Life at Wittenberg
Graduation Year: 1998
Major: Computer Science
Minor: Nonfiction Writing
Non Course Activities: Internship at Datatel
Extra Curricular: Reporter and editor at Wittenberg Torch, member of Amnesty International, played trombone in bands freshman year, was in a number of honor societies – Pick and Pen, ODK, PBK, was on a number of student senate committees.
Department Activities Description: I was major, interned at Datatel the summer between my junior and senior years, then worked for the computing department doing Colleague programming and documentation during my senior year.
Athletics: Cross Country, Track
Most Helpful Courses: Math and statistics have proven helpful in journalism and in computer science. I am not sure it was taught explicitly, but understanding math and statistics well enough to be able to communicate them effectively even to people who might not understand them has been invaluable. I have gotten a lot of mileage out of the object-oriented programming classes I took, too, because the design principles you learn there are relevant to your work regardless of language or project. The computer graphics class provided good insight into how matrices can help to make complex math more efficient that is serving me well in thinking out how to make a framework for mapping information that includes the GIS boundaries for different jurisdictions (townships, towns, school districts, etc.) so one can see all the information that relates to him or her based on where she lives, and which different jurisdictions that place is in.
Courses You Wish You Would’ve Taken: I wish there had been a more advanced course on object-oriented programming and programming server-side system software so it is modular, flexible, and re-usable, and so it is built to easily support being exposed as an external API. I also wish I could have taken some courses in how to apply computer science to real-world probelsm in other disciplines. The most interesting problems I’ve found to solve with computers are not in traditional computer science fields, and I learned how to model processes and data and then analyze where computers and people most effectively fit into processes, but I think all computer scientists should be exposed to this.
Most Helpful Experiences: Breadth of experiences and quality of instructors across disciplines. I managed to get quality instruction in writing, journalism, computer science, Chinese and East Asian studies, and Geology all in the same place. The size of department and classes was nice, too. I liked really getting to know the students and faculty.
Graduation Year: 2005
School: New York University
Degree: Masters in Newspaper Journalism
Graduation Year: Started in Fall 2009
School: Michigan State University
Degree: PhD in Media and Information Studies
First Job: Applications programmer at Datatel, Inc.
Current Job: Multiplatform Editor
I work with the newsroom and the online department to help plan how to best tell stories both online and in print, plan and implement software to support advanced web journalism and help to coordinate print and online resources to bring multimedia, Flash and database project in on deadline. Includes identifying elements of a story that can be broadened online and working as part of a team that designs and implements database applications and Flash projects that tie maps, pictures, audio, video, data and text together to allow readers to explore the details of a story online in ways they could not in a newspaper. I also have pretty much become the News’ main programmer, as well. Just ported/re-implemented all of the News ColdFustion online applications to PHP in 2 months, for instance.
Internships: You never know. I bet I could find internships for computer science students in journalism. News needs good programmers who also know something about news (though the industry is collapsing, so jobs of all kinds are a little scarce right now). I still have pretty substantial connections in the software world around Washington, D.C.
Marital status: Will be married May 30.
New Hobbies: I play hockey, enjoy nature, like looking at birds, enjoy community activism, have adopted a park and neighborhood and am involved with urban farming, and am working on improving race relations in Detroit (bringing suburbanites back to the city).
Email: jonathan.morgan.007 AT gmail.com
Currently Living in: Grosse Pointe Woods, MI Updated 5/2/09