Andrew Barnes, a 2009 graduate of West Virginia University’s P.I. Reed School of Journalism master’s program, will receive the Innovative Electronic Theses and Dissertation award from the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations consortium this summer.

The NDLTD bestows the award annually to students who have written exemplary electronic theses or dissertations. Barnes submitted a multimedia project entitled “Humans for Sale: Using Multimedia to Spread Social Awareness of Human Sex Trafficking in Southeast Asia.”

As a graduate student, Barnes traveled to Vietnam and Cambodia to interview sex-trade workers and non-governmental organization representatives who are working to establish long-term economic alternatives to reduce human exploitation.

His project can be found at by searching for “Andrew Barnes.”

Barnes says he hopes the award will raise questions in the research community.

“Trafficking is a deeply complex issue facing global society,” said Barnes. “Perhaps this award can bring attention to the topic and make researchers curious and want to do their own research on the problem.”

“This electronic thesis is a very effective way to hit home the reality of the situation,” said John Hagen, co-chair of the NDLTD awards committee. “It highlights the tragedies of what these people go through but also the successes of those trying to create alternatives to this way of life.”

The NDLTD awards program includes three categories of appreciation: Innovative ETDs, Innovative Learning Through ETDs and ETD Leadership.

Barnes’ category, Innovative ETDs, recognizes student efforts to transform the genre of the print dissertation through the use of new software to create cutting-edge ETDs. Use of renderings, photos, video and other multimedia objects that are included in the electronic document were considered as part of the innovation of the work.

The awards will be presented at the ETD 2010 Symposium, to be held this year at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, June 16-18. Program details are available on the ETD 2010 Conference Website.

Currently, Barnes is finishing his year of service as a VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) volunteer at the University of Maine. He has been working in a small, rural community in Maine to help develop its media capacities. Barnes hopes to continue working to empower communities through media and also continue his storytelling on international topics like human trafficking.



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CONTACT: Kimberly Brown, School of Journalism
304-293-3505 ext. 5403