Fall 2022 World Affairs Seminar

Social Media: The Challenges and Opportunities
at Local and Global Levels

For the past 33 years, the Rotary Club of Shepherdstown and the Rotary Club of Martinsburg, West Virginia have convened an annual World Affairs Seminar for students from area high schools to engage in dialogue on a topic of both local and global relevance.

Social Media: The Challenges and Opportunities
at Local and Global Levels

Context and Rationale

The World Affairs Seminar will provide student service club members and leaders from the seven local high schools of the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia an overview of and an opportunity for interactive learning about the advantages and disadvantages of social media at local and global levels. Hopefully, there can be increased emphasis on the benefits of social media: to build relationships; to share expertise; to educate ourselves; to connect with others anytime. Students will hear from a range of social media experts highlighting diverse perspectives and practices, which they can apply in their daily lives and future interactions.


To deepen our understanding of the challenges and opportunities of using social media in our local and global communities and to encourage the use of good practices in the use of social media in our local and global communities.


Selected speakers will present students with a broad range of “balanced” perspectives, framed in the context of empirical evidence and stimulated by questions and answers and active discussion; and

Students will engage in critical thinking through interactive learning tools and group discussions and develop follow-up opportunities for meaningful engagement at the individual and school levels.

Seminar Agenda

Session 1

8:45 – 10:15 a.m.  Storer Ballroom, Shepherd University

Speaker Presentations


Does Social Media Actually Make Us Happy?

Dr. Matthew Kushin
Professor of Communication, Shepherd University


Tapping the Value of Digital Citizenship in Learning Today

Dr. Jennifer Rowan
Director of Technology, Jefferson County Schools


Student Perspective: Navigating Modern Social Media

Michéa Dawson
Shepherd University Communication Major


Civility in the Global Village

Ashley Horst
Executive Director, The Stubblefield Institute


Read Our Presenter Biographies & Share Their Presentations

Session 2

10:15 – 11:15 a.m. 

Social Media: Panel Discussion/Debate; Q & A



Session 3

11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 

Breakout Group Discussion

Session 4

1:00 – 1:30 p.m. Conclusions and Follow-Up

Take-Home Messages and Opportunities for Further Engagement

Develop 2 proposed initiatives, with mentoring support
from Shepherd University Communication majors
and high school student advisors

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