Communication Department News

Showing stories between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014.

Alumni Elizabeth Dinh Featured in UTA Magazine

Posted December 9, 2014 by Brian Horton in category alumni

Congratulations to 2003 Department of Communication alumni Elizabeth Dinh. She is now a news reporter for CBS11 in Dallas-Fort Worth. Read her story:

Kapellusch's Students Service Learning Project With Heifer International

Posted November 10, 2014 by Brian Horton in category faculty

Students in Carie Kapellusch’s class work on service learning projects. The students are creating reflection journals to record their experiences supporting Heifer International.

'Dealing With the Media' Workshop Hosted By Dr. Wigley

Posted November 10, 2014 by Brian Horton in category faculty

Dr. Shelley Wigley hosted a two-part workshop “Dealing with the Media” for UTA’s freshmen student athletes. Part of the October workshop included student athletes manning the UTA News anchor desk and answering questions during a mock media interview.

Austin Robinson and UTA Radio cover Indy Racing at TMS

Posted November 10, 2014 by Brian Horton in category faculty

Austin Robinson assisted UTARadio in covering events at Texas Motor Speedway Nov. 2. Robinson is pictured with Texas Rangers’ pitcher Derek Holland.

UTA Radio garners award

Posted October 2, 2014 by Brian Horton in category awards

UTA Radio News won first place for Best Newscast in the South Central Broadcasting Society’s regional conference Sept. 27.

The newscast from April 2014 featured Tracie Hill, Spring 2014 BCMN grad. The SCBS includes schools from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Nebraska.

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 and on

Updated studio benefits broadcast students

Posted October 1, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category students

new broadcast studio new broadcast studio new broadcast studio

The Department of Communication's newly renovated broadcast studio not only provides students the use of state-of-the-art equipment, it allows more students to contribute to the department's weekly produced broadcasts.

The renovated space will be used to produce UTA News and UTA News en Español broadcasts, along with other departmental projects.

Broadcast instructors, support staff and members of the Office of Facilities Management spent the summer redesigning, repainting and re-equipping the broadcast studio. Funds for the project – which saw the overhaul of the main studio room as well as the control room – were secured from the department, the Office of the Dean of Liberal Arts and the Office of the Provost. Cameras were upgraded to high definition, a new set was constructed with updated University logos, and the control room was rewired and expanded.

“This is a completely different newscast than before,” said Associate Professor Andrew Clark, head of the broadcast program.

With upgrades and new equipment, students can control a state-of –the-art television studio switcher, high definition cameras, audio, graphics, recording and playback. Previously, many of these elements were limited to a single station and only allowed for one student at a time to work with these functions.

“Now, students can master each of the steps and have a better idea of what TV production is all about,” said Lecturer Julian Rodriguez.

Clark said he’s been impressed at how quickly students are gaining experience and knowledge beyond the simple know-how of the production gear.

“It’s the intangible things that are coming through,” he said. “Yes, they’re learning how to use the equipment, but they’re also learning how to work as a team, accept responsibility and offer accountability. It was hard to do that before.”

Rodriguez is excited to see how the new experience will impact students as the department continues to partner with the industry and UTA graduates enter the job market.

“This brings our department up to the current broadcast standard,” he said. “Students will be able to use technology that is being used in TV studios around the nation. The renovation and upgrade gives our students the opportunity to work with what’s out there in small and medium markets. The larger markets have more automation, so we’re working towards that goal.”

Comm pros offer insider info to students

Posted September 18, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category students

Department of Communication students benefit from the department's strong ties with local media professionals.


"It is quite common for our faculty members to invite communication professionals into the classroom to share relevant experiences with our students," said Department Chair Dr. Charla Markham Shaw. "Students hear first-hand from industry professionals about what life is like in the 'real world.'"


"It is a definite benefit to our students that our campus is strategically located in the center of the Dallas-Fort Worth area where the communication field is thriving," Markham Shaw added. "We are always appreciative when these professionals can share their experience and insight with our students."


This fall, many professionals are meeting with students, both in the classroom and through student organizations.


Jimmy Gonzalez, the VP of Programming at 107.5 La Grande, visited with broadcast students. Gonzales stopped in to speak to Lance Liguez’s broadcast management class on Sept. 18.


Gonzalez is credited with taking  the station to No. 1 in the market among Spanish formats, He is also overseeing the launch of morning personality El Shoboy into national radio syndication.


Jane Slater, an anchor/reporter with local CBS affiliate, Channel 11, was guest speaker in Mark Tremayne's Current Issues class on Sept. 19.


"Jane is a former student of mine who's had an extensive career in broadcast news and sports, both in radio and television. She'll be talking about trends in broadcasting and also offering students on getting jobs and networking," Tremayne said. 


Darren "Daz" McCall, co-author of the New York Times best seller Storyscaping -- Stop Creating Ads, Start Creating Worlds will offer insight to Communication students at 2:15 and 3:30 p.m. Oct. 20 in Fine Arts 409.


McCall, who is chief brand strategy officer for SapientNitro, will discuss the difference between storytelling and storydoing, immersive online experiences and consumer engagement. See for more info.


Comm Day Oct. 22

Posted September 18, 2014 by Brian Horton in category other

The Department of Communication hosted one of the department's most popular events. Communication Day, an annual  event celebrating careers in the communication field,  was held Oct. 22 in University Center's Bluebonnet Ballroom. The theme of the 6th Annual Comm Day was Destination Success.

Comm Day offers students a chance to network with top communication professionals and distinguished alumni who are eager to share tricks of the trade and help students increase their potential of landing a coveted communication position.

"Comm Day 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," offered Dr. Andrew Clark, chair of this year's event. "Alumni roundtables will allow current students to interact with departmental alum who are now working in the Communication industry.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, a UTA alum, was keynote speaker for this year's event.

Destination Success also included a headshot booth, resume critiques and image consultation.

Panelists for Comm Day:


Ben Taylor - Digital Strategist at Rockfish
Claire Dunn - Account Executive at PAVLOV Agency

Comm Tech

Tanner Hearne - Director of Technology at The Music Bed
Carlos Cucalon - Front-End Web Developer at Hanley Wood

 Comm Studies

Shiraz Sultan - Creative, Interactive, and Marketing Recruiter at The BOSS Group
Gentrie Pool - Sales Director at Sterling Administration

Public Relations

Raquel Daisy – Communications Manager Better Business Bureau
Jessica Dowdy – Public Relations Director Ft. Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau


Jason Sickles – Senior Reporter Yahoo
Reese Dunklin – Investigative Reporter Dallas Morning New


Zoheb Hassanali – Photojournalist, KCEN Waco
Jason Foster – Remote Broadcast Engineer, Photographer – KTVT, Dallas/Ft. Worth

Students team up for service learning project

Posted September 18, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category students

students in melanie mason's oral interpretation of children's literature class skype with students at watauga middle school and grand prairie fine arts academy on a collaborative service learning project.
Students in Communication Studies Lecturer Melanie Mason’s Oral Interpretation of Children's Literature class are participating in a service learning project this semester with Theatre Arts classes at Watauga Middle School and Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy.

The Communication students are working with sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders on a reader’s theatre presentation. 

Mason says the students are connecting on a project for International Dot Day, a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration, according to the group’s website.

“My students have provided these middle schoolers with a Reader's Theatre version of the book and a set of questions based on Burke's Pentad Dramatism Analysis so that they can better understand the script for performance,” Mason explained. “These students will then perform for us and have a discussion together on the experience.”

The COMS students have been Skyping with the younger students during class time. The Grand Prairie students visited the UTA campus for  presentation of the group’s collaborative project in September.

“This project gave my students an opportunity to further explore interpretation of Children's Literature, both from an individual perspective and to watch the target demographic in action,” Mason added.

“We also provided some great resources to these middle school teachers and exposed these kids to a university experience at UTA. Go Mavs!” 


UTA Radio announces Rocktober Lineup

Posted September 18, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category other

UTA has announced the lineup for this fall’s Rocktober concert series.

The bands confirmed to play at UTA’s Library Mall include Lindby, DayWaster, Svenny Baby, and Dead Beat Poetry.

"The artists included are local bands from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and some like Lindby have direct ties to UTA, with four out the five members graduates of the music department," explained BCMN lecturer Lance Liguez, who is also faculty sponsor of UTA Radio.

This will be kind of a homecoming for us,” Lindby’s Nick Goodrich said.   

One artist will perform at noon each Friday in October, with DayWaster kicking things off on Oct. 3.

The date coincides with College Radio Day, Liguez noted. The event aims to “raise a greater, international awareness of the many college and high school radio stations that operate around the world by encouraging people who would not normally listen to college radio to do so," according to the event's website. UTA Radio has participated in College Radio Day since its inception in 2011.

UTA is a student-run internet radio station that serves the UTA, and the world, with its eclectic mix of alternative/indie rock, sports, and student-produced entertainment. Check out UTA Radio online at and on

COMM grads landing top spots

Posted September 18, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category students

Department of Communication graduates in all disciplines are prepared for positions in many areas of Communication upon graduation.

"Our Comm grads are fortunate that classroom learning translates into job offers after graduation," commented Dr. Charla Markham Shaw, department chair. "Our alumni are moving into positions around the DFW Metroplex area and across the country after graduation. We are so proud of their accomplishments."

"We love to keep up with our students and hear where their education has taken them," Markham Shaw added. "It's exciting to hear how they are using their classroom learning in the job market."

Here's a round up of recent Department of Communication hires:

December 2006 BCMN and JOUR grad Candace Sweat is now working as a reporter for WRAL in Raleigh, NC.

August 2008 BCMN grad Daniel Armbruster is now a weekend co-anchor at 40/29 KHBS/KHOG-TV in Fayetteville/Fort Smith, Ark.!bQdBkL

December 2009 BCMN grad Matthew Linguist is now a full-time photographer at KCCO Fox 25 in Oklahoma City. Linquist worked previously as Digital Content Specialist at KXII in Sherman, TX.

December 2010 BCMN grad Chris Mead is working as Video Creative Services Manager for Texas Stars Hockey Club.

May 2014 ADVT graduate Himanshu Patel was hired at the Richards Group in Dallas as a brand manager.  

May 2013 BCMN grad Alyxandra (Crawford) Jones is working in production at CBS 11 alongside other UTA alum including May 2012 BCMN Sean Noell and May 2014 BCMN grad Omar Castillon.

August 2010 BCMN grad Francesca Washington is a reporter at KLTV in Tyler.

To submit alumni news, please send an e-mail with name, major, grad date and new position to We'd love to brag on your accomplishments!

Students gain experience with fall internships

Posted September 18, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category students

Department of Communication students participate in a variety of internships with local companies, non-profits and media outlets to gain invaluable experience before graduation. During the Fall 2014 semester, students are interning across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  

Broadcast majors are interning with a local television, radio and media outlets. Jimena Fraga is interning with KDFW - FOX 4. Dylan Fry, Brandon Gordon, Marlene Herrera, Parker Hillis and Grant McKinley are working with CBS Radio this semester. Froylan Guerrero is interning with local affiliate CBS Channel 11. Derek Guthrie Kaufman is working with UTA Movin’ Mavs.

Public relations majors are also gaining practical experience this fall. Fabian Brown is working with Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas. Mary McKena Honnoll is interning with Solkissed Swimwear while Jasmina Kazic is at Vanessa Suarez is spending the semester at DFW International Airport, and Elizabeth Pugh is working with the North Central Texas Council of Governments, Elisa Tapia with Allied Integrated Marketing and ADVT and PREL double major Shelby Cummings with College Park District. JOUR and PREL double major Edrea Au is interning with the Red Balloon Network at Children’s Medical Center this fall.

Advertising majors have also landed coveted internships. Michael Colman II is interning with Moroch Partners and Hieu Duc Hoang with Atomic DC. Matthew Fomby is spending the semester with Texas Motor Speedway.

Journalism major Erik Velasquez is working with UTA Athletics.

Communication Technology major Michelle Do is spending the fall semester, working with Vietnamese Baptist Church of Arlington and Daniel Mancillas is working with Functional Food Center Inc.

Comm Studies major Kacie Everhart is interning with

COMM faculty engaged in research projects

Posted September 18, 2014 by Brian Horton in category faculty

Department of Communication Faculty engage in a variety of research projects throughout the year. Here's a round-up of what faculty and staff have been up to this past summer and during the Fall 2014 semester.

Dr. Shelley Wigley traveled to Chicago in June to attend the 2014 Academic Summit Conference “Storytelling at the Speed of Now.” The conference assists Dr. Wigley in her instruction of social media courses.

Dr. Chyng-yang Jang attended the Corporate Communication International Conference in Hong Kong this summer to present a paper entitled “Small Local Business on Facebook: An Initial Survey.”

Dr. Erika Pribanic-Smith traveled to Alexandria, VA in July to conduct research on political Journalism in the 19th-century South. Dr. Pribanic-Smith will also travel to St. Paul, MN in October to present an original research paper entitled “Assassination of Jason Clarke Swayze: Libel Press Freedom, and Editorial Civility in 1870s Kansas” at the American Journalism Historians Association. She will also be inducted as president of the organization.

Dr. Pribanic-Smith, Dr. Dustin Harp and Dr. Mark Tremayne traveled to Montreal, Canada in August to attend the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Conference. The professors presented original research papers.

Dr. Tremayne’s paper, co-authored with Milad Minooie, is entitled “Using Social Media to Analyze Candidate performance and Public Opinion.” Dr. Harp’s paper is entitled “Alternate Spaces for Feminist Voices: Social Media’s Influence on CNN’s Steubenville Rape Coverage.”

Dr. Pribanic-Smith’s paper is entitled “Southern Values and the 1844 Election in the South Carolina Press.” A poster she created also won Best Poster in the History Division at the conference.

Dr. Harp and research collaborators from universities in Chile and the University of Oklahoma conducted new research that examined the presence of female columnists in U.S. opinion pages. The new research was recently published in the June issue of Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly.

Broadcast lecturer Julian Rodriguez and 13 students representing UTA and UTA News en Espanol attended the National Association Hispanic Journalist Conference in San Antonio last month.

Dr. Thomas Christie traveled to Nice, France this month to present an original research paper at the World Association of Public Opinion Research Conference. Christie’s paper is entitled “Agenda Setting and Polling during Gun Control Debate- A Study of News Media Reporting of Public Opinion Polling and Social Media Trends during the Sandy Hook Tragedy.”

Dr. Charla Markham Shaw traveled to Austin Sept. 5 to serve as a panelist for the Experienced Chair’s Roundtable for New Department Chair Orientation.

Journalism lecturer Kim Jones traveled to Nashville, TN in Sept. to attend the Society of Professional Journalists’ Conference as a UTA representative and an officer of the Fort Worth chapter of the organization.

Broadcast Lecturer Lance Liguez will travel to Seattle, WA in October to attend the College Broadcasters, Inc. Conference. His panel, Essential Equipment: The Smartphone in News & Social Media, will explore recommended apps and techniques for use in student electronic news gathering. UTA Radio is also a finalist for a CBI award in the category of Best Sportscast.

Dr. Rachel Stohr will travel to Chicago, IL in Nov. to present an original research paper at the National Communication Association.

Study Sheds Light on Female Columnists

Posted June 23, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

Assistant Professor Dr. Dustin Harp and research collaborators from universities in Chile and the University of Oklahoma conducted new research that examined the presence of female columnists in U.S. opinion pages. 

The new research was recently published in the June issue of Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly. The article was also highlighted in The University of Texas at Arlington's News Center

Convocation highlights success

Posted April 30, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category accomplishments

The 2013-2014 academic year has been a rewarding and busy one for The Department of Communication. Departmental highlights were the focus at this year's Spring Convocation Ceremony.

The Department started the year with the introduction of the department's new Emerging Media Certificate for all Communication majors.

"Students across the department have enthusiastically engaged in certificate courses and broadened their understanding and skills in communication," offered Department Chair Dr. Charla Markham Shaw.

"We also were honored to be designated an Engaged Department by national service learning experts in the fall."  Markham Shaw noted. "Our department’s dedication to community engagement and service is deeply engrained in the culture of classes across all sequences."

Faculty members were recognized at the event. including Dr. Tom Christie and Dr. Charla Markham Shaw  who were honored for Outstanding Teaching by a tenured faculty member. Mr. Julian Rodriguez  was named Outstanding Lecturer and received the Dean’s Accolade Award, inspiring students to create work of exceptional merit beyond the classroom.

The event also detailed achievements in the department's six disciplines.


A team of advertising students and members of American Advertising Federation, under the mentorship of Jeff Williams, created an advertising campaign for the Movin’ Mavs and the National Wheelchair Basketball Championships held on campus. The students created video, posters, social media, events, and press releases for the group. Coach Doug Garner credited the ADVT students with the record attendance of 2,000 at games and for assisting in recruiting the top recruits in girl's basketball. The recruits were impressed by the student-created posters and banner.

Students in Dr. Tom Ingram and George Weems’ ADVT campaigns classes are developing an integrated marketing communication plan for the UT System Board of Regents Taskforce on Hazing at the request of the UTA Chancellor.


BCMN students in Julian Rodriguez and Dr. Andrew Clark’s TV Reporting I and II classes produce a weekly UTA News broadcast available on both Channel 99 and via and are producing a segment “UTA Spotlight” aired on The City of Arlington’s channel. UTA News en Español continues to garner national attention as it develops and produces unique stories in Spanish that address issues relevant to this growing audience.

UTA Radio, part of the iHeart network, provides play-by-play for UT Arlington sports teams, hosting Rocktober and other events across campus. UTA Radio students garnered awards in the regional competition for the National Broadcasting Society.

Eight BCMN students (under the direct supervision of Lance Liguez, with oversight from Dr. Clark) spent their winter breaks producing content for the AT&T Cotton Bowl’s You Tube page and website, including covering media day and team visits to local children’s hospitals. Charlie Fiss, VP of Communications for the Cotton Bowl, commented: “Your students are running rings around the other videographers that we have hired to provide us content."

Communication Studies:

Communication Studies students in Suzy Nead and April Blount’s Group Communication classes continue the tradition of working with a variety of organizations and programs to meet needs across the community. They students offer assistance to a variety of groups each semester including Safe Haven, Mission Arlington, Boy's and Girl's Club, Wounded Warriors and The Salvation Army.

This semester, Ms. Nead received an email of thanks from the Resident Services Director of the Arbrook Retirement Community where one of her groups held an event for the center's seniors.  Center Director Rebecca Coffman noted that not only were the students patient, “but they also took the time to establish relationships, listen to stories and memories, and offer kindness and compassion.”

Dr. Karishma Chatterjee’s Human Relations class is working with the national Helping Restore Ability organization.  Dr. Chatterjee will also be mentoring Lawanda McKelvey this summer as she creates original research as a part of the McNair Scholars program.

COMS major Gemme Campbell recently completed her honor’s thesis and has accepted one of the rare offers of MA to Phd from Texas A&M.  The university has committed to funding to Campbell for five years should she choose to stay at A&M to pursue her PhD in organizational and health communication following completion of her Master's degree.

Communication Technology:

Students in Chyng-yang Jang's CTEC Web Communication Design and Development III class develop prototype web sites for community organizations. In fall and spring, these students have created web sites for 20 community organizations.

Dr. Brian Horton’s CTEC User Experience Design and Research students have been working in groups to develop mobile apps, including database development, visual design, research/planning, and social media strategy. All apps will officially launch during finals week.

Dr. Chunke Su’s Communication Technology course engages approximately 140 students in service learning each semester. Students work with more than 65 organizations and conduct research on the client’s previous, current, and potential use of communication technologies. The students then provide recommendations to the clients, including hardware, software, and strategies to improve internal and external communication practices.

CTEC major Daniel Puente received a Citizen Certificate of Merit for his redesign of the volunteer pages for the Arlington Police Department’s website.


As part of a service learning project, students in Dr. Erika Pribanic-Smith's Digital Storytelling course put online journalism skills to use in providing blogs covering small businesses and non-profits in Downtown Arlington for the Downtown Arlington Management Association.

Public Relations:

Dr. Tom Christie’s fall PR Campaigns class developed a PR/Marketing campaign for the Youth Education Town, a nonprofit after-school center supported by the National Football League and the Salvation Army.  As a result of the student's work, Dallas Cowboy Emmitt Smith sent a letter of thanks to the students and indicated that the advisory board was impressed and planning to implement the student's strategies.

Students in Dr. Shelley Wigley’s spring PR Campaigns class are working with ARISE! International, a non-profit organization that assists women who have been sexually abused. Students hosted a fashion show and raised $800 for the organization. The executive director of ARISE! said it would have been worth it even if not a penny had been raised because it boosted the women’s self-esteem as they participated as models at the event.

Evann Crawford, a double major in PREL and COMS, is working with Dr. Wigley as part of the UTA Team partnering with Mission Arlington as they develop materials to support Diabetes awareness and intervention in the Hispanic community. The work is supported by a Ford Grant.

Department of Communication students also land coveted internships each semester. More than 60 students participated in internships this year, gaining valuable experience.


UTA students interned with a variety of local companies and non-profits this year including Children’s Medical Center's Red Balloon Network, NBC 5, WFAA 8 ,CBS 11, Univision, Telemundo, CBS Radio, The Eagle, The Ticket, K104, Clear Channel, Disney Worldwide, Strauss Marketing, UTA Athletics, The Fort Worth Independent School District, The Arlington Police Department, The Modern Art Museum, The Dallas Morning News, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and The Dallas Observer.

Snow doesn't dampen SPJ fundraiser

Posted February 7, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category students

A surprise dusting of snow in DFW this week sent many students into hiding and hibernation. Not so for members of the UTA chapter of Society of Professional Journalists.

The students had already planned to sell spirit beads and wristbands prior to the women's Feb. 6 basketball game.

A little snow and chilly temperatures did not derail plans. The students bundled up and manned their sales table as scheduled in the University Center mall area prior to the big game.

"Our SPJ students and advisers take Maverick school spirit seriously and tried to build some on game day by selling spirit beads—in the snow," offered Kim Jones, senior Journalism lecturer and SPJ faculty adviser. "Many people said they would buy some from us just because we braved the snow for our organization’s fundraiser.  Some just said they felt really sorry that we were out in the cold, freezing, but still working for our organization."

The group plans to sell spirit  bands on upcoming game days as well.

Faculty. staff meet with prospective students at Preview Day events

Posted February 4, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

Department of Communication faculty look forward to UTA Preview Days to provide information to prospective students.
preview day promo

UT Arlington's Maverick Experience Preview Day programs provide students with the opportunity to get a close-up look at what UT Arlington has to offer. Students also have the chance get answers to specific questions about all aspects of the University, and about the Department of Communication in particular.

Find out specifics about each of the Department of Communication's six disciplines: Advertising, Broadcast, Communication Studies, Communication Technology, Journalism and Public Relations. Meet with Department of Communication faculty, staff and current students.

The next UT Arlington's Maverick Experience Preview Day is April 5.

For more information, check out the following:

BCMN students teaming up with City for news show

Posted February 4, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category

The Department of Communication has teamed up with The City of Arlington in a new partnership aimed at showcasing the university’s news to Arlington residents.

Students in the broadcasting sequence will tape a weekly news update with information about UTA. projects, announcements and events. Broadcast students will gain invaluable experience, serving as the show's reporters and anchors.

The update will air on the City’s cable channel. 

The segments will run every week during the semester on Arlington’s cable channel, Time Warner Channel 16 and AT&T U-Verse channel 99.

For more information check out the following link:

PRSSA meeting Feb 6

Posted February 4, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category students

The UTA chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America will have its first meeting of the Spring semester at 3:30 p.m. this Thursday, Feb. 6. The meeting will be held in Room 327A of the Fine Arts Building.

PRSSA will be electing new officers, discussing the semester’s fundraising and social events plans and collecting membership dues.

PRSSA meetings are held the first and third Thursday of each month. For more information, please contact

Communication Alum landing positions following graduation

Posted February 3, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category alumni

The Department of Communication prides itself on preparing students for careers in the fields of Advertising, Broadcast, Communication Studies, Communication Technology, Journalism and Public Relations.

Relevant classroom learning, engaging professors and invaluable internship experiences help Communication graduates prepare for careers in their respective fields. UTA Communication graduates are working in print and broadcast media, with top-notch advertising and public relations firms, and with a variety of businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Here's a round up of some of our recent graduates and where they have landed:

Anthony Garcia, a May 2013 CTEC graduate, was hired by Concussion Advertising as a web developer.

Tiffany Jackson, Dec. 2013 CTEC graduate, was recently hired as a front-end web developer at Southwest Airlines.   

Tracy Nanthavongsa, a 2011 CTEC graduate, is working as graphic and web specialist at Dallas County District Attorney's Office.

Christopher Dinh, a 2012 CTEC, 2012 graduate, recently moved from Fossile to Fidelity Investments in July as an associate user experience designer.

BCMN grad Alexandria Woldtvedt is working as a news reporter for KODE in Joplin, Mo.

BCMN grad Tim Hanson is a morning reporter and photographer at WHNT News 19 in Hunstsville, Ala. Following an honorable discharge from the Army in 2007, Hanson attended UTA and graduated Dec. 2008  with a degree in broadcast communication.

Emily Suied, PR graduate and past president of UTA’s PRSSA Chapter, works as a junior account executive at Jasculca Terman in Chicago, an award-winning strategic communications firm specializing in public affairs.

Yasmine Gila is as an Account Executive at Expose Communications, at boutique agency with offices in London and Dubai. Gila works in the Dubai office.

BCMN grad Reyna Cavazos (Dec. 2011) is working as morning news editor and assistant traffic and weather anchor at Univision Dallas.

Comm Studies May 2013 grad Razan Akkad has secured a job as researcher in Liability Claims for Geico Insurance Company in the firm’s Dallas office.

Paul Kozar, a 2012 Department of Communication master’s grad, presented a paper at the North Louisiana Behavioral and Social Sciences Conference in April at Louisiana Tech University. Kozar’s paper won best presentation on the topic of Health. The title of the paper is "Competing Discourse Surrounding Primary Caregivers of Hospice Patients." Kozar is working as a Dallas consultant with hospice companies and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Communication.

Advertising and Public Relations graduate Nicole Durham (Dec. 2013) is a marketing specialist at, a Mark Cuban company located in Dallas.

Dec. 2012 Advertising grad Claire Dunn was hired as a junior account manager at Concussion, a Fort Worth-based advertising agency.

Russel Johnson, who graduated in Dec. 2012 with an advertising degree, is working with the research team at The Marketing Arm, a Dallas advertising and marketing firm.

Dec. 2012 Advertising grad Kurt Prelosky is working in account services with an upstart search engine, based in Plano.

2012 Broadcast grad Chris Mead has been selected as a video production intern for the Oakland A’s Baseball Club, while pursuing his Master’s at San Francisco State University. While at UTA, Mead served as sports director for UTA Radio and led the student coverage of Super Bowl XLV.

2011 PREL grad Jared Chism was recently hired as a Senior Social Media Strategist with JCPenney.

2012 PREL grad Frankie Farrar-Helm has accepted a position as Public Relations/Communications Representative at Sellmark in Mansfield.

2012 PREL grad Alexandra Pietroforte has been hired at Downtown Arlington Management Corporation.

Chloe Jamerson, a May 2012 Public Relations graduate, has been hired to work in brand public relations for The Richards Group in Dallas.

Alison Cohn, May 2012 Advertising graduate/English minor, was selected for the Teach for America program and will be teaching English in Miami, Fla.

August 2009 BCMN grad David Mannering has been accepted to St. Thomas University Law in Miami, Fla.

May 2012 PREL graduate, Kristina Kopplin, has been hired as an Interactive Producer by Social Compass, a social media marketing agency.

May 2012 BCMN grad Christine Nicholson has been hired for a morning reporter position at KXII-TV in Sherman.

Karen Ramirez, May 2012 Broadcast grad, is working as a production assistant for Telemundo KXTX Dallas.

Katy Kiger, May 2012 PREL graduate, has accepted a position as promotions and marketing manager at Radio Disney in Charlotte, NC.

Taylor Cammack, May 2012 grad with dual majors in CTEC and JOUR, is working as a web developer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

May 2012 Comm Tech graduate Carlos Cucalon is working as a front-end web developer for Hanley Wood, a media and information company serving the housing and commercial design and construction industries.

Rebecca Strong Bartholomew, 2010 PREL grad, has accepted a position as marketing coordinator with Cassidy Turley, a leading commercial real estate services provider with more than 3,600 professionals in more than 60 offices nationwide.

Jessica Patzer, May 2012 Comm Tech grad, was hired by Concussion Advertising as a junior developer. Patzer completed an internship with the company that led to her job offer.

Kathelin Buxton, 2010 PREL grad, is account associate at Linhart Public Relations in Denver, Co.

Litany Brown, a 2010 PREL graduate, is the Client Manager of a social media campaign team in Standing Dog Interactive in Dallas. The Event Cinemas Frozen Coke Campaign produced by her team won multiple awards this year, including The Web Marketing Association’s Best Entertainment Social Media Campaign and an American Business Gold Stevie award for Best Facebook Page.

December 2011 PREL grad Kaitlin Hennessy is serving as event rental coordinator at McNay Art Museum in San Antonio.

Emily Suied, 2011 PREL alum, has taken a position as an account assistant at Jasculca/Terman & Associates, a public relations firm in Chicago.

Kaitlin Hennessy Kelsey, 2011 public relations graduate, has been hired as manager of the Uvalde Convention and Civic Center.

2012 Journalism alum Jose Enriquez is working as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise.

Zachary Zielinski, Dec. 2012 Public Relations grad, has been hired as an IT specialist with XTO Energy.

2012 Public Relations alum Sir Jones has been hired as a professional recruiter with Focus Staff.

2009 Public Relations alum Benna Combs has been hired as a junior associate for social PR at More Cabbage in Cedar Hill.

2012 PREL graduate Priscilla Sanchez has been hired as a PR Specialist with Concussion in Fort Worth.

Students land coveted Spring internships

Posted February 3, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category accomplishments

The Department of Communication is working with more than 50 different local companies, non-profits and media outlets this semester to provide Communication students with internship opportunities.

"Our students are gaining invaluable experience at a variety of internships this spring semester," offered Ashley Bustillo, who helps coordinate the Department of Communication internship program.

"Each semester, we seem to have more and more internship opportunities available to our students and many more companies seeking out students from our department to fill these positions," Mrs. Bustillo said.

The internship program allows junior- and senior-level students an opportunity to put classroom learning to the test in a real-world environment.

"An internship opportunity can be a real resume builder," Mrs. Bustillo added. "A student with internship credit is a definite stand out, and we are proud that we have established so many relationships with local businesses to provide our students with these opportunities."

This semester, students are interning at a wide variety of companies and non-profits.

COMS majors Raven Jennings and Evann Crawford are interning at CBS Radio in Dallas.

COMM majors Kenzie Cox and Samantha Gutierrez are working with KEGL 97.1 and Clear Channel Radio, respectively.

CTEC major Daniel Puente is serving as an intern for The Arlington Police Department, while CTEC major Travis Welborn is working with the City of Mansfield Communication Department.

PREL majors are also landing internships this spring. Georgina Martinez is working with Disney Worldwide Services, and El Memeyi Murangwa is interning with a French-based company, L'Agence D'Information.

Michael Magnus is working with the Tony Pompa for Texas Senate campaign.

Edrea Au is interning with Tarrant County and De'Angela Giles is working in the PR office of Strauss Marketing.

Several PREL students are gaining experience with on-campus internships this semester. Kimberly Edmonson is working with University Events and Felton Offard is serving as an intern for the UTA Athletics Department. Brittany Anderson is working with UT Arlington Alumni Association this semester.

BCMN major Valerie Maedgen landed an internship with Red Balloon Network in Dallas, while BCMN major Nawal A. (Dena) Adi is working with Media West Inc.

Students interested in earning internship credit (3 hours) must have a 3.0 departmental GPA and must have completed junior-level course work. All internships must be approved by the Department of Communication prior to the start of the semester.

Faculty engaged in research, projects

Posted February 3, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

Department of Communication faculty members are not only busy in the classroom, but are active in research projects, attend conferences, and engage in a variety of community and professional projects and organizations.

Dr. Shelley Wigley, Assistant Professor, Public Relations, served as a panelist at the December meeting of the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. The chapter also awarded scholarships to local Public Relations students during the Dec. 21 meeting, including UTA senior, Christian Nisttáhuz. Nisttáhuz, a double major in Public Relations and Spanish, says her interest in public relations grew into a passion after she volunteered in a congressional campaign and got involved in local politics.

Dr. Wigley also had the opportunity to visit with PREL alum over the holiday break. Emily Suied, PR graduate and past president of UTA’s PRSSA Chapter (left) and PR graduate Yasmine Gila (right) met with Dr. Wigley to share news about their first jobs in the Public Relations field. Suied works as a junior account executive at Jasculca Terman in Chicago, an award-winning strategic communications firm specializing in public affairs. Gila works as an Account Executive at Expose Communications, at boutique agency with offices in London and Dubai. Gila works in the Dubai office.

Graphic specialist Roby B. McEuen is serving as an industry judge for the Tulsa AAF ADDY Competition, the first tier of a three-tier system for recognition of excellence in advertising and design. Winners will go on to district competition and, finally, national if they win at the district level. McEuen is also judging the 10th District Small Club ADDY Competition Feb. 1 in Dallas. Smaller AAF chapters from around Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana compete, with advancing teams moving into district competition in District 10.

Dr. Sabrina Habib traveled to Fort Lauderdale, FL Jan. 16-18 to present a paper at the Qualitative Report Conference sponsored by Nova Southeastern University.  The paper, entitled, “Grounded Theory: Why, What, and How,” aims to clarify the analysis process and kind of information that results from GT Methodology.”

Dr. Rachel Stohr traveled to Washington, D.C. Nov. 21-24 to serve as a respondent for a panel entitled, “(Dis)connections of Agency, Voice, and Self: Narratives from LGBTQ Students and Allies about Creating Safe Zones and Enacting Civil Disobedience,” at the National Communication Association (NCA) Annual Convention

Dr. Karishma Chatterjee, assistant professor, and co-author, Paul Kozar, will be presenting a paper entitled "“Negotiation of competing discourses by primary caregivers of hospice patients." The paper will be presented in May at the ICA International Communication Association's annual conference in Seattle.


BCMN students spend holiday break working

Posted February 3, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category students

The Spring semester is off to a busy start for the Department of Communication, but several students found themselves very busy over the holiday break as well. 

While many of us were enjoying a little down time in December, eight students from the broadcast sequence spent the winter break producing fan content for the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. 

The videos, now available on the Cotton Bowl's YouTube page, feature media day fun by players from Missouri and Oklahoma State, as well as team visits to local children's hospitals. 

Radio instructor Lance Liguez and Associate Professor and broadcast sequence coordinator Dr. Andrew Clark oversaw the student’s Cotton Bowl project.

For more information: 

Pribanic-Smith lands top award

Posted February 3, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

The American Journalism Historians Association has awarded Department of Communication Assistant Professor Erika Pribanic-Smith national honors for her research into how women used 19th century magazines to rally support for the preservation of George Washington’s estate.

Pribanic-Smith, who researches political communication in print media in the 19th- and 20th-century American South, was recognized with the 2013 Maurine Beasley Award for Outstanding Paper in Women’s History.

Her paper, “For the Fame Which May Be Forgotten: Two Magazines and the Fight to Save Mount Vernon, 1855-1860,” explores how the Mount Vernon Ladies Association used Godey’s Lady’s Book and the Southern Literary Messenger during their drive to raise funds for the purchase and renovation of the Virginia home of the first president of the United States. She focused on editorials and letters to the editor that were used to disseminate political ideology.

Pribanic-Smith’s paper also received honorable mention for the David Sloan Award for the top faculty paper. Both honors were awarded during the organization’s annual conference in New Orleans in September.

BCMN students win SCBS awards

Posted February 3, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category students

Several broadcast students in Radio Production/UTA Radio and TV Reporting won awards at the South Central Broadcasting Society Awards held Nov. 22 in Austin.

The following students were recognized for their work:

Shaun Hudgins - 3rd place audio spot production
Adrian Gandara - 2nd place audio news feature pkg
Paul Bennett - 3rd place video news feature pkg
Angelina Armendariz - 2nd place video hard/spot news
Omar Castillon - 2nd place audio station imaging
Hannah Barnett and Travis Mejia - Honorable mention audio sports program
Marie Lopez - 2nd place audio news program
UTA News en Espanol - 3rd place video news program

Congratulations to our award-winning Broadcast Department on these well-deserved awards.

Students assist local non-profits through service learning projects

Posted February 3, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category students

Each semester, Department of Communication students participate in a number of service learning projects as part of their classroom curriculum.

The students’ efforts benefit many local non-profit and service organizations in Arlington and throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area while offering the students an opportunity to interact with community leaders and turn classroom knowledge into tangible results.

During the Fall semester, students completed several service leaning projects.

Students in Dr. Shelley Wigley’s PR Campaigns class (PREL 4316) worked with River Legacy Living Science Center in Arlington. The students developed public relations campaign plans for the organization and implementing a variety of events and projects on the organization’s behalf.

Students enrolled in Communication Lecturer Suzy Nead’s COMS 2304 Group Communication class worked with several organizations during the Fall semester. The students participated in a food drive benefitting Mission Arlington and the North Texas Food Bank and collected clothing, food and school supplies for SafeHaven of Tarrant County.

A team of students also worked on an anti-bullying program for The Boys and Girls Club, and planned movie nights for children at Mission Arlington and Hearts and Hands. The students collected supplies that were sent to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan through Package Brigade in Fort Worth, and solicited donations of school supplies and gifts for children at the All Church Home.

Several of the students in the Group Communication Principles class are also cadets in UTA's ROTC program. The cadets were instrumental in encouraging the Military Science department to serve as Secret Santas for students at The Pythian Home in Weatherford.

Students enrolled in Dr. Thomas Christie’s Fall PREL 4316 Campaigns class worked with the Youth Education Town, a nonprofit after-school activities center supported by the National Football League and Salvation Army. Arlington’s YET opened in the fall of 2013 with activities including sports, computer training, career development and tutoring. affiliated with the Salvation Army. The students developed a Public Relations campaign for the organization and volunteered at the Salvation Army facility.

"Our students developed comprehensive campaign plans to help the Arlington YET integrate into the community and to develop sustainable funding," Dr. Christie explained.

"Four student teams conducted original research including focus groups, interviews, and surveys. Teams developed dozens of communication tools for the center including news releases, public service announcements, fact sheets, posters, brochures, flyers, and t-shirt designs," Dr. Christie added. "Teams also participated in on-site tours and other activities designed to increase awareness of the services of the new center."

Dr. Erika Pribanic-Smith’s Digital Storytelling students  wrote blog posts for Downtown Arlington Management Association (

“The partnership allowed my students to put the online journalism skills they were learning toward a project that provides exposure to small businesses and nonprofit groups in the Downtown Arlington area,” Dr. Pribanic-Smith explained.

AWC meeting slated for Feb. 12

Posted February 3, 2014 by Brian Horton in category students

Members of the Association for Women in Communications attended the recent Student Activities Fair to provide information about UTA's active AWC chapter.
Members of the Association for Women in Communications attended the recent Student Activities Fair to provide information about UTA's active AWC chapter.

The Association for Women in Communications invites students to join this active department organization for the Spring 2014 semester.

Chapter meetings will be held Feb. 12, Feb. 26, March 19, April 2, and April 23. All meetings are at 12 p.m. in Room 414 of the Fine Arts building.

During the Feb. 12 meeting, the chapter will host a workshop covering Appropriate Attire for the Workplace.

The group is also planning a Valentine's Day-themed Fundraiser, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 14, in the University Center’s Palo Duro Lounge. AWC members will sell roses and chocolate chip cookies.

The official AWC email for members and those interested in joining is The group’s Facebook page is: ( and AWC’s Twitter handle is AWC UTA, @AWCUTA.

AAF meeting scheduled for Feb. 10

Posted February 3, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category students

The student chapter of the American Advertising Federation invites all students to attend the organization's next installment of the Ad Talks Speaker Series: Google AdWords & Internet Marketin. The guest speaker will be Linsey Fagan, Interactive Recruiter at Onward Search.

Fagan is an expert in online brand marketing. With experience launching her own eCommerce website and skills in a variety of online marketing platforms including SEO, branding and paid search, Fagan will share effective strategies to get noticed on the Web.

"Students will have the opportunity to gain insight into the analytics side of the advertising industry and to network with an industry professional," explained Jason Clayden, AAF chapter president. "Students from every major are welcome to attend."

The meeting will be held from 4 to 5 p.m., Monday, Feb. 10, in Room 409 of the Fine Arts building.

The AAF's upcoming meetings include:

Mon Feb. 17: General Body Meeting (FAB 409, 4-5pm)
Mon Mar. 3: General Body Meeting (FAB 409, 4-5pm)
Mon Mar. 17: General Body Meeting (FAB 409, 4-5pm)
Mon Mar. 31: General Body Meeting
Mon Apr 14: General Body Meeting
Mon Apr 28: General Body Meeting

AAF is also working on a special project this semester to help advertise and promote the Movin’ Mavs.

“The Movin’ Mavs have a national tournament hosting here at UTA in March, and we want to help them get a great fan turnout,” explained Jeff Williams, Department of Communication Advertising specialist and AAF faculty advisor.

The students spent a recent work day with the Movin’ Mavs to get the project underway and will be rolling out advertising and promotional materials in the weeks to come.

For more information on the student chapter of The American Advertising Federation at UT Arlington, check out the group's Facebook page at or follow on Twitter: @uta_aaf.


aaf student chapter at ut-arlington

DMN staffer visits SPJ students

Posted January 28, 2014 by Barrie Hill in category students

The UTA chapter of Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) hosted a guest speaker at the group's Jan. 30 meeting.


Dallas Morning News environmental writer Randy Loftis spoke to the SPJ students about his media experiences.


On Feb. 6, SPJ UTA will be selling spirit beads and wristbands in the University Center mall for game day.  The group also plans to sell spirit  bands on upcoming game days as well.