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Message from the Dean


Dear alumni and friends, In April, I returned to the College of Media after serving for nine months as the Interim Dean of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. While my office in Woodburn was literally around the corner from Martin Hall, it felt like a world away. Serving as the dean of another college was a challenging but rewarding experience. I learned a lot about Eberly’s fine academic programs, about the University itself, and about my own capabilities as a leader. I met some wonderful people and developed new professional networks and opportunities for partnering on projects and curricula. But while I was away, the work of the College of Media continued to move forward. Led by Acting Dean Diana Martinelli, our faculty and students demonstrated a high level of engagement and success in the classroom and in the community. This year, the College opened our Media Innovation Center in the new Evansdale Crossing Building. As you’ll see in this issue, the Center is both a modern learning laboratory and a collaboration space that symbolizes the College’s focus on the future. It also expands our footprint on the Evansdale campus. Dean Martinelli steered the College through another successful reaccreditation effort. In May, the ACEJMC Accreditation Council approved reaccreditation for the College’s undergraduate programs for another six years. We are, again, among a small number of journalism and communications programs to receive this important designation. Our Strategic Communications faculty and students launched our Benedum-funded Community Branding Initiative, designed to help disadvantaged communities in West Virginia increase their pride of place and leverage and promote their assets. And our faculty, students and alumni won a number of national awards and accolades. Most prominently, journalism alumna Margie Mason won a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, as part of a team of Associated Press reporters who revealed the practice of modern day slavery in the Southeast Asian fishing industry. I’ve always had a great deal of pride in the College of Media and have been amazed that our relatively small college can boast so many great accomplishments. But my time away has made me even more appreciative of the work we do and the positive impact we make on our students, our state and industry.

“My time away has made me even more appreciative of the work we do and the positive impact we make on our students, our state and industry.”

It’s good to be home.

Maryanne Reed, Dean

ON THE COVER: WVU President E. Gordon Gee poses for a 360° selfie with Mountaineer Mascot Michael Garcia and students and faculty from the WVU Reed College of Media during the open house for the new Media Innovation Center. Photo by David Smith.

ADMINISTRATION E. Gordon Gee President West Virginia University Joyce McConnell Provost Maryanne Reed Dean Diana Martinelli Associate Dean Tricia Petty Assistant Dean for Student and Enrollment Services



02 The Future is Now

19 Branding West Virginia

Silicon Valley meets WVU in the College of Media’s new Media Innovation Center

Steve Urbanski Director of Graduate Studies Chad Mezera Director of Online Programs

08 Message From a Bottle 10 Disrupting the Narrative

EDITORIAL STAFF Christa Currey Executive Editor Dana Coester Creative Director Media Innovation Center Kathy DeWeese Director, UR−University Content Kayla Kuntz Managing Editor Jillian Clemente James Gooch Allyson Kennedy Brianna Robinson Contributing Writers


DESIGN Little Fish Design Company

ADDRESS WVU Reed College of Media P.O. Box 6010 Morgantown, WV 26506-6010 CHANGE OF ADDRESS WVU Foundation P.O. Box 1650 Morgantown, WV 26507-1650 Fax: 304-293-4001 Email: stay_connected

Telling stories in 360° and 3-D video

12 Ahead of the Curve Award-winning journalist Andrews brings innovative talents to College

14 ‘Making’ the Future

24 Beyond the Hype and Headlines The 2016 Presidential Elections

26 fractured spaces: stories of resistance and resilience

30 An Officer and A Communicator 31 Guilty Until Proven Innocent Journalism students team with WVU Innocence Project

Women’s Makeathon explores the Internet of Things

18 Communicating the Data College launches new Data Marketing Communications (DMC) master’s program

DEPARTMENTS 32 34 35 36 37 40 42 44 46 48

Giving Back Outstanding Alumni In Memoriam Student Profile Around the College Faculty News Student Awards Class Notes Donors and Scholars The Last Word

Snapshot Students work in the Studio B Viewing Area of the new WVU Reed College of Media Innovation Center at Evansdale Crossing. Photo by David Smith.


The new 10,000 square foot Media Innovation Center, located in the newly built Evansdale Crossing Building, provides both a technology sandbox for media students and faculty and a gathering place to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration and creative problem solving for journalism and the media industry. “Too often, people think Silicon Valley or urban centers are where it’s at,” said Dana Coester, creative director for the Media Innovation Center. “But we know that small, creative communities like Morgantown are ideal beds for original innovation.” The Center also expands the footprint of the College of Media, located in historic Martin Hall downtown, to the heart of the modern and growing Evansdale campus. It is strategically located to allow for greater interaction with campus partners in the natural sciences, creative arts and computer sciences. In addition to serving as an incubator for industry, the Center is also being used to bring people together across campus and the community to solve problems affecting the state and region, such as economic development and the environment. For example, the College recently hosted a workshop on how to use DIY water sensors to measure and report on water quality. Dana Coester, creative director for the Media Innovation Center

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“Too often, people think Silicon Valley or urban centers are where it’s at. But we know that small, creative communities like Morgantown are ideal beds for original innovation.”



Silicon Valley meets WVU in the College of Media’s new Media Innovation Center.

WVU President Gordon Gee experiences the Fractured Tour virtual reality project by Dr. Joel Beeson (right) in the AR/VR studio in the Media Innovation Center.


@kaitlynlopez96 The media innovation center at Evansdale Crossing is the coolest thing ever. @wvumediacollege provides students with so many opportunities!


Inspired by the design of Google’s headquarters and other technology companies, the Center houses a mix of high-tech learning labs and low-tech collaboration spaces. With its exposed and high ceilings, garage doors and mixed materials of glass, metal, brick and wood, the space has an urban, industrial feel. It is also highly flexible and changeable, allowing it to be shaped to the needs of its users, whether it be students, faculty or industry partners.

BLUEsKYROOM Our signature meeting space features floor-to-ceiling glass walls with a sky backdrop for brainstorming, skype sessions and meet-ups.

@JamesKelleher_ Views from the @WVUMediaInno on this productive Saturday.

This front-door concept space helps convey to users that a blue-sky, no-boundary attitude is welcome here.


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This hub functions as an IMC digital agency for capstone classes and projects. It also houses the College’s Community Branding Initiative in support of economic development.


Clad in brick and featuring glass “garage” doors, the Hubs establish themselves as independent buildings within the Center.

DigitalstorytellingHub This space serves as command central for the College’s journalism capstones, houses our Knight-funded Innovator-in-Residence program and hosts journalism experiments with new technology.


This space hosts Codelab (see page 7) and provides docking space with a view for students working in computer programming, game design app development, as well as hosting weekly meetings for the local Google Developer group.

@steveven27 So @WVUMediaInno is pretty awesome. A major change for me is coming soon. Like, literally changing my major.

This space hosts a maker journalism class, a computer gaming class, and our experiments with sensors, 3-D printing and drone technology.

This open corridor features flexible seating, docking for laptops, rolling white boards and a multiscreen conferencing zone.

This space will serve as the central venue for major events such as hackathons and industry partner ideation sessions. The open area will accommodate workshops, community training, and club meetings and events.

@holleeban The amount of excitement I’m feeling over the new #WVUMediaInno Center is unspeakable. Can’t wait to do awesome stuff here.

ThINKTANK With an adjacent observation room and recording studio, students, faculty and industry partners can use this space to conduct professional focus groups, media effects research, and consumer and user behavior testing.





By the Numbers

The Center has multiple functions, including teaching, research and outreach. It is used to host capstone courses, hands-on workshops and media projects that experiment with new storytelling technologies, such as 360° video, Arduinos and virtual and augmented reality. Dean Reed says the new Center is already changing the College’s learning culture. “Students seem more engrossed in what they’re learning – more creative and open to taking risks. They come to class early and stay late.”

Activities and metrics from January - May 2016

16 classes

1,000 +


estimated event participants

475 people

20+ tours

in the Center each week (estimated)

with prospective students and families

32 days

8 videos

of events

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Projects [ ] [



Digital First Publication

Knight-Funded Innovators-in-Residence

The College is partnering with West Virginia Public Broadcasting, The Daily Yonder of the Center for Rural Strategies and News Deeply to create an experimental news outlet to tell the political, economic and human stories of what it means to be the epicenter of a post-coal economy in Appalachia. This collaborative, digital-first enterprise will feature experts, voices and talent in our own communities, as well as reporters and leaders around the world, to tell diverse, solutions-driven stories, that matter to Appalachia and to the nation. The Digital First Publications efforts are led by Ogden Professor of Media Innovation Nancy Andrews, and the project engages faculty and students across the curriculum in experimental journalism, audience delivery and monetization for media outlets.

This program brings in media professionals who are leading experimentation and change in their organizations to co-teach experimental courses, exposing students to emerging technology and creating new practices for the industry. Current projects include sensor journalism with John Keefe of WNYC and David Mistich of WVPBS and experiments in 360° reporting with Phoebe Connelly of The Washington Post and Danese Kenon of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Hack the Gender Gap


This ongoing effort is part of the Media Innovation Center’s mission to close the gender gap in media technology leadership. The College of Media is partnering with PBSMediaShift to host and sponsor a series of hackathons designed to empower women to overcome barriers in the technology.



Community Branding Initiative


This effort pairs faculty and students directly with West Virginia communities to work together to develop a placebased brand identity. Each immersive project results in a creative strategy, an integrated marketing communications campaign and a community branding toolkit. The project is in collaboration with the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the West Virginia Community Development Hub.


@_mamma_miaaa Can’t wait to work @WVUMediaInno. a

The Social Justice Project


This partnership with Morgan State University bridges different sides of the nation’s racial and geographic divides. Through immersive reporting projects, students from both journalism programs collaboratively experiment with emerging technology to bring new tools and knowledge-based reporting to the challenges of covering issues of race, class and injustice.

@RyanWMcNamara Could hang out at the @WVUMediaInno all day if I had the time. So many inspiring projects and vibes.

Social Media 147,000 Twitter impressions

17,828 Facebook total reach @juliecryser I just hung out at the Evansdale Connector building #WVUMediaInno. Awesome space, amazing people. This is the definition of cutting edge.




This is a program and for-credit course in partnership with WVU’s LaunchLab that teaches students and community members coding fundamentals as well as how to develop mobile applications for Android and Apple devices. As part of our community-based collaborations, this effort can help make technology training available to distressed Appalachian communities in economic transition.




Neuroscience and Media



This is an experimental new class introducing journalism, computer science, biotech and physics students to new research in computer-brain interface. Students are working with faculty to conduct experiments and problem solve around hardware, software, user interface and storytelling models, as well as to confront the privacy and ethics issues in this growing field.


AR/VR Storylab


Our AR/VR StoryLab features the work of a network of journalists, scientists, programmers, artists and scholars exploring new forms of immersive storytelling such as virtual reality, 3-D imaging and 360° narrative, as well as experiments in augmented reality, mixed reality and multisensory storytelling.

Interactive Media


@MrJaredLathrop I had such a fun time touring the @WVUMediaInno today. I’m so proud to be an alum of @wvumediacollege.

The Interactive Media minor brings together students from the Reed College of Media and the School of Art and Design in the College of Creative Arts, to explore the visual and interactive aspect of our modern information landscape. Students take a series of classes from both disciplines where they learn about visual literacy, elementary coding, interactivity and electronic narrative. The minor culminates in a collaborative, semesterlong project that demonstrates how individual student’s talents can link together to create an effective and dynamic interactive work.

@eightasterisk I’m in love @WVUMediaInno. I think the feeling is mutual.


Faculty and students are part of the Developer Edition Hololens community, which features a diverse group of developers innovating in holographic computing. Hololens represents an early foray into “mixed reality,” which integrates augmented and virtual reality in new applications for media, gaming, education, medicine and industry.



Innovator-in-Residence Program FALL 2015

Message From A Bottle

A jumble of cables, a battery and a circuit board stuffed inside a Gatorade bottle — it could almost

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be mistaken for trash.


Jillian Clemente dips a GoPro underwater to check the status of a Riffle deployed in the Monongahela River.

However, students at the WVU Reed College of Media are using this inexpensive, open-source device known as a Riffle (Remote Independent Friendly Field-Logger Electronics) to gather independent data and increase public awareness of water contamination issues. During the fall 2015 semester, the College launched StreamLab — a collaborative reporting project led by Knight-Funded Innovators-InResidence John Keefe, the data news editor at WNYC Public Radio, and Dave Mistich, the digital editor for West Virginia Public Broadcasting. The project was funded by a 2015 Online News Association (ONA) “Hack the Curriculum” grant. Students were engaged in the project through the College’s Experimental Journalism course, co-taught by faculty on the ground, including Teaching Assistant Professor Emily Corio and Associate Professor John Temple. As part of the course, students built the Riffles and deployed them at six strategic locations along the Monongahela River in Morgantown. They used the sensors to measure differences in water quality above and below a new fracking site to determine changes in conductivity and temperature, which can be indicators of pollution.

Media innovators lead experimental projects that push the boundaries of journalism, technology and audience engagement.


Innovator-in-Residence John Keefe of WNYC and student Jillian Clemente repair a Riffle during class in Martin Hall.


A pioneer in sensor journalism and data reporting, Keefe “Our hope is to raise awareness about water quality says the emergence of DIY devices has made it much easier for issues in West Virginia,” said strategic communications journalists and citizens to senior Birdie Hawkins, generate their own data. And who is a double major in he says the students in the course recreation, parks and learned about journalism, tourism resources. “We science, and so much more. think community “The students know more participation is key to about what is happening in achieving that goal.” the water around Morgantown because of this class,” The results said Keefe. “These are not Throughout the semester, scientists. These are journalists the students posted short understanding their world.” stories, industry-related “StreamLab has taught articles, photos and updates me there are many ways to on the project website, think about a story,” said graduate student Colleen Students worked with a A student looks closely at a Riffle during class in Martin Hall. After Good. “If you think big and water expert to analyze the using Gatorade bottles as waterproof housing for the sensors, with an open mind, you might data they collected from the they deployed them in the Monongahela River in Morgantown. create something different, Riffles. They saw similar informative, something that changes in conductivity across helps push journalism in a new, more collaborative direction.” six different sensors — including several temperature Another strong focus of the project was citizen spikes. However, they were unable to determine what engagement. The students supplemented their data caused the changes. reporting by soliciting residents’ real-time observations The College plans to expand the project by working through questionnaires, photos and tweets. They also placed with West Virginia Public Broadcasting to do a state-wide signs along the Mon River Rail-Trails near the sensors. deployment of water sensors.


Innovator-in-Residence Program Doing Sensor Journalism: The Workshop As a follow-up to the fall 2015 sensor journalism project with Innovators-in-Residence John Keefe of WNYC and Dave Mistich from West Virginia Public Broadcasting, the College hosted a Water Sensor workshop in April to give journalists hands-on experience with DIY sensors. Presenters included Don Blair, a research affiliate at MIT Media Lab; Jillian Clemente, a sophomore journalism and wildlife and fisheries major; Professor Jason Hubbart, director of the WVU Institute for Water Security and Science; Colleen Good and Shishira Sreenivas, journalism graduate students; and Nicolas Zegre, professor of forest hydrology. The one-day workshop, sponsored by the Online News Association and The Knight Foundation, included hands-on sessions where participants could learn about the components of a sensor, build their own sensor and discuss opportunities to incorporate sensor journalism into their work.


Disrupting the Narrative

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Telling stories with 360° and 3-D Video


STUDENTS AT THE WVU REED COLLEGE OF MEDIA Connelly, executive producer of video at The Washington ARE EXPLORING NEW FORMS OF TECHNOLOGY TO Post, and Kenon, assistant managing editor of visuals at ENHANCE THEIR STORYTELLING. the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, worked with students in Led by Knight-funded person and via Skype. PHOTO: DAVID SMITH Innovators-in-Residence The resulting project, Phoebe Connelly and Danese Kenon, students showcases the diversity in the spring experimental of undergraduate housing journalism class are at WVU. using 3-D and 360° Journalism senior Kassy photography to give Taylor used a Matterport viewers an immersive, camera for her story. She interactive experience. says the technology allows Students used a viewers to explore every variety of cameras, tools inch of a space from their and headsets, such as computer or mobile device. Matterport, Ricoh Theta, “With a Matterport Kodak PixPro SP360 and camera, you can take your Go-Pro 360° Hero rig. story to the next level,” Innovator-in-Residence Danese Kenon works with a team of students during a hands-on 360° video workshop at the Media Innovation Center. “Telling stories in said Taylor. “As a journalist, 360 allows us to bring you can actually create a readers to the center of an sense of ‘being there’ for unfolding story — but it also brings new challenges when the viewer. That’s something you can’t do with a regular constructing a narrative,” said Connelly. “We’re sorting out video camera.” these issues as a profession, and this class offers students Taylor says she is excited about discovering new ways the chance to work through the same questions journalists to connect with audiences through VR and 360°. She says are dealing with in the field right now.” working with Connelly and Kenon has been an inspiration.

Visualizing the Air We Breathe


As part of the “Sensing the Environment” workshop, the College of Media unveiled its first photo exhibit to be showcased at the Media Innovation Center. “In the Air: Visualizing What We Breathe,” is a photo essay by photographers Brian Cohen, Scott Goldsmith, Lynn Johnson and Annie O’Neill that illustrates the environmental, social and economic effects of air quality in Western Pennsylvania. Funded by the Heinz Endowments, the exhibit is one of the first projects of The Documentary Works, a group of photographers focusing on social and environmental justice. Photos include images of survivors from one of the worst air pollution disasters in the nation’s history — the Donora inversion of 1948 in which 20 people died and more than 7,000 were sickened, the impact of coal-fired power plants on air quality in the communities of Cheswick and Springdale, and photos of concerned residents and their reactions to pollution. O’Neill and Johnson attended the opening and discussed the exhibit with workshop participants. O’Neill, who took the photos of the Donora inversion, says the disaster was a wakeup call. “A lot of people feel this was a catastrophe that woke up the nation and helped start the EPA,” said O’Neill. “Because of its history, I felt like it was important to have this story to contribute to the project.” Excerpts from essays by Reid Frazier accompany the images to expand on the social, environmental and economic context seen in the visual work. The exhibit is free and open to the public until the beginning of August.

“Moving away from traditional storytelling and creating a new culture of innovation at WVU and everywhere else is very important. Coming out of this class I can continue that change.” Kassy Taylor, Journalism student


Phoebe Connelly of the Washington Post and journalism students Ling Tao and Matthew Combs shoot 360° video in the Student Recreation Center.

“I’ve had my mind opened to different ways of engaging people and will carry that into graduate school and my professional career,” said Taylor. “Moving away from traditional storytelling and creating a new culture of innovation at WVU and everywhere else is very important. Coming out of this class I can continue that change.” A follow-up workshop with regional media is planned for August at the Media Innovation Center. Connelly and Kenon will work with reporters from across the state to show them how to use 360° video to enhance their storytelling and engage their audiences.


Ahead of the Curve Award-winning journalist Andrews brings innovative talents to College

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Whether she’s teaching students to use cutting-edge 3-D imagery or challenging them to be Wikipedians, Professor Nancy Andrews never misses an opportunity to bring innovation to the classroom.


Ogden Newspapers Visiting Professor in Media Innovation Nancy Andrews uses a wireless EEG during a Neuroscience and Media class.

Andrews, a nationally acclaimed, award-winning journalist, “An innovative classroom is one where the professors are joined the College of Media last fall as the Ogden learning and discovering along with the students-that is the Newspapers Visiting Professor in Media Innovation. innovation in teaching,” said Andrews. “If you wait until you Since coming to the College, Andrews has spearheaded are an expert, you will be several years behind the curve.” several major projects. Next fall, Andrews plans to experiment with storytelling Last fall, as part of her introduction to photojournalism and publishing. She hopes to create a space for discussion course, students created or improved more than a dozen about journalism and how the College can affect change and Wikipedia pages in an effort to reduce gender and minority improve not only West Virginia, but Appalachia as a whole. content gaps on the popular reference website. And “The most successful people are the ones who continue in the spring, Andrews to experiment and evolve,” secured a partnership with said Andrews. “We need Mountain View, California, a system that rewards tech company Matterport adapting to change. Our to make immersive 3-D journalistic core values and VR storytelling a such as accuracy and more accessible part of fairness still apply but we the College’s journalism need to approach them in curriculum. The unique different ways using new agreement marked the technology.” first time Matterport During her nine years at has collaborated with a the Free Press, Andrews university on a virtual led her staff to earn four reality project. national Emmy Awards and Nancy Andrews demonstrates the Matterport 3-D camera Dean Maryanne Reed two national Edward R. to students in Assistant Professor Julia Fraustino’s strategic says Andrews is a true asset Murrow Awards. communications capstone course. to the College. Before joining the Free “Nancy Andrews is a bridge between traditional Press staff, Andrews spent 10 years at The Washington journalism and modern media,” said Reed. “She’s a highly Post as a staff photographer. During that time, she was respected and talented journalist in her own right, but also named White House Photographer of the Year in 1998 has been leading change in newsrooms throughout her and also named Newspaper Photographer of the Year by career. She is the perfect person to help the College build Pictures of the Year International from the University of its reputation as a leader in modern media education.” Missouri and National Press Photographers Association in Before coming to Morgantown, Andrews was chief 1997. of innovation at the Detroit Free Press where she led Andrews is also the author of two books, “Family: A innovation in news, products and new models for Portrait of Gay & Lesbian America,” and “Partial View: An journalism and revenue. Alzheimer’s Journal” with Dr. Cary Smith Henderson. Andrews says transitioning from the newsroom to the classroom has been an adjustment, but she enjoys working with students and faculty.

College partners with Matterport RE EDCOLLEG EOFME DI A.W VU. EDU


The College is partnering with Mountain View, California, tech company Matterport to make immersive 3-D and Virtual Reality (VR) storytelling a more accessible part of the College’s journalism curriculum and to experiment with new forms of storytelling. The specialized cameras, which are on loan to the College through fall 2016, enable students to scan and photograph spaces to automatically create a threedimensional representation. Viewers can then “walk” through the space on their computers, mobile devices or VR headsets. The unique agreement marks the first time Matterport has collaborated with a University on a virtual reality project. Students who use the cameras serve as beta testers and provide feedback on camera use, tools and possible enhancements.


FUTURE Making the

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Women + the Internet of Things



Maker Creator Entrepreneur Boss

The WVU Reed College of Media hopes to empower young women to identify with these roles and become leaders in the media and technology industries.


n April 1, the College of Media hosted “Hack the Gender Gap: A Women’s IoT Makeathon” at the Media Innovation Center. More than 50 college women from WVU, Morgan State University, Ohio University, Northwestern, the University of Missouri, Potomac State and Penn State attended the weekend-long event. The Makeathon was the third and final event in the “Hack the Gender Gap” series created by the College of Media in partnership with MediaShift. Previous Hackathons focused on wearable technology and virtual reality. RE EDCOLLEG EOFME DI A.W VU. EDU

Antoinette Yelenic, Trista Thurston, Eunice Lee, Rebekah Kambara and Tanya Ballard-Brown put the finishing touches on their presentation.


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Christine Sunu, right, of Buzzfeed, demonstrates soldering to University of Missouri students Sarah Darby, left, and Humera Lodhi during a session at the Makeathon.


Friday evening kicked off with a technology Meet-andGreet where participants had the opportunity to work with 3-D printers, try their hand at soldering, and experiment with Arduino, an open source electronic platform based on easy to use hardware. Early the next morning, participants broke into teams based on the object they were given at registration. They were presented with a challenge to envision a start-up use of the Internet of Things (IoT) that can deliver a singular idea, product or service that solves a problem relevant to the journalism and media industry. IoT is a network of physical devices embedded with software and sensors that enables them to collect and exchange data. Creative Director for the College’s Media Innovation Center Dana Coester says the potential of IoT is yet to be realized and is expected to grow in the next three years. “IoT has been dubbed the next industrial revolution and we have designed this ‘Hack the Gender Gap’ series to ensure that young women of media will be leading the way.” After listening to prominent female leaders in media and technology for inspiration, teams had 30 hours to develop their big idea. “Technology isn’t necessarily my forte,” said strategic communications senior Toni Yelenic. “Coming into this not knowing what to expect kind of freaked me, but I thought ‘I’m just going get out of my comfort zone and do it.’” On Sunday, teams presented to a panel of judges. Concepts included a networking app for young professional women, The “FeelGoodie Hoodie,” a hoodie that gives hugs during stressful times, and “The Positivity Board,” a frame-like device that syncs positive messages, images and videos from social media. The winning idea was “CARDful,” an app designed to help college students and recent graduates manage their money. “CARDful’s” color-coded interface pairs with a mobile app to make consumers aware of when, how and what they are spending. “We wanted to create something that fits into consumer’s everyday lives. We didn’t want to make people change their habits,” said Trista Thurston. “If the

idea works and you don’t have to think about it, that’s magical.” The winning team included: Trista Thurston from Ohio University, Toni Yelenic from WVU, Rebekah Kambara from WVU and Eunice Lee from Northwestern University. Tanya Ballard Brown, an editor for, was the team facilitator. Following the Makeathon, participants and mentors took to Twitter to express excitement about the experience and their newfound skills.

“My heart is so full after the Makeathon. I feel empowered and confident—like I have the power to be a creator of whatever I dream of.” Meg Fair, Ohio University student

“Brilliant teams and brilliant women today at the #GenderGap #Makeathon at WVU! Very inspired by all of you.” Christine Sunu, BuzzFeed

“Had such a great time and learned so much participating in the Makeathon this weekend.” Elizabeth Frattarole, West Virginia University student

MAKEATHON SPEAKERS AND MENTORS Umbreen Bhatti “Human-Centered Design”

Christine Sunu “The Internet of Things Landscape”

Bhatti works at the intersections of law, media and design and provides human-centered design coaching and strategy. Bhatti fell in love with design as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford. Previously, she practiced civil rights law at the ACLU of Delaware and the Disability Rights Legal Center. She also produces and hosts Kaleidoscope, a podcast that explores how people engage with Islam.

Sunu is the GE Fellow in BuzzFeed’s Open Lab for Journalism, Technology, and the Arts, where she builds internet connected plush toys and examines the interaction between technology and emotion. She writes widely about human connection, health and technology. She was an integral part of the team at Particle, the software and hardware platform for IoT, and has worked at Yale Medical School and Children’s Hospital in Boston.

Gina Dahlia

Tiffany Shackelford

“Presenting Your Idea” Dahlia is a teaching associate professor in the College and Journalism program chair. She is also an award-winning documentarian and former television news anchor. Dahlia quickly understood the “power of effective public speaking” when she taught her first class at WVU in 2001. Dahlia found herself on the public speaking circuit once again in 2012, after receiving the WVU Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching. She harnessed the power of “Ted Talks” in her public speaking engagements focused on contagious optimism and the power of positive thinking.

“Marketing and Your Business Plan” Shackelford is the executive director of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN), where she promotes and supports the alternative news media industry. She is the founder and co-organizer of the Washington, D.C.-area Online News Association group, which has more than 1,500 members. She has also worked at Capitolbeat,, the Democratic Leadership Council and Progressive Policy Institute and has consulted for multiple media organizations.


about the Makeathon at


The winning team: Rebekah Kambara, Trista Thurston, Antoinette Yelenic and mentor Tanya Ballard-Brown of NPR. (Team member Eunice Lee had to leave early to catch her flight.)


Communicating the Data College launches new Data Marketing Communications (DMC) master’s program TECHNOLOGY HAS MADE COLLECTING DATA EASIER AND MORE CONVENIENT THAN EVER, but unlocking the data and using it to communicate to and influence an audience can be challenging without the right skills. In January, the WVU Reed College of Media launched a new online master’s degree program in Data Marketing Communications (DMC). The program addresses a critical industry need for communicators who understand how to use data to drive strategic messaging and marketing communications campaigns. The innovative curriculum blends the art and science of communications and will give students the practical skills they need to understand the relationship between quantitative data and the decisions informed by it. “The DMC program is unique because it focuses specifically on the impact data has on marketing communications,” said Chad Mezera, director of online programs for the WVU Reed College of Media. “This innovative program will graduate communicators who can give their organizations a clear advantage over others by leveraging vast amounts of information and gleaning key insights from data.”

Founding Partner and Senior Vice President of Strategic Solutions at Diamond Marketing Solutions Cyndi Greenglass will teach the DMC introductory course. Greenglass, who has more than 20 years of marketing experience, says the DMC program at WVU is currently the only master’s degree of its kind, and it will give marketing communications professionals the valuable knowledge they need to succeed in the industry. “Graduates of this degree will stand out in the marketing field as not only being able to understand the data and what it means, but will also know how to use it effectively for better decision-making. As marketing is becoming more and more quantifiable and measurable, graduates will have the credentials and the confidence to sit at the strategy table and prove their worth.” The 33-credit hour program is designed to be completed in 16 months and builds on the award-winning online model adopted by its sister program — Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC). Program enrollment began in March and will continue on a rolling basis. The first group of cohorts will begin in the fall.

“As marketing is becoming more and more quantifiable and measurable, graduates will have the credentials and the confidence to sit at the strategy table and prove their worth.” Cyndi Greenglass, Diamond Marketing Solutions

Program Overview

1 Capstone Course 1 Elective Course


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For more information, visit:

1 Prerequisite Course 8 Core Courses 1 Quantitative Course and 1 Strategy Course from each of the following: • Audience Block • Data Block • Platforms Block • Assessment Block

Branding Students and faculty at the WVU Reed College of Media are expanding upon President Gee’s aspirations to help 1.8 million West Virginians live a better life. RE EDCOLLEG EOFME DI A.W VU. EDU

Through the College’s Community Branding Initiative, led by Associate Professor Rita Colistra, students in three strategic communications capstone classes worked together with rural West Virginia communities to develop customized identities.


minds across disciplines. The communities that were selected for the project were winners of the Turn This Town Around contest, an effort focused on revitalizing towns throughout the state through facilitated projects and community-development planning. To help with funding, the College was awarded a $130,000 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.


Led by Assistant Professor Julia Daisy Fraustino

Whitesville Led by Assistant Professor Geah Pressgrove


Led by Associate Professor Rita Colistra - Project Director

Follow the journey! Brand Journey @brandjrny @brandjrny

Faculty Spotlight

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Julia Daisy Fraustino


Assistant Professor Julia Daisy Fraustino joined the College of Media in August 2015 and teaches in the strategic communications program. Before coming to WVU, Fraustino taught at the University of Maryland. In addition, she spent several years working in strategic communications for profit, nonprofit and government clients. Her work has been published in Communication Research, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Public Relations Review, Journal of Public Relations Education and Computers in Human Behavior. As a research affiliate at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism

and Responses to Terrorism (START), a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence, Fraustino has worked on research grants and contracts totaling more than $1 million. An award-winning teacher and scholar, Fraustino has earned top research paper awards from AEJMC, ICA and NCA. In August 2015, she received the Promising Professor Award from the AEJMC Mass Communication and Society Division. She has also won awards from the AEJMC Public Relations Division for her research on experiential-learning. As a graduate student, Fraustino received the Charles Richardson Award for the most outstanding Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland. Fraustino earned a B.A. with a double major in public relations and philosophy from the University of Scranton, an M.A. in media studies with a concentration in strategic communications from Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. in communications with an emphasis in public relations from the University of Maryland.


THE INITIATIVE CONSISTS OF THREE PILOT COMMUNITIES: MATEWAN, GRAFTON AND WHITESVILLE. Led by strategic communications faculty, capstone students were challenged to envision a new brand for each town by using integrated marketing communications campaigns and community branding tool-kits. The teams sought advice from professional collaborators and worked with other bright

Beginning fall 2015, ten strategic communications students in Associate Professor Rita Colistra’s capstone class launched the Matewan Community Branding Initiative. The team worked with a community branding committee to create a three-phase branding plan to position Matewan as a historical and adventure travel destination. Brand Challenge The site of the Hatfield-McCoy feud and historic Mine Wars, Matewan is a key player in Appalachian and American history with untapped potential as a historical and adventure tourist destination. However, a struggling economy, lack of web presence and brand strategy pose an obstacle.

Solution After conducting surveys and focus groups with stakeholders and community members, as well as competitor analysis and digital analytics, students developed a three-phase plan. Their strategy included an increased online presence, a new brand image, enhanced media awareness and increased foot traffic.


Check it out!


New website 360° tour of Matewan New logo and slogan Increased social media engagement by 1,300%+ Six media hits for nearly 450,000 impressions Targeted ad buys Branded merchandise and promotional materials Social media training workshops Visitor itineraries Rack card design and placement at WV travel centers


In spring 2016, 22 students in Assistant Professor Geah Pressgrove’s capstone class launched the Whitesville Community Branding Initiative. The team worked with community partners to develop a strategic branding campaign to revitalize the once booming coal town. According to the 2015 Census, Whitesville is currently home to approximately 500 residents.

Brand Challenge Incorporated in the 1930s, Whitesville, West Virginia, is faced with a shortage of jobs and lack of commerce due to the declining coal industry.

Solution After conducting focus groups, surveys and talking to community leaders, the students created a community branding center in conjunction with the town’s existing economic agencies. Their goals were to promote the town’s history, recreational and educational tourism, as well as promote community pride and increase resident engagement.


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New website Templates for email campaigns New logo New slogan Promotional materials Media placement Hosted community events


Check it out!

“I have never been this passionate about a project during my entire college career. Thinking about all the ups and downs during brand Whitesville, it has shown me how much I wanted to light up this town and beautify it from the inside out. I was upset when certain things didn’t go my team’s way, which is wonderful because normally during any other school project I would just brush it off, but not this time. This time I was left asking so many questions.” Gabrielle Russillo, strategic communications senior




Check it out!

In spring 2016, 25 students led by Dr. Julia Daisy Fraustino brought the Community Branding Initiative to Grafton, West Virginia. With a variety of input, the students created a strategic branding plan to expand tourism and economic development by positioning Grafton as a business, tourism and residential destination featuring outdoor recreation, history and the arts. The plan has transitioned to the community’s hands under the leadership of the civic group All Aboard Grafton.

Brand Challenge “The people of Grafton are some of the most down-to-earth, uplifting people I’ve ever met. We are so lucky to have the opportunity to assist them in revitalizing a place that they are so proud to call home. It is awesome to know that we are making a real impact, and I think I can speak for all of Fraustino 459 when I say we have fallen a little bit in love with Grafton.” Toni Yelenic, strategic communications senior

Once a booming railroad community as a junction point for the B&O Railroad, Grafton’s economy declined with the decline of the rail industry. Despite Grafton’s potential, a struggling economy, lack of awareness about Grafton’s offerings, and absence of a cohesive web presence and brand strategy are challenges to resident recruitment and retention, tourism and economic development.

Solution After conducting surveys and focus groups with stakeholders and community members, students developed a strategic branding plan. Their strategy included a new brand identity; development of a cohesive web presence; media outreach; increased youth engagement; and enhanced attendance at community events.

New slogan New logo New website with updated content, interactive map, and community calendar New social media platforms and Grafton Snapchat geofilter High school internship program 360° tour of two-floor Mother’s Day Shrine Branded merchandise Media placements Other promotional materials





Hype andHeadlines The 2016 Presidential Elections

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During the 2016 Presidential election, Americans have been asked if they wanted to #feelthebern, #StandWithHer or #MakeAmericaGreatAgain. Trendy hashtags and sensational headlines have dominated the race for the White House, but last fall, the WVU Reed College of Media attempted to go “Beyond the Hype and Headlines” to address the important issues and ideas that are at stake.


In November, the College co-sponsored a panel discussion with WVU’s Festival of Ideas that explored voting trends, how the media influences politics, and reasons for the rising popularity of “outsiders” Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Panelists included top Washington journalists Michael Tomasky (BSJ, 1982), special correspondent for The Daily Beast; Jamelle Bouie, chief political correspondent for Slate Magazine; Ezra Klein, founder, and editor and chief of; Paige Lavender (BSJ, 2011), senior politics editor at The Huffington Post; and Mercedes Schlapp, political commentator, blogger and former director of specialty media for President George W. Bush. Moderator Mike Tomasky said the 2016 presidential election is more important than others in recent history. “The results of this election will determine the political direction of the country for years to come,” said Tomasky. “And I think it will determine whether we stay in what some call the ‘Reagan Era’ or whether we move on to an era yet to be named.”


Michael Tomasky

Jamelle Bouie

Ezra Klein

Paige Lavender

Mercedes Schlapp

The Daily Beast

Slate Magazine


The Huffington Post


want the government to play in their lives, with Democrats supporting a strong central government, and Republicans, a reduction in government programs and spending. She also said that traditional media has played a less important role in these campaigns, particularly with nontraditional candidates, such as Bernie Sanders. “I think the importance of what Sanders has taught us is running an organic social media campaign,” said Schlapp. “He has been effective in bringing in the small donors to support him in a social movement.” Despite Sanders impressive showing during the primaries, Klein predicted it would not be enough to win the Democratic nomination. “Sanders isn’t going to win the Democratic nomination because he’s not running to win it,” said Klein. “He’s running as a way to be heard. I’m not saying that he doesn’t want to win but he’s not willing to win unless it’s on his terms.” But in the end, the conversation focused on the phenomenon that is Donald Trump. Ezra Klein said what journalists have learned from covering this race is that they really don’t know anything about the future. “All of us [in the media] who talk and opine about politics should do so with a fair dose of humility.”

Watch the video of the panel at


Lavender spoke to young voters about their importance to the outcome of the race. “I hope that you understand how important it is to read about politics, to become involved and to figure out what issues are important to you — not only now — but 20 years down the road,” said Lavender. “This election is really going to shape the future of our country.” At the time of the panel, before the primaries, there were 12 viable candidates for the GOP nomination. But the discussion centered on the (then) top three candidates at the time — Rubio, Carson and Trump. The elephant in the room was Trump and his popularity among voters. “Support for Trump is not for ‘Trump’ as a person,” said Bouie. “Many people like his persona because he is very entertaining. However, what is driving the Trump phenomena is a real sense of insecurity from a lot of Americans.” Lavender agreed that Trump’s persona has played a role in his popularity, in addition to his candor. “Trump is at the very least saying, I can identify the people that are harming your livelihood. I will defend you. I will stand up for you,” said Lavender. “It’s refreshing for some people to see this businessman being assertive, commanding and saying he’s going to get stuff done — especially when people in Washington aren’t getting much done.” Schlapp told the audience that Americans need to decide how much of a role they


stories of resistance and resilience

In the midst of war, two young girls are dancing together happily in the safety of their home, the colorful silk of their dresses filtered by sunlight coming from a nearby window, a moment of peace frozen in time.

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For the past 20 years, Assistant Professor and Shott Chair of Journalism Lois Raimondo has photographed countries at conflict. Spending time in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tibet, Raimondo captured the everyday life of the people who live there. Her work has appeared in many international publications, including The New York Times, National Geographic, Newsweek and TIME. Her front-line reporting from the war in Afghanistan was recognized with the Edward Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting from Georgetown University.


The Safe House (Pakistan) Sumeria, right, whirls with Saira, left, on a hot afternoon in the Dar-ul-Aman. Sumeria, sold into marriage at the age of nine, was arrested for prostitution at age 12. She has formed close bonds with women inside the shelter. She considers Saira, who is just eight years old, to be her daughter.



Afghanistan Afghan fighters advance across the mountains towards Taloqan, the regional capitol of Northern Afghanistan currently held under the control of Taliban forces.

Now, her photography is on exhibit in WVU’s Wise Library. The exhibit, “fractured spaces: stories of resistance & resilience,” is a three-part display that addresses three themes: “In the wake of 9/11” gives the viewer an inside look at Iraqis everyday lives with daily bombings, IED attacks and the complete dismantling of their country’s infrastructure. The Afghanistan section follows the Afghan Northern Alliance soldiers engaging Taliban forces; “Safe house Pakistan” shows Pakistani women perceived as “social corruption bombs” locked up together in a government safe house for endangered women and children; and “Tibet in exile” focuses on 100,000 Tibetans living as political refugees in Dharamsala, India. “My goal is to tilt the paradigm and enable viewers to experience a situation from someone else’s point of view,” Raimondo said. And that is exactly what the exhibit is achieving — sparking dialogue on global issues. The WVU Office of Multicultural Programs hosted a panel event — “Student Experiences of ‘fractured spaces: stories of resistance & resilience’” — that featured Natalie Lorenze, Rand Mohamed and Augustine Kim and included discussion of students’ thoughts, feelings and reactions. U.S. Army veteran and English doctoral candidate Augustine Kim comments on the exhibit, “The exhibition is very disruptive in the space of the Library. You have to look over people to read the captions and to view the images closely. The disruptive format in the library drives home the idea of fractured spaces as much as the images themselves. The positioning in the library you can’t get away from it. If you go to the library it’s there whether or not you decide to look at every single image.” The exhibit is part of the Art in the Libraries Lois Raimondo program and is underwritten in part by a grant from the WVU Faculty Senate Research grant program and the Office of the Provost. The newly formed Art in the Libraries program seeks to fill library spaces with art exhibits and pieces created by nationally recognized artists with ties to West Virginia or WVU, as well as noteworthy art created by WVU students. The exhibit has made an impact at the University by offering students a fresh perspective on the war, but Raimondo warns that “Objectivity is a myth. They teach that in journalism schools, that everyone has to be objective. There is no objectivity. Everyone comes to stand here with the filters of their lives.” “fractured spaces: stories of resistance & resilience” challenges viewers to look at conflict from a different perspective. The exhibit is traveling and will continue to spark a dialogue about countries at conflict and the impact on civilians living amongst the chaos.

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“My goal is to tilt the paradigm and enable viewers to experience a situation from someone else’s point of view.”


Iraq (left) Silva Mutafian, right, begs a new Iraqi Army soldier to let her enter the grounds of a bombing site to search for her son who worked at the now-devastated hotel. New Iraqi Army recruits wear masks to disguise their identities fearing retaliation for cooperating with American forces. Mutafian and her family are Syrians who took refuge in Baghdad when their neighborhood in Syria fell to fighting.


Afghanistan (above) More than 6,000 Northern Alliance troops, under the direction of General Dawood Khan, flow eastward from the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains at the start of the Ramadan Offensive. Over the next three months, Afghan ground troops, reservists and volunteer civilians, supported by a United States aerial bombing campaign, went on to take northern Afghanistan from Taliban control.


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An Officer and A Communicator


FOUR YEARS AGO, DONALD HATHEWAY COULDN’T IMAGINE GRADUATING AS A WVU OUTSTANDING SENIOR or that he would be commissioned as a public affairs officer in the U.S. Air Force. Four years ago, Hatheway was an undeclared freshman taking ROTC as an elective who wanted to drop out of school. After a firm “no” to dropping out from his mother, he stuck with the ROTC program. That decision, plus majoring in strategic communications, changed his life for the better. “I got a 4.0 and improved my physical fitness,” said Hathaway. “ROTC instilled discipline into my life, so I was able to grow and excel in other areas.” Hatheway improved his grades and found his passion in public relations. His coursework and experience helped him to land a coveted position as a Public Affairs Officer in the Air Force after graduation, just one of four in the nation. In September, Hatheway will move to New Mexico to launch his career. He is a little anxious about the future, but he is ready to put his skills to the test. In his new role, he’ll serve as a professional communicator, producing and sharing stories about airmen and activities on the base for a military audience and the public. “It’s already hard enough that I’ll be moving away, so to do something that I actually enjoy makes it easier,” said Hatheway. Hatheway gives much of the credit for his success to his wellrounded training in the College of Media. “Something that the College of Media does better than other universities is that they give a lot of out-of-classroom experiences, whether it’s through service learning or internship opportunities,” said Hatheway. “They not only want to teach you the concepts and basics in class, but they want you working with people and organizations in the community.” But the College’s service learning emphasis was also appealing to Hatheway, who is service oriented in his career and life. He is particularly proud of the work he did in his Strategic Communications writing course, in which he wrote stories and prepared strategic communciations messages for the Harrison County Historical Society. “Yes, it is a résumé builder, but I’ve never been about that when it’s working with the community,” said Hatheway. “I just want to help them out, and that’s why I volunteered to help out even after the class ended.” Through the service learning and personal involvement, Hatheway became engaged in the local community. He’s sad to leave but will carry the lessons he learned with him forever. “I will miss the community because of the connections I’ve made, but my experience here will help me become more involved in the next place I live — and in a sense, make me less homesick.”

Donald Hatheway and classmates in Dr. Elizabeth Oppe’s Strategic Communications capstone class plan their final project.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent:

From left: Students Shaleah Ingram, Corey McDonald, Angelina DeWitt, Professor Alison Bass and students Kristen Tuell and Kaitlynn Neff discuss their investigative reporting project.

Journalism students team with WVU Innocence Project 10,270. In some cases, violent offenders who should be in prison have been transferred to regional jails. According to the article, this situation, coupled with a shortage of guards, has made incarceration even more dangerous. Bass believes the combination of in-depth reporting and hands-on experience made the course meaningful for her students. “Finding this information has been a lot of work, but the students have acquired skills that will last a lifetime.” Journalism senior Shaleah Ingram says the class was a game changer. “This class has reassured me that this is what I want to do with my life,” said Ingram. “At first, I felt unqualified being a student working on a serious case, but I have started to see my potential as a journalist, and I have a better understanding of how to conduct research.” Senior Angelina DeWitt was quick to echo her classmate’s enthusiasm. “I had to investigate the case and spend hours trying to put information together for a feasible story,” DeWitt said. “It was 16 weeks of research and interviews, and that was something new for me. I am thrilled with what we discovered.” WVU Law Professor Valena Beety, who directs the Innocence Project, says she’s pleased with the partnership between Journalism and Law. “Professor Alison Bass and her students at the Reed College of Media have published an excellent article examining our prison system in West Virginia and treatment of inmates. It is insightful work done by WVU students.” The students’ article, “How West Virginia’s Criminal Justice System Failed Je’Ron Hawkins,” was originally published by The Martinsburg Journal on May 9. Read more at


IN THE MIDST OF A LOCAL TRAGEDY, WVU REED COLLEGE OF MEDIA ASSISTANT PROFESSOR ALISON BASS SAW A UNIQUE JOURNALISTIC OPPORTUNITY FOR HER STUDENTS. During the spring 2016 semester, Bass and students in her Investigative Reporting class tackled the controversial issue of prison overcrowding in West Virginia and how the system may have failed one young man. In 2012, Je’Ron Hawkins, a young African American man, was involved in a fatal shootout outside of a Morgantown nightclub. Hawkins claimed it was selfdefense, but police never recovered the gun used by the other shooter. Hawkins was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to North Central Regional Jail in Greenwood, West Virginia. He wrote to the WVU Law School’s Innocence Project, part of a national organization dedicated to exonerating wrongly convicted inmates and reforming the criminal justice system. Hawkins asked the Project to look into his case, but before he could receive an answer, Hawkins was killed by a federal inmate, also housed in the regional jail. The man had been accused of killing another inmate and was supposed to be kept away from the general population of the jail. Professor Bass says partnering with the Innocence Project opened new avenues of reporting for the students. “They’ve had the chance to speak to the attorneys, as well as travel to Charleston to talk with Hawkins’ family,” Bass said. “They’ve even gone so far as to look at the racial breakdown of the jury.” In their in-depth article, the students revealed overcrowding conditions at the regional facility that may have contributed to Hawkins’ death. The students reported that over the past 15 years, the number of inmates in West Virginia prisons and jails almost doubled from 5,500 to


EDUCATION IS A LIFELONG INVESTMENT, AND SOME NATIVE WEST VIRGINIA STUDENTS ARE GETTING THE SUPPORT THEY NEED TO STAKE THEIR FUTURES, thanks to the generosity of loyal Mountaineers James (BSJ, 1967) and Barbara (BSJ, 1968) Gilkerson. Jordan Jasper and Bryanna McCullough are recipients of The James and Barbara Gilkerson Journalism Scholarship, the College’s first endowed scholarship to provide four years of funding to students who are West Virginia high school graduates and current residents. The Gilkersons’ scholarship is unique because students who receive it as a freshman may rely on the same amount of funding each year through their senior year, assuming they meet the criteria. Jasper, a strategic communications junior from Scott Depot, West Virginia, says the Gilkersons’ generosity has allowed him to concentrate on his class work and take on a public relations internship at the WVU School of Pharmacy. After graduation, he plans to apply his strategic communications skills to establish a business in the Charleston area. “It feels like my duty to stay in West Virginia because this state has given me so much,” said Jasper. “I just want to give back and help it the same way it has helped me. I love this place.” McCullough, a strategic communications sophomore from Point Pleasant, West Virginia, is passionate about public relations and event planning. This spring she promoted and organized the event, “Life After Peace Corps,” an opportunity for Peace Corps alumni to discuss their experiences with potential volunteers. McCullough says financial help from the Gilkersons has allowed her to take on internships and to experience everything WVU has to offer. “When I first came to WVU, I thought I would have to get two jobs to pay rent and bills,” said McCullough. James and Barbara Gilkerson onboard the “Thanks to the Gilkersons, I don’t have to worry Royal Princess Cruise Ship, November 2015. about money. I have plenty of time to study and most importantly, school will be paid off.” This fall, two more students will receive funding from the scholarship. The Gilkersons hope that the recipients will recognize, as they have, the value of their WVU education. “The communication skills we learned at the School of Journalism (now WVU Reed College of Media) have been an integral element of our career and personal growth,” Bryanna McCullough, student said the Gilkersons. “Our goal is to take the satisfaction we have achieved from this growth and pay it forward to future students.” James Gilkerson, a native of Coalwood, West Virginia, was a public relations major and earned his B.S. in Journalism in 1967. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Air Force for four years and then spent more than three decades in public relations for several large companies including National Steel, Kaiser Steel, General Dynamics, Hughes Aircraft, Raytheon Company and Kaiser Permanente. Barbara Gilkerson, a native of Morgantown, West Virginia, graduated in 1968 with a B.S. in Journalism, majoring in news-editorial. She spent more than 35 years in the labor relations and human resources fields for the City and County of Riverside, California, and Kaiser Permanente. The Gilkersons are retired and reside in California.

Giving Back

Students thrive thanks to generosity of loyal Mountaineers

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“Thanks to the Gilkersons, I don’t have to worry about money. I have plenty of time to study and most importantly, school will be paid off.”


A legacy of journalism and giving

Photo submitted by Robinson (left). Photo Credit: Bonnie Stewart (right)


JOURNALISM PIONEERS GRUINE ROBINSON AND CHARLES HODEL WERE KNOWN FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS TO WEST VIRGINIA’S NEWSPAPER INDUSTRY. Now they will be remembered for helping aspiring young reporters at the College of Media achieve their professional goals. The Gruine Robinson Reed College of Media Scholarship and the Charles Hodel Endowment — both established through planned giving — will be awarded for the first time in fall 2016. The late Gruine Robinson is best known for being the first female reporter and editor at the West Virginia Associated Press (AP), but she earned her first professional byline in 1940 as a teenager at Welch High School. Robinson scooped her first big interview with famous aviator Amelia Earhart for her school newspaper. The Welch Daily News published the story and later hired Robinson as a reporter. In 1942, Robinson’s career took flight when the Charleston, West Virginia, AP bureau needed a wartime replacement reporter. Robinson jumped at the opportunity and made West Virginia media history. Robinson returned to WVU and earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the College of Media (then P.I. Reed School of Journalism) in 1948. After graduation, she worked for McGraw-Hill Publishing, the AP in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and as a public information officer for the New Mexico Department of Health and the National Public Health Service in Washington, D.C. Before her passing in 2013, Robinson named the College of Media as a beneficiary of her estate. With these funds, the College established a four-year endowed scholarship for undergraduates. Only the second of its kind at the College, this scholarship is unique because students who receive it as freshmen will be able to rely on the

same amount of funding each year through their senior year, assuming they continue to meet the criteria. Robinson’s friend and attorney Harold Krauthamer says Robinson valued the education she received at WVU and wanted others to have the same opportunity. “Gruine always enjoyed helping people, and she knew that her education allowed her to go out into the world and do that,” said Krauthamer. “It was very important to her to give back to the College and to help others receive a good education.” The late Charles Hodel was inducted into the West Virginia Press Association’s Hall of Fame in 1963. Hodel was a well-known newspaperman and conservationist in southern West Virginia. He came to the Mountain State in the 1900s, learned the printing trade, and, by age 25, was serving as editor and manager of the Raleigh Register. By 1929, Hodel acquired control of the Register’s main competitor, the Post-Herald, and became president and general manager of the new Beckley Newspapers Corporation and publisher of both papers. He used his company to fight irresponsible strip mining in West Virginia and became an entrepreneur and community leader. In 1961, The Charleston Gazette named Hodel “West Virginian of the Year.” Hodel’s daughter, Rose Hodel Chrisley, established a planned gift in her father’s honor before she passed away. The Charles Hodel Endowment will serve as a student enhancement fund, providing financial support to students seeking large-market internship and study abroad experiences. “Gifts like the ones from Gruine Robinson and the Hodel family play an important role in our students’ success,” said Dean Maryanne Reed. “With scholarships and enhancement funds, our students can focus on their academics and gaining hands-on experience rather than worrying about the costs of tuition or living expenses. We hope more alumni and media professionals can follow in their example of helping students to succeed.”


Outstanding Alumni

Going First! College of Media alumni recognized for outstanding achievements A nationally recognized political columnist, a communications pioneer, an up-and-coming marketing executive and a longtime mentor to dozens of WVU students were among the 2015 class of honorees at the College of Media’s Alumni and Donor Recognition Ceremony. The event was held on October 1 at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown. P.I. Reed Achievement Award Created in 1966, it is the most prestigious award bestowed upon alumni. The award recognizes outstanding achievements in journalism or strategic communications.

Friend of the College Award This award recognizes individuals for their exemplary support and commitment to the Reed College of Media and was established in honor of Professor Emeritus Paul Atkins.

Mike Tomasky (BSJ, 1982) is a columnist for The Daily Beast and the editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. Before joining the Beast, Tomasky was the editor-at-large for The Guardian’s U.S. editorial operation. From 2003 to 2006, he was the editor of The American Prospect. He contributes regularly to The New York Review of Books, and in 2003, he was a political columnist for New York magazine. He is the author of two books, “Left for Dead” and “Hillary’s Turn,” as well as the e-book “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Beatles and America, Then and Now.” Tomasky’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Harper’s Magazine, the Nation, the New Republic, GQ, and others.

Scott Widmeyer (BSJ, 1974) founded Widmeyer Communications in 1988. Over the past 25 years, the firm has become one of the largest midsize firms in the U.S. In July 2013, Widmeyer Communications was acquired by Finn Partners. Prior to founding Widmeyer Communications, he had successful careers in newspaper reporting and government. He held communications positions for former President Jimmy Carter, former Vice President Walter Mondale, U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, the late Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro and the late American Federation of Teachers President Albert Shanker. Widmeyer has established multiple scholarships at the College of Media. In 2005, Widmeyer and his firm established the Widmeyer Communications Professorship in Public Relations, the first of its kind in the nation.

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“Before you get to write columns about the state of the nation, you need to know how to write a good lead, how to spell and the difference between that and which. My professors taught me how to do those things, and I’ll always be grateful.” Mike Tomasky


“I am happy that my family and my company have been able to support this University. There are incredible things happening here, and I think the world is beginning to see that.” Scott Widmeyer

“I’m proud of all the successes of my former DA employees. When you walk into The Charleston Gazette [The Charleston Gazette-Mail], it looks like a DA newsroom, and that’s very gratifying.” Alan Waters

Young Alumna Award, which recognizes an alumna (or alumnus) who has graduated in the last 10 years and who has shown the ability to succeed in his or her field.

Lauren O’Connor (BSJ, 2008) is the director of marketing for GU Energy Labs. Under her leadership, GU is becoming a recognized leader in disruptive marketing programs that engage consumers and address important environmental issues. Prior to joining GU, O’Connor consulted and spearheaded marketing efforts for small and large organizations including Hewlett-Packard (HP). While at HP, she earned the coveted HP Winner’s Circle Award, given to only 50 employees among its tens of thousands company-wide.

“I would like to thank my professors for the impact they’ve had on my career. It has been a pleasure being a part of WVU. Being a Mountaineer is absolutely true to my heart.” Lauren O’Connor Commitment to Service Award Established in honor of Dr. Ivan Pinnell, the Commitment to Service Award recognizes those who have shown great dedication and service to the College.

Alan Waters (BSJ, 1975) spent 34 years guiding students in the production of WVU’s awardwinning newspaper, The Daily Athenaeum (DA). Prior to joining the DA, Waters worked at the Times-West Virginian newspaper. At the DA, he served four years as production manager and in subsequent years as assistant general manager, general manager and director. Waters is a board member of the West Virginia Press Association and past president of the West Virginia Press Services.

In Memoriam

WVU says Goodbye to its ‘Most Loyal Mountaineer’


construction. She recalls that Douglas was adamant ON MAY 19, THE MOUNTAINEER about making it a special place for nearly 200,000 alumni NATION FELT A COLLECTIVE to call home. SADNESS. School of Journalism “The Alumni Center will be his legacy,” said Curtis. alumnus Stephen Douglas (BSJ, “He worked hard to bring West Virginia products into the 1974), the CEO and president of Center—the stained glass, the wood flooring and bricks are the WVU Alumni Association, all from West Virginia. Those details were very important passed away after a 17-month battle to Steve. He believed they made the Alumni Center a true with brain cancer. West Virginia home.” WVU alumni flooded social Douglas, a native of Clarksburg, West Virginia, earned media with their favorite memories and comforting both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from WVU. messages. Douglas’ son Clark wrote to Facebook followers After graduation, he was named director of public that his father displayed incredible courage and dignity information at Alderson-Broaddus University in Philippi throughout his illness. and was later hired as director of college relations at “Country Roads truly lead to heaven. Rest in peace West Virginia Wesleyan University in Buckhannon. He my sweet father, Steve Douglas. Make no mistake, he returned to his alma mater in 1982 as associate director beat cancer. He beat it with his mind, heart and soul. My of the WVU Alumni Association until 1988 when he dad did not let this terrible disease affect his amazing was named president and personality and love for his CEO. He is only the seventh family and friends.” @gordongee alumni director in the Tara Curtis (BSJ, 1993), I am saddened to hear about the passing of Steve Douglas. Alumni Association’s former communications I will miss his enthusiasm, humor and ability to connect the 140-year history. director for the Alumni Mountaineer family. In September 2015, Association, worked with Douglas received the Most Douglas for 11 years. @GFCoyle Loyal Mountaineer Spirit She says he had a gift for Steve Douglas was always kind, always entertaining Award for his loyalty, passion connecting people to the and always a Mountaineer. His smile and his energy will and service to WVU. At the University and making certainly be missed. time, President E. Gordon them feel like part of the Gee said he could not think Mountaineer family. @wvubandvoice of a more deserving person to “He was the conduit for Passionate, loyal and caring come to mind when I think receive such a special award. making alumni feel part of of Steve Douglas. He was Mr. Mountaineer and a global Other University a bigger community,” said ambassador. RIP my friend. leaders agree — adding that Curtis. “No matter where they Douglas embodied the true lived, what degree they held, or Fran Bennett Clark Mountaineer spirit. where they came from. He had I would not be surprised to find the heavenly streets paved “We all stand on the a love and a genuine passion now with blue and gold. It’s a great day to be a Mountaineer shoulders of giants, and for for our alumni.” no matter where you may be — you are missed Stephen us, Steve was that giant,” During his time at Lane Douglas said Sean Frisbee, executive the Alumni Association, director of the WVU Alumni Douglas’ leadership sparked Brad Paisley Association. “For over 30 unprecedented growth— Mountaineer Nation, WVU and West Virginia and all of us years, his dedication and including the Erickson in the Paisley Camp lost a wonderful friend last night when servitude to the organization Alumni Center built in 2008 long time alumni director Steve Douglas passed on to those were unmatched, and for on the Evansdale campus. streets lined with gold and blue bricks … Our thoughts and that, we could not thank Curtis remembers when prayers are with WVU and the Douglas Family. him enough.” the building was under


Student Profile

Social Media Activist College of Media student turns Twitter into modern-day suicide prevention hotline

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AT AGE 14, STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS “It’s amazing to be recognized for my hard work,” said SOPHOMORE CARRIE SHADE EXPERIENCED A Shade. “I have put a lot of time and effort into my account TRAGEDY THAT TRANSFORMED HER LIFE. A close and having people appreciate that helps me continue doing friend committed suicide, prompting Shade to start a social something that I love.” media campaign advocating for mental health awareness After her two big wins, Shade was invited to judge and suicide prevention. the 2016 Shorty Awards in New York City—which she “When I created @AgainstSuicide, my goal was simply attended with financial support from the College of for suicide awareness--that was my motivation,” said Media’s Student Enhancement Fund. Shade. “Since then, it has expanded to include mental “I’m so thankful for it health, which I think engages [The Student Enhancement more people.” Fund],” said Shade. “Attending @AgainstSuicide Five years later, @AgainstSuicide the Shorty Awards as a judge It’s OK to congratulate yourself for has more than 225,000 was an opportunity for me followers — connecting Shade, just making it through the day. Those to grow both personally and a Martinsburg, West Virginia, days add up, and that’s something to professionally.” native to the rest of the world. Shade says she has enjoyed be proud of. “I’m not a therapist, but I growing with her Twitter love to listen and sometimes account and looks forward people need to be heard,” said to seeing how her new-found Shade. “The people who message me just knowledge of PR and campaign want a friend, and that’s why I’ve had a strategies will help her take good reception from people. It’s amazing @AgainstSuicide to the next level. to connect with my followers in a After graduation, she plans to pursue positive way.” a public relations career with a nonIn 2013 and 2014, Shade received profit organization. the #Activism Shorty Award for her work. The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media by recognizing influencers, @AgainstSuicide brands and organizations. Past Just a reminder, that you can notable winners include make it through the week Taylor Swift, Michelle and anything it throws at you. Obama, Neil Patrick Harris and Bill Nye. You’re strong enough. I know it.


Strategic Communications student Carrie Shade uses social media to bring awareness to mental health issues.

College of Media Accredited for another six years

Around the College

Undergraduate programs at the Reed College of Media of West Virginia University have been reaccredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications for the maximum six years. The listing of a college or university as accredited indicates that it has been judged by ACEJMC to meet its standards, which include academic rigor of curriculum, quality of faculty and facilities, scholarship and service outreach and commitment to diversity. The judgment to reaccredit is rendered after a self-study is prepared by the faculty and administration of the unit and evaluated by an external site team made up of educators and practitioners. “The College of Media prepares our students to work and serve in an increasingly globalized world,” said WVU Provost Joyce McConnell. “This reaccreditation confirms the high caliber of the education that the College provides. In classrooms, production studios and cutting-edge facilities like our new Media Innovation Center, we are training the journalists and media experts of the future.” ACEJMC Council members voted on May 6 to reaccredit the College of Media, based on the Accrediting Committee’s recommendations and the site team report. A site team visit is scheduled every six years to repeat the process. The College is accredited through the 2020-21 academic year.

“This reaccreditation confirms the high caliber of the education that the College provides. In classrooms, production studios and cutting-edge facilities like our new Media Innovation Center, we are training the journalists and media experts of the future.” Joyce McConnell, WVU Provost

WVU News adds Mountaineer Playbook segment


“Mountaineer Playbook” is an all-new hands-on sports magazine show produced by television journalism students at the WVU Reed College of Media. The new sports segment debuted during the fall 2015 semester and covered nearly 20 different sports at WVU. “Mountaineer Playbook” places an emphasis on all sports at West Virginia University and those less covered by mainstream media. Sports coverage includes rifle, rowing, golf, wrestling, gymnastics, cross country and more. Students report, write, shoot and edit their own stories as well as serve as the anchors and production team for the tapings of this show at the Waterfront HD TV Studio. “Mountaineer Playbook” has a partnership with ESPNU, and some of the stories aired or were showcased on the ESPNU website. Beginning in the fall of 2016, “Mountaineer Playbook” will be offered every semester at the WVU Reed College of Media, and Professor Gina Dahlia will serve as the executive producer.


Around the College Syndicated columnist encourages graduates to be activists for kindness During May Commencement, over 200 College of Media graduates received important life lessons from nationally syndicated columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Connie Schultz. Schultz was the keynote speaker at the May 13 ceremony held at the WVU Coliseum. She urged students to embrace uncertainty and become “activists for kindness.” “I don’t mean we should all wear goofy grins and toss around, ‘Have a nice day!’ as we race out the door,” said Schultz. “I’m talking about one-on-one acts of common goodness that can instantly change two people’s days: yours, and the stranger standing right in Watch the video front of you.” In addition to being a journalist, Schultz is also an educator. She said that the Millennial generation has inspired her to explore the classroom. “I love Millennials. That is part of the reason I started teaching. You are the most idealistic generation since Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” said Schultz. “You want to make a difference in the world. I love that about your generation.” Connie Schultz Schultz writes about current issues and politics in her column for Creators Syndicate, and she has a feature column in Parade Magazine. She also hosts a popular Facebook page that fosters civil discussion and debate about a variety of controversial topics. In 2005, Schultz won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, Parade, The Atlantic, ESPN Magazine and Democracy Journal. Schultz also won the 2005 Scripps Howard National Journalism Award for Commentary and the National Headliner Award for Commentary. In 2003, she was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in feature writing for her series, “The Burden of Innocence,” which chronicled the ordeal of Michael Green, who was imprisoned for 13 years for a rape he did not commit. She won the Batten Medal in 2004, which honors “a body of journalistic work that reflects compassion, courage, humanity and a deep concern for the underdog.” Schultz is a fellow with the Vietnam Reporting Project. Her 2011 series, “Unfinished Business,” explored the long-term impact of Agent Orange in the U.S. and in Vietnam. The series won The Associated Press Managing Editors Journalism Excellence Award in International Perspective. She has received six honorary degrees and has served as a Pulitzer Prize juror for the last two years. Schultz is the author of two books published by Random House: “Life Happens — And Other Unavoidable Truths,” a collection of essays, and “His Lovely Wife,” a memoir about her husband Sherrod Brown’s successful 2006 race for the U.S. Senate.

“You want to make a difference in the world. I love that about your generation.”

Communicating the Unexpected: Students learn disaster

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communication from crisis experts and government pros


In April, the College of Media held its inaugural Crisis Communication Certification Training (3CT). Faculty members partnered with the West Virginia National Guard and government agencies to provide students with hands-on experience in crisis communication. The two-day event started with in-class training and ended with a full-scale crisis simulation. Journalism students met with Teaching Assistant Professor Tom Stewart and Lecturer David Smith to go over ethical reporting in fastpaced crisis scenarios. Public relations students underwent crisis communication training developed by disaster communication expert Assistant

Professor Julia Daisy Fraustino. In addition, they received a crash course in identifying vulnerable publics, training spokespersons and delivering crisis messages. The event was held at Camp Dawson, the West Virginia Army National Guard facility in Preston County. They met with government agencies engaging in a disaster drill. Journalism students worked in the field with Stewart, Smith, Teaching Assistant Professor Mary Kay McFarland and Teaching Assistant Professor Elizabeth Oppe, while public relations students worked at the communication hub with Fraustino and Assistant Professor Geah Pressgrove. The event ended in a mock press conference.

NY Times executive talks about the future of print

IMC named 2015 Outstanding Online Program by the OLC

The Integrated Marketing Communications online The New York Times graduate program at Senior Director of Creative West Virginia University’s Strategy Liz McDonnell Reed College of Media visited the West Virginia University Reed College of Media to present “What’s has been named the Trending? Advertising and Marketing in 2016,” and discuss her role at The “Outstanding Online Times’ native ad unit, T Brand Studio. Program” for 2015 by As head of creative strategy, McDonnell and her team are behind a string the Online Learning of attention-grabbing, sponsored posts like Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” Consortium, the leading and a General Electric message delivered through virtual reality. professional organization devoted to advancing Over the years, McDonnell’s career has included a wide range of roles and the quality of online learning worldwide. responsibilities. She has marketed, promoted, produced and edited branded The OLC annually recognizes an outstanding content at such pioneering digital publishers as Federated Media and The online program offered by a member institution Huffington Post. that has a proven record of excellence, as At The New York Times, McDonnell oversees a number of crossdemonstrated by its success in providing organizational efforts from marketing new content-driven ad products expanded access, learning effectiveness and and branded content partnerships to leading more consumer-facing social high levels of student and faculty satisfaction, initiatives like @MyNYTimes on Instagram. in a cost-effective manner. The OLC said WVU’s IMC program was recognized for “excellent growth, leadingedge, interactive coursework and a dedication to student success and satisfaction.” This honor, according to IMC Program Director Chad Mezera, highlights the From Ferguson to Baltimore, race has become program’s academic quality a hot button topic. Now more than ever it is and commitment to the crucial for reporters to lead the conversation student experience. “This about race, stereotyping, police and social is the most significant and justice. In an ongoing commitment to social prestigious award an online justice reporting, the College of Media co-sponsored a panel discussion with the West Virginia program can receive,” said University Center for Black Culture and Research. Mezera. “I am extremely “More Than a Beat: Race, Reporting and the Role Media Professionals Play in Narrative Creation,” proud of this achievement focused on the importance of race and cultural reporting in today’s media landscape, and the role and the validation of the media and communications professionals play in the formation of narratives that affect these and work we’ve done over the other societal issues. The panel, held in September, was moderated by National Public Radio’s Doug past decade.” Mitchell and featured three journalists: Chelsea Fuller (BSJ, 2011), Ryan Reilly, and Errin Whack. Mezera says he looks All the panelists agreed that race is a difficult beat to cover, but it is imperative that journalists forward to building on the learn to drop their personal biases and practice cultural sensitivity. success recognized by this Fuller says the key to balanced race reporting is to cover diverse populations regularly to ensure award to further strengthen that viewers see all facets of a community. “It is extremely important to have regular coverage of the IMC program and serve marginalized communities,” said Fuller. “When tragic events are covered as breaking news, it’s not as a model to expand online the only voice that is being heard. It’s not the only imagery that your audience is seeing.” education in the College “More Than a Beat” concluded with a workshop for journalism and strategic communications of Media. students. Participants were presented with real-life journalistic scenarios to help them understand the roles they play in creating and perpetuating narratives.

More than a Beat: Panel discusses race and reporting



Faculty News

Dean Maryanne Reed named one of the top media administrators

Teaching Assistant Professor Moser named IDEA fellow for 2016-17 Teaching Assistant Professor Jeffrey Moser was selected among eight West Virginia University faculty members for the inaugural class of the Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship Academy Faculty Fellows program, part of a comprehensive crosscampus initiative in entrepreneurship and innovation. The Fellows, selected by the Office of the Provost, will each create a new course or redesign an existing course. The first class of IDEA Fellows was selected by a rigorous application process open to faculty at all WVU campuses. Fellows will receive a stipend and extensive training and professional development in entrepreneurship, both at WVU and at Babson College in Massachusetts. As a cohort, they will work for the next two years to champion entrepreneurship and innovation across the University.

Reed was named one of three finalists in the national Scripps Howard Foundation Journalism and Mass Communication Administrator of the Year Award. The competition was co-sponsored by Scripps Howard Foundation and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. It recognizes an administrator who has provided vision and leadership for the discipline through creativity and excellence. It is the only award offered to administrators of journalism and mass communications programs. During Reed’s 11-year tenure as dean, the College of Media has experienced record enrollment in its graduate and undergraduate programs including its master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications, the nation’s first online IMC graduate program. She has led major curriculum and programmatic changes, transformed the program from a school to a college, and paved the way for the Media Innovation Center on the Evansdale campus. Reed has served on the faculty of the WVU Reed College of Media (formerly WVU P.I. Reed School of Journalism) since 1993. Prior to coming to WVU, Reed was a broadcast reporter and producer, and she has produced several award-winning documentaries and long-form stories for regional and national television.

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Professor John Temple nominated for an Edgar Award


From The Washington Post to Hollywood, West Virginia University Reed College of Media Professor John Temple’s latest nonfiction book, “American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic,” has received a lot of national attention. Now it is up for one of the most prestigious awards that a writer can receive—an Edgar. “American Pain” was nominated for Best Fact Crime book for the 2016 Edgar Allen Poe Awards. The award, known as the Edgar, is presented by the Mystery Writers of America (MWA) and honors the best in mystery and crime fiction, nonfiction, television, film and theater published or produced in the previous year. Since its release by Lyons Press last September, Temple’s book has received favorable reviews from USA Today and The Washington Post and was named a New York Post Favorite Book of 2015. In addition, Warner Bros. is developing a movie script based on the book. Melisa Wallack, who co-wrote the Oscar nominated movie “Dallas Buyers Club,” has written the screenplay. Temple teaches reporting and writing courses and specializes in narrative nonfiction. His previous books include, “The Last Lawyer: The Fight to Save Death Row Inmates” (2009) and “Deadhouse: Life in a Coroner’s Office” (2005). In 2010, “The Last Lawyer” won the Scribes Book Award from the American Society of Legal Writers.

Associate Professor Joel Beeson receives international recognition for his diversity research The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) announced that Associate Professor Joel Beeson is the 2016 recipient of the Lionel C. Barrow Jr. Award. Created in 2009, the award recognizes outstanding individual accomplishment and leadership in diversity efforts within the journalism and mass communication discipline. AEJMC (then AEJ) established the award to honor Dr. Lee Barrow who fought to diversify the association and the media industry following the death of Dr. Martin Luther King. Beeson will receive the Barrow Award at AEJMC’s national conference in August. Professor Beeson is currently leading a collaborative initiative with Morgan State University’s School of Global Communication and Journalism, a historically black urban institution, to develop a Social Justice Media Project. This collaboration resulted in Bridging Selma and the virtual reality app, Fractured Tour: An Immersive VR Tour of Selma’s Divides. Dr. Joel Beeson and Morgan State student Emily Pelland create 360° panoramas of a historic cemetery near Selma, Alabama.

Beeson wins prestigious Chairman’s Award at international Festival of Media Arts Professor Joel Beeson’s groundbreaking reporting project “Fractured Tour” was recognized as the best overall faculty project at the 2016 Broadcast Education Association’s (BEA) Festival of Media Arts. “Fractured Tour: An Immersive VR Tour of Selma’s Divides,” won the 2016 Chairman’s Award, which is decided by the former chairs of the Festival and is awarded annually to the best overall student and faculty entry. “Fractured Tour” was singled out of more than 1,500 submissions to win the award, which competed in the Faculty Interactive Multimedia category. The immersive virtual reality project is a collaboration between Morgan State University’s School of Global Journalism and Communication, a historically black urban institution, and the WVU Reed College of Media. Morgan State student Emily Pelland was the assistant producer for the piece. In addition to the Chairman’s Award, “Fractured Tour” won the BEA Best of Festival King Foundation Award—only 18 winners received this prestigious honor. The BEA Festival of Media Arts is an international refereed exhibition of faculty creative activities and a national showcase for student work. The Festival seeks to enhance and extend creative activities, teaching and professional standards in broadcasting and other forms of electronically mediated communication. Best of Festival winners were honored at the 14th annual BEA Best of Festival King Foundation Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas as part of BEA’s annual convention.

Associate Professor Beeson tapped to speak with Congress West Virginia University Reed College of Media Professor Joel Beeson has spent the past decade researching the experience of black soldiers in World War I. He spoke with Congress about the time period’s similarities to the nation’s current racial climate. He was one of three professors invited to speak at a special briefing in honor of Black History Month. Speakers focused on the contributions of African-Americans during World War I. Beeson said the past contains valuable lessons about how social and economic problems divide people.



Student Awards

Four College of Media students win Target Case Study competition In January, WVU hosted the second-annual Target Case Study competition. Participants were asked to increase recruitment and retention of younger and older generations of employees at Target. All four members of the winning team are College of Media students and members of WVU Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). They are Hannah Toney, PRSSA president; Hannah Harless, strategic communications junior and chapter analysis chair; Elizabeth Frattarole, strategic communications junior and social engagement director; and Gwen Wygal, strategic communications senior. The team had to research, compile and present a report to the Target panel. Some of the key points of their winning plan included changing job titles, enhancing the company’s social media use, offering competitive wages and bettering millennial appeal through strong college ambassador programs. Toney, Harless, Frattarole and Wygal won $800 for their clever ideas.

PRSSA wins first place in national competition Members of the WVU Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter won first place in the 2015 national Organ Donor Awareness competition. Their winning idea was hosting a daylong event in honor of National Organ Donor Awareness Month. WVU PRSSA set up on the Mountainlair Green and encouraged students to add their handprint to a white sheet of paper representing the thousands of WVU students who are organ donors or pledged to become organ donors. Participants were encouraged to post on social media using the hashtag #RecycleYourselfWVU. Campaign goals included increasing awareness, understanding, and encouraging discussion about the facts and benefits of organ donations and why it is important to the West Virginia University campus. The competition, now in its 20th year, was designed to create awareness and understanding of organ and tissue donation. The team beat second-place Louisiana State University and third-place Illinois State University.

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Strategic Communications students (from left) Elizabeth Frattarole, Hannah Toney, Hannah Harless and Gwen Wygal won the Target Case Study competition.


Senior Awards and Top Graduates 2015 December Commencement Top Graduate Top Overall Scholar Sara Wells

Strategic communications senior selected for prestigious Chicago Portfolio School This spring, strategic communications senior and WVU American Advertising Federation (AAF) Ad Club Secretary Charity Junkins was one of 25 AAF members in the country selected to participate in the Chicago Portfolio School (CPS) webinar. The CPS webinar, co-sponsored by AAF, is completely online and is a year’s worth of portfolio school condensed into two to three months. Topics included the hiring process for firms and agencies, the difference between concept and execution and understanding the importance of keeping them separate, and how to land the ideal internship. Junkins was selected based on her essay submission and a personal slogan that she developed. Junkins participated in the two-month portfolio from school while finishing her senior year. She graduated from the College in May and plans to pursue a career in the creative side of advertising.

SPJ honors “Bridging Selma” with national finalist award

Taylor Lasota – Best All-Around Television Newscast Jamie Robins – Television Breaking News Reporting (two entries) Jamie Robins – Television In-Depth Reporting Shaleah Ingram – Television In-Depth Reporting Ally Brandfass – Television Sports Reporting SPJ’s Mark of Excellence Awards honor the best in student journalism. Region 4 comprises Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and parts of western Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh.

Top Overall Scholar Isabella Gilbert Top Scholars by Major Strategic Communications Isabella Gilbert Journalism Lauren McMillen

2016 Spring Honors Ceremony Outstanding Journalism Seniors Alyssa Acquavella Madison Fleck Shaleah Ingram Deborah Martinelli Ryan Minnigh Karly Shire Outstanding Strategic Communications Seniors Courtney Bartsch Hannah Cebula Evan Green Donald Hatheway Ryan McNamara Kelsey Staggers


The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) recently recognized the College of Media’s social justice reporting project, “Bridging Selma,” as a 2015 Mark of Excellence National Finalist in the Best Use of Multimedia category. The project, which explores the use of virtual reality in storytelling, had been named winner in the same category of the regional competition, advancing it to the national level. In addition to the national award, four students were recognized as finalists in the Region 4 Mark of Excellence Awards this spring:

2016 May Commencement Top Graduates


Class Notes 1960s Bill Sullivan (BSJ, 1966) is president and owner of IPM Software in Pasadena, Texas. 1970s Brenda Eggert Brader (BSJ, 1972) is a freelance writer in Winter Haven, Florida. James Joslyn (BSJ, 1978) is a photojournalist at WJLA-ABC7 in Arlington, Virginia. Barbara Keiling (BSJ, 1978) is a middle school principal for Frederick County, Maryland, Public Schools. Brian Lee (BSJ, 1976) announced his retirement this year.

Paula Lichiello (BSJ, 1977) is the associate dean of graduate studies at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia. Charles Mason (BSJ, 1977) is a business reporter for the Daily News in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He married his wife Vicki in March 2015. John McPherson (BSJ, 1979; IMC, 2013) is the senior communications representative and chief public spokesperson for FirstEnergy Corp - Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Plant in Shippingport, Pennsylvania. Michael Metz (BSJ, 1970) is chief business development officer for Innovative Management Concepts in Dulles, Virginia.

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Valerie Nieman (BSJ, 1978) is a creative writing professor at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her second poetry collection, “Hotel Worthy,” was published in spring 2015. Nieman has published three novels: Blood Clay, Survivors, and Neena Gathering.


Rebecca Farrell Osleger (BSJ, 1974) is a realtor at Coldwell Banker in Winter Springs, Florida.

Vickie Tassan (BSJ, 1977) is the director of community investment at E*TRADE Financial in Arlington, Virginia. 1980s Jeffrey Halpern (BSJ, 1981) is the senior vice president and associate creative director of copy at Centron Communications in New York, New York. Dave Hanna (BSJ, 1980) is president of Lockwood Broadcasting in Hampton, Virginia. Jeff Hertrick (BSJ, 1981) is the director of news and documentary digital video at National Geographic Studios in Washington, D.C. Cathy Lee Lewis (BSJ, 1983) is the national communications lead for patient markets at the American Heart Association in Dallas, Texas. Brenda Pruett (BSJ, 1980) is an Extension agent for WVU in Princeton, West Virginia. Jennifer Starsick (BSJ, 1983) is the sales manager for in Charleston, West Virginia. David Wilkison (BSJ, 1988) is the managing director of local media groups for The Associated Press in New York, New York. 1990s Allyson Bullian (MSJ, 1999) is an account manager for Integrated Direct Marketing, LLC. in Washington, D.C. Kevin Kaufnan (BSJ, 1992) is associate director for advancement communications at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jeff Kocan (BSJ, 1999) is the senior editor of Filter Publications in Brooklyn, New York. Wendi (Silcott) MacKay (BSJ, 1994) is the manager of corporate communications for Toyota Canada, Inc. Jessica Posel (IMC, 1994) is a direct response-marketing consultant for Icon Consultants at Merrill Edge in Plano, Texas.

Matthew Tabeek (BSJ, 1994) is the NFL editor for CBS Sports and in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 2000s

Jessica Edwards (BSJ, 2011) is the associate director of graduate alumni relations at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

John E. B. Baldridge (2016 IMC Certificate) is the web communications manager at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Paul Espinosa, Jr. (BSJ, 2011) is the track announcer at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Charles Town, West Virginia.

Holly Barringer (BSJ, 2009; IMC, 2016) is associate manager for renewals at National Geographic in Washington, D.C.

Matt Franzblau (BSJ, 2005) is the communications director for the Jewish Federation of Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida.

Nicole (Yanovsky) Beagin (BSJ, 2010) is the associate editorial director for The American Journal of Managed Care in Plainsboro, New Jersey. She was also named to the 2015 “30 Under 30” rising stars in publishing by Folio magazine.

Morgan Frier (BSJ, 2013) is a sales and marketing assistant at KYW NewsradioCBS in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Shannon Blosser (BSJ, 2002) is a pastor at the Claylick United Methodist Church in Salvisa, Kentucky. Aubrey Buberniak (BSJ, 2009; DMC, 2010) is associate director of digital marketing and analytics at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Annette Gannon (IMC, 2014) is the marketing operations manager for educational software solutions company Proquest in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Dan Bullock (BSJ, 2005) is the senior PR supervisor and executive of corporate communications for 5W Public Relations in New York, New York.

Kiersten Gardner (BSJ, 2011) is the director of marketing at Buan Consulting in Annapolis, Maryland. Jessica Garrett (BSJ, 2005) is the conference manager for IMI Association Executives in Morrisville, North Carolina.

Lindsey Burnworth (BSJ, 2012) is a public information officer for Ohio’s Department of Commerce. Jessica Cloonan (BSJ, 2014) is a real estate sales associate in Washington, D.C. Carisa Collins (IMC, 2015) is the executive director of the American Red Cross of Northeast West Virginia. Dominick Dale (BSJ, 2007) is a senior communications analyst for the U.S. Government Accountability Office in Washington, D.C. Patrick Delaney (IMC, 2013) is the director of policy communication at the American Soybean Association in Washington, D.C.

Dylan Jones (BSJ, 2011) is a freelance writer and photographer in Morgantown, West Virginia. Ben Katko (BSJ, 2009) is a reporter and fill-in anchor at WXIX in Cincinnati, Ohio. Tricia Kelley (BSJ, 2009) is a freelance journalist and lecturer at WVU.


College of Media USGA’s second-ever female president

The Reed College of Media wishes to acknowledge our alumni who have passed away during the year. Stephen Douglas (BSJ, 1974) William Fouch (BSJ, 1969)

In December, the United States Golf Association (USGA) announced the nomination of Diana M. Murphy to serve a one-year term as the 64th president of the USGA. Murphy, a 1978 alumna of the WVU P.I. Reed School of Journalism (now the WVU Reed College of Media) and Princeton, West Virginia, native, is the second woman in USGA’s 121-year history to be nominated for president. She began serving her term in February. Bryce Lyons (BSJ, 2011) is the capture/operations manager at Sabre Systems in Alexandria, Virginia. Stephanie Marchant (IMC, 2014) is an adjunct faculty member at Reinhardt University in Waleska, Georgia. Jessica McGee (BSJ, 2007; MSJ 2009) is the assistant director of video communications for the NCAA in Indianapolis, Indiana. Lauren Hough McGill (BSJ, 2005) is the assistant city editor at the Charleston Gazette-Mail in Charleston, West Virginia. Elizabeth McMahon (BSJ, 2012) is a media sales consultant for the Baltimore Sun Media Group in Baltimore, Maryland. Bailee (Morris) Miller (BSJ, 2010) is a project analyst at Allegheny Science & Technology in Fairmont, West Virginia.

Valerie Pritt (BSJ, 2011) is the publicity director for Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg, West Virginia. Leigh Russell (BSJ, 2010) is the tournament activation and community

Nancy Henry (BSJ, 1976) John Hurd (BSJ, 1953) James Jones (MSJ, 1996) Charlotte Luttrell (BSJ, 1974) Erica Meloni (BSJ, 1997) Albert Noe (BSJ 1963; MSJ, 1964) Mary Noonan (BSJ, 1945) William Perry (BSJ,1966; MSJ, 1976)

outreach for the PGA TOUR in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Pam Shriver (IMC, 2016) is a public relations specialist for WVU Medicine in Morgantown, West Virginia. Amy Smiley (IMC, 2013) is the franchise communications and marketing manager at GNC in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Shae Snyder (BSJ, 2013) is the event promotions coordinator for the University of Michigan Health System Office of Development in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Amanda Spangler (BSJ, 2008) is a senior strategic planner at Edelman in New York, New York. Kara Stoller (BSJ, 2005) is the marketing director for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Audrey Taylor (BSJ, 2008) is the marketing coordinator for Hillcrest Healthcare System in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Wesley Uhler (BSJ, 2013) is the director of media relations and broadcasting for the Youngstown Phantoms Hockey organization in Youngstown, Ohio.

Carolyn Wood (IMC, 2014) is the director of integrated marketing at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Eloise Peters (BSJ, 1947) Donald Price (BSJ, 1958) Thomas Rodak (BSJ, 1970) Edward Siemon (BSJ, 1970) Chris Simmons (BSJ, 1977) Margaret Smith (BSJ, 1954) Laura Szepesi (BSJ, 1979) C. Thomas Tallman (BSJ, 1962; MSJ, 1966) Michelle Wolford (BSJ, 1981)

Taylor joins College of Law Alumna Stephanie D. Taylor (BSJ, 2003) was named to WVU’s general counsel. Taylor comes to WVU from Jones Day Pittsburgh Office. She will oversee nine attorneys and three staffers in the Office of Legal Affairs and General Counsel. The office provides in-house legal counsel for WVU’s main and divisional campus, the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center-Charleston Division, Cooperative Extension Offices in all 55 counties, the State Conference Center at Jackson’s Mill, and WVU branch offices across the state.

Cannon joins Erickson Alumni Center as director of marketing and communications In January 2016, Allyson Cannon joined the West Virginia University Erickson Alumni Center as the director of marketing and communications. Cannon formerly served as the recruitment and social media manager for The National Press Club. Her new duties include leading an integrated communications plan for the WVU Alumni Association that encompasses member outreach, managing communications tools including social media, electronic news and marketing pieces and other communications initiatives. She will also coordinate major alumni events and serve as the primary spokesperson for the Alumni Association. Cannon is a native of Frederick, Maryland, and is a 2009 graduate of the WVU Reed College of Media.


Ryan Nicholson (BSJ, 2004) is vice president of marketing for TSL in Columbia, Maryland.

William Hawley (BSJ, 1948)


Donor Honor Roll The College of Media would like to thank our donors who have given to the 2015-2016 annual fund. We especially want to recognize those supporters who give $1,000 or more on an annual basis. Those donors are part of the College’s Loyalty Club, established in 2010 and indicated by an asterisk. The annual giving list represents cash and pledge payments received through May 30, 2016. $25,000 OR MORE Mr. James and Mrs. Barbara Gilkerson* Online News Association* Ms. Gruine Robinson* $10,000-$24,999 Col. Thomas J. Boyd* Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Kittle* Matterport* Nutting Foundation* $5,000 - $9,999 Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ahrens* Mr. and Mrs. John H. Brown, Jr.* Ms. Samme L. Gee* Mrs. Jennifer A. Manton* Mr. Gilbert J. Meyer, Jr.* Ms. Paula I. Otto* Mr. Stanley J. Reed*

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$1,000 - $4,999 Dr. Manu B. Aggarwal and Dr. Samir Patel* Mr. Paul A. Atkins* Ms. Barbara S. Casey* Mr. & Mrs. Gerald L. Davis, Jr.* Mr. Beedeah and Mrs. Noel Hassen* Mr. James R. Hunkler* Mr. Ralph and Mrs. Janet Izard* Mr. and Mrs. Paul L. Johnson* Mrs. Pamela and Mr. Jon Larrick* Mr. and Mrs. John W. League* Dr. Diana L. Martinelli and Dr. David R. Martinelli* Ms. Jane M. McNeer* Mr. Chad and Mrs. Cathy Mezera* Mr. and Mrs. Robert D. Miller* Mrs. Diana M. Murphy * Mr. Jason W. Neal* Public Relations Society of America* Mrs. Alexis and Mr. James H. Pugh* Mr. and Mrs. David A. Raese* Mrs. Maryanne Reed* Mr. James J. Roop* Mr. Archie A. Sader* Ms. Louise C. Seals* Mr. and Mrs. Joseph P. Steranka* Ms. M. Anne Swanson* Mr. and Mrs. John M. Walls*


$500 - $999 Mrs. Robyn M. Buckley Mr. Benjamin C. Dunlap, Jr. Edventure Partners Mr. Maurice R. Fliess Mrs. Eleanor C. Flowers Mrs. Jessica Frey Mr. and Mrs. C. Michael Fulton Ms. Ann H. Garcelon Ms. Stephanie Taylor and Mr. Richard Weibley

$100 - $499 Dr. Leigh F. Gregg, PhD Mr. and Mrs. Ronald D. Guziak Mrs. Louise R. Haberfeld Rev. Julia A. Halstead Mr. and Mrs. J. Gregory Harr Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan R. Hickey Mr. Joseph A. Martin Mr. and Mrs. Victor W. Mason, III Ms. Mary M. McDaniel Mr. and Mrs. Michael P. McMullan Mr. and Mrs. William S. Mease Mr. Michael and Mrs. Linda Mirarchi Mr. Joseph D. Mock Mr. and Mrs. Gary J. Mondello Mr. Henry C. Nagel, II Mr. and Mrs. William J. Nevin Mr. Chase Ofori-Atta Mr. and Mrs. George N. Panos Mr. Glenn Richards Mr. Robert M. Rine Dr. David L. Rodgers Mr. Frederick E. Russell, II Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Ryan Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Scott Ms. Janet Shaffron Mr. and Mrs. Preston L. Shimer Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Skinner Mrs. Kristi L. Specker Mrs. Linda L. Spencer Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Stanley Mrs. Eva M. Steortz Mr. Thomas J. Stewart Mr. and Mrs. Timothy J. Tewalt Mr. and Mrs. Timothy S. Truman Mr. and Mrs. John B. Ullom Dr. Sandra H. Englebright Utt Verizon Foundation Mr. William G. Wilkinson Mr. and Mrs. David M. Wilkison Mrs. Karen K. Wohl Mrs. Julianne S. Worrell Mrs. Marsha K. Wyatt Mr. William A. Yahner

Giving Societies In recognition of the growing importance of private giving, the College of Media honors its friends and supporters through a tiered system of giving levels and inducts new members each fall. Below is a list of new donors or donors who have moved into new giving societies during the past year. P.I. REED SOCIETY ($10,000 - $24,999) Matterport Ms. Paula I. Otto

Why planned giving? Want to support your alma mater and create your legacy? Consider naming the Reed College of Media as a beneficiary of your retirement assets, life insurance or will. Your gift can help student scholarships, internships, faculty, research and so much more. Work with our Director of Development, Tiffany Samuels, to develop a plan that ensures your desired legacy.

How to Make a Gift To learn more about making a donation or providing scholarship funding, visit our website at or contact: Tiffany Samuels, Director of Development WVU Reed College of Media | 304-293-6775

Scholarship Recipients Paul A. Atkins Scholarship Jordan Bigelow Jillian Clemente Karlee Gibson Gianna Gotterba Jacob Jarvis Adam Morris Gabrielle Regalbuto Dr. Elizabeth A. Atwater School of Journalism Scholarship Graeson Baker Holly Fry Kassandra Taylor Col. Thomas J. Boyd Scholarship Gianna Gotterba Kaitlyn Lopez Skylar Ray Cary Journalism Scholarship Raven Bonnette Timothy Correll Elizabeth Keim Paige Klingensmith Kaitlyn Lopez Melanie Smith W.E. Chilton III Journalism Scholarship Graeson Baker Hollee Nelson Colin Spangler Sarah Sturba Jesse Thornton Kristen Uppercue Catharine Patton Clark Presidential Scholarship Graeson Baker Holly Fry Courtney Gatto Emily Koehler Julia Mellett Cummings Scholarship Morgan McPherson Paul S. and Theo S. Deem Book Scholarship Rachel Brosky Morgan McPherson

James and Barbara Gilkerson Journalism Scholarship Raven Bonnette Jordan Jasper Bryanna McCullough

Mark S. and Frances S. Grove Endowed Scholarship Haleigh Fields Hayleigh Moore David Matthew Hassen Journalism Book Scholarship Jillian Clemente Gianna Gotterba Karly Shire Nancy Henrichs Hodel Memorial Scholarship Jessica Foreman Ralph and Janet Izard School of Journalism Scholarship Christopher Adeigbo Sadie Janes Jordan Jasper Samantha Mangan Gilbert and Margaret Love Journalism Scholarship Rachel Brosky Brooke Chaplain Courtney Gatto Bridget Hawkins Don S. Marsh Scholarship Adam Morris Hilda G. and James E. McNeer Journalism Scholarship Paige Klingensmith Irene Caplan Moksay Scholarship Timothy Correll Ogden Newspapers and Nutting Family Journalism Scholarship Nicole Baron Ryan Decker Jessica Foreman Andrew Spellman Orson and Spokes Foundation Journalism Endowment Karly Shire P.I. Reed Scholarship Holly Fry Gianna Gotterba Jesse Thornton Thomas Picarsik Scholarship in Journalism Colin Spangler Kristen Uppercue Reed Family Scholarship Brooke Chaplain Jessica Foreman Hollee Nelson Jennifer Skinner

Merideth Robb Memorial Scholarship Emily Koehler Edith Watson Sasser Scholarship Kristen Tuell School of Journalism Scholarship Jack DeVault Haleigh Fields Katelyn Judy Alanna Longnecker Brittany Osteen Claudia Palmer Amy Pratt Skylar Ray Jacob Shockley Alyssa Turner Kendra Wilson Linda Jeanne Leckie Schulte Scholarship Hannah Cebula

George Esper International Student Enhancement Fund Ashley Busnuk Australia Ashlee Kozak Northern Ireland Kelsey Plute Australia Annamarie Robinson Northern Ireland Samuel Thompson France John and Cindy Walls Career Development Fund Brooke Chaplain Portsmouth, Va.

Martha E. Shott Endowed Scholarship Hollie Greene Sadie Janes Jacob Jarvis Morgan McPherson Adelyn Nottingham Lindsay Terlikowski

Hilary Kinney New York, NY

Timothy J. Tewalt Journalism Scholarship Emily Fitzgerald

Reed College of Media Student Enhancement Fund

Peggy Preston Tierney Scholarship Elizabeth Freeman Elizabeth Jefferson Kayla Kesselman Cassandra Lang Cassie McHale William F. Tolbert Journalism Scholarship Elizabeth Keim Colin Spangler Widmeyer Family Scholarship Graeson Baker Bryanna McCullough Hayleigh Moore Melanie Smith Kassandra Taylor Kristen Uppercue Scott D. Widmeyer African American Scholarship Christopher Adeigbo

Morgan Mularski Pittsburgh, PA Katiana Roc Atlanta, GA

Craig Campbell Pittsburgh, PA Melanie Smith Perth, Australia Merrill Tebay Dublin, OH John Charles Hodel Endowment Elizabeth Frattarole New York, NY Nicholas Jarvis Sedona, AZ Charity Junkins New York, NY Julia Mellett Miami, FL Carrie Shade New York, NY

Scott D. Widmeyer First Generation Scholarship Haleigh Fields

John and Betsy Klebe Dziedzic Career Development Fund

Linda E. Yost Scholarship Hayleigh Moore

Hannah Harless Nashville, TN Frank M. Kearns Memorial Fund Courtney Gatto Sydney, Australia


George Gianodis Journalism Scholarship Hannah Cebula Rachel Claypool Emily Koehler Mary Lemine Kaitlyn Lopez Jennifer Skinner

Raymond and Susan Gillette Minority Scholarship Christopher Adeigbo Samantha Mangan Kendra Wilson


The Last Word with Margie Mason

“George Esper was a real guiding light in my life. He was a friend, a mentor and someone I looked up to. I wish he was here to enjoy this moment with me.” Margie Mason, Pulitzer Prize winner

From Daybrook, West Virginia, to Jakarta, Indonesia, College of Media alumna Margie Mason (BSJ, 1997), has traveled a long way from her humble hometown origins. And now the West Virginia native and Associated Press reporter has won the highest achievement for any journalist — a Pulitzer Prize. Mason and three other colleagues earned the 2016 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service for their 18-month investigation of slavery and other labor abuses in the Southeast Asia fishing industry. As a result of their work, more than 2,000 slaves have been freed, dozens of alleged perpetrators have been arrested and new legislation has been formed in the United States barring imports of slave-produced goods. Mason spoke with the College’s communications director, Christa Currey, about the story and her experience winning the Pulitzer.

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Christa Currey: How did you learn about this story? Margie Mason: I met with a source of mine in Indonesia who showed us some data on foreign fishermen who were being trafficked to Indonesia. It was no secret that workers were being abused—there had been coverage of it—but most of the stories focused on the few men who had returned home. We wanted to find the men who were still captive, find their fish and be very specific about where they were going in the United States.


How did you track the fish? We watched the fish as they were loaded onto Thai-owned refrigerated cargo ships. Each of the ships had a beacon that emitted a signal, and we watched by satellite to see where the ships would go next.

What did you think when you found out the fish were going to the United States? We weren’t surprised. We couldn’t follow one specific fish but what we did was show the supply chain. If you have a clean supply of fish, and one fish that’s caught by slave labor, that taints the whole batch. Did you ever feel like you were in danger? We were much more concerned about the well-being and safety of the men because they risked their lives to talk to us. We weren’t going to run the first story with the mens’ faces or names until we knew that they were safe. How did you feel when you won the Pulitzer? This Pulitzer is the Public Service Award, and it goes to the entire Associated Press. It has brought a whole new round of awareness to this issue, and people are talking about it — we are proud of that. We feel strongly that the men who risked their lives to tell their stories deserve the recognition and credit. How did the late Professor George Esper influence your career? I interviewed him for The Dominion Post; I was completely star struck. I told him about my interest in Vietnam and working overseas. He encouraged me to go to Vietnam as a freelancer during the 25th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. He was a real guiding light in my life. He was a friend, a mentor and someone I looked up to. I wish he was here to enjoy this moment with me. Do you miss West Virginia? I keep very close ties to my family who are all still in West Virginia. I’m proud of where I’m from, and everyone who knows me knows that I represent West Virginia. There has been a lot of support from my home state and WVU since this Pulitzer was announced. It has been really incredible.

INTEGRATE Chicago Join hundreds of marketing communications professionals from around the country at INTEGRATE Chicago, presented by West Virginia University’s Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) graduate program. Learn, network and share knowledge with leaders in our ďŹ eld and gain the tools you need to succeed in our evolving industry.

November 1-2 Learn more and register:


Steve Radick, vice president, director of public relations and content integration at BRUNNER was a speaker at INTEGRATE 2015.



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Stay Connected @wvumediacollege WVU Reed College of Media 304-293-3505

REED COLLEGE OF MEDIA magazine is produced once each year for the alumni, friends and other supporters of the WVU Reed College of Media. Copyright © 2016 by the WVU Reed College of Media. WVU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. The WVU Board of Governors is the governing body of WVU. The Higher Education Policy Commission in West Virginia is responsible for developing, establishing, and overseeing the implementation of a public policy agenda for the state’s four year colleges and universities. WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Many WVU programs hold specialized accreditation.

WVU Reed College of Media 2016 Magazine  
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