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School of Communication: Spring 2012 News


News & Events from Spring 2012

Local United Way President to Keynote SOC Recognition Ceremony

Craig WagnerThe keynote speaker for the School of Communication spring graduate recognition ceremony hasn’t had his ECU bachelor’s degree for long, but in that short time, he has made a real impact on the lives of the less fortunate in Eastern Carolina. The School of Communication is honored to have Craig J. Wagner ’09, president of the Onslow County United Way, speak at its spring 2012 graduate recognition ceremony on May 4 at 8 p.m. in Wright Auditorium.

Wagner graduated in 2009 from the ECU School of Communication with a degree in communication and a concentration in public relations, taking with him the Elite Pirate Award and the Servire Society medal for community service.  As an undergraduate, Wagner became heavily involved in volunteerism, honing his skills and paving the way to his future career with the United Way.

"Through the nonprofit, I became involved with the chamber and local civic clubs, making presentations during their regular meetings of what my charity did and why we needed their help (most volunteers don’t have to beg and grovel as much as we did).”

That presentation was a life-changing event for Wagner.

“My soon-to-be boss literally knocked over a chair to get to me after the meeting requesting an interview—I was hired two weeks later as the communications/marketing director, nine months prior to graduating,” he added. [ FULL STORY ]

John Cooper ’89 Presented Distinguished Alumnus Award

John CooperJohn Cooper, who earned his Communication degree at East Carolina University in 1989, was given the School of Communication’s Distinguished Alumnus Award at a reception Saturday evening, April 21.

Cooper, Deputy Manager of the Live Desk at NBC News Channel in Charlotte, has worked at the NBC news service for more than 20 years. NBC News Channel distributes national and international video news stories to NBC stations around the country. At the Live Desk, Cooper acts as a producer for field reporters.

Last fall, Cooper visited ECU to be the keynote speaker for the fourth annual High School Media Workshop, which the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association co-sponsored.

“John Cooper has been an outstanding supporter of the School of Communication for a number of years, and we are delighted to recognize his significant contributions by giving him the Distinguished Alumnus Award,” said Dr. Linda Kean, director of the School of Communication.

The 6th Annual Spring Reception is organized by CommCrew, the School of Communication’s alumni and supporters’ organization.

School of Communication Faculty Participate in Service-Learning ‘Immersion’

The School of Communication showed that students are not the only ones who live by the East Carolina University motto ‘servire.’ Dr. Rebecca Dumlao, associate professor of communication and chair of the University Service-Learning Committee, recently organized the 9th Annual ECU Conference on Service-Learning at ECU.

The event included a ‘Service-Learning Immersion’ at the Eastern North Carolina Food Bank in Greenville. Dumlao, along with fellow faculty member Mike Cavannagh, received a hands-on experience of what students do at the food bank, including sorting cans.

“We had to go through and sort the sweet potato cans and decide which ones needed to be thrown out,” Dumlao said. “We went through an entire flat.”

Following the event at the food bank, the group held a discussion on how to connect the work they did to classroom theories.

“Service-Learning is a chance for students to reflect on how they saw theories from class in action or how they saw them not working,” Dumlao said.

The three-day event featured key speakers: Dr. Patti Clayton, senior scholar with the Center for Service and Learning at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and visiting fellow with the New England Resource Center for Higher Education; Dr. Barbara Jacoby, faculty associate for Leadership Community Service-Learning at the Adele H. Stamp Student Union-Center for Campus Life at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Rachel Castro

Fulbright Scholar Reflects on Unique Experience in Berlin

Studying abroad and traveling the world are things many students dream of doing, but the opportunity is not always available. However, when it is, the School of Communication and its faculty are there to help students seize it. Senior English major Rachel Castro experienced this first-hand when she received a Fulbright Scholarship to Berlin, Germany in December. Castro is shown here at the East Side Gallery, located in central Berlin. It is the largest open-air gallery in the world. In 1990, artists from around the world transformed this portion of the once untouchable Berlin Wall into an international memorial for freedom. [ FULL STORY ]




CNN Documentary Features Student Work

ECU Student films footage for CNNWill Adams, a senior in the School of Communication, did much of the filming at J.H. Rose High School for CNN for its new, one-hour documentary "Big Hits, Broken Dreams," which debuted Sunday, Jan. 29 at 8 p.m.  For the documentary, CNN chief medical correspondent and practicing neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta had exclusive access to the J.H. Rose football team for its full 2011 season, exploring concussions in high school football – what happens to the brain under concussive brain injury, and what parents, coaches, and athletes need to be aware of to try to protect themselves.





Festus EriboSchool of Communication Going Global

The School of Communication has proposed a Global Understanding course geared at providing students with a better understanding of intercultural and interpersonal communication worldwide.

“The programs under way in the School of Communication are both impressive and diverse. They involve study abroad, international research and exchange agreements,” according to Michael Dorsey, interim dean, College of Fine Arts and Communication.

In addition to the existing Italy Intensives program, the School of Communication is in the process of establishing similar programs in Poland and Germany. This comes shortly after SOC Director Linda Kean was honored with an invitation by Krosno State College in Poland to participate in a two-week summit on immigration around the world. See Dr. Kean’s comments as she describes the efforts under way. [ FULL STORY ]

PR Partners, ECU Alumnae Jamie Sigler and Sarah Evans

CommCrew's 6th Annual Spring Reception

On Saturday, April 21, 2012, two public relations professionals who are also ECU graduates, presented at the reception located at the Greenville Museum of Art. 

Speakers included Jamie Lynn Sigler and Sarah Evans of J Public Relations, which is one of the top luxury hospitality and lifestyles public relations firms in the country.


Broadcast Journalism program ranked nationally

The School of Communication is No. 6 on’s current list of "Top Universities for a Broadcast Journalism Major."

According to the website, the rankings were developed by the company’s team of writers and contributors, who are “a true collaboration of the best minds in education, with more than 200 teachers, professors, librarians, journalists, editors and subject matter experts contributing to it on a daily basis.”

While the university was recognized specifically for its broadcast journalism program, the journalism major at ECU is multi-platform, including print, webcast and broadcast journalism.

See the complete listing.


SOC Presents High School Media Workshop Day

John CooperThe ECU School of Communication recently presented its fourth annual High School Media Workshop, co-sponsored with the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association.

Approximately 150 students from 12 eastern North Carolina high schools came to ECU for the one-day workshop. The students involved work on their schools' papers, magazines, yearbooks and radio/TV stations. The students had the opportunity to attend sessions throughout the day on topics like: news reporting and writing; sports reporting; news anchoring; conceptualizing story ideas; publishing in the digital age; social media; yearbook design; and media law.

This year’s keynote speaker was ECU alum John Cooper, who has worked for the Charlotte-based NBC News Channel for more than 20 years.  NBC News Channel is the network's affiliate news service where video of national and international stories is gathered and distributed daily to NBC affiliates nationwide. Cooper is the Deputy Manager of the Live Desk. His primary role is to work with reporters in the field and to oversee and produce their news stories. Cooper graduated from East Carolina University in 1989 with a degree in Communication.


ECU’s School of Communication Hosts Distinguished Health Communication Scholar

Dr. KrepsTo help celebrate the school's five-year anniversary of its master's in health communication degree, Dr. Gary Kreps, an innovator in health communication and Visiting Scholar at the ECU School of Communication, spoke about the importance of scholarship in the growing field in a public lecture on October 26.

Kreps gave his lecture, “Communication and the Continuum of Care: A Mandate for Health Communication Scholarship,” at the East Carolina Heart Institute. The ECU School of Communication was presenting Kreps’ lecture in conjunction with the ECU Brody School of Medicine Department of Public Health Grand Rounds.

Kreps has been working in health communication since its early days in the 1970s. Health communication includes doctors discussing care with patients, governments advising the public on health issues and societies working to ensure that diverse populations learn about how to stay healthy.

“Increasingly my own work is focusing on reducing health disparities for vulnerable and at-risk populations both domestically and internationally,” said Kreps, whose research projects have earned external grant awards totaling more than $31 million.

In addition to his lecture, Kreps met with several School of Communication and Department of Health Education and Promotion classes over three days of his visit.

Kreps’ visit helped the School of Communication mark the fifth anniversary of the Master of Arts degree in Communication with an emphasis in health. A celebratory reception was held at the Heart Institute following the public lecture.


Kelli BrosiThe School of Communication Helps Better Student-Athletes For the Future

Student-athletes have a standard to live up to. Every athlete understands that they not only represent themselves but East Carolina University as well, not just on the track, on the field or in the pool, but at all times. It is not easy to juggle two practices a day, an average of 16 credits, community service and a social life. Although Pirate Kelsey Brosi would be the first to tell you how hard this lifestyle is, she makes it look easy. [ Full Story ]


NBC internSchool of Communication students spread their wings with highly successful internship program

Senior communication major Ashley Adams (photo: right) is poised for big things in her internship with E! News in New York City, a division of the NBC Universal Network. She is among many of our talented undergraduates who take advantage of the strong SOC internship program that places students throughout the country and beyond with organizations like: SiriusXM Radio; the NFL; MTV and Madison Square Garden. Read about more internships stories.


School of Communication Graduate Student Receives Diversity Award from NASCAR

ECU School of Communication graduate student, Brittani Parker, who completed an internship with NASCAR, received special recognition from the organization.

“I still can't believe it,” Parker said. “I'm elated to know that NASCAR selected me for such a prestigious recognition. It's truly an honor to have interned with the NASCAR Foundation last summer and to be recognized for the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program Award.”

The award is in recognition of exemplary personal effort to incorporate diversity in the motorsports industry. Parker was recognized at the 4th Annual NASCAR Diversity Awards event in Daytona Beach, Fla. Key individuals from across the NASCAR community were present.

The NASCAR internship took place in the summer of 2010 following Parker’s May  graduation from Winston-Salem State University. Parker’s internship was in the Charlotte office, where the NASCAR Foundation is located. She is now a graduate student in the School of Communication’s master’s degree program. The School of Communication offers a master of arts degree in communication with an emphasis in health communication.