When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in March 2020, many UA students traveled home for the remainder of the semester. For Fall 2020 journalism graduate Barbara Dias Carneiro, the journey home from Tuscaloosa was anything but ordinary.
Dias Carneiro is originally from Sao Palo, Brazil, and moved to Tuscaloosa to pursue a degree in journalism. Being one of few students left on campus in March, she decided to travel home and finish her degree virtually. She drove 8 hours to the only airport in the United States with a flight to Brazil at the time.
“Through the rush of packing and leaving without saying goodbye, I was nervous and skeptical of traveling during such an unpredictable time and didn’t truly process my emotions until I was back home in Brazil,” Dias Carneiro said.
As she faced a unique journey back home, Dias Carneiro took the opportunity to capture her experience for a project in her Capstone journalism course. She videoed the journey from packing her bags, traveling to the airport and boarding a plane to go home to Brazil.
“While being assigned one last project, I found myself having a duty to talk about the (then) recently emerging pandemic, while also shifting out my future plans and moving out of a country I called home for five years,” Dias Carneiro said. “Back in March of 2020, the pandemic was still this abstract concept we didn’t know much about, so I thought it would be interesting to show it through my personal experience during my journey home.”
She submitted the video to the Hearst Multimedia Narrative Storytelling Competition and placed in the top 20 of the competition this year. She credits her professors in C&IS for nominating her and motivating her to enter the competition.
“I think it’s a sweet gesture when your professors see the quality in your work,” she said. “I love working in this area so I’m very glad that my professor did this for me.”
Aside from her experience with multimedia journalism, Dias Carneiro found many ways to get involved on campus at UA and within C&IS. She was the vice-president of the Hispanic-Latino Association, secretary of the UA chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and taught Portuguese for three years.
Since graduating from C&IS, Dias Carneiro accepted a virtual position with the web-development company Faraday Academy. She is also applying for master’s degree programs and plans to move to Germany in September to pursue a master’s degree in international law.
The Hearst Journalism Awards Program was founded in 1960 to provide support, encouragement and assistance to journalism education at the college and university level. The program awards scholarships to students for outstanding performance in college-level journalism.