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Fulbright Scholar Jay Hartwell with some of the Da Nang University students and faculty after his smart phone video workshop.

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Student Media Advisor Jay Hartwell is spending a year in Hue, Vietnam with a grant through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. There, he will be providing journalism workshops for students at Hue University of Sciences and Da Nang University of Education as well as training journalism professionals.

Hartwell first visited Vietnam a year and a half ago when he spent several weeks teaching journalism to elementary school children. Curious to see how journalism was being taught at the university level, he traveled to Hue University and visited their Department of Journalism and Media Studies. Not only did the program lack resources such as a sufficient supply of computers, but also a campus newspaper, radio or television station where students could implement the skills they were being taught in the classroom.

Hartwell’s goal at Hue University is to establish a student-led media program that he hopes will be integrated into the university’s curriculum and remain after he leaves. Besides Hue and Da Nang University, he will be offering workshops to other journalism programs in the country that are not as well-established, funded or staffed as those at the national universities in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Hartwell plans on traveling to Thai Nguyen University and Can Tho University along with training journalism professionals in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City through the government’s Academy of Journalism and Center for Further Training of Professional Journalists.

He believes that his experience in Vietnam will help him learn how to adapt the American student media experience to a foreign country’s institution. A successful experience at Hue University could act as a model for other universities in Vietnam and Asia where resources are limited. The process could also be applied to Hawaiʻi’s high school media programs, which face similar financial and staffing challenges.

Hartwell has served as student media advisor at UH Mānoa for 16 years, working with the campus’ student newspaper Ka Leo O Hawaiʻi, as well as the literary journal and radio station.

As student media advisor, Hartwell also serves as a faculty member of the university’s Office of Student Life and Development. He has published a book, Nā Mamo: Hawaiian People Today, which won two awards from the Hawaiʻi Book Publishers Association.

In 2012, Hartwell was awarded the College Media Association’s Reid H. Montgomery Distinguished Service Award for his work done on behalf of Hawaiʻi student media programs at the high school and collegiate level.

For more, visit the MidWeek article spotlighting Hartwell and his work in Vietnam.

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