by Leah Jackson

After a semester of writing stories with topics from video games to sports to mental health, students in Professor Melody Gilbert’s COMM4230 class at Northwestern State University are ready to share UNFRAMED Magazine with the NSU and Natchitoches community.

Students in the class handed out copies in April and the digital version will be available to the public to view from anywhere in the world at

The magazine focuses on stories that are connected to the tag line, “Inspire. Identity. Impact.” Some of the stories include the struggles of an independent musician, an interview with the playwright Robert Harling, screenwriter of the legendary locally shot film, Steel Magnolias; an NSU art professor’s community mural and more. In addition to writing the stories, the magazine’s photography, design, social media and website were produced entirely by the students in one semester.

“It’s been stressful, but very fun to see the magazine come together,” said Colie Plaster of Gibsonville, North Carolina, co-managing editor of UNFRAMED. “I think the class has worked together very well to create a great product, and I think that our artistic vision has shown through in our work.”

Derek Sarvis of Haughton, co-managing editor, added that he thinks there the common theme in UNFRAMED is “making a legacy, teaching people new things, or making something that will last longer than the artists.”

Gilbert assisted and encouraged her students every step of the way.

“I am incredibly proud to have seen the class progress through all stages of magazine production in just one short semester,” she said. “These aspiring journalists created this magazine from concept to completion during one semester, which is quite an accomplishment. Their stories will inspire, inform and impact you.”

The students were coached by guest editor and NSU graduate Denise Lewis Patrick (1977).

“This is a very bright group of students, and it was an amazing experience to advise the class on their stories and to witness the progress they have made in such a short time,” Patrick said. “I was lucky enough to be able to visit the class in person from New Jersey on several occasions to discuss their professional plans, and that helped me realize how much the Journalism department has grown.”

Comm 4230 is offered through NSU’s Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts. In addition to Plaster and Sarvis, the team includes Ashlynn Picou of Maurpas, Zoie Swint of Bossier City, Madison Ruston of Mansfield, Colin Vedros of Hahnville, Adam Stampley of Elm Grove, James Lowring of Coushatta and DeAndre Ashley of Shreveport.

For more info contact Professor Melody Gilbert at Banner Ad
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