Thursday, September 29, 2011

Summer in December: Education with Adventure

By Morgan Sigrist

Institute for Int’l Journalism

Winter intersession is drawing near and the cold days and icy roads are almost upon us. But 18 Ohio University students from three schools in the Scripps College of Communication have a Plan B this winter intersession. They are preparing for their trip to Zambia, Southern Africa. They will escape the wintry blizzards, below freezing wind gusts, and the daily shoveling of 2-feet of snow, to enjoy some amazing African summer flora and fauna, outdoor swimming, and hiking in the jungles. Participants will depart for Zambia on November 25, a day after Thanksgiving and return on December 22, 2011.

The program administered by the Institute for International Journalism (IIJ) in the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism in coordination with the University of Zambia’s Department of Mass Communication in the capital, Lusaka. Two professors who were part of the SUSI Journalism and Media program in 2010 and 2011 are assisting with the preparations and eventual administration of this year’s program. SUSI is a U.S. Department of State funded grant-project, a scholars' program sponsored through the Study of the U.S. Branch. Students will spend 24 days immersed in Zambian media, government, culture, wildlife, and service projects.

Students nominated for this competitive annual journalism study abroad program to Africa are: Lindsay Boyle (online journalism), Brenda Evans (online journalism) Heather Farr (public relations), Lauren Nolan (public relations), Bethany Scott (public relations), Danielle Parker (public relations), Sara M. Rice (public relations), Molly Nocheck (broadcast), Bradley Parks (broadcast), Jenna Miller (broadcast), Amber Skorpenske (broadcast), Adam C. Flango (magazine), Brooke Bunce (magazine), Tyler O. Deal (magazine), Rebecca Koch (advertising), Sarah DuBois (communication studies), Chelsea A. Molder (communication studies) and Alisha Estabrook (visual communication).

Participants will “experience the complexity of the economic and political environment in the news media (TV, Radio, and Magazine), advertising or marketing firms, PR organizations and non-for-profit sector.” Danielle Parker, a junior and PR Journalism student was asked how she is preparing for the trip, “My faith is a really big part of my life... A lot of prayer and meditation and journaling to make sure that I am mentally prepared to be so far away from home.” She is academically preparing for the trip this fall by taking a course titled, International Studies 113 at Ohio University, learning about Africa from a Zambian teacher.

Dr. Yusuf Kalyango, the program director for the Zambia program and IIJ director, is conducting weekly orientation sessions on Fridays at 10:30 a.m., to prepare participants for the African adventure.

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