A class of student journalists and storytellers will receive a once-in-a-lifetime experience thanks to the total solar eclipse appearing over SUNY Oswego on Monday, April 8.

"The class is called covering the eclipse and the goal of the course was to bring a group of students together to produce special coverage surrounding the solar eclipse," said communication studies faculty member Michael Riecke.

"The primary thing is the broadcast on eclipse day, but we also have a team of digital web journalists who are going to be doing stories, and then we have a promotions public relations team as well," added communication studies faculty member Catherine Loper.

"This is going to be all us, all in all students, and we're going to show that we can do special coverage," said class member Lauren Royce, a dual major in journalism and creative writing.

"We like to take and seize upon these opportunities to put students in a real-world environment where in real-time they can produce content in a similar fashion to the way professional organizations would produce special coverage," Riecke explained.

"We've really been working on a lot of different angles as far as producing the broadcast," said class member Mackenzie Shields, a double major in journalism and music. "So we have some people on the PR side, some people on the website side and some people doing the broadcast."

"I'm an international student. I am from Nepal and I've never seen a solar eclipse before," said Clarissa Karki, a broadcasting and mass communication major. "So to be able to view it from Oswego where I'm studying and to be able to cover it in class to work on a special events coverage is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

"Students are going to follow a similar path that local TV stations and news organizations across the country are following as they plan for their own live coverage of this event," Riecke said.

"I traditionally work in print, so I really wanted to try out something on the TV side," Shields said. "So that's how I got into producing. It's going to be one of my first experiences in a class producing. I've done some stuff with [student TV station] WTOP and I'm very excited to do special coverage. I think it'll be really cool."

"Getting to teach 24 students who chose to do this -- they had to apply -- and teaching with Michael Riecke, it's just a very unique opportunity," Loper said. "And I like to give students that sort of hands-on experience."

"Having a hands-on experience and like figuring it out myself, conquering hurdles that I really will probably see in the real world when I graduate, it's just really great practice," Shields said.

"That's what this is all about," Riecke noted.

"This makes for one heck of a journalism capstone," Royce said.

The live broadcast will stream starting around 2:30 p.m. on eclipse day, April 8, on the Oswego Now YouTube channel.