Community Challenge: Leaders of tomorrow
The module Community Challenge pushes Summer Scholars to reflect on personal characteristics and challenges them to examine their own lifestyles in hopes to promote social change. The module is taught by Dr. Michelle Cosmah, who is an associate clinical professor at Miami University.
Summer Scholars work with Dr. Michelle Cosmah (left back) in McGuffey Hall. — Photo by Abbey Malley
Communities thrive when leaders take action that produces a greater good. These Summer Scholars are practicing taking action to eventually change policy, demand equality, and engage the community. In class, they are learning about the different methods that great leaders use to excel, such as creativity. In the classroom, the walls are covered with several different posters, pictures, and drawings created by the students, that allowed the students to think creatively. One of the many projects that are on display is the puzzle that the students had to think outside of the box to accomplish.
The class has a specific list of steps to obtain a leadership role in a respective way, and lead appropriately. The activities done in class are all modeled by the five-step process. Everyday activities are student-led by two students. The students in-charge explain the rules and moderate the fairness and quality of the activity.
The activity allows the other students to become mentally active, by providing them with a question or situation to solve. Coincidentally, the five-step process allows the students to accomplish meet the end of the activity.
The students had to decide on a final project to present at the recognition dinner. Corrine Rogers, a student of the class, states “The goal of our final project is to leave a lasting impact on the campus, yet it should be simple enough that it will be used in the daily life of someone on campus.” All the ideas pitched were created by the students, and they hosted a vote to determine which idea they would attempt. The winning idea is called the Umbrella Project. The plan is a take one, leave one umbrella system, and to have positive messages attached to the umbrellas. They researched which buildings had this biggest student population during the school year. If someone were to be caught in the rain, they could take the umbrella and return it to a different drop off point on the campus. Rodgers jokes, “The inspiration came to us when we were running to class from lunch in a downpour.”
The class is a creative way for students to reflect on who they want to be as a leader. It was interesting to see teenagers who think they are all leaders together in one place: who becomes the leader of the leaders?
Five Questions for Chip Mahaney
Chip Mahaney, the emerging talent leader at WCPO-TV in Cincinnati, Ohio, met with Media Matters students on July 18. He gave the group a tour of the entire building — with a final stop on a high porch where weather anchors sometimes broadcast forecasts. Later, students followed up with him, with more questions.
Question: You said that change was the only constant in journalism. Can you explain how your job has changed due to journalism needing new positions?
Answer: I joined the Scripps company in 2008 on the corporate staff, and I worked for the home office in a variety of leadership roles at the corporate office from 2008-2016. Prior to 2008, I worked in broadcast newsrooms, and my last job 2007-2008 was as a news director for another company in Richmond, Virginia. In 2016, I had the urge to go back into a newsroom, and WCPO had an opening here in my adopted city. I was very thankful to get to lead the talented WCPO team for 2.5 years. When another job back at the corporate office opened up, I took it. And now WCPO has another talented leader. In my 11 years at Scripps, I’ve had 6 titles and 5 bosses, and I’m the better for all the adventure this company has given me.
Q: As an Emerging Talent Leader, who exactly are you looking for? Does the person have to be on air? Or are you looking for people behind the scenes as well? Do they need to obtain certain qualifications?
A: My new job is the identity, engage, recruit, and retain the next generation of coworkers for Scripps. No, they aren’t all on-air. I’m beginning my work focused on news employees, but will soon expand to sales and engineering areas. The qualifications are stated in each job description we post, so they’re all over the map in terms of skills/experience required. Beyond that, however, I often find myself attracted to candidates who exhibit two characteristics: curiosity and hustle.
Q: You mentioned that you have a strong curiosity and knowledge of trends. Can you elaborate on what type of trends you find most interesting in technology and candidates you try to recruit?
A: I don’t know if there are trends among the candidates themselves. I do think trends in technology (especially involving communications) and employment drives a lot of our thinking. Social media and mobile phones have revolutionized how we communicate, both inter-personally, in groups, and in journalism. Further, the early-career people coming out of college now have it much easier than any other generation. They’re walking into an economy that is nearing “full employment,” which economists would define as about 3%. That means choices for job seekers abound, and companies are rushing to invest in getting the best supply of talent on the market.
Q: You said a very big value of the station was building a human connection. How do you personally use human connections to your advantage in your job?
A: Absolutely. Over 35 years of being in this business, I have amassed a network that stretches far and wide. 5,000 LinkedIn connections, 4,000 Twitter followers, 2,200 Facebook friends. I don’t personally know everyone on these lists, of course, but I have relationships with most of them. Having this type of network has benefited me in my career over and over again, helping me succeed at whatever job I’m doing at the moment. I can always find an ally or someone to help. And in my current role, that network leads me to new and interesting people every day.
Q: Where do you look for talent? How do you know if someone will make a good asset to the team? Do you have a strategy?
A: Social media is a game-changer in terms of looking for new people. LinkedIn is a powerful tool to search for people with certain skills and experiences, and to see how interesting candidates are connected to each other, and sometimes back to me (through common friends.) But in the end, there’s nothing more important than meeting people face to face, like on station tours(!), shaking hands, having a conversation, finding out common interests and figuring out if there’s some relationship we can build or some kind of work we can do together. Finding new great people to work with is one of the great joys of my job, but it’s always been one of the great joys of my life.
Emma Grupe: Spreading Love
Emma Grupe is not your average teen. This pink-haired, 17-year-old is a fighter and supporter of several groups with specific struggles.
She is a part of the LGBTQ+ community, identifying as bisexual. She is the rising president of The Gender Sexuality AllianceClub, also known as GSA, at Oakwood High School, where she will be a senior in the fall.
GSA used to promote its name as “Gay-Straight Alliance Club,” but Grupe helped make the club more inclusive, by changing the name. Grupe is actively making sure that all members of the GSA have a safe place for dialogue and support.
Grupe is very open about her sexual orientation. “I couldn’t be more lucky to have such a loving family and friend group, who are all so supportive of me,” she said. “However, I know that’s not the case for everyone. I feel like it is my job to make sure that everyone I know is supported and loved, no matter what.” All summer long she has been brainstorming ideas and planning events to raise awareness and funds for GSA.
Grupe suffers from mental illness as well. She remembers not wanting to get help when she was younger because it made her feel weak. “I was sick, but mental illness wasn’t talked about,” she said. “I thought I was the only one.” Before she was diagnosed, she specifically remembers being told to “try harder” as a fix her mental state. As the president of GSA, she makes sure no one in the club feels that way. If anyone is showing any signs of mental discomfort or says something about harming themselves, she is adamant about helping them find appropriate help.
More recently, within the past three months, Grupe has been losing hearing in her left ear. She discovered her hearing loss while listening to music with headphones, thinking they were broken until she switched ears. In response, she plans on taking an ASL, American Sign Language, this upcoming school year.
“In these past three months I have learned more about the importance of human connection than ever before,” she said.
Grupe believes human connection is important for society — so has appreciated the many members of the impaired hearing community coming up to her and being animated that she knows sign language. She compared signing ASL to being in a new country, where you do not know the language: you feel lost. She now aims to raise awareness about hearing loss and help others learn ASL.
Given her work with GSA and now ASL, Grupe knows the importance of connecting with others. In both pursuits, she aims make people she meets comfortable with who they are, and able to express themselves. Grupe does not recognize herself as an activist, instead insisting that she is just “living my life, and spreading love.”
Julia Loncala: Hello senior year!
Seventeen-year-old Julia Loncala lives in a quiet household.
Loncala is an only child, which according to her, made her childhood rather lonely. In kindergarten to early elementary school, she always had difficulty making friends. Then, she tried out for an all-star competitive cheer team, and earned a spot.
“Cheer gave me a backbone on my social life, and I was pretty good at it,” she said.
Loncala and her team have been rewarded for several accomplishments, such as first overall at countless competitions, as well as qualifying for nationals in Orlando, Florida. However, this cheerleader is making a few changes this upcoming season, as she will be resigning from the team. Cheer opened up a chapter in her life that helped her to branch out, make friends, and learn what it means to be a team player.
“Now I find myself missing out on social events that I would have never been invited to if it weren’t for cheer,” she explained.
Loncala will be a senior in the fall at Eastlake North High School, in Cleveland, and wants to focus more on academics and attend homecoming and prom. She plans on becoming a cheerleader for Eastlake North High School’s football team as she says goodbye to competitive cheering. Although cheering for her school will still be time-consuming, she will not have to travel nearly as much as she did for her all-star squad.
Loncala is excited to take a break from the hustle and bustle that came with being an all-star competitive cheerleader, and ready to have fun this school year.
My Time As A Summer Scholar
During my time with Professor Newberry, I not only learned the history and importance of journalism but I got an inside look on journalism today and learned why media matters. We spent time discovering how and why journalism started and transitioned into what journalism is today.
During my time as a Summer Scholar, I met with several different established journalists in person and through the computer screen. Each journalist highlighted several different types and mediums of journalism. However, throughout all of the meetings, one thing stayed constant: journalism is always changing. Personally, this is the most compelling thing about journalism.
Before I spent two weeks studying journalism, I believed that there was a fight between journalism and media, but I have discovered that it a dual effort, more of a package deal.
The trend of new social media platforms and the advancement of technology has made discovering new stories and searching for sources and other forms of information much more accessible. Although, social media could also be seen as a danger to platforms. Journalistic platforms and outlets may find themselves facing a crisis of citizen journalism and low subscription rates. The use of social media has allowed people to believe they can get stories and articles with a click of a button. However, every medium of journalism is and will continue to run as a business, which needs money to survive.
In my future I definitely see myself entering the world of journalism, but I still have plenty of time to figure out which specific field I would like best, although I do have a few ideas. I was illuminated when Bethany Bruner was answering questions about working for the Columbus Dispatch. This intrigued me because I want to be able to write different stories and not only a certain topic. Writing for the dispatch allows Bethany to focus on crime, which sounds specific, but yet is broad enough that she is writing about murders, gangs, and several other topics. I also highly enjoyed taking a tour of the WCPO TV station in Cincinnati. A highlight of being at the WCPO station was that I was able to see all of the different jobs that go into producing a new broadcast. It opened my mind to all of the different aspects that are needed to make broadcast journalism possible.
With journalism today it is easy to get caught up in “Buzzfeed Quizzes” and “Who Wore What Best.” My two weeks at Miami University allowed me to understand that journalism is the “fourth estate” which keeps government, politicians, and people accountable for their actions, as well as motivating people to be truthful. Journalists comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
About the author
Seventeen-year-old Abbey Malley is from Strongsville, Ohio 一 30 minutes south of Cleveland. She is the youngest of four children in her family. She currently resides with her parents, while her two sisters and brother attend college.
Malley attends Magnificat High School, an all-girl, Catholic High School. At school, she is actively involved in yearbook, on the executive board for the spirit committee, and she is one of 10 social media managers for the school. All her free time is spent at a nearby horse stable. Not only does she ride and compete at horseback riding competitions, but she also has a job at her barn. She in charge of the health and safety of almost 30 horses. She also helps with the upkeep of the barn, as well as teach beginner horseback riding lessons. After she graduates from high school, she plans to attend college and earn a degree, preferably in journalism. She hopes to finish traveling the world and continue to write over time.