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The School of Communication

Welcome to the official website of the School of Communication at East Carolina University.

News & Events

CommCrew Alum photo with Linda KeanCommCrew Spring Celebration Week culminates with annual reception

Following a week of activities and events organized to support the School of Communication and connect alumni and friends with current students and faculty, CommCrew held its eighth annual spring reception Saturday night, April 5, at the Greenville Museum of Art.

At the event, Jamie Lynn Sigler ’01 (far left in photo) was presented with the School’s 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award. (See related story below.) With Sigler are: Bill Johnson ’91, executive vice president, Sports Trust Advisors, and the keynote speaker for the evening; Linda Kean, director, School of Communication; and, C.J. Wilson, a former Pirate and client of Johnson, currently with the Oakland Raiders.

One of the highlights of the week was a “speed networking” event where communication students had the opportunity to go four 15-minute rounds in small groups with a panel of distinguished alumni. Panelists were: John Cooper ’89, NBC Universal, NBC News Channel producer, Charlotte; Jamie Lynn Sigler ’01 founding partner, J Public Relations, San Diego; Michael Aho ’02, political officer, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C./New York City; and, Olivia Collier ’02 ’04, ARC program manager at N.C. Department of Commerce.

School of Communication presents 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award

Sigler headshotPublic relations entrepreneur and ECU alumna Jamie Lynn Sigler received the School of Communication 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award at the school’s eighth annual CommCrew Spring Reception April 5.

Sigler graduated from ECU in 2001 with a degree in communication and a concentration in public relations. She founded bi-coastal public relations agency J Public Relations Inc. in 2005. In 2008, she partnered with best friend and fellow Pirate alumna Sarah Evans to grow JPR in additional key markets. The firm has offices in San Diego and New York.

Sigler said she is “extremely honored” to have the opportunity to return to Greenville to accept this year’s award and that ECU is really where her professional journey began.

“When I look back on my career path and the road I took to grow J Public Relations to where we are today, my time at East Carolina University was the foundation that played a pivotal part in inspiring me to create something within the communications field that was innovative, helped develop new leaders within my field and challenged the PR industry to start utilizing methods against the status quo,” Sigler said.

This was not Sigler’s first award. San Diego Business Journal acknowledged Sigler as one of the city’s “Most admired CEO’s.” She was also awarded PRSA’s Eva Irving Community Service Award in 2013 for her outstanding commitment to bettering the PR field and her community.

JPR has also earned a number of accreditations. The firm was ranked in the top five agencies in the country on UWire’s list of Top PR Firms on Social Media, number 1,534 on Inc. Magazine’s 5,000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America list, and ranked number 12 on Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing Travel and Hospitality Companies in the U.S.

The Spring Reception was at the Greenville Museum of Art and featured guest speaker and alumnus Bill Johnson. Johnson is the executive vice president of Sports Trust Advisors and has more than 20 years of experience in the business of sports


School of Communication screening latest Ken Burns documentary in Hendrix

central park five movie poster“The Central Park Five,” the critically acclaimed documentary that tells the story of a horrific crime and a shocking truth will be shown in Hendrix Theatre Monday March 24 at 5 p.m.

The ECU School of Communication, in association with the Cinematic Arts and Media Production program in the School of Art, is sponsoring the screening and a panel discussion immediately following.


The brutal attack of a white female jogger in New York City’s Central Park in 1989 was labeled “the crime of the century” by some in the media; and, it was in this climate of opinion that five black and Latino teenagers were arrested, charged and convicted of this sensational crime — which they did not commit.


A quarter of a century later the crime, the case and its aftermath are the subjects of the latest documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns, with David McMahon and Sarah Burns. The film raises important questions regarding race, the failings of our criminal justice system, vulnerable juveniles, journalistic ethics, and basic human rights.


“This documentary is a must-see. It is riveting from beginning to end and creates awareness of how the legal system gravely failed five young people,” says Barbara Bullington, an instructor in the School of Communication who arranged to bring the film to campus.


School of Communication student Andrew Gordy will moderate the panel, which will include: award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Wyatt, associate professor of cinematic arts and media production, ECU School of Art and Design; Chuck Twardy, journalism instructor, ECU School of Communication; Kristen Hunter, public information officer, Greenville Police Department; Suzanne Molhan, victim advocate for ECU's Counseling Center and author of the book, "A Mother's Mission: The Sue Molhan Story"; and, Chase Kroll, editor-in-chief of The East Carolinian.


This event will highlight the importance of due diligence in investigating and reporting and also explore the mistakes of those originally involved in the case in 1989.


News of the rape resulted in public outcry and sensational headlines; however, the exoneration of the wrongly convicted teens received much less news coverage. With “The Central Park Five,” this story of injustice comes to light.

The event is made possible in part by funding from ECU’s Co-Curricular Collaborations. It is also a Wellness Passport premier event.

New Graduate Certificate Program in Health Communication

Health Communication at ECU

Beginning Summer 2014, the School of Communication will offer a Graduate Certificate in Health Communication. The program is open to students currently enrolled in any graduate degree program, as well as to non-degree applicants with a bachelor’s degree.

The program requires 12 semester hours of health communication course work. The courses in the certificate program examine research, theory and practices of communication.

“Students earning the graduate certificate in health communication will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze, evaluate and apply effective communication in health contexts,” according to Laura Prividera, associate director of the School of Communication and director of the school’s graduate studies.

Students currently enrolled in the School of Communication MA program with an emphasis in health communication are not eligible to earn the certificate.

For more information, please contact Dr. Prividera at privideral@ecu.edu.

Returning alumna to share experiences in public relations, health communication and research

April BaerHealth communication professional and ECU School of Communication graduate, April Paul Baer, will be returning to campus as a visiting professional to the School of Communication on Feb. 17 and 18.

Baer is currently the Director of Student Wellness at Frostburg State University in Maryland. She received her bachelor’s degree in communication with an emphasis in public relations in 2006. After earning her master’s degree in the School of Communication’s health communication concentration in 2008, she began working for Frostburg State as the Coordinator for University Wellness. 

“While working to obtain my master’s degree at East Carolina, I realized how much I enjoyed facilitating research within the realm of higher education,” said Baer. “Thankfully, it led me to where I am now.”

While visiting ECU, Baer will be a guest lecturer in several School of Communication graduate and undergraduate classes, focusing on public relations and health communication. She will also be sharing her recent work experiences with a nonprofit organization, The Water School, in rural Uganda.

Baer credits her graduate position with the School of Communication as a research and teaching assistant and her time with ECU’s Campus Living as a resident assistant with preparing her well for her current work.

In addition to class presentations, Baer will be speaking at the School of Communication convocation for students in the interpersonal and organizational concentration; and, to the PRSSA organization.

All ECU students are welcome to attend any of her class presentations and guest lectures. For more information and specific times and locations, please contact the School of Communication main office 252-328-4227 or email privideral@ecu.edu.

Students venturing across the pond for School of Communication first study abroad to London

LondonJunior communication major Caitlin Arneson is counting down the days until summer school.

But she won't be in spending six weeks in a classroom in the Joyner East building. Instead, she'll be earning six credit hours in London, one of the world's leading global cities. She is one of 20 communication majors who will participate in the School of Communication's first Summer Study Abroad to London.

The program follows last summer's successful School of Communication Study Abroad to central Europe, in which communication students traveled to Poland, Slovenia and Hungary, taking courses in Intercultural Communication and English for Global Communication.

Arneson, who is from Northern Virginia, also was a student in that program.

She said she decided to enroll in a second study abroad program because she "absolutely loved" the Poland program. "So when I heard that there was another opportunity this summer, I decided I couldn't miss it," Arneson said. "Studying abroad gives class a whole other dynamic . . . Field trips and real life experiences are so much more in depth and relatable than any textbook could ever be."

The London study abroad program will include courses in feature writing and international news communication. During their two weeks in London, students will visit the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), Bloomberg News, al Jazeera-London, the British Parliament, a contract magazine publishing house, the Guardian newspaper, and more.

Students will live two-to-a-room in apartments in the Kensington Olympia area of the city. This will enable them to save money by preparing some of their own meals in their own kitchens. The apartments also have washers and dryers and Internet.

The cost for the trip, which includes tuition for six credit hours, two weeks' accommodations in London, local transit in London, two group dinners, the BBC and Parliament tour fees, insurance and Internet, is $1,958 per student.

Arneson, an aspiring journalist, says she hopes to learn more about both English culture and journalism while on the trip.

Communication faculty members Cindy Elmore and Barbara Bullington are leading the program.


Fall 2013 Graduate Recognition Ceremony Photos

Select photos taken during the School of Communication's graduate recognition ceremony have been posted. 

Local media sports director addresses Communication graduates

Brian BaileyHe loves sports, loves Greenville, and loves the Pirate Nation. And, on Friday Dec. 13, WNCT and Pirate Radio Sports Director Brian Bailey shared some love with a special group of Pirates when he addressed the Fall 2013 graduating seniors at the School of Communication Graduate Recognition Ceremony in Wright Auditorium.

Bailey has called Eastern North Carolina and Greenville home for nearly 30 years. After graduating with a degree in speech communication from Old Dominion University in 1984, Bailey started as a sports director for a Virginia newspaper, but quickly found his calling as a sports broadcaster when he joined WNCT's broadcast team in 1984.

As a broadcaster, Bailey has won 22 Emmy awards and has been honored by the North Carolina High School Baseball Coaches, the Raleigh and Greenville Hot Stove Leagues, the North Carolina Special Olympics and by the City of Greenville for community service.

"I chose my career because I love sports. I either wanted to be a sportscaster, sports writer, or teacher (coach). I decided to try sports casting first and it just stuck," Bailey said. Along the way, he's devoted his spare time to coaching the Exceptional Community Baseball League for special needs children as well as a fast pitch traveling softball team. As far as advice for college students preparing for the real world, Bailey emphasized being well-versed.

"I have been lucky that I have worked in television, radio and have written an Internet column for years. I knew how to shoot video with the camera when I was hired. The more you can do, especially now with websites and blogs and everything else, the better the chance to be hired," he said.

Helping prepare students with real life sports reporting and producing experiences, Bailey has mentored dozens of ECU communication students including current student Nicole Clark who said she is a testament to Bailey's gift as a teacher.

"He has shared with me his passion for his work, his incredible knowledge of all things sports, his commitment to excellence in broadcasting and his talent for creating a network of contacts," Clark said. 

Visiting Scholar tells students: ‘Making people see is what journalism is all about’

While much has changed since Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Gene Roberts was a boy growing up in eastern North Carolina, the tenets of good writing have not. Roberts told a crowd of aspiring reporters and writers at ECU for the School of Communication’s Annual High School Media Workshop that gathering as much information as possible and then making the reader see the story is still paramount.

Delivering the keynote to the young audience was one of several presentations Roberts took part in during his time on campus as the 2013 School of Communication Visiting Scholar. This former national and managing editor of The New York Times also worked with School of Communication students and the staff of The East Carolinian, and was the guest of honor at a reception open to the community at Emerge Gallery in Greenville. Read more about his visit in The Daily Reflector.

Tori Rodriguez‘The more involved you are, the more opportunities you get’

Tori Rodriguez, senior communication major, was chosen to moderate the Immigration Debate on Sept. 25 in Wright Auditorium. Rodriguez said the chance to moderate the debate between two national speakers came through an email from a professor.

“The more involved you are, the more opportunities you get,” she said.

Rodriguez learned her ability to maintain composure while public speaking through her professional experiences and communication classes, which served her well in moderating the charged debate. Tori’s impartial view on the subject worked in her favor, making it easy to keep the debaters on track.

Public Relations Professional and ECU Alumna Ashley Boarman speaks to students about her "career and passion"

Ashley BoarmanAshley Boarman, a public relations senior account executive with MGH in Baltimore and a 2008 graduate of the ECU School of Communication, returned to campus in October to share experiences and advice with current public relations students. [Watch the video.]

As a young professional who has already built an impressive resume with both in-house and agency public relations experience, Boarman gave students a feel for the real work of public relations, while dispelling some of the myths.

“Being successful in public relations takes a lot of hard work and dedication, “ Boarman said. “It’s not usually as glamorous as it is often portrayed on television.

”Boarman talked specifically about really getting to know clients and their industries, as well as the media and their areas of interest and expertise.

“Public relations is hard to quantify,” she said. “A lot of what I do is having good story ideas regarding my clients and pitching them to the media. The payoff comes when such a story happens, but I can’t control when or if that might be.

”In the past year alone, Boarman has placed client news in publications ranging from “Self” magazine and “The New York Times,” to the front page of “The Wall Street Journal” and “The Baltimore Sun.

” She also recently finished working on a piece with Maryland Public Television for one of her clients, The Classic Catering People, caterers to the Baltimore Ravens.

Students were inspired by Boarman’s enthusiasm, openness and success.

“I thought she was wonderful,” senior public relations student Kaylee Bythell said. “She was so enthusiastic and helpful in telling us what she does and how she got from where we are to where she is right now.

Boarman’s visit was sponsored by the School of Communication in collaboration with the Department of Student Involvement and Leadership.

Multimedia newsroom gives students opportunity for hands-on experience in a state-of-the-art classroom

newsroomSenior Alex Gajewski knows what he wants to do after graduation. The aspiring sports broadcaster has held internships with ESPN radio, TV stations in Greenville and Charlotte, NASCAR Productions and a professional soccer team.

Equally valuable, however, is the experience he gets weekly on campus at East Carolina University.

“The ECU multimedia newsroom is phenomenal,” Gajewski said in an interview this fall. “I can't say enough about it. I started getting hands on with the ECU newsroom my junior year and it has helped me tremendously. It really captures what it's like to work in TV journalism.”

The facility — which includes new computers, three studio cameras, a TriCaster, an audio board, an anchor desk and a green screen — gets students “pretty close” to a real newsroom experience. To learn more, please see this ECU News Bureau feature article.

Former New York Times managing editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author is 2013 Visiting Scholar

Gene RobertsGene Roberts was in good hands when he started working in newspapers – his father’s.

"My earliest memories are of the newspaper business," said the Eastern North Carolina native, whose father was a teacher, minister and newspaper publisher. "My father printed the weekly newspaper on a flatbed press and he used to hold me up in his arms and I would shove the paper into the press sheet by sheet."

Students in ECU’s School of Communication will be in good hands, too, when Roberts, longtime reporter and editor at newspapers ranging from the Goldsboro News-Argus to The New York Times, shares his experiences with them as a Visiting Scholar, Oct. 22-24.

Roberts met with SOC classes during his visit and was the keynote speaker at the school’s annual High School Media Workshop on Oct. 22. In addition, he will be the guest of honor at a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 24 at Emerge Art Gallery, 404 S. Evans St. in Greenville. The public is welcome and admission is free, but reservations are required. Email muellerc@ecu.edu for reservations.

In addition to serving as a national and foreign correspondent at the Times, Roberts had stints as its national editor and managing editor. As executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1972 to 1990, he supervised a reporting staff that won 17 Pulitzer Prizes. He also won a Pulitzer Prize for history with co-author Hank Klibanoff in 2007 for the book “The Race Beat,” a chronicle of the press and the Civil Rights era, and has chaired the Pulitzer Prize board. Roberts, who earned a B.A. in journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1954, also taught at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

Also Visiting in October:  PR Professional Ashley Boarman and author/freelance journalist Brandon Sneed

Visiting the School of Communication in October are public relations professional and ECU alumna Ashley Boarman and, Brandon Sneed, a local author, freelance journalist and blogger.

  • Ashley Boarman, a 2008 graduate of the ECU School of Communication, is an account executive with MGH in Baltimore, one of the largest integrated marketing firms in the mid-Atlantic region. She recently spoke to public relations classes as well as to the PRSSA organization. She focused on the skills required to work in public relations, discussed how she landed her current position, and touched on how her job is “far from the glamorized PR profession shown on television.” Visit http://mghus.com for more information on MGH and its services.

  • Brandon Sneed is the author of “The Edge of the Legend,” a book that chronicles “the most incredible basketball championship season of all times.” In addition, Sneed contributes his writing to national magazines and is working on two additional books, one of which may be optioned by Hollywood. Sneed also has his own blog site on which he gives advice about how to, ”Make it as a writer and live a good life.” Sneed recently spoke with journalism and writing classes and did a session at the High School Media Workshop. For more information, see http://brandonsneed.com.

Master the ART of Communication: Earn a MA in Communication with an emphasis in Health Communication

The School of Communication is currently accepting applications for the Spring and Fall 2014 terms. The Master of Arts in Communication program...

  • prepares students for careers or advanced academic training in communication with an emphasis in health communication. 
  • is comprised of award-winning faculty who have been recognized for teaching and research.
  • provides students with small seminar-style courses and accessible faculty.
  • provides a number of competitive assistantship opportunities for MA students in teaching and/or research.
  • is a 30-hour program that provides students with a thesis or non-thesis option.


In brief, our program gives students a solid foundation in communication theory and practice, with communication courses, including: interpersonal, organizational, intercultural, pedagogy, social influence, media, and advocacy. 


Many of our courses have a health focus. For example: physician-patient communication, health campaigns, and communication in health organizations.
A background in health communication means that our graduates can pursue a variety of opportunities within:

  • the healthcare industry
  • academia
  • and the not-for-profit sector


Application deadlines:

For Fall 2014 Admission: June 1, 2014 


For more detailed information on our program and to view a video, please visit Graduate Studies page for more details.

Fraley Receives Faculty Award at Student Convocation

Todd FraleyDr. Todd Fraley was presented the Freshman-First Year Advocate Award at the ECU annual New Student Welcome and Convocation in Minges Coliseum Aug. 19.

 

Fraley, associate professor in the School of Communication and the 2013-14 Faculty Fellow for EC Scholars in the ECU Honors College, was selected by last year’s freshman class as the faculty member who “made the biggest difference in first-year students’ lives. The award, presented by the Student Government Association, was given to just one faculty member and one staff member selected by the students.

 

Fraley is also Coordinator for Undergraduate Studies and the Internship Director in the School of Communication.

 

2013 SOC Graduation Recognition Ceremony Photos Posted

You can now view photos taken at the May 11th Spring 2013 Graduation Recognition Ceremony. The ceremony took place in Wright Auditorium on the ECU campus. Click a thumbnail to enlarge it. Right-click or control-click an image locate the option to download a photo.

Thomson receives Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award

Thomson wins awardDr. Deborah Thomson (pictured with SOC director Dr. Linda Kean) was presented a UNC Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award at the fourth annual Founders Day and University Awards Celebration recognizing “the best of East Carolina University” on May 1 in Hendrix Theatre.


Thomson, an associate professor in the School of Communication, was one of six ECU recipients of the award that recognizes and supports excellent teaching at each of the 16 constituent universities in the UNC system.


Also at the ECU Annual Awards Celebration, Dr. Rebecca J. Dumlao received the Scholarship of Engagement Award, which recognizes a faculty member for achievement in scholarship of engagement and a sustained commitment to partnered scholarly endeavors with communities. Read more about Rulifson, Herron, Zhang and Dumlao’s research at http://www.ecu.edu/news/rcaw13.cfm. Dr. Pamela Hopkins and part-time instructor Josh Copenhaver were inducted into the 2013 Servire Society. The Servire Society members have contributed 100 or more hours of volunteer service – without compensation and outside their normal realm of duties – to the community at large within the previous year. Dr. Cindy Elmore was a College of Fine Arts and Communication grant recipient.

Cabacar wins award

 

School of Communication Adviser the “outstanding” choice

Jennifer Cabacar, assistant director of Academic Advising and Support and a School of Communication adviser, received the Outstanding Adviser Award for ECU and became the ECU nominee for the National Academic Advising Association Regional Award.



School of Communication alum receives Distinguished Alumni Award at CommCrew’s Seventh Annual Spring Reception

Valeria Lassiter, who earned her Communication degree at East Carolina University in 1990, was presented the School of Communication’s Distinguished Alumni Award at a reception on April 20, hosted by the School’s alumni organization, CommCrew.Valeria Lassiter

Lassiter is the founder and president of Lassiter & Associates, LLC, a company specializing in strategic partnerships, development, fundraising, communications, marketing, event management and planning. The firm is based in Chevy Chase, Md.

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni with a minimum of four years of work history, outstanding and uncommon achievement in one’s profession, in civic affairs, and/or politics.

“It is an honor for me to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Communication. I am deeply appreciative of my experience at ECU,” Lassiter said. [ Read Complete News Release ]

The award was presented at the School of Communication’s Seventh Annual Spring Reception organized by CommCrew, the School’s alumni and supporters’ organization.

School of Communication professor honored for excellence in service-learning

DumlaoNorth Carolina Campus Compact, a coalition of 38 public and private colleges and universities, has named an East Carolina University professor as the recipient of the 2013 Robert L. Sigmon Service-Learning Award.

Dr. Rebecca Dumlao, an associate professor in ECU’s School of Communication, is the first from ECU to receive the award.

The Sigmon Award recognizes a faculty member for significant contributions to the practice of service-learning, a teaching strategy that links community service to classroom study and reflection. The award is named for North Carolina native Robert Sigmon, who helped pioneer the approach in the 1970s.

“I believe that service-learning is one of the most important ways we can equip students to be leaders and actively engaged as citizens in their communities after they graduate,” Dumlao said. Students pair academic coursework with community-based experiences, and articulate what they learn. “It’s a way to bring student service and community engagement into the classroom,” she said. [ FULL STORY ]


Christiane CorderoECU Soccer goalie and aspiring broadcast journalist plays well on both fields

Christiane Cordero, a senior communication major and ECU women’s soccer goalie, gives her all on and off the field. Recently, East magazine spent time in Cordero’s world, including class, training, team practice, and the women’s soccer game against ODU. Cordero, a student-athlete with 3.34 GPA, earned a spot on the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll as well as the ECU Director of Athletics Honor Roll. Several weeks ago, Cordero was named First Team All-Conference USA for her impeccable athleticism. In addition, Cordero interned with CNN in Atlanta this past summer as Kyra Phillips’ personal assistant. To read more, visit: http://www.ecu.edu/news/cordero1.cfm

 

 

 

 

 

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