Native American students get digital training at Cronkite School

July 15, 2013

Native American students from nine states will participate in a digital journalism program this week at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

The student program was developed as part of the National Native Media Conference, which will take place July 18-21, in Tempe, Ariz. The students will get training in multimedia and journalism fundamentals at the Cronkite School, then produce multimedia stories for the Native American Journalists Association conference newspaper and its website. They also will produce a TV news broadcast. Download Full Image

The 20 Native American students come from high schools and colleges in Arizona, California, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota and Utah. The students, who were selected by a committee of professional Native American journalists, will be housed in the Taylor Place residence hall on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus.

“The Cronkite School is proud to host these young aspiring journalists,” said Anita Luera, director of the Cronkite School’s High School Journalism Institute. “We want to share the best of what we have to offer at Cronkite with the students who will be the future storytellers of their communities.”

The National Native Media Conference is hosted by NAJA in partnership with Native Public Media. About 250 media professionals from around the country are expected to attend. The conference features workshops and panels designed to improve reporting on and delivery of Native news and opportunities for networking among Native American media professionals.

Prior to the conference, the Cronkite School’s Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism will conduct a seminar on computer-assisted watchdog reporting for conference attendees.

Mary Hudetz, vice president of NAJA and an editor at The Associated Press’ West Regional Desk in Phoenix, said the student program is reflective of NAJA’s “deep commitment to creating opportunities for the next generation of Native journalists, and we are proud the Cronkite School is a partner in our efforts this year as we prepare to welcome an especially outstanding class."

The NAJA program is one of several training institutes held at Cronkite each year. Earlier this summer the school hosted high school journalism teachers in the Reynolds High School Journalism Institute, high school journalism students in digital and broadcast camps, and college journalism students in a Dow Jones digital journalism training program.

The Cronkite School, located in a state-of-the-art media center on the ASU downtown Phoenix campus, is home to 1,400 students who study broadcast, digital and print journalism, and public relations. The school has been recognized as a leader and innovator among journalism educators by The New York Times, The Times of London and American Journalism Review.

The Native American Journalists Association, based on the campus of the University of Oklahoma, supports Native Americans in journalism, works toward better representation of Native Americans in the media and defends challenges to free press, speech and expression on Native lands. The organization has more than 350 members nationally.

Native Public Media’s mission is to promote healthy, engaged and independent Native communities through media access, control and ownership. The organization offers training in digital journalism and storytelling, hosts an annual Native Media summit and issues the Native Media Landscape Report, providing an overview of Native radio, television, print and new media.

Reporter , ASU Now


Student makes the most of his Mayo-ASU adventure

July 15, 2013

Among the features of his degree program at Mayo Medical School that Layne Bettini likes best is that students are encouraged to seek academic enrichment opportunities at other universities.

Early in 2011, Bettini listened to presentations by faculty from other institutions visiting Mayo’s campus in Rochester, Minn. and he chose a collaborative field of study that suited him best: the law. Download Full Image

“When I was an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to be a congressional intern in Washington, D.C. and I got to see legislative hearings and work with health policy. That really piqued my interest in law. I want to practice medicine, but certainly, I hope to blend my passion for treating patients with a broader goal of helping shape health policy to provide people with maximum quality and access to health care.”

Bettini is enrolled in the M.D./J.D. program, an innovative partnership between Mayo and Arizona State University that enables students to earn medical and law degrees over the course of six years. Launched in 2005, the program has graduated eight students from ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, and four other medical students, including Bettini, are on track to obtain their Juris Doctor degrees in May 2014.

Bettini, who grew up in Taos, N.M., graduated in 2010 from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor's in biology and a bachelor's in languages, summa cum laude. While in high school, Bettini was drawn to science by the enthusiasm of his physics and calculus teacher who connected him to a general surgeon to shadow over the summer.

“All through college, I knew I wanted to go into medicine. I was very lucky to have the opportunity to interview at Mayo and at several other institutions, but Mayo really stuck out. I could tell they really cared about their students and had a great overall program.

“One of the great things about Mayo is they have a pass-fail curriculum, so we’re not competing against each other for the top spot. We’re all excellent students and that gives us time to work together – it’s not the cutthroat environment some people might think medical school is.”

Mayo gives its students hands-on experience with patients from the very beginning and encourages them to give back to the community. To that end, Bettini has mentored inner-city high school students in Rochester, Minn., served on a legislation committee of a local medical society, worked with Mayo physicians to provide health care to under-insured patients, visited Latin America to survey residents about their health care systems and worked at a student-run smoking cessation clinic.

Bettini also traveled to Honduras to work with Global Bridges, a student-led global health and sustainable development organization, bringing medications to small rural communities with limited health care. Such experiences will help Bettini narrow down the field of medicine to which he will devote his life.

“Having the chance to work with patients in Honduras really opened my eyes to global health and the general well-being of patients.”

Law school normally spans three years, but the M.D./J.D. is an accelerated program of two years, and includes two rigorous summer sessions in between. That appealed to Bettini.

“It’s a great chance to save on time. In medical school, there’s a natural break in the curriculum. The first two years are spent doing basic science work and the last two are in clinical in the hospital. That natural break is the perfect time to augment your education with another degree.”

In his first year of law school, Bettini took 14 classes – Contracts; Civil Procedure; Tort Law; Legal Method and Writing; Property; Legal Advocacy; Administrative Law; Criminal Law; Health Policy and Ethics; Constitutional Law I and II; Criminal Procedure; Professional Responsibility; and Evidence. Next year, in addition to coursework, he plans to join a research cluster in the College of Law’s Public Health Law and Policy Program, and is contemplating an externship in the Healthcare Entrepreneurship Program. He also is a scholar in the Center for Law, Science & Innovation.

“I’d have to say law school is a little more challenging than I anticipated. Of course, I’ve seen the movies about how scary law school can be, and it’s really a big commitment with a lot of reading and writing. But the best part is it’s all fascinating.”

Bettini said he would recommend the Mayo-ASU M.D./J.D. program to serious students because “It gives you a great opportunity to study two very interesting fields, and the chance to work at the forefront of law and medicine.”