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Cable show from Waterbury campus provides positive publicity for UConn

When Stuart Brown brought home a videtape of "From the Campus," in April, his two young daughters sat down with him to watch it. "They giggled. 'Look at daddy on TV,'" Brown says.

His stint as the show's host was short-lived, however. Brown, an assistant to the dean of students at the Waterbury campus, is now co-executive producer, and tahe hosts have varied.

When Brown walks around campus, "people begin to flee," he laughs, "because they know I am going to ask them to be on the program."

The weekly public access show, which airs Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on WCAT-TV, is designed to give people a close-up view of the University of Connecticut at Waterbury. It allows the campus' faculty, staff and students to present issues and topics of interest to the local community. One of the shows discussed radon in the water system, for example, and another featured three students talking about the transition from high school to college.

Brown believes the program also will be a vehicle to help recruit more students to the Waterbury campus.

"This is the only venue that reaches a wide audience -- it doesn't cost us money," he says.

"Newspaper ads are expensive. We do college fair visits, high school visits and open houses, but these cannot beat a 30-minute weekly show which is basically a commercial for the campus."

Brown says the program is reaching not only potential students but the general public.

"That is fine," he says. "If parents are watching, they will learn more about the campus, so when it's time to discuss colleges and universities with their kids, hopefully they will be talking about us."

Soon the show will reach a wider audience, when Telemedia and Cox Cable Systems pick it up.

Brown says trying to keep the program fresh and working with people on the program to help them get better at their jobs is challenging. It also has been a great opportunity.

I'm having fun doing this," he says. "Things may have been shaky in the beginning as people were figuring out their roles, but after a few months now the staff is getting more comfortable working on the set."

Luis Mocete