In the fall of my senior year I took both an editing class and a typography class. My journalism professor and design professor decided to coordinate curriculums to work on a single project: The Maxfield Times. I happened to be the only student taking both classes, and consequently carried out the project from start to finish.
The first half of the project consisted of student editors making trips to Maxfield Elementary in the Rondo neighborhood of St. Paul, MN, where we would work in small groups to teach fifth grade classes about journalism, photograph the kids in the classroom environment, and lead them in conducting interviews and writing articles.
While at Maxfield, editors worked closely with classes and their teachers to highlight the students, the faculty, and the school itself in their news-gathering pursuits. The finished product featured student features, teacher interviews, staff Q&As, and a variety of questionnaires and statistics for infographics.
Once all articles were written, photos were taken, and data was collected and organized, the editing class passed off their project to the design class.
Starting with a sample article and a square layout, typography students individually chose typefaces and developed style guides. Working in stages, each student pulled from available photos, text, and statistical data to develop infographics and lay out articles for a final newspaper design, which served as a final project for the class.
Toward the end of the semester, busloads of fifth graders arrived at Bethel University for a tour of the school filled with journalism-related activities, including video interview spots, a trip to the wellness center and TV studio, and pizza in the dining center.
Because of the timing of the ending semesters and the individual projects for each design student, the design professor designed the final layout for the physical printed issue. Using doodles from the kids' visit to the design studio, the end product for the 2017 Maxfield Times was a compilation of hard work from college students and fifth graders that featured what matters most about that school and its community: the people.
The Maxfield Times is one of my most personal projects. Though it evolved during one of the most hectic semesters of my college career, the relationships I surprised myself by making and the joy of seeing the project through start to finish from my combined areas of study has made Maxfield one of my favorite accomplishments ever.