A behind the scenes look at The Campus’ ‘A Wrinkle in Time’


Rylie Steiner

June Batchlet rests in the lobby at the Crawford County Care Center.

It’s Friday, March 6, 2015 at 7:22 a.m. The fire alarm blared as we entered the activities area and waited for directions.

“Stay right here,” Sherry, the activities director told us. Ji Hoon Heo and Rylie Steiner, two of the students working under the watchful eye of Alysia Steele, or Al as her students call her, looked unamused; perhaps they were a bit nervous, but ready to begin.

Steele, Heo and Steiner were all visiting the Crawford County Care Center on behalf of Cheryl Hatch, visiting assistant professor of journalism at Allegheny College. On Saturday, March 7, an event presenting the works of many visiting and local students engaged the public in an insightful look into the lives of women in Meadville, Pa. Film and audio recordings captured the essence of the capacity that the women of business and philanthropic endeavors represent.

Steiner, a senior at Cambridge Springs High School, has been published in the Meadville Tribune as a freelance photographer. Steiner will be attending Edinboro University in the fall. She plans to major in photography and journalism. For the conference, she worked with Steele, the professor and mentor from the University of Mississippi, affectionately called “Ole Miss.”

Heo and Steele talked about cameras and audio recorders as we listened to the sounds of metal spoons against plastic bowls. The residents just came in to eat breakfast. Surrounding us, mostly, were women. As they came in, we removed ourselves from the table and brought our things to the couches and chairs in the corner. We sat and  listened to the ambience, discussing the stories of the day.

Together, Hatch and Richard Sayer, a photographer for the Meadville Tribune,  have put together a weekend of remembrance for the late Ida Tarbell and Ida B. Wells-Barnett.

“It’s a really good learning experience that has helped me open up,” Steiner said. “I’m getting more comfortable around different people and figuring out how to get them to be more comfortable with me.”


Aurelia Brunot, 104, stares into the distance at the Crawford County Care Center.
Rylie Steiner
Aurelia Brunot, 104, stares into the distance at the Crawford County Care Center.

Steiner began taking pictures when she was younger and has been studying photography for five years. Her demeanor is one of gentle uncertainty, but behind a camera she is confident – her pictures reflect this.

Heo introduced himself to the women he interviewed. He seemed as though he had done this before. He began studying convergent media as a junior in high school. From there he had studied journalism, multimedia production, both the technical and graphic.

“It’s challenging for sure, in a good way,” Heo said. He was asked to do this particular project because he is more independent. He has previously done a project similar to this about dementia so he has experience working with the elderly.

As the day progressed, one of the women Heo planned to interview changed her mind and laid down during the middle of the questions.

It threw a curveball at him, but rather than let it drop, Heo picked up his things and moved right along. That is the thing about these student journalists: they are learning to adapt, assess the situation and get the story, no matter what.

“Just because one thing happens doesn’t mean we stop – I’m not stopping – we gotta get the story,” Heo said.