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Student Accomplishments

April 1, 2010

School of Communications students have been honored and recognized by regional and national organizations this year for their work in and out of the classroom. Several others are participating in interesting research and service projects. Read about all they’re doing below.

Journalism major wins nationwide reporting competition

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith, a sophomore journalism major and features editor of The Pendulum student newspaper, was one of nine students nationwide to be selected for a Scripps Howard Foundation 10-day journalism study trip to Japan in its annual Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting Competition.

Smith, a Communications Fellow, will begin the program June 11 and travel to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima. Students will meet with print, broadcast and online journalists in Japan and visit one of the largest newspapers in the world and Asian reporting bureaus for international media. They will also visit landmarks of historical and cultural importance.

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The Pendulum student newspaper wins national Pacemaker award, named finalist in Online Pacemaker competition

The Pendulum won a national Pacemaker award.

The Pendulum won a national Pacemaker award.

The Pendulum, Elon University’s weekly student newspaper, received a 2009 national Pacemaker Award from the Associated Collegiate Press on Oct. 31 at the organization’s joint conference with College Media Advisers in Austin, Texas. The Pacemaker is the highest honor ACP gives to its members.

The ACP Newspaper Pacemakers are judged by the staff of a Newspaper Association of America-member newspaper. They award general excellence in four-year college daily newspapers, four-year college non-daily newspapers and two-year college newspapers. Entries for the competition are judged based on their coverage and content, the quality of writing and reporting, the leadership on the opinion page, evidence of in-depth reporting, layout and design, and photography, art and graphics.

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The Pendulum Online, the Web companion to The Pendulum weekly student newspaper, was named a 2010 finalist in the Associated Collegiate Press Online Pacemaker competition March 31.

The Pendulum was among 20 finalists in the small-school newspaper (less than 10,000 enrollment) category. More than 240 schools of all sizes entered the contest. Winners will be announced at the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Advisers conference in Louisville, Ky., on Oct. 30.

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Pendulum, Phoenix14News honored at SPJ Region 2 conference

The Pendulum, Elon’s weekly student newspaper, and Phoenix14News, Elon’s weekly student newscast were honored March 27 with Mark of Excellence Awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Region 2 competition in College Park, Md. The awards were highlighted by Phoenix14’s first-place win in the BEST ALL-AROUND TELEVISION NEWS CAST category. The show beat out schools such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Maryland.

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Sophomore uses award to advocate for child victims

Megan Harrison

Meagan Harrison

They come to the center from the streets, broken homes and jails where they served time with adults. Dozens of Filipino boys, victims of sexual abuse, seek refuge each year at the Stairway Foundation south of Manila – a place where sophomore Meagan Harrison last summer spent two months volunteering through Elon University’s Ward Family Learning in Action Award.

Recipient of the 2009 honor, Harrison traveled to the Philippines to produce and develop print materials, a movie trailer, and other multimedia for children’s rights advocacy, community education, and outreach that the Stairway Foundation performs.

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Live Oak wins awards for public relations campaigns

Live Oak Communications

Live Oak Communications

Live Oak Communications, Elon University’s student-run, full-service communications agency, received two awards Jan. 28 from the Tar Heel Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America at the annual Spinks Awards banquet in Greensboro, N.C. The Spinks competition is a professional awards program for agencies in the Triad region of North Carolina.

Live Oak entered two categories for the Spinks Awards and won both. The agency won “Best Web Site” for its redesign of the Alamance Veterinary Hospital web site, including the creation of a social networking site called “Paw2Paw.” The agency also won the award for “Best Event,” for its Campout! Carolina campaign developed for EarthShare North Carolina.

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Lumen Scholar studies media coverage of Indian terror attack

Hannah Williams (left) and Brooke Barnett

Hannah Williams (left) and Brooke Barnett

In the thick of a breaking news story such as the Mumbai bombings that killed scores of people, it can be tough for reporters to critique their own work, and that’s where Elon University senior Hannah Williams fills a need.

A journalism and English professional writing rhetoric major, the Minnesota native is working with her Lumen Mentor, associate professor of communications Brooke Barnett, to conduct a rhetorical analysis of news coverage from magazines in the United States, the United Kingdom and India following the 2008 attack.

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School of Communications students honored by BEA

Students from the School of Communications were honored by the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts in several awards categories.

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Embracing the digital world: Elon begins M.A. in Interactive Media

April 1, 2010
Inaugural iMedia class

Inaugural iMedia class

Elon University launched its one-year, full-time Interactive Media master’s program Aug. 3, 2009 and welcomed 35 students into the inaugural class. Another 36 decide to make the journey this summer, as the second cohort of students took the hallways of Powell to gain their master’s degrees. The iMedia program is designed to prepare students to take full advantage of the shifting and constantly expanding online media market. Students have learned to think strategically across media platforms, plan and create interactive media content consisting of text, images, sounds, video and graphics, and manage information for interactive news, entertainment and persuasive communications. They take classes on the second floor of Powell, and the program is under the direction of Professor David Copeland.

“This graduate program is designed to be at the vanguard of ever-changing media,” said School of Communications Dean Paul Parsons. “As citizens and consumers, we increasingly want to interact with our media content, whether it’s news, persuasion or entertainment. The graduate program will prepare Interactive Media students to be both creators and content strategists.”

In May, students finished their final, culminating projects that they put on display during an Interactive Media Showcase. During Winter Term, students traveled to London, Costa Rica or Panama and produced works for the public good:

iMedia student Paul Wagner talks about why he enrolled in the iMedia program.

iMedia student Linda Misiura talks about why she enrolled in the iMedia program.

Copeland said the second year of the program has undergone a few modifications, including shifting some electives to required classes, adding more instructors for the Digital Media Workshop and locking down the Winter Term fly-in experiences to Panama and Costa Rica more quickly.

“One of the great things about having a program that concludes in a year and has new students the next is the fact that you can immediately assess all elements of the program and make changes accordingly,” Copeland said. “Of course, because of the intense nature of the 10-month program, we’re constantly talking and seeing where changes might need to be made.”

Changes won’t be made to the kind of education the students will receive, though. They’ll continue to become quick experts in the field of multimedia and interactive storytelling, which will make them more marketable to employers when they graduate. And that has students psyched for the 10 months that lay ahead.

Bradley Mu’s excitement piqued last year, when he began sitting in on classes, as he prepared to make the shift from the magazine industry to post-graduate education.

“I felt like magazines are a slowly dying industry,” said Mu, a 2006 graduate in international studies from the University of North Carolina. “It’s all shifting online, and to go to this program would help me to write my own ticket. I feel like what I do with this degree is going to be creative and collaborative. I don’t know if I’ve ever been excited as much about anything in my life. It’s good to have a direction.”

Read more about the iMedia program:

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From the City of Angels to the City that Never Sleeps: Elon continues programs in New York, Los Angeles

April 1, 2010

The School of Communications has launched and revitalized two summer domestic internship programs the last two years. Students are able to spend nine weeks in either Los Angeles or New York, where they live, learn and intern.

Elon in LA

Marilyn McIntyre works with students in LA.

Marilyn McIntyre works with students in LA.

The Los Angeles program started in the summer of 2008 and continued last summer, with 38 students making the cross-country trek to the entertainment capital of the world. In the past, students have interned at places such as Fremantle Media, Inside Edition, Evolution Entertainment, The Weinstein Company, Hollywood Life Magazine and E! Entertainment. Students are able to choose from courses that center on production, acting, business and PR.

Listen to Joanne Bateman talk about Elon and LA experiences.

Students also connect with alumni living in Los Angeles. The alums mentor undergraduate students while they’re still learning a new city and becoming invested in their internships.

Watch Kristin Hegel ’06 and Tim Johnson ’09 talk about the mentorship experience.

Lauren Kenney ’11 discusses her experience with the Elon in LA mentorship program.

To read more about the Elon in L.A. program, click the links below:

Elon in NYC

Elon in NYC

Elon in NYC

The School of Communications offered a revamped Elon in New York City program this summer that began in June with a few new twists and turns to enhance students’ internship experiences. Students completed internships in the Big Apple and took a course called The Streets of New York, which was taught by three Elon faculty and staff members.

In addition to the internships, students received affordable housing and mentoring opportunities with hundreds of Elon alumni and parents who work in businesses that focus on the arts, marketing, public relations, advertising, investments, banking, journalism and more.

Students accepted to the program were excited about the opportunities.

Jacquelyn DiNick, a senior Broadcast Journalism major, had already secured an internship with the CBS institution “60 Minutes,” so she was already planning on interning in New York in the summer. But she saw the Elon in NYC program as a fantastic way to complement her internship experience.

“I took Elon in New York as a supplement to my ‘60 Minutes’ internship,” she said. “I knew I wanted to have an internship in New York long before this program existed. But by doing this, I’m really immersing myself in the history of New York City. I’m getting a sense of the big picture.”

Former Communications Associate Dean Connie Book said the program enhanced students’ internship experiences.

“I hope this program takes a student’s internship experience and moves it from 50 percent to 100 percent. By studying the impact of New York City on life in America, in tandem with a professional internship experience, I think students will be highly engaged in a transformative experience.”

To read more about the Elon in NYC program, click the links below:

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Faculty & Staff Updates

March 30, 2010

Colin Donohue ’05, Travis Lusk ’05 present at annual College Media Advisers conference

Colin Donohue and Travis Lusk

Colin Donohue and Travis Lusk

Travis Lusk, a 2005 Elon alumnus, and Colin Donohue, coordinator of student media in the School of Communications and a 2005 alumnus, presented two sessions about student media Web site development on March 15 at the College Media Advisers conference in New York.

Lusk and Donohue gave an initial session titled “Starting a professional student org Web site” that was geared toward students who didn’t have Web sites for their media organizations or who had sites but wanted to reconceive their online presence. The second presentation, titled “Advanced student media Web sites: Content, marketing, technology and revenue,” was a higher level discussion aimed at students who wanted tips about how to promote and monetize their sites.

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Katherine Branston ’09, Lee Bush publish study on social good networks

Lee Bush

Lee Bush

Katherine Branston ’09 and Lee Bush, associate professor in the School of Communications, had a paper published in a special nonprofit issue of the international online public relations journal PRism.

The paper, titled “The nature of online social good networks and their impact on non-profit organisations and users,” examined online networks that connect multiple nonprofit organizations and causes with the public. The study used a mixed-methods approach–content analysis, user survey data and in-depth interviews with nonprofit organizations–to identify emerging trends in cause-related networking and determine the benefits for nonprofit marketing and fundraising.

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Book by David Copeland explores media’s impact on national agenda

David Copeland's Active Voice

David Copeland's Active Voice

When four black students from North Carolina A&T University decided to sit at a segregated lunch counter in a Greensboro, N.C., Woolworth’s store 50 years ago, they didn’t plan on using media to affect national change. They were simply making a principled stand in their small corner of the nation.

But when the local media and, in turn, the national media picked up the story, it led to sit-ins across the country and demonstrated to influential black leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr., the power of media to influence cultural shifts. It’s anecdotes like these that pepper Communications professor David Copeland’s new book, The Media’s Role in Defining the Nation: The Active Voice, published by Peter Lang Publishing.

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Harlen Makemson studies media, NASA in new book

Harlen Makemson's Media and NASA

Harlen Makemson's Media and NASA

ABC News journalist Jules Bergman filled the TV screen to give an update on the Apollo 13 space mission. Bergman had been covering the space program since before the Gemini missions, so he had become a signature personality in media coverage of lunar events. On this day, Bergman had bad news.

“Apollo 13 is apparently also losing breathing oxygen,” he said. “The emergency has ruled out any chance of a lunar landing and could endanger the lives of the astronauts themselves, if the (lunar module’s) oxygen supply plus whatever is left of the Command Module’s oxygen can’t last them until they can get back to Earth.”

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