Media & Communication Department

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Shannon Solheim
Living Here in Allentown: Beyond the Red Doors

Despite Allentown's rich culture and opportunities, few students venture far from campus, as the title suggests. Print Production, an unconventional course, strayed from traditional theoretical academia to combine an advanced introduction to nonfiction writing and print journalism skills through hands-on experience. Using published guides as a springboard, the class produced, from start to finish, a guidebook geared towards Muhlenberg students. Divided into four committees, Editorial, Design, Food, and Entertainment, students were able to oversee their respective jurisdictions while simultaneously collaborating on production decisions through class-wide staff meetings. This class provided students with the opportunity to improve their creative writing, polish inter-personal skills through group interaction, and experience the democratic process of a fictional work place all while Living Here in Allentown. In addition, Print Production encouraged students to consider the broader impact of their final product in shaping the future of downtown Allentown both socially and economically. It is quite possibly that this book and the consumer traffic it creates can help to blur the lines between the Muhlenberg bubble and the Allentown community.