Communication Department News

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

Journalism students land summer internerships

Posted December 12, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category students

Two UTA journalism majors have been offered paid internships for summer 2012 through the Dow Jones News Fund program.

Bryan Bastible will be a copy editor and page designer at the Beaumont Enterprise. Jose Enriquez will be a copy editing intern at The Dallas Morning News.

The Dow Jones News Fund, formerly known as the Newspaper Fund, was organized in 1958 to improve the quality of journalism education and the pool of applicants for jobs in the news business.

The Fund offered its first fellowships for high school journalism teachers of $1,000 each in 1959. DJNF provides paid summer internships in business reporting, news, multimedia and sports copy editing for juniors, seniors and graduate students.

Both Bastible and Enriquez are staff members of The Shorthorn, UTA's student newspaper.

Group Comm students assist youth theatre group

Posted December 9, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category students

Students in April Blount's Fall Group Communication class assisted Arlington's Creative Arts Theatre School (CATS) in raising money for costumes and operating expenses.

The students held an on-campus bake sale to raise funds and donated concession supplies to the non-proft arts organization. The Communication students also organized the costume and fabric room at the North Arlington facility, making it easier for staff and volunteers to create costumes used in CATS' productions. Founded in 1977, CATS is the only youth theatre in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, staging a roster of plays each year and offering classes in acting, dance and stagecraft.

Blount said she is proud that her students are not only learning to work together to accomplish goals, but are learning the importance of getting involved in the community.

“That’s what this project is about — going out and helping someone and actually make a difference,” she said.

Meningitis vaccination proof due by Jan. 2

Posted December 9, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category urgent

Incoming UTA students under 30 years old must be immunized against bacterial meningitis before enrolling and submit proof of immunization by Jan. 2.

The new law mandates that first-time college students, students transferring from another institution and students who are re-enrolling following a break of at least semester be inoculated . Students who plan to audit a course must also comply with the law.
New UT Arlington students enrolling for Spring 2012 must be vaccinated as soon as possible. Under the law, new college students must have received the vaccine within the past five years. Proof of inoculation is required 10 days before the Jan. 17 start of the spring semester.
UT Arlington asks students to submit proof of vaccination by Jan. 2 to ensure that documents are processed in time to comply with the law. Students will not be allowed to enroll or move in to campus housing without submitting proof that they have complied with the vaccination law.

Students have several options to obtain the vacinnation. Many primary care physicians offer the shot with price depending on insurance coverage and the practice. Some insurance plans require a co-payment for preventative vaccinations; others may fully cover the cost. The vaccine also may be available at area health care clinics and pharmacies.

The vaccine also is available through the UT Arlington Health Services Center for a fee of $130. Students with private insurance may be able to file a claim afterward. For more information contact UT Arlington Health Services at 817-272-2771 or visit

Tarrant County Public Health has a limited supply of subsidized meningitis vaccine doses available for $25. The shots are intended for low-income, uninsured students. Availability varies by clinic site and demand. Please contact a clinic in your area to determine whether subsidized meningitis vaccine is available. Visit for a list of public health clinics or call 817-321-4700.

Dallas County Health and Human Services also is offering subsidized meningitis vaccine to students 19 and older for $10 with a college ID. Supplies are limited. For more information, please call 214-819-2162 or visit for a list of clinics and phone numbers.
Students need not show proof of residency to purchase the subsidized vaccine in either county.

UT Arlington has contracted with a third-party service, Magnus Health SMR, to collect student vaccination records, verify the documents and maintain the records in compliance with federal privacy laws. Incoming students will be given directions on how to create a Magnus account and how to submit proper documentation indicating that they have received the vaccine 10 days in advance of the first day of classes.

Proof documents may be uploaded online, faxed or mailed directly to Magnus Health, but students are encouraged to upload proof documents online. Faxing or mailing documents will slow down the verification process. The company will charge students a $10 fee to record and review records submitted and to notify UT Arlington that the student is in compliance. International students may pay with a credit card but must do so on the phone or via fax. For more information, email Magnus Health at or call 877-461-6831.

For additional information, visit the following:


Communication alum landing key positions

Posted December 5, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category alumni

Department of Communication alumni are landing key positions in their respective fields. Here's a round up of where our recent grads are working and what they're up to.

Holland Sanders, Fall 2009 Public Relations graduate, was recently named Marketing Manager for the Fort Worth Opera.


Jared Chism, Dec 2011 Public Relations graduate, has been hired to do social media for AT&T. Chism was a featured speaker at the Department of Communication’s annual Communication Day event this fall.


Ahsan “Ali” Kahn, Dec 2011 PR graduate, was hired for an internship with Fleishman-Hillard, a leading international communication agency with 80 offices around the world. Kahn will be training in Washington D.C. before working on the firm’s Best Buy account in preparation for a new store opening in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


Erikka Neroes, a May 2011 Public Relations and Communication Studies (Organizational Communication) grad, has accepted a position in the Public Affairs office of the Department of Veterans Affairs North Texas Health Care System.  During her final semester, she served as an intern in Senator Wendy Davis’ office.


Erika McMinn, May 2011 graduate and recipient of the Department of Communication’s 2011 Outstanding Public Relations student award, is an account executive at Concussion, a Fort Worth-based advertising agency.

Emily Suied, a May 2011 PR grad and past president of the UTA Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), received a $500 scholarship from the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Jean Weaver, 2005 cum laude communication/public relations graduate, published her first book. The freelance writer and editor is co-author of The Transition of a Country Boy: A Memoir. Weaver assisted Ron Howell in writing his memoirs about growing up in West Texas during the Depression and later becoming part of the booming oil industry.

Spring 2011 grad Susan Wilhelm Chandler is working in the Communication Department of the Fort Worth Police Department. Chandler is responsible for writing press releases and producing the employee newsletter for the FWPD.

Zoheb Hassanali, a Spring 2010 grad with a degree in Broadcasting and a minor in Speech Communication, recently accepted a position as a multi-media journalist with WACH in Columbia, South Carolina. Hassanali worked previously as an on-air reporter for KTVO in Kirksville, Mo.

Andrew Knaus, a Fall 2008 BCMN grad, was hired at KTTC in Rochester, MN. Knaus previously worked as a reporter at a station in Helena, MT.

Hope Ekwue, Spring 2009 broadcast grad, accepted a position as Director of Communications for Strategic Government Resource and is the contracted Public Information Officer for the City of Keller Public Works Department.

MA Communication grad Matthew Fisher has accepted a position as Communications Manager of Multimedia for the American Heart Association.

KKTV/Channel 11 in Colorado Springs, Co has hired Broadcast grad Mecca Rayne as weekend anchor. Rayne previously worked at KSNT/Channel 27, the NBC affiliate in Topeka, Kan. where she anchored the morning show. While attending UTA, she was a production assistant.

Joe Gumm, 2002 broadcast graduate, is working for Fox’s Oklahoma City affiliate KOKH-TV as morning anchor.

Broadcast and Spanish graduate Alexis Spears has joined the staff of East Texas’ KTRE as a video journalist. While at UTA, Spears reported, produced, and anchored UTA News and interned at KCBI Radio and CBS 11/ KTVT News in Dallas-Fort Worth. She previously worked at WOAY, an ABC affiliate in W. Va. as reporter, anchor and producer.

Raquel Daisy, Communication master’s alum, is now a Communications Specialist for North Texas Specialty Physicians in Fort Worth.

Sarah Macias, Spring 2010 Broadcast grad, has been selected for a producer/editor position with KXII in Sherman, TX.

Chris Ghanbari, broadcast major, is founder of DFW Reporting, an Arlington-based online news outlet. Ghanbari opened the company in January 2009 because of “the need for more positive news coverage in the Dallas-Fort Worth market.”


Advertising students named national finalists

Posted December 5, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category accomplishments

Students in the fall Integrated Marketing Communication class in the Advertising sequence were named among the finalists in the Chevrolet’s Sonic Marketing Challenge and will make a presentation to Chevrolet executives in Detroit Dec. 6.

The team is one of three finalist groups being flown to Detroit by GM. (Entries were received from 48 student teams across the nation.)

The UT Arlington student team designed an integrated marketing campaign targeting college-age students. The students include: Corey Erickson, Wes Albaugh, Vidwan Raghavan, Daniel Kruzic and Sean Alexander. Luis Lopez-Preciado and Rudy Bechtel team teach the IMC class.

UTA Radio racking up awards

Posted December 5, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category accomplishments

UTA Radio is proving that good things come in threes.

In October, UTA won a Radio Mercury Award in New York City. The winning spot, "Get Tested," was produced by Jillian Dennis and Trey Caron, two students from Broadcast Lecturer Lance Liguez's Summer II Radio Production class. The award honors the best in radio creative and comes with $2,500 prize.

UTA Radio won the Best PSA category for radio at the College Broadcasters, Inc. convention. Dontae Robison beat out three other finalists for the award.

UTA Radio and UTA News also chalked up honors at the 2011 South Central Broadcasting Society regional competition. The entries include undergraduate college and university students from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico and Tennessee. The audio winners are students in Radio Production (BCMN 2357) or UTA Video winners are taking TV Production (BCMN 2458), Electronic News (BCMN 3340) and TV Reporting II (BCMN 4350).

UTA students honored include:

Ayyoub Ajmi—third place, Video Open Category
Trey Caron and Jillian Dennis—third place, Audio PSA
Josh Greenlee—second place, Audio Promo
Christine Nicholson—first place, Audio Music/Entertainment Program; second place, Audio News Program
Alanna Quillen—honorable mention, Video Open Category
Dontae Robison—second place, Audio PSA
Samantha Watson—honorable mention, Video Feature Package
Jazmyne Washington—third place, Video PSA

Shorthorn features instructor

Posted December 5, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

Communication instructor Michael Putnam was part of a bimonthly lecture series featuring professionals from the business and campus community for the Society for Human Resources Management. Putnam offered advice on the art of networking and mastering common interview questions. Putnam was featured in a Nov. 29 article in The Shorthorn.

Faculty paper accepted

Posted December 5, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

Assistant Professor Dr. Chunke Su’s sole-authored article entitled "Who knows who knows what in the group? The effects of communication network centralities, use of digital knowledge repositories and work remoteness on organizational members' accuracy in expertise recognition" has been accepted for publication in Communication Research.

Communication Research is an internationally peer-reviewed top-tier journal, ranked 6 out of 67 in the field of Communication by ISI 2010 Journal Citation Reports.

Faculty member recognized

Posted December 5, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

Assistant Professor Mark Tremayne submitted a paper entitled "Anatomy of Protest in the Digital Era: A Network Analysis of Twitter and Occupy Wall Street" to the International Communication Association (Communication Technology division).

Tremayne was also quoted in a recent Advertising Age article detailing the declining audience for childrens’ television shows.

Interns gaining experience

Posted December 2, 2011 by Barrie Hill in category students

Department of Communication students with at least 60 hours of credit or more are encouraged to complete an internship in their major to gain valuable work experience prior to graduation.

Communication students intern with a wide variety of businesses, organizations, and non-profits. The internships not only provide an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned, but many lead to job offers following graduation, reminds Department Chair Dr. Charla Markham Shaw.

"We are proud of the relationships we foster through our internship program, and we encourage students to take advantage of the numerous internship opportunies available through our department," Dr. Markham Shaw said. "The experience and knowledge gained through an internship are invaluable and often set students apart from other applicants when it's time to apply for that first professional position."

This semester, Department of Communication students are interning all over the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with several studnets packing their bags for out of state  positions.

Journalism major J. C. Derrick  is spending the semester in Washington, D.C. as an Archer Fellow where he is interning with The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. His article, “What Joe Paterno taught me: It’s time to stop keeping secrets,” was published in The Washington Post Nov. 11.

"My internship has been extremely valuable to me. It has definitely met and exceeded my expectations," Derrick said. " Due to my background in journalism and my interest in law, I chose The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to merge those two fields."

"I've been challenged as I covered and learned a lot about media law issues," Derrick added. "The internship has been very useful for teaching me new journalism skills, while also imparting a plethora of knowledge about the legal system. I can now make a much more informed decision about law school."

Like Derrick, many Communication students are finding internship positions equally beneficial.

Ahsan “Ali” Kahn, who will graduate this month with a Public Relations degree, was hired for an internship with Fleishman-Hillard, a leading international communication agency with 80 offices around the world. Kahn will be training in Washington D.C. before working on the firm’s Best Buy account in preparation for a new store opening in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Public Relations students are landing internships with a variety of companies. Public Relations major Kaitlin Hennessy is now Community Relations and Giving Intern at Southwest Airlines, while Ashley Montgomery is serving as a PR intern for MD3 Holdings in Garland. Katy Kiger has accepted a spring Public Relations internship position with Richards Partners, affiliated with The Richards Group.

Breanna Standifer, Spring 2009 PR grad, and Rebecca Strong, Spring 2010 PR grad, served as interns for Open Channels Group, one of the largest minority-owned public relations firms in Texas.

Journalism students often intern with local media outlets. Journalism major Megan Falconer spent the fall semester interning at D Magazine in Dallas. 

Organizational Communication major Sandy Kurtzman is an intern for ARC of Greater Tarrant Country in Fort Worth.

The department's broadcast students are also gaining hands-on experience through internships. Broadcast major Aubree McFadden works with Irving-based Salem Communications as a producer for the Nightlife show. Alanna Quillen and Christine Nicholson, broadcast journalism majors, worked in the newsroom of KXAS NBC 5 this semester, shadowing reporters and assisting producers.

Candace Brown and Jared Mayers landed internships with FSN-SW (Fox Sports Southwest) for the Fall 2011 semester.

In addition to the experience and exposure an internship provides, completing an approved internship through the Department of Communication also earns the student three hours of credit. A student must have a departmental GPA of 3.0 to apply and must have completed appropriate coursework related to the internship.

Internship forms are available in the Department of Communication office in Room 118.

"I would absolutely encourage people to find an internship - even if it's not paid," Derrick advised. "The experience gained will at least make you a better graduate and more attractive to potential employers, but it also might end up changing your life."