News and Events 2020

December 2020

 

Congrats, Communication graduates!
Zoom into COMM’s celebration Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. 

Congratulations to the 77 graduates in the Department of Communication with graduate, bachelor’s and associate’s degrees. Please join us in a celebration of your accomplishments on Friday, Dec. 11, at 2 p.m. on Zoom. We will hear from graduating students and be joined by Weber State University’s president and the interim dean and incoming dean of the College of Arts & Humanities. The faculty and staff of the Department of Communication are excited to host these festivities. We hope you will join. For a Zoom invitation, please email Sare Gardner at sgardner1@weber.edu.   

For Communication students who are not graduating, we remind you that registration for Fall Semester is open. We are here to help you with academic advising and registration overrides—whatever you need. Weber State University is proceeding with the assumption that face-to-face classes will not resume in Spring Semester. Check with your professors about how your classes will be specifically offered.  

This is the December edition of the monthly email to majors. At least once a month during the regular school year, we will email you to let you know about meetings of student organizations, guest speakers, important deadlines, opportunities, student and faculty achievements—and more. If you have information you’d like us to distribute, please email department chair Sheree Josephson at sjosephson@weber.edu.

What’s Happening

December

  • Dec. 11: Virtual Graduation for COMM graduates, 2 p.m. (see above)

January

  • Jan. 11: Spring Semester begins
  • Jan. 18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

February

  • Feb. 15: Presidents Day

March

  • March 8-12: Spring Break

Student News

65 students graduating with bachelor’s, associate’s degrees in Communication

Congratulations to the 57 students graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and the eight students graduating with an associate’s degree in Communication.

  • Civic Advocacy: Clark Sterling Jensen, Steven Sanchez, Rebecca LeeAnne Brown, Benjamin Pillard, Alexa Nicole Sepulveda
  • Digital Media: Kiara Horowitz, Fernando Huerta, Tyler Nathaniel Trautman, Nefi Alulema, Kyzer James Armendariz, Amber Camille Bischoff, Aimee Rose Hoster, Preston Joshua Merril Jenkins, Chelsey Lynne Shuman, Alyssa Lauren Vallejos
  • Interpersonal & Family Communication: Markel Monalisa Gutierrez, Shane Alexander Jolin, Kaylee Jones, Zoe Aiko Miyakawi, Henri Dragon Phan, Hannah Ruth Terry, Isabella Williams
  • Multimedia Journalism: Dalton Eric Gallegos, Ryan Jay Marion, Jake Ryan Constantine, Brandon Keith May, Francisco Roberto Ruiz, Deborah Lee Wilber
  • Organizational Communication: Rachel Sandra Creer, Weston Brian Lee, Sarah Virginia Beus, Lauren Taylor Bland, Makenna Brielle Dillingham, Jamie Christopher Lobato, Mikaylin Ashley Mecham, Courtney Richards, Stephanie Lynn Thayne, Christian N. Whitaker, Rebecca Wilde
  • Public Relations & Advertising: Dallin Arave, Robert Dell Christiansen, Mckenzi Kay Evans, Quinton Malik Hall, Michael A. Reyes-Martinez, Nakisha Jeanice Rigley, Christopher Blake Roybal, Hollie Webster, Joshua Kyle Anderson, Jessica Lizette Avalos, Nicholas K. Cordon, Alex Eads, Rashell Irene Herbert, Brody Howell, Quincy Hyde Linsley, Tammy L. McCray, Taylor John Navidomskis, Helena Pereira Lima Khouri, Sydney Pfeaster, Mayren A. Rancifer, Madison Lara Robbins, Andrew John Sheehan, Elora Belle Witherspoon
  • Associate’s: Ryan Jay Marion, Kyzer James Armendariz, Sarah Virginia Beus, Tracy Risher Compton, Lizbeth Correa, Kiersten Nicole Cragun, Kennedie Grace Favero, Whitney Wagner

12 students graduating with Master of Professional Communication degree

Congratulations to the 12 students graduating with the graduate degree of Master of Professional Communication. The graduates are Jason Eric Bell, Julia Ann Busche, Heidi Ann Costello, Stevie Emerson, Jennifer Johnson, Nicholas Lassen, Rylie Janet Matthews, Brady C. May, Tiffany Nichole McLelland, Marisol Velasco, Zachary Adam Whitney, Ryan Wilcox.

Two students graduating with Honors in Communication

Two students are graduating with Honors in Communication. To graduate with Honors, students must earn a 3.75 GPA in the Communication major and have a 3.5 GPA overall. They must also present original research at a conference.

  • Rachel Creer
  • Mackenna Dillingham

WSU’s Speech Team takes second in division at Mahaffey Memorial

Weber State’s Speech Team took second place in Division 2 (for four-year universities that attend fewer than eight tournaments a year) at the 90th Mahaffey Memorial Tournament. Normally the tournament takes place in Oregon at Linfield College, but because of the pandemic it was held entirely online. Sophie Beck, a junior, was the runner-up for the prestigious Marshall Award by landing nearly perfect speaker points. She also placed first in the junior program of Oral Interpretation and first place in Novice Prose.
Other awards included:

  • Top Novice in Women’s Voices”: Jazmyne Olson, freshman
  • Fourth place in Women’s Voices: Jazmyne Olson
  • Fifth place in Junior Dramatic Interpretation: Akir Rowe, sophomore
  • Fourth place in Junior DI: Kyle Housley, junior
  • Second place tie in Junior DI: Rebecca Brown, junior, and Brad Baker, sophomore
  • Fourth place in Novice Extemporaneous Speaking: Akir Rowe
  • Second in Novice Extemp: Jazmyne Olson
  • Second place in Novice Prose: Kyle Housley
  • IPDA (one-on-one debate): WSU won the novice division with Brad Baker making it to octofinals, Jazmyne Olson making it to quarterfinals, and Rebecca Brown taking the overall Novice Title with first place.

WSU’s Speech Team only in its second year, competed against 30 other experienced schools. Mark Galaviz, the team’s faculty coach, said, “The fact that we placed in our division is a great sign for our future competitions. Weber is making waves because our students are so dedicated and hard working. Our debaters made huge strides.” WSU will compete Dec. 4-6 at the at the Smelt Classic.

Utah PR Student of Year from WSU featured in university’s annual report

Karen Valdez, a Public Relations & Advertising major, was featured in the 2019-2020 Weber State University annual report for taking top honors in the 2019 Utah Public Relations Student of the Year competition, hosted by the Salt Lake City chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. WSU students Kylie Harris and Conner Arvidson were selected as runners-up. Students in the competition created a yearlong strategy to raise awareness for the Major Brent Taylor Legacy Foundation, which honors North Ogden Mayor Maj. Brent Taylor, who was killed while serving in the National Guard. Finalists were selected for a live competition, where they presented their strategies, pitched news stories, wrote news releases, developed responses to a crisis and spoke to journalist in a mock news conference. Valdez received $1,000 and was honored at the Golden Spike Awards. She later began an internship at the organization. The 2019 competition marks the seventh time since 2011 that a Weber State student has earned the t op honor in the competition.   

Communication is No. 7 in the Top 10-degree programs at WSU

Communication is the seventh most-popular degree at Weber State University in terms of number of degrees awarded between 2016-2020 with 630. This fact was reported in the university’s annual report. Nursing is the most popular degree at WSU.   

Students in ‘Intersections of Art and Communication’ create virtual art gallery

Students in the WSU 1450 course, "Intersections of Art and Communication," co-taught by Dr. Colleen Packer and Jeremy Stott, completed a project focused on the Engaged Learning Series theme "Connect." Here is the link to the students' virtual art gallery featuring the GIFs they created in the course and an abstract explaining how communication and art were used to create their artifacts: https://www.weber.edu/ccel/virtual-art-gallery.html 

Announcements

Learn how to tell stories using 360-degree virtual reality technology

This spring take your digital media and storytelling skills into the virtual realm with COMM 4500 – Special Topics in 360-degree Virtual Reality Storytelling. Dr. Aaron Atkins, a specialist in creating 360-degree video content, is introducing an experimental 360VR course for Spring 2021. You’ll learn the ins and outs of 360VR and explore numerous genres including documentary, social, environmental, drama, horror, comedy experiences, as well as education and training simulations. You will be introduced to 360 camera and audio technology, learn how to produce professional-quality 360 videos specific for Oculus and other top-tier head-mounted displays, then put together a production team and create your own virtual experience. At the end of the course, you will have the opportunity to submit your project to a juried VR festival. Regardless of department or major, if you have your foundational digital audio/video production, scriptwriting, and Adobe-oriented editing courses covered, sign up. Check with your academic advisor about counting this class toward the Communication major.

Podcast discusses how pandemic has changed college experience

Covid, College and Chaos is a podcast that dives into how the Covid pandemic has changed the college experience. Join as students discuss topics including involvement, careers, mental health, student resources and conquering boredom. They have guests from around campus to offer advice on a variety of topics. The last two of three episodes will be released on the mornings of Dec. 2 and Dec. 9. The podcast will be streamed on KWCR Wildcat Radio. More information is available on social media.

New associate’s degrees in Digital Media Production available in Fall Semester

The Department of Communication is now offering associate’s degrees in Digital Media Production. Students have the choice between an Associate of Science, an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Applied Science. Students majoring in Digital Media or Film Studies are encouraged to contact their academic advisor to enroll. The degrees stack on the bachelor’s degrees in DM or Film Studies with classes double-counting for both the associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. This provides a way for students to add a degree to their resume before the bachelor’s degree is completed. Faculty who can help students add this degree to CatTracks include Andrea Baltazar at andreabaltazar@weber.edu; Aimee Gillette at aimeegillette@weber.edu; Ash Soltani-Stone at ashsoltanistone@weber.edu or Dr. Sheree Josephson at sjosephson@weber.edu.         

Students with high GPAs eligible to apply for Departmental Honors

You are eligible to apply for Departmental Honors if you have an overall 3.5 GPA and a 3.7 GPA in the major and hope to present original research or a creative project at the undergraduate symposium or any professional forum.  Achieving departmental honors will result in HONORS showing on your diploma and transcript, an invitation to Honors banquet, and eligibility to apply for an Honors scholarship for your textbooks. You need to apply for Department Honors at least one semester before graduation. Apply online through the Honors Student Portal.  If you have questions, contact Dr. Susan Hafen at shafen@weber.edu.

Faculty Accomplishments

Social media professor presents on influencer advocacy in climate change

Li Chen, a new assistant professor in social media and data analytics, made a presentation titled “Influencer Advocacy in Climate Change: A Social Network Analysis Perspective” on Dec. 1 to WSU’s series on Climate Change and Culture Shift. Chen discussed the theoretical model she developed in her dissertation about “celebrity advocacy” to describe the role of social media influencers in the climate change discussion. She used two celebrities, Leonardo DiCaprio and Greta Thunberg, to introduce two types of celebrity influencer advocacy in climate change online, mainly on Twitter.

Communication law instructor interviewed by KUTV about protest restrictions

Ryan Cheek, an instructor of communication law, was interviewed by KUTV news about an Orem City ordinance that banned protests within 100 feet of the governor’s private residence. The law was passed after protesters opposed to his state of emergency over the coronavirus gathered. Cheek said restrictions on protests are allowable as long as they don’t “discriminate against one kind of viewpoint and say this kind of picketer is okay and this kind of picketer is not.” He added, “The other thing that it must do is make sure there are other avenues of communication open to people who want to express their viewpoints.” The link to the story is https://kutv.com/news/local/after-protest-at-governors-house-orem-makes-demonstrations-at-homes-illegal.

Get Involved

November 2020

 

It’s almost time to register for Spring Semester; drop-in advising sessions available on Zoom

It’s almost time to register for Spring Semester 2021. If you need academic advising, please reach out to your advisor. If you don’t know who that is, please see https://www.weber.edu/Communication/Advisors.html. The chair of the Department of Communication is also hosting drop-in academic advising sessions on Zoom from 9 a.m. to noon on Nov. 10 and Nov. 11. See the calendar below for the Zoom links. Please know that even though we may not be physically in our offices, we are here to help you complete your education during the pandemic.

This is the November edition of the monthly email to majors. At least once a month during the regular school year, we will email you to let you know about meetings of student organizations, guest speakers, important deadlines, opportunities, student and faculty achievements—and more. If you have information you’d like us to distribute, please email department chair Sheree Josephson at sjosephson@weber.edu.

What’s Happening

November

  • Nov. 5: Virtual lecture series with communication health care professionals, 7 p.m. (see below)
  • Nov. 9: Spring Semester registration opens
  • Nov. 10: Online advising with department chair on Zoom (use waiting room) https://weber.zoom.us/j/99619120122 Meeting ID: 996 1912 0122
  • Nov. 11: Online advising with department chair on Zoom (use waiting room) https://weber.zoom.us/j/95918265040 Meeting ID: 959 1826 5040
  • Nov. 26-27: Thanksgiving Break

December

  • Dec. 12: Graduation

Student News

WSU Speech Team places fourth overall in competition with 70 schools

Weber State’s Speech Team placed fourth overall in the Steve Hunt Classic in October out of 70 schools from 25 states. Mark Galaviz, the director of the Speech Team only in its second year of existence said the performance “shocked the behemoths of the speech and debate community,” including Boise State University, UCLA, Utah State, Whitworth University, Cornell, University of Mississippi, Western Kentucky and Gonzaga. The team consists of Akir Rowe, Brad Baker, Jazmyne Olsen, Jennifer Bowen, Krystiana Davis, Kyle Housely, Nessie Aviles, Rebecca Bagget and Sophie Beck. Students brought back numerous awards. Housely took first in Novice Dramatic Interpretation and first in Novice Prose. Olson placed first took first in Novice Poetry, second in Novice Oral Interpretation, and third in Novice Extemporaneous Speaking. Baker took second in Novice Dramatic Interpretation. Beck placed fourth in Novice Prose. In the IPDA Novice Debate, WSU had a closeout with Olson winning first and Bagget second based on speaker points. Housely and Baker made it to Novice Octo Finals. The team is now preparing for a debate scrimmage in two weeks, before competing in the 90th annual Mahaffy Memorial Tournament Nov. 13-15. Galaviz said the team needs judges. To volunteer to judge for the Weber Speech Team, email him at Markgalaviz@weber.edu.

Multimedia journalism student has paper accepted in undergrad conference

A paper written by Jennifer Greenlee, a Multimedia Journalism student, was accepted for presentation at the virtual Ball State University undergraduate communication research conference in November. The paper titled “Fighting Dragons in Critical Role with Cultivation Theory” was written in Dr. Sarah Steimel’s COMM 3000 Communication Theory class.

WSU Debate team selected to compete at Val Browning Round Robin

Weber State debaters Hannah Phelps and Gage Brunyer were competitively selected to participate in the 24th annual Val Browning Round Robin in October. WSU Debate hosted top teams from around the country to a weekend of head-to-head debates. Teams debated on the NDT/CEDA topic of U.S. military alliances, the values and benefits of research-driven policy debate, and the continuing power of debating in online environments. Teams were competitively selected by an outside committee of black community leaders. Schools invited to participate included Harvard University, Gonzaga University, University of Georgia, West Georgia, California State University, Fullerton, the University of Wyoming, and WSU.

WSU Debate teams compete virtually Kentucky tournament

WSU Debate completed its first tournament of the year by competing (virtually) at the Kentucky Tournament. Four Hannah Phelps, Gage Brunyer, Zoe Thomae and Bailey Brunyer competed. Wildcats debated the relative merits of sustaining U.S. alliances with various allies. On the affirmative, one team spoke about the importance of redressing the sexual violence of U.S. military presence in Okinawa, and the other team argued that the U.S.-NATO military support in Columbia has stifled democratic movements. On the negative, teams debated a wide range of concerns from North Korean military alliances to queer and feminist international relations to questions of how debate can be used as more than mere games playing.

Announcements

Learn how to tell stories using 360-degree virtual reality technology

This spring take your digital media and storytelling skills into the virtual realm with COMM 4500 – Special Topics in 360-degree Virtual Reality Storytelling. Dr. Aaron Atkins, a specialist in creating 360-degree video content, is introducing an experimental 360VR course for Spring 2021. You’ll learn the ins and outs of 360VR and explore numerous genres including documentary, social, environmental, drama, horror, comedy experiences, as well as education and training simulations. You will be introduced to 360 camera and audio technology, learn how to produce professional-quality 360 videos specific for Oculus and other top-tier head-mounted displays, then put together a production team and create your own virtual experience. At the end of the course, you will have the opportunity to submit your project to a juried VR festival. Regardless of department or major, if you have your foundational digital audio/video production, scriptwriting, and Adobe-oriented editing courses covered, sign up. Check with your academic advisor about counting this class toward the Communication major.

PRSSA hosting virtual lecture series with communication health care professionals

On Nov. 5 at 7 p.m., PRSSA is hosting its Virtual Lecture Series with a panel on health care communication. Health care communication professionals from Utah, Delaware and Florida will speak. The Zoom link is https://weber.zoom.us/j/94736557212?pwd=T3hoSU81ZnpTYlZWVTBJK05Vd2pFdz09 with Meeting ID: 947 3655 7212 and Passcode: WeberPRSSA.

Listen to three episodes of ‘Covid, College and Chaos’ podcast

“Covid, College and Chaos” podcast Covid, College and Chaos is a podcast that dives into how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the college experience. Join us as we discuss topics including involvement, careers, mental health, student resources and conquering boredom. We have guests joining us from around campus to offer advice on a variety of topics. Three episodes will be released Nov. 25, Dec. 2, and Dec. 9. The podcast will be available to stream on KWCR. More information will be available on social media. Remember to tune in!

New associate’s degrees in Digital Media Production available in Fall Semester

The Department of Communication is now offering associate’s degrees in Digital Media Production. Students have the choice between an Associate of Science, an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Applied Science. Students majoring in Digital Media or Film Studies are encouraged to contact their academic advisor to enroll. The degrees stack on the bachelor’s degrees in DM or Film Studies with classes double-counting for both the associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. This provides a way for students to add a degree to their resume before the bachelor’s degree is completed. Faculty who can help students add this degree to CatTracks include Andrea Baltazar at andreabaltazar@weber.edu; Aimee Gillette at aimeegillette@weber.edu; Ash Soltani-Stone at ashsoltanistone@weber.edu or Dr. Sheree Josephson at sjosephson@weber.edu.

Students with high GPAs eligible to apply for Departmental Honors

You are eligible to apply for Departmental Honors if you have an overall 3.5 GPA and a 3.7 GPA in the major and hope to present original research or a creative project at the undergraduate symposium or any professional forum. Achieving departmental honors will result in HONORS showing on your diploma and transcript, an invitation to Honors banquet, and eligibility to apply for an Honors scholarship for your textbooks. You need to apply for Department Honors at least one semester before graduation. Apply online through the Honors Student Portal. If you have questions, contact Dr. Susan Hafen at shafen@weber.edu.

Alumni Achievements

Interpersonal & Family graduate working on Ph.D. in West Virginia

Casey M. Stratton, the 2016 outstanding graduate in Interpersonal & Family Communication, is working on his Ph.D. in Communication Studies at the University of West Virginia. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Stratton began his career in organizational learning and development, where he worked for six years overseeing training functions and managing training initiatives at both a regional bank and an international financial corporation.

Coupled with earning his master’s degree in Organizational Communication in 2019 and a graduate certificate in Conflict and Dispute Resolution in 2019, Stratton enjoyed employing communication theories in the corporate setting. His experience in organizational strategy and instructional design sparked a desire to research efficacious learning tactics in the workplace. Therefore, his research interests include organizational culture and the impact it has on workplace learning and improving learning transfer between the college classroom and the workplace.

Faculty Accomplishments

Film Studies director publishes book on Navajo heavy metal scene

Ashkan Soltani Stone, the director of the Film Studies program and a faculty member in the Department of Communication, has published the book “Rez Metal: Inside the Navajo Nation Heavy Metal Scene” with co-author Natale A. Zappia. The book was published by the University of Nebraska Press. “The book’s summary says: “’Rez Metal’ captures the creative energy of Indigenous youth culture in the 21st century. Bridging communities from disparate corners of Indian Country and across generations, heavy metal has touched a collective nerve on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona in particular. Many cultural leaders—including former Navajo president Russell Begaye—have begun to recognize heavy metal’s ability to inspire Navajo communities facing chronic challenges such as poverty, depression, and addiction. Heavy metal music speaks to the frustrations, fears, trials, and hopes of living in Indian Country. ‘Rez Metal’ highlights a seminal moment in Indigenous heavy metal: when Kyle Felter, lead singer of the Navajo heavy metal band I Dont Konform, sent a demo tape to Flemming Rasmussen, the Grammy Award-winning producer of several Metallica albums, including “Master of Puppets.” A few months later, Rasmussen, captivated by the music, flew from Denmark to Window Rock, Arizona, to meet the band. Through a series of vivid images and interviews focused on the venues, bands, and fans of the Navajo Nation metal scene, ‘Rez Metal’ provides a window into this fascinating world.”

Faculty member has article accepted, named graduate student researcher of the year

Ryan Cheek, a Communication instructor, has received news of acceptance from Communication Design Quarterly that his manuscript titled “Political Technical Communication and Ideographic Communication Design in a Pre- digital Congressional Campaign” will be published in an upcoming edition. The article reports archival research about Bobbie Coray, who was a prominent female politician from Cache Valley in the mid-‘90s. Cheek, who is working on a Ph.D. at the Utah State University, was named graduate student researcher of the year for the English Department at USU and will get to compete at college and maybe university level.

 

Get Involved

October 2020

 

Graduation Signoff Deadline, Vice Presidential Debate Watch, Diversity Conference, Plus Other News

If you’re a senior, don’t miss the graduation signoff deadline on Oct. 2. You also don’t want to miss the vice presidential debate watch with the WSU Debate Team or the Weber State University’s annual Diversity Conference.

This is the October edition of the monthly email to majors. At least once a month during the regular school year, we will email you to let you know about meetings of student organizations, guest speakers, important deadlines, opportunities, student and faculty achievements—and more. If you have information you’d like us to distribute, please email department chair Sheree Josephson at sjosephson@weber.edu.

What’s Happening

October

  • Oct. 1-2: WSU Diversity Conference (see below)
  • Oct. 2: Graduation signoff
  • Oct. 7: Vice presidential debate watch, 7 p.m. (see below)
  • Oct. 16: Fall Break
  • Oct. 17-19: Mukai College Classic (see below)

November

  • Nov. 9: Spring Semester registration opens
  • Nov. 26-27: Thanksgiving Break

December

  • Dec. 12: Graduation

Student News

WSU Speech Team brings home four of Top 8 finishes

The Weber State University Speech Team had a great first outing at the Fran Tanner Invitational, held virtually this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Five WSU students brought back Top 8 finishes and the Novice IPDA tourney title. Overall, Brad Baker finished third, Jazmyne Olsen sixth, Rebecca Baggett seventh, and Akir Rowe eighth. Rowe won first place overall in Novice IPDA debate, while Sophie Beck and Olsen took third place. “It was very possible that the season could have been canceled,” said Mark Galaviz, director of the WSU Speech Team, “but it was moved online.” “I am just happy we can still have tournaments,” said Baggett, team captain. Twenty-one teams competed in the Fran Tanner Invitational, including Seton Hall, Idaho State University, Boise State University and the University of Washington. The next tournament is the Steve Hunt Classic on Oct. 9-11. If you would like to volunteer to judge for the Weber State Speech Team, email Galaviz at Markgalaviz@weber.edu.

New associate’s degrees in Digital Media Production available in Fall Semester

The Department of Communication is now offering associate’s degrees in Digital Media Production. Students have the choice between an Associate of Science, an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Applied Science. Students majoring in Digital Media or Film Studies are encouraged to contact their academic advisor to enroll. The degrees stack on the bachelor’s degrees in DM or Film Studies with classes double-counting for both the associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. This provides a way for students to add a degree to their resume before the bachelor’s degree is completed. Faculty who can help students add this degree to CatTracks include Andrea Baltazar at andreabaltazar@weber.edu; Aimee Gillette at aimeegillette@weber.edu; Ash Soltani-Stone at ashsoltanistone@weber.edu or Dr. Sheree Josephson at sjosephson@weber.edu.         

Announcements

WSU Debate sponsoring vice presidential debate watch on Oct. 7

The Weber State Debate team is sponsoring the vice presidential debate watch on Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. You must register in advance for this meeting at https://weber.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMkcuGvrjgrG9Km5q-N0XfWN-laEXH5z5nC. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. The debate between Republican Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic Vice President Nominee Kamala Harris will occur on the University of Utah campus. The team also sponsored a debate watch event for the first debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, plus the debate between the candidates for Congress in Utah’s First District. For questions, email Sam Allen, director of debate, at samallen2@weber.edu.

Students encouraged to attend WSU Diversity Conference virtually

Everyone is invited to attend the 22nd Annual Weber State University Diversity Conference on Oct. 1-2. This year’s virtual conference will explore issues surrounding systemic racism and human connections with the theme “Connections, Obstacles, and Opportunities: Employing Intersectionality to Transform Racial Hierarchy into Humanity.” The keynote speakers are Tim Wise, who is among the nation's most prominent antiracist essayists and educators, and Weber State’s own sociologist Pepper Glass. Dr. Glass’s recent book, “Misplacing Ogden, Utah: Race, Class, Immigration, and the Construction of Urban Reputations,” asks us to consider how the urban reputation of a place can divide and ostracize members of a community and create disconnection. Additionally, the conference will feature workshops from connections through dance, athletics and STEM to community engagement and collaboration in the age of coronavirus. To learn more and to register for this virtual conference, visit https://www.weber.edu/diversity/diversityconference.html.

Weber State Debate plans intercollegiate tournament hosting for 2020-2021

Weber State Debate will host the 24th Annual Val Browning Round Robin and the eighth annual Mukai College Classic this year—online! The 24th Annual Val Browning Round Robin will be hosted virtually Oct. 17-19. It brings together a selection of the best teams in the United States to debate in a round robin format on the NDT/CEDA topic. Schools are invited to submit their top teams for consideration by an outside selection committee composed of established community leaders. This year WSU has already received applications from schools from coast to coast. The round robin format allows each team to compete against every other team in the field in order to determine the best team in a head-to-head fashion. The Top 3 teams and the Top 5 individual speakers will be recognized. The Mukai College Classic is a general invitational policy debate tournament open to any team interested in competing on the NDT/CEDA topic. This year, it will be coordinated on Classrooms.Cloud, a virtual debate hosting platform. Weber State Debate is working to take advantage of the online platform and provide a cost-free invitational experience that can bring together schools from across the country that may ordinarily have had a harder time physically traveling to Ogden. Three divisions of policy debate competition will be hosted: Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Novice. Teams will compete in six preliminary rounds using a switch-side format that requires teams to affirm the topic in three debates and negate the topic in their other three debates. At the conclusion of the preliminary rounds, the Top 32 teams will compete in a single-elimination tournament bracket to determine the winning team. The Top 20 individual speakers will also be recognized for their overall performances.

Students with high GPAs eligible to apply for Departmental Honors

You are eligible to apply for Departmental Honors if you have an overall 3.5 GPA and a 3.7 GPA in the major and hope to present original research or a creative project at the undergraduate symposium or any professional forum.  Achieving departmental honors will result in HONORS showing on your diploma and transcript, an invitation to Honors banquet, and eligibility to apply for an Honors scholarship for your textbooks. You need to apply for Department Honors at least one semester before graduation. Apply online through the Honors Student Portal.  If you have questions, contact Dr. Susan Hafen at shafen@weber.edu.

Alumni Achievements

Communication graduate press secretary in Georgia senatorial campaign

Recent Communication graduate Mayren Rancifer has been named press secretary for Jon Ossoff's senatorial campaign in Georgia. Ossoff is trying to unseat Republican Sen. David Perdue.

Faculty Accomplishments

Digital Media faculty, students producing fall production for WSU Dance

Digital Media faculty members Aimee Gillette and Andrea Baltazar are working on the Weber State Dance Department's upcoming fall production. Students from COMM 3200 Live Event Production and Studio 76 will be part of the video crew for Orchesis, a digital dance event to be live streamed over three weekends in November. The filming will be facilitated by WSU’s CATS department.

Get Involved

September 2020

 

Welcome to Fall Semester!  Department office opens

Welcome to Fall Semester. The office is open with administrative assistants here to help you in person. The office for the Department of Communication will be open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Just stand outside and call the number on the sign to give the administrative assistant time to mask up. Then you will be greeted by a knowledgeable and helpful staff member with a smile under that mask! Please stop by if we can help you.    

Registration continues. We are here to help you with academic advising and registration overrides—whatever you need. Weber State University is offering classes in a variety of innovative and convenient formats during the COVID-19 pandemic. They include face-to-face, face-to-face hybrid, online, virtual, virtual-hybrid, and flex.

  • Face-to-Face: Instruction in a classroom following strict health guidelines
  • Face-to-Face/Hybrid: Instruction both in person and asynchronous online
  • Online: Instruction asynchronous online
  • Virtual: Instruction in synchronous format during scheduled time
  • Virtual/Hybrid classes: Instruction uses both synchronous and asynchronous technology
  • Flex: Format allows in-person, lab, studio, experiential or large class sizes within social distancing guidelines.

For more information about course schedules, see https://www.weber.edu/Registration/Student_Course_Schedule.html.

If you need academic advisement, visit www.weber.edu/communication to determine your advisor. The department chair, Dr. Sheree Josephson, can also help you. She can be reached at sjosephson@weber.edu. If you need assistance registering for a class that requires a prerequisite that you are currently taking, the department’s administrative assistants can help you. They can be reached at sgardner1@weber.edu and slove@weber.edu. You can also take a prerequisite and the class requiring that prerequisite at the same time, but the administrative assistants will need an approval email from the professor.      

This is the September edition of the monthly email to majors. At least once a month during the regular school year, we will email you to let you know about meetings of student organizations, guest speakers, important deadlines, opportunities, student and faculty achievements—and more. If you have information you’d like us to distribute, please email department chair Sheree Josephson at sjosephson@weber.edu.

What’s Happening

August

  • Aug. 24: Fall Semester begins

September

  • Sept. 7: Labor Day break

Student News

Signpost wins General Excellence Award for fourth year in row

The Signpost, Weber State University's student news organization, won the 2019 General Excellence Award in the Utah Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest, beating college newspapers from across Utah. It was the fourth time in a row and fifth time in six years that The Signpost has taken the top prize in its division. The award was bolstered by nine first-place wins in individual categories: Best Sports Photograph by Israel Campa, Best Education Story by Tori Waltz, Best Feature Story by Francisco Ruiz, Best General News Story by Ally Nelson, Best Feature Photograph by Joshua Wineholt, Best Front Page by Aubree Eckhardt and Monika Clarke, Best Lifestyle Page by Aubree Eckhardt, Monika Clarke and Delaney Nye, Best Community Event by Monika Clarke, and Best Advertising Idea for the Mary Mapes event, which had to be postponed because of the pandemic. The Signpost also won three finalist awards in the Region 9 Mark of Excellence awards, competing against college news organizations in Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. The staff won finalist for Best All-Around Non-Daily Newspaper and Best Affiliated Website, and graphic artists Monika Clark and Aubree Eckhardt were finalists in Photo Illustration for their work on the cover of a special edition commemorating 100 years of football at Weber State.

New associate’s degrees in Digital Media Production available in Fall Semester

The Department of Communication is now offering associate’s degrees in Digital Media Production. Students have the choice between an Associate of Science, an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Applied Science. Students majoring in Digital Media or Film Studies are encouraged to contact their academic advisor to enroll. The degrees stack on the bachelor’s degrees in DM or Film Studies with classes double-counting for both the associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. This provides a way for students to add a degree to their resume before the bachelor’s degree is completed. Faculty who can help students add this degree to CatTracks include Andrea Baltazar at andreabaltazar@weber.edu; Aimee Gillette at aimeegillette@weber.edu; Ash Soltani-Stone at ashsoltanistone@weber.edu or Dr. Sheree Josephson at sjosephson@weber.edu.         

MPC student gets paper accepted into national communication conference

Master of Professional Communication student Mitch Whitfield's paper "A Social Network Analysis of Right-Wing Radicalization on YouTube" was accepted to the National Communication Annual Convention in November 2020. He worked with Dr. Susan Hafen and Dr. Alex Lancaster on his project. His abstract is as follows: The study compared three communities (Intellectual Dark Web, Alt-lite & Alt-right) associated at dissimilar levels with right-wing ideology found on YouTube and visualized their relationship within each other and with four categories of radical ideology (Racism, Sexism, Religious Fanaticism & Anti-Authoritarianism) using Social Network Theory. Each community expressed differing characteristics related to right-wing ideology and was displayed using an open-source network analysis and visualization software package called Gephi. The study demonstrated that YouTube is a powerful platform for radical groups to circulate ideological concepts while validating the use of Social Network Theory in analyzing radical ideological communities.

Alumni Achievements

Multimedia Journalism graduate gets job at Goldman Sachs

Francisco Ruiz, a Multimedia Journalism graduate, has accepted a job offer with Goldman Sachs' Risk Division after his internship this summer. "I was one of the few liberal arts majors to attend Goldman's on-campus info session a while back," he said. "That's too bad. Goldman is 'major agnostic' and they have a great apprenticeship culture." At $25-30 an hour, Ruiz was able to quit his other job to work full time at his Goldman internship. He said the schedule can be demanding, but the work is challenging and fulfilling. Ruiz also completed a Business Administration minor and invites Communication students to consider doing the same, even if they do not plan on going into business or finance. "The skills I learned in the Communication program helped me to succeed. Learning business fundamentals, such as accounting, will enhance your Comm skills," he said. "It will also open more opportunities for you."

Communication graduate accepted into American University’s grad program

Lola Amacher (Moli) was accepted to American University’s master’s of public administration program and will start this fall. She is a Communication graduate who was the Weber State University student body president.

Public Relations & Advertising graduate hired full time in WSU Career Services

Kylie Harris, who graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations & Advertising has been hired full time in Career Services as its marketing and public relations specialist. She designed an infographic on internships that is online.  

Civic Advocacy graduate lands dream job working with at-risk youth

Recent Civic Advocacy graduate Alexa “Lexi” Sepulveda reports that she has landed her dream job as a diversion specialist with Volunteers of America Youth Services working with at-risk youth. 

Announcements

Three new faculty members hired in Communication Department

Three new faculty members will begin teaching this Fall Semester in the Department of Communication. They include Dr. Aaron Atkins, Dr. Li Chen and Ms. Kayla Griffin.

Dr. Aaron Atkins
Dr. Aaron Atkins is a multimedia journalist and assistant professor of Digital Media. He earned his Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, his master's degree in Communication from Virginia Tech, and his bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He teaches courses in journalism, newswriting, and digital media production. His research interests include media effects and emerging journalism technology, specifically how audiences interact and engage with content on evolving platforms, such as virtual reality and social media.  

Dr. Li Chen
Dr. Li Chen is an assistant professor of Social Media and Data Analytics. While completing two doctoral degrees in mass communications and media arts, she has been engaged in the exploration of research methods from qualitative to quantitative to computational data analytics. Her dissertation employed social network analysis and social media research methods to investigate the associations between celebrity culture, networked media, and social movements. Her teaching and research interests include applied data science, media and diversity, and popular communication. Before pursuing her doctoral degrees, she worked in the Chinese media industry for seven years as a broadcasting journalist, an editor, and a media relations practitioner. Obsessed with nature, she is in love with clouds, cats, and trees.

Kayla Griffin
Kayla Griffin is an instructor who earned a Master of Arts from Boise State University. She earned the Three-Minute Thesis Award in the competition at BSU. She will teach undergraduate classes in public speaking, interpersonal and small group communication, and intercultural communication. She volunteers as a coach and judge for the Weber State Speech Team. Her research interests encompass rhetorical theory, embodied rhetoric, protest and social movements and art as communication.

Students can enroll in two classes in one time slot

Students will have the opportunity this fall to combine two courses into a single timeframe. COMM 3130, News Reporting and Writing, will meet on Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m., and COMM 3780, Broadcast News Writing and Production, on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. The focus of COMM 3130 is to write journalistic pieces, while the focus of COMM 3780 is to produce broadcast news pieces. In this combined model, students will be able to report on a single event or topic and both write and produce a news piece on it for publication and broadcast. Adding these multimedia packages to a portfolio will make students highly attractive to future employers. Students who have not yet taken COMM 2250, Essentials of Digital Media, should not take COMM 3780. Because of the time overlap, students may need an override to enroll. Those who are interested can email Dr. Jean Norman with their W number.

Students with high GPAs eligible to apply for Departmental Honors

You are eligible to apply for Departmental Honors if you have an overall 3.5 GPA and a 3.7 GPA in the major and hope to present original research or a creative project at the undergraduate symposium or any professional forum.  Achieving departmental honors will result in HONORS showing on your diploma and transcript, an invitation to Honors banquet, and eligibility to apply for an Honors scholarship for your textbooks. You need to apply for Department Honors at least one semester before graduation. Apply online through the Honors Student Portal.  If you have questions, contact Dr. Susan Hafen at shafen@weber.edu.

The Signpost accepting applications for Fall Semester

The Signpost is still accepting applications for students interested in joining the staff of Weber State's student news organization this fall. Positions include news reporter, photographer, videographer or sports reporter. Scholarships are available. The application can be found at signpost.mywebermedia.com under the About Us>Staff menu.

Faculty Accomplishments

Faculty members earn tenure and promotion

Three faculty members have earned tenure and promotion. Dr. Anne Bialowas has been promoted to Full Professor. Dr. Jean Norman and Dr. Hailey Gillen Hoke both earned tenure and promotion to Associate Professor.

Professor publishes interview with author Erik Larson

Dr. Susan Hafen published an interview with author Erik Larson in the Spring/Summer 2020 edition of the journal Weber: The Contemporary West. Before the interview, Dr. Hafen read all of his books, including “Devil in the White City,” which was a finalist for the National Book Award and stayed on the New York Times’ bestseller list for more than five years. The conversation with Larson was titled “Ferreting Out the Mysteries of History—A Conversation with Erik Larson.”  

Public speaking instructor consultant for upcoming TEDx event

Brent Warnock, an instructor in Communication, has been involved over the past year as a speech consultant for the upcoming TEDx event in Ogden. The event was Saturday at Peery's Egyptian Theater in Ogden.

Public relations professor interviewed for Instead podcast by MPC alum

Dr. Nicola Corbin was recently interviewed by MPC Alum Wyatt Traughber for Utah State University's Instead podcast. Presented by USU’s Office of Research, on the podcast Traughber interviews scholars to learn how Utah’s researchers move the state forward as new challenges circle the world. Traughber's conversation with Dr. Corbin, titled "Extending Grace," draws on her research surrounding media representations and stereotypes of Black women and how Black college women negotiate these stereotypes. The conversation expands broadly—to Dr. Corbin’s childhood in Guyana and experiences in America as an immigrant and a Black woman, racial stereotypes, and an analysis of the Minneapolis Police Department’s public relations response to George Floyd’s death. To listen to this conversation, read Traughber's post and listen here: https://research.usu.edu/instead/blog-posts/nicola-corbin.

Professor receives recognition for outstanding undergraduate research mentorship

Dr. Anne Bialowas has been recognized for outstanding mentorship in undergraduate research in the College of Arts & Humanities. The award comes from the Office of Undergraduate Research at Weber State University. 

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August 2020

 

Fall Semester registration open with academic advisors standing by to help; new associate’s degrees offered

Registration for Fall Semester continues to be open. We are here to help you with academic advising and registration overrides—whatever you need. Weber State University is offering classes in a variety of innovative and convenient formats during the COVID-19 pandemic. They include face-to-face, face-to-face hybrid, online, virtual, virtual-hybrid, and flex.

  • Face-to-Face: Instruction in a classroom following strict health guidelines
  • Face-to-Face/Hybrid: Instruction both in person and asynchronous online
  • Online: Instruction asynchronous online
  • Virtual: Instruction in synchronous format during scheduled time
  • Virtual/Hybrid classes: Instruction uses both synchronous and asynchronous technology
  • Flex: Format allows in-person, lab, studio, experiential or large class sizes within social distancing guidelines.

For more information about course schedules, see https://www.weber.edu/Registration/Student_Course_Schedule.html.

If you need academic advisement, visit www.weber.edu/communication to determine your advisor. The department chair, Dr. Sheree Josephson, can also help you. She can be reached at sjosephson@weber.edu. If you need assistance registering for a class that requires a prerequisite that you are currently taking, the department’s administrative assistants can help you. They can be reached at sgardner1@weber.edu and slove@weber.edu. You can also take a prerequisite and the class requiring that prerequisite at the same time, but the administrative assistants will need an approval email from the professor.

This is the August edition of the monthly email to majors. At least once a month during the regular school year, we will email you to let you know about meetings of student organizations, guest speakers, important deadlines, opportunities, student and faculty achievements—and more. If you have information you’d like us to distribute, please email department chair Sheree Josephson at sjosephson@weber.edu.

What’s Happening

August

  • Aug. 24: Fall Semester begins

September

  • Sept. 7: Labor Day break

Student News

New associate’s degrees in Digital Media Production available in Fall Semester

The Department of Communication is now offering associate’s degrees in Digital Media Production. Students have the choice between an Associate of Science, an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Applied Science. Students majoring in Digital Media or Film Studies are encouraged to contact their academic advisor to enroll. The degrees stack on the bachelor’s degrees in DM or Film Studies with classes double-counting for both the associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. This provides a way for students to add a degree to their resume before the bachelor’s degree is completed. Faculty who can help students add this degree to CatTracks include Andrea Baltazar at andreabaltazar@weber.edu; Aimee Gillette at aimeegillette@weber.edu; Ash Soltani-Stone at ashsoltanistone@weber.edu or Dr. Sheree Josephson at sjosephson@weber.edu.

Studio 76 students take on 48-Hour Global Film Challenge, livestream Congressional debates

Studio 76 students participated in the 48-Hour Global Film Challenge in June. Filmmakers from all around the world had 48 hours to complete a film from script to screen in a genre given at random. Studio 76 students participate in this film competition yearly. This production was led by Studio 76 executive managers, Logan Gossett and Cameron Jackson. Students had to adhere strictly to COVID-19 safety protocols. Students and faculty advisor Andrea Baltazar wore masks, socially distanced, took temperatures and disinfected equipment daily. They followed the Utah Film Commission’s Recommendations for Healthy and Safe Production Sets. The cast and crew members included:

  • Director: Cameron Jackson
  • DP: Chelsey Shuman
  • Camera operator: Rachel Loveland
  • Audio technician: Kieffer Allen
  • Editor: Logan Gossett
  • DIT: Eleana Witt
  • Producer: Nefi Alulema
  • Writer: Ryland Sparrow
  • Production assistant: Collins Blakely
  • Gaffer: Jonathan Chen
  • Actors: Jasmine Quinn and Marco Martinez

Studio 76 students also livestreamed the debates in the race for the First Congressional District on June 8-9.

Journalism scholarships awarded to nine Communication majors

The Department of Communication has awarded scholarships for the 2021-2022 academic year to nine students. Here are the recipients:

  • Patrick Parkinson: Jennifer Greenlee, editor-in-chief, The Signpost
  • Jack and Betty Lampros: Marisa Nelson, news editor, The Signpost
  • Lampros Journalism Fund: Alec Cipollini, Sarah Earnshaw, Lissette Landeverde, Robert Lewis
  • Deseret News: Sarah Earnshaw
  • Salt Lake Tribune: Miles Shaw
  • Allison Barlow Hess: Daryn Steed, managing editor, The Signpost

Alumni Achievements

Digital Media graduate owns video producing company, earns master’s degree

Matthew Havertz, an alum in Digital Media, is a video producer and owner of Purpose Pictures LLC. In that role, he has managed the business while producing and editing more than 15 videos for eight clients. He also earned a Master of Science in Instructional Technology from Utah State University in 2019. He graduated with a 4.0 GPA. He also taught a class at USU on video production to undergraduate students.

Announcements

Students can enroll in two classes in one time slot

Students will have the opportunity this fall to combine two courses into a single timeframe. COMM 3130, News Reporting and Writing, will meet on Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m., and COMM 3780, Broadcast News Writing and Production, on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. The focus of COMM 3130 is to write journalistic pieces, while the focus of COMM 3780 is to produce broadcast news pieces. In this combined model, students will be able to report on a single event or topic and both write and produce a news piece on it for publication and broadcast. Adding these multimedia packages to a portfolio will make students highly attractive to future employers. Students who have not yet taken COMM 2250, Essentials of Digital Media, should not take COMM 3780. Because of the time overlap, students may need an override to enroll. Those who are interested can email Dr. Jean Norman with their W number.

The Signpost publishing online during summer on campus events

Weber State's student news organization, The Signpost, is publishing online during the summer. Staffers are reporting updates to the university's status with the COVID-19 pandemic and special financial help available to students, as well as the status of athletics and other events in the community. The Signpost will be available at signpost.mywebermedia.com or issuu.com/thesignpostwsu.

The Signpost accepting applications for Fall Semester

The Signpost is still accepting applications for students interested in joining the staff of Weber State's student news organization this fall. Positions include news reporter, photographer, videographer or sports reporter. Scholarships are available. The application can be found at signpost.mywebermedia.com under the About Us>Staff menu.

Faculty Accomplishments

Public relations professor interviewed for Instead podcast by MPC alum

Dr. Nicola Corbin was recently interviewed by MPC Alum Wyatt Traughber for Utah State University's Instead podcast. Presented by USU’s Office of Research, on the podcast Traughber interviews scholars to learn how Utah’s researchers move the state forward as new challenges circle the world. Traughber's conversation with Dr. Corbin, titled "Extending Grace," draws on her research surrounding media representations and stereotypes of Black women and how Black college women negotiate these stereotypes. The conversation expands broadly—to Dr. Corbin’s childhood in Guyana and experiences in America as an immigrant and a Black woman, racial stereotypes, and an analysis of the Minneapolis Police Department’s public relations response to George Floyd’s death. To listen to this conversation, read Traughber's post and listen here: https://research.usu.edu/instead/blog-posts/nicola- corbin.

Professor receives recognition for outstanding undergraduate research mentorship

Dr. Anne Bialowas has been recognized for outstanding mentorship in undergraduate research in the College of Arts & Humanities. The award comes from the Office of Undergraduate Research at Weber State University.

Chair publishes ‘Handbook of Visual Communication: Theory, Methods, and Media’

Dr. Sheree Josephson, chair of the Department of Communication, has published the second edition of the “Handbook of Visual Communication: Theory, Methods, and Media” with Routledge. The book features 13 of the main theories in visual communication written by some of the foremost scholars in the field. These chapters are accompanied by peer-reviewed research chapters. Josephson, the lead co-editor, worked with Dr. James D. Kelly of Indiana University and Dr. Ken Smith of the University of Wyoming. The book contains a research chapter by Josephson and Master of Professional Communication graduate student Stacey Tyler titled “Using Eye Tracking to See How Children Read Interactive Storybooks with Supplemental or Incidental Digital Features.” Josephson also co-authored the Introduction with Kelly and Smith. The official publication date of the print edition is April 29.

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