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Eden Cohen

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Bio Summary
Cohort Year: 
2015
Home Institution: 
University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown
Heinz Programming Area: 
Arts & Culture
Study Abroad Country: 
Czech Republic
International Experience

Eden Cohen studied in Prague, Czech Republic, for eight weeks. She conducted and recorded notes on interviews with Czechs and those living in the Czech Republic. These interviews covered a range of social issues, including sexuality, gender, and racism. She was also able to conduct interviews concerning attitudes toward Americans and American foreign policy. Eden interviewed students, journalists, former protesters, businesswomen, and an award-winning designer. She had the pleasure of conversing with editors from RadioFreeEurope, Bloomberg, and a local radio station in České Budějovice. She also spoke with government officials, such as the U.S. Press Attaché and the chairman for the Czech parliament's Chamber of Deputies. Through these conversations, Eden gained an increased understanding of journalism's challenges and rewards, as well as insights into U.S.-Czech relations. On the weekends, Eden traveled to Czech cities outside of Prague and to other European cities for cultural comparison. 

Community Engagement Experience
CEE Title: 
Ethnicity Editor

The Pitt-Johnstown awardees conducted a community engagement event called “Ethnicity Editor.” The event aimed to raise awareness of and start discussion about how minorities are misrepresented in media. It was held for an hour on November 20th in the university’s Cambria Room. It began with an informative presentation that explained how minorities are misrepresented in each country visited by our awardees. It then tackled American minorities individually, showing how African Americans, Asians, Latinos, and Muslims are misrepresented in American media. The presentation ended with an overview of how these inaccurate representations influence minorities and how they fit into a majority culture. After the presentation, the event moved onto a panel discussion featuring three professors: Drs. Paul Lucas, Ako Inuzuka, and Chris Cook. One professor teaches media criticism, one teaches intercultural communication, and the third has researched media coverage of international conflict. Panelists answered audience questions relating to minority misrepresentation. Questions included representing their minority group, relating this problem to others in their minority group, and communicating with those who seem so biased as to be a hopeless case. After questions and discussion, attendees were asked to reflect on how to combat misrepresentation. A large poster and markers were provided on which attendees were asked to write how they would use the information they learned. The event was considered a great success by the awardees, since there was valuable discussion and standing room only.

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