Hofstra hosts High School Summer Journalism Institute

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                                                                                    Photo by Scott Brinton/Hofstra and PCLI
Among the participants in the Hofstra University High School Summer Journalism Institute were, from left, Kymora House, Che’la Santiago and Bernadine Baptiste. 

Ten Long Island students from diverse backgrounds recently took part in the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication’s 2019 Hofstra High School Summer Journalism Institute, where they produced online news stories and learned about careers in media.

Press Club of Long Island President Scott Brinton, a Hofstra adjunct professor and executive editor of Herald Community Newspapers, co-directed the Institute with fellow Professor Mario Gonzalez, who is also a Newsday video journalist. The Bernard and Sandra Otterman Foundation funded the project. The Press Club had in previous years provided grant funding to help get it off the ground.

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                                                                              Photo by Scott Brinton/Hofstra and PCLI
Michael Otterman, executive director of the nonprofit Sandra and Bernard Otterman Foundation, was among the speakers at the Institute. 

The students, who were selected on the basis of academic performance and a demonstrated interest in writing or storytelling, were all rising juniors or seniors from Elmont and Freeport high schools. The weeklong immersive program was held July 29 to Aug. 3.

“The Summer Journalism Institute helps students develop their voices so they can effectively tell the stories that matter to them,” Brinton said. “Along the way, we hope to spark an interest in journalism. Newsrooms need professionals of all backgrounds so many different viewpoints are covered.”

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                                                                                  Photo by Scott Brinton/Hofstra and PCLI
Student participants took notes during Michael Otterman’s talk. They then wrote short biographical sketches on him.

This year’s participants were:
• Akinwale Agesin, junior, Elmont Memorial High School
• Bernandine Baptiste, junior, Elmont Memorial High School
• Roshanel Daley, junior, Elmont Memorial High School
• Janice Erhunmwunsee, junior, Elmont Memorial High School
• Shania Gayle, senior, Freeport High School
• Kymora House, senior, Freeport High School
• Devin Johnson, junior, Elmont Memorial High School
• Kaori Mordan, senior, Freeport High School
• Che’la Santiago, senior, Freeport High School
• Swera Zeeshan-Majid, senior, Elmont Memorial High School

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                Photo by Scott Brinton/Hofstra and PCLI
Mark Lukasiewicz, dean of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University, chatting with Institute participants. 

Students learned the crafts of interviewing, research, writing, photography, and videography as they worked on three assignments during the week. They also toured Herald Community Newspapers’ editorial offices in Garden City, as well as attended lectures by guest speakers, including Michael Otterman, executive director of the Bernard and Sandra Otterman Foundation, as well as reporters and editors from local media outlets. And students met with Herbert School Dean Mark Lukasiewicz, a veteran producer, journalist, and media executive.

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                                                                                 Photo by Scott Brinton/Hofstra and PCLI
Students hard at work on the final day of the Institute. 

The program is part of the Community Journalism Program, which pairs Hofstra graduate students as one-on-one mentors with students in Freeport High School’s newspaper club during the fall. Both initiatives help fulfill Hofstra’s mission to celebrate diversity and expose young people to college-level work and career opportunities.

For an example of the students’ work, check out Devin Johnson’s piece on Michael Otterman here.

Check out the Institute’s Facebook page for more.

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