India Week features Montana Journalism student work

Students and faculty who traveled to India in January will share their research in two upcoming events.

The University of Montana School of Journalism had 27 students and faculty take part in the environmental writing and reporting study trip. The students began their reporting on the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve in central India, looking at tiger conservation’s impact on the land, other wildlife and humans living and working on and around the reserve.

Students will be presenting on their trip during UM India Week at a brown bag presentation at noon on March 6 in Don Anderson Hall.  Several students will also be showcasing photography from their trip at Missoula’s Bhavana Gallery at 101 E. Broadway on First Friday, March 7. 

After a week on the tiger reserve the group traveled to Pune, India where they were hosted by the Foundation for Liberal Arts Management and Education (FLAME), India’s first liberal arts college.

Students reported on environmental issues in Pune including clean water access, stray dogs, garbage and air pollution. Professor Emeritus Clem Work, who led the study abroad effort, said students were paired with FLAME students who helped translate, guide and assist.  “We literally could not have done it without them,” Work said.

Work said he enjoyed seeing the students grow in adaptability through finding stories and sources, working through the language barrier, and overcoming any chaos that came their way. “It was a lot of fun to be the organizer of a trip like this, that worked out well,” he said smiling.  “It laid the foundation. Word will spread through students and faculty and another opportunity will materialize.” 

Multimedia instructor Anne Bailey of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine and Montana Journalism Interim Dean Denise Dowling also taught and supervised during the trip. Dowling says, “Many of these students had never been out of the country, so to pick India for their first experience abroad was quite an eye opener. I’m proud of how they managed themselves and represented The University of Montana.”

Jackson Bolstad from Culbertson, Mont. is a senior in the School of Journalism. “This experience showed me another side of journalism,” Bolstad said. He called the trip eye opening and unique as he saw an industrial world on one side of the street and a third world country on the other. 

Senior Brea Gaudioso from Las Vegas, Nev. said it was also her first time abroad.  She added that the trip opened her eyes to environmental, social and political issues. “Going to India changed my life, I feel more awake everyday,” Gaudioso said smiling.  “I value everything so much more.”

To read, view or watch some of the student work, visit www.umt2india.com.

- posted on 03/27/14 -