Staying up to date on current events can be difficult, especially as a college student. Between classes, homework, studying, and work, it can seem impossible to stay engaged with the outside world. But what if you could turn reading the news into one of your classes?
This is exactly what Dr. Lipika Mazumdar has created for students.
News of the World is a forum held every Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in the Coffee House. Hosted by Dr. Mazumdar, assistant professor of Anthropology, the forum is designed to get students reading up on international news stories and finding other students to share their thoughts with. Each week, students are to bring an article to share with the rest of the group for discussion.
News of the World began around five years ago as a small, informal gathering “just to have a forum to talk about the world,” said Dr. Mazumdar.
Being an anthropology professor, she noticed “students are not habitually geared towards reading the news, especially international news.”
“I wanted to get [students] into the habit of looking at international news, if not daily, then weekly,” Dr. Mazumdar said. Pitt-Greensburg saw the discourse Dr. Mazumdar’s meetings started and became interested in offering News of the World as a course. Initially, she was hesitant to turn the open discussion each week into a graded class.
“I made it as flexible as I possibly can,” she said, wanting to keep the informality and friendliness of the gathering each week. Now, the class is offered for one-credit each semester, as well as Academic Village credit. Students can earn three credits to fulfill their world perspective requirement after taking the class three times.
On Jan. 17, Dr. Mazumdar held the first News of the World meeting of the spring semester. What began as a small forum of students has certainly grown, as the class needed to push together four tables to seat everyone. In addition to the news, you can learn about world history, international politics, and even geography from the meetings, thanks to Dr. Mazumdar’s knowledge of world culture.
“I want to encourage students to just come and try it,” Dr. Mazumdar said.
All students are welcome, even if they’re not taking News of the World for credit.