The lights fade on the audience and rise on a stage lined with chairs and microphones. The background video fades into a still image in a seamless transition. Cameras flash to capture the opening remarks of the Mission Week speakers that the hundreds of people have come to see.
In a darkened control center hundreds of feet way, Rosie Hawk, technical services assistant coordinator for the Alumni Memorial Union, makes Mission Week possible. Most days, her work goes unnoticed.
"It comes down to us," she said of the pressure placed on tech staff. "Everyone knows when we do something wrong,"
Marquette University committees spend months planning and creating the multimedia for Mission Week. Hawk and her crew are in charge of the entire presentation. Each event's videos, sound and lighting are managed from the control center using a system of monitors, control panels and switches.
Hawk, in her third year as a full-time staff member, has worked on the tech side of Mission Week for seven years. During an event, her focus is often on the technical side and not the actual event. After bringing the lights up on countless world leaders in social justice, though, one speaker stands out.
It was a nun working in Africa who was recognized as an Opus Prize recipient in Marquette's 2013 Mission Week. Growing up, Hawk had a close family friend who was a nun in Africa. The speaker reminded Hawk of all the lessons that friend taught her. She said that it was a special opportunity to put on that event.
As the audience files out of another Mission Week event, Hawk completes her work for the night. The routine is the same regardless of who spoke. She shuts down the projectors and clicks off the sound system. The lights of the stage dim once more, the bookend of another successful presentation by the tech crew.
"If we're doing our job right, you won't notice (us) at all."
A chance to see the world from the perspective of a 6-foot-2, aspiring human rights journalist. Will include lessons learned and reflections.