Multimedia journalism students partner with Morgan State in Baltimore

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Nine students from Penn State and four from Morgan State University have been reporting on gentrification in the inner city as part of a collaboration being conducted simultaneously on both campuses by Skype video conferencing and Slack messaging this spring.

During Penn State's spring break — March 4 to 12 — the Penn State students will be working on site in three Baltimore neighborhoods with their counterparts from Morgan State. Prior to doing the fieldwork, the students have been researching and speaking with experts from Baltimore about the issues of class, culture and race that play an important part in understanding the controversial process of gentrification.

The topic was chosen because gentrification affects people in both negative and positive ways. Course instructors Curt Chandler, a senior lecturer of journalism at Penn State, and E.R. Shipp, an associate professor at Morgan State, were interested in helping students to explore a topic that has multiple conflicting and valid points of view. For the Penn State students, the class provides an opportunity to work in an urban environment that is different from State College.

The class is a follow up to a weeklong faculty exchange that sent Chandler to Morgan State in Baltimore and Shipp to Penn State's University Park campus last fall. Because they were working on opposite campuses at the time, the two instructors did not meet in person until they made an exploratory trip to Baltimore in February.

The Penn State students participating in the class include four from China, one from India, two from New Jersey, and one from Philadelphia.

Last Updated March 02, 2017