UW Tacoma professors participate in The OpEd Project

A UW Tacoma professor, Natalie Jolly, was published in the Huffington Post as a participant of The OpEd Project.

Jolly, professor of Social and Historical Studies, appeared in the global online platform earlier last month discussing pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood. She is one of 19 other UW Tacoma professors who are also engaged in the project.

The OpEd Project connects university experts, foundations, nonprofits and corporations across the nation to work with media mentors. Participants learn how to write and publish for a variety of platforms.

Programs ranging from one-day writing seminars to year-long fellowships are also offered.

“So much of what we see and hear represented in U.S. media comes from a just one demographic in a diverse population,” said fellow OEP participant and UW Tacoma professor, Walker. “We need to hear from the other 90 percent.”

According to OEP, women are featured in less than half of all commentary forums, falling the shortest in “Legacy Media” which includes publications like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

“We all tell the stories that matter to us, so it’s crucial that we have a diverse set of storytellers creating the media that we consume,” said Jolly.

She explains that her involvement began by a competitive application process — once accepted, she attended a two-day workshop facilitated by an OEP professional.

From there, accepted faculty members, including herself, started writing and submitting to different platforms.

“The pitch process is rather straightforward,” said Jolly. “It’s a great, low-stakes way to get your ideas out into the world!”

Walker says that nowadays students have access to many public platforms that don’t necessarily require an editor. She urges students interested in having their voices heard to speak to someone who has been published or to read about the process online.

Jolly commends UW Tacoma on their efforts to remain open to diverse commentary and encourages insightful students in her classrooms.

“I think that we need to move education away from the notion that work is produced simply for the instructor, and towards creating educational opportunities that extend beyond the classroom,” she said. “And because students have their finger on the pulse of what’s going on in our society, they really are well-situated to make an important contribution to the conversation.”

Jolly has been invited to become a Huffington Post contributor and remains excited to continue sharing her academic ideas with a wide audience.

Other UW Tacoma professors are still submitting their writing in hopes of being published.