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University course offers a chance for all students to get involved

Published: March 27, 2013, 10:44 pm ET
Collegian Reporter

Students in the Digital America course are creating a journal that offers all students at University of Richmond the chance to publish work that deserves a life beyond the classroom.

The journal is an opportunity for current students to come together and discuss how their world is different from generations past, and to engage ideas that will shape their future, Meghan Rosatelli, instructor of the course, wrote in an email.

The hope is that students from all over the university and beyond will get involved, she said. The journal project, which Rosatelli describes as “millennials thinking critically about now,” is a conversation about digital culture and American life, she said.

“We hope that students will find a place to connect with other students on issues surrounding digitalization,” Rosatelli said. “And we hope that students will find a place to get their own questions, ideas and opinions published – to start a conversation.”

There are a lot of places on the web to socially network, but there are not many places where millennials can read and engage at the same time with their peers, she said.

For submissions, the class is looking for short and long essays, opinion pieces and new media pieces that discuss digital culture and American life, she said. Members of the project are also open to accepting work that explores the global implications of digitization and global digital cultures, she said.

The scope of what can be submitted is pretty broad, she said. Rosatelli sees the journal as a place that connects students in many different disciplines, she said.

“We think that students often have work that they are really proud of,” Rostaelli said. “And after a class ends there is no where for it to go. There is no way to create a conversation.”

A lot of faculty members see great work come across their desk that deserves a second life, she said.

Of the seven students enrolled in the course, each has an editorial role and is working on obtaining submissions and getting the word out through social media, Rosatelli said. Students also work on the journal’s blog, Twitter feed and Facebook page.

Junior Celia Landesberg, blog editor of the journal, is learning about history and theory while also learning professional skills such as working as part of a unit, she said in an email.

As blog editor, Landesberg decides on the blog topic each week, which she chooses based on the theme of the class readings for the week, she said.

Junior Andrew Jones, managerial editor of the journal, said that working on the journal will help him learn the leadership skills he needs to be a writer and a journalist.

The project has the potential to be ongoing, with students being involved every semester as interns or as part of the class, Rosatelli said. Starting this summer, Digital America will be a stand-alone project hosted by the American Studies Program, she said.

Submissions to the journal are due April 1, and the journal is set to be published on April 22, Rosatelli said. There will also be a launch party around the time that the journal is published, she said.

Contact reporter Brooke Knetzger at brooke.knetzger@richmond.edu

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