Tom Hanaway shares “Midwest in the Far East” experience

By Tom Hanaway (@tomhanaway)

By the time students graduate, most get the chance to showcase the skills they learned while in college: biology students present research, art students show their work in exhibits and music students perform at recitals. Journalism students really don’t have a similar event. We get articles published and photos printed, but we never get anything as glamorous as hundreds of people showing up to view our unique talents.

That’s what made The Midwest in the Far East so special to me. It was a time to show what I did this past spring interim and teach people about a country halfway around the world.

From late May to early June, journalism lecturer Grace Lim, journalism student Kristen Manders and I journeyed along with math education and business students to China for a study abroad trip. Kristen and I were multimedia interns while Grace was our fearless leader. Our job was to document the trip by writing a feature story and creating photo galleries, audio podcasts and videos. During the summer we put of all of this material together and did follow-up interviews with students who went on the trip. It might sound like an easy task, but editing dozens of podcasts and combing through thousands of pictures was quite an undertaking.

On Oct. 12, Grace, Kristen and I helped host The Midwest in the Far East in the Reeve Theatre where we presented our work including several videos showing the highlights from the trip. The audience got to witness the math education students teaching lessons in classrooms and the business students touring factories and businesses.  Also in the Steinhilber Art Gallery were photos from the trip, which is the closest I will ever get to having my art hang in a museum.

The best part of the event was seeing former classmates and professors show up and compliment me on a job well done. It was great to see so many people that had such an impact on my life view the pictures I took and listen to the interviews I conducted.

This was one of the many unique opportunities that the Department of Journalism gave me. At some schools, professors rarely remember students’ names, but at UW Oshkosh they fully support you every step of your education, even showing up to events to personally congratulate you on the work you’ve done.

Click here to read more about The Midwest in the Far East.

Tom Hanaway is a 2011 graduate of UW Oshkosh with a major in  journalism. He formerly interned in social media for the Journalism Department and Reeve Union. 


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