Alumna Elisabetta Petrucci and Professor Kwame Phillips Lead Workshop at AMICAL

Elisabetta Petrucci

Elisabetta Petrucci

JCU alumna Elisabetta Petrucci and Communications Professor Kwame Phillips led a workshop at the AMICAL 2020 conference, hosted by the American University of Kuwait from January 15 to 18. AMICAL is an international Consortium of American liberal arts institutions that collaborate on common goals for libraries, technology, and learning. The program of this year’s conference focused on the impact of digital transformation on institutions.

Like every year, the conference brought together librarians, technologists, and faculty from the 29 institutions that belong to the AMICAL Consortium to propose workshops, presentations, and discussions. The workshop that Elisabetta and Professor Phillips led was titled “The Video Diary as a Reflection: Engaging selfie culture in the curriculum to develop innovative learning and digital media skills.”

The workshop focused on “Selfie culture” and, specifically, on the ways professors can incorporate it into the curriculum for pedagogical reasons. Elisabetta also explained the benefits for the students of using video reflections, as opposed to written reflections. “Actively making a video where the students express their opinions on a subject helps both them and the professors to connect better with the topic and to develop a personal viewpoint. It’s a more direct and effective way to analyze materials,” said Elisabetta.

The workshop was divided into two main parts: during the first 30 minutes, Professor Phillips and Elisabetta introduced the topic. In the second part, they had the participants do a video reflection to express their thoughts and concerns on the topic. Elisabetta, who had studied with Professor Phillips, was already familiar with the method of video reflection. One of Professor Phillips’s teaching methods is to make his students examine the class material through a self-video reflection so that they can advance both critical and digital skills.

Elisabetta Petrucci graduated in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Entrepreneurship. After graduation, Elisabetta began an internship at the John Cabot Frohring Library. In the fall she will move to Copenhagen to earn her master’s degree in Film and Media Studies.

Professor Kwame Phillips is an anthropologist and filmmaker. Born in London and raised in Jamaica, he joined John Cabot’s Department of Communications in Fall 2016. He has traveled all around the world teaching digital storytelling in underserved communities and is currently teaching media studies and post-production classes at JCU.

“The conference was a challenging experience for me,” says Elisabetta, “because I had to engage an audience and talk in front of field experts. Not only was it an academically formative experience, but it also gave me the opportunity to experience the vibe of a new community of experts and scholars.”