Communications students produce oral history video for community

November 04, 2009

Longtime residents of the city of New Kensington shared their recollections of a half-century ago for a Penn State New Kensington project on the history of the area.

Developed by a partnership between the campus' communications program and the Northern Westmoreland Foundation, the “New Kensington Is” video is a collection of interviews with older residents of the city and the surrounding areas, emphasizing the stories of the mid-century generations. The oral history of residents who worked for Alcoa in the 1940s, 1950s, or 1960s illuminates the rich cultural and social history of the American community.

Allen Larson, assistant professor of communications, and Abhinav Aima, instructor in communications, headed the project. Jessalyn Oliver, a 2008 Communications graduate, served as assistant producer.

"We rediscovered and highlighted some of the many attributes that were a part of New Kensington’s past, present and future," Larson said. "Capturing and preserving the personal stories of the residents who lived that past can help remind us of these basic ideals and provide important perspective to guide future initiatives.”

The first-cut of the video previewed in July as a part of the Alcoa exhibit in the campus Art Gallery. The final version premiered Nov. 4 at Westmoreland County Community College in downtown New Kensington. Guests received a copy of the DVD. Larson's current communications' students produced, packaged, and distributed the copies.

For information on purchasing the DVD, call the Northern Westmoreland Foundation at 724-339-6616.


(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 05, 2009