Horseshoe Magazine

The Long-Form Journalism Source of the University of New Haven

Horseshoe Magazine

Horseshoe Magazine

Discovering and Telling Stories Worth Telling

Photo of a modern Polaroid camera. Photo courtesy of Horseshoe Magazine/Elizabeth Radko.

Everyone has a story to tell. All you need is the right medium and person to help you tell it. Fortunately, students in the communications class Telling Digital Stories, taught by Susanne Murphy and Nicki Chavoya, had the opportunity to tell a story they thought was worth sharing. The class aims to teach students how an image can become “iconic…how to listen so that others may speak. When to ask questions and when to nod silently. How to craft words and images into powerful professional media pieces,” as stated in the promotional material for the class.

Photo of the University of New Haven seal. Photo courtesy of Horseshoe Magazine/Elizabeth Radko.

The projects are part of a University of New Haven initiative, The Welcome Project, which tells stories of people at the university—faculty or students—and people in the community at large. The project aims to share stories about “the challenges and opportunities of living and working together amidst increasing diversity.” Stories are told via podcasts, video interviews, and photojournalistic pieces.

This semester, students created projects on a variety of topics, from dealing with ADHD to working as a nurse. 

One student, Bruno Volonte, a senior communications major, worked with nurse Sarah Idarraga to share her experiences dealing with complex cases and how the job has fulfilled her.

Bruno Volonte’s Welcome Project piece. Courtesy of Bruno Volonte. Used with permission.

When discussing the time he spent working on the project, Volonte said he learned new skills about storytelling that he hopes to use in his other creative ventures. He hopes that one day he will have his own radio show. Meanwhile, Volonte practices his radio hosting at the university’s radio station, 88.7 WNHU, with his show “The Club in Your Car.”

Photo of the 88.7 WNHU sign. Photo courtesy of Horseshoe Magazine/Elizabeth Radko.

Another student, Katie Asiel, a sophomore communications major with a concentration in film and media, worked on a project about her sister’s experience being objectified as a young girl and how she learned to dress for herself and do what made her feel comfortable and beautiful.

Katie Asiel’ s Welcome Project piece. Courtesy of Katie Asiel. Used with permission.

Asiel said she is passionate about directing, and she has taken on the role of director in many personal projects. In her work, Asiel said she tries to prioritize creating projects with meaning and depth as she wants her art to make the audience feel something.

Junior communications major, with a concentration in multiplatform journalism, Emily Lavoie created a piece about living with ADHD and how that diagnosis can change your life for the better.

Emily Lavoie’s Welcome Project piece. Courtesy of Emily Lavoie. Used with permission.

In discussing her time as a journalism major, Lavoie said that the most important lesson she learned was that “an authentic story is a great story.” In creating her pieces, she takes this idea to heart as she tries to tell “the story [her] subject wanted told rather than [her] own opinions.” It is important to Lavoie that during the process of creating her journalistic pieces that she has open conversation with her subject in regard to the edits that she seeks to make.

Photo of a wall in the University of New Haven that says “Charger Nation.” Photo courtesy of Horseshoe Magazine/Elizabeth Radko.

Murphy and Chavoya’s class has given these students an extraordinary opportunity to explore the world of journalism. In turn, the students were able to give a voice to people who might not have had the opportunity to be heard otherwise. To see more work from students in the Welcome Project, y check out their work from 2018 to 2024 here.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Horseshoe Magazine

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of New Haven. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Elizabeth Radko
Elizabeth Radko, Photojournalism Editor
Donate to Horseshoe Magazine

Comments (0)

All Horseshoe Magazine Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *