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Girls Inc. students enjoy University journalism workshop

A developing partnership between the University and Girls Inc. of Chattanooga led to a successful journalism workshop for twelve young women, who produced their own eight-page tabloid newspaper titled Our Voices.

“This experience has been successful beyond our wildest dreams!” said Maxine Bailey, Executive Director, Girls Incorporated of Chattanooga.

Dr. Betsy Alderman, UC Foundation Associate Professor in Communication served as the faculty advisor to recent communication graduate Chloe Morrison and communication student Ashley Hopkins, who planned the curriculum and taught the workshop.

“Both Dr. Betsy Alderman and Dr. Kit Rushing (Head of Department of Communication) caught our vision in a way that really appealed to exclusively female students. They also understood that summer is a great time to work with the girls,” Bailey said. “The UTC students they chose, Chloe and Ashley, knew exactly how to motivate the girls and encourage them to find their strengths.”

Mamie Richie, a student at Red Bank
High and Tiffany Jenkins, a student at
Brainerd High. Jenkins was chosen
as the editor of the paper

Part of the appeal of the workshop was that it was not as structured as a traditional classroom. Students were free to physically move when they needed to, and they also had the freedom to develop their own ideas.

The summer workshop was a cooperative project of the Chattanooga branch of Girls Incorporated, The Chattanooga Times Free Press, Night to Remember Incorporated, The Ruth Holmberg Trust, and the Communication Department of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

In evaluations at the conclusion of the workshop, three of the students said they felt strongly that they would go to college to pursue a journalism career.

“For girls of this age, there is nothing like being on a college campus. The girls who participated in this workshop were from very different backgrounds, and yet they proved they could work well in teams. It is very exciting to see how well they adapted, and that college is now a natural consideration after they finish their high school requirements,” Bailey said.

Discussions are already underway for the communication department to plan and teach a television camp for Girls Inc. next summer.

“ I would like to see our girls participate in the journalism workshop again, and additionally, get some students involved in the production side of television. UTC has the perfect studio where they could learn,” said Bailey.

Read all about it; see the students’ newspaper, video, and cache of photos online.

Additionally, you may read about the science and math component of the Girls Inc. Thinking SMART Academy at the University.

July 26, 2005

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