(7-14-97) -- Media ethics and the challenges of sustaining a "virtual community" on the Internet were among the topics aired at a five-day conference of Jesuit university communications professors held July 9-13 at Boston College.
Some 40 participants from 19 Jesuit institutions across the country attended the annual Communication Conference of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.
"The conference was the most fully attended in recent memory and was an exciting one because of the diversity of topics addressed in the presentation," said Prof. Kevin Kersten, SJ (Communication), who organized the meeting with Assoc. Prof. Donald Fishman (Communication) and Asst. Prof. Lisa Cuklanz (Communication).
A highlight of the conference came when Fr. Kersten, Prof. Bren Murphy of Loyola University at Chicago, and Prof. John Pauley of St. Louis University were interviewed July 11 by David Brudnoy on his WBZ Radio talk show. The conversation went so well that the three academics were asked to stay on the air for two-and-a-half hours.
Conference topics included the role of Jesuit university education in the field of communication, and the challenge of maintaining community in an age of rapidly advancing technology. Particular focus was placed on the use of the Internet as a tool for furthering the Jesuit educational mission.
Fr. Kersten credited the success of the conference to the hospitality of the Boston College community, from the staffers who fed and housed the conferees to the technicians who provided special phone and Internet hookups.
"As captain of the local organizing team, I had full support from 10 to 12 offices of University service," Fr. Kersten said. "Collectively, they created a welcoming atmosphere and logistical efficiency that, to a person, our participants wondered at, and were grateful for."
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