Members of Pirate Television (Pirate TV), the student-run and managed news station of the College of Communication and the Arts, recently sat down with two-time Olympic gold medalist, Laurie Hernandez, for an exclusive interview courtesy of the Student Activities Board (SAB) and its SHU Speaks series. Haley Zemek, Robert Ruszkowski and Jillian Yarznbowicz—all Visual and Sound Media majors—worked together to bring their interview to life both on and off camera.
Freshman Zemek talked with the well-known American gymnast about her training for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, her New York Times best-selling children's book She's Got This, her recent performance on television series Dancing with the Stars and more.
"After doing research, I knew I wanted to ask questions that weren't just about gymnastics," said Zemek. "By bringing up different topics like her best-selling book and her new clothing line with J. C. Penny, we were able to talk about what she’s currently doing instead of just what she's known for."
From left: Jillian Yarznbowicz, Robert Ruszkowski, Laurie Hernandez, Haley Zemek and Ronald Castaneda (of The Setonian).
Behind-the-scenes, executive producer Ruszkowski and producer Yarznbowicz managed the cameras and technical elements to ensure the special session ran smoothly. "You have to make sure everything is right, especially when interviewing a well-known athlete," said Ruszkowski, a junior. "We had a tight timeline, so putting together all the different parts and having them work without problems was very important. We're always trying to improve Pirate TV, and the opportunity to interview Laurie was a fantastic way to do so." The interview came about after Zemek liaised between SAB, her Pirate TV colleagues and Hernandez’s media team.
Yarznbowicz, a senior who also serves as the organization's social media coordinator, emphasized that Pirate TV's commitment to exposing students both inside and outside the studio is a key part of their organization. "It was fantastic that Haley, as a freshman, was able to interview a celebrity athlete on camera and get that kind of exposure," noted Yarznbowicz. "That kind of experience is what Pirate TV is all about and shows what we have to offer."
Modeled after professional broadcast work, Pirate TV produces weekly shows featuring segments like local news, weather and Hall Talk—a panel dedicated to Seton Hall sports. It is open to all students, regardless of major.
To listen to the exclusive interview and more, please visit Pirate TV's YouTube channel.