Student Magazine Chronicles Study Tours

NATAHN WINFREY
The Vista Online
University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond

Journeys, a student-produced magazine featuring the stories and photographs of UCO journalism students from study tours in Europe, New Mexico and New York, will be released this month in conjunction with the opening of a new computer and photography lab in the Communications Building.

“A Historical Journey” chronicles students’ month-long trip to England, Italy, Ireland, France and Wales during summer break with stories and photographs.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Lauren Hyer, journalism senior. “It gives you something that you don’t get in the classroom, it gives you much more actually experiencing these things.”

Sites students visited include the Eiffel Tower, William Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon, Roman bathhouses, abbeys and castles including the Tower of London.

“When you get to get out on your own and you’re in different countries you have to learn to get around and function,” Hyer said. “Especially if you don’t know the language.”

The Europe study group was in England during the July 21 London bombings and captured the city in the wake of the event with their writing and pictures.

“When we got to London, the security was definitely heightened,” Hyer said, “but it was pretty safe. People were freaking out here more than we were.”

“An Enchanted Journey” follows another group of students through their fall break exploration of New Mexico, an expedition spanning the Rio Grande Gorge, ancient churches and the Taos hot air balloon festival, among others.

Students on the New Mexico trip visited the church of El Sanctuario de Chimayo, which is famous for “holy dirt” blessed by priests that is said to have healing powers. The “miracle room” is filled with discarded crutches from people who have been healed, said Ashley Romano, journalism sophomore.

“A classroom can only teach you so much,” Romano said. “You get to experience something different, especially if you’re not in the same state. If you have the opportunity, do it.”

Public relations student Jodi Huff’s travel through New York with professor Jill Kelsey and her husband, OSU professor Roy Kelsey, and nine OSU students for the Madison Avenue & Careers in Advertising extension study tour class is detailed in the segment “A Metropolitan Journey.”

Another Travel Reporting trip to Europe is planned for July and will take students through Britain and Ireland. Participating students receive three hours of upper-division elective credit and will learn to write articles and take photographs for travel magazines.