news-category: Academics

Gardner-Webb Student Uses Time at Home to Expand YouTube Channel

screenshot of Savannah Parton website

Savannah Parton, ’21, Hones her Skills as Communication Studies Major

Savannah PartonWhen Gardner-Webb University officials responded to the Coronavirus pandemic by switching to online delivery of classes and suggesting students stay home for the remainder of the spring semester, junior Savannah Parton came home to finish her classes. She also kicked her work routine into high gear.

Parton is a communication studies major with a concentration in public relations and is active in the communication honors society, Lambda Pi Eta. She creates weekly video content about fashion, fitness, food and everyday life for her personal YouTube channel. Before leaving campus, she had started to concentrate her efforts on increasing the number of subscribers and views on her channel. One of her goals was to upload at least two videos a week. Focused time management allowed Parton to keep up with the new schedule and her online school coursework.

The decision paid off, and now she is in the process of being fully monetized on YouTube. “At the time, I only had 80 subscribers to my channel,” Parton shared. “I had one of my videos go viral that has had over 100,000 views, and since, have gained over 6,000 subscribers in a month.”

No matter how exciting Parton’s success, the creative flow does not always come easily. “I feel that often times I’m either extremely motivated with lots of video ideas, or I’m going through a ‘creative drought,’ as I like to call it, where I struggle to even think of one solid video idea,” she observed. “My current upload schedule is every Monday and Friday.” Parton has found that having a list of video ideas ensures future content, even if she is experiencing a “creative drought.”

The skills learned in the GWU Department of Communication and New Media assisted Parton in the development of her channel. “During my Media Convergence class, we studied iMovie and Final Cut Pro, which have definitely helped me with my editing process for videos,” she related. Parton acquired graphic design skills, along with public relations techniques, in the department’s wide range of courses. She uses her abilities to produce thumbnails and appealing channel art. When not brainstorming, filming or editing, Parton watches other YouTubers for motivation and inspiration.

This time of social distancing has held highs and lows for Parton. “Though COVID-19 definitely changed my current job, it was a positive change, and has helped me substantially grow due to the stay-at-home orders,” Parton affirmed. At the same time, the Rutherfordton, N.C., native is ready to head back to campus, eat in restaurants, and see her friends.

Parton concluded, “I definitely miss Gardner-Webb so much and cannot wait to return in the fall for my senior year. I also really miss my professors and classmates and can’t wait to see them in August!”

Check out Savannah Parton’s YouTube channel. 

Written by: Claire Coile, ’20, Intern for Office of University Communications

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