University of Southern Indianaâ€™s Department of Communications Alumni Newsletter Spring 2013
In this Issue
Letter from the Chair
Alumni Spotlight 2 LinkedIn 3 The Edge Radio 4 Society of Professional Journalists
Service Learning with Girls in Bloom
Major Minor 9 Dr. Black 10 Masters Program 11 Advanced Campaign 12 Faculty & Contact 13
Letter from the Chair Dr. J. Wayne Rinks This semester has been rewarding and eventful for the Communications Department, students, and faculty. We are proud to say that The Edge Radio won a multitude of awards this semester. The Shield was named Division II Newspaper of the Year (tied with the Butler Collegian) and won 27 other awards at the Indiana Collegiate Press Association Conference. In addition, we are excited to announce that the Society of Professional Journalists has recently been revived. This fall, we will begin to work on the departmentâ€™s self-study as we prepare to seek reaccreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC). Also, starting this fall, there are changes in the requirements for the mass communication majors, due to ACEJMC policy shifts. Instead of 80 hours outside mass communication courses, only 72 hours will be required. In addition, instead of the minimum of 65 hours of liberal arts and sciences, students must only fulfill the University Core Curriculum. This will provide an opportunity for students to complete minors that complement their major, like marketing or web design. Minors are common for communications majors, but are not required. Based on 2012 figures, about 50 percent of students have a minor and it is predicted that, with the reduced hours in the new core, this number will increase. A minor will benefit studentsâ€™ advancement in their chosen fields by making them more marketable due to the knowledge and skills they acquire. Employers of communication graduates are looking for students with several competencies such as digital editing, web design, and excellent verbal and written abilities. The professional fields are changing, and the Communications Department is embracing these changes as we continue to prepare our students for the future. Dr. Emily Rauscher will be back next year teaching in our Communication Studies program and Dr. Chad Tew returns to our Journalism faculty from his spring sabbatical. In August, Dr. Leigh Anne Howard and Dr. Yoon Joo Lee will be presenting a paper at the World Communication Association Conference in Seoul, South Korea. Dr. David Black completed work on a television documentary of the history of the New Harmony Bridge, which aired on WNIN this spring. We are proud of our students and faculty accomplishments. We look forward to more achievements in the future. We encourage alumni to become involved and hope to see them all again, as professionals visiting and supporting the university and department. Have a wonderful summer and stay in touch!
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Alumni Spotlight From Intern to Owner By: Adam Haskins USI Public Relations Student
Ginger Happe graduated from USI in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in advertising and a business administration minor. She graduated with only a few months of interning at media Mix Communications. She was hired by Media Mix shortly after graduation and began working in media-purchasing department and continued to rise through the ranks. Within a few years, Happe was in charge of the entire Media-Purchasing Department. When asked what advice she would give to upcoming graduates, Happe advocated flexibility and being “open to what’s available; you won’t know what you’re good at until you get out there and try it.” This intern-to-owner advised that all current undergraduates to, “get some experience in your field whether through internships or job shadowing.” Happe’s ambitions didn’t stop there. In July of last year, she became owner of Media Mix Communications. Future plans include going back to school for a master’s degree. The University of Southern Indiana is at the top of her list, “Probably at USI.” She said, “ USI has grown a lot and is getting a lot more credit in the work field.” To read about the Master of Arts in Communication Program, click here. We look forward to seeing where Ginger Happe’s ambition and skills will take her.
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LinkedIn For Alumni | Why LinkedIn is a Valuable Asset for Alumni By: Rileigh Head USI Public Relations Student Have you joined LinkedIn? If not, find the nearest computer, quick! LinkedIn isn’t just another social media platform; it’s more than Facebook and Twitter. With more than 150 million members already connecting on LinkedIn, it is the professional social network. LinkedIn can be used for more than recruiting or networking. An infographic on Mashable shows 50 percent of users have a college degree, making it a valuable asset for alumni too. LinkedIn Alumni LinkedIn Alumni, previously known as LinkedIn Classmates, received an update this February, providing new features along with the new name. To access LinkedIn Alumni, view your profile and click the college or university you have listed within your education section. LinkedIn Alumni has gathered the information of alumni from your specific university, listing where they live and work, what they do, their skills and area of study, and how you are connected. So, how do you benefit from this tool? According to an article by CIO, LinkedIn Alumni is a great resource when looking for a job. Perhaps you have a specific company in mind you would like to work for. Type the company name in the search bar below “where they work.” This allows you to view all alumni of your university employed by this specific company. Your next step is to connect with those alumni and ask if you can conduct an informational interview about the company and their experiences. Explore LinkedIn Alumni to explore your potential. For example, the article “Explore possibilities by connecting with fellow alumni” suggests you “see what alumni in your field have accomplished since graduation – and expand your sense of what’s possible for you.” LinkedIn Alumni also can help you find a graduate school that is the perfect fit for your career goals.
Join Your Alumni Group A recent survey and infographic as reported by PR Daily, shows groups are the number one feature on LinkedIn. By joining your alumni group, you can begin engaging in group discussions, connecting with fellow alumni, and even continue your job search. You also may find information for upcoming events as posted by the alumni group administrators and group members. Some colleges and universities may have more than one alumni group. Most often these groups are tailored to alumni by location or a specific college within the university. Choose the groups that interest you and start connecting! Beyond Just Networking For alumni, LinkedIn is a great way to connect with professionals who share your area of study and alma mater. Go ahead and find classmates you have lost contact with. If you have moved recently, use LinkedIn Alumni to find other alumni living near you. Ask them to meet you for coffee and help you become familiar with the city. An entry on LinkedIn Blog shows an example of how to reach out to alumni correctly by “immediately mentioning the alumni connection.”
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The Edge Radio By: Danielle Norris News and Information Services
Left to Right: Chris Howard, Michael Robertson, Kayla McCarty, Kenny Douglass, Mitch Mullis, Drew Coles, Serena Jones and Matt Koewler Photo Credit: USI Photography Services
Ten staff members of The Edge, the University of Southern Indiana’s student radio station, have been recognized for their achievements in four broadcasting competitions, earning 26 awards – more than double the total from last year. “We’re very excited,” said John Morris, instructor of radio and television and general manager of The Edge. “It’s far and away the best we’ve ever done, and we’ve have a lot of success over the past decade.” Junior Kayla McCarty, program director, said the station’s success is a result not just of individual leaders but of teamwork. “I wish I could put into words how awesome the staff is this year. I’m so proud of all of the work everyone has done. It’s just nice to have your hard work recognized.” The Edge’s success is about more than just winning awards, said Chris Howard, station manager, who took home seven individual awards. “We do what we do to be the best station. These awards are just a reflection of that.” The recognition of the staff’s achievements gives new radio and television majors something to strive for. The awards hang on the walls of The Edge studios. “We’re going to run out of walls here pretty soon,” Morris said.
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Indiana Association of School Broadcasters
Intercollegiate Broadcasting System
Radio Spot Production – Chris Howard Radio Imaging – Chris Howard Radio News Report – Shelby Spray Radio Copywriting – Drew Coles, Kayla McCarty Radio Air Personality – Kayla McCarty Radio Sportscast – Mitch Mullis Radio In-Depth – Mikael Drobny Radio Drama or Skit – Chris Howard, Drew Coles
Best Newscast – Serena Jones Best News Feature-Shelby Spray Best Public Affairs Program – Mikael Drobny Best PBP-Michael Robertson Best Sports Update -Michael Robertson Best Station promo-Chris Howard Best Radio Drama -Drew Coles
Broadcast Education Association Festival of Arts Air Personality 1st Place – Kayla McCarty 2nd Place – Matt Koewler Comedy or Drama 2nd Place – Chris Howard PSA, Promo or Commercial 1st Place – Chris Howard 2nd Place – Kenny Douglass Radio Sports Story/Feature/News: 2nd Place – Mitch Mullis
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Evansville Addys Awards Station Promo That Rocks Chris Howard Thankful Listener Kenny Douglass Public Service Announcemeent Evansville Public Library Drew Coles Picture taken from The Edge Radio station main page website
Society of Professional Journalists
By: Dennis Marshall USI Journalism Student
“One thing we are pretty excited about is that Shannon Hall, who is the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) secretary/treasurer and also the new editor-in-chief for The Shield, won an SPJ Mark of Excellence Award,” said Erin Gibson, adviser to The Shield and an instructor of journalism. The article that won for Hall is about an artist who has work exhibited in the Liberal Arts Center. The Mark of Excellence Award honors the best in student journalism, according to the group’s website spj.org. “I’m really excited to get the Mark of Excellence Award. I don’t know exactly what place I won, but I turned in three articles just to attempt to win an award. The article picked was not what I expected to win,” Hall said. Hall and incoming SPJ President James Vaughn attended an SPJ regional conference in St. Louis, at the end of April, where Hall will find out where she placed. Gibson said the new activity from the campus chapter of SPJ is a joint venture. “I think it just took the right combination of students and then me pushing from behind, telling them they needed to get meetings scheduled,” Gibson said. “We have such a good journalism program, we have such good journalism students, we have a
From left: Hall, Hellmann, and Vaughn in The Shield newsroom Photo Credit: USI Photography Services
great publication, and we have a great relationship with the local newspaper. It makes sense, to have an active organization outside of The Shield for students to get involved in.” Jessie Hellman, current SPJ president said, “Our last recruiting effort for the year is coming up. We are going to have games, free food and karaoke.” The mixer in the Student Life Lounge outside The Shield’s office. This was a great chance for students interested in SPJ to get some information about the organization. SPJ is making plans for events next year. “Next year the new SPJ leaders are planning on having the First Amendment Free Food Festival,” Hellman said. This event is organized to inform students how important their First Amendment rights are. “I would like to encourage any journalism major, anything involving the media, to join SPJ because this is a great opportunity to polish your skills and meet students like you, learn more about journalism ethics and the First Amendment,” said Hellman. “It also looks good on your resume.”
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Service Learning with Girls in Bloom By: Reghan Wetzel USI Public Relations Student
Several advertising and public relations students volunteered their time at the 2013 Girls in Bloom Expo held at the University of Southern Indiana on February 23. Throughout the fall 2012 semester, communications students in Professor Mary Beth Reeseâ€™s public relations courses worked to create a strategic plan for the organization, wrote articles for the website, and designed brochures, posters, flyers, and magazine covers. The experience gave students an exclusive look into work with nonprofit organizations.
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Founded in 2003, Girls in Bloom is a local, non-profit organization that aims to educate, inspire, and empower young girls in the community. Their benchmark event is the annual expo for fifth-through eighth-grade girls. This year, thanks to a grant written by four USI faculty members, the event was held on USIâ€™s campus. Reese encouraged her students to rebrand the organization and rendered the 2013 expo the most successful one yet. The partnership proved to be beneficial for Girls in Bloom and the students involved. These students, most whom have never come face to face with the needs and expectations of a real client, were given the opportunity to learn about effective client communication in a classroom setting. Employing an array of public relations skills, from strategic writing and event planning to poster and brochure design, students learned how to translate what they learned into a real situation. Preparation for the event extended through winter break into the next semester. Students that had shown interest in volunteering for the event were
asked to participate in the expo. This leadership opportunity granted students the chance to add to their portfolio, and their resume. Senior Paige Popham headed a workshop at the event about appropriate ways to utilize social media. In her strategic writing class, she and Andrew Nalin designed the new Girls in Bloom website, took over their social media, and created a strategic campaign. This was her first servicelearning project outside of her work as president of Public Relations Student Society of America. Paige says the experience is already helping her in mock interviews and “pads” her resume with leadership, setting goals, and volunteer experience. Senior Rileigh Head led another workshop that used Photoshop skills and creative ideas to turn a girl’s picture into her own Girls in Bloom magazine
cover. This activity marks the second service-learning project she has participated in. She designed the 2013 Expo brochure, Chris York and Melissa Latham designed the Girls in Bloom magazine cover, and additional classmates designed promotional materials for the event. When asked if she thought this service-learning project helped Girls in Bloom succeed in the future she said, “I don’t think anyone else would have been able to do it, we were the best for the job.”
Spring 2013 Service Learning Recognition USI’s Service Learning Program is designed to support faculty and staff who/ incorporate community projects into courses or activities for USI students, as well as support the students and community partners who participate. The goal of the program is to enhance student learning while providing valuable services to the community. Students who participate in the Service Learning Program have an opportunity to better understand course material and can apply their knowledge to “real world” experiences.
These professors bring service learning projects like the Girls in Bloom, to the classroom to give students real world experience while helping the community. Robert Jeffers Yoon-Joo Lee Leigh Anne Howard Chad Tew Gael Cooper Mary Beth Reese John Morris Karen Bonnell
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Major Minor By: Kristina Mobley USI Advertising Student
Neil Kassinger giving his final pitch at Startup Weekend Evansville
Academic minors are an increasing trend for communications students at the University of Southern Indiana. As of 2012, about half of the students majoring in communications added a minor to their degrees. Minors add experience, knowledge, and skills giving students a competitive edge with prospective employers. One student who took advantage of adding a minor is Neil Kassinger. Kassinger is a public relations and advertising major, who added a minor in entrepreneurship, and had a vision of starting his own business. The University of Southern Indiana has been actively embracing this entrepreneurial mindset. For the past two years, the Romain College of Business and the University have hosted and sponsored a Startup Weekend Evansville event. Startup Weekend is an international event and organization that promotes innovation and entrepreneurship.
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This year was called â€œStartup Weekend Evansville 2.0,â€? and Neil participated as the project leader of his team. Neil took second place with his StrapHolster idea and launched his company during his final pitch. â€œThe highlight of my experience at Startup Weekend Evansville 2.0 was being able to file a Provisional Patent for the StrapHolster with the help of Mark Harper, a patent attorney, and launching the StrapHolster Company website with the help of the Marketing Manager, Cecelia Gussman. New opportunities for communication students are constantly developing. Minors and programs like Startup Weekend will provide the experience that students need for a successful future.
Dr. Black In Harmonyâ€™s Way: The Battle to Save a Bridge
"In Harmony's Way: The battle to save a bridge," a documentary covering the history of the closed bridge in New Harmony, was broadcast on WNIN on March 6. Produced by Dave Black with the Department of Communications, the one hour program traces the construction of the bridge, it's changes in government oversight, and the recent efforts led by former University of Southern Indiana President David Rice to find a long-term solution to its survival. The video features interviews with bridge experts, political leaders, and area residents discussing the governance of the bridge and its importance to the southern region of Indiana and Illinois. The program is narrated by Wayne Rinks, chair of the Department of Communications; and Pam Moore, senior administrative assistant with the College of Liberal Arts.
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Masters Program By: Dr. Karen Bonnell
Amy Jorgensen (left) and Dr. Stephanie Young (right)
The Master of Arts in Communication (MA-C) program continues to grow. Since its inaugural semester in fall 2010, approximately 50 students have been admitted to or have taken master’s level classes offered by the communications graduate faculty. Interim director of the MA-C Dr. Karen Bonnell reports that four students have successfully defended their thesis projects and have graduated from the program, and more are working on their final thesis or capstone projects. The value of a master’s level degree is measured in its ability to advance a career, increase salary, or lead to a higher-level degree. Many students who enter the program are currently employed full time and are looking to advance to higher positions, and a few are interested in eventually obtaining a Ph.D. In a recent survey of journalism and mass communication graduates, the November 2012 AEJMC Newsletter reported that the median salary for graduates with master’s degrees was $9,000 higher than those with undergraduate degrees. Graduate coursework is more challenging than undergraduate coursework. Master’s students are expected to maintain a B average in their degree program, and the master’s grading scale does not include a D letter grade. The courses are offered on campus in the evening, online, or a combination of campus/online meetings. Master’s students focus more heavily on research within their courses. In Dr. Bonnell’s spring Quantitative Research Methods in Communication course students conducted surveys with partner agencies. According to Bonnell, “One group partnered with WNIN Public Broadcasting in Evansville to collect and analyze responses from WNIN members on a variety of topics such as media programs that might interest them and the benefits provided by public broadcasting. This type of applied research is a great practical experience for students in our program as well as a tremendous benefit to their not-for-profit community partners.” Those interested in applying to the program can visit the MA-C website at http://www. usi.edu/libarts/comm/MA-C. The application form is online, and applicants submit a letter of intent and three letters of recommendation to Dr. Bonnell. A list of courses along with their descriptions is available on the MA-C website.
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Advanced Advertising Campaigns Professor Robert West and Professor Robert Jeffers took competing students to the American Advertising Federation National Student Advertising Competition. This is a prestigious competition with a different corporate sponsor each year. Groups must research, create, and pitch an advertising campaign. This yearâ€™s sponsor was Glidden Paint. The team received seventh place in the competition.
Front row: from: Ali Nord, Zach Schlumpf, Bob West, Bob Jeffers Back row from left: Samantha Gill, Kristen Scheller, Krystin Stout, Kelsey Ziliak, Kelli Witzigreuter, Rileigh Head, Whitney Bailey, Chris York Not pictured: Tyler McClure
Presentation Team First row from left Kelsey Ziliak, Kelli Witzigreuter Second row from left: Rileigh Head, Zach Schlumpf Third Rowfrom left: Bob West, Ali Nord
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Communications Department Faculty Full time faculty-Fall 2012 Black, David, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Radio & Television
Lee, Yoon-Joo, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Advertising
Bonnell, Karen, Ph.D. Professor of Radio & Television
Morris, Mr John Instructor of Radio & Television
Cooper, Gael, Ph.D. Professor of Public Relations
Rauscher, Emily, Ph.D. Contract Assistant Professor of Communication Studies
Durham, Wesley, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Communication Studies
Reese, Ms Mary Beth Instructor of Public Relations
Ferrier, Patricia, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Journalism
Rinks, J. Wayne, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Radio & Television
Gibson, Ms Erin Instructor of Journalism
Tew, Chad, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Online Journalism
Henning, Zachary, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Communication Studies
West, Jr., Robert, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Advertising
Howard, Leigh Anne, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Communication Studies
Young, Stephanie, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Communication Studies
Jeffers, Mr Robert Instructor of Advertising
Contact Mailing Address: University of Southern Indiana College of Liberal Arts Department of Communications 8600 University Boulevard Evansville, IN 47712 Fax: 812/465-7152 Graphic designer: Rileigh Head Writer/Copy Editor: Kristina Mobley Editor: Kathy Oeth and Patricia Ferrier Advisor: Mary Beth Reese
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