Communication Department News

Showing stories between September 1, 2011 and September 30, 2011.

Rodriguez, Carter make online presentation

Posted September 29, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

Broadcast lecturer Julian Rodriguez and Department of Communication engineer Joseph Carter teamed up to make a special presentation for the local chapter of the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE).

The hour-long presentation, titled “Digital Media Compression, Streaming, and Workflows,” was streamed online for a national audience Sept. 29. Sponsored by, the presentation was streamed using the NewTek Tricaster TCXD-850 Extreme.

Carter discussed compression and streaming, and Rodriguez shared his knowledge on production workflows, education, and technical issues faced by media professionals.

"It was a pleasure and an honor to be asked to make this presentation and share our experience with broadcast colleagues," Rodriguez added. "Technology plays such an integral role in media today, and it's imperative that we collaborate and find new and innovative ways to share information."

Comm Day launches own website

Posted September 23, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category other

Comm Day preparations are well under way with student teams hard at work on the Comm Day challenge. Comm Day events are now detailed on a special website.

Designed by Comm Tech student Carl Ebiri, the Comm Day site features a schedule of events for the day, speaker bios and a promo video by Department of Communication engineer Joe Carter.

Check out the new site for all kinds of Comm Day information.

Comm Day is slated for Tuesday, Oct. 25 from 9-4.

Faculty member meets Fox

Posted September 16, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

It isn't often that we run into world leaders at local dining spots. This week, Journalism lecturer Kim Pewitt-Jones did just that.

While attending the Sept. 14 meeting of Society of Professional Journalists, Fort Worth chapter, Journalism lecturer Pewitt-Jones got the opportunity to meet Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico.

"We discovered that the former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, was in the restaurant that evening. One one of our guests knew him and his publicist Juan Martin Hernandez," explained Pewitt-Jones, who serves as SPJ chapter president.

Pewitt-Jones and the event panelists posed with Fox and his publicist and have been posting their pics on Facebook.

“The SPJ meeting focused on how to provide better media coverage for ethnic issues—one of those groups being Hispanics,” Pewitt-Jones said. “But, what a surprise--I didn’t expect to meet a famous Hispanic leader such as Vicente Fox that night.”

Panelists for the event, "What are local media missing in coverage of ethnic issues," included NBC-5 reporter Susy Solis, Arlington Businesswoman and Community Leader Cindy Dao, and Eddie Griffin, author and activist for the African-American Community.

For more info on the Fort Worth chapter of Society of Professional Journalists, check out

Students needed for Comm Day Challenge

Posted September 15, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category students

The Comm Day 3.0 Apprentice Challenge needs students in Broadcast, Communication Technology, and Communication Studies to participate on teams with students in other Communication majors (including Advertising, Journalism, and Public Relations).

The teams are producing professional communicaton packages for corporate partner TXU Energy. Some of the student-produced projects will be used for TXU's In the Community social media campaign.

Students on the winning team will also shadow professionals in their fields for a day on the job.  Broadcast students will work with CW-33 or Ranch Radio. Comm Tech students will shadow Ride for the Brand Web design and online marketing.  Comm Studies will be working with Six Flags Over Texas corporate offices.

Interested students should contact Dr. Erika Pribanic-Smith at to be placed on a team.

Students gaining experience through internships

Posted September 13, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category students

Learning may begin in the classroom, but getting practical work experience is crucial in today's tough job market. Communication Department students are taking their skills to the streets and landing internships with local businesses and non-profits to gain work experience and add to their resumes.

Broadcast students Candace Brown and Jared Mayers landed prestigious internships with FSN-SW (Fox Sports Southwest) for the fall semester.

“This is a very competitive paid internship,” said Dr. Andrew Clark, broadcast sequence chair. “Only three interns were selected and two were from our department. We are very proud of Candace and Jared.”

Aubree McFadden, broadcast major, is interning as a producer for KLTY’s Nightlight.

Public Relations major Becky M. Volk is interning with the Tarrant Area Food Bank in Fort Worth, while Kevin Johnston, broadcast major, is working with UTA Movin' Mavs to help create instructional videos for use in public schools.

Journalism student Colt Langley is spending this semester at The Dallas Observer and Valeriya Stavitskaya, advertising major, is interning with CBS 11.

Advertising major Daniel Kruzic garnered valuable experience working as a summer intern for the City of Dallas’ Public Information Office. Kruzic worked on media and public relations projects and honed his graphic design and advertising skills.

Broadcast  major Christine Nicholson became a published writer and photographer during her internship at NBC last semester and, ultimately, landed a job as a production assistant at the station. She now runs teleprompter, organizes scripts for anchors and helps write for the evening and weekend newscasts while attending UTA classes full-time. Christine is interning again this semester, shadowing station producers.

“The opportunity to be able to contribute news to a mass audience like NBC’s still gives me goose bumps,” the busy student said.

Department of Communication Chair Dr. Charla Markham Shaw said student internship experience often give job applicants a leg up in a competitive job market.

"We are very proud of our students who are serving as interns throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It is exciting to see our ambitious, talented students making a contribution in the community," Dr. Markham Shaw said. "It speaks well of our department and faculty. What we are teaching in the classroom is translating to the job market."

If you have landed an internship we need to know about, e-mail and we'll do a little bragging on you, too!

Faculty photograph featured

Posted September 13, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

When full-time lecturer Allen Sheffield isn’t in the classroom, chances are, you’ll find him with a camera slung around his neck.

The avid photographer loves to travel and often documents his trips with amazing photographs. One of Sheffield’s photographs was recently selected in KERA’s Photo of the Week contest.

“Dallas Farmers Market 2” was chosen as the winner of the Flickr Photo of the Week and was featured on KERA’s Art&Seek website. Congratulations!

Rodriguez hosts broadcast seminar

Posted September 13, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

Broadcast Lecturer Julian Rodriguez recently held a two-day video editing and production seminar for seven area Hispanic media professionals. Several of the attendees are based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but report for media outlets in Venezuela and Mexico.

Projects selected for publication

Posted September 13, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

Dr. Dustin Harp, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, had the following research projects accepted for publication this summer:

Baek, K., Holton, A., Harp, D. & Yaschur, C. (2011). The links that bind: Uncovering novel motivations for linking on Facebook, Computers in Human Behavior, 27, 2243-2248, [Available online, doi:10.1016/j.chb.2011.07.003].

Harlow, S. & Harp, D. (2011). Collective action on the web: A cross-cultural study of social networking sites and online and offline activism in the United States and Latin America. Information, Communication & Society, [Available online, doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2011.591411].

Baresch, B., Knight, L, Harp, D. & Yaschur, C. (2011). Friends who choose your news: An analysis of content links on Facebook. ISOJ Journal, 1(2), 65-85.
Correa, T. & Harp, D. (2011). Women matter in newsrooms: How power and critical mass relate to the coverage of the HPV vaccine. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 88(2), 301-319.

Apprentice Challenge Info session today

Posted September 12, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category urgent

An information session detailing the Comm Day Apprentice Challenge will be held today, Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 1 p.m. in FAB 258.

The Department of Communication is partnering with 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 TXU Energy services. TXU will use some of the student-created materials in the company's actual promotions.

Interested students are encouraged attend the info meeting even if they are not yet members of a Challenge team. Students seeking to join a team should contact Dr. Erika Pribanic-Smith via e-mail at, on the Facebook event page, or via twitter @UTACommDay to be matched up with a team.

Students on the winning Apprentice Challenge 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.

PR students working with Movin' Mavs

Posted September 1, 2011 by Keith Bartholomew in category faculty

Students in Shelley Wigley's PR Campaigns class will be developing a public relations campaign plan and implementing a portion of it for the Movin' Mavs wheelchair basketball team during Fall '11 semester.

Four groups of students will conduct primary research, develop an in-depth campaign plan and present it to the client. Each group also will implement a project or event on behalf of the Movin' Mavs team, explained Dr. Wigley, assistant professor of public relations. At least one of the student groups will plan and launch a fundraising project for the team.

"This is a service learning course," Dr. Wigley said. "Through this course, PR students get real-world experience working for an actual client while contributing and giving back to the community."

The goal of the project is to increase community awareness about the Movin' Mavs program, increase public understanding of the need for athletic sports programs for the disabled, and increase funding for the Movin' Mavs wheelchair basketball program.

"By working directly with -- and advising a client -- throughout the semester, students are able to utilize the public relations skills they've learned in previous PR classes," Dr. Wigley added. "The class functions much like an internship and gives students insight into what it will be like to work in the public relations field."