Tag: The West End Journal

UA Invited to Join Elite Outreach Group

June 19, 2007

TUSCALOOSA "“ The University of Alabama has been invited to join an elite national organization that recognizes the University's achievements in outreach scholarship.

UA becomes the fifth member of the Outreach Scholarship Partnership (OSP). Others are Ohio State University, the University of Georgia, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Wisconsin Colleges/University of Wisconsin-Extension. All are national leaders in partnerships that unify teaching, research and service.

"This invitation is significant in that it puts the University on par with the nation's best in outreach scholarship. Further, it gives us resources that will make our programs even stronger," said Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, UA vice president for community affairs, in accepting the membership.

Pruitt said UA's Center for Community-Based Partnerships played a major role in the University's invitation. "CCBP focuses University expertise on the most critical social and economic problems identified by community partners," he said.

CCBP and its council "“ made up of 50 faculty, staff, student and community members representing most UA disciplines and many community organizations "“ coordinate engagement scholarship for the campus.

Activities include an annual awards program, research grants, a research journal, a newsletter and a Web site, ccbp.ua.edu.

"I am pleased to see the teaching and research of our faculty used to enrich communities through partnerships such as these," said Dr. Judy Bonner, UA executive vice president and provost. "And I am especially pleased that our students, working with their faculty mentors, are getting such a wonderful opportunity to reinforce their classroom experience while improving the lives of others."

Among 2007 CCBP projects are The West End Journal, a partnership of UA, Stillman College, The Tuscaloosa News and the Alabama Press Association. With staff composed of students and community residents, WEJ and www.wej.com cover news and information vital to thousands in an underserved section of Tuscaloosa. WEJ was one of nine projects recognized at CCBP's first awards program in April.

UA's Dr. Edward Mullins and Stillman's Amanda Brozana have been invited to present their WEJ research at the Outreach Scholarship Conference in Madison, Wis., Oct. 5-7. Other UA presenters at the conference include Dr. Heather Pleasants, College of Education; Dr. Lisa Shaul, Honors College; Dr. Marsha Adams, Capstone College of Nursing, and Dr. Scott Bridges and Bethany Collins, Creative campus. The conference, one of the main benefits of OSP membership, showcases the nation's top engagement projects.

In his invitation to UA, Ohio State's vice president for university outreach, Dr. Bobby D. Moser, said membership gives UA a position on OSP's steering and implementation committees and puts UA in line to be a future host of the national conference. Membership also affiliates UA with the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, the top scholarly journal in the field.

Another CCBP-affiliated program is the Rural Health Research Consortium, a National Institutes of Health initiative to improve health care in rural communities. Dr. John Higginbotham and Pamela Payne-Foster, M.D., are UA's principal investigators in this project.

Others include water sanitation in Hale County by the College of Engineering, a language lab for Hispanics new to the community, entrepreneurial outreach for businesses and schools in rural Alabama by the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration, and a mentoring program for future UA college students from the Black Belt by the School of Social Work.

Dr. Estelle Ryan Clavelli, CCBP associate director of community education, who is in charge of the English Language Lab, says it has been one of the most popular offerings of the new center.

"The number of Hispanics in Alabama has been growing dramatically," Clavelli said, "and they have found a much-needed resource in our lab, which has been drawing as many as 50 visitors a week."

Pruitt said getting a new home for the campus' engagement activities (the Cannon House, 824 4th Avenue, near the Sheraton Hotel on campus) has helped greatly. "However, we are already about to outgrow it. But that's what you would like to see in a new program."

Pruitt, who holds bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. degrees from UA, was named vice president for community affairs in 2004. In addition to serving as CCBP executive director, he oversees the University's Equal Opportunity Programs, Crossroads Community Center, the Martin Luther King Realizing the Dream committee, and other campus and external community activities.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is in the midst of planned, steady enrollment growth with a goal of reaching 28,000 students by 2010. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state’s economy, is in keeping with UA’s vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state’s flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

For 24th Year, High School Students Will Immerse Themselves

June 2007

Eighteen high school journalism students from Alabama and Georgia will live on campus and learn from advanced journalism students, top educators and seasoned journalists during the 24th annual Multicultural Journalism Workshop, July 8-18.

And this year, says Dr. Edward Mullins, who has been on the workshop staff since its beginning, they will become staff members of a regularly published newspaper and related website.

"We have another great group of kids coming in," Mullins said, "and we have an established newspaper and website ready when they are."

The newspaper is The West End Journal, a project of Stillman College and UA's Center for Community-Based Partnerships, where Mullins works as a volunteer.

"From the first day on campus, students will write, shoot, edit, post and stream content," said Amanda Brozana, a Stillman College faculty member who also serves as publisher of West End Journal and WestEndJournal.Com.

Many of the students bring experience in scholastic journalism, but some will be writing for publication for the first time, she said.

In the fall, the workshop students will be entering grades 9, 10, 11, 12 and first year of college.

Under the direction of faculty, visiting professionals and experienced college students, the students will also produce a news broadcast using the modern labs and studios of the UA College of Communication and Information Sciences, a national leader in the discipline.

UA alumni, high school media advisers, newspaper editors and broadcasters nominated the students who made the final cut.

"The long-term success of this program has led us to organize a 25th reunion of past students and faculty of the workshop," Mullins said.

Jannell McGrew, a former daily newspaper state legislative reporter who as a student was president of the Capstone Association of Black Journalists, is working with Assistant Dean Caryl Cooper, adviser of CABJ and chair of the MJW Advisory Committee, and Marie Parsons, MJW co-founder and Advisory Committee member, to organize the 2008 event.

The reunion will be in spring 2008 and the 25th workshop July 13-23, Mullins said.

In addition to studying all forms of journalism, students take field trips to area newspapers and historic sites such as the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

The workshop is free. Students share a UA dorm room, eat in UA dining halls and use other facilities of the 23,000-student campus.

"With hundreds of students from past workshops choosing to attend UA over other colleges, MJW has proven to be a good recruiting tool," said Mullins, "but our main purpose is to get more people of color and more Americans from all walks of life into the journalism profession, which is so important to democracy."

"Since its inception in 1984, more than 1,800 students have benefited from various parts of our comprehensive multicultural program," said Cooper. "The workshop is one way we recognize our responsibility to build a strong student body and mass media."

"Every year we make special preparations to ensure that our participants get a true taste of what it's like to be a college student and a journalist," said Mullins. "We hope that after 10 days in the workshop, many of these students will be motivated to pursue journalism as a profession. We are very proud of our program, which has become a national leader in introducing students to journalism."

Major donors to the program over the years have included the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund, Gannett Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Freedom Forum, Alabama Press Association Journalism Foundation, Alabama Broadcasters Association, The Tuscaloosa News, The Press-Register (Mobile), Cox Radio of Birmingham, and Mercedes-Benz U.S. International.