FALL 2015 | VOLUME LXXV | ISSUE 1 EARNING NATIONAL RECOGNITION JMC RECEIVES FULL REACCREDITATION POYNTER KSU MEDIA ETHICS WORKSHOP FOCUSES ON TRAUMA AND THE MEDIA FOUR FACULTY RETIREMENTS IN JMC %4( )#3 %- "%$ $%$ 12 10 09 22 CONTENTS FALL 2015 DIRECTOR’S NOTE JMC NEWS 4 6 NATIONAL RECOGNITION JMC’s successful awards year WALLACE J. HAGEDORN SCHOLARSHIP Gift expected to transform photojournalism program 7 8 9 RESPECTED. RELEVANT. REAL. FACULTY & ALUMNI NEWS 14 SAYING GOODBYE 25 FACULTY AND ALUMNI NEWS 26 NEW DEAN, STRONG FOCUS Four distinguished faculty members retire from JMC Students discuss relevant, real issues and the moral implications ACEJMC ACCREDITATION 12th annual rewards program honors Al Jazeera America President Kate O’Brian 10 CAREEREXPO 2015 THE BIG APPLE 12 POYNTER KSU MEDIA ETHICS WORKSHOP 28 FAST TRACK AWARDS Honorees both use connections in industry to make their early mark Register now for the Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop 30 TAYLOR AWARD Alumna acknowledges school for solid career prep ALUMNI PROFILES 22 HEARST PHOTOJOURNALISM COMPETITION Recent graduate “focuses” on visual storytelling 23 A LITTLE THUNDER JMC alumnus “kickstarts” a creative idea 24 LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! 10th annual conference addresses ethics and data mining JMC alumna shares her film industry experience 13 MEDIA AT THE MOVIES JMC screens documentary “A Fragile Trust: Power, Plagiarism and Jayson Blair at the New York Times” Kent State University School of Journalism & Mass Communication 204 Franklin Hall, P.O. BOX 5190, Kent, OH 44242 Phone: 330-672-2572 | Fax: 330-672-4064 | E-mail: [email protected] JARGON is also available online at www.kent.edu/jmc . 2 UNIVERSITY WELCOMES NEW STUDENT MEDIA DIRECTOR 21 ENDURING TRAUMA? Third annual career expo brings students and business together ETHICS EMBEDDED Honoree makes a difference in the industry, students’ lives Advanced broadcast students visit top media organizations in New York City JMC receives full reaccreditation MCGRUDER AWARDS 27 FRIEND OF JMC AWARD 20 JMC STUDENTS VISIT PROMISING SCHOLAR AWARDS Recipients and donors meet for the first time Distinguished journalism scholar to focus on core skills while growing opportunities 19 JMC CONVERSATIONS ON THE COVER: The cover created by Visual Communication Design major Alyssa Jaskiel represents how the teaching and learning of ethics is an integral part of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. M A N A G I N G E D I T O R / JENNIFER KRAMER, APR C O N T R I B U T I N G E D I T O R S / MEGHAN CAPREZ & SHANTAE ROLLINS P R O D U C T I O N M A N A G E R & A R T D I R E C T O R / KATIE BARNES EVANS G R A P H I C D E S I G N E R / ALYSSA JASKIEL Body builder photo/ Leah Klafczynski; CareerExpo photo/ Anna Hoffman; President Beverly Warren photo/ Robert Christy; Kate O’Brian photo/ Robert Christy 3 DIRECTOR’S NOTE ETHICS EMBEDDED Body builder photo/ Leah Klafczynski; CareerExpo photo/ Anna Hoffman; President Beverly Warren photo/ Robert Christy; Kate O’Brian photo/ Robert Christy As we look toward the future of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and our service to our students and community, we pledge to keep ethics at the forefront of our educational mission.” Each fall semester, and for the past 10 years, our School of Journalism and Mass Communication has produced an all-day conference focused on Ethics and the Media. The Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop has covered ethics in data and privacy (2014), entertainment journalism (2013), politics (2012), sports (2011), online news (2010), news values (2009), changing technology in media (2008) and other topics. Each Workshop has promised to discuss and debate our society’s most important ethical issues and how media cover them. It has never failed to deliver on that promise. Associate Professor JAN LEACH serves as director for JMC’s Media Law Center for Ethics and Access and is coordinator and host of the annual Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop. Jan also serves as an Ethics Fellow at the Poynter Institute for Journalism Studies. Although Jan is one of the country’s leading experts in ethics, she is one of our many faculty in JMC who have made ethics part of the foundation of our School. Whether it is in journalism, advertising, public relations or digital media production, understanding how to determine, assess and decide what to do when an ethical issue arises is as important as solid writing skills, reporting techniques and case studies. It is critical for us to understand that ethics are embedded in everything we do. With the proliferation of social media, the non-stop news cycle and the ever-increasing reliance on anonymous sources, we must improve our media literacy skills and be even more diligent in our approach to consuming news and messages. This issue of JARGON has ethics embedded throughout. In Fall 2014, JMC launched “JMC Conversations,” an open discussion about real-world issues affecting the moral, ethical and business implications of relevant topics, including terrorism and diversity (page 14). Earlier this spring, students had the chance to watch an exclusive screening of the 2014 documentary “A Fragile Trust: Power, Plagiarism and Jayson Blair at the New York Times” and engaged in a meaningful discussion about ethical issues (page 13). I invite you to join us for the 11th annual Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop Thursday, Sept. 17, when we focus on reporting on trauma. It will be one of the most compelling and relevant discussions yet. Thor Wasbotten Director, School of Journalism and Mass Communication JARGON | FALL 15 | ISSUE 1 3 SECTION JMC NEWS HEADER NATIONALLY RANKED, NATIONALLY AWARDED JMC students earn national and regional recognition WILLIAM R. HEARST FOUNDATION JOURNALISM AWARDS Overall, JMC finished sixth in the nation in the Intercollegiate Photojournalism competition of the William R. Hearst Foundation Journalism Awards. This marks the second highest intercollegiate finish in Kent State’s history. LEAH KLAFCZYNSKI, ’15, received third place honors and a $3,000 scholarship in the annual William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s National Journalism Awards Championship. Klafczynski was selected from more than 1,100 submitted entries and competed against five other finalists in the CHELSAE KETCHUM, ’15, earned a fifth-place finish and a $1,000 award in the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s annual Journalism Awards Program’s Multimedia Features Competition. Ketchum’s work, which profiled a young Akron basketball player with dreams of making it big, was selected out of 72 entries submitted. COLLEGE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR LEAH KLAFCZYNSKI, ’15, captured a silver medal in the Sports Feature category in the 69th College Photographer of the Year (CPOY) competition at the University of Missouri. BROADCAST EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION FESTIVAL OF MEDIA ARTS JMC students earned impressive honors in the 2015 Broadcast Education Association’s (BEA) Student Video Competition. TYLER PINA, ’14, MATT PETRUNAK,’14, KIRSTEN CHARLTON, ’14, AND DEVAN OFCAR, ’14, received first place in the music video category for the Kent State University Independent Films (KSUIF) produced video “Freaky Love” by Captain Kidd. In the multi-camera live-to-tape category, senior electronic media production majors JEREMY HERBERT and SARAH VULPIO tied with another team for third place for the TV2 show “The Agenda.” Basketball Player photo/ Chelsae Ketchum 4 55th annual Photojournalism Championship held in San Francisco, California. PRSSA Kent photo/ Michele Ewing The 2013-2014 academic year was an outstanding award season for many JMC students who have won or placed in prestigious awards competitions. JMC NEWS News of student and team awards is regularly updated on www.kent.edu/jmc. OHIO NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION COLLEGIATE AWARDS The Kent Stater received several awards in this year’s Ohio Newspaper Association (ONA) Collegiate Newspaper and Best Website Competition: • First place for opinion writing for the work of DANIEL MOORE, ’14. • Second place for news coverage. • Second place for arts and entertainment coverage for the work of PATRICK WILLIAMS, senior news major. • Third place for design Kentwired.com also received recognition in this year’s competition: • Second place for best multimedia package for the work of REX SANTUS, ’13, and JASON KOSTURA, ’14. • Second place for best website. OHIO NEWS PHOTOGRAPHERS ASSOCIATION PRSSA Kent photo/ Michele Ewing Basketball Player photo/ Chelsae Ketchum Three JMC photojournalism students received recognition in the Ohio News Photographers Association (ONPA) Pictures of the Year Competition, held in Franklin Hall this spring. JENNA WATSON, a senior visual journalism major, finished in first place for the Larry Fullerton Photojournalism Scholarship, which includes a $3,000 financial award. She also received third place in the Student Photographer of the Year competition, third place in the Portrait Personality competition and an Award of Excellence in the General News competition. LEAH KLAFCZYNSKI, ’15, earned a second place win in the Portrait Personality competition and DAVID DERMER, senior visual journalism major, received an Award of Excellence in the Portrait Personality competition. PUBLIC RELATIONS STUDENT SOCIETY OF AMERICA (PRSSA) The Kent State chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America was named the winner of the 2014 Outstanding Chapter award at its National Conference in Washington, D.C. As part of the Dr. F.H. Teahan Chapter Awards Program, the recognition is the highest honor a chapter can receive from PRSSA. CINDY DENG, ’14, received the National Gold Key Award, which is the highest individual honor bestowed upon a PRSSA member. The award recognizes students who display outstanding academic excellence in public relations and leadership qualities within their PRSSA Chapter. SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS MARK OF EXCELLENCE AWARDS Kent State earned top placements in the Society of Professional Journalists 2014 Mark of Excellence Awards. Kent State received six finalist placements in the Region 4 competition in the Breaking News Photography, General News Photography, Sports Photography, Best Student Magazine, Non-Fiction Magazine Article and Television Sports Reporting categories. Kent State received five firstplace awards in the Television Feature Reporting, Best All- Around Television Newscast, Best Use of Multimedia, General News Reporting and Feature Photography categories. The first-place winners will move on to the national Mark of Excellence Awards competition among category winners from the 12 SPJ regions, and will be recognized at Excellence in Journalism 2015. DOW JONES INTERNSHIPS AUDREY FLETCHER, ’15, ALYSSA FLYNN, ’15, and senior news major MATTHEW MERCHANT will be Dow Jones News Fund interns this summer, working as copy editors. The Dow Jones News Fund promotes careers in journalism through paid internships and related training. ASSOCIATED COLLEGIATE PRESS/ COLLEGE MEDIA ASSOCIATION JMC earned noteworthy honors at the national convention of the Associated Collegiate Press/ College Media Association (ACP/CMA), including: PINNACLE AWARDS • TV2 won 2014 TV Station of the Year. • The Kent Stater earned third place in the Daily Newspaper of the Year category. JARGON | FALL 15 | ISSUE 1 5 JMC NEWS THE FUTURE IN FOCUS Hagedorn Scholarship offers photojournalism students opportunities to broaden their field of study BY L AUREN B IERTEMPFEL When Wallace Hagedorn passed away in 2013, he left a bequest behind that would positively impact photojournalism students for years to come. In the fall of 2014, he left $3 million to the photojournalism program in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Hagedorn took one photography class at Kent State in 1941, and it is believed that neither he nor his wife had any ties to the university after that. In addition, Promising Scholar Awards have been established under the Hagedorn Trust to be awarded to one or two incoming freshman students who express interest in studying photojournalism. Wasbotten has been working with the trust to determine how the money can be used to aid students in the photojournalism and photo illustration programs in Kent State’s College of Communication and Information. Assistant Professor David Foster gives a lighting lesson. The Wallace J. Hagedorn Scholarship is a tuition-based student experience scholarship, which is available to JMC students at all levels. “Scholarships can be defined as tuition scholarships, scholarships for travel and scholarships for student projects,” said JMC Director THOR WASBOTTEN. “Awarded money will be applied to the student’s Bursar’s account to aid tuition, room and board and other fees.” 6 “A huge part of the photojournalism program is meeting new people, traveling to workshops and partaking in an internship,” said ANDREA NOALL, a junior visual journalism major. “These take a lot of money, which most college students do not have. With the help of the scholarships, students will be more likely to enter photography contests, fulfill ambitions and meet the necessary requirements to graduate with a degree in photojournalism.” All requests will go through Foster, who will determine if the student is in good academic standing and if the money should be awarded to the student. At this time, requests will be granted based on each individual situation. “It is absolutely tremendous to have this gift because we can truly make a difference through Mr. Hagedorn’s gift; to make a difference in students’ lives,” Wasbotten said. Aside from the monetary value that the scholarships provide, Foster said the program would encourage high school students to boost their portfolios and see the value of Kent’s photojournalism program and the scholarship as an added bonus. Additionally, he predicts the scholarship opportunity will boost the caliber of students admitted to the photojournalism program and serve as motivation for those high-quality students to apply to Kent State. “Our hope is that students who otherwise may not be able to afford college would be able to look at the Hagedorn Scholarship and see it as being able to help support their education,” Foster said. Students in the program see the scholarship as an opportunity to showcase their hard work. Junior visual journalism major AMANI WILLIAMS said, “For the photojournalism program to receive such a large amount of money for scholarships is such an honor. It goes to show that the students in this program are hardworking and our hard work is not going unnoticed.” photo/ Tyler Hill It is expected that $100,000 to $150,000 will be awarded to photojournalism majors and minors each year. The first round of scholarships will award approximately $180,000 to current students, according to JMC Assistant Professor DAVID FOSTER. Students often travel for internships, study abroad programs, competitions and workshops. Foster is creating a process for students to request funding to help offset travel expenses. JMC NEWS AN EVENING OF PROMISE JMC hosts a special reception to bring Promising Scholars and donors together In November of 2014, the inaugural class of 10 JMC Promising Scholars and their nine donors had the opportunity to meet face to face for the first time at a special celebratory event in downtown Kent. The Promising Scholar Awards program was developed in an effort to attract and retain the strongest journalism and mass communication students in the nation, but the awards are much more than traditional tuition scholarships. The program is designed to help facilitate a relationship between generous donors and recipients. JACOB BROWN, journalism major and recipient of The Cynthia Vrsansky Schulz Promising Scholar Award, said the scholarship is helping to make his dreams come true. “This scholarship gives me the chance of a lifetime to chase my current dream of being a broadcast journalist,” Brown said. “It also motivates me to learn from my mistakes quickly and to work at full capacity. It allows me to make school, thus my professional growth in the journalism field, my top priority. I am eternally grateful for this scholarship.” JMC Director THOR WASBOTTEN commented that these donors have not only provided funds to create the scholarships, but they genuinely want to help the students succeed. “Each one of these donors realized this is more than a donation that goes into some fund and is provided to a student they may never meet,” Wasbotten said. “The Promising Scholar Award is not that type of scholarship. These donors have committed to serving as a mentor or resource for these students—to help them navigate their education to best prepare for a successful career. I appreciate their dedication to our students.” Kent State University President BEVERLY J. WARREN, Ed.D., Ph.D., stopped by the reception to speak with students and donors. “The effects of your generosity will be nothing short of lifechanging — both personally and professionally — for our scholarship recipients,” Warren said. “That is especially true of this scholarship program, which will support students through mentoring as well as by lifting a financial burden. I have no doubt that your transformational gifts will also have a positive ripple effect on our recipients’ families, communities and professions. That is part of the immeasurable power of philanthropy in the realm of higher education.” With the Promising Scholar Awards and other Kent State financial assistance programs, JMC has become one of the most affordable journalism schools in the nation. Scholarships are funded through the generosity of private donors, including alumni, media and communication industry leaders and members of JMC’s Professional Advisory Board. photo/ Tyler Hill JMC Director Thor Wasbotten talks with Promising Scholar Caroline Meyer and donor Allan Block during the Promising Scholar Reception. JARGON | FALL 15 | ISSUE 1 7 JMC NEWS JMC RECEIVES FULL REACCREDITATION Respected. Relevant. Real. On a cold Tuesday afternoon in January, a four-person site team representing the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) arrived on Kent State’s campus to determine if JMC’s program was worthy of its accreditation status. Over a three-day period, the site team met with faculty, staff, students and university leaders and ultimately recommended the program for full reaccreditation. WE WILL ALWAYS STRIVE TO MAINTAIN EXCELLENCE. WE CAN BE PROUD TO BE CONSIDERED ONE OF THE BEST PROGRAMS IN THE COUNTRY.” 8 “We are very thankful for a generous and supportive report by the site team,” said JMC Director THOR WASBOTTEN. “It demonstrates the commitment of our faculty, staff and students to create a stronger School.” Prior to the site team visit, JMC prepared an extensive self-study report, which provided evidence of the School’s performance as measured by the nine standards established by ACEJMC: mission and governance; curriculum and instruction; diversity and inclusiveness; faculty; scholarship; student services; resources, facilities and equipment; professional and public service; and assessment of student learning. The team gained a better understanding of JMC’s culture and curriculum and noted the passion for teaching and learning expressed by both faculty and students. “Students offered praise for the availability of instructors. They consistently spoke positively about how helpful faculty members are,” the report stated. “The faculty spoke with equal enthusiasm about their students.” In addition to dedicated faculty and students, the School’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness was recognized and underscored in the site team’s report. “The students with whom the site team met reflect a clear sensitivity to issues of diversity and inclusion, and it appears these are woven into the School’s fabric.” During the 2008-2009 site visit, JMC was found in compliance on Standards 1-8 and in noncompliance on Standard 9: assessment of student learning. In August 2013, the JMC faculty developed and approved a new assessment plan that focused on learning outcomes and multiple ways to measure success. “The report, although very complimentary, also mentioned things that we need to work on,” Wasbotten said. “We are looking forward to turning those challenges into strengths.” The chair of JMC’s site team was DAVID BOARDMAN, dean and professor of the School of Media and Communication at Temple University. Team members included JACKIE JONES, department chair at the School of Global Journalism and Communication at Morgan State University; DAVID KURPIUS, associate vice chancellor at Louisiana State University; and CAROL PARDUN, professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina. The site team presented its report to Kent State University President BEVERLY WARREN, Ed.D., Ph.D., at the conclusion of its visit. In March, Wasbotten and JMC Associate Director DANIELLE SARVER COOMBS, Ph.D., traveled to Chicago to meet with the Accrediting Committee, which was unanimous in its support to uphold the site team’s recommendation for full reaccreditation. On May 1, 2015, Wasbotten met with the Accrediting Council which voted 24-0 to award JMC full reaccreditation. “We will always strive to maintain excellence,” Wasbotten said. “We can be proud to be considered one of the best programs in the country.” ACEJMC accredits more than 119 programs in journalism and mass communication. JMC is the only accredited program in Northeast Ohio and only one of three in the state. JMC NEWS AL JAZEERA AMERICA PRESIDENT IS 2015 MCGRUDER AWARD WINNER KATE O’BRIAN, president of Al Jazeera America, was named the 2015 winner of the Robert G. McGruder Distinguished Guest Lecture Award. This award recognizes the accomplishments of media professionals who encourage diversity in the field of journalism. On April 1, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication honored O’Brian at the 12th annual Robert G. McGruder awards lecture and luncheon, which was co-sponsored by Kent State’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The Emmy award-winning journalist spent more than 30 years with ABC News before making the leap to Al Jazeera. Named the first president of Al Jazeera America in 2013, she is one of only two women who currently lead a network. During O’Brian’s lecture, she stressed the importance of having different perspectives in order to thoroughly explore all sides of a story. “The more we continue on this path of diversity stasis, the worse it gets for the public, not just for us,” O’Brian said. “It is simply good business to represent our audiences. To gain more audience, we must effectively tell stories of the community, tell stories of the people who will be buying our paper, turning on our channel or clicking on our website.” words of advice to students wishing to pursue a career in journalism. Francis Ford Coppola, Paul Mazursky, Michael Schultz and Forest Whitaker. “Start from a position of strength, and know that you are equal to your peers.” Pyles has worked on many popular and culturally impactful films like “Do The Right Thing” with Spike Lee and “New Jack City” with Mario Van Peebles. The School named LILLIAN PYLES as the 2015 Diversity in Media Distinguished Award recipient. Pyles has had an outstanding career with film credits like “Spider Man III,” “Antwone Fisher” and “The Soloist.” O’Brian shared growing up, she never considered herself unequal because her parents instilled in her and her sister the importance of global awareness and diversity, but she faced gender discrimination early in her career. “It had never occurred to me that I would not be afforded equal consideration with anybody else as I moved from the academic environment to the professional one,” she said. “I remember when a fellow colleague in the newsroom told me, ‘I miss the days when broads weren’t in broadcasting,’ and hearing that, I knew that it was going to be a hard fight to the top.” In addition to sharing personal experiences, O’Brian offered The late Robert G. McGruder was a 1963 graduate of Kent State and a foundational local figure for diversity in journalism. He went on from Kent State to become the first black editor of the Daily Kent Stater and first black reporter at The Plain Dealer. McGruder marked several other firsts in his career, becoming the first black president of the Associated Press Managing Editors group and the first black editor of the Detroit Free Press. She began her film and television career in New York City as an assistant production coordinator and production secretary on numerous television and feature film projects. She has worked with accomplished directors including Gordon Parks, JARGON | FALL 15 | ISSUE 1 9 JMC NEWS COLLEGE OF COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION CAREEREXPO 2015 Third annual CareerExpo brings out record number of students and businesses BY TAYLOR N ICKEL Nearly 140 students from Kent State’s College of Communication and Information met with representatives from more than 30 businesses and organizations in Northeast Ohio at CareerExpo2015 on Friday, March 6, at the Cleveland Convention Center in downtown Cleveland. This year’s event marked the highest turnout of students and businesses. Organized by JMC’s Coordinator for Career Services JOHN BUTTE, the event is the only communication-focused career fair at Kent State. 10 A student meets with representatives from Fox 8 about an internship opportunity. “If you aim to have a mediarelated career, this is a job fair on steroids because it’s exclusively for communication majors with communication companies,” Butte said. “There’s nothing like it.” Juniors, seniors and graduate students from JMC and the Schools of Communication Studies and Visual Communication Design met with recruiters to discuss internship and career opportunities, share their portfolios, receive critiques of their resumes and learn more about the skills potential employers are seeking in candidates. Plain Dealer, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, WKYC and Dix & Eaton. Participating companies represented a wide range of industries, including newspapers, television and radio stations, magazines, advertising and public relations agencies, marketing firms and non-profit organizations. Companies invited to the event are among the top businesses and organizations in and near Northeast Ohio. Some of the businesses represented were the Akron Beacon Journal, The Butte said attendance by both students and companies has continued to grow each year. “This year, its growing popularity required moving from a hotel to the Global Center for Health Innovation at the Cleveland Convention Center,” he said. “Both the number of companies, 32, and students, 140, surpassed our targets.” JMC NEWS IAN KLEIN, a senior journalism major, attended the event for the first time this year. “I am really glad I went to the CareerExpo,” Klein said. “I made so many connections with future employers. It helped me prepare for what job interviews will be like when I get ready to graduate from Kent State. Also, being with your classmates and friends made it much less intimidating. Overall, I am so happy I went and am more excited for my future after Kent.” I MADE SO MANY CONNECTIONS WITH FUTURE EMPLOYERS. IT HELPED ME PREPARE FOR WHAT JOB INTERVIEWS WILL BE LIKE WHEN I GET READY TO GRADUATE FROM KENT STATE.” At CareerExpo2015, a student shares her resume with an employer to discuss her qualifications for an open internship. CALLING ALL JMC ALUMNI JMC is committed to helping students gain the real-life skills and experiences necessary to launch successful careers after graduation. If you are a JMC graduate in or near Northeast Ohio, we welcome you to attend CareerExpo2016 and represent your business or organization. If you are interested in participating, contact JMC’s Coordinator for Career Services JOHN BUTTE at [email protected] or via phone at 330-672-8304. 11 JARGON | FALL 15 | ISSUE 1 ETHICS EMBEDDED Big Data. Big Opportunities. Big Implications. The Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop turns 10 In September 2014, the Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop celebrated 10 years of examining media ethics and analyzing tough issues—10 years of speakers who are thought leaders and who have provoked meaningful discussions about hot topics in the journalism industry. This one-day training program designed for professionals, educators and students focused on big data, searches, privacy and information security. In an effort to raise campus awareness of the concepts of big data and privacy, JMC hosted Big Data & Privacy Week Sept. 15-18, 2014. It was the first commemorative week of its kind at Kent State and included engagement activities, such as a privacy quiz, “Password Protection Pledge,” and a “Privacy in Six” installation, in which students and faculty were challenged to define privacy in six words. The week culminated with the Workshop. “Ethics underpins everything that we do. Our work must be grounded in a foundation of ethics in a diverse and global society.” During a series of workshop sessions including “Countering the Terrorist Threat in the age of Transparency,” “What’s on the Menu? A Recipe for Media Mixed with Data” and “It’s in the Details: How Analytics and Data Shape News Decisions,” attendees had the opportunity to explore issues surrounding data collection and reporting. Those unable to physically attend were able to tune in to the workshop remotely via a live stream, and all attendees were encouraged to join the conversation by live tweeting during the event. The workshop’s keynote speaker, ROBERT HERNANDEZ, assistant professor of Professional Practice at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, led a compelling discussion about new technology and hacking. “We need to adapt and adopt these types of technology proactively,” Hernandez said. “Journalism first. Technology second. It [journalism] will evolve and always be present. It’s our job to connect information and distribute it ethically and accurately.” KELLY MCBRIDE of the Poynter Institute presented JMC associate professor JAN LEACH with a special award to commemorate her outstanding service to journalism ethics. Leach is the Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop coordinator and director of Kent State University’s Media Law Center for Ethics and Access. To celebrate a decade of ethics workshops, the School established a JMC Media Ethics Scholarship and awarded it at the 2015 Scholarship and Awards Ceremony. The next Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop will focus on journalism and trauma and is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 17. The archived sessions can be viewed online at http:// mediaethics.jmc.kent.edu/2014/ archive.php. At the start of the workshop, JMC Director THOR WASBOTTEN stressed that ethics is a building block for what is taught and learned in JMC. “The School is devoted to building the next generation of media professionals,” Wasbotten said. photo/ Susan Zake 12 Kent State University President Beverly J. Warren stopped by the workshop to share her “Privacy in Six” story. Exclusive Movie Screening Challenges JMC Students’ Ethics Media at the Movies: “A Fragile Trust” documentary and panel discussion BY A UTAUM H OLLINGER Students filled every seat in Franklin Hall’s FirstEnergy Auditorium for the first Media at the Movies event in March. The event featured the 2014 documentary “A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power and Jayson Blair at the New York Times.” Ph.D., board-certified psychiatrist and chief medical officer at Coleman Professional Services; DEBORAH BARNBAUM, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Philosophy and ethics expert at Kent State; and JMC Director THOR WASBOTTEN. Throughout the screening, the audience expressed shock and disbelief as Jayson Blair’s story of plagiarism unfolded. The discussion sparked conversation about race, mental illness and the effect plagiarism has on the level of trust the public has for the profession of journalism. “Jayson committed sins of omission while the New York Times passively let unethical, strange and questionable behavior and work slide,” said MICHELLE GRIFFIN, ’12. “I’m shocked that no one caught onto his lies sooner.” photo/ Susan Zake Following the screening of “A Fragile Trust,” a panel of experts discussed the ethical implications of Blair’s actions. The panelists included JIM CRUTCHFIELD, former publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal and current member of the board of the Knight Foundation; BRIAN WELSH, Throughout the film, Blair attributed his plagiarism to issues of mental health and drug dependency. In the postdiscussion, Welsh said, “Mental illnesses are independent of ethical choices.” The screening brought students from all JMC programs, including journalism, public relations, advertising and digital media production. Students were encouraged to ask panelists questions they had as well as express their opinions about honest, transparent and ethical work in the field. “If there’s no belief in journalists, there is no belief in anybody” Crutchfield said. “Trust is all we have.” JMC Associate Professor JAN LEACH, director of the Media Law Center for Ethics and Access (MLC), served as the moderator for the discussion. IF THERE’S NO BELIEF IN JOURNALISTS, THERE IS NO BELIEF IN ANYBODY. TRUST IS ALL WE HAVE.” “Thinking about journalism ethics through this recent movie proved an interesting exercise,” Leach said. “Even though the Jayson Blair case happened more than 10 years ago, the lessons are still relevant for anyone who practices or consumes media, and our panelists helped bring those obvious and not-so-obvious lessons to light.” The movie screening was sponsored by the MLC and funded by the Akron Community Foundation. 13 JARGON | FALL 15 | ISSUE 1 RESPECTED. After 117 Years Of Combined Service At Kent State, Four Faculty Members Retire From JMC I CAN HONESTLY SAY THAT IF I HAD TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN, I WOULD DO THE SAME THINGS.” BY M EGHAN C APREZ When he joined the faculty as an advertising professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 1985, GREG BLASE knew he would retire in 2015. What he didn’t know was the kind of impact he would have on Kent State students and on the University itself. Starting his career at Kent State as a tenure-track professor, Blase worked diligently to publish his research and become a tenured member of the faculty. In that time, he began to notice more and more students lining up outside his office to ask for his advice about their courses and their future careers. “I didn’t plan this, it just sort of happened: I became really good at advising,” Blase said. “Students would come to me for advice, and at that time, we didn’t have the professional advisors; the faculty used to do the advising, there was always a line outside my door.” photo/ David LaBelle 14 GREG BLASE 30 Years RESPECTED. While he always enjoyed teaching and advising students, some of Blase’s biggest accomplishments at Kent State can be found in his work in administration. In his time at the university, Blase also served as the JMC Advertising Sequence Coordinator for 10 years, JMC Associate Director and as the JMC Interim Director. The year after he arrived at JMC, Blase was appointed the Assistant to the Director. By 1995, Blase proved a valuable asset in administration, and he was named JMC Undergraduate Coordinator. As the Undergraduate Coordinator, Blase won several awards, including the national NACADA Outstanding Advising Award for faculty academic advising. After serving as the Undergraduate Coordinator for nearly 20 years and as Associate Director, Blase stepped down from his administrative role last year to return to the classroom. He taught Ethical Issues in Journalism and Mass Communication. Blase was instrumental in the development of a Communication Studies degree at Kent State regional campuses, and he worked in the Provost’s office to strengthen university dual credit initiatives as a Provost’s Fellow. Because of his work with and extensive knowledge of the College of Undergraduate Studies, the Provost named him Interim Executive Director of the college while it searched for a new dean. After retirement, Blase intends to stay busy. He is looking to either work for or volunteer with the Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that works with the Cuyahoga Valley National Parks. Blase said he’ll definitely miss Kent State. “I have a lot of fond memories here,” Blase said. “I was walking across campus the other day, and I was thinking, ‘Wow, I’m going to miss this place.’ […] I can honestly say that if I had to do it all over again, I would do the same things.” ANN SCHIERHORN 29 Years BY M EGHAN C APREZ Starting as an adjunct in 1985, ANN SCHIERHORN never intended to join the JMC faculty as a tenure-track professor. She had worked for Gannett Newspapers for 12 years and planned to return to a newsroom. After encouragement from her colleagues, she decided to apply for an open position at the last minute, and she’s been here ever since. “At that point, there was a brand new major in magazine journalism,” Schierhorn said. “It had just been started, and I was hired to come in and do a lot of shaping. There was one student majoring in magazine that year, and it grew to more than 100 majors in my time here.” photo/ David LaBelle Originally, Schierhorn was the only faculty member who taught in the magazine journalism concentration. She was able to shape the courses by reaching out to magazine professionals and college professors throughout the country so the classes were as beneficial as possible for students. She also relied on her experience as a Sunday magazine editor in Rochester, N.Y., and as a writing coach. In her first year at Kent State, Schierhorn served as the only female JMC faculty member. In 2002, she was the first woman in JMC to earn promotion to full professor. When the School was planning to move out of Taylor Hall, Schierhorn served as the faculty representative on the Franklin Hall renovation committee. She worked with the architects to visualize the building, incorporating the perceived needs of the students and the faculty. 15 JARGON | FALL 15 | ISSUE 1 RESPECTED. Through the project, Schierhorn also volunteered to serve on the University Sculpture Committee, advocating for journalismcentered artwork. This resulted in the selection of Susan Ewing’s “StarSphere 2010,” dedicated to the First Amendment. “I knew that a percentage of the state allocation for the building would be spent on art,” Schierhorn said. “I wanted to make sure the art funded by Franklin Hall would have some relationship to journalism and mass communication.” Schierhorn served as the advisor to The Burr, Kent State’s cocurricular student magazine, for 23 years. Some of her fondest memories were special student projects completed in conjunction with her Feature Writing course. For one of these published in The Burr, her class interviewed the nine students wounded on May 4, 1970, as well as 15 of the Kent 25, those indicted after the event. In another experience, Feature Writing students joined a project led by photojournalism instructor DAVID LABELLE to interview and photograph children of the Holocaust. Both the May 4 and Holocaust projects allowed students to cover tough and emotional topics. Schierhorn also launched the New York Media Seminar, a class where students visit media outlets in New York City. The course has allowed students to see everything from the New York Times to People Magazine. 16 In her retirement, Schierhorn looks forward to traveling with her husband, CARL, who retired as a JMC professor in 2012, and continuing her civil rights research. She said students and faculty will still see her around the university. “It’s been a wonderful experience teaching here,” Schierhorn said. “Thirty years passed very quickly because I was having a good time. It’s been a very good place to work. I have no intention of disappearing.” THIRTY YEARS PASSED VERY QUICKLY BECAUSE I WAS HAVING A GOOD TIME. IT’S BEEN A VERY GOOD PLACE TO WORK. I HAVE NO INTENTION OF DISAPPEARING.” BEN WHALEY 35 Years BY C ASE Y B R AUN A five-minute conversation with BEN WHALEY about your basic audio class will often turn into a history lesson on the music business and the audio industry. But you won’t mind. And once that conversation is done, you will realize you had someplace to be an hour ago, but still, you won’t mind. After 35 years of teaching at Kent State, the resident JMC music and audio wizard—a title that seems to suit Whaley rather well if you glance at the picture of him in a wizard cap above his desk—is retiring. “I’ve been in classrooms for the last 40 years,” Whaley said. “I had five years as a graduate assistant at two universities.” In his words, “a strange and twisted story,” led him to Kent State in August of 1980. His first bachelor’s degree was in history because he originally wanted to be a lawyer. “Trial lawyers actually got to stand up and do advocacy, but I quickly discovered that most of what lawyers do is they try everything they can to stay out of court,” Whaley said. An avid and talented keyboardist from an early age, Whaley had a passion for music and played his first gig for money when he was 15. “I thought it might be fun to find out how far I could push that.” So, he did just that, working other odd jobs as a pizza chef and a farm laborer when money got tight. While he was performing for a living, he found himself in recording studios, fascinated by the technology. “The big ‘aha’ moment you get when you realize what you hear on the gig isn’t necessarily what comes out on the tape is kind of interesting.” After two years, Whaley went back to school for a second RESPECTED. undergraduate degree in telecommunications. At the last minute, he was asked to go to graduate school to teach production labs at the University of Kentucky. The person originally slated for the assistantship was stuck in Taiwan due to visa problems. From there, one of Whaley’s professors put his name in to be considered for a Ph.D. teaching assistantship in Indiana. While finishing his terminal degree, he received a call from Dr. John Wiser at Kent State who said the university had a job that “sounded like him.” Whaley interviewed, and it seemed to be a good fit. But there was one big question he still had: “How the hell did you find me?” It turned out there were two positions available at Kent State, and a man from New Mexico was hired, but he was only comfortable doing half of each position. A condition of his appointment was he had to find another man to fill the other halves. “So, he stole my resume off of the desk at [a university] in New Mexico and sent it over here,” he said. As for the School he’s leaving behind, he hopes he has impressed on everyone the importance and the need for audio to be a separate area of study from video “because we’re not going to be making silent movies anymore.” Whaley got into two graduate programs and a teaching job without applying for any of them. And after such a strange and twisted journey and 35 years of teaching, what could his plans be for retirement? For students who have had Whaley in class or crossed paths with him over his more than three-decade tenure at Kent, he has one more piece of advice. “You know the best part of retirement? You don’t have to have any plans,” Whaley responded with his token quick wit. He elaborated that he has set himself a reading list and enjoys building and landscaping. Of course, music will remain an ongoing part of Whaley’s life. STAY CURIOUS. KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW IS IMPORTANT, BUT KNOWING WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT BECAUSE THE PACE OF CHANGE IS NOW BEYOND GEOMETRIC.” “Stay curious,” Whaley said. “Knowing what you know is important, but knowing what you don’t know is even more important because the pace of change now is beyond geometric.” And as you might imagine, the one thing Whaley has enjoyed the most about his teaching career was watching the lights come on for students. With almost six generations of combined experience, Professors Ben Whaley, Greg Blase, Ann Schierhorn and Fran Collins have made an impact that few have had on the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. When considering the thousands of students they taught or advised, the leadership positions they held and the courses and policies they helped create, it is clear these four colleagues have made an indelible mark on JMC. We appreciate all they have contributed to our School and wish them well. If you would like to contribute to the JMC General Scholarship Fund in the name of one of our colleagues, please contact CHRISTINE KLECIC at [email protected] or call 330-672-2767. 17 JARGON | FALL 15 | ISSUE 1 RESPECTED. FRAN COLLINS 23 Years BY C ASE Y B R AUN teaching. Collins received her undergraduate degree in foreign language education and taught for a year in a public school. If you’ve ever had a class with FRAN COLLINS, you know this: Her reputation precedes her. And you probably know because she told you. If you’ve been to her office adorned with everything from advertising posters to quirky signs to a polar bear footstool, you know it’s anything but institutional, just like her. “One student came in once and said, ‘Your office is like Christmas,’” Collins said. “It’s also nice because—you know, Wicked B***h of the West that I am—it’s a little more inviting for students.” She doesn’t hesitate before injecting her dry sense of humor into conversations and having a little fun at her own expense. Despite a career that took her from New York City to South Carolina, her background is in 18 At The Ohio State University, she earned a master’s degree in journalism and was a graduate assistant for faculty working on media usage research, which she parlayed into a successful and varied career in advertising, doing everything from media planning to account management to marketing. It’s no wonder then that Collins was head of the advertising sequence at Kent State University during her tenure with the School. She’s a wealth of knowledge and will call foul when she spots an issue, whether it’s with a student or a university touting “Excellence in Action,” Kent State’s former slogan. “You have to be really careful about theme-lines and taglines,” Collins said. “What do they represent? How long lasting are they? But when you do something like that, that opens it up to a play on words—the ‘inaction’—did you really think that through?” And what of her storied reputation? “I use that reputation because I want them to understand that if I were their boss, I would be able to fire them. I’ve been in positions where I’ve had to tell a media planning assistant, ‘You’re fired.’ That’s a horrible position,” Collins said. “So you give a student a low grade. Is that comparable? You don’t enjoy doing it, but you want to show them, ‘Here are the issues, here are the problems, here’s what you can do to fix it.’” Collins said her plans for retirement include taking some time to figure out what she’d like to do next, maybe getting another dog, not shoveling snow at 6:30 in the morning and relearning the French and Spanish she’s forgotten. “It’s a little scary. What am I going to do all day, every day? But it’s also liberating,” she said. A student once wrote of one of Collins’ classes on the website RateMyProfessors.com: “If you’re attentive and participate, it’s not too bad.” And to that, Collins said, “That’s what I want on my tombstone! ‘It wasn’t too bad.’ That’s perfect. That’s wonderful.” But Collins said all of the flak and higher education politics is worth it for the “aha” moments students have and for the “you’ll never guess what happened at work today” emails she gets five years after a student graduates. A colleague in Taylor Hall once said to Collins, “How do you come in here every day so cheerful?” “My response was because I just keep thinking something’s going to happen at work to this student or around this student and they’ll say, ‘D*mn. That b***h was right!’” Collins said. And from the stories Fran Collins can tell, it seems as though her prediction has come true time and time again. “IT’S A LITTLE SCARY. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ALL DAY, EVERY DAY? BUT IT’S ALSO LIBERATING.” JMC Conversation/ Anna Hoffman After 23 years of teaching at Kent State University, Fran Collins is retiring. She came to Kent State in 1992. “I had enough background in different things that I could answer a lot of questions from faculty, and they thought I knew what I was talking about,” Collins said. “They foolishly offered me the job, and I accepted.” She decided to go back to school to focus on media while she was volunteering writing press releases and doing other promotional activities for various organizations. “I thought, ‘If I had a degree in this, I could get paid.’ I’m a slow learner, but I catch on,” Collins said. But it is all in the spirit of teaching, just like the legacy Collins hopes she left most impressed upon her students. “What’s your brand? Who are you? What do you stand for? You need to know what your priorities are and keep them straight,” Collins said. “How much are you going to compromise, and how does that affect who I am and what I stand for?” RELEVANT & REAL JMC Conversations JMC Director Thor Wasbotten moderates the discussion. In the fall of 2014, JMC Director THOR WASBOTTEN created a JMC Conversation to encourage meaningful discussions among students about current topics that will impact the way they learn and the way they will work once they graduate and begin careers in industry. JMC faculty members representing all sequences in the School served on a panel and contributed to the discussion by offering their perspectives and asking thought-provoking questions to the students. Wasbotten served as the moderator for the conversation. “A JMC Conversation gives us a great opportunity to have a thoughtful, relevant discussion,” Wasbotten said. “Our measures of success are the number of students that attend and the quality of the conversation.” The first JMC Conversation, “Terrorism and the Media,” took place just ahead of the 13th anniversary of September 11th and focused on how acts of terrorism have shaped the way people think about and consume media. “The tonality changed after 9/11, and you saw a more patriotic turn in advertising,” said JMC lecturer WENDY WARDELL. “Television shows were not as funny or snarky but more emotion building, a return to traditional values.” The second JMC Conversation, “Diversity (Re)Defined,” explored issues of diversity and equality, the changing state of race relations and how African Americans, Latino Americans and other multiethnic groups are portrayed in the media. JMC Assistant Professor and Advertising Program Sequence Coordinator EVAN BAILEY stressed the importance of understanding the needs and wants of the audiences we serve as communicators. “You need to understand the world you’re walking into and create content for all these populations,” Bailey said. JMC Professor FEDERICO SUBVERI, Ph.D., echoed Bailey’s advice. “Unless you plan on only working in Montana or New Hampshire, you should learn something about the changing demographics.” JMC Conversation/ Anna Hoffman Wasbotten said he hopes these conversations will continue to supplement what students are learning in the classroom and shed light on relevant topics as they happen. “We want our students to be able to discuss these relevant issues that affect them now and will affect them in the future.” JMC students share their perspectives on terrorism’s impact. 19 JARGON | FALL 15 | ISSUE 1 RELEVANT & REAL Big Dreams in the Big Apple Advanced Broadcast Journalism students visit top news stations in New York City BY J ACKIE D E M ATE Four Kent State students walked out of the subway on a cold Thursday night to realize they weren’t in downtown New York City anymore. After typing the wrong “34th Street” into their GPS they realized they were lost in Queens. The only person who stopped to offer them directions was WYNNE GAVIN, who happened to be a 1992 graduate of Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. Gavin showed the students to the correct subway stop and reminisced about her times at Kent State. That was only one of the incredible connections students made on the Advanced Producing trip to New York City. Advanced Producing is an invitation-only class taught by former WEWS Channel 5 general manager JOHN BUTTE. The class consists of 10 students who spend the semester reporting and producing stories for two 30-minute news magazine programs, which air on TV2. The class is made up mostly of senior broadcast majors who take a trip to New York City every year as part of the course to tour network television news stations. Gannett Co., Inc. and WKYC-TV in Cleveland fund the trip each year with the hope that it will influence more students to become producers. On the first night, students visited ABC Studios to watch a recording of ABC’s “Nightline” and meet anchor BYRON 20 PITTS. Pitts was a favorite among students for being down to earth and honest about his journey and personal experiences in the industry. “Byron was very real, very insightful and just had a lot of good information,” said MICHAEL BRATTON, ’14. “[He gave] kind of like a step by step of if you do this, this is the track you need to take.” Among his advice, Pitts told students to “be humble but be bold” and that “dreams always have an address; know your destination.” The next day, students woke up early to see the live broadcast of “Good Morning America,” and then stopped by Fox News. They sat down with BILL HEMMER from “America’s Newsroom” and were given a tour of the facilities by DAVID WINSTROM, director of Fox NewsEdge. Later that afternoon students visited MSNBC and sat down with MATT PITZER, a senior producer for the “Andrea Mitchell Show.” The final day of touring, students visited with JMC alumna CAROL COSTELLO, who interviewed them for her show on CNN. She asked them for their opinions about politics, religion and marriage as Millennials. “It was very surreal meeting a Kent State alum of our very same program who made it as big as she did,” said SEAN EILER, ’15. “And then to be interviewed by her on network television for the nation to see it was just so thrilling.” Throughout their five visits to the biggest networks in television news, students experienced an up-close look at what it takes to work at the top of their field. Not only did they meet with professionals, they received full tours of the newsrooms and studios. “The magnitude of what they’re doing it’s incredible; it’s eye-opening, and it was that reaffirmation that, ‘Yes, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life,’” Eiler said. “I would not have known how incredible this industry is if not for going to New York City.” The final visit was to Al Jazeera America where students toured the studio and sat down with President KATE O’BRIAN. Students learned about the network’s commitment to objective, unbiased reporting and its efforts to tell the stories that would otherwise be ignored. After answering questions, O’Brian left students with some powerful words of wisdom. She advised that while this industry isn’t for everyone, you will never make better friends or have more fun. “If you want to come on this journey with us, buckle up, because you’re in for the ride of your life.” THE MAGNITUDE OF WHAT THEY’RE DOING, IT’S INCREDIBLE; IT’S EYEOPENING, AND IT WAS THAT REAFFIRMATION THAT, “YES, THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.” RELEVANT & REAL Register Now for the Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop Covering trauma—a tragic accident, a horrendous attack, a sickening court case, a catastrophic weather event—exposes journalists and victims to complicated questions about ethics and responsibility. This year’s Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop will delve into significant topics including privacy, re-victimization and the trauma that journalists themselves often deny. DON’T MISS: “TELLING JOHANNA’S STORY” Johanna Orozco could have been a statistic: just another teen victim of extreme violence. Rachel Dissell could have done a quick news feature about Johanna and moved on to more exciting stories. Neither took an easy route. “COPING WITH CRUELTY” WITH FRANK M. OCHBERG, M.D., the nation’s leading expert in journalism and trauma. He helped define “Stockholm Syndrome” (the behavior of captives who bond with their captors), and he is a frequent analyst and expert in court cases, including at the sentencing hearing for the Cleveland man who kidnapped and tortured three young women for 10 years. The Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop is a one-day training program for professionals, educators and students that examines critical issues and perspectives in media ethics. Moderated by distinguished ethics faculty from The Poynter Institute, the Media Ethics Workshop provides a unique forum for professionals and students alike to confront and discuss significant issues crucial to understanding media ethics and its effect on our world. Previous Workshops have addressed online ethics, sports media ethics, political media ethics, entertainment media ethics and the ethics of data mining. Established in 2004, the Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop continues its mission to strengthen media credibility and bolster citizens’ faith in media integrity. REGISTER NOW! 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 FirstEnergy Auditorium, Franklin Hall Kent State University mediaethics.jmc.kent.edu/ 21 JARGON | FALL 15 | ISSUE 1 ALUMNI PROFILES Alumna Earns Third Place in the National Hearst Photojournalism Competition FROM HER FIRST PHOTO PROJECT, IT WAS EVIDENT THAT LEAH KLAFCZYNSKI POSSESSED THE HEART AND COURAGE TO TELL COMPASSIONATE STORIES WITH WORDS AND PICTURES. 22 LEAH KLAFCZYNSKI, ’15, received third-place honors in the annual Hearst National Journalism Awards Championship, earning a $3,000 scholarship. Her work was selected from more than 1,100 submitted entries, and she competed against five other finalists in the 55th annual Photojournalism Championship held in San Francisco, Calif., in June. “I hadn’t thought about expanding on my bodybuilding story,” Klafczynski said. “But sitting down with my professors and looking at what I had from my trip to Columbus versus the story I had previously submitted to Hearst, it became obvious.” In late April, the School flew Klafczynski to Fayetteville, North Carolina, where Carli now resides. She spent a few days shooting her everyday life: working out, doing homework and preparing meals. The first story that Klafczynski ever worked on was the same story she recently completed for her final submission. She began documenting Carli Terepka’s journey into bodybuilding in the fall of 2012. When she heard that Carli would be competing in the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus in February, Klafczynski reached out to Carli and her media team. “It was a really great opportunity for me to grow as a young photojournalist, especially in the grueling and equally fun editing process once I was back,” she said. “Regardless of the outcome, I was really happy to have gone and worked on something that meant a lot to me, and now to Carli, and to be able to say that I gave it my all.” “I was there shooting the first weekend of March,” Klafczynski said. “It was really cool because I hadn’t seen Carli in so long and to see her progress was really exciting.” JMC Lecturer DAVID LABELLE has mentored Klafczynski throughout her academic career and expressed how proud he is of her growth as a young photojournalist. When Hearst semi-finalists were announced, Klafczynski realized that she would have to work on a new story in order to have a stronger submission. “From her first photo project, it was evident that Leah Klafczynski possessed the heart and courage to tell compassionate stories with words and pictures,” LaBelle said. “That she moved from twelfth place up into the top five with her final Hearst portfolio and was invited to San Francisco to the championship shootout is a testament to her work ethic and ability to capture compelling images with unrehearsed emotion.” Currently, 108 colleges and universities with accredited undergraduate journalism schools are eligible to participate in the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, which awards up to $500,000 in scholarships, grants and stipends annually. See Klafczynski’s semi-final round submission “A World of Her Own” and her other work at http://www.leahklaf.com. ALUMNI PROFILES A Little Thunder JMC alumnus uses advertising skills to create innovative product BY It’s all about that bass. Kent State JMC alumnus ANDY ALT, ’04, knew this when he created the first electric guitar replacement humbucker pickup that adds a bass signal and requires no physical modifications to the user’s guitar. It came to Alt’s attention that he needed to make the replacement pickup when he was playing with a highprofile drummer but needed a three-man band sound. So he decided to make something to help him achieve that. “It took me about a week to make the prototype,” Alt said. “Then I did some research and found that no one had made an invention like this before, so I thought that I should submit a patent since it was a unique idea.” The skills he learned from JMC’s advertising program and several years of working in the advertising industry in Los Angeles helped him double his fundraising goal in his Kickstarter campaign to produce the pickup called “A Little Thunder.” A SHLYNE W ILSON “I set up a Kickstarter in October of last year, and the goal was to raise $35,000. And I felt like once I had that much, I could go in production for A Little Thunder, but we saw it quickly gaining momentum with 23,000 shares on Facebook alone,” he said. “I was able to use a lot of my advertising skills in the campaign because you can’t just put up a Kickstarter and expect it to go well; you really have to work on it. I responded to everyone and created ads to try to show what this was all about. Putting the spotlight on it really helped, and I can trace this back to Kent State.” By the one-month mark of the start of his Kickstarter campaign, Alt raised more than $62,000. Now, with his patented product, Alt’s invention is currently shipped and sold both online and in stores. Alt said that the amazing professors at Kent State who always encouraged him to push the envelope with his creativity helped in much of his success. “I like KSU for a lot of reasons,” he said. “One was attending the great Journalism School and having the ability to play music For more information about A Little Thunder, visit www.alittlethunder.com with the Jazz ensemble…Being able to pursue both careers was satisfying.” Alt said his professors made his college experience memorable and helped him launch his dreams. “I feel like the talent at Kent State is very high. They have great professors; they have an academic staff that cares,” he said. “Kent is a great place to go to do something you really desire.” “For my final thesis, I had an adviser at Kent who was very knowledgeable, and I told her I wanted to do something a little less traditional,” he said. “Instead of ending up with a 10-page paper, I turned in three pages and a DVD. Keep in mind this was just the beginning of the new digital age, so that helped me get ahead with the new boom of technology.” That very digital project helped him immediately get a job in Los Angeles with Interscope Records where he worked in recording sessions. His innovative and gogetter attitude helped land him the job as the online marketing director for Steve Vai, a threetime Grammy Award-winning and internationally recognized guitarist with more than 15 million records sold. Alt said he was able to pursue his career with music at Kent State with the Jazz ensemble he participated in for years. In 2011, Alt came back to Kent to be honored with JMC’s FastTrack Award where the School recognized him for Guitar TV, which is Alt’s online streaming website of guitar-related music videos and interviews he did with Vai. “Overall this has been a great experience, and I can’t wait for this product to come out so that everyone can enjoy it,” Alt said. KENT IS A GREAT PLACE TO GO DO SOMETHING YOU REALLY DESIRE.” 23 JARGON | FALL 15 | ISSUE 1 ALUMNI PROFILES Lights, Camera, Action! JMC grad carves her own path in the film production industry BY Fascinations with science, a desire to help people and a JMC degree in electronic media production have given CHRISTINA GROZIK a career in film production. Grozik is a film production professional with experience in various areas. She has worked as a production coordinator, location scout, producer and production liaison for major studio feature films including “The Avengers,” “American Splendor,” “Spiderman 3” and “The Longest Yard.” She credits JMC for helping her launch her professional career. “It was a fantastic experience,” Grozik said. “It was inspiring to be around so many creative and motivated people. The skills I acquired while in the JMC program allowed me to transition smoothly into a professional work environment with the confidence of expecting success.” While studying in JMC, Grozik was a very involved student. She worked with WKSR and TV2 and served as the concert chair for the All Campus Programming Board. 24 R ACHEL G ILL “Because I was so active at Kent State, it allowed me to master multi-tasking and logistics coordination abilities,” Grozik said. “This has led to being an effective project manager and assisted in shaping an eclectic career portfolio.” Grozik recently helped develop a new JMC course about film production, working with JMC Senior Lecturer TRACI WILLIAMS and Associate Professor DAVID SMELTZER. “It was great to collaborate with people so dedicated to their work and create something that will help others learn a craft,” Grozik said. Before she graduated, she began working in Cleveland as a radio disc jockey. Upon graduation, she decided to pursue work in media production and has since worked on an array of projects ranging from independent short pieces to major Hollywood studio feature films. Grozik also served as the Director of the Ohio Film Office. “That position allowed me to create and promote filming initiatives that helped make Ohio a more attractive filming destination,” Grozik said. She is currently still active in the film business and also manages corporate marketing and promotional campaigns for multiple clients. “I have overseen marketing campaigns for film studios including a 10-week tour across the country for the release of ‘The Amazing Spider Man’ and served as host in a traveling 90seat theater to share exclusive behind-the-scenes content from Marvel,” Grozik said. “I thrive on coordinating logistics and trouble-shooting.” Grozik’s favorite project was scouting for “The Avengers.” “I had spent time in Wilmington, Ohio, a few years prior when their DHL facility closed,” Grozik said. “Hundreds of good jobs were lost, and many families suffered the consequences. I organized a food, clothing and toy drive for the locals and told them that if I ever had the chance to promote using the former DHL facility to a film studio that I would.” A few years later, Grozik presented the abandoned Wilmington DHL Plant to the studio and pushed for its use in the film. “‘The Avengers’ ended up filming several scenes there,” Grozik said. “This helped create jobs within the community and bring an excitement along with it. It felt wonderful to make a difference.” As for the future, Grozik is already working on several media and writing projects. The first to launch will be a travel blog, BohemianBabeTravels.com, which highlights fascinating places and provides tips for adventurers. “I have had many spectacular experiences on the road, and I’m thrilled to share them,” Grozik shared. “Initial stories will describe adventures of discovering quirky places, being claimed by a wolf in California and of dining at a Berlin restaurant in complete darkness. BohemianBabeTravels.com launches this spring as my journeys continue.” THE SKILLS I ACQUIRED WHILE IN THE JMC PROGRAM ALLOWED ME TO TRANSITION SMOOTHLY INTO A PROFESSIONAL WORK ENVIRONMENT WITH THE CONFIDENCE OF EXPECTING SUCCESS.” FACULTY & ALUMNI NEWS FACULTY NEWS FEDERICO SUBVERI, Ph.D., was elected president of the newly established Association for Latino Media, Markets and Communication Research (ALMMACR), whose mission is to enhance the teaching and research of this growing arena of the field of communication. JAN LEACH was given a special award by The Poynter Institute for outstanding service to journalism ethics. GORDON (JOE) MURRAY, Ph.D., authored “The Disruptive Impact of Emerging Technology,” a chapter in the new textbook Contemporary Research Methods and Data Analytics to be published by IGI Global. For the second year in a row, Murray was invited to Washington, D.C., by President and CEO Dr. Allan Goodman and the Board of Trustees of the Institute for International Education to participate as a member of a small group of national experts convened to nominate Fulbright scholars to the National Geographic Society’s Digital Storytelling Fellowship. DAVID FOSTER was presented with a certificate of Excellence in Accessibility at Kent State Student Accessibility Services’ annual Faculty Recognition Reception. Each year, Student Accessibility Services asks students registered with SAS to nominate professors who have positively impacted their experience by helping to make Kent State an accommodating and welcoming university for students with disabilities. ALUMNI NEWS JACQUELINE MARINO’S paper “The Digital Animation of Literary Journalism” was published in Journalism, one of the top journals in the field. Coauthored with research partners Susan Jacobsen (Florida International University) and Robert E. Gutsche, Jr. (Florida International Journal), this paper helps cement Marino’s position as one of the leading scholars and thinkers in the academic study of literary journalism. Story” follows R&B musician Charlie McClendon from a life of nightclubs and fraternity parties in the ‘60s and ‘70s to a life devoted to religion in Hampton, Virginia. IN MEMORY CHAS WITHERS, ’87, was named chief executive officer of Dix & Eaton July 1, 2015. He is only the third CEO in the firm’s more than 60-year history. Withers has been with Dix & Eaton for 17 years. He was named president in 2008 and COO in 2013. FRED SQUILLANTE, ’81, received a third-place award for spot news from the Ohio News Photographers Association. Squillante is a photographer for The Columbus Dispatch. GENE SHELTON was awarded the Harold K. Stubbs Humanitarian Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Education. He was one of 12 recipients who were recognized for their contributions to the Akron community. ALISON WHITE,’06, was appointed Goodyear’s Director of Community Engagement. White is responsible for establishing the strategic direction for Goodyear’s corporate citizenship and community engagement programs, ensuring that these programs align with and support the company’s business objectives. PAT JARRETT, ’06, earned a Best Story award from the Skyline Indie Film Festival for a documentary he shot and edited for the Virginia Folklife Program. The film, “Put Me Down Easy: The Charlie McClendon Beloved JMC Emeritus Professor BOB WEST, ’50, passed away in June. He was a dedicated professor who spent his life studying film and teaching students about its many genres. He always had time to chat and offer advice and suggestions on what to watch (and when you shouldn’t waste your time!). A finalist for the Kent State Distinguished Teaching Award, his legacy at the school will live on, along with his history as a legend in Cleveland/Akron area broadcasting. STAY CONNECTED WITH JMC If you have news to share or need to update your contact information, drop us a note at [email protected] 25 JARGON | FALL 15 | ISSUE 1 FACULTY & ALUMNI NEWS COLLEGE WELCOMES NEW DEAN Journalism National Teaching Fellows Workshop, associate professor and assistant professor. She also held faculty positions at the University of Oklahoma and Miami University of Ohio. AMY REYNOLDS, Ph.D., joined the College of Communication and Information as dean July 1, 2015, after serving in leadership and teaching positions at both Louisiana State University (LSU) and Indiana University (IU). Reynolds joined LSU in 2010 and served for four years as the associate dean for graduate studies and research in the university’s Manship School of Mass Communication. She also served as co-director of the Press Law & Democracy Project, as the Thomas O. and Darlene Ryder II Distinguished Professor and as the director of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs, all in the Manship School of Mass Communication. While at IU from 2000 to 2010, Reynolds was associate dean for research and graduate studies, director of the IU School of 26 The focus of Reynolds’ research is on dissent and the First Amendment, First Amendment history and media sociology, particularly in relationship to media coverage of breaking news and terrorism. She has authored or co-authored seven books and has written several articles and book chapters. “I am excited to join Kent State and CCI during this important time in our professions,” Reynolds said. “One advantage we have is that our JMC school is situated in a college of communication and information. Whether it’s harnessing the power of big data, offering students global communication opportunities, producing research about social media, sharing our expertise in strategic communication and advertising, or simply focusing on core skills and concepts such as writing and multimedia storytelling and valuing First Amendment freedoms, our faculty and alumni are leaders.” “We are fortunate to have Dr. Amy Reynolds as our dean,” said JMC Director THOR WASBOTTEN. “I have known Amy for a long time, and I am looking forward to having her as a colleague and the leader of our College.” Prior to her career in higher education, Reynolds worked at various news organizations, including Erie Daily Times and WSEE-TV in Erie, Penn.; Orlando Sentinel, College Press Service and Generation X Press in Orlando, Fla.; and WTIU Public Television in Bloomington, Ind. Positions she held include reporter, managing editor and news director. Reynolds received her bachelor’s degree in English writing from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, her master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University at Bloomington and her Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Texas at Austin. Contact her at [email protected] or @amylreynolds. WHETHER IT’S HARNESSING THE POWER OF BIG DATA, OFFERING STUDENTS GLOBAL COMMUNICATION OPPORTUNITIES, PRODUCING RESEARCH ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA, SHARING OUR EXPERTISE IN STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION AND ADVERTISING, OR SIMPLY FOCUSING ON CORE SKILLS AND CONCEPTS SUCH AS WRITING AND MULTIMEDIA STORYTELLING AND VALUING FIRST AMENDMENT FREEDOMS, OUR FACULTY AND ALUMNI ARE LEADERS.” FACULTY & ALUMNI NEWS Kent State JMC Professor Wins Sharon Marquis Friend of JMC Award B Y E MILY K OMOROWSKI 1979 when he was a student. Thirty-six years later, he has just accepted his nomination for the Sharon Marquis Friend of JMC Award for the second time. The Sharon Marquis Friend of JMC Award is one of three JMC alumni awards, an award that is special to Harwood. GARY HARWOOD has been a photographer and a lecturer at Kent State University since the mid 80’s, but he’s been part of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication program since “This award is special for a number of reasons,” Harwood said. “It recognizes those who are oftentimes behind the scenes and have a genuine desire to make a difference. SHARON MARQUIS had done that very thing for me so many times while planning events for the photography students.” As a lecturer, Harwood said that the things he has done for JMC and for the photo program are meant “to bring the students together outside of the classroom and to merge their journalistic and storytelling skills with venues that offer maximum exposure for visual people”. IT RECOGNIZES THOSE WHO ARE OFTENTIMES BEHIND THE SCENES AND HAVE A GENUINE DESIRE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.” In addition to being a lecturer and photographer, Harwood has also co-authored a book titled “Growing Season: The Life of a Migrant Community,” which has won several awards. He is an Artist in Residence with the Ohio Arts Council and was an instructor for the Unseen Cleveland photography project, a division of Unseen America, sponsored by the Service Employees International Union. The project became a book, “Unseen America,” published by Harper Collins in 2005. Student Media Names New Director KEVIN DILLEY joined Kent State University as the director of student media in June. He oversees the business and advising operations of The Kent Stater, Kentwired, TV2, Black Squirrel Radio, A Magazine, The Burr, Fusion, Luna Negra and Uhuru. lecturer. Previously, he served as student publication adviser and lecturer at Fayetteville State University. Dilley comes to Kent State from the University of Texas at Tyler where he served as student media outlet adviser and senior Dilley earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia He has professional experience as a digital media consultant, newsroom trainer and visual news editor. and a master’s degree in visual communication from Ohio University. He is a member of the National Press Photographers Association, Online News Association and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. 27 JARGON | FALL 15 | ISSUE 1 FACULTY & ALUMNI NEWS Alumna Perseveres to Find Her Place In Front of the Camera B Y E LLINE C ONCEPCION WKYC reporter DANIELLE WIGGINS, ’04 AND ’09, didn’t land her dream job the day after graduation. But 11 years later, it is because of her journey and fortitude that she is being named one of the 2015 Fast Track Award recipients. GIVE EVERYTHING 100 PERCENT, AND YOUR TRACK RECORD WILL FOLLOW YOU.” “It’s definitely an honor,” Wiggins said. “I remember sitting in Dr. Evonne Whitmore’s office when I was a senior, seeking advice about my future. I was discouraged because I didn’t believe I would be able to go into broadcasting because of some personal issues. To be here now and receive an award like this… wow…dreams do come true.” Wiggins earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism in 2004 and a master’s degree in arts, entertainment, and media management in 2009, both from Kent State. Wiggins worked with several television and radio stations across Northeast Ohio before returning to Kent State to pursue a graduate degree. As her master’s thesis project, she started Vision Ideal Media and produced videos and multimedia pieces for small business owners and nonprofit organizations under the company name. After graduate school, Wiggins worked for WKSU and WKYC-TV. While at WKSU, Wiggins served as the 28 main producer for “The Regina Brett Show,” a program that won the 2013 Ohio Excellence in Journalism award for best radio show. Wiggins says winning the award helped her believe she could succeed in broadcasting. “It was amazing because she (Regina Brett) was a volunteer host, and I was part-time,” Wiggins said. “I was the only person working on the show, and we beat out shows with multiple full time staffers.” Wiggins’ path to success wasn’t what she expected, but she jumped at opportunities like an open casting call for a traffic reporter position at WKYC. Wiggins said when she was included in the top 10 candidates for the job, she took it as a sign that she was meant to be on air. “I had another career-defining moment when I started at WKYC,” Wiggins said. “I grew up in church, and I’ve always heard preachers say God can give you a job you’re not qualified for. They never talked about how hard it was going to be to keep it,” Wiggins said jokingly. “At the beginning, I wasn’t very good on air because I was green. Someone even wrote on my Facebook Fan page, ‘You’re God awful.’ It was a painful time, but I had to make a decision to either quit or persevere to reach my potential. I went to voice and presentation coaching weekly and gave it my best every day. I improved, and within a year, I earned my first official on-air contract.” Now in her second year at WKYC, Wiggins said she loves being on air because it helps her connect and build relationships with the community, something she has grown to appreciate. Wiggins, who discovered her love for teaching when she was a graduate student at Kent State, said students should continue to work hard and give their all if they want to succeed in the broadcast industry. “Leave everything you touch better than you found it,” Wiggins said. “Give everything 100 percent, and your track record will follow you.” FACULTY & ALUMNI NEWS Alumnus Turns Ad Club Trip into First Post Grad Job, Helps Others Make New York Connections B Y M EGHAN C APREZ Many journalism and mass communication majors have their sights set on working in New York City after graduation. Lucky for them, they have an alumnus on their side to help them transition from small-town Kent, Ohio, to the Big Apple. DAVID LAWSON, ’11, studied advertising at Kent State, and ever since he moved to New York City two days after his graduation, he’s been helping students with everything from making connections for jobs and internships to finding an apartment in the city. “There’s such a culture of who you know,” Lawson said. “[DANIELLE SARVER COOMBS, Ph.D., JMC associate professor and graduate coordinator] and I are still very close today, so whenever she gets wind of someone who wants to come to New York, she’ll loop me in with them. I believe that if I’m helping connect people, if I need a connection, one day it will pay off.” Coombs was one of the reasons he decided to study advertising, Lawson said. Starting his career at Kent State as an architecture major, Lawson took an introductory advertising class and fell in love with it. “I was lost in the sea of ‘What do I do with my life?’” Lawson said. “I always found the idea of advertising interesting, so I took Principles of Advertising just to see what it was like. Coombs was the one who taught it, and I had that light bulb moment that this is what I wanted to do.” After discovering his calling, Lawson – who worked at both the Tannery (now called IdeaBase) and in the Department of Recreational Services in marketing and advertising as a student at Kent State – immediately got involved in the advertising club. His junior year, he took on a leadership role within the organization. “I organized a trip to New York City,” Lawson said. “A little bit of it was because it’s New York and it has advertising, but a little of it was me selfishly wanting to go to New York, and I figured, ‘Let’s bring everyone along.’ […] We went to an ad agency called Hill Holliday, and I kind of shamelessly left the group and popped my head into HR and was like, ‘Hey, I’d love an internship.’ That was my connection. That ended up being my first job after graduation.” Lawson began working at Hill Holliday as an account executive in May 2011, the same month he graduated from Kent State. He said his JMC education helped him transition smoothly into a career at an advertising agency. “It sets you up to slide right into the process,” Lawson said. “Comparing myself against my peers, I realized that a lot of people aren’t getting that. The basics, a lot of those things they expect entry-level employees to learn in their first year, I already knew all of that. It gave me a leg up. It helped accelerate my career progression.” Lawson currently works as an insight strategist at Miner & Co. Studio, a market research agency in Soho. Despite leaving Kent State four years ago, he still feels like part of the JMC family. “I haven’t felt like my connection to Kent State ended on graduation day,” Lawson said. “With Coombs’ and my connection, I always feel like if I need a connection or anything like that, they are able to help me, and in addition, I’m helping, too.” “I’m honored by [earning the Fast Track Award],” Lawson said. “I set my mind on what I wanted to do leaving college, and I’ve felt fulfilled career wise. The fact that my alma mater still cares about me after leaving is awesome.” I SET MY MIND ON WHAT I WANTED TO DO LEAVING COLLEGE, AND I’VE FELT FULFILLED CAREER WISE. THE FACT THAT MY ALMA MATER STILL CARES ABOUT ME AFTER LEAVING IS AWESOME.” 29 JARGON | FALL 15 | ISSUE 1 FACULTY & ALUMNI NEWS Former Editor Credits Stater Experience for Career Preparation B Y M EGHAN C APREZ given back to JMC students and/or the School. Plonsky graduated from JMC with a degree in journalism. While at Kent State, Plonsky played women’s basketball, but her love for athletics dates back to her childhood. “Getting the call about winning the Taylor Award was incredibly humbling.” That’s what the cool and collected CHRIS PLONSKY, ’79, said with a tightness in her throat. The women’s athletics director at The University of Texas, Plonsky is the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s 2015 William D. Taylor Award Journalism Alumnus of the Year. “It’s an honor to be associated with Kent State and the impressive group of journalism alumni,” Plonsky said. “I’m still a little bit stunned. I appreciated my undergraduate days so much… great memories came rushing back.” The Taylor Award is presented annually at Homecoming to an alumnus who is well established and well respected in the media and communication industry and has 30 “I was a classic tomboy. Back then, I’d rather be outside than indoors,” Plonsky said. “When we moved (from western Pennsylvania) to Ohio, most of my neighbors were boys. We’d go out and play touch football and every other sport, so I learned about competing in that way.” One individual helped shape her experience competing in sports at the college level, though: women’s basketball coach and women’s athletics director Judy Devine. “She was my mentor and coach,” Plonsky said. “You can’t imagine everything she was doing for women in sports back then. She was teaching physical education classes, coaching women’s basketball and field hockey and working hard to provide opportunities for women to receive scholarships and services. Judy is among those AIAW (Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) and early NCAA-era administrators who deserve a lot of credit for where women’s athletics are today.” Plonsky herself is extraordinarily dedicated to the men and women student athletes she serves at Texas. They are the reason she loves what she does, she said. “I’ve worked in the higher education environment right from the start of my career,” Plonsky said. “Education is THE game-changer in our country. Intercollegiate athletics is a gateway for many young people who never even thought about pursuing a college degree. Sports can serve as a front porch for our universities. They unify and galvanize loyal alumni, students and fans to socialize and support their universities. When I see students competing not just in athletics but in the classroom as well, it’s very inspiring.” Plonsky previously worked in the athletics department of Iowa State University and as an associate commissioner and public relations director for The BIG EAST Conference. Before she graduated, though, she had a taste of working in Kent State’s athletics department. “I was a student athlete, but I didn’t know everything that went on behind the scenes until working in Sports Information,” she said. “Learning about media relations and being part of a great team and staff at the Daily Kent Stater represented a double positive.” Plonsky served as the editor of the Daily Kent Stater as a senior, working with previous Taylor Award winners CONNIE SCHULTZ (2005) and WAYNE DAWSON (2014). “The School of Journalism and Mass Communication was really intense,” Plonsky said. “The expectation was that you’d be working on the Stater or any other number of publications. We were taught by the best faculty, and the Stater truly was a lab paper. It was a true news vehicle, and we were proud of it.” Plonsky said her time in class and working for the Stater helped prepare her for her future career. “In the School of Journalism, you had to learn how to think critically, and that’s something I use every day in administration, which is a business of working with people,” Plonsky said. “In my days as a publicist, having a degree in journalism helped me because I knew how to think like a reporter and not just the person pitching a story.” Knowing how members of the media operated was a huge advantage as a publicist, Plonsky said. Her job was challenging, but she viewed media relations as just another competition. “Many believe the relationships between media and college athletics programs are adversarial,” Plonsky said. “I don’t think that’s the case, necessarily. Yes, it can be tough to get the stories you want in the right places, but I look at it as a challenge. Being a publicist felt like a competitive basketball game – FACULTY & ALUMNI NEWS only the game wasn’t physical any more…it was mental.” PLEASE JOIN US FOR OUR 2015 HOMECOMING CELEBRATION Plonsky advises current JMC students to take advantage of the opportunities they have while they are in college. “Have a lot of fun,” Plonsky said. “Remember your work can have a global impact. It’s different now; your work can go viral in an instant, so you don’t have to depend on a physical newspaper to get your work out there.” Plonsky has family that lives in Ohio, so she is able to visit and see advancement at both the University and the School level at Kent State. “It’s just so exciting,” Plonsky said. “Kent is at the forefront of journalism and mass communication education. It’s a department of excellence. Graduates will be among the most sought-after professionals because of the training they receive. “The soul of me is at Kent State,” Plonsky said. “You never really leave where you went to school. You leave a piece of your heart there. I am so appreciative of the KSU Alumni Association and the School of Journalism for their alumni relations work. No matter how often I’ve moved, they’ve found ways to keep me in the loop.” JMC ALUMNI AND FRIENDS AWARDS RECEPTION AND CEREMONY FRIDAY, OCT. 2 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Franklin Hall FirstEnergy Auditorium LEARNING ABOUT MEDIA RELATIONS AND BEING PART OF A GREAT TEAM AND STAFF AT THE DAILY KENT STATER REPRESENTED A DOUBLE POSITIVE.” Please R.S.V.P. by Sept. 25, 2015. For more information or to register, contact Darlene Contrucci at [email protected] COLLEGE OF COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION HOMECOMING PARADE HOSPITALITY TENT SATURDAY, OCT. 3 10:30 a.m. to noon Corner of Lincoln and Main Streets JMC HOMECOMING LUNCHEON AND AUCTION SATURDAY, OCT. 3 Immediately following the Homecoming Parade Franklin Hall First Floor Lobby HOMECOMING FOOTBALL GAME GOLDEN FLASHES VS. MIAMI REDHAWKS SATURDAY, OCT. 3 3:30 p.m. kick-off Dix Stadium 31 JARGON | FALL 15 | ISSUE 1 U S Postage PAID Permit No. 2 Kent, OH P.O. Box 5190 Kent, OH 44242-000 1 100164 School of Journalism and Mass Communication JOIN US FOR HOMECOMING WEEKEND photo/ Anna Hoffman FRIDAY, OCT. 2 & SATURDAY, OCT. 3 Visit www.kent.edu/jmc for more information.