Communication Department News

Showing stories between August 1, 2011 and August 31, 2011.

Student teams to participate in Comm Day challenge

Posted August 30, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category urgent

The Department of Communication is partnering with several area businesses to provide a unique opportunity for students participating in the Communication Day "Apprentice Challenge."

Students from each communication major are forming teams to create a professional communication packet promoting a real service to be offered by TXU Energy. In turn, TXU will use some of the student-created materials in the company's actual promotions.

Students on the winning team will also have the opportunity to shadow a professional on the job for a day. Participating businesses include Concussion Advertising, CW-33, Open Channels Public Relations, Ranch Radio, Ride for the Brand (Web design and online marketing), Six Flags and the Star-Telegram.

Apprentice Challenge Finalists will present their projects at Comm Day 3.0: Communication Careers in a High-Tech World. The event will take place 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 25 in University Center's Bluebonnet Ballroom.

PRSSA gearing up for semester

Posted August 30, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category students

Studies show that students involved in student organizations related to their field of study do better in their classes. Students who participate in organizations also have a higher chance of gaining career employment after graduation.

The Public Relations Student Society of America is inviting UTA Department of Communication students the opportunity to network with professionals, professors and colleagues. 

"Our group provides an environment where students can learn by doing," said Rachel Makutuya, VP of Recruitment and Retainment for PRSSA's UTA chapter. "Our organization is made up of multiple committees within our team. Within these teams, students can work on writing skills, graphic design and event planning."

In Fall 2010, PRSSA was voted the “Best Student Organization on Campus” by The Shorthorn.

PRSSA members will be visiting Communication classes in the coming weeks to inform students about the benefits of joining PRSSA. 

"We will also be at the Student Activities Fair on Aug. 31 with more information about our club," Makutuya said.

The PRSSA chapter meets the first Thursday of the month. The semester's first meeting will be Sept. 8 at 3:30 p.m. in FAB room 327.

For more information, email or contact Rachel Makutuya at

AWC chapter garners national award

Posted August 29, 2011 by Keith Bartholomew in category accomplishments

The UTA chapter of The Association for Women in Communication was recently awarded the large chapter division of the outstanding student chapter award. The active chapter hosted a variety of events including student speakers, round table discussions, workshops, fundraising events and many philanthropic events.

“Our members are committed to hands-on experience in the communication field,” explained Dr. Sasha Grant, assistant professor and AWC faculty sponsor. “This year’s programs focused on a variety of topics including finding a dream job, networking, resume writing, television broadcasting and issues and trends in the field of communication.”

The AWC chapter also worked throughout the year to promote worthy causes, Grant added, including AWC’s Fit to Fight Cancer. Members raised nearly $850 for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event.

The Association for Women in Communication champions the advancement of women across all communication disciplines by recognizing excellence, promoting leadership and positioning its members at the forefront of the evolving communications era, according to the group’s website.

The UTA chapter welcomes Department of Communication students to get involved for the 2011-2012 academic year. The group meets the second Friday of the month at noon in room 264 of the Fine Arts building.

For more information, e-mail or call 817-272-0733, or contact chapter co-presidents, Britney Taylor at or Christine Nicholson at Check out the group's website at

Paper accepted for presentation

Posted August 29, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

Journalism professor Erika Pribanic-Smith’s research paper "South Carolina’s Rhetorical Civil War: Unionist and Free Trade Presses during the Nullification Crisis, 1832-1833" has been accepted for presentation at the National Convention of American Journalism Historians Association. The convention will be in Kansas City in October.

Grad student honored

Posted August 26, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category accomplishments

Rebekah Karth, May 2010 Public Relations graduate, has been honored with the Honors College Bridge to Graduate School Fellowship for the 2011-2012 year in recognition for academic excellence. Karth begins graduate studies in the Department of Communication this fall.

Student PSAs featured online

Posted August 26, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category students

Broadcast Lecturer Julian Rodriguez’s TV Production students produced five public service announcements for Air North Texas as part of their class assignments.

“The PSA’s were received with great gratitude by Air North Texas,” Rodriguez said. “The PSAs are now posted on the group’s website, giving our students some wonderful exposure for their work.”

The following students’ PSAs are featured on the Air North Texas website:
PSA 1: Jazmyne Washington
PSA 2: David Morgan, David Cornwell
PSA 3: Isaac Molina, Noelle Russell, Elizabeth Jaimes
PSA 4: Jazzmyne Greer
PSA 5 (Spanish): Maria Martinez, Raul Solis, Karen Ramirez

Faculty member shares communication expertise

Posted August 26, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

Communication Instructor Mike Putnam is sharing his skills outside the classroom this summer. In July, Putnam worked with the UTA McNair Scholars on strategic communication skills.

“I  provided instructional tips on organization and delivery of the special projects each of the students has been working on under the guidance of their faculty mentors,” said Putnam, who has been involved with the McNair Scholars for the past decade.

In addition, Putnam will be working with members of the Midwest section of the Texas American Planning Association (APA), a non-profit group of professional planners. The group provides city and community planners a forum for sharing information on planning, general professional development, legislation, law, ethics, etc.

Putnam will be discussing informative and persuasive strategies to help the planners better communicate with citizen groups regarding zoning cases and other community issues

“I enjoy interacting with the business community because it gives me a chance to see real-life problems and offer possible solutions,” Putnam said. “This kind of corporate and civic experience is easily translated to the classroom environment.”

Students garner publication bylines

Posted August 26, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category students

Two United States veterans in Geoff Campbell’s Summer I Writing for Mass Media class were published in the July 4 edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The students, Amber Raymond and Wade Ishim, wrote feature stories about their experiences serving in the U.S. military for a classroom assignment.

“Amber built bombs aboard the USS Nimitz, and Wade ran Air Force convoys and did police work for the Air Force in Mosul and Baghdad. I thought they'd make a great July 4 package for the Star-Telegram, and the editorial page editor agreed,” Campbell explained.

Garnering a byline in a major metropolitan newspaper is an achievement.

“Even though I've written thousands of stories, I still get excited to see my byline, and I was ecstatic that my students got to enjoy the thrill,” Campbell said. “But perhaps more importantly, I was delighted that Amber and Wade were able to share their stories with a broad audience and provide a touching and poignant message for July Fourth.”

The students have also inspired their fellow classmates.

“Their experience getting published opened the eyes of other students to the power of the written word and the different avenues available to them to get published,” Campbell added.

UTA alum making their mark

Posted August 26, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category alumni

Spring 1997 Journalism alum Terry Morawski, Assistant Superintendent, Communications & Marketing for Mansfield Independent School District, is featured in the July/August 2011 issue of Mansfield Magazine. Morawski is responsible for overseeing all communications, marketing and online initiatives for Mansfield ISD.

Matthew G. Fisher, who graduated in Spring 2011 with a Masters in Communication, has accepted the position of Communications Manager – Multimedia with The American Heart Association. Fisher starts his new job in August.

UTA Journalism alum and former Shorthorn editor Matt Stiles (now Matt Hu-Stiles) was included in a recent article in New York magazine profiling "21 new media innovators." Hu-Stiles currently works at National Public Radio as a data journalist on NPR’s StateImpact project.

Spring 2010 Broadcast grad Diana Rojas, has been covering the Dallas Mavericks’ court action for Radio Cadena Nacional (RCN), Columbia's national radio and television station. Rojas reported on the NBA Finals for RCN. Rojas has also been offered a freelance reporter position with Al Día, a Spanish-language newspaper owned by A.H. Belo.

Tommy Orellana, Fall 2009 Broadcast alum, has accepted a position with Univision Dallas (KUVN) as Director/Tech Director. Orellana previously worked as a part-time time production assistant at Telemundo before accepting a position working on KUVN’s morning news show.

Raquel Daisy, 2007 Communication Master’s alum, recently accepted a new position as a Communications Specialist for North Texas Specialty Physicians in Fort Worth. Find Daisy on Facebook, LinkedIn or e-mail at:

Sarah Macias, Spring 2010 Broadcast grad, has been selected for a position with KXII in Sherman, TX. Macias will start her career with the station as producer/editor with hopes of working her way into a reporter position.

Spring 2009 Broadcast grad Jessica Carillo, who has been working for Telemundo’s local DFW affiliate, has accepted a position as entertainment reporter/anchor at Telemundo’s Los Angeles station.

Sean Bolton, Spring 2010 Communication Technology grad, has accepted a position with Ulterra Drilling Technologies as a database programmer focusing on data mining. Bolton will help the company extract data from the database into an applicable format for the company’s sales force.

Alexis Spears, Fall 2010 Broadcast graduate, has joined KTRE News Team as a video journalist. Spears will cover the city of Lufkin and the surrounding East Texas area for the ABC affiliate.

Fall 2001 Broadcast grad Joe Gumm, is serving as morning anchor for KOKH FOX 25 in Oklahoma City. Prior to joining the FOX 25 morning team, Gumm worked for Fox Sports Southwest and Fox Sports Oklahoma as anchor/reporter. He’s also been a Host/Reporter for CBS (KTVT) in Dallas/Fort Worth and covered the world of news and entertainment for Time Warner Cable.

Faculty at work!

Posted August 26, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Dr. Karishma Chatterjee and Department of Communication Chair Dr. Charla Markham Shaw’s co-authored paper has been accepted for publication. "Media Portrayals of the Female Condom," has been accepted by The Journal of Health Communication for publication. The journal is ranked 9/55 among the rated Communication journals listed and 22/66 in information science and library science according to the Journal Citation Reports.

Dr. Shelley Wigley, assistant professor in the Department of Communication, has been awarded a 2011 Educator\'s Fellowship from the Plank Center at the University of Alabama. Wigley will intern with Southern Company, a major electrical provider in Georgia and Alabama, later this summer.

Dr. Andrew Clark and Dr. Tom Christie, Associate Professors in the Department of Communication, have been awarded first place by the International Division of the Broadcast Education Association for their co-authored paper “A Clash of Cultures: Reaching Hostile Audiences Through International Broadcasting.” The paper was presented at the organization’s annual conference in Las Vegas.

Journalism professor Dr. Erika Pribanic-Smith’s research paper "Riding the Coattails of Revolutionaries and Republicans: Partisan Rhetoric and the Rise of the Nullification Party in 1831 South Carolina\\\" has been accepted for presentation. It will be presented in August at the History Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication National Convention in St. Louis.

Dr. Andrew Clark, Associate Professor/Broadcast Sequence Coordinator, and Julian Rodriguez, broadcast lecturer, recently trained students from Fort Worth’s Southwest High School to use news production hardware and software. The students are representing Texas in SkillsUSA, a national media competition in Kansas City, MO.

Communication faculty recognized

Posted August 26, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category accomplishments

Two faculty members in the Department of Communication have been recognized as outstanding educators by the College of Liberal Arts during the spring 2011 semester.

Dr. Shelley Wigley, assistant professor of Public Relations, has been designated to receive the College of Liberal Arts Gertrude Golladay Memorial Award for Outstanding Teaching.

Full-time lecturer Geoff Campbell has been honored with the College of Liberal Arts Adjunct Teaching Award for Outstanding Teaching.

The awards are determined entirely by the votes of all of the 4,200 undergraduate students in the College of Liberal Arts.

Paper accepted for publication

Posted August 25, 2011 by Keith Bartholomew in category faculty

Department of Communication Chair Dr. Charla Markham Shaw and Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Dr. Karishma Chatterjee's co-authored paper has been accepted for publication. "Media Portrayals of the Female Condom," has been accepted by The Journal of Health Communication for publication. The journal is ranked 9/55 among the rated Communication journals listed and 22/66 in information science and library science according to the Journal Citation Reports.

UTA Named Finalist in National Competition

Posted August 25, 2011 by Keith Bartholomew in category urgent

UTA is a finalist for Best Public Service Announcement in the National Student Production Awards put on by College Broadcasters, Inc.

Broadcasting student Dontae Robison produced the PSA for his radio production class last year. Titled ‘Don’t Sext’, the piece highlights the controversial issue of sharing intimate pictures on mobile phones. Robison says he chose the issue for his project after watching an MTV special. “One of my other reasons for choosing to do sexting was because I have a younger sister who is in high school now, and I wanted her to be informed about topics like these.”

In addition, UTA Radio Sports Director Chris Mead is a finalist in the same competition for a TV reporting project titled ‘Easter Weekend’. The piece, which aired during the final spring broadcast of UTA News, is a finalist in the Best Comedy category.

Winners will be announced in late October at CBI’s annual fall convention.

UTA is a student-run internet radio station that serves the University of Texas at Arlington, and the world, with its eclectic mix of alternative/indie rock, sports, and student-produced entertainment. We are online, all the time at

UTA Radio names new station manager

Posted August 25, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category students

 UTA has named Staci DeLuca as Station Manager.

DeLuca, a junior broadcast major, will be involved in the day-to-day operations of UTA’s student-run, internet radio station.

Primarily an alternative/indie rock station, UTA Radio also handles play-by-play duties for volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, and baseball.

“Staci brings a lot of enthusiasm to the job,” notes Faculty Advisor Lance Liguez. “Her love of radio will help the station continue to grow its profile on campus and beyond.”

DeLuca spent the spring semester as a station assistant, while hosting her own radio show, “The Rewind,” featuring a mix of ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s rock. The Honesdale, Pennsylvania native hopes to eventually transition from student DJ to national radio host.

DeLuca replaces Charity Hitt, a May broadcast graduate now enrolled in the graduate program at the University of Florida. Under Hitt’s tenure, UTA Radio saw significant strides in campus recognition, staff development, and access to high-profile events such as Super Bowl XLV.

Communication Day slated for October

Posted August 25, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category urgent

University of Texas at Arlington’s Department of Communication proudly presents the Third Annual Communication Day, a celebration of careers in all communication fields, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, in the Bluebonnet Ballroom at UTA’s University Center.

Comm Day 3.0: Communication Careers in a High Tech World offers students a chance to network with top communication professionals and distinguished alumni who are eager to share their tricks of the trade and help students increase their potential of landing a coveted communication position.

In fact, students will compete in an Apprentice Challenge for a chance to shadow a professional for a day on the job at businesses such as Concussion Advertising, Open Channels Communication, CW-33, Ranch Radio, Six Flags, and the Star-Telegram.

Seasoned professionals from a variety of communication fields will share exciting stories of their career experiences and tell students what they wish they had known before entering the job market in a session entitled “In the Trenches: Real Stories from the Real World.”

In “High Tech Meets High Touch: Strategies for Finding, Getting (and Keeping) a Job in the Digital Era,” those intimate with the hiring process from both sides will explain how to leverage new tools and old standbys on the job search.

Want to know how to dress for success on a student budget? A fashion industry professional will be on hand for a brown bag lunch and fashion show to tell you how.  

Comm Day 3.0: Communication Careers in a High-Tech World is an opportunity for students to explore the rich and diverse field of communication, including advertising, broadcast, communication studies, communication technology, journalism and public relations.

Prepare for your future as a successful communication professional at Comm Day 3.0. In the mean time, follow us on Twitter @UTACommDay, and keep an eye out for an exciting Twitter contest announcement on September 1!