Visual Communication

Scholarship winner uses videos to entertain, inform

Visual Communication

By Megan Schmidt

Teenagers are often reminded to “be yourself” and “don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in.”

Those are good pieces of advice—but how effective are they coming from adults?

Nathan Schroeder took on the challenge to make these messages relatable to current high school students while he himself was a student at Ottawa-Glandorf High School

“I can be more involved because I'm not held back by having to work side jobs and the financial burden of tuition costs”Schroeder used his movie making and film editing skills to spread messages of positivity and self-acceptance to the young students of Putnam County.

As part of the Putnam Adolescent Response Team for Youth (P.A.R.T.Y.), Schroeder worked with other high schoolers across the county to create awareness campaigns on issues ranging from suicide prevention, underage drinking and peer pressure.

“It was mostly about making videos and skits that would be entertaining to younger kids, but also would promote good messages,” the 19-year-old Glandorf native said. “They'd be fun, but would always have an underlying theme, whether it was anti-drug or anti-bullying or even a message about fitting in.”

While P.A.R.T.Y. helped some students make better choices, it also helped the future Alumni Laureate Scholar find his passion for visual media and technology.

“At first it was a hobby,” Schroeder said. “But now it's something I love to do and I hope to continue until I make something I'm really, really proud of.”

After being accepted into BGSU's Alumni Laureate Scholarship program in 2014, Schroeder enrolled as a visual communication technology major.

His P.A.R.T.Y. days may be behind him, but Schroeder has other creative outlets. During high school, he started the YouTube channel Ordinary Content to share short videos that often starred him and friends.

This fall, he resurrected the channel. BGSU students and alumni will recognize the settings for several of Schroeder's zany videos. He's shot in his residence hall, the Bowen-Thompson Student Union and outside of a few other campus buildings.

Schroeder's most recent video, “Reality Check,” is a two-and-a-half-minute clip promoting a fictional beverage that promises to end its consumer's boredom. There's a flavor for five different experiences—including “action ale” (in the clip, a sip leads to a mysterious vehicle pulling up and kidnapping the drinker) to “party pop” (one gulp and dance music starts playing in the middle of a dull classroom lecture).

In another video, “Panda-monium,” Schroeder has a conversation with his “spirit animal”—a stuffed panda bear.

Schroeder mentions to his viewers in one video that he hopes to bring them higher-quality content as he progresses in his VCT studies.

In the long run, he has his eye on a career at an organization that is cutting edge and innovative when he graduates in May 2018.

“A huge goal of mine would be to possibly work for Google,” he said. “Obviously that is a big dream, but I think it could be a place to do great work and also have that fun, creative atmosphere.”

For now, Schroeder continues to build his skills through involvement in extracurricular activities like the Visual Communication Technology Organization and the student-run TV station BG 24 News.

Being an Alumni Laureate Scholar has given him the opportunity to pursue more activities outside the classroom, and thus, more time to develop and hone his craft.

“I can be more involved because I'm not held back by having to work side jobs and the financial burden of tuition costs,” he said.

Although the financial assistance is a huge perk of the ALS program, Schroeder said there was something else about the scholarship that set BGSU apart from other schools for him.

“It just shows that there are people who really care about bringing students to BGSU, which is a very welcoming feeling.”