Last updated: February 19. 2013 5:56PM - 261 Views

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WILKES-BARRE – Ten students in the Communications Studies and Integrated Media majors at Wilkes University recently wrapped up the taping of a talk-show style community service program about the future of Wilkes-Barre. The program entitled Wilkes-Barre: Making a Difference will debut Monday at 8 p.m. on Service Electric's Channel 97 and will rerun Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 8.

We started bouncing around ideas about how Wilkes-Barre gives back to the community, said producer Laura Preby, a junior in the communications program.

During the half-hour program, host Dominick Costantino, also a communications junior, interviews a diverse panel including Wilkes President Patrick Leahy, Wilkes Civic Engagement Coordinator Megan Valkenburg, Luzerne Foundation CEO Charles Barber and Rodano's spokeswoman Mary Ricci.

Rodano's holds a lot of events for the community, Preby said. We wanted to highlight how businesses and organizations are coming together and working hard to make Wilkes-Barre a better place.

The program, which includes public service announcements and a commercial, was taped in the Thomas P. Shelburne Telecommunications Center in the basement of the Stark Learning Center on the Wilkes campus.

The studio is an 8,000-square-foot, 14-room facility that houses three television production studios, a master control center, editing and audio recording suites and is equipped with professional-grade field production equipment. Channel 97 broadcasts several student-produced programs including Wilkes Now, which airs live Tuesdays at noon and weeknights at 7:30.

Although lot of planning went into the program, Preby said tensions ran high right before the taping.

We started to panic and we felt like we hadn't prepared properly, like we were going to fail, she said, adding there was a problem with the audio the first few minutes into the show. But I remembered something my dad used to tell me. He said nothing really happens in advance in the real world. Everything always comes together in the end.

Relieved the production was a success, Preby said she hopes it generates good publicity for Wilkes-Barre.

I was so proud of everyone, she said of the crew. I couldn't believe we actually pulled it off.

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