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Magazine Produced by Widener Students Focuses on Chester

Five Communication Studies students enrolled in Magazine Journalism planned, reported, wrote, edited and illustrated all of the stories for Chester Magazine.

The inaugural issue of Chester magazine, an online and print publication about the city produced by Widener University students, will be released this month and celebrated on the university’s campus.

Members of the university community and residents of the city of Chester are invited to an informal reception to launch the magazine on the first floor of Freedom Hall at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20.

Stories in the magazine include a photo essay about the city, profiles of the Chester Children’s Chorus, the Laran Bronze Inc. foundry, a fertility doctor at the Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Phatso’s Bakery and other Chester eateries, and a story about the city’s plans for a cultural corridor.

All of the stories were planned, reported, written, edited and illustrated by five Widener communication studies majors: Jason Bishop, Devon Fiore, Brittany Kade, Maria Klecko (double majoring in English), and Khalil Williams. The students were enrolled in Magazine Journalism, a spring 2014 class taught by Sam Starnes, editor of Widener Magazine and marketing writer for the university.

Williams, who was born and raised in Chester, said the experience of working on the magazine gave him a new perspective on his home town. “I feel that Chester has the potential to grow, because there are people who are passionate and interested in seeing the city be better,” he wrote in a column for the magazine. “Between the opportunities that this city has to what’s available now, I feel that it can be full of life again.”

Chester MagazineThe project earned the support of Chester Mayor John Linder, who led the students on a tour of the city at the beginning of the project. He said Chester magazine can serve as a valuable marketing tool to attract businesses and investment in the city.

“The Widener students did an excellent job bringing to life some of outstanding businesses, organizations and culture that Chester has to offer,” Mayor Linder said. “We are excited about the future of the city, and this magazine helps us tell that story. This is a great example of the growth of Chester’s public private partnerships with our prestigious anchor institutions, such as Widener University.”

Over the summer, Autumn Heisler, a senior English and creative writing major, edited the copy for the magazine. Nathalie Franzini-Hidalgo, a senior communication studies and psychology major who studied graphic design with senior lecturer Tim Scepansky, designed the magazine under the guidance of Melanie Franz, a senior graphic designer at Widener.

The university awarded the class a $1,000 Schmutz Student Engagement Mini Grant to produce the magazine. The grant is distributed annually to support undergraduate student-led projects that focus on Ches­ter and are developed in collaboration with a Chester community partner to address the city’s needs. John F. Schmutz, Esquire, donor of the grant, serves on Widener’s Board of Trustees and is a retired senior vice president and general counsel for E. I. DuPont Nemours and Company.

The magazine is being printed in limited numbers, but it can also be viewed online at www.widener.edu/chestermagazine.


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