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Release: Jan. 24, 2002

UI Wins $200,000 Grant For Exchange Program In Journalism

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has won a $200,000 grant to establish a student exchange program involving five other institutions in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. The Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) in the U.S. Department of Education awarded the grant to support a four-year project, "Crosscurrents: Journalism and Globalization." The Canadian and Mexican governments are also supporting the project.

"The program offers a marvelous opportunity for our students and journalism students in Mexico and Canada to learn from one another," said journalism professor Kenneth Starck, UI project director. "As recent events have shown, the global has become local. And it's imperative that tomorrow's journalists be prepared to carry out their responsibilities in an increasingly complex and interconnected world."

Participating institutions include two from Canada -- Mount Royal College in Calgary, and Humber College in Toronto -- and two from Mexico -- Universidad de Colima in Colima, and Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in Guadalajara. The other U.S. institution taking part is the University of Georgia.

Starck said the first year of the project would be devoted primarily to exploring the curricula of the participating journalism programs and developing criteria for the selection of students to take part. The first students will go abroad in January 2003. Students will attend classes at their host institutions and will work jointly on a variety of media projects. The UI journalism program will send six students to Mexico and seven to Canada and, in turn, will serve as host to six from Mexico and seven from Canada from 2003-05. A total of 76 students from among the six institutions will be involved in the program.

"One goal of the project," Starck said, "is to combine increased technical understanding of journalism content and systems with lessons in development, politics, cultural change, resiliency and human communication."

Long term goals, he said, include establishing a partnership that encourages the exchange of students and faculty, the development of intercultural and international courses and the exchange of knowledge and curriculum elements to strengthen journalism education.

As part of the FIPSE program, representatives from each of the participating institutions will visit one another's campuses, starting in Calgary on Jan. 26 and proceeding to Toronto, Iowa City, Athens, Ga., Guadalajara, ending in Colima on Feb. 10. The group will be at the UI Jan. 31-Feb. 3.

The project is part of the Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education. About 60 percent of the total cost of the $324,660 project is funded by FIPSE with the remaining 40 percent provided through support of participating institutions.