The Winter Olympics do not start until Feb. 12 in Vancouver, British Columbia, but a Western Carolina University broadcast communication student and incoming professor are already there.
Tucker Horne, a senior from Huntersville, is completing his required professional internship this semester in Vancouver with CTV British Columbia network news. Meanwhile, Gabe Nucci, who will join the WCU faculty in August, is a technical director working for NBC, thanks to his extensive experience helping broadcast national and international athletic events.
For Horne, the internship is exactly what he was looking for. He wanted to get experience in local broadcast news and experience the excitement of the Olympics, so he looked for opportunities with local news organizations in Vancouver.
“CTV had a pre-screening questionnaire on their Web site, and I completed it and attached the resume that Dr. (Betty) Farmer’s class helped me prepare,” said Horne. “I immediately got an e-mail back. They said it was one of the better resumes they had seen. I’m very excited to see how a local media outlet will be covering an international event in its own community.”
Don Connelly, head of the WCU communication department, said Horne will get great experience at this internship that will build on what he has been learning at Western Carolina. “We encourage our students to do their professional internships in the largest market they can,” said Connelly.
So far, Horne has taken calls about news tips, participated in news planning discussions, assisted with interviews and monitored news wires. Meeting Nucci has been one of the highlights. Although each has different jobs with different news organizations, they recently found time to meet for lunch in Vancouver.
Nucci has been nominated for an Emmy Award multiple times and won for his work as production engineer for the boxing venue at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. His credits include coverage of the Athens, Torino and Beijing Olympics; Super Bowl; World Series; Indianapolis 500; ESPN Summer and Winter X Games; World Baseball Classic; PGA Golf; and major league soccer events including the World Cup. He is scheduled to work at the World Cup in South Africa after working at the Olympics. In addition, Nucci speaks Spanish and is conversant in Italian, French and Portuguese.
“He is unbelievable,” said Horne. “He is very technical mined and has a way of communicating that students will appreciate and understand.”
Connelly said Nucci will be a tremendous complement to the department’s faculty. “He brings a vast array of national and international experience,” said Connelly.
Both Horne and Nucci are keeping blogs about their experience, Horne’s “My CTV Olympic Journey” at http://ctvtucker.wordpress.com/, and Nucci’s at the password-protected site https://media.wcu.edu/users/gabenucci/. WCU students, faculty and staff can login to read his posts with their WCU login and password.