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Diederich College of Communication


No. 05





Marquette University


Diederich College of Communication


No. 05

NEWS 04 04 05 06 06 07 07

A master's that thinks globally: Diederich's new M.A. in corporate communication Learning from a betrayed trust: Filmmaker speaks at Burleigh Media Ethics Lecture Taking it to the streets: Neighborhood News Service covers Milwaukee Lights, camera, action...and plenty of caffeine: Marquette's first 24-hour film competition Mockingbird flies to the Pabst: Marquette Theatre performs in a celebrated setting Executive summaries: Tweets from the Corporate Communication Summit Watch this space: The changes coming to Johnston Hall will be a win for students

FEATURES 08 Friends from the first act: A bond of more than 20 years formed backstage at Marquette 12 The art of transparency: A deep look into an O'Brien Fellowship team 14 100 years of students delivering the news: Celebrating student media 15 Alumni anniversary reflections: 10 alumni journalists share their experiences 17 A century of student media milestones 23 And the Pulitzer goes to...: Alumni trace their path to journalism's summit

Comm is published for alumni, colleagues and friends of the college. We’d love to hear your feedback and story ideas for future issues. Email


EDITORIAL TEAM Stephen Filmanowicz, Brian Boyle, Megan Knowles, Jennifer Russell, Kristina Schmitt


THE GRAPEVINE 24 25 26 27 28 29 29


Meet the new dean: The college welcomes Dr. Kimo Ah Yun New to Johnston Hall: Four new faces join the college's faculty and staff Reporting remedy: Alumnus Matthew Ong investigates a dangerous medical practice Chronicling a half-century of history: Images of an alumnus' life on the White House beat The persuasiveness of crowds: Dr. Robert Griffin tracks influences on environmental views Deconstructing drinking rituals: Dr. Joyce Wolburg studies 21st birthday traditions Research that delivers: Dr. Scott D'Urso studies ways to improve OB team communication


"We look forward to continuing to prepare our students to serve and change the world.�

It is with much humility and respect for those who preceded me that I assume the role of dean of the J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication. I spent the last 20 years as professor, chair and associate dean at California State University, Sacramento. Since arriving at Marquette, I have been overwhelmed by the community support, the professionalism of our faculty and the dedication of our alumni to the college. I have already had the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles, Portland and Chicago to meet with alumni, and each one of those trips has been a wonderful experience. I look forward to meeting and working with more of our alumni as I visit additional cities around the country in the coming year. The college celebrates 100 years of student media this year. The evolution of student media and the body of work produced over the last century is incredible. Recently, I had lunch with alumni from the graduating classes of 1960-62, many of whom had participated in student media in some manner during their time at Marquette. During our enjoyable visit together, I heard many stories from more than 50 years ago. Virtually everyone had a personal story to share, and it became very clear that their time at Marquette shaped them personally and professionally, and influenced the friendships they formed, cemented and now sustain many years later.

You will also read about alumnus Ted Knap, Jour ‘40. I had the pleasure of meeting Ted last April during one of my visits to Milwaukee. Talking with Ted is like having a conversation with a living legend. His work as a journalist who remained true to the ethical principles of his profession allowed him access to five presidents during his time as White House correspondent for Scripps Howard News Service. It was very enlightening and a great honor to spend the afternoon with Ted as he shared stories about many of the presidents and reporters that he worked with throughout his life. As we begin the new year, we are fortunate to welcome new faculty members to the college, including Dr. Eric Waters, Dr. Young Kim, Kris Holodak and Catherine Puckering (joining in January), as well as Mark Zoromski, our new director of student media. We look forward to continuing to prepare our students to serve and change the world. I look forward to meeting those of you who have received this publication and hearing from you about how you have changed the world, too.

My experience with the connections that students make with one another in the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette are not relegated to those 1960-62 graduates. As you read through this issue, I believe you will find the story of Adam Stockhausen and Erin Slattery Black, both Comm ’95, to be a compelling one. Years after graduating, they continue to share life with each other. As I have learned, Marquette graduates are committed to the university and one another.

Dr. Kimo Ah Yun Dean J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication

letter from the dean



Learning from a betrayed trust


A master’s that thinks globally A new M.A. in corporate communication is Marquette’s first degree offered with an international partner. Could Marquette educate the next chief communications officer of a Fortune 500 company? Perhaps now, it's more likely than ever. Imagine a graduate initiative that provides students with dual degrees from two internationally recognized institutions and prepares them for a future in high-level communication executive positions. An idea that began as a proposal, which was then selected as an inaugural Marquette Strategic Innovation Fund awardee, has become a reality in the form of a new master of arts in corporate communication offered jointly by the Diederich College of Communication and the Graduate School of Management. Led by Dr. Sarah Bonewits Feldner, associate dean for graduate studies and research in the Diederich College, and Dr. Jeanne Simmons, associate dean of the GSM, Bus Ad '88, Grad '90, '97, this new dual graduate program in corporate communication is enrolling its first master’s students this fall. The new initiative stems from the college’s experience creating an innovative undergraduate program in corporate communication, Marquette’s fastest-growing major in the last five years. The Diederich College and the Graduate School of Management will partner with Loyola University Andalusia in Spain, creating Marquette’s first dual degree with an international partner. “Changing workforce demands a more sophisticated global perspective; having an international partner and creating a dual degree option allows us to make this degree truly global,” says Feldner. “And Loyola Andalusia is a perfect partner as they have similarities in terms of program interest and are also a Jesuit university.” — ­ Katharine Miller, Comm '14 For more information, visit



A visiting filmmaker sheds light on one of journalism's most scandalous episodes. New York Times serial plagiarizer Jayson Blair has been described as many things: troubled, irresponsible and unethical to name a few. Documentarian and journalist Samantha Grant, who deftly unpacked Blair’s infamous 2003 scandal and its ethical aftermath in the documentary A Fragile Trust, could be seen as the antithesis of her subject: diligent, principled and straightforward. Last February, Grant brought her film and experiences to Marquette for the annual Burleigh Media Ethics Lecture, offering a window into a towering media institution and the shocking mistakes it made. “Human beings are inherently flawed. And the fact that this institution is run by human beings means it will have some flaws. It’s inevitable,” Grant warned the audience of students, faculty and Milwaukee residents. Grant detailed the near decade-long journey she took completing the film, including years spent winning the trust and participation of its subjects. The filmmaker went so far as flying across the country without a camera or an appointment just to establish initial contact with Blair. She won an eventual “yes” from him and key Times sources, making A Fragile Trust the definitive report on the Blair affair. “Nobody else could get him to go on the record. So that interview was the best, the most revealing, the most candid… I thought it worked very well in getting to the truth of the matter,” Grant told the audience. The film can be seen as an indictment of a news operation that grew too ambitious and too stressed by disruptive forces to operate properly. At the same time, A Fragile Trust is a fine example of probing investigative reporting — serving as a reminder that real, truth-seeking journalism can be found in America today. — Brian Boyle, Comm '19


Taking it to the streets Milwaukee's neighborhoods are much better covered thanks to a five-year-old news partnership run out of Johnston Hall.

Giving Milwaukee its journalistic close-up, the staff of NNS: (standing, from left) Andrea Waxman, Jabril Faraj, Sharon McGowan, Adam Carr, Sue Vliet, Casey DiNicola; (seated) Edgar Mendez, Amelia Jones, Rebecca Carballo, Dwayne Burtin.

As an intern at Neighborhood News Service, Kelly Meyerhofer, Comm ’16, wrote upbeat features on a bike repair training project and a nonprofit free book program. Yet she also investigated truancy at Milwaukee Public Schools, finding “no simple fix” but uncovering policies of earlier intervention elsewhere that appeared to show better results than practices at MPS. This is Neighborhood News Service functioning as intended — and like no other news operation in town. The service began in 2011 with an aim of providing a balanced picture of impoverished Milwaukee neighborhoods, rather than focusing on crime and dysfunction. Five years later, it’s established itself as a vital news source in a media mix growing ever more fragmented. “We’ve been producing five or six stories a week for five years now,” says editor Sharon McGowan — stories she says would likely go untold otherwise. The news service has carved its niche through a partnership of its publisher, United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee, and Marquette’s Diederich College of Communication. (Dwayne Burtin of Marquette’s Office of Marketing and Communication is also on the NNS staff, responsible for the website and social media.) Working alongside four part-time professional reporters out of a Johnston Hall newsroom, undergraduate and graduate students serve as interns and fellows. More students produce content through assignments for classes taught by professional in residence Herbert Lowe, Jour '84, Grad '12, '14, and others including McGowan, now a faculty member. “It gets our students out there rethinking their understanding of neighborhoods that traditional media cover only in terms of drugs

and crime and gun violence,” says Dr. Ana Garner, professor of journalism and media studies. “That's a valuable lesson for them as journalists.” And the wider community engagement NNS represents “is very important to who we are as Marquette.” Local media take NNS seriously. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and local affiliate CBS 58 republish or link to its stories, as do web-based Urban Milwaukee and Through grants from Marquette’s Strategic Innovation Fund and the Online News Association, NNS is creating a searchable database on local poverty. While pursuing balanced, often positive coverage of its communities, NNS has dug into complex and troubling subjects: foreclosures, GED scams and human sex trafficking in Milwaukee among them. By giving a voice to residents touched by such afflictions, it’s touched participating Marquette students as well. Meyerhofer came from student media, “covering a lot of people just like me in the Marquette bubble.” NNS “popped that bubble and threw me out into some neighborhoods that I’d never been in,” she says. “I stopped pretending I was a big hotshot and just tried to get to know people.” Shelving original plans to attend law school, she started this summer as a reporter at The Island Packet newspaper in Hilton Head, S.C. “I’m excited to have a career that will provide me with some meaning. That’s because of NNS.” — Erik Gunn To learn more, visit or




Lights, camera, action … and plenty of caffeine Student filmmakers face off in 24-hour race. Fade in. And the camera pans to … a large plastic tooth. For what had to be a first in their viewing lives, audience members at Marquette’s inaugural 24-hour film competition last fall experienced some version of this scene from each of the eight entries. Incorporation of this unique prop was one of three requirements set by Joseph Brown, assistant professor in the college’s digital media program, and two co-hosts from the Marquette Film Club — George Bicknell, Comm ‘16, and Brian Mohsenian, Arts ‘16. The films also had to be comedies and incorporate a line from Groucho Marx, all begun and completed in one day. With college-issued DSLR cameras in hand, teams of students dashed out into a November snowstorm to brainstorm, script, act and film before returning to Johnston Hall in the wee hours of the morning to edit a 3-5 minute masterpiece before their 24 hours were up. The result was eight unique videos and new knowledge for many student competitors, including non-Communication majors. Early in the fall, Mohsenian and Bicknell hosted workshops on lighting, scriptwriting and editing techniques, with the competition as the culminating experience. Beyond fun, Brown hopes the competition “encouraged students to work together to create a culture of creativity.” Then-juniors Hannah Kirby and Paula Tews, then-sophomore Molly Hass, and Hannah Byron, Comm ’16, walked away with top honors, but for other participants, the reward was a lasting adrenaline rush — and the promise of participating again this fall, when Brown hopes to host round two. — Kate Sheka

Michael Cienfuegos-Baca, Comm ’16, and current senior Madeleine Farley reprised their roles as Atticus and Scout Finch for the Kennedy Center regional festival.


Mockingbird flies to Pabst Theater Marquette production selected for prestigious academic festival. When the curtain closed on Marquette Theatre’s production of To Kill A Mockingbird last fall, no one realized it would rise again — only this time, on a much different stage. Last December, fresh from a ten-day campus run in November, the production was selected to be one of just five shows included in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for this region (Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois). Cast members performed at Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater on January 8 to an audience of judges and other collegiate thespians. The cast came back from winter break a week early to rehearse, reviewing lines and restaging scenes. And they doubled as crew members. They practiced building and striking the set three times before the actual performance, when they would be timed on their construction. Their work paid off when they stepped onto the Pabst stage for the first time and faced three tiers of red seats, 1,300 in all, compared to the Helfaer Theatre’s 226 seats. “Everyone describes the Pabst as being majestic, and it absolutely was,” says senior Melia Gonzalez, the show’s stage manager. “We all dropped our jaws and were taking pictures.”

Ready, set, direct: Shooting a scene for a film in the 24-hour competition.

Gonzalez received an honorable mention in the KCACTF Stage Management Fellowship and faculty member Debra Krajec won a Certificate of Merit for Costume Design. Katie Shanahan, Comm ’16, also received an honorable mention in a Design Storm competition held in conjunction with the festival. The experience brings with it “a certain kind of validation” for students, says faculty director Jamie Cheatham. “We have a lot to be proud of,” Krajec says. “In academic theater, being invited to the Kennedy Center Regional Festival is the equivalent of being invited to the Final Four.” — Claire Nowak, Comm '16 Find Marquette Theatre's 2016-2017 lineup and purchase tickets at​. Voice talent: Peter Basch, Comm ’15, records a song for his team’s entry.




Executive summaries Capturing the insights of top executives at the Corporate Communication Summit in 140 characters or less. There was no shortage of wisdom shared by C-suite executives at Marquette’s Corporate Communication Summit in April, which featured presentations by Cree CEO Charles Swoboda, Eng ’89, and Golin CEO Fred Cook. (Another big catch, McDonald’s chief communication officer emeritus Bridget Coffing, had to back out just days before the event). Here are quick excerpts and insights captured in tweets at the conference, one of three hosted annually as part of the college’s Insight Summit Series. — Compiled by Tim Cigelske and Stephen Filmanowicz

MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR ONE. AND YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR MANY. At Marquette University, students learn how to become fearless leaders, agile thinkers and effective doers. Your gift to scholarship aid will help provide a Marquette education for students who desire to Be The Difference for others, ready in the spirit of St. Ignatius to “go forth and set the world on fire.”

Watch this space: Students returning to campus this fall

found a few familiar elements of the Diederich College in new spots in Johnston Hall. The changes are the first in a wave of renovations funded by a $3.5 million gift from the Bernice Shanke Greiveldinger Charitable Trust, ensuring the graceful 109-year-old landmark remains a pace-setting hub of media and communication education. Some early changes are chess moves, such as the relocation of staff of the Instructional Media Center (supporting educational technology needs across campus) to upper floors to make way for a home on Johnston's ground floor for the college’s O’Brien Fellows. That’s just the beginning: still subject to refinement, plans for future phases include a renewed Wakerly Lab (underway), engaging new student media spaces, a naturally lit studio for warehouse-style video production and a podcast studio.

Make a gift in support of scholarship aid at or call 800.344.7544.



Photo by Carol Lee 8

friends from the first act

Before they were Oscar and Emmy winners, Adam Stockhausen and Erin Slattery Black, both Comm '95, forged a bond that has lasted more than a quarter century.

from the first act By Ann Christenson

A blizzard blasts Interstate 43, about par for January in Wisconsin but still lending a white-knuckle tone to the drive from Milwaukee to Green Bay. Marquette theatre professor Debra Krajec, her husband and two senior theatre students are making the trek north for the 1995 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. The students’ entries in the regional division have elevated them to this plum level of evaluation by theatre elites, including Ming Cho Lee, a renowned set designer and Yale drama professor. The group arrives and the Krajecs help the students, Erin Slattery and Adam Stockhausen, set up the displays of their submitted work. Stockhausen, a self-described “theatre nerd” from Wauwatosa, Wis., submitted his set design for Marquette’s production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Lee — the judge everyone is awaiting yet dreading given his reputation for brilliance delivered bluntly — looks at Stockhausen’s set design and deems it

“too pointy.” Lee doesn’t like Slattery’s costume designs either. Later at a Green Bay pizzeria, as the storm continues blowing outside, Stockhausen isn’t saying much. But then, recalls Krajec, he looks up and says, “I want to go back and ask that guy what he meant.” They pile in the car, return to the festival and wait while Stockhausen disappears inside. A long while later, Stockhausen jumps back in the car, having fulfilled his mission and more. He announces to his car mates his plans to apply to Yale’s graduate school to study with the renowned professor. It’s not altogether surprising that the two students riding home from Green Bay later than expected that night were in the process of forming an enduring bond. As the road trip illustrated, beyond the reserved first impression he tended to make, Stockhausen was “driven and focused,” says Krajec. Not to mention full of “wild, creative ideas.” Slattery was an idea person herself and a precocious talent, too. Arriving at Marquette

friends from the first act

intending to become an elementary school teacher, she was already an accomplished seamstress. She could make “anything out of anything,” recalls Krajec, including the “art dolls” with intricate faces and handmade clothing in the portfolio she submitted when applying for a work-study job in the department’s costume shop. “No 18-year-old does that,” adds Krajec, of arriving armed with a portfolio. Also not completely surprising are the heights to which the two theatre majors would eventually take their talents. Back when they were still undergrads sharing time backstage at the Helfaer Theatre, the rising set designer and costume designer made a pact that when either won a Tony award someday, they’d have the other person at the ceremony as a date. What may have appeared a pipe dream at the time actually undersold what this pair would accomplish. During her 18-year creative partnership with the Jim Henson Company, Slattery — now Slattery Black



(he just finished designing the on-screen environment for his second Steven Spielberg project, next year’s Ready Player One) back to humbler college origins. He’ll relate stories of early Marquette productions, of work for theater companies around Milwaukee or a summer spent at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wis. “Even as what you do — and what you aspire to do — changes, the work you do builds, one experience on another,” he advises. “Each step is really important.” The unsaid message: With talent, drive and enough steps, you may someday even find yourself creating something that exceeds people’s imaginations — like the meticulous hand-built sets and fantastically far-afield location shoots of the The Grand Budapest Hotel. Major achievements and humility go hand-in-hand for Slattery Black, too, who began her post-Marquette years with a master’s degree in costume design from the University of Texas-Austin before putting down roots in New York City. She now laughs at “all of the Jo-Ann’s fabrics” in the photos saved from Marquette productions, but credits those years for giving her “a thirst for collaboration and the desire to work with other artists on a visual journey to help tell a tale.” With refreshing Midwestern openness, Slattery Black describes starting at the “bottom of the totem pole” at Henson Studios, “ironing Big Bird’s feathers.” And a recent Huffington Post story revealed she stores her Emmy trophies in the garage of the home she shares with husband Eric and their four children. Home is also where she manages her freelance career and contributes to the stuffed-creature business the family founded, Lyla Tov Monsters. As their careers have evolved and Stockhausen, in particular, has spent more time away, they’ve managed to keep their friendship going strong. Picking up after a couple of years, “it’s like no time has passed,” says Stockhausen.

friends from the first act

Slattery Black agrees: “We’ll go out for drinks and it’s like we’re in the studio again!” So what happened to that pact to be by each other’s sides when each was up for that big award? When Slattery Black was nominated for her first Emmy in 2000, Stockhausen told her “that counted” and that she should hem his tuxedo pants so he could escort her and cheer when she took the stage that night. As for Stockhausen, Slattery Black playfully chides her friend for “not living up to his end of the bargain,” but she did “give him an out” when he was nominated for his first Academy Award for 12 Years a Slave in 2013.

She delivered her fourth child the very day of the Oscars ceremony, but still found a way to be there in spirit. Shortly before that ceremony, Slattery Black penned a letter to Stockhausen. “I credit my career largely to you and the many, many hours we spent sitting next to each other at that back table in the upstairs classroom in the Helfaer Theatre,” she wrote to her friend. “I am privileged to know the calm, kind, determined spirit that navigated the road from Twelfth Night to 12 Years a Slave.”

Read an interview with Adam Stockhausen

and director Wes Anderson about their collaboration at Read a Huffington Post profile of Erin Slattery Black at

Photo by Carol Lee

— won three Emmy Awards for her work designing Muppets’ costumes for Sesame Street. Stockhausen is a three-time Academy Award nominee for production design and took home the Oscar in 2015 for his execution of Wes Anderson’s vision for The Grand Budapest Hotel. What happened with their awards-ceremony pledge is a small story in itself — reflecting the distances creative people travel after graduation, but also the ability of great friendships to go this distance. When Stockhausen and Slattery Black, both Comm ’95, had their first class together — theatre workshop — they worked together on an orientation with power tools, giving Stockhausen an opportunity to make a vivid first impression on Slattery Black. “I was terrified of these tools but Adam was a rock star and went right for the band saws,” she recalls, laughing. Yet at that moment, Stockhausen had perhaps found someone as goal-oriented as he. The two were both on a mission — or really, twin missions. As they grew close over more classes, dress and tech rehearsals and dinners together at Miss Katie’s Diner and Water Street Brewery, there was never “any competition” between them, recalls Stockhausen. The friendship formed on shared passions and similar work ethics was part of a larger Marquette theatre culture that affirmed those qualities. Looking back on those days, Stockhausen recalls faculty members such as Krajec or the late Ken Kloth going “out of their way to introduce us to their professional network and give us a start in the business — not only our first jobs, but our second, third and fourth jobs, too.” “That made a deep impression on me,” says the designer, who followed his master’s degree from Yale with gigs designing sets for theatre and opera before landing in the film industry. “I’ll go to a meeting and get introduced to young people and I remember how I was a beneficiary of that generosity. It makes me smile and affects how I interact with people in a really positive way. It’s very much a live memory.” When asked, he even shares advice with these aspirants that reveals the direct path he traces from current career heights


Photo by Carol Lee

ven as what you do — and what you aspire to do — changes, the work you do builds, one experience on another. Each step is really important. Adam Stockhausen


y Marquette years gave me a thirst for collaboration and the desire to work with other artists on a visual journey to help tell a tale. Erin Slattery Black

friends from the first act


“No one in Flint right now really wants to trust other people coming in from outside of Flint wanting to know anything until we find out who you are, why you are here, and what it is that you want to know and what it is that you’re going to do with what we tell you,” she said loudly. “We have a community here. We’re not just people in a petri dish for people to come in, grab information from us A and then they’re gone.”



Photo courtesy of Winona Daily News, Matthew Seckora.

Like fellow students participating in the O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism, two student journalists teamed up with an acclaimed reporter on a project with the potential to influence policies and affect lives. How did they fare?

D A. An excerpt from Devi Shastri's blog. B. Devi Shastri. C. Miranda Spivack. D. A photo that Shastri took of a Flint resident.


art of transparency

By Edgar Mendez, Grad '14

Sitting at the University of MichiganFlint campus food court in March with just a backpack, laptop and a university-issued camera and recorder, Devi Shastri, then a Marquette junior majoring in both biomedical science and journalism, was scared. After all, Shastri had less than three days to spend in Flint, a city she’d never set foot in, and the scene of a water contamination crisis that generated round-the-clock news coverage detailing government cover-ups, mismanagement and issues of racism and classism. But she needed to find her own story, and she had to do it fast.

“Where do I go? Who do I talk to and how do I meet people who are willing to talk about what happened to them?” she thought. Shastri grabbed her cell phone and called Miranda Spivack, a gritty, awardwinning reporter who spent decades covering government and exposing corruption for The Washington Post. Spivack spent the 2015–16 academic year as one of four professional journalists engaged in Marquette’s esteemed O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism. Spivack, paired with Shastri and other students, conducted an independent project examining transparency in the dealings of local and state governments. The specific advice Spivack provided that day may not have been especially memorable, but it was exactly what Shastri needed to hear. “She’s telling me what she’s got, and I tell her, ‘Well, that could lead to this. Or maybe you could go and look for that,’” recalls Spivack. Schooling the young journalist on the patient, driven art of shoeleather reporting, Spivack pushed Shastri to keep digging to find her story. What Shastri uncovered at the eleventh hour was a town hall meeting hosted by newly-elected mayor Karen Weaver, and featuring Assistant U.S. Surgeon General Michelle Dunwoody, an Obama administration designee sent to help Flint officials through the crisis. Shastri sat in a crowd alongside appalled residents who questioned Dunwoody and other officials

about why they’d been drinking leadcontaminated water, how to get tested for exposure and when they’d get justice.

“The big thing that stuck out to me – and hurt my heart – was the people there don’t trust the government, and why should they?” Shastri recalls. “It was the lack of government transparency that caused the crisis in the first place.” Shastri is one of nearly 60 Marquette students who have partnered with O’Brien Fellows since the program launched in 2012. The fellowship allows reporters from newsrooms across the country — including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Seattle Times, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Baltimore Sun — to work on a public-service journalism project that exposes problems, seeks solutions and has the potential to change policies and even lives. Over nine months, they also mentor Marquette students. “Fellows trying to do the best journalism of their careers while students learn their craft at the feet of these great journalists” is how Herbert Lowe, the program’s director and the college’s professional in residence, describes it. Communication graduate student Theresa Soley, a two-time O’Brien intern, also worked on the transparency project with Spivack, comparing government response to a pesticide spill in the Sacramento River in California 25 years ago to a recent wreck that dumped ethanol into the Mississippi River near LaCrosse, Wis. As part of her reporting, Soley tracked down longtime officials of the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, who recalled going to great lengths to keep residents safe from environmental and health risks related to the spill. Residents living in homes bordering the spill impact zone, however, recalled the series of events differently. “They were still unhappy with how the government dealt with the incident and questioned how their long-term health might have been impacted,” Soley says. Since the Sacramento spill, transparency

art of transparency

related to spills continues to be an issue, says Soley, who spent days poring over the Coast Guard database on chemical spillage into waterways. Other O’Brien Fellowship interns have reported from China, Nevada, Texas, Florida, California, Washington, D.C., and Belgium, reports Lowe. “The students have become, if not experts, much more aware of the topics they’re covering while working with excellent journalists on a long-term major story,” he notes, adding that some students have also parlayed their O’Brien experiences into internships and ultimately jobs with nationally recognized newspapers. At the very least, students learn the amount of investigating that goes into projects like these and how bigger stories flow from smaller beginnings. “Sometimes the story unfolds in front of you and sometimes you have to go find it,” says Spivack, who recently published O’Brien-supported pieces on a resident journalistic watchdog in Kent County, Md., and on the lack of transparency within that state’s health care system. Shastri not only found her story, but also her voice in Flint. Fittingly, she had to be as transparent as possible at the meeting, as the residents demanded justice for being kept in the dark about the hazards lurking in their drinking water.

“I had to convince them that I wasn’t there to exploit their pain, that I was there to help them tell their story,” Shastri relates. “They were the real-world victims of a lack of transparency, which is what we’ve been looking at during this project.”

Read Devi Shastri’s report on the O’Brien Fellowship blog of her Flint experience at, and learn about the program’s 2016-2017 journalist fellows and awards and accolades generated by past projects at


Illustratoins by Patrick Castro


For aspiring journalists across a century, the charge has been the same: do everything it takes to put out the news, from start to finish. As the college celebrates 100 years of student media of all types — tied to the founding of the Marquette Tribune in 1916 — reflections from those who were there reveal student media teaching lasting lessons, launching storied careers, generating indelible memories and uniting generations in deep respect for the responsibilities of newsgathering.


100 years of student media

Charles P. Pierce,

Jour ‘75

The Tribune’s editorial page editor in 1974-75, Pierce built a career as a prominent magazine feature writer and author. He currently writes Esquire’s politics column.

My most lasting memory of my time on the Tribune is the day I didn't get killed on the job. The J-school and student publications had just moved out of the old Nursing dorm on Clybourn Street and into Johnston Hall, where renovations were still underway. One day, as I was writing something on my Royal office typewriter — Ask your parents, kids — I had to get up and get some more paper. (Ask your grandparents, kids.) As I stepped away from the typewriter, a huge chunk of the ceiling fell not very far at all from where I'd been sitting. This was followed by the appearance of the head of one of the guys working on the floor above. "Hey, sorry, man," he said. I loved journalism already, but I was not prepared at that point to give my life for renovation. I learned the most at the J-school from the late George Reedy, the dean without whose support I likely would have ended up as the lawyer that broke the camel's back. Long sessions in his office — occasionally spiced by the bottle of Jameson's that he secreted in his bottom desk drawer — taught me the value of omnivorous curiosity in the pursuit of telling the tribe its stories, which is all journalism ever has been. I owe a great deal to him, and to the late Father John Raynor, S.J., who was smart enough to hire him.

Mary Schmitt Boyer,

Jour ‘77

One of the Tribune’s first female basketball beat writers, chronicling the 1975-1976 season, Schmitt Boyer later covered the Cavaliers for 18 years as sportswriter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

I owe my career to Al McGuire. I went to Marquette in order to try to become part of the magic/madness of the basketball program. A woman sportswriter, though rare in those days, was never an issue for the legendary coach. I'm sure I was far more anxious about it than he was. Though I only covered the basketball team for one season — 1976, when I was a junior and the sports editor of the Tribune — I made lifelong friends and contacts. For a commuter student, the Tribune offices in the basement of Johnston Hall became a refuge, a home away from home, a place to fit in. The lessons I learned there served me throughout my career, and when something good or bad happens even now — or when I need advice on how to approach a story — my first phone calls are to some of the people I shared that space with more than 40 years ago.

100 years of student media


Joy Bennett,

Jour ‘79

A former Tribune contributing writer and founder of an alternative student newspaper while at Marquette, Bennett went on to serve as senior editor for Ebony magazine.

My time with the Tribune was brief but it encouraged me to start a companion newspaper aimed at campus minorities called Counterpoint. It got the Black journalism students in a lot of trouble for calling the administration to account for its lack of minority hiring. (Full disclosure: my dad, who was on Marquette's board, reportedly told fellow trustees he was appalled that at that time Playboy magazine had more minorities in its employment than our esteemed Catholic University!) Our J-School dean stood behind our First Amendment rights and we continued to publish with no interference.

John Barron,

Jour ‘80

The rare student to hold leadership positions on the Tribune (entertainment and summer editor) and Journal (editor), Barron later became editor and publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times. He is now general manager of the Tribune Content Agency.

For a place with no windows, scarred furniture, harsh lighting and bad wardrobes, it sure was exciting. Heated arguments. Stories pounded out on typewriters that were built like tanks. Phones ringing everywhere. Pica poles snapping. Journalism was louder in the '70s! But the denizens of the basement of Johnston Hall also knew the place could get quiet enough late into the night to afford a few hours of desktop slumber. Is it really any wonder that a bunch of lifelong friendships germinated in that environment? Student media provided the opportunity to instantly practice your craft (take that pre-med), and get the tactile thrill of near-immediate feedback when the newspapers or magazines were delivered with a thump. We learned, we made mistakes ... and we learned from our mistakes. Most importantly, however, we experienced what success felt like. There is no greater lesson.

16 15

100 years of student media


A century of student media milestones One hundred years of student media at Marquette tell the story of students developing expertise delivering the news through changing times — and changing technology. — Compiled by Michael Horne, Alex Busbee, Comm '15, Megan Knowles, Brian Boyle, Comm '19,

1917 1918 1919

and Stephen Filmanowicz

1920 1921

September 1916 The Marquette Tribune debuts with the pledge “sold on its merits as a newspaper,” 5 cents a copy. Students run the operation from reporting and “composition” to printing and distribution. (By then, the Marquette Journal is already more than a decade old, though its focus fluctuates from news to literary selections to feature stories.

1922 1923

February 1920 Installation of a 10,000-pound Babcock Optimus press enables in-house printing of the Tribune, Journal and Hilltop yearbook at 2800 sheets per hour. Students now “have access to every detail of modern practical newspaper making from reporting to mailing … under supervision of practical newspaper men,” reports the Tribune.

May 1922

1924 1925 1926 1927 1928

A new 70-foot radio tower on campus sends “progress over the airwaves;” wires linked to the steeple of Church of the Gesu give the signal an extra boost.


October 1924 Student newsrooms, offices, typesetting and press operations take over the basement of Johnston Hall. A new Hall Dexter machine folds 3000 newspapers per hour, work formerly done by hand.

1930 1931 1932 1933 1934

June 1937 For the paper’s 20th anniversary, the Tribune’s front page features a letter from President Franklin D. Roosevelt conveying his “heartiest felicitations and warmest personal greetings.”


July 1943 With U.S. troops waging ground and sea battles in the Pacific and beginning an assault on Sicily, a front-page letter from University President Raphael McCarthy, S.J., warns:

“For all, ‘college as usual’ is definitely out. For all, personal hopes and ambitions must be subservient to the winning of the war … .”

1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943

Ron Smith,

Grad '05, ‘09

The Tribune’s only editor-in-chief of color, Smith has worked as an editor for the Los Angeles Times, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Newsday and The Oregonian. He is now managing editor/news for USA TODAY.

Working for the Marquette Tribune continues to be a highlight of my journalism career because of the great people I met along the way and because of the great journalism it has done and continues to do. In a fragmented world, news organizations continue to serve democracy by connecting communities to one another. Now, more than ever, we need journalists who hold powerbrokers accountable; who shed light on dark things; who offer us insights we would not otherwise have; and, most important, who strive to make a difference. We did all of that at the Marquette Tribune. I think we made Marquette a better place through our words and pictures. I can still remember the excitement of having my byline on the front page of the Trib as a freshman. And I am proud to say that my excitement for journalism is still strong. Happy birthday, Marquette Tribune!

Greg Borowski,

Comm ’89

A former Tribune managing editor, Borowski is now deputy managing editor for projects, investigations and digital innovation at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where he has edited several Pulitzer-winning projects. Borowski is an alumni representative on the Student Media Board and a former part-time instructor in the college.

As a reporter and editor, I have often been called upon to talk with young reporters, and often find myself offering the same words I heard around Marquette and first tried to put into practice in the Tribune newsroom: It's

not enough to write well, you also need something to write about. Yes, it's the requisite nod to a wellrounded Jesuit education. But I also see it as meaning your work should have a purpose — maybe it's to expose a problem, or provide a voice to those without one, maybe it's just to bring a smile. The tools may change — who ever thought of Twitter back in the late 1980s? — but that advice will always be sound.


100 years of student media

1944 1945 1946

May 1953 At the end of her junior year, Lucille Jeske, Jour '54, is named the first female editor of the Tribune. Jeske serves as co-editor through her senior year.


February 1954 Students form the “Marquette Television Players" and begin producing the campus’ first televised dramas, discussions, debates and talent shows in a newly lit, sound-proofed studio in the school of speech.

1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953

December 1956

1954 1955

For the paper’s 40th anniversary, the Tribune’s first assistant editor, Al Steinkopf, Jour '17, of the Associated Press’ London-bureau, reflects on life pre-Tribune:

1956 1957

“It was a world without luster … no zest in beer, no salt in bread. The vacant weeks just succeeded each other, without Tribunes.” May 1968 A student group, SURE, vows in the Tribune that an upcoming protest will serve as "a University-wide voice to demand that Marquette examine herself and respond much more radically" to its racial crisis. The same night protesters jam doors and keep faculty blocked inside the annual Père Marquette Dinner before police arrive to unjam doors.

1958 1959 1960 1961

November 1963


Tribune editors rush to print a special edition covering the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. “[He] was a great man, whether you agree with his policies or not,” observes Rev. Thomas O. Hanley, S.J., Grad '55, assistant professor of history.


December 1972

President John P. Raynor, S.J., tells the Tribune that Reedy will "bring to the position a scholarly approach along with years of outstanding, practical experience."

Aided by Instructional Media Center staff, students start a television station to broadcast shows to campus. Dubbed MUTV, it gives students the experience of serving in roles such as general manager, program director and more.

September 1989 Ron Smith becomes the Tribune’s first and only African-American editor-in-chief.

1964 1965 1966

George Reedy, former White House Press Secretary under President Lyndon B. Johnson, joins Marquette as professor and dean of the School of Journalism.

January 1974


1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976

March 1977 “This time, the numbers came up right … I’m emotionally drained,” Coach Al McGuire tells the Tribune after a victory over the University of North Carolina seals Marquette’s first and only NCAA Men’s Basketball title.

1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989

Len Kasper,

Comm ‘93

A familiar on-air sports presence on Marquette Radio from the early 1990s, Len Kasper is the play-by-play voice of the Chicago Cubs on WGN-TV, WPWR-TV, WLS-TV and Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

When I was a freshman, I badly wanted to do radio play-by-play, having already done some commercial radio at a small station in my hometown. As an 18-year-old newcomer, I could easily have been told to wait my turn. But the upperclassmen in charge of WMUR took me in from day one and gave me on-air responsibilities based on my experience. That start helped me a ton, as I ended up doing a lot of basketball games on the station.

My WMUR work, coupled with my public relations internship with the Milwaukee Bucks, introduced me to the world of sport media years before I ever graduated. I rubbed elbows not only with Milwaukee media but also with national media. Those connections would be invaluable to me down the road. The biggest thing moving forward is that broadcasters need to write and writers need to broadcast. It’s a world of versatility and, unfortunately, a down-sizing one. Media companies want employees who can do many different things well, so it’s imperative to be well-rounded.

Jason DeRusha,

Comm ‘97

A former MUTV general manager, DeRusha is now morning anchor at WCCO, the CBS affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

MUTV had an experimental spirit that I still try to bring to my work. We were really just a group of crazy kids trying to put on a show. There were no rules; if it was raining like crazy and we wanted to interrupt programming with a "breaking news" bulletin, we could — and we did. When we thought it would be cool to have a morning news show in 1996, we just did it. I remember running a cable out of a 2nd floor Johnston Hall window so Steve Chamraz, Comm '98, could do live reports from Wisconsin Avenue. To do our election coverage live from the AMU in 1995, we borrowed some equipment from WISN-TV and beamed back a two-hour live show. There were no boundaries to push, because no one set boundaries for us. It really was a magical experience. Literally every morning when I wake up at 2:30 a.m. and head off to my bigtime TV station in downtown Minneapolis to anchor our morning news, I try to channel that same spirit. How can I do something incredible? How can I push a boundary and create a memorable moment for our viewers? How can I make sure I don't say, "No" to my team and instead say, "Let's make it happen"?


100 years of student media




May 1994


“The Golden Eagles have landed!” declares the front page of the Tribune, after administrators select a new school nickname to replace “Warriors,” which was criticized as insensitive to Native Americans.






September 2001

May 1996


The Hilltop appears in print for the final time. A three-year experiment with a CD-ROM format follows and attracts national media interest before the yearbook succumbs to “rising production costs and waning student interest.”

reads the banner headline in the Tribune following the September 11 al-Qaida attacks on U.S. targets. An article tells the story of 15 Les Aspin Center students working and studying in Washington, DC, a few miles from where the Pentagon was hit by a hijacked passenger jet.







August 2006 First appearance of email addresses with bylines in the Tribune.


May 2013


With a digital-first focus and the creation of a unified newsgathering staff, student media reorganizes to prepare students for the changing media landscape. While each entity remains, the combined effort is termed Marquette Wire.


October 2014 The Journal becomes a webbased magazine. Publication frequency, social media promotion and readership increase during the publication’s first all-digital year, and editors put out a print edition the following year.









Beyond this special coverage, recognition of the centennial continues on campus and online. Visitors can view anniversary-themed displays outside the Marquette Archives on the third floor of Raynor Memorial Library and a display in the lower level of Johnston Hall of Tribune covers dating back to 1916. And watch for updates on a planned spring reunion of student media alumni.




Brian Huffman,

Comm ‘06

A frequent producer of MUTV content during his student years, Huffman is now a senior producer at the History Channel in New York City.

Student media at Marquette (MUTV for me) was invaluable to my development as a creative person. While I was being graded on essays and exams in classes during the day, at night I could find refuge at MUTV, where I was encouraged to take risks and experiment. With those risks, there were many failures, but I always learned a valuable lesson from them. And I never repeated the same mistake twice. When you’re just getting started in your career, you aren’t afforded these failures as often. So fail while you can, and learn those lessons now, because one day they will come at a higher cost.

Martina Ibañez-Baldor,

Comm ‘15

Editor of the Marquette Journal in 2014-15, Ibañez-Baldor is a news designer at the Los Angeles Times.

From the second we stepped into Johnston Hall for our first freshman journalism class, we were warned about the ever-changing and uncertain future of the business. This lesson quickly came to fruition our senior year as, after 110 years, the Marquette Journal stopped printing and became online-only. As editor, this initial disappointment eventually lead to one of my proudest achievements as we learned new ways of storytelling and reaching audiences. We published six issues with 55 stories spread across 419 pages. The experience (and Marquette student media in general) taught me more about the industry than all four years of College of Communication classes combined.


100 years of student media

AND THE These alumni can trace their path from Marquette student media to journalism’s summit. Journalism students earn their first bylines at the Marquette Tribune and Journal, learn from professors with real-world experience and graduate ready to make their mark in the media world. The ultimate examples of this trajectory may be the distinguished alumni who have gone on to earn the top honor in news journalism, the Pulitzer Prize. Like the Tribune, the Pulitzer is also celebrating 100 years this year.

GOES TO ... Jacqui Banaszynski, Jour ’74, won the prize at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch in 1988 for “AIDS in the Heartland,” which Pulitzer officials describe as “a moving series about the life and death of an AIDS victim in a rural farm community.” Looking back on her time as a reporter at the Tribune and editor of The Hilltop yearbook, Banaszynski said working in student media was as essential to her education as journalism classes. “You need to know the language, ethics and practice, but you also need to know where in the field you belong — where is your home.”

John Machacek, Jour ’62, former Tribune editor-in-chief, worked in Copus Hall, the journalism school’s home before it moved to Johnston Hall in 1975. He called it a “miniature newsroom where students … practiced the art of storytelling and collaboration.” Machacek won the Prize in 1972 with his Rochester Times-Union colleague Richard Cooper for their coverage of the Attica prison riot in western New York.

George Lardner, Jr. "It was a fine old building while it lasted,” George Lardner, Jr., Jour ’56, Grad ’62, said of Copus Hall, where

he also spent many nights working as Tribune editor. “It was a lot of fun working there … a lot of work, but a lot of fun, too." Lardner went on to report for The Washington Post and won the Pulitzer in 1993 for a story he said he would give anything not to have written – an “unflinching examination of his daughter’s murder by a violent man who had slipped through the criminal justice system,” says the Pulitzer website.

Margo Huston, Jour ’65, got a taste of the challenges she would face as a female journalist when she wrote a student media story that included a shocking quote from a university faculty member. “He said that women should go to college to get their MRS degree,” Huston recalled. “That’s a good one, isn’t it? He said that to me.” One of a few women reporters at the Milwaukee Journal in the 1970s, Huston shocked the newsroom when her series on home care for the elderly and the process of aging, “I’ll Never Leave My Home. Would You?” earned the Pulitzer in 1977. For more Marquette alumni with Pulitzer ties — including editors of Pulitzer-winning projects, Pulitzer finalists and a Pulitzer winner who didn’t study journalism at Marquette — read Marquette Magazine’s coverage: — Elizabeth Baker, Comm '17

100 years of student media

22 23

MEET THE NEW DEAN Dr. Kimo Ah Yun leads the Diederich College with an emphasis on the student experience. Kimo Ah Yun was a doctoral student in 1993 when he first visited Marquette. Working with a debate team in Michigan, he brought his students to a competition held in Johnston Hall. Twenty-three years later, Ah Yun is back at Marquette — and at Johnston — as the new dean of the Diederich College of Communication. Leading up to his July 1 start date, Ah Yun made monthly campus visits and logged dozens of meetings with faculty, students, staff, alumni, donors and fellow deans, evidence of his ambition to advance the college. “The Diederich College has a great history, and it is connected with some incredible programs such as the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, the O'Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism and the Corporate Communication Summit,” says Ah Yun, who arrives from California State University, Sacramento, where he was professor and chair of communication studies and an associate dean. Ah Yun cites graduate program growth, faculty scholarship and community engagement as strategic drivers, but a focus on students is a regular drumbeat for him. “I think it important that the


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college begin thinking about what makes the student experience distinguishable and the students distinguished,” he says. Ah Yun, a former competitive Scrabble player, has a knack for wordplay and now plays Words with Friends when not spending time with his wife and three children, ages 9 through 14. In fact, he invites anyone who is interested to start a game with him at username “kimoahyun.” — Chris Stolarski

NEW TO JOHNSTON HALL The college welcomes four new faces to its faculty and staff. Dr. Eric Waters

Dr. Young Kim New position: assistant professor of public relations

New position: assistant professor of communication studies/ strategic communication Previous role: Ph.D. candidate at the University of Texas at Austin, with a focus on the interplay of information and communication technologies and social structures in organizations. What he’d like you to know about him: With 10 years of experience working in managerial and supervisory positions for companies such as Hyundai Motor America and DaimlerChrysler Financial Services, Waters brings the mindset of a “pracademic.” “I conduct research with the goal of my findings solving practical problems or being applied in a practical manner.”

Previous role: Ph.D. candidate at Louisiana State University in Media and Public Affairs, and before that a Public Affairs Officer in the South Korean Army. What he’d like you to know about him: After presenting and publishing numerous academic papers of PR and communications research, Kim is excited to take on his new role. Kim places importance on encouraging students to look beyond the classroom, sharing, “I prioritize empowering my students by instilling curiosities about the world.” Mark Zoromski New position: director of student media

Kris Holodak

Previous role: Senior broadcast journalism lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; creator of UWM PantherVision, the only collegiate newscast to win a national Edward R. Murrow award; former news manager at WITI-TV in Milwaukee and newscast producer at stations in Green Bay and Eau Claire.

New position: assistant professor of digital media Previous role: An eclectic background in production and filmmaking, creating corporate, industrial, and educational media, as well as fiction films and documentaries. What she’d like you to know about her: In her new role as assistant professor of digital media, Holodak reflects on the changing media industry and recognizes how these differences are valuable to her work at Marquette. “I can teach today’s students to embrace that change rather than fear it because I have lived through it myself.”

What he’d like you to know about him: Zoromski aims to bring a clear vision, tireless work ethic and an educational component to student media. He loves working with students. “There is no greater profession than teaching. I develop a real special relationship with my students and alums.” — Megan Knowles and Brian Boyle

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3 REPORTING REMEDY Young alumnus Matthew Ong’s award-winning investigation helps to curtail a dangerous medical practice. “On Oct. 17, 2013, a surgical instrument called a power morcellator tore into the uterus of Amy Reed, an anesthesiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, pulverizing what were believed to be benign fibroids.” That’s how Matthew Ong, Comm ’12, began his investigative report for the nation’s leading news publication on cancer research finance and policy. Ong was a cub reporter at The Cancer Letter in 2013 when his editor handed him what appeared to be a routine assignment. The Wall Street Journal had raised issues concerning power morcellators, devices used to break up tissue in hysterectomies


and fibroid removal surgery. Was there a policy angle? Ong talked with whistleblowers, physicians, patients, and families and responded with a 79,149-word investigation — “How Medical Devices Do Harm” — that exposed regulatory lapses and sparked federal investigations by the FDA, Congress, the Government Accountability Office and the FBI. Ong’s series won seven awards, including four first-place awards in newsletter journalism from the National Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists. Before 2015, power morcellation was performed on about 100,000 women annually in the United States.

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The procedure was touted as safe and minimally invasive, but in about 1 in 350 cases, it spread undetected cancer, killing many women. “Hospitals, gynecologists and manufacturers knew about the oncologic risk, but the FDA didn’t receive reports of patient harm for years,” says Ong. “Federal agencies are investigating whether patient safety laws were violated.” Since Ong’s report, which SPJ judges said did “an incredible job describing a complicated subject,” uterine power morcellation has largely been discontinued as a medical practice. — Carolyn Bucior Read Matthew Ong’s award-winning coverage in The Cancer Letter at edu/MatthewOng

4 CHRONICLING A HALF-CENTURY OF HISTORY What's it like covering the White House beat for five presidencies? The photographs of alumnus Ted Knap capture him living that life.






Ted Knap, Jour ’40, covered five presidents and other politicians, dignitaries and celebrities in his nearly 50 years as a reporter, first for the Waukesha Freeman and then for decades as chief political writer and White House correspondent for Scripps Howard News Service. This spring, at age 95, Knap visited the Diederich College of Communication to share stories related to the “wall of photos” in his home, which is covered with images of all sizes from his time spent with princesses, politicians, presidents and popes.



Knap, who was named to President Nixon’s famed enemies list and was on the ship that retrieved the Apollo astronauts after splashdown, spoke with Law School Senior Fellow Mike Gousha and answered questions from the crowd. While journalism was his ticket to collecting stories and meeting interesting people (his favorites being fellow journalists), it was far from “just fun and games,” he says. “I believe in the Scripps Howard motto, which is, ‘Show the light and the people will find their way.’ A good democracy requires an informed electorate. And that’s what we do — that’s our role.” — Jesse Lee

1. Shown here in a press pool covering President Lyndon Johnson, Knap said Johnson, along with Nixon, stood out among the leaders he covered as most flawed yet most skillful. 2. Knap stands in Red Square, Moscow, with St. Basil’s Cathedral in the background. 3. Knap and President Richard Nixon at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. 4. Knap and the press corps talk to Senator Robert F. Kennedy. 5.A moment with then-Governor Ronald Reagan and future First Lady, Nancy, that was more fun than historic: Knap says he jumped into the frame while getting some beach time during a governors’ conference in the U.S. Virgin Islands.


6.Knap and his wife, Eleanore, with President Gerald Ford and First Lady Betty Ford. 7. Knap in front of his wall of photos at his home in Oconomowoc, Wis. 8.Knap with President Jimmy Carter on Air Force One. Carter’s wife, Rosalynn, naps on the President’s lap in a rare moment of downtime.

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5 THE PERSUASIVENESS OF CROWDS Tracing the frontiers of “need to know” with Dr. Robert Griffin, Jour '68. To measure how online portals like YouTube shape viewers’ opinions about important information, four researchers from the University of WisconsinMadison ­— plus Dr. Robert Griffin, a professor of journalism and media studies at Marquette — rigged up a fake YouTube page showing a real video on global warming. Volunteers watched the video and researchers then quizzed them on the issue’s importance. Little did they know researchers were manipulating the number of “views” displayed — higher figures tended to make the subject seem more important. In another study still underway, Griffin and longtime collaborator Dr. Sharon Dunwoody — an emeritus professor of mass communications at UW-Madison — hope to gauge how weather affects the mind’s handling of information about global warming. Griffin and Dunwoody are using data from the Marquette Law School Poll collected during two seasons: a hot, dry summer and a cold winter. Both times, survey takers were asked for their beliefs on climate change, and it appears that cold and hot weather had an effect on whether participants saw global warming as real, depending in part on their political affiliations. Griffin ultimately wants to explain what motivates people to pause during their busy lives to learn more about complex environmental issues such as climate change. As a young man in college, and afterward, while serving in the Air Force, he’d planned to become an environmental reporter but “caught the bug” for quantitative research, he says, as a graduate student at UW–Madison. Winner of the Diederich College’s 2016 Scholar of the Year award, Griffin developed a complicated “Risk Information

Seeking and Processing Model” in 1999 (with Dunwoody and Kurt Neuwirth of the University of Cincinnati) that attempts to explain the myriad factors that lead people to carefully seek out information and consider its implications. Dunwoody calls the model “a bewildering bunch of boxes and arrows,” each representing a person’s pre-existing knowledge levels, prejudices, demographics, emotions and other variables. It adds layers upon layers, but Griffin says it has largely been backed up by research. The American Association for the Advancement of Science recognized Griffin and his research when it elected him one of its prestigious fellows in 2007, one of just two currently at Marquette. Part of the “RISP” model accounts for how important other people believe an issue to be, a form of social pressure found in the YouTube experiment’s views. Griffin says there’s an internal voice that nags us into taking action: “Other people think I should know this stuff.” — Matt Hrodey

Research gets a higher profile For the first time, the Diederich College of Communication held a Scholarship Research Week in April, an expansion of what had previously been a one-day affair. Packing a Johnston Hall hallway for one of the week’s highlights, faculty presented research posters and conversed with students and colleagues. It was an eye-opening experience for them. “Students learned this is what professors do when we’re not teaching,” says Dr. Sarah Bonewits Feldner, associate dean for graduate studies and research. To cap off a week of faculty and guest presentations, Lisa Osborne Ross, Jour ’84, managing director of APCO Worldwide’s Washington, D.C. office, gave the symposium’s keynote speech focusing on the role of research in her work in professional communication.


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6 DECONSTRUCTING DRINKING RITUALS Dr. Joyce Wolburg’s research reveals there’s more to binge drinking than just a night of partying. That may be key to curbing it. Dr. Joyce Wolburg understands the dangers of binge drinking on college campuses. But as a researcher, she withholds judgment to better study and assess the behavior. If we can understand the social forces and personal motivations that drive the behavior, she says, we can start to impact the problem. Wolburg, associate dean for academic affairs in the Diederich College and professor of strategic communication, with her co-researcher Dr. Nathan Gilkerson, interviewed Marquette undergraduates about their drinking habits, and especially the traditions of their 21st birthdays. The celebration of that milestone “is a shared bonding experience,” says Wolburg. “One student told me that on her birthday, her friends took her home and even took out her contact lenses. She viewed that as the epitome of friendship — that there’s nothing a friend won’t do for you on your birthday.”

Wolburg chronicled her findings recently in an article, “Insights for Prevention Campaigns: The Power of Drinking Rituals in the College Student Experience from Freshman to Senior Year,” published in the Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising. Her study found that students have an intense need to find and develop friendships, and they see drinking in a group as the most expedient method to build relationships. For students, the potential rewards outweighed the risks. “What struck me was students could name all the potential risks but they didn’t feel they were personally at risk,” she reports. “Because they were drinking with a group of friends, they felt safe.” When interviewed for her study on 21st birthdays, students talked about feeling like a celebrity, according to Wolburg. At the same time, the peer pressure to drink to excess on that day is intense; it’s difficult to turn down shots and drinks bought by friends and acquaintances. With the potential dangers of excessive drinking well-documented, Wolburg ultimately wants advertising professionals to use her research to create campaigns that speak to students about making safe and smart decisions. “This is a meaningful rite of passage,” she says. “This ritual is more resistant to change than we thought.” — Tim Cigelske, Comm '04

7 RESEARCH THAT DELIVERS Dr. Scott D’Urso’s interests extend from technology to improved communication in hospital delivery rooms.

Dr. Scott D’Urso’s love of communication can be traced back to 1980 when his parents brought home an Apple II PLUS. “They were technophobes but they understood computers would be important and wanted to give us a head start,” he says. Since earning his Ph.D. in communication at the University of Texas at Austin, he has specialized in organizational and corporate communication and currently serves as chair and associate professor of the Department of Communication Studies. “I think because of that first computer I am most interested in the technical aspects of the field like how corporations use emails and social media to communicate both internally and externally,” he says. Lately, D’Urso has even studied improving communication among professionals engaged in unpredictable medical

situations. The project examines the effects of facilitated dialogue training on physicians in delivery rooms. “The idea is from a former graduate student of mine, Barry Henrichs, Grad '13. He noted that in the delivery room there are two groups of doctors, the gynecologists and obstetricians, and the anesthesiologists. It’s a high-pressure situation, but they never talk to one another and often use different terminology.” The research team brought medical residents from both specializations together and taught them the value of communicating with one another. Findings revealed newfound respect across group lines and a greater likelihood to cross those lines to ask questions. After teaching a year’s worth of the corporate communication, organizational communication and research methods courses that are also important to him, D’Urso helped the team, led by Henrichs, to prepare their findings for submission to journals over the summer. “We want medical schools to understand that teaching students to communicate in high-stress situations will lead to high success rates for the patients,” he says. — Guy Fiorita

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Marquette University P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-1881 USA


Information has power only if it is known. Stories inspire only if they are told. In the Diederich College of Communication, we immerse students in an environment that encourages risks and demands excellence. Drawing on our diverse array of talent and resources, they become accomplished communicators and professionals. They leave equipped with the vision, agility and ability to speak for those unheard, the wisdom to know what to say. They leave truly prepared to Be The Difference.

Comm magazine 2016  

College of Communication 2016 magazine

Comm magazine 2016  

College of Communication 2016 magazine