Dustin Comm: Film & TV Production/Theology
, August 20, 2008
It was a leadership scholarship that helped convince Dustin Comm that PUC was the place to be; but it was a simple notice on campus—a posting for a taskforce youth pastor in Placerville—that changed the direction of his life. Dustin was headed for dental school when he read the notice and realized that his lifework was in ministry rather than dentistry. He didn’t apply for the Placerville position, but he changed his major to a double Theology and Film and TV Production major, and “leadership” has taken on a whole new dimension.
In September, Dustin introduced the biggest media event in recent campus memory: the PUC Radio podcast. By December the weekly podcast was being downloaded by about 1,000 listeners per show; in the next two months that number increased to about 1,200 per show. On a campus of 1,500 students, that’s a blockbuster.
The podcast, executed with a view to maintaining quality and the Christian standards of PUC, is lauded by the administration and general listeners. Dustin’s vision is to create a forum for discussion and information that harnesses the new interest among students in creating an even more vibrant campus. That includes the spiritual dimension.
When the podcast was launched, Dustin held seven podcast jobs (reporter, researcher, director, PR staff, editing, technical production/posting and host) in addition to his chaplain’s work and fulltime study. Now, with a staff of 30 volunteers, he’s been able to pare his job description down to host and producer, allowing him to do what good leaders do: ensure that the people they work with can do the job without them.
“The leadership scholarship makes me want to live up to that scholarship as much as I can, not just take it for granted and mess around,” Dustin says. “I’m really proud of delegating and stepping back a bit on podcast control. They [the staff] are the ones who are going to carry this thing forward.”
A new tool for keeping a revitalized student body involved—that’s not a bad return on a scholarship investment.