Sunday, November 22, 2009

On Sunday, Nov. 15, a group of seven Winona State University students and two faculty members flew to Arizona to attend a reception at Diné College honoring the collaborative journalism projects completed this past summer by students of both institutions.

It was nearly 50 degrees back home in Winona, Minnesota, while there was snow on the ground in Tsaile, Arizona.

While on campus on Monday, Nov. 16, the students attended Dr. Miranda Haskie's class and heard guest speaker Perry Charlie discuss environmental issues and energy concerns of the Navajo Nation.

Monday evening, about 100 people attended the premier and reception and watched several documentary journalism projects focused on the lives of five Navajo elders. Three of the elders were present and commented on the projects following viewing of their features.

The evening began with comments by Dr. Miranda Haskie of Diné College, one of the organizers of the journalism collaboration.

Dr. Ferlin Clark, president of Diné College, the Tribal College of the Navajo Nation, gave a keynote address congratulating the students on their hard work and dedication, and thanking them for their important contribution to preserving the stories of the elders.

Organizers then showed several of the student projects and invited comments from each of the students involved, and then the elders.

As the program came to a close, Dr. Cindy Killion and Dr. Tom Grier, members of the faculty of the Winona State University Department of Mass Communication, described their feelings about the collaboration and future plans for similar programs.

Short versions of the journalism projects are available for viewing on the WSU Mass Communication department's web site:

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