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Friday, May 22, 2015

Close Encounters of a Different Kind

This week's columnist: Mary Marczak.

Recently Trish Olson (FD Assistant to the Associate Dean) sent me a link to a thought-provoking YouTube video called “What kind of Asian are you?” I had already seen it, but given our recent professional development conference focusing on issues of diversity, race, and culture, I took another look. Before reading on, watch the video.

So what does this video have to do with me? I was born and raised in South Korea until I was about 10, but then was adopted and grew up in Minnesota in a nearly all-white community with no other Asians (until my parents adopted more Korean children, followed by the adoption of a Korean girl by a Lutheran pastor at a neighboring church).

Monday, May 18, 2015

Thinking Outside the Party Box

In February, my niece announced her engagement from Missoula, Montana. Our family was ecstatic. Then she said she would not be home to Minnesota before the wedding on May 20. My sister and I were disappointed. As aunts, we felt it was our role to host a proper wedding shower for her. How could we do that if she did not come home to Minnesota?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

‘Nellie Bly’ Moments and Creating Impact

This week's columnist: Rosi Heins.
The day I’m writing this (May 5, 2015), Elizabeth Cochrane’s 151st birthday is being recognized by a Google Doodle — a special, temporary alteration of the logo on Google’s home page that celebrates holidays, events, achievements and people. Cochran was a journalist better known by her pen name Nellie Bly. She blazed trails for women and the working poor through her writings and adventures.

Nellie Bly’s international fame came from reporting on traveling around the world in 72 days in 1889 — a feat inspired by Jules Verne’s 1873 novel Around the World in Eighty Days. Her unique work reporting on the horrid conditions for mentally ill women in a New York asylum and other writings helped improve lives for many down-trodden people of her era. She made an impact!

Word Matters: Two Tips from the World of Journalism

Inspired by Rosi’s column about Nellie Bly, I would like to review two long-standing conventions of journalism and show how applying them to your work at FD will strengthen your writing. First, consider the 5 Ws of reporting:
  • Who was involved?
  • What happened?
  • When did it happen?
  • Where did it happen?
  • Why(and how) did it happen?
These are not only questions the readers and listeners of news stories ask. They’re also questions that FD audiences ask, and you’ll need to answer them in your writing — whether you’re developing a report, a web page, a fact sheet, or a video script.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Thank Our Staff as May Begins

When my children were growing up, if you looked out the window in the early hours of May 1, you would see kids scurrying around with small homemade baskets filled with treats and flowers. They would hang a basket on a door knob, ring the doorbell, and run away so the gift-bearer would not be known.

May 1 represents multiple celebrations around the world. As in my neighborhood, May 1 is celebrated as a welcome to summer in many countries. Simultaneously, May 1 is also celebrated as International Workers' Day, or Labour Day, across the globe. Talk about a day with an identity crisis!
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