Dordt College News

Helping behind the scenes for American Idol

July 31, 2012

American Idol is a show where dreams are born and broken and where once in a lifetime opportunities become reality. As the show holds auditions in Rock Rapids on August 10-11, Dordt alumni Jesse Brauning (class of ’09), Bree Brouwer (’09), Cady Millage ('13), and Dale Vande Griend (’10), and Dordt education adjunct professor Josh Bowar ('05) also have a unique opportunity.

But they won’t be standing in front of the judges. Instead their place will be behind the scenes working as production assistants.

The three are all Dordt College alumni who took classes with digital media production instructor Mark Volkers during their time at Dordt. Both Volkers and Brauning are eager to see how this opportunity unfolds. “I'm excited about being a production assistant for a TV show because it’s valuable industry experience that I can use to possibly get a similar job in the future,” said Brauning, who is the owner of Paragon Videography in Sioux Center, Iowa.

“Having some of our Dordt alumni involved as production assistants for the show is a fantastic opportunity to see how something this big and successful is organized,” commented Volkers.

Working in Hollywood is just one of the many opportunities that Dordt College digital media graduates are prepared for. “When our students graduate, they are trained and ready,” said Volkers. “So whether they’re doing weddings, documentary work, or American Idol, this is just another platform for them to work in.”

Find out more about Dordt College’s digital media program by visiting

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