Communication Department News

Showing stories between June 1, 2012 and June 30, 2012.

Dept. of Communication honors students, faculty

Posted June 22, 2012 by Barrie Hill in category accomplishments

The Department of Communication recognized top students and 2012-13 scholarship winners at the 2012 Honors Convocation on Friday, April 27 in the UTA Planetarium.


Thirty-nine students were inducted into the Communication Honor Society. Membership is by invitation only, with honorees completing at least 90 hours toward their degrees; at least 60 of those hours must be completed at UTA with a GPA of 3.0 or better. The inductees must also have completed at least 12 hours at UTA in Communication with a GPA of 3.5 or better.


Congratulations to the following Communication Honor Society students:

Wesley Albaugh, Elizabeth Alvarez, Matt Anstice, Matthew Bastible, Kimberly Bauer, Derek Beckno, Josh Bowe, Christopher Bryan, Cindy Chung, Staci Deluca, Thomas Dennard, Christopher Dinh, Nicole Durham, Amanda Gonzalez, Chloe Jamerson, Ashley Keene, Kathryn Kiger, Rachel Makutuya, Maria Martinez, Christopher Mead, David Morgan, Benjamin Muir, Cindy Nguyen, Jessica Patzer, David Petti, Rachel Rodriguez, Britney Taylor, Michelle Tyer, Teresa Ustanik, Samantha Watson and Lucille Wong.


Several Department of Communication students were also inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha, a college honor society that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication. Membership must be earned by excellence in academic work and selection for membership is a mark of highest distinction and honor. The seventh oldest national honor society, Kappa Tau Alpha was founded at the University of Missouri in 1910 at the world's first school of journalism. The Society has 94 chapters and has inducted nearly 60,000 outstanding students since its founding in 1910.

Congratulations to this year’s Kappa Tau Alpha inductees: Matthew Bastible, Christopher Bryan, Thomas Dennard, Joshua Derrick, Samantha Horn, Chloe Jamerson, Ashley Keene, Kathryn Kiger and Britney Taylor. Kathryn Kiger was also named the Kappa Tau Alpha Top Scholar.

The department also recognized the outstanding students for 2011-2012. Outstanding seniors in the Department of Communication’s six disciplines include: Advertising: Alison Cohn; Broadcasting: Christine Nicholson; Communication Studies:  Keelie Barrow; Communication Technology: Carlos Cucalon; Journalism: Matthew Bryan Bastible, and Public Relations: Christopher Bryan.

Outstanding Graduate Student honors were presented to Vidisha Bhopatkar.

Outstanding Students in an Organization included: PRSSA: Katy Kiger; UTA Radio: Staci Deluca; Association for Women in Communication: Sarah Frost; UTA News en Espanol:  Raul Solis; and Society of Professional Journalists: Bryan Bastible.

The Department of Communication also presented scholarships to 23 recipients.

The Lloyd Clark Endowed Scholarship, honoring 1942 graduate Lloyd Clark and given to an undergraduate student who intends to follow a news-editorial career. It is the hope of Mr. Clark’s classmates that those receiving the scholarship can match his performance on the Dallas Morning News, Phoenix Gazette, and Arizona Weekly Gazette.  Bianca Montes is this year’s Lloyd Clark recipient.

The Donald and Dorothy Bunnell Endowed Scholarship in Communication was established by Donald Bunnell to recognize and celebrate his beloved wife, the late Dorothy Bunnell. The scholarship recognizes outstanding students majoring in any Communication field. Sean Noell, Zack Minter and Mark Melendez are this year’s Donald and Dorothy Bunnell scholars.

The Donna Darovich Endowed Scholarship in Journalism was established by friends and colleagues of to honor Darovich at the time of her retirement as UTA’s Director of Public Affairs. This year’s Donna Darovich Scholar is Lindsey Juarez.

The Neva McMurry Reidel Scholarship was established to honor the memory of Neva McMurray Reidel, a UTA student of journalism. Mrs. Reidel’s sister became aware of the excellence of the journalism program at UTA, and created this annual award in 1987 to recognize an outstanding journalism student. Lindsey Juarez is the 2011-2012 Neva McMurray Reidel scholar.

The Charles Arrendell Family Scholarship, first awarded in 1990, was established to honor Charles Arrendell, distinguished journalist and former chairperson of the Department of Communication. After his sudden death in 1989, Arrendell’s wife, son, and many friends established this scholarship to be awarded to an undergraduate journalism student in his memory.  Rachel Snyder and Kushal Sapkota are this year’s Charles Arrendell scholars.

The Murray C. and Nona Poston Journalism Scholarship was established by the Postons, world travelers who spent 20 years traveling and writing articles for the travel industry and various news organizations. In 1979, at age 66, Mrs. Poston graduated from UTA with a journalism degree. Established in the Postons’ wills, this award provides support to future journalists. This year’s Murray and Nona Poston scholar is Cindy Chung.

The Bill McCallum Communication Scholarship was established to honor the memory of Bill McCallum, husband and friend to our beloved colleague, Dr. Karin McCallum. Friends, family, and UTA colleagues and students established the scholarship to be awarded to an undergraduate communication student. This year’s Bill McCallum scholar is Christine Lambe.

The Jack Butler Award is presented annually to an outstanding news-editorial journalism graduate who is about to enter the working world. Jack Butler, editor of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram from the 1950s until the mid-1970s, was a life-long Texas newspaper man. In appreciation for Butler’s service to the newspaper, the Capitol Cities Communications Corp. established the award in his honor. This year’s Jack Butler recipient is Bianca Montes.

The Mark Holtz Sports Journalism Scholarship was established to honor Texas Rangers’ lead radio announcer for 13 years, Mark Holtz. Holtz was named Texas play-by-play sportscaster of the year eight times and elected to the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990. The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation awards two scholarships to UTA pursuing careers in Broadcast Journalism. This year’s Mark Holtz scholars are Alyxandra Crawford and Brianna Nathaniel.

The Karin McCallum Endowed Scholarship, first awarded in 1996, was established by former students of the award-winning emeritus professor of Speech Communication, Karin McCallum.  This scholarship is given to outstanding students majoring in Communication Studies in her honor. Kirstin Gaddis and Ward Griffin are this year’s Karin McCallum scholars.

The Andrew M. Clark Scholarship, presented in honor of Dr. Clark in recognition to his dedication to student achievement, his vision, and his patience, was established in 2007 by the first graduate of UTA’s Master’s of Arts in Communication program, Danny Woodward. The scholarship is awarded to an outstanding graduate student at the beginning of his/her thesis research. This year’s Andrew M. Clark Scholars are Vidisha Bhopatkar and Paul Kozar.

The Phillip Lynn Hall Endowed Scholarship was established to honor 1980 UTA graduate, Phillip Lynn Hall, a lover of music, literature and journalism. Following his unexpected death in 2001, Hall’s family established the scholarship in his memory to be awarded to outstanding students majoring in Communication. Rachel Snyder is this year’s recipient.


The Douglas Maples Broadcast Scholarship was established in honor of Doug Maples and his passion for radio broadcasting. While taking courses at UTA, Maples fell in love with the station and realized that there was a need for equipment and scholarship support. This scholarship is Maples’ way of giving back to the university where he works and still enjoys learning each day.  The Douglas Maples Scholar is Juan Rios.


The George Proctor Endowed Scholarship was established by family, friends, and colleagues to honor George Proctor. An honored member of the family of the Department of Communication for more than 12 years, Proctor was a freelance writer, editor, artist, philosopher and an enthusiastic educator. The George Proctor scholar is Maritza Moreno.

The Dallas/Fort Worth Interactive Marketing Association Scholarship, established this year, is awarded to a student interested in the interactive marketing field actively engaged in courses related to the field.  Kristen Ranshaw and Taiki Hara are the first recipients of the DFWIMA scholarship.

The Sam Lea Endowed Scholarship in Journalism was established by his family in honor of Sam Lea, a UTA student who earned a journalism degree in 2004. At the time of his death in 2005, Lea was pursuing a second degree in English toward a secondary teaching certification. He was gifted in conveying stories in both photography and words. In the words of his father “Sam was a generous, warmhearted man with a mind open to learning.” This year’s scholarship, awarded to support the work of a student in journalism, is presented to Mary Boedeker.

Students were not the only ones honored at this year’s convocation. Two beloved faculty members were also celebrated during the special event. Pat Gordon and Allen Sheffield were recognized for their long-time dedication to the Department of Communication. Sheffield is a Speech Communication instructor, and Pat Gordon is a Journalism and Photography instructor. Both Gordon and Sheffield are retiring following the spring semester and will be greatly missed by students, staff and fellow faculty.

Working world: Comm Alums landing top spots

Posted June 22, 2012 by Barrie Hill in category alumni

Graduates of the Department of Communication are working in all fields of the communication industry and landing jobs in state and across the country. Here's the some of our latest alumni news.


Kristy Phillips (MA, Communication) has been was hired by Heise Media Group in Bakersfield, CA as the company’s new Marketing/Sales Coordinator.


John Harden (BA, Broadcast Communication) is freelancing for The New York Times. Harden will be writing one science/health feature a month for the publication.


Aubree McFadden (BA, Broadcast Communication) has accepted a job as producer for radio station KLTY’s “Nightlight” show.

Sandy Kurtzman (BA, Communication Studies) has been offered a management trainee position with Sherwin Williams Paint Services Group in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Alanna Quillen (BA, Broadcast Communication) has accepted a position with ABC affiliate KMID TV in Midland as weekend anchor/reporter.

Felicia Bolton (BA, Broadcast Communication) has been hired as an on-air reporter at KOSA in Odessa, TX.


Decklan Miller-McGee (BA, Broadcast Communication) has been hired by SKY Helicopters in Garland as a helicopter camera operator/videographer, providing aerials for KDFW and KTVT.

Erick Fernandez (BA, Broadcast Communication) has been hired as weekend Technical Director for Univision.

Chloe Jamerson (BA, Public Relations) begins a position May 15 with The Richards Group, a Dallas-based PR firm and one of the largest independently owned advertising agency in the country. Jamerson will be working in Brand Public Relations for the PR division, Richards Partners.

Ashley Montgomery (BA, Public Relations) has been hired by TracyLocke to work in the creative agency’s Dallas office. Montgomery will be working with media planners to set up advertising buys.


If you are a graduate of the Department of Communicaton, we'd love to hear from you. Please e-mail and let us know where you're working and what you're up to.

UTA Radio gaining web hits, listeners

Posted June 22, 2012 by Barrie Hill in category accomplishments

UTA Radio is no longer a well-kept secret. The radio’s website,, is increasing the number of visitors to the site each week. The campus-run station is also expanding its reach by joining the iHeart Radio digital platform.

“We broke a monthly visitor and hits record,” offered Joseph W. Carter, Manager of Technical Operations and Department of Communication Broadcast Engineer. “In March, we had 2,029 unique visitors and 61,264 page impressions. That's the most ever in a month.”


“We've had 103,546 total page impressions so far this year,” Carter added.


The addition to iHeart’s college radio roster gives UTA Radio the potential for wider visibility and recognition.

“It will allow us to align ourselves with an entity that is second only to Pandora in the number of people accessing and listening to radio online,” says Dr. Andrew Clark, Broadcast Sequence Coordinator. “Not only does it give us more credibility, but it exposes the work of our students to all of the iHeart listeners, and increases the national as well as the global awareness of UT Arlington and of the many things that the university offers. “

“As a result of this opportunity, our students will be creating new and varied programming and have a greater platform to showcase their work,” Clark added.

In addition to playing the best in indie rock, UTA Radio students also handle play-by-play duties for the university’s basketball, baseball and volleyball teams.

According to Triton Digital, iHeart’s average active sessions, the web equivalent of traditional radio’s listenership during a 15-minute period, grew to 206,000 in January. The number has been steadily increasing since November, when 162,093 sessions were reported.

iHeart Radio is a Clear Channel Radio network broadcasting over 850 live stations through its website and mobile app. It began adding university radio stations earlier this year, with UTA Radio now joining over a dozen college stations on the digital platform.

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

Communication staffers honored

Posted June 22, 2012 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

Senior Lecturer Mindia Whittier has been chosen Adjunct Instructor of the Year by the students in the College of Liberal Arts. Whittier was recognized at the College of Liberal Arts Accolades event held April 19 in Irons Recital Hall.


Department of Communication instructors Sandie Idziak and Roby McEuen were honored for their years of service to the university at an employee recognition ceremony. The event, held April 18 in Hereford University Center, recognized faculty and employees who have worked at UTA for 10, 15 and 20 years. Lecturer Sandie Idziak has taught Speech Communication classes for 20 years. Specialist Roby McEuen has taught at the University for 10 years.


Lecturer Melyssa Prince has earned accreditation from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). The process entails being accepted as a candidate, presenting a portfolio of work that demonstrates an ability to research, plan, execute and measure communication plans, followed by a 4.5-hour exam. The exam is comprised of a four-hour written portion and a 30-minute oral defense.


“I was given a crisis scenario and had to come up with a plan of action and convince a panel of other accredited communicators that the plan was solid. The portfolio and exam are evaluated by members of the international organization,” Ms. Prince explains. “After a lot of waiting, I received the word that I had been granted accreditation status. I am very proud to have achieved the ABC designation.”

Comm students gain real-world experience

Posted June 22, 2012 by Barrie Hill in category students

In the classroom:


Learning is more than cracking a book and taking a test in the Department of Communication. Classes offer students an opportunity to see what they will be doing once they graduate in their respective fields. During the spring semester, Communication students got the chance to meet with industry professionals and work on a variety of projects for hands on learning.


Assistant Professor Mark Tremayne hosted a visit by his former student, Ann Arnold, morning anchor for KFDX in Wichita Falls. Arnold spoke to broadcast students about preparing themselves for careers in television news.


 Public Relations Students in Mindia Whittier’s worked as student ambassadors for the PR firm, Strategic Image, to develop a public relations campaign on behalf of the Tarrant County Public Health Department. The campaign was designed to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables among college students. Students participating in the project include Christopher Bryan, Nicole Durham, Sarah Frost and Jasmine Moore.


Students in Whittier’s PR Campaigns course developed Strategic Communication Plans for the national launch of a new product being offered by a company called Think Finance this semester.


Communication Technology students in Dr. Brian Horton’s Spring Human Computer Interaction spent the semester working with local client, DigIt! Development, to create a unique, interactive website.


DigIt! Development is collaborating with the City of Dallas to create 21 custom homes in the Cedars area of Dallas, just south of I-30,” Dr. Horton explained. “The class has created -- and is in the process of implementing -- a very unique user experience where potential homebuyers can customize homes online. The homebuyer is then able to print out a report that they can take to the bank without having to go through a Realtor.”

The City of Dallas has contributed $300,000 to upgrade the infrastructure around the neighborhood of custom homes. The Galleries on Hickory will range in price from $300,000 to $500,000.

The students also collaborated with DigIt! Development to create an internet marketing plan for the company.

“Being the first of its kind and scale, the website is expected to generate a lot of buzz throughout, not only the DFW area, but also the United States,” Dr. Horton added. “I am very proud of the work my students have done on this innovative project.”

Drop Deadline Monday

Posted June 22, 2012 by Barrie Hill in category urgent

Department of Communication students needing to drop a Summer I class must do so by Monday, June 25.

The deadline for dropping a class for the first summer session is Monday. Students may drop a class with a "W" by visiting the Department of Communication advising office between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The office is located in Room 126 in the Fine Arts building.