About Students 2017

Katrina Cantwell

Hometown: Clackamas, Oregon

Major: Public Relations

Internship: Center for Democracy and Development

Blog: http://ghana.uoregon.edu/author/kcantwell/

I am visual communicator interested in strategic planning for nonprofit organizations. As a senior set to earn my degree in fall 2017, I am eager to begin a career in communication. I hope to build professional experience in Ghana, while also using my time there as a point of reference while encouraging myself and others to peruse cultural literacy and to seek out cross-cultural interactions. My interest in African cultures was spurred by my passion for dance. I’ve been dancing my whole life and when I learned about how dance functions in many African societies I was inspired to declare an African studies minor to further immerse myself in the cultures of the underrepresented, often misrepresented, continent.

Samantha Coffaro

Hometown: Thousand Oaks, California

Major: Advertising

Internship: Emerge Advertising

Blog: http://ghana.uoregon.edu/author/scoffaro/

Simply put, I am a writer with a passion for environmental issues and social causes. I am thrilled to gain firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to live and work in Ghana because I believe that experience begets authenticity. A senior studying advertising at the University of Oregon, I hope to use my voice to educate, spark conversation, and ignite positive change. I love to travel and continually seek new experiences.

Maddie Gomez

Hometown: San Jose, California

Major: Advertising

Minor: Spanish

Internship: Innova Advertising

Blog: http://ghana.uoregon.edu/author/mgomez/

I am currently a junior studying advertising at the University of Oregon. Born and raised in San Jose, California, I’m a creative who loves to write and play soccer. I have always loved the art of visual storytelling and hope to illustrate my passion through my professional work pieces. From the experiences to be told to the people that I will meet, I can’t wait to be in Ghana and learn about the culture!

Duane Harris

Hometown: Youngstown, Ohio

Major: Advertising, Sociology

Internship: Radio Univers

Blog: http://ghana.uoregon.edu/author/dharris/

Bio: I think it ia a gift when you can come from nothing but still want to give those around you everything. There is beauty in struggle and nothing is sweeter than the outcom. I consider myself a healer, an educator, a trend curator and I am my best when I’m surrounded by people who reject the status quo.

Austin Hicks

Hometown: Gold River, California

Major: Journalism
Minor: Business Administration

Internship: The Daily Guide

Blog: http://ghana.uoregon.edu/author/ahicks/

I am a Senior at the University of Oregon pursuing a degree in journalism with a minor in business administration.  More importantly than that I am an adventurer who loves to travel.  I seek out new places and experiences and do my best to document those through powerful photographs that help tell the story to those that aren’t present.

Drake Hills

Hometown: San Diego, California

Major: Journalism

Internship: Joys FM Sports

Blog: http://ghana.uoregon.edu/author/dhills/

I am a junior at the University of Oregon, studying journalism with an emphasis in reporting and radio. As a former athlete, my true inspiration is to immerse myself in sports media. I spent my childhood in Augusta, Georgia and San Diego, California dreaming of what it would be like doing the same job as Stuart Scott or Stephen A. Smith. The Media in Ghana trip is more than just a study abroad or internship opportunity. This trip is my first outside of the United States and means a lot to me culturally as an African American.

Casey Kromer

Hometown: La Pine, Oregon

Major: Advertising

Internship: Emerge Advertising

Blog: http://ghana.uoregon.edu/author/ckromer/

Next year will be my last at the University of Oregon. I have spent the last three years studying advertising in the School of Journalism and Communication. I am interested in the creative and strategic aspects of advertising and I would love to someday work in a place where I can combine my interest in advertising and my passion for social issues. The love of traveling runs in my family and I am so excited that I am able to experience a journey of my own in Ghana.

Brittany Norton

Hometown: Eugene, Oregon

Majors: Journalism and Media Studies

Minors: Comparative Literature and History

Internship: The Finder

Blog: http://ghana.uoregon.edu/author/bnorton/

Next year will be my fourth and final year at the University of Oregon. I have spent my time in the School of Journalism and Communication studying journalism with a focus on feature writing. I would eventually like to write for a magazine because I appreciate the depth that long-form journalism provides. I like to learn and write about the ways past forces have shaped present day places and the people affected by the policies. I’m excited and grateful for this opportunity to travel to Ghana and I hope to leave the country with a broader world view, and learn about myself and others.

Calvin Petersen

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Major: Advertising

Internship: Ghana Football Association

Blog: http://ghana.uoregon.edu/author/cpetersen/

Bio: I am a Seattle native and advertising major at the University of Oregon. I usually can for hours about movies (specifically Christopher Nolan movies), soccer (mainly ranting about Liverpool and the Sounders) and Hip-Hop (don’t even get me started on the Freshman XXL list this year). I hope with this Ghana trip I can meet some interesting people, learn to live in a unique place and have a fun/rewarding summer.

Jaclyn Robinson

Hometown: Tigard, Oregon

Majors: Psychology & Public Relations

Internship: Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights

Blog: http://ghana.uoregon.edu/author/jrobinson/

I am a public relations and psychology major entering my senior year at the SOJC. Aside from my passion for writing and communication, I am an adamant reader and lover of all things outdoors. Opportunities to immerse yourself in a different culture don’t come often, and I am incredibly excited to learn as much as I can from Ghanaian professionals with different backgrounds and skillsets.

Cassidy Scott

Hometown: Clackamas, Oregon

Major: Public Relations

Internship: Social Security and National Insurance Trust

Blog: http://ghana.uoregon.edu/author/cscott/

I am a junior at the University of Oregon majoring in Public Relations.  I have a love for storytelling and a passion for people and the connectivity that comes with community. My ultimate dream job would be as an in-house PR professional for a company who’s work inspires and excites me.

In my spare time I love to travel, play volleyball, and eat good food.

Sean Siegrist

Hometown: Laguna Beach, California

Majors: Journalism

Internship: METRO TV

Blog: http://ghana.uoregon.edu/author/sseigrist/

Bio: I am a senior journalism major at the University of Oregon. Some of my interests include surfing and diving. I am excited to study and learn in Ghana this summer.

Cecilia Siauw

Hometown: Bend, Oregon

Majors: Journalism & Business Administration

Internship: Business and Financial Times

Blog: http://ghana.uoregon.edu/author/csiauw/

Bio: As I prepare for my final year at the University of Oregon, I want to take advantage of everything that the SOJC has to offer. My initial interest in traveling was inspired by my mom as she spent every summer visiting a new country. In the future, I hope to settle in New York as a long-form journalist, but before then I’d love to travel the world starting with Ghana! During my six weeks in Ghana, I hope that my passion for being a strong communicator will continue to grow as I intern at the Business and Financial Times.

Helen Tonso

Hometown: Willamina, Oregon

Major: Advertising

Internship: Oracle Advertising

Blog: http://ghana.uoregon.edu/author/htonso/

“Be fully present in the moments that matter most to those that matter most.” (Scott Bedbury) This quote is one of my favorites simply because it reminds me of how valuable time is and to always give your all in everything you do. Hearing other people’s stories and learning about different cultures is one of my favorite things in life. Currently, I am a junior and am lucky to have found the major advertising to be studying. So far, through this major I have learned new and different skills that share the stories of others.

Olin Vetterlein

Hometown: Portland, Oregon

Majors: Advertising & Chinese

Internship: MUSIGA

Blog: http://ghana.uoregon.edu/author/ovetterlein/

I am a man of many curiosity’s- with a passion for creating visual material. My inspirations multiply daily, but music, literature, and film have held true as the foremost sources of marvel in my life. Born in Oregon but moved to Hong Kong, I appreciate the beauty that lies in nature, and am fascinated by the cultures created by urban life.  I am hungry for new experiences in Ghana, and an opportunity to aid in globalization through genuine storytelling.

Nora Wheaton

Hometown: San Rafael, California

Major: Advertising

Internship: Starr FM

Blog: http://ghana.uoregon.edu/author/nwheaton/

I’m a senior at the University of Oregon, studying advertising and theater. I’m passionate about using my power of strategic thinking to better the communities I have the privilege of being part of. For 6 weeks this summer, I’ll be interning at a radio station in Ghana, Africa. I’m thrilled to be part of the Media in Ghana program and can’t wait to see how my adventure unfolds. Tune in to follow this journey and read my reflects on the experience.

Avery Wright

Hometown: Studio City, California

Major: Advertising

Internship: Stratcom

Blog: http://ghana.uoregon.edu/author/awright/

I chose to join the Media in Ghana program because I was looking to involved myself in something I was completely unfamiliar with. I couldn’t think of another opportunity in my lifetime where I would not only get to visit West Africa, but also work within in it’s business sector on multimedia storytelling. I am currently a Junior studying advertising at the University of Oregon with an interest in strategy. I cannot wait for the adventures to come.

Shuo Xu

Hometown: Dalian, China

Master’s Student in Journalism and Media Studies

Internship: Anas Aremeyaro Anas Investigative Reporting

Blog: http://ghana.uoregon.edu/author/sxu/

I completed my bachelor’s degree in finance from Hunan University in China. At School of Journalism and Communication of the University of Oregon, I am doing concurrent degrees in Journalism Professional and Media Studies. While doing the internship in Ghana, I plan to get in touch with the local people and community, observe their use of media, and do interviews for my reports and research papers. I am confident that this trip will be one of the steps to prepare me well for pursuing a research and teaching position that will be useful for many schools and students who are in need of well trained professionals with international perspectives on comparative media and communication studies.