MJ-school students travel to 19 cities, 4 continents in 2016-17

The UNC School of Media and Journalism had an incredible year of national and international travel opportunities for students.

From covering the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro to being invited to Super Bowl Media Week in Houston, students traveled to 19 cities across four different continents in 2016-17, reporting on local news, learning about the international media markets and networking with alumni. The MJ-school is proud to provide these opportunities to help students become global leaders in their chosen fields. 

Interested in supporting immersive student experiences?  Please contact Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations Wendy G. Borman at (919) 962-9467 or wendy_borman@unc.edu.


International travel

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | 2016 Summer Olympics 

July 18 - Aug. 21, 2016

To kick off the 2016-17 year, 25 students traveled to Brazil with the MJ-school to cover the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in partnership with the Olympic News Service. UNC was one of only two universities in the world that worked with the Olympic News Service at the Rio Olympics. Each student was given a specific sport to cover at a specific venue in addition to other assignments. Four other students reported about athletes with North Carolina ties in partnership with professional media outlets throughout the state.

Read more

Cerro Pachón, Chile | MEJO 625: Media Hub

Nov. 12-18, 2016

Students traveled to the Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope on Cerro Pachón, Chile, to document the connection between the UNC Department of Physics and Astronomy and this important research installation. The telescope, which was designed by two UNC alumni, Bruce Carney and Wayne Christiansen, has pioneered the way for other telescopes in the area.  

Learn more about Media Hub

Coquimbo, Chile | MEJO 625: Media Hub

Nov. 12-18, 2016

The Chilean Coast was struck by a disastrous earthquake and tsunami in September 2015. The events caused massive devastation, leading to a loss of more than 9,000 homes and leaving thousands more without electricity. Students traveled to Coquimbo to investigate the impact that the natural disaster had on local fishermen.

Learn more about Media Hub

Havana, Cuba | MEJO 584: Documentary Multimedia Storytelling

March 9-18, 2017

During UNC's spring break, 23 students traveled to Cuba to create a multimedia documentary website — Cuba's New Wave — that explores the unique youth culture in Cuba. The trip was led by Professor Pat Davison and adjunct instructor Tamara Rice.

Learn more about MEJO 584

London and Paris | Workroom FashionMash program

March 10-15, 2017 (London) and March 15-18, 2017 (Paris)

Five students from the Workroom FashionMash program traveled to London and Paris to study fashion media, branding, design and production during UNC's spring break. The trip was led by Professor of the Practice Dana McMahan and featured networking meetings with fashion entrepreneurs, an inside look at fashion design schools and visits to Refinery 29 London and Cartier Paris.

Read more about Workroom's FashionMash program

London | MEJO 447: International Media Markets

March 10-18, 2017

Associate Professor Rhonda Gibson led her class to London over spring break to explore the British media market. Gibson and her class visited companies such as Google, Bloomberg, Facebook, BBC News and APCO Worldwide. Before the trip, the class learned about the history of media and communication industries in the United Kingdom, exploring both similarities and differences with that of the United States.

Learn more about MEJO 447

Vieques, Puerto Rico | MEJO 625: Media Hub

March 29 - April 5, 2017

Four students traveled to Puerto Rico to cover the reintroduction of native species into the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge. They also reported on the future development of the refuge as more of it becomes open to the public. The North Carolina Zoo has served as a breeding ground for one of Puerto Rico’s critically endangered species, the Puerto Rican crested toad. In the fall, the zoo sent 400 tadpoles back to Puerto Rico to be reintroduced to their native habitats.

Learn more about Media Hub

Dunkirk, France | MEJO 625: Media Hub

March 30 - April 5, 2017

In Dunkirk, France, women in refugee camps deal with frequent exploitation and sexual assault. UNC students visited Dunkirk's refugee camps to investigate the lack of privacy women have and — with the French presidential election kicking off that weekend — to investigate the influence of the refugee problem on the election. 

Learn more about Media Hub

Hallstatt, Austria | MEJO 625: Media Hub

April 4-6, 2017

Four students traveled to Austria to cover Memory of Mankind, an organization that takes intangible data that is only as relevant as the technology on which it was produced and creates physical representations of the information. Students contrasted Austria's attempt to preserve history to North Carolina's, as North Carolina itself has power in determining the preservation of archives and public information. In addition, students spoke to representatives of Google’s data center (based in Lenoir, North Carolina) about the probability of a loss of data and the need for a physical copy.

Learn more about Media Hub

Cauca, Colombia | MEJO 625: Media Hub

April 13-20, 2017

In October 2016, Colombians voted against a peace deal to end a 52-year conflict with the country’s largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Some Colombian families threatened by the FARC have found refuge in North Carolina. UNC students traveled to Colombia to consult Colombian lawyers, government officials and the local population and learn more about peace in Colombia.

Learn more about Media Hub

China | MEJO 447: International Media Markets

May 14-26, 2017

This short-term global immersion brought students to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong to explore the Chinese media market. Before the trip, the class studied issues surrounding Chinese media, culture and political life. While in China, the group visited various media companies and outlets such as BBDO, APCO Worldwide and the South China Morning Post, as well as our partner school, the University of Hong Kong.

Learn more about this global immersion program

Domestic travel

New York City | 2016 Fall Break networking trip

Oct. 19-24 2016

Students met with MJ-school grads working at The New Yorker, CNN, CBS News, BuzzFeed, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, LinkedIn, Edelman, Cohn & Wolfe and more. The alumni provided students with tours of their offices to learn about the different departments within each company and the companies' cultures.

Learn more about the MJ-school networking trips


Washington, D.C. | 2016 networking trip

Nov. 17-18, 2016 

MJ-school students traveled to Washington, D.C., to visit alumni working at GMMB, Ogilvy PR, iStrategyLabs and Sierra Club. During the short trip, students networked with grads in the D.C. area through company visits and at an MJ Day — Washington, D.C. alumni reception, which was joined by Dean Susan King.

Learn more about the MJ-school networking trips

Houston, Texas | MEJO 271: Advertising Copy and Communication

Jan. 30 - Feb. 5, 2017

Five students from Professor of the Practice Dana McMahan's MEJO 271: Advertising Copy and Communication course won the 2016 Fox Sports University Challenge for Fox Sports PROcast. After developing research and creative strategies to grow excitement and awareness for Fox Sports PROcast, the students pitched their ideas to Fox Sports executives. They were then invited to Super Bowl Media Week where they saw their ideas brought to life on-site in Houston.

Read more

Charlotte, North Carolina | 2017 networking trip

Feb. 2-4, 2017

Students selected for the Charlotte networking trip visited alumni working at NASCAR, Charlotte magazine and BooneOakley. While in Charlotte, students talked to MJ-school grads about their careers, living in the Queen City and what it takes to land a similar position.

Learn more about the MJ-school networking trips

San Francisco | 2017 Spring Break networking trip

March 12-16, 2017 

During the 2017 Spring Break networking trip, students met with professionals from Google, Facebook, POPSUGAR, FleishmanHillard, Vessel and Airbnb. The students spent time in both San Francisco and Silicon Valley and were led by Director of Career Services Jay Eubank.

Learn more about the MJ-school networking trips

Chicago | 2017 PRSSA Bateman Competition

May 9-10, 2017 

For the first time ever, members of the Carolina chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America attended the national PRSSA Bateman Competition finals. Carter Chambliss '18, Rachel Rhodes '18, Sarah Sturdivant '18, Sloan Taylor '18 and Associate Professor Lois Boynton traveled to Chicago to face teams from the University of Alabama and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After presenting their campaigns to a panel of judges on Wednesday, May 10, the Carolina PRSSA team Emotional WELLness placed first in the nation.

Learn more about the PRSSA Bateman Competition

San Francisco | 2017 Hearst Journalism Awards

May 29 - June 2, 2017 

Dean Susan King and Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies Charlie Tuggle joined five students in San Francisco for the annual Hearst Journalism Awards to compete for individual championship placement. Claire Collins, a May 2017 graduate from Burlington, won the multimedia competition. Jessica O’Connor, a May 2017 graduate from Concord, won the radio competition. O’Connor also won the top radio story of the year award.

Mac Snyder, a Fall 2016 graduate from Charlotte, placed third nationally in the photo competition. Casey Toth, a May 2017 graduate from Cary, placed fifth in multimedia, and John Thomas, a May 2017 graduate from Elizabethtown, placed fifth in radio.

In addition to the individual championships, the MJ-school brought its overall collegiate national championship total to seven — five since 2010 — for the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, more than any other university.

Learn more about the Hearst Journalism Awards

Washington, D.C. | Sharoky Fellowship Program

Summer 2017

Thanks to the Sharoky Fellowship Program, 14 students and recent grads from the MJ-school are living and interning in Washington, D.C., in Summer 2017.

Through a generous donation from the Sharoky Family Foundation, students are each awarded a summer fellowship to assist with living expenses while participating in an internship opportunity in Washington, D.C. The remaining funds from the Sharoky family's gift are used to underwrite enrichment and networking events held during the summer for Sharoky Fellows.

On Thursday, June 8, the fellows gathered for an annual Sharoky luncheon to meet and thank Mel and Alexias Sharoky. The program has supported dozens of students in the decade since alumna Kate Sharoky's 2006 graduation from the MJ-school.

Learn more about the 2017 Sharoky Fellowship Program

All photos taken and provided by students and faculty of the MJ-school