With scores of University of Miami School of Communication students filing stories and taking photos before and during the 21st annual Society of Environmental Journalists conference, new School of Communication Dean Gregory J. Shepherd said he could not be more pleased with the students’ involvement.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to get real-world journalism experience with experts coming here to Miami,” said Shepherd, who joined the school in July. “Environmental issues are a big concern for this generation. These issues will be here with us forever, so it’s important for us to solve the problem.”
Shepherd, who spent the past decade at Ohio University, also served as an assistant professor at the University of Kansas and the University of Iowa after earning a doctorate in speech communication from the University of Illinois.
The conference, which is covering a number of pressing environmental concerns from endangered species to climate change, has stirred a generally positive reaction from Miami’s local community of journalists as more than 1,000 and professional journalists are expected to attend.
The University of Miami is hosting the five-day conference, which begins Oct.19 and will focus on the importance of communication and becoming more proactive regarding issues such as sustainability, resource conservation and climate change. Hosting this conference is just another example of how the University of Miami is committed to making a positive environmental impact on not just South Florida, but the world, Shepherd said.
In 2005, the University of Miami launched its “Green U” campaign, which includes a number of recycling and conservation initiatives aimed at reducing pollution and increasing energy efficiency.
The student body’s contribution cannot be overstated, Shepherd said.
“The students at most universities are the driving force behind green programs. Quite often, it is the students who drive the faculty and the school to change.” #