Students in JRNL427 Publications launched the print and on-line versions of their magazine Taste of Class, the results of a semester-long class project, on April 27, 2009.
Utilizing state-of-the-art, professional grade software, including Adobe InDesign and Dreamweaver, students in the
Journalism class explored every facet of magazine creation and design, including concept, articles, photography, art, editing, design, and production.
Back row: left to right: Nicole Roser, Abby Laskowski, Samantha Bond, Sara Lamberson, Emily Franey, Shannon George, Drew Walters, Mike Bowser. Front row: left to right: Carol Rosenthal, Dara Fennell, Katie Morgan, Nicole Blessing, Kate Sechrist, Josie Grimes. Picture by Pat Heilman
“Each student assumed a role critical to the editorial function of a magazine,” instructor Pat Heilman explained. “Each student was then responsible for that individual role as well as the integration of that function with those of their classmates.”
The magazine features articles on college student cuisine, from local pizza parlors to microwave masterpieces to late-night snacks. Each student was responsible for researching and writing one of the articles as well as for providing a favorite recipe.
In addition, students learned the differences in writing and design for print publications and webzines (on-line publications). These differences included “chunking” stories for the on-line version, which entailed writing screen-size portions of the stories for ease of reading on line.
Students, sometimes overwhelmed by the enormity of the project, worked diligently at the end of the semester to get the job done.
“Creating the magazine in this class was a completely different experience than anything I have ever done,” junior Samantha Bond of Leechburg, nameplate designer, said. “It really gave me a better understanding of how putting together a publication actually happens. There are so many angles that you overlook. You don’t consider how many times people actually have to edit the stories or the amount of time it takes just to organize the links. I realized that since everyone had different positions in our ‘staff’ and their tasks occurred at different times throughout the semester, that we really had to help each other when it came down to ‘crunch time.’”
Fourteen stories and numerous photographs are contained in both the print and on-line version. And, students seem proud of their endeavors.
“Creating just one edition of Taste of Class from scratch was frustrating at times,” twenty-two-year-old senior Sara Lamberson of Wallingford, the photography director, said, “but it gives me a sense of pride when I look at the final product. We were forced to work collaboratively and to depend on each other, making this class a hands-on and creative working environment. Taste of Class is our class’s baby, and I, for one, will be proud to present it as part of my portfolio.”
Other students remarked:
“This was certainly an eye-opening experience. Doing a few magazine pages by myself is not a big deal, but when everyone has to do a few pages then everyone has a part in putting the magazine together, and there is a little chaos. I'm glad I took the publications class because we learned what a real job is like, by completing several different projects at the same time throughout the semester.” — Nicole Blessing, junior from Muncy, managing editor
“Doing a print and Web version was a good experience because I got to see how all the different aspects and parts come together to form the whole magazine. It was also helpful to see the differences between the formation of a print and Web version of a magazine.” — Emily Franey, junior from Export, copy editor for the Web edition
“Overall, from the very start of the magazine, the best skill that this project taught the class was the ability to work together as a team to pull something off—even if we didn't have much experience with it. This magazine helped me learn how to take initiative and have a responsibility to others. Without everyone doing their part, we would not have pulled it off!” — Katie Morgan, senior from Harrisburg, computer storage and site map manager
“Working with the publications class to put together this magazine was such a nice experience. It was a learning experience for me. I learned how important each individual is to a publication.” — Nicole Roser, junior from Indiana, copy editor, print edition
“It was really great being in the publications class and being our own little magazine staff. It was close to a real-world experience, at least as close as I've come in any of my classes. Having deadlines to meet and style sheets to follow were just some of the things that made this project so realistic. Seeing it all come together in these last few weeks has been really exciting. I’m so proud of our class!” — Carol Rosenthal, senior from Waterford, table of contents creator for print and Web version
Other students involved in the creation and production of the magazine include: Mike Bowser, senior from Ford City and Kate Sechrist, senior from Indiana, copy editors, print edition; Drew Walters, senior from Bristol, copy editor, Web edition; Josie Grimes, senior from Bessemer, Web design coordinator; Shannon George, senior from Milroy, print design coordinator; Dara Fennell, junior from Fredericksburg, Va., home page designer; Abby Laskowski, senior from Erie, nameplate designer for print version.
JRNL427 Publications is offered in the Spring semester for Journalism majors who have successfully completed JRNL327 Layout, Design, and Production.