Communication Department News

Showing stories between February 1, 2014 and March 1, 2014.

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