Thursday, January 31, 2013

Self-Introduction: Zhengzheng Zhang

     Hello, everyone! My name is Zhengzheng Zhang, and I am from China. I am a Ph.D. in Physics, and now a first-year professional M.A. student in J-School, UW-Madison. My specialization area is science communication, since I have strong interests in both physics and communication areas. In my eyes, science is interesting and beautiful, but due to the complexity of its “language”, many people may think science is obscure and inaccessible and thus are not able to fully appreciate its beauty. Thus, I hope to play a role of a “bridge” between scientists and general audiences that helps people better understand science

     Also, for me, teaching is an enjoyable thing, and I have been teaching in physics department when I was a doctoral student, and I really enjoy communicating science with students, since the process of teaching is always a mutual way that could benefit both teachers and students. Now, I am very interested in learning teaching  in mass communication, not only because I wish to become an TA in a journalism/mass communication class, but also due to a favor of learning the art of teaching for different kinds of learners.

     That is all about me, and hope we could become friends, nice meeting everyone!


Introducing Dana Gerber, LIS TA

Hi there! My name is Dana Gerber and I'm happy to take J901 class this semester. Though I'm likely not going to be a traditional professor, I value the role of teaching and education in not only our society as a whole but in my career as well.

I'm originally from California; I grew up on the central coast and went to undergrad at UC Berkeley. I studied Russian & Eastern European History there. I taught within a program that allowed Berkeley peers teach to other peers, and that was my first taste of leading discussion and thinking of activities! They were meant to be fun classes though with few credits, so the section went more like: an hour of drawing with an hour of discussion. I co-facilitated Introduction to Children's Literature, Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and His Dark Materials trilogy. While an undergrad, I worked in the Public Services department of the Bancroft Library.

After undergrad, I worked as a research assistant, a library assistant in Berkeley's Career Counseling Library, and as a workshop facilitator for CollegeTrack, an after-school college prep program in downtown Oakland for low-income and under-resourced students. After a year, I decided to come to Madison to study library science.

I started off wading through different types of libraries, set myself on archives, and then continued to deviate from the path of a processing archivist. My experience as a TA for LIS 201 with Greg was an extremely enriching one, and it got me thinking more and more about teaching. My path is heading towards a career ideally mixed with archives and outreach. I currently work at the Wisconsin Historical Society as both a reference assistant and marketing intern, volunteer at Circus World, TA for LIS 202, and work on my podcast, Sound of the Archives. I also have an "about me" page here.

I hope this suffices, Greg!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Change of room for first class meeting - 5013 Vilas

(Email sent to all class participants.)

Hi there.  You're registered for Journalism 901, which is a one-credit colloquium course.  In the spring, this course focuses on issues of teaching and learning -- one of the few courses a graduate student can take on the topic.  All of the information on the course is now available at our course web site, at

In a moment I'll invite you to become a full author on this blog along with me; look for an invitation from "Blogger" in your email (and check your SPAM folder if you don't see it).  The main activity of this class is attending our Friday noon talks all semester long, but I hope we can have some discussion spill over in to the virtual space.  The blog also lists the week-by-week syllabus, provides access to a growing body of downloadable (and optional) readings, and details your four course assignments -- two of them due on the blog at different points during the semester, and two of them due at the very end of class, on the last day of finals week.  

I do have one change to our schedule already, for tomorrow's class, on Friday January 25: We'll be meeting in a different room.  Class will convene in 5013 Vilas, one time only, because of a scheduling conflict.  After that we'll be back in 5055 Vilas, the Nafziger room.  (We'll post signs.)

So for now, (1) get registered with the blog (and feel free to post and introduce yourself) and (2) I'll see you in class tomorrow, 5013 Vilas.  Cheers,


Gregory J. Downey
School of Journalism & Mass Communication (Professor & Director)
School of Library & Information Studies (Professor)
Center for the History of Print & Digital Culture (Director)
Internships in the Liberal Arts & Sciences (Director)
University of Wisconsin-Madison
5112 Vilas Hall, 821 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706 USA
(608) 695-4310

Getting ready for Spring 2013

Hi folks.  I'm revamping our course web resources to all center around this blog in the future.  See you at our first class meeting of the semester on Friday, January 25 -- when all shall be revealed.