New course to showcase student work

By Ollie Gratzinger | Editor-in-Chief 

The McAnulty College of Liberal Arts is offering a course involving the production of materials for Praxis Magazine, the college’s yearly publication.

Called Praxis Practicum, the course can be taken for one, two or three credits, and will be co-taught by Communications Manager Fletcher Dunham and Mike Clarke, an anchorman from WTAE.

The course, Dunham said, can also count as an internship, and because it’s a rolling-credit practicum, students can essentially choose their level of time commitment.

“You can take it for as much as you need or as much as you’re able to,” he said.

Praxis showcases student and professor achievements, as well as alumni highlights. A physical copy is still sent out to Duquesne graduates, though the magazine is moving toward a digital base to make room for more multimedia elements, like video and audio files, which students will learn to produce.

While students generally have some freedom in deciding what they’d like to cover, projects typically focus on Duquesne, the college, students, alumni, faculty and newsworthy events such as new programs and notable speakers, according to the press release.

“Students cover stories about things like the First Amendment Conference that Duquesne did [last semester], or the new cybersecurity program that started,” Dunham said. “One student covered the college’s relationship to health sciences in Pittsburgh.”

While journalism majors have made up the majority of Praxis’ students in years past and introductory knowledge of camera equipment or editing is preferred, folks outside of the media program are still encouraged to sign up. Dunham believes anyone can benefit from the skills it hones, regardless of what you’re studying at Duquesne.

“Journalism students, I think, get the most out of it right now, as well as media and communications, but we’re trying to expand the scope a little bit,” he said.

The course aims to teach students how to think on their feet, while also giving them the opportunity to sharpen their narrative skills.

“It’s great hands-on experience. You get to work with a camera and interview people. You get to learn how to craft a story from start to finish,” Dunham said. “You learn how to conceptualize, do research, go out and shoot, log your footage, edit and basically a bit of every step of the process.”

It’s that kind of knowledge that employers seek out in recent graduates. One of last semester’s Praxis students just started at WTAE.

Regarding a long-term goal for the semester, Dunham hopes students will leave the course with a better understanding of the storytelling process.

“Join the class if you’re interested, and we’ll see if we can teach you something,” he said.

Students who would like to learn more or enroll in the course are encouraged to reach out to Dunham at dunhamf@duq.edu, or Clark at news4clark@yahoo.com.

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