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Message from the Dean This year, the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism launched our new speaker series, “The Future of Media – Now,” which is

Alex Wilson

a fitting theme for this edition of the SOJ Insider. The stories inside demonstrate the School’s continued focus on the future as we prepare students for new career opportunities in the evolving media and communications landscape. In this time of media disruption, “the only solution is to change, to adapt” – so spoke our May 2013 commencement speaker, Richard Gingras, Google’s Senior Director of News and Social Products. As you will read, the School continues to change and adapt in a number of ways – building innovative curricula in journalism and strategic communications, developing new media applications and products, utilizing the very latest storytelling technology, and creating a new learning facility for students that is conducive to hands-on learning, experimentation and project incubation. But the process of change is far from over. Just like the industry it has traditionally served, journalism and media education is also undergoing a dramatic transformation. Not only do we need to completely re-envision how we are preparing our students for the future, we also need to more effectively communicate the continued value and relevance of a journalism degree. To that end, the School is taking to heart the lessons we teach. In fact, we are tapping our own IMC capstone students to help reposition the School as a leader in modern media education. We must tell our own compelling story in ways that resonate with future students. In anticipation of the School’s 75th anniversary in 2014, the School will be undergoing even more dramatic changes in the year ahead. With your input and continued support, we expect to announce the launch our new brand identity and strategic platform for the future. At the conclusion of his commencement address, Gingras told students, “The future of journalism will be even better than the past.” Through our aggressive and forward-thinking approach, we intend to demonstrate that the future of journalism and communications education at West Virginia University has never been brighter.

Thank you!

Maryanne Reed Dean

SOJ Insider 2013



Around Martin Hall

James P. Clements President West Virginia University


Investigative journalist inducted into WVU’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Maryanne Reed Dean


Students take on large-market summer internships

Diana Martinelli Associate Dean


Journalism students offer state publications alternative news source

Steve Urbanski Director of Graduate Studies

10 New strategic communications major to launch fall 2013

Chad Mezera Director of Online Programs

12 Stories from the hollow


14 IMC graduate program celebrates 10 years of innovation, growth

Kimberly Walker Executive Editor

16 Gone fishin’: Ivan “Doc” Pinnell retires after 24 years at SOJ

Christa Vincent Managing Editor

20 Public relations student makes wishes come true

Angela Lindley

21 IMC program taps Google innovator to teach mobile marketing

Briana Warner PHOTOGRAPHY WVU University Relations, News Alex Wilson DESIGN WVU University Relations, Design



22 Media Innovation Center to house new digital projects 24 Faculty, students to use Google Glass to explore new ways of storytelling 25 Television journalism student follows his passion for sportscasting 26 Coding for the future


30 Building the b(r)and

Graham Curry, Lindsey Estep, and Sheree Wentz

31 IMC capstone students help SOJ develop new identity



32 SOJ alumnus achieves New York City dream 33 Facebook executive headlines INTEGRATE 2013 34 Country roads, take me to Rome 36 “A State of Minds” update 37 Developing future careers: Donors give more than funds to help students achieve career goals 38 About Our Donors 39 About Our Scholarships 40 Faculty Briefs and Additions 42 Class Notes and Transitions



WVU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. The WVU Board of Governors is the governing body of WVU. The Higher Education Policy Commission in West Virginia is responsible for developing, establishing, and overseeing the implementation of a public policy agenda for the state’s four-year colleges and universities. WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Many WVU programs hold specialized accreditation.


Around Martin Hall UR-News


WVU President Jim Clements speaks with SOJ Dean Maryanne Reed and DINFOS Commandant Colonel Jeremy Martin. Google’s Richard Gingras uses his iPad to snap a photo of himself and the audience of graduation candidates during his 2013 Commencement address.

Google executive keynotes SOJ Commencement This May, the School of Journalism hosted a top Google executive as the keynote speaker for the 2013 Commencement ceremony. Senior Director of News and Social Products Richard Gingras addressed more than 200 graduates on Saturday, May 18, at the WVU Creative Arts Center. “We are experiencing nothing less than a revolution in mass communications – nothing less than a creative renaissance in media and journalism,” said Gingras. With the introduction of the World Wide Web 20 years ago, followed by smartphones, tablets and social networking, Gingras says, “we have seen dramatic continuing innovations in the ways that people share and consume media, share and consume news.” Gingras encouraged the graduates to look toward the future and help create solutions to tomorrow’s challenges. “The only solution is to change, to adapt,” he said. “Some will find their way, others will not. The ones that survive and flourish will be those who innovate, those who change with the times, those who explore new approaches, those who adopt or create new tools and technology, those who recognize that they can only succeed by building and nurturing a workforce of people with the


SOJ Insider 2013

ability and the flexibility to innovate.” Such change “requires entrepreneurship of the self,” said Gingras, “a constant reconsideration of what you’re about, of what you know and how you know it, of constant exploration and experimentation.” Gingras has spent the last 30 years as a leader in the development of online services, software and new media. Until June 2011, he was CEO of Salon Media Group, which includes, and the pioneering virtual community The Well. Gingras has also served as strategic advisor to the senior team at Google, was founder and CEO of Goodmail Systems, and a founding vice president of broadband provider @Home Network. In addition, he led the product development of Apple’s online service eWorld in the early ’90s and served as CEO of MediaWorks, an early developer of news-agenting technology.

Watch his keynote address online at See the photo Gingras took at #wvu2013.

Partnership increases availability of high-quality educational opportunities to military students The School of Journalism kicked off 2013 with the official launch of a new educational agreement. In January, WVU President Jim Clements signed a memorandum of understanding formally establishing an academic partnership between the School of Journalism and the U.S. Defense Information School (DINFOS). DINFOS is the U.S. Department of Defense’s premier center for public affairs and visual information training and a component of Defense Media Activity (DMA), which serves as the Department of Defense’s direct line of communication for news and information to U.S. forces worldwide. Using a variety of media platforms and emerging technologies, the agency provides news, information and entertainment to millions of active Guard and Reserve service members, civilian employees, contractors, military retirees and their families in the United States and abroad. The alliance with the School of Journalism will include increasing the availability of high-quality online and traditional educational opportunities for DINFOS graduates, offering convenient education access for military men and women, and facilitating the exchange of professional and scholarly knowledge between WVU and DINFOS.

Jim Ebel

Submitted by Sara Kearns

From left to right: Josh Bryant-Gainer, Jihyung Lee, Yijia Wang, Chelsea Sams, Jordan O’Brian, Jenna Britton, Scott Claggett, Julia Swindells, Lindsey Lambert, Lauren Nickle, Kelsey Purcell.

Frank Kearns in London in 1969.

China partnership expands

Alumnus releases documentary on legendary Frank Kearns

The School has expanded its partnership with a university in China this summer through a faculty-led summer program. This summer, Harrison/Omnicom Visiting Professor of IMC Jim Ebel led a group of students to China, where they interned at Chinese corporations and learned about branding in China with their Chinese peers in a course Ebel taught at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS). Signed in 2011, the memorandum of understanding between WVU and GDUFS also includes a student-exchange agreement, giving SOJ students the opportunity to study alongside their Chinese peers at Guangdong University’s School of Journalism and Communication. In exchange, students from China can study at WVU’s School of Journalism. Zhao Hong and Zicheng Gao were the first students from Guangdong University to study at WVU through the partnership during the 2011-2012 academic year. This past year, Liying Ye and Kexuan Xu attended courses at WVU and the School of Journalism.

In October 2012, West Virginia Public Broadcasting premiered the onehour documentary, “Frank Kearns: American Correspondent.” The film was produced, written and directed by SOJ alumnus Gerald Davis (MSJ, 2008; BSJ, 1975) and co-produced by Chip Hitchcock (MSJ, 1985; BSJ, 1976). The documentary introduces the life and award-winning work of CBS News correspondent and former SOJ professor Frank M. Kearns (BA, 1938). In the 1950s, ’60s and early ’70s, Kearns was the “go-to guy” at CBS News for dangerous stories in Africa and the Middle East. By his own count, he came face-to-face with death more than 100 times in his career. Dan Rather told a national audience that “Frank Kearns was [a legend] around here.” Following an 18-year, award-winning career at CBS News, Kearns was named a Benedum Professor of Journalism at WVU where he taught from 1971 to 1983. In 1976, CBS told a Congressional hearing that Kearns also worked for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency while in Egypt in the 1950s. Kearns denied the allegation until his death in 1986. The documentary is a joint production of Greenbriar Group Films in Columbia, S.C., and West Virginia Public Broadcasting. It is being shown nationally on more than 200 PBS stations, at film festivals and in select independent movie theaters. The documentary has also been nominated for a regional Emmy by a peer review panel of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Cheer on the Mountaineers and kick-off WVU Homecoming at the SOJ’s annual homecoming tent. Plenty of food and fun provided!

ur w! yo no k s ar ar M nd le ca

Join the SOJ for Homecoming 2013 Saturday, October 19, 2013

Two hours before kick-off @ the WVU Erickson Alumni Center


Around Martin Hall

Mel Moraes

Alex Wilson

The “WVU News” set underwent a redesign in spring 2013.

PR senior earns PRSA-Pittsburgh award

“WVU News” gets new look

For the third year in a row, an SOJ public relations student earned the competitive Bob O’Gara Student Scholarship from the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). This year, SOJ senior Brittany Lavenski accepted the $2,000 award and a framed certificate at the PRSA-Pittsburgh Renaissance Awards Ceremony held at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Thursday, January 24. The annual Renaissance Awards ceremony celebrates the “PRogress” of the past year in public relations, honoring area practitioners and organizations for excellence in public relations campaigns and tactics. The Fairmont, W.Va., native was awarded the scholarship based on a competitive application and nomination process. SOJ Assistant Professor Dr. Rita Colistra nominated Lavenski for the award and introduced her at the event. Past recipients from the School include Kelli Snedegar in 2012 and Lindsay Bailey in 2011.

“WVU News” kicked off the spring 2013 semester with a makeover. The new look included a redesigned set, new graphics, a new logo and a new theme music package. The television journalism program also made the transition to digital and high definition (HD). Student reporters now use tapeless HD cameras to shoot video, and the student-produced newscast is taped and broadcast in HD.

Coester earns top honors at Festival of Media Arts

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Visit to view Coester’s project.


Watch the latest episodes of the award-winning newscast online at

SOJ Insider 2013

Assistant Professor Dana Coester earned the Broadcast Education Association’s (BEA) highest honor at the 2013 Festival of Media Arts. In April, she was presented the “Best of Festival” award in the Faculty Interactive Multimedia Competition for her “Mobile Main Street” project. The project is an initiative to engage small-community organizations, businesses and media in mobile app development and marketing to help fuel economic development in local communities. The BEA Festival of Media Arts is an international refereed exhibition of faculty creative activities and a national showcase for student works and is sponsored by the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation, Avid and Sony. The “Best of Festival” award is the highest honor a person can receive in the competition’s major categories.

Awards Top Graduates 2013 WVU FOUNDATION OUTSTANDING SENIOR Sara Cordonier MAY 2013 SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM TOP GRADUATING SENIOR Rachelle Purych School of Journalism Top Scholars Evan Bonnstetter (Public Relations) Rachelle Purych (Advertising) Frances Silva (Journalism)

DECEMBER 2013 SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM TOP GRADUATING SENIORS Chelsi Baker Stephanie Murphy School of Journalism Top Scholars Chelsi Baker (Journalism) Stephanie Murphy (Public Relations) Rebecca Rich (Advertising)

Student and Faculty Awards AVA AWARDS GOLD AWARD “WVU News: Special Edition – Child Safety” “WVU News: Special Edition – Your Voice Your Vote” 2013 BROADCAST EDUCATION ASSOCIATION FESTIVAL OF MEDIA ARTS THIRD PLACE Krista Baker “WVU News” Television News Anchor Jamie McCracken “WVU News” Television Sports Feature

SECOND PLACE Evan Moore Online Feature Reporting THIRD PLACE “WVU News: Special Edition – Election” Best All-Around Television Newscast Erik Roberts Television Sports Reporting 2013 PUBLIC RELATIONS SOCIETY OF AMERICA CRYSTAL AWARDS (WEST VIRGINIA CHAPTER)



FINALIST West Virginia Uncovered Best Independent Online Student Publication

COMMUNITY RELATIONS – STUDENT CATEGORY Buy Local – Fairmont campaign Dr. Rita Colistra and capstone students


SOCIAL MEDIA – STUDENT CATEGORY Center for Civic Engagement campaign Dr. Rita Colistra and capstone students

FIRST PLACE West Virginia Uncovered Best Independent Online Student Publication Chelsi Baker Online Feature Reporting Michael Carvelli Sports Column Writing Omar Ghabra Photo Illustration Jamie McCracken Television Sports Reporting


Other Notable Awards TELLY AWARDS


BRONZE AWARD “A Tribute to George Esper: The Heart and Soul of WVU” Produced by School of Journalism Communications Team

PLATINUM 2012 SOJ Insider alumni magazine

“See What You Can Be – Logan Venderlic” video profile Produced by School of Journalism Communications Team


Investigative journalist inducted into WVU’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni BY ANGELA LINDLEY

When Kyung Wong Lee (BSJ, 1953) left Korea as a teenager, no one could have imagined his path would lead him to West Virginia. But that’s exactly where he ended up, and this spring, the 84-year-old investigative journalist was inducted into the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni.

Alex Wilson


SOJ Insider 2013

Lee’s early life was a winding road. At just 15 years old in Japan’s expendable air cadet corps, he was bound for training as a scout plane’s radar crew to seek out the invading task force for the Kamikaze pilots. Fortunately, the war ended before he was sent on a one-way mission. After the war, Lee came to the United States and eventually made his way to WVU, where he enrolled in the School of Journalism. Although he barely spoke English, Lee dedicated himself to his studies and rose to become editor of The Daily Athenaeum. He also published five editions of the Korean Messenger, the first English-language American newspaper for Korean Americans. Lee recalls attending a meeting of the West Virginia Newspaper Council while at WVU. On the heels of World War II and the Korean War, several of those at the meeting expressed a belief that violence is the only path to freedom. But Lee disagreed, and it was at that meeting he realized that journalists have the power to bring change through investigative journalism. “That’s when I really became inspired,” Lee said. “I was born again to bring freedom through journalism. That was really the beginning.” After graduation, Lee became a reporter for the Kingsport (Tenn.) Times-News, where he was the first Asian

immigrant to report for a mainstream daily newspaper. Three years later, Lee moved to Charleston, W.Va., where he reported for The Charleston Gazette on the Civil Rights Movement, President Kennedy’s War on Poverty, the black lung movement and massive vote fraud in the state’s southern coalfields. Lee’s stories brought national attention to the problems of the area and generated threats against his own safety from those who sought to silence him. Eventually, for his own well-being, Lee had to be escorted in and out of Mingo County by poverty workers and clean election advocates.

“Whites Only” sign at his tavern. “The article I wrote on that is one of the most precious to me,” Lee said. “It says to me, ‘You know, America, there’s still hope.’” After 13 years in Charleston – where he also met and married his wife, Peggy Flowers – Lee became a reporter for the Sacramento Union in California. There, he exposed excessive spending in the California state government in his series, “Golden Dome,” resulting in the passage of Proposition 9, which limited government spending. One of his biggest stories was that of Chol Soo Lee, a Korean immigrant wrongly convicted of murder. Lee’s 120 articles on the case provoked a retrial, in which Chol Soo Lee’s conviction was overturned, and he was released from San Quentin’s death row. Lee’s induction into the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni is one in a long line of awards he has received throughout his career, including a Gavel Award from the American Bar Association and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Asian American Journalists Association. In 1997, he was inducted into the Journalism History Gallery at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. In 2011, Lee returned to WVU to share his experiences with journalism students. During that visit, he told Dean Maryanne Reed, “If I’m going to sum up my life, I really think WVU is where I got my start – in this classroom – it’s karma.”

“ I was born again to bring freedom through journalism. That was really the beginning.” — ­ K.W. Lee

Submitted photo

Lee serving as weekly news editor of The Daily Athenaeum in 1952 – at the height of the Korean War.

During his investigations, Lee came across many people he called “heroes” – people like a young AmeriCorps VISTA worker who saw injustice in the political system and fought to bring legal violations to light. “These are the people who really make America,” Lee said. “To find a hero, you have to seek him out. A real hero doesn’t beat their breast. It’s an important job for the reporter to find these people.” He also recalls a saloonkeeper who, after reading nearly two dozen of Lee’s articles on civil rights in West Virginia, invited Lee to watch him erase the

Alex Wilson

Submitted photo

One of five issues of the Korean Messenger published by Lee during his time at WVU.

Lee (center) working with other students in The Daily Athenaeum newsroom in 1952.


Photos by Angela Lindley

Bryan Bumgardner

Diane Jeanty

Samantha Runyon

Lauren Nickle

Students take on large-market summer internships BY ANGELA LINDLEY

As the school year came to an end, many WVU students headed back to their hometowns to find a summer job. But several SOJ students were packing their bags instead for prestigious, large-market internships where they will gain invaluable professional experience. Bryan Bumgardner, a native of Mt. Clare, W.Va., and Lauren Nickle of Elkton, Md., are spending their summers in New York City. Bumgardner, a print journalism senior, is working as an editorial intern at Scientific American magazine, where he is reporting, proofreading and factchecking articles and assisting editors. He says that while he was turned down for several internships, Scientific American offered a “perfect position.” “Doing science journalism for a magazine is a dream come true,” said Bumgardner. “I’m so excited to live in a new city and learn from the best writers, editors and designers in the business.” Nickle, an advertising junior, is the integrated marketing intern at Major League Baseball Advanced Media and is learning more about integrated marketing,

leadership and the use of varied media in the advertising industry. “This is a great opportunity to get real-world experience working with professionals at one of the top sports media entities in the country,” Nickle said. While Nickle and Bumgardner are in New York, two other students are spending their summers in the nation’s capital. Television journalism senior Diane Jeanty is interning at the national desk of NPR in Washington, D.C., not far from her home in Frederick, Md. Jeanty

public relations firm, a newspaper and a non-profit organization, the public relations senior is looking forward to expanding her knowledge of governmental communications. “It’s a fast-paced setting, and I’m excited to learn from such an experienced staff,” Runyon said. High-level internships like these help students get good jobs when they graduate, and they help raise the profile of the School of Journalism, says Dean Maryanne Reed. “We are so proud of these students for landing great internships, and we know they’ll be excellent ambassadors for the School,” said Reed. “Our students are fully capable of working at the national level. They just need the opportunities to prove themselves.” The School is working to create those opportunities and has hired former broadcaster Eric Minor (BSJ, 1995) as the School’s first Director of Student Careers and Opportunities. Minor will be tasked with developing new internship opportunities and identifying and preparing students for internships and jobs.

“I can’t wait to learn about what goes into producing a story for a major news network.” — Diane Jeanty


SOJ Insider 2013

is assisting reporters with research, shadowing producers in the field, attending editorial meetings and pitching story ideas. Like Nickle, Jeanty is also excited about getting hands-on experience in her field. “I love working with producers,” said Jeanty. “I can’t wait to learn about what goes into producing a story for a major news network.” Charleston, W.Va., native Samantha Runyon is interning this summer in Senator Rockefeller’s press office. After holding internships at a

Journalism students offer state publications alternative news source BY CHRISTA VINCENT A new School of Journalism service is providing West Virginia’s newspapers with free content to augment their online and print publications. And students are benefitting as well – gaining real-world experience producing multimedia stories for publication. Through the new Mountaineer News Service, senior journalism students are producing multi-platform news and feature packages, which are offered as free content to regional newspapers, including members of the West Virginia Press Association (WVPA). The packages are aimed at engaging younger audiences as well as enhancing a paper’s online presence. “This program offers incredible benefits and value to newspapers of the West Virginia Press Association,” said WVPA Executive Director Don Smith. “It gives West Virginia newspapers additional multiplatform offerings at a time when more and more of our readers/viewers want their news online or on their mobile device.” Since the WVPA began offering the service to its members in the fall, The Hampshire Review, a weekly paper in Romney, W.Va., has featured two stories from Mountaineer News Service – one focusing on a military veteran’s transition to university life and the other highlighting opposing views on WVU’s move to the Big 12 conference. Both stories included text, photos and videos produced by journalism students.

Hampshire Review Managing Editor Jim King says the service provides his staff stories they wouldn’t otherwise run across in services like The Associated Press and ones that can better engage a younger audience. “In our newsroom, it seems that

write, photograph, video, edit, and produce news stories and multimedia packages in a professional atmosphere. “We don’t expect our students to be experts in all forms of media,” said Associate Professor John Temple, chair of the journalism program. “But we hope that they have a better understanding of what it takes to produce multimedia news packages in a team environment. We want them to be able to think creatively and contribute ideas to the mix.” The Mountaineer News Service is in line with other top journalism schools who are serving as “news creators and innovators” for their local communities – a charge set forth by the Knight Foundation in its August 2012 “Open Letter to America’s University Presidents.” The Knight Foundation’s letter also encourages schools of journalism to adopt a “teaching hospital” model, in which students are practitioners that serve their communities. Kate Barr, a WVU television journalism senior from Haddonfield, N.J., says that working as a news service team while still in school has boosted her confidence as she prepares to enter the job market. “Multimedia is the future,” said Barr. “You have to be knowledgeable in every aspect of journalism. Coming out of the journalism school, I not only have the knowledge of this major and what makes a successful journalist, but I also have the work to show for it.”

“This program offers incredible benefits and value to newspapers of the West Virginia Press Association.” — Don Smith we’re great at covering stories that are going on with kids or that might be interesting to senior citizens,” said King. “But finding stories that touch the lives of 20-somethings and 30-somethings is critical and sometimes difficult.” Other outlets, including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mother Nature Network, Lincoln Journal and Coal Valley News, have also run stories on their websites. In early January, the editor of “Pipeline,” a section of the Gazette dedicated to coverage of Marcellus Shale issues, published the student piece, “Controversy over gas industry sweeps Morgantown after council bans drilling.” According to the editor, the piece was one of the paper’s most visited stories of the week. In years past, a similar capstone course was required for print journalism majors only and placed students with individual newspapers. The restructured course brings together visual, television and print journalism students to function as a converged newsroom. Throughout the course, students learn to research, report,



Erin Robertson @EPRob Great move by @WVUJournalism. Wish this had been available when I was an undergrad!

A new major will provide SOJ students the professional skills needed in today’s integrated communications industry. Set to launch in fall 2013, new students interested in advertising and public relations will enroll in the School’s new Strategic Communications major. The program will teach students how to develop and produce persuasive messages and integrated communications campaigns that employ both public relations and advertising tactics.

Stephanie Mathias @StephySoftToes My major in undergrad (PR) is being replaced! Glad @WVUJournalism is keeping up w/ the times, though.

Whitney Woofter @WhitneyWoofter So long #PR! Strategic Comm seems more fitting for today’s world…nice move @WVUJournalism.

Developed in response to the changing industry, the new major’s core courses will provide students with a breadth of knowledge in strategic communications practices and prepare them to work across media and platforms. In addition to learning these broader skills, students will select an area of emphasis (AOE) – advertising or public relations. Building on the AOE requirements, students also will be able to specialize in particular areas of interest, including social media strategy, advertising design, event planning, and publicity and promotion. Throughout the new integrated program, students will build skills in writing, audience research, strategy and content creation. The program will culminate in an integrated communications campaign in which students will work with real clients to develop solutions to communications problems. The Strategic Communications major will provide graduates with marketable skills they can apply to a variety of careers in healthcare, sports, politics, entertainment and more.

“The new Strategic Communications major will prepare students with relevant professional skills and the ability to think strategically across media and platforms.” ­— Dean Maryanne Reed

Kelli Snedegar @ksnedegar Strange. Soon, students won’t be receiving #PR degrees from @WVUJournalism. A move in the right direction, though!


SOJ Insider 2013

The new program will replace the former Advertising and Public Relations majors at the School and will only apply to students entering the School in fall 2013.


Media Writing

Visual Journalism/ New Media

Media Ethics & Law

JRL 101 (3 hrs )

JRL 215 (3 hrs )

VISJ 210 (3 hrs )

JRL 428 (3 hrs )

STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS CORE (12 hrs including Capstone) Intro to Strategic Communications

Strategic Advertising & Public Relations Writing

Advertising & PR Audience Insight & Analysis

STCM 215 (3 hrs )

STCM 315 (3 hrs )

STCM 421 (3 hrs )



Choose 9 hours of AOE courses:

Choose 9 hours of AOE courses:

Creative I

Media Planning & Strategy

Interactive Marketing Communications

Public Relations or Journalism

ADV 401 (3 hrs )

ADV 403 (3 hrs )

ADV 451 (3 hrs )

1 (300-LEVEL) (3 hrs )

Creative II

Strategic Communications Strategy & Management

Journalism, Public Relations, or Strategic Communications

Journalism, Public Relations, or Strategic Communications

ADV 455 (3 hrs )

STCM 452 (3 hrs )

1 (400-LEVEL)

1 (400-LEVEL)

(3 hrs )

(3 hrs )

CAPSTONE COURSE Scott Castleman @scott_castleman @ksnedegar @WVUJournalism I like it too. Students will gain an added leg up on competition in the job market. Way to go @WestVirginiaU

Strategic Advertising & Public Relations Campaigns STCM 459 (3 hrs)


Elaine McMillion

Fred Rice gathers footage for “Hollow” in Keystone, W.Va.

Stories from the


Alumna uses innovative storytelling to promote social change in rural West Virginia BY CHRISTA VINCENT

When 2009 alumna Elaine McMillion “That really laid the foundation for where left southern West Virginia to attend I am today,” said McMillion. “The School of WVU, she knew it was unlikely she would Journalism taught me how to tell a story no return to live there after graduation. The matter what medium I was telling it through.” communities where McMillion Matthew Hashiguchi grew up in Logan and Kanawha counties faced a declining manufacturing base and job cuts – leaving her little incentive to return and start a career. But her love for West Virginia would never let her stray too far. “Rarely do you meet people from other areas that have such a love affair with their state. West Virginia has Elaine McMillion this way of really attaching itself to people,” said McMillion. “My duty as a West Virginia After graduating from WVU, native and WVU graduate is to share the McMillion enrolled in a master’s degree stories from the Mountain State and to show program at Emerson College in Boston, people how we see ourselves and not just Mass., to study documentary filmmaking. how others see us.” It was there that she began her work on McMillion began telling the stories “Hollow: An Interactive Documentary,” of rural West Virginia as a member of the which examines the issues of post-industrial School’s West Virginia Uncovered project. rural America through the eyes and voices Although she was a news-editorial major at of the residents of McDowell County, W.Va. the time, McMillion found herself drawn “Unfortunately McDowell County has to multimedia narratives. become the poster child for unhealthiness,


SOJ Insider 2013

drug abuse, teen pregnancy – these are the big challenges,” said McMillion. “With ‘Hollow,’ it is important that we connect the dots and show people that these issues aren’t just happening in McDowell County, they’re happening across rural America.” Since launching on June 20 – West Virginia’s 150th statehood celebration – “Hollow” has garnered national attention with an Op-Doc piece on the New York Times website and The Huffington Post referring to it as “next level” storytelling. Interactive documentaries are relatively new to the U.S. market but are gaining in popularity. They allow users to access and interact with multimedia stories. McMillion chose to use this form of storytelling to enable residents to share their own stories and to empower the community to work toward a better future. “When ‘Hollow’ was first conceptualized, I thought of it as a linear documentary film that would document rural ‘brain drain’ in America,” said McMillion. “But I stopped to think, ‘What if we don’t accept that idea that these communities

are dying?’ The motivation to increase community efficacy and ignite social change, paired with the idea that this is a story that evolves over time, pushed me into exploring non-linear and online storytelling.” The web-based project combines video portraits of area residents, photography, soundscapes, interactive data and grassroots mapping. McMillion and her team trained community members to shoot video and photography and engaged others in balloon mapping activities, in which a camera is attached to helium-filled balloons and extended above the landscape to capture images for a larger map. Included on McMillion’s team are fellow SOJ alumni Tricia Fulks (BSJ, 2009) and Megan Bowers (BSJ, 2009). Fulks served as a copywriter and researcher for the project, and Bowers worked as a story editor. In addition to tackling a new form of storytelling, they also discovered an innovative way to raise money for travel, equipment and other expenses by listing the project on the crowdfunding website KickStarter. They raised more than $28,000 in one month. “Hollow” also received funding through two prestigious grants. In August 2012, the project was one of only six projects awarded a New Media grant from Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) in partnership with the Ford Foundation, earning $65,000. In November 2012, the project received a $20,000 grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council.

McMillion teaches a “Sky’s the Limit” camper in Keystone, W.Va., how to shoot video. McMillion and the team trained nearly 20 residents during the summer of 2012.

Jeff Soyk

Elaine McMillion

“Super Why” campers sharpen their reading skills at the Big Creek People in Action literacy camp, sponsored by West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

“Rarely do you meet people from other areas that have such a love affair with their state. West Virginia has this way of really attaching itself to people.” — Elaine McMillion

Elaine McMillion

Ed Shepard, 89, has operated the Union 76 service station for more than 60 years and has seen Welch, W.Va., go from a booming city to a ghost town.

“Hollow” was released in June and can be viewed at


Alex Wilson

IMC graduate program celebrates 10 years of innovation, growth BY BRIANA WARNER

This year, the SOJ’s online master’s program in integrated marketing communications (IMC) is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The first online IMC program in the nation, the SOJ’s program has seen significant growth and continued innovation throughout the last 10 years. The IMC graduate program began in 2001 as a 15-credit hour certificate program. The full 39-credit hour master’s degree program officially launched in fall 2003 with 17 students in its first class. Just three years later, in 2006, the program exceeded 100 students. Today, the IMC program has more than 400 students enrolled from 41 states and five foreign countries, as well as almost 500 graduates representing 46 states and countries on five of the seven continents. The program caters to mid-level communications professionals. In its most recent starting class, students averaged 8.3 years of professional experience upon entry. “The growth of the IMC program is a reflection of the excellent curriculum, faculty and administration,” said School of Journalism Dean Maryanne Reed. “We have become a national leader in quality online graduate programming, and our pioneering efforts are a model for competitors in the field.” As other universities launch online programs, the School is proud of the IMC program’s history and how far it has come since its inaugural class in 2003. “In the online program space, the WVU IMC program is a seasoned veteran,” said Chad Mezera, online programs director at the School of Journalism. “But the trick to our success is that we don’t take that for granted. We’re still constantly thinking about what’s around the corner, what we can do better and how we can best update and add to our curriculum to make sure we’re offering the most relevant master’s degree for communications professionals.”


SOJ Insider 2013

IMC PROGRAM @ WVU: A BRIEF HISTORY 2001 Certificate Program Launched ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------2002 Master’s Degree Planning Began ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------2003 Master’s Degree Program Launched ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------2004 Master’s Curriculum Completed ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------2005 Advanced-Level Elective Courses Developed ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------2006 Program Admissions Exceeded 100 Students ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------2007 New Flexible Electives Allowed for Specialized Experience ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------2009 New Certificate Program in Digital Marketing Communications ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------2010 Became the Largest Master’s Degree Program at WVU ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------2011 Formed Partnership with the Public Relations Society of America ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------2011 Launched National Professional Conference – INTEGRATE ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------2012 Launched Professional Development Series

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U.S. states are represented by the IMC community.

countries are represented by the IMC community across



“The world today being built by the millennial generation is a lot more social, digital, participative and collaborative than the world of previous generations,” said Thomas L. Harrison, chairman emeritus of Omnicom’s Diversified Agency Services and member of the IMC program’s advisory board. “The WVU IMC program understands where the industry is headed and is there to help communications professionals be leaders in that space.” While the growth of student enrollment is certainly a strong benchmark, the IMC program is equally proud of other milestones, including the addition of flexible electives – now totaling 20 – allowing for specialization within the program; the launch of a graduate certificate in digital marketing communications (DMC); the recruitment of expert faculty – now totaling 59 – from across the country; the launch of an online professional development series in social media and marketing in the fall of 2012; and the continued growth and success of the program’s annual professional IMC conference, INTEGRATE. “We know what we do well is adapt our curriculum and program offerings to current industry trends, as well as listen to our students’ needs and make sure that we’re putting them first,” said Mezera. “That is what we’ve done for the last 10 years, and it’s exactly what we’ll continue to do for the next 10 years.”

ELECTIVES INCLUDE: MOBILE MARKETING ------------------------------------------------WEB METRICS AND SEO ------------------------------------------------SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING ------------------------------------------------DIGITAL STORYTELLING ------------------------------------------------MULTICULTURAL MARKETING ------------------------------------------------INTERNAL BRAND COMMUNICATION ------------------------------------------------SPORTS MARKETING

WHAT OUR STUDENTS SAY… Katrina Harmon, IMC graduate (’05) Marketing and Communications Manager Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences—Charleston, W.Va. “I felt honored to be a part of the first graduating class, but it means even more to me now. I’ve watched the program grow, and it continues to become a more recognized program. I’ve been a mentor to other students as they’ve gone through the program. It’s an even greater honor now, 10 years later.”

Rukiya Campbell, current IMC student Director of Marketing Center for the Visually Impaired—Atlanta, Ga. “My IMC coursework has been invaluable to me in my current position. The IMC program gives you the opportunity to set yourself apart in the marketplace and provides cutting-edge and timely knowledge about industry trends that can be applied to your current role.”

Scott Cuppari, IMC graduate (’08) Global Marketing Manager Coca-Cola Freestyle—Atlanta, Ga. “I reviewed MBA curriculum against what WVU’s IMC program offered and quickly realized 100 percent of the courses would immediately apply to my profession. The WVU IMC program, coupled with Coca-Cola’s approach to IMC, has set me apart from many traditional media professionals.”

Visit the IMC website at


Ivan “Doc” Pinnell retires after 24 years at SOJ BY CHRISTA VINCENT

Alex Wilson


SOJ Insider 2013

“Doc. P� sits among the piles of papers, books and treasures that famously clutter his office.


Meggie Biss Dean Maryanne Reed presents “Doc. P” with the R. Ivan Pinnell Commitment to Service Award established in his honor in spring 2013. Alex Wilson

Dr. Pinnell was hands down my best and most favorite advisor during my time at the J School. His caring demeanor and thoughtful guidance helped make stressful situations seem far less overwhelming.

Bob Redd You will be missed buddy, hope that you find many a clear stream so you can do some great fishing!

Tammy Minor Best of luck Dr. Pinnell. It was he who convinced me to go to WVU and enroll in the journalism school. Best experience ever!

Jennifer (Hall) Lytle (BSJ, 1995), “Doc. P” and Ron Lytle pose with their halibut and two fellow anglers in Seward, Alaska.

Submitted by Jennifer Lytle

When the fall semester begins, there won’t be the familiar smell of pipe smoke wafting near the ground floor exit or the sound of cowboy boots shuffling down the halls. No anecdote on the first day of classes about the “F” word of public relations – flexibility! After countless hours, 48 semesters and 24 years in Martin Hall, “Doc. P” has gone fishing – for good. On May 3, colleagues, friends and former students gathered for an open house reception in Martin Hall to celebrate Dr. Ivan Pinnell’s retirement. But more than that, they came to honor his commitment to teaching, his loyalty to his alma mater and his love for his home state. Roger Ivan Pinnell grew up on a farm in rural Jackson County, W.Va. He lived in a town where people knew their neighbors and helped one another when times were hard. While rooted in rural values, Pinnell harbored a desire to see what was beyond his community.


SOJ Insider 2013

By his own account, Pinnell wasn’t a great student, but he liked to write and wanted more than a high school education. After graduating from Ravenswood High School in 1961, he enrolled in Potomac State College and received his associate’s degree in liberal arts in 1963. Pinnell transferred to WVU the following year, where he honed his writing skills and earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1965. As Pinnell was taking graduate-level courses in Morgantown, the war was escalating in Vietnam. In 1968, he was drafted and sent to Fort Dix in New Jersey – the beginning of a journey beyond the hills of West Virginia. Eventually becoming a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, Pinnell spent 21 years in the military. He held various infantry, operations and public affairs positions in the United States and abroad in Vietnam, Panama and Germany and served as

director of the Community Relations Division at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Information School. Pinnell also continued his pursuit of higher education, earning his master’s degree in political science and government from Jacksonville State University (Alabama) in 1973 and his Ph.D. in human communication from the University of Denver in 1984. He taught courses in political science, media and writing at institutions such as the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado and Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. In 1989, Pinnell was working his last military assignment as director of operations for the Public Affairs Office of U.S. Space Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in Colorado Springs, Colo., when he received the call that would bring him full circle. There was an opportunity to teach at his alma mater

and serve as chair of the School of Journalism’s public relations program. “I was so proud to come back to Martin Hall, and it was an opportunity for me to give something back to West Virginia,” said Pinnell. “If it hadn’t been for the Ravenswood school system, Potomac State and WVU, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’d still be a poor farm kid, I guess – and I’m not physically fit to be a farmer.” Pinnell says the transition from military life to academia has been rewarding – mostly because of the students. And the feeling is mutual. Stephanie Ballard Conrad and Tom Conroy were two of many former students who commented on the School’s Facebook page that Pinnell had helped them achieve career success. “Dr. Pinnell is one of the best there is,” said Conrad. “His direct and honest feedback and support prepared me more for my career than

anything I could have gotten from a textbook.” “His guidance in school – and since that time – has been invaluable,” said Conroy. “He has the unique ability to bring out your best while keeping it fun and interesting.” Dean Maryanne Reed has worked with Pinnell since she joined the School of Journalism faculty in 1993. She says he is a

served as chair of the public relations program (1989-2010), associate dean (1991-2007) and director of graduate studies (2001-2007). In his honor, the School established The R. Ivan Pinnell Commitment to Service Award this spring. The award will honor future recipients for their “commitment to serving the students of the WVU P.I. Reed School of Journalism.” Pinnell also received the School’s 2013 Golden Quill Teaching Award, which is based solely on student nominations. In addition, the WVU Board of Governors granted him Emeritus faculty status for his “meritorious contributions to the University.” As for retirement, hunting and fishing are a given. He already has a couple of trips planned. But then what? “Whatever my wife and daughter tell me to do,” said Pinnell.

“I was so proud to come back to Martin Hall, and it was an opportunity for me to give something back to West Virginia.” — Dr. Ivan Pinnell beloved teacher who has impacted the lives of thousands of students. “He always has a long line outside his door – people waiting for academic advising, career advice and sometimes just a shoulder to cry on,” said Reed. “Ivan has a soft spot for students in need of guidance and support.” During his time at the School, Pinnell

Alex Wilson

Denise Reed Miller

“Doc. P” shares a story with friends and colleagues at an open house reception on May 3, 2013.

Dr. Pinnell played a part in who I am today. As my teacher and adviser, he taught me more than I could ever express in one Facebook post. His best advice was always shared in those moments outside the back door of the basement while he smoked his pipe. The SOJ and WVU was a great place to learn and grow as a person, and Dr. Pinnell changed lives with how he took care of the SOJ students. There are many successful alum out there today thanks to Dr. Pinnell helping us to be on our way. Go Mountaineers and Dr. Pinnell.

Tabitha Porterfield

Jonathan Bayless

The School is definitely losing a living legend. Dr. Pinnell helped me secure my first internship and navigate some of the interesting situations I faced. His approach to teaching inspires students to deliver their best work. As a result, we are all better professionals having been under his guidance.

Wouldn’t be where I am today without his guidance.

Kate Kowalski Dr. P. was the first professor I met on my tour of WVU. He was dressed in fatigues, I was dressed in some sort of suburban attire— city mouse meets country mouse! That sealed the deal for me. I knew WVU would be an adventure! I was initially coming for News Ed and within a year, with the assistance of Dr. P., switched to PR. I’m so glad to have studied under him. Best of luck in the future!


Alex Wilson

Watch the


IDEO seewh atyou canbe .wvu.e du

Public relations student makes wishes come true BY ANGELA LINDLEY

When Shae Snyder (BSJ, 2013) was a freshman in high school, her friend Miles was diagnosed with cancer. She didn’t know it then, but his illness would inspire her future. While Miles was sick, the Make-AWish Foundation granted him his wish for a shopping spree, during which he spent most of the money on his mother. When Snyder enrolled in WVU, she remembered Miles and his positive experience with the foundation. She decided that a major in public relations would be one way to bring a similar joy to the lives of children who are suffering. “I realized I could use PR to make a difference in people’s lives by working with nonprofit organizations,” she said. “I could give back to the community, especially other children with cancer.” Snyder didn’t wait until graduation to start giving back to the community. She found the perfect opportunity to put her public relations skills to work while still taking classes. Although there is a Make-A-Wish chapter in Morgantown, students at the University had only minimal involvement with it, says Snyder. So, in fall 2011, she founded the WVU chapter of Wishmakers on Campus, the


SOJ Insider 2013

Shae Snyder formed the first chapter of Wishmakers on Campus at WVU.

college division of Make-A-Wish. “I used my PR skills to get the WVU chapter up and running and to reach out to students,” said Snyder. “We used wordof-mouth techniques to drive students to our social media page, and that’s how they connected with us.” The following summer, Snyder was able to learn even more about the Make-AWish Foundation when she was selected for a prestigious internship at the group’s corporate headquarters in Phoenix, Ariz. While there, she helped with internal and external communications and was instrumental in setting up media coverage for several children who wished to visit London for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Snyder said she had the confidence to tackle both the internship and the Wishmakers chapter because of her public relations classes. “They prepared me for the real world and encouraged me to put myself out there and just go for it,” said Snyder.

“That was an underlying theme in all my PR courses: reach for the stars.” Since 2011, the WVU Wishmakers chapter has conducted several fundraising activities and hopes to grant a wish to a deserving child in the near future. As wishes can be rather expensive – usually from $4,800 to $10,000 or more – community support is essential. Snyder says it was extremely

“I realized I could use PR to make a difference in people’s lives by working with nonprofit organizations.” — Shae Snyder important to build a bridge between Make-AWish and the University and local community. That bridge didn’t exist until Snyder recognized the need and worked to build it. As for her future, Snyder wants to continue working for nonprofit organizations and feels well prepared to do so. “You can do so much with a degree in public relations,” said Snyder. “My PR classes and my experience with Make-A-Wish have been invaluable in preparing me for a career. I haven’t taken a second of that for granted.”

Submitted photo

Elliott Nix, Google’s head of media solutions-technology, is an instructor for the School’s online IMC graduate program.

IMC program taps innovator to teach mobile marketing BY BRIANA WARNER

Elliott Nix works for one of the nation’s most recognized brands and the Internet’s most visited website – Google, Inc. Now, he can add graduate program instructor to his résumé. As head of media solutions– technology, Nix leads a team responsible for providing strategic solutions to Google sales teams in the technology sector. He focuses on client challenges and developing marketing strategies that

Last fall, Nix began teaching Mobile Marketing for the School’s online Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) graduate program. His expertise makes him a perfect fit for the course. “I’ve been evangelizing mobile since 2006 when the iPhone launched,” said Nix. “I’ve been talking about the value of mobile as the most intimate ad device. Sharing that knowledge was an exciting opportunity.” Nix’s students benefit from this personal passion, and he adapts his learning resources based on the fluctuating mobile industry. “We watch YouTube videos, read blog posts and the students complete independent research,” said Nix. “It’s truly multimedia course learning. Students explore on their own and come up with new opinions, and all students learn from what others have discovered.” Ultimately, Nix hopes that students gain a firm understanding of where mobile marketing and mobile technology are now and where they are heading. “During the course, the industry

“By eliminating the barrier of location, you’re tapping into a tremendous amount of faculty brainpower and experience.” — Elliot Nix span mobile, video, display, search and social platforms. Specifically for mobile, Nix works with various clients across industry verticals on features like click-tocall technology, app download and video mobile advertising. Nix formerly served as Head of Mobile Sales and Strategy–North America, where he helped grow Google Mobile into a billion-dollar business, which is now the largest mobile search, display and video network in the world.

will make at least nine new changes,” said Nix. “My hope is that students will be engaged and excited and walk away knowing exactly what they can do from an advertising and marketing perspective when it comes to tablets and mobile devices in their larger marketing strategy.” At the forefront of the world’s mobile industry, Nix loves the innovation and evolution he sees on a daily basis. “Just getting up every morning is exciting if you work in an industry where, in six months, things could be totally different and infinitely better,” said Nix. “Innovation is not always easy, but it keeps you fresh and excited to go to work in the morning.” When asked why he wanted to teach for the program, Nix says he wants to be a part of the School’s innovation. “The entire School of Journalism and IMC program are based on innovating – and specifically with the online programs,” said Nix. “By eliminating the barrier of location, you’re tapping into a tremendous amount of faculty brainpower and experience, and this raises the level of your student body. Innovation challenges preconceived notions, and the School of Journalism is at the forefront.”


Media Innovation Center to house new digital projects BY KIMBERLY WALKER In the changing digital landscape, media organizations face challenges that require real-world, innovative solutions that are both practical and aspirational. Young graduates are expected to come to the workplace with fresh ideas and the ability to creatively problem-solve. To help fulfill these expectations, the School of Journalism is building a new Media Innovation Center designed to inspire and facilitate innovative curricula, applied research and product development in emerging media applications. The Center will be a place where students and faculty across disciplines can experiment in new storytelling practices and develop new strategies, applications and products to benefit users in the emerging digital and mobile space. Faculty and student projects will focus on creating solutions to help rural and community media engage new audiences, foster civic engagement, promote economic development and overcome the challenges of the digital divide.

With the rise of hyper-local media and citizen journalism fueled by the mobile revolution, the term “rural” is a powerful metaphor for a global media in transition, says School of Journalism Dean Maryanne Reed. And the School of Journalism is poised to become a leader in the rural digital space. “By building upon the relationships we’ve already created in small and rural communities across West Virginia, we will continue to solve hyper-local problems through new media applications,” said Reed. “As a testing ground for emerging products and technologies, as well as training people how to use them within their communities, we are creating new language and new behaviors that are scalable nationally and globally.” The School has engaged in several projects to enhance rural media and communities by utilizing the expertise of students and faculty through digital and mobile tools and training. Projects to be housed at the Center include West Virginia

Uncovered, a multimedia training project for small daily and weekly newspapers; Buy Local initiatives, in which students help to raise community awareness about the importance and economic value of shopping at locally owned businesses; and Mobile Main Street, a cross-curricular experiment in creating new economic models for community media. The Center will be ideally located in the new Evansdale Crossing building, which will connect the upper and lower Evansdale campuses. The location will allow for crosscollaboration with students and faculty in other disciplines – such as engineering and creative arts – that complement the School’s focus on media and technology innovation. The Evansdale Crossing building also will host a variety of retail and food vendors, classrooms and student services, creating significant traffic and visibility for the School of Journalism’s innovative projects and premier research space. To be designed as an open, Google-like

Designs by Strada Architecture LLC

“ Through the research we produce, the products we develop and the students we graduate, the new Media Innovation Center will advance the journalism and media industries at a time of unprecedented change and disruption.” — Dean Maryanne Reed 22

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space, the 10,000 square-foot Center will include the latest instructional technology, digital media tools and flexible learning labs to accommodate teamwork and inspire creativity and innovation. It also will include a public “media in action” showcase for presentations, workshops and tours. “The Center’s location is perfect for inventing at the intersection of journalism, media, digital arts and computer sciences,” said Assistant Professor Dana Coester, who also is serving as the Center’s interim creative director. “The space is strategically designed to enable plenty of ‘collision’ opportunities among a diversity of voices. We want to spark creative mash-ups that blur disciplines and that turn conventional process on its head.” The Center will be a highly flexible space that can accommodate a wide range of activities from student learning to applied research to product testing and development. The Center will likely include three primary hubs.

foster collaboration and co-production for “transmedia” storytelling and reporting, including production for print, online, mobile, tablet and other emerging devices.

MEDIA INCUBATOR LAB: This lab will be an open, flexible environment with high-tech and low-tech tools and collaborative work spaces that foster creativity, ideation and product development. Students and faculty across disciplines will work in teams to incubate emerging media applications, platforms

development on an array of existing and beta devices, including wearable technology and augmented reality.

STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS HUB: Designed to reflect an interactive integrated agency, this space will serve as a non-traditional classroom and dynamic real-world work space for capstone courses and other innovation projects within the strategic communications major. The room will have a stylish, contemporary look and feel, with café-style tables, couches,

DIGITAL STORYTELLING HUB: This dynamic space at the heart of the Center will be home to multiple student media projects that use the latest tools to experiment in new forms of storytelling and test new models for community building and audience engagement. The space will be designed as a reinvented newsroom, open and accessible with a central planning hub and smaller teamwork spaces that

and strategies, with the goal of reenvisioning rural and hyper-local media and enhancing local communities using emergent digital and mobile media tools. The incubator will include a device lab for testing story building and application

> WVU Evansdale Crossings – mixed useuse program overview WVU Evansdale Crossing – mixed programs overview Classrooms Shell space

PRT Station

Building Service CORE

Octane Student Services SOJ Innovation Center Roof Deck

Barnes & Noble The ”CIRCULATOR”

“Sidewalk Café” Food Service Venues &

Parking/bus drop

whiteboards, wide screens and advanced teleconferencing technology for interacting with clients and research partners around the world. The hub will be adjacent to a focus group/observation room with a userinteraction lab for strategic communications research designed to serve public and industry research needs. The Center presents new funding opportunities as well as opportunities for strategic partnerships with media and technology companies. “Through the research we produce, the products we develop and the students we graduate, the new Media Innovation Center will advance the journalism and media industries at a time of unprecedented change and disruption,” said Reed. “We believe it will attract a large number of industry partners who want access to the new knowledge and innovative solutions we create.” WVU officials expect to break ground for the Evansdale Crossing building later this summer, and construction should be completed by late fall 2014.

off entrance

Common Seating


Google Images™, used with permission

Google’s Internet-enabled Glass device will allow users to experience augmented reality.

Faculty, students to use Google Glass to explore new ways of storytelling BY ANGELA LINDLEY

For some, the term “augmented reality” (AR) may conjure images of Hollywood blockbusters like “Iron Man 3” or “Avatar,” but what was once considered futuristic entertainment may soon be wearable technology for the masses – including journalists. Google will beta test its new device, Glass, in the coming months, and two projects at the School of Journalism have been selected to participate. Assistant Professor Dana Coester, director of the School’s Mobile Main Street project, and Mary Kay McFarland, coordinator for the West Virginia Uncovered project, applied to receive Glass devices through Google’s #ifihadglass campaign on Twitter. McFarland’s West Virginia Uncovered students will use Glass as a tool to enhance their narrative documentary style. “West Virginia Uncovered was created to challenge students to push the envelope in terms of storytelling,” McFarland said. “I think it’s important that they get exposure to the newest technology.”

In Coester’s class this spring, students teamed up and pitched concepts for the app as their final project. She says her students proposed the idea of writing an app for Glass that will empower journalists and citizens in rural communities to tell their own stories in a very realistic way. “What they came up with was

Coester envisions major changes in the way journalists research and report their stories. “There is no doubt that Glass – and other wearable technology – is a game changer in an industry that has become accustomed to perpetual change,” said Coester. “The storytelling potential in Glass is provocative and asks journalists to think about stories unfolding in digital and physical space, in motion and in real-time. “Love it or hate it, Google Glass represents a shift in social behavior that will reverberate through journalism practice the same way social media has.” To prepare students for a changing media industry, the School is not only teaching students practical skills but also engaging them in developing new media products and applications. “As a journalism school, we recognize there are significant implications for journalism in the numerous Glass-like wearable tech devices coming to market,” said Coester, “and we want to be experimenting in these forms sooner rather than later.”

“ Love it or hate it, Google Glass represents a shift in social behavior that will reverberate through journalism practice the same way social media has.”— Dana Coester


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Storyville – an app that will allow users to capture community information streams for local storytelling and community building for historically marginalized communities,” said Coester. Coester says Glass presents unimagined reporting opportunities for today’s journalists. The device is a wearable computer with a head-mounted display that – among other things – allows users to share exactly what they see with others. It looks like a pair of glasses without lenses. Once tools like Glass become the norm,

Alex Wilson

Television journalism student follows his passion for sportscasting BY ANGELA LINDLEY

If there’s one thing Chris Cerbo, a television journalism junior, has been sure of since a young age, it’s his love of sports broadcasting. In fact, he distinctly remembers his 10th birthday when he switched off the TV after a baseball game and told his dad, “I want to be a sportscaster.” Cerbo never wavered on that point. When he arrived at WVU from Bernardsville, N.J., Cerbo worked quickly to make his dream a reality. He began as a broadcaster for U92 FM, WVU’s radio station. While covering University sports, Cerbo made valuable contacts with the production companies that came to campus to televise games. In January 2012, with the help of a few friends, he started “The Rundown,” a sports talk radio show featuring local and national sports coverage and occasional special guests. Cerbo and co-host Joe Mitchin (also a television journalism junior) use, which allows them to record their weekly shows via speakerphone. Last summer, Cerbo interned with CineSport in South Hackensack, N.J., a company that provides on-demand sports

highlights and videos to media websites. In addition to making professional connections in the industry, he worked as a writer and editor and eventually became on-air talent. He particularly enjoyed the opportunity to create stories from the coverage of basketball in the 2012 Summer Olympics. When he returned to WVU in the fall of 2012, Cerbo dedicated all of his free time to his own show rather than doing another internship or part-time job. “I wanted more practice on-air because I knew it would make me better at what I do,” said Cerbo. “I also wanted to have fun with it, and I wanted the creative freedom to do my own thing.” As “The Rundown” gained popularity, Cerbo drew on his connections at CineSport and began featuring sports reporters from around the country. Then, he tweaked his broadcast model. “When I started making changes, that’s when things really took off,” he said. Instead of a general sports wrap-up, Cerbo takes his listeners on what he calls a “coast-to-coast trip” through the sports world. He starts with stories from the East

Student Chris Cerbo uses his mobile phone to produce and broadcast his own sports talk show.

Coast and then moves westward across the country, trying to highlight at least two stories in each time zone. Cerbo finances his show through ads on his website, and he is in the process of securing several sponsors. This approach – along with his banter sessions with Mitchin and mix of guests – draws about 1,500 listeners per week. Cerbo, of course, wants more. “I’d love to be picked up by a major sponsor and make this my day job,” Cerbo said. And he’s seen it happen before – a station in Detroit picked up a show produced by one of his colleagues at CineSport, and Cerbo joins her show occasionally as a panelist. Even though he has always known his future would be as a sportscaster, Cerbo credits his classes at the School of Journalism with encouraging him to take the risks that are helping to make it happen. “All of my classes have stressed the power of networking and of putting yourself out there,” he said. “I’d tell new students, ‘Don’t be afraid to go out and try new things. And do it now – there’s no need to wait until after graduation.’”


Panelists pictured from left: Lauren Rabaino, Lena Groeger, Brian Boyer, John Keefe, Michelle Minkoff and Derek Willis.

Coding for the Future:THE RISE OF @poetabook #futureofmedia what skills required? Ability to self teach, be inquisitive, not afraid of statistics

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Data visualization, geo-mapping, audience



engagement, agile development, responsive design. What do any of these terms have to do with journalism? Turns out, quite a bit these days. That was the message at the April 15 panel event, “Coding for the Future: The Rise of Hacker Journalism,” hosted by the School of Journalism. This was the first event in the School’s new yearlong “The Future of Media – NOW!” speaker series, which will explore current trends and emerging practices in media and journalism. Moderated by Erin Reilly, creative director of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, the panel consisted of six self-described “hacker journalists” who are helping to transform digital storytelling for modern audiences by building open source-news apps, visualizing and mapping data, and revolutionizing election reporting. In a rapid-fire Ignite-style discussion, the journalists addressed the challenges and opportunities in inventing new practices and acquiring new skill sets on the front lines of big data. And they called on students to become change agents in their future profession. “The real future of media here is you,” said Lauren Rabaino,


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@mmatyolaWVUnews Today journalism isn’t about just telling a story it is about using all the tools and media we have as techno journalists #futureofmedia

The Seattle Times’ first news applications editor. With a staggering amount of data now available to journalists, the ability to capture, interpret and present it to audiences has become a critical skill. “This is going to be part of a reporter’s job, at some level, for almost every reporter,” said Derek Willis, an interactive developer at The New York Times and Knight News Challenge winner who is pioneering new ways of reporting election data. “We’ve got to face to the facts,” Willis said.

Alex Wilson

Students blog and tweet during the panel event in April 2013.

@lydianuzum RT @mareedy: #futureofmedia Every school should have a “coding for journalists” course

HACK THE NEWSROOM But it’s not just about changing skill sets, the panelists cautioned. It’s also about changing processes and attitudes. As Reilly noted, “Culture always eats strategy for lunch.” “There is this newsroom structure of project management that is an assembly line,” said Rabaino. “They plan, they hand it off to designers, and then they hand it off to the data people and the coders to execute.” When it comes to meaningful coding that can be changed on the fly, this assembly line process simply isn’t nimble enough, says Rabaino, who advocates engaging all stakeholders in producing a story – the designers, the coders, the reporters – throughout the entire process. “We want to empower people. We want everyone to be the cool kid in the newsroom,” she urged.

DIY CODE LITERACY With data growing exponentially and the pressures of 24/7 digital news cycles, journalists need to learn coding skills to build databases and other interactive tools. The good news is that acquiring those skills, particularly at the basic level, may require more curiosity than cash. The drive to experiment and a do-it-yourself approach is a common

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John Keefe answers a student’s question during the event.

@blueirispics If it doesn’t work on mobile it doesn’t work @brianboyer #futureofmedia

thread among hacker journalist culture. And from their perspective, it’s easier than you might think. A designer by training, Lena Groeger, news applications developer at ProPublica, taught herself how to write code using video tutorials and other online resources. Brian Boyer, news applications editor at NPR, suggested starting simple, doing relatively easy things like “screen scraping,” which involves creating small bits of code to collect data from websites.


@Jordan_Pack “Find things that you like & try to copy them or reverse engineer them. Then, imagine beyond them.” - @lenagroeger #futureofmedia @kimg716 Be inquisitive, don’t be afraid of data, fact check what’s happening - today’s journalist - the future of media #futureofmedia

John Keefe, senior editor for data news and journalism technology at WYNC, New York Public Radio, suggested using inexpensive tools, such as sensors, to generate your own data. He shared a DIY-style project about tracking cicada populations by measuring soil temperatures. “You can buy all the parts at Radio Shack with step-by-step instructions. Anybody can do it. Trust me – I’ve seen children do it,” Keefe said.

INTERVIEW THE DATA Being able to turn content into code can be a powerful tool for modern journalists. But understanding how to filter data, sort it and discover its hidden stories is what gives journalists a true reporting edge. Data provides context to anecdotal reporting and can be used to hold institutions accountable, says Willis. The New York Times’ “2012 Money Race” is an example of an interactive data visualization that tracks campaign financing. But when it comes to data, Willis worries that politicians and others are far more sophisticated than journalists in their understanding of how to use and manipulate it to their advantage. “We’re bringing knives to gun fights.

Lena Groeger, news applications developer at ProPublica, and Brian Boyer, news applications editor at NPR, talk to students following the event.

Alex Wilson

We’re banging rocks together,” he warned. When it comes to interpreting data, Michelle Minkoff, interactive producer at The Associated Press, noted, “There is a difference between journalism and stenography.” Minkoff says journalists need to consider data as a potential source like any other. “You have to interview the data,” she said. When studying data, look for both trends and outliers and think of what questions you want to ask before delving deeper. “We are journalists first – programmers second,” Minkoff said.

MOBILE FIRST Another recurrent theme was the essential role of audience in interactive news development, with sensitivity to device. “Our biggest rule is that if it doesn’t work on mobile, it doesn’t work,” said Boyer, adding, “Mobile-first design is a great mind hack.”

Lena Groeger discusses her presentation with an SOJ student.

@BryanBumgardner If you want to be a journalist, learn how to code. Now! #futureofmedia


SOJ Insider 2013

@Jordan_Pack Knowledge of coding will increase your chances of getting a job, post-graduation. #futureofmedia

Alex Wilson

Boyer developed a “mobile-first” philosophy at the Chicago Tribune, where his news application team tried to determine the best ways to engage users with content. It’s not just about device. It’s also about strategy. When Groeger started at ProPublica, she learned a key concept for building stories that matter to audiences. “Think about the near and the far,” Groeger said. First, you have a far view for setting context and telling the readers broadly why they should care about the story, she said. Second, you have a near view, “which is the personal story, the specifics, your own town, your hospital, your school – all the details that matter to you.”

THE FUTURE IS NOW Through a live Twitter feed and blog, the panel discussion sparked a conversation among faculty and students about how to adapt curriculum and practice to the changing paradigm. The panelists encouraged students to face the future with optimism, enthusiasm and a sense of adventure. “My advice to you is just don’t be afraid of this,” Rabaino said. “I know a lot of what you’ve seen on the screen, some of the things we may have said seemed scary, maybe seem like Greek. It’s easier than you think.” “We need stories,” Keefe said. “What can we detect? That’s where you come in. You’ve got to figure it out. Let’s do it!”

@bowmanspartan Big lesson in #futureofmedia - learn how to collect and manage data. Start now. #agree

Alex Wilson

• Journalism graduates who are data “literate” and have even basic coding skills are highly marketable. Teaching these skillsets needs to be part of the J-school curriculum.

Erin Reilly, creative director of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, moderates the panel discussion.

@JmooreWVUNews Trying to educate myself to the world of Hacker Journalism #futureofmedia

Alex Wilson

Key Take-Aways:

Lauren Rabaino, The Seattle Times’ first news applications editor, responds to a question from moderator Erin Reilly.

• Reporting isn’t just about talking to people; it’s about using all available sources of information, including databases and spreadsheets. • Be willing to experiment and to live in an environment that is constantly in “beta.” • Surround yourself with likeminded creative disrupters, or as Rabaino said, “Find your Dumbledore’s Army.”

@ztk92 “Experimentation should be taken really seriously.” @laurenrabaino #futureofmedia #hackerjournalism

“We want to empower people. We want everyone to be the cool kid in the newsroom.” — Lauren Rabaino Alex Wilson

Derek Willis, an interactive developer at The New York Times, talks to students about the importance of collecting and tracking data.

• Learn to collaborate with your colleagues and your audience. The goal is to develop tools and applications that create a meaningful experience for the user. • The most important skill you can cultivate is intellectual curiosity. It will enable you to continuously adapt to an ever-changing world and profession.

Watch the panelists’ presentations online at

@heyyCHLOE_ Now I understand why statistics is important in journalism. #futureofmedia #stillhatemath @jnelson92 Very interesting to hear things from the technology side of journalism. #futureofmedia


Alex Wilson

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Musician Logan Venderlic uses his advertising degree to build and promote his personal brand.

Building the b(r)and BY CHRISTA VINCENT

Musicians today have more platforms than ever to share and promote their music to fans around the world. But with increased opportunities comes increased competition. Touring musician Logan Venderlic (BSJ, 2012) knows firsthand how difficult it can be to convince people to download his music, but he says the advertising program helped him persuade people to listen. “When I released my first video on YouTube, I held a promotion on my Facebook page. If a fan shared it with 25 of their friends, they received a free T-shirt,” said Venderlic. “In the first 10 days I received more than 11,000 views – which was a really big deal for me.” While a student in the School of Journalism, Venderlic learned how to utilize social media and graphic design to build a brand. Applying his classroom skills to his career as an indie musician, Venderlic built a social media following, promoted a 7,000-mile driving tour and designed his band’s logo. “In the advertising classes I started thinking about branding… the picture of a boot on my t-shirt that says ‘Stomp’ – which I do a lot of in my show – and the stylizing of my name [Logan

Venderlic] as LO.VE,” said Venderlic. The self-promotion paid off for Venderlic, as music websites and online publications began to review his self-titled debut album. In May 2012, The Huffington Post featured a video performance by Venderlic and an interview with him on their entertainment page. The following month, Yahoo Music named Venderlic’s album to their top-10 list for the first half of 2012. Even with the national attention,

people was a struggle. He battled performance anxiety throughout most of his adolescence. “My mom actually bought me a 4-track cassette tape recorder for Christmas one year, and I filled up tape after tape of my own music,” said Venderlic. “I would only let my mom or my girlfriend hear it because I was really protective of my music. I wasn’t very confident at the time.” With encouragement from friends, Venderlic began to overcome his phobia during his freshman year at WVU. He channeled his nervousness into a high-energy, bootstomping performance and a musical genre he calls “folk-wave” – a mix of folk, indie rock, new-wave and pop. By the end of his senior year, Venderlic released his album and was ready to tour. He said it wasn’t easy balancing advertising classes and launching a music career, but the two lifestyles seemed to complement each other. Since graduation, Venderlic has built and maintained a successful social media following, launched his own website and received an endorsement from Andrew White Guitars. He hopes to release another album and tour again in the near future.

“ As I announced my last song they actually booed. It was definitely a dream come true.” — Logan Venderlic


SOJ Insider 2013

Venderlic says his biggest accomplishment so far was returning to Morgantown, W.Va., in October 2012 to play West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s “Mountain Stage” radio show with singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile. “Mountain Stage was awesome,” said Venderlic. “The crowd was really into it. As I announced my last song they actually booed. It was definitely a dream come true.” The St. Marys, W.Va., native has been writing songs and playing the guitar since he was 10 years old. Venderlic says music came naturally to him but performing in front of

IMC capstone students help SOJ develop new identity


Excerpts from the selected IMC capstone projects.

In an open letter to America’s university presidents last August, the Knight Foundation charged journalism and communications schools to recreate themselves if they hope to maintain their “vital roles as news creators and innovators.” At the School of Journalism, that call is not going unanswered. While traditional media struggle to redefine themselves in the digital space and schools of journalism battle negative perceptions of career opportunities for their graduates, the WVU School of Journalism is emerging as a trailblazer in modern media communications education. With recent changes and continual updates to the journalism curriculum and the shift to an integrated strategic communications major, the School is preparing students for the jobs of today – and tomorrow. But making these changes isn’t enough. School of Journalism Dean Maryanne Reed says communicating this evolution with our constituents is just as important. “We continue to adapt our curriculum to prepare for the dramatically changing media industry, but we also need to more aggressively communicate the relevancy of our program to students considering majoring in journalism or strategic communications,” said Reed. “What’s more perfect than having our own students engaged in that effort?”

To that end, the School enlisted fall 2012 capstone students in its Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) graduate program to develop comprehensive campaigns targeting the rebranding and repositioning of the School to bolster its national reputation and attract highperforming students. The students’ work built upon research conducted by Hall & Partners in 2011. The brand and communications research agency conducted qualitative and quantitative research to pinpoint the School’s core targets, explore current perceptions of and experience with the School, and identify areas of opportunity for future marketing. Within each campaign, students suggested a brand positioning statement and rationale, an integrated communications strategy, a creative brief and at least 10 tactics to be executed in support of the new brand. To further incentivize the students, the School selected the top three campaigns to be presented to executives within Omnicom Group, a leading global advertising and marketing communications services company. Tom Harrison, chairman emeritus of Diversified

Agency Services, the world’s largest group of marketing services companies and a division of Omnicom, hosted the presentation session in New York City on February 4. Harrison is a WVU graduate, chairman of the School’s Visiting Committee and a member of the IMC program’s advisory board. In addition to Harrison and other Omnicom executives, Scott Widmeyer (BSJ, 1975), chairman and CEO of Widmeyer Communications, and Ray Gillette (BSJ, 1971), former president of DDB Chicago, provided strategic insights and feedback on the students’ work. Lead capstone instructor in the IMC program Ray Gillette praised the opportunity for IMC students to develop work for the School and present to a panel of high-level industry executives. “The IMC capstone course is very rigorous,” said Gillette. “Over a nine-week period, our students are challenged to create a campaign for real clients with real problems. Why not put to use our greatest resource – our students – to develop a campaign for the School of Journalism? As an alumnus of the SOJ and an IMC capstone professor, I was very proud of the campaigns our students created.” The School will take some of the best ideas from selected campaigns to incorporate into a new branding strategy and communications campaign to be rolled out in 2014.


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From left: Jenn Colodney, Dain McQuarrie and Sarah Peacock were selected to present their IMC capstone campaigns in New York City in February 2013.


Alex Wilson

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SOJ alumnus achieves New York City dream BY CHRISTA VINCENT Brandon Thomas specializes in education issues as an account executive at Widmeyer Communications.

When Brandon Thomas (BSJ, 2010) was in the sixth grade, he attended a school field trip to New York City. He still remembers opening his eyes after an overnight bus ride from Charleston, W.Va., and catching his first glimpse of the “city that never sleeps.” “I remember waking up in Times Square and seeing all the bright lights because it was still dark out and thinking to myself, ‘I have got to live here someday,’” said Thomas. “That is the moment that stuck with me my entire life until I was able to move here and begin my professional career.” Now an account executive for Widmeyer Communications in New York City, Thomas is living his childhood dream, but it’s not exactly the one he had scripted for himself. As a teenager, Thomas developed a passion for the performing arts and thought that acting might be his ticket back to the Big Apple. When it came time to attend WVU and choose a major though, he decided to pursue a profession that he considered to be “more practical.” “I wanted a job that would allow me

to make money yet still let me be involved in the industry I was passionate about – the performing arts,” said Thomas. “I knew I had several strengths – like public speaking, writing and coordinating events – and PR encompasses all of those things.” While a student in the School of Journalism, Thomas received the Scott D. Widmeyer African American and First Generation scholarships. Scott Widmeyer, a 1974 alumnus who established both funds, is also chairman and CEO of Widmeyer Communications, an independent public

Communications, I’ve developed a niche for the education space,” said Thomas. “Particularly work that involves youth development and workforce development and how those two things connect and play a role in our economy.” Since joining Widmeyer Communications, Thomas has worked with the New Options Project, an initiative to establish new ways of connecting outof-school job seekers with meaningful career opportunities, and the Institute for a Competitive Workforce, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation program that promotes rigorous educational standards and effective job training systems. “As a person from rural West Virginia, I’ve seen the impact that the community plays and youth play in the whole work force development picture – sort of the whole ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ mentality,” said Thomas. “I’m able to come to work every day and do something that I feel is meaningful, and at the end of the day, that’s all that I can ask for.”

“I’m able to come to work every day and do something that I feel is meaningful.” — Brandon Thomas


SOJ Insider 2013

relations agency with offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City. Thomas applied for and was accepted into Widmeyer Communication’s fellowship program following graduation. What began as a four-month apprenticeship turned into a full-time job offer. “My ideal job out of college would have been in the entertainment industry, but as I’ve worked at Widmeyer

Jane Schachtel, Facebook’s global head of technology and SOJ alumna, served as the keynote speaker at INTEGRATE 2013.

Alex Wilson

Facebook executive headlines INTEGRATE 2013 BY BRIANA WARNER

Do you ever find yourself texting, also emphasized that marketers and data companies themselves (Datalogix, talking, e-mailing, social networking and communications professionals can and Epsilon), these companies are hiring like surfing on your smartphone or tablet – all should be using “big data” – or complex crazy because they are actively marketing while watching television? You’re not alone. consumer data – to target the right people. the targeted consumer sets being pulled Studies indicate that this type of consumer “We all know that it’s harder to from big data,” said Schachtel. behavior is on the rise. With so much reach the same people than it used to She also talked about what’s on the data flowing into the online advertising be,” she said. “Big data is really exciting horizon at Facebook. ecosystem, it’s increasingly difficult to give for marketers because all big data is good “We are officially a mobile-first consumers a personalized experience. marketing. It’s about breaking down data company,” Schachtel said. “What you’re Jane Schachtel, Facebook’s global into more manageable pieces.” going to see more and more of is a Facebook head of technology, visited campus to Before joining Facebook, Schachtel experience – whether it’s on Android or iOS – explain how data can be that’s going to be a very rich used by marketers and experience both for people and “Big data is really exciting for marketers because all communications professionals for advertisers on mobile devices.” big data is good marketing.” — Jane Schachtel to turn audience targeting In addition to “from finding a needle in a Schachtel’s keynote address, haystack into a haystack full of needles.” was director of social media for Bing and INTEGRATE 2013 also featured other Schachtel, a 1988 alumna, addressed MSN. Prior to that, she was a director of high-profile guest speakers, breakout issues of data collection and marketing in marketing at Intuit. In addition, Schachtel sessions and networking opportunities. the age of “social maturity” during the started her own consulting firm to help Featured speakers included Global IMC graduate program’s INTEGRATE start-up and enterprise clients with product Marketing Manager for Coca-Cola 2013 conference. positioning, corporate branding, digital Freestyle, WVU alumnus and IMC She focused on the importance of marketing and social media strategies. program graduate Scott Cuppari; Joseph communications professionals realizing that When asked about the jobs of Cohen, PRSA chair-elect and senior vice it always comes back to people. tomorrow, Schachtel said to look toward president at public relations firm MWW; “A lot of us as marketers go after ‘decision the data companies. Scott Wilkinson, WVU Executive Creative makers,’ but a lot of times what I would “Whether it’s the server technology Director; Jason Falls, digital strategist, author argue is that they’re actually just people,” said companies (Oracle or SAP), the consulting and WVU graduate; and expert IMC faculty Schachtel. “Marketers care about products, but services of those companies (IBM), or the members from across the country. people just care about people. They just want to enjoy themselves with each other.” For videos of INTEGRATE conference sessions, While Schachtel focused on the visit the IMC Knowledge Base at: importance of appealing to people, she


Country roads, take me to



It’s been said that all roads lead to in the European Patients’ Rights Day, a moved to America to earn his Ph.D. in Rome. But as I walked by a flyer pinned to a conference that highlights what healthcare aerospace engineering. My parents were bulletin board in Martin Hall, I never would services, civic associations and governments married soon after, and my father began have guessed that I’d find myself in that are doing to empower citizens. teaching at WVU. I was born four years remarkable city six months later. later and often travel to Italy to Patty Harman “Study in Italy,” it read. vacation and visit family. “Experience Real-World Global Our departure date drew PR for Your Public Relations closer, and the anticipation rose Capstone Course.” among the members of AAA. This past spring semester, a For some, it was their first time group of SOJ students had the out of the country. For me, it unique opportunity to travel to was my first time in Italy as a Italy during spring break as part young professional and not just a of a public relations capstone vacationer. It was a chance to fully course taught by senior lecturer integrate what I knew from my Chuck Harman. I was one of Italian culture and the language into those students. Together we my work with the agency. While formed American Activist Agency excited about the opportunity, I (AAA) and worked hand-inwas full of fear and doubt. I had hand with the Italian nonprofit no previous agency experience organization Cittadinanzattiva. and was still trying to understand Founded in 1978, my role. I finally understood Napolitano stands on the grounds of the Rocca di Spoleto, a castle Cittadinanzattiva is a patient my unique position when we built in the 1300s, overlooking the city of Spoleto, Italy. advocacy organization that arrived at Cittadinanzattiva’s works to educate Italian citizens on their Italy is a special place for me. It’s not headquarters in Rome. rights as patients and individuals regarding just a tourist destination with pizza and While in Italy, I served as the liaison healthcare through more than 115,000 pasta and wine. Italy is home. My parents between AAA and our client and took networks, associations, groups and individual were born in Naples, a historic city in on the role as the spokesperson and partners. One of those networks, the Active the southern part of the country. After interpreter for my classmates. I gained Citizenship Network (ACN), participates my father finished his master’s degree, he real-world experience working with the


SOJ Insider 2013

Patty Harman

agency’s leaders and networked with Italy’s top journalists, public relations practitioners and politicians. On behalf of Cittadinanzattiva and ACN, our agency worked throughout the semester to build a promotional campaign for the seventh annual European Patients’ Rights Day on May 16. Our efforts focused on traditional and social media outreach to inform citizens of their patient rights with universal healthcare. Serving as the nonprofit’s public relations agency, AAA built a comprehensive promotions plan to increase media coverage and digital engagement for the event. In March, we traveled to Italy present our campaign to Cittadinanzattiva leadership. As the semester came to an end, I looked back on this incredible global public relations experience and how it all started with a glance at a flyer. I was able to do what I love – public relations – in a place that I love – Italy. From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Eternal City, country roads took me to Rome.

Napolitano and Harman outside of their hotel in Spoleto, Italy, discussing directions to the Cittadinanzattiva Umbria office with liaison Anna Rita Cosso.

Patty Harman

Members of AAA present their public relations plan to the Cittadinanzattiva staff as Napolitano translates the presentation. This was the group’s first presentation in Rome at the national headquarters of Cittadinanzattiva.

“Italy is a special place for me. It’s not just a tourist destination with pizza and pasta and wine. Italy is home.” — Giuliana Napolitano Patty Harman

The group poses outside their hotel in Spoleto, Italy, with Cittadinanzattiva Umbria liaison Anna Rita Cosso. Front Row: Rachel Borowski, Jamie Kornhaber, Anna Rita Cosso, Bethany Bloise, Kate Smallwood and Chloe Detrick. Second Row: Stephanie Rosnick, Naseem Amini, Tatiana Schiazza, Giuliana Napolitano, Anna Benmoha, Kelly Suckiel, Toniann Caputo and Chuck Harman.

Patty Harman

From left: Alessandro Cossu, head of public relations and communications for Cittadinanzattiva, and students Anna Benmoha and Giuliana Napolitano make changes to the group’s public relations plan.


“A State of Minds” Update A State of Minds:The Campaign for West Virginia’s University is about investing in the values, ambition, intellect and mindset that define one of the most exciting universities in the country. With support from alumni, friends, foundations, and partners, WVU will be in a position to lead the national and global dialogue on energy, health, the environment, the economy … and so much more. The School of Journalism’s aim during this campaign is to raise funds around our strategic goals, including providing students with a relevant 21st century education; producing research and discoveries that advance the industry and empower rural communities; building technology-enhanced learning labs that foster teamwork and innovation; and creating real-world, hands-on opportunities for our students. The School has identified a list of essential funding priorities that will power our accomplishments in education and research in the coming decades.

WVU Goal:

$668.7 million – 89% of goal, as of June 30, 2013 School of Journalism Goal:

School of Journalism Funding Priorities Named Professorships and Faculty Support As we face increased competition for top faculty, we must create salary and incentive packages that will allow us to recruit and retain the best professionals in our field. Our goal is to create one additional endowed professorship, an endowment to support a rotating research position and funds that support faculty research and travel to relevant academic conferences. Student Scholarships and Enhancement By creating new scholarship endowments, we will be able to provide financial support to many more eligible students. We also seek funds to support students doing internships and studying abroad – experiences that enhance their portfolios and professional opportunities. Visiting Professional Program With the industry changing so rapidly, it is imperative that we are able to hire professionals whose experience is current and cutting-edge. An endowed Visiting Professional Program would allow us to bring top professionals to campus on a rotating basis to teach classes and seminars, give public lectures and help the School develop innovative curricula and programs in new areas.

$2.3 million – 66% of goal, as of March 31, 2013 Multimedia Innovation Lab

Be a Part of the Campaign To learn more about the campaign or to make a gift, visit our website at or contact: Luella Gunter Director of Development WVU P.I. Reed School of Journalism 304.293.6775

Thank you for supporting A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University.


SOJ Insider 2013

We are building an innovation lab in which students will develop new applications, projects and platforms that utilize digital and mobile technologies and enhance rural media. One-time funding is needed to create the lab, and an additional endowment is needed to generate funding to replace technology and equipment on an ongoing basis. Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Doctoral Program The School plans to launch a doctoral program in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) that would prepare graduates for careers in academia and targeted industry positions. The fund would provide monies for curriculum development, program research, travel and research support for IMC faculty, as well as additional start-up costs.

Photo submitted by John and Cindy Walls.

John and Cindy Walls established a career development fund to support SOJ students.

Developing Future Careers: Donors give more than funds to help students achieve career goals INTERVIEW BY CHRISTA VINCENT

John Walls (BSJ, 1978) and his wife Cindy, also a WVU graduate, both enjoy successful careers in the Washington, D.C., area. John is vice president, public affairs for CTIA – The Wireless Association, and Cindy is a resident counselor at the Sunstone Counseling Center in Arlington, Va. While they realize the value of their WVU education, John and Cindy believe their experiences outside the classroom helped position them for success. This year, they established the John and Cindy Walls Career Development Fund, a first-of-its-kind fund at the School that will provide funding support for students working in high-level media internships in Washington, D.C. VINCENT: Why did you establish the John and Cindy Walls Career Development Fund? JOHN & CINDY WALLS: We realize how important it is for many young people to earn money during the summer to help defray the costs of their education. At the same time, we’d like to help aspiring journalists acquire invaluable practical

experience to prepare for them their career. Being the parents of four recent college graduates, we realize many internship opportunities don’t include compensation. The Career Development Fund is our way of helping students not have to decide between making money and gaining professional experience. V: How does this fund differ from other student scholarships or funds? J&C: Many scholarships provide tuition support, but our fund is squarely focused on enabling students who have a passion for a career in journalism – particularly broadcast – to acquire experience outside of the classroom and in a professional setting. V: Besides financial support, what else do you hope to provide SOJ students? J&C: We’re both big believers in the values and benefits of establishing good relationships – in the home, at work and with friends. We really want to get to know the young people benefiting from the Career Development Fund, because as helpful as it might be to them in the near-

term, it’s our hope to have a positive impact on their long-term success. We both believe in learning by doing, paying your dues, not taking shortcuts, and working hard, so those thoughts are probably at the heart of any advice we might give. V: Why is it important for alumni and friends to establish similar funds and scholarships for SOJ students? J&C: We realize there are exceptional people who have graduated from WVU and accomplished quite a bit on their own accord. At the same time, we are well aware of and deeply appreciate the many people who had a hand in making our lives richer and more fulfilling, and we are getting tremendous pleasure out of now being able to do the same for current students. We encourage alumni to look back at their careers and consider those mentors and sponsors who were there for them at critical times. We honor them by doing the same for those coming up behind us, and we can set good examples for those young people to do the same when they’re able.


ABOUT OUR DONORS SOJ Giving Societies In recognition of the growing importance of private giving, the School of Journalism honors its friends and supporters through a tiered system of giving levels and inducts new members each fall. Below is a list of new donors or donors who have moved into new giving societies during the past year. P.I. REED CIRCLE OF FRIENDS ($25,000 - $99,999) • Mr. and Mrs. Frank B. Ahrens • The Arnold Agency • Mr. John H. and Mr. C. Bryan Brown • Ms. Samme L. Gee • Mr. and Mrs. James Gilkerson • Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Gillette • Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Izard • Mr. and Mrs. Robert Kittle • Ms. Jennifer (Rupinsky) Manton • Mr. and Mrs. Joseph P. Steranka • Mr. and Mrs. John Walls

SOJ Donor Honor Roll The School of Journalism would like to thank our donors who have given to the 2012-2013 annual fund. We especially want to recognize those supporters who give $1,000 or more on an annual basis. Those donors are part of the SOJ’s Loyalty Club, established in 2010 and indicated by an asterisk. The annual giving list represents cash and pledge payments received through May 15, 2013. $15,000 OR MORE • Mr. and Mrs. Thomas L. Harrison* • Omnicom Management Inc.* $5,000 - $14,999 • Air Products Foundation, Inc.* • Mrs. Elizabeth K. Dziedzic* • Nutting Foundation* $1,000 - $4,999 • Mr. Paul A. Atkins* • Col. Thomas J. Boyd* • Ms. Barbara S. Casey* • CMGRP, Inc.* • Mr. and Mrs. Wendell Cochran* • Ms. Samme L. Gee* • Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Gillette* • Mr. and Mrs. Beedeah Hassen* • Mr. Stephen N. Hunsicker* • Mr. and Mrs. Colin D. Kelly* • Ms. Jane M. McNeer* • Ms. Alexis and Mr. Jim Pugh* • Ms. Maryanne Reed* • Mr. Stanley J. Reed* • Mr. James J. Roop* • Mr. Archie A. Sader* • Mrs. Louise Crumrine Seals* • Mrs. Fanny J. Seiler*


SOJ Insider 2013

• Ms. Margery A. Swanson* • United Way of the Midlands* • Mr. and Ms. John M. Walls* $500 - $999 • Ms. Bonnie J. Bolden • Mrs. Nichole E. Gatto-Wild • Global Impact • Mr. James R. Hunkler • Mrs. Pamela Maphis Larrick • Northwestern Mutual Life Foundation Matching Gift Program • Mrs. Stephanie O’Keefe • Dr. and Mrs. Guy H. Stewart • Mr. and Mrs. Timothy J. Tewalt • Mr. Michael J. Tomasky $100 - $499 • Mr. Joshua L. Austin • Ms. Johnna G. Barto • Mr. and Mrs. Raymond L. Betzner • Mr. Paul A. Binkowski • Mr. and Mrs. Walter C. Bird • Maj. John W. Boggess • Mr. Daniel W. Bosch • Mrs. Jacqueline K. Breeden • Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation • Mrs. Robyn M. Buckley • Ms. Peggy Chesser-Sjoberg • Mrs. Elizabeth E. Chilton • Chubb Group of Insurance Companies • Mr. and Mrs. Mark P. Ciamarra • Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. • Dr. Charles F. Cremer • Mr. and Mrs. Ron Cutright • Mr. and Mrs. Gary L. Davis • Mr. and Mrs. James W. Diehm • Mr. and Mrs. Thomas P. Dowling • Ms. Jane E. Duffy • Dr. Sandra H. Englebright Utt • Mr. Maurice R. Fliess • Mr. and Mrs. David M. Foreman • Ms. Susan E. Fox • Ms. Ann H. Garcelon • Grant County Press • Ms. Leigh F. Gregg • Rev. and Mrs. Leonard S. Gross • Mrs. Nancy W. Hainey • Mr. and Mrs. Bruce R. Hartmann • Mrs. Noel Hassen • Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan R. Hickey • Mr. and Mrs. R. Douglas Huff • Mrs. Eaine N. Jackson • Mr. Michael C. Judge • Mrs. Virginia G. Kavage • Mrs. Constance M. Kelly • Mr. and Mrs. Patrick D. Kelly • Mr. and Mrs. Rory J. Kelly • Ms. Kelly M. Lamp Wasilefski • Dr. Brenda J. Logue • Mr. Michael Madia • Mr. Lawrence J. Malone • Dr. Diana L. Martinelli • Ms. Margie A. Mason • Mr. and Mrs. Victor W. Mason III • Ms. Johanna L. Maurice • Mr. J. Blake Miller • Mr. Henry C. Nagel II • Mr. and Mrs. William J. Nevin • Mr. Thomas D. Perry • Mr. and Mrs. Kurt J. Repanshek

• Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Richards • Mr. Robert M. Rine • Dr. Jeanne S. Scafella • Mrs. Mary L. Scott • Ms. Jennifer Shaffron • Mr. and Mrs. Preston L. Shimer • Mr. and Mrs. Bennett B. Smith • Ms. Martha G. Smith • Mr. Richard L. Smith • Mrs. Kristi P. Specker • Mrs. Linda Spencer • Ms. Sally L. Steel • Mr. and Mrs. Richard A. Stewart • Mr. William G. Sullivan and Dr. Helen G. Sullivan • Mr. William S. Tiernan • Mr. Timothy S. Truman • Mr. and Mrs. John B. Ullom • Ms. Dawn E. Warfield • Mr. Douglas Widmeyer • Mr. William G. Wilkinson • Mr. William A. Yahner

Why I Give … Submitted photo

“My parents were the highest example of the benefits of education and the importance of life-long learning. They generously funded 34 years of higher education for my five sisters and me. The School of Journalism was my foundation – a ticket to a world of opportunity. Through an endowed scholarship, named in honor of my parents, I hope to pass on the same opportunity that the School and my parents provided to me.” – Jane McNeer (BSJ, 1975) The Hilda G. and James E. McNeer Journalism Scholarship

How to Make a Gift

To learn more about making a gift, visit our website at or contact:

Luella Gunter Director of Development WVU P.I. Reed School of Journalism 304.293.6775

ABOUT OUR SCHOLARSHIPS New Scholarships Established The Hilda G. and James E. McNeer Journalism Scholarship • Jane M. McNeer (BSJ, 1975) The James and Barbara Gilkerson School of Journalism Scholarship • James (BSJ, 1968) and Barbara (BSJ, 1968) Gilkerson The John and Cindy Walls Career Development Fund • John (BSJ, 1978) and Cindy Walls

• Sara Cottle • Allison Lee • Corinna Lucotch • Katherine Murdock • Timothy Saar • Brandi Underwood George Gianodis Journalism Scholarship • Rachel Borowski • Rachel Duryea • Alicia Elkin • Alyson Furey • Matthew Murphy • Sarah O’Rourke • Ashleigh Pollart • Victoria Stambaugh

Peggy Preston Tierney Scholarship • Bryan Bumgardner • Rachel Duryea • Ryan Glaspell • Cassandra Lang • Lacey Palmer • Allyson Parrish • Kelsey Shingleton Perley Isaac Reed Scholarship • Andrew Silva Raymond and Susan Gillette Minority Scholarship • Branford Marks

Cary Journalism Scholarship • Kelsey Amsdell • Lindsey Beall • Rachel Borowski • Dan Sweeney

GolinHarris Mountaineer in DC • Rachel Borowski

Catharine Patton Clark Presidential Scholarship • Chelsi Baker • Robert Baronner • Evan Bonnstetter • Brittany Lavenski • Jake Newman • Timothy Saar

Linda E. Yost Scholarship • Chelsi Baker

School of Journalism Scholarship • Bethany Bloise • Rachel Borowski • Jenna Britton • Hannah Chenoweth • Emily Chess • Bridgette Flora • Allison Heller • Michael Hudgins • Paul LaMancusa • Lacey Lillard • Kelly Matava • Shannon McKenna • Erik Roberts • Allison Rollins • Lucy Sutton • Brittany Tramontano • Brandi Underwood

Linda Jeanne Leckie Schulte Scholarship • Jacqueline Riggleman

Scott D. Widmeyer African American Scholarship • Branford Marks

Mark S. and Frances S. Grove Endowed Scholarship • Brittany Furbee

Scott D. Widmeyer First Generation Scholarship • Rachel Duryea

Scholarship Recipients (2012-2013) Arnold Agency Scholarship • Brian Aluise • Timothy Saar

Col. Thomas J. Boyd Scholarship • Elizabeth Link

Gilbert and Margaret Love Journalism Scholarship • Karissa Blackburn • Evan Bonnstetter • Caitlin Kaser • Jamie McCracken • Jake Newman

Irene Caplan Moksay Scholarship • Adelyn Nottingham

Cummings Scholarship • Lucy Sutton

Martha E. Shott Endowed Scholarship • Brian Aluise • Jamie McCracken • Adelyn Nottingham • Samantha Redd

David Matthew Hassen Journalism Book Scholarship • Lacey Palmer

Merideth Robb Memorial Scholarship • Emily Denman

Don S. Marsh Scholarship • Sarah Cordonier • Allison Lee Douglas and Ruth Ann Widmeyer Endowed Journalism Scholarship • Emily Denman • Alexandra Sebestyen Edith Watson Sasser Scholarship • Alexander Berry • Brittany Furbee Frank M. Kearns Memorial Fund • Lacey Beattie • Jenna Britton • Haleigh Collins

Nancy Henrichs Hodel Memorial Scholarship • Sarah Cordonier Ogden Newspapers and Nutting Family Journalism Scholarship • Alexander Berry • Kaitlyn Wilson Paul A. Atkins Scholarship • Alexander Berry • Corinna Lucotch • Andrew Silva • Dan Sweeney • Jim Yaria Paul S. and Theo S. Deem Book Scholarship • Adelyn Nottingham

Thomas Picarsic Scholarship in Journalism • Andrew Silva W.E. Chilton III Journalism Scholarship • Chelsi Baker • Lacey Beattie • Alexander Berry • Sarah Cordonier William F. Tolbert Journalism Scholarship • Kayli Nugent

Student Enhancement & Professional Development Awards (2012-2013) Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism Enhancement Fund • Chelsi Baker, Missouri • Bryan Bumgardner, New York • Hayley Clover, Los Angeles • Victoria Rihl, Nashville John and Cindy Walls Career Development Fund • Samantha Runyon, Washington, D.C.


FACULTY BRIEFS & ADDITIONS HONGMIN AHN In October 2012, Assistant Professor Dr. Hongmin Ahn presented a co-authored paper, “Does Complaining Really Ruin a Relationship? Effects of the Propensity to Complain on Positive Consumer-Brand Relationships,” at the North American Association for Consumer Research 2012 Annual Conference in Vancouver, Canada. In April 2013, she presented a co-authored paper, “Psychological Factors Influencing Concerns Over SNS Privacy: A Focus on Narcissism,” at the American Academy of Advertising (AAA) 2013 Annual Conference in Albuquerque, N.M. In May, Ahn presented two co-authored papers, “Grandiose and Vulnerable Narcissism: Distinct Effects on Social Network Sites Use” and “The Effects of Currency and Imports Restrictions on Luxury Brand Advertising in Argentina,” at the AAA Global Conference at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, Hawaii. She also served as a panelist for the Special Topics – New Research Agenda for International Advertising and IMC at the AAA Global Conference. BOB BRITTEN In August 2012, Assistant Professor Dr. Bob Britten presented a co-authored paper, “Bonding Friends, Bridging Families: How Parents Share and Seek Support on Facebook,” at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference in Chicago, Ill. His manuscript, “Photographic Coverage of 9/11 in Anniversary Editions of Impact Site Newspapers,” was accepted for 2013 publication in Journalism Studies, and his professional piece, “Tools, Not Toys: The Blogging and Interactive Journalism Course,” was published in The Convergence Newsletter in April 2013.

DANA COESTER In March 2013, Assistant Professor Dana Coester received a “Best of Festival” award for her Mobile Main Street project from the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) Festival of Media Arts – the highest honor of the competition. The BEA Festival of Media Arts is an international refereed exhibition sponsored by the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation, Avid and Sony. Coester also presented “Mobile We: Tell the Story of Your Community with All-Mobile Multimedia Training” and “A Transmedia Storytelling Experiment on Pinterest” at BEA. In addition, Coester was elected to serve as chair for the Interactive Media and Emerging Technology division of BEA. In April, she joined the Google Glass Explorer program and began work on Storyville, a location-based storytelling application for wearable technology. RITA COLISTRA Assistant Professor Dr. Rita Colistra received the Promising Professor Award, a national award presented by the Mass Communications and Society Division of AEJMC in August 2012. Colistra presented on the Promising Professors and Distinguished Educator Panel at the national AEJMC conference in Chicago, Ill., in August 2012. In spring 2013, she was awarded a $5,000 LINK grant through the WV Campus Compact and WVU’s Center for Civic Engagement to provide service-learning opportunities for her public relations campaigns course, in which students researched, planned and implemented a Buy Local campaign for Shinnston, W.Va. Colistra was also awarded a non-solicited grant for $7,100 for the class to create a statewide event-based campaign for WVU’s Health Sciences and Technology Academy.

DIANA MARTINELLI Associate Dean and Widmeyer Professor in Public Relations Dr. Diana Martinelli served as dissemination specialist for the $19.3 million National Institutes of Health grant for the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute. She also graduated as part of the nine-month Leadership West Virginia Class of 2012 in November. In fall 2012, Martinelli was appointed to the board of advisors for The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations at the University of Alabama and was an invited speaker at the National Association of Government Communicators conference in Washington, D.C. This June, Martinellli participated in the sixth Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy in Baton Rouge, La.


SOJ Insider 2013

FACULTY BRIEFS & ADDITIONS ADDITION – ALISON BASS Alison Bass joined the School of Journalism as an assistant professor in the summer of 2012. She teaches public affairs reporting, multimedia journalism and health and science journalism. Before coming to WVU, the award-winning journalist and critically acclaimed author taught journalism at Mount Holyoke College, Brandeis University and Boston University. Her book, “Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower and a Bestselling Antidepressant on Trial,” won the National Association of Science Writers’ Science in Society Award in 2009. In addition, Bass was a longtime medical and science writer for The Boston Globe. Her work has appeared in such publications as The Huffington Post, the Chicago Tribune and Psychology Today. Bass

received her bachelor of arts degree from Brandeis University and her master of liberal arts degree from Harvard University Extension School. In February 2013, Bass published a blog on The Huffington Post website reviewing Steven Soderbergh’s new film, “Side Effects,” which loosely covers the same topic as her 2008 book by the same name. Also this summer, The American Scholar magazine published Bass’s review of two new books, “The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry” by Gary Greenberg and “Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life” by Allen Frances. Bass also maintains her own blog about public health issues at This year, she published several posts regarding the problem of prescription drug overdoses in Appalachia.

MARY KAY MCFARLAND During the past year, lecturer and “West Virginia Uncovered” project coordinator Mary Kay McFarland organized two workshops for state media outlets, “Mobile Strategies” and “Practical Digital Strategies.” She also led a video workshop for high school educators and taught a community photo workshop. In September 2012, McFarland served as a student newsroom mentor at the Online News Association annual conference in San Francisco, Calif.

LOIS RAIMONDO Visiting Shott Chair of Journalism Lois Raimondo published “Teaching Global Perspectives Through Camera Work: Naïve to Nuanced Pictures – from West Virginia University to China” in Visual Communication Quarterly. She was one of eight people, drawn from photographers and editors across America, invited to serve as faculty at the Missouri Photo Workshop held in Troy, Mo. This was her 19th year on the workshop’s faculty. In February 2013, Raimondo presented her work on the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the tribal territories of northwest Pakistan at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. She also served as a judge for the White House News Photographers Association’s competition at National Geographic in the same month.

STEVE URBANSKI Director of Graduate Studies and Assistant Professor Steve Urbanski’s article, “Walter Lippmann’s Ethical Challenge to the Individual,” was published in March by the peer-reviewed online journal Sage Open. Another article he co-authored, “Recognizing Dysfunctional Communication as a Means of Improving Organizational Practices,” was published in October 2012 by the peer-reviewed international Journal of Communication and Media Technologies.





JAMES JOSLYN (BSJ, 1978) is the director of photography at WUSA, a CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C. At his previous job at WAVE-TV in Louisville, Ky., Joslyn was awarded six Midwest Regional Emmys for photography and editing. WAVE-TV was also named National Press Photographer’s Association Station of the Year for Medium Markets in 2004 while he was chief photographer.

FRANK GARLAND (BSJ, 1989) lives in Erie, Pa., and has written a biography of Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Famer Willie Stargell titled “Willie Stargell: A Life in Baseball,” published by McFarland & Co. Inc. in 2013.

LEAH BOGDAN (BSJ, 2002) is a publications specialist at CLG in Morgantown, W.Va.

HOLLY MCKINLEY (BSJ, 1977) is a paralegal at the Social Security Administration Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in Morgantown, W.Va. VALERIE NIEMAN (BSJ, 1978) is an associate professor at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C. Her most recent novel, “Blood Clay,” won the 2012 Eric Hoffer Award for general fiction. EILEEN SMITH (BSJ, 1976) was a finalist for an Investigative Reporters and Editors award for her part in the series “New Jersey’s Pension Peril” in the Asbury Park Press. She is a senior writer at the Courier-Post in Camden, N.J. MARTHA SMITH (BSJ, 1970), retired after three decades with the Providence (R.I.) Journal and still freelancing for national magazines, has been inducted into the Rhode Island Press Association Hall of Fame recognizing the body of her work over 45 years. The prestigious honor was awarded in May 2013. The previous year Smith took third place for features in the Press Association’s annual writing contest. MARCELLA WILLIAMSON (MSJ, 1979; BSJ, 1974) is director of communication at the Virginia Center of Technologies Agency and lives in Chester, Va.


SOJ Insider 2013

STEVEN HAMULA (BSJ, 1984) is director of regulatory affairs at Lumos Networks in Charleston, W.Va.

ELIZABETH BRUNER (BSJ, 2009) is a digital strategist at the integrated communications agency OMD in New York, N.Y. ALLYSON CANNON (BSJ, 2009) works as recruitment manager and assistant to the president at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. JOEL DANOY (BSJ, 2009) is a managing editor at the Tracy Press in Tracy, Calif.

MARRIANNE MCMULLEN (BSJ, 1982) is the director of the Office of Public Affairs for the Administration for Children and Families in Washington, D.C. DEBRA ZAIN LAUGHRY (BSJ, 1981) is vice president of public relations for WakeMed in Raleigh, N.C., where she has lived for 17 years.

1990s KIA BERGMAN (BSJ, 1999) works in community outreach for the Hillsborough Township Public Schools in Hillsborough, N.J. MARCO CEO (BSJ, 1992) works as an art director with the Neiman Group in Harrisburg, Pa. JESSICA LOCIERO (BSJ, 1998) is the director of corporate communications for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in New York, N.Y.

CHRISTOPHER COLEMAN (BSJ, 2000) is an attorney for the U.S. Army in Ft. Campbell, Ky. MATT FRANZBLAU (BSJ, 2005) is a communication assistant in the Oregon State Beavers Athletics Office in Corvallis, Ore.

CHRIS JACKSON (BSJ, 2008) works as director of photography at Hagerstown Magazine in Hagerstown, Md. He also is a freelance photojournalist for The Associated Press, primarily covering WVU athletics.

CLASS NOTES RICHARD JONES (BSJ, 2004) is a lead generation account manager at Dominion Enterprises in Norfolk, Va. He and his wife, also a WVU alumna, welcomed their first child in October 2012. TODD KRISE (BSJ, 2008) lives in Lexington, Ky., and is an assistant managing editor at IMG College.

RONTINA MCCANN (BSJ, 2003) lives in Justin, Texas, and is a reporter for ESPN.

CHRISTINA PITTMAN (BSJ, 2007) is an account supervisor at Welz & Weisel Communications in Springfield, Va. ELIZABETH REINHARDT (MSJ, 2011) is a marketing director for Gold, Khourey and Turak, L.C., in Moundsville, W.Va. DREW ROSS (BSJ, 2000) was promoted in 2012 to director of the West Virginia Legislative Reference and Information Center in Charleston, W.Va.

CHRISTOPHER SIEKMAN (MSJ, 2011) is a commanding officer in the U.S. Marine Corps in Camp Pendleton, Calif. JESSICA MCGEE (BSJ, 2007) works at a consulting firm as a communications specialist on their largest contract, which supports Medicare and Medicaid services, in Indianapolis, Ind. KELLY MCNEIL ANDREYCAK (BSJ, 2007) works as a digital marketing manager at Capital One in Richmond, Va. MARJORIE MILLER (BSJ, 2008) lives in State College, Pa., and works as a staff writer for The Centre County Gazette. LUKE NESLER (BSJ, 2012) is the owner of Nesler Media, a film production company, and Impakt Marketing, a new media-marketing firm. Both businesses are located in Morgantown, W.Va. CHASE OFORI-ATTA (MS-IMC, 2012) is a lead docketing consultant at COA Consulting, LLC, in Manassas, Va. RYAN PALATINI (BSJ, 2006) lives in Hoboken, N.J., and works as an account supervisor at Cline, Davis & Mann.

ANDREW SMITH (BSJ, 2010) works as an agent for Allstate Insurance in Morgantown, W.Va. KRISTIN SNYDER (MSJ, 2011) works for Techtronic Industries in Anderson, S.C., as a senior marketing manager for North America – Outdoor Products. KAREN SNYDER DUKE (BSJ, 2009) is an associate editor for American Baby magazine in New York, N.Y.

MICHELLE WAHL (BSJ, 2005) is a development coordinator at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation in Pittsburgh, Pa. LAURA WATSON (BSJ, 2007) works at CBS News as an associate producer for “CBS This Morning” in New York, N.Y.

NICOLE WHITMAN (BSJ, 2011) works as a communications specialist at West Pharmaceutical Services in West Chester, Pa., and is a student in the School of Journalism’s Integrated Marketing Communications online master’s degree program. LINDSAY WILES (MS-IMC, 2009) works at the WVU Extension Service as an editor/publications specialist in Morgantown, W.Va. RANAE WINEMILLER (BSJ, 2005) is the director of marketing for In Step Dance and Fitness in Clarksburg, W.Va.

ALISA BAILEY (BSJ, 1979) The Virginia Tourism Corporation passed a resolution in December 2012 honoring Alisa Bailey (BSJ, 1979) for her service as head of tourism for the state of Virginia. Bailey – a Charleston, W.Va., native and now president and CEO of Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) – served as the president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation from 2003 to 2012 before returning to West Virginia to head up the Charleston CVB. The resolution credits Bailey for enhancing the reputation of the Virginia Tourism Corporation, promoting tourism as an engine of economic growth, doubling the organization’s budget, developing a website that became the most visited state tourism website in the United States, helping to enact the Tourism Development Financing Program, and fostering a creative culture of entrepreneurialism and innovation at the agency.


CLASS NOTES Transitions The School of Journalism wishes to acknowledge our alumni who have passed away during the year.














In memory of … REV. LEONARD GROSS (BSJ, 1949) worked for various newspapers and television stations in Morgantown, Charleston and Huntington, W.Va., as well as in Akron, Ohio. In 1962, he changed directions in his career and took a position in public relations for Consolidation Coal. By the time Gross retired in 1982, he had been promoted to general manager. In addition, Gross was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal church in 1974. He served the Diocese of West Virginia in several rural areas. He also served in the Army and was stationed in Europe during World War II. Gross remained a friend of the School of Journalism throughout his career, even serving as president of the School’s Alumni Association in the 1990s. He passed away March 1, 2013, at Sundale Nursing Home in Morgantown. He was 88 years old.


SOJ Insider 2013

J. RICHARD TOREN (BSJ, 1948) was a veteran West Virginia journalist and former editor of The Dominion Post. He was named editor in 1974 after 26 years as a United Press International (UPI) reporter and news executive in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. While in school, Toren served as news editor of The Daily Athenaeum and as president of the Newman Club. He was a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and served as vice president of its Pittsburgh chapter and president of the Huntington-Charleston chapter. Toren was twice president of the School of Journalism Alumni Association. In 1977, Toren joined the WVU University Relations staff and became director of the Medical Center news service. He spent 10 years as WVU’s Associate Director of University Relations and was the acting director when he retired. In 1996, he received the P.I. Reed Achievement Award given annually by the School of Journalism for “significant contributions to the journalism profession.” Toren passed away on June 22, 2013. He was 88 years old.

SEE WHAT YOU CAN BE at the WVU P.I. Reed School of Journalism Join the WVU P.I. Reed School of Journalism in its campaign to inspire and recruit the next generation of media innovators and professional communicators.
















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SOJ Insider 2013

SOJ Insider - Summer 2013  
SOJ Insider - Summer 2013  

Newly named the SOJ Insider in 2008, the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism’s alumni magazine is produced on an annual basis for the nea...