Students for Life across from Voices for Choices at Oakland University



Oakland University is talking about genocide after a student group presented provocative images of death camps, executions, and abortions to campus, last week — April 7th and 8th, 2014.

The Genocide Awareness Project

The exhibit, called the Genocide Awareness Project, was hosted by Students for Life at Oakland University. The exhibit belongs to and is sponsored by The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform which is based in Lake Forest, California.

“I would say that before this display was up here, say a week ago, very few people were really talking about abortion,” Mark Wolf said, a volunteer representing the center. “I would say right now the whole college campus is talking about this.” Mark adds, “It’s started conversations going that weren’t going before.”

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A Tutorial for the Photojournalist

A quick and easy guide

The folks at the Journalists’ Toolkit have compiled a list of articles from Photo Composition Articles into an easy to understand guide to the basics of photojournalism. In seven links, they address several important aspects of photography that should be considered by every photojournalist (or photographer for that matter.)

The tutorial covers:

  • Simplicity

  • Rule of Thirds

  • Lines

  • Balance

  • Framing

  • And how to avoid mergers

 Included, with each step of the tutorial, are photos and captions briefly explaining the principles covered in the article. This makes the subject material easy to digest and understand. Taking a cue from its first tutorial, the articles are simplistic. There is not large sections of text to digest, but rather a few sentences to each photograph. Most of the photos concisely pull together the concepts being discussed. The entire tutorial should take you no more than half an hour to fully-digest.

 The articles combine technical tips with aesthetics to make sure the photos you select (and take) are aesthetically pleasing. This means that in the process of understand the technical aspects of the photographic concepts, but that the overall impression of the photo to your average audience is pleasing and fitting.

 All of these articles are provided free of charge. They can be easily accessed via the Journalists’ Toolkit website at If this tutorial isn’t enough, the Photo Composition Articles website has a plethora of other content regarding photography at

 If you’re looking for an even more succinct overview of the lessons you can checkout my slideshow embeded below.

The Disaster that is Sochi

Independence Township has some big budget plans

Independence Township has some big budget plans
by Matthew E. Semrau
April 17, 2013

INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Wednesday evening marked the second bi-weekly meeting of the Independence Township board of trustees. Among the items on the agenda were big spending plans, future sewer projects, more news about a potential hospital, and support for a local girl in a coma. Continue reading

Profile View: Dr. Jeffrey Youngquist

A Profile View: Dr. Jeffrey Youngquist
by Matthew E. Semrau
April 2013

ROCHESTER, Mich. — As human beings, we tend to think of unintended consequences as bad things, but that is not always the case. Sometimes they are what drives us to where we belong. This is the case for Jeffrey Youngquist, Ph.D. an associate professor of communication at Oakland University. Continue reading






The Cue Sheet of the Fenton Village Players – Using Adobe InDesign I revamped this non-profit organization’s newsletter. I wrote most of the content, designed the layout from scratch, and regularly published by email. It was published monthly to members from February through May of 2014 before I stepped down from the position. You can see the progression in skill and design. Issue 4 is my favorite.


Stage Plays

  • Dirty Politics – Full-length, 3M, 1W, – Political satire – Appointed to the Senate, Eli Jayden finds himself the target of his disgraced predecessor, Phil Mackley. A desperate call-girl, Veronica Stevens, becomes a tool for revenge.
  • Friendship’s Destiny – 10 minute, 2M, 1W – Stylized Drama – Written as a hat-tip to classic tragedies, bodyguard, Cade, is forced to pick between his own life and defending the heir of the newly assassinated dictator–his childhood  best friend.
  • It’s All Ed’s Fault – 10 minute 2M, 1W, – Farcical Comedy – About a bystander attempting to aid a mental patient, and finds himself the target of unwanted psychiatric evaluation
A photo of the panelists

Women Tell How They Built Communities

Women Tell How They Helped Build Communities
by Matthew E. Semrau
March 18, 2013

A photo of the panelists

From let to right: Majewski, Noda, Griffor. Photo by Sharon L. Harris

TROY, Mich.  – Mayor of Hamtramck, Dr. Karen Majewski, Honorary Consul of Chile, Mariela Griffor, and distinguished educator and researcher, Dr. Phyllis Noda, gathered at the Balkan American Center on Big Beaver Road to present a panel lecture entitled, “Women as Community Builders.” Continue reading