Next Generation Storytelling is a summer residential experience at the University of Oregon that will empower high school students to develop their critical thinking, leadership, and entrepreneurial skills while building strong voices as effective communicators. With a focus on emerging technology and media, Next Generation Storytelling immerses residents in current and future best practices in journalism, media studies, advertising, and public relations.

What Will I Learn?

Students will participate in hands-on, experiential learning through courses that challenge them to explore journalism and media. They will also hear from featured speakers ranging from prominent journalists to executives of major media companies. The program will also offer the opportunity to see modern working media facilities for print and broadcast.

Program Dates

June 24-29, 2018

Program Cost


Where will I stay?

Living Learning Center

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Who Should Apply?

Students entering grades 10, 11, and 12 during the 2018–19 academic school year, are eligible to apply. The program is designed for high school students who have a deep interest in journalism or communications. High school students looking to improve their skills in writing, broadcast, or public speaking should apply.

How to Apply

Priority application deadline: February 23, 2018

Final application deadline: May 18, 2018

Payments due: $400 non-refundable deposit due at registration; Final payment $450 due June 1

What Courses Will I Take?

This class will introduce students to the basic skills needed to cover sports and tell stories about athletes—and the big-picture social issues off the field. Specifically, that will include:

  • Sports coverage: Words, yes, but also thinking more broadly about visuals. Finding the story in the game or event rather than just giving results.
  • Interviewing: Not settling for the clichés spouted on the sidelines, but ways to talk with athletes and get more meaningful information.
  • Sports and society: Developing an understanding for how issues of race, ethnicity, and gender play into sports.

Instructor: Lori Shontz

Look at any magazine rack. It’s filled with publication covers adorned by the famous and not so famous, and its pages are filled with stories of people who inspire, tantalize, and mesmerize readers. People, old and young, like to read about other people. And the long-time success of such publications as People, Teen Vouge, and Vanity Fair demonstrate how readers enjoy learning what makes those around them tick. This holds true for high schoolers, who, via their school publications, have an opportunity to write profiles on all sorts of people—the new principal, the veteran custodial employee, the star athlete, the student admitted to every Ivy League university, and the beloved history teacher. The options are endless.

In this class, students will examine examples of strong profile writing from a wide spectrum—entertainment, sports, business, everyday life—while pinpointing the threads that connect all good profile pieces. Participants will learn skills instrumental to profile writing — researching subjects, interviewing, organizing material and others that are essential to being successful. by the completion of the class students will have written a profile of an individual.

Instructor: Charlie Butler

Literary journalism is becoming an increasingly noticed component of written media across the country. More and more, newspapers, magazines, websites, and other types of written media are allowing their reporters to explore topics in more in-depth, as pieces that try to put the reader into a certain place and time. However, as with any foray into previously unfamiliar territory. more and more journalists are facing ethical, professional and personal challenges that they may or may not have considered before they elected to practice literary journalism. That understanding forms the dual purpose of this class: To not just learn how to write literary journalism pieces, but to understand the dilemmas and choices that are part of being a literary journalist.

By the end of the class students will:

  • Understand how a literary journalism story differs from a traditional journalism story.
  • Identify and establish a storyline within each individual story that allows the reader to become immersed in a story as they might not in a traditional journalism story.
  • Examine and understand the resolution of ethical quandaries in literary journalism and how those solutions manifest themselves in future reporting and personal decision making as it pertains to the profession.

Instructor: Bethany Grace Howe

You have passed the courses, read the books, written the papers, and taken the tests. You are smart, equipped, and ready to feed the consumption machine with your brilliance and creativity. But the thought of pitching your idea in a meeting with an executive is terrifying to the point of rethinking your career choice. You start sweating and shaking. You consider crawling under the table to rock yourself through the afternoon.

Stop. Get out from under the table. Stand tall and listen. Inside of you are the tools and talent to tackle one of the scariest things known to the human race—presenting.

In this class, we will discuss and practice so much more than public speaking. We will:

  • Discover and develop a toolkit of techniques for presenting to a room full of people
  • Practice and build strategies for conversational confidence
  • Craft a personal presentation style
  • Understand and implement passion and compassion as a speaker and listener
  • Grow in life-changing confidence

Instructor: Derek Brandow

One of the most powerful devices you own is your smartphone. Learn how to maximize use of smartphones to create compelling video stories for your publication’s website and/or social media. Students will delve into storytelling conventions and media aesthetics by capturing audio, using available light, and mastering postproduction workflow strategies. Students will engage in significant mobile video fieldwork and postproduction.

Instructor: Ed Madison

Should you tweet, snap or gram? And does it matter?

Social media can be a ton of fun, but if you want to accomplish something for a brand, you have to be smart about it, too.

In the course of a week, we’ll look at not just the tools and technologies of social media right now, but also what it means to have a smart strategy (and how you’ll know if you’re successful).

Instructor: Kelli Matthews

Featured Speakers

Sarah Barshop

Sarah Barshop is the Houston Texans reporter for ESPN’s NFL Nation. She contributes to various ESPN platforms including ESPN.comNFL InsidersNFL LiveSportsCenter and ESPN Radio.

Before joining ESPN in August 2016, Barshop worked for Sports Illustrated as a writer and editor. She also covered the Green Bay Packers for ESPN Milwaukee from 2012-2014.

Barshop is a graduate of Marquette University.

Dahlia Bazaaz is an education journalist for The Seattle Times Education Lab, which reports on K-12 schools throughout Seattle and the Puget Sound region. Before working at the Times, she interned at The Wall Street Journal in New York. She graduated from the University of Oregon in 2016, where she was also editor in chief of the Oregon Daily Emerald. She serves on the board of the Asian American Journalists Association’s Seattle chapter.


Jason George is a film and television writer in Los Angeles, focusing on true stories. Currently, he is a writer and producer on the Netflix series, NARCOS. He also has numerous projects in active development, including at Paramount, Netflix and CBS Films. Other television credits include: SCANDAL, THE BLACKLIST and NASHVILLE.

George is a graduate of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication, UCLA’s MFA screenwriting program, the ABC-Disney Writing Program and The American University in Cairo’s Arabic Language Institute.


Michelle Maggs currently leads the Seattle office of Weber Shandwick, an integrated marketing communications firm, serving as executive vice president and general manager. She oversees Seattle office operations and also local, national and global client engagements.
Prior to Weber Shandwick, Maggs was the public relations administrator for Disney Online. She has a bachelor of arts degree in journalism, specializing in public relations, from the University of Oregon.

Andrew Nhem is the Manager of Content Strategy at Puppet, a global company dedicated to empowering people through better software, helping companies automate their infrastructure and applications at scale. He’s proud to be a part of a sharp, like-minded team there. Before Puppet, Andrew has held content leadership roles at a number of startups. He actively shares knowledge, speaks at local content strategy and web events, and has way too many skunkwork projects (gotta stay sharp, right?).

When not working, he’s cooking, staying fit, being a dad and (hopefully) awesome partner, and playing guitar.

Toshio Suzuki has been a writer and editor since graduating from the SOJC in 2004. Since then, the writing assignments have been varied and plentiful: covering the Portland Timbers for The Oregonian; interviewing U.S. service members in Japan for Stars and Stripes; and climbing into cargo planes with smokejumpers in Alaska, for example.

Since 2014 Suzuki has been a digital storyteller for the U.S. Department of Interior, using his experience to manage day-to-day social media as well as craft 2,000-word feature stories.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many students will participate? 

There are spots for 200 applicants from across Oregon and the United States.

What does tuition include? 

  • ONE WEEK of journalism and leadership skills development, including hands-on activities and distinguished speakers.
  • ON-CAMPUS residence in state-of-the-art facilities.
  • TRANSPORTATION to and from the Eugene airport.
  • MEALS: breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
  • PARTICIPANT BBQ with distinguished guests.
  • ALL SCHEDULED ACTIVITIES, admissions, and fees.
  • COLLEGE CREDIT* and certificate of completion.
  • 24-HOUR STAFF to address emergencies.
  • 24-HOUR CONFERENCE HOTLINE available to parents and students for questions and emergency situations

*College credit is issued by the University of Oregon. Upon successful completion of Next Generation Storytelling, student will earn one general elective, college credit. This credit is issued on a pass/fail basis. The transferability of this credit is the determination of the college/university to be attended.

Faculty & Staff

Anthony Whitten

Anthony Whitten

NextGen Media Outreach Coordinator

White Stag Building Room 366A

Simone Myers

Simone Myers

Education Program Assistant

White Stag Building

Charlie Butler

Charles Butler

ARC Faculty Director, Journalism Instructor

135 Franklin Building

Ed Madison

Ed Madison

Assistant Professor, Media Partnership Coordinator

324 Allen Hall

Kelli Matthews

Senior Instructor

321 Allen Hall

Lori Shontz

Lori Shontz


309B Allen Hall