RADNOR, Pa. (Nov. 30, 2012) – In September 2011, a group of Cabrini College seniors brainstormed potential ideas for their Capstone project.
They wanted to create something memorable. After all, this project would, in many respects, be their crowning achievement as communications majors.
The class of 2012 was the first class at Cabrini to graduate through a full four years of the Justice Matters curriculum, so they knew their project should relate to a local or global issue of social justice.
When the students in the year-long Seniors Honors Convergence class began talking about young adults their age in the Middle East who were inspiring a democratic movement known as the Arab Spring, they knew they’d found their topic.
“We wanted people our age in the United States to understand what it’s like to be a young adult during a time of such upheaval,” said Elizabeth Krupka ’12, who worked on the project.
“It’s very easy to forget that there are people in different parts of the world who are experiencing adventures and trials that you might not ever know. We were hoping to raise awareness so people could educate themselves.”
The worked with Cabrini partner Catholic Relief Services, who connected them with Professor Pandeli Glavanis at the American University in Cairo. Professor Glavanis encouraged his graduate students to provide the Cabrini students with a first-hand account of the events unfolding in the Middle East, and perhaps more importantly, to explain why such events were unfolding.
In an attempt to show the Egyptian students what the Seniors Honors Convergence class had in mind, the Cabrini students uploaded a video to YouTube explaining what they hoped to accomplish with the project. By October, the students in America and in Egypt were communicating reguarly via Skype, phone, and email.
Simply telling their story to the Cabrini students was a potential hazard to those in the midst of the tumultuous Arab Spring.
“Dr. Glavanis and his graduate students put themselves in potential danger with their honesty and openness,” said Cathy Yungmann, associate professor of communication at Cabrini and faculty advisor for the capstone project. “They provided connections to other students, journalists and photographers in the Middle East who were willing to work with us.”
Combining the skills learned as communication majors with the philosophy and mission of the Justice Matters curriculum, Cabrini students created 18 videos from their interviews, and the Capstone project, YouthVoicesRise.com, took shape.
The stories and videos on the site focus on Middle Eastern job insecurity, women’s rights, political corruption, the new voting process, censorship fears, and what the other youth hopes to change. A news story accompanies each video, providing a description and the process of how and why the Cabrini students produced them.
In November, the College Media Association (CMA) awarded YouthVoicesRise.com a 2012 Pinnacle Award for Best Multimedia Feature Presentation, beating out entries from around the nation; Baylor and Kent State universities were among the finalists.
“YouthVoicesRise.com is a powerful response to the tenor of the times and justice issues facing our brothers and sisters worldwide,” said Marie Angelella George, Ph.D., president of Cabrini College. “These students have demonstrated beautifully what the College’s Education of the Heart means.”
The following students 2012 communication graduates worked on the project:
The CMA honored students in 18 categories. The Cabrini students were honored in the category of Best Multimedia Feature Presentation for “excellence in telling a story to an online audience using multimedia techniques, including interactive graphics, Flash, photography, audio, and video. In addition to the quality of the journalism and creative use of the medium, emphasis [was] placed on the artful blending of multiple media into a single user interface.”
About Cabrini College Students do extraordinary things at Cabrini College, a residential Catholic college welcoming learners of all faiths, cultures and backgrounds. Founded in 1957 by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the College provides a transformational “education of the heart,” focusing on academic excellence, leadership development and a commitment to social justice.
Cabrini offers 1,400 full-time undergraduate students more than 30 majors, pre-professional programs, concentrations and minors. Nearly 1,400 students are in graduate studies programs at the main campus in Radnor, Pa., and at 12 off-site locations. The College’s serene 112-acre campus is located 30 minutes from Philadelphia.