Fulbright 2010 Follow-On Project

Cypress College students and Lutsk Liberal Arts University students worked together in April, May and June thanks to a Fulbright Follow-On Project.

The project grant was awarded to Robert R. Mercer, chair, Cypress College Journalism Department, and a 2007-2008 Fulbright Scholar who taught that year at LLAU. The follow-on project consisted of four Skype Seminars between campuses and publishing by students in the other campus' publications. Mercer hosted part of the project from the Cypress College campus and part from the LLAU campus.

The Cypress College students drug themselves clutching cups of coffee to campus before 8 a.m. while LLAU students delayed going home for dinner in order to have the seminars. Two were hosted by Mercer on the Cypress campus; two by him on the LLAU campus.

Besides responding to an agenda that included discussion topics, the students met on Facebook and Kontakte and other social networking sites and created friendships that continue. Ultimately, they published articles from one campus in publications on the other campus, including Divergence Magazine and CyChron.Com.

Mercer also met with graduating and former LLAU students while in Lutsk.

In 2007, if a Ukrainian student had internet at home, it was dial-up. There were just a few attempts at news websites in Ukraine. By summer 2008, three of the LLAU students trained by Mercer were working on news websites. Tania Poluektova, @Tanjeta on Twitter, was the first online videojournalist in Volyn Oblast. Most LLAU students are now working online at least part of the time in media jobs.

Mercer also presented an academic paper at a professional media conference at LLAU, but by video after the schedule overlapped his departure date from Ukraine. Mercer's presentation of his graduate research into "Visual Breakpoints and the Decisive Moment in Convergence Journalism" is available online in video and text form.

He also participated in a seminar with National University students, presenting the study of journalism by California students, plus a look at the student's complete freedom of press thanks to California state law.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License