News & Events 2014

50 students graduate this semester with bachelor’s, master’s in Communication

December 2014—Congratulations to this semester’s graduates in Communication.

Civic Advocacy: Jamie O. Crandal, Peter Moosman, India Nielsen

Digital Media: Caleb Jordan Cross, Brooke L. Minnoch

Electronic Media: Brance J. Brown, Zachary Dain Cipriano, Carli McLain Dickerson, Niels Frederick Johnson, Melissa Merrilynn Moyal, James Robert Murray, Benjamin Renda

Interpersonal & Family Communication: Morgan Michelle Bruderer, Maddison Victoria Larkin, Chelsey Helleksen, Marceen Shaughnessy

Journalism: David A. Prete

Organizational Communication: Alex E. Densley, Conley E. Gentry, Brooke Lynn Silva, Katelyn Speirs

Public Relations & Advertising: Jonathan Basler, Kourtney Bond, Jared B. Christensen, Patricia Megan Flint, Joyce K. Garcia, Jamie N. Hamilton, Kari Austin Harbath, Jeffrey Hawkes, Jared William Hoellein, Thomas Raymond Judd, Trent J. Mckean, Corey Matthew Kembitzky, Rachel Onika Koch, Shanell West Marinuzzi, Jaque Don Poll, Jennifer Leigh Read, Edward K. Rhodes, Danielle Aileen Rich, Crystal A. Richey, Haley Ann Rodgers, Camille Aubrey Twitchell

Master of Professional Communication: Brittani D’Ewart, Kristine Garner, Braeden Kyle Jensen, Colby D. Kendell, Janneca Johnson McClellan, Kristy Parker, Jeremy D. Stott

Communication Department launches new website

December 2014—The Department of Communication has updated its website to make it more visually interesting, more helpful to students, and better accessible on mobile. Be sure to visit the new website at It contains a new video about what you can do with a Communication degree as well as lists of possible jobs. The latest news and events about the department are also posted.

Master of Professional Communication graduates to be hooded on Dec. 12

December 2014—Graduates of the Master of Professional Communication program will be hooded in a ceremony on Dec. 12 at 10:30 a.m. in the auditorium of Elizabeth Hall. The ceremony will also recognize graduates in the Master of Arts in English. Light refreshments will be served. Everyone is invited

Study Abroad to focus on wartime propaganda in Germany, U.S.

December 2014—Want to travel and get credit for school? The Communication Department is offering its first Study Abroad opportunity May 4-18. Titled “Conflict and Media: Wartime Propaganda in the U.S. and Germany,” the two-week offering will visit Washington, D.C., and Germany. It will cover three classes for a total of nine credits: COMM 2010, Mass Media and Society, which fulfills a general education requirement; COMM 3080, Intercultural Communication, which is required for many Communication majors; and COMM 4500, a global media class, which may count as a Communication elective or upper-division requirement. The cost is estimated at $2,500, not including airfare. Federal financial aid may be used toward Study Abroad costs. The program will visit the Holocaust Museum and Newseum in Washington, D.C., as well as visit with working journalists in the nation’s capital. In Germany, students will visit media organizations and important sites relating to World War II Nazi propaganda. They will include the Dachau death camp and Nuremburg, an important propaganda and rally site as well as the site of the Nazi war crimes following World War II. The courses will explore the extreme uses of public relations, the intercultural experiences of expatriates in Europe, how mass media is used both historically and in the present to sway public opinion and how propaganda in World War II shaped modern journalism in Germany and the United States. Some lectures and coursework will be incorporated into the two weeks of travel, and the rest of the coursework must be completed by the end of the first summer session. The program is limited to 25 students. For more information about the course, contact Dr. Jean Norman ( or Dr. Becky Johns ( For more information on Study Abroad details, see its website,

Former quarterback first to have jersey retired

December 2014—For the first time in school history, the Weber State University Wildcats retired an athlete’s jersey. Former WSU quarterback Jamie Martin had his No. 10 jersey retired. Martin, a Communication graduate, played for the Wildcats from 1989-1992, setting several team and conference records while being named to the Big Sky All-Conference team three times. He was also a two-time All-American and the winner of the 1991 Walter Payton Trophy for being the top offensive player in Division 1 Football Championship Sub-division (FCS). Last year, he was ranked No. 9 on the Big Sky’s Greatest Male Athletes list.

PR & Advertising graduate creating floating sunglasses

December 2014—Public Relations & Advertising graduate Michael Diamond is turning to the Internet to start a business making sunglasses that float. Diamond and Westwood’s co-founder, Adam Jackson, came up with the idea when they realized all of the sunglasses they owned would sink if lost in a lake or river during water sports. They are using the crowd-funding site Indiegogo as a platform to launch the money required to get the wooden glasses into production. Supporters who donate can receive perks such as discounts on Westwood’s glasses.

Packer elected to chair NCA’s Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Initiative

November 2014—Dr. Colleen Packer was elected to chair the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Initiative for National Communication Association at its annual conference in Chicago on Nov. 20-23.

Bialowas participates in discussion on gender equity in the workplace

November 2014—Dr. Anne Bialowas participated in a panel titled “Issues Trial on Gender Equity on Pay,” a discussion hosted by Weber State University’s Center for Community Engaged Learning and the American Democracy Project. She was joined in the debate by Barry Gomberg, director of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity at WSU. The discussion was featured in the Nov. 21, 2014, edition of the Standard Examiner and in The Signpost.

Harvey to present paper on streaming music commerce

November 2014—Dr. Eric Harvey will participate in a panel on streaming music services at the 2015 conference for the Society for Cinema & Media Studies. Harvey’s paper is titled “Listening like a Platform: The Reorganization and Intensification of Streaming Music Commerce.” The conference will be March 25-29 in Montreal, Canada. .

Three students attend national PRSSA conference in Washington, D.C.

November 2014—Three members of Weber State’s PRSSA chapter attended the national conference in Washington, D.C. The students who attended were Christa Lindley, Camille Twitchell and Chelbie Hunger. They will share everything they learned who other members of the WSU PRSSA chapter

WSU Debate has strong tournament performance at UNLV

November 2014—Weber State Debate had an outstanding tournament in October at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Nearly a dozen students cleared to elimination rounds in all divisions in the 100-team competition. The top-showing students included Misty Tippets and Jordan Hendricks (Varsity, Octafinals), Anne Olsen and Catherine Shackelford (Varsity, Octafinals), Kris Colen and Khalid Sharif (Varsity, Double Octafinals), Chris Hall and Mark Veeder (Varsity, Double Ocatfinals), Kinsee Gaither and Ben Soper (Varsity, 4-3), Kaitlin Lanzi and Kysa Lopez (Junior Varsity, 4-3), and Ben Moss and Will Griffin (Novice, Semifinals). In addition, Teddy Mugweh was the top speaker in the Junior Varsity division out of more than 40 competitors. Upcoming events include the Wake Forest tournament, Home school debate tournament, and a debate in front of City Council.

The Signpost publishing stories in Spanish on website

November 2014—The Signpost has started publishing a limited number of stories in Spanish on its website, The stories are categorized under a Spanish tag at the top of the page, and translated stories include a link taking readers from the English to the Spanish version. This is part of Editor-in-Chief Skyler Pyle's push for more diversity at the campus newspaper. Stories are being translated into Spanish from English by a small cadre of volunteers that includes Manuel Gonzalez-Reyna, Charles Bowker and Ana Reyes. The Signpost is recruiting others who are fluent in Spanish to expand the Spanish offerings. In spring, the goal is to publish the front page in Spanish in The Signpost's three editions per week. Students interested in getting involved with The Signpost and especially its new Spanish section, should contact Pyle at

Professors to present research at National Communication Association conference

November 2014—Three professors will present research and serve on panels at the National Communication Association conference in Chicago from Nov. 20-23. Dr. Sarah Steimel will present papers titled “Mapping a History of Applied Communication Research: Themes and Concepts in the Journal of Applied Communication Research” and “Crafting, Engaging and Defending Masculinity(ies) in Pink-Collar Work: Men in Pink-Collar Professions.” She will participate on a panel discussion called “Negotiating Work-Life Balance: Advice from Five Female Tenure-Track Professors on Managing Careers, Family, Relationships, and Their Sanity.” Dr. Hailey Gillen will present a paper titled “Patterns in Interpersonal Communication Research: 2000-2013.) Dr. Colleen Packer will present “Seeing the Whole Picture: Best Practices for Stakeholders in Service Learning.” She will also chair a session and serve as a respondent for another session.

Studio 76 creates dark comedy in 72-hour international film festival

October 2014—Studio 76 competed in an international 72-hour film competition from Oct. 25-27. The team had to write, shoot and edit a short film in 72 hours. The team was given a genre, prop, character and line of dialogue to be included in the finished film. The team was assigned "Dark Comedy" and created a film called "Hungry, Hungry Hobos." More than 20 cast and crew participated over the weekend. You can see and share their entry at (PG-13 for language).

Communication graduate releasing illustrated novel

October 2014—Scott Wiser, a Communication graduate, is releasing an illustrated novel two pages every day and is planning to sell it on Kickstarter. To check it out, visit He has also recently produced a Chaplin-inspired commercial posted at

Advisory Board named for Department of Communication

October 2014—Twelve distinguished professionals have been named to the first-ever Advisory Board for the Department of Communication. The advisory board members will be instrumental in helping to improve and update the curriculum, obtain more internships and scholarships for students, among other things. The members include Randall Bennett, founder of Vidpresso; Jason Carlton, social media specialist for Primary Children’s Medical Center; Shawn Choate, human resources manager for Ogden City; Joe Dallimore, vice president of strategic planning for MarketStar; Jesse Garcia, former Ogden City Council member; Kelly Hammer, new product and brand manager for Bonneville International; Jeff Haney, chief internal communications officer for the Canyons School District; John Kowalewski, executive director of marketing and communication for Weber State University; Jessica Miller, courts reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune; Lisa Roskelley, former communications director for Gov. Jon Huntsman; Dave Smith, partner for Penna Power Brian Hayes; and Angie Welling, public policy and government affairs director for Google.

Harvey to co-edit issue of Creative Industries Journal

October 2014—Dr. Eric Harvey has been selected to co-edit an issue of Creative Industries Journal with the special topic of technologies and recording industries. This issue of the Creative Industries Journal will address the constitutive roles of technologies in shaping recording industry practices. Creative Industries Journal is a peer-reviewed journal with a global scope, primarily aimed at those studying and practicing activities that have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent, and which have a potential for wealth creation. These activities primarily take place in advertising, architecture, the art and antiques market, crafts, design, fashion, film, interactive leisure software, music, the performing arts, publishing, television and radio.

Guevara receives award for college directing excellence

October 2014—Omar Guevara, director of forensics, received the Dr. Amy Fugate award from Kansas City Kansas Community College. The award is given every year to college directing excellence.

Edwards presents workshop on interpersonal skills at World Burn Congress

October 2014—Dr. Kathy Edwards presented an eight-hour training workshop on interpersonal communication skills for peer supporters at the World Burn Congress in Anaheim, California. The workshop trains volunteers for the Phoenix SOAR program, which has been recognized as the standard of care for hospital peer support by the American Burn Association. Edwards is on the national advisory committee for Phoenix SOAR and has trained hospital volunteers from more than 50 hospitals throughout North America. As part of the social media team, she tweeted and wrote blog posts about programs and keynote addresses at this year's World Burn Congress from Oct. 22-26.

Josephson selected as editorial board member for Visual Communication Quarterly

October 2014—Dr. Sheree Josephson has been selected as a member of the editorial board for the academic journal Visual Communication Quarterly, a journal supported by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Packer named director of WSU’s Teaching and Learning Forum

October 2014—Dr. Colleen Packer has been named as the director of the Teaching and Learning Forum at Weber State University.

MPC graduate to present research at national conference

October 2014—Fran Hopkin, a graduate of the Master of Professional Communication program, will present research from his thesis at the annual national conference for the Association for Orientation and Transition in Higher Education on Nov. 5. The title of his presentation is “Are we hiring the right students? Exploring personality traits and job performance among student leaders.” Hopkin was recently promoted to associate registrar at Weber State University.

WSU Debate ranked No. 2 in conference

October 2014—Halfway through the 2013-14 season, Weber State Debate is ranked No. 2 in conference. Highlights of the team’s competitive success for Fall 2014 include clearing five teams to the elimination rounds in the varsity divisions of four tournaments (Gonzaga University, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, California State University-Northridge, and the Mukai Classic atWeber State). In addition, another team of two Weber State students won eight consecutive debates in a row to appear in the final round of the junior varsity division of the California State University-Northridge tournament.

Wildcat ONE adds a dozen movies online

October 2014—Wildcat ONE just added a dozen new movies to Recent additions include “This is 40,” “Godzilla,” “Oculus,” “Divergent” and “Spider-Man 2.” Many other movies are also available on the site. Wildcat One, WSU’s on-campus television station, reminds you to make your Halloween movie requests by tweeting @wsuwildcat1 or by emailing

Two students land high-profile internships in New York City

October 2014—Two Communication students are interning at big-time organizations in New York City. Dylan Allred, whose emphasis is Digital Media, is interning at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He said he looks forward to Mondays for the first time in his life. Sarah Jackson, who is completing a BIS with an emphasis in Communication-PR and Advertising, will intern at Madison Square Garden. She will create a PR plan surrounding MSGE initiatives. All Communication students are required to complete an internship before graduation. Internship director Dr. Susan Hafen encourages students to aim high to get the best internship possible. If you have any questions, email her at

Students selected to head Ogden Peak Communications

October 2014—Five students have been selected as the executive board for Ogden Peak Communications, the PR student-run group. The officers are Shaquille Heath, president; Camille Twitchell, vice president; Chelbie Hunter, account executive; Laycee Moss, digital/social editor; and Christa Lindley, publications editor.

Students and faculty to attend luncheon speech by Dan Rather

October 2014—Seven students and three faculty members will attend a luncheon lecture by former CBS anchor Dan Rather titled “Rather Intriguing.” Rather anchored the CBS Evening News for 24 years from 1981-2005. He also contributed to CBS’s 60 Minutes. He became embroiled in controversy about a news report involving President George W. Bush’s Vietnam-era Service in the National Guard and subsequently left the CBS Evening News in 2005. He left the network altogether after 43 years in 2006. He is now the managing editor and anchor of the television news magazine Dan Rather Reports on the cable channel AXS TV. The event is sponsored by the Economic Development Corporation of Utah.

Communication major selected as Homecoming Royalty

October 2014—India Nielsen, a Communication major with a Civic Advocacy emphasis, has been selected as student homecoming royalty. She is joined by Trevor D. Annis. Nielsen will be honored at WSU Salutes on Oct. 9.

Communication’s Wildcat Block Party winners announced

September 2014—Wildcats visited all four Communication booths, including the Communication Department, The Signpost, KWCR 88.1 FM and Studio 76/Wildcat ONE, to be eligible for amazing prizes. Kimberly Holiday was the big winner, taking home an iPad Mini. Winner of The Selfie, a 1/4-page color ad in The Signpost, was Tyler Parker, while Cameron Quintanel and Tinisha Toussaint were the winners of a 1/8-page color ad in The Signpost.

WSU Debate honored with city proclamation

September 2014—WSU Debate was honored on Sept. 23 by the Ogden City Council and mayor with a proclamation and presentation. WSU has hosted two national debate tournaments that brought more than 500 debaters to Ogden for two years in a row. It is also now the host of a three-week-long summer debate camp for high school debaters and coaches that attracted 120 in its first year. These events have put more than $2 million into the Ogden economy. The faculty advisers for debate are Omar Guevara and Ryan Cheek.

Civic Advocacy student’s play on breast cancer advocacy to debut Oct. 20

September 2014—Civic Advocacy student Jamie Crandall, who is interning for the Women's Center, has written a play about breast cancer advocacy. She is working with theater students to produce and direct it. It will debut Oct. 20 in the Wildcat Theater.

Associate of Science degree in Communication now available

September 2014—Beginning this semester, students can earn an associate’s degree in Communication. An Associate of Science in Communication will help students get a job, succeed and earn more money. It will help students develop the “must-have” skills needed to succeed in today’s workplace, including writing, speaking, interpersonal communication, group and team communication, digital message creation, audio and video production, visual communication, critical listening and critical thinking. Students can complete the degree in two years with 24 credits in Communication and 37 general education credits. They can then apply those credits toward the bachelor’s degree in Communication. Students who want to declare the Associate of Science in Communication can declare it in the department office or by contacting Debbi Murphy at Students can declare both the associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.

Starting salaries of communications graduates reach $48,000

September 2014—A 2014 report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows the average starting salary for majors in “communications” is more than $48,000. The overall average starting salary for Class of 2014 college graduates stands at $48,707, up 7.5 percent from the average of $45,327 posted by the Class of 2013 at this time last year, according to NACE’s September 2014 Salary Survey report. Driving the sizable overall salary increase are the gains made by the communications and computer science disciplines.

Guevara delivers lecture for Ogden City Council

September 2014—Omar Guevara, a Communication professor who coaches the university’s debate team, delivered a lecture titled “What all elected officials need to know about persuasion” at a work session in September for the Ogden City Council. He spoke about rhetorical devices used to persuade audiences, holding up Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanual as a shining example of someone who understands the power of persuasion. Guevara was featured in the Sept. 11, edition of the Standard Examiner.

Josephson part of Constitution Week’s First Amendment panel

September 2014—Sheree Josephson, professor of Communication and department chair, discussed the First Amendment as a member of a panel at Weber State University’s first Constitution Week’s First Amendment panel. The panel discussion was facilitated by India Nielsen, a Communication major. Skyler Pyle, the editor in chief of The Signpost, was also a panelist. The debate was highlighted in the Sept. 17 edition of the Standard Examiner.

On-campus television station Wildcat ONE launches this semester

September 2014—Wildcat ONE television, an on-campus television station, is in full swing this Fall Semester. Launched in late summer, the station shows movies on demand and news and entertainment content produced by WSU students. It can be viewed in the residence halls and on monitors around campus. The faculty adviser for this endeavor is Drew Tyler, and content is produced by the staff of Studio 76.

WSU students, faculty and alums win big at 48-Hour Film Project

September 2014—Communication students, alumni and faculty picked up numerous awards at the Salt Lake City 48-Hour Film Project competition this summer. The Studio 76 team took home three awards for their musical—Audience Favorite Group C, Best Use of Line, and Best Writing. Faculty member Drew Tyler’s team, which included a Weber State Communication graduate, earned two awards: Audience Favorite Group B, and Best Directing. The team with several employees from the WSU Bookstore, including Communication alum and current MPC student Ben Taylor, picked up the award for Best Cinematography and the big award—Best of Show. WSU alum Scott Halford's team was also a winner.

WSU Debate to be honored with city proclamation

September 2014—WSU Debate will be honored on Sept. 23 at 5:30 p.m. by the Ogden City Council and mayor with a proclamation and presentation. WSU has hosted two national debate tournaments that brought more than 500 debaters to Ogden for two years in a row. It is also now the host of a three-week-long summer debate camp for high school debaters and coaches that attracted 120 in its first year. These events have put more than $2 million into the Ogden economy. The faculty advisers for debate are Omar Guevara and Ryan Cheek.

Punter for WSU’s football team pursuing a master’s in Professional Communication

September 2014—Weber State University’s punter on this year’s football team is earning a master’s degree in Professional Communication. Blake O’Neill of Melbourne, Australia, has never played a down of what Americans know as football, but he grew up playing his country’s version of the sport and following the NFL. He came from Prokick Australia, which is a program to develop kicking abilities. WSU Coach Jay Hill was familiar with the program, having recruited a player from that program in the past. To read the complete story on O’Neill see

Communication graduate has ‘mommy’ column in the Standard-Examiner

September 2014—Meg Sanders, a graduate in Communication, is a weekly columnist for the Standard-Examiner. Her column is called "Meg Sanders: Me, Mommy." Her column appears Wednesdays. It appears both in print and at

Summer debate camp attracted more than 120 students for three weeks

July 2014—More than 120 debate students and coaches from Utah, neighboring states and Rwanda attended this summer's inaugural debate camp hosted by the Weber State Debate Institute. The camp ran from July 13 through Aug. 2. It is completely immersive, requiring a full-time commitment from participants, as they work on four kinds of debate. The camp will be held every summer on the WSU campus.

Professor presents paper on visual attention in second-screen environment

June 2014—Dr. Sheree Josephson presented “How Audio Cues Shift Visual Attention in a Second-Screen Environment” at VisCom 28, a national conference for visual communication scholars held in West Greenwich, R.I., in June. Josephson will be the site planner when VisCom returns to Alta Ski Lodge in 2016 to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

MPC graduate wins international award for thesis on gratitude in the workplace

June 2014—“Thank you.” It’s a simple phrase in the English language and one that can have great impact on employees in the workplace. This was the topic of an international award-winning thesis written by a recent graduate of the Master of Professional Communication program. Crystalee Beck, 28, who graduated in April, won the award for best theoretical paper at the Corporate Communication International conference held in Hong Kong in June. She also received a commendation for best presenter. The paper, “Perceptions of Thanks in the Workplace,” explored gratitude and how managers can best show their appreciation to employees. Her thesis advisers were Dr. Sheree Josephson and Dr. Susan Hafen. Beck’s work has been featured on the university website, the Standard-Examiner and KSL Television. It will also be published by CCI.

PR student named Utah Public Relations Student of the Year

May 2014—Thomas Judd, a 2014 graduate in Public Relations & Advertising, was named the Utah PR Student of the Year for 2014. Judd’s public relations campaign was judged by a group of local PR professionals and the results were announced at the PRSA Spring Conference in May. Weber State University students have won the competition four years in a row.

Four new faculty members hired to teach Communication classes

June 2014—Four new full-time faculty members have been hired by the Department of Communication. Dr. Jean Norman, who just completed her Ph.D. at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, will teach journalism classes and advise The Signpost. Dr. Hailey Gillen, who recently completed her Ph.D. at the University of West Virginia, will teach organizational communication and COMM 2110 Interpersonal & Small Group Communication. Robin Haislett, who is completing her Ph.D. at Texas Tech University, will teach public relations, advertising and journalism classes. Brent Warnock, who has been an adjunct for several years, has now been hired full time to teach COMM 1020 Public Speaking and COMM 2110 Interpersonal & Small Group Communication. Warnock worked on a Ph.D. at the University of Utah.

97 years of The Signpost are now accessible online

May 2014—Some 97 years of articles from Weber State’s student newspaper The Signpost are now accessible online. A $35,000 Library Services and Technology Act grant covered the cost of processing print collections of The Signpost from 1917 to 2010, including early editions when the newspaper was called the Weber Herald. The only years missing are from 1935-1936, when school news was tacked to bulletin boards called signposts, inspiring the name change. According to the Standard-Examiner, it is believed those issues were accidentally burned when WSU moved to its current Ogden campus.

New advisers named for three student organizations

May 2014—Three new advisers have been named for three student organizations. With the departure of Dr. Yeonsoo Kim, Dr. Nicola Corbin has been named to advise Ogden Peak Communications and Weber State University’s Chapter of PRSSA. Dr. Eric Harvey will head KWCR 88.1 FM as Dr. Ty Sanders steps down after 25 years of advising the campus radio station. Jean Norman, a new faculty member from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas will advise The Signpost and the WSU chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Professor publishes article on digital streaming music sites

May 2014—Dr. Eric Harvey  has published an article in Pitchfork, an online webzine that is the most widely read music website other than Rolling Stone's. The article is about the past/present/future of digital streaming music sites like Pandora, Spotify and YouTube. It has been formatted in a futuristic way. Check it out at

Stemiel receives grant to further research on volunteers

May 2014—Dr. Sarah Steimel has received funding from Research, Scholarship and Professional Growth committee (RS&PG) to further her work on a research project titled “Communication and Volunteer Retention in Voluntary Organizations.”

New advisers named for three student organizations

May 2014—Three new advisers have been named for three student organizations. With the departure of Dr. Yeonsoo Kim, Dr. Nicola Corbin has been named to advise Ogden Peak Communications and Weber State University’s Chapter of PRSSA. Dr. Eric Harvey will head KWCR 88.1 FM as Dr. Ty Sanders steps down after 25 years of advising the campus radio station. Jean Norman, a new faculty member from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas will advise The Signpost and the WSU chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.       

New department secretary, MPC assistant hired to work with students

May 2014—Two new professional staffers have been hired by the Department of Communication to help students. Sonja Green has been hired as the department secretary for Communication while Shari Love was hired as the office assistant for the Master of Professional Communication program. Green had worked as a judicial assistant in the Second District Judicial Court for the past seven years. Prior to that, she was an administrative assistant in the Weber State University President’s Office. She has a bachelor’s degree in criminal science from WSU. Love comes to the department from the Master of Heath Administration program, where she worked full time. The three-quarter schedule in her new job will allow her to spend more time with her two children.  

PR student named as finalist in Utah PR Student of the Year Contest

May 2014—Thomas Judd, a 2014 graduate in Public Relations & Advertising, has been selected as a finalist for the Utah PR Student of the Year Competition. Judd’s public relations campaign was judged by a group of local PR professionals. Live competition will be on May 3 and winners will be announced at the PRSA Spring Conference on May 15. Weber State University has won the competition three years in a row.    

Two students win Lindquist Student Fellowships

May 2014—Two students are recipients of Lindquist Student Fellowships. MPC graduate Crystalee Beck was allocated about $3,000 to present a paper on gratitude in the workplace at a conference in Hong Kong. This research was conducted as her master’s thesis. Juan Petro Orquiz, an undergraduate in Digital Media, was awarded about $2,000 to attend the Frogmen’s Print Workshop

Fifteen students receive Communication scholarships

May 2014—Fifteen Communication students were presented with scholarships at the annual awards ceremony for outstanding students in Communication. The scholarship winners include: Zach Berrett and India Nielsen, Communication Studies; Joan Dunn, KSL Broadcast Group; Dan Martinez, Shane Farver Multimedia; Misty Tippets and Khalid Hussein Sharif, Louis Babcock Debate; Catherine Shackelford, Leland H. Monson Debate; Shaquille Heath, Jonathan Morrell; Danielle Murray and Abigail Payne, Jack and Betty Lampros; Timothy Potter, Deseret News; Matthew Kunes and Liz Ruttenbur, Salt Lake Tribune; Kate Konchar, Allison Hess Editorial; and Skyler Pyle, Standard-Examiner. 

Three Communication students are finalists for Crystal Crest Awards

May 2014—India Nielsen, a Communication major with an emphasis in Civic Advocacy, was one of five finalists for Woman of the Year in this year’s Crystal Crest Awards. Signpost staffer Olivia Gerrish was a finalist for Personality of the Year while Signpost staffer Spencer Boyce was a finalist for Man of the Year.   

WSU Debate wins first place in Cross Examination for third year in row

May 2014—Weber State’s debate team celebrated its 90th anniversary by winning first place in the Cross Examination Debate Association’s Tournament West Region. This is the third year in a row that WSU students have scored the sweepstakes award. This accomplishment was noted in the 2014 Commencement program.

Hafen to present at Eastern Communication Association conference

April 2014—Dr. Susan Hafen will be a moderator at a panel during the Eastern Communication Association Conference on April 24 in Providence, R.I. Her panel is titled Internatural Communication: Dissenting from Anthropocentric Cultures conference. This open forum will address the emerging discourse of internatural communication, which challenges Mead’s orthodoxy that only humans, in their use of symbolic language, can truly communicate. The implications of legitimizing human-animal relationships as a kind of intercultural communication are addressed in a series of questions directed to interests of philosophy of communication, intercultural communication, communication law and ethics, interpersonal communication, and theory and methodology. The open forum includes a semi-structured public discussion on the ramifications of including human-animal relationships and internatural communication as part of the Communication discipline

Josephson to present second-screen research at VisCom

April 2014—Dr. Sheree Josephson will present a co-authored paper at the national VisCom Conference to be held June 22-26 at Whispering Pines in W. Greenwich, Rhode Island.  The title of Josephson’s paper is How Sound Impacts Visual Attention in a Second-Screen Environment. The eye-tracking research was done in conjunction with Dr. Michael E. Holmes of Ball State University. 

Johns oversees ‘rush’ of National Society of Collegiate Scholars

April 2014—Dr. Becky Johns announced that the Weber State University chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars added 202 members this spring during "rush." This brings the number of students in NSCS close to 400.  Dr. Johns is the faculty adviser to this organization, which does service, social and academic activities.  

42 students graduate this year with a bachelor’s in Communication

April 2014—Congratulations to this year’s baccalaureate graduates in Communication.
Civic Advocacy: Tiffany Dubbelman, Breanne Winegar
Electronic Media: Dante Baldan, Dane Clark, Zachary Coehoorn, Brandon Garside, Ryan Linford, Melissa Moyle, Aundrea Peterson, Benjamin Renda
Interpersonal & Family Communication: Casey Bullock, Adam Jones, Chelsea Wessman, Marceen Shaughnessy, Brittany Szymanski
Multimedia Journalism: Jordan Bailey, Tucker Garrett, Jonah Napoli 
Organizational Communication: Sarah Dursteler, Aulola Moli, Chantel Flores, Steven Harkness
Public Relations & Advertising: Kirsten Stuart, Brandon Arnett, Kylee Cabe, Travor Cahoon, Tim Conyers, Militia Earl, Cole Freestone, Kari Harbath, Thomas Judd, Cade Lubeck, Tasha Petroff, Andrea Prigmore, Jonathan Rabe, Emily Shuman, Tara Smith, Harrison Spendlove, Kassandra Welch, Jeffrey Hawkes, Jared Hoellein, Trent McKean

21 students graduate in with Master of Professional Communication degree

April 2014—Congratulations to members of the 2014 class of the Master of Professional Communication. They will be hooded in a special ceremony in the Wildcat Theater on April 24 at 6 p.m. The students are:
Cole Allen, Crystalee Beck, Nicholas Guido, Spencer Bjorklund, Amy Crosbie, Kristen Deem, Julie Hurd, Michelle Hurst, Braeden Jensen, Michelle Linck, Ryan Lloyd, Cathleen Mason, Paul McHardy, Danielle McKean, Casey Mortensen, Priscilla Perea, Sheryl Peterson, Adam Salazar, Leslie Simpson, Nicholas White, Crystal Young

Outstanding graduates in Communication announced

April 2014—Congratulations to the following outstanding Communication graduates

  • Academic Achievement: Aundrea Peterson
  • Civic Advocacy: Tiffany Dubbelman
  • Electronic Media: Melissa Moyle
  • Interpersonal & Family Communication: Adam Jones 
  • Multimedia Journalism: Tucker Garrett
  • Organizational Communication:  Chanel Flores
  • Public Relations & Advertising: Militia Earl and Amber Price

Inductees into national Communication honor society listed

April 2014—Nine students will be inducted later this month into Lambda Pi Eta, the national honor society for graduates in Communication. To be eligible for Lambda Pi Eta, students must (1) complete 60 semester credit hours, (2) have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all courses taken, (3) complete the equivalent of 12 semester credit hours in Communication, (4) have a minimum GPA of 3.25 for all Communication courses, (5) currently be enrolled as a student in good standing, as determined by the institution's policies, and (6) rank within the highest 35 percent of one’s class in general scholarship. This year’s inductees include Ryan Linford, Adam Jones, Stephanie Lloyd, Morgen Bruderer, Kylee Cabe, Glenda Hoffman, India Nielsen, Camille Twitchell and Kirsten Stuart.

Twenty-two Communication students present research in campus symposium

April 2014—Twenty-two Communication students presented their research at the 10th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium & Celebration in the Union Building.
Oral presentations were given by Kirsten Stuart, Audrea Peterson, Adam Jones, Sarah Dursteler, Karlee Jensen, Preslee Patton, Lola Moli, Natalie Barcelo and Courtney Woodfield. Poster sessions were presented by Andrea Prigmore, India Nielsen, Militia Earl, Tiffany Dubbelman, Morgan Drean, Stephanie Lloyd, Breann Johnson, Brittany Szymanski, Ashley King, Taylor Proctor, Stacey Traux, Ryan Rigby and Katie Rigby.
Eight to graduate with departmental Honors
April 2014—Eight students will graduate this year with departmental Honors. Honors students must have an overall GPA of 3.5 with a 3.70 GPA in the major. They must also present their research at a professional conference. The students and their research topics include:
  • Kirsten Stuart: Public Opinion, Media Bias, and Pit Bulls
  • Andrea Peterson: Human and Sex Trafficking in the USA: A Video & Survey
  • Adam Jones: Relational Dialectics Applied to Pre and Post-Divorce Relationships 
  • Sarah Dursteler: Hookup Culture: Qualitative Analysis of Sexual Scripts Within Gender and Religious Identities
  • Andrea Prigmore: A Critical Look at Hospital Communication
  • Militia Earl : Mapping Wildcat Nation
  • Tiffany Dubbelman: Are Dining Service Campus TextClubs Profitable? 
  • Amber Price: The Consequences of Studying Unorthodox LDS History

PR&A student trying to set world quadriplegic hand cycle record 

April 2014—Kris Sanford, a Public Relations & Advertising major, will ride his handcycle from Idaho Falls to Huntington Beach in order to set the quadriplegic hand cycle distance world record of 1,100 miles. He will begin the journey in September. He is also doing this to raise money for others in wheelchairs. Sanford, who took Spring Semester off to prepare for the trek, said he has learned many things and overcome even more obstacles as he prepared for this event. “It will come as no shock that of all the obstacles I've come across, the most difficult has been raising money to make this event possible,” he said. To help Sanford with his trip, you can donate to his cause at and A news story from Fox 13 highlighting Spinal Ride can be viewed at

Debate team qualifies for National Debate Tournament, receives recognition

April 2014—First-year Weber State University debaters Misty Tippets and Jordan Hendricks qualified for the 68th annual National Debate Tournament being hosted at Indiana University March 28-31. They are the first team from Weber State to qualify for the national championship since 2010. They are one of the few all-freshmen teams in the competition. In addition, WSU Debate was ranked in the Top 20 in the nation for participation and earned the No. 1 award in the West Conference from the Cross Examination Debate Association.

National Debate Coaches Association national championship, forensics camp coming to WSU

April 2014—Weber State University will host the ninth annual National Debate Coaches Association national championship on April 12-15. The event will attract more than 500 visitors from the best high school debate programs in the United States. In addition, the Sun Country Forensics Institute, the largest and most prominent summer high school forensics camp in the Intermountain West, has agreed to rename itself “Sun Country Debate Institute at Weber State University.” All of its operations will relocate to Nearly 200 high school students are expected to visit campus for a minimum of two weeks.  

Leaders for student media organizations named

April 2014—Student leaders have been selected for the student media organizations. Skyler Pyle will be editor in chief of The Signpost.  J.P. Orquiz was selected as the general manager of KWCR 88.1 FM. Dan Rubio was selected as executive producer of Studio 76/Wildcat1. 

New media professor to present two papers on music

March 2014—Dr. Eric Harvey will present two papers at academic conferences on music. He will present “Who Got the Camera: The Mediated Births of Reality Rap and Reality TV, 1988-1992” at The Experience Music Project Pop Conference in Seattle in April.  He will present "Siding with Vinyl: Record Store Day and the Branding of Independent Music" at the Cultural Studies Association's annual conference in Salt Lake City in May.

Chair to be inducted as honorary member of Golden Key

March 2014—Dr. Sheree Josephson, chair of the WSU Department of Communication, has been selected as an honorary member of Weber State University’s chapter of Golden Key Honor Society. This year’s induction will be Tuesday, March 18, at 7pm in Ballroom A of the Union Building. 

Join the Society of Professional Journalists and attend events

March 2014—Communication majors, especially those in the multimedia journalism emphasis, are encouraged to join the Weber State University chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, To join, go to Be sure to spell out Weber State University in the chapter name. Five activities have been planned for this semester. You don’t have to be a member to attend.
  • Tuesday, March 4: Ben Winslow, multimedia journalist for Fox 13,  2:30 p.m. at The Signpost office
  • Friday, March 7: Tour of the Standard-Examiner, with Andy Howell, editor of the Standard-Examiner, at 3:45 p.m. at the Standard-Examiner building  
  • Friday, March 28: Annual Ethics in Journalism Event with Jessica Miller, court reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune, and Pat Reavy, crime reporter for the Deseret News, at 9:30 a.m., Ballroom C, Union Building
  • Friday, April 4: Jose Lopez, reporter for the Standard-Examiner, on covering diversity issues, 9:30 a.m.,  Room 314, Elizabeth Hall 
  • Friday, April 11: Jeff Hunt, media attorney, on communication law topics, 8:30 a.m., Room 407, Elizabeth Hall

Officers have also been elected. The president is Skyler Pyle, vice president in charge of membership is Michael Anderson, and vice president in charge of recruiting is Rosie Gerrish. If you have questions, contact Dr. Sheree Josephson, faculty adviser, at

Standard-Examiner donates scholarship for next year

March 2014—The Standard-Examiner has donated a $1,025 for a student majoring in journalism. It is to be awarded by the Department of Communication’s Scholarship Committee.

Debate team qualifies for National Debate Tournament

March 2014—First-year Weber State University debaters Misty Tippets and Jordan Hendricks qualified for the 68th annual National Debate Tournament being hosted at Indiana University March 28-31. They are the first team from Weber State to qualify for the national championship since 2010. They qualified last weekend at a tournament in Pocatello, Idaho. In the same tournament, the team of Khalid Sharif and Irvin Alvarado posted a 4-2 record but lost their runoff round against Whitman College on a close 2-1 decision. They will be the first alternates of District II

Two student film projects featured in Wildcat Theater

March 2014—Two film projects by Communication students were shown in the Wildcat Theater as previews to the film screening of “Idle Threat” about the activism about air pollution in New York City. The film “Hey Utah - Stop Idling" (approximately 5 minutes in length) was produced by Brandon Garside and Collin Mower. It can be viewed at The second film called “Dead on Red” (approximately 90 seconds in length) was produced by Thomas Judd, Mandie Barnes, Sarah Gribble and Cade Lubeck. It can be seen at The students were members of Dr. Colleen Packer’s senior seminar class

Communication students help with Love Utah Give Utah

March 2014—Communication majors have been busy helping produce the video for the College of Arts and Humanities that will encourage giving to the college on Thursday, March 20, for the annual Love Utah Give Utah event.  Students both appeared on and produced the video that will be widely circulated through social media.  

MPC graduate featured on Ted Talks

February 2014—Jeff Haney, a 2013 graduate of the Master of Professional Communication program, presented research he did in the graduate-level research methods class as a Ted Talk. The project in Dr. Sheree Josephson’s class was about making effective use of the morning announcements in the public schools. His presentation can be viewed at

MPC graduate named associate registrar for WSU

February 2014—Fran Hopkin, a 2013 graduate of the Master of Professional Communication program, has been named as associate registrar for Weber State University. Hopkin said, “In large part I owe this opportunity to the MPC program. Many of the qualifications, knowledge and abilities they were looking for in this position, I gained through the classes.”  

National Debate Coaches Association national championship, forensics camp coming to WSU

February 2014—Weber State University will host the ninth annual National Debate Coaches Association national championship on April 12-15. The event will attract more than 500 visitors from the best high school debate programs in the United States. In addition, the Sun Country Forensics Institute, the largest and most prominent summer high school forensics camp in the Intermountain West, has agreed to rename itself “Sun Country Debate Institute at Weber State University.” All of its operations will relocate to Nearly 200 high school students are expected to visit campus for a minimum of two weeks.  

Communication majors document WSU’s 125th birthday

February 2014—Numerous Communication majors at Weber State University were involved in producing online content to document the university’s 125th birthday celebrated on Jan. 7 at 1:25 pm.  A balloon drop, cake based on the university map, live entertainment, and free stuff and discounts were among the featured activities. To check out the content visit or the YouTube channels for Studio 76 and The Signpost

MPC student’s paper accepted into corporate communication conference

February 2014—Crystalee Webb Beck, a student in the Master of Professional Communication program, has received notice that her paper has been accepted into the Corporate Communication International Conference in Hong Kong. Beck’s paper titled “Perceptions of thanks in the workplace: use, effectiveness, and dark sides of managerial gratitude” is her master’s thesis supervised by Dr. Sheree Josephson and Dr. Susan Hafen. The conference will be held June 3-6 at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and is held in association with “Corporate Communication,” an international journal. 

PR faculty member has paper accepted in marketing and health care conference

January 2014—Dr. Yeonsoo Kim, assistant professor in public relations and advertising, will present a paper titled “College Students’ Perception of CSR Programs in the United States and Puerto Rico” at the 2014 Association for Marketing and Health Care Research Conference. The conference will be held in Telluride, Colo., from Feb. 26 to March 1.  

Instructor to consult for 3D printing company at Consumer Electronics Show

January 2014—Communication instructor Drew Tyler and student Jeff Hawkes will attend the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas from Jan 6-10. Both are attending as public relations representatives for the local 3D printing company They've both been working on the video and social media needs of the company. Tyler and Hawkes are part of a five-man team representing WhiteClouds for the week. They expect to do interviews with most of the major tech blogs.  Tyler is a media consultant while Hawkes is an assistant producer.  

Studio 76 to launch campus television station in Spring Semester

January 2014—Studio 76 will launch a 24/7 television station on the campus IPTV system during the first part of Spring Semester. The new channel will host original content from Studio 76 and other content created on campus. This new channel aims to both entertain and inform WSU students

WSU Debate ranked No. 17 in country after first half of season

January 2014—The Weber State University Debate Team is ranked No. 17 in the nation after the first half of the season, according to varsity standings. WSU is emerging as a powerhouse in intercollegiate debate due in part to the outstanding showing the team had in Fall Semester, including having five different two-person teams clear to the elimination rounds in varsity divisions. “Students have spent their evenings and weekends preparing to compete and represent our university,” said Omar Guevara, director of forensics. Statistics for intercollegiate debate are calculated and updated weekly throughout the season at (

National Debate Coaches Association national championship, forensics camp coming to WSU

January 2014—Weber State University will host the ninth annual National Debate Coaches Association national championship on April 12-15. The event will attract more than 500 visitors from the best high school debate programs in the United States. In addition, the Sun Country Forensics Institute, the largest and most prominent summer high school forensics camp in the Intermountain West, has agreed to rename itself “Sun Country Debate Institute at Weber State University.” All of its operations will relocate to Nearly 200 high school students are expected to visit campus for a minimum of two weeks.  

Communication graduate among entertainers for WSU’s 125th celebration

January 2014—Ryan Shupe, a Communication graduate and former Signpost staffer, will provide entertainment at Weber State University’s 125th birthday party Tuesday. Everyone is invited to wear purple. The first celebration begins in the Shepherd Union Atrium at 7:30 a.m. with a 125-square-foot cake, $1.25 meal specials, and performers throughout the day. WSU Performing Arts groups and blues singer and WSU alum Ryan Shupe will be among the entertainers. The celebration culminates at 1:25 p.m. with a 12,500-balloon drop, confetti and plenty of cheering.  Faculty, staff and administrators will gather in the union ballrooms at 1 p.m. in order to walk down the building’s stairs together at 1:25. The anniversary celebration will continue at 5 p.m. at Weber State Downtown with the grand opening of the building’s Campus Store

Communication graduate appointed governor’s communication director

January 2014—Marty Carpenter, a Communication graduate, has been appointed as Gov. Gary Herbert’s communication director. He has been working as the executive vice president of communication for the Salt Lake Chamber. Herbert called Carpenter a perfect fit for the position. “Marty benefits from a deep understanding of our goals as an administration and state, a strong relationship with the media, and he has proven to be a valuable member of our team before," Herbert said in a statement. Carpenter expressed excitement about working in the governor’s office. He previously worked as a TV newsperson in Oklahoma and Kansas

Journalism graduate sells Michael Jordan’s ‘flu shoes’

January 2014—Preston Truman, the Utah Jazz ballboy who scored Michael Jordan’s Jordans after his famous Flu Game in the 1997 NBA Finals — sold the autographed black-and-red shoes for $104,765 at auction in December. Truman, a journalism graduate and former sports editor of The Signpost, kept the size 13 sneakers in a safety deposit box for the last 16 years. As for how he got his hands on them, Truman told ESPN that he had earned Jordan’s trust by securing his pregame meal of applesauce and graham crackers earlier in the season, and when Jordan’s Bulls visited the Delta Center that night for Game 5 of the Finals, Truman—who had the odd food pairing waiting for M.J.—worked up the nerve to ask Jordan if he could have his shoes after the game. Jordan, who wore a new pair of sneakers for every game during his career, obliged and even stopped the Bulls’ equipment manager from packing them away after he scored 38 points and led Chicago to a 90-88 win and a 3-2 advantage in the series

MPC student hired as social media adviser for LDS Church

January 2014—Casey Mortensen, a student in the Master of Professional Communication program, has been hired as a social media advisor for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mortensen said, “This is a great promotion for me, and I know that the degree played a huge part in getting the job.”

Two Communication students, professor to give Ted Talk

January 2014—Two Communication students and professor are scheduled to give a Ted Talk. Mandi Barnes, who graduated in December in Public Relations and Advertising, and India Nielsen, a senior in Civic Advocacy, were invited to do a presentation to be posted on the popular site. Assistant Professor Sarah Steimel will also give a talk

Recent graduate hired as reporter at Fox 13

January 2014—Kiersten Voorhees, a 2013 graduate in Electronic Media, has been hired as a reporter for KSTU Fox 13 in Salt Lake City. She worked for a short time as a multimedia reporter in Gulfport, Miss


news from 2013 »