Marking a decade of Bob Greene’s legacy

For the past 10 summers, we’ve been amazed that two dozen teenagers come together as strangers at the beginning of a hot week in July and go home forever changed — all because of the grueling Greene bootcamp experience. And for the past 10 summers we, as the organizers of a program created as a tribute to a legendary journalist, are inspired by the young people whose names we barely know who entrust us to teach them best practices.

The journey that Greene Team members complete is one fraught with heavy workloads and hot residence halls, new terms to remember and new gadgets to master, cranky parental figures and award-winning role models, complex relationships to navigate and friendships to cherish — all on hardly enough  sleep.

It’s a challenge for you and for us. But we look forward to the end product, the Greene Gazette website bearing all of your writings, your proud pictures and blog postings, the buzz in the newsroom as you bargain for more words or try to perfect that last video before trudging off to the residence hall for the night, fatigued but satisfied.

It’s been said before but ours is labor of love, adoration for Robert W. Greene and the legacy he has left us with his work and his work ethic.

We bake both of those Greene ingredients into this program you have just finished and feel certain that you will go off into the world as better journalists and citizens for the lessons you have learned inside the newsroom, in the baseball stadium and during news over breakfast.

It has been an honor for us to do what we can for the past 10 summers to help teach the newest Greene Team class what we have learned from people like Bob, who took the time to assist legions of journalists. And it’s because of him — and the joy he found in teaching the next generation behind him — that we return each summer to greet and teach two dozen or so teenagers who never fail to leave us without changing us for the better.

-Zack and Cathrine



Crazy last days

The past couple of days have been anything but calm. Everyone has deadlines to meet which leaves us all stressed and extremely tired by the time we clock back into our dorms. It has been raining lately, so our rooms have cooled down a bit.

On Wednesday night, we attended the Ducks game at Bethpage Ballpark. We didn’t go just for fun, we went to cover it for a news package we are all working on. My team (Team 3) is covering a story on the baseball clinic that is offered for young kids.

We took still photos and conducted videoed interviews which we then used to write a story  and put together a video on the clinics. My team works very well together and we all delegate our tasks to “divide and conquer.”

My biggest struggle has been video. I have never worked with a video camera before or edited a news video so this has definitely been a major learning experience.

We are currently working on a different package about Faces and Places which is an art exhibit in arts center on campus.

A week to remember

Me and some of my new friends relaxing after finishing our news packages.

As the Greene Team sat down for one last dinner together, we couldn’t help but observe how different this meal was from our first together (except, or course, for the pizza). Just five days ago, some of us had never spoken to each other, and I certainly didn’t think I would have the courage to introduce myself to anyone, but it’s amazing how deadlines, a ball game and lack of sleep can bring people together.








Our photography instructor, John Williams, showed me that this picture I took that I had initially thought was flawed was actually a hidden gem. One of my favorite memories from this week.

While most people probably won’t miss the early mornings and late nights, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few weeks, months or years from now we found ourselves longing for more news-over-breakfast, or our after-curfew dorm parties. In one week, we became a team. And not just any team… a Greene Team. I am incredibly proud and honored to say I was a part of it.


Day 7: Everything’s gone Greene

It’s unbelievable to think that this week is coming to a close already, but time flies when you’re having fun! I’m extremely thankful to have been a part of the Greene Team, but I’m also very sad to part ways with my fellow Greene Team members. We’ve made some amazing memories over the past seven days, and the friends I made during this period of time mean so, so much to me.

Without our shared interest in journalism, however, we never would have met in the first place. I’m grateful that the Robert Greene Institute was created in honor of the late Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Bob Greene.  Without this innovative program, I never would have had the privilege to embark on this experience in the first place.

I would also like to thank all of the editors, photographers, and videographers for sacrificing their time in order to help us get work done and successfully meet our deadlines.

Lastly, I want to thank Cathrine and Zach for overseeing all of the aforementioned operations. Without them, this certainly wouldn’t be possible!

Being able to hone my photography skills, further accentuate my ability to write, and to learn how to use a camcorder was inspiring.

The last day of something special

Today is the last day of a week that has changed my life. This week has changed my view of news, it has taught me writing, photojournalism and television journalism. I have met great people that made this week entertaining, enjoyable and unforgettable. I created relationships with people that would take other people months to create. And, I bonded with people that I thought I’d never have the opportunity to, such as Taylor Yon and Zoe Gordon. With what they experienced in Parkland, Florida, their openness is inspiring to me.

The team I was a part of in creating TV packages, stories and pictures was a great group of people to be around and we got a lot of work done. It was amazing to learn about things that I didn’t have interest in, such as photography and TV journalism, but John Williams and Rick Ricioppo really opened my eyes about those things and they have piqued my interest in becoming a photojournalist or broadcast journalist.

The coordinators, Cathrine and Zach, were two of the best people I have ever met. I learned so much about them, their careers in journalism and news in general. They really helped us express our ideas, develop our stories and become real journalists. Their speech in our last dinner together really made this week fully special and it summarized how great of a week we had. I really appreciate their dedication and hard work for us, the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists.

Overall, this week was an unforgettable journey of friendships, hard work, dedication and a jumpstart to a life of journalism.


The final day with the Greene Team

Our week has drawn to a close! Today was one of the best experiences I had in putting two stories together in the same day. It was crazy to finish the first piece in the morning by finishing the script for the multimedia piece and putting it together and using final cut pro.

Putting the final touches on our Long Island Ducks Piece

After lunch, my partner and I started format our next piece on a young film maker. It was one of the best articles. We had to do some fact checking and investing new information!

This week was one of the best weeks  I have ever had. It was a lot of stress, but we all managed to work as a team to get our packages done!

It was a long journey to the story, but so worth it

Our Team 1 including Sebastian, Brianna, Chelsea, Emily B. and I walking along a grassy hill.

On our fourth day, Team 1 had walked long and far—some 40 minutes from the Stony Brook East Side Dining Hall to the Long Island State Veterans Home—to cover a special story. We traveled through grass, road sides and buildings, all with equipment in hand. Though tiring, we were enlightened by the stories and memories told by people at the home.

Once inside, we met 90-year-old Sheldon Polan, a World War II army veteran. We are currently producing a package about how he returns to the nursing home each year to provide eye care to other veterans at the home.

Final farewell

Carefully watching the view finder during the Long Island Ducks press conference.

The Whole Greene Team of 2018!

This past week at Stony Brook University’s Robert W. Greene Summer Institute, I’ve learned so much about my potential in the journalism career. Through interaction and close mentoring with the professionals from Newsday and Stony Brook Univerity’s School of Journalism, I was able to carefully observe my mistakes, strengths and weaknesses in writing, photography and videography. During the process, slight mishaps motivated me to progressively work harder. The dedication from my fellow team members revealed how important this career is for our generation. I believe that in the future, people will be better informed knowing that there are journalists like us who seek justice, and truth. Every question made known, whether it be during a press conference, news briefing or daily discussion, have all raised valuable discussions around worldwide issues. My eyes have been opened wider and I will continue to share the skills I’ve learned to my own school. Thank you to everyone involved in the Greene Team of 2018!

The Last Full Day

This week has been filled with laughter, smiles and the sound of typing on the desktops in the newsroom. Many of us throughout the week have grown in journalism and friendship. Being with each other 24 hours a day has made us become our own family away from home, and made this experience even more memorable for the Greene Team.

The past few days have given us an experience that most people wouldn’t have, and helped us figure out what we want to do in life. The Long Island Ducks game was one of the most interesting activities in the camp because of the real journalism experience we were getting out of it. Being able to walk around the park and using the knowledge we learned in lessons the previous few days really made me feel like we were real journalists getting interviews for a news package.

Today we finished our two packages with our groups and started to say our goodbyes trying to make our final memories for the week. We all made sure to get every social media account and numbers from all 25 people in the group to make sure we keep the Greene Team experience going, even after we leave.

Our final diner together really made me remember just how much I’m going to miss all of these people I’ve made connections with, including Rick and Catherine. Going around the room and sharing our final thoughts and things we’re going to miss brought tears to most peoples’ eyes who also realized how much they’re going to miss this program and the experience it gave them. Because of the Greene team editors, alumni, and volunteers who came out to teach us the ins’s and out’s of journalism, it was a fun learning experience.

Im proud to say that I’ve became more confident in my work and am ready to bring these experiences with me to school and other future oppertunities that come my way. I’m going to miss my new Greene team family and can’t wait to come back as an alumni and share my experiences with others.

(photo by Jianni Burnett)

Bye, bye Greene Team

As we spend our last night together as the Greene Team, I think we can all agree that our time here has been valuable.

From learning about photography, videography, broadcasting, interviewing, writing techniques and journalism as a whole, we have had one packed week. We are so grateful for all of the professional journalists who took the time out of their busy schedules to teach us the ins and outs of journalism and for the glimpse they gave us into their careers. Our growth over this past week has been immense and is a result of all of their help and guidance. Our growth was not only limited to the newsroom, as we have molded into one cohesive and close group of friends.

I am sad to see the week come to a close. However, I am eager to see what the future holds for us Greene Team members!

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