Senior Scholar exploring passion for journalism on trip to Ireland

By senior year, most students know which field of study they want to pursue. But the declaration doesn’t mean they won’t have the time or ability to explore other areas of interest.

Senior Schreyer Honors College Scholar Bobby Chen is a prime example.

Chen, who is studying international politics and economics, also has a passion for journalism.

“Many Scholars have a wide variety of talents and interests, and at the honors college, we actively encourage Scholars to pursue and combine their passions into unique academic travel opportunities and academic pursuits,” Schreyer Honors College Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Nichola Gutgold said.

As a self-described “nerd” for athletics and photography, Chen was offered the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tackle all of his interests in one trip.

With the Penn State Nittany Lion football team opening its 2014 season in Dublin, Ireland, Chen learned of the chance to cover the game for the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism from center director, John Affleck.

“Working for the Curley Center’s Croke Park Bureau might be the last opportunity during my Penn State career to experience what it’s like to work as a professional journalist,” Chen said. “It’s a career path that I’m very much still considering, so I’m glad I have this chance to help me make that choice down the line.”

“Each week, I meet Scholars who are doing very unique things and often they create one-of-a-kind opportunities for themselves,” Gutgold said. 

Arriving in Ireland a week before the game, Chen and seven fellow Penn State students had the opportunity to travel the country photographing traditional Irish sports such as Gaelic football and other Irish cultural events.

“Ireland has a fascinating political and cultural history,” he said. “So having the opportunity to cover a Penn State game as a photojournalist, while in a storied foreign country, is somewhat of a dream come true for me.”

Aside from taking photos and taking in the sites of Ireland, Chen hopes this trip will further his knowledge of producing news content for media organizations and broaden his experience in international politics and economics.

“I want to learn as much about Irish history and politics as I can while I’m in Dublin,” he said.

The nine-day trip will wrap up when Penn State faces Central Florida at 8:30 a.m. Saturday Aug. 30 (1:30 p.m. Ireland) in what has been billed as the Croke Park Classic.

Once completing his time in Dublin, Chen will return to finish his work in earning a bachelor of arts in international politics, bachelor of science in economics, as well as a certificate in sports journalism in May 2015.

Last Updated September 02, 2014