Pact5 Documentary Airs in South Africa

by Ned Eckhardt, Department of Radio, Television, and Film



Dear CCCA Friends,

We are excited to share that one of our Pact5 documentaries Slutwalk: A Day in Her Heels aired on Cape Town, South Africa’s Public TV Channel: CTV. They have a national viewing audience of over 2 million, and it aired twice on April 5.  CTV is the voice of the community in Cape Town. So, it is a great platform for the Pact5 message.

Pact5 is an on-going collaborative documentary project among 5 universities: Rowan U., Framingham state U (MA), Northern Illinois U, Western State Colorado U, and Cal State Northridge. Slutwalk was made by Rowan students Lauren Stroz (Producer), John Breitling (Director), Eric Cheavers (Camera and Editor) during the spring semester of 2013 in professor Diana Nicolae and Ned Eckhardt’s documentary production class.

PACT5 is a national movement to prevent sexual assaults and rapes in colleges. What is different about PACT5 is that it comes from the belief that the documentary form, when produced by students, can create powerful stories that can change potentially tragic behavior patterns. Students are the ones who can make a difference in the minds of other students.

This kind of humanitarian collaboration of five universities combining skills and resources to create social problem documentaries, and partnering with a non-profit national distribution organization, Clery Center for Security on Campus, is a new and innovative way to address societal problems. The five universities want to become a source of preventative media that young people, their families, relatives, and friends will listen to.

The seven documentary teachers and over 100 students who participated in this documentary project believe in the power of student storytellers to make a difference. Documentaries give students a voice that other students can see, hear, and relate to. The conversation to educate people about sexual assaults is growing and getting louder. You can also make the Pact now. We need each other more than ever.

The Whit Impresses the NJPA Again

TheWhitMasthead6-1024x344The New Jersey Press Association has selected its 2014-2015 winners for the College Newspaper contest, and Rowan’s The Whit made an good showing again. Entries from 6 four-year schools, as well as a number of 2-year schools, were submitted to the contest, “which honors the skills of their student staff members in journalistic writing, photography and design.”

Awards for The Whit this year:

News Writing – 3rd Place
Former Rowan University President Dr. Mark Chamberlain dies at 82; Public reacts to Christie as keynote speaker
Laura Pollack and Kevin Kunzmann

Photography – 2nd Place
St. Baldrick’s Day; Baseball; RTN Telethon; Homecoming
Louis Gormley

Column/Opinion Writing – 1st Place
Politics in a Nutshell: Matters of fact, not fear on marijuana; Politics in a Nutshell: Cold War revisited
Ethan Stoetzer

General Excellence – 3rd Place
Whit Issue Sept. 25, 2015; Whit Issue Oct. 30, 2015
The Whit Staff

You can see more about the contest and the winners at and on the NJPA site at

Chromography: Writing in Color – at the RUAG


Translating communication symbols & systems into color, sound and objects

Rowan University Art Gallery presents Chromography: Writing in Color, a two-person exhibition examining concepts of translation and symbol-based communication, from March 23 – May 9. A reception on Thursday, April 9 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. features an artist’s talk beginning at 6:00 p.m. to include a performance of excerpts from musical translations represented in the exhibit.

Artists Melinda Steffy and Gerard Brown explore concepts of translation and symbol-based communication in their work. Starting with different sets of symbols—Steffy with music and Brown with writing—both artists have developed systems for translating distinct methods of communication into visual artworks. Written texts, then, rely on color and pattern to be understood. Music, usually experienced as linear and time-based, can be seen all at once, in immediate spatial configurations.

Gerard Brown explores the intersection of seeing and reading, often by employing codes that do not—at first glance—resemble writing. Brown employs a script of nautical signal flags arranged according to traditional “tumbling block” pattern similar to quilting patterns. The tumbling block pattern is a powerful optical illusion that creates the feeling of three-dimensional space on a flat plane. This illusion offers an analog to the ways writing can be confused with speech. Unlike most other forms of writing, signal flags rely on color to communicate their message and are easily confused with one another if color is absent. Converting the common alphabet into a patterned array of color reveals idiosyncratic instances in language, as letterforms repeat and combine into new shapes and arrangements.

Steffy explores congruent patterns by translating compositions by J.S. Bach and Béla Bartók into watercolor paintings on paper. In her translations, each of the notes of the chromatic scale corresponds with a hue on the color wheel; as the music progresses through the key signatures, the paintings’ color schemes shift. Notes and rhythms are plotted on a grid to show intrinsic tonal and rhythmic structures. The subtle irregularity of the hand-painted squares and watercolor pigments captures a sense of tone variation similar to a live performance.

A central element of this exhibition is “The Hours,” an elaborate experiment in translation that moves messages from writing to music to image. Working with Solresol, a language created from the seven notes of the musical scale, Brown translated short literary descriptions of times of day into brief melodies that chime at the hours they describe. For example, a passage about the end of the day from Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” becomes a lonely, meandering melody for brass ensemble. Each tune was then re-scored by Steffy, using the system she invented to represent Bach compositions. Several of these visualizations are installed on the gallery windows as decals, and each of them sounds at its designated time in the public space outside the gallery.