About Miami Montage

The summer high school workshop is as old as the School of Communication at the University of Miami.

In its 39th year at UM, the program is primarily supported by the School of Communication and two local philanthropists committed to journalism and education.

In 2007, the workshop adopted a new name: the Peace Sullivan/James Ansin High School Workshop in journalism and New Media, to reflect additional support of former wire service journalist Peace Sullivan and James Ansin, the general manager of WSVN-Channel 7.

The program also receives funding from the Dow Jones News Fund; the Jeanne Bellamy Scholarship in Print Journalism Fund and John T. Bills Scholarship in Journalism Fund, both at the Miami Foundation; and the Mupalia Wakhisi Scholarship Fund. WSVN hosts the students for a day in their newsrooms.

In addition to their support for the program, Peace Sullivan and James Ansin provide scholarship funds to select participants who want to attend the UM School of Communication.

The program started in 1984 as a one-week workshop with students writing stories exclusively for a tabloid newspaper that was published at the end of the workshop.

Now, the program invites 16- 20 high school students to the campus for two weeks. In addition to publishing a magazine, the students also produce videos, photos. podcasts and blogs that are posted on the workshop’s website.

Over the years, various student participants have won top prizes for their work in reporting/writing, video and photography from the Dow Jones News Fund, which funds a number of similar high school workshops around the country.

Professor Bruce Garrison was the original director of the program. He passed the baton to Professor Tsitsi Wakhisi, who passed it on to Yves Colon, who then passed it to Professor Rafael Lima for a year. Professor Sam Terilli from UM and Professor Fred Blevens then led the program for years. Now, Professor Gina Presson from UM is joining professor Terilli as co-director, in leading the program.

During the two weeks of the program, the students live on campus and are supervised by adult counselors. They are encouraged to minimize contact with home, all in an effort to give them a sense of what university life is like and what to expect.

They eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in the campus cafeteria. They attend classes in the School of Communication and use the labs in the school to produce their various news products. They have access to some of the most advanced cameras and computers to achieve professional results. They use the Coral Gables and its environs as their classroom as they cover stories in the field.

The two weeks are capped by a luncheon where students invite their parents to witness the great work they did during the summer.