Kent State Puts the ‘Friends’ in Friendsgiving

In every Kent State University video commercial there are students. Students are the face of Kent State.

But students do more than participate as talent in front of the camera. They help plan, record and edit these videos. And let us say, these videos take longer than you think to create. On Nov. 18, 2022, Kent State’s Division of University Communications and Marketing (UCM) created a video to capture Kent State’s celebration of Thanksgiving.

The video – posted on all of the university’s social media channels – depicts a lonely Flash, Kent State’s mascot, eating a bowl of bird seed alone in the dining hall when a group of students come together to cheer him up and celebrate the holiday with him.


The students in the video were Kent State brand consultants and members of UCM’s video team and of Flash Communications, a student PR agency inside the UCM office.

“I was so excited to be a part of the video,” said Taylor Haydu, a public relations major and student writer at Flash Communications. “I’ve alway felt that Kent State has been great bringing students together, and I got to meet some really cool people when filming.”

Flash with UCM student workers

This video was the result of a UCM brainstorming session with Deanna Stevens-Ulrich, social media and community manager; Nicole Carlone Losi, director of digital content; Jon Jivan, new media specialist; Jason Zehner, associate creative director; and others within the department.

Jivan and his intern Evann Reid, a senior digital media productions major, shot the video using a gimbal setup. The shoot lasted about two hours, while the edited, condensed video was about 30-seconds long.

“We go on shoots all the time, and we have a wide variety of subjects that we’re shooting regularly, but the students very much always play a big role in it,” Jivan said.

Reid not only helped with the production and shooting of the video but he also starred in it. Reid has been working at UCM for a year and a half, and he is approaching his final semester at Kent State in the spring.

“It’s great working at UCM because I have gotten a wide variety of experience in the field I’m going into while I’m being compensated for it,” Reid said. “I’m also constantly learning on the job, and I have been able to not only shoot videos but also star in them if needed.”

Behind the scenes of the Thanksgiving video

The video was shot multiple times in the two hour window due to it having to fit into multiple social media platform dimensions. Shooting videos for Facebook requires a widescreen, but both Instagram and TikTok require the video to be cropped and displayed in portrait mode.

The video was shot in the Eastway dining hall, located within the Eastway Center. The hall was open to students during filming.

“It was really fun being a part of the video since I hadn’t visited a dining hall on campus for a while,” said Tamra McMillon, a public relations major and student writer at Flash Communications. “We were able to eat the food we had on set, which was good, and I’m happy I got to share it with Flash.”

See the final product:

And be sure to follow Kent State’s Instagram account.

For more info about UCM, visit

POSTED: Tuesday, December 6, 2022 12:47 PM
UPDATED: Saturday, December 10, 2022 04:27 PM
Tamra McMillion and Taylor Haydu, Flash Communications