Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hello, Wagner. Hello, George.

I HAVE RETURNED TO STUDENT STATUS after a seven year hiatus. I've enrolled in the continuing education department at Temple University, largely because it's pretty much free (I work at Temple) but also because I'm thinking of pursuing doctoral studies in the near future.

History in general - and public history specifically - appeals to me because I am a journalist. As first-drafters of history, I believe that journalists have a responsibility to get facts straight, not water down the content, and provide the context around the primary event. In our attention deficit, 140-character microblog-loving world, context, I fear, is greatly missing.

I'm interested in bridging traditional academic research and the non-academic world, creating readable scholarship - without the stigma of being overtly commercial.

I'm not sure there is such a thing. But I enjoy researching and writing.

My intellectual bio: suburban kid educated in Delaware public schools; graduated with communications degree from Loyola College in Maryland; hold masters degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Pennsylvania (master of liberal arts). I have been at various times a photojournalist, features writer, crime reporter, magazine writer and videographer. Sometimes multiple things at once.

Now, I teach journalism at Temple and freelance words and images on the side.

I'm very interested in the class project working with the Wagner Free Institute of Science (above and left), if only because it is a great story. A Victorian-era organization that became the first branch of the free library, containing skeletons, bugs, birds, fossils and other fun stuff? In the heart of North Philly? And it's relatively unknown?

Yeah, I'm interested.

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