About Students 2013

About Us

The University of Oregon is being represented in Accra, Ghana, this summer by 16 members of the School of Journalism and Communication. Our group includes: two graduate students, 14 undergraduates, and several professors who are navigating us through this beautiful West African nation.

For the summer of 2013, the “Media in Ghana” program consists of six-week-long internships at various media outlets across the city. Depending on students’ areas of interest, our program director, Leslie Steeves, has placed each of us at compatible organizations. As photographers, writers, editors, aspiring advertising professionals and PR practitioners, the 15 of us will be contributing our talents to a city of more than four million.

From popular radio stations like the Joy FM to communication and reputation management organizations like Stratcomm, the diversity of our placements exemplifies the diversity of our group.

At the end of the work day we make our way back across the busy metropolis to our home in East Legon, back to our family of support. To balance the pressures of work, our weekends are filled with exploration as we travel throughout Ghana’s diverse landscapes. Some of our experiences include learning the ancient art of Kente cloth, braving across one of the world’s few canopy walkways and rejoicing with school children in the heart of an impoverished community.

Our Family


Leslie Howerton

First Year Doctoral Student

Internship: TBD

I am studying international strategic communication. I chose the media in Ghana program because I want to explore public health campaigns in developing nations. This is an opportunity to study the strategic communication practices of governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations in an immersive environment. I hope to come away from this experience with a better understanding of the risks and challenges of public communication in Ghana, and a possible direction for my dissertation research.

Julia Vipiana

Major: Public Relations

Internship: The New Crusading Guide

The Media in Ghana program posed the perfect opportunity to safely travel to Africa with a group of my peers who share the same academic goals and desire for personal adventure. Ghana’s growing media presence makes it an attractive study abroad site for journalism students. After just six weeks in Ghana, I will have experienced a range of things that will significantly strengthen my repertoire, thus giving me a unique experience that I can utilize in the “real world” after college.


Carson York

Second Year Media Studies Graduate Student

Internship: Stratcomm Africa

I want to go to Ghana for a multitude of personal reasons. My list of life experiences is not nearly long enough, and I hope this trip will be a step in the right direction towards a better understanding of the world. Professionally, I have almost no experience in international advertising or international brand development. I hope to supplement the little I have learned in my studies with the amazing first hand experience this opportunity will offer. I hope to meet and work with great people along the way that help me to develop as a person and a professional.


Michelle Tran

Major: Advertising, Multimedia Minor

Internship: Emerge Magazine

I wanted to expand my horizons and I believe traveling to a non-Western country such as Ghana will teach me things about the world that no classroom could. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and to top it off, I work in a real internship.

Daryl Mogilewsky

Major(s): International Studies, Journalism & Communications

Internship: Media Foundation for West Africa

Why I wanted to come to Ghana: I heard about the media in Ghana program two years ago from a past participant who spoke about their experience with an incredible amount of passion. I continued to hear nothing but wonderful feedback. This program is a way to see a new place and culture through a professional and experiential lens and I simply could not pass it up.


Stephanie Hinson

Major: Journalism

Internship: Joy FM

I chose to come to Ghana because I have a strong desire to explore the world and have new experiences. I wanted to travel somewhere I had never been and the Media in Ghana program stood out to me above all other study abroad programs. I believe it’s important to experience new people and places and Ghana was the perfect opportunity to do so.

 Michael Collins

Major: Advertising

Internship: Apex Advertising

I chose to go to Ghana because it is a great opportunity. Not only do I get to travel to a new country and somewhere out of my comfort zone, but I also get to do an internship at an advertising agency.

Julianne Parker

Major: Journalism

Internship: The Public Agenda Newspaper

When I returned to Eugene after studying abroad in Spain, my desires to continue traveling could not be suppressed. My education has opened up unique opportunities to travel and to experience parts of the world I otherwise would be unable to explore, and that has become an integral part of my college experience. So when the opportunity to combine travel, academics, and professional work experience came to me through the journalism school and its program in Accra, I could not pass it up. Expanding my education outside of a classroom environment inspired me in a way that I cannot compare to any other experience I’ve had. I look forward to my time in Ghana that will surely ignite another part of me that would otherwise remain undiscovered.


Juwan Wedderburn

Major: Journalism

Internship: Peace FM

I choose participate in the Media in Ghana study abroad program because I have always wanted to go to Africa, to have a better understanding of my roots. Also this program was perfect because it tied together with my major, and it was conveniently in the summer, so I did not have to miss any class.


DSCF0126Kelly Vigil

Major: Advertising

Internship: Emerge Advertising

With the support of my family I have been granted the opportunity to gain insight and understanding to a part of the world that exists only in my mind as the representations conveyed to me through media. Six weeks in Ghana is bound to pose more questions than solidify answers, but I strive to obtain a greater understanding of the humans that exist across Earth.


ghana blog picMadeline Culhane

Major: Advertising and Public Relations

Internship: Lentis Advertising

I’m so excited for this trip to Ghana because I believe it will give me a chance to get to know the city, country and culture of a place to which I would never normally have access. When else will I ever be able to work for an advertising firm in Africa?! While I’m certain this experience will put me way out of my comfort zone and there will be moments of culture shock, I’m so excited to begin this adventure and include you in our experiences!


ConnerConor Armor

Major: Journalism and Advertising

Internship: The Daily Guide

I don’t really know why I’m coming to Ghana. Actually, maybe THAT is the reason why. Let me explain. As I enter my senior year of college, I’m running out of “potentially reckless decision making” time. To escape from my little bubble for a month and a half to live in Ghana and intern for the country’s biggest private newspaper with little to no knowledge of what to expect is about as reckless – and potentially, rewarding – of a way I can imagine spending my summer. Plus, I heard good things about the palm wine. Just kidding, I heard pretty bad things. But guess what? I procrastinated and am writing this “expectation” blurb after being here for well over a week. OK, it’s about time I stop writing.


douchejeffJeff Mercado

Major: Journalism

Internship:  Metro TV

I chose to come to Ghana because i wanted the opportunity to experience a rich culture unlike my own. I have never traveled outside the US, so this was a chance to travel that I could not pass up. I hope to learn from the people I meet during my six-week stay and gain a new perspective on life from the wonderful people of Ghana.


IMG_1757Kinsey Bagwell

Major: Advertising

Internship: Primetime Advertising

I chose the Media in Ghana program because I felt it would provide me with an experience like none other. I’m eager to live in a house with 16 other venturesome students who share the same passion for journalism. Everything I learned in our Ghana research class this last spring has brought forth so much excitement, and I cannot wait to arrive in Ghana. I feel that the skills and experiences I will obtain will not only teach me about myself but also prepare me for life after college.


DanaDana Bredeweg

Major: Journalism

Internship: TBD



daniDani Dyer

Major: Journalism

I chose to participate in the Media in Ghana program because I have always wanted to travel to a country in Africa and this was the perfect opportunity to dip my feet in the water, so to speak. I am interested in many different paths within journalism but ultimately I would like to be an international correspondent. I am excited to indulge myself in a new culture and I think this study abroad program was the perfect place to start.


  1. First of all I have to tell Leslie H. that we are sooooo proud of her. Her little Bugaboos check the blogs everyday looking for pictures and they read about your experiences. Thank you to all of you who are in Ghana with my niece. Your pictures and blogs are teaching me and my boys not only about the African culture but also about humanity. I want to teach my boys to always have an open mind and a open heart for all people. Through your words and pictures, my boys have already gained a new understanding of Africa that they might not have gotten in any classroom. Please be safe and enjoy your adventures…

  2. Wonderfully insightful writing! I love reading about your experiences in Ghana! It’s so interesting to view a country/culture with an outsider’s perspective but also to learn about yourself and your own culture in the process. Kudos to you all and the program. Stay safe, immerse yourself in the experience, and keep learning!

Comments are closed.