Missouri State University

Collin O'Hara

Draw My Missouri State Life: Collin

A randomly assigned group brought six students together, and their project impressed the campus.

Group projects are a tricky proposition. If the chemistry and collaboration don’t gel, there’s sure to be frustration. But when a group project goes right, everyone can feel proud of the result.   

That happened when MED 130, a foundational course for all media, journalism and film majors, brought together Megan Burke, Ryan Chaney, Alec Gura, Collin O’Hara, Carter Williams and Hill Zhang. They capped off their semester by producing a multimedia project called “Draw My Missouri State Life.”

Inspired by the “Draw My Life” video trend, the group used a white board and dry-erase markers to illustrate their experiences at Missouri State. Each member recorded voice narration, and the whole piece was edited together and set to an original music composition.

The result? A cross-section of Missouri State students with a diverse range of majors, backgrounds and interests.   

To make their video, the group reserved a room in the library and turned it into a production studio. “We completely makeshifted everything,” they said. “We didn’t like the lighting so we covered the lights with printer paper to minimize the glare.” They also set up a drawing station, an audio station and a writing station, where they could develop their ideas and get ready to record.

The campus community – from classmates to professors to President Smart – loved the finished video. Missouri State Twitter even turned it into a gif.

When asked how they transformed a group project into something so memorable, they said, “Everyone was responsive and willing to put the work in.” Designing a project that leveraged everyone’s talents was also key. “Each of us got to play a role,” they said.

About Collin

Journalism major Collin O'Hara first pitched the video's concept to the group. He had been following the "Draw My Life" trend, just as he follows many pop culture and news events. In fact, he's developing his own podcast on contemporary life, which will feature a comedic spin on the news.

During his time at Missouri State, Collin has appreciated the opportunities for hands-on learning, which have helped him build his professional portfolio. "If you know what you want to do, you have to start early so that people can look at your work and say, 'I want that guy on my team,'" he said.