Amid flip-flops, Hawaiian shirts and flying beach balls, co-directors Betsy Pollard Rau and Chad Sanders kicked off the 2011 version of “J-Cation,” the theme of this summer’s annual MIPA JournalismWorkshops, on July 31, an event hosted at Michigan State University.
This year’s event, according to Rau, hosts over 400 student journalists, many of whom are from out-of-state. For the majority of the week, students like Courtney Pizzimenti and Jessica Smith from Rochester Adams High School will take intensive classes in some aspect of journalism. Pizzimenti and Smith are enrolled in “Taking Your Newspaper to the Edge” with instructors Rod Satterthwaite and C.E. Sikkenga.
“I want to make sure my (feature) page looks really cool and has the coolest designs,” Pizzimenti said. “I’m excited for everything.”
Smith, who will serve as her staff’s editor in chief next year, said, “I want to bring everyone (on my staff) together, motivate them, work as a team.”
(Click here to hear what others have to say about this summer’s workshops.)
In addition to individual classes, students will have the opportunity to participate in large-group activities. Those activities feature an issues seminar on Monday night about sexting, a Tuesday press conference with the Lansing Derby Vixens, a local flat-track roller derby team, followed by a showing of the documentary “Mad Hot Ballroom” on Tuesday night.
Clad in a festive glasses and a hat to coordinate with the J-Cation theme, Lucinda Davenport, the director of the Michigan State School of Journalism welcomed the students to the university.
“You are going to have the most fabulous week in the world,” she said. “There are more consumers of news than ever before, and you are at the front of the pack.”