Communication Department News

Aiken Nabs NATPE Fellowship

Posted January 12, 2017 by Marti Harvey in category faculty

Lecturer LaDonna Aiken, BCMN, received a National Association of Television Program Executives Faculty Fellowship for January’s market and conference in Miami.

The Faculty Fellowship Program provides selected college & university media faculty with complete access to the sessions and activities of the annual NATPE Market & Conference. The goal of the Program is twofold: to expose the educational community to current television issues and practices, and to foster improved communication and cooperation between educators and the industry.

The annual NATPE Market & Conference attracts executives from around the world for sessions featuring leaders from all facets of the global telecommunications industry, along with hundreds of exhibiting companies. NATPE promises to continue offering the world of television to all participants under one roof.

More information on this program and others can be found at

AJHA Awards Pribanic-Smith

Posted November 8, 2016 by Marti Harvey in category accomplishments

Associate professor Erika Pribanic-Smith, JOUR, received two awards at the American Journalism Historians Association national convention Oct. 6-8 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Pribanic-Smith received the David Sloan Award for Best Faculty Paper for her work, “Religious Newspapers and Presidential Politics, 1840-1848," which scored the highest among all faculty papers in a double-blind review process.

The association also honored her with the President's Award for Exemplary Service because of the multiple service positions she held the past year. Pribanic-Smith served as the association’s quarterly newsletter interim editor, website administrator, long-range planning committee chairwoman, publications committee member, the board of directors’ ex-officio member and the new convention registrar advisor.

The purpose of the American Journalism Historians Association is to advance the field of journalism and mass communication, as well as to foster support for the profession and to recognize outstanding teaching and research achievements in journalism history.

brief written by Rene Yan, JOUR 3345

Journalism Pros Critique Student Resumes

Posted November 8, 2016 by Marti Harvey in category newsbrief

Saul Garza, broadcast reporter at Fox 4 News, critiques students resumes.
Saul Garza, broadcast reporter at Fox 4 News, critiques students resumes.

Fox 4's award-winning reporter Saul Garza found out what's buggin' communication students about their résumés on Oct. 25.

The award-winning KDFW reporter joined Gayle Reaves-King, 1994 Pulitzer Prize winner for international reporting, and Mindia Whittier, PRLN Lecturer, for a résumé critique workshop at UTA.

The UTA Society of Professional Journalists hosted the event open to all communication students.

brief written by Rodney Sanders, JOUR 3345

Lecturer Rodriguez Works with Colombian Government on FOI

Posted November 4, 2016 by Marti Harvey in category faculty

Lecturer Julian Rodriguez, BCMN, traveled to San Francisco, Colombia, in September to collaborate with Catholic University of Colombia Law School about access to public information.

In March 2014, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signed the Colombia’s Access to Information Law, the equivalent of the Freedom of Information Act in the U.S., to promote transparency in government agencies and to give citizens the right to public information.

Since 2015, Rodriguez has been helping develop an online tool to facilitate communication between Colombian citizens requesting public information and government entities. The online system will require users to register themselves and find the proper office before creating a request for information. The Colombian government must respond to such a request within a certain number of days. If the agency does not respond, the requester has the right to file a motion. The system will keep individuals informed during the process.

Researchers will examine the efficacy of this program to see if it can be implemented at the national level.

“As soon as the pilot program takes off, then we plan to start expanding to the next town until, hopefully, we get to implement this mediating tool—digital tool—throughout the Department of Cundinamarca,” Rodriguez said.

This project began in 2015 and will extend to 2018.

Hale and Liguez Visit White House for College Radio Days

Posted October 28, 2016 by Marti Harvey in category accomplishments

UTA Radio Station Manager Sam Hale sits next to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest during a meeting at the White House.
UTA Radio Station Manager Sam Hale sits next to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest during a meeting at the White House.
Lecturer Lance Liguez, right of the podium, gathered in the White House Briefing Room with other members of the College Radio Days task during their White House visit.
Lecturer Lance Liguez, right of the podium, gathered in the White House Briefing Room with other members of the College Radio Days task during their White House visit.

UTA Radio Station Manager Samuel Hale, BCMN 2017, and Lecturer Lance Liguez, BCMN, attended a College Radio Day function in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 27.

Hale represented UTA Radio, along with faculty advisor Liguez, a College Radio Day board member. The two were invited to the White House for a series of briefings. They, along with other college radio stations from around the country, met with Secretary of Education John King, White House Senior Advisor on Climate Change Brian Deese and White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

A letter from President Barack Obama recognizing the work of College Radio Day was presented to the group.

Students toured the press briefing room where national and international journalists work when the President is in town.

College Radio Day unites college stations from around the country, and the world, for one day to exemplify student radios importance in informing student populations, discovering new music and training future broadcasters.

This years College Radio Day's event will be held Nov. 4. UTA Radio has been involved with College Radio Day since 2010.

For more information on College Radio Day, go to

Liguez Tapped for College Radio Days Event

Posted October 2, 2016 by Marti Harvey in category faculty

The College Radio Foundation snagged Lecturer Lance Liguez, BCMN, to serve on its College Radio Days Task Force.

The CRF tapped Liguez for his experience in radio and his ability to make sure the event goes off without a hitch.

College Radio Days’ theme, Ignite the Spirit of Radio, plans to shine a light on what college radio stations do every day – promote the art of radio.

The event takes place Nov. 4, where the CRF will “celebrate the past, the present, and the future of college radio by uniting with people” to highlight the importance of college radio in the lives of students and to show the importance of radio as a communication medium.

The day features a special one-hour College Radio Day simulcast, exclusive interviews with Sean Lennon, Jeremiah Fraites of The Lumineers, Nikki Silva from NPR’s Kitchen Sisters, Lee Loughnane from the band Chicago and much more. A special documentary called “The Soul of College Radio” by Paul Crutcher, GM of XLR Lander Radio at Lander University will be aired.

The event is known internationally as World College Radio Day and is celebrated in more than 30 countries worldwide.

Torralva Awarded for Caller-Times' Series

Posted October 2, 2016 by Marti Harvey in category alumni

Krista Torralva, JOUR 2016, received the Crime Victims' Rights Outstanding Service Award-Community Partner award earlier this year for her efforts co-leading the Caller-Times’s newsroom series, Behind Broken Doors.


Behind Broken Doors explores the correlation between homicides and domestic violence including how law enforcement investigates the attacks, how prosecutors pursue offenders in court, how advocates help victims heal and what the community must do to reverse the deadly trend.


Previously, Texas Associated Press Managing Editors honored Torralva the Star Investigative Reporter of the Year for a series of stories about state-supported living centers for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


Torralva formerly worked for the Mansfield News Mirror, interned for the Dallas Morning News and served as news editor for UTA’s award-winning newspaper, The Shorthorn.


Check out her latest piece at


Written by Neetish Basnet (JOUR 3345)

ANKR Prez speaks to PR students

Posted October 2, 2016 by Marti Harvey in category alumni

Brandon Hurtado, PREL '11 Alum Speaking to Dr. Mark Treymayne's class
Brian Hurtado, PREL 2011, shares his knowledge of social media with Assistant Professor Mark Tremayne's class.

Brandon Hurtado, PRLN 2011, president and owner of ANKR digital marketing agency spoke to Assistant Professor Mark Tremayne's Strategic Social Media Class, PREL3320, on Aug. 31. The presentation was live-tweeted using the hashtag #PREL3320.

Hurtado shared his knowledge of advanced social media strategies and how to use them for marketing and public relations. He also gave students advice on networking tips along with the importance of taking chances and putting people first.

Hurtado is a seasoned digital marketer with previous experience spanning various roles including president at More Cabbage and marketing analyst at Exeter Finance Corp. He's also done pro bono consulting at World Vision, a humanitarian disaster relief organization.

Written by Pablo Arauz (JOUR 3345)