International Storytellers Take on China

By Brianne Kimmel

Journalism and Mass Communication Professors Mitch McKenney and Gary Hanson give 16 International Storytelling students first-hand experience during 10-day trip to China.

Kent State International Storytelling students

International Storytelling students spent their spring break in Shanghai to produce Dateline Shanghai, a multimedia collection of news and feature stories through a program sponsored by Shanghai International Studies University (SISU).

“We wanted to give our students an opportunity to practice journalism, while broadening their view of the world,” McKenney said.

Students wrote on various subject matter such as World of Work, Family & Traditions, Journalism, Arts & Culture, Emerging Economy and Sports & Recreation, while visiting iconic landmarks like the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China.

Michael Moses, a junior applied communications major, was responsible for organizing the site content for Dateline Shanghai.

Pittsburgh native Michael Moses in Shanghai

“After studying abroad at Kent State Florence and now China, I cannot say enough good things about traveling,” Moses said. “China is full of opportunities; it’s incredible to hear people’s success stories when you get to talking. You never know what you’ll find.”

To assist students with the language barrier, each Kent State student was matched with a SISU student liaison.

“My liaison will be a life-long friend; it’s amazing having a friend on the other side of the world,” Moses said”

Kent State students were surprised by the number of Americans living and working in Shanghai. “If you can master the language, the opportunities are limitless,” Moses said.

The trip included a great deal of cultural experience.

“We hope students came home with a better understanding of the country’s 1.3 billion people,” McKenney said.

Students especially enjoyed observing families in Lu Xun Park flying kites, performing music and getting a feel for Chinese culture.

“In the future, I’d love to see a continued partnership with SISU and develop trips to other countries,” McKenney said.

Visit the Web to learn more about Dateline Shanghai and Kent State School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Brianne Kimmel is a senior advertising major and marketing assistant in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information.

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