News & Events

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December 2018

Congratulations to the 62 graduates in the Department of Communication and the five finalists in the Fall Semester Speech Showcase. We are proud of your accomplishments and look forward to celebrating with you. 

To those of you not graduating but still in the process of registering for Spring Semester, please let us know if you encounter any problems registering for classes. Please contact the department administrative assistant, Sare Gardner, at or the department chair, Dr. Sheree Josephson, at We are happy to help you. Use the “wait list” if the class you want is full. Sometimes we are able to add classes to the schedule.     

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

What’s Happening


  •         Dec. 6: 7 p.m., EH 229, Speech Showcase
  •         Dec. 6: 6 p.m., EH 304, graduation cap decorating party
  •         Dec. 14: Graduation
  •         Dec. 15: Homeschool debate tournament


  •         Jan. 7: Spring Semester begins

Student News

More than 50 students graduating with associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in Communication

Congratulations to the 42 students graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and the nine students graduating with an associate’s degree in Communication. Commencement will be Friday, Dec. 14, at 8 a.m. in the Dee Events Center. The Lindquist College Convocation will be at 1 p.m. in the Val A. Browning Center.

The graduates include:

  •    Civic Advocacy: Danielle Marie Collier, Megan Kayli Kendell
  •   Digital Media: Tori Leigh Alexander, Austin J. Berenyi, Uriel Flores, Sonja L. Schuette, Dallas Terry, Spencer K. Teramoto, Elizabeth Wharton, William Scott Womack Jr.
  •    Interpersonal & Family Communication: Geoffrey Paul Canaan, Saige McKinna Hadley, Chris Alexander Monahan, Rachel Parks
  •    Multimedia Journalism: Cameron D. Gifford, Raychel Jayne Johnson, Jacob McMahon, Japheth Nathann Pleasant
  •    Organizational Communication: Marissa Hansen, Noelle Nicole Lee
  •    Public Relations & Advertising: Jake Dixon Bergquist, Darryl Kevin Denby, Trent Elihu Ferrin, Annelise Feuz, Mia Grace Muluwork Hale, Jake Halter, Adam David Livingston, Kyler Mecham, Michael William Numbers Jr., Carly Lynn Peercy, Clyde M Ratliff, Jennifer Richins, Ross William Rosier, Shaundra Rushton, Madison M. Samuels, Brenda Jean Schenck, Timothy C. Tincher, Steven Craig Vargo, Chloe Lynn Walker, Jennica Marie Wilden, Bradley Williams, Taylor Winnie
  •   Associate of Science in Communication: Amy L. Arnold, Alexis Mary Atkin, Ashton Robert Corsetti, Barbara Rose Dille, Andrew J. R. Johnson, Jacob B. Martin, Lyanne Darla Tangog, Joseph Anthony Traub, Hollie Webster

Digital Media student to graduate with Honors in Communication

Sonja L. Schuette, a student graduating in the Digital Media emphasis, will graduate 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.

Eleven students graduating with master’s in Professional Communication

Congratulations to the 11 students graduating with a master’s degree in Professional Communication. They are Steven W. Bench, Jesse K. Checkman, Kyle D. Cropper, Matthew D. Driggs, Kimberly Ann Ealy, Kallen Evans, Mark T. Hudson, Michelle Hurst, Carlee Louise Madsen, Patrick Murphy and Melissa Smith.

Speech Showcase to feature Top 5 speakers from Fall’s public speaking classes

The Department of Communication will host the Fall 2018 Speech Showcase on Thursday from 7-8 p.m. in the Eccles Lecture Hall in Elizabeth Hall Room 229. The five finalists will deliver speeches and the other top speakers from Fall Semester’s sections of Comm. 1020 Principles of Public Speaking will be honored. Mark Merkley, a longtime faculty member who helped establish the Showcase, will be presented with the Freedom through Rhetoric award, recognizing his contributions to the community and the university through speech. Everyone is invited to attend. The top speakers include: 

  • Peter Eck: The Importance of Political Participation
  • Anthony Frazier: Drug Legalization: The Solution to Overcrowded Prisons
  • Emma Harris: Just Breathe
  • Lucy Kunzler: Pages Before Posts
  • Megan Coles: Ogden: A Sanctuary City

PRSSA chapter hosting graduation cap decorating party Thursday

The student chapter of PRSSA will hold a holiday party potluck on Thursday with graduation cap decorating. Attendees will also fill shoeboxes for veterans. Everyone is welcome. You don’t need to be a PRSSA member. The celebration will be at 6 p.m. in Elizabeth Hall Room 304.

Four Communication students land jobs after internships

Four Communication students have landed jobs after their required internship in Communication. They include Colin Hooten, Ross Rosier, Carver Nicholas and Madison Miner. Hooten was hired as a part-time employee after his internship with Cranston, Inc., as a result of creating and reporting a customer service survey. Rosier was asked to continue part time with University Marketing &Communications, even after graduation, because of his many press releases that were picked up by local media. Nicholas, after completing an unpaid digital media internship at KSL during summer and fall, has been offered a paid, on-call position as a digital media producer at KSL. Miner just accepted a full-time job with Albion Fit as an events coordinator, based on her internship with Minky Couture where she coordinated a major warehouse event and hosted meetings.

Debate tournament for 250 homeschooled high school students set for Dec. 15

WSU Debate will host the Wasatch Independent Debate League, a debate tournament for 250 high school students who are homeschooled. The tournament will be Dec. 15 in Elizabeth Hall. It will include five events.

Studio 76 production heading to Filmapalooza, an international film festival

Weber State University’s Studio 76 students are heading to Filmapalooza, an international film festival, in Florida this March, after raking in awards at a local competition. “If the Shoe Fits,” a short film created by WSU students, won awards for Best Film, Best Directing, Best Sound Design, and Best Use of Character at the 48-Hour Film Project premiere. The film was created in 48 hours according to an assigned genre and character. WSU filmmakers had to incorporate a shoe designer named Samuel Powell and use a prop of a high-heeled shoe. They also had to use the line “I was wondering if you could help me.” Digital Media student Schuylar Hudson was the main actor and assisted with audio. Studio 76 staffer Kalie Pead and Studio 76 faculty adviser Andrea Baltazar were the main writers and directors. 


Two Special Topics classes offered in Spring Semester

Two Special Topics classes (COMM 4500) are being offered in Spring Semester on two exciting topics. They include COMM 4500 Global Perspectives: Communicating Effectively in a Multicultural Society and COMM 4500 Digital Documentary Filmmaking. Global Perspectives will be taught by Dr. Michael Ault and Dr. Bobbi Van Gilder on Mondays and Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. Digital Documentary Filmmaking will be taught by Andrea Baltazar on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. Global Perspectives will explore cultural influences on communication in the workplace and in everyday life. Digital Documentary Filmmaking will teach non-fiction storytelling in video. Both classes will be accepted as Communication electives if students work with their academic advisers.  

Tips on registering if you want to do an internship in the summer

If you are planning to do an internship in the summer but not taking any other classes, you can avoid paying for those 3 credits just for summer registration by enrolling in COMM 4890 in the Spring. That will give you access to the Canvas course. You will receive an Incomplete at the end of Spring semester, which will not affect your GPA, but you have a year to complete your online internship assignments. You can NOT do an internship in the summer, but enroll in COMM 4890 in the Fall.

Alumni Accomplishments

Public relations graduate being recognized for excellence

Jason Carlton, a graduate in Public Relations & Advertising, is being recognized as the 2018 Mid-level Professional of the Year at the Golden Spike Awards, sponsored by the two Public Relations Society of America chapters in Utah. In April, he will also receive the 2018 Excellence in PR Award from the national PRSA Health Academy Section.

Former faculty member, MPC graduate receive Presidential Outstanding Staff awards

Allison Barlow Hess, the university’s director of public relations and a former Communication faculty member, received the Presidential Outstanding Staff Award. Dani McKean, a graduate of the Master of Professional Communication program, also was honored with the Presidential Outstanding Staff Award. They will formally receive their awards at the annual staff awards luncheon on Feb. 7. 

Faculty Achievements

PR professor named Educator of the Year by Utah chapter of Omega Psi Phi

Dr. Nicola Corbin, a public relations and advertising professor, received the Educator of the Year award from Omega Psi Phi at its ceremony in Salt Lake City on Nov. 17. Corbin is the faculty adviser to Ogden Peak Communications.   

New Communication professor delivers keynote speech at awards ceremony

Dr. Nathan Rodriguez, a new professor in strategic communication and public relations, delivered the keynote speech for the Omega Psi Phi Achievement Award ceremony in Salt Lake City on Nov. 17. His speech explored issues related to the prompt for the organization's essay contest: "How has social media impacted today's youth and what influence does it have on their future?" 

Interim director of forensics named to national office, conducts workshop at Black Retreat

Interim director of forensics, Ryan Wash, has been named the collegiate executive secretary for the Association of Black Argument Professionals. He also constructed and facilitated a workshop titled “Playing Your Role: Allyship for Non-black People of Color” at the Black Retreat hosted by the Association of Black Argumentation Professionals.


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