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Vol. 15, No. 2

Summer 2011

A publication for alumni and friends of the College of Communications at Penn State






Feature: Ethical Approach Woven Into Programs Final Four Focus • Foster Conference • News, Notes


FACULTY/STAFF NEWS Feature: Centers, Institutes Drive Innovation, Studies Faculty Awards • Documentary Debut • Retirements


DEVELOPMENT NEWS Family’s Gift Endows ‘Professor of Practice’ Faculty, Staff Create Awards • Travel Fund Established



STUDENT NEWS Standouts Selected as Student Marshals Award Winners • PR Student of the Year Finalist




From the Dean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Alumni Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 College Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 Contacting the College . . . . . . . . . .63

Alumnus Ryan Hockensmith Honored Events in Los Angeles • Screening at Sundance

The Communicator is published twice a year by the College of Communications at Penn State. Dean: Douglas A. Anderson Editor, Layout: Steve Sampsell Publication Policies All items relating to the College and its faculty, staff, students and alumni will be considered for publication. All correspondence should be directed to: The Communicator College of Communications The Pennsylvania State University 302 James Building University Park, PA 16801-3867 Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its workforce. U.Ed. COM 11-100


ON THE COVER: Student marshals for spring 2011 were (left to right): Mandy Hofmockel, Jessica Ramos, Kevin Foedinger, Brittany Kofsky, Karle Yanocha (on shrine) and James Gibbons. Story on page 40. (Photo by Will Yurman)


hen I read the first-person piece in this issue of The Communicator by Gene Foreman, the College’s inaugural Larry and Ellen Foster Professor of Writing and Editing, I thought immediately of the dramatic impact that endowments have on our programs and our people. Professor Foreman notes the impressive list of journalists who have been part of the Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers since its launch in fall 1999. In 24 conferences during the past 12 years, thousands of Penn State students have been inspired by the visiting writers. (See story on pages 13-15.) The Foster Conference is the tangible result of operating funds generated by the endowed Foster Professorship, which is now held by Tony Barbieri. That endowed professorship is one of the College’s more than 130 earmarked endowments that benefit our faculty, students and programs—and will do so in perpetuity. They range from funds for scholarships, to student awards, to hardware and software purchases, to internship support, to special programs, to lecture series, to academic centers, to chairs and professorships. The market value of the permanent endowments for our 106 named scholarships, counting University matches for trustee scholarships, now exceeds $13 million. This year, we were able to award $634,729 in scholarships to our students. (See story on pages 3439). The market value of the permanent endowments for our seven professorships or chairs is pushing $10 million: the John and Ann Curley Professorship in First Amendment Studies; the Don Davis Professorship in Ethics; the Foster Professorship in Writing and Editing; the John S. and James L. Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society; the James and Barbara Palmer Chair in Telecommunications Studies and Law; the Pioneers Chair in Cable Telecommunications; and our most recent, the Norman Eberly Professorship of Practice in Journalism. (See story on page 28-29.) When people consider the impact of private funds on the College, they most often think of scholarships, chairs, professorships and named special enterprises

such as the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communications, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program in Ethical Leadership, or the William Randolph Hearst Foundation Endowment for Visiting Professionals. But the value of endowments stretches far beyond those categories, including our recognition programs, such as the Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism, which is presented each spring at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. (see story on page 7), the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism’s annual Award for Coverage of Youth Sports (see story on page 11), and our endowed lecture series and programs: the Foster Conference,

From the Dean

the Davis Symposium in Advertising Ethics, the N. N. Oweida Lecture in Journalism Ethics, the Ben Bronstein Lecture in Ethics and Public Relations, the Palmer Lecture in Telecommunications, the Robert M. Pockrass Memorial Lecture and the Curley Center for Sports Journalism’s “Conversation Series.” The impact of virtually all of our endowed programs has exceeded our expectations, with the Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers being a prime example. Professor Foreman gives credit to many for the success of the Conference but, for all intents and purposes, the primary reason so many distinguished journalists have accepted our invitation to come to campus is simple: he asked them. Gene, who retired from full-time teaching in December 2006, continues as coordinator of the Conference. And like so many special events and opportunities we are able to make available to our students, the Foster Conference would not be possible without generous private financial support.



Practicing Ethics

Professor Patrick Parsons leads an ethics-across-the-curriculum approach in the College of Communications, and one of its outgrowths during the 2010-11 academic year was the creation of a Code of Conduct—a process driven exclusively by students.

Strategic efforts, programs continue history of “doing the right thing” as faculty, staff and students strive to make a difference


lmost every aspect of Penn State has changed through the years. From Old Main becoming an administrative hub rather than a residence hall to the black-and-pink football uniforms changing to blueand-white, change has been a constant during the institution’s 156 years of transformational growth. Some things never change, though, and the College of Communications has made an emphasis on ethics an integral part of its approach since its inception. In fact, a Penn State commitment to ethics in the communications field dates back much farther, some 85 years, to 1926 when Penn State English and journalism professor William Gibbons wrote one of the first books on newspaper ethics ever published. Ten years


after that, Donald W. Davis Sr. created the advertising program at the University. He later authored “Basic Text in Advertising,” which emphasized the “continuing fight for standards.” All these years later, the focus remains consistent. Prospective communications students learn about the importance of ethics during their first visits to campus and that message gets delivered throughout their careers at Penn State. “The College lists a ‘grounding in ethics’ as a core competency that we expect all of our students to possess by the time they are graduated,” said Dean Doug Anderson. “We seek to make the College the place where we do not merely talk about ethics and responsi-


Carnegie Close-Up

bility—but a place where we also live it.” His work as the Davis Professor is made possible by Longtime telecommunications faculty member the $1.2 million endowment funded by the late Donald Patrick Parsons, the Don Davis Professor of Ethics, W. Davis Jr., who created the ethics professorship in leads the practice-what-you-preach ethical approach on a 2005. daily basis. When the position was created, Davis expected that An emphasis on ethics, responsibility and citizenship the holder of the professorship would make social long has been a hallmark of the academic majors responsibility a core focus of the College’s teaching, (adverting/public relations, film-video, journalism, research and service missions. media studies and telecommunications) in the College. Davis himself had a deserved reputation for his ethiThat includes a required ethics course for all journalism cal approach. majors and several popular course offerings across all He spent his life emphasizing “doing the right majors that include signifithing,” Anderson said. cant ethical components. That concept guided “We’re committed to providing stuParsons has helped Davis during his years as dents with the finest preparation in the CEO of Stanley Works, design and implement efforts that make the one of the largest internaarea of professional ethics, and the ethics-first message even manufacturers of resources provided by the professorship tional more efficient and unified. builders’ hardware and make it possible to reach students, and tools. Under his leaderHe coordinates a variety of efforts that include: ship, Stanley grew to a many others, in a variety of impactful creating and updating “Fortune 200” company. ways.” the “Practice Integrity” In addition, for nearly two — Patrick Parsons, decades, Davis taught video; facilitating the EthicsDon Davis Professor of Ethics courses in ethics and leadAcross-the-Curriculum ership at the Speaker Series; Massachusetts Institute of implementing the acaTechnology. demic integrity campaign; Students have clearly responded to the message. honoring students with awards for ethics and Annual nominations for Davis Award recipients conresponsibility in recognition of their activities during tinue to increase each year and the commitment of the the academic year; and Communications Student Council to create the making presentations to prospective and incoming Student Honor Code provides the most recent examstudents as well as faculty members and people outside ple. of Penn State. That group worked for nearly a year on the code, “It’s a challenging and rewarding position,” Parsons designed to remind communications students about said. “We’re committed to providing students with the the College’s historic commitment to integrity and finest preparation in the area of professional ethics, and social responsibility. the resources from the professorship make it possible to The voluntary code—which was unveiled during reach students, and many others, in a variety of impactpublic ceremonies in late March at Carnegie Building— ful ways.” stresses the importance of personal and academic During the 2010-11 academic year, visits by more integrity and commits the students to carry those printhan a half dozen speakers were supported by the ethics- ciples into their professional lives. across-the-curriculum program. “We are especially proud that the Honor Code was In addition, 10 students were honored as recipients a student-driven effort,” Parsons said. “That was their of the Davis Award (see page 6) and several faculty declaration of commitment to the highest standards of members received small grants for classroom-based, ethics and responsibility inside and outside of the classethics-related student activities. room.” All of that is just part of the impact made by After the unveiling of the 88-word code that emphaParsons, who has championed the ethical approach that sizes the importance of dignity, ethics and integrity, the represents an age-old piece of the fabric of the communearly 3,400 communications students at Penn State nications program. Parsons is the author, coauthor or were offered the opportunity to commit to the actions coeditor of four books, including “The Journalist’s the code outlines by completing an online form. Moral Compass.” Parsons said response to the opportunity was strong.

Carnegie Close-Up Davis Award recipients are (left to right): Lindsey Nelson, Dan LePera, Michal Berns, Andy Colwell, Alysha Preston, Jenna Ekdahl, Shannon Holzer, Ryan Kristobak, Michelle Turli and Caryn Winters.

Davis Awards Recognize Ethical Efforts of Students Ten communications students were honored at the end of the spring semester as recipients of the Davis Award, which recognizes students who distinguish themselves in the classroom, in their activities across campus and in their community work. “We ask faculty to nominate those who have excelled in these areas, whose commitment to integrity and service are above the normal call,” said Patrick Parsons, the Don Davis Professor of Ethics. “We honor those selected as role models and as the ethical leaders of the next generation.” Those honored were: Michal Berns, a senior, cited for her efforts in and out of class to combat alcohol abuse at Penn State. She was active with the Student Alcohol Advisory Committee on campus and served as student president of Penn State Hillel. Andy Colwell, a senior, who was president of the Penn State Photography Club, worked for the Universityʼs public information office and was a founding member of the National Press Photographers Association on campus. He was praised as a role model and leader in and out of class. Jenna Ekdahl, a journalism major who graduated in December, was recognized for her class work when she tackled an emotional story about a single mother that was made stronger by probing questions that provided details without becoming exploitative. Shannon Holzer, a junior, served as “Wigs for Kids” captain during the Penn State Dance Marathon, demonstrated a detailed understanding of ethics in

her news media ethics class and wrote a poignant “This I Believe” essay about a promise she made to her grandmother. Ryan Kristobak, a sophomore, showed high ethical values in his news media ethics class and has volunteered in Philadelphia-area soup kitchens, delivered gifts to the needy at Christmas and worked summers in Appalachia as well as for Habitat for Humanity. Dan LePera, a senior, worked on a program to discourage young people from smoking. He has also worked with “Coaches vs. Cancer” and as a camp counselor and a mentor in the Philadelphia area. Lindsey Nelson, a junior, who worked on two separate programs with Penn State Cooperative Extension to assist at-risk families with financial planning and childhood obesity. She also volunteers with Easter Seals and Habitat for Humanity. Alysha Preston, a sophomore, who helped guide the Student Honor Code through the approval process by the College of Communications Student Council. Michelle Turli, a senior, who played a key role in a charity that collected and distributed gently used prom dresses. She also coordinated a clothing drive for the Salvation Army and served as a peer mentor. Caryn Winters, a graduate student, who was a co-organizer and facilitator of a public forum on education and also planned a conference on domestic violence for the Centre County Womenʼs Resource Center.


Carnegie News

L . A . T i m e s Critic Earns Bart Richards Award Los Angeles Times columnist who Bradley and Dick Riordan, as well Afocused his work on unethical as Antonio Villaraigosa’s first run practices by local television stations, including the use of paid content on newscasts, was selected as the 2010 recipient of the Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism. Media columnist James Rainey used his columns to describe the deterioration of traditional journalism on local television. In place of reporting on local TV news, Rainey found a pay-for-play approach that benefited big businesses (organizations such as automakers, hospitals, toy companies and others) that ensured their “news” was televised through payments and relationships not made public—until Rainey’s work shed light on the practice. His efforts led to the departure of the news director of one network affiliate in Los Angeles. It also prompted a public interest group to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission. “The phenomenon might be going unnoticed entirely were it not for the dogged and insightful reporting of James Rainey,” said Davan Maharaj, managing editor of the Times, who submitted Rainey’s work for the Bart Richards Award. “His tough inquiries spared no target, including the Times’ corporate sister, KTLA-TV in Los Angeles.” The Bart Richards Award, presented annually by the College of Communications, recognizes outstanding contributions to print and broadcast journalism through responsible analysis or critical evaluation. This year’s award honors work produced during the 2010 calendar year. It was presented May 26 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Judges for the award believed

James Rainey

Rainey’s work clearly deserved recognition. Judge Charles Edwards, dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Drake University, said Rainey’s columns were “interesting and important.” “It got to the truth and it was well done,” said fellow judge Rich Holden, executive director of the Dow Jones News Fund. “He took on an issue that deserved attention and what he did made a difference,” said judge Steve Geimann of Bloomberg News. “His work led to action. It exemplified the spirit of the award.” Rainey has been a professional journalist for 29 years, most of them at the Los Angeles Times, where he has covered government, politics, media, the environment and a host of other issues. At the Times, Rainey wrote the first stories describing the mass spread of mini-malls around Los Angeles street corners. He covered the 1992 riots and 1994 earthquake and several wildfires. At Los Angeles City Hall, he covered the mayoral administrations of Tom


for mayor, in 2001. Rainey has earned national awards for his writing about emotionally disturbed children and about land claims by Native Americans. He received another prize for a series on the abuse of inmates at California Youth Authority prisons. Rainey traveled with the candidates, wrote features and conducted investigations during the 2004 and 2008 presidential races, focusing in the latter campaign on the role of the media in the election. He spent a month in Iraq in 2006, again following the media, U.S. military efforts and the formation of the Maliki government. He attended Santa Monica High School and the University of California at Berkeley, where he was sports editor of the student newspaper, the Daily Californian. Rainey is a frequent guest on radio and television, speaking about the media and politics. He credits assistant managing editor Sallie Hofmeister, his editor, with helping shape and drive the coverage of “fake news” on local TV. Recent winners of the Bart Richards Award include: Columbia Journalism Review, 2009; Project for Excellence in Journalism, 2008; PBS “Frontline,” 2007; Byron Calame, public editor of The New York Times, 2006; Sydney Schanberg, a columnist for The Village Voice, 2005; and “State of the News Media” by Project for Excellence in Journalism (Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel), 2004. More information about the award and its history can be found at online.

Carnegie News Final Four Trip Offers Many Challenges, Memories Curley Center students Nate Mink (left) and Matt Fortuna (right) joined Malcolm Moran while covering the Final Four for the NCAA.

(Editor’s Note: We asked Malcolm Moran, our Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society and director of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, to write a firstperson account of his experience—and that of two Curley Center students, Matt Fortuna and Nate Mink—at the Final Four.)

By Malcolm Moran

We were passing through a huge concrete corridor beneath the stands of Reliant Stadium in Houston when there was a brief stop to make. On the Thursday afternoon at the start of the Final Four weekend, Matt Fortuna and Nate Mink, seniors in the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, were introduced to Jim Calhoun, head coach of the Connecticut Huskies, who wondered what a pair of students was doing with Final Four media credentials. I explained the remarkable

Center, NCAA Partnership Benefits Students Two journalism students in the College of Communications, both enrolled in the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, gained valuable hands-on experience in April when they wrote stories for from Reliant Stadium, site of the Final Four in Houston. Their five-day working trip was the result of a partnership between the Curley Center and the NCAA,

opportunity Matt and Nate had been given by the NCAA. They were there to write stories that would appear on and a website created by the College of Communications. They would concentrate on the scenes, the people and the issues that surround the Final Four. They’re working. That’s why they are here. Calhoun smiled at his opening as


facilitated by Curley Center director Malcolm Moran. Along with writing stories for the NCAA, the students (Matt Fortuna and Nate Mink) also maintained their own website. Their work remains at online. The trip will continue as an annual capstone experience exclusively for standout students from the Curley Center.

he turned toward me. His head tilted to the right just slightly, the way it often does when he has you set up for a punch line. “And you?” I was the navigator, editor, facilitator, driver and the bearer of a message Matt and Nate were already beginning to understand. The long weekend changes you, altering your outlook, introducing and deepening

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relationships, in ways you cannot imagine before your flight touches down in a Final Four city. The Curley Center’s presence has increased dramatically during each of the last two championships. Last year in Indianapolis, for the first time, the Center organized “Full Court Press,” an annual seminar, panel discussion and writing competition for high school and college students created by the United States Basketball Writers Association. This year, Steve Sampsell, our director of college relations, organized a session attended by students from 11 institutions throughout the southwest. When the students gathered in a meeting room at a hotel adjacent to the stadium, they were asked to raise their hands to describe the length of their trip. One hour … two hours … three hours … one student’s hand remained raised when the total reached six. With the help of Greg Shaheen, Erik Christianson and Dave Worlock of the NCAA staff, and the digital expertise of Ronnie Ramos, Nate and Matt went to work describing the lives that create the spectacle. Matt discovered a connection between Butler University’s presence and a city that had not hosted the event in 40 years. He wrote about the late Ronnie Truitt, a member of the 1954 Milan High School team that won the Indiana state championship at Butler Field House and eventually inspired the movie “Hoosiers.” Truitt had gone on to play for Guy Lewis at the University of Houston and coach a Texas state championship high school team. The Truitt Middle School is named in his honor. Nate discovered an administrative difference that resulted from

Butler’s unexpected drive to national prominence. The head student manager, Ryan McLaughlin, first became involved by sending an email to an assistant coach. Now the process involves applications, resumes and interviews. Matt was able to spend time with Felicia Crump, the academic counselor for men’s basketball at Connecticut, to discuss the challenges of dealing with an 11-game, 27-day, cross-country post-season experience. Nate found a story about the painted faces behind the baselines when he crossed paths with Andrew Gehler, a student from Virginia Commonwealth, who rented a car with friends to make the trip from Richmond to Houston. On Monday morning, at the USBWA annual awards breakfast, they learned about Katha Quinn, the late sports information director from St. John’s University in whose name an award for service to the industry is presented each year. Oliver Pierce, the sports information director at Gonzaga, received the award this year, but not before Quinn, who died in 1989 at the age


of 34 from liver cancer, was remembered by her team’s finest player: Chris Mullin, who was about to be introduced as a member of the class of 2011 by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. There were tears in that ballroom, and laughter around the corner at the Hall of Fame announcement. Matt described part of Dennis Rodman’s ensemble: “…a black baseball cap and sunglasses, sneakers, a leopard-spotted scarf and an unbuttoned shirt…” Rodman’s weekend had started in Auburn Hills, Mich., where the Pistons retired his uniform No. 10. Matt’s camera was pointed toward Rodman’s multiple piercings as he asked how this weekend ranked. “I’ve had a lot of great weekends,” Rodman said, and you could hear them both laugh at the end of another one. Throughout my 31st Final Four, I watched Matt and Nate make the discovery I had made more than three decades before: You think you are there to write about basketball games, until you realize it’s everything that surrounds them that makes you want to get back.

Carnegie News


By Matt Fortuna

By Nate Mink

I felt like I was the celebrity. Roommates begging for shoutouts on my blog. Friends tweeting at me during the games. Family members texting to ask where I was sitting. And yes, even a source waking me up the morning of the national semifinals asking for tickets. (I still cannot afford them myself, thank you very much.) Still, my first trip to the Final Four was about anything but me. There was a coach by the name of Shaka taking the nation by storm. There was mid-major Butler making it to its second straight national title game. There was Connecticut winning it all following an unprecedented run through the Big East and NCAA tournaments. There was even John Calipari in his first official Final Four after his previous two appearances were vacated. (Yes, a reporter did actually ask him how it felt to be there for the first time. No, it was not me.) But for every big name and crowd of reporters onsite, there seemed to be a corresponding little guy making it all happen behind the scenes. Pretty much the only directive I was given upon landing in Houston was to find stories as far away from the mainstream as possible. I went to Truitt Middle School to report on the only deceased player from 1954 Milan, Ind., state title team—the inspiration for "Hoosiers." It turns out his legacy is as great as any of his teammates, as he became both a coaching and teaching legend throughout Houston before losing his battle with cancer in 1988. I sat down with Felicia Crump, UConn's academic counselor, who had the unenviable task of bringing these players down from Cloud 9 to remind them that they are, in fact, student-athletes. (She's also a big reason why Most Outstanding Player Kemba Walker is graduating a year early.) And I spent nearly a half-hour with Butler's studentmanagers, several of whom were experiencing the sport's biggest stage for the second year in a row after signing up to be modest towelboys. Of course, the biggest feedback I received from my coverage came from my mother, a lifetime Chicago Bulls fan who had just watched a video of me interviewing Dennis Rodman, who had just been inducted into the Hall of Fame. “I cannot believe that my son is interviewing Dennis Rodman,” she said in an email. I'm not sure if she was proud or disturbed.

Before Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens emerged from the bowels of Reliant Stadium, taking their place on the raised basketball court above their respective benches amid the collective screams of 75,421 fans, before I saw Butler’s bulldog, Blue II, and hundreds of Virginia Commonwealth students assume their spots behind each basket, there was one dominant feeling. Gazing up and around the vast, cavernous arena, dark and almost entirely empty on the Thursday before games would be played, all I could think about was how toothless my first, and perhaps only, Final Four would be with a couple of mid-major, average basketball teams. If this was my One Shining Moment, I wanted Coach K. I wanted Roy Williams. Kemba Walker? OK, I’ll take it. The championship game, I would convince myself, validated that assertion thanks to Butler’s three 2-point baskets and 18.8 percent shooting. Twitter, of course, ran wild with reaction, calling it the worst championship game in college basketball history. It is more than a month later I write this. I’ve digested and replayed scenes from that week: dinners and breakfasts with an elite class of college basketball scribes who write marvelous stories; handshakes and introductions with Hall of Fame coaches and players; and, yes, standing in the pit minutes before VCU and Butler tipped this weekend-long spectacle off, the designated section behind the basket with VCU’s jazzy pep band and hundreds of students clad in black and yellow. Then there was this scene: those same students, some who rented a minivan and drove from Richmond to Houston, lining the ropes that lead into the tunnel, extending their arms as their defeated classmates walk with their heads down, realizing a ride as magnificent as the last three weeks could end in an instant. It is here I saw the pain, the agony, the cruelness of this tournament. It is here I saw the tears swelling in the eyes, the sweat crawling, jerseys being untucked for the final time. This didn’t need to be Duke, North Carolina or Connecticut. What I saw on that night was players running, jumping, shooting, competing for their shot at basketball lore. It was everything it ought to be.


“Play Their Hearts Out,” a book about grassroots basketball by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist George Dohrmann, was selected as the winner of the Award for Excellence in Coverage of Youth Sports, presented by the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. Based on eight years of access and research with a team in Southern California, Dohrmann uses “Play Their Hearts Out” (2010, Ballentine Books) to reveal the often cutthroat aspects of grassroots basketball for participants as young as 8 years old. The award was presented during a special event at the Nittany Lion Inn in April. On the elite team that Dohrmann follows all the way to high school, youthful participants face exploitation and scrutiny as coaches compete to attract the best players for their teams. Or, those same coaches manipulate families and players to shed unwanted members of a team roster. At the same time, sneaker companies ply coaches with free shoes and gear and all-star "camps" are just glorified cattle auctions, providing make-or-break opportunities to secure the promise of an elusive college scholarship and a possible NBA career. All of those things are part of a shady system in which talent is a commodity even before puberty and where big business rules the day. A group of faculty members from the College of Communications culled the field of entries to three finalists, which were then sent to external judges. Those judges—John Curley, the former president, CEO and chairman of Gannett Co. Inc. for whom the Center is named; Melanie Collins of the Big Ten Network; and Ryan Hockensmith of ESPN the Magazine—were unanimous in their selection of

Dohrmann’s book. “The book put it all together. It was fabulous,” Curley said. “While you think you know things like that are going on out there, you do not have a lot of documented evidence. This book provided that.” “The writing was so strong and the detail and insight made the book something I could not put down,” Collins said. “At times, I was so enraged I was physically angry.” Still, Hockensmith offered the highest praise. “It tells you all you need to know about AAU basketball and gives a look at the culture of youth sports,” Hockensmith said. “It put a face on an often faceless issue, and I was never bored. It’s one of the best sports books I’ve ever read.” Dohrmann, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated who focuses on investigative projects and writes about college basketball, college football and soccer, won the Pulitzer Prize for beat reporting in 1999. His series of articles in the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press uncovered academic fraud within the University of Minnesota men's basketball program. Before joining the Pioneer Press in 1997, he worked two years at the Los Angeles Times. Dohrmann graduated from Notre Dame in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies and later earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco. Dohrmann lives in San Francisco with his wife, Sharon, daughter


Carnegie News

Book Earns Curley Center’s Award for Excellence

Jessica and two dogs. The Curley Center, established in 2003, explores issues and trends in sports journalism through instruction, programming and research. Four undergraduate courses comprise the core offerings of the Center, and students who take advantage of the courses do so in state-of-the-art classrooms and radio and TV studios. The Center emphasizes internships at newspapers, magazines or electronic media and oncampus co-curricular work at the student-run newspaper, The Daily Collegian, the sports information office or campus radio. Along with facilitating the Award for Excellence in Coverage of Youth Sports as part of its outreach efforts, the Center coordinates on-and offcampus special events with guest speakers, panels and events—including an annual seminar at the Final Four in April. Also, as part of its research component, the Center conducts regular studies and surveys about issues in sports journalism.

Carnegie News Associated Press chief White House correspondent Ben Feller (left), a Penn State alumnus, talks with Ford Risley, head of the Department of Journalism, during the Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers at a session at the State Theatre. (Photo by John Beale)

Accomplished Alumnus Highlights Foster Conference As a journalist who spends his days covering the White House, flying on Air Force One and working closely with the most powerful people in the world, Ben Feller knows to avoid hyperbole and false praise. He deals in facts and honesty, crafting engaging and informative stories based on dogged reporting and research. He also values the obvious. “You should never overlook the importance of what’s right in front of you,” Feller (’92 Journ) told the nearly 500 people who packed the State Theatre in State College for

his presentation. Because of his job, and because he grew up in State College, he was one of the most popular visitors in the history of the conference. Before he started his presentation—which included reading excerpts from his stories about an emotional visit by President Barak Obama to Dover (Del.) Air Force Base and a more light-hearted story about an impromptu news conference featuring Obama and former President Bill Clinton—Feller said the opportunity to participate in the conference was special because


he was “home” in Happy Valley. “It becomes part of you,” Feller said. “I’ve flown in Air Force One, but being back here is a tremendous honor. It’s shaped who I’ve become as a person and as a writer.” Along with Feller, who has won numerous awards for his writing, the spring session of the Foster Conference included a separate presentation by Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman, who authored a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles about police corruption for the Philadelphia Daily News.

FOSTER CONFERENCE SPEAKERS Fall 1999 James McBride *Michael Vitez #Alecia Swasy

(Editor's Note: We asked the College of Communications' inaugural Larry and Ellen Foster Professor of Writing and Editing, Gene Foreman, to write a first-person article about the genesis of the Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers and to provide a summary of the journalists who have participated in it. Professor Foreman retired from full-time teaching in the College in December 2006, but continues as a visiting professor and coordinator of the Foster Conference.)

Spring 2000 *Ron Suskind *Madeleine Blais #Paul Hendrickson

By Gene Foreman

Fall 2000 *Anna Quindlen Mark Bowden #Jerry Schwartz

In the fall of 1999, Doug Anderson and I had new appointments, he as the dean of the College of Communications and I as the inaugural Larry and Ellen Foster Professor of Writing and Editing. Along with the appointments came an opportunity that demanded an imaginative—even daring—response. We wanted to make the best possible use of the portion of the Foster Gene Professorship’s endowment that was Foreman allocated to enrich our students’ experience in professional writing. We knew this would have to be something special, something to put an exclamation point on the excellent instruction the students were receiving in the classroom. As we talked, both of us were intrigued with the notion of bringing outstanding journalists to campus once a year to talk about their experience and share their expertise. How outstanding? Again we were in agreement: Our goal would be the best. In the 12 years that have passed since that meeting, 54 journalists [see the accompanying chart] have come to Penn State for what we grandly named The Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers. All of them deserve the adjective distinguished. Thirty-one have won journalism’s ultimate award, the Pulitzer Prize. Others have written nonfiction best-sellers: James McBride (“The Color of Water”), Mark Bowden (“Black Hawk Down”), Steve Lopez (“The Soloist”), and John Grogan (“Marley and Me”). We have hosted broadcasting’s Jim Wooten and Juan Williams. Honor-roll sportswriters like Penn State’s own Tom Verducci, Bill Lyon, Michael Bamberger and Jayson Stark. The Associated Press’ chief White House correspondent, Ben Feller, another Penn Stater. As we peruse the list of guests, Doug and I cannot

Spring 2006 #Tom Verducci Steve Lopez Fall 2006 Juan Williams Jennifer Hunter Spring 2007 *Sydney Schanberg *Karen DeYoung

Spring 2001 *Michael Gartner Wil Haygood #Ann Gerhart

Fall 2007 *Jerry Kammer Diana Henriques

Fall 2001 *Richard Ben Cramer *David Maraniss

Spring 2008 *Dana Priest Jim Wooten

Spring 2002 *Leonard Pitts Jr. Claire Smith #Lori Shontz

Fall 2008 *Amy Goldstein *Bill Raspberry

Fall 2002 *David Halberstam *Paul Greenberg Spring 2003 *Steve Twomey Alicia Shepard Fall 2003 #Rod Nordland Bill Lyon Spring 2004 *David Shribman Ken Fuson Fall 2004 *Walter Mears *Cynthia Tucker Spring 2005 *David Zucchino *Bill Marimow


Fall 2005 *Anne Hull *Buzz Bissinger

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Broad Support Contributes to Success of Conference

Spring 2009 *Connie Schultz Michael Bamberger Fall 2009 *Sonia Nazario *Mark Feeney Spring 2010 John Grogan Jayson Stark Fall 2010 *Ken Armstrong *Diana K. Sugg Spring 2011 #Ben Feller *Barbara Laker *Wendy Ruderman *-Winners of Pulitzer Prize (31) #-Penn State graduates (8)

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believe our good fortune. composer. “You’ve made It is a tribute to the genme a hero at Penn State,” I erosity of journalism’s best e-mailed David Lee after that they have been so willJim’s presentation. ing to carve out a couple of For the first conference, days from busy schedules to I also enlisted Michael come to University Park, Vitez, a Pulitzer winner in mingle with the students 1997 for a series of Inquirer and answer their questions. stories titled “Final We pay them a modest Choices,” in which he but respectable honorariwrote powerful, intimate um—minuscule compared narratives about five people with those the University as they approached the Park Allocation Committee ends of their lives. The bestows on its speakers— series did more than tell and reimburse them for personal stories; it their travel expenses. They explained the dramatic also get a handsome Penn changes in how Americans State sweatshirt. (Ben are responding to terminal Feller, who addressed the illness. largest-ever audience of My Penn State colabout 500 on March 29 at leagues put me in touch the State Theatre, reported with our third guest: Alecia that he proudly wore his Swasy, a business writer new sweatshirt on the drive then with The Wall Street Philadelphia Daily News reporters Wendy Ruderman (left) and home to Washington.) Journal and the author of Barbara Laker participated in the spring session of the conference. It has been my assignbooks about Procter & ment to track down the prospects and sell them on the Gamble and Eastman Kodak. idea of coming to Penn State. In this undertaking, the The format for the Foster Conference has evolved. university’s reputation has been a priceless asset. As the For each of the first four conferences, we had three years rolled by, it helped that the word has spread about speakers—one for opening night and two for events the our hospitality and our intellectually curious, engaging next day. We realized that two speakers could be showstudent audiences. Penn State has become known in cased better, one on opening night and the other in America’s newsrooms as a fun place to visit. mid-morning the next day. I’ve also leaned on a network of colleagues put We also discovered that students enjoyed hearing a together in a quarter-century as managing editor of The writer read his or her work for a few minutes at the Philadelphia Inquirer and as an active member of the start of each session. A faculty moderator then engages Associated Press Managing Editors and the American the writer in an informal conversation, breaking the ice Society of Newspaper Editors. For starters, 15 speakers for student questions. We learned to leave at least 25 are themselves former colleagues at The Inquirer, includminutes for those student questions, and we have been ing foreign correspondents Rod Nordland (a Penn rewarded with questions that are thoughtful, often Stater), Richard Ben Cramer and David Zucchino. If I provocative, and nearly always carefully crafted in don’t know the writer myself, I ask a friend to make an advance. introduction. We started handing out samples of the guest writer’s For the first Foster Conference in the fall of 1999, work as students came into the auditorium, giving them former Inquirer reporter David Lee Preston brokered the something to take home and study. From the podium, appearance of his close friend James McBride as the Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez read his entire opening-night speaker. Jim’s autobiography, which is 2,000-word sample to the students in spring 2006. subtitled “A Black Man’s Tribute to His White What the students were hearing was Lopez’s reporting Mother,” spent two years on The New York Times’ bestabout life on L.A.’s skid row—a prelude to what he seller list. That opening-night audience in 1999 drew would turn into “The Soloist,” his book about a skidnot only journalism students but also McBride fans row resident he found playing classical music on a cello who knew him as an accomplished jazz saxophonist and with two strings. When Lopez turned a page, I could


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hear the 150 students in the auditorium doing the same thing. Attendance has continued to grow, thanks to professors who promote the event in their classes. Combined attendance at the two events has totaled more than 600 in recent years. We have had the happy problem of seeing our Tuesday night event outgrow lecture halls and then the HUB Auditorium. The success of the conference depends on the faithful support of the College’s staff. Joella Martin, assistant to the department heads, flawlessly handles logistics, arranging the meeting halls and coordinating the speakers’ travel arrangements. Steve Sampsell is the savvy event manager who promotes each conference with a poster and news release, sets up audiovisual equipment and leads a team of greeters handing out printed programs and writing samples. Of course, the Foster Conference would not happen if not for the generosity of Larry and Ellen Foster. “If we inspire just one student at each conference,” Larry has often said, “it will all be worthwhile.” When the first conference was over in 1999, Doug Anderson and I permitted ourselves a moment in the auditorium to savor its success and to relax after weeks of stressful preparations. It would be a year, we thought, before we would put together another annual Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers. Then Larry Foster saw us and came over. “How much did this cost?” he asked. We did some quick calculations and came up with an approximation, which we noted was covered by the professorship’s endowment. Fine, Larry said; he will send a check for three times that amount, and we should let him know when more money is needed. Something this good, Larry said, needs to be available to students in the spring semester as well as in the fall. And that is why we have had 24 Foster Conferences in 12 years. It has been twice as much fun.

MEANINGFUL MESSAGE James Harding Jr., vice president of intergovernmental and community relations for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City, told students to believe in themselves and build relationships during a campus visit and talk as part of AfricanAmerican Heritage Month. (Photo by Carley Lang)

Lecture Pegs PR Pros as ‘Conscience’ An expert with nearly 20 years of communications and corporate marketing experience presented a lecture that emphasized the importance of public relations professionals in shaping the ethical behavior of organizations during a visit to campus. Patricia Whalen, an assistant professor at DePaul University and a member of the board of ethics and professional standards for the Public Relations Society of America, presented the Ben Bronstein Lecture in Ethics and Public Relations in late March. The free public lecture, titled “The Public Relations Professional: The Conscience of the Organization?” was held in conjunction with the regional convention of the Public Relations Student Society of America on campus. Whalen, director of the mas-


ter’s degree program in public relations and advertising at DePaul, built her experience in the fields of automotive, aviation and maritime, health care, consumer packaged goods and telecommunications. The Ben Bronstein Lecture in Ethics and Public Relations provides an example of programming in the College that consistently stresses the importance of doing the right thing. Alumnus Ben Bronstein, who earned his journalism degree in 1961, a longtime supporter of the University, was the founding director of public relations at the Penn State College of Medicine and Hershey Medical Center and held director positions in public relations at two statewide healthcare associations. He endowed the lecture in order to support special events in the College.

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FCC’s Diversity Officer Addresses Initiatives

oversaw media and telecomThe Federal munications initiatives. He Communications was also an adjunct professor Commission’s chief diverof public policy at the sity officer spoke about Georgetown University Public media diversity during a Policy Institute and, from free public lecture March 2002 to 2004, a visiting schol22 in the HUB-Robeson ar at MIT, where he conductCenter Auditorium on the ed research and taught comUniversity Park campus. munications policy. Mark Lloyd presented Before that, Lloyd was a “Promoting Media senior fellow at the Center for Diversity and American Progress, the Competition in the General Counsel of the Digital Age,” discussing Benton Foundation, and an current FCC policies and attorney at Dow, Lohnes & initiatives aimed at proAlbertson. moting competition and Before becoming a commudiversity in the electronic nications lawyer, Lloyd was a media industries during broadcast journalist, working an event sponsored by the at CNN and NBC. He is the Department of Telecommunications. author of numerous popular As the FCC’s associate Mark Lloyd talks to students during his visit to Penn State. Along and academic articles, a conwith his public lecture, Lloyd shared his expertise during several tributor to books on commugeneral counsel and chief classroom visits as well. (Photo by Carley Lang) nications policy and journaldiversity officer, Lloyd Lloyd was most recently the vice ism, and the author of one book, works to help ensure that the compresident for strategic initiatives at “Prologue to a Farce: munications field is competitive the Leadership Conference on Civil Communication and Democracy in and generates widespread opportuRights/Education Fund, where he America.” nities.

Comcast Official Meets with Telecommunications Classes

The senior director of external affairs and public policy counsel for communications giant Comcast met with four separate telecommunications classes and hundreds of Penn State students during a twoday visit Feb. 21-22 to the University Park campus. Rudy Brioche met with classes focusing on telecommunications economics, ethics, law and regulation during his visit. He also conducted separate discussions with faculty members. “Comcast is one of the largest and most important media companies in the world. The recently completed merger with NBC Universal puts Comcast at the forefront of digital entertainment, and it is a natural fit to have executives from Comcast meet with students in the telecommunications major,” said Matt Jackson, head of the Department of Telecommunications. “Rudy

brought a high level of expertise into the classroom and the students benefited immensely.” Brioche represents Comcast’s interests before Congress. Before joining the company, he worked as a legal adviser at the Federal Communications Commission and focused on media regulatory issues. Before that, he worked in the U.S. Senate for Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a Democrat from New Jersey. Earlier in his career, Brioche worked for the NAACP and as a law clerk. He earned his law degree from the University of Maryland and holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University.


President Graham Spanier congratulates Wolf Blitzer as he accepts his honorary degree after delivering the College of Communications’ commencement address. (Photo by Patrick Mansell)

CNN’s Blitzer Gets Degree, Gives Advice Millions of people know CNN's Wolf Blitzer as a proven journalist, the network’s lead political anchor and the anchor of “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” After May 14, though, hundreds of thousands of fellow alumni know the award-winning journalist as something else—a Penn Stater. Blitzer accepted an honorary doctoral degree after delivering the commencement address during the College of Communications’ exercises in the Bryce Jordan Center. During his address, Blitzer challenged and encouraged the 753member graduating class—the second largest in the history of the College. “If you get a lucky break, don't coast with it. Grab it and make the most of it,” Blitzer said. “Bottom line ... no matter what field you pursue keep doing your best every day. You don’t have the luxury of slacking and you are much too young to settle.” Blitzer, anchor of “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” has

worked for CNN for more than 20 years. In addition to politics, he is known for his in-depth reporting on international news. Along with his duties at commencement, he met with several faculty experts (on topics such as communications, energy, global warming and terrorism) and conducted a brief news conference with media during his visit to campus. In addition, he sat for an oral history for the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication, which is housed in the College of Communications. Blitzer also recorded a brief congratulations-and-introduction video with President Graham Spanier and the Nittany Lion that has found a life on YouTube. Blitzer ended his commencement address with a challenge, a familiar refrain that prompted a response from all in attendance. “We are,” Blitzer offered. And the thousands in the Jordan Center replied “Penn State!”


The annual Pennsylvania Press Conference—sponsored by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors and the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association and the Society of Professional Journalists—was conducted May 20-21 on the University Park campus. The event serves as an annual award program and networking opportunity for newspaper professionals from across the state. A liaison committee of editors meets with administrators, faculty and staff from the College of Communications during the event, too. Eleven students from eight colleges and universities converged on campus in early June to participate in intensive training for summer internships coordinated by the Dow Jones News Fund. The nine-day session, led by senior lecturer John Dillon, helps the participants prepare for summer-long placements with news organizations across the country. Students in a public relations class taught by Denise Bortree helped plan the second annual Beaver Stadium Run, a fundraiser for Special Olympics of Pennsylvania that drew 1,600 runners and raised more than $75,000. Philadelphia Daily News reporter Julie Shaw, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Asian-American Journalists Association, presented “Life as a Newspaper Journalist” during a campus visit for Asian Heritage Month in March. The John Curley Center for Sports Journalism continued its outreach and service efforts with two more online chats during the spring semester. Transcripts are at

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Notes, Numbers


Special enterprises showcase strengths, reach of College


high-profile Supreme Court case about a state law attempting to curb sales of violent video games may be influenced by a College of Communications faculty member. Professor Robert D. Richards, director of the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment, filed an amicus curiae brief in the case, which pitted former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger against the gaming industry. The California law was based on the idea that violent video games merit government intervention to keep them away from minors. And that idea flies in the face of the First Amendment, according to Richards. “I’m not a fan of violent video games,” said Richards, the John and Ann Curley Professor of First Amendment Studies. “But I’m not a fan of government infringement on First Amendment rights, either.” The case is one of several that have gotten attention from the Center, which is housed in the College of Communications. Richards said an important mission of the Center is to influence government decisions about key free-speech or free-press issues—even when doing so means speaking out in defense of unpopular or downright repugnant speech. The Center’s mission—to influence policy at the highest levels while also serving journalists and the public with research and advocacy—is similar to the missions of other special enterprises in the College designed to extend faculty expertise beyond Penn State. These programs, which focus on an array of issues, also provide students the chance to connect what they learn in class with important policy and social issues. In the Center for the First Amendment, for instance, students work on research for law review articles and court filings. Students recently helped Richards write an article about lawsuits designed to squelch public partici-

Professor Robert D. Richards leads the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment, one of eight “special enterprises” housed in the College of Communications that focus on a variety of topics. (Photo by Mark Selders)

pation in civic debate through social media such as Facebook. “The students got excited about that because social media is their world,” Richards said. Students also help with research projects for the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. During the spring semester, a team of 12 students examined media coverage of high school recruits to understand how young athletes are depicted. Senior journalism major Zachary Feldman, who participated in the project, said he discovered how large the market is for coverage of high school athletes—and how much of the reporting is driven by rumors. “The project is very important because few studies explore the treatment of high school recruits in the media,” he said. The impact of media is the focus of the Jimirro Center for the Study of Media Influence, directed by Ann Marie Major, and the Media Effects Research Laboratory co-directed by Distinguished Professors Mary Beth Oliver and Shyam Sundar.



Faculty/Staff News

The Media Effects to high-profile sports jourSPECIAL ENTERPRISES Research Lab, a magnet for nalists who give lectures, Special enterprises housed in the College of many graduate students, visit classes and provide Communications, listed with respective directors includes equipment to measadvice to students. and online contact information. ure the cognitive and emoHundreds of undergradutional responses to media ate students have taken John Curley Center for Sports Journalism such as television shows, classes affiliated with the Malcolm Moran Web sites and video games. Center since it was found Students and faculty work ed in 2003. side-by-side to explore “the The Don Davis Program Don Davis Program in Ethical Leadership endless variety of ways that for Ethical Leadership also Patrick Parsons individuals are affected by has a strong component our media-saturated landfocusing on students. The scape,” Oliver said. The lab program annually recogInstitute for Information Policy is “a hub of research activity, nizes students who are Amit Schejter and Richard Taylor with the common goal involved in activities that examining the psychological emphasize ethics and social and social effects of media Jim Jimirro Center for the Study of Media Influence responsibility, and the proon individuals,” she added. gram was a key supporter Ann Marie Major Recent studies have in the development of a focused on the impact of College-wide student honor Facebook on electoral policode. The Davis Program Media Effects Research Laboratory tics, the cognitive and emoweb site includes a resource S. Shyam Sundar and Mary Beth Oliver tional effects of video-game page for ethical play, and responses of users making. to elements of social media Other programs, such as Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity and the Internet. In the past the Arthur W. Page Center in Public Communication two years, students and facfor Integrity in Public Marie Hardin ulty in the lab have churned Communication and the out nearly 50 journal artiPennsylvania Newspaper cles and book chapters Journalists Oral History Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment along with dozens more Program, also provide Robert D. Richards conference presentations. resources on their websites Graduate students are for students, researchers also an integral part of the and journalists. In Pennsylvania Journalists Oral History Program Institute for Information December, the Page Center Ford Risley Policy, which focuses on released transcripts of 38 issues in the telecommunicaspeeches by public relations tions industry. The Institute pioneer Arthur W. Page publishes the Journal of Information Policy, designed to online. The site also houses video interviews with pubshowcase the latest research, and—like the Center for the lic-relations luminaries. First Amendment—the IIP also consults on policy issues. The Center’s next step, according to Page Center Last year, for instance, the Center filed comments with director Marie Hardin, is to provide lesson plans that the FCC on broadband policy. The IIP’s policy reach is will help teachers and students get the most from the global; co-director Richard Taylor has focused his research Center’s resources. Hardin said the Page Center, on the Asia-Pacific region for many years and has consultalthough different in focus from the College’s other proed senior telecommunications officials in China. grams, shares the same goal: to extend faculty expertise Not all Centers focus solely on research or policy and energy beyond the classroom in ways that benefit advocacy. Some, such as the Curley Center, have strong students and support the College’s mission. outreach and programming components. The Curley “Think of our Centers, Institutes and programs as Center invited students, instructors and journalists from ‘value-added,’ ” Hardin said. “Their terrific work across the country to four live, online chats this year on strengthens our educational mission—and contributes to issues in sports journalism, and the Center is also host our communities. It’s exciting and important work.”

Faculty/Staff News

Excellence Awards Honor Standout Faculty Deans’ Excellence Award winners (left to right) Richard Taylor, Bu Zhong, Tony Barbieri and Chuck Ungar. (Photo by John Beale.)

Four College of Communications faculty members and one faculty associate were honored for their teaching, research and service with annual Deans’ Excellence Awards that were presented at the end of the spring semester. Those honored were: Tony Barbieri, who earned the Deans’ Excellence Award for Teaching; Maura Shea, who earned the Deans’ Excellence Award for Service; Richard Taylor, who earned the Deans’ Excellence Award for Integrated Scholarship; Bu Zhong, who earned the Deans’ Excellence Award for Research and Creative Activity; and Chuck Ungar, who was named Outstanding Faculty Associate. “Our selection process was not easy. Several faculty members were strong contenders in each category but, ultimately, we came down to a handful,” said Dean Doug Anderson, who made the selections in consultation with associate deans Marie Hardin and Anne Hoag. “And each of our recipients symbolizes in each of their respective categories the full depth of talent we have on this faculty.” Barbieri teaches news reporting, news media ethics

and two courses he created—international reporting and American journalism: traditions and principles. Along with his instruction, Barbieri has crafted relationships, including one with McClatchy News Service, to distribute the work of students in the international reporting class from coast to coast. His newest course creation focusing Maura on American journalism is designed to Shea make students aware of the crucial role the media have played in democracy. Shea serves as the first-year engagement coordinator for the College, which involves implementing the FirstYear Engagement Plan. The plan requires each first-year student to participate in engagement activities, including a 20-person class designed to help them adapt to campus and the community. That endeavor alone requires Shea to support numerous faculty members by developing guidelines and support Web pages as well as providing materials about the program for the advising office and scheduling the seminars. She also coordinates the film-video course schedule,


Faculty Members Make Events a Success


Faculty/Staff News

leads the department’s portfolio-review process, teaches her own course load and serves as worked closely The first U.S. theco-director of the summer with Prince ater screenings of camp for high school filmmakCharles on the “Harmony”—the ers. project, traveled to award-winning film “Her service has touched Penn State for all about the environnearly every faculty member, of the events. ment that captures “Harmony” the passion of adviser, staff member, first-year made its television Prince Charles student and film-video major debut on Nov. 19, regarding the in the College over the past 2010, on NBC. It issue and prodecade,” Anderson said. “She was honored earlivides a perspecMichael Matt is the embodiment of a master er this year as a tive about how the Elavsky Jordan organizer and unselfish faculty recipient of an world can meet member.” International Green Film Award durthe challenges associated with cliTaylor, an excellent teacher ing the Cinema for Peace Gala at mate change—were conducted in and unselfish provider of servthe Berlin International Film Festival. State College. ice, leads large 100-level classes, The film conveys the passion of More than 600 people attended mid-sized 400-level classes and the screenings and related panel dis- Prince Charles, who has been a graduate seminars. He also leader on critical global issues for cussions in late March that were three decades. organized in large part by two faculty advises undergraduate and From organic farms and the rainmembers from the College of graduate students. forests of British Columbia to rare Communications. This past year he developed The sessions attracted community footage of Prince Charles interviewa 100-level course about gaming Al Gore about climate change in members, students, faculty and staff. ing and interactive media that 1988, “Harmony” introduces viewers Assistant professors Michael will make its debut in the fall to a perspective about how the world Elavsky and Matt Jordan organized semester. can meet the challenges of climate the activities. That included two free He also presented three change globally, locally and personpublic screenings for community papers at national and internaally. members and high school students, tional academic conferences Sender and his wife and partner a screening and discussion with the and was elected vice-chair of Julie Bergman Sender are principals filmmaker and a panel discussion the Board of Governors of the in Balcony Films Inc., a Los Angelesabout the film and the ethics of susbased media production and consulttainability that included participants Pacific Telecommunications ing firm that produces films, televifrom across campus and the comCouncil. sion programs, web series and social munity. In addition, Taylor helped campaigns. Filmmaker Stuart Sender, who guide the creation of a first-ofits-kind online, peer-reviewed journal that made its debut use, media ethics and the psychologi- Although he retired from WPSU-TV, this spring. he has not left the classroom. He cal effects of information consumpThat journal, the Journal of continues to share his expertise, taltion. Information Policy, created by the He also received a grant, from the ent and high standards. Institute for Information Policy, Those are things the students Social Science Research Institute, for which is housed in the College of appreciate, even as Ungar also brings studies on communication anxiety Communications, is designed to expectations that can endanger their and he serves as a fellow in the John bring contemporary scholarly research Curley Center for Sports Journalism. grade-point average. and analysis of significant informa“Chuck would always pull me “His work is methodologically tion policy issues to the attention of sophisticated and precise,” Anderson down to earth and prove that I could policymakers in a timely fashion. have worked a little harder,” wrote said. “And he maintains his strong Zhong had six-peer reviewed artione student who nominated Ungar research record while engaging in cles published in the past year. He for the award. “This was not because yeoman service and diligent teachalso presented papers at several my projects were bad, but becaue he ing.” national conferences. His research knew I was capable of more. The Ungar teaches basic filmmaking focuses on decision making in media courses, as he has done for years. class was amazing.”

Faculty/Staff News

Richards Honored as Penn State Teaching Fellow Robert D. Richards, the John and Ann Curley Professor of First Amendment Studies in the College of Communications, was one of three Penn State faculty members who received the Alumni/Student Award for Excellence in Teaching and who were named 2011 Penn State Teaching Fellows. The Penn State Alumni Association, in conjunction with undergraduate and graduate governing bodies, established the award in 1988. It Robert honors distinguished teaching and provides Richards encouragement and incentive for excellence in teaching. Recipients are expected to share their talents and expertise with others throughout the University system during the year following the award presentation. The other recipients were Erin C. Murphy, associate professor of English at Penn State Altoona, and M. Kevin Parfitt, associate professor of architectural engineering in the College of Engineering. This marks the third consecutive year a College of Communications faculty member has received a prestigious University-wide teaching award. Marie Hardin received the Atherton Award in 2009 and Matt McAllister received the Alumni Association Award in 2010. Richards founded the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment in 1992, and in 1995 he established the Penn State Washington Program, an educational and experiential learning semester housed in Washington, D.C. The program brings Penn State students to the nation’s capital for courses taught by University faculty members and a specifically designed, semester-long internship. Richards has won teaching awards at the College, University and national levels. In April 2007, he received the Scripps-Howard Foundation National Journalism Teacher of the Year Award. In 1994, he won the Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Communications Alumni Society. He also was the recipient of the 2006 Deans’ Award for Excellence in Integrated Scholarship, the 1998 Deans’ Award for Excellence in Research and the 1997 Deans’ Award for Excellence in Service. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in mass communications law, the First Amendment and news media ethics. “Bob is one of the most widely published media law


scholars in residence at any of the country’s journalism-mass communications programs,” Dean Doug Anderson said. “And he is one of Penn State’s most accomplished integrated scholars. “He possesses sterling credentials as a teacher, researcher, writer and provider of service.” Richards joined the Penn State faculty in 1988 as an assistant professor after earning a law degree and working in broadcast journalism. He earned his undergraduate degree, Phi Beta Kappa, from Penn State. His master’s degree also is from Penn State and his juris doctor’s degree is from American University. He is the co-author of the 2003 book “Mass Communications Law in Pennsylvania” and is the author of “Freedom’s Voice: The Perilous Present and Uncertain Future of the First Amendment” (1998) and “Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open: Mr. Justice Brennan’s Legacy to the First Amendment” (1994). He is author or co-author of 14 book chapters and more than 60 scholarly articles, some 50 of which have been published in law journals. He is author or co-author of more than 100 articles in the popular press, most of which have appeared on op-ed pages, and he is a frequently quoted expert on First Amendment issues by the nation’s print and broadcast media. John and Ann Curley provided the College with a major gift in 2007 to establish the endowed professorship that carries their name and to generate annual operating funds for the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment. Curley, the former president, chairman and CEO of Gannett Co. Inc., served from 2001 to 2010 as professor of journalism and distinguished professional in residence in the College. “Bob is the ultimate symbol of this student-centered university,” said Curley. “His classroom skills are unsurpassed. He thrives on media law classes. He never says ‘not my job,’ and is always there to help.” The work product of the Center has been cited by Congress, state legislatures and the U.S. Supreme Court. Richards also is a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators. He is a winemaker and has passed the first-level examination of the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers. He occasionally conducts wine education programs for local organizations and The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and was the host/writer of “Demystifying Wine,” a series airing on WPSU-TV’s “Pennsylvania Inside Out.”

A first-of-its kind, peer-reviewed researchers, tends to be lengthy, lished in the journal can make an online journal—an effort to bring opaque, produced gradually and sub- important impact on a rapidly changcontemporary scholarly research and jected to extended review,” said ing society. analysis of significant information Taylor, who holds the Palmer Chair “On numerous occasions in the policy issues to the attention of poliof Telecommunications Studies and past few years we have heard the pleas cymakers in a timely fashion—was Law. “Policymakers need research to of senior administration officials for launched during the spring contemporary and relevant semester by a team of Penn research that can guide their State faculty members. communications policy deci“The turn-around time The Journal of Information sions,” said Schejter, an assofrom first submission of Policy (, ciate professor in the College papers to publication produced by the Institute of of Communications. “The Information Policy (IIP) in turn-around time from first has been less than five the College of submission of papers to pubmonths, and we think Communications, is edited lication has been less than we can do better. This by faculty members Amit five months, and we think Schejter and Richard Taylor, we can do even better. This assures the best research co-directors of the IIP. Postassures the best research will will be available when it’s needed.” doctoral fellow Ben Cramer be available when it’s need— Amit Schejter, ed.” serves as managing editor of the journal, which is supArticles in the journal associate professor ported by a grant from the will be published on a Ford Foundation. rolling basis, enhancing its The journal’s advisory and editori- be briefly summarized, address curtimely impact. al boards consist of researchers from rent issues in terms they understand The journal web site www.jiparound the globe. and be available in real time. This provides online updates, Its inaugural issue was dedicated project is designed to bridge that gap and the journal accepts unsolicited to the “Broadband Act of 2011,” and to stimulate new voices.” submissions. offering policy prescriptions for The primary audience for the Upcoming issues of the journal issues ranging from wireless policy to journal includes: policymakers; leadwill focus on “media diversity from a community computing centers. ers in government, industry, and aca- user's perspective,” guest edited by Contributions in the first issue come demia; legislators and their staffs; Natali Helberger, a professor at the from scholars in the United States, regulators; attorneys; standards bodUniversity of Amsterdam, and on Australia, Canada and the ies; and other participants in “digital diversity.” Netherlands. American and international policy Also, a collection of studies preThe journal represents a change discourse on information, communi- sented at the annual in the traditional approach and cation, media, telecommunications Telecommunication Policy Research interaction between researchers and and the information society. Conference, which will take place in policymakers. With a broad interpretation of Arlington, Va., in the fall, is expected “Academic research, while focused the term “information policy,” the to be featured in an issue of the jouron topics of interest to the editors believe that research pubnal early next year.

Faculty Members Play Prominent Roles During Experts’ Workshop

College of Communications faculty members Amit Schejter and Richard Taylor served as respondents for separate presentions during a workshop about digital diversity conducted at Fordham

University in May. The three-day session focused on serving the public interest in the age of broadband. Taylor, who serves with Schejter as co-director of the Institute for


Information Policy, was the respondent for a session about media regulatory frameworks. Schejter served in that role for a session about enabling diversity in broadband environment.

Faculty/Staff News

New Journal Delivers Timely Research, Information

Faculty/Staff News PROUD PATERNO Penn State football coach Joe Paterno congratulates John Curley during a reception honoring Curley upon his retirement from the University. Curley, the former CEO of Gannett Co. Inc. and the first editor of USA Today, taught at Penn State for 10 years after his retirement from an accomplished career in journalism. Always well-prepared, Curley taught classes ranging from introductory news writing and reporting to newsroom management. He and his wife Ann have been strong supporters of the College of Communications. (Photo by John Beale)

Longtime Director of Human Resources Retires from University

Sharon Symanovich, the longtime human “She knows more about the inner workings resources director for the College of of the University and College than any of us,” Communications, retired March 31. Anderson said. “Equally significant, in my 12 Symanovich spent nearly 38 years at the years in the College, I’ve never seen her enter University and 20 in the College. Carnegie Building in the morning—and you “She was our director of human resources could set your clock by her—without a smile on and so much more,” Dean Doug Anderson her face and a ‘good morning’ to everyone she said. encounters. In her role, Symanovich handled neces“For that alone, she will have my eternal sary and typical human-resources duties— admiration and respect.” Sharon such as benefits, employee relations, job Symanovich started her career at Penn State Symanovich searches, training and more—as well as servwhen football coach Joe Paterno was in just his ing as the point person for data collection and prepa- eighth season in charge of the Nittany Lion program. ration for accreditation reviews. At that time, no other member of the current communiIn addition, she was respected across the cations faculty or staff had been hired by the University. University for her work with the promotion-andAnderson first worked with Symanovich when he tenure process for faculty—with the College’s chaired an external accreditation review team to approach to the process cited as a best-practices Penn State in 1994, five years before he became dean model. in 1999. “Little did I know then that I would later Anderson said experience and preparation enabled depend on her extensively for a wide range of responsiSymanovich to capably serve the College, all of its bilities,” he said. “We thank her for her leadership, employees and constituencies beyond campus. friendship and support.”


Professor Dennis Davis, an accomplished and respected faculty member who taught, served in leadership positions and successfully led research efforts, retired, effective at the end of the spring semester. Davis joined the Penn State faculty in 1996. Before that, he held tenuretrack positions at Cleveland State, Southern Illinois and North Dakota. Professor Dennis Davis (third from left) with Dorn Hetzel, associate head of the He was the head of the Department of Film-Video and Media Studies, Anthony Olorunnisola, head of the Department of Film-Video and department, and Beba Baderoon. (Photo by John Beale). Media Studies at Penn State from 2001 to 2004 before spend“He is a very soft-spoken, thoughtful and positive ing two years as head of a unit at Otago University in person,” Dean Doug Anderson said. “He’s quiet—but New Zealand late in his career. his record speaks volumes.” Davis served as editor of the Journal of Broadcasting, Davis' teaching and research center on mass commuone of the leading refereed publications in the communication theory, new media literacy, international comnications field, in the mid-1990s and he long has been munication, research methods and political communiregarded as one of the field’s leading scholars through cation. his consistency and hard work. Along with that research productivity, he regularly He has co-authored four books on political commutaught classes, provided input as an adviser and served nication, mass communication theory and news audias a measured and valuable senior faculty member durence research. He has published 15 book chapters, 13 ing a time of great growth for the College of journal articles and 11 book reviews, and has presented Communications. more than 50 research papers at state, regional and “Dennis enjoys a national reputation for his years of national meetings. work in the academy, but all of us are grateful for the He has headed divisions of the Association for contributions he made to the College,” Anderson said. Education in Journalism and Mass Communication “He’s been an unselfish and wonderful colleague. We’re and the National Communication Association. going to miss him.”

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Faculty/Staff News

Accomplished Davis Retires

Faculty/Staff News

Strong Response for Class on Interactive Media In a first for the University, video gaming—an industry that generates broad-based interest, employment opportunities and as much as $100 billion worldwide each year—will be the focus of a general-education class beginning next fall. And the class has already attracted capacity enrollment. According to the course description, COMM 190 Gaming and the Interactive Media will provide an introduction to the business operations, future developments, social aspects and career opportunities in industries that produce interactive digital media products such as video games and simulations for business,

education, medical, military and other applications. The course will also discuss how interactive media sometimes overlap and affect the physical world in “augmented reality” applications. “Video games are part of the lives of most, if not virtually all, undergraduate students and will continue to shape their lives at play, but also at work, in the military, in education, medicine, engineering and more,” said Richard Taylor, the Palmer Chair of Telecommunications Studies and Law. “The course is offered at an introductory level so that all students can gain a foundation of knowledge

about the business of this industry sector, which is relevant across many fields.” Taylor, who will teach the course, is a full professor and a member of the Department of Telecommunications. He has more than 35 years of experience in the telecommunications field. The general-education course represents another addition to the communications offerings for all students at Penn State. From fall 2005 to fall 2010, enrollment in those courses has increased 28 percent as the College of Communications and its faculty meet a growing University-wide need.

Respected Administrator Plans Return to Full-Time Teaching Anne Hoag, who has served as associate dean for undergraduate education and outreach since 2005, will return to full-time teaching in the Department of Telecommunications, effective July 1. Hoag, who said that she wanted to be able to devote more time to teaching, research and outreach, served longer than any of the College’s undergraduate associate deans since departmentalization. Prior to her appointment as associate dean, she had served as the College’s director of outreach. “Anne was absolutely the right person at the right time for the job," Dean Doug Anderson Anne said. “She opened up new vistas with World Hoag Campus, providing the leadership to enable us to add significantly to our online offerings; she oversaw an important expansion of our general-education courses; and she fine tuned and made more meaningful our assessment processes. “She was a campus leader in public scholarship, service learning and community engagement; she brought order to and led advancements in our instructional technology; and she led the way for important relationships with Information Technology Services, the Registrar's office and the Penn State entrepreneurship community.” Hoag was honored in 2010 with the Shirley Hendrick Award, which recognizes visionary accomplishments that lead to the success of Penn State’s out-

reach mission—to transform the quality of life for individuals and communities. Hoag’s research focuses on media entrepreneurship, media economics and telecommunications management. She joined the Penn State faculty in 1997 from doctoral studies at Michigan State. She possesses strong professional experience, having served previously as general manager, TCI Cablevision in Asheville, N.C., and as general manager, North Augusta Cablevision, North Augusta, S.C. Prior to her work in cable television, she worked at Leo Burnett Co., in Chicago. Hoag was a Committee on Institutional Cooperation Academic Leadership Program Fellow in 2006-2007, and has received several teaching awards. She also is active in national communication associations and has served since 2007 as a member of site teams for the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. “Anne became known very quickly as an administrator who consulted broadly, who was a firm believer in diversity, and who worked hard to make our undergraduate program across all majors the student-centered enterprise that it is today,” Anderson said. “I am grateful for her commitment to making the College stronger over the past six years and I value all she has done to make this a better place.”


Associate professor Russell Frank is working with the Library of Congress and the Herb Block Foundation to lead an oral history project that archives the contributions of Herb Block, one of America’s most highly regarded editorial cartoonists. Block, most famous for the pen name Herblock, spent 74 years drawing cartoons that poked fun at some of America’s topranking political officials and controversial national Russell issues. He drew exclusively Frank for The Washington Post from 1946 until his death in 2001. Block drew close to 20,000 cartoons during his career, and is most famous for his criticisms of Sen. Joseph McCarthy and President Richard Nixon. Block is responsible for inventing the word “McCarthyism,” which became synonymous with the senator’s witch-hunt of potential Communists secretly living in the United States during the 1950s. Block also was particularly ruthless with his portrayal of President Nixon before, during and after the Watergate scandal. Block’s cartoons on national issues have an element of timelessness. For example, Block drew cartoons in the late 1920s that addressed environmental concerns. He also drew cartoons in the 1970s that warned of the dangers of American dependence on foreign oil. Both of these examples would be relevant today. To ensure that Block’s legacy and achievements are available for future generations of journalists, Frank is leading a comprehensive

oral history project that has allowed him to interview some of Block’s colleagues and counterparts. Frank has spent time in Washington, D.C., interviewing cartoonists and journalists who worked with Block. “The project has two main goals,” Frank said. “We would like to find out the significance of Block’s contribution to American journalism, and we would like to gain a greater sense of Block’s personality and how he went about his work. “What came across in the interviews was how eccentric Block was. He couldn’t stand to throw anything away, and no one could move anything in his office without him noticing and putting the item back to its original resting place.” While Block may have had some peculiar tendencies regarding his work environment, Frank said Block was respected and loved by all of his colleagues. All of the interviews Frank has conducted will be archived as raw video footage in the Library of Congress. They will be available to anyone who wants to learn more about Block, but more importantly, they can be used to produce a future documentary about Block’s work. The interviews also will be integrated into his exhibit that is made possible by the Herb Block Foundation. “The more I researched Herb Block, I realized he was a hero,” said Frank, who considers the cartoonist as one of the greatest journalists of the 20th century. — Michael Y oun g ( ’11 A dv / PR )


Notes, Numbers Associate professor Russell Frank has authored the book “Newslore: Contemporary Folklore on the Internet,” recently published by the University Press of Mississippi. In the book, he explores “newslore”—folklore that comments on and hinges on knowledge of current events. Frank offers a snapshot of the items of newslore disseminated via the Internet that gained the widest currency around the turn of the millennium. Among the newsmakers lampooned in emails and on the Web were Bill and Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, and media celebrities such as Princess Diana and Michael Jackson. Frank also examines the folk response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina, as well as the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004. Distinguished Professor S. Shyam Sundar delivered the keynote address at the fifth annual International Conference on Ubiquitous Information Management and Communication in Seoul, Korea. Associate professor John Sanchez led the discussion after a screening of “Reel Injun” on campus. The film traces the depiction of Native American people from the silent film era to today, and highlights some of the stereotypes lingering even in 21st century films. Post-doctoral scholar Ben Cramer has authored a book titled “Freedom of Environmental Information” that focuses on issues with the U.S. government’s Freedom of Information Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. These acts require government documents to be transparent and available to all American citizens.

Faculty/Staff News

Frank Completes Oral History Project About Block For Library of Congress

Development News

Family’s Gift Endows First ‘Professor of Practice’

Pof Rochester discover quickly that hysics students at the University

Professor Joseph Eberly is different, and that he treats science differently. If they haven’t figured it out by the first exam, it certainly becomes clear then. “My students, whether it’s the freshmen in the spring semester or the graduate students in the fall, are required to write,” Eberly said. “My exams usually have an essay question. Physics students are not used to that. But, if they cannot explain their science, there’s no way to know if they really understand. They need to know how to write, especially the graduate students for dissertations and publications.” Eberly learned the importance of writing from his father, Norman Eberly, who graduated from Dickinson College in 1924, and then worked as a newspaper journalist for 20-some years—first even as an undergraduate—before joining the Penn State faculty as a writer-editor in the College of Agricultural Sciences. He helped publicize agricultural extension and outreach efforts across the state of Pennsylvania. Norman Eberly retired from Penn State to continue his writing career with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, where he coordinated public relations efforts for the Secretary of Agriculture and made an impact across the Commonwealth, but he always stayed connected to Penn State. Until his death in 1996 at age 99, he faithfully followed Penn State football. Now, a major gift by Joe and his wife Shirley has ensured that the senior Eberly’s dedication to writing and to Penn State will be remembered in perpetuity and have a profound impact on the College of Communications and its students.

Shirley and Joseph Eberly have funded the Norman Eberly Professor of Practice in Journalism, a first-of-its-kind endowment for the College of Communications, in the name of Joseph’s father. (Photo by Will Yurman) In response to Penn State’s ongoing Faculty Endowment Challenge, the Eberlys have created the Norman Eberly Professor of Practice in Journalism. The first-of-its-kind gift to the College will provide support for an outstanding professionally-oriented faculty member in the Department of Journalism. “It’s clear that my father wasn’t an academic, but a writing-editing journalist,” Joe said. “The new category of


professional position that’s appearing on university faculties across the country, called variously professor of practice or a similar title, would fit his style very well. My wife and I hope that Dad would like having his name associated with journalism at Penn State.” The gift will make an impact. “We’re simply elated that Joe and Shirley have deemed us worthy of such a generous gift,” Dean Doug Anderson said. “We pride ourselves

Honey and Bill Jaffe (seated, left and first from left) with students who benefit from their support during a recent donor dinner. (Photo by Mark Selders)

Couple’s Latest Gift Acknowledges Leader, Boosts Internship Program A significant gift from two longtime supporters of the College of Communications—for an award to honor someone else— has allowed them to cite the accomplishments of one person while encouraging the education and growth of students for generations to come at Penn State. Honey (’09h) and Bill Jaffe (’60 Journ) of State College created the “Honey and Bill Jaffe Internship Award in Honor of Douglas Anderson” with a $100,000 disbursement from their charitable trust. Undergraduate communications students who are fulfilling educational and professional objectives through participation in a for-credit internship are eligible for an award. At the same time, the gift allows the Jaffes to recognize the work of the dean of the College of Communications. “Doug has made a very important contribution to the College and to the University during his tenure at Penn State,” Jaffe said. The Jaffes have touched the College with their support in


numerous ways throughout the years. Bill, a scholarship recipient himself as an undergraduate, served five terms on the Alumni Society Board, and was the group’s president. Their giving— through scholarships in the name of family members and a Trustee Scholarship that bears their name—has helped hundreds of communications students and made numerous programs possible. “We enjoy the satisfaction of seeing the gifts go to work,” he said. “We get to meet the students, see things getting done.” Bill was named a Penn State Alumni Fellow in 1996 and the Penn State Alumni Association Volunteer of the Year in 2000. He currently serves as chair of the University’s President’s Club, an annual giving recognition society. He and Honey have supported Intercollegiate Athletics, the College of Medicine and Public Broadcasting as well as the performing and visual arts on campus and in the community.

Development News

on our faculty balance—we value those with strong academic credentials as well as those who possess extensive professional media backgrounds—and this endowed professor-of-practice position will enhance that overall balance.” The holder of the position will boast exceptionally strong professional credentials and skills, possess extensive contacts at media outlets and organizations, stand among the best classroom teachers in the College, work within the College to facilitate internship and career placement opportunities, and serve as a liaison for the program with relevant journalism associations and organizations. Joseph Eberly (B.S. ’57 ) earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Penn State and was named recipient of the Outstanding Science Alumni Award in 1998. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from Stanford in 1962. Eberly knows the importance of sharing his expertise and sharing a message. He judges his own teaching success in part by how well students relay information back to him on those exams. “I believe strongly that you don’t know what you believe until you write it down,” he said. “It’s not only telling the world at large what you believe, but organizing it for yourself. In the classroom I try to give students time to share what they’re thinking. For education to be successful it cannot be one-way communication, with just the teacher talking. They have to be able to share what they’re learning.” Eberly understands and appreciates the importance of endowed positions. He is the Andrew Carnegie Professor of Physics and Professor of Optics at the University of Rochester. The author or co-author of three textbooks and more than 300 scientific articles and papers on quantum optics and laser science, he was awarded the Frederic Ives Medal in 2010, the highest award of the Optical Society of America.

Development News

Annual Gifts Provide Support for Specific Funds

Two recent annual gifts from alumni and friends of the College of Communications allowed those people to target areas of interest to them and support students at the same time. Dan Hartman (’85 SpComm) created the Daniel Hartman Honors Scholarship while Robin Ward Savage (’59 Journ) and Michael Savage created the May McNeer Journalism Award. Annual funds allow donors to make a pledge of a specific amount (as little as $1,000) over a period of time (usually five years) to ensure consistent impact. Thirteen annual funds exist to supports students in the College of Communications. During the 2010-11 academic year, those funds provided support for 50 students. “It’s a wonderful way for people who want to give to make a difference,” said Kevin Musick, director of development for the College. “Plus, the difference between an award and a scholarship, or even a donor’s area of interest, provides immense flexibility.” Hartman’s scholarship will provide recognition and support for communications students who are also enrolled in the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State. The McNeer Award, named for Robin Ward Savage’s mother, has been earmarked for a female undergraduate majoring in journalism.

Advocacy Project Bolsters Initiatives in Center for the First Amendment

A significant gift to support students and enhance the impact of the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment has been made by Kathleen and John “Skip” Collins. Kathy (’72 Journ) and Skip have made more than a dozen gifts to the College of Communications through the years. They have also supported the Nittany Lion Fund, Intercollegiate Athletics, WPSU-TV and other Penn John “Skip” (left) and Kathleen Collins have been reguState initiatives. lar supporters of the College of Communications and the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment. Their latest gift, which will endow the Kathleen legislation in Congress, video game and John Collins First Amendment legislation in Pennsylvania and Advocacy Project, will make an California, and open-records legislaimpact on several levels. tion in Pennsylvania; “The work of the Center would Undergraduate Fellows, with not be possible without the generous two students each year designated as support of its benefactors, and Kathy “Collins Undergraduate Fellows,” and Skip are our longest-running sup- and honored with a stipend for their porters,” said Robert D. Richards, work on amicus briefs, outreach the John and Ann Curley Professor efforts or research projects for the of First Amendment Studies and Center; and the director of the Center. “Several differ First Amendment Oral ent endeavors and many students will Advocacy Award, coordinated with benefit from the endowment they’ve the Penn State Washington Program created.” and its moot court exercise to recogFour separate areas have been desnize the student that argued most ignated for a majority of the support. effectively with an engraved Nittany They are: Lion statue. Amicus Curiae Initiative, which The Collinses—Kathy works as an will allow the Center to increase its attorney in Washington, D.C., and presence in federal court cases involv- teaches bank regulation as an adjunct ing key First Amendment issues; faculty member at Penn State Law— Legislative Initiative, which will have regularly supported the Center. allow the Center to support antiThe Center, founded in 1992, has SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against pubcontinuously provided educational lic participation) and other First programs, sponsored speakers, conAmendment-related legislation in sulted with attorneys, published book Congress and on the state level. articles in the popular and academic Previously, the Center has focused on press, and serves as a media resource such legislation in Pennsylvania and on a variety of First Amendment Tennessee as well as anti-paparazzi issues.


Bob Martin, a senior lecturer and the assistant dean for internships and career placement, and his wife, Marylou, funded the “Bob and Marylou Martin Internship Award” with the pledge of an annual gift of at least $1,200 each of the next five years. The award is designed to honor and recognize a communications stuBob Martin dent who is fulfilling educational and professional objectives by participating in a for-credit internship. Martin will not be involved in the selection of the student. Under Martin’s guidance, the internship program has grown significantly and helps place undergraduates in more than 600 for-credit internships each year. Martin was named director of internships and career placement in 1999. He was promoted to assistant dean in 2006. Along with running the internship and career placement office, he teaches the broadcast/cable sales course and serves as business adviser to ComRadio, the student-run Internet station housed in the College.

Two College of Communications faculty members displayed their commitment to different aspects of the program with recent gifts. Marie Hardin, associate dean for undergraduate and graduate education, made a $20,000 pledge to create the “Excellence in Communications Doctoral Award,” designed to recognize outstanding Marie achievement by a graduate student in Hardin the College. Hardin will not be part of the selection committee for the award. Along with her teaching and College-level administrative role, Hardin serves as associate director of research for the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. Her research concentrates on diversity, ethics and professional practices in mediated sports. Recent research has focused on social attitudes and values of sports journalists and bloggers and on the experiences and career paths of women in sports journalism. She teaches courses that focus on sports and society at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Yanoshaks Create Award to Support Innovative Students Although Randy Yanoshak works in what he calls “an incredibly geeky area, an ever-changing and fun position,” as director of product development for the Fidelity Investments online channel group, he knows more challenges and change can come at any time. Yanoshak (’94 Journ) parlayed his prowess and willingness to experiment with multimedia and technological approaches throughout his career to continual success as he moved from newspaper journalism to online organizations, including AOL, to his current position. At the East Valley Tribune in Arizona, he led the launch of the newspaper’s web site on Sept. 11, 2001. “It wasn’t planned that day, but it

needed to happen,” Yanoshak said. “As the events of that day unfolded, it was clear that it was a web story, not a newspaper story. So we literally launched our site that day.” Because of his appreciation for change and the need to harness and utilize technologies, Yanoshak and his wife Maria (Hellstrand) (’97 Journ) created the Randy and Maria Yanoshak Technology Media Award. The annually funded award will support an undergraduate student who produces the best multimedia content as part of ComMedia, the online showcase of student work for the College of Communications. “It’s hard to specify the kind of student I think will be selected, just because of the nature of innovation,” Yanoshak said. “Hopefully,


it’ll be somebody who just blows you away with an approach or idea. “After all, who knew Facebook would become what it has? Or that social media would be as prevalent as it has become? Maybe the next step will be a stamp-sized TV or communications technology imbedded in our bodies.” Yanoshak, who received the Jerome Weinstein Journalism Scholarship as an undergraduate, said he and Maria, who live in Wrentham, Mass., just hope their award can help a current student. “Maria and I got so much out of our time at Penn State that it would be impossible to give that all back,” he said. “But, this is our opportunity to do something, and we’re happy we’re able to do that.”

Development News

Faculty Members’ Gifts Support Grad Students, Interns

Photo Perspectives: Art App Students in photojournalism courses cover events and seek subject matter across campus. These shots provide a look at the artistic eye of a few students who focused on the arts during the spring semester.

A Fluidity Dance Co. performer completes a routine during a show at the State Theatre. (Photo by Kelley King)

Sophomore Kate Skopowski looks at Ghislaine Fremaux’s painting “There (Sina)” in the Zoller Gallery on the University Park campus. (Photo by Tyler Sizemore)

Visual arts student Jane Hargrave su



urrounded by her paintings in a studio on the University Park campus. (Photo by Michael Doud)


Development News

Scholarship Support Provides $634,729 for Students Thanks to many contributors, the College made 478 awards worth a record $634,729 during the 2010-11 academic year. A list of awards and recipients follows. Advertising Franklin Banner Scholarship Stacy Pawlak

Daily Collegian Damon M. Chappie Memorial Award in Investigative Journalism Kevin Cirilli Collegian Alumni Hall of Fame Scholarship Alexander Angert Elizabeth Ross Collegian AIG Scholarship Amanda Hofmockel Alissa Nemzer

Marc A. Brownstein Scholarship in Advertising Kelsey Thompson

Ostar-Hutchison Daily Collegian Scholarship Alexandria Belculfine Emily Kaplan

Donald W. Davis Mass Communication Fund Valerie Dames Marisa Peel

Kent A. Petersen Memorial Scholarship Matthew Fortuna Shannon O’Connor

Harmelin Media Scholarship Meredith Crowder Stephanie Dabrow Lauren Williams


Wayne Hilinski Advertising Scholarship Danielle Dwyer Stephanie Pollitt Interstate Advertising Managers Association Ashley Gabel Mary M. Meder Scholarship Daniel Almeida Emily Fogel Paige Twillmann Sharon Lynn Palaisa Jackson Memorial Blaire Kelly Sang-Ching Lintakoon Hannah Qualley

Don Davis Program in Ethical Leadership/The Davis Award Amanda August Michal Berns Andrew Colwell Lindsay Cryer Jenna Ekdahl Shannon Holzer Ryan Kristobak Daniel Lepera Lindsey Nelson Alysha Peston Michelle Turli Caryn Winters

Carmen Finestra Film Project Grant-in-Aid Alysa Helvig Bryan Marsh David Noel Grant Schaeffer

General Communications Alumni Society Scholarship Daniel Favret College of Communications Alumni Society Scholarship Laura Anderson Matthew Macmurchy College of Communications Dean’s Excellence Scholarship Michael Felletter Kristin Stoller College of Communications General Scholarship Samantha Agostino Adriana Brokus John Dempsey Cristina Recino Jamie Stover Brittany Thomas John and Ann Curley Scholarship in Communications Krystin Arrabito Andrew Cass Marcus Correll Alysa Helvig Jared Johnson Jaclyn Loftus Abby Miller Michael Oplinger Tyler Stephenson Stephanie Wain

Film-Video Samuel D. Abrams and Lillian K. Abrams Senior Film Endowment Ana Botero Monica Houston Randall Troy


Lawrence G. and Ellen M. Foster Scholarship Adriana Acosta Nicole Colon-Quintana Georgina Feghali Sara Matulonis Marilyn Perez

Mark Greenwald Communications Scholarship Kelsey Bonsell Jay Grossman Award in Communications Melissa Gunderson Daniel Hartman Honors Scholarship Sara Matulonis David and Mary Lee Jones Washington, D.C., Scholarship Emily Murray LAMCO Communications Inc. Scholarship Nicholas Dempsey Shellie M. Roth Honors Scholarship Lane Borgida Tamar Brill William F. Simmons Memorial Award Amanda Hofmockel James Wiggins and Christine Fleming Honors Scholarship in Communications Sarah Burton Melinda Karth Kari Skitka

Graduate Studies

Sidney and Helen Friedman Endowed Scholarship Julia Fraustino Marlowe Froke Graduate Scholarship in Education and Public Affairs in Public Broadcasting Chenjerai Kumanyika Djung Yune Tchoi Memorial Excellence in Teaching Award Thomas Corrigan Julia Woolley

Incoming Freshmen Lawrence G. and Ellen M. Foster Merit Scholarship Stephanie Beale Anna Eggleston Alyssa Greenberg William Haslam Matthew Hurowitz Victoria Jahn Sarah Johnson Gabriella Justin Daniel Maddox Keri Mahoney Allison Ornik Sarah Retchin Kelly Tunney Michael Welsh Howard J. Lamade Communications Scholarship Catherine Hart Jennifer Lewis Cristina Recino Casie Tennin Lipson Family Scholarship in the College of Communications Renae Gornick Cassandra Wiggins-Dowde Richard and Victoria Mallary Scholarship in Communications Mariah Blake Nikia Jefferson

Internship Endowments Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Grant Adam Eshelman Daniel Finer James Gibbons Adam Rutter Samantha Shapiro College of Communications Alumni Society/Neal J. Friedman Internship Fund Veronica Bautista Anna Bernat Lynzie Bond Benjamin Boskovich Amanda Elser Michele Frank Geremy Graham Joy Grant Christina Henry Megan Hosband Julie Katz Heidi Kloster Julie Knecht Brittany Latney Kimberlee Lawrence Rhianna Marshall Meghan McCann Vita McHale Jason Milnes Morgan Nixon Courtney Parsons Stephanie Paturzo Jalisa Pritchett Tiana Pugh Jennifer Shutt Jamie Lee Stover Daniel Tyson Matthew Vine Julia Weber Kenny Wu Halley Yankanich College of Communications Internship Grant Alexandra Farrell Jordan McCollough Margaret Soff Honora and William Jaffe Scholarship in Communications Ariel Abramowitz Kyle Casey

Douglas and Claudia Anderson Communications Scholarship Brandi Martin


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Raymond and Shirley (Gable) Galant Communications Scholarship Tiffany Brennan Dax Frakes Carly Hyland Alyssa Murphy Evan Ponter Megan Shawver Al-Hassan Sheriff Danielle Zelinsky

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Natalie Episcopo Elizabeth Guest Kelsey Hoffman Jeremy Kahn Brett Kesselman Stephanie Pollitt Marvin and Josie Krasnansky Internship Grant Rachel Baker Veronica Bautista Ashley Bennett Anna Bernat Benjamin Boskovich Brittany Boyer Paula Broussard Kelly Choate Allison Dale Meghan Davis Christina Henry Peter Jensen Heidi Kloster Alyssa Manware Jason Milnes Stephanie Paturzo Jalisa Pritchett Tiana Pugh Matthew Rapposelli Ryan Staloff Owyn Stephens Jaclyn Taylor William Thomas Brittany Trott Kara Warr Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Robert K. Zimmerman Memorial Award Kiersten Dreibelbis Morgan Signs/Barash Advertising Internship Elizabeth Furrer A.W. (Dude) McDowell Memorial Scholarship Paul Casella Katie Sullivan Gregory Michael Schiff Memorial Scholarship in Communications Rachel Baker Erin Barsanti Scott Jones Ashley Leavens Tariq Simmons

Robert K. Zimmerman Memorial Internship Endowment Harvey Chechatka Victoria Kasselman Jamie Leder Jennifer Shaab Leigh Shultz


Stanley E. Degler Scholarship Ashley Bennett Erin Mawe Rae Ann Niebel Edward S. Dubbs Jr. Scholarship Anthony Duggan Morgan Jones Andrew Ryan Brian Tripp

Donald E. Allen Memorial Scholarship in Communications Kelsey Bradbury Anthony Duggan Alexandra Farrell Alex Federman James Gibbons Michele Mendelson Danielle Meyers Emily Pasi Edward Rather Anne Richards Daniel Smith Jamie Stover Corey Willinsky

Evelyn Y. Davis Scholarship Julianne Cripps Eric Funk Shannon Isaacs

Caroline A. Bange Memorial Award Danielle Gangone Kristen Macmillan

Rheta B. Glueck Prize Ryan Staloff

Quinton E. Beauge Memorial Journalism Scholarship Alex Braunbeck Shawn Clark Louis H. Bell Memorial Scholarship Grace Muller Harold Wagner Danielle Zelinsky S.W. Calkins Memorial Award James Bowen Brittni Brown Kevin Foedinger Alexis Simchak Winifred Imhof Cook Journalism Scholarship Travis Patterson Alexa Santoro Corey Willinsky


Gannett Foundation Multimedia Awards Autumn Cobb Andrew Colwell Lindsay Cryer Chloe Elmer Victoria Kasselman Kevin Kline Rachael Maras Martika Palmer

Gene and Fran Goodwin Journalism Scholarship Lauren Barbera Elsa Mekonen George E. Graff Journalism Scholarship Annelise Gaus William Randolph Hearst Foundation Scholarship Alexandria Belculfine Paul Casella Kevin Cirilli International Reporting Class Awards Alexandria Belculfine Haley Blum Caitlin Burnham Ken Campbell Kevin Cirilli Andrew Colwell Jennifer Connor Elizabeth Downey

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Amanda Hofmockel Christopher Hush Michelle Lacroix Brittany Marshall Emily Murray Alexis Simchak Audrey Snyder Stephen Stupar Aubrey Whelan Latricia Whitfield Reuben Jaffe Memorial Journalism Scholarship Veronica Bautista Brittany Boyer Kyra Nelson David and Mary Lee Jones Journalism Scholarship Matthew D’Ippolito Ronald Lopez Natalie Plumb Katie Sullivan The Journalism Fund Jennifer Connor Joshua Fink John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Diversity Scholars Program Brittany Marshall Ricardo Morales Folashade Olasimbo Diana Rodriguez Joseph Santiago Al-Hassan Sheriff Knight Diversity Scholarship in Sports Journalism Deanna Kelly Brittany Marshall Isadore and Anna Krasnansky Minority Scholarship Alisha Acquaye Jaclyn Bealer Eric Funk Julie Katz William Landis Chinyere Osuji

FLYING FISH Three-year-old Brian Krilley of State College admires a colorful mural on Calder Way while waiting for his sister after her ballet class. (Photo by Kelly Ann Martin)

Marvin L. and Josie Krasnansky Undergraduate Scholarship in Communications Zachary Johnston Travis Salters Jean Ward Lapton Memorial Award in Journalism Julia Bruder Chloe Elmer


Julia Ibbotson Martin Scholarship in Journalism Tiana Pugh Steinman Foundations and Lancaster Newspapers Inc. Scholarship Fund Elizabeth Downey Kaitlin Eckrote Christopher Li

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Joseph F. and Mary P. Loftus Award for Outstanding Writing Erica Brecher Ashley Gold Charles M. Meredith Sr. Scholarship Amanda Elser Jake Kaplan Laurie Stern Jessica Uzar John R. Jr. and John R. III and Jayne E. Miller Minority Scholarship Kafayat Adegbenro Norman C. and Mollie Miller Journalism Scholarship Stephen Hennessey James Warkulwiz Linda Martelli Memorial Award in Journalism Heather Panetta Christine Reckner Stephanie Tabor Somer Wiggins Harold E. Newlin Memorial Award Fund Amanda August

Richard and Arlene Small Journalism Scholarship for Sports Writing in Memory of Ridge Riley Benjamin Calla Alyson Cohen Zachary Feldman Jody Gill Kari Haffelfinger Stephen Hennessey Gregory Kincaid Ryan Konopki Ryan Loy Frank McAndrew Nathanael Mink Nicholas Mittereder Jessica Sever Jared Shanker Audrey Snyder Anna Stefano Jerome Weinstein Journalism Scholarship Mallory Gadye Lynn Ondrusek Brandon Wolf Jeanne Stiles Williamson Scholarship Jennifer Shaab Brittany Stoner

Lou H. Murray Scholarship Paula Broussard Bree Feibischoff

Trustee AT&T Trustee Scholarship Carl Ballard Christopher Morewood Harold Wagner Douglas and Claudia Anderson Trustee Scholarship Michelle Renn Raquel Squires Douglas and Claudia Anderson Trustee Scholarship in Journalism Jessica Saddler Raquel Silano Laura and Mary Anderson Trustee Scholarship Aryn Tomlinson Marty and John Aronoff Trustee Scholarship Peter Jensen Julia Weber Adam Wicks David Wolff

Study Abroad Bernie Newman Scholarship in Journalism Yashira Diaz Leo Dillinger Bryan McSorley Rebecca Welk Patrick Woo George E. Paterno Memorial Scholarship Paul Casella Daniel Zaksheske Penn State Sigma Delta Chi Journalism Award Corey Willinsky Salters Family Memorial Scholarship Iman McDonnaugh

Helene Eckstein Study Abroad Scholarship Christina Forman Ricardo Morales Philip Radcliffe International Scholarship Karina Bermeo

Telecommunications-Radio Bradford Brian Communications Scholarship Jason Milnes

Warren and Carole Maurer Radio Scholarship Dale Broccoli Boshra Gheopreal


Donald P. Bellisario Trustee Scholarship Joshua Armstrong Brittany Berger Amber Bosland Marisa Cable Jacquelyne Cohen Jonathan Craig James Decosmo Michael French David Hamlet Amanda Hartmann Despina Hatzakos Aisha Jamal-Zupan Dakota Kauffman Ethan Kirby Kimberlee Lawrence Katelynn Levanduski Joshua Lozada Shaira Lundy Lauren Lydon Abigail Machon

Marc A. Brownstein Trustee Scholarship Hannah Antonchak Michael Crimmins Nile D. Coon Trustee Scholarship Joanna Blake Leah Blasko Ana Botero Meagan Ebmeyer Christine Gabel Jullian Harding Dolly Patel John and Ann Curley Trustee Scholarship Christina Cherry Sharon Kim Samuel Perkins Gerald Rizzo Owyn Stephens Danielle Van Gheem Megan Waldron Fetter Family Trustee Scholarship Kaitlyn Knopp Joshua Wimble Gene Foreman Trustee Scholarship Nicholas Howe Jennifer Reitz Jessica Reyes Risa Wallace Lawrence G. and Ellen M. Foster Trustee Scholarship Alisha Acquaye Shana Davies Mark Dementri Andrew Gabriel

Shannon Isaacs Kyle Lucas Shane McGregor Alyssa Murphy Emily Murray Folashade Olasimbo Heather Panetta Christiana Pascale Tabitha Rinehart Katherine Rodriguez Travis Salters Jamie Stover Marjorie Mousely French, Class of ’48 Trustee Scholarship Valerie Dantone Elizabeth Downey Jared Johnson Fatima Scott Candice Waring Tom Gibb Memorial Trustee Scholarship Laura Nichols Heather Schmelzlen Shannon Simcox Hayden Family Trustee Scholarship Scott Jones Gichuhi Kamau Freda Azen Jaffe Memorial Trustee Scholarship Ashley Gabel Angelica Lu Warren L. and Carole L. Maurer Trustee Scholarship Angela Barajas Arielle Soriente Christopher J. and Patricia S. Martin Trustee Scholarship Kaitlyn Ricany Maralyn Davis Mazza Trustee Scholarship Kiu Lau Lauren Wells John S. Nichols Trustee Scholarship Joseph Kratz Kristen Tunney


Robert J. O’Leary Trustee Scholarship Alejandra Santamaria Kelsey Stratton Penn State Alumni Association Trustee Scholarship Anna Bernat Eric W. Rabe Trustee Scholarship Jasmine Rushum Katelyn Shelton William Y.E. and Ethel Rambo Trustee Scholarship Antoinette Francis Mallory Gadye Ebony Martin Robert L. and Mary Lee Schneider Trustee Scholarship Rebecca Mamola Alexandria Prescott

Development News

Shawn Mouzon Benjamin Ries Jolanda Scott Shadesha Stevenson Ian Strong Randall Troy Qaadir Tunnell Michael Vincent Andrew Walker Nickolas Weingartner Bradley Welles Allison Williams Demetria Wright

Andrew and Beatrice Schultz Trustee Scholarship Nicole Guven Michelle Karth Steinman Foundations Trustee Scholarship Ryan Hartnett Angelica Stoltzfus Trustee Scholarship Fund for the College of Communications Bianca Gill Rhianna Marshall Jasmine O’Neill Nicholas Spencer Christopher C. Wheeler Trustee Scholarship Amy Lewis Terry-Ann Masters

Student News

Standouts Serve as Marshals at Commencement ix graduating seniors served as President’s Sstudent marshals for the College Freshman Award, of Communications during spring commencement May 14 at the Bryce Jordan Center. Students who excelled in both academics and extra-curricular activities were selected as well-rounded representatives of their respective majors. Jessica Ramos from Grovetown, Ga., was the overall marshal. She majored in public relations, achieved dean’s list status every semester and completed internships with the 35th Signal Brigade Public Affairs Office in Fort Gordon, Ga., and the Bryce Jordan Center. Ramos was the College of Communications Heritage Month event planner and the public relations co-chair for Movin’ On, the annual concert on the University Park campus at the end of the spring semester. She will soon begin working in management for Abercrombie & Fitch. Brittany Kofsky, from Ambler, Pa., served as the advertising/public relations student marshal. Along with her public relations degree, she added minors in business and labor and employment relations. She completed a variety of internships, including positions at Maven Communications, the Bronstein Group and the Re/Max Classic. She was an active member of the Public Relations Student Society of America and the vice president of membership for Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority. After graduation, she will be working as a recruiter at Teksystems. James Gibbons, from Hawley, Pa., served as the film-video student marshal. He was named to the dean’s list every semester and completed an English minor. He earned The

The President Sparks Award and The Evan Pugh Scholar Award. He bolstered his classroom achievements with multi- Jessica Ramos ple hands-on, major-related positions, including work as a production intern with Scott Rudin Productions. He also served as a production assistant for the film “Unstoppable.” He was an active Mandy Hofmockel member of the Student Film Organization and an executive board member/executive vice president for Lion Ambassadors. Kevin Foedinger, from Phoenixville, Pa., served as the journalism student marshal. He majored in broadcast journalism with a minor in business. In addition to his class work, he completed multiple internships and part-time jobs that provided practical experience. Those included positions with Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics, ComRadio and WBHV-FM. Foedinger also participated in the first-ever webcast of an Olympic sport, volleyball, on, and received The President’s Freshman Award in 2007. Mandy Hofmockel, from Schwenksville, Pa., served as the media studies student marshal. She majored in media studies and completed a minor in political science. In addition to her class


Kevin Foedinger

James Gibbons

Brittany Kofsky

Karle Yanocha

work, she gained journalism experience through multiple positions with The Daily Collegian, including multimedia leader/editor, web chief/web editor and reporter. She also worked as the Dow Jones News Fund multimedia intern for “California Watch.” Karle Yanocha, from Havertown, Pa., served as the telecommunications student marshal. She majored in telecommunications and added a music technology major. She has interned for radio stations in State College (WBHV) and Philadelphia (WMMR and WHAT). She was also a host DJ for The Lion 90.7 FM, WKPS for nearly two years on campus. While at Penn State Berks, she co-founded the campus track team and was president of the Penn State Berks Student Athletic Advisory Committee. She plans to work either as a DJ or in promotions for radio.

students conducted an A Penn State junior “Odyssey Day,” one of earned a fellowship just three such events worth more than in the state of $15,000 for her efforts Pennsylvania, that feasupervising public relatured presentations by tions for the campus and communiUniversity’s team in ty leaders, as well as the nationwide activities and opportuEcoCAR Challenge. nities for middle Allison Lilly of school students to Altoona, Pa., a public learn about advanced relations major with vehicle technologies minors in psychology and alternative fuels. and environmental The event also includinquiry, coordinates ed a visit from the awareness, event planworld’s only propanening, media relations powered Dodge and social media for Allison Lilly addresses the media as part of her duties with the team. Charger. the EcoCAR Challenge Lilly will graduate in May 2012. She has previously at Penn State. The competition challenges university interned with WTAJ-TV, the Eberly College of Science engineering students across North America to re-engineer a donated General Motors vehicle to improve its Career and International Education Office, the fuel efficiency and reduce emissions while retaining the Campus Sustainability Office and Dick Jones Communications. After graduation, she hopes to work vehicle’s customer appeal and performance. in public relations pertaining to alternative energy and Lilly has been working in her role with the team since the start of the 2010-11 academic year. Her fellow- sustainability. More information about the EcoCAR Challenge ship is funded by the Clean Cities-U.S. Department of may be found at and on Energy. EcoCAR’s blog at online. In October, she and a team of 11 communications

Senior Fadok One of Five Finalists for PR Student of the Year A College of Communications student was selected as one of five national finalists to be named Public Relations Student of the Year. Amber Fadok, a senior from Sewickley, Pa., majoring in marketing and public relations, was flown to New York City for judging in the annual competition conducted by PRWeek magazine and sponsored by Hill & Knowlton. “When I first discovered that I was a finalist for the competition, I couldn’t believe it,” said Fadok. Fadok and others who entered the competition were tasked with designing a campaign for SanDisk

Corp. that was fun and interactive, utilized social media and showed college students why a SanDisk imaging card is the best way to store college memories. “I believe my campaign stood out to the judges because I encompassed various media platforms while still creating a cohesive message,” said Fadok. In New York, she presented her campaign—which included a college tour, an online competition and social media components—to an expert panel of judges. She also responded to a crisis scenario. SanDisk Corp., a Silicon Valleybased S&P 500 company, ranks as a


Student News

Undergraduate Earns Fellowship for EcoCAR Efforts

global leader in flash memory cards—including research, manufacturing and product design. The company’s memory cards are used in mobile phones, digital cameras and camcorders, digital audio/video players, USB flash drives and other devices. More than half its sales are outside the United States. Penn State has had two students in the last six years named PR Student of the Year. Robert Corrado was selected in 2008 for his campaign for the non-profit company Youth Venture and Tara Burnham was selected in 2006 for her campaign for Royal Caribbean’s cruise ship Freedom of the Seas.

Student News

First-Place Feature Finish Earns Berth In Individual Championship Round

Paul Casella won first place in feature writing to lead the College of Communications to multiple top10 finishes in the 2010-2011 intercollegiate school standings of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program. Casella’s first-place finish, from more than 140 feature entries, earned him a trip to San Francisco in June for the individual championships, where he will be among eight writing finalists. Casella’s feature focused on Marty Aronoff, a 1960 Penn State graduate who possibly is the most respected statistician in big-time television sports today. Aronoff covers sports for ESPN, Fox and TNT. He travels more than 300,000 miles a year to sit in broadcast booths across the country. Casella captured the behind-thescenes work of an army of statisticians, graphics whizzes, videographers and sound experts who regularly staff nationally televised sports events. To provide context for his story, Casella sat an arm’s length from Aronoff at a Chicago White SoxDetroit Tigers game at Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field and at the Notre Dame-Boston College football game in Boston. The story was published in The Lion’s Roar, a publication of the College of Communications. Four students from the College in the past five years have earned spots in the Hearst individual writing championships: Halle Stockton in 2007; Angela Haupt in 2008; Andrew McGill in 2008 and 2010; and Casella.

Lexi Belculfine

Paul Casella

“More than 600 students from universities across the country enter the various Hearst monthly writing competitions each year, so being one of Kevin eight students to Cirilli earn a trip to the individual championships is quite an honor,” Dean Doug Anderson said. “We’re proud of Paul—just as we are proud of all our students who shine in the Hearst competition.” The Hearst Journalism Awards Program is conducted under the auspices of the 112 accredited units of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication and is funded by the Hearst Foundation, which provides more than $550,000 annually in student scholarships, stipends and matching grants. The Hearst competition is in its 51st year and is administered through the foundation’s offices in San Francisco. In the recently completed competition, the College finished fourth in intercollegiate writing, its seventh top-five finish in the past


HEARST HONORS Final 2010-2011 top-10 standings for the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program. Intercollegiate Writing 1. Indiana 2. Kansas 3. Iowa 4. PENN STATE 5. Arizona State 6. Nebraska 7. Missouri 8. Montana 9. Oregon 10. Northwestern Combined Writing/Broadcast 1. Indiana 2. Nebraska 3. Arizona State 4. North Carolina 5. Kansas 6 (tie). PENN STATE 6 (tie). Florida 8. Iowa 9. Missouri 10. Syracuse Combined Writing/Broadcast/Photo 1. Nebraska 2. North Carolina 3. Indiana 4. Florida 5. Missouri 6. Western Kentucky 7. Arizona State 8. PENN STATE 9. Kansas 10. Montana Overall Writing/Broadcast/Photo/Multimedia 1. North Carolina 2. Nebraska 3. Western Kentucky 4. Indiana 5. Arizona State 6. Florida 7. Missouri 8. Montana 9. Syracuse 10. PENN STATE *The Hearst competition is open to the country’s 112 accredited programs.

in sports play-by-play and second place in sportscast. In the medium-market television category, students competed against professionals from cities such as Allentown, Harrisburg and Lancaster, and garnered three top-three results. The Penn State television winners were: “Centre County Report,” third place for regularly scheduled newscast; Andrew Clay, a senior from Mechanicsburg, Pa., first place in sports feature; and Pete Jensen, a senior from Bellmore, N.Y., second place in sports feature. The competition also included categories exclusively for students, and Penn State also fared well in that portion of the event. A piece by Sarah Burton, a senior from Kennett Square, Pa., and Keith Aiello, a senior from Norristown, Pa., about public drunkenness and community impact finished second in student television. It was just ahead of an entry by Kara Warr, a senior from Kingsville, Pa., about Marcellus shale.

Communications students earned nine different top-three finishes—besting broadcast professionals in several categories—during an annual contest conducted by the Associated Press for radio and television professionals in Pennsylvania. Students from ComRadio, the Internet-based radio station housed in the College of Communications, and the “Centre County Report,” the weekly television newscast produced by communications students, drove the overall performance. In competition with medium-market radio stations, ComRadio students captured two first-place finishes and two second-place results. With those performances, the students trumped professional counterparts from cities such as Allentown, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. Individual radio winners were: Catherine Marvin, a junior from Westfield, N.J., first place in enterprise reporting; Jennifer Shaab, a senior from Wayne, Pa., second place in enterprise reporting; Trevor Turner, a senior from Bushkill, Pa., first place 11 years and its tenth top-10 finish during that period. The College also finished in a tie for sixth place in the combined writing-broadcasting final standings and eighth in the combined writing-broadcasting-photojournalism final standings. The College finished 10th in the overall writing-broadcast-photojournalism-multimedia final standings—the ninth time in the past 10 years it has finished in the overall top 10. In all, the College garnered four top-10 individual finishes and six places between 11th and 20th. More than 1,100 students from the country’s accredited programs entered the writing, broadcasting, photojournalism and multimedia competitions. Penn State’s top-20 place winners in writing: Casella, first place in features; Kevin Cirilli, fifth place in sports; Aubrey Whelan, sixth place in profiles and 16th

Student News

Radio, TV Efforts Top Professionals in Statewide Contest

place tie in features; Lexi Belculfine, fifth place in profiles; Matt Fortuna, 14th place tie in sports; and Michael Oplinger, 15th

The College had four top-10 individual finishes and six between 11th and 20th. place tie in editorials/columns. Penn State’s top-20 individual place winner in broadcasting: Kelly Choate, 11th in television news. Penn State’s top-20 individual place winner in photojournalism: Andy Colwell, 14th in picture story/series. Penn State’s top-20 individual place winner in multimedia: Grace Muller, 15th place tie. Final school standings are computed based on the accumulated points of individual students from each institution.


All students who finish in the top five receive scholarships, with matching grants awarded to their institutions. The intercollegiate writing competition consists of six monthly contests: features, editorials/columns, in-depth, sports, profiles and spot news. The intercollegiate broadcast competition consists of one monthly contest in radio and two in television. The intercollegiate photojournalism competition consists of three monthly contests: portrait/personality and features; sports and news; and picture story/series. The intercollegiate multimedia competition consists of two monthly contests. Since 2000, the Hearst Foundation has awarded the College of Communications scholarships, stipends and matching grants totaling more than $150,000.

Student News

Academy Draws Heavily on College For Class Members

The Presidential Leadership Academy, a program that selects Penn State students for a three-year commitment and a curriculum of courses that allows students to explore the gray areas of decision making, has selected a dozen participants from the College of Communications in its first three classes. President Graham Spanier teaches one seminar each fall as part of the program and supporting activities that include coursework, field trips and meetings with guests and visitors. Communications members in the inaugural class, who will be seniors in the fall, are: Kelsey Bradbury of East Amherst, N.Y.; Ilana Bucholtz of Doylestown, Pa.; and Christopher Randby of Richboro, Pa.

Rising juniors are: Sara Battikh of Santiago, Panama; Colleen Boyle, of Willow Grove, Pa.; Nicole ColonQuintana of Orocovis, Puerto Rico; Josh Wimble of Emmaus, Pa.; and Sean Znachko of Encinitas, Calif. “I have learned a lot about decisions leaders have to make during critical periods,” Battikh said. “Also, I have learned a lot of curious things about University issues and

the ways different institutions operate.” Four more communications students were recently selected to join the academy as sophomores next fall. They are: Sara Espinoza of Bellevue, Wash.; Alex Gilliand of York, Pa.; Sarah Johnson of Detroit; and Thomas Randby of Richboro, Pa.

Three senior communications students were honored with the John W. Oswald Award for displaying outstanding leadership in various academic and extra-curricular areas. Recipients were: Katy Wick for athletics, Connor Sattely for journalism and Brandon Wolf for creative/performing arts. The John W. Oswald Award was established in 1983 in honor John W. Oswald, a former Penn State president. The award is presented to graduating seniors who have displayed outstanding leadership in different areas of activity at Penn State. Wick, an advertising major from Winter Springs, Fla., received the Oswald Award for distinguishing herself as a student leader on and off the field. Wick played on the women’s lacrosse team for four

years and was a member of the Athletic Leadership Institute. She also was vice president of the Student Athletic Advisory Board, and served as a Penn State representative at Big Ten Conference and NCAA meetings. While serving as a student leader, Wick was accomplished in the classroom as well. She was on the dean’s list every semester at Penn State. Sattely, from Pittsburgh, completed a dual major in political science and communications at Penn State Erie. He received the Oswald Award in journalism for his innovative work on The Behrend Beacon, Penn State Erie’s student newspaper. Sattely served as editor-in-chief of the paper for the past two years, overseeing all areas of production and business.

Sattely is credited with designing the first ever Web site for the Beacon, and was responsible for launching the paper’s marketing department. Wolf, a journalism major from Huntingdon Valley, Pa., created Penn State’s comedy club, Second Floor Stand-up, which earned him an Oswald Award for performing arts. Second Floor Stand-up allows students who are interested in comedy to meet each other and perform at live venues. Wolf worked hard booking venues, advertising events and handling business aspects of the organization. Second Floor Stand-up won Penn State’s Outstanding New Student Organization Award in 2009-2010. — M i c h a e l Y o u n g ( ’ 1 1 A d v/ P R )

Rising junior communications majors in the program include: Sara Battikh, Nicole ColonQuintana, Sean Znachko and Josh Wimble. (Photo by Michael Young)

Oswald Awards Honor Accomplishments of Three Students


A team of Penn State students finished second in the district round of a recently completed national competition sponsored by the American Advertising Federation, solidifying the reputation of the College of Communications as home of one of the nation’s top advertising programs. The team’s performance was its third top-two finish in the past four years. As part of the competition, the Penn State team—appropriately named the Nittany Group— developed a wholly integrated communication plan for this year’s sponsor, J.C. Penney. The challenge was to reposition the J.C. Penney brand for a 25to 34-year-old female audience. The team’s efforts began in late 2010, when members conducted extensive research among the target audience. That work led to an insightful strategic communication plan developed during the 2011 spring semester. After the final judging in May, the Penn State team was recognized by the panel of judges as having the strongest “business changing idea” and attained the highest overall ratings on the “quality of presentation,” ahead of the eventual winner Ithaca College. Penn State team members and presenters were: Stephanie Dabrow of Exton, Pa.; Brandon Frese of Denver, Pa.; Stephanie Pollitt of Murrysville, Pa.; Hannah Qualley of Irwin, Pa.; and Lynn Sandford of New Egypt, N.J. Other team members were: Natalie Episcopo, Monroeville, Pa.; Jill Panepresso, Philadelphia; Vince Paventa, Hawthorne, N.J.; Sang Lintakoon, Englishtown, N.J.; and Jordan Suskind, Derwood, Md.

Student News

AAF Team Finishes Strong in District

IMPORTANT INTERACTION Hundreds of students from the College of Communications got an unrivaled opportunity with two communications-specific job fairs during the spring semester. With JobExpo.Comm(unications) in Alumni Hall of the HUB-Robeson Center on campus (above) and Success in the City in New York, students were able to meet local, regional and national recruiters. The combined sessions attracted 111 companies and more than 250 recruiters. The Office of Internships and Career Placement regularly coordinates the two job fairs—something few other colleges and universities offer to their communications students. (Photo by Carley Lang)

Stand-up Victory Delivers ‘Funniest’ Crown A team of Penn State students claimed the national championship in a stand-up comedy contest that also crowned one member of the team as the nation’s best student comic and rewarded him with a chance to appear on national television. Eight students represented Penn State in’s National College Comedy Competition presented by TBS, a 32team event modeled somewhat after the NCAA tournament. Videos of the competition and the Penn State team’s comedy can be found at online. Over a period of more than two months, the Penn State team competed against teams from other schools in a series of live and online competitions that whittled the field to 16 teams, then eight and then a “Funniest Four.”


Each round provided a different challenge, with some votes completed online and others by professional stand-up comics in a live audience. In the final round, Penn State’s competition came from Florida, Ohio State and Portland State. In the end, the students were named the nation’s funniest and senior Brandon Scott Wolf, selected as the MVP, earned an opportunity to appear on “Lopez Tonight,” which airs weeknights on TBS. He and the other three Penn State finalists were scheduled to travel to Los Angeles for a taping of the show in June. “It’s really an honor, and the opportunities that are coming from the competition are just amazing,” said Wolf, from Huntingdon Valley, Pa., who graduated with a degree in print journalism in May. “Everyone on our team is funny, it’s a great group.”

Student News

TALENTED TEACHERS Doctoral students Julia Woolley (left) and T.C. Corrigan (right), with faculty member Jeanne Hall, were honored as recipients of the annual Djung Yune Tchoi Graduate Teaching Award from the College of Communications. Woolley taught an advertising/public relations methods course and Corrigan taught the popular sports, media and society course. (Photo by John Beale)

Ph.D. Candidate Lizardi Earns University Teaching Award A College of Communications doctoral student received an award from the university for excellence in teaching. Ryan Lizardi, who is pursuing his Ph.D. in mass communications, received the Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award. Lizardi and nine other students from different graduate programs at Penn State were honored in a special ceremony for their achievements. The award, which is named in honor of former Pennsylvania Director of Education and Penn State alumnus Harold F. Martin, is given to graduate students who have distinguished themselves as teachers. In order to be eligible for the award, students must have served as a graduate assistant for two semesters in the past two years. Lizardi’s Ph.D. adviser, Matt Jordan, nominated Lizardi for the award. “Lizardi quickly distinguished

himself by his flexibility,” Jordan said. “He taught COMM 250, the second installment in the film curriculum, and classes in production and screenwriting—a combination of courses very few can teach effectively.” In a letter of recommendation written for the award, Jordan applauded Lizardi’s effort to go beyond a course’s format to bring students a richer experience. While Lizardi was teaching COMM 242: Basic Filmmaking, he took students outside on listening walks so they could learn how to better describe what they were hearing. Lizardi then had students transfer what they gained from the exercise to help them become better film editors and producers. “To be recognized for something I really love doing is truly an honor,” Lizardi said. “I consider it a privilege to be able to teach my students, so this award is a great bonus and validation to my developing process.”


Lizardi places emphasis on discussion-based learning in his classes, which sets them apart from other sections. “Getting students to work through difficult material out loud makes the learning a bit more concrete,” Lizardi said. “I also like to think that we have a lot of fun along the way through film clips, exercises, and relating the material to contemporary media the students love.” Lizardi has a passion for the classroom and said his ultimate goal is to become a professor and continue teaching. Jordan thinks Lizardi will become a dynamic college educator someday. “Ryan has already shown he can publish academic work, which is remarkable as a graduate student,” Jordan said. “With his pedagogical skills, he will make a great colleague for whatever school is lucky enough to get him.” — M i c h a e l Y o u n g ( ’ 1 1 A d v/ P R )

BASEBALL BUNCH The five Penn State communications students selected for summer internships with met Sports Illustrated senior writer Tom Verducci (’82 Journ) during a campus visit early in the spring semester. Interns are (first row, left to right); A.J. Cassavell of Pennington, N.J.; Paul Casella of Rochester, N.Y.; Nate Mink of Allentown, Pa.; (back row) Matt Fortuna of New York City; and Audrey Snyder of Downingtown, Pa. Each of the five interns will cover a specific team during the summer. In addition, Jeffrey Lowe of Cedar Park, Texas, (not pictured) will work in the offices of with the site’s overall digital operation—giving Penn State a total of six interns, the most of any school in the ountry. (Photo by Carley Lang)

Blue and White Film Festival a Success Eighteen films produced by students in the College of Communications were screened during the Blue and White Film Festival in late April at the State Theatre. Films featured during the event were created, directed and produced by individual students or groups of students during the 2010-2011 academic year. This was the fourth year the event was held at the theatre in downtown State College. The festival is presented by the Student Film Organization with support from the University Park Allocation Committee.

Films screened were:

“Carlo Doesn't Know How To Read” (Eric Hamilton) “Collection” (Ken Campbell) “Counting Sand” (Robert Early) “Kosta” (Kenny Wu) “LARPing” (Bryan Marsh) “The Good Hand” (Matt Slamowitz) “The Last Noel” (David Noel) “Late” (Broscoe & Nolen) “Nikko & Lulu” (Adrianna Rivas) “In Memory Of A White Wall” (Nicholas Miller) “Normal” (Cory Blasdell) “Out Of His Hands” (Abbey Farkas) “Prosopoe” (Tariq Simmons) “A Revolutionary Game” (Jesse Rafalko) “Roomies” (Adam Rutter) “A Rough Draft” Anthony Delluva “Toujours au coin” (Abby Farkas) “Untitled Experimental” (Darius Turbak)


Four Penn State students were selected to work at media outlets across the United States this summer in internship positions established for the Dow Jones News Fund Editing Intern Program. They were selected from among hundreds of applicants nationwide. Selected were: Grace Muller of Pittsburgh, who will be working at AccuWeather in State College; Edgar Ramirez of Lafayette, Ind., who will be working at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Caitlin Sellers of Macungie, Pa., who will be working at the Roanoke (Va.) Times; and Laurie Stern of New York City, who will be working at the White Plains (N.Y.) Journal News. Over the past 11 years, 67 Penn State students have been selected to be a part of the Dow Jones News Fund Editing Intern Program. Penn State produced 25 regional place winners—eight in first place, nine in second and eight in third—in the Region 1 Mark of Excellence Award competition sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists for 2010. Of the eight first-place finishers who qualified for national competition, Lexi Belculfine was the national winner for feature writing. Andy Colwell and Bobby Brooks were national finalists for feature photography and TV news photography, respectively. Students from the College of Communications recently established a a student chapter of the National Press Photographers Association, with Jill Hunt, a visual journalism major as the president. Fifty-one students were inducted into the Penn State chapter of Kappa Tau Alpha, the college honor society that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication.

Student News

Notes, Numbers


Participants in the Washington Program meet alumni such as Valerie Plame (right center) and—as program coordinator Scott Colburn’s Joe Paterno bobblehead can attest—visit many popular spots in the nation’s capital.

A Capital Idea

Program opens doors, provides experience for transition to life after college


By Michael Young (’11 Adv/PR)

“Washington, D.C., is geographically close, and there is something there for every student, regardless of his or her major,” Richards said. “Plus, outside of Pennsylvania, D.C. has one of the largest Penn State alumni presences. They were clamoring for a program that allowed Penn State students to experience the city.” Once Richards obtained approval from Old Main, the Washington Program was launched, and it has steadily grown over its 15-year existence. The program is open to students in any major. Students in communications, political science and other relevant majors can elect to participate in the Communications and Democracy Semester, which offers 15 to 18 credits of coursework along with an internship during fall semesters. Students in this program take courses focused on the media and government, and explore some of the nation’s most hotly contested political issues—all while continuing to make progress in their majors. Communications courses regularly taught in Washington include: media and govenment; communica-

nternships are an integral part of building a student’s resume and often a ticket to obtaining a job after graduation.

One of Penn State’s premiere internship opportunities—the Washington Program, which offers a semesterlong combination of coursework and professional work while students live in the nation’s capital—has been making the internship-to-opportunity model a reality for years. The program was founded in 1995 by Robert D. Richards, the the John and Ann Curley Professor of First Amendment Studies and the founding director of the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment at Penn State. Richards said he started the Washington Program to provide students with an experience outside of Happy Valley. Having an active and sizable alumni base in the area was an important factor, too.


gram, had the opportunity to witness history. During his internship, Mueller worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee and took part in many of the behind-thescenes activities leading up to and during Chief Justice John Roberts’ confirmation hearings. “I was part of the Washington Program during a particularly partisan and exciting time in our country politically,” Mueller said. “Tensions were often high, but the work was always engaging and thought provoking.” For Mueller, participating in the program cemented his career path to becoming an attorney and cast away any of the doubt he had about attending law school. Casey Coyle was a journalism major who interned on the production staff of CNN’s “Capital Gang” while participating in the program in 2004. As Coyle spent more time in D.C., he became more passionate about his career path. In addition, Coyle credits the Washington Program with teaching him humility, an important quality for a young professional. “If you had any ego going into the program, it was quickly lost once you started interning,” Coyle said. Today, Coyle works as a law clerk for Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Thomas G. Saylor. Some alumni chose to attend Penn State at least in part because of the Washington Program. “The Washington Program is one of the reasons why I decided to attend Penn State,” said Tamar Brill, a public relations major who graduated in May and participated in the program last fall. Brill first learned about the opportunity when she visited the College of Communications as a prospective student, and said it was a perfect match to her career goals. Brill, who interned in the Department of Defense’s Press Operations Office, said one of her most memorable moments was her work regarding the military’s controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Brill supported the Pentagon team that released a report to the press and public stating that the repeal of the policy would not disrupt activity within the U.S. armed forces. Ultimately, that report led to the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Alumni of the Washington Program hold the entire experience in high regard. While many appreciate the time they spent in the nation’s capital as students, they find out it’s much more than that as they progress through their careers. “Making it through the program was more than just a conversation starter at interviews, it was a life lesson on the importance of hard work, balancing, and taking responsibility and prestigious positions in stride,”Mueller said.


Alumni Close-Up

tions law; perspectives on American journalism; and globalization of the press. Political science offerings range from the legislative process to international relations. Although the coursework option is offered only during the fall semester, the program’s internship component is available year round. Richards and program coordinator Scott Colburn employ a thorough selection process to accept students into the program. To be considered, students must provide strong academic references, have a proven academic record and submit their best writing samples. Once these pieces have been reviewed, Richards invites candidates to an interview to learn more about them and what they hope to gain from the Washington Program. “During an interview, I am looking to see if the student has the ability and maturity to handle a full-time course load and eventually a full-time job,” Richards said. He said all participants also serve as ambassadors for the Washington Program, and it is through their hard work that Penn State maintains such strong relationships with all participating employers. For each session, the program enrolls between 20 and 30 participants. By the end of their stay in D.C., Richards said students have learned to balance a full load of courses, develop a professional network of contacts and colleagues, and navigate a major city. For the past 15 years, students have worked with CNN, Gannett News Service, “Dateline NBC,” “Meet the Press,” the Smithsonian, the White House, WTOP-FM, Roll Call and The Hill newspapers as well as numerous government departments, lobbying firms and other internship sponsors specifically tailored to students’ career and educational goals. Alumni of the program find the experience to be invaluable to launching their careers. For Lynsey Nix, who was a fall 2001 participant, the Washington Program played a major role in her obtaining her job as assistant attorney general in the Child Protection Section of the Office of the Attorney General. Nix said she changed her major her junior year, and needed to take summer courses in order to graduate on time. Because she was unable to intern during the summer, Nix applied to the program so she could gain necessary experience. “My internship at the Office of the Attorney General solidified my desire to go on to law school,” Nix said. Six years later, Nix was hired back as an attorney in the same office where she was once an intern. Thomas Mueller, a fall 2005 participant in the pro-

Alumni News

Hockensmith’s Achievements A Success Story AMagazine, Ryan Hockensmith s an editor at ESPN The

knows a good story when he sees it. So he should not have been surprised that he was named a 2011 recipient of Penn State’s Alumni Achievement Award. The ascent of Hockensmith (’01 Journ) to the upper echelon of the nation’s second-largest sports magazine was tailor-made for the Penn State Alumni Association’s award selection committee. The award is given to prominent young Penn State alumni, 35 years of age and younger. They are nominated by an academic college or campus and invited to return to campus to share their expertise with students and the University community. Alumni Achievement Award recipients demonstrate to students that Penn State alumni succeed in exceptional fashion at an early age. Hockensmith’s success has been truly remarkable. As an undergraduate, Hockensmith overcame a life-threatening bout with meningocca meningitis that left him in a coma. After a lengthy recovery, he returned to Penn State to not only get his degree, but also make his mark on the collegiate journalism landscape. Hockensmith was a national finalist in the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program, Penn State’s first in several decades. Upon graduation, Hockensmith began a steady and stellar ascent at ESPN. He has been a fact-checker, a writer, an editor and a blogger for Disney’s signature sports publication. His stories have been on the cover of the magazine, on ESPN television and Hockensmith today coordinates coverage of college football, boxing

Alumni Achievement Award winner Ryan Hockensmith (second from left) with (left to right) Alumni Association President Barry Simpson, Dean Doug Anderson and Penn State President Graham Spanier. (Photo by Steve Tressler)

and MMA, generating story ideas, directing writers and photographers, and playing a role in the magazine’s special themed issues. In addition to the magazine, Hockensmith works across several media platforms, serving as a conduit for ESPN’s story coverage online and on television. “It Happens,” a story he edited, was the most popular viral story to date on, with more than 3,000 comments posted on Facebook. He is the creator of ESPN’s “Confidential,” focusing on serial coverage of athletics using an anonymous polling system that asks some of the toughest questions in sports to a variety of audiences. Results appear in the magazine as well as on ESPN television. His projects sometimes have Penn State ties. Under his direction, the magazine’s 2010 “Body Issue” featured a multi-page article highlighting 3-D images of Penn State athletes. Several years ago, he


profiled Penn State wrestling coach Cael Sanderson, who at the time had just completed his undefeated collegiate wrestling career. While on campus in April to receive the Alumni Achievement Award, Hockensmith met with students, faculty and administrators in a variety of settings to discuss sports journalism, publishing and new media. He was one of young alumni University-wide who were recognized by the Penn State Alumni Association in 2011. The College of Communications has had an Alumni Achievement Award-winner every year since the award was established in 2005—the only College or Commonwealth campus to have an alumnus honored all seven years. The previous winners were: Chris Krewson (’98 Journ), 2010; Riva Marker (’00 FilmVideo), 2009; Jessica Stuart (’96 Brcab), 2008; Michael Signora (’96 Journ), 2007; Jarred Romesburg (’98 Telecom), 2006; and Jill Cordes (’92 Journ), 2005.

Alumni News

After Online Victory, Film Gets National Screening

A feature-length film created by a Penn State alumyounger brother has taken control of the Africannus that won an online contest in early 2011 earned American drug trade. a limited nationwide The film shows how screening in May as part of these two parallel stories “The biggest lesson that I learned “The Big Break Movie unfold, and offers the Contest,” which was hostwas that nothing is impossible. That viewer many plot twists ed by a partnership and dramatic situations and that failure is not an option. If between Relativity Media’s along the way. Rouge Network and AMC Making the film had you believe that you can’t fail and Theatres. some dramatic moments, you refuse to give up ... nothing is The film, “Cost of a too. impossible.” Soul,” was shown in Los “The biggest lesson that — Sean Kirkpatrick (’06 Film-Video) I learned was that nothing Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh is impossible. That and and Washington, D.C. that failure is not an Alumnus Sean Kirkpatrick (’06 Film-Video) wrote option,” Kirkpatrick told about the and directed the film about two veterans who film. “If you believe that you can’t fail and you refuse returned home to Philadelphia from the Iraq War. to give up, with hard work and doing whatever it One of the protagonists, Tommy Donahue (Chris takes to put out the best work that you can, nothing Kerson) has connections to the Irish-American mob, is impossible. It has been an incredible struggle. and is portrayed slipping back to his criminal tenden“All the doors that have been slammed shut in my cies to make ends meet for his family. face and every disheartening event that has taken The other protagonist, Darren “DD” Davis (Will place over the past few years has been an incredible Blagrove), returns home from Iraq only to find his learning experience for me.”


Alumni News

Alumni Board Committee Produces Scholarship Video Videos produced by a special committee of the Alumni Society Board that highlights the power of student scholarships will be released in time for the start of the fall semester. The videos will feature two College of Communications students as well as a recent graduate who have benefited from scholarships in their Penn State careers. Featured are Travis Salters (seniorbroadcast journalism), Sara Matuloris (junior-journalism) and Heather Schmelzlen (’11 Journ). Salters, who is a campus leader in several organizations, including service as president of the student chapter of the NAACP, talked on-camera about the importance of scholarship support. “I remember when I found out I got a scholarship from the College I was extremely grateful,” Salters said. “It really relieved a lot of the financial burden. A lot of my friends

don’t receive scholarships, and (I see) the debt they’re in right now and how they struggle to get through school. I’m not breezing through

The videos will be displayed on the College site and shared on social media. financially, but it is a lot easier than my friends.” Several students in the College, under the direction of Mark Lima (’87 Telecom) and Karen MozleyBryan (’89 Telecom), the College’s manager of facilities who has two decades of television production experience, provided production and technical support. The initiative will result in four videos—three separate clips featuring

each student and recent graduate, as well as a compilation of the three. The videos will be displayed on the College’s website and also will be marketed virally through a variety of social media avenues. The videos are being created by a group led by Lima, a senior producer for ABC’s “Nightline” news program, and board president Michele Marchetti (’95 Journ). Marchetti conceived the idea for the video. Critical expertise is also being provided by committee members Lara Steiner (’95 Adv), who is the director of marketing communications at Carnegie Mellon University, and Jeanne Chapkovich (’73 Journ), who recently retired from publishing leader Rodale Inc. Recent graduate Kelly Roher (’11 Journ), a student assistant in the College’s Office of External Relations in spring, also assisted in the effort.

Alumni Board Seeks Membership Nominations for Service

The College of Communications has more than 22,000 alumni—and they boast nearly as many talents. A great way for alumni to put those skills and that knowledge to use for the College, its students and Penn State is to serve on the Alumni Society Board. The Board is actively seeking nominations to join its 25-member group that volunteers its time and abilities in a wide variety of formats. To nominate yourself or a fellow College of Communications graduate, go to: online. ASB members typically serve two terms of three years each. The Board, which meets on-campus twice a year (fall and spring; home football weekends every other fall), provides service, direction and support to College—most especially through its committees, which include: Awards: the ASB sponsors a variety of recognition programs, honoring alumni and faculty. New Media: provides hands-on guidance in the development of the College’s social media initiatives.

More than 20 percent of the College’s alumni are connected to Penn State via social media, among the highest percentages across the University. Nominating: identifies, recruits and nominates new ASB members. Outreach/Young Alumni: sponsors and co-hosts events on- and off-campus, with a focus over the next two years on alumni who have graduated in the past decade. Nearly half of the College’s alumni have graduated in the past 10 years. Professional Liaison: maintains a relationship with College faculty and administration. Student Activities & Mentoring: creates programming and mentoring events directed at College students. Student Learning Assessment: assists the College in its self-assessment and accreditation activities. Ad hoc Committees: short-term committees established for special initiatives, such as the Scholarship Video Committee featured in the story on this page.

Find the latest College of Communications news and information at online.


More than 130 Penn Staters ranging from University President Graham Spanier to several alumni whose freshly-minted diplomas feature Spanier’s signature turned out for a pair of College of Communications events held in Los Angeles in January. Nearly 50 alumni who graduated in the 1990s and 2000s attended a networking event at the sports pub and eatery, The Parlor Hollywood, on Jan. 21. The next night, nearly 90 alumni from the College of Communications and co-sponsor College of Arts & Architecture were treated to a panel, “TV, Movies & Careers,” hosted by Spanier. Featured guests were Emmy Award-winning producer/director Gerry Abrams (’61 Bus), novelist/screenwriter Paul Levine (’69 Journ) and TV director Mary Lou Belli (’77 Thea). The first event was part of the Alumni Society Board’s “Young Alumni Initiative,” and graduates representing each communications degree concentration were on hand. Brian Morrison (’05 Film/Video), a writer/producer with Nickelodeon, was a key organizer of the event.

Director’s chairs were the right fit for (left to right) President Graham Spanier and panelists Paul Levine, Mary Lou Belli and Gerry Abrams. (Photo by Jayne KaminOncea)

Morrison and several alumni are creating a West Coast offshoot of the College’s Lion Film & Video Guild. Attendees at The Parlor Hollywood represented a number of name-brand entertainment industry companies, including Sony Pictures, Hallmark Channel, Warner Bros., FX, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and CBS. The next night, Penn Staters took the stage at James Bridges Theatre on the UCLA campus in Westwood. The panel discussion—

actually, a lively back-and-forth banter between Spanier and the featured alumni—was followed by a reception. College of Communications Dean Doug Anderson and A&A Dean Barbara Korner welcomed the alumni to the theater, one of a small handful in the country used to screen movies using nitrate film. Each attendee received a small clapboard commemorating the event, and several also left with one of the more than two dozen free raffle prizes.

Mike Marcus (’67 Bus, above) asks the panelists a question. Andrew Kevin Walker (’86 Film-Video), screenwriter of “Se7en” and several other films, talks with independent TV producer Gretchen Miller (’90 Film-Video). (Photos by Jayne Kamin-Oncea)


Alumni News

Event, Panel: Hooray for (Penn Staters in) Hollywood

Alumni News

Hard-Working Alumna Crafts Successful TV Career By Carley Lang (’11 Adv/PR)

middle of the Vegas Strip for a week. Every day, live snakes were added to the room. By the end, Schultz was living with 100 snakes, most of them venomous. “Gawkers on the street and viewers on our website watched Donald eat, sleep, feed the snakes, even milk the venomous ones—it was a crazy scene,” said Lucas. No matter how thrilling it can be, Lucas’ job still has a downside, including long hours and an hourand-a-half commute each way. Lucas spends her weekends with her husband, Dave, and two children, Andy, age 16, and Alexa, 18, who will be a freshman at Penn State in the fall. Lucas also spends time with her pets, which include a Westie terrier, a cockatiel and a tangerine-colored Honduran milk snake. “I tell my husband and kids if I had more time and it was legal in my neighborhood, I’d have an alpaca and some goats, too,” said Lucas. From talk show booker to executive producer, Lucas has come a long way since her first job and has worked 25 years to get to where she is. If anyone knows what it takes to make it the field, it’s her. She advises students to volunteer their time to get a foot in the door, put in extra hours to get the job done well, and not be afraid to admit what they don’t know. “Learning never stops, so ask questions when you don’t understand,” said Lucas. If it wasn’t for advice like that, Lucas may not be where she is today. After her start in medical television, she moved to the Washington, D.C., suburbs and worked 13 years as a freelance producer and writer. Her first executive producer position was with FitTV when the network launched in 2004. “There weren’t many of us. I was the only executive producer at FitTV, so I had to learn fast,” she said. “In retrospect, I knew very little about the inner workings of network business; thankfully my colleagues at FitTV were talented and experienced individuals who didn’t seem to mind constant interrogation.”

Lisa Bosak Lucas has done just about everything during her career in television. That’s everything from producing medical news and casting for reality shows to dealing with fires on location and handling a 14-foot python. As an executive producer for Animal Planet, Lucas (’85 Telecom) guides every creative and editorial decision for the series she oversees, including “River Monsters,” “Pit Bulls & Parolees,” “I’m Alive” and “Infested.” In nearly 20 years as a field producer, she really did have her hands on animals like cheetahs, pythons and tarantulas. A Center Valley, Pa., native, Lucas knew she wanted to work in television Lisa Bosak Lucas when she was in high school. After four years at Penn State, she landed her first job with a medical news production company in Allentown, Pa., as a talk show booker. She scheduled interviews with doctors or their assistants by phone, and then traveled all over the country to prepare them for the show. “Some of the surgeons I dealt with were world-class and had egos to match. I was only 23, but learned very quickly how not to be intimidated,” said Lucas. “I figured they may be the experts in their jobs, but I was the expert in mine.” During her six years at the medical news production company, Lucas rose through the ranks, working her way up to a series producer. She considered no task too small. “One snowy day in Manhattan, a senior producer and I were traveling to an interview location and our car got stuck in the snow. I jumped out—in a skirt and heels—and pushed it until the spinning wheels hit blacktop,” said Lucas. “My boss dropped a lot of production opportunities in my lap after that.” Lucas’ can-do attitude is important in her current job. She oversees the work of production companies contracted to produce Animal Planet’s shows, and is responsible for multiple series, specials and pilots all at the same time. The fast pace of Lucas’ job has gotten her into some wild work, like overseeing “Venom in Vegas.” The special required Donald Schultz, an adrenaline junkie and reptile expert, to live in a glass room in the


wear flip-flops and how much the schools opposed this for safety reasons,” said Rosanio. “I talked to parents and teachers who said this is still an issue today, so I thought this story would be appropriate.” Sticking with the flip-flop theme, a portion of the book’s proceeds are donated to Shoes That Fit, a national organization that provides new school shoes for children in need. Rosanio has a larger goal in mind for the fundraising. “We would like to reach $10,000,” she said. “With luck, Penn Staters will order the book from and help us reach our goal of providing as many shoes as possible to needy children.” To learn more or purchase the book, visit online.

Nineteen years ago, Gloria Barone-Rosanio (’83 MA Journ) and her husband, Jim Rosanio, began to write a children’s book. What started as a simple family activity came to fruition over time, and the Penn State alumna’s story was published in October 2009. The book now sits on the shelves of several public libraries, schools and daycare centers. “Flip Flop Flo, the Know-ItAll” is about Flo, a little girl who wants nothing more than to wear her summer flip-flops to school. The rhyming, read-aloud story sends a message about school safety through the eyes of a character inspired by Rosanio’s daughter, Kaitlyn. “The idea came to me when I remembered how, as a young child, all the kids in Kaitlyn’s school wanted to


Alumni News

Family-Effort Children’s Book Takes Steps for Charity

Alumni News

Graduate Enjoys Opportunity to Live, Work in China By Carley Lang (’11 Adv/PR)

“China is a country on the rise ... it’s great to be in the middle of that.” — Brandon Taylor (’09 Journ)

In 2009, Brandon Taylor graduated from the College of Communications with a degree in journalism. Today, he is a language consultant and foreign expert for the Beijing Review—and it all happened because of an internship. “During my senior year, I randomly applied for an internship with China Daily. I didn't get my other firstchoice internships, so I applied for this one as an international news intern,” said Taylor. “I got the internship a month later.” After spending two months living in China, Taylor made the life-changing decision to pursue a full-time job in Beijing. With a bit of preparation and luck, he was hired by the Beijing Review, an English-language news magazine published weekly. “I talked to the professor (Bu Zhong) who organized the China Daily internship and asked if he had any contacts in Beijing,” Taylor said. “He gave me a list, I made some calls and was hired by a magazine that happened to be looking for an editor when I was looking for a job.” Taylor’s primary responsibilities include editing his colleagues’ work, as well as making sure it follows standard media style and format. “It’s my job to take out the Chinglish,” said Taylor. When he’s not improving the language and structure of stories, Taylor is out enjoying everything Beijing has to offer. “One of the major draws for me is the culture and history,” Taylor said. “Seeing so many monuments and landmarks that I've only seen in history books, like the Great Wall, has been absolutely amazing.” Though it has its perks, living in Beijing has drawbacks, too—especially air pollution. Smog is an ongoing problem for the city, sometimes even causing the

government to issue warnings for the elderly and children to remain indoors. “There are days when the sky is so gray that I don’t even want to go outside, and sometimes I don’t,” said Taylor. “I’ve developed a cough because of it, but it’s something I’ve learned to live with.” Some might consider living on the opposite side of the world from family a drawback as well. Taylor came back home in January, but that was the first time he’d been home in a year and a half. “I don’t get back to the states too often, but my family has come to visit me,” Taylor said. “I really liked playing tour guide and showing them all the places I've visited in Beijing and where I live and work.” Taylor has met people from all over the world while living in China, and his most memorable experience involved meeting separate groups of Penn State alumni who were traveling together on the same day. “Other than that, I only met a few people who have actually heard of Penn State,” said Taylor. “It was weird to run into so many people from Penn State on the same day.” Despite any disadvantages it might have, Taylor appreciates the opportunity to live in a place like China. “China is a country on the rise, economically and socially, and it’s great to be here in the middle of that,” Taylor said. “I’ve followed China in the news for years now and getting to see everything firsthand has been really rewarding.”

Stern Promotes Award-Winning Alumna to Vice President

Stern Advertising & Public Relations recently promoted Kerry Ford (Tomkowitz) to vice president, group public relations director. Ford (ʼ89 Journ), who joined the agency in 1994, directs all public relations efforts for McDonaldʼs Restaurants in seven states. She also oversees

Sternʼs PR activities on behalf of Eye Care Centers of America; Disney On Ice; Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey; Expositions Inc. and other multi-unit retail brands. Ford is the recipient of numerous awards from the Public Relations Society of America and McDonaldʼs Corp. She also


sits on the public relations committee for Ronald McDonald House Charities. Ford resides in Bethel Park, Pa., with her husband and son. Founded in 1954, Stern is a full-service advertising agency specializing in integrated marketing communications for large retail brands.

A short film cowritten and codirected by a Penn State alumnus made its world premiere at the internationally known Sundance Film Festival in January. “The Strange Ones” follows a man and a boy traveling to an unknown destination who find respite in a motel swimming pool. On the surface all seems normal, but nothing is quite what it seems. The 15-minute film screened five times during the 10-day festival, including an opening-night slot. Chris Radcliff ('04 Film-Video), who created the film with fellow New York City-based filmmaker Lauren Wolkstein, said the film festival was exciting. He was pleased with the film and the experience of making it. “What I like about it is that it has kind of a mysterious feel and tone, but it also has a more refined visual sense,” Radcliff said. “Also, we were able to work with three fantastic actors, which was a really amazing experience in and of itself." Radcliff and Wolkstein, who were graduate school classmates at Columbia University, conceived the film and started writing in early 2010. As they progressed, what was supposed to be a simple project grew into something more. Instead of one weekend of work, they were on location in upstate New York for several days in the

late summer. When they finished shooting, they had just enough time to submit a rough cut for consideration to the Sundance Film Festival. “As it moved along, it kind of took on a life of its own,” Radcliff said. “It progressed and we realized we had something good. “As an aspiring indie-filmmaker, Sundance is pretty much as good as it gets. And playing during opening night is really cool.” Radcliff, a Pittsburgh-area native, was prepared for some tense moments during his first trip to the festival. He and Wolkstein, along with the actors and other members of the crew, all traveled to Utah for the screenings. “It’s always nerve wracking,” Radcliff said. “Even when I watched earlier versions with friends, I was watching them as much as the film. I’m always worried that they’re picking up the subtle clues that make the film work.” Final edits on the film were finished just days before the first festival screening as Radcliff and Wolkstein completed color correction, the sound mix and made screening copies. “It changed a lot since the rough draft—and all for the better,” Radcliff said. “We realized we had something special pretty early in the process and it’s been this fastpaced ride ever since.”


Notes, Numbers Paula Froke (’82 Com) was named assistant managing editor at the Associated Press Nerve Center in New York. In that role, she oversees afternoon and evening operations at the center. She coordinates late-day content for subscribers in the Middle East and Europe and early content for Asia, in addition to late-breaking coverage from North and South America. Froke has been with the AP for 27 years, most recently serving as a key manager in the Nerve Center’s day-to-day operations. Froke joined the AP in Minneapolis in 1984 and served as news editor there before moving to Detroit as Michigan news editor and ultimately transferring to New York in 2000. She was an editor on the 2009 award-winning project “Killer Blue: Baptism by Fire,” a multimedia package blending video, still photos and text about one of the last Army units to serve a 15-month combat tour in Iraq before tours were cut to 12 months. Two Penn Staters who host popular sports-talk radio programs in Pennsylvania's largest media markets returned to campus for a roundtable discussion and question-and-answer session early in the spring semester. "Sports-Talk Radio: Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh" featured Mike Missanelli (’77 Journ) of 97.5 in Philadelphia and Paul Alexander (’83 Journ) of 93.7 in Pittsburgh. Jeff Brown, general manager of ComRadio, moderated as Alexander and Missanelli discussed the differences and similarities in their markets, listeners and shows. Alexander hosts a morningdrive program on KDKA-FM in Pittsburgh. He also works for Fox Sports Net-Pittsburgh. Missanelli hosts an afternoondrive program on ESPN-affiliated WPEN-FM in Philadelphia, the first FM sports station in the city.

Alumni News

Film Makes Sundance Screening

Alumni Notes 1970s

Donita Todd (’72 Journ) was recently honored as one of three “Women of Distinction” by the Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands Council. The event recognizes women who exemplify excellence in service, leadership, community, visibility and professionalism. Todd is the vp/general manager of NBC affiliate, WIS-TV, in Columbia, S.C. Pamela DiSalvo Lepley (’77 Journ) is executive director of university relations for Virginia Commonwealth University. She lives in Midlothian, Va. Mary Hummel (’79 Comm, ’80 MA Edu) was named assistant vice president for student affairs at the University of Maryland. 1980s

Chuck Gloman (’80 Film, ’84 MA Theatre) has been promoted to associate professor and chair of the television/film department at DeSales University. He has published eight textbooks and more than 300 magazine articles. Janet Day (’81 MA Journ) has joined the staff of Newsday as deputy Long Island editor. Prior to moving to Long Island, Janet had her own communications company in Winter Park, Colo. Mike Reuther (’87 MA Journ) has written a mystery ebook, “Return to Dead City.” To order, visit w/football62 online.

lieutenant commander and serves as a Navy public affairs officer.

Judson Burch (’92 Journ) was named coordinating producer for ESPN highlight content after five years as coordinating producer for the 11 p.m. Eastern edition of “SportsCenter” and seven years as producer for “Baseball Tonight.” Valerie Francois (’93 Journ) is director of strategic marketing and communications for The Ranney School, an independent college preparatory school in Tinton Falls, N.J. She is married to Ron Francois (’92 Econ) and has two children. Tracey (Topper) Gonzalez (’93 Journ) has launched a website,, a collection of her travel writing and photography. Kuntal Shah Warwick (’93 Adv) started KSW Consulting in 2009 to develop programs focused on global outreach and intercultural engagement. He previously was an international adviser at University of Pennsylvania and received a masters in International Communication from American University. Randy Ferguson (’94 Com) is director of marketing and public relations for Edgewood Surgical Hospital in Transfer, Pa. He is married to Monica Ferguson ('94 Soc) and they have three children: Laurel, Evan and Raina. Larry Tiscornia (’98 Telcom) was promoted to vice president of broadcasting for Major League Soccer, and is based in New York City.

Good news to share? Engaged? Married? Proud parents? Honored? Promoted?

Whatever the news, just let us know and we’ll spread the word with other College of Communications alumni. Send Alumni Notes to ... 2000s

Erin Tench ('00 Media Studies) was appointed to the board of directors of Meeting Professionals International. Leah Benedict Krull (’03, Adv/PR, ’03 Lib) and husband Mark (’04 Bus) have son Grant Allen, born Sept. 28, 2010. They live in Harrisburg, Pa. Mike Conti (’03 Journ) is assistant news director of WGST/Clear Channel Communications in Atlanta, Ga. Jeanine (Noce) Larson (’04 Brdcst Journ) is a web content coordinator for State Bank & Trust. Kim Trannel (’04 Journ) is health editor at Seventeen magazine.


Patrick Evans (’90 Journ) and his wife Cheryl have a son, Emory Steward. Evans was promoted to

Jennifer Strawser Gish (’99 Journ) is a reporter and columnist at the Albany (N.Y.) Times Union.


Amy L. Rokuson (’05 Adv/PR), an attorney, joined Norris McLaughlin & Marcus PA, a matrimonial law group. She lives in Neptune, N.J.

Alumni Notes Associate Producer Appreciates Opportunities with ESPN Alumnus Matt Rissmiller (above, red shirt) works on location for one of his ESPN assignments.

Some people who work in the professional sports industry spend their time interpreting statistics and making predictions about how teams and athletes will perform in future seasons. Matt Rissmiller (’02 Adv) sees the world of professional athletes in an entirely different light. Rissmiller works as an associate producer on ESPN’s “E:60,” the network’s award winning news magazine show that covers athletes’ off-the-field stories and produces investigative sports features. The position has given Rissmiller the opportunity to work with some of the world’s most high-profile athletes. Some of his recent assignements have allowed him to work with basketball legend Michael Jordan, tennis superstar Maria Sharapova and big wave surfer Makua Rothman. “Working on these stories with people who have been through extraordinary experiences both positive and negative has been an honor,” Rissmiller said. Rissmiller said the “E:60” production crew goes to great lengths to produce stories. First, he and his colleagues typically fly to a location to produce an interview with an athlete. On the day Mike Catalini (’06 Journ) is an online editor at the National Journal. Jen Curry (’06 Film-Video, ’06 Edu) completed the Tri the Wildwoods triathlon. She lives in Washington, D.C.

before the interview, the production crew carefully surveys the site to ensure the facility is acceptable for a high-quality production. On the day “E:60” meets with an athlete, hours are spent assembling the shooting space for an interview that typically lasts no more than 45 minutes. “It never ceases to amaze me how much work goes into just producing an interview,” Rissmiller said. One of Rissmiller’s most memorable projects was producing the story about Jordan’s motorcycle racing team, Michael Jordan Motorsports. When Rissmiller was producing the feature, Michael Jordan Motorsports achieved its first Superbike win at the American Motorcycle Association’s season opener at Daytona International Raceway. Rissmiller and the “E:60” camera crew were present with Jordan in his skybox and captured the moment on film. “The emotion of the win, and most importantly that my camera operators were in perfect position to capture Jordan and his crew’s reactions made it very memorable," Rissmiller said. — Mic hae l Yo ung ( ’1 1 A dv /P R)

Louise Durante (’06 Adv/PR) completed the Tri the Wildoods triathlon. She lives in Conshohocken, Pa. Kim Lucey ('06 Journ) is a reporter at WFSB-TV in Hartford, Conn. Wade Malcolm (’06 Journ) is a


reporter at the News-Journal in Wilmington, Del. Betsy Whitney ('06 Adv/PR) is a digital marketing specialist at Columbia Records in New York. She oversees online operations and marketing campaigns for such stars

Alumni Notes

as John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.

Kelsey Jacobsen (’10 Journ) is a communications associate for Cabin Communications, a health-related public relations and communications firm in Washington Crossing, Pa.

Lauren Becker (’07 Adv) is digital operations associate manager for Allisports, LLC in Burr Ridge, Ill. Jennifer Diefenderfer (’07 PR) married Jason O’Meara on April 30, 2011.

Holly Colbo (’10 Adv/PR) is a communications specialist for General Electric as part of the company’s Communications Leadership Development Program.

Dan Galway (’07 Journ) is a producer for “Halls of Fame,” an Emmy Award-winning interview program hosted by Fran Healy and syndicated on Fox SportsNet, Comcast and Root Sports throughout the country.

Megdalina Grippi (’10 Adv/PR) serves as director of marketing and public relations for Centre LifeLink EMS in State College.

Kim Gunther (’07 Adv/PR) joined MayoSeitz Media as a senior planner/buyer. Melissa Bizzk (’08 Adv) was promoted to maketing and special events associate at Philadelphia Magazine. Evan Cuttic (’08 Telecom) is a creative producer at WPVI-TV in Philadelphia. David Klatt (’08 Journ) is a production coordinator at Comedy Central. Devon Lash (’08 Journ) is a reporter at the Morning Call in Allentown. Amy Wadas (’08 Journ) is a reporter at WTRF-TV in Wheeling, W.Va. Leanne Gushue (’09 Journ) is a producer at Metro Networks in Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

‘Foul’ Foursome

Four alumni played prominent roles with the TV series “Foul Hook’d,” which premiered in April on The Sportsman Channel. The show, by Eladio Productions, was a “docu-comedy series” about four boneheads attempting to produce a lowbudget fishing show as they search for the perfect show host. Alums Tom Caamano (’01 Film-Video) and Patrick Glendening (’01 Film-Video) were the creators of the show. In addition, Pete Nickisher (’00 Film-Video) has served as an actor/adviser for the show and Malaika Ogutu (’10 Media Studies) is the producer. More information about the show may be found at online.


Katherine Lackey (’09 Journ) is an online editor at USA Today. Sarah Nathan (’09 Journ) is a multimedia reporter at the RecordJournal in Meriden, Conn.

Erica Cristo (’10, PR) is public relations and marketing coordinator for B. Robinson Optical & Legacie Accessories in New York. She supervises social media initiatives and coordinates media and client relations.


Peter Jensen (’10 Journ) is a producer for, the website of the National Hockey League. Greg Kincaid (’10 Journ) works in the sports information office at Lehigh University. Kate Redding ('10 Journ) is a writer at WHDH-TV in Boston. Samantha Smink (’10 Journ) is a reporter at WETM-TV in Emira, N.Y. Erin Shields (’10 Journ) is a copy editor for the Centre Daily Times in State College. Rossilynne Skena (’10 Journ) is a reporter at the Valley-News Dispatch in Tarentum, Pa. Lenny Smith (’10 Journ) is the digital content director at KIFI-TV in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Wayne Staats (’10 Journ) is a sports writer for the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle. John Williams (’10 Journ) is the editor of the Yardley News in Yardley, Pa. Adam Reale (’11 Journ) is a sports writer at the Clearfield Progress.

Alumni Notes

CENTER CONVERSATION Alumnus Tom Verducci (left), a senior writer for Sports Illustrated who also works for the MLB Network, talks with Malcolm Moran, the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society and director of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism during a campus visit early in the spring semester. The visit by Verducci (’82 Journ), which included ample time for audience questions, was part of the Curley Center’s “Conversation Series” and attracted nearly 300 people to the HUB-Robeson Center Auditorium. (Photo by Carley Lang)

IN MEMORIAM Bill Engel (’40), the retired director of Penn State’s alumni fund and associate director of University development, died Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010, in Tyrone, Pa. He was 91. As a Penn State undergrad, he helped raise $5,430 for the Nittany Lion shrine, the Class of 1940’s senior gift. He served in the Army Signal Corps in World War II, worked briefly at Juniata College and joined Penn State in 1966. He worked for the University until his retirement in 1984 and was active in many community groups.

Edward Gildea (’52), former editor-in-chief of the Tamaqua (Pa.) Evening Courier died Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011, in Easton, Pa. He was 82. Gildea graduated from Lansford High School, served in the Army and then attended Penn State. With his journalism degree, he worked for a paper in Philadelphia, moved to the Evening Courier and started the Valley Gazette in 1972. He ran that paper until 2005. He created Runner’s Gazette and was an originator of the Switchback Scamper, a race in Jim Thorpe, Pa.

Kay Mills (’63), who worked for several news organizations and wrote five books, died Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011, in Santa Monica, Calif. She was 69. Mills’ career stretched over three decades and included work at the Los Angeles Times, where she was an editorial writer and the first woman on the paper’s editorial board. Her books focused on the civil rights movement and women’s issues, including “A Place in the News: From the Women’s Pages to the Front Page,” which was a history of women in U.S. journalism.


Joe Plasko (’83), who worked for the Tamaqua (Pa.) News for more than 30 years died Tuesday, March 22, 2011. He was 50. He served the paper as bureau chief, reporter, sportswriter, entertainment writer and photographer. Along with his tireless work at the paper, he was active in numerous community groups, including the YMCA, Downtown Tamaqua Inc., Panther Valley Little League and many others. His love of the community and his work earned him the nickname “Mr. Tamaqua.”

Alumni Notes

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Blog, Newswire Provide Regular College Updates A blog and a monthly e-mail update provide alumni and friends with easy access to the latest information about the College of Communications. A link to the blog may be found on the College page at online, and it gets updated several times each week. The brief monthly notes, part of Penn State Newswire and PSUTXT system, provide a paragraph or so of information on a handful of topics. Each bit of news ends with either contact details or a URL where readers can get more information. For Newswire subscriptions visit, Also, please pass along updates to your e-mail with the College of Communications when you can. Individual entries on the blog preview upcoming events or provide description of and reaction to recently completed activities in the College. The Newswire, one of just a handful for individual colleges at Penn State, focuses on Collegerelated activities as well as news about alumni, students, faculty and staff. It also includes important dates and events at Penn State in general. Those range from the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts to athletic events, the start of academic semesters, commencement activities and the timing of finals week.

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OFFICE OF EXTERNAL RELATIONS 301 James Building . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .865-8801 Kevin Musick, Director of Development Jonathan Thurley, Associate Director of Development Janet Klinefelter, Development Assistant Tarynn Herlocher, Administrative Assistant Sue Beals, Administrative Assistant Mike Poorman, Director of Alumni Relations Steve Sampsell, Director of College Relations DEAN’S OFFICE 201 Carnegie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .863-1484 Douglas Anderson, Dean Marie Hardin, Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . .865-3370 ACADEMIC SERVICES 204 Carnegie Building . . . . . . . . . . . . . .865-1503 Jamey Perry, Assistant Dean for Academic Services CAREER PLACEMENT & INTERNSHIP OFFICE 208 Carnegie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .863-4674 Bob Martin, Assistant Dean for Internships and Career Placement MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS 208 Carnegie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .863-6081 Joseph Selden, Assistant Dean for Multicultural Affairs STUDENT MEDIA 101 Innovation Blvd., Suite 213H . . . . . . .865-2802 Thor Wasbotten, Assistant Dean for Student Media and Online Operations WEB SITE

COLLEGE CALENDAR June 29 ........Second Six-Week Summer Session Begins July 13-17 ....Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts Aug. 13 ........Summer Commencement (10 a.m., Bryce Jordan Center) Aug. 22 ........Fall Semester Classes Begin Sept. 22........Donor and Scholarship Recognition Dinner (6 p.m., Penn Stater Hotel) Oct. 11-12 ....Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers, featuring Pulitzer Prize winners Isabel Wilkerson and Paige St. John Nov. 20-26....Thanksgiving Break (no classes) Dec. 9 ..........Fall Semester Classes End Dec. 17 ........Fall Semester Commencement 63

The Communicator College of Communications The Pennsylvania State University 302 James Building University Park, PA 16802


Palmer Chair Lecture

Dan Mead

President and CEO, Verizon Wireless (1975 Bus, 1977 MBA)

4 p.m. / Thursday, Oct. 6 Mead was named a Distinguished Alumni, the highest honor given to a graduate of the University, in 2010.

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