Students Work in Media Filing Center

If having presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley on your college campus wasn’t exciting enough, five Saint Anselm students were given the opportunity to work for ABC News in the Media Filing Center ahead of Saturday night’s Democratic Debate.

Working in the filing center and spin room, students Stefan Skalimski ’18, Courtney Pelletier ’18, Phoebe Ferraiolo ’17, Abby Smith ’17, and Emily Dewey ’17, have been watching the political process in action.

“It’s a really good opportunity to see behind the scenes, watch the debate set up, and also network,” said politics major and communication minor Ferraiolo.

Throughout the afternoon, the students checked-in the media and gave out press credentials. More than 400 reporters, photographers, and members of the associated press are expected to check-in by the start of the debate.

For many of the students, having the presidential debates on campus was a main reason for choosing Saint Anselm College. Politics major Skalimski was deciding between Catholic University in Washington D.C and Saint Anselm, but ultimately decided on Saint Anselm because of his interest in political campaigns and the political presence at the college.

“The debates on campus are definitely a reason why I came here,” he said.

For the past two days, Skalimski has set-up the filing center: folding place cards, putting out chairs and hanging banners. Through the course of the day, he has directed the media personnel to their tables and in the process met representatives from Fox News, CNN, and other news organizations.

By the end of the night, Skalimski hopes one of the candidates makes an appearance in the spin room. However, the experience alone has made his time worthwhile, regardless of whether he sees Hillary or Bernie in the building,

“Working at the debates alone is a dream come true for a college politics major and I’m excited to have this opportunity,” said Skalimski.

Students prepare media filing center


Students Work Behind the Scenes at the Democratic Debate

Behind the scenes at the ABC News Democratic Presidential Debate, Saint Anselm College students have been working around the clock in preparation for tonight’s event. More than 50 Saint Anselm College students are working for ABC. They’re standing-in for candidates during test shots, acting as ushers, meeting and greeting the media, and even acting as Martha Raddatz’s personal student-assistant.

Saint Anselm students assist in debate preparationSince Monday business major and politics minor Brian Pickowicz '16 has been working as the ABC News production manager’s assistant running errands, assisting with set production, and providing any necessary support to the ABC team. “The cool thing about being his shadow is how much I saw and learned,” says Pickowicz.

“I learned first-hand how everything in production works,” he says.

Politics major Ashley Motta '17 has also been assisting in the debate preparation as a runner for the engineering team. She unloaded trucks, ran cables, and set up the debate hall—all while also taking her final exams. She’s attending the debate tonight, seeing all her work come together during the live broadcast.

“I didn’t imagine all the roles that needed to come together to make this happen,” she says.

Stage is Set for New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate

We are live from the Dana Center as anticipation builds for tonight’s debate. Following a 4 p.m. dinner break, students and ABC staffers are wrapping up last-minute preparations for the broadcast: our students are participating in the last dress rehearsal, and World News will broadcast from the debate stage at 6:30.

Protesters and supporters are beginning to arrive outside, as are the media. Satellite trucks have overtaken the lawn in front of the gym, as hundreds of seats inside the Carr Center will soon be occupied by members of the national and international press.

From my workstation (located about ten feet from Diane Sawyers desk), we are preparing to upload images from our photographer who will be inside the hall tonight. After a long week of preparations, we’re all anxious to hear our five favorite words soon: “live from Saint Anselm College!”

Live: New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate

Tonight, we are broadcasting the New Hampshire Republican Primary Debate live from the Dana Center. Watch the live stream right here, join in on the live discussion with Rev. Dale S. Kuehne, Ph.D., and interact with us.

Live Stream and Discussion

Recent Videos

GOP Debate Week: Tuesday

Amanda Sharon '15 and Ashley Scoville '15 work as runners for ABC News at the Radisson Hotel on January 3.

With four days to go before the Republican Primary Debate on January 7, the campus is soon to become a media maelstrom. In the Dana Center, where the event will be hosted by ABC and WMUR, Christmas wreaths came down and aluminum trusses went up. Lighting technicians hung and cabled 175 lights. Cushing Student Center was becoming FOX News “command central,” and a FOX News studio set was being created in Davison Hall.

Four miles away, in Manchester’s Radisson Hotel, dozens of Saint Anselm students worked as runners for CBS and ABC, laying cable, putting up signs, and setting up chairs and tables. Tom Snow ’14, a politics major, sat in for anchor Scott Pelley on the CBS set and has also sat in for TV talk show host Charlie Rose. Tomorrow morning, he and Gabriella Servello ’14 report for work at 4:30 to work the “green room” before the 7am show airs.

It’s fairly calm right now, one runner remarked, but once the candidates and journalists arrive from Iowa, where the caucus is taking place today, they expect to be literally running.

Check out the complete photo gallery below.


Students Tell Their Stories to the Wall Street Journal

After her morning exam, English major Amanda Brahm sat down in the NHIOP and told a Wall Street Journal reporter about an experience she will never forget: standing in for presidential candidate Mitt Romney during rehearsals for the June 13 Republican primary debate on campus. She learned the candidate’s position and gave accurate answers to the moderator (a classmate standing in for CNN chief national correspondent John King). Meanwhile, technicians did sound and lighting checks in preparation for the live national broadcast.

Amanda Brahm

Amanda Brahm stands in for Governor Mitt Romney at the June 2011 presidential primary debate.

The reporter, Jennifer Levitz, wanted to know what it is like to be at Saint Anselm College during a presidential election cycle. These students had numerous up-close-and-personal experiences to relate.

“I have friends who go to college in Washington, D.C. and they’ve never had experiences like this,” said Lyndsay Robinson. “I’ve met every single candidate at least three times.”

Although she is a Romney supporter, Robinson will be assisting candidate Newt Gingrich during this afternoon’s Lincoln-Douglas style debate with Jon Huntsman.

Jake Wagner talked about being an intern in the Huntsman campaign. The passionate politics major and Huntsman supporter (with a minor in campaign management) has been a political addict since the age of eight, and is executive director of the Saint Anselm College Republicans.

Unlike Robinson and Wagner, Brahm is more interested in the election process than in a particular candidate.

As the students chatted with the Wall Street Journal reporter, MSNBC’s broadcast of political coverage played on the NHIOP’s wide screen TV in the background. For Saint Anselm students who want to get a closer look at politics in progress, the opportunities are unlimited.

Video: CNN Senior VP and Chief Innovation Officer David Bohrman on Picking the Perfect Modern Debate Venue

CNN's David Bohrman

David Borhman talks about the debate venue during the media walk through hours before the GOP Debate.

If you're a fan of CNN's "magic wall" so aptly used by John King in reporting election results late into the evening or the set design of the network's modern debate venue, then having the opportunity to speak with the mastermind behind these innovations is a real treat. During the media walk through this afternoon, we had the chance to catch up with David Bohrman, senior vice president and chief innovation officer for CNN. It was Bohrman who knew back in 2007 that Saint Anselm College and Sullivan Arena would be the perfect place for him to unveil his vision for a modern debate venue. As Bohrman put it, before CNN's 2007 debate, the typical debate had become "sort of boring and tedious" and he was looking to bring it into the modern age.

Video: Saint Anselm Students Stay Calm in the Middle of the Storm

Saint Anselm College students who worked this week for CNN as runners give some insight into their experience and the whirlwind that is involved with staging a nationally televised debate. Students from many different majors participated during the past week with debate preparations, networked with CNN on-air talent, and finally saw the sun come out capping a perfect day for holding a nationally televised debate. Great work everyone!

Video Tour of GOP Debate Set With CNN D.C. Bureau Chief Sam Feist

Since Wednesday, June 8, we've been watching the debate venue come together in Sullivan Arena. What is normally home to Saint Anselm Hawks' Hockey has been transformed into a first rate debate venue ready to take on the Republican presidential candidates.

We were fortunate to get a tour of the debate venue from Executive Producer Sam Feist who is also Washington D.C. Bureau chief for the network. The New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate takes place on Monday, June 13, 2011, at 8 p.m. EST on CNN.

The GOP Debate will also incorporate social media into the mix. Facebook users who "like" the "John King, USA" page can participate by adding their comments to a real-time conversation during the debate. On Twitter, CNN will be using #CNNdebate to organize the discussion and select tweets to be included in the stream of comments from and And don't forget to follow along with Saint Anselm College on Twitter @saintanselm or on our Facebook page. We're posting regular updates pre- and post-debate showing all the action on campus

Video Tour of the CNN Election Express

Joshua Rubin, producer on the CNN Election Express, gave Saint Anselm College an inside look at CNN's mobile news bureau. The bus, which has become a familiar backdrop during live shots in front of Saint Anselm's Alumni Hall, has found a home on the quad this week in advance of the June 13, 2001 New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate at the college.

Four years ago, the CNN Express arrived at Saint Anselm for its first public appearance. The state-of-the-art bus, which has seen substantial upgrades since its last appearance at the college in June 2007, is designed for on-the-go reporting and serves as news gathering resource for the network. Since its last visit to campus, the bus has been across the country, covering politics, the economy, and deploying to breaking news stories.

You can follow along with Joshua Rubin, and the bus on Twitter, @CNNexpress.

Thanks for the tour Joshua!