Saturday, March 24, 2007

Be a Journalist-in-Residence

I've just completed my week as a J-I-R working with A&M journalism students -- they bring in three professional journalists per semester to work with the JOUR 490 class and other students. It was a blast. Here's what I did:

-- Assigned and edited a project for the JOUR 490 capstone course.

-- In addition to JOUR 490, which met T-Th 12:45-2, spoke to JOUR 102, 202, 203 and AGCJ 303 about career paths, self-editing, writing features, writing for the Web, copy editing, working in sports, getting a job and whatever else they asked me about!

-- Led evening sessions with the Battalion copy desk and reporters; edited stories for publication in the Batt.

-- Had hourlong student conferences with seven students, offering editing and coaching on interviews, finding internships, career paths, getting clips together.

-- Played 42 at the Chicken, ate lunch in Sbisa (by choice!) and the Underground with students, bought lots of Aggie paraphernalia at the bookstores.

I'm probably about the least prestigious/experienced person they've had as a guest in this program, but I do feel that I was able to make connections with a lot of the students, answer their questions and give them direct help -- and that was very rewarding. I strongly encourage anybody who's interested to contact Dr. Randy Sumpter.

Also, if you'd like to dip your toe in first, you can probably come down just for a day or two and meet with the Batt staff and talk to classes. Getting involved with the students is a rush!