Dan Hudgins and Lisa de Saxe Zerden recently gave their Foundations of Social Welfare and Social Work classes a compelling assignment — write a letter worthy of publishing.
Students were asked to write either an op-ed about an issue, problem or policy of their choice; or to respond to an article that relates to course content and topics. Most students chose to write letters to the editor, but a handful of the students wrote op-eds.
The were to address issues on a local, state or national level. And they were encouraged to grab the audience with examples from practice, offer statistics, provide background and propose a solution; or they could critique or praise something they read.
The students soon learned that it was a difficult task to be brief but also write concisely and powerfully.
“The assignment was quiet timely, given the 2010 elections and [the media coverage] major policies like ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ was receiving during the time of the assignment,” said Zerden.
Those published from Hudgins’ class include:
- Jay Jahnes, Nation must address causes of poverty, Greensboro News & Record
- Diana Palacios, ‘Doughnut Hole’ causing belly aches for low-income seniors, Independent Tribune
- Cindy Portillo, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ keeps good soldiers away, The Daily Tar Heel
- Jane Stewart, Illiteracy breeds array of chronic problems, Greensboro News & Record
- Sam Warlick, Still thirsting for a COLA, Salisbury Post
Those published from Zerden’s class include:
- Lyndsay Cogdill (MSW/M.Div. dual degree), Rehabilitation for convicted felons, The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.)
- Derek Easley, Coples’ tweet out of line with Thorp’s message, The Daily Tar Heel
- Colleen Jeske, Addiction knowledge, The Raleigh News & Observer
- Nick Lemmon, Republican Congress would not help the needy, The Daily Tar Heel
- Ivan Martinez (MSW/M.Div. dual degree), Tea Party also benefits from welfare state, Duke Chronicle and The Independent
- Erin O’Quinn, Deportation for voting?, The New York Times
- Kara Van de Grift, Sensitivity check, The Raleigh News & Observer
- Daniel Velez, Cries for help smothered by smoke of a legal high, The N.C. State Technician