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2011 Communicator

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Alumni magazine for The University of Alabama's College of Communication and Information Sciences, published December 2011
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A publication of the University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences and its alumni 2011 Vol. 33 No. 1 Monumental opportunity PR alumna gets big job in the Big Apple p. 10 Finishing Strong C&IS seniors give back to the University p. 22 Service Learning Faculty and students respond to tornado 28 COMM COMMU NIC NICA TOR TOR A step A step into the into the future future p. 4 p. 4 Digital Media Center Digital Media Center slated to open in 2013 slated to open in 2013
Page 1: 2011 Communicator

A publication of the University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences and its alumni

2011 Vol. 33 No. 1

Monumental opportunityPR alumna gets big job in the Big Apple

p. 10

Finishing StrongC&IS seniors give back to the University

p. 22

Service LearningFaculty and students respond to tornado


COMMCOMMUNICNICATORTORA stepA stepinto theinto thefuturefuture

p. 4p. 4

Digital Media Center Digital Media Center slated to open in 2013slated to open in 2013

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2 | The Communicator


2011 • Vol. 33 #1

PublisherDean Loy Singleton

EditorMisty Mathews

ReporterSavannah Bass

Faculty and Staff SupportElizabeth Aversa

Beth Benne Kim Bissell

Jason BlackElizabeth Brock

Roy ClemCaryl Cooper

Gary CopelandJennifer Greer

Heidi JulienJoseph PhelpsNeely Portera

Glenda WilliamsShuhua Zhou

Administra ve SupportSheila Davis

Sammie Schlichter

College of Communica on and Informa on Sciences

Box 870172Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0172

[email protected]/communicator

This magazine is published by the College to provide

informa on to alumni, UA community and friends.

It is funded by gi s to theCapstone Communica on


Contents4-7 Dawn of a Digital Age The College of Communica on and Informa on Sciences sees the beginning of a new era with its Digital Media Center project.

8-9 They are Legend C&IS inducts four to Communica on Hall of Fame

10-15 Alumni Notes Our former students have been up to a lot of good. Check out their professional and service-oriented accomplishments.

16-17 Outstanding Alumni The College recognized an outstanding alumnus in each of its fi ve under- graduate departments.

18-21 Faculty Notes The C&IS faculty have been busy comple ng research, publishing papers and winning awards.

22-25 Student Notes Current students have done the college proud, from award-winning ad campaigns to ground- breaking editorial coverage.

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htt p://cis.ua.edu/communicator | 3

26-27 Year in Review: A Photo Essay

Take a fi rsthand look at what’s been happening in the College in 2010- 11.

28-29 Service LearningThe April 27 tornado in

Tuscaloosa gave stu- dents and faculty a chance to use their communica on exper- se to help others.

31 Get involved!Want to know how you

can give back to your College? See our ad on page 31 for some ideas.

This issue of the Communicator fea-tures a major update on the status of the Digital Media Center. It conveys

the excitement and anticipation we’re feeling around Phifer Hall as this game-changing facility begins to move forward. The excite-ment ramped up when early one morning in the fall I pulled into the Phifer Hall parking lot to see a forty-foot long I-beam suspended by a cable att ached to a multi-story crane. The dangling 3,800-pound beam was being wrangled by a line held by a hard-hatt ed workman below who gently guided it to-ward one of the windows on the third fl oor of the north end of Bryant-Denny stadium overlooking the Walk of Champions. The glass had been removed from the window, enabling workers on the inside to lean out and catch the end of the beam as it approached. They gently pulled it through the window onto a dolly and rolled it to a waiting forklift , which raised the beam for a crew to weld into place. This process was repeated for two days, until a two-story steel framework stood in place, divided laterally into two spacious fl oors. The initial phase of construction of the Digital Media Center was fi nished. Over the next year the build-out of the Center will continue, followed by installation of all the digital video and audio technology it will house, along with studios and offi ces of the College’s professional media staff . We expect to “cut the ribbon” on the Digital Media Center in early 2013. When we do, your College will boast a campus digital-production facility second to none in the nation, housing WVUA-TV, the Center for Public Television, Alabama Public Radio and the video production facilities of the Athletics Department. All these production units will provide generous opportunities for students to work alongside faculty and professional media production staff in a top-40 media market. Those hands-on opportunities and the digital technology will provide a powerful, unique value proposition for students from across the country who are considering our College. Meanwhile, our enrollment growth continues. During the summer our Col-lege’s outstanding orientation team advised more than 600 incoming freshmen and transfer students — another record. The 2011-12 academic year got under way in August with nearly 2,900 students in the College, about 2,500 under-graduates and more than 400 graduate students, a 7.5 percent increase over last year and 12 percent over the last three years. I invite you to take a few minutes to check out the College’s website, htt p://cis.ua.edu, where you can fi nd more information in the full annual report about the exciting growth and accomplishments in the College.

From the Dean’s desk

The College of Communica on and Informa on Sciences’Digital Media Center will belocated in the North End Zoneof Bryant-Denny Stadium.

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Dawnof aDigital

media centerBy Misty Mathews

A project that has been years in the mak-ing is fi nally coming to fruition, and it’s one that will revolutionize the way students in the College of Communication and Information Sciences learn. The project is the College’s Digital Media Center, slated to open in 2013 in the North End Zone of Bryant-Denny Stadium. It will be a 52,000 square-foot digital multimedia learn-ing center “unrivaled by any campus produc-tion facility in the nation,” said Loy Singleton, dean of the College. “The Digital Media Center will allow all of the College’s professional production assets to collaborate in new, exciting ways and provide a digital platform that will give students an opportunity to work in a true 21st Century facility,” Singleton said. “The technology in the new facility is similar to what students will be using in their jobs aft er they graduate, so the experience of working in the new Digital Media Center will be invaluable to potential employers.” The Center will house WVUA/WUOA, the University’s super station that reaches more

than 3 million people; Alabama Public Radio; the Center for Public Television and Radio; The Production House, a full-service multi-media and production agency; and Crimson Tide Productions, a production asset of the UA Athletic Department. WVUA General Manager Roy Clem said he and the rest of the WVUA staff are thrilled at the new possibilities. “This is a project that has been long in the making,” Clem said. “So much thought has gone into it, and the eff orts of so many people. It’s extremely rewarding and excit-ing to see it start to move forward in such a dramatic way.” Indeed, students, faculty, staff and anyone else who happened to be in the vicinity of the stadium in recent months likely have seen the steel beams that compose the infrastructure of the two-fl oor center being raised and guided through the windows of the North End Zone, just in front of the Walk of Champions. “I was over there yesterday watching them put rivets in,” Clem said in early November, “and with each rivet, I realized we were mak-

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ing progress toward this wonderful vision that will really create a showplace for our college.”

A place to collaborate

Matt Scalici, incoming president of the College’s Board of Visitors and consultant to the University on the DMC project, said the Center will provide the chance for true multimedia collaboration. “You’re in this academic environment where the University happens to own a public television station, a radio group, an athletic department production group,” Scalici said. “This is an op-portunity to bring them together with common technology and shared resourc-es — not just equipment, but sharing of intellectual and creative people. I think once they are all under the same roof there will be a new product created, one that might not have happened had they not all been passing each other in the hallways and sharing ideas.” The space will house dozens of digital media production staff members and will include three studios and control rooms, a digital master control, eight to 10 edit suites and dozens of edit work stations. It will have fi ber connectivity to every major venue on campus and standby emergency power for emergency events like the April 27 tornado. Clem said he anticipates the orga-nizations housed in the center to fi nd new ways to collaborate and to include students. “You can actually visualize how these units are going to be able to work to-gether in a very modern digital center,” he said. “What that’s really going to allow us to do is to not only teach students the way broadcasting has been done for the last 50 years, but it will give us a chance to teach students the way it’ll be done for the next 50 years in a multiplatform world.” Singleton said the Center will provide opportuni-ties for students with diff erent academic majors to work together in new ways. “I believe all our Communication and Information Sciences students can benefi t from this new addition,” Singleton said. “There are obvious opportunities for students in journalism and TCF. Students in com-munication studies, advertising, public relations and

library and information studies can benefi t, as well.” For example, he said, students in the School of Library and Information Studies can become involved in digital archiving projects of work by DMC staff . Advertising and Public Relations students who are re-quired to produce videos for class projects will benefi t from the help of TCF students using DMC equipment. “For some of our students, there’s an immediate and obvious connection,” Singleton said. “For others

the presence of the facility will stimulate opportunities for them.”

Elizabeth Brock, director of the Center for Public Television and Radio, said the move also will allow contin-ued — and improved — collaboration

between the CPT&R and WVUA. She said she envisions the creation of more original programming like The Iron Bowl Hour, which takes a humorous look at the Alabama-Auburn rivalry. “Other projects in development will focus att ention on the people and work of the University and the state of Ala-bama,” Brock said. “The Digital Media Center will provide the necessary equip-ment to make this possible and support a culture more in keeping with current media trends. “Under one roof, the potential for en-gineered collaboration — as well as the unplanned and unexpected — among television, radio and new media units will provide an unparalleled opportunity for staff and students alike.”

Moving out and moving up

Another benefi t provided by the new space will be more space — both in the DMC and in the space vacated in Reese

Phifer by the entities moving into it. “The College and the University have grown sub-stantially in the last several years, and we were seeing a pressing need for more space,” Singleton said. The College saw a 12-percent increase in students over the past three years, slightly outpacing the Uni-versity’s growth. “Being able to create this Center in Bryant-Denny Stadium allowed us to kill two birds with one stone. We could plan and develop the best Digital Media Center we could possibly imagine on a college cam-pus, and, pending funding, we freed up space on the

52KTotal number of

square feet in the DMC

10Edit suites,designed

to op mize student learning

By the Numbers

$16MProjected total cost of the DMC project

4En es that will make their home

in the DMC

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6 | The Communicator

fi rst fl oor of Reese Phifer Hall that can now be used for classrooms, offi ces or whatever else it’s needed for,” Singleton said. Clem said this additional space would also allow WVUA to provide more students fi rst-hand experience doing things such as running video equipment or assisting with edit-ing at the television station. “Right now we have such limited space, and there’s such a demand for students to be part of our program at WVUA,” he said. “Right now we are able to accommodate about 150-160 students, but lots of students are on the waiting list. Once we have more space, we’ll be able to ac-commodate more students.” Brock said the DMC gives students a chance to be part of something groundbreaking. “The University of Missouri oft en refers to its top-rated journalism program as the ‘Missouri Method,’ an approach that relies heav-ily on ‘real-world’ experience,” she said. “The Digital Media Center will be a dynamic part of the College of Communication and Information Sciences, providing hands-on experience for students from across the Col-lege who can work alongside media professionals to create high-quality programming for both traditional and new media. “As such, the Center will be a dynamic component in the continued development and promotion of the ‘Alabama Method.’” Students who have worked for WVUA and CPT&R said they are excited about what the Digital Media Center will make possible in the future. “How amazing would it be to intern in Bryant-

Denny Stadium with the most up-to-date equip-ment?” said senior TCF student Dominique Bivens, who currently works for CPT&R. “We’ll have suffi -cient equipment for students to get hands-on learning

experience and a new, cutt ing-edge facility for our profession-als. It’s overdue.” Senior Matt McCoy, week-end producer/anchor and lead reporter for WVUA, has worked with the station for four years as an undergraduate and said the move will have an immediate impact on the product and on the people who work there. “Of course, the use of brand-new equipment to bring us into tighter competition with com-peting stations is going to be amazing,” McCoy said. “Going tapeless, being able to edit at my desk and just gett ing to say, when I walk across the Walk of

Champions, ‘Hey, that’s the window to my offi ce!’ will be a great memory as I think back on my experiences here, from the old station in the basement in Reese Phifer to the new Digital Media Center in one of the nation’s most prestigious stadiums.” Clem said that’s not the end of the benefi ts WVUA will see from the move. “The other great thing this facility will do for us is allow us to create a higher-quality product in HD,” he said. “That product can carry the message of the University of Alabama across the whole viewing area and as far as the Internet can reach.” The move represents not just a space upgrade but also an equipment upgrade. “Each entity moving to the Digital Media Center has diff erent levels of equip-ment it needs replaced,” Singleton said. “The new

Preliminary plans for the third and fourth fl oors of the North End Zone of Bryant-Denny Stadium, which will house the College of Communica on and Informa on Sciences Digital Media Center. Images courtesy of Davis Architects.

Want to impact students at your Alma Mater for

years to come? Visit http://cis.ua.edu/DMC.html or scan with your smart phone for details

on getting involved!

Page 7: 2011 Communicator

equipment will be contemporary, digital equipment that replaces anything that’s currently outdated.” Bo om line

There’s no denying the Digital Media Center is the next generation for the College of Communication and Information Sciences. “It’s really my honest belief that this is the most signifi cant capital project the College has ever under-taken,” Scalici said. “What it means for them is that they’re going to provide absolute cutt ing-edge educa-tion and technology for their students so that when they enter the professional world they’ll have already seen current technology, already used it and under-stand the 21st Century way of creating and distribut-ing content. “That’s going to make the value of a degree from this college worth more than ever and allow the Col-lege to draw the best and brightest students because there is no other place you can get this kind of experi-ence.” The project is the largest undertaking the College has seen in several years, but it makes a lot of sense, Singleton said. “The completion of this Digital Media Center project has huge implications for recruiting of faculty and students,” Singleton said. He said moving into the already-existing space in the North End Zone was a “practical, cost-eff ective manner” of addressing the College’s pressing space needs. The project comes at a time when the eyes of the world seem to be on Bryant-Denny Stadium as the football team seeks its 14th national championship. Scalici said the sense of satisfaction he gets from see-ing the DMC become reality is somewhat akin to the thrill of winning on the fi eld. “For me, personally and professionally, to be in-volved in this project at this University at this time is thrilling,” Scalici said. “You could never in my profes-sion imagine that there’d be such a thing as a national championship, but this is it. It’s the ultimate media center, at my University, at my College, and it hap-pens to be in one of the most visible facilities in the whole country.” Singleton said the project demonstrates to the rest of the University community and eventually will demonstrate to the world at large what a great place the College of Communication and Information Sci-ences is for learning. “The need for this project refl ects the growth and sophistication of what we’re doing here,” Singleton

said. “We strive to be a full-service college of com-munication and information sciences, with up-to-date equipment and suffi cient space.” McCoy said he sees it as a great service — and a huge draw — for future students. “Our students that graduate from this program will get hands-on experience from using this new equipment that can only be taught at the University of Alabama, with a facility like this,” McCoy said. “It makes me that much prouder to be a part of the UA family and the WVUA family.” Bivens said the additional space will give even more students opportunities for this kind of experi-ence, enhancing the College’s potential for recruiting new students. “We have a great program and many opportunities for students to get vital hands-on experience, but we have had limited resources,” Bivens said. “In the past few years the enrollment in the College of Commu-nication and Information Sciences has grown expo-nentially, making it very competitive for classes and internships. “Now we’ll have space for all of us.” Singleton said he hopes the Digital Media Center project will not just be a benefi t for future students and professionals in the College but that alumni will seize the opportunity to be a part of it, as well. “We want to invite our alumni to join us in this, whether through supporting the project with funding or demonstrating their interest and support in other ways,” Singleton said. “This is a chance for them to give back and to be part of the history of this Col-lege.” For more information on becoming involved with the Digital Media Center project, visit htt p://cis.ua.edu/DMC.

htt p://cis.ua.edu/communicator | 7

Dean Loy Singleton stands at the far end of the third fl oor to demonstrate the enormous size of the Digital Media Center.

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Top: The 2011 Communica on Hall of Fame Induc on Ceremony was held in the North Zone of Bryant-Denny Stadium for the fi rst me in 2011. Middle le : Dean

Singleton presents Joseph Gibbs a commemora ve induc on plaque. Middle right: Singleton presents a plaque to James Jacobson. Bo om: Singleton gives Charles Gordon his plaque.

They areLegendCollege of Communica on and Informa on Sciences welcomes four inductees to Communica on Hall of Fame

By Misty Mathews

As always, the College of Communication and Information Sciences welcomed a stellar class of inductees to the Communication Hall of Fame in 2011. The 2011 induction ceremony was held for the fi rst time in the North Zone at Bryant-Denny Stadium, with a Hollywood theme. Nearly 200 of the College’s alumni, friends and supporters were on hand to see Joseph Gibbs, Charles Gordon, James Jacobson and Ruth Waldrop granted entrance to the elite group of communicators. “This was an exceptional group of in-ductees,” said Loy Singleton, dean of the College of Communication and Information Sciences. “On behalf of the College, I would like to welcome them to the Hall of Fame and congratulate them on their many great accomplishments.” Debbie Elliott, national correspondent for National Public Radio, served as master of ceremonies for the evening. For more information about each of the inductees, see the bios on the following page. Each of them was in attendance at the event, with the exception of Waldrop, who was inducted posthumously.

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Joseph E. “Joe” Gibbs is best known as the devel-oper of The Golf Channel, the nation’s fi rst 24/7 sin-

gle-sport channel. He began his work with TGC in 1991, eventually persuading leg-endary golfer Arnold Palmer to support the project. The channel was launched in January 1995, airing a live tournament from Dubai. Today TGC has more than 80 million subscribers, more

than the Speed Channel or the Tennis Channel, both of which were inspired by the success of TGC, and TGC is catching up fast with ESPN. Gibbs was Co-Founder, Vice Chairman, President and C.E.O. of TGC until he sold his interest at the end of 2007 and started Gibbs Investments LLC, a venture capital company. He serves on the Board of Directors of CONVERGYS, a Fortune 500 company, and Digital Media Arts College. He is on the Interna-tional Advisory Board of the Arnold Palmer Women and Children’s Hospital in Orlando and is also on the Board of Visitors of both The University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences and The University of Alabama Business School. Charles A. “Chuck” Gordon’s fi rst job in Hol-lywood was for legendary fi lm and television producer Aaron Spelling, at that time turning out numerous movies for television and three dramatic television series. After Aaron Spell-ing Productions, Gordon worked as an agent at the William Morris Agency, where he worked on popu-lar shows such as The Sonny & Cher Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. His work at William Morris was followed by a period as a literary agent at International Creative Management working with writer clients. After 10 years writing, Gordon turned to producing. In one fi ve-year period, Gordon produced fi ve TV pilots and got three of them on the air. He then turned to feature fi lms and has, since 1988, been the producer of fi lms grossing more than $1 billion dollars. Some of

his best-known projects are Waterworld, The Girl Next Door, Die Hard and Field of Dreams. Gordon, still hard at work, is prepping Hitman 2, Raised by Ghosts and two television series. James “Jim” Jacobson served as editor of The Birmingham News, Alabama’s largest newspaper, for the last 19 years of his 39-year career. Under his lead-

ership, the News’ editorial page won the Pulitzer Prize for its series on the need for tax reform in Alabama. After joining the News in 1959, Jacobson served as editorial writer, editorial page editor, assistant man-aging editor and managing editor, rising to editor in

1978 and continuing for a time as contributing editor after his retirement. Jacobson was awarded the Alabama Press Asso-ciation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. The University of Alabama declared him Distinguished Alumnus of the Department of Journalism, 1968, and Sesquicentennial Honorary Professor, 1981. Ruth W. Waldrop was a librarian, library educa-tor, author of children’s books, bibliographer and a passionate advocate for li-brary studies and children’s education. She taught for many years at The Uni-versity of Alabama in the library school and through her 1968 essay, “A Proposal for Graduate Education in Librarianship: Crisis and Resolution,” helped pave the way for the establishment of the then Graduate School of Library Science at UA. Waldrop served as a school librarian, Executive Director of the Alabama Library Association, Chair of the Department of Library Sciences and in many other capacities in the community and state. An endowed scholarship in her name enables part-time students to attend SLIS. Waldrop was author of fi ve children’s books, including biographies of Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, and Dolley Madison, and several guides for selecting books for children.

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Many people remember September 11, 2001, as a day the world changed forever. Most people can recall where they were, their feelings, reactions from people around them — that everything changed in an instant. With the 10th anniversary of the terrorist att acks this past September, the day and events surrounding the commemoration of the 9/11 Memorial became a public relations frenzy. Among the public relations team for the memorial: University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences graduate Sarah Lippman. Lippman (B.A., 2006, Public Relations) is one of the leading communications managers working on publicity for the memorial, one of the most highly anticipated projects in the United States in the last decade. Aft er working at Cookerly Public Relations fi rm in Atlanta, Ga., for four years, Lippman and her husband decided to make the move to New York City to explore new opportunities. “I appreciated the diversity of agency life, but my work with public awareness campaigns made me realize how much I enjoyed backing and shaping a single, meaningful message,” Lippman said. “I decid-ed my goal for fi nding a job in New York would be to go in-house for a nonprofi t organization, ideally one I truly cared about.” Lippman was immediately thrown into the 10th anniversary frenzy upon starting at the 9/11 Memorial in mid-July, and she said “nothing could have pre-pared me for what was to come.” She felt the eyes of the whole world not on her but on the memorial she represented, anxiously awaiting what it would look like and what it would mean for families of victims, survivors and the American people. “Most days were spent arranging press previews

and interviews at the unopened memorial and in the studios of the world’s top media outlets,” Lippman said. “These days are still spent fulfi lling requests from reporters across the globe who want to see the memo-rial and people’s reactions to stepping back on this hallowed ground.” Now that the 10th anniversary has passed, Lippman has turned her focus to media strategy for the anticipated opening of the 9/11 Memorial Mu-seum in September 2012. The 9/11 Memorial Museum will serves as the country’s pinnacle institution to document the events and signifi cance of 9/11 and what it means for the country as a whole. “We continue to align this organization with global digital companies that reach audiences throughout the world, helping us educate and preserve the his-tory of 9/11,” Lippman said. Lippman has made an impact in New York, work-ing with one of the world’s most important memorials and museums, and she credits her success to what she learned at UA in the College of Communication and Information Sciences. “It was Dr. Bruce Berger, Dr. Bill Gonzenbach and Dr. Karen Cartee who made me realize the power and strategy of communications and its integral part of every successful organization,” she said. “The real-life experience and anecdotes they off ered every day in class showed me that the way any organization is perceived has a true eff ect on its bott om-line.” Advice for future students? “I wish I had some insightful, philosophical infor-mation to off er, but I simply believe in hard work and trying to have fun and being yourself while you’re at it,” Lippmann said.


By Savannah Bass Cont


ed p


Page 11: 2011 Communicator

Professional achievements

Adver sing & Public Rela ons

Melissa Michelle Rushing (B.A., 1991; M.A., 1993) has been elected president of the American Advertising Federation, Pensacola Chapter, for 2011-12. Erin Cartee Coggins (B.A., 1997) was named the 2011 Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Distin-guished Newspaper Adviser of the Year. She also was the 2011 Ala-bama Scholastic Press Association Adviser of the Year and the 2010 Sparkman High School Teacher of the Year. Kathleen Kirvin (B.A., 2000) serves as the alumni committ ee co-chair (2008-present) for the Rensselaer County (N.Y.) Regional Chamber of Commerce Leader-ship Institute. She has been a member of the Public Relations Society of America Capital Region NY Chapter board of directors for seven years, previously serving as President (2007), Immediate Past President (2008) and currently as

Director at Large (2009-present). Lindsay Richardson (B.A., 2000), vice president of market-ing for PlayCore Inc., received the PlayCore President’s Award in January 2011. Erin Wendel (B.A., 2001) was on the board of Washington Women in Public Relations from 2005-10, serving as treasurer, Woman of the Year co-chair and vice president.

Communica on Studies

Tasha Smith (B.A., 2003, jour-nalism; M.A., 2005, communication studies) is currently working on her Ph.D. in Instructional Leader-ship at The University of Alabama. Dana Rizor (M.A., 2009) will re-ceive her J.D. from The University of Alabama in May 2012. Katriesa A. Crummie (B.A., 2007) received her J.D. from The University of Alabama School of Law in May 2010. She is a member of the Alabama State Bar and the Mobile Bar Association. Allison Pace (B.A., 2011) is cur-rently pursuing a medical degree at the University of Mississippi

Medical Center.

Journalism Hugh Maddox (B.A., 1952) received his J.D. in 1957 and went on to serve as an associate justice on the Supreme Court of Alabama (retired). He remains an honor-ary member of the American Inns of Court and is author of Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure. Wayne Powell (B.A., 1959), retired, was honored by the Penn-sylvania Newspaper Association in 2009 with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Jason Morton (B.A., 1999) has earned multiple writing and jour-nalism awards, including Story of the Year (2003) and Sweepstakes Award (2008), from press associa-tions in Georgia and Alabama. Chase Woff ord (B.A., 1999) is journalism instructor and newspa-per advisor for the Coppell Inde-pendent School District (Texas). He advises for The Sidekick at Coppell High School in Coppell, Texas, which won Best Newspaper by The Dallas Morning News High School

htt p://cis.ua.edu/communicator | 11

Alumni Notes

Suzanne Johnson (B.A., Journalism, 1978) always knew she had a passion for magazine work but found her calling in working for various universi es across the country. Originally from Winfi eld, Ala. Johnson serves as Associate Editor for Auburn Magazine, Auburn University’s alumni publi-ca on. While she s ll roots for the Crimson Tide, Johnson has made a niche for herself in Auburn. Prior to her me at Auburn, Johnson worked at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, at Rice University in Houston and, for the past 14 years, at Tulane University in New Orleans. Her 30+ years of magazine editorial experience involves put- ng together the editorial menu for a magazine down to edi ng

copy, feature wri ng, graphic design layout and more. On her me at Alabama, Johnson said: “The best thing the college gave me was a solid grounding and knowledge of diff er-

ent aspects of print journalism. I’ve used every one from news wri ng to copy edit-ing and layout and was fortunate enough to have been able to dabble in all aspects throughout college.” While Johnson keeps busy with Auburn Magazine, she recently has embarked on carrying out her passion for wri ng even further by becoming a published novelist. Johnson characterizes her series of three novels tled “Royal Street” (available April 10, 2012) as “urban fantasy.” Fic onal books involving magic in the real world, the books are set in post-Katrina New Orleans, a me during which Johnson herself was actually a resident of the


Journalism alumna publishes urban fantasy novels

Page 12: 2011 Communicator

12 | The Communicator

Journalism Day in 2011, and its online edition, www.coppellstudent-media.com, won Best Website from The Dallas Morning News in 2011 and 2009. Kristen Heptinstall (B.A., 2005) recently accepted a position as managing editor for Cox Media Group’s WFTV.com. Before ac-cepting the position she had been founding executive director of the Alabama Social Media Association. Emily Amick (M.A., 2008) recently graduated with a J.D. from Columbia Law School and an L.L.M. in International Criminal Law from the University of Am-sterdam. Amick was awarded a two-year Equal Justice Works Fel-lowship to work at Sanctuary for Families, a non-profi t in New York City, following her graduation. She will coordinate the anti-traffi cking program, providing legal represen-tation to sex traffi cking victims and managing the New York Anti-Traf-fi cking Coalition. Alan Blinder (B.A., 2011) was awarded the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award by the department and was named to

the second team of the USA Today 2010 All-USA College Academic Team. A freelancer for the AP aft er graduation, Blinder was part of a team from The Associated Press that won an honorable mention for excellence in deadline reporting from the Associated Press Manag-ing Editors Association for cover-age following the April 27 tornado. Blinder now covers business for the American Press in Lake Charles, La. Jason Galloway (B.A., 2011), former sports editor for The Crim-son White, won the fi rst place sports writing award in the Region 3 SPJ Mark of Excellence contest. Galloway also was awarded the Professional Excellence Award by the department’s faculty. Galloway now works as a sports reporter at the Opelika-Auburn News. Joan Garrett (B.A., 2006; M.A., 2007) is a reporter for the Chatt a-nooga (Tenn.) Times Press. She was named a national fi nalist for the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ Award for Distinguished Writing on Diversity. John Latt a (M.A., 2006; Ph.D.,

2009), an adjunct instructor for the department and an editor at Randall-Reilly Publishing in Tus-caloosa, was awarded UA’s Out-standing Dissertation Award. Scott Parrott (M.A., 2010) is pursuing a doctorate at the Uni-versity of North Carolina. He won the College’s 2011 top master’s thesis award and was co-director of the department’s Multicultural Journalism Workshop the last two years. Patt y Vaughan (B.A., 2011) has been hired as a reporter for The Greenville Advocate in Greenville, Ala. She also will coordinate the paper’s new quarterly regional magazine, Camellia Magazine. Justin Whitmore, (B.A., 2007; M.A., 2009) is a sports reporter at The Natchez Democrat in Natchez, Miss.

School of Library & Informa on Studies

Tatum Preston (M.L.I.S., 2001), librarian at the Birmingham Mu-seum of Art, has a chapter, “A Guide to Recruiting and Retaining

Alumni Notes

Kay Jones (B.A., TCF, 1997) always had a knack for produc on but never thought it would land her at the top of television’s most watched networks — CNN. Jones serves as the senior editorial producer for the CNN Manha an offi ce, in charge of booking interviews with celebri- es for many of CNN’s most prominent anchors. Jones books

events and contacts celebri es for special projects for the net-work, coordina ng with the CNN Atlanta offi ce to make sure all interviews run smoothly. In New York City now fulfi lling her dream job, Jones knew even during her me at UA the type of work she wanted to do. “I always knew I wanted to work in produc on because of the opportuni es that Alabama as a school had,” said Jones. “Because of the diversity on campus between news and constant

spor ng events, I got a really great educa- on covering a li le bit of everything

available.” Like many professionals, Jones contrib-utes her success as turns of luck and fate. She had applied for the senior editorial posi on with CNN and was turned down only to get a call back about the posi on a few months later when a colleague recommended her for the job. While booking was not a career path Jones had le college knowing she would be great at, she’s found her niche in a huge company, the backbone behind most of the interviews the rest of America watches every night.

TCF graduate Kay Jones fi nds niche at CNN

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Volunteers of All Ages,” in the new book, How to Thrive as a Solo Librar-ian, edited by Carol Smallwood and Melissa Clapp, published by Scarecrow Press, 2011. Angela Frederick (M.L.I.S., 2005) is chair of the 2013 Award for Excellence in Nonfi ction for Young Adults committ ee for the Young Adult Library Services Assocation. Dan DeSanto’s (M.L.I.S., 2010) recent article in the ASIS&T Bulle-tin titled “Mobile Future of Place-Based Digital Collections” docu-ments his pursuit for an app for a digital collection, a project that began during an internship with Dr. Steven MacCall. DeSanto now works at the University of Vermont Libraries.

Telecommunica on and Film

Bobby Faye Shutt leworth (B.A., 1977) has won numerous awards, including Alabama Associated Press Best Reporter; Medical As-sociation of the State of Alabama - Best Reporter; Alabama Associated Press: Best Coverage of a Planned Event; American Cancer Society

Award; Medical Society of Mont-gomery County Award; and Ten-nessee AAPBA Best Anchor. Melanie Kearns Davis (B.A., 1996) currently serves as the Pub-lic Relations Society of America Southeast District chair and sec-ond year director for the Alabama Chapter of PRSA. She also cur-rently is vice chair of the Vulcan Park & Museum Foundation in Birmingham. Jonathan Crowe (B.A., 1998) recently accepted the job of chief engineer with WAAY 31 News, the ABC affi liate in Huntsville, Ala., to lead the station’s transition to HD. Caroline Helmer (B.A., 2006) was a selection committ ee member for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Film in 2010 and 2011, and she was a Sundance Film Festival Volunteer in 2008 and 2009. Jacob D. Cohen (B.A., 2008) will receive his J.D. from South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas, in December 2011. Lindsay Wilhelm (B.A., 2011) is an assignment editor for CBS 42 WIAT in Birmingham, Ala.

Mass Communica on

Curtis Love (Ph.D., 1997) has been named Director of Graduate Studies at the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration.

Community Service

Adver sing & Public Rela ons

Nancy Richeson Siniard (B.A., 1977; M.A., 1978) serves on the board of Hospice Family Care, is treasurer of the Junior League of Huntsville sustainers, is co-chairing the capital campaign for Alpha Gamma Delta and served as president of the AGD Huntsville Alum Club for 10 years. She also serves on the board of the Madison County (Ala.) University of Ala-bama Alumni Association. Jennifer Brown Whisenant (B.A., 1985) currently is president of the Greater Shelby County (Ala.) Chamber of Commerce and serves on the board of directors for Lead-ership Shelby County and for the

Alumni Notes

A er receiving his bachelor’s and master’s in Communica on Studies from the University of Alabama and ge ng his Ph.D. from friendly rival Louisiana State University, Chas Womelsdorf had something of a homecoming this year. Womelsdorf joined the College of Communica on and Infor-ma on Sciences’ faculty as assistant director of the University of Alabama Forensic Council. “When people ask me where I call home, I tell them Reese Phifer,” said Womesldorf “That’s to say that what I do, being the Assistant Director of Forensics, isn’t a job, it’s paying it forward.” He said the team is one of the College’s best-kept secrets. The Council is undefeated in all 10 compe ons for 2011-12 and has won 31 Individual Events, qualifying for the Na onal Championship in April. With a background in debate, Womesldorf coaches students

in all 11 events. His coaching philosophy? “Like Coach Saban, we coach the whole student, not just the compe tor,” he said. “In other words, we help guide our students as human beings fi rst.” Womelsdorf credits his success to the College and program for taking a chance on a student and believing in him as him as an undergraduate. Now as he prepares to become Dr. Womelsdorf upon comple- on of his Ph.D., Womsldorf hopes to help

lead the program to even bigger and be er things. “We are consistently a top 5 school, but we have our eyes dead set on winning it all sooner than later. And with the caliber of students that we have, it’s more reality than dream.”

Womelsdorf returns ‘home’ to Reese Phifer, C&IS

Page 14: 2011 Communicator

Shelby County Economic & Indus-trial Development Authority. She also is a member of the Alabaster-Pelham Rotary Club. Linda Burns (B.A., 1988) is currently a board member for the National Charity League. Stacy L. Jones (B.A, 1988; Ed.D., 2007), currently assistant dean of students for The University of Ala-bama, is the 2012 March for Babies Revenue Chair, as well as chair of

the executive board for Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Alabama State Association. Mary Beth Wetzel (M.A., 1995) has been on the Jr. Board for Gate-way, a division of United Way, for 15 years. She also volunteers for Birmingham Community Kitchens. Jessica S. James (B.A., 1998) is a current candidate for the Ala-bama State Board of Education, District 1. She serves as treasurer on the board of directors for the Mobile Chapter of The University of Alabama National Alumni As-sociation, is Blue Pass Sales Chair for the Junior League of Mobile, is Vice Chair of the Board of Direc-tors for South Alabama CARES and is a member of the Board of Directors for United Way of South-west Alabama’s Young Leaders Society. She also is a member of the State of Alabama Republican Party Executive Committ ee and special events chair for the steering committ ee of the Mobile County Republican Executive Committ ee. Lauren Tagg Hill (B.A., 2003) serves on the board of directors for the Ronald McDonald House of

Memphis. Anna Ruth Williams (B.A., 2006) is a member of the board of directors of the American Founda-tion for Suicide Prevention, Metro Atlanta Chapter. She also volun-teers with Georgia’s WIN List and Kate’s Club, and she is a member of the Technology Association of Georgia and the Public Relations Society of America, Georgia Chap-ter. Jordan Collins (B.A., 2007) is a member of the Young Executive Board of Urban Ministries in Bir-mingham, a homeless prevention program in the West End commu-nity. Breeanna C. Beckham (B.A., 2007; M.A., 2008) volunteers as communications director for DC Web Women, a nonprofi t for women in the Washington, D.C. area that unites women in technol-ogy and digital marketing fi elds. Danielle Downing (B.A., 2007) was a member of Leader-ship UAB’s 2011 class and is on the board of King’s Home Young Leaders and Sight Savers America Jr. Board. She also is treasurer of

14 | The Communicator

“I have been volunteering for 16 years at a facility which takes care of children in crisis who are placed at our facility by Child Protective Services. I spe-cialize in infant care, with babies who are generally drug addicted or failure to thrive. Life is good, and I look back at my time at Alabama with wonderful, fond memo-ries and would love to hear from my classmates and Zeta sisters.”

Carol Grzymkowski HoweB.A., 1966, Journalism

The Minnesota Center for Book Arts presented Sarah Bryant (M.F.A., 2008, Book Arts) with the MCBA Prize, the fi rst honor to recognize book arts from across the fi eld and around the world. Bryant’s entry, ”Biography,” was selected for the award from a pool of 147 submissions that represented 22 na ons and all seven con nents. Bryant said “Biography” is “an examina on of the chemical elements in the human body and the roles they play elsewhere in the world. This book grew out of my desire to use the periodic table, our visual method of categorizing every par cle of ma er in the universe, as a tool for crea ng a portrait of a human being, the viewer of the book.” Bryant has taught book arts for the University of Georgia in Cortona, Italy, and she served as the Victor Hammer Fellow for Wells College in New York State. Her books have been collected by major libraries including Cornell University, The New York

Public Library, Harvard University and Stanford University, among others. In 2009, she spent a month in Ireland for a residency at a printmaking studio in Donegal. Bryant returned to the University as an instructor in the Book Arts Program begin-ning in the fall 2011 semester. “Honestly, none of what I have ac-complished since studying at UA would have been possible without the educa on I received there,” she said. “The University of Alabama MFA in the Book Arts program transformed me from someone with a dormant interest in books and book arts into a skilled and ac ve par cipant in that professional world.”

Book Arts alumna wins pres gious interna onal award

Alumni Notes

Page 15: 2011 Communicator

the Birmingham Phi Mu Alumni Association.

Communica on andInforma on Sciences

Wanda Madison Minor (Ph.D., 2008) is on the Board of Directors for the National Issues Forums Institute. Wes Fondren (Ph.D., 2009) serves on the board of directors for three non-profi t organizations and is on a Knight Foundation commit-tee for community advancement in his region.


William Hunter Byington Jr. (B.A., 1975) is on the corporate board of the Heritage YMCA in Naperville, Ill., and also serves on the board of Naperville’s Rotary Club. Mike Oakley (B.A., 1986) is a 10-year member of Rotary Inter-national and a seven-year mem-ber of Kiwanis International. He served on the Bibb County Board of Education for 15 years, the State Republican Executive Committ ee, the Bibb County Area Chamber of Commerce as past president and board member, Dixie Youth Litt le League board and the Bibb County Schools Foundation as past presi-dent and board member. Telecommunica on and Film

Wood Hughes (B.A., 1973) serves as president of the Atlanta Chapter of Sons of the American Revolution and is a board mem-ber and past president of Georgia Chapter, Realtors Land Institute

(RLI). Van White (B.A., 1978) is presi-dent of the Sumter County Lions Club and director of Sumter Coun-ty Fine Arts. He is also a Founding Father of Lambda Rho Chapter of Delta Sigma Pi. Leslie Grossman Frederick (B.A., 1979) has been elected to the Board of Directors of the National Electric Auto Association for 2011-13. She also started the Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association in January 2009. Marian Jenkins (B.A, 1980) is a member of Friends of the Ozark-Dale County Public Library; The Friends of Ozark; MLK Holiday Planning Committ ee; Dale County Democratic Club; and Fort Rucker Main Post Chapel. Aric Fine (B.A., 1991) is a founding member and currently on the Board of Directors of Miracle League of Mariett a (Ga.), a baseball program for kids with

special needs in East Cobb. He also is a water ski instructor for people with disabilities through the Shepard Center in Atlanta. Brian Burgdorf (B.A., 1995) is a member of the board of directors of the National Football Founda-tion and College Hall of Fame Middle Tennessee Chapter and also serves on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Fund Committ ee Board. Stacey Schuler-Cannon (B.A., 1996) is executive director for Leu-kemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training Hand for the Holidays in Duluth, Ga. Danielle Johnson (B.A., 2000) currently is president of the University of Alabama National Alumni Association, Denver/Boul-der Chapter.

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“My tenacity for work is equally as strong for giving back to the com-munity. I show my support of the community by lending my event, marketing and public relations skills to various organizations for fundraisers several times a year. I not only gain exposure for each cause with media coverage but use my resources to help attain sponsors, silent auction items and in-crease attendance as well as serve on the planning and/or host committees for each event.

Lorrie DixsonB.A., 1993, TCF

“In honor of my 5-year-old niece who continues to win her battle with leukemia, I participated in the 2011 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - Georgia Chapter’s ‘Man & Woman of the Year’ cam-paign to raise money for research and patient care. My team raised almost $40,000 in seven weeks through a campaign that combined events, social media and personal asks. I’m also heavily involved with Make a Wish, an organization that grants wishes to children with critical and life threaten-ing illnesses. It is a joy to use all my communication skills, work experience and business connections to make a difference in the lives of children and their families. Pay it forward ... Roll Tide!”

Wendy WilkersonB.A., 1992, Public Relations

Alumni Notes

Page 16: 2011 Communicator

16 | The Communicator

Lynn Mann is director of external communication for Michelin

North America. She has led ex-ternal communication for product launches such as Michelin Tweel, the revolutionary tire without air, and the Michelin Balance tire for the Segway Human Transporter. She established the fi rst in-house media training program for Michelin North America; the fi rst online news-room in the global Michelin organi-

zation; the fi rst fully electronic news, analytic and media activity database system in the Group; and was the fi rst to lead the combined community relations, government affairs, pub-lic relations team. Mann has more than 20 years experience in a variety of communication disciplines with concentrations in strategic planning, international media relations, media analytics and corporate and crisis communication.

Tonjanita L. Johnson serves as Chief Deputy to the President at

the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She previously served as Associate Vice President for Mar-keting and Communication at Middle Tennessee State University. While there she also was chief communica-tion advisor to the president and a member of the faculty, teaching pub-lic relations. A native of Butler, Ala., Johnson earned her bachelor’s and

master’s degrees from the University of Alabama. She earned a Ph.D. from Jackson State University. Since 1999, she has served as a charter member of The University of Alabama Library Lead-ership Board. In 2008, she received the Multicultural Journalism Pro-gram Founder’s Award for her efforts in supporting young journalists of diverse backgrounds for more than 20 years.

Christina Moss teaches and serves as the director of public speaking

for the Department of Communica-tion at North Carolina State Univer-sity. Previously, she taught at Young Harris College and Pensacola Junior College, while also serving as direc-tor of forensics, and at the University of West Florida. In 1998 she received the Georgia Intercollegiate Forensics Association award for Coach of the Year and, in 2004, the Dissertation

Fellowship Award at Louisiana State University. She has been an active member of the professional academic community, including the Argumen-tation and Forensics Division of the National Communication Associa-tion, and has been president of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric Interest Group and of the Kenneth Burke Society Interest Group in the Southern States Com-munication Association.

Outstanding Alumna in Advertising

Outstanding Alumna in Public Relations

Outstanding Alumna in Communication Studies

Alumni Notes

Page 17: 2011 Communicator

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Ed Williams, professor of journal-ism in the Department of Com-

munication and Journalism, joined the Auburn University journalism faculty in 1983 after a career at week-ly and daily newspapers in Alabama, including The South Alabamian in Jackson, The Montgomery Advertiser, The Brewton Standard and The Anda-lusia Star-News. Williams received two journalism degrees (B.A., 1973; M.A., 1976)

from The University of Alabama. Williams served as faculty adviser to The Auburn Plainsman from 1985 to spring 2008. During those 23 years, the paper won 13 Pacemaker Awards — considered the Pulitzer Prize of college journalism. In 2008 Wil-liams was the recipient of the Auburn Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award that honors teach-ers for their dedication, perseverance and hard work.

Teddy Katz is a 1984 graduate of the Telecommunication and

Film Department (then Broadcast and Film Communication). His career in broadcasting began before gradua-tion at WJRD radio in Tuscaloosa. He moved from on-air talent to media sales and marketing in 1984. His career in sales showed a continual rise in responsibilities and position. From beginning as an account execu-tive, his duties increased to become

general sales manager in charge of all local sales executives. Later, Teddy would be promoted to regional and national sales manager respon-sible for representing four stations to national and regional advertising agencies. He has worked for Grant Radio, Capstar Broadcasting, AM/FM Broadcasting and Clear Channel. In addition to sales, Teddy has helped clients create memorable local and regional advertising campaigns.

Jason Black has been a faculty member since completing his

Ph.D. from Maryland in 2006 and now serves as assistant dean for undergraduate student services and advisor for Lambda Pi Eta. He also holds affi liate status with the Depart-ment of Gender and Race Studies. In 2008, he received the Knox Hagood Faculty Award and was a fi nalist for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars “Inspire Integ-

rity Award.” He has been repeatedly nominated for the “Last Lecture” se-ries award, for which he was a fi nalist again this year. As the author of more than 25 scholarly articles, an edited book collection and more than 50 pre-sentations and lectures, Jason is recognized by graduates and under-graduates alike as a genuine teacher-scholar.

Outstanding Alumnus in Telecommunication and Film

Outstanding Alumnus in Journalism

Board of Visitors Teaching Excellence Award

Alumni Notes

Page 18: 2011 Communicator

18 | The Communicator

Faculty Notes

Adver sing & Public Rela ons

Professor Bruce K. Berger was the keynote speaker at the Com-munication Leadership Forum in Leipzig, Germany, in May 2011. He discussed fi ndings from 20 studies of leadership in communication management carried out by the Plank Center. He also delivered the 4th Grunig Lecture at the inter-national conference of the Public Relations Society of America in October and was a speaker at the National Literacy Coalition Con-ference in Houston in November. Berger co-authored three journal articles that were pub-lished during the year and wrote a monthly column for PR stu-dents and young professionals in PRWeek, the leading industry publication. Lu Zheng and Joseph E. Phelps were honored with the Best Paper Award at the 2011 Conference of the American Academy of Adver-tising for their paper, “Revising the Transportation-Imagery Model and Expanding Understanding of Persuasion via Narrative Adver-

tising.” The conceptual basis of this paper is being published as a book chapter, “Working Toward an Understanding of Persuasion via Engaging Narrative Advertising: Refi ning the Transportation-Imag-ery Model,” in S. Rodgers and E. Thorson (Eds.), Advertising Theory, Routledge Publishers. Phelps also coauthored the article, “Oops I did it Again: What Students Need to Know about Managing Informa-tion in a Social Media World” that was published in Journal of Adver-tising Education. Lance Kinney’s recent publica-tions include “NASCAR-related Philanthropy and the Distilled Spirits Sponsor Category” in In-ternational Journal of Sport Manage-ment and Marketing, “Investigating the relationship between sports event advertising, brand recall and brand sales: A data envelopment analysis” in the Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Ameri-can Academy of Advertising, and “An IMC strategy for introducing game-day jersey sponsorships to American sports leagues” in Inter-national Journal of Integrated Market-ing Communications. He also had

research accepted for presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Academy of Advertising and the European Conference of the American Academy of Adver-tising, Milan, Italy. William J. Gonzenbach, Ph.D. and Cui Zhang, a doctoral candi-date, presented their study “Agen-da Sett ing and National Image: An Examination of News Coverage of Foreign Nations in The New York Times” at the International Com-munication Association conference in Boston in May. Also, Eyun-Jung Ki and Gonzenbach, along with co-au-thors Hong-Lim Choi and Jong-hyuk Lee, presented their study, “What Makes a Diff erence in the Ethical Practices of Public Rela-tions Practitioners?” at the Asso-ciation for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication meet-ing. The paper was published in the Asian Journal of Communication. Ki is author or co-author of several forthcoming articles, including “Does Ethics Statement of a Public Relations Firm Make a Diff erence? Yes it does!!”(Journal of Business Ethics); “Corporate Web pages as a

Dr. Andrew Billings has been appointed the Ronald Reagan Endowed Chair in Broadcas ng. “Our College is extremely pleased to have Dr. Billings join the faculty as the Reagan chair,” said Dr. Loy Singleton, dean of UA’s College of Communica on and Informa on Sciences. “His research in sports communica on has been path-breaking, and he is a wonderful teacher and mentor at every level.” Billings said the opportunity to become the Reagan Chair of Broadcas ng “is a dream job for me. The College is already quite successful, and I hope to add avenues for success in the future.” Billings comes to UA from Clemson University, where he was a professor in the department of communica on studies and director of the Pearce Center for Professional Communica on. He has authored or co-authored six books, including “Olympic Media: Inside the Biggest Show on Television,” in 2008, which

off ered an inside look at NBC’s Olympic broadcas ng mechanism. “Andy Billings is a prolifi c researcher, excellent teacher and an excep onal individual,” said Dr. Shuhua Zhou, associ-ate dean for research in the College. “Our doctoral program is blessed to have him on board. Andy’s rela onship with ESPN, NBC, FOX and LPGA and other media outlets can be a tremendous asset to our students’ research and their careers, too.” In the posi on, Billings will teach at the graduate and under-graduate level, conduct programma c research, obtain extramu-ral support for research and engage in a broad range of service ac vi es.

Andrew Billings joins TCF faculty as Reagan Chair

Page 19: 2011 Communicator

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Faculty Notes

Key Communication Channel for Financial Publics”(Public Relations Journal); and “The status of online public relations research: An analy-sis of published articles in 1992-2009” (Journal of Public Relations Research). Ki also has received an Excellent Public Relations Research Award ($5,000) from the Korea Public Relations Association. Susan Daria received the the American Advertising Federa-tion District 7 Donald G. Hileman Educator of the Year Award at an AAF Tuscaloosa monthly meeting that was att ended by University President Dr. Robert Witt . The award recognizes a college educa-tor for outstanding teaching and service to advertising students and professional groups. AAF’s District 7 covers the fi ve-state area of Ala-bama, Georgia, Louisiana, Missis-sippi and Tennessee. Suzanne Horsley received the 2011 SuPRstar Award for Excel-lence in Community Service from the Public Relations Division of the Association for Education in Jour-nalism and Mass Communication for her work in Red Cross public aff airs following the Tuscaloosa

tornado. She was named a 2011-12 Faculty Fellow in Service Learning, sponsored by the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility. Horsley was invited to present on crisis communication and social media by the National American Red Cross, Public Relations Council of Alabama (West Alabama Chapter), Public Relations Council of Ala-bama (East Alabama Chapter) and the Florida Public Relations Asso-ciation. She presented four papers or panels at academic conferences, including the AEJMC, the Interna-tional Public Relations Research Conference and the Southern States Communication Association. Meg Lamme, associate profes-sor, published “Shining a Calcium Light: The WCTU and Public Relations History” in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. She published “Learning from the Trades: Public Relations, Journal-ism, and News Release Writing, 1945-2008,” in American Journalism with UA alumni Lisa Parcell and Skye Cooley, and “A Methodologi-cal Evaluation of Public Relations Research: 1989-2007” in Public Rela-tions Review with UA faculty Yorgo

Pasadeos, Karla Gower, and UA alum Song Tian. She also co-au-thored “The Evolution of an Idea: Charting the Early Public Relations Ideology of Edward L. Bernays, 1919-1929,” which appeared in Journal of Communication Manage-ment. In addition to two conference presentations, Lamme was key-note speaker for the Florida Public Relations Association-Pensacola’s Professional Development Semi-nar, “Thinking Outside the Box,” where she presented “The Evolu-tion of PR.” Tracy Sims is the incoming 2012 president of Public Relations Council of West Alabama. She also received the 2010 Ad Person of the Year award from American Adver-tising Federation of Tuscaloosa.

Communica on Studies

Beth S. Bennett was appointed as The University of Alabama Sys-tem representative to the statewide Articulation and General Studies Committ ee (AGSC), 2011-13. Jason Edward Black received the Board of Visitors Outstanding Teaching Award; the Anderson So-

Dr. Kimberly Bissell has been named director of the Ins tute for Communica on and Informa on Research and associate dean for research in the College of Communica on and Informa- on Sciences. Bissell served as interim director of the ICIR for six

months prior to this permanent appointment. “She has done an outstanding job during the interim, and she has con nued to make invaluable contribu ons in the following months in this role,” said Loy Singleton, dean. “She absolutely has the vision, experience and energy to take the ICIR to the next level.” During her interim tenure, she developed the Child Media Lab, designed for use in studies of health and fi tness, media ef-fects and video games. Bissell will con nue teaching undergraduate courses in

magazine design, magazine produc on and photojournalism and graduate courses in research methods, mass communica on theory, health communica on and media eff ects. She is teaching a magazine produc- on class that will travel to Germany and

Austria and produce a mul media maga-zine. She serves as the sequence coordina-tor for undergraduate students in visual journalism. She has received the College’s Board of Visitors Teaching Excellence Award and the Kappa Tau Alpha Commitment to Teaching Award. She has also won several awards for research from AEJMC, including the 2009 Krieghbaum Under-40 Award.

Kimberly Bissell named associate dean for research

Page 20: 2011 Communicator

20 | The Communicator

Faculty Notes

ciety Outstanding Faculty Award; the Outstanding Faculty Award, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society; and was a fi nalist for the Last Lecture Award, Graduate School. Robin Boylorn received Hon-orable Recognition, Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Educa-tion Award, Offi ce of Research on Teaching in the Disciplines. Treva Dean was inducted into Kappa Delta Epsilon, honorary educational fraternity. Frank M. Thompson Jr. re-ceived the American Forensic National Service Award, American Forensic Association, for outstand-ing service to AFA, 2010-11; DSR-TKA Lifetime Service Award, Delta Sigma Alpha-Tau Kappa Alpha National Forensic Honorary; Isocrates Award, Berry College, in recognition of an Unparalleled Dedication to Forensic Excellence, Fall 2010; John C. Calhoun Society Award, Clemson University, for excellence in the forensic activity; and the Morris Lehman Mayer Faculty Premier Award. Meredith Bagley, Jane Baker and Lu Tang each received a Reese Phifer Scholar Grant for $5,000.

Journalism Kim Bissell, Southern Progress Endowed Professor in Magazine Journalism, was promoted to full professor and was elected to the Standing Committ ee on Research for the Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communica-tion (AEJMC). She won a top paper award from the International Com-munication Association and had articles published in Mass Commu-nication & Society and the Interna-tional Journal of Advertising. Rick Bragg, Cason Professor of Writing, won a top national award for food writing from the James Beard Foundation for a Garden & Gun magazine article. Another article for Gourmet Live was a fi nal-ist for a Beard award, and an essay published in Garden & Gun took top prize from the Magazine As-sociation of the Southeast. Bragg’s book, The Most They Ever Had, was a fi nalist for the 2010 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance awards. Chip Brantley, Senior Lecturer in Emerging Media, wrote 15 sto-

ries for Southern Living magazine and was named one of Birming-ham’s 10 “Big Thinkers” by Bir-mingham Magazine. Matt hew D. Bunker, Reese Phifer Professor of Journalism, published media law articles in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Communication Law & Policy and the San Diego Law Re-view. Bunker was awarded the 2011 Commitment to Teaching Award by Kappa Tau Alpha. Meredith Cummings, Director of the Alabama Scholastic Press Association, was selected as a UA Faculty Fellow in Service Learn-ing. In addition, she was named to the advisory board of the Alabama Alumni magazine and started “The Up Beat” blog for al.com. George L. Daniels assumed chairmanship of the National Diversity Committ ee of the 8,000-member Society of Profes-sional Journalists. Jennifer Greer, department chair, was elected as head of the national Standing Committ ee on Teaching for AEJMC. She also had an article published in The Grass-roots Editor and was awarded the

Heidi Julien, formerly professor and graduate coordinator in the School of Library and Informa on Studies at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, was named director of the School of Library and Informa on Studies (SLIS). “Our College is extremely pleased to have an interna onally recognized scholar and administrator like Dr. Julien stepping into the director posi on for SLIS,” said Loy Singleton, C&IS dean. “The ability to successfully a ract a scholar of her high caliber and experience as director is a tribute to all that the SLIS faculty, students and supporters have done to make it one of the best-known, na onally ranked schools of library and informa on studies.” Julien holds a bachelor’s degree in educa on and a master’s degree in library and informa on studies from the University of Alberta and a Ph.D. in library and informa on science from the

University of Western Ontario. Julien’s research in human informa on behavior, informa on literacy, and informa on policy has been funded by the Social Sci-ences and Humani es Research Council of Canada, and has been presented interna- onally and published in a wide range of

journals. “It is an honor to join a school so com-mi ed to high-quality teaching and to innova ve programs, to diversity, to com-munity service, and to exploring important research ques ons,” Julien said. “I look forward to collabora ng with SLIS students, with my new colleagues, and with the local professional com-munity.”

Julien joins School of Library and Informa on Studies

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Faculty Notes

fi rst-place faculty paper atAEJMC’s annual conference. Wilson Lowrey is the lead edi-tor for Changing the News: The Forc-es Shaping Journalism in Uncertain Times (Routledge). He also contrib-uted four of the book’s chapters. He published articles in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Political Communication, Journalism Studies, Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism and Convergence. Chris Roberts is co-author of Doing Ethics in Media: Theories and Practical Applications (Routledge). He also wrote book chapters on ethics and headline writing and was elected head of the Newspa-per and Online News Division of the AEJMC. David Sloan received the top teaching award from the American Journalism Historians Association. He published the eighth edition of The Media in America.

School of Library andInforma on Studies

Laurie Bonnici presented “The Impact of Aging on ICT-Mediated Information Access” at the Aging

and Society Conference 2011. Steven L. MacCall was induct-ed into The University of Alabama Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors as a charter member. Dan Albertson, Heidi Julien, Steven MacCall and Danny Wal-lace presented at the annual con-ference of the American Society for Information Science & Technology. Jeff Weddle co-authored a book, The Librarian’s Guide to Negotiation: Winning Strategies for the Digital Age (with Beth Ashmore and Jill E. Grogg), that has been published by Information Today. Albertson’s article titled “Situ-ated topic complexity in interactive video retrieval” was published in the August 2011 issue of JASIS&T. Elizabeth Aversa, former director of SLIS, gave a lecture at the University of Tennessee titled “Changing Lives Through Infor-mation Services and Technolo-gies.” Professor Anna Embree was honored with the College Book Arts Association’s Emerging Edu-cator Award during its annual con-ference in Bloomington, Indiana in January 2011.

Telecommunica on and Film

Pam Tran received a “Best of Competition” award for her radio piece, Family Business Start Up in a Slow Economy, from the Broadcast Education Association. Her audio documentary on Ala-bama immigrants was selected for presentation at the Southern States Communication Association media showcase. She had an article about television reporters working dur-ing the Tuscaloosa tornado appear in the Radio, Television, Digital News Association’s newslett er for news professionals. Jeremy Butler is completing the fourth edition of Television: Critical Methods and Applications for Rout-ledge, due out in January. Butler had a chapter titled “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: Historicizing Visual Style in Mad Men” published in the Mad Men: Dream Come True TV (London). He also explored a new methodological area of research in a paper for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies called “TV Style and Number Crunching: Should We Fear/Disdain Statistical Analy-sis?”

Glenda Cantrell Williams became chair of the University of Alabama’s Telecommunica on and Film department in the fall 2011 semester, building on 20 years of experience in the depart-ment to become UA’s fi rst female TCF chief. “Being a female in electronic media gives me a unique per-spec ve,” Williams said. “So many of our undergraduates are female, and we have worked really hard to build a strong female presence in the faculty in our department so we can be posi ve role models for our female students. I think that is one thing I will be very cognizant of: I am not just a chair but also a role model. I think it’s exci ng, and the College of Communica on and Informa on Sciences has a very good track record of work-ing with women in management roles.”Williams was hired at the University to teach commercial wri ng and to advise students a er receiving bachelor’s and master’s

degrees in communica on from the University of Montevallo. As TCF chair, Williams said she hopes to build on the department’s successes. “Our priority is crea ng a cohesive unit with fi ve new faculty members, a new student advisor and me as the new chair,” she said. “We want to work on branding our department so people on campus and around the state can know what we’ve done and what we’re ca-pable of. We also are going to work on our research and crea ve output and be er marke ng for our research. Finally, we want to work on integra on with the other departments and units within the College.”

Glenda Williams named TCF department chair

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For a group of senior advertising students, the spring 2011 semester brought an opportunity not just to get real-world experience in creating a campaign, but also an opportunity to say thanks to the Univer-sity that nurtured them the previous four years. Students in Gary Creek’s APR 418 class got a chance to infl uence students for years to come by assisting in the implementation of the Finish in Four campaign, a program conceptualized by Dr. Judy Bonner, University provost, to encourage undergrad-uate students to fi nish their degree in eight semesters. “I teach from a very practical standpoint and give students at least one real-world assignment,” Creek said. “Things like this are important for their port-folios as they search for a job. The University as a whole tries to provide opportunities for students to do things like this that look really good to potential employers.” Unfortunately, Creek said, the students were un-able to present their work because of the April 27 tornado in Tuscaloosa. Creek gathered materials from the students and presented it over the summer to Bonner, University Registrar Michael George and a cross-campus team. “The winning campaign is eye-catching,” George said. “It was done by students for students, and they understood what would grab their peers’ att ention.” Members of the APR 418 team included seniors Kyle Henderson, Mickenzie Carlton, Jill Pickett and Amy Spingnola. Henderson, who stayed in town to assist with recovery aft er the tornado, worked with the University Registrar’s Offi ce, the Provost’s offi ce, former SGA President Steven Oliver and current SGA members to implement the program.

“Working on a project like this for The University of Alabama has been one of the best and most reward-ing experiences I have ever had,” Henderson said. “It has allowed me to work with some of the best creative minds in the fi eld, and I consider it an honor to be associated with them. As a graduating senior, I can’t think of a bett er way to step into my career fi eld.” The team designed T-shirts, pop-up banners, “Fin-ish Strong” rubber bracelets, yard signs, door hang-ers, emails, bus signs, promotional pamphlets and a website. “I’m incredibly proud of the work these students did,” Creek said. “They put together a great campaign for a great program.” Finish in Four was implemented to help under-graduate students plan for their academic career in the best way by using DegreeWorks, the University’s academic planning tool. Bonner said she is pleased with the work done by Creek’s students. “The Finish in Four campaign will help under-graduate students get the most out of their time at the University of Alabama,” Bonner said. “The work done by the Advertising and Public Relations students gets the word out in a way that really att racts att ention. “They are helping their peers and gett ing invalu-able real-world experience. Two of the University’s core values are service and learning, and their work is a wonderful refl ection of those values in action.” The fi nal campaign is in collaboration with the University of Alabama Student Government Associa-tion, the Registrar’s offi ce and the Provost’s offi ce. Additional information about Finish in Four can be found at htt p://fi nishinfour.ua.edu or at htt p://www.ua.edu/majors/index.html.

Learning, serving


By Misty Mathews

&ng, seng,


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Student Notes

A team of 15 adver sing and public rela ons students com-peted against professional public rela ons campaigns in the 2011 Silver Anvil Awards, bringing home an Award of Excellence as one of the top three campaigns na onally for their subcat-egory. The Silver Anvil Awards, presented by the Public Rela ons Society of America, are considered the premier award for public rela ons in the United States. The LessThanUThink campaign was conceptualized by the 2009 Ad Team and implemented in Fall 2010 by the student-led Capstone Agency using grant funds from The Century Council. The campaign, which focused on reducing the na onal problem of binge drinking on college campuses, u lized the $75,000 grant to test the viability of the campaign on the UA campus. The following University of Alabama students were involved with the campaign: 2010 (Capstone Agency) members Greer Borland, Hoover; Joseph Bradley, Brewton; John Paul Bruno, Vestavia Hills; Kaitlyn Conway, Dallas, Texas; Allison Cook, Val-ley; Amanda Coppock, Hoover; Megan Co on, Alexandria, Va.; Roxanne Ducas, Dallas, Texas; Angelina Gomez, Alexandria; Kassandra Hannay, Connec cut; Mary Marshall, Memphis, Tenn.; Megan Miller, Selma; Chris ne Kapurch, Arlington, Va.; Alexis Roberts, Savannah, Ga.; Griff Waller, Montgomery;

2009 (Ad Team) members Jason Brandt, Dallas, Texas; David Calhoun, Jackson, Miss.;Jessica Charlton, Pra ville; Allison Duke, Nashville, Tenn.; Aus n During, Chelsea; Kevin Kessler, Moun-tain Brook; Sarah King, Richmond, Va.; Amanda Kirkland, Leeds; Monica McCall, Tuscaloosa; Adam McCormick, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Emily Roberson, Madison; Carly Jane Rullman, Charlot-tesville, Va.; Tanya Twerdowsky, Northport; Morgan Welch, Luverne; Ma Williams, Tuscaloosa.

APR students win PRSA’s na onal Award of Excellence

Advertising and Public Relations instructor Teri Henley ac-cepts PRSA’s Award of Excellence at the 2011 national Silver Anvil awards ceremony.

Adver sing and PublicRela ons

Desiree Mahr, Jessica Austin, and Wai Li were named among the nation’s most promising minority students in advertising, named by the American Advertising Federa-tion. Will Hodges was awarded fi rst place for “Accelerating Into Trouble: An Examination of Toyota Motor Company and its Recent Re-calls” in the 2011 Arthur W. Page Society’s national case-writing competition. Lindsay Malone was awarded third place for “Eastern Michigan University: Sacrifi cing Student Safety for a Sharper Im-

age.” The competition is open to graduate students enrolled in M.A. and Ph.D. programs.

Communica on Studies

For the 2010-11 year, the Uni-versity of Alabama Forensic Council program traveled an average of 24 students to 18 tour-naments. Students in the program won 445 Regional Awards and 19 national awards, including 1st place School Sweepstakes at the DSR-TKA National Tournament and 8th place National School Award at the American Forensic Association National I.E. Tourna-ment, out of 80 universities.


The UA student chapter of SPJ was named top chapter for the southeast region by that organiza-tion. As for spring 2011 semes-ter, the SPJ chapter had 22 paid members, the largest membership since the chapter was reactivated in 2005. George Daniels and Chris Roberts are faculty advisers. The Crimson White was named the best all-around daily student newspaper for 2010 in the Mark of Excellence competition. Senior Britt ney Knox traveled to Africa in summer 2011 and worked in one of the largest radio stations in Sunyai, Ghana, for two

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weeks to learn about similarities and diff erences in journalistic ap-proaches across cultures. Senior Matt Conde was se-lected as a 2011 Scripps Leadership Fellow, one of 20 promising SPJ leaders invited for an intensive leadership institute in Indianapo-lis. Conde, an offi cer in the UA SPJ chapter, also is running for SPJ’s national Board of Directors. Senior Victor Luckerson, editor-in-chief of The Crimson White, along with The Crimson White itself, has been named to the College Me-dia Hall of Fame Class of 2011 by College Media Matt ers. Luckerson also was named one of 27 Black-burn Students for 2011-12 by the Blackburn Institute. He presented a research paper on media man-agement this spring in the under-

graduate honors division at the Southern States Communication Association in Litt le Rock, Ark. Master’s student Will Nevin won third place for his co-authored paper at AEJMC’s Southeast Col-loquium. He was awarded a UA Graduate Council Fellowship for 2011-12. Master’s students presenting pa-pers at the 2011 Southeast Sympo-sium of the American Journalism Historians Association were Tyler Jones, fi rst place in the master’s student division, Brooke Carbo, Jena Hippensteel (MA 2011) and Alison Smith (MA 2011).

Ph.D. in Communica on

John Latt a won The Univer-

sity of Alabama’s top disserta-tion award for the year, and Skye Cooley won the campus-wide Ex-cellence in Teaching by a Doctoral Student Award. Mia Long received the Joff re and Zadie B. Whisenton Award, given to an African-American student receiving a doctoral degree with the highest standing from The University of Alabama. Kenon Brown, Justin Combs, Skye Cooley, Terri Denard, Jon Ezell, Bruce Finklea, Hyuk-Soo Kim, J.K. Kim and Cui Zhang presented research at the AEJMC National Conference. Webb Robertson, Yan Yan and Lan Ye presented research at the AEJMC Midwinter Conference Cooley, Ezell, Zhang, Charles Meadows (2) and Bin Shen pre-

24 | The Communicator

Student Notes

A TCF 451 Advanced Television Produc on class project pro-duced by a group of telecommunica on and fi lm students was picked to screen at the New York Television Fes val’s Indepen-dent Pilot Compe on and at the 2011 Interna onal Television Fes val in Los Angeles and Birmingham’s 13th Annual Sidewalk Film Fes val. “It’s truly an honor to have a student produc on chosen as an offi cial selec on in this fes val,” said Adam Schwartz, assistant professor of telecommunica on and fi lm. The 22-minute comedy television pilot was called “Re-Com-mi ed,” and, with the excep on of Schwartz, the en re produc- on crew and most of the cast was composed of UA students.

The cast of the pilot is as follows: William Mason, a TCF major from Birmingham, as Jamal Anderson; Andrew P. Carey, a TCF major from Mobile, as Bo; Blake Minor, a TCF major from Co ondale,as Cli on; Cli on Lewis, a TCF major from Tuscaloosa, as Talon Knyghtehauck; Lauren Adams, an English major from Roswell, Ga., as Dixie; Stephen Brunson, an ac ng MFA student from Canyon, Texas, as Mr. Bentley; Sara-Margaret Cates, an educa on major from Northport, as the principal; Laura Dot-son, a human environmental sciences major from Tuscaloosa, as Kathrine Anderson; Rick Dowling, a 1985 TCF graduate and instruc onal developer for the UA Faculty Resource Center, as Dr. Francis Perkins. The crew of the pilot (all members of Schwartz’s fall 2010 TCF

451 class): producers Clayton Collins, a TCF major from Anniston; Kate Longfi eld, a TCF major from Fairhope; and Heath Williamson, a TCF major from Mo-bile; writers Andrew P. Carey, a TCF major from Mobile, and Heath Wil-liamson, a TCF major from Mobile; director Marcus Tortorici, a TCF major from Indian Springs; 1st assistant director Lindy Lovvorn, a TCF major from Car-rollton, Ga.; director of photography Micah Russell, a computer science major from Huntsville; produc on designer Kristen Freeland, a TCF major from Gulf Shores; editor Hamilton Henson, a TCF major from Toney; gaff er: Ma Phillips, a TCF major from Jemison key grip Andrew P. Carey, a TCF major from Mobile; sound mixer/designer Chris “Chop” Dunham, a TCF major from Birmingham; camera operator Alex Armistead, a TCF major from Tuscaloosa; and execu ve producer Adam Schwartz, from Irondale.

TCF class project selected for screening at fes vals

“Re-Committ ed” starred TCF stu-dents William Mason and Andrew Carey and was chosen to screen in three fi lm festivals.

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sented research at the BEA Nation-al Conference Brown (2), Teddy Champion, Ashley George, Thomas Meade (2), Terra Moody and Gyro New-man presented research at the NCA National Conference. Kim, Yan, Zhang, Meadows, Ray Harrison, Tom Meade and Kenny Smith presented research at the ICA National Conference. Harrison, Long, Newman, Smith, Leigh Ann Johnston, Terra Moody, Creshema Murray and Jeff Walker presented research at the Southern States Communica-tion Association National Confer-ence. Lan Ye presented research at the International Association for Media and Communication in Istanbul, Turkey. Champion presented research at the University Film & Video As-sociation Conference. Yan presented research at the National Newspaper Assoc. 124th Annual Convention & Trade Show and at the International Confer-ence “Global Communication,” Local Perspectives.

Zhang presented research at the Global Fusion 2010 Media and Communication.

School of Library andInforma on Studies

Susan DeBruin was honored with a Capstone Heroes Award for her heroic actions aft er the April 27 tornado. She and her husband set aside personal losses to assist other storm victims that day, including UA student Chelsea Thrash. Willa C. Broughton and Jamie J. Byun were awarded the Bethel Fite Endowed Scholarship. Melissa A. Koener was award-ed the Corr Scholarship. Lauren B. Dodd was awarded the Florine Oltman Award. Erin L. Morris was the recipient of the Raymond F. McLain Book Arts Award. Bridget A. Elmer was the recipi-ent of a Faculty Scholar Award. Jefrey S. Naidoo was awarded the James D. Ramer Outstanding Dissertation Award. Timothy Duane Winkler was

awarded a Student Paper Award. The following students were tapped for Beta Phi Mu: Nitin Arora, Cynthia Barnett , Willa C. Broughton, Michele E. Brown, Evan Michael Bush, Jamie Jane Byun, Connie Wong Chow, Jacob Jaguar DaSilva, Laura C. Gricius-West, Matt hew Warner Layne, Richard Light LeComte, Mary Catherine Lennon, Alisha Marie Linam, Elizabeth Rowe Lochamy, Paul Jerome McLaughlin, Kather-ine Anne Popadin, Amanda Axley Presnell, Joanne M. Riley, Samuel A. Rumore, Cynthia Jean Shank, Gail A. Sheldon, Kristin Smith Skees, Kathleen M. Spring, Jenna Weber, Carol Roark York, Me-lissa Koener, Scarlett Lacey Sims, Braegan Christine Phillips, Court-ney Leigh Barbour and Benjamin Ryan Martin.

Telecommunica on and Film

Chase Higgenbotham took second in the Broadcast Education Association Festival for student weather reporting.

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In the days following the April 27 tornado that blasted its way across por ons of the city, Allyson Angle got a chance to live up to her name by helping Sports Illustrated fi nd just the right sports angle on the na onal news story. Sports Illustrated senior writer Lars Anderson, a 17-year vet-eran of the iconic magazine and a journalism adjunct at UA, says a general concept for a sports story began taking shape in his mind about eight days a er the twister struck. “She was just absolutely cri cal to unearthing a lot of infor-ma on that we got because she, as a former athlete there, had connec ons to former athletes that I generally don’t have,” Anderson says. Angle says she jumped at the chance Anderson off ered. Drawing from her journalism skills -- honed during her UA classes, internships and her leadership roles for Corolla, the

student yearbook, and Alpine Living, a student-produced, mul media lifestyle magazine – and the rapport she, as a for-mer UA swimmer, had with UA athletes – Angle began working the phones on behalf of Anderson and Sports Illustrated. “She played a cri cal role in the whole story,” Anderson says. “She has a really special gi for interac ng with people, and that’s a huge part of being a successful reporter.” Angle interned full- me with The Anniston Star during the summer and completed her master’s degree requirements from UA in July. She hopes to write full- me for Sports Illustrated in the future.

JN grad student fi nds sports ‘angle’ a er tornado

Student Notes

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REVIEW1. M.F.A. students gather for instruc-tor Sarah Bryant’s boxmaking class on the fi rst day of classes for fall 2011. 2. Crechale Stevens was awarded the Knox Hagood Award for an out-standing staff member for 2011. She is pictured with presenter Jeremy Butler of the TCF department. 3. But-ler presents the journalism depart-ment’s David Sloan the Knox Ha-good Faculty Award for 2011. Sloan retired in 2011. 4. Members of the Alabama Student Society for Com-munication Arts decorated Reese Phifer Hall at homecoming, earning fi rst place in the campuswide com-petition for small organizations. 5. More than 200 students gathered for the College’s inaugural C&IS Com-mUnity Gathering in October. The event was highlighted by Dean Loy Singleton’s annual State of the Col-lege address. 6. Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, speak to C&IS students.7. The Advertising and Public Re-lations Department’s 2011 Ad Day drew a large crowd of students to Phifer room 216. 8. Tom Cherones, best-known for his work as direc-tor for episodes of the hit television show Seinfeld, was the 2011 recipi-ent of the Dean’s Medal for “sus-taining friendship, unsurpassed loyalty and commitment to the mis-sion of the College of Communica-tion and Information Sciences”. He is pictured with Dean Singleton.


2 3


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7 8

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Acts of service and learningC&IS students and faculty use communica on skills to helpthe Tuscaloosa community a er the April 27 tornado

By Misty Mathews and Savannah Bass

In the face of devastation, picking up a camera, starting a Facebook event or planning a PR response might not be the fi rst — or even the fi ft ieth — things that pop into most people’s minds. But for the students and faculty of the College of Communication and Information Sciences, drawing on areas of expertise and lessons from the halls of Re-ese Phifer was a natural response. Following are stories of how indi-viduals within the C&IS community helped in the aft ermath.

The power of social media

When the tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa on April 27, UA students were encouraged to go home, leave Tuscaloosa and spend time with family and friends and cope with the devastation. While some students fl ed without a second thought, oth-ers, like Emily Diab, president of the Public Relations Student Society of Alabama, simply couldn’t. “I couldn’t just sit in my undamaged home while people around me were without one,” Diab said. “Since the University area wasn’t badly aff ected, I thought it would be great to give the people living in

that area an easier way to donate.” With the litt le Internet connection Diab could re-ceive, she created a simple Facebook event giving ba-sic details of where to donate and what was needed. Because of the emptiness of the student community as well as the devastation surrounding the school, Diab did not expect much from her event, just hoped she

could collect at least a few bags to take to nearby shelters. Aft er three days of sitt ing out-side Reese Phifer with poster board, markers and bare essentials, Diab and friends collected more than 12 truckloads of clothing, baby items, food, water and other necessities. “I was overwhelmed at the dedi-cation we witnessed and was really surprised that lots of the people came because they saw my Facebook event,” Diab said. “The power of social media really rang true.”

Miracles in the a ermath

Communication Studies students Joe Geary and Mark McCarty created a documentary fi lm in the wake of the tornado, expanding into an even larger project entitled “Miracles in the Aft ermath.”

Members of C&IS student organiza on PRSSA gathered more than 12 truck-loads of supplies for storm vic ms.

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Geary and McCarty got the idea for the fi nal project for their Capstone Seminar senior elective, COM 499, aft er the tornado tore through Tuscaloosa and other parts of the Southeast, leaving many questioning the presence of God. The fi lm allowed many survivors to share their stories and fi nd closure with the natural disaster. The project required students to implement the skills they had acquired over their four years of undergraduate study and express what they had learned, culminating into a fi nal project of the stu-dent’s choice. “Mark and Joe exemplifi ed the essence of the Communication Studies Capstone course,” said COM 499 professor Carol Bishop Mills. “They tackled a project they were passionate about, applied skills they had learned during their four years at The Uni-versity of Alabama, used theory to strengthen their project, and then learned how to make their project even stronger.” “The whole purpose of it was to bring hope to survivors and bring a light to the city,” McCarty said. “They had a story, and some of them were unreal. They should have lost their lives, but the Lord had spared them through that.” Their project gave many Tuscaloosa residents a way to express themselves and their experiences pub-lically, uploading people’s testimonies onto YouTube in individual segments to be shared, which can be found at www.miraclesintheaft ermath.com.

Capturing stories of a new normal

For a group of TCF students and faculty, the most natural reaction in the aft ermath of the storm was to grab a camera and start capturing the stories of the victims. But it was diff erent from anything they’d ever ex-perienced, TCF professor Rachel Raimist said. “Typi-cally as a photographer you take your camera into somebody else’s community, somebody else’s home, somebody else’s problem,” she said. “What happens when it’s your neighborhood and your house? When do you put the camera down and pick up a chainsaw? When do you pick up the camera and take a picture?” Raimist said her students experienced both – docu-menting and providing aid — in putt ing together stories of the storm. “They really had to think,” she said. “It wasn’t just theory in a classroom any more. “The point for me was lett ing them pick a topic and do what they think needs to be said on this topic. The only parameter was that it had to be connected to UA.”

The topics ranged from area homeowners who lost everything to eff orts made by UA fraternities and sororities to provide help to the role of a journalist in such a storm. TCF and New College double major Xavier Bur-gin produced a short 3D fi lm called “Portrait of the Storm,” which garnered him a $5,000 scholarship as winner of the Campus MovieFest’s inaugural 3D Movie Award.

“I wanted to make this because this is something the media will talk about for a few months and then move on,” Burgin said. “People start forgett ing what happened, but this is still going on. “It’s sort of what we’ve seen happen in New Orleans aft er Hurricane Katrina. And I felt like Ala-bama, and Tuscaloosa especially, will, at some point, have that same

problem, so I wanted to bring att ention to this plight. Stuff is still happening. We are still rebuilding, and it will be some time before we get back to what we were before.” Another of the projects was a collaborative eff ort among TCF students, advertising and public relations students and faculty. In the video, titled “The New Normal,” Tuscaloosa-area residents talk about their everyday lives before the storm and the litt le things they now miss. “Disasters change lives in an instant. And there is no going back. It’s all about adjusting to the new nor-mal, and that’s what we tried to show in this video,” said Mike Devlin, a doctoral student studying media eff ects with a focus in advertising messages, who oversaw the production of the video. Undergraduate students involved included Hamil-ton Henson, Micah Russell and Kyle Rice of telecom-munication and fi lm, and Emily Diab, Sarah Shea and Zarah Trinh of advertising and public relations. “It was a unique opportunity for our students to collaborate across departments in the College and to learn from each other,” said Joseph Phelps, chair of the advertising and public relations department. “We hope this will lead to more collaboration in the future.”

TCF student Xavier Burgin won a $5,000 scholarship for a short 3D fi lm he produced about the storm.

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30 | The Communicator

When research goes outside the classroom

For Suzanne Horsley, assistant professor of adver-tising and public relations and American Red Cross volunteer, research and real life collided in a major way on April 27. “I’m a national public aff airs volunteer for the Red Cross,” said Horsley, whose primary area of research is crisis communication. “I’m trained to deploy to di-sasters. This is the fi rst time I’ve ever lived in a disas-ter. I’d never even heard a tornado siren until I moved here.” Horsley spent the hours, days and even weeks af-ter the April 27 tornado living in the midst of her own research. Through a whirlwind of media interviews, donation collections and relocation of the local Red Cross chapter aft er its building was destroyed, she got a glimpse into the very heart of crisis communication. “This has been the fi rst time I’ve been personally aff ected by a disaster,” Horsley said. “Not only that, but instead of deploying to a disaster for a short time and then going home, I had to stay. I wasn’t going to leave at the end of my three-week deployment.” Horsley’s involvement with the Red Cross originat-ed with fi eld research in the organization’s Washing-ton, D.C., offi ce. She observed the Red Cross’s set-up for Barack Obama’s 2009 presidential inauguration. She went on her fi rst deployment as a volunteer to Fargo, N.D., during the city’s spring fl ooding season. These two experiences allowed Horsley to un-derstand how the Red Cross carries out its commu-nication processes under uncertain, time-sensitive conditions. She said the research helped her set up a theory-based model called crisis-adaptive public information, which she has been developing since her dissertation work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2006. The model examines an organization’s shift from routine communication to disaster communication and what organizational characteristics allow that shift to happen. The idea is that these characteristics could also be applied within other organizations to make them more eff ective. As for the Tuscaloosa tornado, Horsley said she considers it an “opportunity to explore disaster up close and personal and an opportunity to help other organizations be more prepared in terms of commu-nication.” She said the disaster took some time for her to process; she was huddled in a tiny nook with her husband and two neighbors in her home when the tornado struck. But “now that I’ve had a litt le time to process it myself,” she said, “I have a couple of studies I’ve put together. I’ve been writing about my

experiences doing public aff airs with the Red Cross and what I’ve learned from it. “Being able to watch Tuscaloosa rebuild from this is going to be a unique experience for me. This will provide research material for a long time to come.” Through her role in the University’s advertising and public relations department, Horsley also in-volved some of her students in volunteering with the Red Cross. A group of six public relations students formed a local public aff airs team, started a blog and assisted in keeping the chapter’s Facebook and Twit-ter up-to-date.

Adver sing and Public Rela ons professor Suzanne Horsley vol-unteered as a media rela ons expert for the America Red Cross a er the tornado.

Want to read more?

You can fi nd addi onal stories about the relief eff orts at h p://cis.ua.edu/tornado.html. The site also contains links to other media men oned in this story.

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Welcome to new C&IS Faculty!Advertising and Public RelationsGlenn Griffi n, Associate Professor

Communication StudiesAngela Billings, Instructor

Alexa Chilcutt, Assistant Professorand Director of Public Speaking

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Ronald Reagan Chair of BroadcastingMichael Bruce, InstructorChandra Clark, InstructorNick Corrao, Instructor

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