UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA SCHOOL OF MASS COMMUNICATIONS ALUMNI MAGAZINE
LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR by Dr. Fred Pearce
PRSSA MAKES SOME NOISE by Atecia Robinson
ANDY NGUYEN GOES HOLLYWOOD by Emily Givens
DEANNE ROBERTS REMEMBERED by Lindsey Voltoline
THE EVOLUTION OF SOCIAL MEDIA by Cristin Cotton
BUMP. SET. SPIKE. by Lissette Col贸n
2 THE BULLHORN FALL 2012
DIRECTOR Dr. Fred Pearce EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Nicholas Trobiano '12 PHOTO EDITOR Faith Willis '12 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Courtney Difonzo '12 Sarah Drewes '12 Kari Fuhrmann '12 Molly Fullam '12 Julianne Goins '12 Chole Lykes '12 Valerie Quintana '12 Atecia Robinson '12 Diedra Rodriguez '13 Rachel Sacco '12 Jean Telcy '12 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Emily Givens '12 Cristin Cotton '12 Lissette Col贸n '12 Atecia Robinson '12 Lindsey Voltoline '13 CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Cover Photo: April Stratemeyer '13 Faith Willis '12 Dan Phuong Nguyen Vinh Phus USF/Pool FACULTY Design: Prof. Kevin Hawley Copy: Dr. Rick Wilber
This publication was written, designed and produced by Journalism students in the USF School of Mass Communications.
FALL 2012 THE BULLHORN 3
LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR This e-zine is designed to serve a number of important functions: to communicate with you and to help increase the networking opportunities among our alumni; to help us track your careers – which is important in maintaining our ACEJMC national accreditation; and to help our reporting and magazine production students get their work published. Welcome home. And welcome to the Bullhorn. I’m sure that as an alum of the School of Mass Communications at the University of South Florida, you’ve wondered: what’s going on there now? Or is Dr. Smith still teaching? Or whatever happened to (insert name of lost colleague here)? Well, we’ve heard you and we’re proud to introduce you to the first edition of the USF School of
I hope that you like this first edition. Our plan is to publish the electronic version of our magazine three times a year (Spring, Fall, and Winter) and to publish a four-color annual magazine during the summer. Please enjoy. Please give us feedback. And please circulate. Best wishes,
Mass Communications electronic magazine. And we hope that you’ll both like it and pass it along to fellow alums. Produced by students and faculty of your alma mater, the Bullhorn will bring you news of what’s going on; features on students, faculty, and alumni; and a section on “Class Notes.” 4 THE BULLHORN FALL 2012
Dr. Fred Pearce DIRECTOR
ANDY NGUYEN GOES HOLLYWOOD
USF ALUM’S JOURNEY TO A NATIONAL FILM AWARD BY EMILY GIVENS
he 2012 Sundance Film Festival in January brought one of USF’s own to the spotlight. Andy Nguyen, a telecommunications USF
alum, recently won the Playboy Short Series Bombay Sapphire Imaginative Filmmakers
6 THE BULLHORN FALL 2012
Spotlight Award for his Columbia University
they starting giving him alternative tasks be-
thesis film, “Boomerang.” This award was a
hind the scenes. He watched as the team put
golden ticket to having a film slot in the most
together the film piece by piece and realized
prestigious independent film festival in the
this was exactly what he wanted to do.
The first real chance with a camera was at his
At age 10, Andy traveled to Vietnam to ex-
aunt’s wedding in his early teenage years.
perience his family’s cultural heritage and
He commented that several family members
spend time with his filmmaking uncles, Tring
were annoyed as he made them repeat ac-
Hoan and Vinh Son. Hoan, one of the leading
tions so he could get multiple angles for his
cinematographers in Southeast Asia, shot the
“movie.” This experience helped push him to-
highly acclaimed films “Song of the South”
ward doing narrative pieces and telling stories
and “The White Silk Dress.” He started a film
studio named “HK FILM,” named after himself and his wife. Son has been a film director in Vietnam since reunification. He is one of the most respected directors in the industry and now teaches at the film school in Ho Chi Minh City.
In high school, Andy and his brother started making clay films “since no one wanted to be in our movies.” They did several small projects working with clay animation. As time progressed, Andy decided he wanted to go to film school since he did not see a career at Pixar,
Andy was immediately fascinated by their
so at age 16 he flew to Vietnam to make his
films and asked to be an extra. However, as
first real film. His uncles helped provide him
soon as they started shooting a serious scene,
equipment and produce “A Silent Night,” a
uncontrollable giggles would slip from Andy
film that aired and won an award at the Heart-
in the background. After several takes like this,
land Film Festival in Indianapolis.
FALL 2012 THE BULLHORN 7
“USF developed me into a storyteller.”
Photo by Dan Phuong Nguyen
“They (Heartland Film Festival coordinators)
ing at them. So, I asked to take my picture
required me to be there, so they flew me out
with her just to prove my ridiculous story with
and picked me up in a limo. I went everywhere Dakota Fanning.” in a limo. Dakota Fanning had the whole floor above me. They had a tuxedo with my exact measurements on my door waiting for me to wear it. I didn’t even know these things were
Although he did very well with his film, he did not initially make it into film school. So, he transferred to USF to study telecommunications.
possible,” Andy said. “The night I arrived, I
“As a filmmaker, it strengthens you to know
was sitting outside of a theater and saw Dako-
the different aspects of filming,” Andy said.
ta Fanning. So I called her over and was going
He explained how Kristin Arnold, a telecom-
to give her these comp tickets to come see my
munications professor, taught him how to
movie. She took the tickets and autographed
craft the technical structure of the media he
them and gave them back to me without look-
makes, along with giving him experience
8 THE BULLHORN FALL 2012
Behind-the-scenes footage from the making of Andy Nguyen’s series, “Forever in Hiatus.” The three-part series centers around the story of a short-lived fame of a pop star, who has left behind his former fame to pedal a xich-lo (pedi-cab) on the streets of Saigon. Photo by Vinh Phus
and self-confidence. “You don’t realize when you first meet him but he is such a funny kid,” Arnold raved. He also approached one of his professors, Rick Wilber, to be his mentor. “He came to my office with a DVD and I thought ‘Great, here we go’ but then I watched his film and went ‘Oh my, he really IS a filmmaker.’ Then I ran down the hall and made the rest of the faculty watch it," Wilber said. "When he graduated he asked me to write a recommendation for film school. I’ve only written 5 or 6 recommendations since the 1970s that I felt so outrageously strong about. I practically threatened those schools to let him in. Later, I was watching the Sundance Film Festival and was not at all surprised to see him standing next to Robert Redford (founder of the Sundance Film Festival) on screen.”
FALL 2012 THE BULLHORN 9
Along with practical knowledge, USF provided
strange,” Andy said. “Did they think I was a
support and vision. “USF developed me into a
robot? I didn’t understand I’d won at the time.
storyteller,” Andy said.
Then suddenly they were telling me, ‘Con-
After graduating from USF, he decided to apply to film schools in Los Angeles and New
gratulations! We’re flying you to Sundance to accept the award and show your movie!’”
York for graduate school. After much delib-
He did not know what to expect in Park
eration about several acceptance letters, he
City, Utah, home of the Sundance Film
chose Columbia University. For several years
Festival. He hoped he would be put in the
now he has been making films and furthering
corner of the room so he could watch and
his career in film production while working
not feel so out of place in the large ball-
toward his master’s.
room of dressed up professionals. Instead,
His senior thesis film project, “Boomerang,” a short film highlighting the inner struggle a man has during a breakup with his girlfriend,
he was at a table seated with his brother, a mysterious man, another mystery woman, and the host, Anthony Mackie.
is his most recent success. His goal was to
The table talked to each other and did not
satisfy academic requirements and, instead,
take notice of these younger boys sitting with
he ended up winning the Playboy Short Series
them. Finally Andy found the courage to ask,
Bombay Sapphire Imaginative Filmmakers
“Who are you?” He was surprised to find him-
Spotlight Contest, as well as $3,500.
self sitting with the CEO and COO of Playboy.
“I received an email asking about the details
He was stunned; he looked around and won-
and qualifications of my movie. Then I was
dered, “Who else am I sitting with?” All these
asked to go on Skype to further discuss the
dressed up people around him looked like
requirements of my film, which I thought was
they could be his neighbors. Later he found a
10 THE BULLHORN FALL 2012
seating chart and could not believe the influ-
The average person might never guess that
ential film leaders he had been sitting with.
his short 20-minute film project for class cost
He explained he learned a valuable career lesson, for his industry and all others. “You never know who the scrub sitting next to you is, or how they can surprise you.” Andy said. Now, he wants to learn to throw himself into the mix and be the one to put out the first hand.
about $20,000 to make. Andy and other film students find ways of funding their projects, through donations and contests. Some take extreme measures, but film school is their chance to make an impression to break into the industry.
Andy’s goal is to graduate from film school
He is currently writing a feature film, “Forever
and direct feature films. “It takes so much
in Hiatus” and hopes to find funding for it in
trust for someone to hand you their script and
the near future.
money to direct a film, any film.”
FALL 2012 THE BULLHORN 11
DR. KELLI BURNS AND THE EVOLUTION OF SOCIAL MEDIA BY CRISTIN COTTON
t’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Captain
a role social media has within her curriculum
NatGas, here to save the day! The
during a recent interview, she responded with
Captain landed at the University of
an enthusiastic, “Huge.”
South Florida at the end of the 2012 spring semester in hopes of transforming all energy resources into natural gas. The superhero's first
stop, according to his Facebook account, was Dr. Kelli Burns’ public relations writing class. In case of an emergency, he can be reached via Twitter @CaptainNatGas. Captain NatGas is one of many superheroes who has stopped by Burns’ classroom. The superhero was a product of a classroom project where the students created social media campaigns for a number of socialissue “superheroes”.
“Specifically with the creation of the social media campaign project, I wanted my students to see how contemporary issues filter through social media. For instance, how is the story being narrated through social media? Did the story first break within a social media?” Burns has been teaching PR for a total of eleven years and with each class she has added either an internet or social media element. Burns received her Ph.D. in mass communications from the University of Florida, her master’s degree in mass communication from Middle Tennessee State University and
Burns, social media scholar and associ-
her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and
ate professor of mass communications at
business from Vanderbilt University. This
USF, hands out similar social media projects
year marks her sixth year as a USF public
among all her courses. When asked how big
FALL 2012 THE BULLHORN 13
“I majored in math and business because one, my school didn’t have marketing, and two, I saw the potential in acquiring the analytical skills one learns from having a business degree.” It wasn’t until Burns was in the middle of receiving her master’s degree that she started to acquire a desire to teach. “A graduate program is very different from a bachelor’s,” she said. “You are much more exposed to the life behind academia. I developed personal relationships with my professors. I started to reflect on what I really wanted to do, plus I was a good graduate student. I started to think ‘Well, maybe I’ll get into a Mass Communication Ph.D. program’ and I did.” It was during her two years of doctoral work at the University of Florida that Internet advertising started to erupt on the scene. “Everyone was writing about it. Everyone was researching it. Internet advertising was the trend. In fact, my dissertation covered online advertising,” she said. Burns remembers when computers screens were made of nothing but a black background with white letters. “My first experience with computers was when I was getting my master’s degree. My computer didn’t have a mouse,” she
14 THE BULLHORN FALL 2012
The use of multimedia has increased exponentially and continues to be on a steady rise. Users employ these websites to not only communicate with friends and family, but also to share information, pictures, news stories, business connections, opinions, etc. Most young people use these websites as their main source for breaking and international news.
recalled. “I had to push control F to get the
Athar, inadvertently tweeted everything that
cursor to move up the page.”
he was experiencing; consequently, social me-
“I even remember registering for classes by
dia’s role was transformed in the process.
phone,” she reminisced. “Way back in the
Back in May of 2011, two days after Osama
Bin Laden’s death, Burns joined Fox 13’s
The tall, enthusiastic PR professor with bouncy shoulder-length blond hair did anything just then but age herself when one considers
“Good Day Tampa Bay” to talk about the phenomenal transformation of social media in news coverage.
that Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare are all
“It is a very small world and news is travel-
still relatively new and in good, well, let’s be
ing faster than ever before,” Burns said on the
honest - spectacular condition. I will also point
morning program. “The death of Bin Laden hit
out that there is no return-to-sender in sight.
America’s news channels on Sunday evening.
With restaurants, as well as clothing and apparel stores, all having their own Facebook accounts, it is no big surprise that social media has gained a presence when it comes to
Let us say that someone was asleep at the time and woke up and watched the news and said, ‘Oh my gosh, I have to tweet this,’ everyone would say, ‘We already know.’”
coverage of world news. News organizations
Facebook launched in 2005, four years af-
now have their own Facebook and Twitter
ter 9/11. Who knows how different that time
sites. Even more so, the common bystander is
would have been if America was as connected
the one breaking a story.
then as we are now.
That is what happened with the death of
“My first semester teaching was 2001, the
Osama Bin Laden. A man in Pakistan, Sohaib
year the twin towers were hit,” said Burns.
FALL 2012 THE BULLHORN 15
“I had a 9:30 class that day and by then one
and I asked them what they remembered
plane had already hit the towers. Kids weren’t
about that day. Each said, ‘Well, I remember
as connected as they are now so a lot of my
being in your class when the towers fell.’”
students didn’t know what was going on. I did have one student monitoring events from
Both crisis situations, 9/11 and the death of Bin
a computer and he told us when the second
Laden, stand as examples of why the social
media projects that Burns assigns are crucial
“During the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, I looked up some of my students I had at the time on Facebook. I found three male students
16 THE BULLHORN FALL 2012
in preparing her students for the real world, professionally, socially and also politically. “There is a social media side to everything
now,” she said. “Every story now has a social
about the role of social media within religion
media element, either how the story broke
and how churches are using Facebook and Twit-
on social media or how a story filters through
ter to reach their congregations.” She paused,
and added, “You have to have social media literacy now. You just have to.” And as for Captain NatGas - it’s up, up and away as Prof. Burns’ class won second place at the Collegiate Energy Challenge in Washington, D.C. in May. The team actually finished second to Auburn University graduate students, but the jury awarded all three top teams (including the University of Texas at Arlington) first-place prize money. USF may have been underdogs at the competition this year, but with results such as this, USF public relations students are going to be on everybody’s radar - including employers'.
She continued, “I was reading the Tampa Bay Times the other day and one headline read, “Social Media and Religion”. The article was
FALL 2012 THE BULLHORN 17
BUMP. SET. SPIKE. By Lissette Colón
BY LISSETTE COLÓN
couldn’t talk with the other children, so it was
difficult to make friends. However, she fondly
Gomez, a mass
recalls excelling at sports during recess, so
the other children fought over having her on
and volleyball player at the University of South Florida, is a time man-
agement maven, but she wasn’t always good at spending her time wisely.
Rodriguez Gomez moved from Venezuela to the United States when she was 10 years old. Her childhood in Venezuela was stable until her family was forced to leave under President Chávez’ rule.
Because she struggled to learn English, Rodriguez Gomez also struggled throughout middle school and high school. This effected her confidence so she felt academics were not a priority and she focused on her strengths. Volleyball became her passion and during her senior year she contacted 50-to-75 schools, hoping for a spot on one of their teams. Coaches from USF attended a game to watch her play. When the game ended, Rodriguez Gomez extended her hand to greet them, but the coach hugged her instead. She felt
When Rodriguez Gomez arrived in the U.S.,
welcome and knew USF was going to be her
she didn’t speak English and had to learn
everyday words using pictures and memorization, while her classmates had standard assignments. She felt alienated and frustrated because she
Rodriguez Gomez began her studies at USF during the summer of 2010. It is mandatory for new athletes to start early. This helps them to start working out to progressively get in shape
FALL 2012 THE BULLHORN 19
ANDREA RODRIGUEZ GOMEZ IS PROUD TO CALL USF HOME.
and mentally prepared for the season.
grades ranging from D’s to F’s.
“I had this preconceived notion that college
“I was really scared because my coach
was a breeze,” Rodriguez Gomez said. “It was
didn’t know what to do with me,” Rodriguez
so difficult. I had no idea that things would be
Gomez said. “She asked me what my time
so hard. When the fall session came along,
management plan was and I didn’t go by
I took six classes and I was in season. So I
one. I had no plan.”
needed a tutor for every class.”
Her coaches suggested a few tools they used
During the middle of her first semester, Rodri-
and Rodriguez Gomez tried them all. At first,
guez Gomez was on academic probation with
she found that using an iCal was not helping
20 THE BULLHORN FALL 2012
RODRIGUEZ GOMEZ HAS BUILT LONG-LASTING FRIENDSHIPS WITH HER TEAMMATES.
her stay on task and that she needed to visual-
which equaled 18 credit hours per week. She
ize her day-to-day tasks. She eventually found
spent 30 minutes each week with six tutors
that she needed both an electronic and hard
and spent more than five hours on homework.
copy that displayed every detail of her week.
Volleyball strength training and practice took
â&#x20AC;&#x153;They had me put all my grades online in a spreadsheet, use a Google calendar, and a planner to enter in my schedule,â&#x20AC;? Rodriguez Gomez said. Rodriguez Gomez had to manage six classes,
up at least nine-and-a-half more hours.
While on academic probation, Rodriguez Gomez was prohibited from attending practice. Athletes at USF are required to have an extra hour of study hall for every C they earn. They
FALL 2012 THE BULLHORN 21
must also miss an hour of practice for any
She is not ashamed to tell her story because
grade lower than a C. Rodriguez Gomez had
she feels she has grown out of that.
a D and an F, so she lost two hours of practice. Sometimes her grades were so poor, she couldn’t attend practice at all.
Today, Rodriguez Gomez completes her Google calendar and paperback agenda at the start of each semester. She fills each timeslot
But, Rodriguez Gomez was still more con-
with class lecture topics, meetings, practices,
cerned with the team than she was with
tests, homework assignments and training.
She factors in every detail.
“My coaches approached me and tried to get
Rodriguez Gomez admits she is now paranoid
through to me,” Rodriguez Gomez said. “I real-
about managing her time. Since she has both
ized that everybody on my team cared about
a digital and hard copy of her responsibilities,
all these things. I wanted to care about them,
she has no excuse to not get things done.
too. Once I started to do the right things, everybody was happy. Then, I would forget something again and my team would get fed up. So, when I started making changes, it was more for them, not for me.” Rodriguez Gomez managed to completely turn things around and brought her grades up to A’s and B’s.
Since playing volleyball at USF, Rodriguez Gomez has learned that being a student isn’t all fun and games; it is a responsibility. “I’ve learned that the school’s name, as far as volleyball goes, is in my hands because I have control of whether we are going to win or not,” Rodriguez Gomez said. “I know it’s a team sport, but I take it upon myself because I
“I was so forgetful, but that’s not how I am any-
know if I do my best we are going to do better.
more,” Rodriguez Gomez said. “That’s how I was.”
Everyone feels like that, I’m sure.”
22 THE BULLHORN FALL 2012
Not only has Rodriguez Gomez changed her outlook on school, but she has also changed her outlook on life. She credits her time as a USF athlete with making her care more about her future. The time between her freshman Rodriguez Gomez explains that playing volleyball is strategic and college athletics is a
and sophomore years was a time of personal growth.
business. Her experiences at USF helped her
Now Rodriguez Gomez is motivated to be suc-
realize if she doesn’t play her best, she could
cessful for herself. She has learned from her
lose her scholarship, her coach could lose her
own experiences, as well as from listening to
job, and USF volleyball could lose funding.
speakers who were once athletes but, due to
“That’s why I always try to do my best,” Rodriguez Gomez said. “That way I don’t ever feel like there’s something else I could’ve done. I try to live by this every day so I feel like there is nothing more I could have given today. If
injury, had to find new careers. That encouraged Rodriguez Gomez to focus her energy on school as a way to find new possibilities for her future, rather than solely depending on volleyball.
something does happen, I know that I gave it
“Now I focus on doing really well in my classes
my all, so I have no regrets.”
so I can do well in life,” Rodriguez Gomez said.
FALL 2012 THE BULLHORN 23
PRSSA MAKES SOME NOISE BY ATECIA ROBINSON
outside of the classroom. The best way was to
get involved. I learned networking; you meet
so many people in the community. PRSSA is
South Florida stu-
a part of PRSA. We have had so many guest
dents in PRSSA,
speakers who often talk to us and we can call
the Public Relations Student Society of Ameri-
for advice. Many people have gotten intern-
ca, feel confident about being prepared for life
ships from that alone,” said Cameron.
Since its inception, the 44-year old student so-
Murewa Olubela, PRSSA’s vice president, and
ciety has cultivated meaningful relationships
Sasha Cameron, PRSSA’s president, say the
between public relations students and public
School of Mass Communications’ curriculum
relations practitioners. Aside from the ability
and faculty are not the only thing that is pre-
to network with professionals and peers, and
paring them. Olubela and Cameron joined
the leg-up on internships it provides, being
PRSSA last year and have taken on active
involved in USF’s Walter E. Griscti chapter al-
roles in the USF chapter started by professor
lows students to: participate in conferences all
emeritus Walter E. Griscti, a mass communica- over the country, build a portfolio of writing tions professor who was also the president of
samples in the PRSSA newsletter and online,
the Tampa Bay PRSA (Public Relations Society
attend social events each month, and volun-
of America) chapter in 1977.
teer in the community.
“I wanted to learn more about public relations
“Through these types of experiences, stu-
FALL 2012 THE BULLHORN 25
PRSSA MEMBERS HIT THE ROAD
dents are able find out exactly what area
to-face with guest speakers most important.
they want to work with. They can say okay,
Olubela says it helped her find her niche in
I want to stay in this lane. From there they
public relations, which ranges from special-
can find out what the professional does in
ties in tourism, food, sports, and crisis com-
their daily work routine. Then they can find
munications just to name a few.
out when the company may accept interns,â&#x20AC;? said Olubela.
Olubela transferred from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, where she majored in
Of the many opportunities for involvement
linguistics, to the University of South Florida
and experience offered by PRSSA, students
in the spring of 2011, where she double ma-
find attending conferences and talking face-
jors in creative writing and public relations.
26 THE BULLHORN FALL 2012
PRSSA STUDENTS NETWORK WITH PUBLIC RELATIONS COMPANIES, SUCH AS THE NIELSEN COMPANY AND HILL+KNOWLTON, TO LEARN ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES
Olubela was introduced to public relations when a friend in the UK mentioned how it would allow her to further exercise her interests in writing, marketing and working with others on a daily basis. Olubela talked to her department advisor, Katye Tuttle, who directed her to attend a PRSSA meeting.
FALL 2012 THE BULLHORN 27
CLUBS Olubela decided to run for vice-president
We try to give a lot of insight through bringing
after attending the Florida Student Summit
in guest speakers and agencies. We have done
on Global Business, which was held at USF,
résumé workshops and worked on elevator
where she met Amy Rettig, vice-president of pub-
speeches to help students promote them-
lic affairs at The Nielsen Company. “We got to
selves to potential employers.”
talking about public relations, and it was at that point I realized how I really missed connecting people together, especially in ways that would help them reach their goals,” said Olubela.
In an effort to heighten the motivation of its public relations students, PRSSA has invited half-a-dozen professionals to speak to students involved in the pre-professional soci-
Through Olubela’s connection with Rettig, 20
ety, during the 2011-2012 school years. This
PRSSA students were invited on a company
includes Glenn Selig, the strategist-in-chief at
tour of Nielsen’s local headquarters in Oldsmar.
“The Publicity Agency.” Mr. Selig was a very
Currently, there are more than 100 members in PRSSA (active and non-active). Cameron and Olubela say they hope to see the chapter continue to grow long after they have graduated, and they’re making steps to make sure they instill changes that will strengthen the chapter.
“We’ve gotten more in contact with our parent
special guest for PRSSA. He was named one of the best in the public relations business by Fox News Channel. During a meeting in early March, he discussed how social media, SEO, RSS, electronic press releases and other new technologies transform the business. Cameron said it inspired other students to learn that he built PRNewsChannel, an online and social media public relations distribution service.
chapter. We’ve had a lot more guest speak-
Michelle Foley, Manager of Community Rela-
ers and events this year than we have in the
tions and Public Affairs at Moffitt Cancer Center;
previous years. We’re constantly improving
Amy Rettig, Director of Communications and
each year,” said Cameron. “The organization is
Client Relations at The Nielsen Company; Lisa
an extension and supplement to our courses.
Brock, owner of Brock Communications; Daneen
28 THE BULLHORN FALL 2012
CHELSEA ROADMAN, PROFESSOR HAWLEY AND SASHA CAMERON AT THE FINAL PRSSA FALL MEETING
Whatley, a counselor at USF Career Center;
due to the highly professional standards to
and Terry Dowling from the USF Career Center
which they adhere.
where among the other favorites. Cameron said she loved hearing Foley and Brock talk about their work schedules and what to expect from different areas in the public relations field.
“We’re making that distinction. As a pre-professional society we are expected to always be professional. Our students are expected to wear business attire to meetings and events
Because PRSSA gives public relations stu-
with guest speakers,” says Olubela. “And it’s
dents the knowledge to be top competitors
not only for majors; anyone interested in
in their field, they prefer the title "pre-pro-
learning to become a PR professional can
fessional student society" rather than “club”
FALL 2012 THE BULLHORN 29
On January 12, 2012, the University of
DEANNE ROBERTS REMEMBERED
South Florida’s School of Mass Communications lost a friend after her four-year battle with cervical cancer. An influential
BY LINDSEY VOLTOLINE leader in the community, a businesswoman, a mentor and mother, Deanne Roberts lived an inspiring life. Born in Tampa, Roberts graduated from USF with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and in 1970, at age 25, she founded her own pub-
30 THE BULLHORN FALL 2012
lic relations firm: Deanne Roberts & Associ-
dations, values and core beliefs by which
ates, which later became ChappellRoberts.
Roberts lived her life, according to the firm’s
“Roberts was a very impressive person. She was a single mom and she started her own business when there was discrimination
website. It is a company that has been and will continue to offer internships as well as to be an employer for USF students.
against women within public relations, in par-
“She made it clear that they would take interns
ticular,” said Edward Friedlander, USF profes-
even if it was inconvenient at the time,” said
sor and friend of sixteen years.
ChappellRoberts was built on the strong foun-
Roberts was a chairperson of the Tampa
FALL 2012 THE BULLHORN 31
ALUMNI Chamber of Commerce; co-founded Creative
difference in the Tampa Bay community. The
Tampa Bay, a catalyst for economic and social
following year she won the Leadership Florida
development that promotes principles of the
Distinguished Member Award that recognizes
creative economy and supporting creative in-
a Leadership Florida graduate whose contin-
dustries; and established Emerge Tampa Bay,
ued leadership activities have exemplified the
a leadership program designed for promising
highest standards of Leadership Florida, and
young professionals aged 21 to 35.
whose activities achieved results or set an
She also won many awards. In 1992, she re-
example of statewide influence.
ceived USF’s School of Mass Communications
“What struck me most about her was that she
Distinguished Alumni Award which is given
was not a hard person,” said Friedlander. “She
annually to recognize graduates of the school
was very relaxed, very low key, very pleasant
who have excelled and made significant con-
and yet, was still running a company.”
tributions in their field. In 2008, she received the Tampa Bay Advertising Federation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Silver Medal which is given based on contributions to the community, creative ability, contributions to the advancement of advertising and the betterment of one’s own company. Later, she won two leadership awards. In 2009, she received the Leadership Tampa Alumni Parke Wright III Award which is presented annually to a member of Leadership
Deanne Roberts was passionately dedicated to serving her community and her legacy lives on. She noticed the lack of scholarships offered to public relations’ students so she set up an endowment fund for them with the Deanne Dewey Roberts Scholarship. “She could always be counted on to say positive things about USF,” said Friedlander. “She was just very impressive from her first day to her last.”
Tampa Alumni who has demonstrated ex-
Roberts’ complete biography can be found on
ceptional leadership and made a significant
32 THE BULLHORN FALL 2012
Au Pure Gold
• JOHN MOTTA—CLASS OF 1975 “I have worked as a professional reporter/Journalist/ Travel Columnist for over 30 years. I am fortunate enough to have won three New York State Press Association Awards (in the areas of Hard News and Sports Reporting). Founded, own and operate Pulsar Communications Inc. (since 1986) here on Long Island (NY). Pulsar Communication is an award winning electronic publishing firm specializing in projects for Long Island municipalities and medical centers.”
CHRISTA CONNELL—CLASS OF 2009 ” I did two internships in Minneapolis for Delta Sky Magazine and Mpls.St.Paul Magazine shortly before moving to Toronto. Although I am still looking for full-time work, I am currently freelancing for Canadian Living Magazine online. I have also started freelancing for Au Feminin, a women’s online magazine based out of Paris. They are launching their Canadian version, So Feminine, in Toronto in May and I am working on helping them build content for the site. “
the Online Managing Editor at WAMU 88.5, the NPR member station in Washington D.C.” • JIM TOMLIN—CLASS OF 1990 Copy editor, sports department, Tampa Bay Times.
• WES PLATT—CLASS OF 1992 “USF played a direct role in landing an internship with the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times and subsequent job as a cops and courts reporter with that paper. I stayed at the Times for more than a decade. I left journalism (temporarily) to become a computer game designer. Now I’m back in the • LORIE BRIGGS—CLASS OF 1988 “I worked for journalism game in North Carolina, working as two non-profits (United Way of Tampa Bay, Big news editor and senior reporter at the HenderBrothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay) over the 18 son Daily Dispatch.” years following graduation, with one 18-month stint in for-profits. I now work at USF and have • DEBORAH O’NEIL—CLASS OF 1996 Editor, the best job on campus: marketing and com- FIU Magazine, Associate Director, News & munications for the College of Business. I’ve Communications Florida International Univerbeen here for five years. I returned to USF’s sity, Miami, FL. Mass Comm classrooms to start the master’s • MARNIE LEVY WILLIAMS—CLASS OF 1997 program in 2010. I aim to finish next spring.” Manager, Social Media Marketing, The Weather • SETH LISS—CLASS OF 1990 “I am currently Channel, Atlanta, GA.
FALL 2012 THE BULLHORN 33
ALUMNI • MELANIE FORMENTIN—CLASS OF 2006 "I am currently working on my Ph.D. in mass communications at Penn State University. My research interests are primarily in corporate social responsibility and crisis communication in sports. Prior to pursuing my doctoral degree, I spent two years working with the Tampa Bay Lightning and two years simultaneously working at the USF Humanities Institute and teaching for the School of Mass Communications. • LAUREN MEHL—CLASS OF 2006 “I have been working in education, national service (AmeriCorps), and non-profits. I am currently the Assistant Program Manager of Northwest Youth Services, a transitional housing program for homeless youth.” • ALLISON TIBERIA—CLASS OF 2007 “I spent a little more than two years as a copy editor in the sports department at the now-Tampa Bay Times
after working my internship there in summer 2006, and now I’m closing in on four years as a copy editor and page designer for tbt*. • ASHLEY SMITH—CLASS OF 2008 “I’m an associate account executive with MWW Group, which is one of the Top 10 independent public relations agencies in New York, NY. I handle the day-to-day account activities for my three clients - Subaru of America, Zumba Fitness and Discovery Bay Games.” • AMANDA NULPH—CLASS OF 2007 New Media and Marketing Intern/Assistant at Fueled By Ramen Records/Warner Music Group (2006-2008), Copy Editor at Source Interlink Media for Circle Track and Stock Car Racing Magazines (2008), SEO Web Content and Online Marketing Writer (20082011), Entertainment Blogger (2010-present), SEO Web Content Editor/Manager (2011-present). • CRYSTAL BURNEY—CLASS OF 2008 “Public Relations Manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida. As the PR Manager, I am responsible for community, media and government outreach that will create awareness of the mission, programs and community impact.” • KAYLA MOSLEY—CLASS OF 2009 Public Relations graduate. Current City: New York, New York Current Role: Interactive and Digital Marketing L’Oreal - Redken Fifth Avenue & Pureology.
TERRANCE “TERRY” P. ROBERTS—CLASS OF 1997 Self-employed: Law Office of Terry P. Roberts (appellate attorney). 34 THE BULLHORN FALL 2012
• WILLIAM ALBRITTON—CLASS OF 2009 Teacher, Hillsborough County, Chamberlain High School, adviser for yearbook, newspaper, TV morning show; drama sponsor 2003-2009. Online content producer/videographer/multimedia studio engineer/copy editor, The Fresno Bee. • RIANNA K. LEE SING—CLASS OF 2009 “Communications Officer at Lonsdale Saatchi and Saa-
tchi Advertising Ltd. in Trinidad and Tobago. I undertake the planning, development and delivery of internal and external communications for clients of the agency and its divisions, including events, websites, newsletters and other communications and publications.”
• LAUREN LAFFER—CLASS OF 2011 “I’m currently working with a blog called CountryMusicIsLove.com, which is run by my friend Lauren. I’m writing and editing different posts, as well as interviewing artists. We’re working on making the blog a business and get it to make some revenue.“
• TANYA ALBERT—CLASS OF 2009 “I have been working as a writer at an internet market- • KENDRA L. CUMMINGS—CLASS OF 2011 ”I ing firm in Tampa (Socius Marketing, Inc.) since am currently a Communications Specialist at May of 2010. “ Vistra Communications, a public relations and management consulting firm in Tampa. We of• CARMEL DELSHAD—CLASS OF 2010 Com- fer a wide range of services to both our nonmunity Manager of documentary project 18 profit and government clients.” days in Egypt. • VALERIE SCHEIN—CLASS OF 2011 BA in Mass • REBECCA CRUZ—CLASS OF 2010 “I am cur- Communications (PR focus) & BA in Psycholrently in the last year of the Master of Arts in ogy. “Account Coordinator for RFB CommuniTeaching Elementary Education program at cations (a media relations firm in Hyde Park); USF. I hope to teach for many years as well as and my current job as Creative Development continue my education.” Executive at CrowdSavings.com (a daily deal site in 14 US markets). I manage social media • SARAH GARCIA—CLASS OF 2010 Currently I for 8 national markets, write five commercial work as a writer for a Social Media Marketing scripts each week, write between six and 20 startup here in Tampa called BallywhoSocial. daily deals each day, design logos and photo We manage and write social media and blogs edit for deals and commercials.” for various clients including major hospitals and healthcare companies. • CAITLIN WILLIAMS—CLASS OF 2010 Content Media Producer with Raycom Media’s corporate 24/7 news hub. • KATIE NELSON—CLASS OF 2011 “I began working at The Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties, Inc. in July 2011 as a Communications Specialist. It’s a non-profit organization.” • TRAVIS ANTHONY—CLASS OF 2011 Day-side News Photographer for Channel 12 WRDW in Augusta, GA. FALL 2012 THE BULLHORN 35
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