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Message from the Dean

“We’re actively recruiting students who are motivated to uncover the truth, hold the powerful accountable and make a positive difference in the world.”

Maryanne Reed, Dean

ON THE COVER: Sara Berzingi was born in Erbil, Iraq. Her family left Iraqi Kurdistan as refugees through operation Pacific Haven, which brought them to the United States in 1997. Sara and her family have called West Virginia home for a decade. She considers her family’s story a classic story of “the American Dream,” but wonders, “What does the American Dream mean now?” Photo by Nancy Andrews.


“MAY YOU LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES.” THE EXACT ORIGINS OF THIS QUOTE ARE UNKNOWN, ALTHOUGH VERSIONS OF IT ARE OFTEN USED IN POLITICAL SPEECHES AND COMMENTARY. In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, these have become “interesting” times for media educators. The profession we serve is now under fire, with elected officials describing journalism as “fake news,” and journalists as “enemies of the people.” At the College of Media, we’re using this time as an opportunity to restate our value and relevance. We are doubling down on the teaching of investigative journalism, critical-thinking and fact checking — the cornerstones of an independent free press. And we’re actively recruiting students who are motivated to uncover the truth, hold the powerful accountable and make a positive difference in the world. We are also teaching people how to be better news consumers. This spring, the College hosted a Festival of Ideas panel that addressed the perils of fake news and offered tips on how to counter it. In the fall, we’re offering a media literacy course that will teach students how to critically analyze news coverage and other media content. We’re partnering with the computer science department to develop technology solutions that tackle fake news head on. In our Media Innovation Center, we hosted a class to incubate artificial intelligence (AI) solutions that can identify and flag suspicious content. Finally, we’re engaging our students in real-time reporting projects to fill a gap in national news coverage — coverage that failed to identify the fears and frustrations of a region that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump. In January, the College launched “100 Days in Appalachia,” a digital publication chronicling the challenges of our region through the prism of the new administration’s policies and plans. The site is drawing readers from around the world and giving students valuable experience in content curation and audience building. We acknowledge that journalism, as practiced by people and not algorithms, is far from perfect. But, we can help improve industry practice through our teaching, research and public outreach. During these “interesting” times, the College of Media is uniquely positioned to chart a way forward for our students, the academy and industry. This is our moment to build the case that our work is central to the mission of the University and the future of an informed society.

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

EDITORIAL STAFF Christa Currey Executive Editor Allyson Kennedy Editor Dana Coester Creative Director Media Innovation Center Kathy Deweese Director, UR−University Content Hannah Booth Kaitlin Davis Hollie Green Kayla Kuntz Contributing Writers

PHOTOGRAPHY Nancy Andrews Tyler Channell David Smith Alex Wilson

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



02 100 Days, 100 Voices

16 Truth and Consequences: Fake news, filter bubbles and democracy

08 Broken Plate Students collaborate to examine food inequality in rural West Virginia and urban Baltimore

10 Turning Empathy Into Action 12 Communities Build New Memories in Wake of Flood 14 College Prepares Next Generation of Social Scientists 15 New Beginnings College helps Richwood High School rebuild journalism program

16 Students Use AI to Fight Fake News 17 College to Launch New Media Literacy Class 18 WVU and Marshall Team Up to Host INTEGRATE West Virginia 19 Preserving a National Treasure Capstone students aid in promoting state landmark

20 Pitching to the Dragon’s Den 21 The SunDANCE Kid

Snapshot Pulitzer Prize-winner and alumna Margie Mason receives an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. Photo by David Smith.

DEPARTMENTS 22 26 28 29 33 36 38 41 42 44

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


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West Virginians are used to being "outsiders," but during the 2016 presidential election, they became the face of America.


ollowing the election, a national newspaper ran a story about McDowell

County, West Virginia, “This County Gives a Glimpse at the America That Voted Trump

into Office,� the headline read. The feature painted a stereotypical image of West Virginia, impoverished and reliant on coal. But like any other place in America, there is more to the story. RE EDCOLLEG EOFME DI A.W VU. EDU


"We had noticed throughout the election that the media repeatedly referred to us as Trump Nation. So, the day after the election we said, 'If Appalachia's story is Trump's story, then it's America's story.'"

Appalachia is a melting building course were pot of people representing responsible for editing a variety of social, and curating the stories economic and political for social media. perspectives. In an “We didn’t want effort to provide a more to create a curriculum nuanced understanding where students cover a Dana Coester, executive editor of the region to a national community and publish audience, the College of it. That’s been done,” Media, in partnership said Dean Maryanne with West Virginia Reed. “We wanted to Public Broadcasting and flip that model so the The Daily Yonder, launched the reporting project, “100 student experience was about production, curation, Days in Appalachia.” The project was designed to burst distribution and monetization. These skills are in the filter bubble of social news and to candidly narrate demand in our industry.” the first 100 days of the Trump Administration from an The audience-building course was part of the College’s Appalachian point of view. Knight-Funded Innovators-in-Residence program. The Innovators for spring 2017 were Annemarie Dooling, HELLO WORLD! director of programming for at Vox Media in On Inauguration Day, January 27, 2017, the College New York City, and Geoffrey Hing, an independent news went live with its pop-up digital publication, “100 Days application developer who has been a senior news app in Appalachia.” At the heart of this project was a desire developer for the Chicago Tribune Media Group, the to tell a counter narrative about the region and to bridge Open Elections project and the Floodlight project. ideological divides. The project includes a mix of Dooling and Hing, along with Associate Professor Dana content — news stories, multimedia features, opinion Coester, worked with students to monitor the internet for pieces — produced by faculty, professionals and thought relevant, trending issues and addressed them by gathering leaders. Students enrolled in an experimental audiencecontent from contributors across the region.


( @geoffhing )

is a Knight Foundation Innovator-in-Residence for spring 2017 for WVU’s College of Media Innovation Center, leading students, faculty and staff working in data, visuals and interactives, as well as leading experiments using “small data” for audience building for 100 Days in Appalachia. Geoffrey is an independent news application developer who has been a senior news app developer for the Chicago Tribune Media Group, the Open Elections project and the Floodlight project. SUMME R 2 017

He was a Knight News Scholar at Medill and describes


himself as bilingual in journalism and in technology and is driven by a passion for bringing credible news to underserved communities.

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The students introduced a new “voice” to the conversation each day — touching on topics such as, America’s opioid crisis; President Trump’s promise to resurrect the coal industry; racism; populism; Appalachia’s reactions to Trump’s cabinet picks, policies and promises made. “This was an audience-building experiment,” said Coester, who serves as executive editor for the publication. “Part of that experiment was creating regional content and making it appealing to a national audience.” Students in a second class, led by Teaching Assistant Professor Bob Britten, were responsible for producing a weekly newsletter — including top stories in and about the region. Senior Lena Camilletti served as a student editor. She says “100 Days in Appalachia” is unique because of the staff ’s ability to tap into original content. “A reporter from New York City or Washington, D.C., could have the potential to connect with them [Appalachians] and tell their stories in an authentic way,” said Camilletti. “But, we’re here with these people. We are Appalachia.”

95,000+ SESSIONS


( @TravelingAnna )


is a Knight Foundation Innovator-in-Residence for

USERS spring 2017 for WVU’s College of Media Innovation Center, leading students and faculty in experiments in audience development and social distribution for 100 Days in Appalachia. Annemarie works as the director York City where she leads the media site’s content management and distribution efforts. Previously, she managed audience growth and development for both Vocativ and Yahoo. A self-proclaimed online communities expert who has worked at the Huffington Post and AOL, Annemarie previously served as a community advisor at Salon where she consulted on expanding user participation.


of programming for at Vox Media in New



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Georgia Haverty uses a tape measure and one of her rolls of hay to show the size of a proposed gas pipeline through her farm in Giles County, Va.


OUR STORY IS AMERICA'S STORY focus on the region in terms of content, challenges Republicans and Democrats alike were stunned by and struggles of the Appalachian region and the areas Trump’s victory, and in the days that followed, reporters surrounding it. But, the election changed everything. and pundits scrambled to figure out how they got it “All of a sudden, we wrong. The College felt an felt we had a story to tell obligation to examine why that was immediate and the Mountain State was that we really couldn’t sit such a flashpoint for "We felt we had a story to tell on,” said Reed. “West so many of the social, that was immediate and that we Virginia and Appalachia economic and political really couldn't sit on. This election are the heart of sofractures in American called ‘Trump Country,’ communities. brought to light some of the issues and this election “We had noticed and frustrations that people in the demonstrated or brought throughout the election region were feeling." to light some of these that the media repeatedly issues and frustrations referred to us as Trump Maryanne Reed, dean/publisher that people in the Nation,” said Coester. region were feeling “So, the day after the and experiencing. We election we said, ‘If knew we had a unique Appalachia’s story is opportunity to tell this story in real-time in the Trump’s story, then it’s America’s story.’” beginning of the administration.” In the year leading up to the election, the College In one day, the College changed its plans, deciding had been working with experts from Quartz and Vox to to narrow the focus to a digital pop-up publication. develop a new digital publishing enterprise that would



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by connecting national and regional media with community organizations and the College of Media. The project will also meet the need for a growing national and international audience for rural content, insights and analysis in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election.


BEYOND 100 DAYS Coester says the staff — a mix "I've seen the future. It of educators, students and professionals — has grown looks like Appalachia." a larger audience than they Travis Lowe, author anticipated. As a result of the project’s success, the College plans to expand the experiment beyond “100 Days.” This spring, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation showed its support to the College by awarding a $97,000 grant that will allow students to receive valuable media training while sharing the stories of Appalachia. The money will support experiments in new distribution models for digital publishing while offering a solutions-based approach for reporting on the challenges facing the region. Students enrolled in the fall 2017 course will get hands-on experience in content curation, monetization, audience development and distribution, and in-depth reporting. In addition to being a teaching tool, the project will strengthen collaborative publishing opportunities


Innovators-in-Residence Program FALL 2016

Broken Plate: Students collaborate to examine food inequality in rural West Virginia and urban Baltimore

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AS MARKET PRESSURES FORCE MOM-AND-POP GROCERY STORES OUT OF BUSINESS AND THE INCOME GAP WIDENS, A GROWING NUMBER OF COMMUNITIES ARE LEFT WITHOUT ACCESS TO HEALTHY FOOD. During the fall 2016 semester, journalism students at the Reed College of Media and Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication partnered to launch, “Broken Plate,” an investigation into the inequities of food access in both rural West Virginia and urban Baltimore. The class was part of the College’s Knight-funded Innovators-in-Residence program, designed to bring industry experts to work with students on experimental projects that push the boundaries of traditional journalism. John Ketchum, a social media producer for CNN, and Tricia Fulks Kelley (BSJ, 2009), an independent journalist, were the Innovators-in-Residence. WVU Food Justice Fellow and doctoral candidate Joshua Lohnes provided context and subject matter expertise for the course. Ketchum and Kelley worked with students to cover systems of food distribution and access. They also investigated the roles that government, corporations, local communities and individuals played within the food ecosystem. Throughout the project, students were charged with reimagining how journalists can work with the community to cover more of these issues. “Audience engagement was an important component of this particular project. We used it as a tool to connect with the community — to find out what stories they wanted to hear,” said Ketchum. “Food access impacts people at the community level, and we really wanted to dive deep into the communities we visited to make sure we told stories accurately and from all perspectives.”


Students walk through a high tunnel while touring an urban farm operating in downtown Baltimore.

Engage! Using Audience Engagement to Report on Social Justice Issues Media professionals, researchers and community members interested in a behind-the-scenes look at the innovative reporting project had the opportunity to attend a free public workshop at the College’s Media Innovation Center in April. Participants received hands-on training in audience engagement, community data sourcing and use of social media video by industry leaders from ProPublica, Hearken, NowThis and NPR. Participants also had the chance to interact with all items produced by the students during the project. Watch the videos:

Not only does Baltimore, Morgantown food access impact and Charleston, West people at the Virginia. Senior Lecturer community level, David Smith and veteran but it’s an “everyreporter Ron Taylor from person” issue, MSU provided hands-on according to Kelley. mentoring and helped lead She says people the students’ community should be especially reporting projects. During concerned about the these trips, students social justice aspect. worked with food activists, Left: Innovator-in-Residence John Ketchum and Morgan State student Synclaire “Despite what community leaders and Cruel interview a worker at a Baltimore mobile farmer's market while reporting the dominant church members. As on food deserts. Right: Innovator-in-Residence Tricia Fulks Kelley looks to the sky while testing out a drone in Southern West Virginia. narrative may be, students dug deeper into food injustice knows each other’s communities, no boundaries,” said Kelley. “The students were dogged in they discovered how difficult it can be to report on combatting dominant narratives and stereotypes, getting to sensitive topics in unfamiliar areas. the truth of the matter. In an ‘alternative fact’-driven world, “Our group went to a soup kitchen in the Charleston knowing why things are the way they are motivated the area. It was difficult to get the interviews we needed students’ reporting.” because we felt like outsiders,” said journalism senior The project, led by Associate Professor Joel Beeson, Hilary Kinney. “We decided to go back [the next day] and and MSU's Associate Professor and program chair Jackie engaged in conversation with the people there. It really Jones, was part of an ongoing social justice reporting opened my eyes to the working poor in this state.” partnership. The Innovators, faculty and students met With community connection at the heart of this project, each week via Google Hangout to discuss the project the group harnessed the power of emerging social media and hear from industry experts. In addition, they platforms — using them as both a reporting and audience conducted three shared immersion-reporting trips to engagement tool. “It was perfect timing for us to work with nationally-recognized leaders and practice all-new skills in social video and audience engagement,” said Learn more: Beeson, “not only for students, but for faculty as well.” The class produced a mobile app in partnership with the WVU Food Justice Lab to enable people to provide data about their food access strategies and food security status. Students also created their own digital publication through the platform, Medium, and a series of videos, including an animated one focusing on “food deserts” and how they form. This experimental project was not the first time WVU has partnered with Morgan State University. In 2015, students and faculty collaborated to create “Bridging Selma,” a unique social justice reporting MSJ student Kassy Taylor project to promote interviews a mobile farmer’s conversation about market operator in downtown Baltimore while reporting on race in America. urban food deserts.



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


Harrison-Omnicom Innovators-in-Residence Program SPRING 2017

Turning empathy into action WHEN A DEADLY FLOOD SWEPT THROUGH PARTS OF SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA LAST JUNE, NATIONAL MEDIA COVERAGE DREW A SWIFT CALL TO ACTION. But once the water subsided and reporters left the area, the story became yesterday’s news for nearly everyone but the residents left to recover from the damage. This spring, students in an experimental strategic communications class used immersive storytelling techniques to bring attention back to communities affected by the floods. The students used virtual reality and 360° video to create empathy for flood victims and inspire people to donate money for recovery efforts. The course was co-taught by Ben Roffee, the College’s first Harrison/Omnicom Innovator-in-Residence. Ben Roffee is digital director at RYOT, an immersive storytelling affiliate of The Huffington Post. Roffee said this kind of storytelling is a powerful way to engage audiences around important social issues.

“There are a lot of things happening in West Virginia that tie into bigger issues, whether it’s the floods, the coal industry, air quality or water quality,” said Roffee. “Using cutting-edge technology and more contemporary methods of distributing and packaging content will make it easier for people to react and respond to these stories.” Assistant Professor Geah Pressgrove was the on-site professor for the class. She, along with Senior Lecturer David Smith proposed the idea to work with West Virginia Public Schools for the project. “Public schoolchildren face many challenges — job loss in their communities, budget cuts and in West Virginia’s case, a natural disaster,” said Pressgrove. “We wanted to focus on stories of hope and resilience emerging from our school systems.” They considered several ideas and submissions before landing on three projects, all of which highlighted schools recovering from the floods. “A Place Where Hope Grows,” features an agricultural learning center at Rainelle Elementary School that grows food for the community and educates people on the good that comes

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MSJ student Nick Tabidze holds a 360° camera while filming a crew working on a tiny house at Clay County High School in March.

from rain; “Tiny House Turned Tiny Home,” is about Clay County career and technical students building tiny houses for people who lost their homes in the flood; and “Huskie Hope Stories,” features a Herbert Hoover High School teacher who purchased $5,000 worth of teaching materials that were destroyed in the flood. To kick-start their projects, students traveled to floodaffected areas to conduct interviews, take photos and shoot 360° videos. With the help of Roffee, Pressgrove and Smith, they then integrated the stories into strategic communications plans and campaigns. In addition to the videos, students developed brand guidelines, an online donation form, email marketing and social media campaigns, a media pitch and a community relations plan. They also became certified in social media management and optimization. Junior strategic communications major Hollie Greene said these skills will be invaluable when it comes time to apply for a job. Funding for the program was provided by the Harrison/ Omnicom Professorship. Dr. Tom Harrison, a WVU alumnus and international leader and innovator in the field of integrated marketing communications, says he’s excited about this new direction. Below: Senior strategic communications student Aishina Shaffer, left, and MSJ student Nick Tabidze take a break while filming 360 video at Clay County High School. Bottom: MSJ student Lauren Caccamo films students at Rainelle Elementary School. Students at the school recently built a high tunnel garden on the school grounds.

“The Innovators-in-Residence program will draw uniquely talented and creative collaborators to the College to develop cutting-edge curricula and prepare students to own and embrace the world,” Harrison said. “I am thrilled that the Harrison/Omnicom Professorship can underpin this brilliant effort.” In the fall, the school will be hosting a new Harrison/ Omnicom Innovator-in-Residence. Jesse Soleil, chief digital officer of Stealth at Omnicom, will co-teach a class and lead a project to monetize the College’s 100 Days in Appalachia digital publication. The College of Media launched its first Innovator-inResidence program in 2014 with a grant from the Knight Foundation. That program brought innovators to campus with a journalism focus to lead students in experimental projects and help cultivate a culture of innovation at the College. The program is a cornerstone of the College’s Media Innovation Center located in the new Evansdale Crossing building.

Learn more at

“There are a lot of things happening in West Virginia that tie into bigger issues. Using cutting-edge technology and more contemporary methods of distributing and packaging content will make it easier for people to react and respond to these stories.” Strategic communications major Savannah Ashworth, left, and MSJ student Lauren Caccamo take a break while filming flood devastation in Rainelle, W.Va., in March 2017. RE EDCOLLEG EOFME DI A.W VU. EDU


Ben Roffee, Innovator-in-Residence


Communities build


<<<<<<<<<<< n1ew memories2

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in wake of flood


AFTER A HISTORIC FLOOD HIT WEST VIRGINIA LAST SUMMER, MAKING NATIONAL NEWS AND DEVASTATING MANY COMMUNITIES, OGDEN NEWSPAPERS VISITING PROFESSOR NANCY ANDREWS ASKED HOW SHE COULD HELP. With so much attention focused on flood recovery, the award-winning photojournalist wanted to use her expertise to give hope to people living in the affected communities. Andrews’ original idea was to help flood victims restore their damaged photos, but she quickly realized that residents were more excited about making new memories. In September, Andrews and her team of graduate students created the WVU Photo Corps. Outfitted with a camera, studio light, computer and printer, they traveled to Greenbrier County to hold their first community portrait session. Not knowing what to expect, the team traveled to the small, rural community of Rainelle where they set up an outdoor photography studio at the town’s Fall Festival. Before they knew it, there was a long line of people waiting to have their pictures taken. “A lot of people — and not even people in flood areas — simply don’t have a beautiful portrait of themselves or their loved ones,” said Andrews. “And that’s the number one thing [that they want]. That’s the gift.” After Andrews snapped photos, journalism graduate student Justin Hayhurst edited and printed them. “I love the idea of being able to create a new memory [for people],” said Hayhurst. “The best part was being there to hand them their prints. They were really surprised at how great they looked.”

After the successful trip to Rainelle, Andrews worked with community leaders in Richwood and White Sulphur Springs to set up similar portrait sessions — taking photos at a Halloween parade, a Vietnam Veterans Association Car Show and even a Wild Game Cook-Off where deer, rabbit and squirrel were on the menu. “The WVU Photo Corps showed up like angels parachuted in from heaven to take photos of families, many of whom had lost theirs in the Thousand Year Flood,” said Bob Baber, mayor of Richwood. “The joy of the photographic team, the camaraderie of the photo process — including patiently waiting in line and, of course, the tangible instant results were tremendous.” Andrews says that in hindsight, this project had less to do with flood recovery and more to do with building community. “The purpose of the Photo Corps is to give back to the people of West Virginia and Central Appalachia through the use of photography, whether they were personally affected by the flood or not.” Many of the photos Floodwaters often destroy precious Andrews shot during photographs, so the WVU Reed College her tour of southern of Media Photo Corps visits areas of West West Virginia can be Virginia affected by the floods of June 2016 to seen on the Photo help make new photo memories with portraits and to document the lives of West Virginians. Corps website. This These portraits were made in Rainelle, W.Va., fall, the College of September 2016; White Sulphur Springs, Media plans to display W.Va., in October 2016; and in Richwood, some of the photos W.Va., in October 2016 by Prof. Nancy at the Media Andrews and Annie O’Neill with graduate student Justin Hayhurst assisting. Innovation Center.

See more portraits at



College prepares next generation of social scientists BY KAITLIN DAVIS


THE COLLEGE OF MEDIA IS EXPLORING HOW STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS CAN BE USED TO INFLUENCE PEOPLE’S ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIORS TOWARDS SOCIAL ISSUES. During the spring 2017 semester, strategic communications faculty launched the Public Interest Communications (PIC) Research Laboratory at the College’s Media Innovation Center. The PIC Research Lab was established following the announcement of WVU’s R1 status in 2016, which is the highest research ranking awarded to universities by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. One of the first of its kind in the nation, the lab provides a space for interdisciplinary social science research that describes and predicts how strategic communications can aid in social change. Dr. Sammy


Dr. Julia Daisy Fraustino, center, looks on as graduate student Nick Eckman, right, assists Blaithe Tarley as she tests a 360-degree video in the AR/VR Studio at the Media Innovation Center.

Lee, PIC Research Lab co-director, says the lab builds on the College’s mission to remain at the forefront of media education and research. “The PIC Lab positions the College as a leader in the emerging discipline of public interest communication,” said Lee. “Our research contributes to theory building, provides research-based guidance to the field and holds the potential to inform public policy.” Throughout the semester, students worked with PIC Lab faculty to examine how immersive storytelling can be used as a strategic communications tool to create empathy for flood victims and generate increased support for flood relief efforts. They conducted an experimental study, examining how the format and content of 360° videos about the floods influenced viewers’ responses, such as the likelihood that they would donate money or volunteer their time to help. Dr. Julia Daisy Fraustino, PIC Research Lab co-director, noted that the devastating 2016 floods in southern West Virginia, in part, inspired the project. “Most support for disaster relief occurs in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, and then it wanes. But communities can continue to struggle for months or years to rebuild,” Fraustino explained. “Through this experiment, we want to shed some research-based light on what might encourage or discourage people to stay engaged and help flood victims.” In addition to producing data that advances knowledge in the emerging discipline, the PIC Research Lab will help recruit and retain top faculty, allow the College to respond to funding opportunities and mentor the next generation of social scientists. “To communicate effectively, you need to know your target audience and what is and is not effective at reaching them,” said student Nick Eckman, lab coordinator. “What I want to take away from this experience is the knowledge of how to research properly so that I can go to my next position and not only bring creative ideas, but also bring expertise on how to justify my ideas and how to correctly explore new questions and possibilities.”

Learn more at

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nalism prog ild jour ram we are to the students and faculty at the College of Media for working so hard to help our program survive.” The College of Media also led a series of training workshops to help Richwood students develop their skills in interviewing, writing, news judgment and photojournalism. The first workshop was held in September at the College’s Media Innovation Center. WVU journalism senior Kristen Tuell of Weirton, West Virginia, provided students with training for the new cameras. “For me, it was incredible to see how genuinely interested these kids were as I showed them how to work the new cameras,” said Tuell. “I wasn’t a high school student that long ago, and I know getting some students to pay attention or ask questions is nearly impossible, but that wasn’t the case with them. I think they appreciated our gifts just as much as we enjoyed giving them.” Dean Maryanne Reed said the College has an obligation to do its part. “The scope of this disaster was staggering, and many of these communities are still in survival mode,” Reed said. “This was something tangible that our students and faculty could do to help one community and provide a positive experience for aspiring journalism students.”


JOURNALISM STUDENTS AT THE COLLEGE OF MEDIA PLAYED THEIR PART IN WEST VIRGINIA’S FLOOD RELIEF EFFORTS BY HELPING ONE COMMUNITY REBUILD ITS HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM PROGRAM. In the summer of 2016, floods devastated Richwood High School in Nicholas County, and its award-winning journalism program struggled to recover from the loss. Prior to the flood, Richwood was the only high school journalism program in the state to have a partnership with Public Broadcasting Service’s (PBS) NewsHour. But all of their cameras, microphones and other video equipment were destroyed in the flood. To help Richwood’s journalism students continue to tell stories and produce news packages, the WVU Reed College of Media donated used video cameras and other needed items, such as memory cards, storage containers and office supplies collected by students and faculty. Richwood senior Kendra Amick said WVU’s support gave her renewed hope for the future. “It was humbling to see the new cameras and equipment fill the empty shelves,” Amick said. “We are passionate about the stories we tell and can’t explain how thankful


Truth and Consequences Fake News, Filter Bubbles and Democracy

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Students use AI to fight fake news


FABRICATED NEWS IS NOTHING NEW, BUT IT’S BEING SPREAD FARTHER AND FASTER THAN EVER BEFORE, THANKS TO THE RELATIVE FREEDOM AND ANONYMITY OF THE SOCIAL WEB. At the same time, people are seeking and sharing information that reinforces their beliefs, aided by algorithms that target stories directly to them. The end result is a public that is finding it harder to discern truth from fiction and a nation further divided. To combat fake news and encourage people to access news across the political spectrum, the College of Media and the WVU David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas co-hosted the panel event, “Truth and

STUDENTS AND FACULTY AT WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY AREN’T WAITING FOR INTERNET GIANTS LIKE GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK TO PROVIDE SOLUTIONS TO FAKE NEWS. This spring, the College of Media collaborated with computer science students and faculty at the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources to host an artificial intelligence (AI) course. Two of the projects focused on detecting and combating fake news articles. Students worked in groups to develop and implement their own AI programs. One team utilized a machine learning system that analyzed text and generated a score that represented each article’s likeliness that it was fake news. This score was accompanied by a breakdown that explained the rating and provided transparency. The other team used a neural network, an AI system loosely based on the human nervous system, that examined an article and provided a score indicating its confidence that the article was not only true, but also unbiased. In addition to the score, the network would highlight words found in the article that had influenced its decision. This collaboration serves as an example of the Media Innovation Center’s mission to support initiatives, projects, research and curriculum innovations that meet at the intersection of technology, media and information.

Consequences: Fake News, Filter Bubbles and Democracy.” “It’s not that people have one specific story in their head Assistant Teaching Professor Emily Corio moderated the that they didn’t fact check,” said Cohen. “It’s the idea that conversation, which was webcast live and recorded for West over the long term, our social media news feeds bombard Virginia Public Broadcasting. The event was funded by the us with messages that are all similar in their basic point, Ogden Newspapers Seminar Series and WVU Libraries. and we form a general impression.” Corio began by asking the Founder of But, not all of the panelists agreed that fake news is a David Mikkelson if he thought the 2016 presidential problem. One of the experts said that fake news is old news. election was impacted by the rise in “I think we have a bit of a fake fake news. Mikkelson said he’s not controversy over fake news,” said @savgsims • Feb 22 sold that fake news had a significant Zach Graves, technology policy Some take away points: Stay skeptical. Get all info impact, but thought it contributed program director, R Street Institute. from more than 1 source. Media & humans have to an already negative and highly“We have tabloids, there was the never been/will never be perfect. #WVUIdeas charged campaign. yellow press ... This sort of thing “We had a unique confluence has been around forever. I’m not where we had a couple of candidates who had highly sure it’s something we should be too worried about.” unfavorable ratings — even among their own parties,” For those seeking advice on how to prevent fake news, said Mikkelson. “We also had people on the internet panelists had several tips. Cohen suggested that media literacy discovering that they could spread misinformation and is critical to combating fake news. Senior Politics Editor for rumors, not for partisan and ideological reasons only, but the Huffington Post Paige Lavender said that people need to so they could make money [from shares and advertisers.]” become more active consumers of social media — resisting Associated Press reporter Errin Whack said fake news the temptation to share questionable stories. wasn’t the only social media concern during the 2016 “Fake news hits you emotionally, and that’s why it’s elections. Many social media users fell victim to the “filter successful,” said Lavender. “As journalists, it’s important to bubble,” meaning they shared and received posts that stay calm and think through your writing and editing. As a aligned with their political beliefs instead of ones that consumer, it’s important to think twice before hitting the challenged their world view. share button.” “Social media isn’t set up for you to interact with people And Whack said the most important thing people can do that are not like-minded,” said Whack. “If you are looking is support journalists who are working to provide real news. for diverse points of view, you should get off of social “I was very heartened to see a rise in subscriptions to media and leave the house.” trusted media sources after the 2016 elections,” said Whack. A 2016 Pew Research Center survey shows 62 percent “It reinforces the idea that journalism is not only necessary, of U.S. adults get their news from social media. Dr. but valuable and worth the cost.” Elizabeth Cohen, a WVU communications studies assistant professor, said this trend is alarming. Cohen explained stories on social media typically use sensational headlines Watch the discussion: that reinforce political and ideological divisions.

“We form our own media habitats around what we’d like to see. That’s great for seeking out the information we care about, but it also means we can ignore the information that’s inconvenient.”


College to launch new media literacy class

IN A DIGITAL-FIRST WORLD, SOCIAL MEDIA IS A QUICK WAY TO GATHER AND DISSEMINATE NEWS AND INFORMATION. BUT, WHEN RELIABLE REPORTS FROM HONEST SOURCES ARE MIXED IN WITH HOAXES, RUMORS, CONSPIRACY THEORIES AND FAKE NEWS, THE TRUTH CAN BE TOUGH TO DISCERN. To teach students how to sort through the clutter and understand what is news, the College will offer a media literacy class this fall. The curriculum aims to prepare students to become savvier media consumers by teaching them how to access and critically analyze and evaluate media messages. As part of the course, students will learn to better distinguish real news from fake news; identify reporters’ biases; and investigate how race, class, gender and sexual orientation are represented in the media. Bob Britten, teaching assistant professor


WVU and Marshall team up to host INTEGRATE West Virginia


Strategic communicators in the Mountain State didn’t need to travel far this summer to learn the latest tools and practices of the profession.

In June, the WVU Reed College of Media’s Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) master’s program and Marshall University’s W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications co-hosted INTEGRATE West Virginia, a two-day conference for IMC students and communications professionals. The conference was held at Marshall University’s new Visual Arts Center in downtown Huntington. “We were thrilled to partner with our Marshall colleagues this year to bring INTEGRATE to Huntington,” said Chad Mezera, the College’s assistant dean of online programs. “Together we attracted an impressive lineup of industry experts.” After successfully holding INTEGRATE in Morgantown for four years, the IMC program expanded to Washington, D.C., and Chicago. This summer, the program chose Huntington to make the conference more accessible to marketing communication professionals across West Virginia. The conference featured networking opportunities, general sessions, breakout sessions and a keynote dinner featuring award-winning advertising executive Andy Azula. Azula, executive creative director at The Martin Agency, is best known for developing and starring in UPS’s Whiteboard campaign. During his career, Azula has won several major awards including Cannes, Communication Arts, The One Show and Clios. In

addition, he has @allymerc • Jun 4 served on the board Thanks @wvuimc for a great two days! of The One Club Feeling refreshed & ready to take on and worked with the new week! #INTEGRATEWV numerous clients such as BMW, Nikon, Miller, Timex, HP @scottcuppari • Jun 5 and Microsoft. Starting the work week inspired During his after #INTEGRATEWV. keynote presentation, Thank you @wvuimc! Azula shared “Life Lessons from an Advertising Executive” and discussed @hcrum41 • Jun 2 best practices for Phenomenal presentation @andyazula. rebranding products, Honored I got to hear it at services, brands #INTEGRATEWV. and categories. Additional speakers at INTEGRATE West Virginia included: Jonathan Lorenzini, brand insights and measurement lead at Google; Steve Radick, vice president, director of public relations and content integration at BRUNNER; Amanda Todorovich, director, content marketing at the Cleveland Clinic; and Scott Cuppari, global marketing director, Coca-Cola Freestyle.

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In October, we’ll take INTEGRATE on the road. This time, we’re heading to Houston,


Texas, home to NASA. Learn, network and share with fellow integrated marketing communications professionals, and hear from experts about the latest trends in the industry. In conjunction with the conference, we’re offering a bus trip from Houston to Baylor for the WVU-Baylor football game on Saturday, October 21. Check for updates and registration information.


Preserving a National Treasure Capstone students aid in promoting state landmark

Foundation. “The Board has no doubt of the value of the activities described in the proposals, and could not be more pleased and grateful to the students and the IMC program for their outstanding contributions.” Future plans include finding a sustaining partner for the Birthplace. The Board intends to use the IMC proposals to explain their marketing and communication goals to potential supporting partners. The collaboration between the University and the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation is part of a larger mission of outreach and scholarship that began in 2014 when WVU, West Virginia Wesleyan College and the Foundation announced that the three institutions would form a partnership to preserve and disseminate the legacy of Pearl S. Buck. The first step was for the WVU Libraries to house Buck’s priceless collection of literary manuscripts. Often described as a builder of bridges between China and the rest of the world, Buck is a literary legend who penned over 70 books. She was born in West Virginia to missionary parents and was the first American woman to win both the Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize in Literature.

To learn more about the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation, visit:


WVU REED COLLEGE OF MEDIA ALUMNI WHO DEVELOPED STRATEGIC MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGNS TO PROMOTE ONE OF WEST VIRGINIA’S TREASURES CAN NOW SEE THEIR IDEAS AT WORK. Based on an initiative from the WVU President’s Office, the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) graduate program partnered with the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation last summer to assist with its marketing communications needs. As part of their capstone course, students were asked to create strategic communications plans to build awareness and support fundraising activities for Buck’s birthplace in Hillsboro, West Virginia. Students presented their projects to foundation executives in September. Since then, the Foundation has made some progress toward implementing the students’ suggestions. The Board worked with Little Fish Design of Morgantown, West Virginia, to develop a new logo, website, brochures, marketing rack cards for distribution around the State, and banners to be used for public presentations. The materials have been effective. The Board already has noticed an uptick in awareness and interest in the Birthplace as a result of these wonderful new marketing and promotion materials. The Board also took notice of the students’ recommendations for membership and fund-raising. The Foundation revisited the membership categories and embarked on a membership drive this past spring. Along with that effort, the organization will initiate a fund-raising drive, and has partnered with the Kroger Community Rewards and PayPal Giving Fund programs. “These efforts are just the beginning of the Foundation’s revitalization of the Birthplace, based on the proposals we received from the Capstone project,” said Kirk Judd, treasurer of the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace


Pitching to the Dragon’s Den Students travel to London for study abroad capstone class


of the board of trustees. After the pitch, the students had STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS CAPSTONE STUDENTS to defend their campaign ideas with solid research. ARE MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE FOR A SPECIAL This study GROUP OF CHILDREN IN THE UNITED KINGDOM. abroad capstone Over Spring Break, WVU College of Media strategic gave strategic communications students traveled to Manchester, England, communications to work with Destination Florida, a charity that organizes students experience once-in-a-lifetime trips to Walt Disney World, Universal with a complete Studios and other major theme parks for critically ill rebrand of a children and their medical staff. charity. In addition, The London trip was the fourth study abroad capstone the students class led by Senior Lecturer Chuck Harman, and it was got professional highly competitive. To earn a spot in this year’s course, experience pitching students had to apply and pass an interview process. Paul Bailey, operations director, to executives in a Under the guidance of Harman and Porter Novelli Destination Florida real-world setting. mentor Chad Hyatt (BSJ, 2001), students worked together Strategic as a true integrated strategic communications agency. communications senior Elizabeth Frattarole believes that “This capstone course was far more robust, real-life the unique “Dragon’s Den” style pitch will prepare students and valuable than any internship the students could have for careers within the public relations, advertising and taken within an agency because they worked independently marketing industries. on their campaigns,” said Hyatt, senior vice president of “The ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch was intimidating and we Porter Novelli. “When I worked with these students, they all felt under pressure even though the stakeholders were asked questions and gave me a fresh perspective. They nice and welcoming,” said Frattarole. “I learned that staying inspired me to get rid of my preconceived notions and positive and calm throughout the presentation is key, even consider new ways to adapt in our ever-changing industry.” if something doesn’t go the way you expect, keep a smile on The students were divided into three “agencies” and your face and finish strong.” given titles such as account executive, strategic planner and Harman said the experience was mutually beneficial for creative director. the students and the client. Their objective was to conceive and deliver a rebranding “I was extremely proud of the students’ work this campaign to help Destination Florida better connect with semester. Destination Florida was so impressed by the prospective clients, volunteers and donors. Students used campaign plans that they have asked us to return with a Skype to communicate with the charity’s executives and new group of students next gather details for year,” said Harman. their campaigns. Destination Florida By the time the group executives will use a traveled to Manchester, strategy from each agency’s England, in early March, communications campaign. the agencies had developed In addition, members of distinct brand personalities, the class were invited to each pitching a different participate as volunteers strategy or tactic. for the charity’s trip to The student agencies Orlando in 2018. presented their pitches in a high-pressure style similar to U.S. television show “Shark Tank” and the U.K. equivalent “Dragon’s Den.” Each student agency was given 30 minutes to present Students meet with Porter Novelli's top recruiter on the rooftop of the agency's London office. to executives and members

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“I saw a group of creative, talented and fun-loving students from West Virginia University grow before our very eyes during this experience.”


The SunDANCE Kid MULTIDISCIPLINARY STUDIES SENIOR SAM THOMPSON ASPIRES TO BE THE BEST WRITER AND DIRECTOR IN HOLLYWOOD, AND WITH A SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL AWARD UNDER HIS BELT, HE’S ON THE RIGHT TRACK. In January, Thompson, along with two former WVU students, wrote, directed and filmed the musical, “The SunDANCE,” a coming-of-age story that pits the indie film industry against Hollywood. The five-minute short film earned him the “Creative Mind Best Director Award” at the renowned Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. “If I want to make a living out of it [film], getting awards is important,” said Thompson. “Having this award on my résumé is a building block that will help us get more money for the next project.” Thompson, a native of Shamong, New Jersey, earned the opportunity to produce the award-winning musical after his audition tape was selected out of 2,000 entries. As a result, he received one of just eight spots in The Creative Mind Group’s Sundance program, an initiative dedicated to finding the next generation of filmmakers. Thompson always knew he wanted to be in the entertainment industry, but wasn’t sure where to start. He might’ve missed his opportunity had he not stepped out of his comfort zone and joined WVU’s Film Club,

now housed in the College’s Media Innovation Center. Thompson shared his first script with the club, which led him to seriously consider a career in film. “I saw a poster for a film club meeting, and it took me three months to go,” said Thompson. “From that point on, I fell in love with writing, directing, being on set and the whole process. It really grabbed me and never let me go.” Since joining the club, Thompson has served as an intern at the Cannes Film Festival in France and produced valuable work for his portfolio. One of his recent productions, “Castro,” screened this past February in New York City. The film won the Young Filmmaker Showcase at the Sarasota Film Festival and was named a semi-finalist in Los Angeles CineFest. In 2016, his film, “Do It for the Finger,” won a Jury Award at Campus MovieFest, the world’s largest student film festival. Thompson says WVU and the College of Media have played a big role in his personal narrative. “My classes at the College of Media have helped me to develop my writing style,” said Thompson. “And my professors and advisors have given me the support system to do what I love.” In the future, Thompson hopes to use film as a conduit to shine a light on important issues such as women’s rights.

“My professors and advisors have given me the support system to do what I love.” Sam Thompson, student/filmmaker


WVU Reed College of Media student Sam Thompson, center, directs an independent film in Morgantown in April. At right is Reed College of Media student Mikey D’Amico.



Outstanding Alumni

Alumna and Pulitzer Prize-win receives honorary degree, serves as commencement spea


In May, Mason returned to her alma mater to receive the award and to provide inspiration to the May graduating class of 2017. This year, 275 College of Media graduates participated in the Commencement ceremony held at the WVU Coliseum. President E. Gordon Gee was there to present Mason with her honorary degree. Mason is the bureau chief for the Associated Press (AP) in Indonesia. In April 2016, she and three of her AP colleagues won a Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service for their project “Seafood from Slaves.” As a result of their investigative journalism, more than 2,000 enslaved Thai and Burmese fishing boat workers were freed, and U.S. trade legislation was tightened on seafood imports. Many of Mason’s stories focus on the Asia-Pacific region, where she specializes in medical writing in addition to human rights and poverty issues. Prior to her most recent work at the AP, Mason was an Asian studies fellow at the University of Hawaii and a 2009 Nieman Global Health fellow at Harvard University. The award-winning journalist and Daybrook, West Virginia, native began her career at The Dominion Post in Morgantown as a part-time typist while still a student at the P.I. Reed School of Journalism (now WVU Reed College of Media). After graduation, she worked at the Charleston, West Virginia, Associated Press and several other media organizations in San Francisco and Vietnam. West Virginia University awards honorary degrees to select individuals whose outstanding contributions are important to the University, to the people of the state of West Virginia, or to the nation. Recipients

have achieved the highest standards of excellence and illuminate, advance, ease and inspire the human condition.

“Seafood from Slaves: From Investigation to Pulitzer Prize”

Last fall, Mason and her Associated Press colleagues came to WVU to share their firsthand account of the 18-month investigation that freed more than 2,000 men and earned the reporters a Pulitzer Prize. Esther Htusan, Robin McDowell, Martha Mendoza and Mason presented “Seafood from Slaves: From Investigation to Pulitzer Prize” in the WVU Mountainlair Ballrooms on October 10. The event was co-sponsored by the WVU Reed College of Media, the Ogden Newspapers Seminar Series, the David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas and WVU’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. During the panel, the journalists described the step-bystep process of their reporting, from their discovery of the enslaved fishermen, to following the distribution of seafood caught by slaves to American grocery stories. They said it was important to track the supply chain


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West Virginia native and Pulitzer Prizewinner Margie Mason (BSJ, 1997) can add Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters to her growing list of accolades.

Alumna ‘chews over’ history of the West Virginia pepperoni roll in new book



Watch Commencement:

of fish back to consumers in the United States to give people here a reason to care about their story. They also discussed how they used a mix of technology and boots-on-theground journalism to uncover their story. For example, satellites and beacons were used to track the fishing boats, but they had to hide out — sometimes for days — in the back of a pickup truck to gather information. One of the more poignant stories of the evening was shared by Mason. She told the audience about a young fisherman who returned home to his family a free man after spending 22 years a slave.

A NEW BOOK WRITTEN BY ALUMNA CANDACE NELSON (BSJ, 2011; MSJ, 2013) SHARES ONE OF WEST VIRGINIA’S FAVORITE SNACK FOODS WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD. The book, “The West Virginia Pepperoni Roll,” gives a comprehensive history of the unofficial state food of West Virginia. Published by West Virginia University Press, Nelson’s work features more than 100 photos and recipes, as well as the story of the immigrants, business owners, laborers and citizens who developed the pepperoni roll. The book is available for purchase from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, WVU Press and at most bookstores across West Virginia. Why write about the pepperoni roll? Nelson says because it is a uniquely West Virginian food with roots in the coal mining industry — and of course, because they’re delicious. Nelson, a West Virginia native, is the digital marketing coordinator for the West Virginia Division of Tourism.



Making the List

Get to know Leyda!

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Hernandez (IMC, 2012) was one of the 30 young professionals named to this year’s marketing and advertising category. “As a nominee, you don’t know whether you have made the list until it’s published for the world to see,” said Hernandez. “I Googled that morning, found that the list had been released and saw my face. It was such an incredible feeling because this milestone meant a lot to me.” Hernandez is the director of marketing at in Seattle, Washington, a real-time television advertising analytics company. Her primary responsibilities are to develop marketing strategies that shape audience perspectives, to gather analytics from television ads and to manage’s digital marketing efforts. Hernandez attributes her success to being goal-oriented and a go-getter. She started college at the age of 16, and by 21 she had two bachelor’s degrees — one in studio art and the other in public relations. “Every year I ask myself what I want to accomplish professionally,” said Hernandez. “I am very competitive with myself. I’m always trying to be better than I was yesterday.” Hernandez began her career in visual arts but wanted a job where she could still be creative within the business world. She says marketing communications allows her to fulfill her creative needs while contributing to the revenue goals of her clients. Hernandez credits WVU’s Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program with teaching her how to take a step back and focus on the bigger picture. “The program was such a good experience because you get to touch on many different areas,” said Hernandez. “One of the greatest things I got out of the IMC program was how to think about marketing holistically. You analyze not only marketing’s impact, you also think about psychology, economics, communications and technology. Your brain gets to play with very complex situations that require high-level strategic thinking and technical know-how.” Even with the career milestone of being named to “Forbes 30 Under 30,” Hernandez has no intention of slowing down. She is still trying to figure out her next “finish line,” but a few of her dreams include becoming a chief marketing officer for a multinational company and becoming an entrepreneur. In the meantime, she has plenty to keep her busy. This fall, Hernandez will teach the capstone course for the College of Media’s Data Marketing Communications online graduate program.



The wild and not so wonderful: JOURNALISM ALUMNUS SCOTT BRISCOE ALWAYS HAD A KNACK FOR TELLING STORIES, BUT HE NEVER ANTICIPATED THAT HIS MOST POPULAR ANECDOTES WOULD COME FROM THE COURTROOM. Briscoe (BSJ, 1994) used his journalism degree as a foundation for his legal career. But after 20 years of practicing law in his hometown of Danville, West Virginia, he is returning to his journalist roots. Trident Media Group, the same literary agency that represents suspense writer Dean Koontz, has contacted Briscoe to write a book about the wild and not-so-wonderful things he has witnessed in the courtroom. The book will be a compilation of tongue-in-cheek legal tips that he’s posted to Facebook over the past three years. He began posting the “Laugh Out Loud True Stories” to his personal Facebook page after he noticed an increase in people sharing stories about their illegal activities. “My first tip was, ‘If you’re going to post your crimes A, B and C, they’re going to become state’s evidence 1, 2 and 3.’” Briscoe said that reading the responses to his first tip was so much fun that he wanted to post more. To get more material, he started paying closer attention to his surroundings in the courtroom. Soon he was posting tips about everything from how to choose an alibi to what not to wear in front of a judge. “Free Legal Tip of the Day #5: When facing charges of stealing an ATV, do not wear your ‘Drive It Like You Stole It’ T-shirt.” As the likes and shares continued to grow, friends and family encouraged Briscoe to create

a page dedicated to his comical advice. That’s when he came up with “L. Scott Briscoe’s Free Legal Tips.” “One day I got this random message from a woman that I didn’t even know. It said, ‘You are famous now. That’s awesome!’ I had no idea what she was talking about,” said Briscoe. “She had attached a website called, and that site somehow found my Facebook page and shared it.” Since then, Briscoe’s page has appeared on several websites including collegehumor. com,, and He now has a following of more than 35,000 people, and the exposure has connected him to a global audience. “I’ve started receiving messages from people around the world wanting free legal advice,” said Briscoe. “I have to explain to them that my page is just for fun — not really free legal advice.” Briscoe said he has enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame and looks forward to writing his book. Currently, there is no timeline for its release. As for his Facebook page, Briscoe said to stay tuned. He’s constantly updating it with new tips. “I’m going to do the free legal tips page as long as I’m having fun with it,” said Briscoe. “Maybe I’ll educate some people along the way. If I could at least get people to dress appropriately for their court hearings, that’s a success right there.”



Alumnus shares real-life courtroom stories in upcoming book


Giving Back

A legacy of mentorship and giving As a journalism student and young professional, Martha Smith (BSJ, 1970) had some unforgettable mentors. Legendary West Virginia sportswriter Mickey Furfari, news columnist Betty Furfari and beloved journalism professor Paul Atkins left such an impression on Smith that she decided to ensure their legacies for generations to come. Smith’s planned gift of $155,000 established the Mickey and Betty Furfari Endowed Fund and will supplement the Professor Paul A. Atkins Scholarship. The money will provide scholarships to undergraduate students studying journalism at the WVU College of Media. As a student writer, Smith worked with the Furfaris during a summer at The Dominion News (now The Dominion Post). She observed Mickey covering and writing sports stories, and she worked with Betty as a contributor to her society column. She became friends with the Furfaris and remained in contact with them throughout her career. As for Atkins, she said having him as a professor helped her become a stickler for spelling and editing. “If I see a typo I will point it out,” said Smith. “When I do, people always ask if I’m a teacher. I respond: ‘No, I’m a journalist.’” A first-generation college graduate, Smith recognized the importance of giving since she was able to attend WVU with the help of scholarships. She wanted to give budding journalists the same opportunity. “When I receive the alumni magazine, I am very interested to read about the students, where they are going and how they are helping people [through projectbased learning],” said Smith. “I support what the College and its students are doing, and it’s time to put my money where my mouth is.” A native of West Virginia, Smith spent 50 years as a journalist including 30 years as a staff member of the Providence Journal. She has received several honors including New England Magazine Journalist of the Year and an induction into the Rhode Island Press Association Hall of Fame. She is the author of two books including, “Me and Mr. Zane Grey,” released in 2016, about the heartwarming, Martha Smith true story of how Smith rescued an abandoned donkey and nursed him back to health. Betty Furfari was a 1947 graduate of the School of Journalism and Mickey graduated from the School in 1948. The couple met while working together at The Daily Athenaeum. Betty died in 2004, just shy of the couple’s 56th wedding anniversary. Mickey referred to her as his “best friend, editor and confidant.”

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“When I receive the alumni magazine, I am very interested to read about the students, where they are going and how they are helping people. I support what the College and its students are doing, and it’s time to put my money where my mouth is.”


College receives largest planned gift in history The West Virginia University Reed College of Media is in an optimistic “State of Mind” after receiving its largest planned gift ever. A journalism alumna who wishes to remain anonymous pledged $700,000 to the College through a planned estate gift. The bequest was part of “A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University.” At the time the money becomes available, it will be used to support major journalism initiatives that provide students with both foundational skills in writing, reporting and research and new skills in emerging journalistic practice. “We are very appreciative of the generosity of our donor, whose gift will have a transformative impact on the College,” said Dean Maryanne Reed. “Private giving is essential to support the good work of our students and faculty and the continued growth and success of our academic program,” said Reed. “We still have several months left in the campaign, but this generous gift enabled us to end 2016 on a high note.” The College of Media’s fund-raising efforts are part of a comprehensive campaign to raise money for WVU and its regional campuses. “A State of Minds” was launched by the WVU Foundation in 2012 and runs through the end of this year. Proceeds raised during the campaign will be used for a variety of funding priorities including scholarships and enhancement funds, faculty research support, student projects and capital improvements.

Priorities for Tomorrow The Reed College of Media has identified a list of essential funding priorities that, with your vital support, will power our accomplishments in education and research in the coming decades. A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University is the vehicle through which you can make a difference for students and faculty members, as well as our state, national and global communities. Named Professorships and Faculty Support Student Scholarships and Enhancement Innovators-in-Residence Program Journalism Projects and Curricula Naming Opportunities in the Media Innovation Center To learn more about these funding priorities, contact Tiffany Samuels at 304-293-6775 or



Student Profile

Student combines passion for BY KAITLIN DAVIS

to launch new student organization at WVU

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As a senior at University High School in Morgantown, Julia Mellet had a promising future as a college athlete. Nationally ranked in both soccer and tennis, Mellett was hopeful that she would receive a scholarship to a Division II or III college. She had to rethink her goal when a broken collarbone permanently forced her out of the game.


PHOTO: ALL-PRO PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO: INSTAGRAM “That was like a punch to the gut,” said Mellet. “It was devastating.” Mellet, now a journalism sophomore, ultimately chose West Virginia University and the College of Media. But she wasn’t ready to give up on sports. She found a way to combine her love for athletics and her interest in media by starting a chapter of the Association for Women in Sport Media (AWSM) at WVU. Mellet says she wanted PHOTO: INSTAGRAM to start the organization in L-R: Mellett interns for WVU Athletics Video. She was an effort to empower women the 2016 on-field host for the West Virginia Black Bears. Mellett speaks in an industry where there are on U-92 about the WVU chapter of the Association for Women in Sports Media. limited opportunities for females. the industry. Mellett tries to bring in speakers who meet all “The sports media industry as a whole is just students’ needs as well as wants. extraordinarily male dominated, and has been since the Celina Pompeani, the host of PensTV, is just one of the creation of sports networks like ESPN and Fox Sports,” women who has come to speak to AWSM members about her said Mellett. “… [Women in sports media] are hardcore.” career and the future of women in the sports media industry. Mellett discovered AWSM while searching for online “It has been a great experience being a member of this scholarship opportunities. With a strong desire to make chapter because we set the tone for the future,” said Nicole connections to other women in the industry, she attended Kaye, a founding member. “Our executive board has done the organization’s 2015 national convention in Miami, an outstanding job setting up meetings with some of the Florida. While at the convention, she was inspired to best female journalists in the area.” establish a student chapter on campus. Mellett hopes to leave a legacy of hard work and By fall 2016, Mellet had accomplished her goal — determination. She is proud of the student organization making WVU the 15th active AWSM student chapter in the that she has built and knows that WVU and the College of country, and the third in the Big 12. She credits Teaching Media is where she was meant to be. Assistant Professor Elizabeth Oppe, the chapter’s faculty “If I had gone to a smaller D-II school, I wouldn’t have advisor and her professional mentor, and Associated Press gotten the opportunities or connections that I have at Sports Reporter Kristie Rieken for a successful launch. West Virginia University,” said Mellett. “Things certainly AWSM is open to all students, including men, and happen for a reason.” female professionals who want to make connections in

Around the College

Award-winning author shares stories of the Mississippi Delta ‘church mothers’ with WVU community Author and photojournalist Alysia Burton Steele spent nine months and traveled 2,000 miles to capture the stories in her latest book, “Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom.” In September, Steele shared those stories, a written collection of oral histories of the Mississippi Delta’s beloved “church mothers,” with a packed audience at the College’s Media Innovation Center. Steele’s presentation was an incredible journey of civil rights, humor, love and loss, as told through the eyes of the women in her book. Her ability to connect with her subjects allowed her to not only share their stories, but also to connect with the people in the audience during her presentation. She concluded her talk by encouraging attendees to listen to the stories of their elders. “Journalists and photographers usually like to stay behind the camera; but to be able to share the Mississippi Delta’s oral histories with West Virginia University is an honor,” said Steele. “For the journalism students out there, I want to tell you the importance of following your gut and following your passion. You’ve got to like what you do. You spend so much time at work that it has to matter.” Steele is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media in Oxford, Mississippi.

Media Innovation Center brings together industry thought leaders to form advisory committee ADVISORY COMMITTEE Brian Boyer | Visuals Editor, NPR Jim Brady | CEO, Spirited Media David Cohn | Senior Director - Alpha Group, Advance Anthony Debarros | Vice President of Digital Content and Strategy, Questex Scott Finn | Executive Director, West Virginia Public Broadcasting Jeremy Gilbert | Director of Strategic Initiatives, The Washington Post John Ketchum | Social Media Producer, CNN Emily Ramshaw | Editor-in-Chief, The Texas Tribune Elaine McMillion Sheldon | Documentary Maker/Media Artist Sarah Slobin | Things Editor, Quartz Amy Webb | Futurist, Author and Founder of “The Future Today Institute”


Members of the Media Innovation Center’s advisory committee met for the first time in September in Morgantown. In order to prepare students to be makers and leaders in the dynamic world of media, the College assembled the committee with a diverse and talented group of professionals to help shape the future of media education. Committee members met to share their expertise, insights and connections with administration, faculty and students to help the College achieve academic excellence and national prominence. Members were appointed by the WVU provost in consultation with the College of Media dean. Typically, these individuals serve three-year appointments. The committee’s mission is to develop partnerships and serve as ambassadors and advisors for the activities and programs of the Center.


Around the College

A flattened panoramic still image from a 360° video on the 2016 flooding in southern West Virginia. Below, right: Senior Jennifer Gardner uses 360° cameras to record the scene at Richwood High School while filming a short documentary on the flooding in the region.

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College of Media, Gazette-Mail video recognized by Newseum


Each month, the Newseum in Washington, D.C., features the “Best in Virtual Reality” videos. In November, the WVU Reed College of Media and the Charleston Gazette-Mail made the top 10. Their 360° video, “West Virginia Flood Recovery,” was featured on Newseum’s Top 10 VR Videos of the Month. College of Media Senior Lecturer David Smith and journalism senior Jennifer Gardner of Charleston, West Virginia, shot and produced the video, which was highlighted on The video gave viewers an immersive look at cleanup efforts following the June 23, 2016, floods that devastated parts of southern West Virginia. Gardner, a former student of Smith’s, was working for the Gazette-Mail as a summer intern when he came to her with the idea of covering the floods using 360° video cameras. “The 360° video of the flood is powerful because people can understand the damage from a unique perspective,” said Gardner “Viewers can interact with the scenery because they are immersed within it and can explore the flood zones for themselves through their mobile devices.” The College of Media has been an early adopter of immersive media technology, incorporating experimental techniques into the curriculum since 2013. Smith, who has taught two experimental journalism classes at WVU, says being featured in the Newseum showed the College is moving in the right direction when it comes to media and innovation.

“The 360° video of the flood is powerful because people can understand the damage from a unique perspective. Viewers can [...] explore the flood zones for themselves through their mobile devices.” Jennifer Gardner, journalism senior

Watch the video:

Data journalist talks election numbers with College of Media students Numbers can tell a story, but they can also be misleading. And as we now know, pre-election polls in the 2016 presidential election predicted the wrong outcome, with Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton in the Electoral vote. Wall Street Journal Data Reporter Paul Overberg shared his insights about the role data played in the historic election in his presentation, “By the Numbers: Data, Journalism and the 2016 Election,” at the College’s Media Innovation Center in November. Overberg addressed problems in polling, such as outdated data-gathering methods and the “shy voter” phenomenon, in which voters aren’t always truthful about their choices. He also discussed the possible impact of both candidates’ historically high unfavorability ratings leading up to the election. Overberg told audience members that data journalism is only going to grow in importance over time. “All journalists will have to know how to use data,” he said. “If you learn a little bit of data while you’re in school, you’ll be ahead of many professional journalists.”

“All journalists will have to know how to use data. If you learn a little bit of data while you’re in school, you’ll be ahead of many professional journalists.” Paul Overberg, Wall Street Journal

Alumni return to give ‘Major Market’ advice What does it take to work in the number-one media market in the nation? The College of Media has some alumni who know, and they were happy to share their wisdom with current students during an October session at the College’s Media Innovation Center. The discussion was moderated by Director of Student Careers and Opportunities Eric Minor and consisted of a six-person panel including WVU alumni Sean Robertson from

Dish Network; Kristy Kozlowski from Carat; David Roter from Twitter; Cara Lewis from Carat; Anthony Flaccavento from Tremor Video; and Jacob Lewis from Freeform. The panelists have held positions in agencies, publications, broadcasting companies and many niches of the media industry. They shared personal experiences and advice, as well as reviewed resumes for students preparing to start careers.



Around the College

Frank Ahrens addressed students about crosscultural corporate communications

West Virginia University alumnus Frank Ahrens traded the newsroom for the boardroom when he moved from Washington D.C., to Seoul, South Korea. Ahrens started at Hyundai as the company’s director of global communications and was later promoted to vice president of global corporate communications. Out of thousands of Korean employees at company headquarters, he was one of fewer than 10 non-Koreans and the only American. In his book, “Seoul Man: A Memoir of Cars, Culture, Crisis and Unintended Hilarity Inside a Corporate Titan,” Ahrens recounts the three years he spent at Hyundai — traveling to auto shows and press conferences around the world and pitching his company to former colleagues while trying to navigate cultural differences at home and work. Ahrens shared excerpts from his book, personal anecdotes and wisdom about working overseas with a full audience at the WVU Mountainlair Ballrooms. Frank Ahrens

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Regional photographers discuss the impact of air quality in Western Pennsylvania


A distinguished panel of photographers spoke with students about their work in the first exhibit display at the WVU 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’ Neil that illustrates the environmental, social and economic effects of air quality in Western Pennsylvania. Photos feature 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. The photographers discussed their techniques in depth, the overall effect of their work and how the exhibit works to educate residents and visitors of Western Pennsylvania on air quality.

Faculty News

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Dean Maryanne Reed named top media administrator of the year West Virginia University Reed College of Media Dean Maryanne Reed was named the 2016 Scripps Howard Administrator of the Year.


Co-sponsored by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the Scripps Howard Administrator of the Year award 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. Since Reed was first appointed dean 13 years ago, the College of Media has achieved record student enrollment, gained a reputation for excellence in online education and cultivated a number of award-winning programs and projects. Under Dean Reed’s leadership, the College has repositioned itself as a leader in modern media education. It has transformed the curriculum to have a digital-first approach, created the nation’s first Data Marketing Communications master’s degree program and launched a new state-of-the-art Media Innovation Center on Evansdale. In addition, the College created an Innovator-in-Residence funded by the James L. Knight Foundation that engages highlevel journalists and newsroom “change-agents” in virtual residencies that result in real-world projects and curricula at the intersection of media, technology and audience. Reed has served on the faculty of the 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.




Women in edia W

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Pressgrove honored with Heebink award for distinguished service


Geah Pressgrove, assistant professor of strategic communications in the Reed College of Media, was one of two WVU professors to receive 2017 Heebink Awards for Distinguished Service to the state of West Virginia. These awards, established in 1982, are awarded annually to individuals who embody WVU’s land-grant mission of teaching, research and service. Pressgrove, recipient of the Heebink Award for Beginning Service, has used a community-focused approach to create a network of partners across the state that has allowed her to secure funding for her students to conceptualize and execute more than a dozen service-learning and civic-engagement projects. In her introductory and advanced courses, Pressgrove has guided students to the completion of public education campaigns, community branding projects and fund-raising events. She has also leveraged student talent to develop marketing materials for nonprofit organizations in Monongalia and Preston counties. In each of these endeavors, Pressgrove worked to achieve both maximum results for the community partners and an optimal learning experience for the students, specifically about the importance of civic engagement. Pressgrove advises the award-winning WVU chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, volunteers extensively for the United Way of Mon and Preston Counties and is a published researcher in the area of nonprofit public relations. Pressgrove received honoraria in professional development support ($3,000 for extended service and $2,000 for beginning service). She was recognized by President E. Gordon Gee and Provost Joyce McConnell at the annual faculty and staff awards dinner.

Colistra receives alumni association faculty excellence award Associate Professor Rita Colistra was named the recipient of the 2016 James and Karen Caveney Alumni Association Faculty Excellence Award. The award, established in 2014, is intended for a “highly-productive” faculty member who demonstrates excellence in teaching and research alongside a “commitment to the people of West Virginia.” A national-award-winning professor and scholar, Colistra has been the recipient of a state Public Relations Educator of the Year Award, a national Promising Professor Award, a national PR SuPRstar Award and a Faculty Excellence in Civic Engagement Award. She has obtained nearly $200,000 in both grant and client funding for her students to implement more than 15 strategic communications campaigns for communities and organizations. Colistra served as principal investigator and project director for the Community Branding Initiative (CBI), funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. Through the CBI, WVU Strategic Communications faculty and students worked to revitalize three West Virginia communities through integrated branding efforts and creative strategies. In addition, Colistra and her students have won 18 Crystal Awards and eight honorable mentions from the West Virginia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for their client campaign work serving West Virginia communities and organizations. As the recipient of the 2016 Caveney Award, Colistra received professional development funds from the Caveney Fund. She was recognized by WVU President E. Gordon Gee and Provost Joyce McConnell at the annual faculty and staff awards dinner.

Faculty News During the 2016-2017 academic year, one College of Media director was promoted to assistant dean, two professors were promoted and one professor was awarded tenure.

Chad Mezera

Elizabeth Oppe

Professor Emily Hughes Corio was promoted to the rank of teaching associate professor. Corio joined the College of Media faculty in 2011, teaching video and multimedia reporting. For the past several years, she has taught a new class, Adventure Travel Writing and Photography, which she developed. Before coming to WVU, Corio worked in the journalism industry for 10 years as a reporter and producer. She was the assistant news director at the statewide NPR and PBS affiliate network in West Virginia. Throughout her career, she has reported and produced many award-winning pieces and won several awards including a Knight Center for Environmental Journalism Fellowship. Corio’s stories have aired on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition,” WNYC’s and PRI’s “The Takeaway” and the CBC.

Dr. Elizabeth Oppe, who joined the College of Media faculty in 2011, was promoted to the rank of teaching associate professor. In addition to teaching courses for the College of Media, Oppe developed and teaches Communications and Public Relations for Executives for the Executive Master of Business Administration online program offered through the WVU College of Business and Economics. Before she began at WVU, Oppe taught at Florida State College at Jacksonville, Glenville State College, University of Charleston, West Virginia State University and West Virginia Wesleyan. While still in the industry, she worked for CBS College Sports as a sideline reporter.

Hongmin Ahn Dr. Hongmin Ahn, assistant professor and faculty research affiliate of the PIC Research Lab, was awarded tenure. Ahn’s research focuses on advertising appeals, brand

management, media psychology and technology adoption in strategic communications. Her research has been published in many respected journals including Psychology & Marketing, Journal of Services Marketing, Journal of Brand Management, Journal of Financial Services Marketing, Journal of Marketing Communications and International Journal of e-Business Management. She teaches Principals of Advertising, Advertising Research and Advertising Media Analysis. In 2014, Ahn received the WVU Reed College of Media Inaugural Research Award. In addition to WVU, she has also taught courses at the University of Texas.


Emily Hughes Corio

Chad Mezera was named assistant dean of online programs. Mezera joined the College in 2005 as the director of the IMC master’s degree program, which had 57 students. Today, he has grown enrollment to nearly 500 active students, making it the largest master’s degree offered by WVU. Throughout his time at the College of Media, Mezera’s role has expanded from overseeing just the IMC program, to include seven undergraduate online minors, as well as the newly launched Data Marketing Communications (DMC) master’s program. Under his leadership, the IMC program was awarded the 2015 “Outstanding Online Program” by the Online Learning Consortium and named a finalist for PRWeek’s 2016 “Education Program of the Year” Award.


Student Awards

WVU News wins first place in national competition The Broadcast Education Association (BEA) awarded “WVU News” first place in the Television Newscast (airing three days per week or less) category in the 2017 Festival of Media Arts competition. “WVU News” won the top honor out of more than 1,500 entries. The winning entry, “Special Edition Heroin and Opioids: When Addiction Hits Home,” focuses on the Mountain State’s rising heroin and opioid addiction. WVU students involved with the award-winning project include Executive Producer Megan Saporito and Anchors Hannah Goetz and Kristen Tuell.

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Fall 2016 'WVU News' team


This is the second time “WVU News” has received the top award under the leadership of Teaching Associate Professor Gina Martino Dahlia. The BEA Festival of Media Arts is an international refereed exhibition of faculty creative activities and a national showcase for student works sponsored by the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation. More than 175 colleges and universities are represented at the festival. Competition categories include audio, documentary, interactive multimedia, news, scriptwriting, sports, two-year/small colleges and video.


Enactus WVU wins regional competition in Washington, D.C. As part of a spring capstone experience, Reed College of Media strategic communications students launched several campaigns designed to improve the well-being of communities across the Mountain State. To carry out these campaigns, students implemented WVU’s first chapter of Enactus United States. Enactus is an international organization that connects student, academic and business leaders through entrepreneurial-based projects that empower people to transform opportunities into real, sustainable progress for themselves and their communities. On March 31, Enactus WVU executive board members traveled to Washington, D.C., to showcase their ongoing campaigns in the Enactus United States Regional Competition. The team returned from the competition as regional champions. They qualified to advance to the Enactus United States National Exposition, which took place in Kansas City, Missouri in May. The team’s presentation highlighted their four ongoing campaign projects, which focus on improving recycling on campus, branding and launching the Buffalo Flats Artist Association, helping the Shack Neighborhood House and organizing Grafton’s Earth Day Celebration.

SPJ honors College of Media students with national finalist awards The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) recognized the “WVU News” “Special Edition Heroin and Opioids: When Addiction Hits Home,” as a 2016 Mark of Excellence National Finalist in the Best All-Around Television Newscast category. Also, Andrew Spellman was named a national finalist in the Feature Photography category. In addition to the national awards, students were recognized as winners and finalists in the Region 4 Mark of Excellence Awards this spring: WINNERS Andrew Spellman – Breaking News Photography (Large) Andrew Spellman – Feature Photography (Large) Brandon Ridgely – Editorial Columns Reghan Bailey – Television Sports Reporting Kristen Tuell – Television General News Reporting

SPJ’s Mark of Excellence Awards honor the best in collegiate journalism. Region 4 is comprised of Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and parts of Western Pennsylvania.

2016 December Commencement Top Graduate Top Overall Scholar Hannah Booth

2017 May Commencement Top Graduates Top Overall Scholars Emily Fitzgerald Claudia Palmer

2017 Spring Honors Ceremony Outstanding Journalism Seniors Jennifer Gardner C.J. Harvey Katherine Hensley Hilary Kinney Kristen Tuell Outstanding Strategic Communications Seniors Jacob Byrne Elizabeth Frattarole Courtney Gatto James Kelleher Claudia Palmer

WVU Foundation Outstanding Senior Jacob Byrne


FINALISTS Askar Salikhov – Photo Illustration (Large) Kayla Asbury – Breaking News Reporting (Large) Alainia Conrad – Featuring Writing (Large) David Stratman – Sports Column Writing Dalia Elsaid - Online In-Depth Reporting Shayla Klein – Radio News Reporting Kristen Tuell – Television Breaking News Reporting Nikki Kaye – Television Sports Photography Kristen Tuell – Television General News Reporting

Senior Awards and Top Graduates


Class Notes 1950s Joel Olesky (BSJ, 1954) has traveled to 52 countries, from China and Australia to Morocco and Turkey. He retired from the Akron Beacon Journal and currently lives in Tallmadge, Ohio. 1970s Michele Ash (BSJ, 1970) is a selfemployed graphic designer in Sun City Center, Florida. Norman Booth (BSJ, 1979) is the vice president of Coyne PR in Parsippany, New Jersey. Paula Lichiello (BSJ, 1977) is the associate dean of graduate studies and an assistant professor of leadership studies at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia. Charles Mason (BSJ, 1977) is a business reporter for the Daily News in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He won first place in the feature category for the Kentucky Press Association. Holly McKinley (BSJ, 1977) is a paralegal for the Social Security Administration.

Mike Metz (BSJ, 1970) is the senior vice president at Innovative Management Concepts in Dulles, Virginia.

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Valerie Nieman (BSJ, 1978) is an English creative writing professor at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her awards include the Greg Grummer, Nazim Hikmet and Byron Herbert Reece poetry prizes. A book tour for her three published novels will bring her back to the Mountain State in October.


Kevin Smith (BSJ, 1979) is the deputy director for the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism in Columbus, Ohio. He was awarded the Wells Key, the highest honor awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Smith is a speaker specialist for the U.S. Department of State and has trained journalists in Sierra Leone and Uganda in media ethics. Vickie Tassan (BSJ, 1977) is the director of community investment at E*TRADE Financial in Arlington, Virginia. William Parsons (BSJ, 1971) is an attorney in Wheeling, West Virginia. He recently released his first novel, Preferential Treatment: A MedicalLegal Novel. 1980s Jeffrey Fanto (BSJ, 1983) is the communications planner for the 96th Civil Engineer Group of the United States Air Force at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Sue Morgan (BSJ, 1981) is an information systems business analyst at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. David Rogers (BSJ, 1982) is the manager of the clinical simulation center at Penn State Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He is an active researcher in simulation-based education and has had several peer-reviewed publications and international conference speaking engagements since earning his doctorate in education in 2007. John Smith (BSJ, 1986; MSJ 1988) is a news editor for the Cumberland Times-News in Cumberland, Maryland. Wilbur L. Thaxton II (BSJ, 1982) is the IT director for the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles in Charleston, West Virginia. *Wilbur noted in his form he was reported dead in the 2011 magazine, and he requested a retraction. 1990s Marc Davis (BSJ, 1999) is the senior producer of SportsNet New York in New York City, New York. Tara Hun-Dorris (BSJ, 1995) is the owner and a medical writer for THD Editorial in Raleigh, North Carolina. Brant James (BSJ, 1991) is the motorsports reporter for USA Today Sports in Largo, Florida. Melissa Kress (BSJ, 1993) is the senior editor for Stagnito Media in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Jennifer Manton (BSJ, 1991), chief marketing and business development officer for Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP law firm, has been selected by the Legal Marketing Association for induction into the LMA 2017 Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame Award celebrates individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the Legal Marketing Association and the legal marketing industry, and the honor represents the highest levels of experience and leadership in legal marketing. Jason Martin (BSJ, 1999) is an associate professor at DePaul University College of Communication in Chicago, Illinois. He was also elected by his colleagues as chair of the journalism program. Rita Premo (BSJ, 1994) is the scholarly communications librarian at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California. Rick Smith (BSJ, 1990) published his first novel, Times Squared, in November 2016. Mathew Tabeek (BSJ, 1994) is the assistant managing editor at CBS Sports Digital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He oversees all NFL content at Anette Reynolds Wilson (BSJ, 1991) is a patient service representative at UT Erlanger Health Systems in Chattanooga, TN. 2000s Holly Barringer (BSJ, 2009; MS IMC, 2012) is the marketing manager for global experiences and events at National Geographic in Washington, D.C. *Holly’s MS graduation date was printed incorrectly in last year’s magazine. Shannon Blosser (BSJ, 2002) is the senior pastor at Ogden Memorial United Methodist Church in Princeton, Kentucky.

Leah Bogdan (BSJ, 2002) is a publications specialist and an editor for CLG in Morgantown, West Virginia. Jessica Bradley (BSJ, 2007) is a senior brokerage coordinator for Cushman and Wakefield in Tampa, Florida. Aubrey Buberniak (BSJ, 2009) is the manager of digital communications for Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Scott Castleman (BSJ, 2005) was recently named the chief communications officer at the University of Charleston in Charleston, West Virginia. Since 2010, he has led efforts in gaining over 30 national and international news stories for UC. Kellie Coffey (MS IMC, 2016) is the manager of supply chain marketing for Premier, Inc. in Charlotte, North Carolina. Natalie Committee (BSJ, 2009) is a communications manager for New West Technologies in Washington, D.C. Josh Cooper (BSJ, 2012) is a marketing manager for Uber in New York City, New York.

Joel Danoy (BSJ, 2009) is a communications specialist for the Tracy Unified School District in Tracy, California. Katrina DeSantis (BSJ, 2008) is an English teacher at Bishop Donahue High School in McMechen, West Virginia. She received an MA in education from West Liberty University. Daniel Dudley (BSJ, 2008) is an on-air radio host and producer for Radio Disney Worldwide in Burbank, California. He can be heard on Sirius/XM Radio Disney Channel 79 and the Radio Disney App. Jessica Edwards (BSJ, 2011) is a corporate relations manager at the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Alumna named to Ad Age’s “2017 40 under 40” list In March, alumna Kristy Kozlowski (BSJ, 2000) earned a spot in Ad Age’s special report, “2017 40 under 40.” Kozlowski is the senior vice president and managing director for Carat USA where she leads a team of 125 staffers across North America. According to Ad Age, she has also played a key role in retaining and expanding Carat’s relationships with Procter & Gamble and J.M. Smucker to the amount of $550 million-plus in billings. Her accomplishments were recognized internally in 2016 by parent company Dentsu Aegis Network, having received the Carat Diamond Awards for exemplifying the agency’s values of ambition and consistency. Kozlowski also spearheaded Carat’s pro bono relationship with the Ad Council, helping to launch and manage its antibullying campaign.

Morgan Farr (BSJ, 2014) is an associate producer for Turner Sports/ NBA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the only female in the producing field at NBA-TV and was chosen to travel to Las Vegas, Nevada, to cover the NBA Summer League. Nicole Fernandes (BSJ, 2008; MSJ, 2010) is a public relations specialist for the American Industrial Hygiene Association in Falls Church, Virginia. Madison Fleck (BSJ, 2016) is currently a student at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. Matt Franzblau (BSJ, 2005) is the communications director for the Jewish Federation of Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida. He oversees publication of the monthly paper, the Jacksonville Jewish News, as well as handles all other social media efforts for the nonprofit organization.

Kathryn Gattens (BSJ, 2008) is the coordinator of grants and external relations for the Western Maryland Health System Foundation in Cumberland, Maryland.

William Hirsch (BSJ, 2014) is the Washington Capitals reporter for Sports Journey Media in Washington, D.C. He is also a live operator for and the WatchESPN App for Verizon Digital Media Services in Ashburn, Virginia. Lauren Hough McGill (BSJ, 2005) is the metro editor at the HeraldDispatch in Huntington, West Virginia. Jared Hunt (BSJ, 2005) is the communications director for the West Virginia House of Delegates in Charleston, West Virginia. Ashley Hurst (BSJ, 2005) is the manager of meetings and membership services for the National Mining Association in Washington, D.C. She is responsible for planning meetings and events for the association. Diane Jeanty (BSJ, 2014) is a desk assistant for PBS NewsHour in Arlington, Virginia.

Richard Jones (BSJ, 2004) is a business development manager for The Employment Guide, LLC in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Jones and his wife, also a WVU Alum, recently welcomed their second future Mountaineer to the world, Owen Richard.

Morgan Miller (BSJ, 2010) is a marketing coordinator for Atlantic Retail Properties in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Kelsey Montgomery (BSJ, 2014) is a communications and marketing coordinator for the MIT Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Michael Kalany (BSJ, 2007) is a landman III of business development for EQT Production Company in Bridgeport, West Virginia.

Matthew Peaslee (BSJ, 2011) is the associate editor at The Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper. He is also a tour guide at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Shalane Koon (BSJ, 2007; MS IMC, 2009) is the executive director of Thirty-One Gifts in Star City, West Virginia.

Nicole Racadag (BSJ, 2008; MSJ, 2010) is the business and media manager at the American College of Radiology in Reston, Virginia.

Trent Krupica (MS IMC, 2013) is a marketing manager for Lakeview Golf Resort and Spa in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Leslie Riccio (MS IMC, 2013) is a strategic communications manager for PAE in Arlington, Virginia.

Collen Lewis (BSJ, 2016) is a special assistant for the United States Senate in Washington, D.C. Bryce Lyons (BSJ, 2011) is an IDIQ/ Capture Lead for Sabre Systems, Inc. in Alexandria, Virginia. Ann Mangold (BSJ, 2002) is a diplomat for the U.S. State Department in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Jessica Marvin (MS IMC, 2016) is the senior marketing manager for the American Ambulance Association in Washington, D.C. Stephanie Mathias (BSJ, 2009) is the PAC manager for Novartis in Washington, D.C.

John McPherson (BSJ, 1979; MS IMC, 2016) is the senior communications representative and chief public spokesperson for FirstEnergy Corporation’s Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Plant in Shippingport, Pennsylvania. He is currently serving a term on the National Industry Communications Council of the Nuclear Industry.

Abby Roberts (BSJ, 2015) is a graduate assistant for the WVU Alumni Association in Morgantown, West Virginia. Erik Roberts (BSJ, 2013) is the senior account executive for the New Jersey Devils in Newark, New Jersey. Laura Rudolph (MS IMC, 2013) serves as the director of enrollment communications at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. Alexander Sabol (BSJ, 2001) is the program manager in the project management office for Micron Technology in Manassas, Virginia. Andrew Sealy (BSJ, 2014) is a multimedia specialist for the WVU Alumni Association in Morgantown, West Virginia. Amy Skeens (BSJ, 2008) is a volunteer connection manager for the United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties in Morgantown, West Virginia.


Kiersten Gardner (MS IMC, 2011) is the email marketing manager for the National Association of Corporate Directors in Washington, D.C.

Daniel Gutzmore (BSJ, 2002) is a managing partner for Peremore LLC in New York City, New York.

Michael Jones (BSJ, 2005) is an editor at the Observer Publishing Company in Washington, Pennsylvania. He is also an editor and manager of the ObserverReporter’s Greene County bureau office in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.


Class Notes Karen Snyder Duke (BSJ, 2009) is a health editor for Redbook in New York City, New York. Amanda Spangler (BSJ, 2008) is a program manager for the strategic and creative guild of Edelman PR in New York City, New York. Tori Stambaug (BSJ, 2013) is the associate media planner for Digitas Health in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Kassandra Taylor (BSJ, 2016) is a graduate assistant at the WVU Reed College of Media. Michael Wagenheim (BSJ, 2001) is a news anchor and marketing coordinator for Israel News Talk Radio in Jerusalem as well as the diplomatic correspondent at i24NEWS in Tel Aviv, Israel. Wagenheim recently got married and had his first child. In the

past year, he has launched his own business teaching sportscasting and represented Israel as a baseball umpire in international play. Ashlie Walter (BSJ, 2013) is the night cops reporter for The News and Advance in Lynchburg, Virginia. Last April, she received second place in Multimedia News Reporting for the Daily 2 division at the annual Virginia Press Association awards. Kelly Weikle (BSJ, 2009) is a senior communications specialist for the Columbia Pipeline Group in Charleston, West Virginia. Katie White (BSJ, 2013) is the group sales and outreach manager for the Maine State Music Theatre in Brunswick, Maine. She manages group sales and promotions and assists with marketing and development. Jillian Zangari (BSJ, 2012) is the development officer for the Rosenbaum Family House in Morgantown, West Virginia.

We want to hear from you! Visit connected to submit your current information or to be included in Class Notes.

2017 Reed College of Media

Alumni Awards and Donor Recognition Event

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Mark your calendars for Friday, October 27 from 6-8 p.m.


The College of Media is holding a reception to honor our outstanding alumni and donors. The event will take place in the WVU Media Innovation Center at 62 Morrill Way on the Evansdale Campus in Morgantown. The Center is located on the 4th Floor of the Evansdale Crossing Building. Everyone is welcome to attend. Watch our Facebook and Twitter for updates and information on how to RSVP.

Transitions The Reed College of Media wishes to acknowledge our alumni who have passed away during the year.

Christopher T. Baker (BSJR, 1991) Walter C. Bird (BSJR, 1968) Brent Bush (JD, 1982; BSJ, 1978) Ann M. Carden (BSJR, 1980) Marcelle Farrington (BSJ, 1948) Domenick “Mickey” Furfari (BSJ, 1948) Suzanne R. George (BSJR, 1984) Timothy Green (BSJ, 1990) John Hamric (BSJ, 1956) Susan Harman (JD, 1992; BSJ, 1980) Evelyn Hazen (BSJ, 1949) James R. Hunkler (BSJR, 1950) Larry J. Landis (BSJ, 1964) Chelsea Marra (BSJ, 2007) Lonnie L. Okes (BSJ, 1950) James A. Pahl (BSJ, 1979) Robert Powell (BSJ, 1947) Martha Rosenbaum (BSJ, 1941) Bennie Scarton (BSJ, 1959) Manuel I. Spann (MS IMC, 2013) Torrence Trent (BSJ, 1951) George Williams (BSJ, 1956)

Marcelle Ward Farrington (BSJ, 1948) died on September 25, 2016. After graduating from the WVU P.I. Reed School of Journalism, Farrington worked for The Charleston Gazette and The Fairmont West Virginian before moving to New York City, where she worked for Time and Fortune magazines. She then moved to Massachusetts and reported for The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune and later became the editor of The Andover Townsman. Later in her career, Farrington was a senior executive responsible for national public relations and financial communications for Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company and Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. At the time of her retirement, she was the director of public relations and communications for Sun Life. She also served on the Public Relations Society of America’s national board of directors and local Boston chapter. During her retirement, she was a member and past public relations chairman of the Cape Cod Chapter of the Service Corps of Retired Executives, a member of the Cape Cod Jazz Society and wrote occasional articles for the Cape Cod Times. In 1976, Farrington earned the P.I. Reed Achievement Award for her career accomplishments.

Fellow journalists remember the dean of West Virginia sportswriters

In Memoriam

West Virginia sports fans may have noticed something missing this year in coverage of the Mountaineers.

Becky Lofstead He was a legend in the sports reporting world. Worked with him at the DP [Dominion Post] for a time: learned a lot about the profession. Bill Nevin When I took over for the legendary Doc Stevens as PA announcer for WVU Basketball, Mickey was always quick with a compliment, followed by a directive to make sure that I announced the free-throw shooter’s number as well as his name for the opposing team. He said it was easier for him to keep score if I did that. Mickey was one of a kind. RIP my friend.

was a five-time winner of the West Virginia Sports Writer of the Year award. The West Virginia Sports Writers Association’s College Coach of the Year award is named for him, and a Legends of West Virginia University basketball scholarship fund was created in his name. Furfari was a lifetime member of the WVU Alumni Association, West Virginia Sports Writers Association and Baseball Writers Association of America. He served as a member of the WVU all-time sports and WVU Sports Hall of Fame selection committees.


LEGENDARY SPORTSWRITER MICKEY FURFARI DIED ON JULY 11, 2016, AT THE AGE OF 92. KNOWN AS THE “DEAN” OF WEST VIRGINIA SPORTSWRITERS, HE COVERED HIS ALMA MATER, WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY, FOR 70 YEARS. Furfari (BSJ, 1948) began covering sports as a student at WVU. He and the late Jack Fleming, who was known as the “Voice of the Mountaineers,” were co-sports editors of the University’s student newspaper, The Daily Athenaeum (DA). Classmate and fellow DA reporter Dean Emeritus Guy Stewart (BSJ, 1948) remembers Furfari as a loyal alumnus. He would often call on Furfari as an adjunct instructor. “When I was dean, I put him in as a pinch hitter because he was a good one,” said Stewart. “His influence on the young people he taught was important. I’m sure they learned a lot just from hearing his stories.” Hoppy Kercheval (BSJ, 1976) said Furfari had an impact on his career. Now vice president of operations for West Virginia Radio Corporation and host of MetroNews Talkline, Kercheval says Furfari’s work ethic and willingness to ask tough questions inspired him as a journalist. “He was a throwback in this now rapidly-evolving business of reporting. His journalism was one of fundamentals — shoe leather, on-the-record sources, scribbling in a notebook and accurate quotes,” said Kercheval. “Rumors of Furfari’s death spread quickly on Twitter, but Mickey would have wanted confirmation first.” Beginning in 1989, Furfari covered Mountaineer Sports for the Times West Virginian and continued for as long as he could. Even after he became legally blind, Furfari called in his stories to a reporter who would transcribe them. Professor Emeritus Paul Atkins remembers Furfari as an excellent sportswriter. “Mickey lived and breathed sports,” said Atkins. “He knew every important WVU athlete and developed a remarkable connection with them. Mickey had a way of recalling past statistics and facts about the athletes that other sportswriters couldn’t rival.” Furfari earned a variety of honors during his time as a sportswriter including: Young Man of the Year from the Morgantown Jaycees (1958), Gene Morehouse Memorial Award from West Virginia Sports Writers Association (1974), Proficiency Award from the Morgantown Touchdown Club (1976), and the Perley Isaac Reed Award from the WVU School of Journalism. In addition, he was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame (2006) and


Donor Honor Roll The College of Media would like to thank our donors who have given to the 2016-2017 annual fund. Represents cash and pledge payments received through May 30, 2017. $100,000 OR MORE Mr. James and Mrs. Barbara Gilkerson John S. and James L. Knight Foundation The Nutting Foundation Ms. Martha G. Smith $25,000-$99,999 Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation Ms. Samme L. Gee Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Kittle Mrs. Jennifer A. Manton $10,000-$24,999 Ms. Yvonne King Ms. Paula I. Otto Mr. Sean and Mrs. Candice Robertson $5,000 - $9,999 Mr. E. Warren Baker and Ms. Ann L. Hoover Barnes Agency Brown Communications Mr. and Mrs. John H. Brown, Jr. Mr. Raymond and Mrs. Susan Gillette Mr. Beedeah Hassen and Mrs. Noel Hassen Mrs. Constance and Mr. Timothy Kelly Mr. Chad and Mrs. Cathy Mezera Online News Association Public Relations Society of America Mr. Stanley Reed and Mrs. Joyce Branda Ms. Gruine Robinson

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$1,000 - $4,999 Mr. Paul A. Atkins Col. Thomas J. Boyd Cooley, LLP Mrs. Elizabeth Klebe Dziedzic and Mr. Jim Dziedzic Mr. James R. Hunkler Mr. Stephen N. Hunsicker Mrs. Pamela and Mr. Jon Larrick Mr. John League and Mrs. April Dowler Dr. Diana Martinelli and Dr. David Martinelli Ms. Jane M. McNeer Mr. and Mrs. Robert D. Miller Mrs. Alexis and Mr. James H. Pugh Mr. and Mrs. David A. Raese Rasmuson Foundation Ms. Maryanne Reed and Mr. Bill Yahner Ms. Gruine Robinson Mr. James J. Roop Mr. and Mrs. Archie A. Sader Dr. and Mrs. Guy H. Stewart Mrs. M. Anne Swanson Blaine Turner Advertising, Inc. West Virginia University Online


$500 - $999 Mr. Robert Alberico and Ms. Stephanie Satterfield Mrs. Bonnie J. Bolden Mr. Giles Davidson and Mr. Daniel Waldmann Mr. and Mrs. Marcus Hassen Ms. Paige L. Lavender Ms. Stephanie J. Mathias Ms. Johanna L. Maurice Mrs. Robin and Mr. William Mease Mr. James A. Pahl Mr. Frederick E. Russell, II Mr. and Mrs. Craig L. Selby Ms. Janet Shaffron

$100 - $499 Mr. John A. Agate Mr. and Mrs. Richard J. Baker, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Terry L. Baker Mrs. Beth A. Dobis Beers Mr. and Mrs. Raymond L. Betzner Ms. Merle Bishop Mrs. Amy N. Boaz Ms. J.A. Bower Mrs. Jacqueline and Mrs. Steven Breeden Mr. and Mrs. John A. Buchanan Mr. Robert J. Byers Mr. David F. Cline Mr. and Mrs. Darrell G. Cochran Mrs. Judith M. Corwin Mrs. Jennifer R. Wood Cunningham Dr. Sonya R. DiPalma Mr. Benjamin C. Dunlap, Jr. Mrs. Jessica and Mr. Elliott Edwards Mr. and Mrs. Paul A. Fioravanti, Jr. Mr. Gregory A. Fischer Mr. Maurice R. Fliess Mrs. Eleanor and Judge Edwin Flowers Mr. and Mrs. C. Michael Fulton Mrs. Ann T. Green Mr. Jeffrey W. Hertrick Mr. and Mrs. Stephen T. Hopkins Mrs. Jean Huff Mr. J. Ford Huffman Mr. Michael C. Judge Mr. and Mrs. William T. Kavage Mr. Eric R. Little Mr. and Mrs. Victor W. Mason III Ms. Bailee R. Miller

Mr. and Mrs. Harry J. Mitchell Mr. Joseph D. Mock and Mrs. April Wappes Mr. and Mrs. Gary J. Mondello Mr. and Mrs. Steven K. Morrison Ms. Christina L. Myer Mr. Henry C. Nagel II Mr. and Mrs. William J. Nevin Mr. Chase Ofori-Atta Mr. and Mrs. George N. Panos Mr. and Mrs. Thomas D. Perry Mrs. Nancy and Joseph Rickards, Jr. Mr. Robert M. Rine Dr. David L. Rodgers Ms. Michele M. Sardinia Mrs. Shelby and Michael Serig Mr. and Mrs. Joe Sigler Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Skinner Mrs. Linda L. Spencer Mr. and Mrs. Richard A. Stewart Mr. Thomas J. Stewart Mrs. Janice and Mr. Jeffrey Swoope Mrs. Stephanie Taylor and Mr. Richard Weibley Mr. William S. Tiernan Mr. Michael J. Tomasky Mr. and Mrs. John B. Ullom Dr. and Mrs. Stephen S. Ulrey Dr. Sandra H. Englebright Utt Verizon Foundation Mrs. Dawn Warfield and Mr. Thomas Knight Ms. Valerie J. Wilkinson Mrs. Karen K. Wohl Mr. David E. Wozniak WVU AAF AD Club

A giving story. Long before Margie Mason ever dreamed of winning the Pulitzer Prize, she studied journalism at WVU and worked at The Dominion Post. A first-generation college student from Daybrook, West Virginia, she received the Paul A. Atkins Scholarship, which helped to ease her family’s financial burden. “Each semester, I would get a check and an encouraging note from Professor Atkins,” said Mason. “I’m not sure he ever knew how much this helped me, but I’m grateful to this day.” Not every student will achieve the same heights in their career as Margie Mason, but our students are fueled by the same sense of passion and purpose. However, for some, college remains a financial struggle that makes it difficult for them to focus on their school work, do internships and study abroad — experiences that build portfolios and help students land good jobs after graduation. Your dedication to the College of Media can make a difference in our students’ lives.

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 Frank and Rebekah Ahrens School of Journalism Scholarship Noah Clune Holly Fry Paul A. Atkins Scholarship Jillian Clemente Hilary Kinney Shayla Klein Kathleen Koval Patrick Orsagos Melody Pratt Jessica Siela Kristen Uppercue Dr. Elizabeth A. Atwater School of Journalism Scholarship Denali Hedrick Col. Thomas J. Boyd School of Journalism Scholarship Dalton Benedict Kathleen Koval Cary Journalism Scholarship Lauren Harvey Clairice Hemme Lily Hicks Elizabeth Keim Avery Lyons Anne Parker W.E. Chilton III Journalism Scholarship Hollee Nelson Colin Spangler Kristen Uppercue Catharine Patton Clark Presidential Scholarship Haleigh Fields Emily Koehler Mary Miesner Maxwell Shavers Riley Simmerman Shepherd Snyder Cummings Scholarship Jordan Jasper Paige Klingensmith George Gianodis Journalism Scholarship Rachel Claypool Jennifer Gardner Lily Hicks Kaitlyn Lopez Jennifer Skinner

Raymond and Susan Gillette Minority Scholarship Courtney Freeman Annamarie Robinson

David Matthew Hassen Journalism Book Scholarship Jillian Clemente Caroline Nicholas Nancy Henrichs Hodel Memorial Scholarship Jessica Foreman Ralph and Janet Izard School of Journalism Scholarship Allison Fladd Joanna Roller Frank M. Kearns Memorial Scholarship Hilary Kinney Gilbert and Margaret Love Journalism Scholarship Brooke Chaplain Courtney Gatto Hayleigh Moore Don S. Marsh Scholarship Shayla Klein Kristen Tuell Hilda G. and James E. McNeer Journalism Scholarship Paige Klingensmith Irene Caplan Moksay Scholarship Allison Fladd Ogden Newspapers and Nutting Family Journalism Scholarship Nicole Baron Ryan Decker Jessica Foreman Hayleigh Moore

Madelyn Jeanne Rupinsky School of Journalism Scholarship Jillian Clemente Matthew Suchevits Edith Watson Sasser Scholarship Kristen Tuell Linda Jeanne Leckie Schulte Scholarship Lauren Harvey

Linda E. Yost Scholarship Savannah Schafer Allison Fladd Frank M. Kearns Memorial Fund Robert Simmons Peru

Martha E. Shott Endowed Scholarship Hollie Greene Darren Hartwell Sadie Janes Lindsay Terlikowski Olivia VanHorn

Shayla Klein China

School of Journalism Scholarship Andrew Bacas Graeson Baker Noah Clune Ky Kalinowski Kathleen Koval Cassandra McPhail Brittany Osteen Amy Pratt Joanna Roller Anna Saab Jacob Schockley Jordan Weinstein Joseph White Emily Zekonis

Jennifer Skinner China

Timothy J. Tewalt Journalism Scholarship Emily Fitzgerald Savannah Schafer

Thomas Picarsik Scholarship in Journalism Lindsay Terlikowski

Peggy Preston Tierney Scholarship Christopher Arnold Shannon Cunningham Sarah Feamster Johnna Herbig Lauren Hough Elizabeth Jefferson Kayla Kesselman Jeffrey McCullough William McNemar Aireal Robbins Elisa Schwartzmiller

P.I. Reed Scholarship Karlee Gibson Anne Parker

William F. Tolbert Journalism Scholarship Elizabeth Keim

Reed Family Scholarship Hayleigh Moore Anne Parker

Scott D. Widmeyer African American Scholarship Maxwell Shavers

Gruine Robinson Reed College of Media Scholarship Haleigh Fields James Kelleher Bryanna McCullough Anna Saab

Widmeyer Family Scholarship Allison Fladd Melanie Smith

Orson and Spokes Foundation Journalism Endowment Amy Pratt

Vargo-Otto Student Scholarship Jacob Shockley

Scott D. Widmeyer First Generation Scholarship Savannah Schafer

George Esper International Student Enhancement Fund Kaitlyn Lopez London

Amy Pratt China Emily Kitchen China Shannon Smith Washington, DC Julia Mellett Miami, FL John and Cindy Walls Career Development Fund Ryan Decker Charlotte, NC Ben Murray Green Bay, WI Mariah Congedo Cincinnati, OH Jenna Gilbert Grand Rapids, MI Shannon Smith Washington, D.C. Julia Mellett Miami, FL Reed College of Media Student Enhancement Fund Sara Deere Baltimore, MD John Charles Hodel Endowment Emily Pelland Denver, CO Minying Kong Columbia, MO Brittany Osteen Seattle, WA


James and Barbara Gilkerson Journalism Scholarship Mary Alvarez Mia Edmunds Jordan Jasper Bryanna McCullough

Mark S. and Frances S. Grove Endowed Scholarship Hayleigh Moore


The Last Word with Andrew Scritchfield While most of us watched the 2016 presidential campaign unfold from our electronic devices, College of Media alumnus Andrew Scritchfield (BSJ, 1998) had a front-row seat. As a cameraman for NBC News, Scritchfield covered the election from the first days in Iowa to Inauguration Day in Washington, D.C. Christa Currey spoke with him about life on the campaign trail, how the political climate has changed since the Trump administration took office and the dangers of fake news. Christa Currey: How would you describe your typical work day for NBC? Andrew Scritchfield: The political beat is 75 percent of my reporting work. However, there is no such thing as a normal work day. I could start my day on the House side doing roving live shots, and then later on I could be on the Senate side staking out an intelligence meeting. My day could begin with a press conference and end up doing a photo spray in Speaker Ryan’s office. On the NBC Nightly News, there are three or four stories out of Washington, D.C., and chances are I’ve shot one or more elements for those stories.

What was it like to cover the 2016 presidential election? I jumped in with both feet during the Iowa Caucus. I drove out there and stayed for more than a week covering Trump rallies, and Ted Cruz rallies and debates. After that, I went to New Hampshire, and I was embedded with Hillary’s team for two weeks at the end of the campaign. I was on the plane with her for the last week of the 2016 presidential election, which was a fun and exhausting experience. What was it like to work with Secretary Clinton during the 2016 campaign? When you’re doing the campaign you never know if the candidate you’re with is going to be the next president or is going to lose and fade away. There was definitely a sense of optimism. That last night in Raleigh, North Carolina, when the campaign was over, they were popping champagne on the airplane. The Clinton staff certainly thought they had the Presidency in the bag. I don’t think anybody saw the Trump victory coming. How has reporting changed for the media since President Trump took office? Covering President Obama certainly had its challenges. As a journalist, we didn’t get a lot of access to the information that we wanted. With President Trump, we get a lot of access to information, but when we report on it, and it’s not favorable toward him, things can become adversarial. The best thing to come out of the election is that journalists are being forced to do investigative journalism again. People have a tendency to get a little lazy. Everyone does. But now, it’s like, you need to go dig. You need to go find sources and figure out what is happening. What are your thoughts on fake news? Fake news is a really big problem because too many Americans don’t discern where they get their news. The other problem is that way too many Americans only get their news from sites that support their political belief. They never read the other side. The only thing that does is fragment the country even more so than it already is. When you’re only listening to somebody who says the exact same thing that you think, you never expand your mind and think what the other side may be thinking.


“The best thing to come out of the election is that journalists are being forced to do investigative journalism again.” Andrew Scritchfield, NBC News cameraman


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When you aren’t covering politics in Washington, what types of stories do you do? I recently traveled overseas with Defense Secretary James Mattis. We went to South Korea and Japan. The overseas travel is what really gets me going. I love traveling the world and helping to document history.

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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 © 2017 by the WVU Reed College of Media. WVU is an EEO/Affirmative Action Employer. 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.

Media College Magazine 2017