From student to mentor


Having the opportunity to be both a student and mentor for the same program is rare. However, I have had that opportunity with the Journalism in the Digital Age workshop. Through the past five years I have been known as a high school student with a dream of a journalism career to a college student turning her journalism career into a reality.

I can remember the first day of the Journalism in the Digital Age Workshop in the summer of 2009. I was nervous because I only knew my best friend, who also was attending the camp, and because I was only a sophomore in high school. I had no confidence in my knowledge of journalism.

I had been confident about my career choice in journalism since I had been in the eighth grade and had only really exercised my journalism skills through creative writing and essays, which wasn’t saying much.

For my first day, I was surprised at how enthusiastic the NKU student mentors were and how willing they were to help. The speakers gathered to talk to us about different aspects of journalism and I learned some important lessons through them that I still resort back to today when I have a question.

This camp was the first time I was introduced to the term b-roll in relation to video. I spent all of the time available in the video lab editing and perfecting my video story. I was impressed at the amount of video technology available for my use.

I did my video story on the construction and opening of the College of Informatics, Griffin Hall building. The video, which I have watched now four years later, had distracting background noise and the video is really short, it has shown me how far I’ve come in my skills with technologies and video editing.

Even the pictures that are forever ingrained into Google images posted of me from the workshop

I ended the week feeling refreshed about my dreams of becoming a journalist and confident about my abilities to accomplish it. Plus, the cake and brag ceremony to show off our work to the parents was great too!

I had made up my mind from that week alone that I would most likely be attending NKU for my college education. It was that year that the construction of Griffin  Hall was announced and after finding out that it would be completed in time for my freshman year, I was more than excited to spend my time surrounded by the advanced technologies I had prided myself in being a huge fan of.

Now, as a junior journalism major in college here at NKU, and involved as a staff writer and new social media editor of The Northerner, I have been pleased to have the opportunity to be a mentor for this year’s Journalism in the Digital Age Workshop.

Michele Day, my professor and advisor, asked me to be a part of this camp having remembered me from when I attended the workshop. I was excited to make this a good experience for students, just like how the students before me made the workshop a good experience for me.

Throughout the course of the week, I hope I have helped the high school students learn and understand journalism a little bit better, as well as learn the importance of technologies in journalism. I have learned a lot myself through spending time with the students and listening to the different presentations.

From the Instragram contests, to shooting video and having interviews for their own story assignments, the students have really blossomed and learned how to become effective journalists in today’s age.

I will take away my lessons learned from the workshop to supplement my journalism studies here at NKU, and also apply them to my personal life. The zeal and enthusiasm of the students to learn and understand the concepts really meant a lot to me. Sometimes, when journalism becomes your main course of study, it’s easy to become numb to it.

Seeing these students and being around their interest to learn and apply journalism concepts, I have found my original enthusiasm for the subject as well as having remembered where I started out.