IPR Teams Up With Minnesota Department of Health for MinneStories™ Series

Sudden Media is IPR’s student-lead organization on campus that helps to connect students and alumni with real-world clients. Working under the guidance of IPR faculty member and Program Academic Coordinator Mitch Hare, the IPR community has been given opportunities to work with real-life clients while building their resume with noteworthy projects.

Minnestories™ logo

IPR’s Sudden Media group recently worked with the Minnesota Department of Health on their
Minnestories™ podcast series on newborn screening.

Sudden Media and Minnestories™

Founded in 2015, Minnestories™ shares families’ stories about their personal experiences with newborn screening. These recordings highlight the impact of newborn screening and the resilience of families sharing their experiences. IPR’s Sudden Media team was contacted by the group and was eager to apply their talents in audio production and engineering to their podcasts about newborn screening.

IPR alumnus Kalina Kastner sat down with us to speak about working with the Minnesota Department of Health’s MinneStories™ project. In addition to Kalina, IPR graduates Austen Pullen and Jose Rodriguez have worked alongside the Minnesota of Department of Health to help develop podcasts to highlight the importance of newborn screening.

IPR: What was it like working with the Minnesota Department of Health?


It was a lot of fun. When we started the project, it was a slow rolling ball. Once we got more stories coming in it became a lot easier to curate to what they (Minnesota Department of Health) really wanted for their project. Both myself, Austen (Pullen) and Jose (Rodriguez) got more used to our editing styles and working together. After that, we would have to combine them to make it so you can’t tell that all of us are editing different stories. We would take an hour long recording and edit it down to 5-10 minutes.

IPR: How long does it take to edit a project like that?

KK: It varies on the story and it varies on how much of the content that the Department of Health wants to keep in it. It can take anywhere from 2-4 hours to edit one 5-10 minute segment.

IPR: What’s it like working as a team to edit the MinneStories™?

KK: It’s been easier to split up the stories. Even though we work on the projects individually, we have to make sure that the sound is consistent. Consistency is important, both EQ-wise and compression-wise.

IPR: What do you like most about working on this project?  What has MinneStories™ taught you?

We’ve gotten to meet up with the Minnesota Department of Health the women who are running this project and they’re so easy and wonderful work with. You also learn more about the different newborn screenings, as well. So you learn the education side of everything, but you also develop empathy for the families who share their stories. Hearing their stories is very touching.

IPR: That probably teaches you a few things about project management?

Absolutely. Time-wise, keeping on track with the schedule that the Minnesota Department of Health wanted. It was definitely a struggle at first. We didn’t think we would be able to do accomplish it on time, but we were. Editing stories was a lot easier to come by in a lot of our projects.

IPR: How do you say that this project helped benefit you professionally?

Definitely the network that I connected with at the Minnesota Department of Health. We now have more projects from those who have heard our work with the MDH.  Now we are working with Children’s Hospital on a similar project. Networking with Jose and Austin was also what helped, as well. If any of us have projects, we’re happy to pass them onto each other.

IPR: What would you tell to a student about working with Sudden Media? Why would you recommend it?

Sudden Media is a great way to network with different people. Not just audio-wise, but there’s some video projects that often come in to Sudden Media.

Working with Sudden Media also helps you kind of connect more with the talents at the school. You learn more about your peers and their abilities. It’s nice because then they can help you with a project that you’re unfamiliar with and they can share opportunities with you in the future.

The Future of Sudden Media

Sudden Media continues to evolve.  As student cohorts move on, the projects change and the organization shifts a little bit but the vision remains constant: to be a working, independent production hub that helps students develop professionally.  It has proven to be a great opportunity for students to directly interact with clients. 

Mitch Hare reflects, “For me personally, it has been a joy to sit across from our students and grads in a professional meeting with clients.  I’ve been so proud of their work and it’s been great to watch them grow with each challenge and success.”

Sudden Media’s Clientele Includes:

Want to Get Involved With Sudden Media?

Mitch Hare urges all students to come talk with him about how they can get involved. Sudden Media plans to have more meetings to involve our current student body, so keep an eye out for more information on campus. For more information, you can reach out to Mitch via e-mail at mhare@ipr.edu.