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‘Friended at the Front’ author visits K-State

By | K-STATE NEWS | February 27, 2017

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Lisa Silvestri, author of “Friended at the Front: So­cial Media in the American War Zone,” will be at Kansas State University April 20 and 21 to participate in several events.

     Silvestri will deliver the 17th annual Huck Boyd Lec­ture in Community Media, “Remembering our friends at the front,” at 10:30 a.m. April 20 in the K-State Alumni Cen­ter Ballroom. The lecture is free and open to the public.

     That day, she also will par­ticipate in a roundtable discus­sion on the impact of social media on Soldiers and families in transition.

     April 21 Silvestri will be the keynote speaker at the annual conference of Kansas Profes­sional Communicators.

     Her visit is co-sponsored by the Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Commu­nications and the university’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs.

     “Huck Boyd was a great be­liever in preserving small towns and small-town media, and this lecture series in his name helps highlight the importance of community journalism in Kansas and across the nation,” said Gloria Freeland, director of the center and assistant pro­fessor in journalism and mass communications.

     Silvestri will discuss how social media are changing what it’s like to be at war, exploring its impact — good, bad and ugly.

     “For most of us, clicking ‘like’ on social media has be­come fairly routine,” Silvestri said. “For a Marine, clicking ‘like’ from the battlefield lets his entire social network — including loved ones — know he’s still alive. This is the first time in the history of modern warfare that U.S. troops have direct, instantaneous connec­tion to civilian life back home.”

     Retired Lt. Col. Art De­Groat, executive director of military affairs at Kansas State University, said Silvestri’s visit to campus is important and timely.

     “Silvestri’s research is pro­foundly relevant and needed to help us understand the uniqueness of the post-9/11 generation of veterans and their families,” DeGroat said. “Engaging with her at K-State will enhance our ca­pabilities as a premier mili­tary-inclusive public research university.”

     Jean Folkerts, interim direc­tor of the A.Q. Miller School, agrees.

     “Silvestri’s visit gives faculty and students a great opportu­nity to understand a unique use of social media — that of Soldiers at the front being able to communicate with their families,” she said. “Our facul­ty members exchange lectures and information with many of the information profession­als at Fort Riley, and we are delighted to have this opportu­nity to further understand the challenges that face our troops at the front.”

     The A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Commu­nications is part of the College of Arts and Sciences.

 

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