Fall 2022: Exploration in Storytelling

Recap of the Fall 2022 Foundations/Practice-Based Learning Course: Major and Career Exploration in Storytelling

If you had the chance to speak to the world about something, what would you say? Major and Career Exploration in Storytelling or CPBL 102 will help you navigate just that. In this course, students work to address an applied problem within the theme of Storytelling: Arts, Media, and Culture.

The class is team-taught by Journalism and Media Production (JuMP) faculty member Prof. Tim Kiska and Communication faculty member Prof. Margaret Murray. The class is particularly useful for those looking to explore different careers and majors, especially within CASL.

Student Aaron Kowalski in the JuMP studio.
Student Aaron Kowalski in the JuMP studio.

Being a Practice-Based Learning course, students are tasked with hands-on content creation. They learn the basics of producing and marketing a podcast. The students are invited to create the podcast with their own unique interests in mind. 

Freshman Aaron Kowalski spoke about his original podcast: “Right now, it is about the brain and each episode will discuss a new aspect. My theory with this podcast is to continue producing to educate others of any age about the brain, although what makes this significant is that most of the information is coming from a U-M student. Not your professor who may teach it differently.” 

Kowalski also mentions that the course provides interesting insight into other practical aspects of career considerations, such as weighing financial gain against passion, something that isn’t often talked about when it comes to navigating a potential job. 

Students work on storyboarding and following an engaging story arc.
Students work on storyboarding and following
an engaging story arc.


Prof. Murray said, “It’s been thrilling to see the wide range of topics students are pursuing. Just to name a few, there’s a podcast about traveling in Egypt, another about Westerns, sports podcasts, and even a comedy podcast where the student scripted a fake radio call-in show.”

Said Prof. Kiska: “The student work blew me away. The podcasts showed impressive curiosity about the world. We also had students listen and evaluate podcasts involving a range of genres. Their comments told me this group has clearly absorbed what is going on around them.”

Podcasting is becoming increasingly popular. According to a study done by The Infinite Dial, “62% of those age 12+ in the U.S. (an estimated 177 million people) have ever listened to a podcast, up from 57% last year.” This makes the growing industry one to look out for, both from a consumer perspective and from a producer one. 

One of the instructors, Prof. Tim Kiska, is the executive producer of The Detroit History Podcast, making him a valuable source of information for the students. That podcast just received a grant of $15,000 to ensure it can continue to educate the general public about Detroit’s rich past.

The podcasts are edited in Adobe Audition. Students had the option to work solo or as a team.
The podcasts are edited in Adobe Audition. Students had the option to work solo or as a team.

Check out a few of the student podcasts!

Adam Bergen, Talal Tabb, Chris Cannon: What the dunk

Serena Cowette: Estrogenerally Speaking

Mirvat Chammout: The Immersive Screen

Keyshawn Pierce: ​​​​​​​Black Music Love

Carley Wehab: ​​​​​​​Spark Podcast


Article by Noor M. Elshaikh, December 1, 2022.