ASA Raises Money for Japan

Japan is on a fragile path to recovery after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit the northeastern regions of the country on March 11, and Fairfield University’s Asian Student Association (ASA) is trying to help the relief efforts by raising money.

The Tōhoku earthquake, named for the region it impacted, also triggered a tsunami which wiped away hundreds of thousands of homes and caused collateral damage for the Japanese not only in a physical sense but a psychological one as well.

According to a report from the National Police Agency of Japan, as of April 5, the death toll is at 12,157 while the number of the injured is 2,876.

ASA wanted to help the dire situation in Japan.  During the days of March 28-30, the group set up a donation table in the BCC.

The total of donations raised from those three days is $692.03 and will be given to the Japanese Red Cross, according to Kekoa Taparra’12, who coordinated the event with Marie-Alexis Valente ‘12.

Valente said, “Since we have people who are Japanese and of Japanese descent [in ASA], we decided to start fundraising.”

ASA member Yuka Fukanaga ‘11, who is an exchange student from Sophia University in Tokyo and is from Osaka, expressed her worry when the earthquake and tsunami struck her home country. “Of course, I didn’t expect it to happen,” she said. “From my friends and family, I heard it was terrible. I was so worried about [them].”

Fukanaga recalled her experience with an earthquake that occurred on Jan. 17, 1995 in Kobe, Japan. The 7.9 magnitude quake had caused nearly 5,300 deaths.

“I was so sad to know that day by day the situation is getting worse,” she went on to say about the Tohoku earthquake.

Fukanaga and her friend, Megumi Inaka ‘13, who is also an exchange student from Japan, are planning another fundraiser event where proceeds will go to the Japan Red Cross. For a future fundraiser, ASA will organize an event with IRHA during spring weekend, but they are also waiting to see what FUSA will do with its fundraising.

A Japanese dinner in BCC Dining Hall  is scheduled for Thursday, April 7 from 5 -7:30 p.m., and students are encouraged to donate with their StagCards.

Members of Asian Student Association pose with the flyer they displayed when asking for donations. Photo by Kevin Berrios

Published on April 6, 2011 in The Mirror

Regis Is Done This Summer…Is Steve Bottari Next?

Steve Bottari interviews The Alternate Routes, a band from Bridgeport. Photo by Jean Santopatre/Fairfield University.

Some people dream about being in the spotlight and hosting their own shows, but sometimes it seems impossible to accomplish that dream. One of Fairfield’s own has achieved his dream—multiple times, in fact—and is now a finalist in a competition that could potentially allow him to host television in Connecticut for a year.

Steve Bottari, a senior majoring in Politics and Communication, is one of nine finalists in the MyTV9 Star competition run by MyTV9, an affiliate of MyNetworkTV which is a television service based in Connecticut.

The winner will get to represent MyTV9 for one year as a spokesperson at events, contests, and promotions.

THE BEGINNING

Bottari didn’t always want to be on television. He initially hoped to become an attorney involved in politics. “Then, a funny thing happened on the way to law school,” Bottari said. He soon discovered the Media Center which housed the HAM Channel’s studio, and he knew he was in the right place the second week of his freshman year.

Bottari stated he owes Fairfield for its faculty and staff who “are really focused on helping [students] turn goals into reality.” He said, “I can assure you that I would not be in this Top 9 today were it not for the world-class communication professors and talented Media Center staff that we’re lucky enough to have.”

THE AUDITION PROCESS

Bottari came across MyTV9 by coincidence. His friend Christina Hill ’11 had seen a commercial about the competition and told him about it.

During the time of the first audition, he was on his way to Chicago. He stopped by the audition site expecting a short wait, but he ended up waiting for hours. Bottari then got in his audition and raced to Boston to catch his next flight. Luckily, the flight was delayed for two hours.

Bottari said he was grateful that he had gotten a chance to meet with the judges. The competition is a crucial step for him as a journalist.

“For me, I love hosting. If you told me that I would have to get up every day and go to work in television, I would thank you. And I hope that everybody finds that thing in their own life,” Bottari said.

The 29 finalists were narrowed down to nine. To win, they must compete in more challenges and go through other audition processes. Once the winner is picked, they will all gather at an undisclosed area to learn the results.

THE FUTURE?

Bottari hopes that journalism continues to focus on the important issues. “I know when I am talking to people about journalism, there seems to be a general consensus most people have, which is that often times we get caught up in stories and hyper focus on them when there is so much going on,” he said.  He gave the example of Prince William and his engagement to Kate Middleton.

“With two wars, trying to rebuild an economy and a whole host of other important issues that affect our day-to-day lives, should all the major media really be focusing all these resources on seeing William and Kate tie the knot?” he asked.

Bottari also stressed the entertainment side of journalists and the personality that they take on. He said, “I hope that my personality is fun and engaging, otherwise my TV career is going to be pretty short-lived.”

Dr. Margaret Wills, who is the chair of and an associate professor in the Communications Department, knew Bottari from her Capstone Research Methods class, and she said of Bottari: “It’s very clear that he doesn’t just envision himself as a ‘one day I’ll be a professional.’ He is already a professional who takes his career seriously.  He is already doing the things that most students think about doing ‘one day.’”

Hill agrees with Wills and said, “With Steve, it’s very much what you see is what you get. When you watch him on camera, Steve talks with the same ease and comfort he has as if he were talking to a friend over lunch.”

She also considers him “versatile,” “incredibly tech-savvy” and effective at “engaging people beyond his on-air segments.”

Bottari hopes to pursue a career in television. He is currently a host for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Webster Bank Arena. He also hosted at Canobie Lake Park, a New England Amusement Park.

As for TV, Bottari serves as HAM channel’s president. He has also reported for 15 shows while covering topics ranging from health care and the Georgia-Russia conflict to Zac Efron and everything in between.

Bottari was recently awarded two major national television awards for a documentary he produced. He also has experience with ABC News’s Nightline and Story Worldwide, which is the world’s leading post-advertising agency.

The soon-to-be graduate has been admitted to the Columbia School of Journalism, which he described as an honor. He has yet to decide whether he will attend.

In the end, Bottari hopes to have a career which makes him eager to start each morning, but also noted that a career could take time to find.

“College is the perfect time for finding that; finding out what it is that you truly love to do and that fulfills you in an indescribable way,” Bottari said. “Whether it be a certain profession, being a parent or fly fishing–whatever it is–just find that one thing, hold onto it for dear life and never let go.”

The winner of the MyTV9 Star competition will be announced on April 22.

Published on April 6, 2011 in The Vine