best out of the boat tour itself,” said Scanlon. “The views we got to see of the skyline were breath-taking.”

    The group headed up to the top deck where they were able to have a 360 degree view.

    They were able to see the Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, Ellis Island, USS Intrepid, World Trade Center, Governor’s Island and other surrounding landmarks.

    Everyone who was on the trip then met up at the Stage Door Pizza restaurant where students enjoyed items on the menu compliments of the communications department.

    The communications department offers the trip to media-related sites every year. It is open to all students who participate in student media, regardless of major.

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