Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Healthy TU Student: Past and Present

My goal with this beat directed toward health and college life was to bring a more holistic approach to what we view as healthy. True health goes way beyond eating your recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables, it is about how you connect to the world around you. As my slide show subject, Julie Medina, put so beautifully: "[for me] health is about loving yourself and having that love influence others."

My final story is the closest to my heart. It is about a healthy Towson graduate, Norman Barzak. He loves his Nintendo wii and teaches an art class every Monday and Wednesday. He just happens to be a graduate of Towon's class of 1960. He has more life in him than many people I know that are 1/3 his age.

The ultimate goal of living a healthy lifestyle in your 20's is to set yourself up for a long and happy life. He is living proof of that.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Slideshow Story Idea:

The person I have chosen to interview is Julie Medina, a 21 year-old- junior and Anthropology major at Towson. She is not just any college junior. She is committed to helping others and dedicated to bettering the lives of strangers.
In her sophomore year she entered a program that took her to Thailand for seven months where she worked with underprivileged children. (As seen in the picture to the left). When she returned home, she became active in a Baltimore City homeless shelter, that she helps organize and run once a week.
She is worthy of your two minutes because she willing to reach out to the world at a relatively young age. She is an inspiration to every student who says they do not have enough time or resources to give back. Even as a full time college student with a part time job, she makes it her mission to seek out the people who need the most help.

Friday, April 10, 2009

An Uncertain Future: A Stressful Present

Over the weekend I read the article: "Recession Anxiety Seeps Into Everyday Lives," by Pam Belluck. It is a feature article that weaves together the separate stories of five people, all different ages, all living in different parts of the United States. They all have one common problem, they have all slipped into serious anxiety and/or depression due to the failing economy.

None of them have lost their jobs and they are all in relatively good financial positions but they cannot help but worry about the "what-ifs," what if they loose their job, what if they cannot get work?

The story that struck me the most was that of was Anne Hubbard, a 52-year-old graphic designer. She had not lost her job and her and her husband were financially stable and yet she had panic attacks that caused her to loose 12 pounds.

"She said the weakening economy made her 'fear that even if you do everything right, something bad can happen to you.'" Belluck also gave statistics that showed how the recession is affecting the economy nationally. "In an American Psychological Association poll in September, 80 percent reported the economy’s causing significant stress, up from 66 percent last April. The National Sleep Foundation said 27 percent of people surveyed last fall had sleeplessness because of economic anxiety."

I found this article to be both informative and eye-opening. It is easy to think of how the economy is affecting people who have already lost their jobs, their 401ks or their homes, but this article showed how it was affecting the mental health of those people who are anticipating the worst.

I really liked the way Belluck took the stories of five unrelated individuals to show how anxiety can touch people from every walk of life. I would have done less stories, however. I would take two or three people and go into depth, maybe to a follow-up or talk to their families. It felt that just when I was understanding the individual the writer would go onto the next. But overall, I really enjoyed a different point of view on the how the economic crisis is affecting the health of all Americans.
Image found at

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hidden America Video: Children of the Mountains

The video I looked at was the "Hidden America: Children of the Mountains," by Diane Sawyer. It was a look at the lives of the children of rural Appalachia. The first shot was wide and set the mood of the entire segment which showed the beauty of the land and the plight of its people. The next shot zoomed in on a shack in which twelve people lived.

When Sawyer was interviewing a young Appalachian girl, Courtney, the camera would zoom in on her face, then her hands. And when she would be talking about her sleeping arrangements they would show her lying on a small, crowded bed. Most scenes would start off with wide shots and as the interview would progress and become more intimate there was smaller and more specific shots. The specific shots lined up with what Sawyer or the person she was interviewing was describing.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Students with children and the struggles they face

The idea for this story started with a conversation with a woman who's daughter is in my niece's daycare class. I noticed when I was picking up my niece that she had a Towson sweatshirt on. I told her that I attend school there and she told me of her plans to start attending in the fall. Her name is Alexandra Ciola and her one-year-old daughter's name is Jayden. She is currently supporting Jayden as a single mother while she attends Essex Community College full time.
Before having a chance to talk with her I had never considered what it would be like to juggle school with the responsibilities of a parent.
After doing some digging I set up a meeting with the head of university childcare at Towson and learned the details of a wonderful system. Daycare at Towson came out of necessity and on the wings of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Harriet Durthirt (director of university childcare) was wonderful to interview. She had so much insight on the entire program because she had been with it since its birth.
What I hoped to do with this story was give a different student perspective. Please take a moment to listen and you decide if I achieved what I set out to do.

Check Out My Feature Story!

The story is called: "Student discovers piece of mind," and it is a something that I am very proud of.

It is a profile of Towson student Erin Brennan who fought back stress with exercise and a positive outlook. Her story is inspiring and has the potential to be very helpful for someone who is going through a similar situation.

Patrick Cully, another Towson student, and Sara Van Leuven, a yoga instructor are also featured in the story. Both sources allow for a range of perspectives from different demographics. Hopefully you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Audio Story Idea- Students and Mothers

For my audio story I would like to bring to light an important minorty of Towson students: single parents. I will interview a single mother who juggles the demanding scheduals of both a full time student and a parent. I will also interview the head of the club Students with Children. I would really like to showcase the hard work it takes to have the title of both a parent and a college student and the affect it has on both parent and child.

I would also like to look into the resourses that the campus provides for student parents, such as daycare and emotional support.
Alec Bradley Sutorius, 4, wearing his mom's glasses. Picture by Alissa Sutorius