Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Global Cultural Walk

By Agnes Jacob-Nepomuceno, Philippines (SUSI scholar 2014)

I left my heart in San Francisco...
When it rains, it pours.
My journey:
From Athens, Greece to Athens, Ohio:
The five-week journey of the Study of the United States Institute for Journalism and Media was a gift of working diligently at the forefront of the Journalism and Broadcasting programs, as a Chairperson of the two curricular programs in the premiere university in Bicol region, Philippines. How it all started was a fruit of  being a good host for a dinner date with the accreditor from the Association of Accrediting Agencies of Universities and Colleges (AACUP), evaluator of the Broadcasting program after a two-day rigid evaluation of papers and actual visit and inspection of the facilities, classrooms, laboratory and interview with students to determine the qualification of the  submitted program for Level 1 phase in my university. A curricular program, which I consider as my brain-child.

The accreditor, who happens also to be a scholar of the United States in other programs, encouraged me to apply for the SUSI scholarship program once it is made open to the public. So when it was announced by the Manila U.S. Embassy Web Page, I excitedly downloaded the application form and after three months of waiting, and just before my mind was preoccupied with the upcoming trip to Athens, Greece, as a research paper presenter, the phone rung and a jubilant voice  suddenly filled the air when the officer of the Cultural Affairs of the embassy brought the good tidings that I was selected for the scholarship.

From the city of mythological goddesses of wisdom Athens, Greece; the birthplace of democracy  to the lovely, tranquil city of freedom-loving people of Athens, Ohio, United States of America. Aaah! The gods must have been delighted about how appreciative I am of the beauty of their temples at the same time extra happy to set foot in the place of great Greek philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Socrates to mention a few from whom the world owe much the brilliant thoughts about science, humanities, religion, politics and world affairs and its interplay to everyday living.

Beauty and wisdom from the land of gods and goddesses to an extension of  wisdom walk of Plato’s academia not in Greece this time, though but, to the historic first academia built in the land of Ohio U.S.A., the  Ohio University, the host place of the 2014 Scholars for the United States Institute for Journalism and Media (SUSI program), the place where “YOU can become your best self.” (
At the CNN office

The global wisdom of intellectual learning,  cultural experience  and sharing a life for five weeks with other nationalities is such an unfathomable reality, isn’t it? But no one can truly and fully comprehend the WISDOM, Oops! Not from the gods and goddesses of Greece, but from a real GOD, with reference to my personal religious beliefs and faith, who has blessed me with this BIG opportunity to mingle with colleagues who walk in the same world of profession where I am gladly walking through- the WORLD OF ACADEMIA AND MASS MEDIA.With almost 9-days left before the SUSI intensive Study Visit come to its conclusion... Alas! A more interesting, if not a-once-in-a-lifetime experience is waiting to unfold in the capital of United States of America, where the seat of government is located,  and where one will be beholden by the site and sight and actual feel of the WHITE HOUSE, to see and to be where it is would be one remarkable and magnificent way of ending a 5-week scholarship program;  a cultural walk away from fantasy to  reality; an experience that will definitely and absolutely leave indelible lasting memories in the hearts and minds of the 18 scholars from all around the world.

Last but not the least, our great thanks to the United States of America Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Washington DC whose mission for the SUSI program of fostering mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries has been achieved with the highest bar of excellence. Special mention of gratitude for my recommendation and acceptance to the SUSI 2014 scholarship , my U.S. based, SUSI- ECA program officer, KEVIN ORCHISON, of U.S. and TONY PEREZ, his counterpart in Manila, Philippines U.S. Embassy and BING LIMLINGAN, who untiringly coordinated my scholarship grant. God bless America and Philippines, great nations of freedom-loving people!

Media Visits:Thanks to my SUSI friends:
The SUSI scholarship program for all its noble intentions provides a fertile avenue for learning the rich culture of United States vis-a-vis its impact to the world. From re-visiting its history by way of live theatrical performance, Tecumseh in Chillicothe where one’s knowledge has been fully widened by the learning on how the native Americans fought hard to maintain its land, but succumb to the great wisdom of sharing the same land and be one great nation, under the banner of united states, and how certain community is able to maintain its laid-back community living in the midst of progress in Amish Country in Sugarcreek as mirrored crystal-clear through an existing community newspaper, called The Budget; towards further  understanding of how an African-based newspaper, Call and Post survived newspapership since 1960 without failing to look back into the history of music via the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to watching live newscast and observing its production processes in WOIO/WUAB-TV reflective of what America is today; to visit in the epicenter of the  renowned civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr in Atlanta and Jimmy Carter’s Library and Museum,  and experiencing happiness in the World of Coca-Cola and how it evolved and influenced universal Pop Culture and entering the global cable news, CNN and be amused by state-of-the-art broadcast facilities and its huge broadcast studio; to the beauty of man’s ingenuity through the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California and treading with excitement to the GOOGLE headquarters; to magnificent exclusive tour inside the $400 million complex in the home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team in At&T Park; to meeting top editors of the Wired Magazine and, of course, walking down the financial district of SF and mixing with multi-national busy public plus a fun-filled ride in the SF’s historic cable car. And just yesterday, it was indeed a opportune SUSI event to be walking through the capital of Ohio, Columbus White House and  to be extra proud of having experience observing how the top editors of Columbus Dispatch conduct their deliberation of news stories that will be published daily. These and many unwritten events  in this platform are  all worth-remembering cultural study tours provided by the SUSI program.
While the 2014 Scholars for the United States Institute for Journalism and Media will come to grip with its ending; it is but just a start of a lifetime professional and personal collaboration among the 18 scholars and their OHIO UNIVERSITY Institute of International Journalism mentors and partners under the tutelage of the Scripps College of Communication. A university that will forever be close to the hearts of the scholars; the academia, which provided a safe haven that will always be a HOME for the SUSI scholars of 2014. 

Kudos to the men and women of the SUSI program headed by its Director, DR. YUSUF KALYANGO; Prof. Mary Rogus, Program Dean; Prof. Jatin Srivastata, Research Coordinator; and Prof. Bill Reader, Academic Coordinator.

See you in the Alumni Homecoming!

After my personal netbook containing all documentations had encounter malfunction, I rightfully extended gratitude to my SUSI sis, Brendah Bukowa of Zambia for the use of her computer. A proof of cultural solidarity and friendship in the SUSI program.

No comments: