EARNING NATIONAL RECOGNITION JMC RECEIVES FULL REACCREDITATION POYNTER KSU MEDIA ETHICS WORKSHOP

advertisement
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.
Download