|SLUG: Virginia International University launches VIU Digest, e-journal by and for students
On March 23, 2006, Virginia International University (VIU) in Fairfax, Virginia launched VIU Digest, a state-of-the-art electronic journal written and designed by VIU students. The first issue, which is available right now, features more than a dozen articles written by VIU English as a Second Language (ESL) students on a wide range of topics. These include the Mongolian New Year, American football, U.S. and world travel, health, transportation, getting a driver’s license in the Commonwealth of Virginia, VIU events, buying a laptop computer, and an in-depth profile of VIU ESL teacher Jessica Scott. VIU President Isa Sarac, Ph.D describes VIU Digest as a huge accomplishment for the students and for the university. According to Dr. Sarac, “A tremendous amount of hard work went into bringing this new publication to life. We’re very proud of it.”
VIU Digest sheds new light on the foreign students’ perspective of life in the United States. Says VIU Provost K. Habib Khan, Ph.D, “In this lively publication we have a chance to read about a trip to the U.S. White House or American football, but from the perspective of someone who is brand new to the United States.” This unique vantage point makes VIU Digest interesting reading and allows us to see America through a fresh, foreign lens. “I was especially interested in the articles ours students wrote about Virginia and tourist attractions in the U.S.,” Dr. Khan says. As well, VIU Digest provides a venue for students to share their own cultures and traditions. For example, the first issue of VIU Digest includes articles about a Thai festival called Songkarn and Turkish architecture and literature. Says Dr. Khan, “VIU Digest will be extremely interesting reading to anyone who values a foreign perspective and wants to know more about the world in which they live.”
VIU Digest was written by VIU students in ESL 396: Introduction to Journalism and designed by VIU ESL student Anil Sezer. It will be an ongoing publication for Virginia International University and welcomes submissions from any VIU student. According to faculty advisor, Laura Hills, “We designed VIU Digest to make it as professional as possible. I am amazed and delighted by the talent, energy, and excellence our students bring to this project.”
Readers may access VIU Digest at digest.viu.edu. Or, visit the Virginia International University website homepage (www.viu.edu) and click on “Electronic Journal”. In addition to ESL instruction, Virginia International University offers bachelor’s degrees and certificate programs in business administration and computer science, a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Science in Management Information Systems (MMIS). Virginia International University is located at 3957 Pender Drive in Fairfax.