Student Voice


September 26, 2022




ʻFocus on Uʼ hosts filmmakers, musician

April 3, 2014

The third episode of “Focus on U” came out over Spring Break so you might have already seen it.

If you have not, let me give you the low down. It started out with a sharp and witty diatribe between Host Rob Brecher and Announcer Michael Salazar. They covered everything from Facebook trends to the happenings in each other’s weeks. The sly humor between the two really started to come into its own in this episode and I look forward to more humorous dialogues.

The show also features some exciting student-made packages, from a Tom Shane parody commercial to a promotional spot for former student Joe Carlini’s new film, My Senior Year, which had a showing on campus last month. Carlini plans to hold another showing of the film this April in Minneapolis.

This episode also featured a new Studio 113, a returning staple of “Focus on U” which unfortunately remained absent last season. In the latest installment of Studio 113, “Focus on U” director Shane Donahue hires a motivational speaker to talk to the Focus crew in order to help boost morale after bad attitudes threatened to ruin the show. I won’t spoil it, but things do not go quite as planned. The studio 113 segments have quickly become one of the highlights of “Focus on U” this season.

The show had two guests this week, including Chris Morgan, who, at the time of filming, was a Student Senate vice presidential candidate. Morgan talked about his past and his reasons for running for the position. He cited the recruitment and retention of students as well as student programming as primary areas he wanted to deal with.

But most important of all, he said he wanted to make sure that UW-River Falls tuition and segregated fees stay affordable for students.

Filmmaker and former Focus on U anchor Tina Heerdt also appeared on the show promoting her new film “{untitled}.” The film, based on true events, centers around bullying. Heerdt talked about how fulfilled she felt from making the film and showing it at high schools. Heerdt said that after showings she has students come up to her afterward telling her how much the film meant to them and how they could relate to the subject. You can watch “{untitled}” now on or by searching “{untitled} Tina Heerdt” on Google.

Collin Kottke, who also works as a DJ at WRFW-FM, and Kevin Holmes returned for their on-going news anchor segment in which they, humorously and sometimes not so humorously, cover the latest events from the previous week in news. During this episode, they covered everything from the pizza chain Sbarro’s bankruptcy filing to the latest Kardashian gossip. While the segment seemed to have some technical issues this week, the humor remained crisp and the news relevant. I look forward to see what Kottke and Holmes come up with for the next episode.

Topping off the show, musical guest and UWRF student Cassandra Grace took to the stage with her guitar and pounded out a mellow and haunting melody. She sang an original song titled Eyes Closed, which you can find on her YouTube page by searching “Eyes Closed - Cassandra Grace.”

You can watch “Focus on U” at 9 a.m., 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. daily on Channel 119 or you can catch it and the rest of the episodes online at FocusOnUTelevision, the show’s YouTube channel.

Matthew Ford is a student at UW-River Falls.