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Student-run PR agency wins entrepreneurship award

Student-run PR agency wins entrepreneurship award
By Maggie Yarnold
 

Inigo, Loyola’s student-run communications agency, was recently named the 2018 EntrepreneurshipU Awards Student Startup of the Year. 

The EntrepreneurshipU Awards are held through 1871 a tech-incubator housed in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. This community work space is home to many startups, including a space for Inigo, and the student agency has received several clients from inside 1871’s walls.

Sophomore Midori Shelton, the current firm director of Inigo, said she hoped to win the Student Organization award. Shelton said Blaine Danielson, a founding member of Inigo and current account executive, had submitted Inigo into the competition, and she was initially shocked to have won.

“My initial reaction was shock, but at the same time I wasn’t all that surprised,” said Shelton, a Communication Studies major and Sociology minor. “We are high-functioning and [we have] such a hard-working group of people so it doesn’t surprise me in that sense.”

Danielson said the Inigo team, which currently consists of 19 students and 11 apprentices, is what makes this firm so successful.

“Some of our biggest success comes from the people who are in it [Inigo], and being able to give them this real-world work in a class setting,” said Danielson, an AD/PR major and marketing minor.

The name Inigo was chosen as a homage to St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, since Loyola is a Jesuit institution.

Danielson acted as the firm director last semester and she said she wanted to move to the account part of the firm to interact with the clients more. Danielson said the Inigo team is similar to a second family and her biggest obstacle came while she was the firm director last year.

“I had never been in that sort of leadership position before … and [I overcame this obstacle by] just doing it and realizing we’re in a learning situation and that’s what this is for — learning to grow from any mistakes that we make,” Danielson said.

Inigo since its beginning has helped three companies per semester, and this year Burgundy Fox will be the first company to continue using Inigo past the year. Inigo is growing rapidly, and this year it has won the PR award of excellence during the Loyola School of Communication (SOC) AD/PR reception.  

Shelton said next semester Inigo will be adding a creative director to the staff. And account teams will be evenly divided between creative majors and AD/PR majors to adjust to the clients’ feedback and meet their needs.

“I think we have the ability now to grow internally and have a greater presence in the SOC and our general campus,” Shelton said.

Danielson said Inigo’s branding is “Igniting Conversations.” And, to ensure the brand remains the same through staff changes each semester, a handbook was developed as a guide to everything within the firm.

“[Inigo’s brand and goal is] creating conversations between everybody,” Danielson said. “[Conversations] between Inigo and Chicago, Chicago and our clients and us and our clients. We want people talking about Inigo and we want to talk about the SOC and get people to understand and see … make everyone aware of each other.”

The class time acts as staff meetings when the directors will check-in with the three account supervisors and account supervisors will delegate assignments and go through account progress with their teams. Teams are about 5-6 people each.

Since Inigo is a fully functioning firm, it takes in revenue as deliverables are presented to the clients. This revenue stays within Inigo covering the expenses of the firm.

Shelton said she cannot gauge exactly how Inigo will grow with time, but it has quickly grown since its start and the awards are a reassurance that the work it is doing is important, unique and necessary.

“I think Inigo is … is Chicago’s only student-run consultant agency. Truthfully the sky is the limit or us … we are as close to a fully functioning agency as we can be,” Shelton said. “We’re building a lot of relationships with 1871 … [the Student Startup of the Year award] is putting us on the map and it’s reassuring that the work we’re doing is being recognized.”

Shelton said the most difficult aspect of being the firm director is leading a student-run firm and keeping that boss relationship with her close friends.

“As the firm director, Inigo is fantastic because it is a student run agency … but you’re also overseeing the operations that are being led by your peers,” Shelton said. “You don’t want to say to say to your best friend of three years “business is business” but you have to.”

Inigo is scheduled as a class under COMM370 and it will be permanently in the curriculum starting next year. The class is run by Professor Cheryl McPhilimy and it meets Thursday from 4:15-6:45 p.m.

Journalism program starts neighborhood news bureau

By Maggie Yarnold
 

With the collapse of the news site DNA Info, Chicago neighborhoods like Rogers Park and Edgewater were left with a gaping hole where local news once stood.

Loyola’s School of Communication is trying to fill some of this role by creating a student-run neighborhood news bureau. The bureau reports on local news in Rogers Park and Edgewater on its website rogersedgereporter.com

Michelle Mortimer, a senior communications studies major and women and gender studies minor, is currently a student in one of the three news bureau classes this semester. She said she originally took the class to fulfill her writing intensive and communication elective requirements.

“I thought it was going to be this boring reporting class, but it’s taught me how to write concisely. That’s helpful for clarity,” Mortimer said. “A lot of writing classes are long, [but] the writing intensiveness isn’t about the length but the challenge of writing powerfully.”

Mortimer said her career will involve creating content for websites, so this class has been applicable and helpful. Mortimer said she thinks the bureau’s website will be a great way for the local communities to also learn about Loyola news since the university is a large part of Rogers Park.

“I totally think this website is valuable. Especially for the people in the neighborhood,” she said. “I think it’s a really good way for them to see what’s going on in our little Loyola bubble without having to jump into the Damen Student Center.”

Two of the lectures this semester are taught by Patricia Lamberti and the other lecture is taught by John Carpenter. Carpenter will be the Bureau Chief beginning this summer.

The Bureau Chief will run the bureau, help students find and enterprise stories and supervise the scheduling and certification of the Senn High School students’ hours. The news bureau has secured several grants, which permit Senn High School students to work part-time after school for the bureau.

Loyola has been partnered with Senn for around five years now and had built a news studio for the school to produce SennTV, a report of the school’s news, in the past. The news bureau is the newest addition to this partnership, and the students will be paid an hourly wage for their work and money for each story published to the website.

Michael Cullinane the digital journalism teacher at Senn High School meets with Loyola’s School of Communication’s associate dean John Slania twice a month to develop curriculum and plan an annual field trip to Loyola’s broadcast studio. Cullinane said he hopes the news bureau will help his students realize they can write bigger stories.

“I hope it shows them that they have the ability to report on stories people want to read outside of the school,” Cullinane said. “I also think reporting on neighborhood stories which are relevant outside the walls of Senn High School will be important … the community could benefit and learn from it and it would be great.”

Cullinane also said he is excited for his students to work at a faster pace than they experience in the classroom. He said his students will have to learn a slightly higher level of responsibility because it is a paying job, but they have shown they are responsible and strong students.

Cullinane was also once a student at Loyola and graduated with a master’s in digital media and storytelling. Cullinane said Lamberti was an impactful professor while he was at the university.

Lamberti said she was first a little nervous to teach in the news bureau because of the logistics of having high school and college students learning in the same class, but it worked out well.

“It ended up working out great,” Lamberti said. “The Senn students see the college students as mentors and the Loyola students realize the Senn students have a different reality in the neighborhood than they do.”

Lamberti said she hopes more classes and grants will continue to run through this bureau and she will be working during the summer to increase visibility of the website. She said it is great to have students outside of the School of Communication in the class and learning and she enjoys getting different groups talking.

“It’s so easy to live in a bubble right now and I like to see bubbles being broken. This is a good way to get different groups talking who would otherwise ignore each other,” Lamberti said. “It was nice to see the other students … get into news and news literacy and see what journalists do.”

Expanded awards and speakers highlight annual AD/PR Reception

Expanded awards and speakers highlight annual AD/PR Reception

By Maggie Yarnold

The 2018 AD/PR Reception is experiencing a year of firsts.

The reception, which consists of a cocktail hour and award ceremony for students, has existed for a decade. But this is the first year it was planned by associate professor and program director of public relations Pamela Morris. This is the first year it will host two guest speakers. And it is the first year awards were submitted and will be presented for three different categories: public service, advertising and public relations.

This year, Stacy Bingle, senior consumer trends analyst for Mintel and co-editor of Mintel’s 2018 Consumer Trends Report, will be speaking during the reception. Her colleague, Loyola graduate and Trends Analyst for North America, Iliana Alvarenga will accompany her. Alvarenga graduated from Loyola in 2014.

The 2018 AD/PR Reception will be from 6-8 p.m. on Monday, April 16.

Bingle said she is most excited to speak informally with students at the event and discuss their interests. She said Mintel is always hiring and expanding rapidly, so students interested in research should consider applying.

“[I’m excited] to chat with the attendees and get their perspectives on how they see what they’ve learned translating to the real world,” Bingle said. “I’m looking forward to … learning about how this information [from the trends report] helps them, but also just want to see what they are hoping to go out and do in the world.”

Mintel is a global award-winning provider of market research. Bingle said the trend reports produced by Mintel are used by advertising agencies and companies to understand why consumers are making certain purchases and how to target audiences.

“I think it’s interesting to see how differently [ad firms] think about consumer trends,” Bingle said. [Agencies must be] thought provoking … innovative … in the times. Agencies come to the table with a different perspective … they want [Mintel] to challenge them more and give them their next wave knowledge.”

Morris said she is excited to have Bingle and Alvarenga attend, because it is an added incentive for professionals to attend as well. This is supposed to be the first cocktail party networking event for the Advertising and Public Relation seniors and juniors. She said she expects around 125 people to attend the event, and it is open to all upperclassmen in advertising and public relations.

“[This is about] networking. You have to be pretty polished in this business,” Morris said. “You have to be good with people, you have to network. In these professions you work in groups … it’s about bouncing information off of each other and that’s when sparks fly.”

Awards of Excellence will be distributed to the winning students for each category during the ceremony. Morris said around a dozen students or groups had submitted projects to the Advertising and Public Relations sections, but she was unsure of the number of submissions for public service. Previously, awards were only offered for public service.

The winner of the public service category will also receive a Ebeling PR-ize of a $2,000 scholarship. However, all winners will be entered into a raffle for a boat ride from professor Herb Ritchell. Morris hopes to find sponsorships for the other two categories in the future, so all winners can receive a monetary prize.

Everyone who attends will receive raffle tickets at the door for prizes from Kendra Scott, Soup Box, Hampton Inn and more. Morris will also set up table tents throughout the event as a way for people to talk and get involved with the Snapchat filters and hashtags associated with the event.

“We want this to be interactive and fun, thought provoking. And we want this to be a way for people to have conservations and mingle,” Morris said. “It’s connecting it to everything. We’re using all sorts of social media.”

Morris said planning this event has taken many people and she’s excited to see the entire event come together. She said she had to keep the overall program in mind while planning the event because it is growing and transforming.

“We’re graduating our first cohort of advertising creative majors. There are few universities that have tackled educating advertising creatives … this is a major accomplishment,” Morris said. “It’s a great time to be here and everybody should have good reason to celebrate. There’s change on the horizon and we’re going to embrace it to better our teaching and learning of our students.”

Morris said having Bingle and Alvarenga speak is perfect because advertising, public relations and public service must incorporate research. Morris said she encouraged all upperclassmen who submitted projects to tell their bosses and colleagues at their internship companies to attend.

The 2018 AD/PR Reception will be April 16 from 6-8 p.m. in Kasbeer Hall on the 15th floor of Corboy Law Center.

SOC Dean wins national leadership award

By Maggie Yarnold
 

Many aspects signal a good leader: charisma, deliverables, poise, and possibly most importantly, support from those being led.

Don Heider, founding Dean of Loyola’s School of Communication (SOC) embodies all these characteristics. He was named the 2017 Scripps Howard Foundation Administrator of the Year through the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).

“It’s a great honor, especially given how many wonderful programs there are around the country.  More than a recognition of me, it’s an acknowledgement of our school; all the hard work faculty and staff have put it over the past few years, and what amazing students we have,” Heider said.

Heider has held leadership roles and been involved with the AEJMC, Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication (ASJMC) and Accredited Council of Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC). Heider served as the vice president of ASJMC from 2011-2012 and was president through 2014.

The selection committee’s statement said Heider’s involvement in these organizations and his administrative leadership for Loyola’s SOC made him an ideal candidate for the Administrator of the Year Award.

"Don Heider’s leadership in AEJMC, ASJMC and ACEJMC give him the national visibility that winners should have, plus he has built a stellar school of communication from scratch,” the statement read. “His commitment to diversity, the creative programs and partnerships he’s initiated in the community … are all highlights of his leadership."

Heider also founded the Center for Digital Ethics & Policy through Loyola. The center was founded through Loyola’s SOC to provide a platform for dialogue, research and guidelines for ethical behavior in online and digital environments, according to the center’s website.

Heider said he has strived to lead faculty to constantly update the curriculum to ensure that students are receiving cutting-edge instruction.

“We have worked diligently to make sure our curriculum keeps pace with world of journalism and to do our best to give students great opportunities to learn and succeed.  Evidence of our success is how many of our students are working at places like ABC News, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and many other great news organizations,” Heider said.

Associate professor Lee Hood recognizes Heider’s strengths and positive contributions to the SOC.

“It’s been a great privilege for me to work with him and wonderfully exciting to see how far his career has gone since he was a young instructor at Colorado and I was his teaching assistant,” Hood said. “Speaking as someone who also knows people in journalism education across the country, I can say he is thought of nationally as a leader in journalism education.”

In 1992, while Heider was pursuing his PhD from the University of Colorado, Hood was his teaching assistant. Hood said Heider treated her as an equal and she applied to Loyola because she wanted an opportunity to work with him again.

“He and I were great partners. When I worked as his teaching assistant it was just a terrific experience,” Hood said. “He’s a very positive person. Very outgoing. He’s fun to around. He can really diffuse tense situations and has a great manner in terms of people skills.”

Hood said Heider was deserving of this award and he is well recognized for his broadcast and journalism education careers.

Heider worked in broadcast news for a decade before switching to academia. From 1980 to 1990, Heider worked as “syndication producer for the Gillett News Bureau in Washington, D.C., special projects producer and manager of Special News in Nashville and executive producer at WTVC-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee,” according to Loyola’s website.

During this time, Heider received five Emmy awards, a regional Edward R. Murrow, and a Tennessee Associated Press Award, according to the Media and Learning Association. The Media and Learning Association is an international non-profit which promotes the enhancement of innovation and creativity through teaching media across all levels in Europe, according to its website.

Jennifer McGill, the executive director of AEJMC, said in an email administrators are nominated by universities, faculty or members of the first-round review committee. The first committee selects three administrators, usually out of four to six, to be reviewed by the second committee. This second committee is comprised of different people and it receives additional information and support letters from the administrators being considered.

Hood said Heider is “a strong voice of best practices in journalism and communication education.” She said since the SOC’s founding in 2008, the school has gained valuable programs and expanded its reach under Heider’s leadership.

“He has a way of getting things done — I think that’s a really great quality in a leader,” Hood said. “Because he is a strong leader, and that leadership has been recognized across the campus, we have a higher profile than we would otherwise.”

Heider taught at University of Texas at Austin, University of Colorado, the University of Mississippi and American University before coming to Loyola. While at these institutions, Heider received several awards for his teaching including the Outstanding Faculty Member Award at Ole Miss in 1991 and The Eyes of Texas Award for excellence in service in teaching in 2005.

Hood said as a teacher he is energetic and caring. She also said he is a strong administrator who is open to other’s ideas.

“It’s a tremendous benefit for students to be able to see how he connects things happening and challenges they have to things that are going on in the wider world,” Hood said. “As an administrator he’s very open. I never feel intimated bringing something to him. He really has a broad vision and seems to have no shortage of ideas for different, and interesting things the school could do and could be.”

SOC Rambler Sports Locker, The Phoenix at NCAA Tournament

SOC Rambler Sports Locker, The Phoenix at NCAA Tournament

Loyola University School of Communication students work in the media room of the Philips Arena in Atlanta during the Elite 8 games. (From left) Kelsey Frew, Nick Schulz, Conor Bergin, Hanako Maki, Hayley Spitler, Chris Hacker and Henry Redman.

By Jessica Brown
 

Among all of the excitement and flurry of news coverage surrounding the Loyola University men’s basketball historic run in this year’s NCAA tournament was the presence of student media.

The Loyola Phoenix and Rambler Sports Locker (RSL) covered every game during this breakout season, before the team showed up on the radar of local and national media. For the last four years the School of Communication (SoC) has provided travel to the Missouri Valley Conference in St. Louis for a number of students  in an effort to enhance their education around what it means to act as professional reporters.

WATCH: On the road at Arch Madness

This season the SoC not only sent students to Arch Madness, but to all three locations of the NCAA tournament: Dallas, Atlanta and San Antonio. From print, to video, to photography, Loyola’s student media covered all facets of the games.

Henry Redman, Phoenix sports editor and co-producer of RSL, was on the road for all four stops along the Ramblers’ journey to the Final Four. He could feel the anticipation of waiting to find out if the SoC would be able to take students to the first round of games.

“I was so excited when we found out we would get to go to Dallas,” the multimedia journalism major said. “We were worried we wouldn’t have funding and were planning on paying our own way down. I was shaking in the SoC basement when we got the email that we would get to go.”

Having the funds to travel through the Southern region was not the only concern students had. They also had to worry about working with seasoned professionals. For most of the students this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that came with a lot of pressure.

Senior Hanako Maki came along as a photographer during the games in Atlanta and San Antonio. She said she worried about not being able to be as good as the pros.

“I was — and still am — most nervous about holding my own with the working professionals,” said Maki, a multimedia journalism and studio art photography major. “I felt like we were underdogs because we're student media and was nervous about failing to earn the respect of my peers.” 

PHOTOS: Ramblers lose the battle Four it all

Working with professionals is a skill that the SoC tries to prepare students for, and covering the tournament offered an opportunity for these future journalists to put their classroom lessons to work.

“In Richelle Rogers’ class we would have one class period to report, write and complete a broadcast story,” Redman said. “It helped my speed so much that I never felt like I was too slow or panicked when there was pressure. 

Maki said she first viewed the Elite 8 weekend as a challenge, but was able to come out triumphant

“I am proud I was able to leave my [shyness] on the shelf and make sure I wasn't pushed out of the way and that I got the shots I needed,” she said.

WATCH: RSL NCAA coverage

Loyola’s student media did such a great job covering the Ramblers that they even got the notice of some major news outlets. Assistant Phoenix sports editor and RSL reporter Nick Schulz did a preview of the Final Four on Chicago’s WGN, and The Kansas City Star did a feature on the student reporting team.

WATCH: Loyola sports writer previews Final Four

READ: Kansas City Star feature

In total the SoC sent eight students to the combined four cities over the last month. The amount of coverage they did, and received, illustrated their preparedness.

“You can run with the big boys,” Redman said. “Just because they have more expensive equipment and get paid to be there doesn’t mean you don’t know what you’re doing.”

Jessica Brown is a Senior Professional in Residence in the Multimedia Journalism program at the School of Communication, co-advisor to the Rambler Sports Locker, and a Public Voices fellow.

SOC alumnae, student, become social media influencers

SOC alumnae, student, become social media influencers
By Maggie Yarnold
 

People have been given a powerful tool to become influential: social media.

But who can become an influencer?

With strong branding, passion and a low cost to entry, more and more people are able to join the influencer community through social media and blogging.

Loyola’s School of Communication will host an Influencers Panel 4-6 p.m., Wednesday, March 28, to discuss how people can turn social media skills and branding into a successful career.

The panel will feature two Loyola graduates and one student: Abbie Boudreau of ABC’s Good Morning America, Addie Martanovic of Chickpea in the City, and Megan Rogers-Reilley of Bowtiful Life.

These women built successful careers by presenting their ideas and inspirations to a wider audience.

“My biggest thing when it comes to branding, marketing and blogging is to be true to yourself,” said Rogers-Reilley, a 2017 graduate with a degree in Communication Studies. “Just being true to my own voice and my own writing. The content that I share … [nearly] everything I’ve shared I’ve created.”

The event will be moderated by Dr. David Kamerer, Associate Professor in Public Relations and Digital Media, and a noted social media researcher and scholar. He said influencers are usually on social media platforms, such as Instagram or blogs and influencers posts lie somewhere between advertising and public relations.

“In advertising we pay for influence, in public relations we earn it,” Kamerer said. “An influencer post is somewhere in the middle. It reads like an article, it reads like a third-party post — like a public relations post — but it’s paid.”

Rogers-Reilley runs a lifestyle and fashion blog, but she said she has branched out into multiple categories since she first started Bowtiful Life in January 2012. She currently works three jobs and said she started working at retailer Kendra Scott only part-time to devote more time to her fashion and lifestyle blog.

“Even when I’m not physically, consciously working on it, I’m thinking about ideas and writing them down, or I’m editing a photo on the train,” Rogers-Reilley said.

Boudreau started Abbie Live!, her live-streaming blog, around January 2016. Boudreau said Abbie Live! is a fun, family-friendly blog meant to bring a little bit of happiness to people’s days. She said she enjoys live-streaming more than traditional interviewing set-ups.

“What would take a network [of about] 20 people to accomplish, is just me sitting at a computer doing a very similar thing. So, the idea that live-streaming can give an individual, especially a journalist, so much power [to] tell the stories they want in the way they want – that’s really exciting,” said Boudreau, a 2000 graduate with a degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Political Science.

Kamerer said influencer advertising and blogging is easy to jump into and the market is open. He said influencers reach a smaller, specific audience, compared to mass culture. However, influencer audiences are more likely to engage with the content and purchase the products.

“We want to show our students and anyone in the audience a close look into this advertising niche. The barriers to entry are low, so anyone with a passion can jump in and create,” Kamerer said. “All the eyeballs are online, but we don’t really have a good advertising unit. That’s brings us to influencer programs.”

Boudreau said once she left investigative journalism and moved into entertainment, starting Abbie Live! was a great way to be active on social media.  

“I thought [live-streaming] was a total adrenaline rush,” Boudreau said. “It was basically the same skill set I’ve always used as a reporter, but instead of cutting-and-pasting one or two sound bites, the whole fifteen minutes of interviewing someone was live. It’s a really cool way to tell the full story.”

Addie Martanovic’s blog, Chickpea in the City, is centered around health and food. She is a senior studying Advertising and Public Relations.

Rogers-Reilley said she is excited to be on the panel, because she loved going to School of Communication events while at Loyola and networking with people. She said the panel has a good group of people who fill different niches.

“I’m excited. I love just sharing what I do because I am so passionate about it,” Rogers-Reilley said. “Being able to have an environment where people can ask [how I started blogging … It breaks down that cyber wall. It’s a face-to-face interaction rather than a screen-to-screen interaction.”

Boudreau said she’s excited to come back to her home and spend time with family. She said she’s a Rambler and would do anything for Loyola.

“I’m excited to share ideas and listen to what other people are doing with their social media accounts,” Boudreau said. “And how they hope to build a stronger and more positive community.”

SOC alum makes headlines as political reporter

SOC alum makes headlines as political reporter
By Maggie Yarnold
 

Tina Sfondeles is a newspaper reporter. But she loves her job so much, it doesn’t feel like work.

Sfondeles, a Loyola graduate, is a Chicago Sun-Times political reporter. She knew she wanted to be a print news reporter since she was in sixth grade.

Sfondeles did not start in the political beat, but she said her personality is perfect for this beat and the skills it requires.

“I’m very good at source building … [the politics beat] it’s perfect for me in terms of the way it works,” Sfondeles said. “I talk really fast and I work very fast and I’m friendly and funny. I’ve been told I’m very relatable, so when I talk to politicians I am able to speak with them like they’re regular people.”

Sfondeles graduated Loyola in 2005 with bachelor’s degrees in communication and international studies with a minor in journalism. The journalism major was just beginning as Sfondeles was about to graduate. While at Loyola, she said Dr. Connie Fletcher had a large impact on her and is still a good mentor and friend.

Fletcher said she loves the passion of journalism student and Sfondeles raised the bar of how a journalism student should be.

“I got such a kick out of Tina as a student,” Fletcher said in an email. “She just brimmed with energy and enthusiasm; I can't remember a day, even around midterms (slump time) that Tina seemed the slightest bit tired.”

The political beat has demanding hours and Sfondeles said she enjoys waking up and not knowing exactly what her assignment for the day will be. For example, Sfondeles recently was sent down to Springfield early in the morning to cover an Illinois House vote of gun legislation.

“The unpredictability [is the most stressful aspect of the job],” Sfondeles said. “I wake up at 7 [a.m.] usually … the days are long and you’re not sure how they’ll go.”

Sfondeles’ personality and love for the job makes writing about politics exciting and rewarding. Sfondeles said that with the primaries approaching March 20, she needs to find ways to relax because “it’s insane, it’s all day.”

“The way firefighters and cops have adrenaline highs, that’s what I have all the time … it’s a constant state of ups-and-downs and you have to just become accustomed to that,” she said. “You have to take a break for yourself and breathe. I have to exercise because it helps my brain and everything else calm down.”

Sfondeles said one of the most challenging parts about covering politics is remaining unbiased and covering every side.

“Especially in the election coverage you’re always trying to be fair,” Sfondeles said. “Making sure you have equal coverage for everybody … you need to try to give them a voice. I don’t think that’s a problem for me, but I’m extra careful.”

Sfondeles joined the Sun-Times in 2007 writing high school prep stories, then moved to the wire desk covering breaking news and was later promoted to the metro staff writing on transportation. She moved into general assignment and was finally promoted to the political beat. She has been on the politics beat for over two years.

“These sessions, when Tina shows how you report, write, and share through social media before, during, and after a story are especially valuable to my students,” Fletcher said. “I like her wardrobe tips, too: Tina will pair a nice jacket and top with jeans and boots. The top is in case she's on TV; the bottom half of the outfit is in case she needs to slog through mud or cracked pavement, whatever Chicago might throw at her.”

Sfondeles has visited Fletcher’s class several times since her graduation and has taught courses for Loyola. She has taught Reporting Basics I, and when she taught Advanced Reporting, she guided her students in the production of Mosaic, Loyola’s social justice magazine. She said teaching the journalism classes are her favorite but teaching overall has helped her appreciate journalism more.

“I think it’s a good thing when journalists are teaching aspiring journalists,” Sfondeles said. “It made me appreciate my job a lot more seeing people want to do what you’re doing and being able to help them do that.”

Sfondeles said she used to be worried by people’s responses to her clips, but as she progressed in this beat she learned to trust herself and her staff.

“If you’re fair, if you’re factual, if you show all sides – you’ll always win,” she said. “I definitely have had some discussions with people who were upset … but they couldn’t point out anything that was factually wrong. You have the support of your editors who will fight for you.”

 

Ten Ethics Lessons from the #MeToo Movement in Media -- and Beyond

Ten Ethics Lessons from the #MeToo Movement in Media -- and Beyond
By Jill Geisler, Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity
 

It is a time of reckoning in the media industry. Breakthrough reporting revealed that newsroom sexual misconduct is both pervasive and protected. That truth became the catalyst for the #MeToo moment, which opened eyes by opening old -- and not-so-old wounds for all to witness. Victims spoke out. Predators were fired. Workplaces began to take stock of their cultures. How did it happen here? How did our systems and values harbor harassment and discrimination?

In my role as a professor of leadership and ethics, with deep roots in newsroom management, I’m helping them not just answer those questions, but to ensure that the #MeToo moment becomes a movement. The goal is workplace integrity: an environment free of harassment and discrimination and filled with opportunity, especially for those who have traditionally been denied it.

The foundation for my work was the Power Shift Summit in January 2018, at the Newseum in Washington, DC. I moderated the gathering of 130 diverse media leaders, educators, legal experts and victims of harassment. Their insights and calls to action became a report; the report became a project. The Newseum Institute asked me to help guide that work – in newsrooms and beyond.

So, as I design programs to foster workplace integrity; raise awareness, build skills, change cultures, and rebuild trust, let me share some ethics lessons from the worst of what we’ve uncovered and the best of what we can hope to be.

  1. Using only legal yardsticks to measure harassment leaves great space for misconduct. There’s a vast stretch of wrongdoing that may not meet an EEOC threshold test of illegality, but nonetheless demeans, devalues and can drive away its victims.
  2. Those with power have an ethical obligation to understand its impact on others.  A leader’s language can become the newsroom’s stylebook; from mundane to profane. Their requests can be heard as dictates. Their approval or disapproval can be career-altering.
  3. Power resides in individuals (supervisors or superstars), but also exists within “in” groups in organizations: veteran employees, key work groups, and staff who outnumber colleagues. Their collective thinking and behaviors can affect others – for better or worse.
  4. Employees who are popular, generate goodwill or revenue for organizations must be held to the same standard of behavior as all others.  Turning a blind eye to the misdeeds of a “rainmaker,” prioritizes money over morality.
  5. It is unethical to excuse misconduct as a function of a highly creative or stressful environment.  To excuse is to enable – and to legitimize a toxic culture.
  6. Confidentiality, non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements may benefit the organization, while harming victims and society.  Victims may not be able to warn others. Harassers may re-offend. Organizations may cover up their own complicity.
  7. When incivility is tolerated in the workplace, it sets the stage for escalating misconduct. In a toxic environment, where people are routinely exposed to profanity-laced tirades, vulgarity-as-levity, and bullying as the norm, harassment and discrimination easily take root. Victims in such circumstances may presume reporting their fate is a futile act.
  8. Sexual misconduct is not a stand-alone issue; it must be seen in its relationship to racial and gender inequity and to discrimination in the workplace.
  9. The new and necessary focus on sexual misconduct raises important conversations. Consider the power of words and phrases. When the past is positioned “the days when people weren’t so politically correct” - remember that women often had little power, little legal protection and little recourse in work situations that demeaned them and subjected them to harassment. Their apparent compliance was a survival mechanism.  Terms like “ladies man” or “handsy” trivialize inappropriate behavior. Imagine replacing the word “handsy” with “molest-y.”
  10. Organizations have a duty to care. If they have no mechanism for victims to safely report, do no anti-harassment training or provide it in a manner that is easily mocked or ignored, if they pay scant attention to diversity in hiring and promotion, they are increasing the likelihood of misconduct and discrimination.

Jill Geisler is the Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola University Chicago and the newly-named Newseum Institute Fellow in Women’s Leadership. Information on Power Shift programs and free training resources are available on the Newseum’s website.

NBA communication executive, Loyola alumnus, honored for service

NBA communication executive, Loyola alumnus, honored for service
By Maggie Yarnold

 

Brian McIntyre had a lot to celebrate.

First, he was among the sold-out home crowd Feb. 24 that watched the Rambler’s Men’s Basketball team close out the regular season with a victory, earning top seed in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.

Then at halftime, McIntyre was presented the Fr. Finnegan Award as part of Loyola Athletics Hall of Fame. This award honors an individual who has made great contributions to youth through sport.

“I was taken aback, nothing I ever expected. To be honored by the university is a special honor,” McIntyre said.

Like Sr. Jean Schmidt, the basketball team’s chaplain, McIntyre brings people together and adds comfortability to an environment.

Like Porter Moser, the team’s coach, McIntyre listens to the people he works with and he’s a fair leader.

And like the late Gene Sullivan, a legendary Rambler coach, McIntyre is an establishment-changing powerhouse who has left a lasting impression on Loyola University and basketball.

McIntyre graduated from Loyola in 1972 and took off toward an ever-climbing career in the basketball industry. McIntyre worked in communications for the Chicago Bulls and began working as the vice president of communications for the NBA from 1981-2010 when he was promoted to and retired as the senior communications advisor for the NBA in 2014.

McIntyre launched many changes in communication policies for the NBA. He said he made changes that would build better communication by asking the players, coaches and media what they needed.

“You try to build relationships with people first so they believe what you’re saying,” McIntyre said. “When people work with you and they realize you’re trying your best … there’s a confidence that develops and a trust, and I believe that’s how you’re able to help people. I was fortunate, I came in when the NBA wasn’t all that popular. The league was open to a lot of ideas, we could change something on the drop of a dime, we could see something and run with it.”

McIntyre harnessed the confidence he gained from his mentors and worked diligently toward his goals. He has since helped many rising journalists and public relations students gain their own confidence by speaking at universities. One of McIntyre’s mentors was Gene Sullivan. Sullivan was the athletic director at Loyola Academy while McIntyre was a student and later led the 1984-85 Ramblers to the NCAA tournament.

“He was an inspiration to me and he gave me shots of confidence when he was my athletic director. He [Gene Sullivan] gave me a jolt of confidence that lasted a long, long time,” McIntyre said. “I’m forever indebted to Gene for listening to his student …  it’s [the Fr. Finnegan Award] a great honor, I don’t know if I deserve it as much as Gene [Sullivan] or Jerry Lyne another Loyola coach. I want to accept this award in their honor because they had such a huge role in my personal development.”

Dr. Tom Hitcho, the senior associate director of operations for the Loyola Athletics Department, was on the deciding committee for the Fr. Finnegan Award. He said the last time someone was honored with this award was 2006.

“Part of the Hall of Fame is we have two special awards, so we thought about who should be chosen for this award [Fr. Finnegan] and Brian [McIntyre] was heads and shoulders above everyone,” Hitcho said. “They did such a great job with the Bulls. The NBA office hired him and he just took off. … He was involved in the Olympics. He instituted the Sixth Man Award. White House visits. … In the world of basketball domestically, internationally, he’s one of the top guys.”

McIntyre began the Sixth Man of the Year, Most Improved and Defensive Player of the Year Awards.

“One of the awards I started was the Sixth Man of the Year Award … that was just to give a higher profile to parts of our game,” McIntyre said. “The idea of a sixth man is what a good team is all about … [Andre] Jackson was the Sixth Man of the Year last year for the Missouri Valley [Conference] and when I read that I felt a certain pride.”

When McIntyre attended Loyola University, he was the last sports writer for Loyola News, the original school newspaper, and the first sports editor for the Loyola Phoenix. He said he thought he wanted to be a beat sports writer so he would read 15-20 newspapers a day and study how the sports writers wrote, what they focused on and how they laid out their pages.

“When I got involved with the NBA it was a perfect match. I was able to match up my pitches with people who would be receptive to it,” McIntyre said.

McIntyre has two awards named after him. The Professional Basketball Writers Association named an award for strong writers after him and the NBA Public Relations Directors’ Association named the trophy of an award honoring strong communication heads after him.

McIntyre has received many honors throughout his career, but he said getting an award from his alma mater is hard to believe.

Steve Watson, Loyola’s athletics director, said it’s an honor to recognize McIntyre for all he’s done for basketball.

“To be able to bring some attention to somebody who’s kind of been in the background is pretty cool,” Watson said. “He may not have been a player, but he’s as well respected as anyone in the basketball world.”

SOC professor leaves lasting impression on students

SOC professor leaves lasting impression on students
By Maggie Yarnold
 

How do you want to be remembered?

“I always have a motto. The thing I want to be written on my grave is ‘you were a warm person,’” Dr. Jing Yang said. “I try to give off some of my authority as a teacher, I’m just a few years older than them [the students] and have been learning a few years longer, that’s all that sets us apart.”

Yang joined Loyola’s School of Communication last fall, and has already inspired her students.  

“The first time she taught, there were about six or eight students. This semester, the class is full and people want to get in,” Omkar Todkar said. “People genuinely learn from her and she makes it fun and look so easy.”

Todkar has now enrolled in two classes with Yang. Todkar is a graduate student who came from India to receive his master’s degree in Global Strategic Communication.  

Another student, senior Maria (Angie) Pinilla, has also taken two classes with Yang. Pinilla said Yang learns with the industry and makes learning interactive.

“She was very knowledgeable … she comes off as very engaging,” said Pinilla, an Advertising and Public Relations major. “She’s one of those professors you can build a relationship with on the first day of class. [She has] a bubbly, super-interactive and inquisitive personality. She’s always searching for that new knowledge ahead of everybody else.”

Yang became interested in social media advertisement while pursuing her Ph.. in media and information studies at Michigan State University. She said advertising is now digital and personalized to the consumer.

“Social media literature is evolving right now,” Yang said. “It’s the now. If you look at the data … there’s a major shift to digital usage. You have to make me [the consumer] experience, you have to make me attach to it; it’s more about how the consumer connects to the brand. This is your future, this is going to be your job description.”

Yang grew up in Southern China and said she wanted to get her Ph.D. in an English-speaking country to challenge herself to take her education seriously.

“I have learned this language [English] for over 20 years, I just really wanted to practice what I spent my time on, Yang said. “For the USA, you had to take the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations), which is the hardest part, and I prefer the challenge.”

Yang received her Ph.D. in 2017 and has developed two theories within social media and mobile advertising.

The concepts, “Enacted Affordances of Social Media” and “Congruence Model of Native Advertising in Social Media”, are about the consumers’ relationships with the social media site and the sites’ relationships with advertisements. Both models illustrate a need for companies to know their audience based on the social media outlet and the person’s age or recent searchers.

“If your brand does not fit the platform it will bring intrusiveness to the consumer,” Yang said. “How do we blend in the advertisements into the daily lives of the consumers? We need to provide the information in a time when you need it and not bother you when you don’t need it.”

Yang said her teaching style is interactive and she wants her students to actually do the work they’d do in the industry. She said she teaches based on Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu’s lesson: “If you tell me I will listen, if you show me I will see, if you let me do it I will learn.”

“Her teaching style … it’s so revolutionary,” Pinilla said. “[Her teaching style is] practical interspersed with theoretical; she’ll teach you the theory of what we’re learning and then dive into the practice of how to use it. She makes you love your classes … I wish more professors would learn from her.”

When she first came to the United States, she said she tried to fit in with and model herself after Chinese Americans; she tried to be “American” while she taught to earn respect, but later accepted her multi-cultural identity.

“The hardest part of coming to the States was trying to find who I was as an international student and as a professor,” Yang said.

Yang’s students embrace her unique identity and her passion for teaching.

“She gets excited about things … that keeps the mood in the classroom pretty high,” Todkar said. “She has that attitude where she’s willing to help you move forward. She’s brought her knowledge of China to the classroom. That knowledge sets her apart.”

SOC students win broadcast journalism awards

SOC students win broadcast journalism awards

By Maggie Yarnold

Show and Tell isn’t just for kindergartners.

At Loyola’s School of Communication, journalism students learn that a reporter’s job is to show, not tell, a story.

Digital media storytelling and broadcast journalism have made this concept a greater reality, allowing the subjects to not only speak for themselves, but appeal to a viewer’s emotions.

This year, three SOC students – Jeffrey Chow, Erin Law and Megan McKinley – were acknowledged for their storytelling, receiving the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) Award of Excellence within the student documentary section.

Chow’s piece, “One Magazine at a Time,” showcased Steven Rigg, a StreetWise magazine vendor. The story began with Rigg describing the events that made him homeless. The story then turns to his life now with StreetWise providing him a steady income and higher quality of life.

“It starts off with Steven telling his back story … he kind of makes the turn from there to work for StreetWise. It goes from more a somber tone to uplifting,” Chow said.

This turning point is Chow’s favorite aspect of the piece because it shows how organizations like StreetWise can positively affect a person. Chow said he enjoys and wants to continue writing and producing stories for people who typically do not have the social standing to tell their stories for themselves. Chow will be graduating in May with a master’s degree in Digital Media and Storytelling.

“I became interested in telling the story of people who most people wouldn’t take the time to listen to or hear their story, because they have a story to tell,” Chow said. “I worked around the idea of telling the story of people who may necessarily have the voice to do so.”

Chow also said he thinks digital media makes a story more compelling, and more personal.

“I feel like it especially important to hear the voice of the person who’s telling you about their life … their inflections really tell you what’s about to come up and how they feel about the situation,” Chow said.

Both Law and McKinley agreed with Chow. McKinley said having the visual and auditory aspects of video brought out the women’s joy as they spoke about volunteering for or being helped by Dress For Success.

Dress For Success is a non-profit organization that has provided women the support, professional attire and tools to be successful since 1997, according to their website.

“I don’t know [if the story would be as strong without digital media],” Law said. “The women that we interviewed, both the clients and the volunteers, had such interesting stories … and presented themselves in such compelling ways, so getting to hear those stories is a lot stronger than just reading it.”

“Dress for Success” allowed the volunteers and women being helped to tell their stories. The women being helped by Dress for Success are usually struggling financially and looking for the resources they need to get a job.  

“One of my favorite parts … I think is when Holly, one of the volunteers, says she just met this woman a few minutes before and she’s so warm and happy,” McKinley said. “It’s almost more exciting for the volunteers to gain the relationship with those women…it’s so much more than just giving someone something to wear.”

Law and McKinley, both said they want to continue producing stories around social justice and empowerment in the near future. Both women will also be graduating with master’s degrees in Digital Media and Storytelling.

“I know Megan [McKinley] and I are both interested in women empowerment in general,” Law said. “Really just focusing on stories around social change, social justice … those are the types of stories I’m interested in and want to continue pursuing.”

Professor John Goheen encouraged Law and McKinley to submit Dress for Success to the BEA Festival of Media Arts competition, according to Law. Dress for Success also received a Student Emmy, but McKinley said she still forgets the BEA Award of Excellence is real.

“It’s kind of strange for me to be in this position, McKinley said. “It’s such a great honor … but then to kind of be in this position where we are given an award like this it sometimes just doesn’t seem real.”

Chow was also happy to have his work rewarded. The addition of showing these stories through video allows readers to meet the people in the video, and “maybe people can learn from this and do better to improve the ways they help the people they’re trying to help,” Chow said.

“One Magazine at a Time” can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/209040389 and “Dress for Success” can be viewed at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kY1qV1svgzg.    

Jobs, Internships and More!

Jobs, Internships and More!
By Maggie Yarnold
 

Here’s a way to jetpack toward a successful career: become engaged in the 2018 School of Communication Career Week, Jan. 30 to Feb. 6.

The School of Communication understands an undergraduate education should progress into a career. Students may feel a sense of anxiety as graduation nears, but Career Week can be a helpful aid in mending those fears.

This year, the Career Week will feature four events: What It Takes to Break In; Resumes that Pop to the Top; Tailor Your Career Toolkit; and Networking & Career Fair.

  • What it Takes to Break In is scheduled for 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, January 30 in Regents Hall. Experts from across communication disciplines will share their candid advice on how to get a foothold in the field. They will share their stories and the successful strategies of others on breaking into the business. Panelists will describe their description of the ideal intern or entry-level job candidate and how to be that applicant.
  • Resumes that Pop to the Top, slated for 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, January 31, in Regents Hall, will feature communication professionals from a variety of organizations who will meet one-on-one with students for resume critiques. Run in a round robin style, students gain the opportunity to meet with four or five professionals, including some alumni, for resume and career advice.
  • Tailor Your Career Toolkit, from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, February 1, in Regents Hall, goes beyond the resume, giving students practical, hands-on internship/job search advice. Attendees will leave with a game plan for the Career Fair, advice on their LinkedIn profiles and a new headshot; valuable practice approaching recruiters and professionals; fashion guidance for interviews and the workplace; and pointers on a successful portfolio/personal website.
  • The Networking and Career Fair will be 3-5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 6 in Kasbeer Hall. It will feature close to 30 communication-specific employers seeking intern and job candidates. Featured employers this year include the Chicago Sun-Times, Walker Sands, Jellyvision, Daily Herald, Kinetic, Velocity EHS, Muslim American Leadership Alliance, and many more.

School of Communication students, such as recent graduate, Nadar Issa, say they have benefitted from the Career Week events.. Issa is now a breaking news and crime reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. Issa interned with the Sun-Times his spring semester senior year and performed well, which earned him a full-time career; he is working toward becoming a sports reporter.

“It’s not exactly what I envisioned, but I don’t think I would change where I started,” Issa said. “To get back into sports, I first had to move away, because working at a news desk, working breaking news, will help me get to my goal faster.”

Internships are extremely important during a student’s undergraduate career because they build a student’s experience, portfolio and connections. Students are often hired by the company they interned with or are given connections that lead to careers, through the internship, according to Donald Heider, Dean of the School of Communication.

Issa said his internships gained him work experience, research skills and patience. He also said his internship with the Sun-Times put pressure on him, “because at the end of the day, you’re still in college. … That really makes you feels like your part of the newsroom, part of the team.”

Brenna Hogan, who studied Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in music while at Loyola, is now the account executive at Highwire Public Relations. Highwire works exclusively with technology companies. Hogan said she always knew she wanted to go in to PR, but she didn’t originally see herself working in technology.

“I didn’t have any tech experience when I started at Highwire and have learned so much since then,” she said. “Now I can’t imagine myself not working in technology. The industry is fast-paced, constantly evolving and sometimes controversial. Every company is becoming a technology company at this point, so tech PR is really the place to be.”

Hogan began as an intern for Highwire in June 2015 and was promoted to account executive by December 2016. She said the experience she gained from internships while at Loyola prepared her for a full-time career.

In this technological age, many applications are online, but nothing competes with making a strong first impression with an employer in-person. The Networking and Career Fair, along with the other events, allows students to make these connections with people directly, so their resumes are moved to the top of the pile, according to Heider.

Career Week began nine years ago and has seen increased attendance every year since its inception. Last year upward of 200 students attended.

“Even if you think you’re heading to graduate school, there are tools here that will help you,” Heider said.

The Tailor Your Career Toolkit night has people set up at small tables and students choose which short presentations to attend. Presentations include ways to develop a low-cost professional wardrobe, how to pitch yourself, a LinkedIn photo station and more.

College studies help students develop the fundamentals of their field, but outside experience and post-graduation immersion into that field are the best way to grow, according to Hogan.

“I’m amazed at the growth I’ve seen in myself since I joined the workforce full-time,” Hogan said. “Now I get to mentor others and see the same growth in them.”

Issa said he is also excited to come back to Loyola to see old colleagues and meet new people.

“I’m excited to come back … When I was at Loyola, a lot of people helped me get to certain places,” Issa said. “If there’s anyone I can help … it would be great to help someone at Loyola.”

For more information on School of Communication Career Week, click here: Career Week.

Teaching with passion and compassion

Teaching with passion and compassion
By Maggie Yarnold
 

Dr. Elizabeth Lozano stands before her class and declares: “Close your eyes and grin big.”

Lozano explains to her Critical Ethnography class that grinning while thinking of your aspirations for the day will make the day better, and help a person stick to his/her goal.

Her enthusiasm and positive outlook are among the reasons Loyola recently presented Lozano with the Peter Hans Kolvenbach Award for Engaged Teaching. The award recognizes a faculty member who promotes active, collaborative learning through experience — so concepts learned in the classroom are applied to real life situations.

Lozano starts each class with mind and body exercises to help change the class energy and her own. She said she is overly sensitive and can be affected by the energy of the students around her, so she likes to give the class a fresh start.

 “I realized very early on how my students’ energy had an impact on me … and I perceived that my energy had a huge impact on people,” Lozano said. “I have realized a systemic correlation between my mood and the class.”

After a short series of stretching and breathing exercises, Lozano’s exuberant personality fills the room and prepares her students for a passionate discussion of the day’s lesson.

“She’s just generally a passionate person … and when you combine that with her teaching you get a very special experience,” said Elizabeth Black, one of Dr. Lozano’s former students.

“You’re not only learning the content of the class, but you’re learning it in a way that makes you excited to use it. Even the people who didn’t really want to be in class were totally captivated by her,” said Black, a 2017 graduate with degrees in Communication Studies and Global and International Studies.

Lozano was born in Colombia and began teaching at Loyola in 1993 with a brief hiatus from 1996-1999 when she returned to her native country to teach. Lozano said she never fully assimilated into either of the contrasting Colombian or American cultures. Lozano described herself as quirky, passionate and bi-cultural – she has adopted parts of both cultures into her life.

By incorporating her personality and life experiences into the classroom — and acknowledging her and her students’ journeys — she can be a stronger professor.

“I benefit my students the most when I am my authentic self,” Lozano said.

Lozano’s teaching style has changed since she started working in Loyola’s School of Communication. She said she started teaching for herself and quickly learned she had to teach for the student.

“When I started teaching here, I was very good at lecturing and I gave incredibly challenging assignments,” Lozano said. “At the time I said, ‘I will design a class that I would love to take,’ and I realized that was an awful policy to take.”

Lozano now uses stories and popular culture examples to help enhance the students’ experiences in the classroom. She said she doesn’t fit the stereotypical view of a professor, having to stick to the facts and never show expression.

Black, 22, who is now a Junior Researcher for the Global Food Security Project, said Lozano is now a mentor and a friend. She said Lozano’s classes were the most memorable while Black attended Loyola.

“She really leads by example and I really hope other professors look to her and her award and try to model some of their teaching around her style,” Black said. “Out of all the classes I took at Loyola, hers were the ones that stuck with me the most just because of her teaching style.”

Lozano has received several teaching awards while at Loyola, but she said she took this award more seriously.

After being nominated for the Kolvenbach award, Lozano and the other nominees had to answer four questions about their teaching style. Lozano said as she answered the questions she realized there were areas she could improve on, but she also recognized what she was doing well.

“By the time I was given the award I took it seriously and I was very proud,” Lozano said. “This was really satisfying, and I feel tremendous gratitude; I felt supported in the decisions I had made in the ways I conduct my classes.”

Lozano always encourages students to give their feedback on her class, and her class is always designed around the needs of her students.

Black took four engaged learning courses while at Loyola and said Lozano’s classes were the most memorable and enjoyable.

“She really hit the nail on the head with what engaged learning should be,” Black said. 

Sexual misconduct in the newsroom: Jill Geisler leads discussions with industry experts in DC

The Newseum in Washington, DC, hosted “The Power Shift Summit,” a gathering of leaders in journalism and media that focused on sexual misconduct in newsrooms. Loyola University Chicago’s Bill Plante Chair of Leadership and Media Integrity, Jill Geisler, led the discussion.

“I have rarely felt as much energy in one room around an issue, along with commitment to systemic change,” Geisler said.

The event included representatives from some of the largest media outlets in the U.S. like NPR, PBS, Vox Media, CBS News, POLITICO, USA TODAY, and The Washington Post, and engaged them in a solutions-based conversation about what the industry is doing to handle current cases as well as prevent future misconduct. 

The first point focused on assessing where we are now. The second discussion centered around journalists and panel members who spoke about the stories they reported about sexual misconduct in the newsroom. Panelist Amy Brittain was one of the reporters who broke the story in the Washington Post about allegations against Charlie Rose, and former USA Today editor Joanne Lipman discussed her book That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together.

The last discussion highlighted change in the system, such as looking further into human resource departments, workplace confidentiality, and nondisclosure agreements.

To continue the discussion, the Newseum plans to  develop more programs that push forward the solutions to harassment and discrimination—such as workplace civility, anti-harassment training, safe reporting of misconduct, equity in hiring and evaluation, reviews of intern preparation, and attention to the relative powerlessness of freelancers and temporary employees.

“I’m honored that we at Loyola are helping in that continued effort,” said Geisler.

See the meeting’s agenda: http://www.newseum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Event_PSS_agenda.pdf

Alumna Vanessa Markopoulos pursues passion for brand marketing

Alumna Vanessa Markopoulos pursues passion for brand marketingAlumna Vanessa Markopoulos pursues passion for brand marketing
Virginia Barreda SoC Web Reporter 
 

School of Communication alumna Vanessa Markopoulos recalls everyone at Loyola being “universally” kind to her as a student.

“If you needed help with something, I never worried that I couldn’t ask,” she said. “There was always a sense of community that I really loved.”

Now, Markopoulos is helping her clients solve their own problems as a digital marketing manager at The Habitat Company, a residential real estate management and development business in Chicago.

Vanessa Markopoulos graduated from the SOC in 2012 with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations.

As a Chicago native, Markopoulos knew she wanted a university close to home.

“There was such an attraction going to a school in the middle of the big city,” she said. “I looked at other schools in the Chicago area, but I kept coming back to LUC. I just knew it was the right one.”

Markopoulos was a marketing major in the Quinlan School of Business, until she realized she could pursue a different side of business.

“I had this really creative side that I enjoyed…but as I started taking business classes, it was pushed to way side,” she said. “So I saw [advertising and public relations] as a great balance of having savvy business skills, while coming up with new and creative ideas and seeing how they would run." 

She transferred into the SOC her sophomore year, and held onto a marketing minor.

While her in-house marketing role at The Habitat Company is “to manage all of our properties,” Markopoulos said no day at the office is the same.

“I work to make sure we’re competitive from a digital perspective,” she said. “[That includes] social media, campaign strategies, working with internet listing service (ILS) partners to allow us to hash out a plan, getting vendors at the door…”

Additionally, Markopoulos said she is always trying to “beef up” the company's social media account and website, keeping it up-to-date.

“We’re always working on having more videos out there, being more progressive with company and catching up with the times,” she said.

She also teaches experienced colleagues and managers how to work with digital media. “There are people who’ve worked at the company for 25 years, and don’t know the digital media side,” she said. “I help educate them.”

Markopoulos said she was drawn to Loyola’s Jesuit values and the school’s quickly-evolving campus.

“The school was making so many changes — like building a lakefront,” she said. “There was something very appealing and enticing about [Loyola]… it just clicked.”

One of her favorite courses was communication and conflict management taught by Professor Gilda Parrella, Ph.D.

“I took it back then thinking it was going to be a piece of pie,” Markopoulos said. “When I took it, I thought ‘holy smokes this is insane’.”

Parrella transformed theory into real-life experiences in class, according to Markopoulos. She was fascinated with her professor’s in-depth teaching methods. “It opened my eyes to deal with people and deal with issues — a skill that she said is still relevant in her job today.

“I learned that everyone has a different personality, different skills and handle their conflicts differently. Being able to harness our skills has been useful,” Markopoulos said.

Parrella said Markopoulos was a “very engaged and lively student who was eager to participate in all the course exercises” and “brought strong, positive energy to the class.”

Markopoulos said that Public Relations and Digital Media Associate Professor David Kamerer, Ph.D., who taught her new media campaign course, also told great stories about real-life experiences that resonated with her. 

“You could read the information in the textbook, but it’s nice to hear about someone’s experiences in the field, she said. “He made it easy to be in class and to learn and understand a concept.”

When Markopoulos was in school, the idea of digital marketing was new and “revolutionary,” according to Kamerer. A small group of people tended to enroll in the class, but were rewarded with “fresh, cutting-edge information.”

“Not every student could see that revolution,” he said. “But [Markopoulos] could.”

Markopoulos’ early understanding of digital marketing has served her well in her career. 

After graduating from Loyola, Markopoulos worked as a marketing associate at Digital Design Corporation, an engineering consulting firm based in suburban Chicago.

Her hands-on experience involved sales pitches, managing distribution, traveling to trade shows and re-launching the company’s web presence

After two years, she tried her hand in two larger agencies, One North Interactive then Civilian, before coming back to an in-house environment at The Habitat Company.

Markopoulos said she wants to continue pursuing a hand-on, in-house marketing career.

“I have a passion for brand marketing,” she said. “That’s where I feel most comfortable. I don’t know if that’s because that where my first gig was….there are always new challenges, opportunities and changes. It keeps my job exciting.”

Markopoulos encourages others to also follow their own passions with hard work and diligence.

“I tell people that as far as when they’re trying to define themselves and work in a field, push yourself,” she said, “because that’s where you’ll reap rewards.”

Rambler Productions is deemed the SOC’s ‘hidden gem’

Rambler Productions is deemed the SOC’s ‘hidden gem’
Virginia Barreda, SoC Web Reporter
 

The School of Communication’s Rambler Productions is a student-run organization providing video, photography and live-streaming services to clients.

Rambler Productions’ mission: Teach students interested in videography how do a project from beginning to end, while providing high-quality products for clients. Students also get paid for their work.

Rambler Productions has been called the SOC’s “hidden gem” by Palak Shukla, communication specialist at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and Rambler Production’s returning client.

Shukla said she has hired the team to photograph multiple events, including graduations, student orientations, mock interviews and even a retirement party.

 “[Rambler Productions] is a win-win for users and students because they have practical exposure to skills and it’s nice [for the client] to have someone who understands video and photography,” she said. “It’s in-house, it’s an easy process and a lot better than someone on-staff with a camera.”

Senior film and digital media major Clare Huffstetter, who has worked for Rambler Productions since her sophomore year, said the experience has been nothing but helpful to her.

“It’s given me lots of experience with cameras, editing, different filming scenarios, live streaming, setting up and making sure everything is secure,” said Huffstetter, 21.

She appreciates that the job is a freelance position, based on events, which allows her to pick and choose which projects she wants to work on.

The program currently has 15 student employers, including four graduate school students. This is the first year graduate school students have been hired, according to Rambler Productions Manager Jim Collins.

“This is giving students an opportunity to do professional work, at professional standings, held to a professional level,” he said. “We get a job in, a student takes the role and speaks to the client to get job done. They become the producer and director of whole project.”

Collins said the small production firm began several years ago, after School of Communication Dean Donald Heider received a number of calls from potential clients asking for students for help with projects.

Former Studio Manager Keith Kimmons was the first Rambler Productions manager, according to Collins. Kimmons created a rate card, listing the program’s services and prices.

A portion of what the company gets paid goes to students, and the rest goes into a fund for maintenance of equipment for the team, Collins said. The number of projects vary from week to week.

“Sometimes I can go a couple weeks without them,” he said. “Sometimes I can have three or four in a week.”

Collins said most requests are either within the Loyola community or affiliated with Loyola; only a small portion of clients are outside of the university.

Projects requested of the staff could include producing, directing, conducting interviews for clients, editing video; and adding music, title pages and PowerPoint slides. A client may also ask for live streaming services.

While production team mostly does video services, it began incorporating photography last year.

The most recent project was for Information Commons Director Dr. Paul Voelker, for a panel called “Holocaust Rescuers: Overcoming Evil,” at the Klarchek Information Commons. The presentation was about people who rescued victims from the Nazis during the Holocaust.

First year Master of Communication: Digital Media and Storytelling student Kaitlin McMurray took on the project by herself.

“It was just me,” McMurry, 26, said. “I had to set up film myself, contact the client, and edit it and hand it back to the client. It was done from beginning to end.”

She said her job isn’t always smooth sailing, recalling some audio problems during the panel. But the experience has taught her how to face challenges head-on.

McMurry, who wants to make documentaries, knows she will be doing a lot of freelance work in her career. She said her work with Rambler Productions is preparing her for the real world and making her more confident in her abilities. 

“It helping me not only learn equipment, but it’s also helping me understand you have client, and what kind of questions you should ask [them], and how to deliver the best product you can,” she said.

As a client, Voelker said he looks for high-quality jobs that the library can preserve. He has relied several times on the “expertise” of the student workers in Rambler Productions.

“Jim [Collins] and the team do a great job,” he said. “The students are very professional. There are lots of programs that we want to preserve and costs can be expensive. So it’s nice to have a university-based production team that is affordable.”

McMurry said she is grateful that Loyola has given her an outlet that allowing her to apply her skills, gain experience and get paid.

“This helps me practice,” she said. “It’s a way to gain hand on and build me reel. I can link to Holocaust event and say ‘I filmed this from start to finish’ and show it to potential employers.”

McMurry said Collins has been a supportive mentor and a “wealth of knowledge.”

“He’s patient with me, and he’s encouraging,” McMurry, said. “He has a good balance of holding your hand and knowing when to step back to overcome challenges… and letting you shine.”

Collins said he will lose one-third of his staff this May, primarily because of graduating student workers.

“I’m sad to see some of the kids go because they’ve been working for me so long and I know them and you can depend on them,” he said. When I lose people that are really competent and dependable, it’s always sad.”

But he said he’s always looking to hire more talent.

Those interested in applying can visit https://www.luc.edu/soc/resources/ramblerproductions/ to download an application. Applications should be sent to ramblerproduction@gmail.com.

Loyola SoC Award Winners for TV and video work

Loyola SoC Award Winners for TV and video work

Six Loyola School of Communication students received awards for their video productions at a recent ceremony hosted by the Chicago/ Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.  Additionally, one Loyola student won a prestigious scholarship.

In the category of general assignment news, Crystal Pillar awards were given to Loyola graduate students Erin Law and Megan McKinley. They won the award for their story “Dress for Success,” profiling a non-profit organization’s efforts to provide professional clothing for disadvantaged women to help them enhance their career opportunities. Their story was completed in Professor John Goheen’s Video Documentary class in Spring 2017.

Also winning a Crystal Pillar in general assignment news was Byron Macias, a member of the Claretians missionary order and a student in the Digital Storytelling master’s program. His video essay, “Just a Shower,” shared a unique perspective on an everyday activity that becomes infinitely more difficult for someone with a disability. He produced the work in Professor Goheen’s Backpack Journalism course in Spring 2017.

The third award went to students Ronnita Dumas, Hans Hart, and Jessica Kirstein for their public service announcement, “Sophie’s Gun Shop.” The video was produced for the multimedia commercial production class taught jointly by Professor Goheen and Professor Pam Morris in Fall 2016. It featured a scene with a dark message: what if a child, instead of selling cookies and lemonade, set up a sidewalk stand to sell guns? The PSA promoted the mission of the Illinois Coalition Against Gun Violence, and supported the School of Communication’s social justice theme for the 2016-2017 school year.

In addition to the Crystal Pillar winners, multimedia journalism major Nick Coulson was honored as the winner of the Bernstein Global Wealth Management Scholarship, worth $5,000.

Coulson is a senior who was recently chosen for a prestigious internship with the ABC News program "Nightline" at the network’s headquarters in New York, where he will spend the spring semester.

Six other Loyola entries were finalists for Crystal Pillar awards, representing work by students Nader Issa, Madeline Kenney, Nicolas Lopez, Trisha McCauley, Grace Runkel, Jacob Voss, Jeff Chow, Hanlin Guo, Caitlin Higgins, Ashley King, and Nikhil Sequeira.

Alumnus Steven Michael Navas brews success by connecting with consumers

Alumnus Steven Michael Navas brews success by connecting with consumers
Virginia Barreda, SoC Web Reporter
 

Loyola alumnus Steven Michael Navas has always been drawn to “entertainment and the art of selling.”

He said supporting brands through sales initiatives is the career path for him. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s a beer connoisseur.

Navas, who received a degree in 2008 in Advertising and Public Relations, was part of the first School of Communication graduating class.

Today, he is brewing his way to success as the brand activation manager for New Belgium Brewing Company.

His current job is often about “getting your hands dirty.” 

“The brand activation teams are the arm of marketing team that get the physical jobs done,” Navas said. “We are the ones that provide insight on what happens in the field and ensure we support our sales teams in must-win markets.”

Navas said that the art of brand activation involves bringing “national marketing programs to life locally.” This allows marketers to connect with consumers, partners and get in the “trenches” with the sales teams.

While New Belgium is based in Fort Collins, Colorado and Ashville, North Carolina, Navas said his priority is to reach consumers in Chicago.

For a 25-year-old brand, it’s important to stay fresh — which Navas said is a lot harder said than done.

“..It’s extremely important to ensure we continue to innovate, continue to introduce and ensure [that] we stay relevant with a lot of activity,” he said. “Our goals are to drive trail so that in return we drive sales.”

His programs are centered on sales-driven initiatives including “on premise” events at bars and restaurants; sampling programs for customers; industry events, like parties for bartenders and servers; and other large-scale experiential events.

Navas also helps coordinate Chicago’s Tour de Fat, an event held in 33 U.S. cities, which combines bicycles with beer in honor of Fat Tire, one of the brewery’s most popular beers. The event also features local musicians and artists.

A portion of all proceeds go towards local non-profit organizations, according to Navas. This year at Chicago’s Tour de Fat, part of the profits were donated to West Town Bikes. He said New Belgium has raised more than $4.5 million nationally for partnering non-profits since its inception.

Navas said he puts these initiatives into action “with local advertising and promotion,” a skill he developed, in part, during his time in the SOC.  

While studying in the “beautiful” and “diverse” downtown campus, Navas said he fostered strong relationships with students, as well as professors who guided him through his career path.

Advertising and public relations professor Herb Ritchell was one of them.

“He had an amazing background, and gave me insight into the idea of advertisement,” Navas said. “He also helped me define the different categories of advertisements.”

Navas said Ritchell also played a key role in helping him land four internships during his time at school.

“He had an amazing positive attitude, friendly — almost beaming — and a lot of energy,” Ritchell said of his student. “He was also outgoing, which probably aligns well with his career.”

At the time of the SOC’s inception, there were two advertising and two public relations courses available, according to Ritchell, giving students the opportunity to help shape their curriculum.

Navas said that his professors at Loyola also taught him the importance of practicing ethical integrity in his career.  

“A lot of marketers don’t really think about the end consumer and just think about driving sales,” he said. “I try to think about how my work impacts consumers and [if] my work is doing good for them.”

But marketing adult beverages doesn’t come without its challenges. Navas said the beer industry is cluttered, often making it difficult to promote the brand. The job also brings a fair share of sleepless nights due to over-time work.

But, “the great thing about beer is that people always are interested in tasting it, learning about it and overall interacting with it,” he said. “It’s a very lively and social industry, which I love.”

Prior to his position at New Belgium, Navas had experience working at DC Comics, Six Flags and Beam Suntory. All of these opportunities have been a result of hard work and goal-setting, according to Navas.

“My biggest advice is to stick to your goal and stay focused,” he said. “It’s something I strive to do every day in my career.”

Professor Chris Yim, Ph.D, strives to give students a hands-on experience in public relations

Professor Chris Yim, Ph.D, strives to give students a hands-on experience in public relations
Virginia Barreda, SoC web reporter
 

After working 30 years in the public relations field, Chris Yim, Ph.D is dedicated to giving her students a hands-on experience in the classroom.

Yim said she wants to expose her students to the types of challenges that may arise in real life and work situations by creating a curriculum that includes mock press releases, case studies and discussions.

Once they get out of the class, [students forget what they’ve learned],” she said. “I love the word ‘muscle memory.’ Once they have hands-on experience...and then one or two years later, are in the job market, they’ll remember what they [did in class].”

Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Yim began teaching at Loyola this semester; this is her first experience as a full-time professor. Before coming to Loyola, she was the CEO of Porter Novelli in Korea, an international public relations firm. While in the company, Yim said she didn’t have much time to teach, but once she earned her Ph.D., she made the switch to become a full-time professor.

“In Seoul, I had a couple chances to help some adjunct professors, but it was very new and very challenging, but also very dynamic,” Yim said. “I really enjoyed it.”

The classroom culture between America and South Korea is “very different,” according to Yim.

“In Asian countries...in the classroom, usually the professors teach the students in a lecture-based [approach],” she said. “After lectures, [students] ask a couple of questions, but it’s a very limited interaction.”

Yim said students in South Korea expect to devote the entire class time to lecture. If a professor were to devote half of class time to lecture and the other half on an “activity or practice,” students would often consider the teacher to be “negligent in preparation” for the class.

Things were different for Yim when she set foot onto Loyola’s campus.

“The first couple of weeks, I prepared all of the lectures,” she said. “And I felt that students started to [get] bored. American students love to discuss...and want to engage...so that was the key difference that I found.”

Yim said she was impressed by American students — particularly those at Loyola — who are not afraid to speak their mind.

“The students love to speak up...make discussion,” she said. “They love to challenge the professors and have group discussions.”

Yim earned her master’s degree in public relations from Yonsei University and her Ph.D. in communication studies from Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea. She went back later to teach at both alma maters for about five years.

She wrote her dissertation on crisis communication, the specialty of defending a business when facing a public challenge that could damage its reputation.   

Yim said her family had already moved to Chicago six years prior to her arrival in the city, and she had been traveling back and forth from her home in Seoul to visit them before making the move permanent.

She said one of her greatest professional accomplishments was getting hired and having the opportunity to teach at Loyola.

“It’s not easy to get a job as an international faculty [member], especially from the Koreas,” she said.

Yim started her career in marketing as a brand manager for Burger King in Korea and then as marketer from Rich Products’ brand, before finding her interest in public relations.

“After six years, I realized that PR was a specialty unit and function of a company,” she said. “And one of the biggest merits of PR is [the idea of] expanding boundaries. Public relations [professionals] work with marketers, business executives, social media, and anything related to the public.”

Yim’s graduate-level campaign planning and practice course of eight students covers many PR campaign cases and teaches them the “key success factors” that people need in today’s global market.  

“I cover how to plan from the beginning... from the constitutional analysis, to how to position the brand and company in this market, how to make an insight, and how that can be delivered in the actionable program,” she said.

Students select a topic of interest and during the semester, create a campaign program for their topic and present it at the end of the course.  

“That’s the reason they are fully engaged in the program,” Yim said. “Because they are interested in their topics. And they are always thinking about how to apply the class lesson to their actual program. It’s a high-return on investment from the student’s perspective. By end of semester, they can have a very established portfolio.”

Maliz Mahop, a second year Master of Science: Global Strategic Communication student, said Yim has guided her through her initiative Light Up the City, an event influencing millennials to be leaders in careers, communities and campuses.

“[Yim] is walking me through what it means to have an initiative and bring awareness [to it] through a campaign,” Mahop said. “...This is super valuable. Taking the method, breaking everything down, doing case studies...those are the hands-on things that we do. We’re not just talking about theories every week. She wants us to be successful.”

Mahop, 24, said one of the most important lessons she has learned from her professor is to know your audience.

“Know the stakeholders involved in your campaign, project or initiative,” she said. “Because as a PR practitioner, you have to understand the people that you serve.”

While Mahop wants to work in television production, she said the skills Yim is has taught her are applicable in all cases.

“I plan to have my own media and communication firm, so this skill set will be valuable forever, not only in TV,” Malhop said. “If I want to [work] freelance on campaigns, I have the capability to do that because of what we’re learning.”

Next semester, Yim will also teach a course on crisis communication in the undergraduate program and a corporate communications course in the graduate program.

She plans on sharing her first-hand experience of working at Fortune 500 companies, to give students an idea of what businesses do in crisis situations.

The key lesson will be, “how [to] handle, how [to] monitor an issue before it escalates into crisis. How do you successfully go through the crisis and what might be the next step to recover from [it],” she said.

New SoC course focuses on defining fake news and identifying trustworthy sources

New SoC course focuses on defining fake news and identifying trustworthy sources
Virginia Barreda, SoC web reporter
 

Loyola’s School of Communication has introduced a new class this semester focusing on fake news.

Special Topics in Journalism Fake News: A Critical Look, taught by Adjunct Professor Dorothy “Dodie” Hofstetter, examines current and historical examples of fake news and includes discussion on how to help consumers determine the difference between trustworthy and untrustworthy sources.

Hofstetter said in her class, she wants to stress three main points regarding fake news:

  • While fake news has recently come to the forefront of discussion, it’s not a new concept.
  • Journalists have a “newer responsibility” of helping consumers decide what’s journalism and what’s not. “These days, sources may look legitimate, even if they’re not,” Hofstetter said. “The area is gray.”
  • The class focuses on definitions. “How do you talk about fake news without knowing what it is?” Hofstetter said. Students are encouraged to first define news and journalism, and then ask what is quality journalism.  

“For our first project, we had to define news, and our final project is defining news and fake news,” junior Multimedia Journalism major Henry Redman said. “So we’re spending the whole semester trying to find those definitions, and ending up with just a basic definition of both is going to be nice.”

Senior Multimedia Journalism major Jamilyn Hiskes said the class has already begun to list some key components of fake news.

“…Some parts of the fake news definition is that it’s made intentionally; it’s made to further a certain agenda and it’s made to make a profit,” said Hiskes, 21. “Those are the three of the biggest things that we’ve come up with.”

The class has also invited in a number of guest speakers throughout the semester. One of the visitors was former Chicago Tribune Associate Managing Editor, Bill Parker. Parker and his colleague, journalist James O’Shea devised a business plan with a rating system based on high, unbiased journalistic standards to determine a source’s reliability. 

Hiskes said while rating hundreds of sources is a daunting task, it will be a useful tool for news consumers. 

“They think this will help combat some of the people just clicking on whatever article they see from whatever source,” she said. “That idea was pretty cool to us and it was honesty shocking that no one had really thought about something similar before.”

During most classes, students bring historical and present-day examples of fake news to share and discuss.

Hiskes said it’s her favorite part of class. “It’s just interesting to see how it’s changed over time and how it’s stayed the same,” she said. “Some people have done stories from 15th and 16th centuries and some people have done stories from a month ago.”

As a journalist, Hiskes said, her main concern is that fake news undermines the entire journalism industry.

“I worry that people will stop trusting institutions like the New York Times, who may have published incorrect things before, but have never published fake news,” she said.

Junior Multimedia Journalism major Michael McDevitt thinks it’s up to internet companies like Facebook and Twitter to help combat the issue.

“Fake news is a money-making operation,” McDevitt, 21, said. “So as long as you click, [they’re] going to make money. It doesn’t’ matter if people know it’s fake. So, [companies] need to start monitoring their sites more, taking down stuff that is harmful to public discourse and is misinforming people. The public should also educate themselves. If you do a little reading, you can tell the fake stuff from the real stuff.”

He also argues that journalists should do their part.

“As a journalist, my job is to inform the truth as best as I can and break down complex things into simple words so that everyone can understand,” he said.

Students in the course are also in the process of creating guidelines to help news consumers recognize what sources should be trusted and which should not.

“I think in that way, journalists need to help people learn what’s fake and what’s not, McDevitt said. “I think it’s going to be difficult because trust in the media is very low right now…and so I think one way to earn that trust back is to help show people we’re trying to be the good guys here…and teach people the truth.”

Hofstetter said she has received positive feedback from students about the class and appreciates the thoughtful contributions to class discussion.

“Most of these students are people who want to be working journalists, she said. “They’re sharing their thoughts on how frustrating it can be sometimes to compete with someone who is a blogger [versus] someone who has gone through rigorous journalism studies. Journalism is vital to democracy itself. It’s there to keep government in check it can be super frustrating when you’re dedicated when opportunities are vanishing instead if increasing.”

Junior Multimedia Journalism major Chris Hacker said the line between fake news and fact is blurred, but the class has allowed for discussion one how to better separate the trustworthy information from the falsities.

“I think being able to spend a couple hours a week talking about news without a lot of structure, being able to discuss the problems that we face, and as a group, try to come up with solutions, has been biggest take away,” said Hacker, 21. 

Alumna Ellen Galles said kindness goes a long way in the world of journalism

Alumna Ellen Galles said kindness goes a long way in the world of journalism
By Virginia Barreda, SoC web reporter
 

In the often intense business of journalism, School of Communication alumna Ellen Galles said one kind, patient person is all you need to help you along the way.

Galles graduated from Loyola in ‘98 with a double major in communication and political science. Today, she works in St. Paul, Minnesota as a general assignment reporter at ABC 5 Eyewitness News.

Being a general assignment reporter is “the type of job where you come in and you have no idea what you’re doing,” she said. “Every day is different.” And that’s what she loves.

Galles’ career began in Traverse City, Michigan working at NBC 7 & 4. She then worked as both a general assignment and consumer reporter at ABC 24 in Memphis. She moved to Minneapolis to work for Fox 9 before starting at her current position.

During her five years at ABC 5, Galles said the Twin Cities have become her home.

“It’s meaningful to cover events that affect me, my family, my kids, and neighbors,” she said. “I feel invested in the market and in the area. In this job you move around, but I’ve been here for a while and it’s become home.”

One of hardest aspects of her job is having to interview people in “tragic circumstances,” Galles said. The challenge lies in finding a balance of sympathy and compassion, but also maintaining a professional distance.

“On the worst day of [someone’s] life, you’re the person that...shows up at their doorstep asking them to relive and rehash their story,” she said. “I’m a mom, so sometimes these stories hit close to home.”

Deadlines are also tricky, according to Galles. “It’s a lot of work in a short amount of time,” she said.

Additionally, every station is trying to incorporate more social media and develop an online presence.

“You have to keep evolving, [stay] relevant,” she said. “These are the new evolving challenges.”

Galles said ABC 5 uses mainly Twitter and Facebook for as social media platforms. All reporters also contribute written stories to the station’s website, making AP style relevant.  

The Nebraska native said her career path always led her to journalism.  

“I've known for a long time,” she said. “I've always liked writing. I had a typewriter in grade school. I'm a curious person, I like telling stories and I like people.”

Galles said she had limited understanding of journalism in high school, even though she worked on the newspaper staff. It wasn’t until her internships in college that she was able to immerse herself in opportunities to practice her craft.

She interned at several stations during her time at Loyola, including NBC 5, CBS 2, and CBS’s “48 Hours.”  

Galles described herself as a “sponge” soaking in the experience, information and learning the inner-workings of the newsroom.   

“That was probably the most eye-opening experience — working in a metropolitan area,” she said. “It's not always glamorous, but it’s always dynamic.”

She credited many of these opportunities to her mentors and professors at Loyola, namely Connie Fletcher, Ph.D. and Studio Manager Jim Collins.

“I took an interviewing class with [Dr. Fletcher],” Galles said. “It was eye-opening how much thought needs to go into [interview] questions...and just how much of that is an art and science. The right question can really speak.”

Collins was helpful from a practical standpoint in TV production, according to Galles.

“Jim helped make a couple of good connections,” she said. “He helped me with resume tape, he helped me put a reel together. I always credit him.”

“I remember she was wanted to work on her reel,” Collins said. “We went out and did a stand-up in front of Lake Michigan — in front of Madonna Della Strata. We did four or five takes.”

Collins said Galles always had a positive demeanor.

“She was always very happy, always had a smile, always really upbeat,” Collins said. “And it’s clear that she loves what she does and she’s very good at it.”

Galles said Loyola taught her the power of networking.

Collins co-taught a class with former “Dateline” NBC producer Marsha Bartel. Bartel introduced Galles to Doug Longhini and Dave Savini at NBC 5.

“All of these people were so nice and I’m still in touch with many of (them)...I joke that I’m the intern that won’t go away,” she said.

Galles said the kindness of her mentors have stuck with her and have made her devoted to showing the same kindness towards budding journalists.

“It takes one nice person who is patient, kind and who will help you, she said. “I was so pleasantly surprised how many good people there are in the business who wanted to help and really wanted to see me succeed. I've always tied to be that way with people who intern in my newsroom. I think about them all that time. Everybody deserves that.”  

Galles said she’s had the opportunity to report many important events like covering the Pope’s funeral in Rome. She has also been part of an Emmy-award winning coverage.

But, one of the most rewarding things about her job is watching “ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” and giving them a voice, Galles said.

“I am proud that I am still [reporting], a lot of people burn out,” she said. “I still like it and it’s still as meaningful as it was 20 years ago.”

SOC Students are nominated for nine Crystal Pillar Awards

SOC Students are nominated for nine Crystal Pillar Awards
Virginia Barreda, SoC web reporter
 

Thirteen School of Communication students are in the running to receive nine Crystal Pillar Awards for their excellence in television production.

The Crystal Pillar Award is presented by the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS). The organization honors work in television and video, provides professional development and nurtures the next generation of television professionals, according to the NATAS website.

Loyola graduate and undergraduate students accepted nominations in four of the six categories, including News: General Assignment, Arts and Entertainment/Cultural Affairs, Long Form and Public Service (PSAs)/Commercial categories.  

“I am very pleased that we’ve had so many [nominations],” said broadcast journalism professor Lee Hood, PhD. said. “It speaks to the high-quality of work students do, not only in news, but other categories as well.”

Hood said the strong students in the program produce high-level results, adding that a nomination is an honor in itself.

“These categories have many entries,” she said. “Not everyone who enters gets nominated — it's an important distinction.”

Loyola students made up half of the nominations for the Public Service (PSAs)/Commercials categories and more than half of the nominations for the News: General Assignment category.

While students may submit their own work, professors typically submit the strongest projects they feel are “worthy” of an award, according to Hood.

Former undergraduate journalism students Nader Issa, Madeline Kenney, Nicolas Lopez, Trisha McCauley and Grace Runkel from Hood’s Newscasting and Producing capstone class are nominated in the Long Form category for a segment called “Gun Violence Epidemic.”

Alumna Trisha McCauley said that the show captures a series of stories about the gun violence issue in Chicago. McCauley’s project focused how the violence affects families, particularly within the Loyola community. McCauley interviewed one of Hood’s students whose nephew was shot and killed.

“I reached out to the student asked how it affected her family,” McCauley said. “She said she helped raise her nephew since he was a baby. It had been a year since he died, so it was still raw for her.”

McCauley, 22, said her former classmates covered other aspects of Chicago gun violence such perspectives from workers at funeral homes about deaths of youth, first scene responders and other families in and outside of the Loyola community affected.

Teammates worked on the project separately, but created one cohesive show.

“[One classmate] worked on a story about a student from Arrupe [College] and how he was shot,” she said. “Gun violence is obviously a big issue in Chicago, but some people don’t realize it or think that it only happens on the South Side, but that’s not always true. We wanted to bring it full circle…and bring it home.”

McCauley said receiving the nomination is an honor. “I don’t think awards define your work, but it’s nice to be recognized.

“Crime was always a passion topic for me,” said McCauley, now a multi-media journalist at KIMA Action News in Yakima, Washington. “I love highlighting the issue there. I covered my first homicide today and working on those stories [at Loyola] helped me today. Loyola allowed me to dip my toes into these real-life situations.”

Master of Communication: Digital Media and Storytelling students Erin Law and Megan McKinley were nominated in the News: General Assignment category for their documentary titled “Dress for Success.” They completed the project in Professor John Goheen’s video documentary class.

Law and McKinley chose to focus on the non-profit organization Dress for Success after receiving an assignment prompt related to positive social change. The organization helps unemployed women re-enter the workforce by providing them with professional attire, and offering them interview preparation and networking opportunities.

The students focused their story on two women in the program and two volunteers working for the organization, according to Law.

“I would say for sure it was the project that we've put most time and effort into,” Law 23, said. “It feels awesome to be getting recognition. Hard work pays off. We worked on it for six or so months — we went back so many times. It was our baby by the end of it.”

McKinley said that when looking for graduate programs in communication, she could never find anything as specific and unique as Loyola.

“Since I’ve been here, I’ve been taught a wide spectrum of skills,” McKinley, 24, said. “And I think that’s so crucial. Employers are looking for people that can do a lot of things. I’m way more confident in my abilities. All of the professors have had their own time in the field...and [have] their expertise.”

Master of Communication: Digital Media and Storytelling student Jeffrey Chow was nominated for two projects, both produced in Goheen’s documentary class.  One of his projects called “Coffee Culture,” was produced for a larger collaborative piece and focused on a cafe in Englewood that does community outreach.

The second, titled “One Magazine at a Time,” highlights StreetWise Inc., a publication organization that provides employment opportunities to the homeless or those at risk of homelessness.  

“It’s pretty exciting and nice to kind of see my work being recognized,” said Chow, 31. “Whenever I produce, I try to make it the best it can be. It’s nice to see another person acknowledge it.”

Hood said she believes the nominated students have a good shot at winning awards.

“Just from number of nominations, I would say we have a good chance,” she said. “We really vetted these ahead of time. We picked what we thought were our strongest pieces. So, I feel we absolutely have a good chance of taking home some trophies.”

Additionally, senior journalism major Nick Coulson will receive a $4,000 scholarship from the Regional Emmy’s board, making it the third year in a row a Loyola student receives the scholarship, according to Hood. The previous two scholarships were awarded to now-alumnae Grace Runkel and Elise Haas.

Nominations for the Crystal Pillar Awards are submitted in June and the winners will be announced on December 2 during a ceremony at the Swissotel in Chicago. 

A List of Loyola nominees by category, topic, and class:

News General Assignment:
Brewing More Than Coffee, Grace Runkel (COMM 358: Newscasting & Producing)
Dress for Success, Erin Law & Megan McKinley (COMM 339: Video Documentary)
Just a Shower, Byron Macias (COMM 372: Backpack Journalism)
One Magazine at a Time, Jeff Chow (COMM 339: Video Documentary)
 
Arts and Entertainment/Cultural Affairs:
Second Flight, Jacob Voss (COMM 373: Digital Storytelling)
Coffee Culture, Jeff Chow & Alex Wood (COMM 339: Video Documentary)
 
Long Form:
Gun Violence Epidemic -- Nader Issa, Madeline Kenney, Nicolas Lopez, Trisha McCauley, and Grace Runkel
(COMM 358: Newscasting & Producing)
 
PSAs/Commercials:
How I Disappear -- Hanlin Guo, Caitlin Higgins, Ashley King, Nikhil Sequeira (COMM 337: Multimedia Production)
Sophie's Gun Shop -- Ronnita Dumas, Hans Hart, Jessica Kirstein
(COMM 337: Multimedia Production)

Seventh annual Digital Ethics Symposium features speakers Dr. Cathy O’Neil and MTV’s “Catfish” Nev Schulman

Virginia Barreda, SoC web reporter
 

More than 20 noted speakers and panelists discussed a variety of topics centered on ethical behavior in online and digital environments at the seventh annual International Symposium on Digital Ethics at Loyola University Chicago.

More than 300 people, including students, faculty and international researchers and scholars, attended the October 13 event hosted by Loyola’s Center for Digital Ethics and Policy.

“I heard nothing but positive comments about how well the conference was organized throughout the day,” said speaker Jo Ann Oravec, information technology and supply chain management professor at University of Wisconsin at Whitewater.

The symposium featured speakers Dr. Cathy O’Neil, Ph.D. and MTV’s “Catfish” Yaniv ‘Nev’ Schulman, who each discussed their area of expertise and its relation to ethics in a digital world.

Cathy O’Neil: Weapons of Math Destruction

Author and mathematician Kathy O’Neil spoke about on algorithm's inaccurate and often destructive results in society, based on her book, “Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy.”

“...My talk is about the fact that algorithms can be useful, but... they can also really undermine our goals,” O’Neil said. “The problem is that because we trust them blindly, it’s hard for us to know if our goals are being met, or if they’re being undermined by the algorithms.”

The former hedge fund analyst said algorithms can start as good ideas with positive intentions, but can yield biased results, making the lives of certain people or groups more difficult.

In her session, O’Neil talked about an example of using a “secret” algorithm called the Value-Added Model to separate the “good” teachers from the “bad.” The algorithm holds the teacher responsible for his or her students’ standardized test scores. 

The method proved inconsistent. For example, a person teaching the same course the same way every year, could still have students with varied standardized test scores each year; making it impossible to consistently and fairly determine a teacher’s performance. Still, teachers sometimes paid the price, and were fired from their jobs, according to O’Neil.

O’Neil wants algorithms, and the people who create them, to be held accountable for their actions.

“I would want [algorithms] to be audited and monitored to make sure that they are meaningful, legal and fair,” she said.

Fear and trust in mathematics is the reason people are getting away with abusing society at large, according to O’Neil. If people feel intimidated, they don’t ask questions.

“It’s actually really something we need to get over,” she said. “And I’m not saying we all need to love math — that probably won’t happen. But we all need to realize that there are questions we can ask even if we don’t understand math. This is not a math test, we have to stop seeing it as such — it’s a political fight.

She said groups, like teacher unions, have to fight back; not because of math, but because the data is “statistically meaningless.”

While her expertise lies in mathematics, O’Neil said that conversations about ethics and values are important, and society should be having these conversations separately from algorithms.

“All I’m saying is our intimidation of mathematics allows people who are in power to decide what success looks like, whereas that should actually be a conversation we’re all involved in,” she said.

Nev Schulman: Q&A with Dean Donald Heider

Executive producer and host of MTV’s “Catfish” Nev Schulman discussed ethics and dilemmas of relationships in the digital world during a Q&A session with SOC Dean Donald Heider. The event drew nearly 250 guests, according to SOC Event Coordinator Genevieve Buthod. 

A catfish, according to Schulman, is a person who pretends to be someone they’re not online.

He attributed catfishing, or those getting “catfished,” to a combination of boredom, low self-esteem and the desire to be loved. 

“[People who are ‘catfished’] think that this is the best thing that’s going to happen to them — that some attractive person is in love with them and be obsessed with them. And the real dream is that that person is going to take them out of their lives, out of their humdrum isolation and fix everything,” Schulman said.

For this reason, he said, the goal for himself on the show is to “just be nice to people because a lot of people don’t have anybody nice in their (lives). It’s just a sad reality.”

After seven seasons, “Catfish” continues to have a fan base because many viewers find the show relatable to their own lives, according to Schulman.

“The more time we spend on our phones, the less time we spend communicating with people in real life,” he said. “And the more time we observe people outside of our lives, the less time we build and develop the relationships in our lives.”

For this reason, people crave the “cathartic” and emotional excitement of having someone fall in love with them, Schulman said. 

Schulman argues there are pros and cons to accessing the World Wide Web. 

“It’s the ultimate place to go and compare yourself to other people and feel ­_ _ _ _ _ _,” he said. “On the other hand, I think the internet is great because there are so many interesting different people who will find and connect with other interesting different people that they wouldn’t have found otherwise in their small communities.” 

Schulman said he sometimes feels like the show exploits people, putting them in situations where they can suffer heart-break, but asserts that the show is doing a lot more good than bad.

“(I’m) reminded, sometimes by [co-host, Max Joseph]…that this experience for this one person will affect millions of people in a positive way,” he said. “People are going to see this kids struggle and they’re going to identify with it and ...hopefully something will change for them. And that feels like the justification we need to continue making it. 

Despite his success with the show, Schulman said he still feels like he’s “significantly underperforming.”

“I have big dreams, he said. “I’d like to be thought of as someone who really moved the needle in terms of helping young people help themselves and improve their lives.” 

For now, Shulman said that if he can help at least one person start a conversation about changing their lives, then he’s done his job.  

“I think we make the most important reality TV show,” he said. “And I don’t say that to brag, but for young people, I think our show does the most good…”

Convergence Studio Undergoes Upgrades

Convergence Studio Undergoes Upgrades
Virginia Barreda, SoC Web Reporter
 

The School of Communication Convergence Studio and OWL Lab were upgraded over the summer with the goal of providing SOC students with the latest technology.

The street-side Convergence Studio features a full television news anchor desk, the latest camera equipment, green screen, TV monitors, a newsroom outfitted with computers, and a remote radio studio. The OWL lab provides students with free access to the latest in digital audio and video equipment, and editing software to produce films, documentaries, web projects, and print designs.

In the Convergence Studio, new equipment added to the studio and control room will help students get information out faster, more efficiently and with ease, said Jim Collins, Manager of the Convergence Studio and Rambler Productions.  

Consider the new teleprompter program, ROSS Inception News. Loyola made the switch after years of using EZNews, a program recently discontinued by Ross Video Ltd.

Collins said the most important feature about Inception New is its ability to incorporate social media into the broadcast.

“What I can do is, I can write a story using Inception News, send it to teleprompter and when it’s done, it immediately can get posted to Twitter or Facebook,” Collins said. “Which is pretty cool because the story you write immediately goes on the internet so that people can read it.”

The SOC will start using Inception News next semester, after Collins and other members of faculty go through an intense, three consecutive-day training, for six to eight hours.

The interface of Inception News is easier than that of EZNews, which is “clunky” and “non-intuitive,” Collins said, “But the learning curve is pretty steep…so we have to have training on it.”

Since ROSS Inception News is also a web-based designed program, Collins said one can input content into the teleprompter from anywhere, not just in the studio.

Inception News goes hand-in-hand with the soon-to-be upgraded Broadcast Pix switcher in the control room. The newly-added feature to the switcher called BPNet, allows the user to upload video files to the switcher from anywhere using a cloud-based system, according to Collins.

“Let’s say the Lake Shore Campus is having a demonstration,” Collins said. “I can shoot raw footage up there…upload it to the cloud, and it’ll show up in the switcher in the control room, and I can directly [incorporate it] into the show.”

Collins said that faculty and students are already slowly incorporating the new technology into the everyday curriculum, and wants to see the SOC continue to utilize it.

“The classes that we teach in here or the [members of] Rambler Sports Locker have been able to access the new cameras, and the new cloud based system for uploading files,” Collins said.

Queenie Amma, a first year masters student in digital media and storytelling, has already benefitted from using the equipment in the Convergence Studio in class and as a reporter on Rambler Sports Locker.

“Updating equipment means students, such as myself, have the benefit of learning and using all the latest technology,” Amma said. “It will prepare me for the real world so when I do get signed into a news station…I will be qualified and ready to use their professional equipment.”

The SOC also purchased a live production switcher last year, which Collins refers to as a “studio-in-a-box.” The computer-based swticher system can connect six cameras to it at a time, and live stream the program from the swticher to an online streaming service, like YouTube. A capability added over the summer allows people with iPhones or Androids to connect via Wi-Fi and stream their own live footage through the switcher.

Additionally, the main monitor display, a screen in the control room, was upgraded to a larger screen with better picture quality. In the studio space professors can also use two new Smart TV with Mac computers on them to access PowerPoint or the internet for lecture. These also act as playback monitors from control room. The studio upgraded three Panasonic cameras in the studio used to shoot — these have optional Wi-Fi capabilities, allowing the camera to stream video online if needed.

“Because of the new things we have, the upgrade to the studio allows us to be more cutting-edge for the future and to do more things that can be incorporated in classroom,” Collins said. “The more training that we do with the students, the more things that we’ll [be able to] do next semester.”

Amma looks forward to using the technology, to produce high-quality content to show to future employers.

“When submitting my reels to news stations, there is a difference between using mediocre cameras versus high-quality, professional ones,” she said. “My video reels [and] resume will give me a better advantage over others in being competitive for the job.”

Technology Coordinator Andi Pacheco said the OWL Lab has a few updates of its own.

The lab added cameras with high-definition and optional 4K resolution capability, used by many intro-level courses, as well as new DSLR cameras used mainly by photojournalism, and technology for journalists courses.

The DSLRs were replaced in order to provide easier, straightforward options for the students with little camera experience, with better quality than cell phone capability, according to Pacheco.

Additionally, the SOC is slowly transitioning into LED lights for safety and with the goal of becoming more “energy efficient,” Pacheco said.

Pacheco, an LUC alum and former OWL Lab student worker said she remembers when students went from tape cameras to SD recording cameras, back in 2008, and has watched the SOC progress since.

“We update in a realistic time frame,” Pacheco said. “We see how [technology] is used, we see what we lack, and how we can improve those areas that we’re not really strong in. But ultimately, it’s how the teachers use the technology that make students work better. Everything could be state-of-the-art, but if instructors aren't working with that kind of equipment you’re not going to get good work.”

Amma said she appreciates that Loyola makes investments to ensure that their students continue to have the most up-to-date technology available.

“The SOC being able to put in the time and money for their students to be using updated equipment shows that they care about the students and content being produced and the quality of work,” Amma said. “In the rapid and persistent changing world of technology today, it will only make sense that the equipment being used to teach future broadcasting student is up-to-date.”

Professor Hannah Rockwell, Ph.D. leads by example

Professor Hannah Rockwell, Ph.D. leads by example
Virginia Barreda, SoC Web Reporter
 

Professor Hannah Rockwell, Ph.D. has been teaching at the School of Communication for 25 years and she can’t think of a more perfect job.

The 2017 Outstanding Teacher Award recipient said one of her biggest joys in life is educating and spending time with her students at Loyola.

“…And it’s the one thing that keeps me in Chicago — because my family is in Oregon and California,” Rockwell said. “…The connection between having a faith life connected to my work life, and connected to an institution …that values the teaching of ethics and Jesuit ideals and principles that guide me every day — it’s a great fit. It’s who I am.”

Rockwell has taught more than five courses in the SOC, but her expertise lies in the philosophy of dialogue, critical-interpretive research methods, intercultural communication and gender studies.

Rockwell initially wanted to study linguistics only to find that the college she attended didn’t offer the major. She switched her major a few times before realizing communications was the right fit.

From there, she earned an MA in speech communications from California State University, Northridge and her Ph.D. in communications from the University of Utah.  

Teaching a “good class” can “make or break her day,” Rockwell said. The most rewarding days are those in which her students are engaged and a “light bulb goes off.”

“When I teach and I feel like I’m losing [the students], I try to come back the next day and fix whatever went wrong the day before,” she said.

Rockwell wants her students to learn through the process of learning and to take responsibility of his or her own work.

“Do your best work, take pride in it,” Rockwell said. “It doesn’t have to be perfect, but good enough. If you focus on learning instead of the end point, then the grades come. The best students are the ones that engage in the concepts and come out at the end with some sort of transformative experience.”

Senior advocacy and social change major Aurea Delfin took intercultural communications with Rockwell as a sophomore. When presented with the opportunity to take her for an introduction to communications class, Delfin said she rearranged her schedule just to make sure she ended up in Rockwell’s class a second time.  

“The fact that she just genuinely cares about her students is what makes her so amazing,” said Delfin, 22. “We’re not just another class to her. She invests her time into every individual student. That’s the beautiful thing about her.”

Rockwell said she tries to ensure each student is cared for in her class.

“Whether a student is a perfect ‘A’ student who is performing at top level or struggling, I try to treat every student the way I would want my own children treated by a professor,” she said. “Teaching isn’t only meeting content but also be in the pulse of what’s happening with students.”

Delfin said Rockwell never failed to put every bit of energy into her work, even when she was told her professor had been diagnosed with cancer.

“[Rockwell] bravely told my entire class that this wouldn’t hinder or get in the way of her teaching our class,” Delfin said. “I could feel the disbelief and astonishment my peers and I had for this woman as she was telling us about how she was not going to give up on our class regardless of her diagnoses…She never complained, not once.”

Delfin wrote a letter nominating Rockwell for the Outstanding Teacher Award, an annual award presented to a professor within the SOC.

In the letter, Defin wrote, “I want to thank the School of Communications for the opportunity to have met such a crucial and irreplaceable person in my life. I will forever be grateful for the time I have had as her student, and I hope to be half the woman Dr. Rockwell is in the future.”

Hannah Rockwell served as Associate Dean of the SOC from 2008 to 2013, she was previously Undergraduate Program Director for the Department of Communication, a Center for Ethics Fellow and Director of Peace Studies, and has even published a book titled, “The Life of Voices: Bodies, Subjects and Dialogue.”

Still, Rockwell asserts one of her greatest accomplishments has been the ability to balance her home life with her work life, specifically raising two daughters during her graduate career and beyond.

“Getting tenure, associate and professor…all felt like unbelievable accomplishments at the time because the odds were against me,” Rockwell said. “So, it’s hard to think about my professional life without thinking about my family life because they’re so intertwined.”

Delfin said Rockwell has “inadvertently” taught her life lessons though example, which she plans to carry with her long after she graduates.

Rockwell said she is proud of her students’ success and hopes that through communication, she can continue teaching important life lessons.

 “I want my students to be better people because a lot of people don’t have any idea what they say and what they do affects other people,” Rockwell said. “Common courtesy, saying thank you and please — these are basic human values in my book. I want to convey that these seemingly trivial things can make a world of difference.” 

SOC Career and Internship Website

SOC Career and Internship Website
Virginia Barreda, SoC Web Reporter
 

For communication students on the hunt for their next internship or job, look no further than the School of Communication’s new Job Portal and Student Resource Center.

The database, introduced last spring, is exclusively for SOC students searching for work in their desired field, in Chicago and across the nation.

“We found that students were having trouble finding internships and we also wanted to help them when it came time to look for a job,” said Don Heider, dean of the School of Communication. “[We decided] to build a website that’s more functional, easier to use, that we can easily post on and that students can use to search... and eventually alums could as well.”

Internship and Career Coordinator Michael Limon said he hopes students begin their internship search using the site, which is updated daily.

‘“It is a living, breathing site,” Limon said. “And the best way to make use of the site is to use it early and use it often because we update it as much as we can.”

Heider said his goal is to make every SOC student aware that the site exists, and then register to  use it.

Before the site launched, SOC students were using RamblerLink, a job and internship portal available to all Loyola students. Employers approached SOC administrators asking to post open positions only visible to SOC students, according to Heider.

Apart from its exclusivity, the new portal has key features, including a number of search functions to ensure that students find their desired internship or job.

“I think [the search functions] will give students an idea of what’s out there...there are all sorts of criteria by which you can narrow your search — including geography, what kind of job, paid or unpaid, internship or not an internship,” Heider said.

Junior journalism major Beth Gillette used the site when it first debuted to search for a summer internship. Gillette appreciates that the site is tailored to communication students, making it easy to search for relevant jobs and upload her unique resume.

“It was hard getting my resume approved by [RamblerLink] because it wasn’t their template,” said GIllette, 20. “So it just became more work for me. I like using different resumes and cover letters for different jobs I apply for. I can go straight to the SOC website, which takes me to the link of the application or I can upload my resume right [on the site].”

While Heider encourages students to expand their search beyond the site, the portal contains jobs that have most likely been pre-approved by the SOC, making it easier on a student trying to fulfill an internship for class credit.

“Especially when they’re coming up on their junior year, [students] may not have a lot of ideas,” Heider said. “They might not even know what the top PR firms are in Chicago. So this will be able to help them narrow down the search and get a much better idea of that sort of thing.” 

One of the most “influential” aspects of the site, according to Limon, has been the feedback from alumni about their experiences in the workplace and returning to network with students. 

“It almost always gets down to who you know, and we’re hopeful that in this site, we can make it a who-you-know site,” Limon said. “[If] we can be nurturing of one another...be supportive of one another, the better off we’ll be.”

The site includes information about events sponsored by the SOC, as well as an employment resources tab, which features tips for writing a cover letter and resume, an application checklist and advice on how to ace an interview.

Limon said the resources will help quickly impart information without having to give several lectures on cover letters or resumes, making a better use of his and the students’ time. But this won’t stop Limon from giving all students individual attention and support.  

“Even though we’re trying to group [the resource information], that doesn’t mean I won’t be doing that one-on-one time,” he said. “So if you’ve got questions, you’ve got doubts...don’t be afraid to follow-up.”

Limon said the SOC is committed to getting the word out about the new website and his goal is to talk to as many classes as possible about the portal and actively promote it through Twitter and other social media outlets. The outlets will also announce up-to-date internship and job opportunities posted on the site.  

“There are really good jobs out there, and if we work together, we can find them,” Limon said. “We just have to be smart and nimble enough to get out there when they’re available and establish those connections and those networks that are readily available all the time so that we have a steady pipeline of information flowing in.”

Gillette said she hopes that the SOC continues to expand its database to include more jobs of a wide variety.

“There are a lot of online blogs, for example, that are based in Chicago,” she said. “There are more opportunities than just jobs like ABC7. It’d be great to start seeing different types of jobs on the site.”

Limon hopes students find a job or internship they like and hit the ‘apply’ button before opportunities disappear, then provide feedback after using the database. Students are welcome to pitch new employers, internships or job listings for site, he added. 

“It’s a wonderful resource, it’s a wonderful tool,” Limon said. “It’s evolving as we speak. I hope it’s getting better as we speak. Certainly people who have experiences with it, [should] feel free to come to me and share [that] experience because that's how we learn to make the site better and more useful.”

What's in a Meme?

What
Virginia Barreda, SOC Web Reporter
 

Internet meme sensations like Nyan Cat, Pepe the Frog, and Bad Luck Brian are taking over the Loyola’s School of Communication.

The fall exhibit, titled “Internet Memes: Internet Folk,” is a collection of hundreds of memes curated by artist Ryan M. Milner, professor of media communication at the College of Charleston. The memes catalogued from the past decade represent a significant part of internet culture and communication.

“Internet memes are normally such an ephemeral experience — we just scroll past them on our screens and keep going — so the idea of actually curating, printing, and mounting the images in a more static way seemed like the perfect opportunity to invite others to slow down and consider them in a different way, as contemporary folk art made by everyday people to make sense of everyday situations,” Milner said.

Memes are images created by unknown internet users, according to Milner’s artist statement. They include “quips, jokes, puns, aphorisms, satire, and commentary,” and feature images ranging from art to animals, “stock humans” and pop culture.

“So, in the exhibit you’ll see lots of really funny stuff that people have made and posted online …but I hope that as people walk by and have a chuckle, they can use some of the context I provide with each image to stop and consider the real people and real consequences behind our internet jokes,” Milner said.

Because of the uncertain nature of some memes, Milner said he won’t display inappropriate content, so he doesn’t “glorify” the anonymous artist. Though the exhibit will still show some “edge.”

“I tried to capture the range of internet memes as I know them…,” Milner said. “They’re funny and apt, but also can be crass and cruel, or can launch someone into a fame they can’t control.”

Milner is an “internet historian,” whose work focuses on the ethics of memes and how they can be used to uplift or tear down, said SOC Events Coordinator Genevieve Buthod.

“[Milner] analyzes memes…He’s saying this is a form of communication,” Buthod said. “No technology is inherently bad — it’s how we use it and [if we] can use it ethically, and that’s the point of…what Ryan Milner’s work really is.”

Memes represent an atypical way of interacting with the world, but are a prime example of digital communication, according to Buthod.

Milner began his research into memes in 2010 as a graduate student studying online communication looking for dissertation subjects.  He said writing about memes “made sense” because much of his free time was spent on sites where people created and shared them.

“I figured that there was something really fascinating going on with this seemingly new type of humor and commentary,” he said. “So I decided to combine my emerging expertise with how I was spending my down time. [It] ended up paying off.”

Milner, author of “The World Made Meme: Public Conversations and Participatory Media,” spoke at the 6th Annual International Symposium on Digital Ethics in a speech called “Curating the Mimetic.”

This year, the opening of Milner’s exhibit will take place the day before the 7th Annual International Symposium on Oct. 13.

Milner hopes exhibit viewers get a laugh out of the pictures, but also reflect on how the images are presented.

“…We should stop and think on their creativity—and its consequences for better and for worse,” he said. “I hope the captions and commentary I wrote for each collage I compiled will help too.”

The exhibit opening will be hosted by the SOC on Oct. 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., with a cocktail reception.

The SOC is holding a contest before the event asking alumni to send their funniest and best memories at the SOC in meme form to a meme generator via email. The winners will be announced during the event. 

From Russia With Love

From Russia With Love

Five Loyola School of Communication film students got the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Russia to collaborate on a documentary about Chicago and Moscow with Russian students from Moscow’s Institute of Contemporary Art. The project was funded by the Eurasia Foundation, allowing both Loyola and ICA students to travel to each other’s countries at virtually no cost.

Senior, Allison Freed, shares her experience traveling to Moscow and working on the project.
 

Before I even came to Loyola, I always dreamed of studying abroad. But as my junior year was drawing to a close and I had yet to travel abroad, I was getting anxious. So when my Video Documentary professor, John Goheen said, “We have a grant to go to Moscow and collaborate on a documentary. Do you wanna go?” I responded, “Free trip to Russia? Sign me up.”

The location was not a typical Loyola study abroad destination, but it was abroad, wasn’t it? And opportunities like this rarely just fall into your lap; it was truly a right place, right time situation. I was excited for the chance to travel and to continue working on a project I’d spent the whole semester on. It wasn’t until I started telling my family and friends about the trip that the location became more significant. I had, of course, heard the buzz surrounding Russia in the news, but wasn’t concerned about my own travels once Professor Goheen reassured me it was perfectly safe.

But nonetheless, when I would tell friends I was headed to Moscow, the responses ranged from, “Are you going to uncover election hacking?” to, “Aren’t you worried about the Russian mafia?” (For the record, no definitely not, and well, I wasn’t until you brought it up.)  My excitement turned to apprehension as I soaked in everyone else’s concern. Honestly, by the time I boarded the plane, I was truly nervous about what I had gotten myself into.

As soon as we landed I was grateful to find I was proven completely wrong. The stereotypes I’d been fed were just that, stereotypes. Moscow is a beautiful, vibrant, historic city and it welcomed us with open arms. With few exceptions, the people we encountered were kind, generous and helpful. One day we were out filming in the park when a police officer approached us. Initially, I was concerned we would be thrown out. He came over and said, “Can I help you all find something? If you’re looking for nice things to film there’s a historical reenactment over there.”

Our hosts, though, truly went above and beyond the call of duty to make us feel welcome and share their city with us. We got to sommerkart (scooter) down the river walk, ate potatoes in every conceivable way they could be prepared, and danced with babushkas in the park.

We certainly got to have some fun playing tourists, but we were there to work. This is where we encountered difficulties I hadn’t anticipated. As anyone who has ever done a group project can attest, working with others can be hard, and the more opinions you have the harder it is to find consensus. So you could imagine that with six of us and nearly fifteen of them, deciding on a direction for the film took a lot of back and forth. We were there to participate in a cultural exchange, but at our first meeting, the only thing that seemed to be exchanged was exasperated sighs from both sides.

What became symbolic of this gap in understanding because of cultural, language, and personal differences was this “Russian specialty food.” One of the Russian students, Misha, would tell us, “You must try a special Russian food, it’s green and crunchy.” “Is it green beans?” we would ask. “No, not that,” Misha would say, “like cucumber, but sour.” “Oh, so a pickle,” we realized. “No, no. It’s a cucumber, just sour.” “That’s a pickle,” we’d respond. “I don’t know what is pickle, I don’t think it’s that.”

We’d go in circles like this, both trying to help the other understand, but lacking the capacity to fully communicate what we meant. It was frustrating on both sides because we both honestly wanted to learn, but there was so much to overcome just to have a simple conversation. So eventually we’d half-heartedly smile and say, “It’s okay, it doesn’t really matter.”

Filming and conversing was much the same, slow and sometimes frustrating, but we eventually made progress. The earnest curiosity to learn about each other’s countries is what kept us talking, pausing to translate, and asking again.

We covered many topics, from pop music to skyscrapers. While most of the conversations were lighthearted, given the buzz, we couldn’t help but ask, “So what’s the deal with Putin?” Putting personal politics aside, one very enlightening thing came out of that conversation. Misha said to me, “We love your country; we think it is so beautiful. Your government is so beautiful and you have all these freedoms, you are so lucky.” I nearly did a spit take, “Ha! You must be joking.” “No, no, we are serious. We know nowhere is perfect, but you don’t realize how lucky you are. You can speak out, protest, impeach, we don’t have any of that.”

I was taken aback, but he was absolutely right.  In the current political climate, you won’t find many raving about the “beauty” of our government, but I think we all need to be reminded of the immense privilege we possess as Americans. We are not perfect, not even close. But the perspective I was given reminded me that we at least have the opportunity to change things if we don’t like them. It was those small moments of understanding that fulfilled the purpose of our trip.

Slowly, but surely we came to understand each other better. We found points of common ground, shared our culture with them, and got back what we gave tenfold. They taught us how to say “I love you” in Russian, which sounds like “yellow blue bus” if you say it fast. We taught them that Americans don’t really eat hamburgers every day. And we made plans for all the places we’d take our newfound friends when they were to come to Chicago (they came for a week in late July).

By the end of the week, a real bond was forged, one that extended beyond any cultural divide. We learned in the end that we all live, as the Russians say, “under one sky,” the title of our upcoming film.

And on our final night in Moscow I finally got to try the ‘Russian specialty food’ Misha talked about. It was a pickle.

 

Red Square – Students from ICA and Loyola that participated in this film project.

Alum reflects on storied radio career

Alum reflects on storied radio career
By Angie Stewart, SoC reporter
 

As a top-rated radio personality for Chicago’s US99 country music station, class of ‘89 alum Trish Biondo-Soltys masterfully interviewed renowned musicians, athletes and politicians alike. Soon, she’ll be sharing her wisdom with graduates at the 2017 School of Communication commencement ceremony.

In her 28 years doing mornings and midday broadcasts for US99, she met almost all the stars in the industry: “You name ‘em, and I’ve met them,” she said.

She crossed paths with actor Kevin Costner and singer-songwriter Lionel Richie, and was invited to the houses of celebs such as Reba McEntire. At one time, she worked with Scott Borchetta, the man who discovered Taylor Swift.

What Biondo-Soltys loved, though, was simply the chance to help artists share their meaningful music, hear people’s stories and be a positive part of listeners’ lives.

“I just wanted them to have a good day,” she said. “I loved sharing music with them – especially if there was a great message in the song … [and] I wanted the artists to be able to talk about what they did and what they loved.”

Biondo-Soltys, who was nominated four times for Major Market Broadcaster of the Year by the Academy of Country Music, and won Billboard's Music Director of the Year, has her own fascinating story to tell.

She grew up on the Southwest Side of Chicago listening to country music, but in high school she thought she wanted to go into nursing. That changed once others pointed out her strengths in English and writing, so when Biondo-Soltys went on to attend Loyola University Chicago, she thought she would go into public relations.

On a day that would shape the rest of her career, Biondo-Soltys was listening to US99 in the car with her mom. They heard an advertisement recruiting college students to work part-time in the research department for the station, otherwise known as WUSN-FM.

“I couldn’t plan this out,” she said. “It all just kind of happened at the right time.”

Biondo-Soltys worked at the station consistently throughout college and picked up summer internships along the way. She interned for the Murphy in the Morning show at WKQX and became a production intern for ABC-TV, working down the hall from Oprah Winfrey.

One summer, she was faced with the difficult choice between studying at Loyola’s Rome Center and interning at MTM Records in Nashville. With post-graduation plans already on her mind, she chose the latter.

“The choice I made was right for me at the moment, and it led me to a really, really successful career and great friends that I met in Nashville that I’m still in touch with to this day,” she said.

Because her mom worked for Midway Airlines at the time, Biondo-Soltys was also able to hold onto her position at US99 that summer. Using her mom’s company flying perks, she spent the weeks in Nashville and flew to Chicago every other weekend to conduct surveys for US99.

The connections she made in Music City helped her gain more footing at US99 when she returned to living in Chicago, and her part-time research position helped her connect one-on-one with listeners.

“It was not a fun job,” she said. “You [would have] to call up people and ask them what their favorite radio station is, what they like, what they didn’t like … and all that played into what I did at that radio station later on.”

The summer after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in communication, Biondo-Soltys secured a full-time position at the station. Her repertoire would grow to include being a music director, a promotions director and a research director there.

She had done only a little on-air work before March 1990, when the woman on the station’s morning show was leaving. A program director said he wanted Biondo-Soltys to be the replacement.

“I didn’t know if I wanted to do it, I really didn’t,” she said. “I never really wanted to be on the air; I only wanted to be behind the scenes.”

Swallowing her fears, she did take on the morning show – a position she held for about 16 years. Once she started a family, she switched to midday broadcasts and had what she calls “the best of both worlds.”

As a radio personality, Biondo-Soltys remained genuine, steered clear of shallow “shtick” tactics and kept in mind that there was always more to every story, which she learned from an influential professor at Loyola.

She became a co-host for US99’s weekly video show, despite being just as afraid to be on the screen as she had been to go on air. She also gave back to the community in several ways, such as fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through the station’s annual radiothon.

“Radio was wonderful for me because I was able to incorporate everything that’s important to me, like all the charity work, which is something you’re always taught here at Loyola,” she said.

With tremendous passion about her career, Biondo-Soltys devoted her entire self to it. She’d start her day around 3:45 a.m. and might work until 5 p.m., occasionally needing to attend events or concerts afterward. Working such long hours, she learned lessons as she went.

One of the hardest was one nobody could have prepared for. Her cohost on the US99 morning show died of a brain aneurysm when he was just 29 years old, leaving behind a wife and a 6-month-old child.

“It changes your perspective a lot – that’s where you start realizing even though a lot of it is about work, it’s not just about work,” she said.

Biondo-Soltys began making an effort to focus on relationships and fill her life with experiences outside of radio. But her friend’s death remained in the back of her mind when she chose to leave the music industry years later, in part to spend more time with family.

It was “a perfect storm” that ultimately led to Biondo-Soltys’ parting ways, she said. The management style at US99 had changed, her kids were growing up, and her mom had been diagnosed with cancer, given less than six months to live.

“I felt like God was telling me, ‘Hey, it’s just time to step away right now,’” she said.

It was a decision that Biondo-Soltys still feels was for the best, thankful that leaving had been financially feasible.

“Walking away from a full-time job with great benefits like that, it’s hard to do, but there was just something that was telling me it was the right thing to do,” she said. “I’m really glad that I spent time with my mom and I’m really glad that I was around for my kids.”

With a master’s degree in education, Biondo-Soltys has been teaching public speaking classes at Loyola since leaving radio. The course happened to be one of her least favorite when she attended the university – she considers herself to be rather shy.

Regardless, Biondo-Soltys said it was an honor being asked to address the crowd of graduating seniors at commencement.

Don Heider, Dean of the School of Communication, said Biondo-Soltys was a natural choice, as the Loyola alumna has achieved so much in the years since she was sitting in the same spot as the graduating seniors.

“She’s been a fantastic teacher and mentor,” Heider said. “She really is one of those stories where it was all about hard work: getting an opportunity, getting her foot in the door, and then really just making the most of it.”

Although graduating can be bittersweet, Biondo-Soltys said, it’s an opportunity for pause.

“I just hope that the students have a few minutes to reflect and think about how wonderful their accomplishment is, and it’s really important to take time to pat yourself on the back,” she said. “[Commencement is] important for you, it’s important for all the people that supported you.”

There’s a feeling of uncertainty that doesn’t go away, according to Biondo-Soltys – even she can’t quite foresee the next step in her own career. But in a world where change is the only constant, she said, students can count on finding support from their alma mater.

“Loyola gives you just an incredible foundation, and Loyola is always here for you, which a lot of people forget. I think they think [that] once you graduate, it’s over,” she said, “but if you still need help or connections or advice … you can always come back here for that.”

Loyola students winners in national documentary contest

Loyola students winners in national documentary contest

Two Loyola School of Communication students were recently honored in a national contest for their short documentary films exploring poverty in Chicago.

Students Jeff Chow and Owen Connor received awards for their documentaries submitted to a competition sponsored by Impact America, a non-profit organization that engages college students in examining social issues. Additionally, student Kat Cruz was a finalist in the competition.

The competition, called “Stories from the Line,” asked college students and recent graduates to produce short films that combine interviews with vérité-style scenes at home with family, at work, and at school. The goal was to offer a glimpse into the lives of families responding to the challenges of poverty in America.

Chow was named 1st Runner Up for his documentary titled, “One Magazine at a Time,” which profiles a vendor for Streetwise, a weekly magazine sold to support the homeless in Chicago. Chow is a graduate student in the Digital Media and Storytelling program.

Connor was Second Runner Up for his documentary, “Four Stories or Less,” which examines how one Chicago neighborhood is fighting to prevent the construction of an affordable housing high-rise. Connor is a sophomore Film and Digital Media major.

Cruz, a graduate student in the Digital Media and Storytelling program, was one of six finalists in the contest. Her documentary, “Beyond Their Window,” looks at one family’s struggle with having to move out of their foreclosed home.

The three students were among the 20 students in the spring Video Documentary class taught by John Goheen, a veteran video journalist and multiple Emmy award winner. Goheen assigned his students to produce short documentaries on poverty and submit them to the “Stories from the Line” contest, which received dozens of entries from across the country.

Three great, short films

Three great, short films

Three Loyola communication students are finalists in a national film competition.  The Stories from the Line competition challenged students to tell stories about folks struggling to rise and remain above the poverty line in America.  The maker of the winning short film will receive a $10,000 scholarship.  Below are links to Jeff Chow, Katherine Cruz, and Owen Connor’s stories, which very much represent Loyola’s social justice mission.  All of this work came out of a documentary course taught by instructor John Goheen.  Each piece runs under 5 minutes in length.

One Magazine at a Time

Beyond Their Window

Four Stories or Less

Loyola launches new digital ethics certificate program.

Loyola’s Center for Digital Ethics & Policy will offer the first-ever certificate program in digital ethics this fall.  The nine week course will be a mix of online and face-to-face learning taught by the Center Director Bastiaan Vanacker, Ph.D. with help from some the world’s leading experts in digital ethics.

‌Topics such as privacy, surveillance, digital behavior and fake news will be covered.  Students will have the opportunity to learn the legal limits of online speech, strategies to deal with online comments, as well as have the opportunity to work on their own personal ethical codes as well as those for their organizations.

Center Founder Don Heider, Dean of Loyola School of Communication said: “This will give anyone working in the digital or technology space a chance to have excellent training in ethics and ethical decision making.”

Instructor Bastiaan Vanacker is an Associate Professor at Loyola University Chicago, where he teaches courses in media ethics and law. He holds a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota and a M.A. in philosophy from the University of Ghent, Belgium. He is the former head of the Media Ethics Division of the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Loyola launched the first center dedicated to digital ethics nine years ago.  Since then the center has published over 150 essays on digital ethics topics, three books and held six internal symposia.

7th Annual International Symposium on Digital Ethics

Please join us for the 7th Annual International Symposium on Digital Ethics October 13th at Loyola University Chicago.

The Symposium, organized by the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy, will featured this year:

Cathy O’Neill, data scientist and Author of Weapons and Math Destruction, which examines how algorithms can have destructive effects on people.

Shoshana Zuboff, Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, and author of Master or Slave? The Fight for the Soul of Our Information Civilization.

Nev Shulman, Executive Producer and Host of MTV’s Catfish, which examines the complexities of dating in a digital world.

Also featuring:

Alexander Tsesis, Raymond & Mary Simon Chair in Constitutional Law, Loyola University Chicago

Irina Raicu, Internet Ethics Program Director, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University

Ryan Jenkins, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Cal Poly

Susan Etlinger, Altimeter

And a special exhibit on memes curated by Ryan Milner, author of The World Made Meme: Public Conversations and Participatory Media.

Gentrified: Losing Logan Square

Gentrified: Losing Logan Square

The ink on his degree is barely dry, but Timothy McManus already is gaining notoriety for a short documentary he shot while studying at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communication.

McManus, 30, produced a nine-minute documentary focusing on gentrification as part of his capstone project for his graduate program in Digital Media and Storytelling. McManus received his master’s degree from Loyola during the May 11 School of Communication commencement.

The documentary discusses the gentrification of Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, and how new development is raising rents and making it difficult for longtime residents to stay.

Gentrified: Losing Logan Square includes interviews with Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (Ward 35), State Rep. Will Guzzardi, and local activists such as Justine Bayod Espoz. It also features interviews with residents affected by gentrification.

“I moved to Logan Square when I enrolled at Loyola, and from the first day, I saw evidence of gentrification,” McManus said. “The changes were dramatic. I saw three-story condos replacing working class homes.”

McManus, from Austin, Texas, studied at Loyola because he was drawn to its social justice mission. He felt the Digital Media and Storytelling master’s program enabled him to examine social justice issues through documentary filmmaking.

McManus credits Loyola School of Communication professors Aaron Greer and Richelle Rogers with inspiring him to shoot documentaries.

“The classes I took with them were transforming,” McManus said. “Professor Rogers taught me how to tell a story, and Professor Greer taught me how to film and edit a documentary.”

Gentrified: Losing Logan Square was recently featured in an article on Chicagoist, a news blog.

McManus hopes to show Gentrified: Losing Logan Square at local and national film festivals.

The documentary can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rFRichsqaY&t=3s

Students Recognized for Nonprofit Project at AD/PR Reception

Students Recognized for Nonprofit Project at AD/PR Reception

Students of the Anti-Cruelty Society team posed with their professor, Virginia Mann (center), after winning a scholarship for their nonprofit campaign. (Students left to right: Amanda Klotz, Kelcie Boring, Carly Sullivan, Bridgette Potratz)

By Angie Stewart, SoC reporter
 

Driven by a shared passion for animals, four public relations students at Loyola developed a campaign to promote a pet fostering program – and for it, they were awarded the 12th annual Ebeling PR-ize scholarship Wednesday night.

The team of Bridgette Potratz, Kelcie Boring, Amanda Klotz and Carly Sullivan won $2,000 to divide amongst themselves, as well as letters of recommendation from Chuck Ebeling, the creator of the prize.

Theirs was one of five groups in professor Virginia Mann’s public service communication class that competed for the scholarship, which rewards excellence in creating cause-related communications campaigns.

Tasked with promoting The Anti-Cruelty Society’s open house program to recruit foster parents for animals, the winning students aimed to implement a social media plan and formed strategies for garnering media interest.

They found that the organization – though extremely appreciative – sometimes wanted to take other approaches, said Potratz, a senior PR major with a minor in marketing. She said the differences of opinion between her group and the client brought her teammates closer together and challenged them to think in new ways.

“[We've gained] a lot of real-life experience because you are going to come across the clients that you work with and they're not going to want to change their ways – but that's okay,” said the 22-year-old. “You can still show them that, 'You might not want take what we're offering, but we're still going to get you the results you want,' and that's clearly what we proved.”

Two social media posts from the team that the organization did implement had significant reach, according to Potratz – they garnered over 2,000 total social media engagements, such as Facebook comments, likes and shares, and Twitter retweets and replies.

Ebeling, who was a pioneer in developing the Ronald McDonald House Charity as chief spokesperson and vice president of corporate communications for McDonald’s, said hurdles like the ones encountered by the Anti-Cruelty Society team make for great learning opportunities.  

“One of the most important sets of lessons students take out of this is those things that go wrong in the process of putting together these programs and what they've had to do to work around those blocks,” he said. "Those are reasons that I think this kind of an outreach project approach is a terrific experience for undergrads.”

Part of what made the undertaking rewarding, according to Boring, was the group’s prior knowledge and excitement about the matter at hand. Potratz and Klotz had fostered animals before, and Boring had adopted a cat that was fostered (and is coincidentally named Foster).

“We used our time as foster parents and consumers of this product and just applied it to how we would want to be communicated with, so it came off genuine, organic and persuasive,” she said. “We actually ended up with the most adoptions and foster applications that they've ever had in an event, so I think that was probably the best part to hear.”

About 15 people signed up to become foster parents, a substantial improvement from the 2-3 that the society previously achieved on average, Potratz said. She pointed out that recruiting foster parents is especially challenging, as foster parents – unlike adopters – must commit to training.

But it wasn’t only the numbers indicating that the students hit the mark; several people who attended the organization’s foster open house event in March said they’d heard of it through the students’ Facebook promotions, Boring said.

After about a month of work, the campaign won over the judges, including class of 2012 alum Evan Fazio. He said the project stood out for its cohesiveness, but he commended the campaigns crafted by the other four groups, which worked with the nonprofit organizations Friedman Place, Respond Now, Nurses & The Humanities and Taller de José.

“It was a really, really hard call, which I think is a testament to how hard everybody worked on these programs,” said Fazio, who works for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “I would definitely encourage all of those kids to keep on doing what they're doing because they killed it. They did a really great job.”

Psychology and ad/PR double major Maggie Brennan was on the team connected with Respond Now, a social services organization that serves 22 communities surrounding Chicago Heights. She and her group members prepared press releases, PSAs, infographics and social media content for the nonprofit organization.

“A lot of the things I’ve learned in my PR courses can be applied to actual communication professions. I’ve learned how to carry myself on a conference call, I’ve learned how to write a press release, I’ve learned what kind of media and what kind of target objectives to go for,” said the 21-year-old junior.

For Boring, the scholarship competition involved learning how to work with a new group and find middle ground with clients. What particularly resonated with her, though, was seeing the impact that her work had on other people.

“In this sense, it was people decided to adopt animals or to make them part of their homes so that they could [eventually] be adopted. That's really important, impactful communication – meaningful communication – to me. That's probably what I'll take away from it,” she said.

Students Launch Inigo Communications Firm

Students Launch Inigo Communications Firm
By Angie Stewart, SoC reporter
 

Students have taken the reins at Inigo, a new student-run communications firm operated within Loyola’s School of Communication.

The agency is technically a class, but it’s much more than a three-credit course for the students involved; they’re taking on real-life roles, consulting professionals and building a firm from the ground up.

“It’s like work that you’re really passionate about,” said Inigo Firm Director Blaine Danielson, 21, a junior AD/PR major. “We’ve started this. We’ve put so much time and effort into this … I don’t think I’ve ever believed in something as much as I believe in Inigo.”

The agency’s name reflects that enthusiasm: it contains the words “In I Go” to represent how members are diving headfirst into their work. Inigo is also the baptismal name of St. Ignatius of Loyola, a nod to the firm’s founding university.

For this first semester, Inigo’s sole client is itself, and it aims to build its brand and foundation before accepting clients next school year, Danielson said. The 16 agency members, who range from freshmen to seniors, are divided into four teams modeled after the ones used at PR firm Golin: catalysts, creators, connectors and explorers.

“The work is split up based on what people think are their strengths … people are able to explore different aspects of agency life and what it takes to develop an agency,” said first-year AD/PR major and connector Chloe Bierut, 19.

In these groups, the students oversee all facets of operation. Creators are responsible for creating a style guide, logo, tagline and website; catalysts focus on internal business such as preparing client forms and developing firm procedures; connectors cultivate the work culture and handle personnel matters; and explorers research the industry landscape and potential clients.

Account supervisors lead the teams, which come together in weekly staff meetings during the designated class period on Thursdays from 4:15 to 6:45 p.m. They meet in the classroom and once or twice a month at 1871, a tech startup incubator in Merchandise Mart, but connectors including sophomore Sammi Wee are transforming two rooms in Lewis Towers into Inigo’s own lively office space.

“I actually want to start my own event planning company, and so I think this is really right up my alley. I love that fast-paced environment of learning as you go,” said Wee, a 19-year-old AD/PR major and the connectors account supervisor.

In the fall, when Inigo plans to take on clients, its structure will change accordingly. The details of new positions and a possible operating budget are being determined in real-time for this new undertaking because there aren’t established guidelines for student-run firms, said Inigo instructor and faculty advisor Cheryl McPhilimy.

“A lot of it’s uncharted. That’s part of the fun and the challenge,” said McPhilimy, who has prior experience launching her own agency. “We’re figuring it out as we go.”

Inigo will still consist of a firm director and four account supervisors that each have a client, according to Danielson, but the members plan on adding three assistant firm director positions to handle new business, internal business and finances.

Another task in the works is considering compatible future clients. Danielson, who is also a catalyst, said Inigo is interested in working with businesses that want original thinking from a fresh millennial perspective.

“We want someone who’s not afraid to get out of the box and push the envelope,” she said. “For right now, we’re probably going to be looking at more of the startup industry because they’re very closely aligned with us. We are just starting as well.”

Although some universities have led student-run firms for years, the concept is gaining momentum across the country, said McPhilimy, who researched nationally affiliated programs to brainstorm best practices for Loyola’s agency.

“There are a handful of schools that have been doing it for a decade or more, but a lot of programs are looking at it because it does give students that ability to take what they’re learning in class, put it into practice and get results. It’s bringing it all to life and making it real while they’re still in school,” she said.

Inigo is now in the process of reviewing applicants for next semester. Wee said the firm looks to bring on around eight students with diverse talents who are just as driven as the current members.

In the interest of growing students’ skills and offering continuity for clients, the agency is exploring ways to enable members to stay involved across their years at Loyola. Possibilities include earning repeated credit or contributing as freelance volunteers, according to Wee.

By the end of the semester, Wee said, Inigo members hope finalize all the resources needed to take on clients right away when classes resume in the fall. On April 24, the students will show off their firm to the SOC dean and faculty, new agency members and Loyola’s PRSSA.

Danielson, who plans to intern with J. Crew in New York City this summer, said she thinks the teamwork and leadership skills she’s learned through Inigo are what landed her the internship. While she has lofty ambitions for herself, she also has high aspirations for the agency.

“I hope that someday we’ll basically be competing with Leo Burnett. I want to compete with the biggest firms … to have the same quality work, the same amount of professionalism but still keep it fresh and unique,” Danielson said. “I’m dreaming big. And I think that with enough dedication and drive and passion, Inigo will be incredibly successful.”

Students earn top spots at AD boot camp sponsored by Leo Burnett

Students earn top spots at AD boot camp sponsored by Leo Burnett
By Angie Stewart, SoC reporter
 

Eleven Loyola School of Communication students created full-scale advertising campaigns in just four days during the recent The One Club Creative Boot Camp. One student on each of the top three teams was from Loyola, according to advertising professor Robert Akers.

At the workshop sponsored by Leo Burnett and hosted by Columbia College Chicago, Loyola students competed among 17 teams, which were comprised of students and graduates from over a dozen schools including DePaul and Roosevelt.

“It was intense but it was a lot of fun. It was amazing,” said Meggan Warnicke, 21, a senior AD/PR major, whose group won second place. “It was nice to see the pace of real work, the different aspects that go into an entire campaign.”

The boot camp began Thursday morning, when participants were divided into teams, received an assignment and a creative brief from Leo Burnett, and broke away to brainstorm ideas. They spent the rest of the weekend developing advertising campaigns with their teams, some working late into the night.

On Sunday, they presented their work to a group of professionals from agencies that included AlphaZeta Interactive, Commonground, FCB, RGA, DDB, Leo Burnett, mcgarrybowen and Rascal by Design, according to The One Club’s website.

Participants on the top three teams were each awarded a one-year membership to The One Club, a book about the creative process and a T-shirt, Warnicke said.

In addition, members of the first-place team – including Loyola’s junior AD/PR major Anna Redman – won the chance to interview for Leo Burnett’s summer internship. Redman said they pulled two all-nighters over the weekend to churn out the winning campaign.

“It was worth it,” said Redman, 20. “I’m really, really excited. I’ve been working on my portfolio basically nonstop since I heard that I won. I don’t want to blow this one shot because not many people even get in the door of an ad agency like Leo.”

Earning third place was the team that included advertising major Michaela Rabinov. Loyola students involved on other teams were Natalie Pearl, José Vega, Alexia Guzman, Kristina Carbonara, Bridget Burley, Erin Allen, Aimee Gaspari and Aleena Syed.

 “It was very real-life, and it was very enlightening,” said Warnicke, who wants to go into the art direction area of advertising. “It definitely showed me that I have chosen the right path and I’m where I’m supposed to be.”

Chef Amy Le serves flavors inspired by adversity and family history

Chef Amy Le serves flavors inspired by adversity and family history

For Loyola School of Communication alumna Amy Le, a chef and owner of the downtown eateries Saucy Porka and Spotted Monkey, working with food is a family tradition.

That’s reflected by the vibrant mural filling one wall in Saucy Porka, based on a photograph of Le’s grandmother who sold produce in Vietnam. It also comes across in the restaurant’s namesake pork, which is prepared the way Le’s mom used to make it when she was a kid.

“We’ve always been really connected to food in my life and my family, and so that’s been passed down,” said Le, who is also a former owner of the Duck N Roll food truck.

Le grew up in St. Louis, helping out in her mother’s Chinese restaurant. Despite her desire to take a different path when she went on to attend Loyola, she could never seem to stray far from those roots.

While pursuing a degree in journalism, Le worked at Flat Top Grill and Koi Chinese & Sushi Restaurant, and she’d regularly feed hungry students in her dorm using the rice cooker and pasta steamer her mom sent with her. Naturally, the cuisine is what she remembers most from her two months abroad in Tanzania.

But Le persisted in developing her talents outside the restaurant industry.

She found success doing freelance writing and working as a general assignment reporter for the Pioneer Press, a newspaper then owned by the Chicago Sun-Times’ parent company. She earned recognition for getting the scoop on a Northwest Side homicide.

“I really wanted to be a reporter. I wanted to make sure I knew I could do it and feel like I fulfilled that dream,” Le said. “The last year I was there, I got nominated for a Lisagor Award [for Excellence in Reporting]. So, I said, ‘OK I can walk away.’”

Le moved on to marketing and social media positions, but in 2009, she found herself back in the culinary world; an online food-ordering startup called GrubHub hired her as a social media and PR manager.

At GrubHub, Le connected with restaurant owners and food bloggers on a daily basis, and she volunteered to set up staff lunches just for fun. Le also gained mentors who taught her about the backbreaking work involved in entrepreneurship.

“The GrubHub founders, Matt and Mike, who I worked really closely with, would always say to me, ‘If you take your hobby and you want to make it [your career], it no longer can be your hobby,’” Le recalled. “‘You can’t just dabble in it. You either have to just go 100 percent into it or not do it at all.’”

That advice was in the back of Le’s mind when the restaurant owner she’d worked for in college presented the idea of opening a food truck together.

“I said, ‘Why not? Let’s do it,’” Le said.

They launched the Duck N Roll food truck in October 2011, serving items inspired by Asian street food. Le discovered that it was a seven-day-a-week, around-the-clock job.

She spent half her time running the operation – often starting her days at 6 a.m. and securing a location around 8 a.m., then selling food and packing up within the city’s two-hour parking limit. The other half she spent fighting that time restriction and additional constraints on mobile vendors.

With what she called a social justice influence from Loyola, Le co-founded the Illinois Food Truck Association to push for more feasible regulations.

Although the city eventually did allow cooking on the vehicles, Le said, she was exhausted. She made the tough decision to shut down the truck after one year.

“I gave myself three weeks to feel miserable about shutting the truck down and feeling like I had not succeeded in that,” Le said. “But then you have to pick yourself up and move forward again.”

She said that resilience was inspired by her parents, who fled Vietnam in a fishing boat after the war with 2-year-old child and her mother eight months pregnant.

Just months after Duck N Roll closed, an investor Le had met while running the truck told her about vacant space in the financial district. It was the spot where she would open her first brick-and-mortar restaurant, Saucy Porka.

“When we launched, I didn’t know if people were going to walk in … The first day, I remember, there was a line. That was one of the most amazing moments [when I felt] like, ‘I think this is going to work out.’”

Now, nearly four years after the opening, Saucy Porka’s Latin-Asian fusion offerings, including pork carnitas, bao tacos and chorizo egg rolls, have become lunchtime favorites for customers such as Elliot Haffarnan-Buck.

“Saucy Porka is always my number one place where I want to go,” said Haffarnan-Buck, who works in the Loop. “All their meats, I feel like they marinate literally [from the moment] they turn the light on in the morning.”

Since establishing Saucy Porka, Le has cut the ribbon on a similar Asian-fusion restaurant nearby called Spotted Monkey. She co-owns both with her boyfriend, John Keebler.

Le’s career path has had its ups and downs, but as always, she isn’t finished yet. She said she aspires to open Saucy Porkas in every city and eventually start a job training cooking program.

For now, a typical day for Le involves leaping up to help customers the moment they walk through the door.

It’s a dedication that doesn’t go unnoticed – especially not by Christina Ohanian, a class of 2010 alum who visited Saucy Porka two years ago and still remembers the special interaction she had with Le.

“She came over and started talking to me because I had a Loyola sweatshirt on,” Ohanian said. “You just don’t get that sort of personal touch in a lot of places anymore.”

Le said leaving an impact on her customers and her staff, who she considers family, is the most rewarding part of running two successful businesses. That outlook naturally stems from the significant influence her upbringing has on her cuisine.

“Something that I’ve carried with me from my childhood into my adulthood as a business owner is the family aspect of it … Seeing and reading and knowing people’s needs, that’s a huge part of why I love this business,” Le said. “Food, to me, is so much about love and connecting with people.”

Poster Art Featured at New Exhibit

Poster Art Featured at New Exhibit

Davis’ friend Foszcz described Dead Meat Design artwork as distinctively gritty, dark and humorous.

By Angie Stewart, SoC reporter
 

The dozens of band posters on display at Loyola’s School of Communication are the work of local designer and screen printer Josh Davis, an artist embedded in Chicago’s music and art scenes.

The SOC’s spring exhibit, “Appetite for Distraction,” is the biggest one yet for Davis, whose cartoonish yet grotesque mixed-media art is dubbed Dead Meat Design. His work reflects his affinity for bathroom humor and dad jokes, he said.

“[It’s] definitely weird, sometimes gross, playful, sometimes dark,” said the artist, who hails from McHenry, Illinois. “[There’s] definitely a lot of humor in what I do, for the most part, even some of the darker ones … Like I’ll do kind of a darker poster for a not-so-dark band with a weird twist on it.”

Davis blends bright colors with imagery of skulls, cigarettes and comical or unsettling creatures, and he said he draws inspiration from whatever band his art will represent.

He’s created posters for the likes of Twin Peaks, The Oh Sees, All Them Witches and Ty Segall, as well as the psych-pop band YAWN, which played in Loyola’s Convergence Studio during a reception Tuesday evening for the art show’s opening.

“The style of smoky lines and stuff is why we asked him to do a poster for us in the first place,” said YAWN frontman Adam Gil.

“[Davis’ art is] kind of psychedelic, a little dirty,” added guitarist Daniel Perzan.

Although he’s known for his gig posters, Davis has also created record covers and T-shirts, and did work for Burton snowboards. He said he once designed a pair of yoga pants, which he turned into a poster titled “One of Us!” that’s hanging in the SOC lobby.

Davis sunk his teeth into design back in 2000 after graduating from the Illinois Institute of Art. Now, his work can be found at music venues throughout the city, including Empty Bottle, the Metro and Subterranean, and at music festivals such as Pitchfork.

“Josh’s work is really distinctive,” said Cooper Foszcz, who shares studio space with Davis and attended Tuesday’s reception. “If you’ve been going to shows for a long time in Chicago, especially for these punk, post-punk shows, garage – whatever you want to call it – he’s usually the guy there. Not only is he usually the guy there, but you can pick out a Dead Beat print from a lot of other Chicago screen printers.”

Loyola alumni Christopher and Ashley Roby weren’t familiar with Davis’ work before the exhibit opening, but they got an impression of his style by looking at his posters in the SOC lobby and lower level.

“I think he’s very creative,” said Ashley, a 2010 graduate. “I liked the Twin Peaks series, so the one of three that was very red – the lady smoking with the skeleton hand … I just really liked the colors and it was simple. I think there was less going on than the other pieces, and I liked that. It’s a wide variety.”

“Eclectic mix,” chimed in Christopher, class of 2011.

The posters are the products of an intricate process that entails drawing, collaging, scanning and separating colors – all just to get a design print-ready, Davis said. Screen printing can take up to eight hours from start to finish, he said.

But the impetus to get the process started can be just as elusive as work itself, even for the experienced artist.

“It’s not the easiest field to be in,” he said. “Either the work’s not there or I just can’t find inspiration. I’ll have, you know, a couple weeks where I’m just brain farting … or I’ll have too much work, which is not a bad thing. Right now, I’m bogged down. And usually in the spring, no one’s touring, so fortunately – knock on wood – I’ve got some work.”

Despite the uncertainty of the business, Davis was always destined to make art, according to his father, Rusty.

“When Josh was very young, he would come home on the school bus with pictures of his friends that he had drew. And I knew then he had to go to art school,” he said. “[His art is] out there, but it’s what all the young people like.”

Davis’ work is on display in the SOC through mid-August. The building is open 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Virtual reality class takes learning to new dimensions

Virtual reality class takes learning to new dimensions

Professor Jamason Chen said he assigned “dialogue” as the theme of students’ midterm projects because VR creates dialogue between the creator and the camera, the camera and the environment, and the image and the audience.

By Angie Stewart, SoC reporter
 

In Loyola’s first-ever Virtual Reality class, 19 students learn to tell stories using 360-degree cameras and editing software – and their professor Jamason Chen encourages them to fail.

That’s because VR technology is so new, and there’s so little teaching material on the topic, that experimentation and unsuccessful attempts are the best ways to learn, Chen said. He said he gives no quizzes, and the textbook for the course is suggested reading.

“I try to help [students] to break the norm,” he said. “I said, ‘Especially with this type of new medium, new challenge, I want you to challenge yourself. I don’t care if you fail. … Your failure will lead your success.’”

Chen broadly defines virtual reality as an immersive, designed imitation of real life that encompasses the 360-degree Ricoh Theta S and GoPro Omni cameras his students use. The 360 equipment works as the name implies: it provides an all-encompassing view of places photographed or recorded.

It also requires a 180-degree change in mindset and methodology, Chen said.

“With a 360, everything could happen at the same time,” he said. “It covers the whole environment … that’s a totally different visual language in storytelling.”

Given that wide scope, Chen said, producers have little control over the perspective viewers see; they simply choose where to set the camera. And unless they can duck behind something to hide from the camera, they’re part of the shot.

Although the lack of control can in some ways seem like a limitation, it allows communicators to show all surroundings without having to pan back and forth, Chen said.

“You give one angle, people just see what the story wants to tell them,” he explained. “Then what’s going on behind [the camera], no one knows. So you lose context. You focus on the content you want.”

Senior communication studies major Ryan Sorrell said he wants to use 360-degree video technology to contextualize social issues in Chicago. He said he’s considering using the 360 camera to compare police activity in the South Side to that of the North Side.

“[VR] makes journalism a lot more democratic or less able to be manipulated because people can look around,” said Sorrell, 21. “So it’s not like you’re cropping an image and only showing a police officer doing something or a protestor doing something.”

Sorrell said what he’s enjoyed most about the VR class so far was hearing a guest speaker discuss the possibilities of using VR technology in gaming, medicine, warfare and education.

Senior film production major Becki Bolinger envisions using VR in her future career as a high school teacher.

“I think that once this technology becomes more affordable – because right now these cameras are crazy expensive – that it could be a really cool educational tool,” said Bolinger, 22.

Senior Melody Billedo said film majors like herself are tasked with figuring out how to use the technology for narrative. While traditional technology involves shooting scenes in different locations, the 360 camera seems better suited for stationary shots, she said.

“That’s where theater comes in,” said Billedo, 22, who is minoring in theater. “A narrative is told in a static space on set with the actors and whatever, and the audience interacting with them as well, and so I think it’s a good tool for film majors to get back into the theater roots that film has.”

For her midterm project, Billedo used the 360 camera to shoot the lighting design and set in Loyola’s Underground Theatre. She found that the glare was problematic but said it would be interesting to see how a 360 camera could transform live productions.

One of Bolinger’s experiments with VR proved challenging in a different way. She tried attaching a 360 camera to her cat, but the handheld device wouldn’t stay upright.

“I just thought it would be cool to experience what my cat experiences every day,” she said. “I didn’t really realize how hard it would be to rig up something like that.”

For her midterm project, Bolinger instead placed the camera on the floor and recorded the interaction between her cat and a dog. She and other students gave each other feedback on their midterm projects in class, but they also regularly collaborate on a course Facebook page by posting what they learn about VR outside the classroom.

So far, the students have gotten their hands on the $300 Ricoh Theta S camera and played with cardboard viewers, which are goggle-like devices that work almost like a kaleidoscope for viewing VR videos up-close with a smartphone. Chen said students will soon get to work with the more advanced $5,000 GoPro Omni.

For many of the questions this VR technology raises, there is “no answer, no textbook to give, no rules you can apply,” Chen said. But that’s why he calls his course “open mind and open source.”

“Everything is uncertain,” he said. “Everything is possible.”

Loyola students offers a slew of coverage for Arch Madness

Loyola students offers a slew of coverage for Arch Madness

Rambler Sports Locker co-executive producer Trisha McCauley and reporter Kelsey Frew cover Day 2 of the MVC Tournament at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Friday, March 3.

By: RSL Staff
 

Loyola students offers a slew of coverage for Arch Madness 

The Rambler Sports Locker and the Loyola Phoenix ushered in March with another trip to St. Louis to cover the 2017 Arch Madness Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. This year marked the fourth time the student media organizations have covered the four-day conference.

By covering the conference, students get valuable professional experience in reporting across multi-media on deadline in a fast-paced environment.

“It’s really a great experience for the students,” said student media manager Ralph Braseth. “Here in a professional atmosphere, they’re working with other professionals. Their expected to behave in a way that is very professional, so in that way I think it’s really good for them.”

Related: Rambler Sports Locker gets students in the game

This year 10 students converged upon the Scottrade Center to produce stories for print, video packages and social media. For some of the students it was their first time going to Arch Madness, but some have been several times.

“Last year we produced a lot of great videos, great content and I think we’ll do it again this year,” said senior Beatriz Cabanas, who returned for her second consecutive time.

In addition to writing game stories, and doing game wrap ups for the RSL YouTube channel, the student journalists also shot and edited feature packages on fans and tournament announcer Todd Thomas.

“It was really cool to speak to someone who has such a big impact on the game,” said Kelsey Frew, who covered the tournament for RSL for the first time. “I really enjoyed seeing his energy from his perspective and seeing him get the fans hyped up.”

Related: The Loyola Phoenix gets in on the ‘Madness’ 

The Rambler men’s basketball team came into the tournament as the No. 5 seed, but was defeated in the first round by No. 4 seed Southern Illinois University 55-50.

Visiting scholar conducts positive communication research

Visiting scholar conducts positive communication research

“Positive communication is not just something you say,” said visiting scholar José Antonio Muñiz-Velázquez. “You do it and you be it.”

By Angie Stewart, SoC reporter
 

José Antonio Muñiz-Velázquez was working at an advertising agency in Spain when he read “99 Francs,” a novel by French author Frédéric Beigbeder. The author, Muñiz-Velázquez said, insisted that advertisers don’t want people to be happy – because happy people don’t buy products.

That concept bothered Muñiz-Velázquez, who is now the head of the department of communication and education at Loyola University Andalucia in Spain, and a visiting scholar at Loyola University Chicago.

Muñiz-Velázquez wanted people to be happy.

So he left the agency and began researching positive communication, a field where his backgrounds in psychology and communication intersected. He found a community of scholars absorbed in the topic.

“When we say ‘positive storytelling,’ positive communication, we mean that this persuasion is for the well-being of everybody: for the well-being of the people you want to persuade and also the individual that persuades – the brand,” he explained.

Now, Muñiz-Velázquez said he’s collaborating with around 75 researchers from universities all over the world – including Quinlan marketing professor Linda Tuncay Zayer – to write a handbook on positive communication.

Called “The Routledge Handbook of Positive Communication,” it will cover five areas of positive communication research: advertising, marketing and public relations; journalism and media; interpersonal communication; education; and technology. He and his colleagues aim to complete the handbook by the end of this year and present their findings at the conference of positive communication in 2018, he said.

Muñiz-Velázquez’s research deals with two levels of happiness: hedonia and eudaimonia. He said hedonia essentially means to feel positive emotions – ‘happiness’ in the popular sense – while eudaimonia takes that feeling to a deeper level.

Eudaimonia means living virtuously – becoming happy rather than experiencing fleeting satisfaction – and is the focus of positive communication, according to Muñiz-Velázquez. He said it’s a concept that was explored by the ancient philosophers Aristotle, Plato, Seneca and Socrates, but now, two thousand years later, we have the science to back it up

“The question we can ask to all kinds of communication is the following: ‘To what extent are you helping the people to be more happy in terms of virtue?’ he said.

Muñiz-Velázquez conceded that, in the past, we might have seen advertising with more “selfish” values. But beginning about 10 years ago, he said, there was a paradigm shift – one exemplified in Dove’s esteem-boosting advertisements and in recent Super Bowl commercials, such as Airbnb’s “We Accept” segment.

“[Now,] we are watching another kind of advertising that also, of course, needs to sell products, but it’s not the same,” he said. “The Airbnb [commercial], for example, … we can say this is positive advertising in terms that it is selling Airbnb, but also with positive value – the knowledge of different people [mixing with] other cultures.”

The researcher found that commercials aren’t the only aspect of Super Bowl games with the potential to be positive; he discovered in his research that fan culture itself generates a feeling of belonging and is connected to intellectual development.

The happiness derived from actively participating in a fan community could be explained by additional research Muñiz-Velázquez conducted, which found that people who valued experiences over material objects tended to be happier, while materialistic individuals were more vulnerable to depression.

“Experiences bring more happiness than objects or material goods,” he said. “We saw the clear statistical difference [in happiness] between the people that prefer material goods and the people that prefer experiences.”

For companies, creating uplifting discourse alone isn’t enough to create authentic happiness, according to Muñiz-Velázquez, who said brands should also live out the values they promote.

“Positive communication is not only to seem. It’s also to do. It’s also to be,” he said.

The scholar applies that principle to his own life. For holidays and birthdays, Muñiz-Velázquez and his wife exchange experiences instead of material goods. This past Christmas, he paid for her to take a cooking class, and for him, she purchased tickets to events around Chicago, where he’ll be conducting research through the end of March.

In the coming weeks, Muñiz-Velázquez plans to be a guest speaker in classes, and hold a seminar on positive communication for faculty at Loyola Chicago.

In the years since Beigbeder’s “99 Francs” altered the course of his life, Muñiz-Velázquez has opened his second advertising agency in Spain and compiled research that counters the French author’s pessimistic outlook.

Advertisers do, Muñiz-Velázquez maintains, want happy people.

“If Aristotle said the ultimate aim of the life is happiness for all individuals, also for communication, in all of the fields, the ultimate aim must always be happiness,” he said. “Because it’s good for the self, for the brands … the mission of communication must be the happiness of people.”

SOC students named winners of 2017 festival of media arts

SOC students named winners of 2017 festival of media arts
By Angie Stewart, SoC reporter
 

Seven students and one faculty member from Loyola’s School of Communication recently won awards from the 2017 Broadcast Education Association (BEA) Festival of Media Arts.

Loyola alum Jacob Voss won an Award of Excellence in the Short Form Video Documentary category for “Second Flight” – his first professional quality documentary – which he filmed during a two-week Digital Storytelling course in Santiago, Chile.

“I wasn’t expecting to get an award at all, and so when I did, I was super happy about it, and it really motivated me,” said Voss, who graduated in December with a bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations. “I want to keep doing it. I want to start making more films.”

Voss’s documentary details how the burrowing parakeet narrowly escaped extinction, its population in the Río Los Cipreses National Reserve growing from about 200 to around three thousand in just a couple decades with the help of the National Forestry Corporation, or CONAF.

With co-producer Carlos Pizzaro, a journalism student at Alberto Hurtado University, Voss spent five days in the Andes Mountains conducting interviews and capturing footage of parakeets.

 “It was something I was passionate about,” Voss said. “It was an issue that is relatable to everybody around the world, whether you’re in China choking on smog, or whether you’re in Chile trying to conserve this population of parakeets, or whether you’re in the U.S. trying to make sure that nobody’s drilling in our natural reserves.”

Much closer to Loyola, senior advertising and marketing student Nikhil Sequeira and graduate students Ashley King, Caitlin Higgins and Hanlin Guo together produced “How I Disappear,” a PSA addressing Chicago’s rampant gun violence. The spot won an Award of Excellence in the category Commercial Spots/PSAs under 90-seconds.

It shows a group of seven students who vanish one by one as they walk down a Chicago street – a visual representation of the CDC’s statistic that on average, almost seven young people are killed each day by guns in the United States.

The students created the video for their Multi-Media Production class in partnership with the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.

 “We actually got to meet the woman that runs the organization and … the more she talked about it, the more we thought about things,” King said. “I thought it would be crazy not to make something amazing for them that they could show other students and they could share, too.”

The organization posted the PSA on its YouTube channel, but King said she and her group members were surprised that their other project – a humorous commercial for the energy drink KRā – didn’t get recognition from BEA. That video has garnered 47,000 views on the KRā Drinks for Athletes Facebook page.

The judges did have a taste for another beverage: professor Goheen’s “Fog Beer,” a video that was awarded Best of Competition in the Faculty Television News Feature Reporting category.

The feature shows how two brothers capture fog water to brew beer in Chile’s Atacama Desert – known as the driest place on earth.

“I wanted to do a story about fog water for years and years,” Goheen said. “In researching it, I found where these two brothers made beer from fog water, so it was sort of a two-for: the technology of capturing water from the nets from fog but turning it into this unique way to make a living.”

Just getting to the brothers’ microbrewery was difficult – their little village wasn’t on a map, and Goheen doesn’t speak Spanish, so asking for directions didn’t help much. When he finally reached the location where he’d spend two days filming, he sprang into action. 

“The only day I saw fog was the first day I arrived,” he said. “I was smart enough to realize … I may not get another chance to get the fog or I’d have to stay days and days and days beyond what I wanted to. So, I shot the heck out of the fog.”

Although Goheen said predicting what exactly will make an entry stand out to the judges is about as difficult as predicting the weather, he and the winning students clearly did something right.

Capping off the accolades, graduate student Jeff Chow won an Award of Excellence in the TV News Feature Reporting category for “Cat Shadow Shines Light on Homeless Man,” and alum Nicole Wong’s personal piece “The Ghost of Pauline Tang,” earned second place in the category Interactive Multimedia Project Completed by One Individual.

This year’s top winners will be awarded prizes during the BEA’s convention and Festival of Media Arts April 22-26 in Las Vegas, according to the BEA website.

Short-term study abroad trips have long-lasting memories, lessons

Short-term study abroad trips have long-lasting memories, lessons

“It was great experiencing doing something so grand as a first time [out of the country]," said advertising major Jessica Jenkner, who studied in Rome after her two-week trip to China. "It made Europe seem a lot less daunting."

By Angie Stewart, SoC reporter
 

The School of Communication’s short-term study abroad programs are more than a way to quickly earn credits in Chile, London or China while holding an internship back home.

They’re also opportunities to hike the Great Wall of China, run through the streets of London, produce a passion-driven documentary or tour illustrious agencies with a small group of eager peers.

The latter was the highlight for junior AD/PR major Sidney Munch, who traveled to Beijing and Shanghai this past summer for the graduate-level course International Advertising & Branding.

“We really got to be immersed in the culture,” said Munch, 20. “The class was very hands-on in the community, and we were barely in the classroom.”

The China program involved classes in the mornings and afternoon visits to advertising agencies such as BBDO, Publicis and J. Walter Thompson, according to Dr. Pamela Morris, who leads the trip. She said students stay in a hotel near Loyola’s Beijing Center and learn to navigate with the help of a tour guide.

With a project due after the trip and readings assigned beforehand, the schedule left plenty of time to see the Forbidden City, the Olympic Stadium and Tiananmen Square, according to junior advertising major Jessica Jenkner, who took the same course as Munch.

“I felt like we did a lot more tourist attractions than I thought we were going to do, which was a great surprise,” Jenkner said. “We went one day to the Great Wall. That was actually on my birthday … I turned 20 on the Great Wall. So, that’s just something that I’m always going to remember – that was awesome.”

Jenkner said the program prepared her to then spend a semester at Loyola’s John Felice Rome Center. She plans to travel abroad through the SOC again this summer, but this time for the International Public Relations course in London.

“I had such a great experience in China that I’m excited to have that same experience again,” she said. “Even if it’s a different place, it’s still the same concept of getting to know the industry and also being able to see the city.”

Like the course in China, the International Public Relations course in London entails field trips to a handful of public relations agencies, including Weber Shandwick, Zeno Group and Fleishman Hillard, according to Dr. Marjorie Kruvand, who leads the trip.

Ally Spiroff, a graduate student in Loyola’s Digital Media and Storytelling program, took Kruvand’s course this past summer. She confirmed that students actually did “study” abroad, with a few papers to write and a project to finish all in a matter of two weeks.

Some of the students’ learning, however, happened outside the University of London where they lived and took classes; the Brexit vote had just taken place.

“There were so many protests in London because almost everyone in London wanted to remain in the EU. We saw some huge protests in Trafalgar Square,” said Spiroff, 23. “Otherwise, I might have just been lost in a tourism world and [forgotten] that actual people live there.”

Spiroff said the brevity of the trip allowed students to hold jobs and internships back home, but she said she still squeezed in sightseeing by taking runs after classes.

 “Through running, I would explore a lot of London,” she said. “I was running on the canals one day, and I found this amazing market. … I have the best memories from doing that and finding interesting places to go through running.”

Students taking the Digital Storytelling course in Santiago, Chile, have a little longer to settle in to their hotel – nearly two and a half weeks – but that time is full of filming.

Jack Curtin, a senior Film and Digital Media major, took the class with professor John Goheen this past summer and produced a documentary about how the remnants of a former dictatorship impacts the Chilean music scene.

“I actually have a video of the best work I’ve done that I’ve taken out of it,” said Curtin, 22, “just proving that I could do a project like this and have an experience like this. … That was one of the best things I took out of the trip was I was like, ‘Oh I could make a legit documentary in a country [where] I don’t speak the language.’”

With newfound confidence in his filmmaking abilities, Curtin said he’s now talking with one of Loyola’s anthropology professors about coordinating a trip to Peru to film a documentary on Incan ruins. The inspiration to pursue the project, he said, came directly from his study abroad experience.

“If any of the reasons for you not going are you don’t think you could really do a class like that or handle an experience like that, you’re going to prove yourself wrong – which is a good thing, which is something you can’t as easily get by just staying in the same place for four years,” Curtin said.

Other students recently returned from a fourth SOC study abroad opportunity that took place in London. That course, The International Language of Creativity, is led by Bob Akers and focuses on the creative side of advertising.

Whichever adventure students choose to embark on, the general consensus of Loyola’s globe trotters is overwhelmingly positive.

“100 percent go,” advised Munch, who took the two-week trip in London and then spent a full year in Rome before her most recent excursion to China. “I don’t know anybody that’s regretted going abroad.”

This summer, COMM 373, Digital Storytelling in Santiago, Chile, will be led by professor Aaron Greer May 12-29; COMM 278, International Public Relations, will run from June 25 to July 8 in London; and the China program COMM 421, Topics in Global Strategic Communication: International Advertising & Branding, is scheduled for July 15-29. The application deadline for those programs is March 15.

First public chicago showing of ‘Service to Man’ shunts expectations

First public chicago showing of ‘Service to Man’ shunts expectations

Aaron Greer has previously screened “Service to Man” for private audiences at Loyola and public audiences elsewhere, but Thursday marked the first public screening in Chicago.

By Angie Stewart, SoC reporter
 

 “Service to Man,” a film co-directed by Loyola professor Aaron Greer, has screened at about a dozen film festivals – including one in Amsterdam – but the audience at Loyola Thursday evening was a special one for the filmmaker.

Among about 30 faculty members, staff members, students and alumni got a chance to watch the film during a showing in Damen Cinema.

Set in the 1960s, “Service to Man” details one man’s experience as one of only two white students at Meharry Medical College, an all-black school in Nashville. Greer said it’s loosely based on the true story of Norman Panich, the father of co-director Seth Panich.

Although it’s a high-drama period piece, the film contains a healthy dose of comedy that often surprises audiences, according to Greer.

 “Being a fish out of water, there is stuff that’s awkward and funny about it,” he said. “White folks in this country aren’t used to being fishes out of water. And there’s stuff about it that can be funny. There’s stuff that’s uncomfortable, too, but that’s part of what I wanted to reflect.”

Just as the Jewish character Eli Rosenberg finds his expectations about medical practice and race relations challenged, audience members had their assumptions about the film itself turned upside down.

Class of 2014 alum Justin Howe said he entered the theater expecting to see a traditional documentary. Instead, he said, “Service to Man” reminded him of “Hidden Figures,” a movie about African-American women working at NASA during the Space Race.

“Once I realized [“Service to Man”] was kind of the same vein, I was kind of looking at who are the protagonists, who are the antagonists. It was interesting because I feel like a lot of the characters played a lot of those roles,” said Howe, a former student of Greer’s.

Alum Jimmy Boratyn, who also had Greer as a professor, agreed that the film took a different approach than he had predicted.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” Boratyn said. “It wasn’t quite the story I was expecting, but I did find it really interesting in how it focused on an aspect of the 1960s that you wouldn’t ever really think of,” said the class of 2011 alum.

Greer said that uncommon perspective is just what first intrigued him about the story.

“We often see integration from the perspective of black people in a predominantly white environment,” said the filmmaker. “I think we need to see integration more broadly in this country. It’s not always about black people in a predominantly white environment, or even just a black-white thing.”

Among those who got to see the film for the first time were Greer’s children – Naomi, 4, and Julian, 7.

“Naomi was playing hide and go seek with [events coordinator] Genevieve [Buthod] outside … but Julian – we’ll have to have a conversation,” Greer said after the showing, when asked if he was prepared to have a talk with his kids about the film’s language and serious themes.

With “Service to Man” finally completed, Greer said he’s focusing on the painstaking tasks of promoting the film and securing distribution.

“I’m anxious for this part to be done and to move back to creative stuff, but it would be a little bit like kicking Julian out of the house right now; the child’s not fully on his feet yet,” Greer said. “It’s not self-sufficient, and so it would be negligent of me.”

Greer said he aims to make “Service to Man” available in formats such as Netflix and iTunes by the end of this year, after it finishes making its rounds at festival screenings.

For now, he said he’s hoping one notable actor in the film will help it get some “Oprah shine.” Lamman Rucker, who plays Dr. Johnson in “Service to Man,” also stars in “Greenleaf,” a television series produced by Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah or not, “Service to Man” seemed to have staying power for Thursday night’s audience members, who energetically voiced their enjoyment and frustrations as the plot unfolded.

“As a filmmaker, those are your favorite kind of reactions,” Greer said. “It means that people are really engaged in the story and lost in the emotion and being moved.”

The laugh-out-loud moments helped the movie explore difficult, uncomfortable subject matter without leaving viewers feeling depressed, according to alum Boratyn. Even with that balance, he said, the film felt realistic.

“[Greer] really delved deeper into the nuances of what went on, what could have went on, what it was like for essentially a white man to experience what it was like to be an African-American during the 1960s,” Boratyn said. “It came across as a very true film with very real characters that I think most people could relate to.”

SOC Alumna Zandra Zuno Baermann Lives Out Passion in Multicultural PR Career

SOC Alumna Zandra Zuno Baermann Lives Out Passion in Multicultural PR Career

Baermann got her start at GolinHarris through a post-grad summer internship, and the work experience led her to Latin America.

By Angie Stewart, SoC reporter
 

Loyola grad and world traveler Zandra Zuno Baermann never expected to work at the same company for 16 years. Her career began at Chicago PR firm Golin, and that’s where she works now, as executive director and multicultural marketing practice lead.

In fact, much of life didn’t turn out as Baermann expected. The Wicker Park native wasn’t accepted into Notre Dame for college, so she wound up at Loyola University Chicago. Then, she applied for the Fulbright Scholarship to study in Latin America – something she’d always had the “inkling” to do – and didn’t get the award.

But one thing remained certain: she had that itch to travel.        

“It’s good to be young and have an idea of what you want to do and not let it go,” she said, “and then just say, ‘You know, I’m going to do it.’”

After graduating, interning at GolinHarris and working as a press manager for the Chicago Public Library in 1994, she arranged an informal meeting with Zimat Consultores, a PR agency in Mexico City that had connections to GolinHarris. She was told to reach out again if she happened to move to Mexico.

“I took that very seriously,” Baermann said. “So, I went back, I quit my job, and I saved up enough money and said, ‘I’m going to do this. I’m going to move to Mexico City.’”

From 23 to 26 years old, the Loyola alumna had the “most important years” of her career in Mexico, where public relations was an emerging field. With the advantage of speaking both English and Spanish, she worked with high-profile clients including Gillette and Procter & Gamble and watched the agency grow from eight to 60 people.

“I’m glad I took that risk,” she said, “and if I didn’t make it to Latin America with the Fulbright, I made it to Latin America on my own. And I had that one opportunity that I really, really wanted – in fact, I didn’t want to move back to the States.”

With her GRE and GMAT certifications about to expire, Baermann had to decide between staying in Mexico City and tackling another goal she’d always had: attending graduate school.

“I applied to the only program that I wanted to go to – that’s how much I didn’t want to leave Mexico,” she said. “I thought, ‘There’s no reason to leave, I’m at the height of my career here.’”

Baermann was accepted into Northwestern University’s Integrated Marketing Communications program, and it was a game-changer; she went back to the Chicago area for graduate school just as e-commerce was beginning to transform the business landscape.

After graduate school, Baermann returned to Golin, where she has applied the IMC concepts she learned at Northwestern – first, as manager of global integration, then as vice president and director of marketing, and now, as executive director and multicultural marketing practice lead.

Baermann, who is Latina, doesn’t believe in separating personal life from her work. Each individual’s background and experiences, she said, enriches the workplace.

“Because I could bring my background of being the daughter of an immigrant … having an inner city childhood, having Spanish as my first language, being someone that travels all over the world – all of that, I think, brings a certain level of sensitivity that someone [with a different] background doesn’t have,” she said. “And that person has a different sort of background … that informs as well.”

Baermann said diversity enables PR agencies to tactfully confront societal issues and act with consideration in the midst of tragedies such as Chicago’s police shootings and the Pulse nightclub attack.

“That part of our work is going to be even more important going into this political climate, to help clients understand the right timing to come up with more brand messaging and to be sensitive to the climate and what the community is sensing,” she said.

Baermann’s passion for, and expertise in multicultural marketing is apparent, but she points to people as the reason why she’s stayed with Golin for more than a decade.

In January, Baermann celebrated her 16thyear at the company, and she said her coworkers bought her a bouquet of flowers for the occasion. A paper certificate commemorating the milestone is pinned up next to her desk at the John Hancock Center, just blocks from the Water Tower Campus where she took communications classes as an undergraduate student.

Although her career has been characterized by one company, Baermann’s life has been anything but stagnant. For both work and leisure, the Loyola alumna has traveled to places all over the globe, including Switzerland, Dubai and Germany.

She even traveled growing up, frequently visiting family in Mexico. But Baermann says it was the spring of 1992, while studying abroad at Loyola’s Rome Center, when she really caught the travel bug – an inclination that shaped her career path, with all its surprising twists.

“I’ve been lucky to have a lot of interesting things that I didn’t expect come my way, but I think you have to be willing to take the risk – and I’m not a risky person,” she said. “It’s all worked out for me. At the moment, I might not have known exactly what it would end up like, but at the end of the day, because I tried it, it ended up working perfectly.”

Freebies and ‘family’ plentiful at the first SOC Freshfest

Freebies and ‘family’ plentiful at the first SOC Freshfest

Students from Beta Rho direct freshmen into the Damen MPR for the first-ever Freshfest.

By Angie Stewart, SoC reporter
 

It’s not easy being green, as freshmen know well.

That’s why the School of Communication held Freshfest, an afternoon hangout for first-year students, where they got free food, snagged swag and chatted with professors and upperclassmen in the Damen Student Center MPR.

“I think it helps different fields of communication all come together and meet each other and get introduced to different people that are higher up,” said freshman Kasey Schleper, a journalism major from Shakopee, Minnesota.

While eating the free Chipotle that was offered buffet-style along with Chick-fil-A and Insomnia Cookies, Schleper and her friends, who are also freshmen, agreed that Freshfest was helpful in a way other SOC events aren’t.

“It’s casual, but at the same time, it’s not overwhelming,” said Eileen O’Gorman, a journalism major from Kankakee, Illinois. “I think the career fair, even the org fair … it’s just very overwhelming, and I feel like I get this information overload. I’m almost happy there’s not every single club represented here.”

“[At the org fair and in classes] there’s no way to get immersed,” added Schleper, 18. “We know what our resources are and the clubs that we can join and stuff, we just don’t know how to get started.”

Academic Adviser Kat Fraser said Freshfest was created specifically for first-year students and intended to be a more laid-back event than the organization fair, which takes place at the beginning of the semester.

“The org fair can be a little intimidating for some people – even the SOC org fair – because it sometimes seems students feel like there’s pressure to join,” Fraser said. “This is kind of a low-risk way for people to engage with faculty and staff and their peers, ask questions and talk to students who’ve studied abroad or who are involved in certain student orgs without that pressure of having to sign up.”

At Freshfest, students could even interact with a green screen. Jim Collins, manager of Loyola’s TV studio and Rambler Productions, ran a high-tech station at Freshfest where students could choose a background to be displayed on the green screen, be filmed in front of it and later receive screenshots of the activity through email.

Collins said he talked to some first-years at the event about the opportunities available to them in the SOC.

“There’s a lot of things you can do right away, [such as] Rambler Sports Locker,” he said. “If you get involved [with Rambler Productions] as a sophomore, you can work for me for three years … The more you do, the better you get.”

Also represented at Freshfest was WLUW, Loyola’s radio station, with a table where student-DJs Dana Killam and Lily Shallow were handing out Star Wars posters and stickers. The two said getting involved with WLUW helped them feel more connected to Loyola.

“I felt like I didn’t really have my place until I found the radio station,” said Killam, a 21-year-old senior ad/PR major from Toledo, Ohio. “We joke about our radio family … The group that’s here, we’re really good friends and we hang out outside of work and stuff. I feel like we’re pretty lucky, in that sense.”

Events Coordinator Genevieve Buthod said she saw that strong community in action when things didn’t go as planned for the three-hour Freshfest, which drew in about 70 students.

When the DJ fell through, Loyola’s therapy dog Tivo could no longer attend, and the cornhole boards arrived without bean bags, a group effort made the event happen anyway.

“Every single person here – not even just the faculty and staff, but the students and the volunteers – really came together and worked it out,” Buthod said. “Everybody was totally pitching in and helping each other, and it’s that community that the School of Comm has. And I think that is unique to us.”

O’Gorman, for one, said she enjoyed entering the raffle, receiving a button with a pig on it and listening to the music from WLUW, but she also had a few ideas on what might bring her back.

“It seems like there’s a lot of stuff, but it would be cool if it was more interactive,” she said. “I think it’d be more interesting if it was at the School of Comm building, and then you could go around and see the different rooms because I feel like it’s a maze down there. Other than that, I like it – I like anything the School of Comm puts on.”

Students and employers get down to business at SOC Career Fair

The Loyola School of Communication (SOC) Career & Networking Fair seems like a professional mixer.

Students mingle with employers who set up shop at circular high tables, exchanging their resumes and elevator pitches for information about open positions and the opportunity to rub elbows with industry insiders.

It’s an event that builds students’ confidence, and ultimately, helps them find jobs and internships. At this year’s career fair on Jan. 31, about 225 students engaged with 41 employers from various communication organizations, including Jellyvision, the Chicago Tribune, IZEA Inc. and AgencyMSI.

India McMiller, a senior journalism major preparing to graduate in May, said she gained a lot from talking to representatives from 22nd Century Media, The Daily Herald and Green Building & Design magazine. The biggest challenge, though, was initiating conversation, McMiller said.

“It was intimidating at first, but I just said I had to go for it; this is what growing up is about,” she said. “After the first employer that I talked to, I got more comfortable and confident.”

Loyola alumna Erin Baumann, the constituent service manager for 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly, attended the fair to recruit for the office’s internship program. Stationed at table No. 1, right where students entered the event in Kasbeer Hall, she said she understood how nervous they might have felt.

“It’s fun being on the other side of the table now. It’s a lot less pressure,” she said. “I think if you ask any of us that have an alum sticker on, we kind of know … what it’s like to be in your shoes. I try and have a conversation because I was there once. We know where you’re coming from.”

Fortunately, for junior creative advertising major Bridget Burley, chatting with employers wasn’t unfamiliar; she already had two years of attending the Career & Networking Fair under her belt. The first time Burley ever attended the event, she said, she was required to help set it up.

“Interesting enough, that one that I was forced to go to was the one I did the most networking at because I was there before everyone else,” said the 21-year-old. “So, I got more one-on-one time with the employers, and so they recognized me at the end of the day.”

Burley said she wished she’d prepared for this year’s event by formulating more questions in advance. Still, she discovered employers that stood out to her; particularly Jellyvision, an interactive software company, which told her about the firm’s culture and gave her a kazoo.

What makes a candidate really shine, according to Heather Ritter, the vice president and director of human resources for the Daily Herald Media Group, is one characteristic in particular: tenacity.

For a Daily Herald intern, Ritter said, that means “somebody who’s really driven to write a good story, to get the facts right, and also somebody who understands the importance of local journalism.”

Loyola students in particular demonstrate a work ethic that is especially valuable to employers, according to Loyola SOC Dean Don Heider.

“Once an employer hires one of our students or even has them as an intern, they often want another one,” Heider said. “I don’t think our students have a tremendous sense of privilege. I think they understand the value of hard work. I’ve been told by recruiters that it’s a marked difference from other schools.”

It wasn’t only recruiters and current students who showed up to the career fair. Two class of 2015 alumni, Bill Theis and Christine Chu, are former classmates who reunited at the event and caught up with one another in the crowd.

Theis is now an assistant account executive at Edelman, and he manned the communications marketing firm’s career fair table to look for summer interns. Chu, an advertising sales assistant for Better Homes and Gardens magazine, said she attended the event because she heard about it through SOC Administrative Assistant Michelle Bukowski.

Theis and Chu were among many Loyola alumni and graduate students who attended, but the SOC’s Dean Heider said there’s one important group the Career & Networking Fair is somewhat lacking: undergraduate juniors and seniors.

“The one thing that does drive me crazy still is why every senior does not come,” he said, explaining that the SOC doesn’t schedule classes for late Tuesday afternoons during the spring semester to work around the career fair. “This is such an important opportunity that not going, to me, is just inconceivable.”

With graduation “coming like a freight train,” as Heider put it, Loyola senior McMiller is one upperclassman who did try to make the most of the career fair. She said it was the first step in her job search and seemed invigorated after meeting so many employers.

“Today was the day,” she said. “I’m really thankful that the School of Communication is so great about providing different opportunities for us to learn more about the workplace and really start putting our names out there … They come to us with all of these great resources, and we just have to take advantage of them.”

Students use data to visualize gun violence

Students use data to visualize gun violence

We are living in a culture where there is strong opposition to sensible gun laws, yet nearly every day in Chicago, another young person’s life has been forever altered or taken by gun violence.  Given our location, it would be useful to shed an academic light on the families of persons affected and the policies that enable easy access to weapons—legal and illegal.  Chicago has also experienced a bit of infamy along with many other cities in the U.S. over possible excessive use of force between police officers and community members.  We live in a country that is unique in its constitutional protections for gun owners, yet the same protections do not at this time seem to be afforded to victims of gun violence gathering places like churches, movie theatres and shopping malls.

The articles published here represent work by students in the Fall 2016 Data Mining and Visualization course. This 300-level special topic course provided students the opportunity to go in-depth on the data surrounding these complex issues and to visualize them in a compelling way.

Site link: http://jbrown7.wixsite.com/socguns

The Pros Deliver Sound Advice to Aspiring Students during SOC Career Week

By Angie Stewart
 

There’s finally a catch-all answer to the dreaded question, “What are you going to do with your major?”

According to WGN Radio host and former Red Eye publisher Amy Guth, the only proper response is, “Anything I want.”

And that idea just might ring true, if students follow the wealth of advice provided by panelists and professionals at Loyola School of Communication’s Career Week, which culminates in a Networking and Career fair on Tuesday, January 31.

Guth, a panelist at the first event of Career Week, was joined by four other communications experts who shared their tips on breaking into the field.

Students heard from Keeperbin Media editor Chuck Floramo, whose experience includes working as a senior editor on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” for nine years, and Loyola alumni who were in their shoes not that long ago: Erin Jordan, an account director at Walker Sands Communication; Nicole Camacho, an assistant account executive at Leo Burnett; and Jatika Expose, a sales assistant at WGN Radio.

Expose kicked off the conversation by encouraging students to “network, network, network” and stay in contact with professionals – a tactic that landed her a full-time job just two weeks after she graduated.

“I can’t tell you how important that is,” Expose said. “Those kinds of [connections] are what’s going to propel you to get a job – it’s asking questions, it’s taking business cards, it’s saying, ‘Hi,’ it’s being present.”

Jordan agreed that networking matters; someone she met through Loyola’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) helped her score an interview with Walker Sands. Completing several internships throughout school and planning events for Loyola’s Department of Programming also set her up for success, she said.

“You can’t get experience until you have experience. Loyola has a ton of opportunities to get experience that you can use to help get in the door at some other places,” Jordan said during the panel discussion. “It all starts with getting experience and figuring out what you want to dip your toes in and who can help you get there.”

Taking social media seriously is another way to stand out to employers, according to Guth, who is the president of the Association for Women Journalists - Chicago. For both offline and online matters, she explained the importance of working hard, being assertive and acting confident.

“You absolutely must not be afraid to hustle,” Guth said. “I feel like every job I’ve had, every big career move is just because I busted in there and said, ‘This is why you should hire me.’

After a Q&A session with the panelists that covered striking a work-life balance, what the “it” factor means, whether a teal resume is a good idea (it depends on the position), and how communication skills can help serve social justice, students got to see exactly where they could put that insight to use.

Turner Broadcasting System, the media conglomerate behind CNN, Cartoon Network and the Bleacher Report, held a recruiting information session following the panel and dished out helpful tips for applicants, including how to not wear pants during an interview and still manage to land the job.

The recruiter said including key words from a job description can send a resume past filtering software and into human hands, avoiding the apparent “black hole” where most resumes end up.

Offering even more guidance on how to get noticed among a swarm of resumes, about 22 professionals from organizations including the Chicago Tribune and Lincoln Park Zoo critiqued students’ resumes during a workshop the second day of Career Week.

Merrill Financial Communications Principal Linda Shuman, who has experience writing resumes for high-level executives, echoed Tuesday’s panelists by saying a resume should showcase accomplishments – not tasks – and include numbers whenever applicable.

“A lot of resumes will focus on responsibilities,” Shuman said. “Resumes should focus on your achievements … Tell people what are the two or three things that you did on the job that made a difference – that you’re the most proud of.”

Loyola senior Adriana Geday sought feedback from Shuman during the workshop, one of many ways she aimed to prepare for the upcoming career fair. She also attended Tuesday’s “Breaking In” event and said she found it comforting to see several Loyola alumni on the panel because she’s starting to search for her own post-grad opportunities.

Geday, an advertising and public relations major with a minor in marketing, said she plans on attending the career fair in order to connect with Chicago PR firms. The San Diego native said her preparations for the event would entail attending the third Career Week session, “Tailoring Your Toolkit,” to learn LinkedIn strategies and get a professional headshot taken free-of-charge.

“I’ll probably do a lot of research on the companies that I’m most interested in, to be able to know what questions to ask and to have some topic of conversation,” said the 21-year-old. “I would love to shoot for Edleman – for the big ones – but, well, who knows?”

Although finding a job or internship might seem like a daunting task – especially while networking at the career fair with representatives from more than 40 reputable companies, including Edleman, ABC7 Chicago and Jellyvision – students can think back to Guth’s encouraging words of advice: “You don’t need to be fearless. Feel the fear, just do it anyway.”

Featured Alumni: Bill Zehme

Featured Alumni: Bill Zehme

Bill Zehme describes his copy as “delightfully haphazard.”

Perhaps the phrase applies to his life as well.

The 1980 Loyola graduate’s eccentric Rogers Park apartment is cluttered with stacks of research from biography projects and piles of magazines—some with his own byline inside. He meanders through a barrage of thoughts before circulating back to the reason why he began speaking, although his interest never fades.  In spending most of his career interviewing popular culture’s most private stars, he has become sort of an elusive icon himself.

Zehme is famous for being granted exclusive interviews with celebrities that other writers find out of reach. He is best known for authoring “Intimate Strangers: Comic Profiles and Indiscretions of the Very Famous” as well as the biographies of legends Frank Sinatra, Andy Kaufman and Jay Leno.

His haphazard prose aims to emulate the feeling of his subjects so that his articles may offer a unique, intimate portrait of celebrities. This distinctive way of composing a story earned him the 2004 National Magazine Award for Profile Writing and the trust of underexposed stars.

Although, Zehme can’t exactly pinpoint how he achieved such notoriety.

“Life is a tidal wave. It’s a wave you’re caught in and the waves have just taken me where they’ve taken me. I wrote something for Rolling Stone and then someone took a chance on me writing the cover story [about Robin Williams],” he said.

In college, Zehme befriended John Slania, who graduated in 1979 and is now the School of Communication Associate Dean, much to Zehme’s shock. The two hosted an old-time radio show, called the “WLUW Radio Mystery Show,” a hard-boiled detective serial complete with sound effects.

Shortly after graduating, or as Zehme prefers to call it, “escaping,” he wrote Slania, who was working as a newspaper reporter, asking if he knew of any job opportunities.

“Here’s a guy who wrote me a letter back in the early ‘80s asking for a job who ended up becoming this famous guy who wrote all these great books, had a talk show on TV [and] was on all the big shows,” Slania said. “So it’s ironic that he would ever ask me for a job when I should be asking him for a job. He became the famous one.”

Besides voicing characters at WLUW, Zehme was also involved in the Loyola Phoenix during his undergraduate career. Even then, he specialized in tracking down high-profile people in Chicago and also created a column titled “Snafu.”

“He did these really amazing articles, particularly one on Playboy interviewing Hugh Heffner,” Slania said. “He was just a really funny, really creative guy.”

But Zehme’s unconventional ways and distaste for structure often made him feel frustrated with the limitations of being a student. Deadlines continue to plague him in his adult life, as they tend to hinder the creative process.

“I’m generally an abuser of deadlines,” Zehme said. “I’m so late with this Johnny Carson [biography] it’s like I’m setting a new record for being late with a book. At this point I’m looking at the Guinness Book of World Records to see how many years it will have to be before I [set the record.] ”

Zehme signed a contract to write Carson’s biography 11 years ago.  Among other delays, Zehme spent a few years being a full-time patient, unexpectedly, and had to put the book on hold.

“At this point, a world record is something to shoot for…It is the best way to accomplish something with regard to this project,” he said.

In addition to delving back in to Carson’s biography, Zehme is currently writing profiles for Chicago magazine; it is actually the first time he has written for a local monthly magazine rather than a national one. Previously, he was employed by Playboy, Esquire and Rolling Stone, to name a few.

Zehme, the professional profiler, struggles to describe his own complexity.

“I have the disposition of a psychoanalyst,” he said. “I can talk to people. I like to ask questions. I like to fathom what it’s like to be them. You have to be very empathic. You have to be ready to understand what people are about. I strike some sort of a balance where I can play with people and at the same time, ideally, they reveal things about themselves.”

With his profiles, Zehme tries to tap into larger sociological mysteries.

“It’s like these people are a palate and I go and make these paintings of their personality. Why do we care about some of these people? It says something about all of us. And I learned everybody’s a little [messed up]; everybody’s got something—some little thing that motivates them and frightens them,” said Zehme, all in one single, delightfully haphazard exhale of words.

Students win pair of Crystal Pillar Awards

01-09-17-SOC-crystalpillar-story

Elise Haas was one of a dozen journalism students who took home a Crystal Pillar Award at the Chicago/Midwest Regional Emmys for their work on Loyola News Chicago. Graduate student Alex Sharon also won for his video “Unsung Hero,” which highlights the life of Loyola groundskeeper Michael Arnold.

Loyola’s School of Communication took home two Crystal Pillar Awards for student-produced work at the Chicago/Midwest Regional Emmys held in December at the Marriott Hotel on Michigan Avenue.

Students in professor Lee Hood’s Newscasting and Producing class shared top honors in the Best Newscast category with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Graduate student Alex Sharon, who is getting a master’s degree in digital storytelling, won first place in the Arts and Entertainment/Cultural Affairs category.

Hood’s class won for its work on the April 28, 2016, segment of Loyola News Chicago. (You can see more segments on the Loyola News Chicago YouTube Channel.) The class produced 10 newscasts during the spring 2016 semester, staffing all the on-air and off-air positions in the studio.

The winning students were: Larissa Castillo (producer); Javier Llorente (director); Elise Haas and Patrick Rybarczyk (anchors); Blake Keller, Erin Kelly, Macy Krupiczewicz, and Katrina Lim, Taylor Utzig (reporters); Marissa Divine, Tom Hush, and Jake Mazanke (reporters/photographers); Jose Garcia-Nieto (photographer).

“The students did a great job all semester,” Hood said. “It was truly an effort that reflects all of the journalism major.” The newscast contained work from different School of Communication classes including video packages from Television Reporting and Broadcast News.

The headlining story of the winning episode was about Loyola’s investigation of former women’s basketball coach Sheryl Swoopes. Other top stories in the show included the NFL Draft in Grant Park and the rise in ranking of the Quinlan School of Business.

Sharon won first place for his video “Unsung Hero.” The 4-minute piece highlights the life of Michael Arnold, a Loyola groundskeeper at the Lake Shore Campus, and tracks his journey from when he first moved to Rogers Park in 1971. Sharon produced the video in a class taught by professor John Goheen.

Loyola Phoenix editor Grace Runkel also was honored during the night with a $4,000 scholarship from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Chicago Foundation.

Loyola professor and alumni create award-winning micro-budget film

Loyola professor and alumni create award-winning micro-budget film
By Maggie Sullivan, SoC reporter
 

With the help of some of his former students, Professor Jeff Harder took advantage of new media technology to produce “Carmilla,” a micro-budget film that has received 10 awards in the film festival circuit.

Harder’s motivation for taking on this project was to show students that they can make a feature film without extensive resources since advances in film technology have made the profession more accessible.

“What [“Carmilla”] tells people is that you don’t need to have the biggest, nicest new camera or a huge film crew,” Harder said. “We now have cameras that are relatively inexpensive that can produce a film that has a very nice cinematic look. New cameras are often very light sensitive so you don’t need a lot of lighting equipment. Post production tools are often free now...You have this confluence of technology that allows you to make a very nice looking piece.”

Social media eliminates the need for filmmakers to seek a distributor because it enables them to create their own campaign for developing an audience and post the finished product online with the option of monetizing it for a viewing fee.

These tools empower filmmakers to pursue the project they feel passionate about rather than being concerned with appealing to a studio.

“The world of cinematic production has changed completely in the last 10 years. I tell my students, ‘If you don’t make the film that you want to make, it’s your fault,’” Harder said.

“Carmilla,” a vampire horror film that follows a French woman fleeing religious persecution, began as a vague script idea idling in Harder’s notebook for years that he often used as an example in his production class. His students persistently asked when he was going to produce the film and eventually he agreed to do it--with their help.

Harder recruited eight of his former students to work on the small film crew, which traveled around the Midwest to capture footage. Recent graduates gained the opportunity to build their resumes and become familiar with the grit involved in making a feature film--from hauling heavy equipment around to sleeping in a motel after working a 12-hour day. Harder was able to evaluate which areas of his courses should be adjusted based on the performance of the crew.

“It was a fun project to work on,” said Jimmy Boratyn, a “Carmilla” cameraman who graduated from Loyola in 2011 with a double major in international film & media studies and communication studies. “Jeff never treated this film as ‘I’m the professor, you’re the student;’ it was a colleague relationship. We were never really talked down to. He trusted us to do our job.”

A sequel, “Carmilla Vive,” is already in motion. Harder hopes to make this film even more inclusive than “Carmilla” in terms of casting characters that are diverse in their ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. Because the plot follows a woman, Harder has employed a team of all-women screenwriters to accurately portray the female experience.

“The time has passed that men are the sole writers of the image of women in film, which has happened for a long, long time,” Harder said.  “When you see women in Hollywood cinema, they’re primarily drafted by men. In the case of this film, I defer to a certain degree on all materials that are about the construction of [female] characters.”

With this attitude, Harder embraces a production style that is contrary to the Hollywood status quo. His films aim to resonate with audiences that aren’t necessarily well-served by blockbuster films intended to captivate a mass audience.

“Movies have always compressed the idea of diversity and in their diversity they have been prejudicial. It is a necessity to confront those kind of things,” Harder said.

The newfound freedom associated with making films that don’t have to conform to Hollywood standards to attract an audience has opened up opportunities for people from all walks of life to contribute to the art form. Boratyn has embraced this concept after working on “Carmilla” gave him the confidence to start his own feature film project.

“Most students coming out of an undergraduate program rarely get to work on a feature film,” Boratyn said. “I learned a lot about how the process works and how to be patient with the process. Afterwards, I moved forward with another feature film, which a lot of people say you can’t do. But because of that experience working with Jeff, [my partner and I] really felt that we were capable of it and I think that was a big thing that came from “Carmilla”--learning how to work on a feature film with a very limited budget.”

To watch the Carmilla trailer, visit https://vimeo.com/148436381

Multimedia Journalism Program Director Beth Konrad to conclude her Loyola legacy at the close of the semester

Multimedia Journalism Program Director Beth Konrad to conclude her Loyola legacy at the close of the semester
By Maggie Sullivan, SoC reporter
 

In her 15 years at Loyola, Beth Konrad has been a force of nature in developing the School of Communication and pushing her students to become skilled media professionals. When she retires at the end of the fall 2016 semester, the multimedia journalism program director will be missed by students and faculty alike but will continue to be unstoppable in her new pursuits.

“I’ve had a 15 year experience of amazing students, supportive and creative staff and faculty at Loyola. It’s been fulfilling and gratifying but I want to fulfill another important goal in my life by returning to my home town of Detroit and work in education and community service.”

Before joining Loyola as a part-time adjunct professor of journalism, Konrad had a prolific, varied career that poised her to teach from experience. The award winning reporter, news director, entrepreneur, corporate executive and social advocate brought an insider’s perspective to students, enabling them to better understand the tenacity required to be successful in the media industry.

“I’ve known Professor Konrad since my freshman year when I joined the Society of Professional Journalists. She’s always been there as a mentor and as someone to give advice whether I was in a class with her or not,” said senior journalism major Grace Runkel. “In all three classes I’ve had with her she’s pushed me and everyone else to perform at their best. Sometimes she’s hard on people but it’s coming from a good place because you need to be pushed to perform at your best level.”

During her tenure, Konrad played a major role in growing Loyola’s journalism program from a few course offerings with limited resources to a complete major area of study with an elaborate downtown campus. Part of this effort involved resurrecting Loyola’s Society of Professional Journalists from a dormant organization into one of the top chapters in the region.

She recognized the great potential for a journalism program in the city’s epicenter and helped develop the vision into reality.

“This is a training ground for anyone who wants to be a multimedia journalist,” Konrad said. “We are in the third largest media market in the United States. This is a huge, huge news town, a huge media playground. That is enormous. It’s the difference between Loyola and going to school in Iowa.”

Achieving all the progress that she has while teaching 10 different classes and tending to side projects has taken perseverance. But she also acknowledges the support she has received.

“If you can find one other coworker who really believes in you and is of like mind, that really is an enormous boost and that’s [Associate Dean] John Slania. I think in some ways we’re like zygotes in what we want to do because we were of like mind of what our vision was,” Konrad said.

And Slania has a similar affection for Konrad.

“Beth is fiery. She is passionate. And I appreciate that passion because she really loves her students,” said Slania, who rose through the ranks at Loyola alongside Konrad.

 “There was a time when a student had a job interview at WTTW Chicago Tonight but she couldn’t get there. So, Beth put her in her car and drove her to the interview, waited for her to finish and drove her back. That’s the kind of passion that Beth Konrad has and I’m going to miss it. I’m going to miss her a lot because she has been a good friend of mine and a great colleague and has done a good job teaching her students.”

Konrad’s teaching philosophy revolves around trust, listening, and creating a shared learning experience between teacher and student.

“I happen to like this demographic,” she said. “Millennials look at the world in a way that’s totally different than other generations and needs to be understood, embraced, and engaged. Believe me, if teachers do that—if our society does that, it will be an unbelievable transformation in our society.”

Konrad is returning to her hometown to be part of Detroit’s rebuilding and resurgence from bankruptcy. She plans to consult and volunteer with several non-profits and Wayne State University to help facilitate an inner city news media lab.

“It’s going to be fun,” Konrad said. “This gives me an opportunity to go back home and reunite with old friends and colleagues, still work with students and have more leisure time. But make no mistake, Chicago and Loyola will forever be in my heart.”

Improve your professional portfolio with Magazine Design and Production

Improve your professional portfolio with Magazine Design and Production

Found by Elizabeth Greiwe

Newspapers. Check.

Web. Check.

Broadcast. Check.

What’s left? Magazines!

The School of Communication’s Magazine Design and Production (COMM 328-201) course is a great opportunity for students to learn about the fundamentals of putting together a magazine from inception to publication. The course gives students real-life experience in designing and producing a magazine with supporting online content and interactivity. The course has two objectives: to design MOSAIC Magazine, and the creation of an original publication of their choosing that students must pitch and design mock-ups for as part of a final project.

Magazine Design and Production is a great course for students who are interested in visual communications. It offers lessons in areas that students may not be exposed to in other courses like: audience & distribution; break of book; and interactive publication design. It also provides an opportunity for students to grow professionally as they have to apply for jobs on the magazine, pitch their product, and can use their final work as part of their personal portfolios for future internships and jobs.

Senior Tyler Holmes was a photographer for Mosaic Magazine.

“If students have an interest in visuals and design, this course will help them determine how to take photos along with graphics and deliver the same information as paragraphs full of text,” Holmes said.. When it comes to visuals vs. words today, visuals prevail - and that's what will give students an advantage in finding success after graduation.” 

While teaching the course Prof. Jessica Brown has noticed the realization among students on how important it is to address publication mission and audience when designing content.

The Spring 2017 course will be an especially unique experience for students as it will offer them an opportunity to design MOSAIC around the SoC’s social justice theme: GUN VIOLENCE. The social justice theme is a new initiative launched by the SOC, which gives faculty, students and organizations a chance to work together on a single topic to advance knowledge around an issue important to locally, nationally, and globally.

“Taking this course was a great way to learn how a team comes together in order to create a cohesive design that elevates the message of the product being published - in this case, Mosaic,” Holmes said. It also was an excellent experience to find out how to effectively take AND deliver criticism to other students in order to learn how to build a stronger product.

The design-heavy course uses Adobe InDesign and Photoshop to help students grow their visual communication skill set. Proficiency with this software is necessary for any student seeking work in the field. The hybrid nature of the course is also a benefit for students as they learn to work as a team toward a singular goal, and how to improve their capacity and efficacy on a solo project.

There are seats remaining in Magazine Design and Production for the Spring 2017 semester for students who want to register for the course. For more of the featured works above see Tyler Holmes Portfolio and Elizabeth Greiwe Portfolio

International Symposium Continues Discussion about Ethically Ambiguous Digital World

International Symposium Continues Discussion about Ethically Ambiguous Digital World
By Maggie Sullivan, SoC Reporter
 

Scholars from across the globe traveled to Loyola University Chicago for the sixth annual International Symposium on Digital Ethics to discuss moral behavior as technology rapidly changes.

Speakers presented their research on topics ranging from the right to be forgotten to the discontents of snapping selfies at funerals. The dialogue revolved around making sense of the seemingly lawless digital world.

“We invent things faster than we understand them,” said Don Heider, founder of the Center for Digital Ethics & Policy and Dean of the School of Communication.  “Technology presents new opportunities for good behavior and bad behavior. But oftentimes the people inventing the technology haven’t thought through completely what the implications of the technology are.”

Keynote speaker Dr. Lilie Chouliaraki, director of the PhD program and Professor of Media Communications at the London School of Economics and published author, spoke about how Western countries make a spectacle of other people’s suffering and how we should approach distributing empathy over digital media platforms.

Distant on-screen suffering “Persistently raises the question of ‘what to do,’ only for us to keep evading it in our everyday lives,” she said.

The symposium gave students the opportunity to consider the social responsibility they have as both individuals and media professionals in a changing world that has presented a number of ethically ambiguous digital platforms for creating change.

“Privacy on the internet is an interesting topic especially for our generation because we’re always posting things on social media,” said sophomore journalism major Flavia Festa. “Now that everything is on the internet and everything is international, you kind of have to filter what you decide to put out because it’s going to be there forever. You need some moral rules to follow…and it’s nice to hear from people who can talk about the topic from a different perspective.”

Dr. Julie Carpenter presented her research on robots and the complications surrounding their advancements. She sees terminology as supremely important, citing the military’s shift away from the term “robot” in reference to drones because it frightens people, and bringing up the conflicts that come with assigning robots a gender.

The use of robots has the potential to shape our social world as well as the technological world. “As we spend more time with robots, our expectations and interactions will change,” she said.

Because digital ethics is a fairly new branch of philosophical inquiry, nobody has the answers about what is right yet. But Loyola’s symposium did highlight digital practices that were wrong.

“Laughter both coheres and cuts,” said researcher and published author Whitney Phillips at the symposium. She elaborated on how internet memes may have different meanings in different circles, which can unintentionally produce racist discourse, specifically citing Harambe memes, which implied that the life of a gorilla could be valued more than black lives.

Even though participating in social media is a fairly thoughtless process, it has a high potential for producing negative implications, Phillips emphasized. Just because the technology is easily accessible does not mean that it ought to be used carelessly.

“What the symposium does is give us a chance to come together and ask ethical questions about how people use those new technologies, what are the best practices, what are the worst practices, how does it affect as humans—all those questions,” Heider said.

Harry Potter and the Return of the Loyola Debate Team

Harry Potter and the Return of the Loyola Debate Team
By Maggie Sullivan, SoC Reporter
 

Should Harry and Hermione have ended up together?

Which Harry Potter movie was the best?

Should J.K. Rowling stop reopening the plot?

These important questions were discussed at the second annual Harry Potter debate hosted by the Loyola debate team. The event allowed Harry Potter fanatics a chance to congregate and brought a little magic into a practice that is typically more serious.

“The stigma behind debate is usually that it’s boring and we debate just foreign polices and things like that. But this Harry Potter debate shows how fun debating can be,” said freshman debate team member Jorge Cotaquispe.

“We want people to be able to say they had a really good well-developed argument with somebody else over a topic that they found interesting,” Cotaquispe said.

The debate commenced with Harry Potter trivia that only true fans could answer. Boxes of Bertie Bot’s Every Flavor Beans—a wizarding staple—were given out as prizes throughout.

Participants zealously defended their stances on the series’ polemical plot. But some students who had not read the books were also in attendance for class assignments and even they eagerly gave contributions.

In true Loyola fashion, the lighthearted debate at many points evolved into a productive discussion about social justice. Does the movie’s portrayal of women re-entrench the patriarchy? Does the discrimination against muggles and mud bloods reflect real-life racism?

Freshman Angela Sarvey, a huge Harry Potter fan, was debating whether or not she should attend. Not only did she end up coming to the debate and enjoying it, she even arrived wearing the most appropriate fashions: a Hogwarts robe.

“I had three tests today and I was tired and I need to de-stress—and what better way to de-stress than to debate my favorite, favorite thing ever? I decided to come and hang out with people—awesome people,” she said. 

Lots of other attendees had the same mindset. Revisiting a favorite childhood novel in the midst of demanding school schedules relaxed and excited students.

“It’s a really great way to get people to know that the debate society exists,” said senior debate team member Dara Davis. “And it’s fun, this is like, really enjoyable. And it gets people into the spirit of Halloween. It’s a nice relaxed way to get people to have discussions about things while also just having a good time.”

Loyola hosts UNITY media summit to confront changes in journalism, need for diversity

Loyola hosts UNITY media summit to confront changes in journalism, need for diversity
By Maggie Sullivan, SoC reporter
 

Newsrooms, like the rest of the country, face challenges concerning diversity.

Loyola University Chicago hosted UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, a regional media summit, to encourage a dialogue about unfair news coverage and under representation.

The summit drew about 30 speakers and panelists from a spectrum of media outlets across the nation. Discussion topics included forecasting the future of media, diversifying the news, covering violence, holding powerful people accountable, systematic disadvantages and more.

“The way that our summits are set up is that we try not to come in and say we’ve got the magic answer, or we’re going to quick fix it, because we don’t,” said UNITY Executive Director Eloiza Altoro. “Working with our local partners and understanding and respecting the local culture in each place that we go to is extremely important.”

UNITY is a federation organization made up of partnerships between the Native American Journalists Association, Asian American Journalism Association, National Lesbian Gay journalism Association, National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Because of these partnerships, UNITY is able to build diverse panels all over the country. 

As Loyola’s Bill Plante Chair of Leadership and Media Integrity, Jill Geisler connects the university with worthwhile organizations. Having served as a volunteer facilitator for UNITY in the past, Geisler recognized the importance of UNITY’s mission and guided them toward holding a summit at Loyola.

“One of the best opportunities in this is for students to actually have conversations with people who are covering news today, who are working in start-ups or who are becoming entrepreneurs,” she said.

And Chicago ended up being a great location to talk about important issues in media coverage.

“Chicago has such a diverse and rich ethnic culture along with a huge array of social and economic issues, concerns and challenges. A lot of those issues are happening around the country—Chicago is a microcosm for them,” Altoro said.

For example, some critics contend that news coverage of Chicago’s South and West Sides is lacking and newsrooms too often do not accurately represent the audiences they serve.  A lot of communities don’t know how to access the media when newsworthy things happen. And, minorities are misrepresented and underrepresented, as news coverage may exclude their perspectives.

Diversity, the summit emphasized, is more than just ethnicity. Whether it be through sexual orientation, gender or socioeconomic class, it is important for members of the media to consider various perspectives and give a voice to all audiences when crafting a story.

Student reporters covered the UNITY summit with Evrybit, an iPhone storytelling app that allows users to create and edit multimedia stories all on one mobile platform. The founder and CEO, Eric Ortiz, instructed the students about how to use the app to live report and also spoke at the summit about entrepreneurship and the future of news.

“Where I see journalism going is much more media-driven, it’s quick, it’s timely,” said Nick Coulson, a junior Journalism and Political Science major at Loyola who covered the summit. “So to get familiar with an app like this, which I think has a lot of potential, is a great opportunity for us to get familiar with this way of covering stories.”

The room full of journalists—practically synonymous with cynics—was illuminated with optimism. Attendees were buzzing about how to foster innovation, diversity, respect and profit growth despite the decline of print news.

“It’s an exciting time to be a journalist,” said Leah Hope of ABC 7 Chicago. “Don’t let anyone say that journalism is dying.”

Loyola alumna stands on two feet despite journalism being on shaky ground

Loyola alumna stands on two feet despite journalism being on shaky ground
By Maggie Sullivan, SoC reporter
 

“It’s not for the faint of heart,” Elizabeth Greiwe said of working in journalism as it struggles to transition to a digital society.

Greiwe, a 2015 Loyola graduate, is the Voice of the People Editor at The Chicago Tribune. Far from faint of heart, she began working full-time at the Tribune her senior year of college—on top of a rigorous course load.

Her career in news began with an internship at The Chicago Tribune. When a position for an editorial board coordinator opened up, Greiwe was encouraged to apply. She was given the position even though she hadn’t yet completed her degree.

Despite the demands of senior year and having to sacrifice school activities like writing for the Loyola Phoenix and working at the student radio station WLUW, Greiwe endured working full-time and was later promoted.

Now it is her responsibility to carefully select opinions to be voiced in print. Everyday The Chicago Tribune receives more than 100 letters to the editor in response to current events and previous articles. To prepare the selected letters for publication, Greiwe fact-checks, makes edits, chooses photos and writes headlines.

The process invites people from all walks of life to have a public dialogue. Working to make sure readers are heard pushes Greiwe to see issues from unique perspectives every day.  

“I like having a chance to challenge myself to not make assumptions about what people are saying and being able to give people a chance to have their say,” Greiwe said.

Of course, her daily duties aren’t the only challenge that comes with working in journalism.

Industry-wide buyouts and layoffs leave many employees of media companies in constant trepidation of the future as newspapers continue to lose resources amid the chaos of changing technology.

“It’s scary being unsure what my future is and not knowing if I’m going to get laid off or if I’m going to leave first,” Greiwe said. “I had a mentor at one point—she also left [the Tribune]—she said you don’t retire from journalism anymore. You get another job or you get laid off. I keep that in mind all the time.”

Nevertheless, Greiwe, 24, finds importance in her work. While she admits it would be nice to have a better paying job, working towards a greater purpose is more of a priority for now.

“[The media] is the fourth branch of government. [Journalists] are doing a service for the people so you really have to take that to heart. If you look at it that way it’s easier to come to work every morning,” Greiwe said.

“Now I’m happy to devote the time and the passion and the drive but in a couple years I don’t know…you have to have a certain drive and a really good sense of creativity to be able to be in journalism for a long time…I wouldn’t discourage anybody from going into journalism but you need to make sure you really want it. You’re usually underpaid and overworked; at the same time, it’s such a fulfilling job,” she said.

Working as an editor has well-prepared Greiwe for whatever her next step may be. In this position, she has become skilled at explaining complicated subjects and helping people improve their writing, which has led her to revisit her desire to be a teacher.

“I’m a big reader and a big believer in always educating yourself more,” Greiwe said. “I loved being a student. Classes at Loyola wove together really well and I especially appreciate that the ideals of a Jesuit education were built in without ever being overpowering.”

The journalism major also emphasized her adoration of Lake Shore Campus and it’s place in the city.

“I just loved being on campus. A sense of place is important to me. Feeling like you’re in a beautiful place puts me at ease; it makes me happy. Anytime I got to walk across campus—even if it was blistering cold—I just loved it,” she said. “I wouldn’t be where I am right now if I had gone to a rural school.”

But Greiwe’s education didn’t end when she graduated. Pulling a massive hardcover book from her bag, she said, “I got really interested in Revolutionary War history. I read a book about the War of 1812, am now reading this ‘short’ [George] Washington biography and I’ve got John Adams’s biography on tap.”

Keeping up with her interests outside of work is of great importance to Greiwe and she advises current undergrads to consciously maintain a meaningful personal life as well.

“I wrote an op-ed right before I graduated. And I’m frequently reminded of it. A job doesn’t have to be your life. Some people are blessed enough to follow their passion but it’s OK not to. It’s OK to just work a job. Things other than your work can be your passion. You can have hobbies and spend time with your family and cat. That is OK,” she said.

“And it’s OK to not know what you’re doing,” Greiwe continued. “If you’re looking at your life and you don’t know where you’re going to be in five years, that’s ok. For the most part people end up just fine.”

For more of Greiwe’s wise words, read her opinion on graduating http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-college-graduates-commencement-perspec-0501-20150430-story.html

Recent graduate thrives doing documentary work

Recent graduate thrives doing documentary work
By Maggie Sullivan, SoC reporter
 

Jessi Hannapel watched “Pirates of the Caribbean” every night for two months after seeing it for the first time at age 12. But it wasn’t Johnny Depp dressed in tawdry pirate garb that held her obsession. It was film.

“It blew me away. It made me laugh, it scared me a little bit—it was crazy!” she said with all the enthusiasm of an actual 12-year-old fresh from the cinema.

“I wanted to be a part of it—part of a project that is so amazing that it makes you feel this whole range of emotions and it excites you and it makes you feel like you went on an adventure.”

She did exactly that. Immediately after graduating from Loyola in 2015 with a degree in film and digital media production, Hannapel boarded a plane to Bosnia as part of a three-person film crew for the documentary “Apparition Hill.”

“Apparition Hill” follows five Catholics facing major life challenges and two atheists as they make a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, a small Bosnian town where it is believed the Virgin Mary has appeared and provided peace to visitors.

Hannapel expressed her interest in the film project over email while she was finishing her final semester of school. As serendipity had it, the Florida-based producers needed to interview a potential pilgrim in Chicago. They put their trust in Hannapel and sent her out two days later to meet the man, who ended up being chosen as one of the documentary subjects.

After final exams ended, Hannapel fully committed herself to the film, and the crew took her on as a cameraperson, editor and co-producer.

“I felt really honored that they trusted me and allowed me into the project,” Hannapel said.  “But I was also terrified that I wasn’t going to be able to handle this level of responsibility; they trusted me with so much.”

Before departing for Bosnia, one of the producers even mailed Hannapel a video camera so she could travel to Pennsylvania to film another potential pilgrim.

But Hannapel found she could cater to the demands of the small independent film project because her courses at Loyola were so hands-on.

“Aw man, I love Loyola,” she said, channeling the zeal of a 12-year-old again. “The best way to learn things is through doing them. One of the great things about Loyola is you have to take classes in doing the things that you’re learning; you can’t just sit and take notes.”

She is especially grateful for the lessons of Aaron Greer, program director of Film and Digital Media Studies.

“He was just amazing. He was so understanding and really encouraging. I always thought he had more confidence in my abilities than I did,” she said. “It stressed me out a bit because I wanted to live up to those expectations but I also felt like it made me better.”

Her rave faculty reviews don’t stop there though.

“I learned so much about the practical side of filming from Professor (Jeff) Harder…and the Hoovers (Beth and Gary) were just so much fun to be around. They are unbelievable,” Hannapel said.

Greer remembered having Hannapel as a student.  “I had Jessi in a couple of classes, but I remember particularly her work in the Advanced Post-Production course. She had such a great feel for story and dramatic pace,” he said.  “As an example, one of the assignments in the class was to produce a spec trailer for a film. The producers of the film ended up liking her spec trailer more than the original one they had produced.”

“Apparition Hill” is currently premiering in more than 30 theaters across the United States, Ireland and Mexico. Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have contacted the crew and suggested the film be submitted for an Academy Award.

“Being part of a project like this has been amazing and at times, overwhelming…There was even a time I had to film while I was crying and had to focus the shot through my tears,” Hannapel said.

Hannapel is keeping busy with promoting the film.  “I’m going to ride this wave as long as I can,” she said. “This small team and I love working together and are thinking of what we can do next.“

To watch the trailer, visit https://vimeo.com/164656961.

Debating duo to compete internationally

Debating duo to compete internationally
By Maggie Sullivan, SoC reporter
 

Based on their witty banter and occasional finishing of each other’s sentences, Loyola seniors Megan Nubel and Dara Davis would make great leading characters on a kids’ sitcom.

But their compatibility and charisma is already being put to good use. The pair will compete at the Oxford Inter-Varsity Debating Competition, an international collegiate debate hosted by London’s Oxford Union, November 11-12.

Debating at this level is no small accomplishment; the prestigious competition draws top universities from all over the world.

“Being chosen to go to this competition is super important for Loyola,” said Davis, before she paused to discipline herself for overuse of the word ‘super.’ Even in colloquial conversation, the debaters work to groom subpar language out of their speech.

Davis explained that they both have phrases that they subconsciously latch on to, hers being “super.”

“Mine is ‘perpetual,’” admitted Nubel.

“Sometimes we’re not looked at as a big school or competitive enough for the international level,” Davis continued. “But we are up against Yale, Harvard—all these elite schools. And I think we have a high potential of being really successful.”

David Romanelli, who is in his 20th year of coaching the Loyola debate team, selected Nubel and Davis to compete for their skills and dedication to the team.

“Megan has had an outstanding run at Loyola. She is fearless,” he said. “Dara works hard and tries to help everybody else out. She has already reached out to the crop of first year students to help them improve.”

But he also recognizes what a strong team they make.

“They work well together and they work hard,” Romanelli said.

Their chemistry is invaluable during the short 15 minutes competitors are given to structure their arguments. During this time, they must agree on main points to discuss while trying to be as creative and nuanced as possible with their approach.

“You have to rely on a lot of background knowledge. Most of our research just happens daily—like staying up to date on what’s happening in the news and knowing general things about the world and history,” said Nubel. “We both know a lot about a lot of things. But our scopes of expertise are different, so we can complement each other by filling in different types of information depending on what the resolution is.”

Nubel and Davis have learned to operate on the same wavelength and can sometimes communicate without speaking at all. And they instinctively balance each other out—when one takes an aggressive approach, the other keeps calm.

The debate will use the British Parliamentary format, which involves four teams debating two sides of an issue in seven-minute rounds. Nubel and Davis will represent Loyola as one team. While they defend their side, they must not contradict the other team debating on the same side while providing a superior argument.

Loyola has typically debated in American style, so transitioning to a new format for the Oxford Competition will present an adjustment challenge. To prepare, the Loyola debate team will compete in a few British Parliamentary style tournaments in the United States before departing in November.

But Nubel and Davis have been debating for eight years—since high school—and they also coach Chicago high school debate teams. Their confidence in themselves and in each other is evident.

Even so, Loyola’s debate team is more focused on personal growth than glory.

“There’s nothing more exciting than seeing someone gain confidence in themselves,” Romanelli said. “I don’t care if they don’t get a trophy—I’m serious about that…I tell my students that the best debate they will have may be one they will lose.”

The team does intend to raise the image and presence of Loyola University. Attending the Oxford Inter-Varsity Debating Competition will put Loyola on the radar of other top universities so the debate team can get involved in other competitions and eventually host a tournament on their own turf.

Throughout their debate careers, Nubel and Davis have gained much more than the opportunity to compete in London.

“Debate has helped me develop a productive thought process,” Nubel said. “When people say things to me I don’t just take them on face; I’ll think critically.”

And of course, Davis is on the same page as Nubel.

“I don’t know what kind of person I’d be if I hadn’t done debate, she said. “It’s really important to me to be a part of this community...even after graduation.”

Loyola alumni Matt Wakely is a corporate health hero

Loyola alumni Matt Wakely is a corporate health hero
By Maggie Sullivan, SoC Reporter
 

Doctors aren’t the only people in health care working to save lives.

Matt Wakely, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer at AMITA Health and Loyola alumnus, works to educate the public about trending health patterns and prevention.

His 14 years of journalism experience help him recognize important stories that could slide under the radars of other public relations professionals.

He once received several calls from ER doctors reporting adolescents overdosing on over-the-counter cough syrup. Thinking like a reporter, he researched the issue and discovered that it wasn’t just a handful of kids overdosing—it was dozens.

“I thought there was an opportunity to create some awareness about this issue,” said Wakely. “I worked with some of the ER doctors to uncover a whole subculture [of drug abuse].”

Wakely’s commitment to the issue earned the attention of the local press and later, the national press.

The life-saving story was featured on the cover of People magazine and AMITA Health doctors appeared on the Today show. Many major pharmacies began putting cold and cough drugs behind locked cases as a result of Wakely’s efforts to highlight the danger in making them overly-accessible.

“I felt there was a bigger story there and as a result there was a national mandate for teens who were abusing it,” said Wakely who graduated in 1987 with a degree in communication with a journalism minor.

In this instance, Wakely was merely following his intrinsic motivation to serve others. Early in life, he was interested in the priesthood, but ended up following his passion for news. While working as a radio broadcaster at a number of stations in Illinois and Texas, he covered many noble organizations and realized that he could make a much greater impact by working with nonprofits, so he jumped fence to public relations.

“I didn’t have an ‘aha’ moment,” Wakely said. “It came from many years of seeing the good that was being done by some of the people I was reporting on.”

Because Wakely brought an insider’s understanding of how to pitch stories to reporters, his career transition was smooth. Loyola also prepared him to work in many aspects of the media.

“The track that I took in my undergraduate program really immersed me in everything from interpersonal communication to media relations to broadcast news to journalism,” said the 1987 graduate.

As a student, Wakely pursued a communication major and a journalism minor.

“It was a very thorough and very broad track that was almost tailor made for me,” said Wakely. “The faculty did a great job working with someone like me who had some grandiose plans to be a top reporter…My time at Loyola was invaluable.”

During his undergraduate career Wakely fed his interest in broadcasting by working at the student radio station, WLUW. There, he received essential mentorship.

“I must thank and eternally will remember Wayne Magdziarz. He was very instrumental in inspiring a career in broadcasting,” Wakely said.  

Magdziarz is now Senior Vice President for Capital Planning and Campus Management at Loyola but at the time, he was managing the radio station and teaching courses in radio and TV production.

Wakely emphasizes that credibility is the most important trait in a public relations professional. He maintains relationships so that when he calls a reporter, he or she knows it will be something newsworthy rather than a corporate fluff piece that isn’t relevant to the average reader.

Although he’s been working in public relations for almost 15 years now, there is one part of being a journalist that Wakely can’t seem to relinquish: the late hours. Even as an executive, he may still stay up late, waiting wolf-like for the next story.

“I’ve been unable to let go of that mentality of always being on call from some of my very first positions in radio working the overnight shift,” he said. “There’s still something satisfying for me to take a call at 2 a.m.”

Washington, D.C. program offers interning adventure for Loyola students

Washington, D.C. program offers interning adventure for Loyola students
By Maggie Sullivan, SoC reporter
 

In the midst of one of the most controversial presidential elections in U.S. history, eleven Loyola students are in the center of it all for Loyola’s inaugural semester in Washington, D.C.

This intensive internship program gives students the opportunity to explore their professional areas of interest while exploring the capitol.

“Most students start their D.C. experience a little green,” said Program Director Susan Dimock. “Everything is a bit overwhelming and then little by little, students figure it all out and gain confidence. It’s just wonderful to be part of that experience to watch a student grow and develop their own professional interests.”

The Loyola School of Communication partnered with the Department of Political Science to develop the program last year. Students of varying majors gain class credit for working four days a week at an internship placement unique to their individual skills.

Senior sociology major Herrah Hussain is interning at the office of U.S. Representative Danny K. Davis, a Democrat from Chicago.

“It’s been amazing,” she said. “This is my first internship and it’s not at all what I expected, I’m getting to do a lot more than I anticipated.”

One of the benefits of interning in Washington, D.C. is the proximity to change makers, so students can help push the ball forward about any issue they are passionate about by working for non-profit organizations, think tanks, government offices and more. In her placement, Hussain is dealing with issues that are important to her, like homelessness, unemployment, and insurance.

Senior psychology major Maria Rivera is interning at Berger Hirschberg, a Democratic fundraising firm. She is enjoying her responsibilities so far and is making the most of networking opportunities so she can get closer to her goal of working for the U.S. Department of Justice.

The demanding schedule has taught Rivera to plan more and procrastinate less.

“I had to learn how to get into a new routine because work is my main focus now, not class,” she said.

Students are able to choose from a few night class offerings taught by Loyola faculty to earn additional credits. The courses build on students’ internship experiences and offer deeper insight into history, politics and communication.

But the primary learning is hands-on and done outside the classroom.

Interning at in the nation’s capital gives students exposure to a political world that Chicago doesn’t have. Especially this election year, political dialogue is more present in conversation and in the classroom.

And Washington is somewhat of an internship mecca. “D.C. runs on interns,” Dimock said. “Pretty much everyone takes interns and they have for years. They know what work they want to assign to interns and they have better organizational structures to accommodate interns.”

Although it is her first year with Loyola, Dimock has been working with interns in D.C. for many years, most recently running a program in Washington for the University of Illinois.

“D.C. has a lot to offer. I wish I’d done this when I was a student,” she said.

The experience is something Don Heider, Dean of the School of Communication would recommend to any high-achieving student who is motivated to gain practical knowledge.

“We’re so excited to be able to start a program in D.C. that almost any student might find useful, whether they are a journalism, advertising, advocacy or public relations major,” Heider said. “They can get a semester’s worth of a credit, do an amazing internship and take courses cross-listed between communication and political science.”

Last spring, when the program was introduced, Rivera was on the fence about applying. As a commuter student, leaving her family for a city she had never been to was intimidating. Now, she sees it as an adventure.

“I’m so glad I applied. There are people with all sorts of majors and perspectives and I’ve gotten really close to some of them,” she said. “This city is fantastic. I feel proud being here; it’s treated me so well.”


Meet Loyola alumni Michael Misetic, a personable PR machine

Meet Loyola alumni Michael Misetic, a personable PR machine
By Maggie Sullivan, SoC Web Reporter
 

One week before graduating from Loyola in 1998, Michael Misetic thought he would have to take a job selling copier toner.

“There was nothing out there,” he said. “Folks at major PR companies weren’t going to hire a 22 year-old kid out of college with just one internship on his resume.”

Fast forward 18 years and Misetic is a managing partner of Franchise Elevator Public Relations, a company that aims to grow small businesses into widely known franchises.

His success however, is tempered by his modest claim of always happening to be in the right place at the right time.

In truth, he has fueled more opportunities for himself using his outgoing persona and sincere adoration for public relations rather than luck has.

“I love what I do,” Misetic said. “There’s very few people in this world I think who truly, truly love what they do. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.” 

But that’s just the condensed version. To fully convey how much he loves the work he does, Misetic, like a true salesman, uses an artistic spattering of pathos, statistics and rapid, passionate sentences.

“My clients, the founders of these companies, they’re moms and dads. These are people who sacrificed everything to take an idea they had and build it into something,” he said.

“Franchising employs almost 10 million people in this country. It generates over $500 billion to the U.S. economy. People don’t realize that. I’m doing my part to try and get people employed in this country though PR. We’re creating jobs.”

But Misetic’s zest for public relations was actually discovered by his cousin Ana Misetic, who received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Loyola in 2000.  She came to him during a time when his priorities were askew and he had declared a Political Science major with the vague intention of becoming a lawyer.

“I’ve seen what you’ve written—it’s great,” she said. “I’ve seen you speak in public—you’re good at it. You’re not shy—you’re very extroverted…You should do PR.”

So he switched majors. Much to his dismay, many communication courses were held in the Sullivan Center at the time. While trekking across campus in bitter temperatures, he thought— like all students who have winter classes at the Sullivan Center— “Why am I torturing myself?”

On the verge of graduation when job search panic was setting in, Misetic caught the attention of a woman who knew about a job opening in the Croatian embassy in Washington, D.C. by presenting in both English and Croatian at an event. Within a matter of days, he was offered a position as a press officer at the Croatian embassy, packed his things out of his parents’ house and moved to Washington, D.C.

“I went from just graduating college to doing meetings in the White House and State Department. It was the coolest experience I have ever had,” he said.

After only a few months in his new position, Misetic interjected in a conversation he overheard in a bar. Two women were discussing where to hold a ceremony for Miss D.C. to be sent off to the Miss America competition when Misetic suggested it be hosted at one of the extravagant mansions on embassy row.

After positioning the embassy to host a reception, he stayed in contact with the Miss America organization and did some pro-bono work. Later on, the organization offered him a chance to return home to Chicago to work at a small PR agency, where he stayed for eight months before taking a job in the market development department of the Chicago Transit Authority.

After about five years, Misetic transitioned to Fishman Public Relations, where he rose to vice president and stayed for nine years. When the founders asked him to join them in starting a new company—Franchise Elevator—he accepted and has been generating business there ever since.

Event though he doesn’t get to do it much anymore, Misetic’s favorite part of the job is still pitching to media.

“I love getting on the phone and talking to reporters and trying to convince them that a story on my client is something they should do,” he said, grinning at the mere thought of taking on the challenge. “You’ve got 30 seconds to keep their attention. Once you have that, its smooth sailing.”

Unquestionably, Misetic could keep anybody’s attention. His extroverted charisma is magnetic.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for Loyola. People are very impressed when I tell them I went there. Loyola is a phenomenal school,” Misetic said. “I made a lot of great friends at Loyola. I met my wife (Linda Bursic, class of 1997) at Loyola …There’s just something about Jesuit education that feels like home. It felt like you knew everybody on campus.”

Graduation day is his fondest memory of school. “My [immigrant] parents gave me everything. But more than anything they gave me the opportunity to educate myself. The diploma might have had my name on it, but it was theirs just as much as it was mine.” 

To future communication professionals, Misetic has a few suggestions: Be buttoned up. Your physical appearance should reflect what your work will look like. Find a mentor. Pass out business cards even if you don’t have a job. Connect with the people you meet on LinkedIn. Take the time to send hand-written thank you notes. Remember that nobody owes you anything.

And, work on your handshake. 

“There’s nothing worse than when somebody is shaking your hand and they’re looking around the room to see whose hand they want to shake next,” said Misetic. 

Learning global strategic communication in China

Learning global strategic communication in China
By Maggie Sullivan, SoC Web Reporter
 

For the first time ever, graduate students had the opportunity to take a two week immersive summer course at Loyola’s Beijing Center as part of the Global Strategic Communication master’s program.

The course, International Advertising, included visits to top advertising agencies, a weekend excursion to Shanghai and guest lecturers from world-class universities.

Despite her Ph.D. in Mass Communications, body of published work and 18 years of experience in advertising, the journey has left Dr. Pamela Morris struggling to find words that can convey just how transformative it was to be in what she describes as “the pulse of the world.”

“Asia right now is where the action is," Morris said.  Everything is so energetic…Going there was life changing—we got totally immersed in the culture—and it changes you; you transform.”

Part of understanding advertising, according to Morris, is understanding culture. And Chinese culture is very complex.

“There is a rising economy and a rising middle class that wants Western consumer goods. But how can you have a commercial society under communism?” Morris said.

Analyzing such contradictions within the culture allowed students insight into what it takes to negotiate contracts in a place that holds intricate values and is wildly different from the United States.

Since China is the second largest economy in the world, having this perspective is a huge advantage in the communication industry because business is becoming increasingly international. With the Chinese market becoming more and more mature, it will inevitably continue to be a force in the global economy, according to Morris.

To gage just how many Western products are being introduced in China, students strolled through chaotic department stores and shopping centers alongside branding specialists who talked about the reasons why certain retailers are choosing to set up shop in China and the strategies that make them successful.

Lessons in technology were also key to understanding the Chinese market. Chinese advertisers are taking advantage of social media in a particularly unique way because they have more business-oriented social applications rather than the commonly used platforms of the United States such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that are geared toward entertainment.

Another highlight of the two week learning journey was the challenging climb up the Great Wall. The experience, while intrinsically rewarding, was intended to help students understand China’s history and apply it to how advertising works in the country.

But traveling to China presented students with non-academic challenges as well.

Because China is a mostly homogenous country, tourists of non-Asian decent may stand out.

“It’s as if you become a celebrity overnight. It can be overwhelming but accepting that you are different and people will stare can sometimes be fun too,” said student Shen Hrobowski.

Students also cited culture shock, pollution, jet lag, lack of personal space, and internet firewalls as aspects of the trip that took some getting used to.

“The experience in China was both amazing and highly challenging. Dr. Morris is a brilliant professor who always made us feel comfortable, even though most of us were definitely out of our element,” Klimer said.

And Morris upholds a similar admiration for the eight graduate students she led through China.

“We got very close,” she said. “I learned so much from them. They opened my world. I really missed them for days and weeks after that…I would recommend any student to do this [course]. It goes beyond advertising and branding.”

International Advertising will be offered again to graduate students in summer 2017.

New Staff Profile: Lauren Sanchez, Assistant Dean

New Staff Profile: Lauren Sanchez, Assistant Dean
By Maggie Sullivan, SOC Web Reporter
 

Amid a storm of frazzled undergraduates, she is a safe harbor of calm.

Even though she is just settling into her new role as Assistant Dean of the School of Communication, Lauren Sanchez seems to be sturdy and unfazed by the questions and confusion that students carry into her advising office.

It was this very composure that distinguished her from other candidates for the position of Assistant Dean, according to School of Communication Dean Don Heider

He said, “She has a sense of calm which I think is really important. Stuff happens and [Sanchez] is that person who can help talk students off the ledge and she also does that for faculty,” Heider said.

Prior to being hired as Assistant Dean of the School of Communication, Sanchez worked for seven years as an advisor in Loyola’s College of Arts and Sciences.

“It’s a huge advantage having somebody who has been at Loyola for years. She knows the core inside out and understands the rules in terms of graduation and dropping classes,” Heider Said.

Despite the calm confidence that she exhibits now, Sanchez was once an uncertain undergraduate herself at Western Kentucky University. She kept returning to the same soul searching question that lands many students in her advising office: What is my purpose?

Originally, she thought it was to be a reporter. But after a stint at the school paper, she quickly realized it wasn’t for her.

“The idea of getting up at 3 a.m to cover a fire in a small town in Kentucky just didn’t appeal to me. So I switched to Public Relations and Political Science thinking that public affairs may be the route that I would take,” Sanchez said.

But pursuing a PR internship at a nonprofit the summer between her junior and senior year hinted that she still hadn’t quite found what she was looking for in a career.

Because Sanchez was involved in many on-campus groups, she had the chance to collaborate with a lot of administrators outside of the classroom. These close mentorships brought her to the idea of working with college students.

Although her path was still hazy, she realized, “I want to be in an academic learning environment all the time and feel the energy of a college campus all the time.”

Following graduation, Sanchez was accepted into a two-year program at the University of South Carolina—the only school she applied to. There she got the chance to gain practical experience by exploring different areas of university administration and earned a M.A. in higher education.

Having the sense that she was destined for a bigger city, Sanchez used her connections to secure a job in Chicago as an advisor at Loyola, where she has stayed for her entire professional career. 

“It was time for me to move into a new role, something that would give me a little more responsibility. But [the assistant dean position] was also a role that I was really passionate about because I came from a Communications background and would love to work with that group of students again,” Sanchez said.

Already, Sanchez has a bevy of ideas for expanding outreach to students, including group advising by major, establishing a stronger presence on Lake Shore Campus and making the School of Communication offices more welcoming aesthetically.

She wants to make the experience of coming to an administrative office less intimidating, as spending face time with students is one of her highest priorities.

Working in the School of Communication has allowed Sanchez to nurture this inclination to really get to know her advising caseload.

“I’m seeing less students [than I did in the College of Arts and Sciences] but I get to see them for longer. So I’ve been able to have in-depth meaningful conversations with students already even just in this first week,” Sanchez said.

Calm, meaningful conversations in the midst of storm.

Film for Good

Film for Good
By Nader Issa, SoC Web Reporter
 

Loyola has campuses in Chicago, Italy, China and Vietnam, but two School of Communication faculty members recently extended the university’s reach to Kenya.

Manager of Technology Jamason Chen and Associate Professor Aaron Greer traveled to the East African country’s capital of Nairobi to teach a two-week filmmaking program called the Film for Good Workshop. Partnering with three schools in Nairobi, Chen and Greer guided about 15 to 20 young professionals — many of whom had graduated college — in the production of short social justice films.

“It was a really diverse group of students in terms of their interests, skill levels, backgrounds and their professional backgrounds,” said Greer. “I was really surprised by how talented the group was, and how entrepreneurial they are.”

Njeri Mbure, a professor at Tangaza University College in Nairobi, worked with Greer to instruct the workshop while Chen provided technical assistance. Although Greer and Chen were the only staff to represent the School of Communication in Kenya, Loyola supported the program from Chicago, too.

The initiative came about due to the long time work in Nairobi by retired faculty member Kay Felkins, who has traveled to Kenya for many years working one educational initiatives.

Chen, Technology Coordinator Andi Pacheco and TV Studio Manager Jim Collins also organized and prepared no longer used equipment  which was taken abroad and donated to to the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, where participants in the program — alumni of St. Aloysius Gonzaga High School, a Jesuit secondary school for AIDS orphans — worked to complete their projects.

Using the equipment, members of the workshop went through the entire production process; they conducted interviews, filmed video and edited sequences together.

“These students are from the slums. So the good thing is … they tell their own stories about the slums and look at their own community using film,” said Chen. “Especially with the technology we provided for them, they’re excited. 

At the end of the two-week workshop, the donated equipment remained in the Catholic University of Eastern Africa’s newly created media center for students to use. Although those taking part in the Film for Good Workshop were not students at the university, Chen said he discussed a rental program with administrators that would grant the young professionals access to the equipment.

Greer said the goal for the equipment was to provide university and community members with the resources they lacked to produce quality films.

“They want more training, [and] they want access to more resources,” said Greer. “They’re concerned about how they’re going to access the stuff we brought moving forward. Because they want to keep working, keep pushing, keep learning. So that was great.”

Chen and Greer said the trip was a valuable experience. By the end of the two weeks, members of the program completed four short films.

Chen said the work ethic and dedication that he saw in Nairobi made the trip worth it for him. Workshoppers stayed at the facility overnight some days to continue working on their projects, and Greer said that was one of the reasons he enjoyed the trip. 

“Often, older or returning students are fun populations to work with because … they know what they want, and they’re there to get it,” said Greer. “That was one of the nice things about working with this group, is that they all selected to be there. Some of them took off work just to do this thing. So they’re really committed to it and to each other.” 

But the trip wasn’t without problems. In one instance, Chen and his group were caught in a political protest in the middle of Kibera — Nairobi’s biggest slum, which is home to 60 percent of the city’s population on 6 percent of its land, according to Kibera UK. 

Protesters falsely believed Chen aimed to take pictures of their rally, prompting them to become frustrated and angry, according to Chen. He handed the camera off to a member of the workshop and ran to safety as the protesters walked in his direction.

Although Kenya and much of the rest of Africa is misidentified as full of poverty and famine, Chen said Kenyans live quality lives full of love and laughter, just like Americans. But that incident was a microcosm of the safety issues present in Nairobi, and specifically Kibera, according to Chen.

Other than wanting to finish their work, members of the program stayed at the university facility overnight to avoid walking home late at night for safety reasons. But Greer said he was nice to see how they overcame those obstacles to find success in their professional lives.

“They all come from a pretty tough environment, so the way that they are able to figure out school, or figure out work or how to create work [is impressive],” Greer said.

Chen said although the workshop was a good start, there still is work to be done and challenges to overcome. Many companies and organizations around the world ignore Africa in providing resources for educational and professional advancement, according to Chen.

He said that with slow and limited Internet access, and many Apple services not available in Africa, students have an uphill battle to climb.

“If you’re in Africa, how can you move on the same step as the rest of the world? If Apple doesn’t provide service to you, [that means] you’re forgotten,” said Chen. “Even if you want to communicate with the educational network around the globe, [you can’t] because you don’t get service from Apple.”

Chen and Greer both said they aren’t sure if or when they’ll return in the future, but both hoped they would soon to continue the work that they started.

“Hopefully this will start a new direction for the university as well, because the university is now seriously considering creating a media education program with other universities working together,” said Chen. “We emphasized, we aren’t just giving this to your university, you’re just a platform. We just put the resources in your university with the hope to serve the whole community.”

Digital Storytelling Workshop a Success

Digital Storytelling Workshop a Success
By Nader Issa, SOC Web Reporter
 

High school students from across the country had the opportunity to sharpen their skills at the School of Communication’s 2016 High School Digital Storytelling Workshop.

The week-long program, which featured trips to Chicago’s Pilsen and Chinatown neighborhoods, provided attendees an opportunity to try different aspects of multimedia journalism.

From video storytelling in Chinatown, to writing articles in Pilsen to broadcasting live on Loyola’s WLUW radio station, students saw what a week in a School of Communication student’s life looks like.

But the educational experience wasn’t the only takeaway for many students. While learning about journalism, the students quickly made new friends, and some said they are still in touch.

Rachel Marr, a St. Charles, Illinois, native, said she talks to at least one of her workshop peers almost every day.

“I know I’m going to Michigan to go see [people I met at the workshop],” said Marr.” I would definitely do it again. It was a lot of fun, and you meet new people and see new perspectives.”

While Marr, 16, and many other high schoolers came to Loyola’s Water Tower Campus from Chicago and its suburbs, the group of 29 students included high schoolers from Michigan, North Carolina, Kansas, Massachusetts and Oregon.

Back closer to home, two students from Senn High School attended the workshop. School of Communication staff and students have volunteered at the Rogers Park high school for the past three years. 

Workshop mentor Mike Niche, a rising senior in the School of Communication with a broadcast journalism major, volunteered at Senn in the spring of 2016. Niche, 22, said he was excited to see Loyola’s presence at Senn encouraged students to apply for the workshop.

“Given the work that all these kids had done previously, specifically our kids from Senn, I think for them it was a lot of putting into action all that they’ve practiced and worked on in class,” said Niche. “Watching their progression of working on things we helped them with at Senn, then they’re coming here and doing it again was remarkable and inspiring.” 

One of those Senn students said he found his experience at the workshop to be a valuable one. Edgar Flores, a 17-year-old Rogers Park native, said he would recommend the workshop to his younger friends at Senn.

“I think it was pretty cool to get to connect with [Loyola faculty and staff] a little more,” said Flores, who said Loyola will be one of his top college choices when he applies to universities in the fall. “Since I actually want to go into journalism, I thought it was really awesome. If it weren’t for everybody coming from Loyola, I wouldn’t really be considering it as one of my top college choices.”

Michelle Bukowski, an administrative assistant in the School of Communication, had worked with the workshop the past two years as a chaperone. But this year, she was involved in a different capacity. Bukowski was tasked with working with Academic Advisor Kat Fraser to plan and organize the workshop.

Bukowski said she was pleased by how the week turned out. 

“If [journalism] is the road they want to go down, having them get a really good idea of what would be expected of them [was helpful],” said Bukowski, who will enter her fourth year in the School of Communication this fall. “I think they enjoyed having a week of getting to know what it’s like to be a college student. You’re meeting people that you would have probably never met before, and for the most part right now that is a good thing now that they’ve created these lasting friendships.”

Bukowski and Fraser had help in making the workshop run seamlessly. Associate Dean John Slania, Associate Professor Aaron Greer and WLUW General Manager Eleni Prillaman instructed the students every morning before moving to hands-on journalism work in the afternoons. Student Media Manager Ralph Braseth and four undergraduate mentors advised workshoppers and traveled to each neighborhood to assist with their work.

The group of four mentors included rising senior Grace Runkel, who worked at the workshop for the third straight year, Niche and Jamie Hiskis, the first workshop alumna to become a mentor. 

Runkel, the Editor-in-Chief of the Loyola Phoenix, Loyola’s student newspaper, said it was nice to see the students break out of their comfort zones and develop their skills throughout the week.

“The students are always so excited to learn about journalism and get a glimpse of the college experience,” said Runkel. “They weren't afraid to grab people on the street for interviews, and they never got deterred if their original story idea wasn't working.”

Flores, who met Runkel at Senn in the spring, said he appreciated all the work the mentors and staff put into the week.

“The [mentors] were really awesome, and it seemed like all of us really bonded,” Flores said. “If I didn’t go to the workshop, I would have never met any of these awesome people.” 

The workshop is expected to continue next summer on Loyola’s Water Tower Campus. Applications for the 2017 High School Digital Workshop will be available in January.

A new take on children’s books

06-27-2016-SOC-murphy-story

Loyola professor Bren Murphy, PhD, poses with one of the children’s books that her students created in her Community as Story class. “We’re trying to use this class to look at the power of storytelling in communities to say what’s normal and what isn’t—because that’s what books do,” she said. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

By Kristen Torres  |  Student reporter

Loyola professor Bren Murphy, PhD, believes we all can learn something from children’s books.

Murphy, who holds a joint appointment in the School of Communication and the College of Arts & Sciences, teaches an undergraduate course called Community as Story. In the class, students explore gender and diversity—or lack thereof—in children’s picture books. It’s a unique way, Murphy said, to study urban communities and the individual identities found there.

“Little kids read the same stories over and over again,” she said. “They either see a mirror or a window to another world—maybe a world in which they don’t appear. They’re reading a book and looking at the pictures feeling like they don’t belong, or they’re seeing themselves in the images.”

By studying how text and pictures influence and enhance each other, Murphy and her students hope to show others that children’s books are more than just breezy reads.

“We’re trying to use this class to look at the power of storytelling in communities to say what’s normal and what isn’t—because that’s what books do,” she said.

As part of the class, students also work with school children and nonprofit groups to gain insights so they can write and illustrate their own picture books—which can be an eye-opening experience.

“We’ve had a story about a little Muslim girl who wears a hijab and is afraid to go to school because she looks different than the other kids,” Murphy said. “It’s such a simple story, but it’s never been told through this platform before.”

A fixture at the University

In the 32 years she’s been at Loyola, Murphy has done a little bit of everything.

She’s been chair of the Department of Communication, associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and director of the Women’s Studies program. She’s taught courses ranging from public speaking to the history of feminist thought. She’s even produced an award-winning documentary about nuns in popular culture.

And now, in addition to her research on children’s picture books, she’s working on two other projects.

“I have a lot going on right now,” Murphy said, “and they’re all at various stages of development.”

One of Murphy’s current projects combines her love for film with her research into children’s gender role development. She’s working with her students to create a website that people can search to find positive movies for children to see.

“Unless you’re an expert, parents and teachers tend to show children the films that they loved as kids, or things that are currently being promoted,” she said. “We’re trying to expand the exposure for older classics that still hold high educational value.”

Movies on the still-to-be-developed website include a hodge-podge of films, both old and new, that vary greatly from genre to genre. The team has included present-day features such as Up (2009) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) as well as older films such as Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) and Young Mister Lincoln (1939).

“Many of the movies on our list aren’t even made specifically for children; some don’t even represent our criteria of the inclusion of racial and ethnic diversity,” Murphy said. “Wizard of Oz doesn’t challenge gender roles except for making Dorothy the main character, yet the movie and music are still very well done so it made the list.”

Praise for students

Murphy is also working on her third film, focusing on the influence of American culture on Catholicism, and vice versa.

“I’m working with the same videographer and editor from my last documentary,” Murphy said. “We’re in the very beginning stages, but we want to do a multi-part series on what it means to be Catholic and American.”

The film will explore the contributions and tensions that the world-wide religion and the unique political society have created for one another, and it will be filmed in multiple cities across the United States. “I’m really excited about this one,” Murphy said.

Though all her projects are ongoing, Murphy praised her students as a big reason for her continued progress.

“The student involvement in both the book and film projects is just invaluable,” she said. “They have to use their experience and research skills to help come up with stories that are relevant. It wouldn’t even be a possibility without them.”

Alum Bill Plante Gives Commencement Address and Receives Honorary Degree

bill-plante

By: Tim McManus, SOC Web Reporter

Bill Plante, CBS News Senior White House Correspondent and a Loyola alumnus (BS ’59), returned to his alma mater May 12 to address the School of Communication’s Class of 2016.

The veteran reporter was also awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by the SOC for his accomplishments throughout his illustrious career in journalism, as well as for his continued involvement with Loyola, including nine years on the Board of Trustees.

“When you think of the gold standard for political journalism, the name that comes to mind is Bill Plante.  We are so proud to have him as one of our alumni and to have him come back to inspire the next generation of communicators,” said Don Heider, Dean of the SOC.

With over a half-century of experience in journalism, Plante gave the graduating class advice for their careers, as well as their lives. One suggestion, especially applicable to students of communication, was to take breaks from the constant flow of information and to learn to live without technology.

“You grew up in a world wired for instant communication…You’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope and Yik Yak. Find time to step away from it all each day, to set it aside for a while and spend that time in live conversation or contemplation,” Plante told the graduating class.

The audience of graduates, families and faculty reacted favorably.

“I thought that part of his speech was really inspirational and really needed. It is so critical right now for us to take that piece of advice seriously in order to think about the world and about yourself,” said Beth Konrad, Program Director of the Journalism Program.

Plante credits iconic newscasters, such as David Brinkley and Edward R. Murrow, as his inspiration for pursuing a career in journalism. He still remembers Murrow’s Harvest of Shame, a documentary that depicted the plight of American migrant workers. Witnessing these images of prejudices on television, and instilled with his education at Loyola under the Jesuit values of social justice, drove him to apply for a fellowship at CBS News.

In June 1964, Plante was awarded the fellowship and began work at CBS. Just three weeks later, three civil rights workers disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Mississippi.  Plante was sent with other journalists to cover the investigation. After 44 days, their bodies were found buried in a nearby dam. The event became a defining moment within the Civil Rights Movement, and Plante found himself in the middle of it.

“It was a big deal because it was the so-called “Freedom Summer,” when college kids from the North were coming down to the South to register black voters, which was their right. But, it didn't sit well in places like Alabama and Mississippi.  I had never been further south than St. Louis when I was growing up in Chicago, and I might as well have been on the other side of the moon,” Plante said.

During the next several months, he gave a voice to those experiencing systematic injustices, and he interviewed the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. during his historic march from Selma to Montgomery.

With tensions also escalating in Vietnam, Plante worked as a foreign correspondent assigned to cover the lengthy and costly war four times before the U.S. withdrew its troops.

In 1981, he was appointed by CBS to cover the Reagan presidency, and subsequently remained in Washington covering the White House for the next 35 years.

“It's a front row seat to American history. I'm reluctant to leave it, which I am in process of doing. I have seen a lot of major events happen because I've had the privilege of having this job. You see, I've covered five presidents, and after a while you can see commonalities.  They all go into office hoping to change things, and they find it very difficult. They tend to make very similar mistakes, not necessarily in the same circumstances, but in similar ways. And as they leave office, they always seem to have wished they had accomplished more,” Plante said.

He was present in the White House Rose Garden in 1993 with President Bill Clinton and witnessed the public handshake between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin symbolizing their mutual hope for peace in the Middle East. When not covering such historic events, Plante remained very active within the Loyola community and made significant contributions to the growth of the university, including the SOC.

To honor his contributions, the SOC created a professorship titled, the Bill Plante Chair of Leadership and Media Integrity.

The desire to stay involved, Plante says, originates from the Jesuit ideals that he was taught at Loyola, ideals that he has kept throughout his career.  His return to Loyola for the commencement ceremonies was another example of contributing to the lives of others.

“It's kind of the old pay-it-forward philosophy. I have watched the university and the SOC really grow and become a major force within academia. It's reach and reputation has grown exponentially. Not only does it compete with any other university, but it's an education under the Jesuit model, which I highly value because it teaches you to be concerned for others as well as yourself,” Plante said.  “It's something I've been grateful to have had in my education, and I'm happy to help in any way I can to pass it along.”

 

Animation Course Gives Students New Platform To Tell Their Stories

animation-new-platform

By: Tim McManus, SOC Web Reporter

The School of Communication has added a new elective to its curriculum: an introductory course into the world of animation.

The course offers students another method to share their message.

Perhaps Walt Disney put it best, when he said, “animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive.”

As software is increasingly more accessible to the general public, digital storytellers of all backgrounds and experiences have the ability to use multiple platforms to reach their audience.  For the SOC, adapting and updating its course list to fit a demand within the communication industry has always been a priority.

Aaron Greer, director of the Film and Digital Media program, said that he spoke with a number of candidates about coming to Loyola to teach the class until finally coming across Mary Jo Zefeldt, an attorney who transitioned her career into animation and digital media.

“One of the things I liked about Mary Jo was that as a lawyer, she worked with animators in a corporate, client-based environment, which is helpful for our students to know. We aren’t an art school, and we aren't a trade school. Our students reside somewhere in the middle, and we need them to have access to both sides of these creative skills, which she has firsthand experience with,” Greer said.

Although Zefeldt spent a portion of her career in a different field, she sees the change more as a refocusing of her skills.  The arts have always been a part of her education, and she used those experiences in the courtroom.

“I saw opportunities to use my theater and graphic design experience to better communicate difficult concepts with visual graphics and animation. I decided I wanted to work more broadly within digital media rather than work with a narrow focus on the use of technology for litigation.  This is when I began to study both Animation and Human-Computer Interaction (at DePaul.)  Animation and digital media can be used to communicate concepts and provide experiences for multiple domains and multiple audiences,” Zefeldt said.

While teaching the Advanced Post-Production class each year, which touches on animation with programs like After Effects, Greer noticed there were always students who would want to pursue those skills and software further. This demand eventually led to the creation of the class, and the hiring of Zefeldt to teach the course.

Junior Hannah Lies was one of these students.  Going into the class this semester, she was a little weary of how challenging the process of animation would be, but found Zefeldt’s approach to be especially helpful.

“I liked how Mary Jo took time to introduce us to different types of animation and went at a pace that was very doable.  She showed us some cool animations and it was inspiring to see what you could do with it. She is very knowledgeable and patient,” Lies said.

For Zefeldt, one of the most rewarding parts of teaching the class was seeing the students create something completely from scratch, which some found to be an exhilarating feeling to know their only limit was their imagination.

“There is something magical about the first time you create your own animation and you see your character or visual imagery move during playback.  It’s alive,” Zefeldt said. “This is an amazing experience and I enjoyed working with the class so the students could experience this for themselves.”

Student takes first place in design competition

Student takes first place in design competition
By Jessica Brown
 

Lauren Rasch, an English and Integrated Advertising and Public Relations double major, earned first place in the 11th annual PSAid contest. The contest asks for public service announcements (PSAs) that encourage Americans to donate money, rather than food, clothes or toys to victims of disasters. The “Smart Compassion” campaign is sponsored by the USAID Center for International Disaster Information (USAID CIDI).

“Cash donations are less expensive for donors and more beneficial to recipients than in-kind donations,” according to PSAID.org.

Rasch, 22, entered the contest as part of an assignment in COMM 329: Advertising and Public Relations Design taught by Dr. Pam Morris and Prof. Jessica Brown. Rasch’s design was one of 80 record-breaking entries for this year’s contest.

“I’ve never really considered myself a design person necessarily,” Rasch said. “I’ve always been interested and pursued art and design, but I’m definitely a writer by trade.”

Rasch won the print category of the contest. There was also a commercial broadcast category. Past winners have had their PSAs broadcast on television and printed in popular publications.

Paris Jackson, PSAid contest coordinator, described Rasch’s entry as “distinguished,” and said this year’s contest had many creative, earnest entries, which carried the same message of smart compassion.

“They [designs] are a great way for students to contribute to real-world problem solving while having their work judged by an experienced panel of communication and humanitarian relief experts,” Jackson wrote in an email. 

Rasch, whose entry was titled “Flexibility Matters,” was notified via phone and the win was quite unexpected.

“I was honestly shocked when I got the phone call,” she said. “I feel like there's a lot of those type of contest opportunities that pop in classes – especially when you're younger – and nothing ever comes of them. You submit it and you don't really think anything of it after that.”

The win has inspired Rasch who is set to graduate in May.

“I'm really starting to notice this semester how much being a writer can help with branding and design,” she said. “And I'm starting to consider for the future more content strategy and branding functions.”

To view Rasch’s winning design “Flexibility Matters” click here: http://www.psaid.org

SOC Students Compete in Creative Boot Camp, Win First and Second Place

SOC Students Compete in Creative Boot Camp, Win First and Second Place
By: Tim McManus, SOC Web Reporter 
 

Two students in Loyola’s Advertising and Public Relations major earned top honors in a recent advertising boot camp sponsored by Leo Burnett Worldwide.

Out of the 65 students in attendance, Loyola senior Kate McCarthy was part of the first place team, while sophomore Amanda Friedlander finished in the group that placed second.

The two students were part of an intensive, four-day creative boot camp that was hosted by Leo Burnett Worldwide and sponsored by One Club, a non-profit organization that works to recognize and promote excellence in advertising.

In addition to the experience of working on an ad campaign in small groups with students from other universities, participants were mentored by current advertising professionals. The teams competed for a first place prize that included an interview with Leo Burnett for a spot in its coveted summer internship program.

“It started at 9 a.m. and went until 5 p.m. each day, but honestly, most of us stayed way past that because we knew how great an opportunity it was. I know a lot of people who were staying until 11 p.m. So, it ended up being really long days,” Friedlander said. “It was pretty intense, but worth every moment.”

Regardless of the rigorous work needed to complete a well-rounded ad campaign in four days, Friedlander and McCarthy both say they felt prepared because of their Loyola classes. For them, one of the challenges was to put their knowledge and skills successfully into a group effort required for such a large project.

“Throughout the boot camp, I was able to hone in on my skill set and determine which aspects of my education were most useful to producing a creative solution to the brief. Ultimately, I recognized the importance of flexibility within a team, specifically filling roles that were not being filled, even if they fell outside of my specialty. In doing this, I was pushed to reconsider what kinds of jobs I should pursue after graduation,” McCarthy said.

Friedlander also agreed that the experience has led her to pursue a specific position and career within her AD/PR major.

“It really made it concrete for me what I want to do once I graduate, which is invaluable. I learned a lot about group dynamics and the best ways to overcome that intergroup adversity. You have to learn to have really thick skin and know that everything is subjective, which means that if your ideas get shot down, it's not a reflection on you. It's a reflection on the idea, and if it is on-strategy for the campaign. You have to learn to toughen up, bear down and just work,” said Friedlander.

Although McCarthy is hopeful about her interview with Leo Burnett, she believes it’s just icing on the cake for what the boot camp offers students in addition to the work experience. 

“I would recommend this experience to anyone who is even slightly interested,” said McCarthy. “Even if you don't win the competition, the opportunities for networking, with both other students and industry professionals, are endless.”

New Program to Immerse Students for a Semester in D.C.

New Program to Immerse Students for a Semester in D.C.
By: Tim McManus, SOC Web Reporter
 

One of the benefits of studying communication in Chicago is the access to the massive media market in the nation’s 3rd largest city.  With a campus two blocks from bustling Michigan Avenue, SOC students have multiple opportunities to connect with potential employers who are literally in their own backyard.

Starting this fall, however, Loyola students will have the chance to say the same about their proximity to Capitol Hill.  A new program, a Semester in Washington, D.C., has been created to offer undergraduate students of any major the opportunity to immerse in the government and public policy sector of our nation’s capital.

“This will be the first time that we’ve had our own program in Washington, but by no means is this the first time we have sent our students to intern in D.C. We have worked for years with other universities to get our students there.  But, there were limitations because it wasn’t our own program, and we knew the demand was much greater,” said Philip Hale, Loyola’s Vice President of Government Affairs.

The Semester in Washington, D.C. program is designed to be intensive. Students will be placed in a four day-a- week internship relevant to their major and gain experience working in areas such as government agencies, news media, public relations, non-profits, think tanks, and international organizations.

In addition to the internship and a weekly seminar, students will take two electives that combine communication and political science, including Political Advocacy and Political Communication. All courses will be taught by Loyola faculty.

“Students could learn about politics and government in the most important city for each. Then they have the opportunity to complete a significant internship in a journalism organization or learn public relations or advocacy from folks who practice in the nation's capital,” said Don Heider, Dean of the School of Communication.

Although students will be living in D.C. for an entire semester, they will often be working closely with Loyola alumni, who know about the transition from Chicago to D.C. and can give advice based on first-hand experience.

“One of the huge benefits of this program is the involvement of a group of alumni who work in D.C. They generally graduated recently, and most of them I know quite well. They are going to be a really important component for this.  Most of them work on the Hill or for other agencies, and they are going to mentor the students,” Vice President Hale said. “Students will have a mentor who is a Loyola alum, who has been working and living in this environment and can share everything they know.”

Interested undergraduate students, who will have junior or senior standing in the Fall 2016 semester, should apply through this application

Advocacy and Social Change Major More Relevant Than Ever

Advocacy and Social Change Major More Relevant Than Ever
By: Tim McManus, SOC Web Reporter
 

Miranda Lindvall puts her interest in advocacy and social change to use as the education coordinator at the Rockford Art Museum.

Lindvall coordinates art classes for children, lectures for adults, or helps identify art resources for teachers at the museum, which has more than 1,900 works of modern and contemporary American.

She credits her career choice to her 2015 degree in Advocacy and Social Change from Loyola’s School of Communication.

“Advocacy is needed in any part of the non-profit sector, and I chose to pursue arts advocacy as my specific field,” Lindvall said. “Throughout all of my major classes, I was given the space to do research and hands-on work with the topics that interested me, and not be stuck doing the same thing as everyone else. I saw this with a lot of my classmates too – everyone tailored their experience to fit their own wants and needs.” Lindvall said. 

Traditionally, social advocacy and communication are not formally taught in conjunction at most universities.  But, the ever-increasing relationship between activism and media is undeniable, and the School of Communication has developed a concentration in Advocacy and Social Change under the Communication Studies major in order to fill that need.

“The combination of advocacy and communication is just a natural fit. It's happening outside of academia right now. And the students exposed to it are interested in not only actually doing it, but in analyzing it first before implementation,” said Assistant Professor George Villanueva. 

Some students in the program have found it to be an ideal combination. Senior Ellison Snider, who was originally a sociology major, says she feels her classes in the SOC are providing her with the tools necessary for reaching more people and creating a larger impact. 

“The Advocacy and Social Change major equips students with theoretical knowledge, as well as effective communicative practices, to achieve a more equitable society. We learn how to better communicate from a place of empathy. This major has greatly empowered me. Social justice has always been an integral part of my life, but it wasn't until participating in this program that I began to understand my role as a leader in fostering change efforts,” Snider said.

Regardless of how each student molds the concentration, they are collectively learning to innovatively promote social change and education in a society that is almost exclusively relying upon digital media for communication where messages can be disseminated and shared instantaneously.

“Unfortunately, communication is the missing link in many social advocacy efforts. The ability to reframe issues and develop strategic communication campaigns is indispensable to every advocacy organization,” Snider said. “Advocacy and Social Change is a very uncommon undergraduate major, but I am extraordinarily proud when I get to share with others what I study at Loyola.”

Rambler Sports Locker at Arch Madness

Rambler Sports Locker at Arch Madness
By Madeline Kenney, Journalism Major
 

Six Loyola students stood shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of other professional journalists to cover the “Arch Madness,” the Missouri Valley Conference tournament where Loyola almost knocked off top-seed and perennial powerhouse, Wichita State University.

Loyola’s School of Communication sponsored the trip for students to represent the Rambler Sports Locker TV Program and Loyola Phoenix newspaper at the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. I had the opportunity to travel to St. Louis along with my classmates Beatriz Cabañas, Dylan Conover, Nader Issa, Blake Keller and Trisha McCauley under the guidance of professor Jessica Brown and studio manager Jim Collins. 

While covering Arch Madness, we received official media credentials and had the opportunity to sit on press row and in the balcony press box for every game. We filmed and edited game highlights, wrote game stories and worked all day to produce timely content for the web and continuous social media coverage. The Phoenix’s sports Twitter account was considered one of the best accounts to follow for Arch Madness Coverage, according to “Catch and Shoot,” a Midwest collegiate basketball blog.

At the end of each day, we produced a live-to-tape broadcast which featured game highlights and postgame analysis.

This experience was similar to what we expect it to be like next year after we graduate and enter the profession. I think it was very beneficial to our development as journalists because it forced us to produce content on tight deadlines. We also had the chance to interact with other sports journalists, who sat on press row and attended post-game press conferences.

Successful Advertising Campaign Featured In SOC Exhibit

Successful Advertising Campaign Featured In SOC Exhibit
By: Tim McManus, SOC Web Reporter
 

You’ve seen the advertisements played during major commercial events from March Madness to the Super Bowl, and now you can see the history and evolution of one of the country’s most popular ad campaigns showcased on the walls of the School of Communication.

The Loyola community gathered in the SOC on March 3 to unveil the new exhibit titled, “Good Hands. Great Advertising,” presented by Allstate Insurance and its advertising agency, Leo Burnett Worldwide. These two Chicago-based companies have been working together for over a half-century to create campaigns, including Mayhem, one of the most recognizable characters in modern advertising.

“I think it’s really great to share the history of our work with the next generation of advertisers and communicators.  I hope that this exhibit inspires Loyola students to pursue greatness in their field,” said David Brot, Executive Vice President and Account Director at Leo Burnett.

When the SOC moved into the building at the Water Tower Campus almost a decade ago, Dean Don Heider intentionally kept the walls bare so they could be used to showcase different media projects, whether student or professional. 

“We haven't done an advertising exhibit in a few years, and given that Advertising/Public Relations is our biggest major in the SOC, it made sense for us to reach out to Leo Burnett. But, the main thing is that it's for all SOC students. There’s aspects of all types of media – video, radio – in the exhibit that demonstrate how to reach an audience,” Meghan Ashbrock, Events Coordinator, said.

With our continually changing culture and developing technologies, the avenues to reach that audience need to also adapt. In the exhibit, students can see how these advertisers have been trying to do just that.  The Mayhem character now has a Hispanic counterpart, La Mala Suerte, for a Spanish-speaking audience. In addition, the campaign has transitioned to target consumers of online video and television. 

“Frankly, all advertising should speak to the diversity of the world. Looking at this exhibit and the history of the campaign, it puts into perspective how far we’ve come, and most importantly, where we are going,” said Lisa Jillson, Marketing Director at Allstate Insurance.

As SOC students continue with their classes and projects this semester, they will be able to study the storied history of a successful partnership between two internationally renowned companies.

“This is really an educational exhibit, so throughout it, there are lessons to learn.  That's what you come to Chicago for, that's what you come to Loyola for, to really have the opportunities to engage with experts in your desired field. It's a way to tie-in academics with the real world. You will be able to see in the exhibit what the advertising looks like from an idea to the execution,” Ashbrock said. “We hope that it’s very aspirational for students.”

Record Number of Applicants Expected for High School Digital Storytelling Workshop

Record Number of Applicants Expected for High School Digital Storytelling Workshop
By Tim McManus, SOC Web Reporter
 

A record number of applicants are expected for the School of Communication’s 5th annual High School Digital Storytelling Workshop.

Students from high schools across the country are invited to apply for six-days of intensive digital media instruction, which will be offered at the Loyola’s downtown Water Tower Campus June 19-24. 

The application deadline is March 11.

Taught by the SOC’s experienced instructors, and mentored by Loyola undergraduates, 30 high school students will spend the week getting hands-on experience with emerging technologies, university life, and digital media skills.

Meghan Ashbrock, Event Coordinator and Workshop Manager, says she is expecting a record number of applications.

“It's a valuable opportunity for any student who is interested in Loyola or digital media to see what it's like to study communication in a world-class city. Also, it's a chance for them to gain skills that they’ll learn at the workshop and take them back to their school newspaper, radio station, and other extracurricular activities,” Ashbrock said.

Students can expect to be busy learning and having fun with peers from 8 a.m. until 11pm. Each morning in Loyola’s classrooms, they will increase their knowledge on various aspects of audio, video and journalism, and each night they will explore the city with Loyola’s staff and experience the diverse neighborhoods and cultures before returning to their dorm rooms at Baumhart Hall. 

Entering its fifth year, the workshop was a memorable experience for several past participants, such as current Loyola sophomore and journalism major Jamie Hiskes.

“We went to Chinatown, Greektown, and Pilsen, and we got to interview a few locals there and ask them about their lives in those neighborhoods. It really opened my eyes to how culturally rich Chicago is. After the workshop, there was no question in my mind that Loyola would be perfect for me,” Hiskes said.

Hiskes said the experience was so worthwhile, she doesn’t hesitate to tell everyone about it. Her advice for this year’s participants is to take advantage of all the opportunities the workshop provides.

“They have the chance to work with some of the best communication professors in the country, in the third largest city in the country. A chance like that doesn’t come around too often,” Hiskes said. “They should have fun while they’re here, make friends with some of the other students who attend, and learn as much about Loyola and Chicago as they can. Having fun is the most important part, though. 

In addition to meeting future students like Hiskes, Ashbrock believes the workshop benefits the SOC in more ways than one. It also contributes to the school’s mission of educating students while utilizing the changing technologies to address the social needs of our world.

“We have a lot to offer as a communication school in this huge media market, and I think it's a good way for us to build relationships with high schools, as well as their students and parents, and just foster that connection to our community.” Ashbrock said. “I think it's a good opportunity for us to mentor and train the next generation of communicators.”

SoC does well in BEA Awards

SoC does well in BEA Awards

The school of Communication has learned that a faculty member and several students have been acknowledged in this year’s Festival of Media Arts, sponsored by the Broadcast Education Association. 

John Goheen won a Best of festival Award in the Faculty Documentary category for his piece titled The Fence of the Bearhttps://bea2015.secure-platform.com/a/gallery/rounds/124/details/18774

Students who received recognition:

The Search for Truth in Election 2016

The Search for Truth in Election 2016
By: Tim McManus, SOC Web Reporter
 

Journalists, campaign advisers and political scholars discussed the truth behind the election rhetoric at a recent forum sponsored by the School of Communication and the American Press Institute

The event, titled, Truth, Lies, and Election 2016, brought experts from various fields  to speak about their experiences in investigating and understanding this election season. 

“Given the current political climate, where candidates seem to make claim after claim, it’s crucial for journalists to be able to fact-check,” said Don Heider, Dean of the School of Communication.  “Hosting this event is part of what I see as our duty in helping working journalists do their job well.  It also provided an opportunity for our students to see and learn from some outstanding experts.”

One expert was Andy Shaw, president and CEO of the Better Government Association, who was the keynote speaker.  Before joining the BGA, the award-winning journalist spent 37 years covering politics from Springfield to Washington, mainly at ABC-7 Chicago. 

“Tax payers and citizens need watchdogs. Our democracy has been hijacked by insiders, and it’s almost undefeatable.  It’s a crisis,” Shaw stated.

While stressing that tangible change is incremental in the current state of politics, Shaw discussed his organization’s role in shining a light on corruption and improving Illinois government.  Since 2009, the BGA has been responsible for nearly 500 investigations that have resulted in over 100 reforms. 

“The BGA is a highly regarded organization. It's a watchdog group that really checks on government,” said SOC Associate Dean John Slania.  “We knew that not only would Andy Shaw bring a lot of credibility to the program, but that he’s a very dynamic speaker as well,”

In addition to Shaw’s address, there were panels on various topics, such as the impact of technology on fact-checking and the development of political advertising. With quotes and ideas being disseminated as fast as a click of a button, some voters in today’s culture might become disenchanted trying to differentiate fact from fiction.

Candidates and special interest groups are not exploiting our fears but are exploiting our lack of knowledge, Shaw maintained. The role of journalists is to investigate and then educate the community.

“I generally think that journalism really speaks to the tenants of a Jesuit education. The two strongest pillars of the Jesuit teachings are community engagement and social justice. Journalists are out there in the community uncovering the truth. If you're doing a good job, you're righting wrongs and telling the truth. That all plays into social justice,” Slania said. “This event really helped reinforce to our students everything we are trying to do.”

Annual Award to Promote Social Activism

Annual Award to Promote Social Activism

By: Tim McManus, SOC Web Reporter

The School of Communication is introducing a new award for its students.  Funded by Dr. Gilda Parrella, Professor Emeritus, the Change the World award is designed to benefit a Communication student who also exemplifies Loyola’s mission of social justice. 

Parrella, who retired in 2015 after teaching at Loyola since 1973, spent much of her life outside the classroom dedicated to peacemaking and social activism. Although technology and society have progressed, the struggle of the marginalized is still the same. This award is meant to annually recognize the contributions of an undergraduate student who continues to be committed to the improvement of our community. 

“The gap between generations may be great on some issues, but as Loyolans, we share an idealism to confront violence, racism, poverty, homelessness, and the ravages of war to create positive change,” Parrella said. “So while the technologies we use to express ourselves may be somewhat different, we still need to seek change through peaceful protests, as well as through social media, creative activities and community engagement.”

The deadline for the award is approaching.  Qualified students must submit their application no later than February 19th with the winner to be announced at the School of Communication Honors Ceremony in April. 

“Because it's a cash award, the winner will actually get it immediately. We'll have a check issued to them.  There will just be one recipient per year who will receive the $500 reward,” said Dr. Shawna Cooper-Gibson, Assistant Dean.

Parrella says her intention with the award is that it contributes to the daily expenses of the socially-minded student, which is why it is not a formal scholarship and does not have to be applied to tuition.

“I want to give some seed money to the recipients so they will have flexibility to meet the practical needs in their activism – money for transportation, for meetings, for the development of websites, art and music projects, videos, printed materials, etc.,” Parrella said. “The Award is aimed at students in Communication Studies and Advocacy and Social Change in SOC, who dedicate their time and efforts to make a more just and livable world for us all.”

Meet Jill Geisler, the inaugural Bill Plante Chair of Leadership and Media Integrity

Meet Jill Geisler, the inaugural Bill Plante Chair of Leadership and Media Integrity

By Kristen Torres  |  Student reporter

Jill Geisler has done it all.

Journalist, author, media trainer, and the voice of a podcast with more than 13 million downloads, Geisler has been around the communications world—and then some. Geisler was named the inaugural Bill Plante Chair of Leadership and Media Integrity in 2015, after a 25-year newsroom leadership career and 16 years on the faculty at the Poynter Institute, a journalism think-tank and training organization in St. Petersburg, Florida. Now, she’s sharing her experience and knowledge with students in Loyola’s School of Communication.

Here, she talks about getting her new position, what students need to succeed in today’s media landscape, and why she’s so excited about launching a new podcast for Loyola.

How exactly did you end up at Loyola?

Don Heider (the dean of the School of Communication)—that’s how. He sent me the description for the Bill Plante Chair of Leadership and Media Integrity, and I immediately started thinking of people I knew who would be great for the job. In passing, I told him, “It’s a shame I live in Milwaukee or I’d apply.” Then Don said, “Jill, it’s only a 90-minute train ride.” And suddenly I realized how right he was.

How has being the inaugural Bill Plante Chair been so far?

It’s wonderful. It’s definitely something I have to live up to, but I love the position. I’m able to go do things like pro-bono teaching for media leaders in the tiny country of Bhutan, an emerging democracy. Whenever I’m invited like this, I go to Don and tell him, “They want me to do this,” and he is exceptionally supportive. It’s a wonderful position to be in—to be able to teach students but also to continue doing media training in the field.

What course will you be teaching?

I’m teaching Ethics and Communications. Because of my reach in the industry, I’m excited to be able to connect students with real-world leaders in all forms of business and the ethical issues they face. For example, a good friend is the CEO of Make-A-Wish of Wisconsin and she’s meeting with my class. Each day, she navigates the competing goals of showcasing her organization’s good work while also respecting the dignity of children with life-threatening diseases and their families. Competing goals and values are always a delicate balance, whether you’re in community service, public relations, advertising, or journalism.

The media landscape is constantly changing. What’s your advice to students who want to break into the industry?

You need to learn how to write and think critically, but you also have to understand that the core expectations of people hiring you vary widely across the communications field. One organization may need you to mine data and have exceptional math skills; another may want a traditional investigator and interviewer; another may expect you to have digital experience. You need to be open to positions that demand a contemporary tool kit.

Your “What Great Bosses Know” podcasts on iTunes U have been downloaded more than 13 million times. Did you have any idea they would be so popular?

That is just amazing to me. After its launch I started getting e-mails from people saying, “You go on jogs with me” and “You drive to work with me.” That’s why I’m so excited to be launching a new podcast for Loyola. It’s called “Q&A: Leadership and Integrity in the Digital Age.” Each podcast will ask and answer one question—anything from, “Should a manager be friends with employees on Facebook?” to “Should a leader ever lie?” It’s the perfect intersection of leadership, integrity, and communication. And those are the strengths of our school.

CLICK HERE to listen to Geisler’s new podcast. You can hear Geisler’s “What Great Bosses Know” series here on iTunes U.

Debate Team Heats Up on the Coast

Debate Team Heats Up on the Coast

Loyola University Chicago’s Debate Team captured a number of awards at a recent three-day tournament at California State University Long Beach.

All three Loyola teams entered in the Winter at the Beach tournament, held Feb. 5-7, qualified for the elimination rounds. Aakash Balaji and his partner Richard Skinner each received a speaking award in the junior varsity division with Richard placing 6th and Aakash 2nd.

“Winning second speaker at CSULB was a surprising and rewarding experience,” Balaji said. “The tournament was a lot of fun and gave me an opportunity to learn by testing my critical thinking…However, I couldn't have done it without the team, which is not only friendly and accepting, but also super talented and helpful.”

Winners in the varsity division included Senior Joe Carroll and his partner freshman Brody Deihn, who recently received a first round bid to the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence. Other varsity winners were teammates Megan Nubel and Lucia Bennett.

“I'm very excited to have the opportunity to represent Loyola at the national tournament as a freshman,” Deihn said. “My partner and I invested a lot of time in debate this year and it’s very rewarding to see that hard work pay off.”

Bennett and Nubel will continue to represent Loyola on the international stage. Earlier this year, the duo competed in the Oxford Inter-Varsity tournament in Oxford England. This March they will compete in the Pan American Universities Debating Championship in Jamaica. Teams from North America, South America, Latin America, and the Caribbean will be in attendance.

Bennett, who is finishing her degree in Advocacy and Social Change commented, “I'm really looking forward to the final tournament of my debate career at the PUDC. Debate has been such a valuable experience and this opportunity to travel and meet people from all over the world will be a great send off.”

Parks and Recreation Actor Returns to Loyola

Parks and Recreation Actor Returns to Loyola
By: Tim McManus, SOC Web Reporter
 

One Loyola classroom had the opportunity on January 28 to hear from a guest speaker,  a Loyola alum who also starred on an acclaimed television series. Jim O’Heir, of Parks and Recreation fame, visited the class, Creative Thinking and Problem Solving, because of his friendship with Professor Robert Akers. 

“I'm bringing in speakers from different disciplines to talk about how they apply creativity to their work. I have a pianist, a chef, a theater costume designer, a film director, an editor and the CEO of Jellyvision all lined up to speak to my class. So I reached out to my friend Jim and asked him if he was coming to Chicago,” Akers said. 

Besides taking selfies with the students, O’Heir spoke about his career experiences after graduating from Loyola, and his journey from when he was an unknown, struggling actor to his current successes. The students heard valuable lessons on utilizing creativity in various parts of their life and work.

“He spent the better part of the class talking to my students about how he applies creativity to acting, whether it's an improv role or directly from a script, how he has to think on his feet, and deliver lines in different ways,”  Akers continued, “and compete with the likes of Amy Poehler.”

Loyola Reaches Out to Bhutan

Loyola Reaches Out to Bhutan
By Tim McManus, SOC Web Reporter
 

If you Google “World’s Most Dangerous Airports,” Paro Airport in Bhutan will be found on nearly every list. Located deep in the Himalayas, the tiny kingdom’s only international airport requires that pilots be specifically trained to maneuver through the narrow valleys and land on its notoriously short runway.

Paro, Bhutan – one of the world’s most dangerous airports

For Jill Geisler, Loyola’s Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity, once the plane’s wheels touched safely in Bhutan last December, a new adventure was just beginning.  She would see stunning sacred places laced with colorful Buddhist prayer flags, breathtaking scenery and meet leaders on the front lines of journalism in an emerging democracy.

‌‌Buddhist prayer flags adorn the landscape everywhere in Bhutan


The Buddha Dordenma statue in Thimpu is one of the largest in Bhutan. 125,000 smaller statues of Buddha are stored inside.

In recent years, Geisler has conducted leadership training in the US for international journalists, including some from Bhutan.  The story of their homeland fascinated her. Largely an insular, agrarian country, Bhutan’s media growth is relatively new, with television and Internet first introduced in 1999.  The country became a democracy in 2008, after the King of Bhutan decided it was time for his people to be self-governing and better connected to the outside world.

Bhutan residents outside a Buddhist stupa, (shrine) in Thimphu

A cornerstone of a democratic society is an independent press, and the Bhutan Media Foundation was formed in 2010 to nourish it.  Last year, the foundation invited Geisler to its country to work pro bono with emerging leaders in media.‌

“My goal was to improve the journalism by improving the leadership.  We do our best work when we have leaders who are good at what they do, who are invested in our success,” Geisler said. “Motivation is universal. The ability to motivate people doesn't change whether you're in Boston or Bhutan.”

Participants in the workshop wear required Bhutanese business attire, a “Gho” for men and “Kira” for women.

Over several days, Geisler worked with the Bhutanese journalists on leadership and ethics issues, with an additional focus on leading investigative and in-depth journalism. One issue discussed was a reporting on a proposed change of the tourism policy in Bhutan, which is tightly controlled in an effort to maintain the pristine environment. This relates to their strong Buddhist philosophies and the idea of Gross National Happiness.

“What they are saying is every decision that they make as a country needs to be weighed against how it would affect the happiness of the average person, the environment, education, and job opportunities. Tourism was a good example of that. If we increase tourism but hurt the environment, that will not contribute to Gross National Happiness,” Geisler said.

The class photo: Media leaders in the land of Gross National Happiness.

Dawa Penjor, Executive Director of the Bhutan Media Foundation, said the organization was very pleased to have Geisler visit and teach: “She was the best trainer BMF had hired over the past years. Her experience, expertise, and energy to teach and make people learn, captivated the participants from day one. Everyone learned and enjoyed Jill's teaching and had excellent feedback. To hear praises from a bunch of quizzical newsroom managers is pretty rare. She not only taught and shared her experience, but coached and managed to change the way the newsrooms in Bhutan will function.”


Dawa Penjor, executive director of the Bhutan Media Foundation, temporarily trades traditional Bhutanese attire for surprise gift from Loyola. 

Geisler hopes to return to Bhutan when her schedule permits. She also recruited a colleague to travel there as a volunteer newsroom trainer this spring. Meanwhile, Geisler will continue to teach current and future leaders at Loyola and around the world, and in doing so, will put Loyola’s values into practice.

Jill Geisler carries Loyola along on a trek to one of Bhutan’s most venerated and elevated sites (over 10,000 feet), the Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Paro.

“What better alignment with the Loyola’s mission of social justice than to put our resources into areas that might be improved by whatever we have to contribute,” Geisler said. “It was just an honor to be Loyola's reach, Loyola's touch as far away as Bhutan.”

Photo credits: Neil Jaehnert and Bhutan Media Foundation 

Truth, Lies and Election 2016

Truth, Lies and Election 2016

As the presidential primary season heats up, journalists can learn the latest skills to investigate and fact-check the political rhetoric at a free forum sponsored by the American Press Institute and Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication.

The forum, titled "Truth, Lies and Election 2016," will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12 at Loyola's downtown Chicago Water Tower Campus.

Journalists, educators and students are invited to the free forum at Loyola's Regents Hall, 16th floor, Lewis Towers, 111 E. Pearson St.

Register free here at: http://www.truthpol16.eventbrite.com

Panelists include some of the region’s top experts on journalism and politics, advertising and research, including experts from Ballotpedia and PolitiFact. They’ll share best practices and commentary, and the latest tools and technology in fact-checking and accountability journalism.

The lunchtime keynote address will be given by Andy Shaw, president and CEO of the Better Government Association, a government watchdog group.

Here is the day's schedule:

9-9:30 a.m.- Continental breakfast & registration
9:30-9:45 a.m. - Introductions
9:45-10:45 a.m. - Political reporting resources

11 a.m.- 12 p.m. -  Race and immigration issues
12-1 p.m. Lunch - Keynote, Andy Shaw, president and CEO, Better Government Association
1-1:50 p.m. - Dissecting political advertising
1:50 p.m.-2 p.m. - Conclusion

For more information, please contact Jane Elizabeth at the American Press Institute, Jane.Elizabeth@pressinstitute.org, or John Slania at Loyola, jslania@luc.edu.

The American Press Institute conducts research, training, convenes thought leaders and creates tools to help chart a path ahead for journalism in the 21st century.

Loyola's School of Communication offers study in journalism, media studies, documentary film production, cultural communication and public advocacy in a state-of-the-art facility in downtown Chicago.

What to Expect From Career Week 2016

What to Expect From Career Week 2016
By: Tim McManus, SOC Web Reporter

The annual Career Week for the School of Communication is upon us.  Starting next Tuesday, January 26, students will have the opportunity, not only to network with professionals at the top of various communication fields, but also to attend workshops designed to develop the skills necessary for launching their career.

“Career Week is part of the ‘value-add’ you benefit from as a Loyola SOC student.  Over three nights, right here on campus in Regents Hall of Lewis Tower, you have access to more than 40 industry professionals who are ready to meet, coach and help you,” said Cheryl McPhilimy, Director of Internship and Career Services, said.  “These are people you wouldn’t usually have easy access to.  There’s no better, more convenient way for an SOC student to learn and to network.”

These events have proven to be very successful in helping Loyola students get a coveted internship or full-time job.  Every year, attendees are able to separate themselves from a stack of résumés and start to build relationships with employers.

“Last year, we had a woman who hosts a morning radio show serve on one of our panels. We had a student go up to her afterwards and express her interest in media. The student ended up shadowing her during the radio show, meeting a number of her colleagues at the station and was then offered a job,” said Meghan Ashbrock, Event Coordinator.  “We’ve had major results and with top paying agencies.”

The first night is dedicated to a panel of four industry experts discussing effective and current strategies for breaking into desired fields.  Also, panelists will show examples of standout résumés and portfolios that resulted in the applicants being hired for entry-level positions. 

On Wednesday, January 27, some 30 communication professionals will meet one-on-one with students for résumé critiques and interview advice.  It has been consistently the most popular event of the week.

“We run the résumé workshop almost like speed dating, Ashbrock said.  “We will have tables set up around the room where students can meet with a professional for about 12 minutes to do a résumé review, some networking, and exchange business cards.  We ring a bell, and then you go to the next person.  So in a two-hour event, it’s a good chance for students to meet with four or five different professionals.”

The workshop on Thursday, January 28, will go beyond the résumé and will stress the importance of appearance, on and offline.  Students will again get to ask questions and work with various professionals to come up with a game plan for the Career and Networking Fair the following Tuesday, February 2.

“Thursday's event, January 28, is a must-attend for anyone wanting to ace the job and internship search.  We will have experts in to share wisdom on using LinkedIn, the professional wardrobe, what makes a successful portfolio, how to introduce yourself and how to work a career fair,” McPhilimy said.

With more than 50 employers in attendance at the Career and Networking Fair, it is important that students come prepared.  Spend time researching the individuals and companies (the list of registered employers is here), dress professionally, and bring plenty of résumés to hand out.  

“We try to make sure that all the professionals who are coming represent all of the different disciplines,” Ms. Ashbrock said. “So, no matter if you are studying non-profit communication or if you’re wanting to be a diehard print-journalist, there will be somebody there that you want to meet.” 

 

 

Senn High School Field Trip

Senn H.S. Field Trip
Photos by Jonathon Vera
 

Students from Chicago’s Senn High School experienced what it’s like being a television news reporter during a recent field trip to Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communication.

Twenty five Senn students used professional video cameras and microphones to interview shoppers along the Magnificent Mile, just steps from the School of Communication’s downtown Chicago campus.

The students also were recorded on camera reading news stories at the anchor desk of the School of Communication’s state-of-the-art convergence studio.

The students are part of Senn’s Digital Journalism program, a four-year International Baccalaureate curriculum designed to teach skills in reporting, writing and producing stories through digital technology.   

Loyola’s School of Communication, with financial support from the McCormick Foundation, has been partnering with Senn for the past three years. School of Communication faculty and students regularly meet with teachers and students at Senn, helping with curriculum development, classroom instruction and equipment and technological support.

The field trip to Loyola’s School of Communication offered Senn students exposure to college-level instruction in digital journalism, said Michael Cullinane, the lead journalism instructor at Senn.

“The Senn students were up to the challenge to perform real interviews and broadcast reports just like the Loyola students would have to. They didn't hesitate to stop people for man-on-the-street interviews and conducted their Q and As with professionalism. A few of them told me that they'd like to be journalists in the future,” Cullinane said.

The Senn students were excited to have the opportunity to visit the School of Communication.

“I loved getting to know what it’s like being behind the anchor desk,” said Symone Smith, 16, a junior at Senn. “There were so many great people at Loyola who taught us to use the technology. I could tell there was a passion there with the teachers.”

Fellow student Kendall Jackson agreed.

“I enjoyed working behind the scenes with the cameras. I was impressed with the high level of the technology,” said Jackson, 17, a Senn sophomore.

Don Heider, Dean of Loyola’s School of Communication, said the field trip is a high point of the Loyola-Senn partnership.

“The point of the program is get students exciting about journalism and I think when they visit Loyola, they can see the possibilities that going to college and working in journalism might offer them,” Heider said. “They are a great group of students who are so enthusiastic and ready to learn.”

Great Jobs for Three SoC Grads!

By Travis Cornejo, SoC Web Reporter 

For three recent School of Communication graduates, real-world success has simply been a matter of hard work and determination. Whether it was through student organization involvement or paying their dues as an intern, these Ramblers are already making their mark in the world of marketing and communications.

Lucy Glaser—Havas Worldwide

Lucy Glaser is an assistant account executive with Havas Worldwide in Chicago. She graduated in December 2014, a semester early, with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations. Her full-time position began in March 2015, after she was hired out from Havas Worldwide’s internship program.

“They hired interns in a competition kind of fashion,” she said. “It was themed after ‘Game of Thrones.’ And in lieu of the regular interview process, potential interns competed via Instagram and Snapchat. It was cool, because it showed how the agency is really involved with social media.”

When she was offered an internship with Havas Worldwide in January, she accepted, turning down a few other full-time offers. Admittedly, she said it was a risky move. But she had experience with smaller agencies, and now she wanted a chance with a larger organization.

The classes she took in the SoC helped prepare her for her day-to-day responsibilities at Havas Worldwide. She said from Principles of Advertising to Advertising Creative Copywriting, she learned concepts including strategy, media planning and how to write a brief or creative copy.

“The thing I would most recommend, is to start applying for internships as soon as possible,” Glaser said.  But she said internships can also be so much more than just resume boosters. They’re also an opportunity for students to narrow down what they want to do with their degree.

“Communications is a general field, and a lot you can do with it,” she said. “Internships not only prepare you for the work force, but they help you figure out what you want to do with your life.”

Jaclyn Webb—Zeno Group

Jaclyn Webb graduated from LUC in May 2015 with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations. She’s still based in Chicago, as an assistant account executive with Zeno Group.

“I’m working with one client right now, and that would be Quaker,” she said. “I’m also doing a little pro bono for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. And day-to-day, my work can be so different.”

On any given day, she often thinks back to her SoC education. When she pulls out her AP Stylebook, it reminds her of the AP Style quizzes she took in her intensive writing class. When she drafts media materials, she uses the skills she learned in Associate Professor Marjorie Kruvand’s class.

She first started as a Zeno Group intern in June, and she was hired full time three months later in September. But she got her first exposure to the agency when LUC’s student chapter of PRSSA toured the office in January 2015.

“We did a tour of the agency, met a lot of people and I immediately really liked the culture here,” she said. “The intern application process started in January or February, and then I secured the internship right around graduation, which is when I was hearing back from a lot of other places as well.”

She said she had a number of other interviews, but she’s grateful she got through the final round of interviews at Zeno Group. It’s a “perfect fit” for her. And just recently she saw a group of LUC PRSSA members touring her office.

“It’s crazy to think where you can go in just a short amount of time,” she said. “I was in their shoes not too long ago.”

Kristen Jones—USA Network

Kristen Jones is a brand marketing/promotions coordinator for the USA Network in New York City. She graduated from LUC in May 2014, with a degree in Journalism and a concentration in broadcast news.

Jones began at the USA Network six months ago, after about a year working as a studio manager and senior photographer with The Picture People in Livingston, New Jersey. While working at the photo studio, her work ethic impressed a customer so much, she helped Jones secure her current position with USA Network.

“It’s important to be open minded,” she said. “I wanted to be a news anchor and reporter. I thought nothing else in the world mattered.”

Although she never saw herself working in cable television or photography, she said her work experience so far has really shaped who she is.

“I was very broadcast-oriented while I was at Loyola,” she said. “I interned at CBS, which was a great way to learn how to act in a professional environment. I learned how to approach people, and how to not be star struck when working around famous Chicagoans.”

She also credits the SoC with helping her prepare for her career—allowing her to learn from high-profile industry speakers and planning events with the student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Jones also specifically recalled working with Associate Professor Lee Hood.

“She was phenomenal when I was with Loyola News Chicago,” she said. “She’s just really about getting things done and being quick on your feet. She just really drilled all those details into you and really trained you to succeed.”

Dr. Patricia Kay Felkins will retire at the close of the semester

Dr. Patricia Kay Felkins will retire at the close of the semester

By Travis Cornejo, SoC Web Reporter

For almost four decades Dr. Patricia Kay Felkins has been helping students and passionately teaching them about communication.  Felkins is retiring now after a long and distinguished career.

Dr. Felkins, who first came to Loyola in 1978, is an associate professor in Public Relations and Organizational Communication and the founding Director of the SoC’s Advertising and Public Relations program.

“I have always been drawn to the social justice mission of Loyola and its location in downtown Chicago,” she said. “I love the energy, opportunity and diversity of this city, and I am so thankful that I have had to opportunity to grow with this institution in Chicago.”

She recently published The Nonprofit Factor: Gathering at the Table for the Common Good, the fifth book she’s helped co-author.

“I believe in building community relationships and bringing people together to make the world better,” she said. “I will continue to do this.”

But looking back on her nearly 40 years at Loyola, Felkins said she is most proud of her role as the founding director of the Advertising and Public Relations program.

“I have been honored to help build some of the foundational courses and programs for the … School of Communication, especially in the area of organizational communication, public relations and public service communication,” she said. “And one of the challenges was, ‘How do we bring together advertising and PR?’ They're in some ways different, and yet at the same time, have some strategic similarities. So we took an integrated approach, which considers the contributions of both." 

She’s seen the program grow fast and steadily throughout the years. And it’s not only remained a popular option among students, but she said it’s also served to bring together many creative folks at the SoC.

“I remember when I developed the capstone course for AD/PR and taught the first capstone course,” she said. “There were 11 students, and they called themselves pioneers. 

Yet another highlight was acting as chair for the committee responsible for crafting the SoC’s mission statement in 2012.

Located on the SoC’s website, it reads, “The School of Communication is a community of learners that fosters critical thinking and innovation, integrates big ideas in communication theory and practice, tells stories across multiple platforms and adapts to changing technology and social needs. We develop ethical professionals with the knowledge and dedication to make a lasting contribution through communication and service in the world.”

And in 2008, as the SoC was moving into its new location at 51 E. Pearson on the Water Tower Campus, she remembers gathering with faculty members to discuss the future of the school.

“A group of faculty stood together in a circle in the lobby late one afternoon and talked about our hopes for the new school,” Felkins said. “I asked if people would hold hands and some did. We spoke around the circle of colleagues a kind of blessing of the new building and our mission.”

And it’s that sort of personal connection that her former students seem to most value. Everett Gutierrez, the first Advertising and Public Relations program graduate, remembers having five or six classes with Felkins by the time he graduated in 2006.

“She really pushed me out of my comfort zone,” he said. “Every time I had a class with her, she’d push me even more, because she knew what I was capable of. She knew I had what it took, so she’d always raise the bar so I’d strive to do better. It was intense, but a learning experience I’ll never forget.” 

Gutierrez said the experience made Felkins one of his favorite professors. But also, he respected her sense of integrity, and he said it’s the number one thing he carries with him through his career.

“And after taking so many classes with her, she became a mentor and even a second mother figure to me,” he said. “She took me under her wing, when I was a struggling, first generation college student trying to find my way. There was almost a time when I quit Loyola, but she was the one who kept me going.”

Felkins’ personal interest in students also means keeping in touch for decades. Cindy Johnson, a 1986 Loyola graduate, was one of Felkins’ first students, and now considers her a close friend.

“We get together regularly and socialize,” Johnson said. “I like to joke she taught me PR, but I taught her how to drink martinis. We don’t talk about work so much. It’s more of a friendship these days.”

As she moves on from her teaching position, Felkins plans to spend more time with Africa Circle of Hope and other educational projects in Kenya.

“In some ways I will miss the students, faculty and colleagues,” she said. “I’ll miss all the opportunities we have for learning together. But I really believe that learning is a lifelong process.”

Rather than call the next phase of her life a “retirement,” she refers to it as a “transition.”

“There’s really much to learn as I transition from one period of my life to another,” she said. “Because I’m going to be working with Africa Circle of Hope, and I’ll be spending a lot more time in Kenya.”

Africa Circle of Hope, co-founded by Felkins in 2007, was a way for her to put social justice values into action. The organization works with women and children affected by AIDS and poverty in Kenya, with programming focused on education, technology and entrepreneurship.”

“I’ll be continuing in as many ways as possible to stay connected to the School of Communication,” she said. “In fact, next summer and hopefully continuing for many summers to come, we’re going to have a two-week film workshop for kids from the slums in Nairobi. So they'll be learning the basics of how to make films."

Big Boulder Initiative Workshop: Using Social Data for Social Good

By Travis Cornejo, SoC Web Reporter

What companies and governments are doing with our information is a big concern.  But not all groups are using social data for their own purposes. 

The School of Communication and the Big Boulder Initiative came together to host a “Using Social Data for Social Good” workshop in early November.

Dozens spent a Saturday at Loyola’s Schreiber Center to discuss topics ranging from “Health and Social Data” to “Social Good and the Internet of Things.” The University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University, the Social Media Club of Chicago and the University of Chicago also co-sponsored the event.

To discuss “Using Civic Tech to Help Citizens,” the workshop invited panelists Derek Edder of Datamade, Rose Afriyie of mRelief and Brett Baker of Twitter. And according to Edder, the term “civic tech” is widely used, but it often means different things to different people.

“The definition I like, is ‘Tools to create, support and serve the public good,’” he said. “That’s what I think ‘civic tech’ is. There are a lot of folks who talk about it being specifically related to government. And I actually think that’s part of civic tech, but I don’t think that’s all of civic tech.” 

Edder’s company, Datamade, is a civic technology company that works with open data in the Chicago area. The company works with journalists, academics and government agencies to take data and “do something interesting and public to present to a wider audience.”

In addition to Datamade, he also helps run Chi Hack Night. What began three years ago as a few people getting together to work on civic tech projects has since grown to a weekly meeting of about 100 people. It was at a Chi Hack Night event where he met Afriyie.

“I embarked on my civic tech career after actually attending [Chi Hack Night],” Afriyie said. “It gets together so many different awesome data scientist, developers and everyday people who care about Chicago and want to help make it better through technology.”

On that night, she connected with Chicago’s “Innovation Delivery Team.” The team shared the issues they were facing, including backlogs in social service delivery.

 “We started to think about how we could address backlogs in the system,” Afriyie said. “Also at the time, I was embarking on the difficult journey of learning how to code. I was at the Starter League, which is a great institution in Chicago that teaches people how to code.”

She teamed up with some women in her class, along with the City of Chicago, to see if they could build a web application that could help reduce the long wait times created by the backlogs in the social services delivery system. In the end, they created “mRelief,” a website that aims to simplify the process of knowing whether or not one qualifies for public assistance in Chicago and Illinois.

For Baker, civic tech is an area near and dear to his heart. He said civic data allows Twitter to be impactful in a number of different cities.

“For the past couple of years, Detroit has had a big issue with getting rid of debris and urban blight,” he said. “And Twitter partnered with IBM to look at sentiment analysis—to see what are people saying and what are people tweeting about.”

Using Twitter data, the city was able to analyze what messages were being made and where they were coming from. Baker said it allowed Detroit to take a holistic approach to the issue, instead of saying, “Hey, we have a problem, let’s kind of just pick and choose where we go.”

Baker said that ties back to communication.

“It’s one thing if I sit down and tweet and it goes into the Twittersphere,” he said. “But it’s another thing if it goes to the city, and once the problem is solved, [the city] responds back to me.”

That’s the main point of the project, he said. It’s about keeping citizens informed about Detroit’s actions and motivations.

“Another example is from Jakarta,” Baker said. “There was a public/private partnership between an Australian university, Twitter and a government agency in Jakarta, where there is a ton of flooding and it really disrupts daily life.”

What helped, he said, was the “unbelievably high” amount of Twitter users in the city. The partnership used Twitter data to map where users said flooding was happening, displaying it on a map and showing people what areas to avoid.

“So in real time, civic life was improved there,” he said. “This was launched during last winter, and by February 1, there were 100,000 visitors to the map in one single day. It was a matter of taking data in real time and impacting daily life at that specific moment.”

The workshop as a whole spent the day with a number of recognizable names in the data science industry. Aside from Edder, Afriyie and Baker, panelists included CartoDB’s Andrew Hill, Harbor Research’s Jessica Groopman and WBEZ Curious City’s Shawna Allee. 

5th Annual International Symposium on Digital Ethics

5th Annual International Symposium on Digital Ethics

Topics ranging from privacy and surveillance to streaming and ethics were discussed at the 5th Annual International Symposium on Digital Ethics.

John Pelissero, interim president of Loyola University Chicago, said he remembered when School of Communication Dean Don Heider first approached him about the idea for the symposium.

“We were happy to be able to help with what’s become a very popular and attractive conference that deals with some cutting edge issues in the digital world,” he said.

“Particularly those that touch on ethical behavior.”

He continued and said Loyola is a great environment to host a conference on ethics in the digital age. At the heart of Loyola’s humanities-based core curriculum, are the ethical intentions of one’s actions.

“We provide the learning, and our students and graduates are able to demonstrate ethical awareness, the ability to do ethical reflection and the ability to apply ethical principles in decision making,” he said. “We want our students to leave here, able to make moral decisions and act on their ethical abilities.”

Dean Heider said the symposium and the School of Communication’s Center for Digital Ethics & Policy were created to help foster the conversation about digital ethics, to encourage more research and to create a place to help share that research.

“Few tech companies in this era have a code of ethics,” he said. “So when it comes to technology and the moral compass, oftentimes the marketplace seems to rule. And governments are no better, bending the rule to spy on citizens in the name of national security.”

And when introducing the symposium’s keynote speaker, Hasan Elahi, Associate Professor Bastiaan Vanacker said few questions are as pressing as those dealing with the issue of surveillance.

“What are we willing to relinquish in order to be safe?” he said. “Or to feel safe, which isn’t always the same thing. With the increased surveillance power of digital technologies, these questions have only become more prevalent.”

Elahi, an interdisciplinary artist, works with issues in surveillance, privacy, migration, citizenship, technology and the challenges of borders. In his talk, he touched on a project he’s spent the past 13 years contributing to, after he was mistakenly added to the U.S. government’s terrorist watch list.

“For the past 13 years, I’ve been tracking myself for the sake of national security,” he said. “The long story, is I spent six months of my life justifying [to the FBI] every tiny moment of my existence, convincing them I’m not a terrorist.”

In the end, it took six months and nine polygraph tests to clear his name. Still, concerned about future misunderstandings, he was inspired to created “Tracking Transience: The Orwell Project” which uses GPS technology to track his every moment. He also spoke with another academic who went through a similar ordeal.

“Chances are we probably weren’t the only two,” he said. “So there are either a lot of people who aren’t talking, or who can’t talk. I’m convinced if I were ‘Hasan the Cab Driver,’ versus ‘Hasan the Artist,’ this would have ended very differently.”

Earlier in the day, another artist, Maggie Orth, touched on the topic of ethics in wearable technology. Orth, an e-textile artist, inventor and entrepreneur founded International Fashion Machines in 2001.

In her talk, she described a situation she found herself in a few years earlier.

“Sometime around 2010, I was really into the idea of wearables,” she said. “And I got to the point where I was going to make 50,000 new light switches in China. Because that’s the only way I could get them cheaply. But I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t do it.”

She said she looked at her kids and thought, “What am I going to leave behind?” She showed a photo of a toxic river abroad, created due to technological waste. 

“Here in America, we don’t see it,” she said. “It’s in Asia and countries where they don’t have environmental regulations.”

Orth said she went through a crisis—thinking about the obsolete power supplies, dead batteries and LED Halloween gadgets cluttering her drawers. And she also touched on the idea of upgrading phones every year for minimal upgrades and buying health monitors that capture the same information a phone already does.

“We like to think we can recycle our way out of this,” she said. “We think we can recycle our electronics, and it’s all going to be fine. But unfortunately that’s not the case.”

She asked the audience to think about the energy it takes to create something. For example, with an aluminum can, a silicon chip or a circuit board, she said people don’t think about the energy it takes to get the materials out of the ground. 

“You can’t recover that energy, but that’s how people think about it,” she said.

Award Winning Students

Award Winning Students

Two Loyola School of Communication alumni have won Crystal Pillar awards from the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Lauren Smith won for outstanding news reporting and Matt Grcic for Arts & Entertainment/Cultural Affairs.  Lauren Smith did her winning project as part of Lee Hood’s class, Matt Grcic’s was a project for one of John Goheen’s courses.  Loyolan Elise Haas was awarded a $4,000 NATAS Foundation scholarship.

Other Loyola students helped with the production of the awards ceremony, and Lee Hood produced backstage coverage of the event which took place Nov. 7th.

Alum, students help train tomorrow’s leaders

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School of Communication graduate Everett Gutierrez and four current Loyola students speak at North-Grand High School recently. Gutierrez is the founder of Legacy Leaders International, which helps mobilize and motivate people to become leaders for the common good. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

Ana Plefka  | Student reporter

In 2006, Everett Gutierrez graduated with the first advertising and public relations degree from Loyola. Nine years later, he is the founding president of his own nonprofit and is still living out the Jesuit ideal of being a person for others.

It all started after Gutierrez realized that, for him, the corporate world was not enough.

“As I continued to grow in my career, I saw that in a for-profit arena you can help people, but you are always looking at the bottom line, which is usually a dollar amount” Gutierrez said. “In the nonprofit industry when you are helping people, that’s your bottom line, and that’s what I wanted to work with moving forward.”

So Gutierrez created Legacy Leaders International, which helps mobilize and motivate people to become leaders for the common good.

“I saw that there were organizations that were doing leadership training and offering similar services,” he said, “but there was a difference in our approach.”

Gutierrez began by re-entering the community where he grew up on the northwest side of Chicago and offering leadership training to residents who did not have the resources or experiences to stay competitive in their careers. His group has since expanded its reach and now works in other countries as well.

Learning and leading

In the spirit of giving back, Gutierrez returns to Loyola almost every year to offer his expertise to students in the School of Communication. This year, he is partnering with associate professor Patricia Felkins’s public service communication class (COMM 320) to offer students tangible campaign-building experience.

A team of four students—the self-named Legacy Ladies—is working with Legacy Leaders to create a public relations plan and campaign for Networking for Change, an event that allows students at North-Grand High School to develop their professional networking skills.

Ana Lucia Bustamante-Martinez, a junior advertising and public relations major and leader of the Legacy Ladies, is excited about organizing the event. She and three classmates visited the high school in late October to talk about their college experience—and more importantly, to get the students interested in furthering their education.

“It’s great that we all get to come together for an organization to help them further their mission and vision,” Bustamante-Martinez said. “We were already passionate about nonprofits, which is what attracted most of us to the class. We’re really trying to leave a mark.”

The students and Legacy Leaders International each have something to gain from the partnership.

“I hope that the Loyola students get the opportunity to be involved and engaged in a mission that’s beyond themselves,” Gutierrez said. “Whatever they bring to this organization and to this event, it’s going to create a ripple effect of changes.”

A lasting partnership

As a Loyola alum, Gutierrez couldn’t be happier to come back to the University to meet students and work with faculty who used to teach him. Felkins is one such faculty member who left a lasting impression on Gutierrez when he was the first student navigating the advertising and public relations major.

“She was one of my biggest advocates,” Gutierrez said of Felkins. “She went above and beyond to mentor me through the process of choosing a career.”

The relationship between former student and professor has grown over the years into one between two partners and friends.

“Everett leads with great energy, integrity and commitment to empowering young people to make a positive contribution to their community,” Felkins said.

While Gutierrez has big plans for Legacy Leaders International—which includes expanding its services into Kenya—he still plans on returning to the University to share his experiences with students.

In fact, Gutierrez dreams of one day teaching at Loyola, continuing to serve the school that served him so well.

Debate Team Champions of Hollatz Debates

Debate Team Champions of Hollatz Debates

Wheaton College hosted the Hollatz Debate Tournament November 6th and 7th in Wheaton Illinois. Teams from Purdue, Loyola, Cedarville, Wheaton, NIU, Patrick Henry, Grove City and McKendree competed in the event. After 9 debates on a variety of topics including banking, the internet, and human rights, Loyola emerged victorious.

Senior Joe Carroll, the team president, and first-year Brody Deihn won the Championship with a final round decision over a team from Grove City. Next up for the team is a competition at Oxford University. This marks the third consecutive year a team from Loyola Chicago has been selected to compete at Oxford.  

Geography of Poverty

Geography of Poverty

By Travis Cornejo, SoC Web Reporter 

It was standing room only when Matt Black spoke at Loyola University Chicago about his project, “The Geography of Poverty.” The California-based photographer was the latest speaker brought to campus through Loyola University Chicago’s partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Previously, Black’s photography work focused on impoverished communities in his native central California. But he later realized, that by focusing on a specific area, it could give the viewer a sense that poverty isn’t a widespread issue—it’s not something they have to worry about in their part of the country.

“We’re talking about the Central Valley, a place most don’t even know where it is,” he said. “But are you building an accurate portrait of this issue, if you’re implying that this is the only place where [poverty] is? Of course that’s not true. The idea was to show that these sorts of conditions could be found anywhere.”

For “The Geography of Poverty,” Black spent roughly three and a half months traveling across 30 states, photographing communities where more than 20 percent of the population lived below the poverty level. Each location was separated by no more than a two-hour drive, and an Instagram post represented each day of his trip.

Earlier in his career, he struggled with Instagram. It was a challenge to translate his stories to this new medium. But the app’s geo-location feature actually ended up inspiring him. After a few weeks of taking photos, he could produce a map of impoverished areas, or rather, the geography of poverty.

“I have to say, I’m not too proud of the fact that like a lot of my compatriots, I initially rejected social media,” he said. “I thought, ‘I’m not going to deal with Facebook or Instagram. I’m going to remain committed to these long form ways of telling stories.’ 

But later, he said he realized his job was to represent the poverty issues affecting the Central Valley.

“I just felt like if I’m automatically lopping off this [social media] audience, then I’m not really doing my job,” he said. “That’s how I came to social media, and that’s how I came to Instagram in particular.”

John Deschermeier, a graduate student in Digital Media and Storytelling, said he could relate to Black as a photojournalist who initially rejected social media channels.

“As a journalist, in this stage in the game, it’s kind of required to not only participate, but to participate with your best foot forward,” he said. “It’s important to find ways to get your message out there.”

Deschermeier said Black’s work was an excellent representation of long form journalism, within the realm of photography. He particularly enjoyed Black’s careful, methodical and respectful take on how to approach a story, in regards to its participants.

Jessica Brown, SoC Professional in Residence, chairs LUC’s Pulitzer Center committee.  She said Black’s domestic focus was a departure from typical speakers. In the past, Pulitzer Center events have centered on more global issues.

GeographyofPoverty_2

“One of the things I liked about him bringing the domestic angle to it, is that universities are on this trend of these global initiatives,” she said. “And that’s important, but in Chicago, we can go in any direction for a few miles and see a large number of people just living in abject poverty.”

Brown said it’s important to remember that as much effort as universities put toward global initiatives, they should put that same amount of effort into their local communities, because global and local issues are often similar in nature.

“And we have these perceptions of what it means to be working class America,” she said. “But the communities he photographed, I don’t think they fall under any of those predetermined definitions that we have of what it means to live in the United States.”

Through Black’s work, she said, we can see how poverty affects everybody. He photographed people in urban and rural, industrial and agricultural communities.

“Photographers are reporters,” she said. “Everybody’s a reporter—whether you’re a graphic artist or a traditional journalist. Visuals are just so powerful, especially in this day when we’re so consumed by visuals.”

MSNBC, who helped sponsor the project, paired Black’s photography with additional reporting and data visualizations. This, he said, helped take his work to a much more comprehensive level.

Toward the end of 2014, the collaborative project helped Black be named Time Magazine’s “Instagram Photographer of the Year.”

Remembering Mary Pat Haley

Remembering Mary Pat Haley

By Travis Cornejo, SoC Web Reporter

Friends, colleagues, and some family members gathered this September to pay tribute to former School of Communication faculty member Mary Pat Haley, BVM.

Haley died May 30 in Dubuque, Iowa.  She spent her life teaching and helping students, first at Mundelein College, then at Loyola.

Haley first joined Loyola University Chicago after its affiliation with Mundelein College in 1991. She was part of the approximately 50 Mundelein faculty members who were offered and accepted positions with LUC.

“I think she was very instrumental in helping the merger go smoothly,” Professor Bren Murphy said. “She was a very well-respected administrator at Mundelein.”

Early Years at LUC

In 1991, Haley joined LUC’s Department of Communication, a precursor to the School of Communication. According to university archives, she taught communication practices, media in society and basic journalism courses as a member of the Department of Communication faculty. She served as co-chair and interim chair of the Department of Communication, as well as an academic dean.

Haley would also later help Murphy complete the documentary “A College of Their Own,” that focused on women’s education in the U.S. Murphy said Haley was part of the effort to educate middle and working-class women who would not have otherwise gone to college.

According to Associate Professor Mark Pollock, Haley advocated for the continuation of Mundelein’s “Weekend College” at LUC. The program was geared toward women who wanted to earn a bachelor’s degree, but couldn’t afford to go to school full-time. She persuaded Pollock to teach a Weekend College course, and he said it was a wonderful, and probably his favorite, experience as an educator.

Pollock also served as co-chair for the Department of Communication with Haley for the 2001-02 academic year. He said he focused on scheduling and program development, while she handled budgets and faculty assessment.

“There wasn’t a consensus among the faculty about who should be the next chair, so the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences asked if we would agree to work together,” he said. “She was great at getting along with everybody and helping reduce tension among the staff.” 

But Pollock thinks Haley’s heart belonged to teaching. One of her favorite classes to teach, he said, was communication practices. She was particularly interested in the emergence of different dominant communication technologies, from the alphabet to the printing press.

“In terms of her research background, she had a strong background in journalism history,” Professor Hannah Rockwell said. “I know she really loved her students, and she loved teaching mass communication or critical journalism history. She really was a person who tried to keep up with current issues.”

Rockwell, a former associate dean for the School of Communication, joined LUC in 1992, a year after Haley. When the Department of Communication’s chair was injured in the mid 2000s, Rockwell suggested Haley fill the role.

“She was a very diplomatic leader,” she said. “I think it’s because she was a genuinely good person, who was very much a peacemaker without being a doormat. She had a great amount of strength.”

Rockwell said Haley’s calming presence was what the department needed at the time. She loved the students, and further, Haley was a fair, even-handed leader who was a “fantastic colleague.”

In 2007, the Department of Communication was targeted to transition into a professional school on LUC’s Water Tower Campus. Rockwell said Haley’s presence helped bridge faculty together during the growth phase. Not only did she provide a wealth of institutional knowledge, but also she was “very much part of the heart and soul of the faculty.” 

“I do know that [Dean Don Heider] wanted her in the fold, because she had a strong reputation throughout the university and throughout the College of Arts & Sciences,” Rockwell said. “He had a special position for her, because he didn’t want to lose her presence within the new school that we were building. I think she did that job for probably two years.”

The Mundelein Years

Ann Harrington, BVM, first met Haley in 1969, when Harrington moved to Chicago to teach at Mundelein College. Harrington, professor emerita in LUC’s Department of History, was also part of the Mundelein contingent that came to LUC after the 1991 affiliation.

“She began her teaching career at the grade school level, where she learned how to be very patient and learned how to teach well,” Harrington said. “She learned good teaching methods. I think, beginning as a grade school teacher, she carried those skills to the high school level and finally to the college level.”

Having known her for so long, Harrington said the thing she found most remarkable was Haley’s even personality. Her temperament helped Haley become known as a talented administrator—at both LUC and Mundelein College. Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, Haley served as an academic dean, vice president for academic affairs and Department of Communications chairperson at Mundelein.

Marianne Littau, a former BVM, met Haley in 1968 when several BVMs elected to move into smaller communities. For her, she remembers Haley as having such a way with words, and how she could always see the humor in situations. She was a woman who was always able to laugh at her own foibles and mistakes—she didn’t take herself as seriously as one would expect from a women of her talents.

Along with a sense of humor Harrington said Haley was a die-hard Cubs fan.  “We all used to laugh, because the Cubs never did much,” she said. “But now the Cubs have hinted that they might be better this year. We’ve been thinking about her in that regard. She never gave up on them like we all did.” 

Meet Kat, SOC's newest Academic Adviser

Meet Kat, SOC

By Travis Cornejo, SoC Web Reporter

Hugs and mugs.

That’s what makes all the difference for School of Communication Academic Adviser Kat Fraser.

“It’s great working with students who take the time to show their appreciation of the work that advisers put in,” she said. “That makes the job worth doing. And it doesn’t have to be something big. I had a student give me a coffee mug for helping them get through a tough semester. I had another student just come back and give me a hug.”

Although, as an adviser, she can’t always give students the answers they want, she’s grateful when a student comes back to say, “Thank you for your guidance. I understand where you were coming from, and I appreciate you taking the time to help me.”

Prior to becoming a full-time academic adviser, Fraser worked as a graduate assistant under Assistant Dean Dr. Shawna Cooper-Gibson. She completed her master’s degree in Higher Education in the summer of 2015, which was around the same time the School of Communication got the go ahead to hire a full-time academic adviser.

“We did interview other candidates, but she clearly stood out, and [Dean Don Heider] hired her,” Dr. Cooper-Gibson said. “I was very excited about that.”

Together, Dr. Cooper-Gibson and Fraser advise about 800 students in the School of Communication. On average, she meets with two to six students a day, advising on topics ranging from choosing a major to graduation requirements.

“She does almost everything I do,” Dr. Cooper-Gibson said. “From approving study abroad courses, doing transfer and freshman orientation presentations, or rigorously looking at each of the communication students’ academic curriculum.”

According to Dr. Cooper-Gibson, Fraser is an amazing person who embodies what Loyola looks for in an employee who works with students. She’s enjoyed working with her in the past year, and looks forward to continuing to share the joys and responsibilities of academic advising.

Sarah Lanning, a junior, met with Fraser when she decided to transfer into the School of Communication.

“I met with Kat primarily to make sure my classes aligned with my intended major,” Lanning said. “I found Kat to be incredibly friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. So much so that I met with her again to create a two-year plan and to discuss my education and career options after I graduate. I really enjoyed working with her, and I would love to work with her again in the future.”

Morgan Christian, a junior journalism major, said she thinks Fraser is somebody any student would love to work with. She got to know Fraser while working at the School of Communication’s front desk, but she’s also gone to her as an advisee.

“I was in the honors program, but I got to a point where I asked myself, ‘Do I still want to do this? How am I going to balance the honors program with getting more involved with The Phoenix or more work experience?’” she said. “I went in and talked to her about that, and she was able to help me with dropping from the honors program while still making sure I was meeting all my requirements to graduate.”

Christian said it also helps working with a recent graduate, as it means she’s friendly and relatable to the undergraduate population. Her office is a safe space, and talking with her is always a positive experience.

“Whether you’re with [Fraser], Dr. Cooper-Gibson or Professor [John] Slania, they’re all great people, and I think she’s a great addition to that team,” she said. “I think they all work very well together.”

When she worked with students as a graduate student herself, Fraser recalls how going to class one night and showing up for work the next morning factored into her advising.

“I definitely felt like I was more present in my advising,” she said. “My technique wasn’t differing from one day to the next, but I would have new understandings of how I spoke with students, or how I answered their questions or gave advice and guidance. 

Now, in her new role, if she could speak with every student, Fraser said she’d say it’s all right if they don’t know what they want to do upon graduating from college.

“I think there’s this notion that college is a pathway to a job, which for most students it definitely is,” she said. “But I like to think of college as it used to be—as an enriching experience, a chance to gain knowledge and a time to learn for learning’s sake.”

Many students come to her looking for advice on how to better themselves and take their success to the next level. But, she said that creates pressure on students to know what exactly their next level is.

“And what students don’t understand is that the job you have out of college isn’t going to determine your entire career path,” Fraser said. “It doesn’t have to and most likely won’t. It might take a few years to figure out what you want. It might take 10. It might take 20.”

So she encourages students to take advantage of the college experience. Students should take a variety of classes, study abroad and become involved with different student organizations and activities.

“Try new things because you never know when those things will help you later on in a different career, or you might find something you’re passionate about, and while you might not be able to pursue it right away, you can always pursue it later in life,” she said. “I wish students can just slow down and take it easy and realize that, ‘Yes we want you to get a job after you graduate. But you don’t have to figure out your whole life at the age of 22.’”

Rambler Debaters Earn Top Honors

Rambler Debaters Earn Top Honors

Left to right: Joe Carroll,Megan Nubel, Lucia Bennett,Brody Diehn, and David Romanlli

The Loyola University debate team hosted back-to-back tournaments at the Water Tower Campus September 25th-27th. Their guests came from Appalachian State University, Cedarville University, McKendree University, Washburn University, and Wheaton College. Over the three day event the students debated 15 different topics on a wide variety of subjects. “It’s a real challenge,” noted Loyola senior Joe Carroll. “You are only given 20 minutes to prepare before each debate begins.” Carroll and his partner, first year student Brody Diehn, went on to tie for first place with Loyola debaters Megan Nubel and Lucia Bennett.  All four were also cited for individual speaking honors, with Carroll being named the top speaker in the first tournament. Things went well again for the Ramblers again in the second tournament, with both teams advancing to the elimination debates. Once again all four were cited for individual speaking honors; however, this time junior Megan Nubel was named the top speaker.

Team prepping with alumni

Former debaters returned to serve as judges and mentors for the event. Alumnus Elvis Veizi stated “I think it’s great that the varsity did so well, but the most fun for me was working with the first year students. They had so much energy it was fun to watch. One student who came just to watch was so excited that she asked if she get in the debates!” Loyola will have another opportunity for new debaters when they host a British Parliamentary style debate scrimmage Saturday October 10th at the Lake Shore Campus with Marquette University, Wheaton College, and Edgewater College.

Faculty member Aaron Greer’s newest film; Service to Man

Faculty member Aaron Greer’s newest film; Service to Man

By Travis Cornejo, SoC Web reporter 

Loyola School of Communication faculty practice what they teach. 

Consider Associate Professor Aaron Greer.  Greer and University of Alabama Associate Professor Seth Panitch have a new film, Service to Man, which has entered its final round of fundraising.

The film chronicles a young white student who’s attending Meharry Medical College in the 1960s, where he’s one of only two white students in a historically black program. Written by Panitch, it’s loosely based on his the experiences of his father, Norman Panitch’s during the mid to late ‘60s.

With principal photography completed, Greer and Panitch now need $18,000 to finish the film. They are using Kickstarter, where donors can pledge anywhere from $15 to $5,000 and beyond. Rewards include special downloads, sneak previews and more.

To get to this point in the filmmaking process, the two filmmakers previously crowdfunded on Indiegogo and raised money through the University of Alabama. Panitch said it also helped that most of the cast and crew worked for a reduced salary.

“The entire company ultimately was living what Meharry Medical College preaches,” he said. “Keith David, who is one of the busiest actors right now working, did so out of respect to Meharry. From our performers, down to our interns and production assistants, people were working for nothing or next to nothing.”

‌Panitch said it was really phenomenal to see people work for a quarter of their normal paycheck, but he knew it was because of the influence of the medical school and its mission.

“The effect of that school on everyone, I think it lends an aurora to the project that I hope comes though in the actual film itself,” he said.

Although the film is now in its final stages, Greer said Service to Man first got started in 2008 when the two men were working together in Cuba. Panitch was directing a play, and Greer was shooting a documentary.

“Eight years ago, he pitched the idea to me,” Greer said. “He started slowly writing the script while he had many other projects going on. And then with my encouragement, he shopped the script a little bit in Hollywood. He did get some interest, but nothing happened with the project. Ultimately we said, ‘Let’s do this now.’”

According to Greer, Panitch, while being an “L.A. kid,” comes from a mostly theater background. Part of the reason they decided to work together was Greer’s experience with film.

“He always saw this as a film and not a stage play,” Greer said. “For a variety of reasons, it wouldn’t work well on the stage.”

Ultimately, the pair began work on the film as co-directors. When it came down to responsibilities, Greer worked with the camera while Panitch worked with the actors.

“And I think it was a benefit for us,” Panitch said. “One of the actors, Michael [Dubois],said how nice it was to work that way. The division of labor was clear, and he didn’t feel confused by the direction he was getting.”

Plus, Panitch said using two directors helped the speed of production. Principal photography was completed in June.

“It felt intense,” Greer said. “It was a 25 day shoot over a 30 day period. We basically had Sundays and Memorial Day off. But while shooting was a really intense one-month period, there’s still work to do after.”

The shoot took 25 days, but the film spans an entire year of medical school, drawing from real-world events.

“If you didn’t know it was true story, it would still be intriguing,” Greer said. “But knowing it’s based on some reality, for the audience, it makes it that much more meaningful and impactful.”

But because they weren’t filming a straight retelling of someone’s life, Greer said it allowed them some artistic license to give the story greater impact.

“That first year, there were four white medical students [in Norman Panitch’s class],” he said. “We halved the number of white students for two reasons. One, it upped the ante, making him even more of a stranger in a strange land. Two, there are only so many characters you can develop in two hours. There are only so many characters you can get people to care about.”

Panitch said his father understood the need to slightly change or alter some aspects of his story.

“He was fine with it,’ Panitch said. “He understands what a writer does, and he was always very supportive of this project. Even still, some of the stories from his time in medical school I was able to use verbatim.”

Greer and Panitch set an Oct. 1 deadline for their Kickstarter fundraiser. 

Alums find broadcast jobs!

Alums Find Broadcast Jobs!

By Travis Cornejo, SoC Web reporter

Three recent School of Communication alumni are proving that professional success can simply be a matter of broadening your horizons and expanding your search.

A Newsroom of One

Molly Brewer is a bureau reporter for KSN-TV in Kansas. Based in Garden City, Kan., Brewer is a one-woman reporting team. She writes, shoots and edits packages all on her own.

“I work alone,” she said. “And I think that’s the hardest part of the job—not having anyone to bounce ideas off of. Although I can always call the station and talk with someone, it’s not the same as being in a newsroom with a lot of people.”

But ever the optimist, she views the independence as a benefit as well. She said working solo taught her how to problem solve, work quickly and think on her feet. The work might be harder, but she still views it as a good first-job experience.  

“It’s definitely a lot harder than school,” Brewer said. “But Loyola was a good stepping stone where I learned the basics of camera skills and editing.”

For new graduates, she encourages them to be open to new experiences.

“Don’t be afraid to do something like leave your comfort zone,” Brewer said. “I didn’t want to leave Chicago, but I wanted this job a little more. I think there are a lot of people who are afraid to leave, but that makes getting the job and getting new experiences a little harder.”

She’s been in Kansas for about two months, and she’s taking steps to become more involved in her new community.

“It’s definitely an adjustment,” Brewer said. “I do miss Chicago a lot. But it’s been an amazing time, and the people are so nice. It’s definitely a great first job.”

A Story’s a Story

Nicholas Amatangelo is an anchor/multimedia journalist for KUMV in Williston, North Dakota.

While at Loyola, he focused on sports reporting, working for Rambler Sports Locker and the sports section of the Loyola Phoenix. So after graduation, he didn’t see himself working in a news position.

“When I graduated, sports is what I gravitated toward,” Amatangelo said. “That’s what I wanted to do. I applied to all these sports job. But with sports, it’s a little more difficult to get into than your average news job.”

He had professors review his TV work, cover letters and resume, but he had little success with his search. Soon after, Amatangelo decided it was time to refocus his efforts. He said he realized his search was too narrow, and he began to apply to news positions in markets from ranked size 60 to 210. And within a month and a half, he secured a position.

“Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone when it comes to applying for jobs,” he suggests. “If you’re struggling, try something different. Your first job might not be ideal, but that doesn’t mean the next one or the one down the line won’t be. It’s just a matter of being flexible.”

And Amatangelo said news reporting isn’t all that different from sports reporting. The transition was easy, as both follow a similar story structure. As he trained for his job, shadowing veteran reporters, he viewed it as more of a review session than a learning session.

“Loyola did a fantastic job of preparing me to take on this job and be able to do it well,” he said. “Loyola did a fantastic job of teaching me how to tell a story. I just had to figure out how to apply it in a different way than I was used to.”

Working Your Network

‌‌‌

Jatika Exposé is a sales assistant at WGN-Radio, where she also assists with marketing and promotions.

A graduate of the Digital Media and Storytelling masters program, she received her undergraduate degree in journalism at Indiana University Bloomington.

“My original plan was to be a news anchor and work in journalism,” she said. “I chose the Loyola program to learn how to be the brains behind the camera and get those technical skills. That was really important to me.”

While at Loyola, she took classes to work toward her new goal.

“My new focus was in advertising commercial production,” Exposé said. “I wanted to be a commercial producer. I tailored all my projects to advertising and branding using digital platforms—that was pretty much the role I took in the program. You can do whatever you want to do here, but I wanted to be a commercial producer.”

And a month after graduation, she found herself steadily employed, working toward that goal.

But getting to that point required some proactive work on her part. While a graduate student, she exchanged business cards with a guest speaker in her Public Service Communication course. As graduation loomed near, she followed up with him, setting up a tour and interview that soon led to an offer.

“Use your resources,” she advises. “Loyola has a great and powerful network. And professors know everyone, so it’s not just about who you know, it’s about who they know.”

Exposé also advises students to be enthusiastic and motivated. 

SOC working with journalists from the country of Georgia

SOC Working with Journalists from the Country of Georgia

By: Travis Cornejo, SoC Web Reporter

 Although the fall semester has yet to begin, several Loyola instructors are already back in the classroom. With the help of a grant from the U.S. State Department, the School of Communication is working with journalists from the country of Georgia.

“We’ve been working with a group of journalists from seven different stations that broadcast across Tbilisi and across Georgia,” said School of Communication Dean Don Heider.

According to Heider, a group of about 10 journalists came to the U.S. in March, splitting their time between Chicago and Washington D.C. And in August, another group traveled to the U.S., again spending time in the Midwest and the capital.

Journalists from WBEZ’s “Curious City” are participating in the instruction, as well as Loyola alumni now with the Chicago Tribune and WLS Channel 7.

Georgia, an emerging democracy, has a very robust terrain for journalism, Heider said. While in Chicago, the journalists will attend seminars based on the general question, “What is journalism?” with topics such as live interview skills and engaging with an audience on social media. In D.C., the group will meet journalists with CNN and public affairs television programs.

Mariam Shavgulidze, an editor for a political show on the television station Imedi, said the practical examples used in the presentations were very interesting. Giorgi Gabunia, a political talk show host for the television station Rustavi 2, said it’s very exciting to hear from people who’ve been in journalism for more than 20 years.

“We like and love everything about the university and the city, and your location is perfect,” Gabunia said. “I’m glad we’re here in the center of Chicago at a great university. We’re really glad to be here.”

Before entering journalism, Shavgulidze worked in public relations, and Gabunia studied architecture.

“My education has nothing to do with journalism,” he said. “But that’s a normal thing in Georgia.”

Unlike in the U.S., the two journalists said most of their peers in the industry are under 40 years old, and women have been at the forefront of broadcasting. But among the many comparisons Gabunia has made between the two countries, he said he’s happy to see similarities as well.

Gabunia and Shavgulidze are among the approximately two-dozen journalists who are participating in this partnership.

“The four of us involved in the project—John Goheen, Lee Hood, Richelle Rogers and myself—traveled to Tbilisi this summer,” Heider said. “And we spent a week there visiting every one of these seven TV stations, learning about the country. We sat in on some of their live broadcasts, and it was utterly fascinating.”

The time in Tbilisi was also an opportunity for the Loyola faculty to give feedback on the Georgians’ progress since their March visit, offering the journalists constructive feedback about their shows, to help them further improve.

“When you work in the business, often times you don’t get help,” he said. “You’re there at your station, and you’re trying to improve, but very rarely does anybody come in from the outside to give you constructive criticism. I think that’s something that anybody can benefit from.”

For Heider, Georgian media reminded him of American media from an earlier era. Because it’s a developing democracy, the population is particularly interested in political news and coverage.

“They have a whole country full of people who didn’t get to vote, and there was no open political dialogue in media,” he said. “It was only what they heard from the state. Now there is this robust appetite for politics and political speech. It did take us a while to get our mind around the fact that there are seven stations, all doing political talk shows in prime time.”

For Heider, that’s not something that would happen today in the U.S. But he said it’s also exciting to see how many people are keenly interested in the future of their country.

“The media [in Georgia] has been suppressed—murdered or imprisoned,” said Goheen.

But now, Goheen said, the people are hungry for democracy and want to learn as much as they can. For him, it’s exciting to participate on the journey to becoming a successful democratic society.

“When you have an emerging country that’s embracing democracy, and you get to help influence aspects of that growth, for a lot of journalists, that’s a really fulfilling thing to know,” Goheen said. “You’re helping to share a principle that many of us have learned about in school—that many of us are teaching at Loyola.”

The grant runs out at the end of the summer, but Heider said he suspects Loyola will continue to have a relationship with these journalists. The faculty cares about them and wants them to succeed in Georgia. And Heider will look for feedback, in the event that Loyola tries this type of exchange again.

Faculty visiting Tbilisi TV studio

Goheen, who’s also a documentary journalist, has already taken this relationship beyond its initial scope. During their summer trip to Tbilisi, he extended his stay to shoot a documentary on the country’s relationship with Russia.

“Roughly 20 percent of Georgia is occupied by Russia,” he said. “One occurrence, several years ago, displaced several hundred thousand Georgians from their ancestral lands. So I did a film on what they call the ABL, the Administrative Boundary Line, and how it’s affecting people seven years later.”

In this instance, it was a Georgian journalist with Tabula TV who helped Goheen make the necessary professional connections to complete his work.

High School Digital Storytelling Workshop 2015

High School Digital Storytelling Workshop 2015

Storytelling in the 21st century requires strong writing and social media skills, the ability to shoot and edit video, and an understanding of how to record and edit audio.

The Loyola School of Communication High School Digital Storytelling Workshop offers students an opportunity to develop those skills and something more: the chance to spend a week exploring Chicago.

“The idea behind the workshop is to get students some outstanding, hands-on experience in digital media and to allow them to go find great stories in Chicago neighborhoods they might not otherwise visit,” said Don Heider, Dean of Loyola’s School of Communication, who created the workshop in 2012.

Consider the most recent workshop, which took place June 14-19. Thirty high school students from across the Midwest spent a week learning digital storytelling at Loyola’s School of Communication, located near the historic Water Tower, and the heart of Chicago’s media center.

Each morning, experienced faculty taught students how to report and write a news article and post it on the Internet; how to use a video camera and create and edit a video package; and how to use audio equipment to record and create a radio story.

In the afternoons, faculty and college mentors accompanied the high school students on trips to diverse neighborhoods to interview people and create their stories. Students visited Chicago’s Chinatown, the Pilsen neighborhood, home to a strong Hispanic community, and Wicker Park, a historic magnet for Polish immigrants. During the tours, students posted photos and commented about their experiences on Twitter.

Each evening, students left their high-rise dorm and toured some of Chicago’s most famous attractions, including a trip to the John Hancock Observatory and a boat cruise on Lake Michigan, which featured a fireworks show.

“It’s a way for students to experience college,” said Meghan Ashbrock, the School of Communication Events Coordinator, who plans the annual workshop. “They get to live in a dorm, take classes with our faculty and experience what’s it’s like to be in the city.”

Students enjoyed the challenge of telling stories about Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods.

“I really enjoyed going to Chinatown to take video interviews of the people there. It was very hard to find people that would let us interview them, but once we did, it was very rewarding,” said Roy Purdy, 17, who will be a senior this fall at Appleton North High School in Appleton, Wisconsin. “I also enjoyed interviewing people with audio recorders, because although I've recorded audio before, I had never used anything like the audio recorder we used and had never done interviews like that.”

Students also had a chance to improve their writing.

“I think the best learning experience I had was writing the feature story on Wicker Park,” said Jillian Berndtson, 17, who will be a senior this fall at Grosse Pointe North High School in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan. “I had never written a feature story before, so the editing and feedback the professors gave me helped a lot. It was a really authentic experience and made you feel like a news reporter.”

‌The final stages of the workshop involved students editing their written, audio and video stories, and posting them on the Loyola Summer Stories website. The students also hosted a showcase of their work for family and friends at a closing reception.

Workshop instructor Eleni Kametas was impressed with how much students learned and the quality of their final projects.

 “The high school workshop empowers students by giving them the tools and experience needed to tell stories through the art of audio, video and the written word,” said Kametas, General Manager of WLUW 88.7 FM, Loyola’s student radio station. “It’s helping them to create a well-rounded portfolio that can be used when applying to colleges.” 

A full gallery of photos from the workshop may be viewed here.

 

Commitment to Excellence Award

Commitment to Excellence award

SoC Assistant Dean Dr. Shawna Cooper-Gibson was selected as a recipient of the Loyola University Chicago Commitment to Excellence award for the month of June.

The monthly award recognizes superior performance and extraordinary achievement by staff members in providing service to students, faculty, staff, and the community at large.

Dr. Cooper-Gibson was nominated for her outstanding efforts in advising the more than 800 undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Communication. Additionally, she is regarded by staff and faculty as an intelligent, kind and patient colleague, and a gifted leader willing to make the extra effort to enhance the quality of the School of Communication.

Congrats Shawna!

The Phoenix takes top honors—again

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Marissa Boulanger (right), editor-in-chief of the Phoenix, helps direct production for an issue of the student-run newspaper. “I hope people understand that we won this award and we are very proud of it,” she said. “But we are even more proud that we are at a university that allows us to do that.” (Photo: Mark Patton)

By Elise Haas  |  Student reporter

The Loyola Phoenix is on a winning streak.

For the second time in six years, the Society of Professional Journalists has named the Phoenix the best non-daily student newspaper in the country. This year’s award was presented September 19 at the society’s Excellence in Journalism 2015 conference in Orlando, Florida.

“To me it’s kind of like winning a national championship,” said Don Heider, dean of the School of Communication. “It doesn’t get the splash that the volleyball team gets, but it has the same level of prestige. It says our students are excellent. They have been judged by their peers and by professionals as excellent, and they deserve recognition.”

Recent graduate Esther Castillejo, who was editor-in-chief of the Phoenix last year, said she always encouraged her staff to put out a professional newspaper—and not a college newspaper.

“It is not an easy feat to produce something that a national organization thinks is top notch. It’s the best in the country,” said Castillejo, now a production fellow at ABC News in New York City. “The award is a validation of our work and proves that we want to position ourselves as a newspaper that is of service to the student body, that is representative of Loyola, but also critical of Loyola.”

The importance of independence

Heider said he supports the Phoenix as an entity that operates as a free press and not as a public relations arm of the University.

“The paper is for students to express concerns, cover stories, to give students a voice, and to hold the University accountable,” Heider said. “It’s not always a happy or comfortable situation, but that’s what good journalism is—it’s challenging.”

Bob Herguth, the faculty advisor, said students working for the Phoenix gain experience that they will never find in the classroom.

“The Phoenix provides front-line, real-life experience,” said Herguth, an adjunct professor at Loyola and director of investigations at the Better Government Association. “They learn about camaraderie, the mechanics of making a newspaper, understanding a media organization, and how advertising works. It’s the full package.”

Castillejo said her experience at the Phoenix helped her develop an editorial vision and an eye for news. More importantly, she said, it propelled her to where she is today. While at the Phoenix, Castillejo was the face of the newspaper, but she also made it a point to mentor the younger writers on staff.

“It was important to me that our entire staff learned something, that it wouldn’t just be a line on their resume,” Castillejo said.  

A mark of excellence

Liz Greiwe, another recent Loyola graduate, won the SPJ’s Mark of Excellence Award in 2015 for her feature story on homelessness in Chicago.

“I did not win this award alone,” said Greiwe, now the editorial board coordinator for the Chicago Tribune. “It took copy editors, managing editors, and an editor-in-chief to get the piece ready. I really appreciate the help and the support I got when making this, even more so than the actual award I received.”

Heider said Loyola has an administration that supports and believes in fostering robust journalism.  He’s seen University leaders such as former President  Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., and Interim President John Pelissero, PhD, fight for students’ rights to free press and free speech.

 “I can say the Phoenix has experienced tremendous support from on high,” Heider said. “When you have that kind of support, students don’t know about it. It’s invisible.”

This year’s editor-in-chief, Marissa Boulanger, decided to attend Loyola because of its strong journalism program.

“I hope people understand that we won this award and we are very proud of it,” Boulanger said. “But we are even more proud that we are at a university that allows us to do that.”

Journalism comes first

Though the Phoenix team is proud of its accomplishments, everyone involved with the newspaper said that good journalism is not about receiving awards.

“My philosophy is that you don’t work for an award, you work to do the job,” said Herguth, the faculty advisor. “Do it as best you can, with fairness and accuracy.”

While serving as the leader of the Phoenix, Castillejo said she tried to build a collaborative environment and a family culture. She said she’ll always have fond memories with her friends on the news team, even if they were made at 1 a.m. while scrambling to make deadline.

 “I’ll treasure every production night,” Castillejo said.

New Advertising Creative Program

By Travis Cornejo, SoC Web reporter

Feeling creative? The School of Communication is set to begin a new Creative Advertising program, preparing students to graduate with a completed portfolio of advertising work.

Loyola is set to become one of only five U.S universities to offer such a program, joining the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Colorado Boulder, Syracuse University and the University of Oregon.

Associate Professor Pam Morris worked with the faculty in advertising and public relations and an outside consultant to develop the program. Then the school hired a former advertising creative director with 25 years of experience to anchor the new program.  Robert Akers joined the school for the fall, and has worked at BBDO, FCB and Leo Burnett. His portfolio includes work on national advertising campaigns for Nintendo, Disney World, Morgan Stanley and Kellogg’s.

Current freshmen will be able to apply to the program prior to the spring 2017 semester, and the application process is still being refined.

“It's beginning in the sense that this incoming freshman class will be the first class poised to join this program,” Akers said. “However, it won’t be until next year, when we start developing other courses, that they’re really able to say there’s a difference from what the seniors and juniors went through.”

Each semester over the next three years, the School of Communication will offer new classes as part of the program.

“Students will need to take some of the core classes,” Morris said. “They will have to apply to get in, and that will be their sophomore year. They can’t wait any longer, because it is a whole progression. That’s the tricky part.”

There will be a review process, Akers said, to determine who’s really qualified for the program. But because students might not have the necessary skills or experience at the time of application, he said they will try to assess the potential for creative talent and see if the student has the potential for success in advertising.

“We know there’s going to be demand for it, because students have been asking for this,” Morris said. “We’ve expanded the School of Communication and advertising program, but we just don’t have enough for creative types.”

This new advertising creative major will be an alternative to the many “portfolio schools” across the country. Portfolio schools are not degree programs, but more similar to trade schools, where students spend two years working on an advertising portfolio, Akers said.

“Right now, when ad agencies hire copywriters or art directors, they have a very strong bias towards students who come out of these portfolio schools,” Akers said. “Because they’re well prepared, and they can hit the ground running. It’s very difficult right now for students at DePaul, Loyola or any other university, to get a job at an ad agency. They don’t have the skills.”

This new program will address that problem. And it won’t just benefit Loyola students, he said, but high school students as well. Those interested in a future in advertising will be able to attain a liberal arts education and foundation in advertising, without attending a portfolio school.

“I think the diversity in course work is beneficial because it helps foster a more well-rounded character,” said Jake Brusha, a School of Communication graduate who now works at Leo Burnett. “Not that I use any of my math or philosophy education, but the fact that I had to go through with it helps me when I am struggling with a frustrating client or project. I remember and think to myself, ‘It can't be as bad as science courses.’”

A problem with portfolio schools, Morris said, is they can be too focused on the mechanics. In the two years it takes to compile a portfolio, a student isn’t getting the educational foundation to think critically.

“[Portfolio school graduates] can really shine, and their books are fantastic, but will they get through the first year?” Morris said. “Are they going to be able to think critically and ethically? Advertising agencies, unfortunately, have issues with that—with thinking ethically—and it’s going to catch up with them. 

Akers said Loyola created a very unique program that presents a very unique opportunity for students. In previous teaching positions, he was frustrated about the lack of preparedness for students looking to enter advertising.

“But my frustrations will now be resolved,” he said. “By taking this job at Loyola and helping develop this program, we’ll be able to give students a liberal arts education along with the skills to land a job in a creative department.”

When creating the curriculum, Morris said she tried to understand what skills students needed for a future in creative advertising, and how to best develop those skills.

“We looked at what students needed, and then we looked at our current curriculum to see what classes could be used toward this major and to see what classes we needed to create,” she said.

This fall, Akers is teaching COMM 214, Introduction to Creative Concepts. In the spring, he’ll teach a brand new course, COMM 266, Creative Thinking and Problem Solving.

“You do have to finish a portfolio in order to get in the business in a creative position,” Morris said. “That’s what we’re trying to develop through this curriculum. A lot of students, they wanted to be in advertising, but we didn’t have enough classes to fulfill that requirement.”

As Morris and Akers flesh out the program, they will also tackle the split between the students more interested in copywriting and the students more interested in design.

“[In the creative field], you’re always going to work in pairs,” Morris said. “You have to start developing those skills right away. There is a balance. Both of them have to have big ideas. That’s what sells. That’s how you’re going to make it in the business.”

Bronzeville Exhibit

Bronzeville Exhibit

By Travis Cornejo, SoC Web reporter

Visitors to the School of Communication now have the opportunity to take a trip to the Bronzeville of yesterday, courtesy of the new interactive installation by artist Philip Mallory Jones.

“It’s a collection of samples of two projects that are currently in progress,” Jones said. “One is ‘Dateline: Bronzeville,’ and that’s a computer game—a first person mystery adventure. And the second piece is ‘Time Machine: Bronzeville,’ and that is a web destination—a virtual world.”

Both of these projects, according to Jones, grew from the same origin. In 2004, he collaborated with his mother, Dorothy Mallory Jones, on the book “Lissen Here!” The book was a combination of her poetry and his photo-collages.

“In the process of composing that book, I began to see other possibilities in this same material,” Jones said. “There are a lot of stories behind these poems, and these characters and these images. And over the course of the past decade, I did several pieces in various forms in ‘Second Life’ and using the Unity game engine. They all were steps toward this game and this virtual world web environment.”

Although the work dates back 10 years, the partnership with the School of Communication only goes back two years, when Dean Don Heider first came across Jones’ work online. 

“I came across his work and was fascinated, because the idea of an artist creating a virtual world, could create and tell stories about a historic place that was very important to our city—Bronzeville,” said Heider, in his opening remarks at the unveiling.

In searching for work to display, SoC Events Coordinator Meghan Ashbrock said Dean Heider was looking for an exhibition that was more interactive in nature. She said usually the School of Communication just hangs photos on the walls. But for this exhibition, the goal was for something more interactive, and something that would allow students to explore a different neighborhood of Chicago.

“There are a lot of social justice implications,” Ashbrock said about the exhibition. “With the area of Bronzeville being a predominately African-American neighborhood, it’s something we’d like to introduce to students. We don’t just want students to be exposed to people from one specific area. The more we can do to bring different neighborhoods, different stories and different ideas into students lives—right in front of them when they go to class—that’s a primary goal of a project like this.”

Jones grew up at 71st and Wabash, but left the area in 1965 when he turned 18. When he returned 30 years later, he said he didn’t recognize his neighborhood. The world he grew up in was gone.

“Which broke my heart,” he said. “But it’s not surprising either. Having been in a lot of places around the planet, and experienced a number of different kinds of cultures, I have come to a better and deeper appreciation and understanding of where I come from.”

Jones said he has two goals for his work on display.

“One is an appreciation for what used to be here in Bronzeville—what I knew when I was growing up,” he said. “Just the amazing creativity and concentration of artistic genius that was happening, and the vibrancy of invention that was going on there.”

The other is for students to find something in his work that sparks their own imagination, creativity and ambition, and acts as some sort of catalyst for their own work.

“Because that’s what I get out of work that I encounter every once in awhile,” Jones said. “And that’s been critical in my own development—to encounter someone else’s work that sparks something in me that gets me excited about the possibility of an idea, an approach, a technique. Or some type of technology that I see in someone else’s work, something that I can use and something that moves me to the next step.”

“Dateline: Bronzeville” and “Time Machine: Bronzeville” are both works in progress, Jones said.  He said in six months, both will probably have different material.

Ashbrock said the exhibition will run through the end of 2015, and likely into January of next year. The exhibition has been in the works for longer than the School of Communication usually plans for something, and the lengthiness is because of the unique aspects of Jones’ work.

“We usually have an idea of our exhibits about a year in advance,” she said. “For this one, the talks have been going on for close to two years, because of the game. It’s not just putting photos up. He’s creating this whole virtual world that has other aspects and bugs that you have to work out. It’s taken a little bit longer than usual.”

In the past two years, Jones said he typically works from 8 a.m. until midnight. He’s thankful his situation allows him the freedom to wake up in the morning and get to work.

“It suits me perfectly to have unstructured days and weeks ahead of me,” Jones said. “Literally, I work from about 8 a.m. until my eyes cross at midnight. And if I can end my workday with the knowledge of what is the next issue I’m going to face, I’m pleased. I’m content when I know what the next problem I have to deal with, so I have a place to start the next day.”

Jones said he’s looking forward to the further development of this project and what it will look like in six months.

Celebrating the Career of Dr. Gilda Parrella

Celebrating the Career of Dr. Gilda Parrella

Celebrating the Career of Dr. Gilda Parrella

By:  Regina Merrill

Dr. Gilda Parrella, a professor, researcher, and activist, is retiring from Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communication after a teaching career of over 40 years. Among her many accomplishments, she has been instrumental in developing the peace studies program at Loyola. Outside of campus, she is an active leader in a number of organizations that are interested in civil liberties and peace movements.

She began teaching at Loyola in the fall of 1973 as an assistant professor, and her career has greatly evolved over the years. The first course she taught was oral interpretation of literature. She has a master’s degree in theater, and a PhD in communication, but said she had always been interested in peace issues.  She has been involved in many peace and anti-war movements, starting in the 60s during her graduate studies. At Loyola, she developed a proposal to start a course in conflict management, which was funded by the Carnegie Mellon Foundation. From there, her curriculum contributions grew to include courses in mediation, negotiation, conflict and media, and special topic courses on transformative mediation.

LU_Interpreters_Theater

“Loyola is quite an amazing place,” Parrella said. Initially, she wasn’t sure if she would find her place at the school.  “I didn’t know how tolerant they would be to my form of activism,” she said. She found that Jesuits engage in forms of compatible activism too through education and sometimes civil disobedience.  She said that there is a much greater emphasis on social justice issues now on campus than when she started teaching. “We kind of evolved together in that way,” she said. “I think now courses in social justice have become much more prevalent in the curriculum.”

At one point, she took a leave of absence to see if she wanted to pursue a law degree, and she also did work in human resources. She said that after a year, she realized that her first love was education, so she returned. “The best place for me to be was here at Loyola,” she said.

Her activism work outside of the classroom allows her to provide real life examples in her courses. “I have done a lot of things in my larger life that have always been complementary to the work that I do in the classroom,” said Parrella.

One of the peace efforts she is most proud to have been a part of was an online attempt to get representatives from the UN to initiate a meeting of the General Assembly to stop the invasion of Iraq in 2003. “It was amazing to see how many people you can reach throughout the world online,” Parrella said. Even though the effort was unsuccessful, Parrella said “It was enlightening, and it was encouraging to think that we could make some connections with people throughout the world who had a very similar purpose.”

Olivia Hedstrom, a senior communication major with a concentration in advocacy and social change, took Dr. Parrella’s conflict management course. “Because she’s such an expert in that field, we really covered a ton of ground and were able to understand what conflict management looks like from a theory scale as well.  Our term project was to apply all the theories we learned to a particular case study.”

Hedstrom said that Dr. Parrella is focused on negotiation, so much so that students even negotiated the terms of their own syllabus, first with each other and then with her. “I’d never done that in a class before. Her willingness to teach through letting us … have an input into our own learning and how the class was conducted was really refreshing,” Hedstrom said. “She really cares about students and not just how they’re doing in terms of their grade in the classroom, but how that’s affecting their overall life.”

Tom Schuba, a senior communication major, has been working on an independent study overseen by Dr. Parrella. He has been writing a TV pilot, and said Dr. Parrella has helped him learn how to market his skills. “She gave me really good advice…she pushed me to think about different things critically.” Schuba has also taken conflict management with her, and appreciated the variety her course offered. “She structured the class in a way for all types of students to be successful,” Schuba said. “You can tell that she’s very engaged and that she wants to be there.”

Both her students and colleagues spoke of her sense of humor. “She was always cracking me up,” Schuba said. “She has a terrific sense of humor and adventure about her,” said Dr. Bren Murphy, a communication professor. She said that Dr. Parrella’s passion for consensus building extends outside of her conflict resolution course to her interactions with School of Communication faculty. “She didn’t just teach that course, she tried to get us to avoid conflict,” Murphy said. “She was very big on…not seeing conflict as bad…but she did believe very strongly that we should try to work through differences and see if we could come to some sort of mutually agreed upon solution.”

Parrella has always been a traveler. Throughout her career, she has developed connections all over the world. In 1990, she went to the Soviet Union to hold conflict workshops in Kiev, Leningrad, and Moscow, during the beginning of Glasnost; this is just one of several trips she made there during that decade.

She plans to continue traveling, and locations such as Venice, Zurich, London, and Costa Rica are at the top of her list. “I don’t like the word ‘retirement,’” she said. “I haven’t got it all figured out yet, but I think I will continue to do much of my activism work with social causes and with social justice issues.” She also plans to return to teach occasionally and will share an office with a colleague in the SOC.

Don Heider, the dean of the School of Communication, remarked: “Professor Gilda Parrella has been an amazing colleague who always brings tremendous integrity to whatever she does. She is well regarded by her colleagues, and for the past four decades has touched the lives of innumerable students.”

“I think I will always keep connected in some way,” Parrella said. “I really don’t see it as a goodbye; I see it as a shift... I will be doing some work continuing on projects that are compatible with the university’s mission and my mission.”

She said that there is still a lot to do, even when she won’t be in the classroom. “I will be continuing all the causes that I’m interested in, and hopefully continue to make a contribution.”

To celebrate Dr. Parrella’s career, please join SOC faculty, staff, alumni, friends, and students on Thursday, April 30 from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM in Baumhart Hall’s Pere Marquette Suite.

More information on the event can be found here: http://bit.ly/1doravA

The Great Cartoon Debate

The Great Cartoon Debate

Scott Stantis and David Fitzsimmons

The Great Cartoon Debate

Regina Merrill

Artists at odds: left, right, and completely off-center!

Two editorial cartoonists from opposite sides of the political spectrum come together in the same room for the Great Cartoon Debate, hosted by the School of Communication, the University Libraries, and the Chicago Tribune.

On April 15th in Corboy Law Center’s Kasbeer Hall, Scott Stantis from the Chicago Tribune and David Fitzsimmons from the Arizona Daily Star engaged in The Great Cartoon Debate. Don Wycliff, retired School of Communication faculty member and the former public editor for The Chicago Tribune, moderated the event.

Cartoondebateb

Before Stantis and Fitzsimmons began their pictorial sparring match, they each gave a presentation about their careers and the importance of their work.

Fitzsimmons, who identifies as a Democrat, has worked at the Daily Star for almost 30 years, and his cartoons are syndicated by 700 newspapers.

Stantis, who identifies as a conservative, has worked for the Tribune since 2009, and has developed a strip entitled “Prickly City” and a well-known caricature of Rahm Emanuel (he uses the Grinch as one of the guides for his features).

Stantis illustrated the power of editorial cartoons through a series of timely examples, from the attack on Ali Farzat, a Syrian political cartoonist, to the shootings at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris. He said that nothing else can create controversy like images can, and said that some cartoons are “like a stick in the eye and some are like an electric shock.”

Wycliff said that the Charlie Hebdo attack made the debate all the more pertinent, but “the fact of the matter is news and commentary are important all the time,” he said. “It’s important for people to understand how these things are done.”

Both cartoonists discussed the criticism they have received. Stantis said that the Tribune often receives complaints that “he can’t draw and he isn’t funny.” However, both have faced more serious threats as well. Stantis and Fitzsimmons have received multiple death threats during their careers, and Fitzsimmons noted that he has had to issue restraining orders. This served as a sobering reminder than even in a country where we pride ourselves on the freedom of expression, it can still be a dangerous profession.

Cartoondebatec

“I think both David and Scott really touched on the power of their work. This is a form of storytelling that no one really talks about,” said Meghan Ashbrock, who managed the event. “I think there’s a lot of power in imagery and I don’t know that political cartoonists always get that type of attention,” she said.

The artists also discussed their respective creative processes. Fitzsimmons said he starts with the written word; he writes a humor column for his paper, and often draws ideas from it. Stantis said that the process is different every time, but he starts by thinking of what symbols can best represent what he is trying to say.

During the draw-off, the cartoonists were asked to create a series of famous figures, from politicians like Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton, to their choice of pope. Each was able to draw Obama in under a minute and 25 seconds. They also managed to throw punches at each other between questions. At one point, Stantis wrote “bomb-throwing radical” with an arrow pointing to Fitzsimmons, who responded by pointing to him as an “old poop.”

An audience member asked how the rise of technology has affected their work. Stantis said that there are certainly a number of excellent web cartoonists out there, but the profession is changing.  He said that there are less than 40 editorial cartoonists working in the country at this point, but that it is important to be persistent.

Jessica Lodzinski, a junior journalism and global and international studies double major, was encouraged to attend the debate by her instructor Dodie Hofstetter, who works with Stantis at the Tribune. “Seeing how powerful just their images can be…you can have a reaction right away… they take a beating and really put themselves out there,” she said.

While many opposing views were shown during the evening, the two artists are actually friends. As Stantis said, “we don’t share the same politics, but we share the same values.” He said what they disagree on, and where the fun of the debate comes in, is the way to fix social problems. Cartoons are just one way to start the conversation. “This is magic…and it’s coming out of our hands,” Stantis said.

Students Win University Community Engagement Award

Students Win University Community Engagement Award

Public Relations Students Win University Community Engagement Award

How can a 109-year-old nonprofit organization use online communication more effectively to raise its visibility? And how can it do so with zero budget?

Those are the questions students in Principles of Public Relations asked at the beginning of their semester-long partnership with the Respiratory Health Association (RHA), whose mission is to promote healthy lungs and fight lung disease through research, advocacy and education. Established in 1906 to combat tuberculosis, RHA today addresses asthma, COPD, lung cancer, tobacco control and air quality.

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After studying RHA’s target audiences, the class researched other nonprofit organizations to learn best practices in online communication. The class then created a comprehensive, step‑by-step road map for RHA to expand its online presence. Teams of students worked to redesign the organization’s website, propose ways for RHA to organize its social media for maximum outreach and visibility, plan a blog, create infographics, and recommend ways to better manage photo sharing. These recommendations could be implemented without any cost.

Their hard work paid off on April 20, when the class was honored with Loyola’s Community Engagement Impact Award.

“The students did extraordinary work, especially since it was an introductory class,” said Prof. Marjorie Kruvand, who taught the class.

RHA has already begun implementing the recommendations. For example, the organization’s website now fully reflects the students’ detailed suggestions to make it more streamlined, better organized, easier to navigate and more user friendly.  

“The work of the Loyola students greatly enhanced RHA’s online strategy for reaching our supporters,” said Joel Africk, the association’s president and chief executive officer. “Everyone from lung cancer patients to children with asthma will benefit from our work with Prof. Kruvand’s class.”  

Lauren Nowak, an Advertising and Public Relations major, said working with RHA allowed her to help the community while strengthening skills needed for a public relations career. Winning Loyola’s Community Engagement Impact Award was the icing on the cake.

“Understanding how to work in a team while collaborating on ideas to help a real organization took us far beyond a classroom setting,” she said. “The many hours we spent were entirely worth the outcome.”

Robyne Robinson Alum 1983

Robyne Robinson Alum 1983

By:  Regina Merrill

Robyne Robinson,’83, has had a diverse career path since she graduated from Loyola. Her resume includes TV anchor, director of finance, artist, and candidate for lieutenant governor of Minneapolis. Currently, she is the arts and culture director for MSP International Airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

During her time at Loyola, Robinson kept a full schedule. She said that while she had a lot of fun at Loyola, her time was very career and academically driven. She carried 21 hours each semester, was an editor for the school newspaper, and was on air for WLUW.

Her senior year at Loyola, she got an internship at Channel 5 in Chicago. “I put in a lot of extra hours at Channel 5.” she said. “I really wanted a career in TV.” She was willing to spend more hours there than her practicum required, and this eventually lead to a full time job at the station after she graduated. She said she didn’t want to take time off in between school and her career. “I was working, and that was really important to me. I wanted to work in my career.” Robinson said. Her role at Channel 5 then lead to a full-time position.

She has had an extensive anchoring career in several markets. Her longest tenure at a station was as the senior anchor at the Fox news station in Minneapolis for almost 20 years. She left that job to run for lieutenant governor of Minnesota, and is now in her current role at MSP International Airport.                      

Robinson credits her time at Loyola for preparing her for her different roles. “I had amazing teachers that had real world experience in broadcasting and in print. Having people who knew what they were talking about really paved the way for me being in the city of Chicago.” she said. She remembers one teacher in particular, Ed Rooney, who taught reporting. “He was really one of those old newspaper vetswho had worked at Chicago Today newspaper and the Chicago Sun-Times she said. “He didn’t just give you the book- he gave you what it was like to be a real news person.” She said that her time at Loyola really made her feel like the world was hers to go and get. “I’m a very lucky girl, everything I’ve said I wanted to do in my life, I’ve done it.”

Loyola also shaped how she sees her surroundings. She said that attending a Jesuit school “makes you question the world around you and see it in a different perspective, from both secular and non-secular perspective.” she said. “I think it makes you a stronger person. I think you’re more of a humanist, I think you look at the world not just through one perspective but through many lenses.”

Robinson said transitioning from being an anchor to her position at MSP has been pretty seamless. She is known as a supporter of the arts and a philanthropist in Minneapolis. Her existing connections with artists in the community have been a huge benefit in her role as arts and culture director.  She also owns an art gallery, and is an artist herself--she has her own jewelry line which is sold around the world.

Robinson said that her favorite part of her job is that “it’s art, every day.” She said that in 21st century airports, the arts a very important part of the traveling experience. She appreciates how allows her to do things that haven’t been done before -- like opening the first airport film screening room in the nation.

“The Jesuit school experience teaches you that you can do anything that you want, but in doing that you have to be very mindful of the world around you and what you’re contributing, and how you can make it a better place, and I think that way every day.” she said.

Dr. Bren Ortega Murphy Travels to Indonesia and India

Dr. Bren Ortega Murphy Travels to Indonesia and India

By:  Regina Merrill

Professor Bren Murphy illustrates the importance of storytelling every day in her classes at Loyola, but recently she took that understanding of importance beyond Chicago to India and Indonesia.

At Loyola, she teaches a communication course that combines community service and storytelling. Her students work with local elementary school children as well as non-profit organizations to create their own picture books. Murphy said that the goal of the course is to explore the power of narrative to create a feeling of community, especially in diverse settings such as the Rogers Park neighborhood.

“Children’s picture books are often the first stories that children have access to, that tell them what’s normal, to explore dreams and hopes, to demonstrate who belongs together… what makes a family, what makes a neighborhood.” Murphy said. “The whole idea is to try to provide stories for the community that haven’t been told before.” For instance, one student wrote a book about a girl being nervous wearing her hijab to school for the first time.

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Murphy got the idea to export the course after talking with Sr. Ananda Amritmahal, RSCJ, the president of Sophia College in Mumbai who was here on a Fulbright Scholarship. Sr. Ananda said that the tradition of service learning wasn’t as strong in India as it is in the U.S. , and wanted to develop  more community engagement with her students, many of whom are quite privileged.

Murphy is also on the board of directors for Bookwallah, an organization that raises money to donate books and build reading spaces for children in India and Indonesia who are in orphanages or other special schools. She realized that if she could implement this course in other schools, it would benefit both the need for more children’s books and community engagement.

Initially, she was only going to travel to India to host a workshop at Sophia College, but Fr. Garanzini suggested she reach out to Sanata Dharma, a Jesuit university in Yogyakarta, Indonesia with which Loyola has close ties. She spent three days at each school to provide workshops for faculty members.

While traveling, Murphy visited bookshops in both India and Indonesia and saw the great need for children’s books. She was stunned at what was available, and said that at least half of the books were those that you would see in US or British stores, lots of Disney and other standard books. Those that were about India or Indonesia, Murphy said, were mostly folk tales or religious stories. There was nothing about people’s normal lives. “The need is definitely there.” she said.

There was great interest from the faculty in starting classes like the one she teaches, but Murphy said it would take time for the courses to be formed and approved. Fr. Garanzini is also interested in creating centralized workshops in places such as the Rome center or Singapore for teachers to come and learn about the course and how to implement it.

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Murphy said the trip renewed her sense of the importance of children’s literature as a way of understanding the world and our connection to it. She said that on both of the campuses she visited, you could not be isolated from the poverty present in both cities. “Just the notion of paying attention to the people we walk by every day and don’t notice, or try not to notice because it’s uncomfortable, and to try to tell more stories like that I think is something that was renewed in me and strengthened in me.” she said.

To see more pictures that Dr. Murphy took on her trip, please visit our the SOC FLICKR page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/loyola_soc/sets/72157651789236036/

Mark of Excellence Awards

Mark of Excellence Awards

Phoenix editors, Front row, from left: Joaquin Carrig, sports editor; Marrisa Boulanger, closer look editor; Esther Castillejo, editor-in-chief. Back row, from left: Ellie Diaz, copy editor; Thea DiLeonardi, copy editor; Grace Runkel, news editor; Samantha Sartori, assistant news editor.

By Morgan Christian

Both The Phoenix and Loyola’s student-run radio station, WLUW, brought home Mark of Excellence awards from this weekend’s Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Region 5 Conference. The awards recognized the best collegiate journalism of 2014 from Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. SPJ will consider first-place winners from all of its 12 regions for the national Mark of Excellence awards competition in September.

The Phoenix won best all around non-daily student newspaper and best affiliated website. Editor-in-Chief Esther Castillejo and 2014 journalism graduate Jordan Berger were finalists in the in-depth newspaper reporting category for their investigation into campus crime and student safety.

“The last couple of years, The Phoenix has gone through an intense transformation,” said Castillejo. “It’s been about trying to find ourselves in the School of Communication and what we want to be as a school newspaper. We know we’re not the best newspaper in the nation yet, but this award now recognizes our efforts at striving to get there.”

Senior journalism major Liz Greiwe won first place in the newspaper feature writing category for large schools (10,000 or more students). Her article “Homeless or not, he’s got the month of May” described homelessness in Chicago through the experiences of Lenny Scroggins, who has a penchant for singing The Temptations’ “My Girl.” Greiwe said the award will be much more than just a line of her résumé.

“It really strikes home,” said Greiwe. “When you’re writing and you’re reporting, you don’t think [about awards]. It’s an honor and you feel grateful to the people who read your work, and especially the people who edit your work.”

WLUW won first place in the radio sports reporting category for 2014 journalism graduate Joe Flaherty’s coverage of Loyola's men’s volleyball team’s run to an NCAA championship. WLUW’s Lunchtime News –– a five-minute weekday broadcast that airs during the spring semesters –– was also a finalist for best all-around radio newscast for its broadcast from March 8, 2014.

Tony Buitrago, the production director at WLUW, said the recognition from SPJ shows he is part of a good team.

“We put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears over the semester, and I think it does us some justice,” said Buitrago. “We’re going to get even more awards for what we’re doing right now.”

Beth Konrad, director of Loyola’s journalism program, is the faculty adviser for SPJ. She said she thinks the awards reflect the hard work of Loyola’s journalism students.

“It was an excellent demonstration of our journalism ability, talent and perseverance, and against some very stiff competition,” said Konrad. “Many of the schools we’re competing with have very large programs, and it should make all of [us] very proud … because we have dedicated resources, but also very dedicated students. In my 10 years of being an adviser, I think this year has shown the greatest strength as far as what our membership can accomplish.”

 

Cheryl McPhilimy Profile

Cheryl McPhilimy Profile

By:  Regina Merrill

Being an instructor, the director of internship and career services, and heading a PR firm may seem each seem like full-time occupations, but the SOC’s Cheryl McPhilimy manages to do all three. She has been with Loyola since 2006, and is the president of McPhilimy Associates, a public relations and executive spokesperson coaching firm she founded in 1995.

At her PR firm, McPhilimy had hired several Loyola students as interns and full-time employees. “Consistently they were our firm’s favorite interns,” she said, so when Loyola approached her with the possibility of being the first adjunct PR instructor, she was excited to accept the position.

From there, McPhilimy’s role at Loyola grew to include becoming the director of internship and career services. McPhilimy engages with employers and helps students who come to her for advice when applying for internships and jobs. Before starting McPhilimy Associates, she had worked across several communications fields, including an ad agency, The Daily Herald, and other PR firms.

She said that the most rewarding part of her job is working with students. Because of her dual role as instructor and internship director, she gets to see students develop in different capacities. She loves seeing the individual successes of students, such as when a project they’ve worked on comes full circle or when they find their first job.

She particularly appreciates the development of Career Week over the past few years. She said that the caliber of professionals who attended events like the Career Fair or the panels is exactly what she had hoped for. While discussing resume night, McPhilimy said, “I love looking out and seeing 30 students, …[and] 30 really fabulous industry professionals and the interaction that’s happening between them.  That thrills me to the core.”

At her PR firm, she assists senior leaders of corporations and non-profits on communication strategy, messaging, delivery, and media training. Working at both her own firm and Loyola has several benefits. “I love both aspects of my life a lot, and I think they each actually make me better at the other.” McPhilimy said. Her real-life experience assists her in the classroom, and her vast knowledge of the communications industry in Chicago allows her to connect employers and students. She has also taken Loyola students on as interns and hired them as employees after they graduate.

She said that it’s exciting to see the transition from student to professional.

“It keeps you really in touch with what you love about the work you do when you see someone joining your field.” she said.

Erin Clark, a 2009 Loyola grad, had McPhilimy for Introduction to Public Relations and went on to intern at McPhilimy Associates. She currently works for the Art Institute in the graphic design, digital communication, and communication departments. She recalled in her class with McPhilimy they had to put together a media plan for a real-world client, putting theories into actual practice. “That class was an eye-opening experience for me.” Clark said. She used a project from it to get an internship at the Goodman Theater, and later went on to work there full-time. Now Clark has her own interns, and she refers them to a book McPhilimy wrote, “Public Relations: It's Not Rocket Science.” “It’s a book that I still have and I have referenced it with my interns and my career.” she said.  

Kristin Trehearne Lane, a 2011 grad who is now a communication specialist at Loyola, also had McPhilimy for Intro to PR and interned at McPhilimy Associates. “Cheryl certainly developed me into being the professional I am today.” she said. “I will 120% give her credit for everything I am capable of doing in the PR field now.” Lane also appreciated the real-life experience she gained from having a live client in the classroom setting. She found this real-life experience when interning for McPhilimy. “She fully expected that she’s paying these interns to be part of their team, that they’re going to add value,” Lane said. She appreciated how much ownership McPhilimy allowed students to have over their own projects, and said it empowered her to grow in her own career path.

Lane said she still finds McPhilimy’s work inspiring: “Cheryl has a way of moving about the professional world that I really admire.” she said. “Seeing a woman be able to take the Chicago business scene by storm is really inspiring.”

When asked how she balances her various positions, McPhilimy responded that she would rather be “ultra-busy.” “I have a big bandwidth and I’m happiest when I’m throwing myself at a lot.” she said. She also joked that she doesn’t keep houseplants. “I like working with students tremendously, I like that the faculty and staff here have the students’ best interests at heart… I like the Jesuit influence, the vision, the atmosphere, so for me it’s incredibly rewarding to be part of what’s happening here.”

McPhilimy’s investment in her students and her work is clear to anyone who interacts with her. “I think there are a lot of people, specifically in communications, who are so self-absorbed that they forget about the people around them, but Cheryl is a very communal person, and I think that’s probably why students gravitate towards her.” Lane said. “She lifts people up who are around her.”


Working in Chicago Exhibit Opening

Working in Chicago Exhibit Opening

Working in Chicago Exhibit Opening

After more than a semester of hard work, Working in Chicago, a photography exhibit featuring student work, is now open. The exhibit opened Wednesday, March 18in the SOC building. It showcases photos from the book  “Working in Chicago” which features the lives of those who work to make the city run, from teachers and police officers, to taxi drivers and postal workers.

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Students from Professor John Slania’s advanced reporting class and Professor Jameson Chen’s photojournalism class collaborated to profile and photograph the working people of Chicago.

Slania said that students had to go out and find people who worked with their hands, they didn’t want to showcase anyone who worked behind a desk. Over the course of a 15-week semester, Slania said his students wrote the content, coordinated with the photojournalism class, worked on layout and design, sold sponsorships, and sent it off to an online publisher. After receiving a draft copy, they went through a tedious editing process, and the book was published in July. Students raised $3,000 in sponsorships to pay for the publication, and 10% of the proceeds go to the SOC for student scholarships.

Slania said this project was an excellent learning opportunity for students for several reasons. “This whole project fits Loyola’s social justice mission. The whole idea is to go out and get engaged in your community.” he said. It also teaches them entrepreneurial, reporting and writing, and leadership skills. “Ultimately it’s a nice piece for their portfolio.” he added.

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Slania also said that there was a lot of student leadership involved. Courtney Griffin was the editor-in-chief and ran the class. In a speech at the exhibit opening, Griffin said that producing the book was an “experiment” for all of them, as they had never published a book before. “It was so much work and I’m so proud of every single word on every page of that book.” she said. She hopes that the stories featured “bring something to mind of people you know in Chicago and the hard work that runs this city.”  

Publishing a book is not something Griffin thought she would do in her college career. “It turned out to be this beautiful collection of all different people, all different backgrounds, all different beliefs, but they had that common Chicago working persona.” she said.

Professor Jameson Chen said the exhibit opening provided a valuable opportunity for students. He noted that often students may complete assignments at the last minute, but “if they think one day their project will become artwork, it will look totally different.” He said it gives them the perspective that “I need to do my work better, because one day it might become an installation from the book.”

Griffin also said that as a student, you’re used to “writing things that maybe only your professor …or a few other people see, and it’s so exciting when you actually create something that other people see and take to heart.”

Images will be on display in the School of Communication until August, 2015. 

BEA Awards

By Regina Merrill
 

Loyola students and faculty members recently took home awards across seven categories of the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts competition.

Of 1352 entries, 232 awards were granted among 93 schools. John Goheen, a video and production professor at Loyola, received two awards: best of competition in television news reporting for his video, “Hawaiian Chickens,” and a best of festival award in the faculty video competition for his video “Poverty to Prosperity.”

In each of his classes, he teaches storytelling skills, and although the subject matter of both his entries is fairly diverse, he said that they are similar stylistically. He traveled to Uganda to film his promotional video, “Poverty to Prosperity,” for a nonprofit organization, BeadforLife, to help them promote their work for impoverished women. “I’m at a point in my life and career where when I’m able to give back, I’m more than happy and willing to do so,” said Goheen. He encourages his students to do the same. He tells them, “You’re going to leave here with skills that not everyone has, and when you have an opportunity to volunteer to shoot a video or tell a story that you’re capable of doing, you’ll never know where that will take you or what the benefit will be.”

Goheen has submitted his work in previous years, and views the competition as a good opportunity to compare his work to that of other faculty around the world. Professor Goheen said that this competition is unique because it has a wide variety of categories. He said that this year is the best Loyola has ever done. “All the various categories that students were recognized in, that’s pretty telling about the program we have here at Loyola.” Goheen said. “It just reflects that’s it not just one area, but the whole school.” Out of the 92 schools that entered the competition, only a few won five or more awards.

Lauren McGuigan, a senior communications major, submitted her work after being encouraged by her professor, Aaron Greer. She submitted an episode of Modern Family she wrote for one of her class projects.  McGuigan won 3rd place in the student screenwriting competition.  “I’m pretty shocked still that I won,” she said. “I’m just really grateful that he [Greer] told me and encouraged me to submit, because I never would have thought about doing that.” McGuigan now plans on submitting the script as part of an application for a writing fellowship with Nickelodeon.

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Leopold Stüebner, SJ, was also encouraged by his professor, Patricia Lamberti, to submit his work to the festival. He earned first place in the solo student interactive multimedia competition for his entry entitled “What the Yak !? - Exploring the Ethics of Anonymity.” His interactive website explores the ethics behind the popular app, YikYak. He said that the app usually receives a lot of negative attention, but he wanted to show a different side of it. “I think YikYak is a phenomenal tool.” Stüebner said. “It gives awesome insight into what students think, what they do, what’s on their minds and what’s on their hearts… so as a Jesuit I’m always interested in that.” His website presents students anonymously sharing how they themselves use YikYak. Stüebner said he was impressed by how YikYak requires students to make “ethical judgments on a second’s notice.” Through his research, he has the impression that compared to other schools, Loyola has a fairly high standard in terms of yaks that students find acceptable. He said that Loyola’s feed has a certain tone, and that it is representative of what the campus is about.

The BEA awards allow faculty and students to submit work across a variety of mediums, and award results show the talent present across many fields within the School of Communication.

Other award recipients included:

  • Matthew J. Grcic, Honorary Mention, for his short film, “Discovering the truth with Tanner DeMita”
  • Kevin Kelly, 3rd place in the student scriptwriting competition, for his music video “When I Get Home.”
  • In the narrative category, Alexander Lakin, honorable mention for his entry “November”
  • Joseph "Joey" Filer, Steven Abriani, Johnathan Gino Delmonte, & Hank Stillwell, honorable mention, for their work “Wacker.”

Jill Geisler - Bill Plante Chair of Leadership and Media Integrity

Internationally known management consultant and author Jill Geisler will join the School of Communication faculty at Loyola University Chicago as the inaugural Bill Plante Chair of Leadership and Media Integrity.

“We are delighted to have someone with Jill’s background, experience, and reputation join us,” said SoC Dean Don Heider, “She is one of a kind with her background in journalism and experience teaching management and ethics.  She will bring much to the school.”

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Geisler spent 16 years on the faculty at the Poynter Institute, a journalism think-tank and training organization in St. Petersburg, FL. and 25 years at WITI –TV in Milwaukee, WI. where she began as a reporter and anchor and became the vice-president for news.  Under her leadership the newsroom staff doubled in size and won numerous awards.

She is the author of Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know, a book for managers in all fields, which grew out of a column and podcast she did over a number years. The book has been released in English, Portuguese and Korean editions. Her podcasts have been downloaded over 13 million times.

Geisler regularly provides leadership training and coaching to staff and managers of media organizations including NPR, NBC stations, The Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, McClatchy publications, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, The John S. Knight Fellowships at Stanford, and DR- the Danish broadcasting corporation.  She writes a column for the Columbia Journalism Review.

Geisler takes a special interest in helping those who’ve been traditionally underrepresented in media leadership. She serves on the advisory board of the Journalism and Women Symposium and helps guide the ASNE Minority Leadership Institute’s annual programs.

According to Geisler, “Three things made this opportunity irresistible: The School of Communication’s focus on media integrity in the digital age, the chance to integrate leadership skills and values into an already strong curriculum, and Loyola’s commitment to social justice.  Even as I continue to coach managers in media organizations, I’ll be helping grow tomorrow’s leaders in Loyola’s classrooms.”

Geisler holds a M.A. in Leadership and Liberal Studies from Duquesne University and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Geisler has been inducted into several journalism halls of fame, including the prestigious Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.  The University of Wisconsin awarded her its “Distinguished Service to Journalism” honor.

The chair is named for Bill Plante, a veteran White House Correspondent and anchor for CBS News and a Loyola Alumnus, who has been a leader in tough and fair-minded journalism throughout his career.

CBS-48 Hours Producers Visit SOC

CBS-48 Hours Producers Visit SOC

CBS 48 Hours

By:  Regina Merrill

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Two Loyola alumni now work together at CBS News to produce 48 Hours, a show which investigates crime and justice cases.

On February 24th in the SOC’s Convergence Studio, communication alumniDoug Longhini ’71, ’75, and Maureen Maher ’91 gave a behind the scenes look into producing 48 Hours.

Longhini has worked exclusively for 48 Hours since 2000, and has covered notable cases including those of Michael Jackson, Princess Diana, and Amanda Knox. Maher joined 48 Hours in 2003, and was previously a correspondent for CBS News.

Longhini and Maher shared what goes into producing each episode by discussing a number of stories on which they worked together.

Each episode begins with a two to three minute opening that doesn’t have narration, just natural sound to create a setting. Longhini said that one of the challenges they face is finding visuals to support an hour-long show. They do not hire actors or remake scenes, but rely on original footage and interviews. “It always starts with people…if we don’t get the people talking to us, we don’t get the story,” he said. Before they even pursue a story, they utilize the relationships and access to law officials, videos, and subjects connected to the case to interview.

Longhini noted that the research skills he learned from Loyola have remained with him throughout his career, “it’s probably who I am. This job is fortunately an extension of who I am, so I’ve been lucky that way.”

Maher discussed the importance of talking to everyone involved in a case, from people who knew the victim to the defendant and his attorney, in order to present the most objective story. Sometimes subjects may expect their story to be told from their perspective after being interviewed. Longhini said, “if both sides didn’t like the story, that’s actually not a criticism for us … it shows it’s balanced.” The guiding force behind interviews and the show is asking the question “what does the viewer want to know?”

Maureen also stressed the importance of taking time to cultivate relationships with people they choose to interview, and said that it can sometimes take months to do so. She said “I will conduct a 3 hour interview if that’s what I think that person needs to feel comfortable… and the first hour [might be] a waste but the next two might be amazing.”

She gave an example of when she interviewed Jody Arias. What she initially thought would be an hour-long interview turned into four or five hours. “She just wanted to talk, talk, talk, which was her ultimate undoing.” Maher said.

She noted that in terms of storytelling, you want to get to the truth, but part of that is the journey of digging for it. “If I called her [Arias] on every ridiculous thing she was saying, the interview would have been over early.” Maher said that for as much preliminary research you may have done, “you never know where the interview will go and you have to be ready to ask questions on the fly.”

Maher credits her time at Loyola with giving her the skills to get through tough interviews. She especially appreciated “the joy of taking theology courses.” She said that “having the ability to explore spirituality and faith in many different ways… has been instrumental in my life as a journalist.”

Lydia DeCoud, a senior journalism major, appreciated how Maher went into detail about the hard work, including many late nights and lots of travel, that it takes to break into the broadcasting field. “I thought it was good to come and hear the realities, the good, the bad, how the bad can turn into the good.”

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Maher has had to interview people who have been accused of horrible crimes. “I find that it helps a lot to remember that we’re all human beings… and I have to find a connection.” she said. “All of these people, at some point in their life they took a wrong turn…and I kind of find it my mission… to find where was that moment where they turned off the road. That’s the only way I can get through talking to these people.”

She makes it a point to look at the crime scene photos, and said that this helps her to remember that it’s not just a television show, but a case as well. She said some of the cases can even change if they do a story the right way.  “Though we look formulaic, I think we strive on every case to bring something individual to it, and a different perspective to it.” Maher said.

New Digital Concentration for Pastoral Studies

New Digital Concentration for Pastoral Studies

By Regina Merrill, SOC Website Reporter

Social media is absolutely necessary for anyone trying to reach a community on a mass scale, and the Catholic Church is not immune to this fact. In recognition of the church’s need to engage with its parishioners, Loyola is creating a new Digital Communication concentration within the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies. This program combines courses from the School of Communication and Loyola’s Institute for Pastoral Studies.  It is the first of its kind in the United States. The concentration will teach future pastoral leaders how to best use the communication tools at their disposal to reach a wide audience.

On Tuesday afternoon in Lewis Towers’ Beane Hall, the IPS hosted a panel discussion to introduce the new concentration. Opening remarks were given by Archbishop Blase Cupich, and Don Wycliff, distinguished journalist in residence at Loyola, acted as moderator. Panelists included Kerry Weber, the managing editor of the Jesuits' America Magazine in New York; Fr. Manuel Dorantes, the Holy See Press Office’s chief liaison for Spanish-speaking media, and Rocco Palmo, the voice behind the Whispers in the Loggia news blog site and a former US correspondent for the London-based international Catholic weekly The Tablet.

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Archbishop Cupich began by discussing how rapidly changing technology not only affects the church, but humans in general. “A computer is not a magic box that makes people do evil…it increases our capacity to do good or evil as we choose.” He asked that people be aware of how it affects the human community, and said that “the church has a responsibility to promote the ethical issues of all media, old and new.” He noted that this is what is at the core of Loyola’s new program.

The panelists revealed the importance of the new digital media concentration by sharing their experiences with social media within their different professions.

Rocco Palmo said he’s seen cases of people who have been away from the church for 20 to 40 years, but returned because they have found the church online. “As Catholics, we really have to look at the tone of our engagement.” said Palmo. He feels that social media is what “announces the church to the world,” but that the ultimate goal of using it is to call people to the table. His work across various platforms is substantial, but he says that it’s worth it, because he can see the engagement the church has with a wide audience.

Mike Canaris, an attendee, said that he’s excited about how the program will create a dialogue between “the academic aspects of theological reflection with…creative ministry and pastoral care.”

Kerry Weber spoke about the shifts she has seen in communication during her time as an editor. She discussed how just because the Catholic community strives to deliver a consistent message, it doesn’t mean the means of doing so have stayed the same. She recognized that “we need to be where people are conversing,” that is, on social media. Using social media means they have to constantly be mindful of consumer’s needs, and she said that “they want to be a media ministry for others.”

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Joyce Duriga, who was covering the panel for Catholic New World, the newspaper for the Archdiocese, said “we constantly hear from parishes, schools, organizations, that they want to be able to do this but they don’t have people on staff who know how to do it…so to be able to train the folks who are going into these ministries … is really fantastic and I think it’ll be just wonderful for the church on all kinds of fronts.”

Fr. Manuel Dorantes discussed how Catholics believe that the word became flesh, and said that it is “up to our generation to incarnate that word once again.” He also stressed the importance of authenticity within communication. Fr. Dorantes helped the Holy See’s press office gain popularity by tweeting material presented in the synod, and he spoke of the remarkable increase in engagement that it brought. The press office went from 500 followers to 9000 in a week. He also created a video for journalists to explain the synod. He said that journalists thanked him because a five minute video did what a “venerable cardinal couldn’t do in an hour and a half.”   

At the end of the panel, Fr. Dorantes said that a “culture of encounter” is important. Social media allows this, not just through words, but through pictures and videos as well. He said that this is what allows people to see the joy of Catholics.

The new concentration will be open for enrollment in the fall of 2015.

 

How Do You Get Your News?

News Literacy Panel

By Regina Merrill, SOC Website Reporter

Loyola’s Society of Professional Journalists chapter conducted a news literacy survey among fellow Loyola students, and what they found offers a groundbreaking perspective on how students consume news.

Twenty members of the Loyola SPJ chapter were trained in how to ask survey questions, and gathered information from 500 students over a two-week period. Questions included how students define news, how they receive news, what devices they use to do so, and what news sources they find credible.

Grace Runkel, a Loyola SPJ Executive Board Member, commented that “we’re not surprised that young adults are shifting to digital devices to retrieve news [but] we were surprised how students defined news and what they preferred as credible media outlets.”

Beth Konrad, the faculty advisor to SPJ, said they expected outlets such as Buzzfeed and Vine, or news aggregates like Google and Yahoo to be among the top answers for which sources students find credible. However, they found that students listed the BBC, CNN, and the New York Times instead. Konrad noted that this survey was important because “we have to make our society more understanding of how they get news. When we just had mainstream media, you didn’t have this many choices, but conversely, you didn’t have the same problems.”

There will be a presentation of the findings on February 18th at the School of Communication followed by a panel comprised of journalism professionals to discuss the results with a studio audience. Panelists include Mary Wisniewski, the president of the Chicago Headline Club and a national correspondent for Thomson Reuters; Don Wycliff, a former Chicago Tribune Editor and board member of the McCormick Foundation; and David Schaper, a national correspondent for NPR based in Chicago.

Loyola’s SPJ chapter created the survey as part of an effort to recognize National News Engagement Day, which is sponsored by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).  

The results of this survey will provide a great opportunity to discuss the changes in the communication field and how they impact students and professionals alike. The panel includes scholars and practitioners in the communication field who will give valuable insight when interpreting the results.

“Students will gain get a better understanding of who’s reporting their news and who’s not.” Konrad said. “They’ll also realize that saying that the news media is biased is a very generalized statement, and you can’t lump all of journalism into the news media. This event will also show the importance of the verification and sourcing of news by legitimate news organizations.”

The presentation and panel will take place on February 18 at 6 p.m. in Loyola’s Convergence Studio at the Water Tower Campus. It is free and open to the public and will include complimentary refreshments. Reserve your spot now at http://bit.ly/1Jad6Aj.

SOC Career Fair 2015

SOC Career Fair 2015

SOC Career Fair

By:  Regina Merrill

            Eager students armed with resumes and employer directories got the chance to network with representatives from 45 top companies at the School of Communication’s annual career fair.

            On Tuesday, February 3 in Corboy Law Center’s Kasbeer Hall, 215 students and alumni mingled with recruiters from many different fields of communication, including advertising agencies, journalism organizations, nonprofit agencies, tech companies, and public relation firms. Many big-name companies were present, including Walker Sands Communications, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and the Daily Herald.

Martin Gahbauer from the Career Development Center said that career fairs are so beneficial to students because they are one of the few places where so many employers will be under the same roof at one time. “The great thing if you’re a student is, you haven’t had to really do any work to go out and make these contacts. They are here ready and willing and wanting to meet with you.” he said. “In real life, that happens very rarely.”

In 2014, 188 students and alumni attended the fair, so this year saw a 13% increase in attendance. Each year, career fair attendance and student participation in other Career Week events steadily increases.

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            Many of the recruiters tabling at the event were Loyola alumni themselves. Julian Gonzalez, BA’13, now works for the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

Gonzalez attended the fair when he was a student and recalled being overwhelmed by all the choices. He said that now “it’s great to be back, and I’m really excited to show people who we are and what we do.” The Steppenwolf Theatre was recruiting for many positions, from their summer internship program to a 9-month apprenticeship program, as well as a multicultural fellowship.

            Lauren Bogacz, BA ‘14, now works at Walker Sands Communications. She attended the career fair every year she was in the SOC, and got her current position by networking with representatives from Walker Sands her junior and senior years. She said, “it’s definitely interesting to see it from the other side, and to see how well Loyola prepares the SOC students. We have a really great reputation at Walker Sands.”

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Jake Diaz, a junior Ad/PR and English double major, hoped to gain an opportunity for hands-on experience from this fair. “Learning about advertising in the classroom is a very poor substitute for actually knowing how to do it and getting comfortable and confident in it, so that’s what I want to get after,” he said.

No matter what year students were, it was beneficial for them to attend the fair and to start making connections and building relationships.

Dale Gaughan, a junior communication and history double major, spoke with two companies, Entertainment Cruises and Conversant, Inc. Gaughan really liked that through Entertainment Cruises’ internship program, you could meet with the CEO, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), and spend time in each branch of the business to really get a feel for what each one does. When she spoke with Conversant, Inc., she said,  “they told me that when I’m a senior, definitely come back, we love to hire graduates.” Gaughan felt it was a great event. “They were all very eager to talk to you. It was really nice.” she said.

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The career fair provided an invaluable opportunity for students to meet with so many prospective employers at one time. By seeing former Loyola students behind employee tables who attended the career fair themselves, students were provided with real-life examples of how opportunities the SOC provides can be important first steps in starting a career.

 

O'Brien Challenges Minority Stereotyping

Soledad Obrien

By Emily Olsen, SOC Website Reporter

Sept. 2013--As Loyola’s senior journalism majors start their final year at school, some may be thinking about jobs they may be starting in a year.

Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien, who has worked for CNN, Al Jazeera America and her own company Starfish Media Group, started her career in broadcast journalism in 1989 at WBZ-TV removing staples from the walls of the station.

“To say that my parents were disappointed in my career in TV news (at that time, staple-removing) did not come close,” said O’Brien.

O’Brien spoke at Loyola on Sept. 18 as part of the Maroon and Gold Society Lecture Series discussing her career as a journalist from her early days removing staples from the station walls to her current documentary works like Black in America, Latino in America and Gay in America.

The lecture, sponsored by The Maroon and Gold Society, Student Development, the School of Communication, the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education, asked what professional experiences left speakers most troubled and where students have the most opportunities to do good.

As a child of an interracial marriage, O’Brien discussed how her parents couldn’t even get married in Maryland where they lived, weren’t allowed in some restaurants together and were spat on in public.

When O’Brien began to work as a journalist, she encountered jobs that wouldn’t hire because there was only one job for a black journalist and she wouldn’t read “black enough” on television.

“I can’t fit into this box for what people want and expect,” said O’Brien recalled telling her mother after the job interview.

O’Brien discussed how racism and sexism has permeated her career and where she sees room to improve media coverage in America. Minority groups often receive the least coverage and are easily boxed into stereotypes by the coverage they do receive.

“There are hundreds of stories about white people in the news, five about black people, all about crime and entertainment, and three about Latinos, all about immigration,” said O’Brien, “There should be a hundred about everyone.”

She hopes that covering minority groups would dispel stereotypes about the groups, avoiding the concerns that stories would make them look bad, a concern that majority groups usually don’t have.

“I think that ultimately has to be the goal of journalism,” said O’Brien.

While covering the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, O’Brien remembered seeing a box truck filled with 25 sick, dehydrated babies, being fed milk and rice as there wasn’t any other food or clean water. She recalls it as one of the most horrific things she has ever seen.

She urged students to work for justice, even if it seems too large of a task. O’Brien saw the number of refugees in Haiti drop from 40,000 to 10,000 in just a few days.

“I saw stories of hope in hopeless situations,” said O’Brien.

Naushin Vahora, a senior and member of the Maroon and Gold Society, thought the lecture resonated with what the organization was meant to stand for; leadership, service and social justice.

She also found the lecture inspiring as a graduating senior.

“I’m a little sentimental about my time ending at Loyola, so the lecture really motivated me to make the most of my life,” said Vahora.

 

 

New Home for the Phoenix

The Phoenix at WTC

The newsroom of the Loyola Phoenix has a new home this year in room 009 in the School of Communication. Rather than two rooms as it was at Lake Shore, the Phoenix offices are in one large room providing a real newsroom feel. The students are enjoying an upgrade in equipment as well including 16 new Mac computers armed with the newest version of Adobe Creative Suite 6, a new printer, new SLR cameras and new video cameras.


This year’s staff came in with several goals for the Loyola Phoenix including bolstering their efforts in multimedia/web journalism. They’ve done more in a few weeks than prior Phoenix papers did in a year.


The three top editors at the Phoenix provide superior leadership. Devin MacDonald is the Editor-in-Chief, Emily Study, Assistant Editor-in-Chief and Timmy Rose, Managing Editor lead a team of reporters, photographers, editors and more to provide a quality newspaper for the Loyola community. 


Any student interested in working for the publication can contact any of the above Phoenix editors.


The Phoenix is printed and delivered each Wednesday afternoon. Readers will find continuous news updates at LoyolaPhoenix.com

Getting Published in Korea

Seoul Selection

Sean Keenehan was traveling in South Korea last summer.  It was his fourth time there and looking into the future toward graduation, Sean was hoping to find opportunities in Journalism, either print or broadcast, in Korea. 

That possibility presented itself on an airplane returning from a small island off of the south coast of Korea called Jeju Island.  “I decided to pick up a Korean newspaper, written in English, to read on the plane back to Korea's mainland,” Sean said. 

“On the cover was a story about a man named Hank Kim, who owns hanks Book Cafe in the city of Seoul and also runs a publishing house, called Seoul Selection that publishes books and magazines written in English about Korea. The story on Mr. Kim was very inspiring and I decided I would try to reach out to Mr. Kim about the possibility of breaking into the Korean journalism market and becoming involved with Seoul Selection,” Sean said. 

Sean emailed Mr. Kim. At their meeting Mr. Kim introduced him to Yeon-kyung Ko, the publisher of a Korean government-produced magazine called KOREA Magazine. “Mr. Kim suggested that my personal experiences with the Korean culture would fit well as a contributor to KOREA Magazine.” 

When he got back to Chicago he followed up with Ms.  Ko and who wanted him to write a story for the August issue based on one of the story ideas he’d sent her. It was on Korean traditional markets. “However, she did ask that my story include two specific markets in the article, so I had to find a way to write a story that included these two markets that I had never been to. I decided to do a reflective piece and they supplied the accompanying illustration that appears with my story,” Sean said.

Panel Examines Crime Coverage in Chicago

Covering Crime Forum

By Emily Olsen, SOC Website Reporter

Sept. 2013--How did Chitown become Chiraq? Chicago has developed a national reputation for violence that’s not always easy for local media to cover. In “Covering the Crime Scene”, a panel discussion hosted by the School of Communication on Sept. 10, seasoned journalists explored how Chicago’s media coverage of violence impacts the community, how the nation views Chicago and how reporting may promote racial stereotypes.

“How is the media responding, reacting and reporting one of the most pressing social issues in Chicago?” said Phil Ponce, moderator of the discussion and Loyola  Distinguished Professional in Residence in the School of Communication, “If you live in Englewood, what impact does it have to see your neighborhood portrayed this way on the news?”

The panel included Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Frank Main of the Chicago Sun-Times, radio host Perri Small of WVON, ABC-7 reporter Charles Thomas and DNAInfo editor Seamus Toomey.

While many media organizations don’t have the time or resources to cover all the murders in Chicago, both DNAInfo and the Sun-Times have created projects to document every murder that occurs.

With “2013 Murder In Chicago: The Human Toll”, DNAInfo attempts to humanize Chicago’s murder victims.

“Let’s not try and pick out which person is worth covering, we’ll write about everything,” said Toomey.

Main acknowledged that the Sun-Times doesn’t have the time or space to cover all the homicides in Chicago in the paper, creating “misdemeanor murders” or murders that don’t qualify as important enough for newspaper coverage.

With the creation of  “Homicide Watch”, a website that covers and tries to put a face to each murder in Chicago, reporters allow for feedback about each case from the community.

“It is pretty grim, but a lot of these people are grateful that someone is paying attention,” said John Carpenter, Loyola adjunct professor and editor of “Homicide Watch”.

Intense crime coverage may help to bring these murders to the forefront of discussion, but can also reinforce stereotypes, especially about the African-American community.

Peri Small, who works for the only African-American owned and operated radio station in Illinois, said that these stories make Chicago look like a dangerous place when it isn’t indicative of the entire city.

“That doesn’t define the black community or Chicago,” said Small, “We focus on some of the crime, and it’s a shame these things happen, but it doesn’t define the African-American community.”

Charles Thomas said that it’s important to cover a variety of community members from the graduate student to the gang member.

Thomas also pointed out that the mainstream media is often heavily white, which contributes to problematic reporting and the creation of stereotypes.

“The problem rests in that African-Americans in Chicago and other big cities are not telling our own story,” said Thomas.

Covering gang violence has also become a more difficult task for local reporters. Thomas said that gangs are not the same as they were in the 1990s, when gangs could be citywide networks.

Now many of the top gang leaders are in prison, leaving people on the street to declare looser gang allegiances.

Carpenter acknowledges that reporters need to be cautious when reporting on gang-related crime.

“You have to be careful, you have to do the best you can to find out what the truth is,” said Carpenter, “Some homicides are 100 percent gang-related, there aren’t as many of those, but they’re there.”

Police have a database of intelligence about gang affiliation, but Carpenter warns that a person being affiliated with a gang might not mean it was a gang-related crime.

Alexa Asmus, a Loyola sophomore who attended the panel, was surprised by the content and learned a lot.

“It had never occurred to me to consider location and race as much,” said Asmus, “Coming from somewhere where crime’s not so prevalent, it’s very in your face.”

Remembering Keith Kimmons

Kimmons Memorial

August, 2013--Loyola’s high-tech Convergence Studio can be a confusing place for new students, but studio manager Keith Kimmons was always around to help. 

Kimmons died on August 10 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He had worked in the School of Communication since 2010.

The School of Communication held a memorial for Kimmons on August 29 in the Convergence Studio where he worked. The event was attended by a full house of faculty, staff and students; many took time to speak about how Keith had touched their lives.

Among the speakers at the memorial was Varnell Kimmons, Keith’s mother. She spoke of him as a gentle and caring man who loved his family, working with others and his commitment to Loyola. 

“He truly loved Loyola. He loved his work, he loved the kids,” she said.

Kimmons had an impact on current and former Loyola students. Beth Konrad, a journalism professor, brought the condolences of four alumni who had secured jobs after graduation, saying they never would have found jobs without his teaching.

Kimmons also worked with student productions at Loyola like Rambler Productions and Rambler Sports Locker, a student-run sports news show that airs an episode every week. 

Megan Carabelli, a senior who works on Rambler Sports Locker, described Kimmons as a master of technology who was essential to running the show. Carabelli remembers Kimmons as a patient teacher who never became frustrated with any student. 

“He was one of the most unique teachers I have ever had in that he knew if he said it once we were listening.” 

Nick Amantangelo was a freshman secondary education and history major when he stepped into the studio for the first time. He said he didn’t know much about television or journalism, but was passionate about sports and wanted to learn. 

“I didn’t know anything, and Keith was so influential at the time,” said Amantangelo. “I changed my major to journalism because of my experiences with Sports Locker.” 

Amantangelo said he learned everything from how to turn on a camera to how to edit the final show from Kimmons. 

He recalls a time when he wanted to learn how to work the switcher, the device that controls which camera is used during a broadcast. He said it took him months, but Kimmons was always around to help. 

“Because of his teaching I’m confident I can succeed in journalism,” he said. “I’m honored to have known him.”

Finding Culture and Creativity in Advertising

Culture and Creativity in Advertising

By Emily Study,  SoC Website Reporter

While some may think creativity can only be found in paintings and drawings, Assistant Professor Pamela Morris found it somewhere else.

“When I got into advertising, I found out that you can be creative in ideas and in business and you can have a career of it, and you don’t necessarily need to be the one drawing the pictures,” said Morris, who teaches advertising and integrated marketing in the School of Communication (SoC).  

With nearly 20 years of experience in the advertising industry, Morris has worked at top agencies, produced hundreds of television commercials and spent countless hours researching specific topics in the advertising realm.

One of these topics – the connection between a society’s culture and its advertising images – has been a particular focus of Morris’ several research papers.

“I like to understand how groups of people make meaning and why they behave and do the things that they do,” Morris said. “In advertising, when you learn about a target audience, you’re trying to get inside their heads. You’re trying to learn everything about them so that you can somehow get your message across to them.”‌

Morris recently submitted a 38-page research paper investigating how different cultures illustrate women on outdoor billboards. The paper, submitted to the Journal of Asian Communication, is called, “Comparing Portrayals of Beauty in Outdoor Advertisements Across Six Cultures: Bulgaria, Hong Kong, Japan, Poland, South Korea and Turkey.”

This past summer, Morris spent time traveling to each of these countries, researching the cultures and analyzing their advertisements.

“I took a bunch of pictures while I was over there very systematically; I walked up and down busy streets in urban areas that were recommended to me by area experts,” Morris said. “I spent about the same amount of time in each place, then I came back and I took all the images with women and I started to code them in a content analysis.”

In order to quantify her results and make meaning out of them, Morris analyzed whether the advertisements showed only women’s faces, their faces and some of their bodies, or if they showed women’s full bodies. In addition, Morris also noted whether the ads portrayed local or foreign models, specifically Caucasian or Asian models.

Then, with the help of experts from each country, Morris translated the words on the advertisements so she knew what products they were representing, and coded the ads so as to find statistical differences among the images. 

In this way, Morris was able to determine what beauty styles the advertisements portrayed – whether the women were classified as classic, sensual/sex kitten, cute girl-next-door, trendy, models, decorative/ambiguous or women in occupations.

“In Japan and South Korea, they are very heavy in being portrayed as decorative or ambiguous. They also look very cute girl-next-door or classic,” Morris said. “Then in Bulgaria and Poland, the women are never portrayed as decorative or ambiguous, but they are portrayed as sensual/sex kitten.”

Morris hypothesized and discovered that these portrayals of women are strongly connected to the culture of each society where the advertisements are located. For example, in Japan and South Korea, Morris said the culture is very patriarchal, which gives way to the cute or decorative/ambiguous classifications of women in the countries’ advertisements. In Turkey, on the other hand, Morris said there were hardly any women in advertisements, possibly because of the Muslim population there.

“I’ve started to really dive deep into these theories about femininity and women’s place in the public sphere,” Morris said. “I didn’t really know about these theories before this paper.”

Morris’ work on this topic resembles the research she conducted with 2011 SoC graduate Katharine Nichols. Nichols worked with Morris during her semester-long directed study to write a research paper analyzing the differences between advertisements in U.S. and French women’s fashion magazines. The paper was then presented at the annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), and was recently published in January.

Nichols said she and Morris analyzed about 570 different advertisements throughout the project, finding that the differences between the two countries’ ads represented different cultural priorities.

In addition, while Nichols was writing a draft of the paper, Morris helped her conduct further research on the topic and provided her with some guidance.

“It was a wonderful experience to be able to work on something with her,” said Nichols, who graduated from Loyola with a degree in advertising and public relations.

Not only did Nichols work with Morris on her directed study, but she also took two of Morris’ classes — introduction to advertising, and advertising and creative copywriting.

“She is really one of the most remarkable professors at Loyola. She really helped shaped my career and my academic career,” Nichols said. “As a professor, I think she’s very genuine and gives you real world examples that are so key to life after college.”

Another student, senior Erin White, said Morris helps students learn more about advertising by incorporating her industry experience into the classroom.

“She would bring in some of her old portfolios and show us actual campaigns that she had worked on — how what she had done in the real world was exactly like what we had been doing [in the classroom],” said White, a communication studies major, who also took Morris’ advertising and creative copywriting class. “It was really inspiring to see that what we were doing could potentially be something we could make careers out of.”

Not only does Morris bring her industry experience into the classroom, but she also models how many projects work in the real world by co-teaching an ad/PR special topics class focusing on multimedia commercial production.‌

“It’s really rare that advertising programs can teach TV production and TV ads, because it’s so specific and you have to have the experience of the software and of being a filmmaker and the experience of being in advertising, so team-teaching has really been able to facilitate that,” said Morris, who co-teaches the class with Instructor John Goheen. “It also reflects [the] industry because you’re never going to be working alone – especially advertising — you work in a group.”

The class brings together students who are interested in both production and advertising, and helps them learn more about each discipline.

“We mix these students — it’s sort of real world [experience]. If I work in production, I don’t necessarily know and understand how an ad agency works and vice versa,” Goheen said. “It’s a real unique class in that it brings the two disciplines together.”

While Goheen focuses more on the production side of the class, Morris provides her insight as to how to work with clients, what they expect and how to create ads.

However, while multimedia commercial production is the focus of this particular class, Morris said her classes are about more than just these topics.

Echoing the research she has done, Morris said she hopes students who take her classes ultimately leave with a broader understanding of culture in the world.

“I think that advertising is a real general major, because you have to study other cultures to understand target audiences, you have to understand communication and you have to be creative. You can apply those to anything you go into,” she said.

 

No more pencils, no more books...

HS Digital Storytelling 2013

By: Jennelle Dronkers, SOC Staff

School is out for summer.  In addition to the heat waves, summer has brought 29 high school students to Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communication (SOC) for one week.  Traveling from Chicago’s suburbs and other parts of the Midwest, students were dropped off at Loyola like college freshmen on Sunday to spend 5 days with the SOC for its 2nd High School Digital Storytelling Workshop. (Loyola Summer Stories)

Aged 15-17, each student has experience or an interest in digital media.  While most are active in their high school newspapers or news shows, others excel in student film production or creative writing.  As for what they want to be when they grow up, their ambitions span from broadcast journalist to engineer to sports reporter to lawyer to screenwriter, and of course to the undecided path.  For now, they are all digital storytellers, for this week at least. 

On Sunday night students broke the ice by getting to know each other and then, by hitting the radio waves.  Monday morning launched the students into a 3-day lecture and field work series, in which audio, writing and video were taught at the SOC in the morning by Loyola faculty.  The afternoons were reserved for field work in 3 Chicago neighborhoods.  The group traveled to Chinatown on Monday, Greektown on Tuesday, and the Latino community of Pilsen on Wednesday.

‌With CTA passes in hand, all 29 students and SOC staff and faculty ventured the L and the bus to Chinatown.  Very much like its nation counterpart, Chinatown welcomed the group with kindness and humidity.  Loyola alum and China Town Chamber of Commerce representative, Rahsaan Liddell, met the group to provide a detailed tour of the history and culture of Chinatown.  Within seconds of Liddell’s introduction, each student assumed the position of a dedicated reporter.  Notebooks were scribbled in, microphones were extended towards the tour guide, and hands shot up in the air equipped with sharp questions.   

SOC faculty encouraged students to utilize the communities of Chinatown, Greektown, and Pilsen as resources for potential story leads.  Lauryn Daniel, 16 and Senior at Kenwood Academy, said, “I am really happy with the cultural areas we are visiting.  There are so many different kinds of people in Chicago and exploring these diverse neighborhoods makes me want to get out of my comfort zone and explore more.” 

Tuesday’s visit to Greektown began with a tour at Hellenic Museum.  Tour guide and Loyola alumna, Chelsea Trembly, brought the group to the rooftop of the museum to give everyone a bird’s eye view of Greek Town.  Following Trembly’s tour the students, in groups of 3, hit the streets of Greektown in search of a story.  Some groups found success in interviewing restaurant and shop owners.  Others struggled to initiate interviews, however with guidance from chaperones and trial and error, were able to find sources for their stories. 

“I found it more difficult to interview people in Greek Town, but it taught me to try new approaches in asking someone for information about their life,” said York High School senior Natalie Watts, 17. 

Once Tuesday’s interviews were recorded, the students headed back to the SOC to upload their material and get ready for an evening at CBS Chicago.  CBS opened up its doors, so that these young journalists could see what happens behind the scenes.

“I had an idea of how TV worked,” said Willam Mason High School student Katie Hansen,” but seeing CBS’s broadcast put it all into perspective of what people do like writing scripts minutes before they read the news.”

Students will spend the last 2 days of the workshop at the SOC putting together the pieces of their field work to produce a digital story.  SOC faculty professors Ralph Braseth, John Slania and Aaron Greer will guide and instruct the students as they develop their stories. 

“It has been exciting to watch these young media makers take their first steps,” said Greer, “I think the process of creating their stories will give them a greater, fuller appreciation for how media is developed.  This workshop is a piece of media literacy and I think there is no better introduction to digital media than spending a week learning and practicing it.”

 

Rambler Sports Locker Puts Skills into Practice

Rambler Sports locker

By Emily Study, SoC Website Reporter

Student-run media provide the opportunity to take what is learned in the classroom and put it to practice. By operating as self-sufficient organizations, student-run media allow students to sharpen their skills, make mistakes, learn from them and produce something worthy of recognition.

One School of Communication (SoC) organization, Rambler Sports Locker, consists of about 15 to 20 students who regularly brainstorm stories, write scripts, shoot, produce and edit their own 15-minute sportscasts, which air on YouTube every Thursday.

“When you do an assignment for a class, you do what your professor wants,” said senior Stephen Manney, who has been the producer of Rambler Sports Locker for the past year-and-a-half. “But in student-run media, you can do whatever piece you want to do … It lets you hone your skills in what you’re interested in, and gives you the opportunity to work on what you want to work on, as opposed to what you’re assigned.”

Junior Joe Flaherty, current co-assistant producer and next year’s co-producer, shared similar thoughts.

“It’s the absolute greatest tool for learning the ins and outs of broadcasting at this school,” he said.

Because the show is produced in the SoC’s convergence studio, students work in a setting with similar technology and equipment used in real newsrooms.

“The best part is that we get to use the equipment,” said junior Megan Carabelli, current co-assistant producer and next year’s co-producer with Flaherty. “We get to experience working in a studio with high-tech equipment that some local studios in Chicago don’t even have.”

However, much of the work is done outside of the studio. Throughout the week, each student has a specific assignment – to cover games, shoot and edit video packages, write scripts and prepare to put it all together on Thursdays.

The show covers mostly Loyola sports, but also presents segments on national sports. It recaps games, showcases a discussion panel, and features the university’s different sports teams, players, coaches and the staff that work with them.

“It’s always about the stories,” said Ralph Braseth, the SoC’s student media manager and an advisor of the Rambler Sports Locker. “I try to help them understand that it’s not always just stories about the stars … They do a really great job of capturing the fact that most of our athletes wouldn’t be playing at a lot of Division I schools. They’re here because they’re students first.”

Braseth — along with Keith Kimmons, the SoC TV studio manager, and Jessica Brown, a SoC professional in residence — has helped guide the Rambler Sports Locker to becoming a fully student-operated production.

“One of the things I’m really proud of – and it took a long time to happen – is that they are stand-alone now,” Braseth said. “They can do their show without us, we just [offer] our comments after the show.”

However, an important part of learning from hands-on experience is making mistakes.

“Everyone’s bound to make a mistake, but you come back and you just get better,” Flaherty said.

Braseth added, “I’m doing a standing ovation in my mind … when they mess up big time, because there’s never been a better lesson you could learn in your whole life, and I refuse to rob students of those educational moments.”

Since the show’s beginning in spring 2011, students have become more serious about the production and more efficient in their work.  

“It works a little like a factory, where we all know our parts and do them, and it all comes together at the end,” Manney said. “On a week-to-week basis, I know we’re going to put together something of quality. The caliber of our shows is a lot better now.”

Not only are the shows better, but they have also gained more recognition at the university, according to Carabelli.

“We have a lot more visibility in the Athletic Department,” she said. “They know who we are now. They are familiar with us, since we’ve interviewed basically every coach and a majority of the players on all of the teams.”

Students and the advisors of the Rambler Sports Locker said they hope to gain visibility on a much larger scale within the next year. They are aiming to get a spot on one of Comcast’s cable channels, but in order to do so, the students will need to shoot a 30-minute show.

“I fully expect us to be doing 30 minutes by Christmas,” Braseth said.

Manney said the extra 15 minutes could help expand the show and make it even better.

“Being capped at 15 minutes is really limiting,” he said. “With more time, it could give us more opportunities to showcase our skills. It’s a little bit of pressure on everyone, but when you have more pressure, you get your work done and people usually respond well to it.”

While many of those who are involved in Rambler Sports Locker are SoC students, there are no requirements for getting involved in the organization. Anyone who is interested, regardless of year or major, can stop by the convergence studio at 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays.

“My motto is, ‘You don’t have to have talent or experience; that’s what you get when you come here,’” Braseth said.

He added that any time an interested student walks into the studio, everyone stops what they’re doing and gives the student a standing ovation.

“I insist that people remember what it was like the day they walked in – and they do. Then we put [the student] to work immediately,” he said.

To learn more about the Rambler Sports Locker, visit Facebook.com/RamblerSportsLocker or YouTube.com/LoyolaRSL.

The Reinvention of Advertising

Advertising Reinvention

By Harley Griffiths

In an age where change is coming daily, how can we keep up?  That was one question posed at a School of Communication event titled “The Reinvention of Advertising” at Loyola University Chicago’s Regents Hall on March 25th.  The answer was shared by both featured speakers: when the world is changing so fast, you have to update with it in real time. 

The event featured two innovators: Rishad Tobaccowala, the Chief Strategy and Innovation officer of VivaKi, a global leader in digital advertising solutions, where he focuses on incubating new ideas, approaches and models for next generation marketing and digital storytelling and Scott Thomas or Simple Scott as he is often referred to, lives by the idea that the simplest solution is the best one.  Before founding the Noun Project, a site dedicated to sharing and enhancing the world’s visual language, Scott was the Design Director for the Obama Campaign. He continues to work on creative projects with his team Simple.Honest.Work; hopefully work that “will one day change the world.”

‌Both @Rishad and @SimpleScott, as known on Twitter, are very different men with very different backgrounds in their respective careers.   Change in advertising and all communications is inevitable.  When advertising and marketing agencies ask Rishad, “How do you think the business is going to change?,” he will ask them back, “How are you changing yourselves?”  In order to change the way we do business, we must first change ourselves.  Rishad believes there will be change in education, finance, and health care over the next five to ten years.  This change will come because of what he refers to as the connection engine, or known to some as the Internet.  All three facets are going to change because we are continuously connected to all three, twenty-four hours a day.  Education, finance, and health care are all equally important in today’s culture and we must treat them equally in order to properly prosper.

Rishad then spoke of a term he called ‘Digital Leakage’ which refers to the opportunities and threats that come from external sources.  Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon, and Netflix hate one another he says, but business threats come from other places.  These different sites have very different uses: Facebook is for sharing while Twitter is for real-time news.  Amazon is the online hub for transactions,  Google was made to discover and Netflix is an entertainment epicenter.  These sites were created for their own specific reasons.  But leakage comes from external places.  Rishad says Apple killed Nokia, Nintendo and Nikon with one product: the iPhone.  But change was inevitable. 

‌“We understand the potential of what it means to be fully connected,” says Simple Scott, but what does it mean to be fully connected?  Using websites like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon, and Netflix constitutes as fully connected.  Ten years ago we could not imagine this immense connection.  Now, the Internet is a place to share information as well as inherit liquid content, or content that is optimized for sharing.  The content that is being shared is campaign driven; the content that needs to be shared must be thoughtful as well as shareable.  The information or content is unnecessary if it isn’t shareable.

Scott found his calling in simplicity.  He has past experiences in design as well as marketing, which makes for an interesting combination.  In design, he believes one can communicate most effectively by “figuring out what you want to communicate and doing it with simplicity.” People enjoy a strong aesthetic, as well as a straightforward and consistent message.

Scott and Rishad enjoyed speaking with one another about the future and the reinvention of advertising.  They both believe that change is inevitable.  Simple Scott is established in simplicity.  He talked about how the Obama campaign kept a clear and simple message that was to be kept consistent on all mediums, which turned into a successful campaign blueprint.  Rishad focuses on change, but changing ourselves.  Being able to work for healthier change in our own lives is what makes us who we are.  He says in order to effectively change the way we do business, we have to successfully change the way we act in the connected culture that we have now become.

Covering Guns: A McCormick Specialized Reporting Institute

Covering Guns

By Emily Study, SoC Website Reporter,

Following the mass shootings in Aurora, Colo. and Newtown, Conn., as well as the proposal of several gun laws, the issue of gun coverage is a hot topic in the U.S.

In an effort to provide journalists with better training and background to cover this issue, the School of Communication (SoC) hosted a three-day conference April 1-3 in partnership with the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and The Poynter Institute.

“After the shooting at Sandy Hook [Elementary] School, as I was watching the news, I became increasingly anxious about wildly inaccurate reporting about guns,” said Al Tompkins, The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. “So we started a conversation here at Poynter, because it seems like we need to have some kind of way to wrap our arms around this issue of guns.”

The conference, called “Covering Guns: A McCormick Specialized Reporting Institute,” was held in SoC room 222 and with about 28 journalists from around the country attending.

“We took a cross section of geography, of medium, of market size and experience,” said Tompkins, who was one of the hosts of the conference. “We tried to pepper the conference with a wide range of people so that we’d end up with a diversity of ideas and experience.”

Although attendance was limited, the conference was live-streamed via the School of Communication on Poynter.org and complemented by a live-blog and a moderated chat throughout the days’ sessions.

More than 10 sessions featured a variety of speakers – from experts on the Second Amendment to investigative reporters to directors at The University of Chicago Crime Lab – who worked to better educate journalists in the realm of guns and gun coverage.

“Journalists are opinion molders,” said Robert A. Levy, chairman of the Board of Directors at Cato Institute, a public policy research organization. “I think it’s self evident that they will function far more effectively if they are well-informed, and that means being exposed to a range of views on this topic that would give them some background. Without being exposed to expert opinion, it’s unlikely they will be well-versed in these issues.”

Levy held two sessions on the first day of the conference: “Anatomy of a Lawsuit: Behind the District of Columbia v. Heller” and “Gun Control in the Aftermath of Newtown.”

In his first session, Levy discussed the District of Columbia v. Heller case, which established the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns as unconstitutional and upheld the Second Amendment, protecting individuals’ rights to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

Levy’s second session helped journalists understand the various gun control proposals that are currently being debated, including the ban on high capacity magazines, the reinstated ban on assault weapons and the extension of background checks.

However, Levy noted that random mass killings, such as the massacre in Newtown, only account for less than one percent of the gun violence in the U.S. He added, “The real violence is that which takes place every single day in most of the big cities in the U.S., and most of that is related to the drug trade.”

Similar importance was placed on understanding the daily violence in the U.S. during the second day of the conference.

Roseanna Ander and Harold Pollack, founding executive director and co-director, respectively, of The University of Chicago Crime Lab, detailed this in their session, “What Journalists Should Know About Who, When, Where, Why People Get Shot and What Might Work to Stop It.” 

“I think it’s fair to say we’re here because of Newtown, but mass shootings are the tip of the iceberg,” Ander said. “Each day, [in 2010], 285 people were shot.”

This statistic, along with several others, was examined throughout the course of their session. Along with showing data of gun violence and gun statistics in the U.S., Ander and Pollack focused on the connection between youth and homicides, explained terminology of different weapons, defined homicide rates and advised journalists on how to better report on these issues.

“Firearms provide the distinctive reason why the U.S. endures a higher homicide rate than peer nations,” Pollack said. “Proliferation of firearms causes more homicides … Many homicides wouldn’t happen if a gun wasn’t present at that moment.”

However, in reporting on homicides, Ander and Pollack advised journalists to do two things: report homicide rates, not just the raw number of homicides, and contextualize the reporting.

Homicide rates measure the number of homicides per capita, which Ander said is more accurate than reporting merely the raw number of homicides. In addition, she said homicide rates need to be reported with context, by comparing them, for example, to previous years and to other cities.

Not only is understanding gun crimes important, but understanding where guns come from is also an important step in reporting on this issue, according to David Fallis, investigative reporter at The Washington Post.

During Fallis’ session, “The Secret Life of Guns,” he advised journalists to trace the “paper trails” left by guns and to identify patterns in gun trafficking.  “The reality is that reporters get so used to writing about crimes as they happen that they don’t really step back to think, ‘Where did all the guns come from?’” Fallis said.

He added, “If a gun is sold and shows up in a crime in a matter of months, that’s a huge red flag for gun trafficking. Those are the kinds of things that reporters can ask their police departments about.”

However, like other speakers at the conference, Fallis said there are challenges to gun coverage.

“I think part of the challenge is that gun coverage becomes two-dimensional, but it’s multi-layered and very nuanced,” Fallis said. “What I see sometimes is that the gun coverage tends to fall into cliché coverage – it’s sort of like bad medical coverage where everything is either going to cure or kill you. Things get presented in a black and white two-dimensional manner.”

Fallis said another challenge is the fact that reporters don’t know the differences between certain types of guns, such as a revolver and a semi-automatic handgun.

In order to help the attending journalists better understand the physical attributes and the power of guns, the conference included a session called “Guns 101: Gun Types, Ammo, Myths,” as well as a trip to a gun range on the second day of the conference.  

“In our experience, the journalists who cover gun stories have never even held a gun,” Tompkins said. “[The gun range was] a way of de mystifying what guns do and don’t do.”

Caitlin Dineen, nighttime police reporter at The Fayetteville Observer in North Carolina, attended the three-day conference and also went to the gun range.

Dineen said she covers crime in Fayetteville, N.C., on a daily basis, but found out how terrifying guns are when she went to the range.

“I was all but crying at the range,” she said. “[The guns] seem so small and simple for what they can do … It’s terrifying what destruction can be done.”     

A discussion about the journalists’ experiences shooting at the gun range introduced the conference’s final day of sessions Wednesday, April 3.

Several attendees explained that they felt the power of guns when they were at the range, including Katherine Rosenberg, a public safety reporter at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times in Texas.

‌Connecting her experiences with what was discussed at the conference about youth and violence, Rosenberg added, “Children don’t understand that power. They don’t comprehend the value of human life.”

Craig Smith, a reporter for KGUN-TV in Arizona, said, “I think to a lot of people, [having a gun] is a do-it-yourself empowerment tool.”

However, while this may seem true in the U.S., not all countries have the same gun laws that give citizens the right to keep and bear arms, or allow them to conceal and carry weapons.

Joyce Lee Malcolm, a professor of law at George Mason University, explained this in her session, “The Global Gun View: What Journalists Should Know About How Other Countries Treat Guns.”

Malcolm described in-depth the differences between gun laws in the U.S. and those in other countries, such as England, Canada and Australia.         “We’re still referred to as the ‘cowboy country’ by others,” Malcolm said. She added that America’s gun culture is an important factor in this perception.

Although other countries – specifically England – have strict gun laws, Malcolm opposed the idea of gun control and restricting citizens’ rights to bear arms, because she said all that does is disarm the people who are not going to use the guns harmfully in the first place.

In reporting any information about guns, though, it is important for journalists to remember the facts, not just speculation, according to Bill Adair, creator and editor of PolitiFact, a project operated by the Tampa Bay Times, which fact-checks statements made by politicians, lobbyists, interest groups and others.

“I think the media can bring some important facts to the debate,” Adair said. “With an emotional issue, it’s sometimes easy to get away from the facts. I think the media can play an important role at a time like this to bring people back to the facts and sort out their views on the issue.”

Adair’s session, “Testing the Truth About Gun Claims: The PolitiFact Way,” examined approximately 140 claims that have been made about guns. “The most frequently heard comment since Newtown has been the claim that 40 percent of gun sales occur without background checks,” he said. “We have rated the claim half true, because it’s based on really out-of-date data – it’s not a current number.”‌

Like many of the speakers at the conference, Adair stressed the importance of journalists giving information and data context, and truly understanding the background of the issue in order to better report it.

“I hope that we will see a palpable difference in the quality of reporting around this subject,” Tompkins said.

After attending the conference, Dineen said it was “exceptionally informative,” giving her the right questions to ask when approaching future stories about guns.

“I have a whole field and host of questions now that I never would have thought to ask,” she said. “It’s taught me everything.”

More information about the conference can be found at Poynter.org and CoveringGuns.com. Poynter will hold a second Covering Guns conference in the Washington, D.C., area July 10-12.

SoC Opens Weekend of Excellence

SoC Opens Weekend of Excellence

Stories Courtesy of the Loyola Student Dispatch

SoC Honors Reception/Showcase

By Lizet Gonzalez

Dozens of students were honored Friday for their academic accomplishments at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communication Honors Reception and Student Showcase.

The honors reception is part of The Weekend of Excellence, in which there are numerous events that celebrate Loyola students and showcase excellence in a variety of learning settings.

An Outstanding Major Award was given in each of the four majors of the School of Communication:

Outstanding Major Awards

Advertising and Public Relations

Outstanding Junior: Lizet Gonzalez
Outstanding Senior: Monica Dziedzina

Communication Studies

Outstanding Seniors: Lauren Lapinski & Erin White

International Film & Media Studies

Outstanding Junior: Demetra Koris
Outstanding Senior: Chris Cady

Journalism

Outstanding Junior: Emily Study
Outstanding Senior: Anna Helig

‌Anna Helig, winner of the Outstanding Senior Journalism Major Award was honored to receive the award. “I’m very humbled to have won, because I know so many of my peers are amazing at what they do. So to have been chosen is such an honor,” said Helig, 22, a senior journalism major.

Communication scholarship winners were also recognized at the reception, such as Rianne Coale recipient of the Jim Gibbons Broadcast Scholarship and the Walkowicz Scholarship.

“It’s a great honor because it really proves all the hard work that I put into my broadcast packages and that it pays off because people notice all the work that I put into it,” said Coale, 21, a junior journalism major.

John Slania, director of the journalism program and on the selection committee for the Outstanding Major Awards added that he was quite pleased with the large crowd of attendees.

“I think that there were about 100 people here and I thought the event went really well,” Slania said. “I think that there were some really great awards given out and some really outstanding students. When you see their resumes and listen to the internships and jobs that they are getting it is really amazing and we are really proud of all their accomplishments.”

AdPR Majors awarded Ebeling PR-ize

By Kristen Kaczynski

A group of four School of Communication students studying advertising and public relations won the Ebeling PR-ize award Monday evening at the 8th annual Advertising and Public Relations Reception in Kasbeer Hall, at Loyola’s Water Tower Campus.

The winners included Bridgid Danahy, Michelle Cammenga, Julia Watts and Hector Gonzalez, all who worked on a project with Art Therapy Connection

‌The Ebeling PR-ize award recipients were awarded a $2,000 scholarship split between the four students, as well as written recommendations by Chuck Ebeling. Bridgid, Michelle, and Julia accepted the award from Mr. Ebeling

This reception celebrated the hard work and dedication of talented Loyola students within the advertising and public relations major who were enrolled in the Public Service Communication course throughout the spring semester.

One of the event directors described the importance of the reception. “This is a great event to celebrate all of our students who put a lot of time and effort in perfecting their projects, as well as honoring the best group collaboration which will be determined by a panel of judges,” said Alexis Zanfis, 22, a senior advertising and public relations major.

Associate Professor, Kay Felkins, Ph.D. introduced the event. “All of the students here today should be proud of all the work they have done as they each have completed over 2,500 hours of community service by working on their campaign projects,” Felkins said.

A student described her experience working on her project over the course of the semester.

“My group did a project on Chicago Shares, which is a non-profit organization. It was a long and sometimes stressful process to complete, but it was also a very rewarding experience and I’m definitely proud of our finished product,” said Natalie Foster, 21, a junior advertising and public relations major.

Chuck Ebeling announced the winners and congratulated each of the students.

“People are watching and learning from everything you students do. All of you did great work, giving us hope for the future in all you have to offer. We appreciate your efforts and applaud your hard work,” Ebeling said.

Loyola Debaters Win an all-Expenses Paid Trip to Europe

Loyola Debaters Win European Trip

Photo from left to right:The Cultural Attache of the German Embassy Bertram von Moltke, David Romanelli, Loyola University Director of Debate, Phillip Kraft, and Joseph Carroll.


April, 2013--Loyola Chicago Junior Phillip Kraft and Freshman Joseph Carroll have talked their way into a free trip to Europe.  The duo did so this weekend by getting to the quarterfinals of the Élysée Treaty Debates, hosted by The Embassy of France and The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, in collaboration with American University and George Washington University.

The Loyola debaters were among thirty teams nationally selected to participate in the event, and the pair defeated teams from Cornell, Penn, and Western Washington University to get to the quarterfinals.  “We were honored just to receive the invitation from the French and German Embassies,” commented Kraft, “I am thrilled that Joe and I have won this all-expense paid trip to Europe. This is an opportunity I would never have had without my participation on the debate team.”

Loyola’s debate coach David Romanelli said: “I am very proud of Joe and Phil, their success is emblematic of the quality of students we have here at Loyola.”

The debates marked the 50th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty, which heralded a profound and historic change in the relationship between France and Germany. In their ongoing cooperation, Germany and France have secured enduring peace in Europe for over six decades.  Judges of the debates included diplomats and scholars from France, Germany and the U.S.

“This tournament was rewarding in many ways; as a first year student to have the opportunity debate some of the top schools in the nation in front experts in the field of foreign affairs was a very rewarding experience,” said Carroll.

The two will embark on their tour of Germany and France in late May.

Experiencing the High School Summer Digital Workshop

High School Digital Workshop

By Emily Study, SoC Website Reporter

Everyone has a story to tell, but how do we record it?

Through a combination of written word, audio and video, the School of Communication (SoC) will teach 30 high school students how to become more comfortable with multi-platform journalism at the High School Digital Storytelling Workshop June 16-21.

“The goal for the high school students [is] to expose them to 21st century journalism,” said John Slania, program director of journalism and a professor at the workshop. “To be a 21st century journalist, you have to know how to write, record and edit audio, and shoot and edit video. Then that product gets posted on the Internet.”

The free workshop will allow students to learn from top SoC faculty members, explore the city of Chicago and live in Baumhart Hall, just blocks away from Michigan Avenue.

“This is really a way for them to experience college,” said Meghan Ashbrock, SoC events coordinator. “It’s a lot of what our School of Communication students experience. It’s a week in the life of an SoC student.”

During the first three days of the workshop, the students will attend morning lectures with three professors: Slania, Aaron Greer and Ralph Braseth. Slania teaches the written word portion of the workshop; Greer, program director of international film and media studies, teaches the video portion; and Braseth, student media manager, teaches the audio portion.

After the morning lectures, the students put what they learn to the test by going out into different neighborhoods to collect their stories. This summer, the students will be traveling to Chinatown, the Lincoln Park Zoo, Millennium Park, Oak Street Beach and Navy Pier, according to Ashbrock.

“One of the most difficult things, whether it’s a high school student or a Loyola senior, is to get people out on the street interviewing people,” Braseth said. “But we take them out every single day and they are reporting every day. They come back, they write, they produce and they edit in all of these different formats, and at the end [of the week], they come up with a really nice website.”

The photos, stories, videos and interactive map that the students produced at last year’s workshop can be viewed at loyolasummerstories.com.

“I got to see Chicago and to learn skills that have helped me today,” said Natalie Laczewski, who attended the workshop last summer.

Laczewski, a current junior at Lakes Community High School, wrote her story about visitors at Oak Street Beach.

“With interviewing people, you need to get comfortable with them and have them tell their story,” she said.

Another student who attended the workshop said it helped her to do something she wouldn’t normally feel comfortable doing.

“It got me out of my comfort zone, because at school I interviewed people I either knew or knew of, but during the workshop I had to talk to total strangers,” said Stephanie Drucker, who is the editor-in-chief of her school newspaper. “It was just generally a great way to sharpen my skills.”

Not only did the students benefit from the days’ assignments, but they also developed friendships along the way.

“I just really enjoyed meeting kids from the other areas of Chicago. We all had a really fun time,” said Drucker, a senior at Niles North High School. “It’s great to see that other people are interested in journalism like I am.”

Kelsey Phillips, who attended the workshop, said she also enjoyed spending time with the other students.  

“They made me feel welcome and at home,” said Phillips, a senior at Power House High.

 The applications for this year’s workshop are now available at highschooldigital.com. The deadline to apply is March 15.

Photography Sparks Emotion

Photography Sparks Emotion

By Emily Study, SOC Website Reporter,

Photography has many responsibilities. Among them, it should seek to start conversations, spark emotions or feelings, inspire and educate. This is exactly what internationally-acclaimed photographer Sandro Miller said he wants his exhibit at the School of Communication (SoC) to do.

“If you don’t look at a piece of artwork or a group of photography and begin to think and wonder, and be able to start an intelligent dialogue with someone about the work, then I guess I haven’t done my job,” said the photographer, who works professionally as Sandro. “I want people to really be able to go deep in their hearts and begin to feel things.”

Sandro will be displaying photographs that span a 25-year history of his personal work in an exhibit at the SoC called “Seen, Unseen,” which will debut Thursday, March 21 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The photographs in the exhibit will be a collection of work that has been previously shown in exhibits, or “seen,” as well as photos that have never been displayed, or “unseen.”

“I want to raise a little bit of awareness to some of this work,” Sandro said. “‘Seen, Unseen’ is brand new. I only put a few pieces in of each project, but I like to test the power of the imagery and there’s not a better way of doing that than having them displayed and getting reactions from a lot of people.”

“Seen, Unseen” will include Sandro’s well-known “American Bikers” and “Cuban Faces” portraits, as well as “Atropa,” “Massa” and his new “Peering In: Photographs of an Overstimulated Society.” The work in the exhibit is either of portraiture or images about human bodies.

“Believe it or not, ‘American Bikers’ has never been shown in a gallery in the U.S.,” Sandro said. “So I’m giving the university a small taste of it. There’s well over 100 portraits of ‘American Bikers,’ but I’m giving Loyola a small taste of it.”

Seven photographs from the ‘American Bikers’ series, some of Sandro’s oldest personal work, will be displayed in the SoC.

The inspiration for this series came in 1989 when Sandro lived in a suburb of Elgin, Illinois, where a biker rally took place each year. These bikers would ride and raise money for Little Angels, a facility that housed severely handicapped children.

“I went to one of these fundraiser days at Little Angels and I saw these big, burley, tattooed bikers interacting with these children and it almost brought tears to my eyes. Here are people who you would never expect to have an exchange of feelings for these children and they were loving them, and they were taking care of them and they were raising big money for them,” Sandro said. “It just changed something in me. I was really used to what Hollywood had made of bikers and the stories of the Hell’s Angels. You really began to think that every biker was a Hell’s Angel and that’s totally not the case at all.”

Regardless of what the audience may think or feel when seeing the “American Bikers” series, Sandro said he wants the photographs to start a conversation.

“Maybe [people] start talking about ‘Easy Rider.’ Maybe they talk about the portraits that were done by Irving Penn – of Hell’s Angels. But there should be a dialogue that gets spoken there,” he said.

In addition to the biker series, seven of Sandro’s well-known “Cuban Faces” photographs will be displayed on the first and second floors of the SoC.

“‘Cuban Faces’ is a haunting study of the faces of Cuba beaten down by the sun and poverty under a tough Communist government,” Sandro wrote in a statement about the exhibit. “The fear of my own mortality was awoken during these sessions. Stories of hardships can be read between the aging lines of these sculpted faces.”

Another series, “Atropa,” can also be seen as portraits showcasing the wear and tear of human bodies.

Sandro wrote in his statement that the word “atropa” derives from the word “atrophy,” which carries the meaning “to weaken or waste away through disuse or the effect of disease.” He added, “The image takes on a cancerous feel, deteriorating, being eaten away, distressed.”

While some of his photographs highlight the body’s beaten down and deteriorating effects, Sandro’s “Massa” series emphasizes something quite different.

“The work itself for me was about landscapes – about building these beautiful landscapes from the body,” Sandro said. “And without explaining to people what they are, I like to just see their reactions.”

“Massa,” the Italian word for “mass,” is a series of photographs of large men and women taken from beneath a Plexiglas table.

“The body adheres to the glass and just kind of forms these beautiful shapes and it looks like peaks and valleys,” Sandro said. “It reminds me of flying an airplane over the desert at sunset, where you see shadows and highlights, valleys and hills. It just becomes very textured. So that’s what the shoot really became about – landscapes.”

Sandro began taking photographs of people on Plexiglas about 10 years ago when he was hired to shoot portraits of top executives of a shoe company. After finishing the shoot, Sandro said he went to bed that night thinking there must be something else he can shoot other than the executives. He then began taking pictures of dancers, specifically the Joffrey Ballet dancers, on top of the Plexiglas.

“After I shot the Joffrey Ballet dancers, I wanted to expand the work, and I started thinking about what would happen if I shot bigger bodies on this,” Sandro said. “So I reached out to this wonderful club called the Big and Beautiful Club and it was a self-help group of people working with their image.”

He said one woman from the club came out to do the shoot and broke down crying. “She said she felt completely released of so much pain she had been carrying with her,” Sandro said. “She said, ‘I never in a million years would have ever thought of being nude in a photo shoot with my body. And the work that you’re doing is so beautiful that I feel free of what I’ve been carrying for such a long time.’”

After doing the photo shoot with this woman, Sandro said about 20 more group members from the club wanted to have their photos taken on the Plexiglas.

“So it turned out to be a really beautiful, healing process for these people,” Sandro said.

Finally, Sandro’s new “Peering In” series will highlight not only people, but also the overstimulation of societies surrounding people. The series developed about four or five months ago when Sandro was shooting in New York City.

“I began to see these amazing reflections in windows and along with those reflections came the intensity of busyness, of commercialism [and] of in-your-face advertising,” Sandro said. “I started getting this somewhat uncomfortable feeling of overstimulation.”

Three photographs, one from New York City and two from Tokyo, Japan, will be displayed in the SoC.

“What happened was this intense complexity of imagery that came together that looks like it was put together digitally, … but that’s not what happened at all. It’s all what happens in front of us,” Sandro said. “If you were to take the moment and stop action, for a second you’d be able to study exactly how much we have going on.”

These three photographs are just the beginning of Sandro’s exploration into the “Peering In” series. Although Sandro said the series will likely be a four- to five-year project, he added that his projects never really stop, but are ongoing. 

“I don’t think I ever stop shooting,” he said. “You want to kind of cover the history of a certain project or subject and I don’t think it stops until you’re done, and that means six feet under.”

With all of these photographs showcased and displayed for the Loyola community, Sandro said he hopes that he will inspire and allow his photographs to educate students.

“We don’t know what a lot of the world looks like without photography. It’s photography that’s the big educator,” Sandro said. “And I hope that students walk away with the feeling of being educated – that they, too, can become educators of the world.”

 

To RSVP for the free debut of the exhibit, please visit: http://seenunseen.eventbrite.com/.

Mixing Gaming with Digital Advertising

Yoo Focuses on New Media

By Emily Study, SOC Website Reporter

When people think of video games, academia is likely far from their thoughts. However, Digital Advertising Assistant Professor Seung-Chul Yoo has learned how to incorporate his own interests in gaming into his profession.

“To me, video games or virtual realities are a channel to deliver certain messages and are a communication platform,” said Yoo, who began teaching at Loyola last semester. “My main focus is on advertising, but video games are already interesting because I’m a video game player.”

Yoo specializes in digital advertising and is currently teaching New Media Campaigns (COMM 327) and Communication and New Media (COMM 200). In both of these classes, Yoo said he tries to incorporate some form of video gaming.

“I’m trying to [have] in-class video game sessions a couple of times during the semester and I’m also a fan of animation stuff, so I show some animations to my students,” he said. “Basically, I teach what I really enjoy.”

In addition, Yoo said he emphasizes theories as well as practical applications of these theories in his classes.

“We should know the process of how consumers process advertising information. However, [students] also need to know how to use newer platforms, like games, mobile apps and any of the newer technologies,” Yoo said. “This [semester], I’m putting more emphasis on practical application – how to use and how to train the audience’s behaviors.”

Before teaching COMM 327 and COMM 200, Yoo taught Media Planning (COMM 317) and co-taught COMM 200 with Associate Professor Elizabeth Coffman last semester.  

“Being in Professor Yoo’s class was never dull,” said senior Gabby Guariglia, who took Yoo’s COMM 317 class. “He always made learning fun.”

Guariglia said Yoo incorporated his experience in digital advertising and digital public relations into the classroom to help students learn the topics that were being discussed.

“He helped me gain a better understanding of media planning by giving us industry examples,” she said. “Right now, I’m interning for a media agency and I feel like I’m more prepared for it after taking Professor Yoo’s class.”

Coffman said she enjoyed teaching a class with Yoo because he has a good sense of humor and is broadminded.

“We got to have the pleasure of sharing the class to help him get used to teaching,” Coffman said. “With his background in digital advertising, I think the two of us have very different, complimentary backgrounds.”

Yoo added, “Co-teaching was a good experience. It provided me a good foundation so I could learn from a primary lecturer, who was Dr. Coffman.”

In fall 2013, Yoo will be teaching Principles of Advertising (COMM 211) and a new class on data mining, which was recently approved by Don Heider, dean of the School of Communication.

“We can collect millions of Twitter data from online spaces, but how you see the pattern behind it is a big question. We just assume the pattern,” Yoo said. “This class is going to be about how to patternize, visualize and create importance out of this phenomenon.”

In addition to teaching at Loyola, Yoo is currently working on several projects.

One of his ongoing projects uses interactive technology, such as video games, to help prevent people from smoking and to help people quit smoking. Yoo created a digital cigarette avatar to let players take their aggression out on it.

“In my video game, I let players shoot the avatar,” Yoo said. “That’s how they can have more aggressive feelings toward cigarettes.”

Yoo has also written academic articles related to this topic. In the articles, Yoo explains how to use virtual reality to persuade a consumer audience. He describes how to increase health activities through video games and how to increase human relations, such as negotiation and Internet communication, through a virtual environment.

In total, Yoo has published more than one hundred marketing and new media columns in a variety of industry magazines and has written academic articles, which have been published in journals such as the Journal of Advertising Research and Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.  

Along with these articles, Yoo spent a year writing his book, Digital Signage for Integrated Marketing Communication, which published in South Korea in 2011.   

The book is about digital billboards and digital screens that advertisers use to reach their audience. These billboards can be seen along many highways and the small digital screens are commonly used as menu boards in restaurants. Yoo said the trend of advertisers using these digital billboards and screens motivated him to write about the new medium.

“The book is about how to use this digital new medium, which is the digital signage, for advertising and marketing purposes,” he said. “It’s about how to set up the effective hardware and software contents to reach more audience and to optimize and maximize advertising outcomes.”

Recently, Yoo also submitted a grant proposal to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for his research on advertisements in violent video games.

“I was investigating to see how sponsorship of violent sports like UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championship] influence advertising information processing,” he said. “What I’m thinking is that putting a logo to violent sports, or sponsoring violent sports, is not a good choice for advertisers because it generates negative feelings toward the brand.”

Yoo explained that Budweiser is often called “Bloodweiser” because it is the main sponsor of the UFC games.

“Violent media or violent video games in general are really nice advertising venues for advertisers, because they think they can reach a larger audience … But putting advertising there is not a good choice,” he said.

With the abundance of industry experience and knowledge that he brings to Loyola, Yoo said he hopes to contribute at least “a little bit” to the School of Communication.

“What I want to do at Loyola is to try to build up the digital advertising foundation,” he said. “And if it’s doable, I want to set up more industry collaboration with partners so students can have real world experience as well.”

Building Peace Through Media

Pacem in Terris

By Emily Study, SOC Website Reporter

Although journalists are objective reporters and observers of news, they can still help bring awareness to specific issues, build community and foster conversations through the media.

‌“Journalism is fundamental to bringing … issues to public attention,” said School of Communication (SoC) Associate Professor Gilda Parrella. “[Journalists] are doing what they can to focus on the facts of the story and trying to get those right in a way that does not necessarily promote a particular point of view. At the same time, any time you focus the spotlight on anything, you call attention to it.”

Bringing attention to issues will be one of the key topics at a panel discussion called Building Peace Through Media at the “Pacem in Terris: Building Peace in Chicago and Beyond” conference on Saturday, March 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The event, held at the Richard J. Klarchek Information Commons, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pope John XXIII’s encyclical Pacem in Terris, or “Peace on Earth.”

“We’re trying to commemorate that document, and also to look at circumstances that we see in Chicago – the increasing amount of violence everywhere,” Parrella said. “We’re trying to show what faculty at the university are doing to meet the challenge of reducing violence.”‌

In addition to the Building Peace Through Media panel, three other panels – Building Peace in and with Schools, Building Peaceful Communities and Neighborhoods, and Building International Peace in Chicago: Local is Global – will discuss ways Loyola students, faculty and staff can create and promote peace.

Parrella will moderate the Building Peace Through Media panel discussion, which will take place from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

With her 2011 publications of “Consensus-building Journalism: An Immodest Proposal” and “What Mediation Looks Like for Journalists” in Harvard’s Nieman Reports, Parrella is initiating a national project attempting to combine mediation and journalism.

“What I’m focusing on is trying to create a new form of journalism … that focuses on how disputes can be resolved around immigration, gun control or any of these issues,” Parrella said. “How we can have a more mediated conversation, rather than just a win-lose debate, where the outcome of the coverage may in fact lead to much more dissension than it might to more understanding and resolution.”

The media panel will also feature three SoC faculty members: Assistant Professor of Specialized Journalism Julia Lieblich, Associate Professor of Film Production Jeffrey Harder and Distinguished Journalist in Residence Don Wycliff, who is also the former public editor and ombudsman of The Chicago Tribune.

Each of these faculty members will bring to the panel a unique experience or point of view about building peace through media.

“[Journalists] can choose important stories to write and interview people whose voices are rarely heard,” Lieblich said. “Our stories may result in social change, but we cannot advocate.”

Last year, Lieblich published a book, Wounded I Am More Awake: Finding Meaning After Terror, which tells the story of a Bosnian concentration camp survivor who becomes a psychiatrist so he can help other survivors of trauma heal and find meaning.

“When you bear witness to some event that needs to be looked at by the public, you are making a choice that this event needs to be examined more fully,” Parrella said. “Anytime you bear witness to something, you are raising the level of consciousness and being hopeful that people who have this information will do something about it.”

Lieblich teaches several courses, including Human Rights Reporting, Historical and Critical Issues in Journalism, Social Justice Communication and Critical Ethnography.

 “I teach Human Rights Reporting because I want students to be educated in social, legal and political issues so they can be smart and thoughtful reporters, but they are not advocates,” she said. “By choosing to write about human rights, they are choosing to shed light on important subjects.”‌

In addition to objectively reporting on specific issues, Lieblich emphasized that opinion writing is a fundamental way journalists can promote peace, justice and community building. “Only in opinion pieces do we express a point of view,” she said.   

Harder, another SoC faculty member who will speak at the Building Peace Through Media panel, uses films and film production to help promote peace and will highlight some of his work at the event.  

He has shot, edited and directed more than 18 films and videos, and has worked several years in Jajce, Bosnia-Herzegovina, to help found the Jajce Youth Media Project. The project, Harder said, helped to bring together youth in various ethnic communities in the post-conflict area by using film workshops.

“[Media] is an activity that brings people together. By offering the workshops, people come together and work – that’s the primary beneficial element,” Harder said. “On the next level, when you’re doing videos like documentaries, then you have to go out [and] engage the community. In a little way, you bring a small segment of the population together and they realize they can work together. It’s one of those small things in peace building.”

By using media – film and film production – Harder has been able to bring people together and emphasize their differences in a positive light.

At Loyola, Harder teaches Topics in Film History and Film Genre, Introduction to Cinema, Film Production, Directing for the Screen and Digital Cinema Production.

Finally, Wycliff, the third SoC faculty member speaking at the Building Peace Through Media panel, will bring his experience from The Chicago Tribune to enlighten students, faculty and staff on the interactions between the media and its audience.

 As the former public editor and ombudsman of The Chicago Tribune, Wycliff spent much of his time working as a kind of mediator at the newspaper.‌

“The whole idea is to instill trust in the news media and the newspaper, and, presumably, instilling trust by explaining how we do what we do,” Wycliff said. “It helps to foster good relations – peace, if you will – on particular topics.”

Wycliff also spent a lot of time responding to questions, complaints and comments from readers. He said people often sent “intemperate emails” under the assumption that no one would actually read them. However, Wycliff responded to these emails.

“All effort was to give a face to the institution and an ear to the public,” he said. “When you do those things, people kind of automatically become a little more civil and peaceful in their modes of expression and their attitudes.”

Wycliff teaches Reporting and Writing, Historical and Critical Issues in Journalism, Ethics & Communication, Feature and Opinion Writing and Journalism in Race.

By listening to the SoC faculty members or attending other panel discussions at the conference, Parrella said she hopes students will be motivated to help build peace in Chicago.

“Loyola students have a particular commitment to making a difference in the world and trying to contribute something that goes beyond just making a living,” she said. “I would hope that the audience will be inspired to become connected with any of the projects that faculty are working on in the university.”

The Phoenix Awarded Honors at ICPA Convention

Phoenix Earns Honors at ICPA

The staff of the Phoenix at the Illinois College Press Association 30th Annual Convention.

Story Courtesy of The Loyola Phoenix
After an award-winning weekend at the 30th annual Illinois College Press Association convention, The Phoenix took home 16 awards on Feb. 23 in downtown Chicago. The staff took third place in the general excellence category, which ranks non-daily newspapers with a student body over 4,000.

The Phoenix took home five awards in the open division, which compares all schools regardless of student body size or frequency of publication, from more than 30 schools across the state of Illinois for their work during 2012.

The Phoenix staff took home second place for best news website.

Discourse Editor Timmy Rose and former Discourse Editor Will Livesley-O’Neill took home honorable mention and second place, respectively, for best opinion pages.

Best critical review went to Managing Editor Hannah Helbert.

Former Managing Editor Sallyann Price took home third place for best classified section.

The Phoenix took home nine awards in addition to general excellence in the non-daily 4,000 plus category, which evaluated newspapers published less frequently than daily with a student body greater than 4,000.

Emily Study, co-news editor, took home first place for front page layout.

In the non-sports column category, former Editor-in-Chief Nathan Lurz earned second place.

Price earned an additional award, taking home second place for the editorial category.

Former Sports Editor Brendan Bond took home three awards, winning second, third and second place in sports feature story, sports column and sports game story, respectively.

In the feature story category, Reporter Liz Greiwe was awarded second place.

Former Diversions Editor and former Sports Editor Kyle Nowaczyk took home top honors for sports news story.

Third place in sports photo went to Dan Rogers.

In the additional Shoot Chicago photography competition, Helbert earned an honorable mention.

How do you Trust the News in a Digital World?

Digital Ethics Panel

By Emily Study, SOC Website Reporter

Living in the 21st century, it has become all too easy to access posts, tweets, photos and videos on social media platforms, but how do you trust the news in a digital world?

In hopes of answering this question, the Loyola chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) partnered with the Chicago Headline Club, the largest SPJ chapter in the country, to host a forum on digital media ethics on Wednesday, Feb. 13.

Ashton Mitchell, president of the Loyola chapter of SPJ, and Alden Loury, president of the Chicago Headline Club, moderated the discussion, asking the panelists to share their advice on digital ethics in journalism.

“There’s tremendous pressure on news organizations to get the news out there as soon as possible,” said Hugh Dellios, panelist and the news editor for the Illinois Associated Press (AP). “But at this point, the public needs to reward news organizations for being right, [not just fast].”

This pressure for instantaneous news has created a blurred line between valuing expedience over accuracy, which the panel said raises several issues for both news organizations as well as readers in this digital age.

“People are learning to be ethical producers and consumers of content online,” said Meghan Dougherty, panelist and assistant professor of digital communication. “Journalists need to be well-versed in this new space.”

The presence of social media has caused news organizations to face new copyright, privacy, ownership and ethical concerns. “Because [reporters] can get the information, should they use the information without some certain guidelines?” said Beth Konrad, senior professional in residence and faculty advisor for the Loyola chapter of SPJ.

According to Dellios, although social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, provide journalists with an abundance of readily accessible information, news organizations must still follow set guidelines before publishing this content. “Use social media as tip service, but then do your own reporting,” Dellios said. “The old rules still apply.”

He said the AP sticks to its standards by verifying the source and authenticity of photos or videos, whether they are taken from social media sites or otherwise. The AP contacts the author and has the author sign a written release agreeing to give the AP the right to publish the content.

Dellios added that journalists still need to value accuracy above all else, even if it means waiting to publish a story until the facts have been verified. “Waiting takes a lot of planning, patience and courage,” he said.

In doing so, news organizations lessen the likelihood of publishing an error, which in the long run will increase the organization’s credibility, according to Dellios.

However, there is a shared responsibility between the news organizations and their readers for providing and recognizing accurate content, according to panelist Bastiaan Vanacker, assistant professor and program director of the Center for Digital Media Ethics and Policy.

Dougherty agreed. “[Readers] should be able to recognize what characteristics the medium itself is lending to the story; learn how to read different formats,” she said. “Don’t expect anything of the Twitter environment other than immediacy. It’s about expectations in different areas. Readers can be savvy enough to distinguish the difference between social media [and news].”

Thus, both news organizations as well as readers must understand how to use social media sites for sources and information in order to create and trust the news in this digital world.

You can read much more about digital ethics here: www.digitalethics.org.

Loyola Debate Team caps off Another Successful Season

Loyola Debate Team Caps Season

Loyola's debate team capped its regular season at the Western States Forensic Tournament in Reno, Nevada, with their third consecutive first-round bid to the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence.

The national tournament will be held at the University of Nevada-Reno March 17-20. The top 24 teams in the nation receive this honor. This year freshman Joe Carroll and junior Phil Kraft qualified for the event. “This is what we were working for from day one,” said Kraft.

This is not the only honor the duo has received this year. Recently the pair was invited to participate in The Élysée Treaty Debates this coming April 13 and 14in Washington D.C.

The Embassy of France and The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, in partnership with American University and George Washington University, are sponsoring the event. All debaters advancing to quarterfinals will win an all-expenses-paid study tour of Germany, France and Belgium organized by the embassies of France and Germany.

Hoovers Come as a Package Deal

Hoovers Come as a Package Deal

By Emily Study, SOC Website Reporter

There are four things successful screenwriters need: a lack of sleep, an espresso machine, ideas and a passion for what they’re doing. Film and digital media adjuncts Beth and Gary “Gar” Hoover have them all.

“We really love what we do, so it’s kind of hard to turn it off and really want to sleep,” Beth said. “We have a lot of opportunities that we’re fortunate to have come our way and we jump on most of them.”  The award-winning duo has received top honors for their work at several film festivals nationwide and founded their own branding and digital content agency.

In addition, the Hoovers have gained recognition from writing competitions, such as Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope and the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Gar is also an accomplished photographer, whose street art series of the Berlin Wall, called “The Art of the Wall,” is currently between exhibits in Chicago.

However, the Hoovers do not talk about their awards. In fact, they said their biggest accomplishment thus far has been “just getting stuff done.” “I would say in some way that’s the thing that we try to get across to our students,” Gar said. “It’s not necessarily about the awards. Writing a feature-length script is such an achievement in itself.”

The Hoovers currently teach a special topics class focused on advanced screenwriting at Loyola and a Story for TV and Film class at Second City, a premier comedy theatre and school of improvisation in Chicago.

“They’ve never mentioned the awards,” said Nick Harris, a senior at Loyola who is taking the Hoovers’ advanced screenwriting (COMM 371) class. “But they have mentioned and talked about contests that they’ve been entered into, so they have a lot of practical advice as to how to get started or where to send your script and different ways to get into the industry.”

Beth and Gar have been professors at Loyola since 2011, when they started teaching COMM 326, a course focused on the fundamentals of screenwriting.

Harris took the Hoovers’ COMM 326 class in fall 2011 and said he wanted to take the advanced screenwriting class this semester to finish his script. “It’s cool because, especially with a creative writing class, they’re in a workshop atmosphere,” Harris said. “Having two professors kind of invites you to join the conversation, instead of having one professor talking at you and giving you a lecture.”

Junior Amanda Kopec said she also likes the fact that both Beth and Gar teach the same class. “It’s a different experience to have two professors in the same classroom; they play off each other,” she said. “Sometimes Gar will have an idea and Beth won’t like it, and vice versa. It shows you that the audience doesn’t all want the same thing.”

However, the students are not the only ones who learn in the Hoovers’ class.

“The quote, ‘[When] one teaches, two learn’ – we really found that to be true in teaching,” Gar said. “I think we’ve found out more about our art in teaching it than we’ve ever known before. [The students] give a lot to us.”

Not long after being hired at Loyola, the Hoovers were hired to teach at Second City in February 2012.  

“They come as a package deal, which is really lovely because there are no other teachers that teach in that way,” said Andy Eninger, the head of the writing program at Second City. “When they came in, there was a value to the two of them and a real uniqueness, too – a uniqueness like what Second City really creates. [They] bring a certain quirky wonderment to the Training Center.”

The Hoovers described themselves as being a “fork in the road” for the 12 students in their Story for TV and Film class at Second City.

Before the students get to the Hoovers’ class, they go through six eight-week-long terms of sketch writing.

“We’re the gateway from sketch writing to writing long form for the screen,” Beth said. “When they get to us, then they would choose their professional writing track of either screenwriting or TV.”

Gar added, “Our class is the first class that students get to on the professional level.”

Beth and Gar focus on more than just their students’ writing capabilities, though. They are all about ideas.

“The thing about our Second City class and also our classes here [at Loyola] that has struck us is that people come in with really great ideas – surprisingly good ideas,” Gar said. “Then what we try to help them do is develop that idea.”

Kopec said the Hoovers push their students to develop their ideas into something unexpected. “They always say, ‘Small story, big idea.’ Even if it’s a small story or only takes place in two locations, what really matters is keeping the audience hooked,” Kopec said. “The ideas they help us come up with raise the stakes – they always say that.”

Gar referred to these big ideas as a “holy grail” project.

He said, “The important part is to find that holy grail project, which is often a one-set play, but it has to have the juice – the story juice – and to be compelling enough to hold 90 minutes in, let’s say, a house.”

But where do the Hoovers find ideas for their own projects?

“Ideas are everywhere; we just have to keep our eyes open and try to observe everything that’s around us,” Beth said.

The importance that the Hoovers place on ideas traces back several years to when Beth and Gar first met each other working at the Virginian-Pilot, Virginia’s largest daily newspaper.

At the time, Beth was a business news reporter and Gar was a news editor and a features writer – positions that require coming up with interesting and relevant ideas to attract readers.

After transitioning into professional screenwriting, the Hoovers’ concept of ideas followed them.

“Having been from a news background, we’re keen followers of what’s happening around us with the societal background that could bring some sort of a backdrop to a script,” Beth said.

In addition to incorporating ideas into their scripts, the Hoovers have founded an agency that is all about ideas, called “ideafarm.” Ideafarm is a brand strategy and digital content agency, which “helps entrepreneurial companies both large and small tell their stories to the marketplace,” according to its website.

“It was a perfect combination of our backgrounds,” Beth said. “We were originally doing PR for clients using our media background, but it transitioned into an ad agency and finally it incorporated brand entertainment. Ideafarm was really merging our two professional lives.”

Beth and Gar are currently developing a comedy series for one of their clients, which they said will probably be finished within the first quarter of the year.

In addition to managing ideafarm and teaching at both Second City and Loyola, the Hoovers are working on a feature in development and starting a collective of independent film people, called “GroupThink Films.”

“This city has not been fully tapped; it’s a great production hub and it also has very great talent,” Gar said. “With some other people, we’re starting a collective of independent film people to do exactly that: to tap into the really great resources in this city that have not been fully tapped.”

Beth added, “It’s going to marry and bring together people who have scripts but not the production talent and the production talent in search of great material.”

The Hoovers said GroupThink Films will most likely launch within the first half of this year.

The collective reflects much of what the Hoovers teach their students at Loyola: seek and use the talent and resources that are available in order to put ideas into action.

“We’re always trying to sell anybody who we talk to about creative projects to do their own work,” Gar said. “We try to push people to think of actually writing things that they can either shoot themselves or shoot with other people, because that’s where we think the business is going. Instead of being at the mercy of larger production studios, we’re great adherents to being a creative force of your own.”     

More information about the Hoovers’ work can be found at http://www.ideafarm.me/.

Suit Up: Tailor Yourself on a Student Budget

CF Shut Up Suit UP

By Emily Study, SOC Website Reporter

The saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” doesn’t apply to job interviews, and five students went through wardrobe makeovers just to prove it.          

“People are making judgments about you as soon as they see you,” said Cheryl McPhilimy, director of internship and career services for the School of Communication (SoC). “Before you even open your mouth, before you slide your resume across the table or they pull it up on the screen, they’re making judgments.”

Because of this, stylist Nancy Plummer transformed five students’ wardrobes and showcased their makeovers Thursday, Jan. 31, at the SoC event, “Shut Up, Suit Up: Tailor Yourself on a Student Budget.” Each of the students’ new outfits cost less than $130 and included many staple items that Plummer said could be mixed and matched to create more than one look.              

“Find that … vendor where you can find those key basics,” Plummer said. “Those will last a longer time and you can build upon [them] with less expensive pieces.”

Junior Gillian McGhee received a makeover on a budget in order to transform her look from concert-goer to interview-ready. “I’ve never been into the corporate business look,” said McGhee, a journalism and anthropology double major. “I have a diet of punk rock. Even though I’ve toned it down, I still like band shirts, Converse and Vans and that’s my wardrobe.”          

McGhee currently interns with The Morning Amp at Vocolo.org, a radio station that also airs through Loyola’s WLUW. Because of her internship, though, McGhee decided it was time to get serious about her professional appearance.          

For her makeover, McGhee got a new pair of flats from Payless, a black dress from the Nordstrom Rack, a white and black cardigan from New York & Co. and a necklace from New York & Co. McGhee said the staple item in her new outfit was the black dress, which was marked down from about $180 to $80.

‌“Even though $80 is more than I would typically pay, if you have one piece that is going to last you seven to eight years, then you can start layering with cheaper pieces,” McGhee said. “Splurge on one or two pieces that will really last.”

While McGhee’s transformation will be put to use immediately at her current internship, other students applied for makeovers in hopes of nailing an interview in the future.          

Junior Keshia Bardney, a journalism major, has two interviews lined up this semester with ABC7 and WGN-TV, and said she needed a look that could combine professional with personal. “I want the perfect type of clothes to show that I’m a serious journalist, but also reflect that I’m flexible and quirky and have a good personality,” she said.

Bardney got a new black dress with a checkered design along the left side of it. The dress cost $55 at the Nordstrom Rack. “The pattern is a fun [and] spunky look, but keeps it professional,” Bardney said.

Freshman Nicole Camacho is searching for a semester work-study job and a summer internship, and said she applied for the makeover to learn more about dressing in a way that is appropriate for a work setting. For her makeover, Camacho got a black dress from the Nordstrom Rack and a blue peplum blazer from New York & Co. for about $100. ‌

I [didn’t] really know what to wear to job interviews,” said Camacho, a communication studies major. “This is a start to a more professional lifestyle. I will be more prepared in the future when I continue to apply for jobs and internships.”           

Alumna Dene Brown is proof that the SoC makeovers help get students noticed at job interviews.

She received a makeover in spring 2011 and had an interview lined up the next day. Brown wore her makeover outfit – a blazer suit with a blouse underneath, hose and black low pump shoes – to her interview with Tonic Blue Communications, an ad agency in Mount Prospect, Ill. 

A week after the interview, she found out she earned a 10-month internship as a research analyst.  “It really prepared me for the interview,” said Brown, who graduated in December 2012 with a degree in advertising and public relations. “It was my first serious interview for a job in my field and [the makeover] just gave me confidence to go into it.”

How the SoC Career Fair changed my life!

Career Fair Alumni

By Emily Study, SOC Website Reporter

Several alumni have proven that keeping an open mind, being receptive to conversations and networking with recruiters can land any student the job.

And as many School of Communication (SoC) students know, it’s all about networking. So with about 50 employers attending the SoC Career Fair Tuesday, Feb. 5, students will have plenty of opportunities to network their way into a job or an internship like the alumni who have done it before them.

“There aren’t many times or opportunities that you get this caliber of professionals all in one place,” said Cheryl McPhilimy, director of internship and career services for the SoC. “There are a lot of good jobs and positions that are at companies that maybe you’ve never heard of. [By attending the Career Fair], you’re exposing yourself to things that might really be up your ally.”

December 2012 graduate Abby Kleckler attended last year’s SoC Career Fair and earned two internships after meeting with recruiters.  “I knew I needed at least one internship for the summer, so I figured I would go and check it out,” said Kleckler, who graduated with a degree in Journalism. “I figured even if I weren’t going to walk out with anything, I should go.”

After looking at the list of Career Fair employers on the SoC website, Kleckler narrowed down her search to a few key companies to check out. However, as often happens, the two companies that offered Kleckler summer internships were not even on her radar.

She was hired as a Chicago Tonight intern for WTTW Chicago Public Media and as an editorial intern for Cars.com, a company Kleckler said never crossed her mind. “I knew nothing about cars, but it sounded like a good opportunity,” she said. “They just wanted someone who could write.”

As many alumni advise, Kleckler said it is important to keep an open mind when going to the Career Fair. “Make sure to talk to [companies] even if you don’t think it’s somewhere you want to work.”

Alumna Monica Harris, who graduated in 2011 with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations, attended an SoC Career Fair and spoke with recruiters from Groupon, an employer she had initially overlooked.

“I had no intention of talking to Groupon,” Harris said. “The only thing I had heard about them was … that they were looking for salespeople.” However, Harris said when she walked passed Groupon, a recruiter stopped her and told her about a job opening for graduates in the field of Public Relations. After talking to the recruiter, Harris said she became interested in the position.

“The Career Fair was a few months before I graduated, so I set a calendar reminder for myself and sent [the recruiter] an email once a month following up with her,” Harris said. “Then, in mid-April, I reached out to her again and said it was close to my graduation and I asked her if we could talk more formally about the position.”

After a phone and an in-person interview, Harris was hired as a planning coordinator and started working at Groupon five days after graduating. “Never turn down a conversation, because you never know what [recruiters] might have in their back pocket for you,” Harris said.

Other graduates had similar experiences at the SoC Career Fairs.

Alumna Beth Kempton attended the Career Fairs and, like other alumni, never knew that she would work full-time for one of the employers she met.  

After graduating in December 2011 with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations, Kempton was hired at the PR firm, Walker Sands Communications, in March as a media relations specialist.

“I initially heard about Walker Sands from the Career Fair my sophomore year, which first piqued my interest in the company,” Kempton said.

Although Kempton did not specifically attend the Career Fair to meet with Walker Sands, she networked and spoke with recruiters from the company anyway.   

She advised current students, “There might be some companies that you might not necessarily plan on speaking to, but by keeping an open mind, you can hear about future opportunities.”

Later, after receiving an email about a job posting at Walker Sands from Herb Ritchell, the internship coordinator and program director of Advertising and Public Relations, Kempton applied for the position.

“I already knew about Walker Sands so when I went to apply for the job, I didn’t have to do as much research,” Kempton said. “It helped me at the interview know what I was talking about. Also, since I had first met Walker Sands a few years ago [at the Career Fair], I had followed them on Facebook and Twitter, so I was familiar with the company in that way.”

By first meeting with Walker Sands at the Career Fair, Kempton was able to remain connected and in touch with the company.

Similarly, alumna Erin Jordan said she first heard of Walker Sands by attending the SoC Career Fairs.

“Even after [I had] internships, I thought that the Career Fair was helpful,” said Jordan, who graduated in May 2012 with degrees in Advertising and Public Relations and Psychology. “It was important to say hi to other internship advisors I had and also to Walker Sands; putting those connections back together before I graduated was really helpful.”

Jordan first received an unpaid spring semester internship from Walker Sands. Soon after starting, though, it was extended to a paid internship and later a full-time job as a media relations specialist.

Although Jordan did not directly receive her internship with Walker Sands from the Career Fair, she said the fair helped her network her way to the job.

“You don’t want to pass up a company if it could benefit you down the road,” Jordan said.

Students Enter Chicago Auto Show Video Achievement Awards

Auto Show Video2

Loyola students were busy at Media Day and among the crowds filming at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show for their first multimedia commercial production class assignment. The project is for an Advertising/Public Relations Special Topics course, which teaches students how to develop, edit and finish multimedia commercials.

This is the second semester that this multimedia production course has been taught in the School of Communication. Under the guidance of Assistant Professor Pamela Morris and video production Instructor John Goheen, students in the past have created videos for the Super Bowl.

This year’s task was to produce a video that would get people interested in attending the Chicago Auto Show. Students worked in teams to create 4-5 minute videos. Each highlighted the international event in unique and creative ways with stories of love, home, kids and humor.

The Chicago Auto Show selected a winner based on quality and social media fans and views. The winner: Reel Dreamz Productions (Steven Abriani, Olivia Adamovich, Grace Heidig)–"Love at the Auto Show" was announced February 15. The video was one of the four submitted by the class. 

Check out the four spots and share the links on your Facebook and Twitter accounts!

The Firm – Joey Filer, Mary Carroll, Curtis Gilmore, Darcy Smith

RAM Productions – Emily Bouroudjian, Maxwell Spector, Nicole G’Francisco

Reel Dreamz Productions – Steven Abriani, Olivia Adamovich, Grace Heidig

SKE Productions - Kyle Nowaczyk, Emily Locke, Simone Taylor Deaderick

or SKE Productions

Students Create Statewide Education Campaign

Health Comm Students Campaign

‌Students in COMM 370 Health Communication have developed a statewide public health education campaign to inform Illinois residents about the impacts of the federal healthcare reform law. The campaign, “I’LL Be Healthy,” was created for the non-profit Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition, which was the class pro bono client during fall semester.

The campaign features a logo with the words “I’LL Be Healthy” superimposed on an outline of the state of Illinois. “I’LL” plays on the state’s abbreviation, and refers both to Illinois as a whole and to Illinois residents as individuals. The theme was the idea of junior Ericka Reyes, and senior Meg Herbst designed the logo and all the other visual elements.

“It was important for the logo to make the campaign exclusive to Illinois so residents can recognize it and have a proud attachment to their state,” Herbst said.

The Affordable Care Act, which was enacted in 2010 and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012, is a dense 1,000-page document few Americans understand. President Barack Obama’s reelection paved the way for continued implementation of the law, including key provisions due to take effect in 2014. An awareness gap persists, however. Because the law has been so controversial, and because its fate was tied to the presidential campaign, there has been little intelligent public discussion about the specifics of putting the law into action. Many Americans who can get – or will soon – improved healthcare access, additional benefits, or cost savings do not realize what’s ahead. 

As a result, federal and state governments have begun to think about ways to raise awareness of the Affordable Care Act through public education campaigns. “I’LL Be Healthy” could be that campaign in Illinois, according to Kathy Waligora, policy and communication coordinator for the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition. Waligora said she and other leaders of the coalition “agree that this is such a strong concept it could become the state-sponsored outreach campaign. That would be a huge boost for us and obviously a great accomplishment for the student team.”

Waligora said the coalition plans to present the campaign to BlueCross Blue Shield of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, and the Illinois Department of Insurance to try to get funding for implementation. The coalition also bought the domain name for the website and registered the Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Campaign elements include a website, print and radio public service announcements, a brochure, news conferences around the state to launch the campaign, and intensive use of social media. “Social media lends itself very well to this campaign because it allows real‑time communication between the organization and its audiences,” said junior Laura Kujava.

Waligora said she was thrilled by the campaign and loved its bold visuals. “The campaign really succeeds in boiling down the complexities of the Affordable Care Act into a few key points,” she told the students.

The campaign was created to be inclusive – geographically, demographically, socially, and politically. And by highlighting the stories and photos of real Illinois residents, the campaign aims to show to show all Illinoisans how the Affordable Care Act can impact them and their families.

By using simple, clear language instead of jargon, the campaign is designed to help educate Illinois residents. In addition, by explaining the next steps for the law, the campaign makes it clear that Illinois residents have a stake in whether the law is implemented in a timely and effective way in the state.

Asst. Prof. Marjorie Kruvand, who taught the course, said she was amazed by what the seven students accomplished. “It was creativity and teamwork at its best, with students pitching in to help each other and complete the project on time,” she said. “The students also learned an incredible amount about healthcare. They’re now experts on the Affordable Care Act.”

Digital Media and Storytelling

Digital Media and Storytelling

By Lindsay Blauvelt, SOC Website Reporter

November, 2012--Do you have a story? More importantly, can you tell it? And, can you tell it digitally?  The School of Communication’s new Masters program in Digital Media and Storytelling opened this fall, giving graduate students a chance to learn how to produce and share their narratives. 

The program’s first cohort has around 17 students that come from a wide range of professional and educational backgrounds. Some are fresh out of their undergraduate education while some students have been a part of the job force for years. Regardless, program director, Meghan Dougherty, PhD said that the new degree was designed to cater to all backgrounds and storytellers. 

“Most of these students are motivated by a project or a way that they want to work in mind; they want to build, they want to make things, they want to create things,” Dougherty said.” They have this incredible creative sensibility and they see either a specific project vision or at least an area in which they would like to produce and they land here in this program.” 

‌This two-year program provides four areas of focus including documentary filmmaking, journalism, advertising and public relations. Students develop fundamental skills that cross these areas, then delve deeper into one chosen field. ‌

“Production in these areas looks a little different; the communities that practice in these three areas function a little bit differently but across those communities there are definitely shared skills and above and beyond all of that they all exist within this participatory digital culture,” Dougherty said. “So the students get those foundational things and sort of build a project based within those tracks.” 

The degree requires students to take two capstone courses where they use the conceptual and technical information they have gained to produce a project of professional quality. 

“They’ll be able to take these concepts and characteristics of this ecology that they’re in and move them into the next semester where they’re producing and doing research,” Dougherty said. “The last class they take is a distribution class so they then move what they produce out into the world. It seems like it’s a really good flow; it seems to be working.” 

Elisabeth Montemurro graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a degree in Political Science. After a few years in the work force she decided to get her Masters degree and chose Loyola from a group of potential schools for large scope of its program. 

“I always kind of had in the back of my mind that I wanted to do more with communications specifically so when I was looking for graduate programs I stumbled upon Loyola’s and I thought it would be a great fit,” Montemurro said. “With the digital media aspect, I felt it was more cutting edge, which is where I feel press work is heading.” 

Dougherty said that the program is meant to help people find a way to incorporate their passions into an informative and useful product. 

“It’s not about the job; it’s about the work. It’s about the effort,” Dougherty said. “It’s about that deep-seeded feeling, ‘What work do I want to do in the world, what do I want to contribute?’” 

Sarah Hillman, a student in the first cohort, graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in International Social Justice but came to Chicago to get her Masters at Loyola. 

“I was surprised how much freedom we have to express our thoughts with our writing and different things,” Hillman said. 

Creativity is essential in digital storytelling and both Montemurro and Hillman agreed that the small size of the program helped to encourage a productive environment. 

“I really like the fact that it’s a small program so I feel like as time goes on, we’ll be a pretty tight knit group working together on projects, down the road too,” Hillman said. “I really like how it seems that the professors all seem to be working together, we didn’t have that in undergrad at all. They really have our best interests in mind.” 

Dougherty said she also feels the program has been successful in creating a productive environment. 

“Thinking back to my own graduate school experience, being with the cohort that I was in, and forming the connections and friendships that I did with my fellow peers that is something that I still draw on and something that that was really influential for me,” Dougherty said. “I see that happening here.” 

Another fairly new addition to the School of Communication is the Center for Digital Ethics, which was founded by Loyola in an effort to explore the question of ethics in the digital world. 

“At the School of Communication we have the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy and one of the classes they take is Law and Ethics,” Dougherty said. “So we have this commitment to sort of seeding all of that in the idea that students who graduate from this are ethical producers and consumers of media in their three different tracks.” 

‌Dougherty said that for undergraduates looking for their next step, the Digital Media and Storytelling degree is a good option for those seeking a way to materialize what they’ve learned. 

“We’re digging much deeper into some concepts and we’re talking about big theories and big ideas and how to actually take those ideas and turn them into something that’s produced,” Dougherty said.

Finding Careers in Advocacy and Social Change

Advocacy and Social Change

‌By Lindsay Blauvel, SOC Website Reporter

October, 2012--A panel of four School of Communication‌ alumni returned to campus last week to talk to students about how their experience in Communication Studies lead to careers in advocacy and social justice issues.  

Their presentations exemplified the goals of a track recently introduced to the in SOC focusing on Advocacy and Social Change.

Dr. Mark Pollock, an associate professor and the Communication Studies program director introduced the four panelists, saying their stories helped to inspire the new focus area.

The panelists included Alex Miller, development and communications coordinator for Free Spirit Media; Ellina Kushnir, program coordinator for Rotary International; Whitney Woodward, a policy associate for the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform and an adjunct professor at Loyola; and Alma Tello a U.S. Senate aide to Sen. Richard Durbin.

All four of the young professionals said that their education at Loyola gave them the tools they needed to convey and promote the social justice issues that they encounter everyday.  Tello, a veteran of the United States Air Force, said she used her education in communication and advocacy issues to advance in her career.

“I can easily say that it was my experience at Loyola and it was my social justice track in Communication Studies that pulled it all together for me,” Tello said. “I learned how to focus issues and those things that interest me.”

She cited her class with Dr. Pollock as instrumental to her ability to navigate the tricky nuances of communication in the political arena.‌

“Rhetoric has a lot to do with what we do,” Tello said. “The message is very important and that’s the class that has made the difference for me in my career.”

Kushnir said that her experiences at Loyola and the knowledge she gained lead her to a career that she finds fulfilling.  She said, “It’s just an incredible feeling to know that it’s what you’re passionate about, ‌it’s what you enjoy doing and you’ve been equipped with the skills to promote what their needs are, the needs of the community and to sustainably and effectively meet those needs.”

She added that her training in communication helped her to identify issues in her community and gave her the tools to translate those issues into propositions for change.

I realized that I was living in my county but I wasn’t aware of the need and that’s where communication really started to play a big role in my professional development,” Kushnir said. “I realized that I can contribute to not only advocacy work but educating the public at large.”

Miller explained how she works with Free Spirit Media to educate high school kids how to use technology and communication to tell their stories and to promote positive messages and awareness.

“I’m empowering youth to tell their own stories. It’s an inspiring way to see the perspective of youth through media,” Miller said. “I’ve taken the skills I’ve learned at Loyola and invested them back into the communities that invested in me.”

‌Woodward said that she would encourage School of Communication students to think outside of the box when envisioning their future careers.‌‌

“I’d encourage people to look at non-traditional homes,”  Woodward said.

“Just because you’re journalism major or a broadcast major, you don’t have to end up at a newspaper. You shouldn’t feel boxed in, there are opportunities out there that are open to using that medium to advocate for something.”

Dr. Pollock said the panel discussion provided a shining example of what Communication Studies students can hope to achieve in combining Loyola’s commitment to the community with the skills in the program.

“These are people that have already done that,” Pollock said. “Students can see what opportunities are there for them if they ‌want to work for social change.”‌

 ‌

V-Day 11.11.11 Premiers at Loyola

V-Day 11.11.11

‌By Lindsay Blauvelt, SOC Website Reporter

It was a bittersweet experience to be in Regents Hall on Friday night. Veterans, students, faculty and alumni attended the screening of V-Day 11.11.11, a non-profit documentary produced and directed by Loyola’s own John Goheen and Aaron Greer.

The film compiled the stories of something around 30 veterans or military families, giving a heart wrenching sense of reality to the dedication and sacrifices that the public often doesn’t see.

Goheen, who is a veteran himself, contacted filmmakers and photojournalists‌ around the world to help him gather these stories. On 11.11.11 these filmmakers volunteered their time and skills to document these histories. Now, a year later, the film has aired on multiple PBS stations and has been screened at different events across the nation.

Goheen said, “This film for me was sort of intended to bring honor and recognition to veterans who have served this country. A very small percentage of Americans end up serving in the military, so I sort of thought this was something that was healing and to bring attention to this part of our society that many people don’t even know about.”

As to be expected, the film was overwhelmingly sad at times. However, one particularly moving portion of the documentary told the story of Don and Robin Pannier who started the Fallen Heroes Traveling Memorial Wall. The wall has the pictures of around 260 Illinois servicemen and women who lost their lives in name of their country, including a picture of their son, Army Spc. Phillip J. Pannier. Phillip died during Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq in 2008.

Don and Robin were present on Friday to see their own story on screen for the first time. Don and Robin started the wall to commemorate their own son and to reach out to other military families trying to cope with the tragedies of war. They said it has been helpful in bringing them closer to people who can relate to their loss. Robin said she could relate to another mother she saw in the film.

She said, “It’s kind of like the mother said in the film, ‘When I sit at home I cry by myself,’ when we get out with people we can laugh and we can joke. And that’s why you get out and do what you do, so you’re not at home crying.”

Don said that he travels with the wall not only for his own son’s memory, but also for all the men and women that have lost their lives.

“It’s helped to talk about it, to be involved,” Don said. “A mother I was with yesterday at a high school, she’s thanked me several times for not forgetting her son. We’re hoping to touch the rest of the families.”

Also in attendance was Yun Tai, who started his first semester at Loyola within weeks of returning from his deployment in Iraq. He said he felt the film gave a voice or a human side to veteran that somehow gets overlooked.‌

Tai said, “I think what people need to realize is that they are humans first and veterans second, these are mothers and fathers, these are brothers, these are sisters and I think what was great about this film is that it went in depth into the lives of these veterans and I think that’s what made it powerful.”

Tai recounted his own transition from soldier to civilian starting with his drive from Ft. Bragg, NC to his hometown in Muenster,