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K-State Today

July 21, 2014

Journalism and mass communications professor meets with residents of Fèves, France

Submitted by Gloria Freeland

A K-State professor of journalism was in Metz, France, in late May and early June to visit with the people of nearby Fèves. The mayor and citizens of Fèves hosted a reception for Gloria Freeland and her family, who were representing the people of Morganville, Kansas.

Freeland, assistant professor at K-State's A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications in the College of Arts and Sciences, teaches News and Feature Writing. Her spring 2013 class wrote a story about the sister-city relationship between Fèves and Morganville that developed after World War II. Morganville staged a pageant in 1948 and sponsored other activities over the next few years to provide food, clothing, seeds and school supplies for the people of Fèves, a small town that had been devastated during the war.

"I like to give my students hands-on assignments so they can interview real people and find out more about their history," Freeland said.

The students' story and subsequent research that Freeland and her husband, Arthur Vaughan, have done led to the re-establishment of ties between the two towns. In December 2013, Fèves residents and aid recipients Gèrard and Solange Torlotting, who were 6 years old at the time the first aid from Morganville arrived, traveled to Morganville with their son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. They were guests at a reception in their honor in the old Morganville elementary school.

The Torlottings, along with other Fèves citizens, are planning a 12-day trip to the U.S. in spring 2015 with a visit to Morganville on their itinerary.

Freeland also visited with Arnaud Mercier and Nathalie Pignard-Cheynel of the University of Lorraine, Metz, to discuss potential collaborations between their university, which has a graduate program in digital journalism, and the K-State journalism and mass communications program.

"This is a classic example of how far-reaching community journalism can be," said Birgit Wassmuth, director of the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications. "I am proud of professor Freeland and her journalism students for their hands-on approach to teaching, learning and practicing journalism, while serving our local communities and their ties to far-away lands. It seems that the relationship between Morganville and Fèves may also bring two universities together."