Diversity in Media Lecture Series
The School of Communications seeks to foster understanding of issues and perspectives that are inclusive. The purpose of the Media Diversity Lecture Series is to discuss issues and present perspectives relating to mass communications across diverse cultures in a global society.
Morgan State Professor Visits with Communications Students and Faculty
In March of 2017, the School of Communications had the opportunity to host Morgan State University professor LaMonte Summers. Professor Summers has been a Media Ethics and Law professor at the university’s School of Global Journalism & Communication for over 13 years.
Summers says that one of his favorite classes is Media Ethics and Law, as he enjoys teaching students about the First Amendment and the issues and policies that coincide with it in communications. “I am passionate about the values that underlie the First Amendment and how they are interpreted,” said Summers. “When studying it with students, I try to look at situations that involve people from other cultures and those who live outside of the United States.”
During his visit, Summers was able to visit various communications classes as well as each of the student labs.
“The resources you have here are just phenomenal,” said Summers. “I’ve been to the eye tracking, advertising, and public relations labs. I was also able to witness the news cast at noon. It was great to see the preparation and excitement of the students.”
In talking about his experience in Utah, Professor Summers stated that he wanted to be in an environment that looked at diversity in a different way, not only from a religious standpoint but from a geographical standpoint where the people come from different cultures and parts of the world. Coming from Morgan University, a predominantly African American school, Professor Summers had a number of great insights as to how Morgan Students and BYU students could benefit from interacting with one another.
“Many Morgan students are first generation college students. They bring a lot of determination, interest, curiosity, and a thirst for knowledge. They want to learn, grow and succeed. Many of them come from backgrounds where their college preparations have been somewhat lacking. You will see students who are hard-working and highly motivated. It can be beneficial for BYU students to interact with Morgan students who bring those characteristics. These experiences can help to broaden perspectives on those from different cultures and backgrounds,” Summers said.
Summers said that he enjoyed his visit and commented that BYU is a “high quality, first rate, first class institution with great facilities. The people are very warm, generous and kind. Everyone is so nice.” Professor Summers is enthusiastic about communications and the faculty connections being made between Morgan State and BYU. He is also hopeful and excited about the kinds of connections that can be built between students in the near future.
Visiting Media Professionals Conduct Spanish Journalism Workshop:
In January 2017, Miriam Ruiz and husband Ivan Martinic, both guests of the School of Communications during fall semester, conducted a Spanish journalism workshop prior to returning to their home in Chile. Ruiz, a journalism professor at the Universidad del Desarrollo and Martinic, an editor at El Mercurio newspaper in Santiago, taught students that the ability to write in two languages makes a journalist more valuable in the workforce, and developing that skill will give a graduate a leg up on the competition.
Following a lecture on journalism in Latin America, eight News Media students worked with Ruiz and Martinic to research current events in Spanish-speaking countries and then write a news story covering those events. Their grammar, storytelling, and journalism skills were then critiqued and applied further using various workshop activities. Ruiz said BYU is uniquely qualified for bilingual journalism because of how many returned missionaries attend the school and that she is excited to see what they will accomplish in the future.
Myriam Ruiz Silva from the Universidad del Desarrollo presented the first lecture:
In October 2015, journalism Professor Myriam Ruiz Silva from the Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile spoke about women in the media. Her lecture focused on the idea that women are generally the minority in news media and in the workforce. She comes to the United States yearly with students to document newsworthy events and to help her students get a different perspective on broadcast media. She was the first lecturer in the Diversity in Media Lecture Series.
Pat Wheeler from Morgan State University presented the second lecture:
In March 2016, the School of Communications welcomed Pat Wheeler, a distinguished guest professor from Morgan State University, in a faculty exchange program in which a communications professor from BYU visited Morgan State. In the several classes and meetings in which she spoke, she was able to share with BYU students her experience and perspective on the importance of communications while encouraging them to be good listeners and writers. Wheeler expressed a desire to return to BYU and to continue the exchange program in future semesters.