Makaiyla Reed and Chris Woods, both students in the Department of Communication within the Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, created their own public service announcements to promote smoking cessation. The PSAs will be aired on MY12, CW and the Circle networks through the month of May, according to Cliff Bennet, creative services director for News 12 and NBC 26.
Reed, originally from Mesa, Arizona, said this opportunity was a sign to continue pursuing her dream of storytelling in film.
“It is especially rewarding to be able to help spread awareness about a serious topic in a creative way,” Reed said. “I have always had a passion for videography and this opportunity gave me the push that I needed to do what love the most and I couldn’t have done it without the amazing communication department for teaching the necessary skills to make it all possible.”
Reed also mentioned she thought of her PSA concept after having a craving for cake.
“I wanted the story to remind viewers of that precious moment they had before blowing out the candles when they were a child. I intended to use emotion and imagery to effectively communicate an important message about the dangers of smoking or vaping especially during this difficult time of overcoming COVID-19,” she said.
Woods mentioned how grateful he was for his professor, Arthur Takahashi, who he said went out of his way to recognize and promote their work.
“Going into this course, the subject matter was completely foreign and frankly a bit intimidating to me. I believe it was his superb guidance and his clear passion for the subject matter and for student development that helped me be successful,” he said.
His PSA focused on the dangers of secondhand smoke. He said this idea came from personal childhood experiences.
“Having a young daughter now myself (who appears in the PSA) and given the current situation with the pandemic, I thought that highlighting the extreme dangers posed to others by such a harmful personal habit was both relevant and worthy of such a dramatic, and hopefully, impactful message,” Woods said.
Learn more about the academic Department of Communication.