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11 Purdue students selected to work with media in Beijing during Olympics

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Eleven Purdue University students and three recent graduates will spend seven weeks in China helping the news media covering the 2008 Olympic Games in China.

“These students were selected from more than 100 Purdue applicants,” said Jane Natt, an assistant professor of communication who will lead the group. “They will spend a month in intensive training learning about media services and the sport we will be responsible for, which is bicycling. We will learn about track cycling, motocross racing, mountain bike racing and road racing so we can help gather quotes from the athletes, write recaps of the races and assist media with photography and video needs.”

The students will serve as Olympics News Service liaisons for the English-speaking media during the Aug. 8-24 games. The students will arrive by July 7 to begin training and orientation, provided by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. Purdue’s Department of Communication is organizing the student group at the request of the Beijing Olympic Committee and the Communication University of China. Purdue’s Confucius Institute also provided training in May to help the Purdue students understand Chinese customs, language and business practices. Yang Dong, a professor from the Communication University of China who was a visiting scholar in the Department of Communication, also assisted Purdue with arrangements.

The students will receive course and internship credit in this study abroad experience.

The participating students are:

  • Val Arias, a senior from Arlington Heights, Ill., who is studying mass communication and film/video studies.
  • Leroy Bridges, a senior from Terre Haute, Ind., who is studying professional writing.
  • Alysha Daytner, from Lowell, Ind. She graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in communication.
  • Traci Gillig, a senior from Roselle, Ill., who is studying communication.
  • Kelsey Habig, a senior from Westfield, Ind., who is studying communication.
  • Christina Harp from Crawfordsville, Ind. She graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communication.
  • Chris Hetzner, a junior from Carmel, Ind., who is studying communication.
  • Lauren Marguerite Harrington from Munster, Ind. She graduated in May with bachelor’s degrees in communication, professional writing and creative writing.
  • Jason Myles, a sophomore from West Lafayette, Ind., who is studying mass communication and German.
  • Clinton Husted, a senior from Noblesville, Ind., who is studying professional writing.
  • Megan Jahrling, a senior from Mount Prospect, Ill., who is studying visual communications design and advertising.
  • Patrick Qi, a senior from New York City, who is studying English.
  • Andrea Thomas, a senior from Lafayette, Ind., who is studying creative writing.
  • Phil Wrighthouse, a junior from Attica, Ind., who is studying communication.

The Communication University of China, which is one of the top-ranked communication programs in the nation, will provide campus housing for the students. Purdue students will be responsible for tuition and transportation. Students will write daily blogs about their experiences that will be made available to their hometown newspapers and television stations.

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