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The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

‘It’s on!’ UticaTV participates in Home Show at Utica University Nexus Center

A UticaTV staff member records “Is It On?” host Marques Williams cook in front of a live audience. Photo: Laura Lewin

UticaTV made a public debut at the 12th annual Home Show hosted at the Utica University Nexus Center on Feb. 3 and 4.

The home show is the biggest regional display of home renovation goods and services in the Mohawk Valley with more than 120 exhibitors. Top businesses in the area were there to provide information about their products.

UticaTV filmed the first episode of season 2 of their cooking show “Is it On?” where host Marques Williams prepared a strawberry cheesecake banana pudding. 

Williams intends to inspire students with his cooking show and is also UticaTV’s promotions manager. The show is for students on campus who want to practice their cooking skills and learn new ways to prepare dishes. Students can suggest recipes for him to make.

Williams said his goal for this episode was to create a quick and simple Valentine’s Day dessert that anyone could easily create. 

“The experience was amazing knowing I have a full production team behind me supporting me throughout the process,” Williams said. “Having a live audience was so real and to know my show is being recognized, I am so thankful.” 

Members of the men’s hockey team participate in an “Atomic Wings” challenge with UticaTV host Nico Leonard. Photo: Laura Lewin

On Sunday, they recorded “Atomic Wings,” inspired by the chicken wing interview show “Hot Ones,” in front of a live audience. Host Nico Leonard interviewed men’s hockey team assistant coach Nick Therrien, and two players, Alexander Gullichsen and Brian Lansberger. 

This interview  became more difficult to complete with each wing as the wings continued to get hotter. Leonard said he sought to catch them off guard by asking unexpected questions after each person finished a chicken wing.

“The guys were awesome and a real good time to do the show with,” Leonard said. “Lots of jokes and laughs, some serious debates on would you rather questions. We did eat every wing, so it was a success.” 

UticaTV Station Manager Leola Beck said a large amount of preparation goes into creating any material, especially considering the station had little experience with live audiences. The crew had to consider different elements, like not being on campus or coordinating with an organization outside of their own studio.

 “It was wonderful. We are a very open and welcoming group,” Beck said. “Personally, I love being able to share everything that our crew has to offer, so being able to share that with people, especially outside the university, was really special.” 

The Home Show was organized by New York Sash, an organization specializing in home improvement and renovation work that partners with UticaTV to produce a show highlighting Utica Pioneer athletics. 

To make this possible, UticaTV Advisor Laura Lewin met with a member of New York Sash and one of the Home Show organizers. Lewin said after working with them behind the scenes, she allowed students to take charge and Beck was there to ensure everything went according to plan. 

New York Sash supports Utica athletics and has a strong relationship with the men’s ice hockey team. They invited Heenan and the others to participate alongside the station. 

“It was fun doing it and it got more fun when I got to do it with my teammate Bryan Landsberger and assistant coach Nick Therrien,” Gillichsen said. “I was a little nervous about how spicy it was gonna be but other than that it was just a cool experience in general.”

Originally intended to be a practicum for Utica University students, UticaTV has grown into a larger organization with increasing interest on campus.

“The station grew to what it is because of our advisor Laura Lewin,” Leonard said. “Making it bigger has been thanks to all the great station managers up until this point. They sacrifice a lot to do what they do.” 

Beck noticed an increase in  viewers over the past year, particularly with the cooking show. She said the crew’s efforts are responsible for the rise in interest. Having people who care about the content created allows the team to produce things that the audience wants to see. 

“I am proud to say that I am the station manager at UticaTV,” Beck said. “I have poured so many hours into the studio and everything we create. I am hopeful for this semester and the rest of my time at UticaTV, and I hope that UticaTV’s legacy on our campus lasts for many years after me.” 

Beck added: “What I’m really trying to say is…join UticaTV,  or at least give us a follow.”

Students can get involved by visiting, registering for the practicum class or joining the club that meets every Wednesday from 2 -3 p.m. in FAC B03.

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