Students gaining 'real world' experience

Posted 5-8-2012 by Barrie Hill

This spring semester has been a busy one in the Department of Communication with students getting invaluable experience to prepare them for life after graduation.

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 April 30 on how to prepare themselves for careers in television news.

Public Relations students in Mindia Whittier’s classes are getting hands-on experience this semester. Several of Whittier’s PR students 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.

Whittier’s PR Campaigns students 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 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 have 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.”

Students in Suzy Nead’s Group Communication class are hard at work on class projects benefitting many local non-profit organizations.

“Right now, groups are working with Cook Children’s Hospital, YMCA, Mission Arlington, The Moritz No-kill Animal Shelter, Package Brigade and a local senior center,” Ms. Nead said.

“The students’ service learning efforts include play days for children, letters and gifts for Americans serving overseas, gathering supplies for animals, and implementing programs for local seniors and children,” she added.