Dear Alumni and Friends,
Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for our faculty and staff who have worked so hard this year to support and encourage our students through the ongoing pandemic. I am also thankful for our dedicated alumni and industry partners who have supported our work and cheered us on as we cut the ribbon on the Experience Lab, launched Heartland Webzine and Nebraska Nightly, welcomed incredible alums back to campus and celebrated the achievements of our hardworking faculty. Thank you to everyone who engaged in and supported these endeavors.
I am also thankful for members of our community who have called for changes in our college. A year ago, I was contacted by a group of CoJMC alums to discuss the Global Eyewitness program, an endowed program providing UNL CoJMC students interested in photojournalism, multimedia and writing the opportunity to travel internationally and develop compelling stories.
During our conversations, the alums expressed their frustration over the stagnation of the program. They felt the program had remained virtually unchanged over the years despite changing societal expectations. It was clear to me that these former students cared deeply about the program but were also hurt by the College’s lack of attention to the concerns they and others had expressed over the years.
In the spring of 2021, we established a task force to review the program and chart a path for change. The task force had representatives from the program’s alumni, the Offices of Global Affairs and Diversity and Inclusion, affiliated faculty from across campus, and CoJMC faculty, staff and current students. The conversations that followed were often difficult and even painful, but they were essential to making progress. With the help of committed task force members and the support of our community, we will launch a revised Global Eyewitness program this coming spring. Please take a moment to read the full Statement on Global Eyewitness.
We have had many successes this year and we have a lot of work ahead. Thank you for celebrating our achievements and for holding us accountable. We want you to be as proud to call us your alma mater as we are to call you an alum.
Happy Thanksgiving and Go Big Red.