My Journalism Student is Getting Out of Ukraine


The situation in Ukraine is just too dicey. My journalism student, Daniela Fierro (Twitter @daniefierro), is coming home.

I give a lot of credit to West Texas A&M’s Study Abroad Office and to EESA-Eastern European Study Abroad, Daniela’s specific program coordinator, for staying on top of the situation as things have changed. Now, with Russia’s increased military presence in Crimea and rising tensions in the eastern portion of the country, it is time for her to go. The U.S. State Department’s travel warning for Ukraine, issued on Feb. 28, was reason enough, too.

Daniela certainly has been getting attention from some of the Amarillo press: the Amarillo Globe-News, NewsChannel 10, KAMR 4/FOX 14, and her own campus news organization, The Prairie. These interviews were conducted before she had to leave the country, so I’m certain there will be a lot of interest in her story once she returns to Texas.

EESA has arranged for her and other students in their Ukraine program to finish this semester’s courses online, and that will help Daniela stay on schedule as she works to complete her undergraduate degree. Once she is safely back home, I hope she’ll do some writing about her experiences: what she learned while living in another country, what she experienced, and what it was like living through a historic political upheaval.

That’s a rare circumstance for American journalism students, and it’s an experience Daniela will carry with her for her entire career.

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