Journalism Dept. hosts Georgia Military College faculty for ‘Inspiring Student Writers’ workshop

Fifteen faculty members from Georgia Military College (GMC) – a liberal arts junior college with campuses across the state-heard about innovative approaches to teaching writing during a workshop Nov. 6-8 at the University of Georgia.

“Inspiring Student Writers” was hosted by the Grady College's Department of Journalism.

“Our faculty had a lot of fun with the workshop because it was a different audience,” said Janice Hume, head of the Department of Journalism. “The participants were not journalism professors; they were writing professors. It forced us to think about a lot of the things we do outside of the bubble of journalism and about the idea of great writing.”

The impetus for the workshop, funded by the Moore Family Fund at GMC, came from Powell Moore, an alumnus of both the Grady College and GMC.

Topics covered during the workshop included the art of editing, innovative assignments, literary techniques in nonfiction, technology and “flipped” classrooms, and writing for specialized audiences, among others.

Participants also were invited to observe several Grady College classes: Advanced Photojournalism, Coding for Interactive Online News, Critical Writing, Digital and Broadcast News Writing & Production, Health and Performance Issues for Sports Media, and Newswriting.

As a learning support coordinator at GMC, Kara Jensen felt inspired after sitting in on Senior Lecturer Mark Johnson's photojournalism class.

“It really struck me when I realized that photographs don't have any language barriers,” Jensen said. “I'm going to apply that to students in my remedial classes because they come from so many different areas and use so many different dialects. It's a great place to start writing.”

Mark Johnson, senior lecturer of photojournalism, explains how a short, instructional video can be used as a tool to supplement lectures.

Matthew Carpenter, an assistant professor of English at the GMC campus in Fairburn, looks forward to experimenting with the innovative teaching methods that were presented during the workshop.

“You get kind of burned out doing the same class over and over, so it's good to get advice from people who've been doing it for decades,” Carpenter said. “It's all about making things relevant. Like using resumes to teach active voice. It's something that would motivate students because it can make them money.”

Date: November 11, 2014
Author:  Stephanie Moreno,
Contact:  Janice Hume,