Category: CIS News

C&IS Students Travel the South to Experience Barbecue

Barbecue Communication students, left to right: Ross Wang, Raya Turner, Riley Taylor and Mark Marker (front row)

A group of four C&IS students immersed themselves into the culture behind Barbecue by touring six southern states and testing out their different barbeque delicacies.

The three-week, Communication Studies interim course taught the history and practices of barbecue, gave students the opportunity to perform their own cookouts, and culminated in a road trip to barbecue meccas across the south. This was the first time Barbecue Communication has been offered at The University of Alabama.

Dr. Brown Wins Early Career Research Award

The International Communication Association’s Early Career Research Award was presented to C&IS’ Dr. Kenon Brown May 28.

The honor, given by the ICA’s Sports Communication Interest Group, is for a scholar in the first six years of their career who has made a significant impact in the field of sports communication.

Brown, an assistant professor of advertising and public relations in the College of Communication and Information sciences and programming director of UA’s Program in Sports Communication, is the second winner of this honor.

“The ICA Early Career Research Award is a big deal,” said Dr. Andrew Billings, executive director, Alabama Program in Sports Communication. “The fact that Kenon Brown is the recipient of this award is quite telling as he has become a pre-eminent scholar with a bright future ahead of him.

“The award is not a surprise, but should not be understated as it shows that some of the best and brightest communication scholars in the world reside in Tuscaloosa.”

Brown’s primary area of research is athlete image and reputation management, studying the effect that athletes’ decisions have on their public perception and value to their sports organization.

“I’m obsessed with the notion of the athlete as a celebrity,” said Brown. “Particularly in professional sports, you can’t afford to not be both. The biggest thing I like about studying professional athletes is the money that’s involved on a personal level. For professional athletes, you can measure their direct impact.”

The highly monetized nature of professional sports allows Brown the opportunity to analyze and document the direct correlation between an athlete’s missteps and a decline in merchandising and ticket sales, for example. NCAA regulations make it difficult for Brown, and scholars like him, to study the same areas on an individual level within college athletics.

“I love sports and image repair, but I’ve never really considered myself an influential scholar,” said Brown. “To be able to say that my work has the ability and potential to be influential on an international level is a huge deal to me.”

The Alabama Program in Sports Communication is an interdisciplinary collaboration of different academic programs at The University of Alabama which promote the study of sports communication in its variety of forms throughout America and the world.

Dean Nelson Receives Award for Support of AUSA Chapter

Dean Nelson (right) with LTC Nicolas Britto.

Dean Nelson was honored with a certificate of appreciation from the west/central Alabama chapter of the Association of the United States Army.

The certificate is given in recognition of extraordinary support of those who serve in the military. It is the first award of its kind that has been given to a UA faculty member.

“It is a privilege to recognize Dean Nelson for his support of the men and women serving our country,” said Lt. Col. Nicolas Britto, chapter president. “For years now he has been supporting us in programs, giving us advice and has been helpful in getting information out to the community.”

One particular area of assistance has been with the resources provided for the American Legion Oratorical Contest, a constitutional speech contest for American high school students which awards more than $138,000 each year in scholarships. With Nelson’s support and partnership, Dr. Alexa Chilcutt instructed local ROTC high school students in the competition rules, and opened the Speaking Studio as a resource for the crafting of their speeches.

“I am humbled to be recognized by Lt. Col. Britto and the Association of the United States Army,” said Nelson. “I have great admiration for the work they do every day to serve our country and it was an honor to partner in bringing instruction and resources to the oratorical contest. We both serve organizations who are committed to preparing the next generation of leaders, and I look forward to more opportunities like this in the future.”

The Association of the United States Army is a private, nonprofit, educational association of individual, business and organization members dedicated to supporting and maintaining a strong, national defense with emphasis on the role of the U.S. Army.

The Speaking Studio is a communitywide resource staffed with public speaking consultants who offer immediate, constructive feedback to help students craft effective messages, cultivate dynamic delivery and calm public speaking anxiety.

C&IS Students Win UA’s First Pencil Award

 A team of C&IS students won a Bronze Pencil in the One Club’s Young Ones College Competition and were selected for Honorable Mention in the Young Ones Client Pitch Competition.

This is The University of Alabama’s first Pencil award.

The Young Ones College Competition highlights great student work from around the world, awarding Gold, Silver and Bronze pencils to the top student work in advertising, design and interactive. Of the Young Ones competition’s 70 finalists from 16 countries, only 24 finalists won pencils.

The client pitch competition had one winner and two honorable mentions from the nine teams.

“Winning a One Show Young Ones pencil is like winning an Oscar for an advertising student,” said Dr. Glenn Griffin, UA associate professor of advertising. “Agencies are always looking for top talent, and this is one of the ways they can identify the best and brightest.”

Estill agreed.

“It’s so humbling to have work recognized by the One Show,” said Sydney Estill. “Winning a pencil is something our team has dreamed about for so long, so for that dream to become a reality was a surreal moment we’ll never forget.”

The students’ work is for Flight Plan, a fictional 501(c)3 organization that would work in partnership with the United Nations and Partners Global to turn the estimated 9.7 trillion unused frequent flier miles into physical, donatable items that could aid refugees around the world.

As an in-flight passenger experience, passengers would elect to exchange their miles earned on their flight into food, clothing and hygiene products to reduce the likelihood of disease and violence in refugee settlements. Additionally, frequent fliers could log on to Flight Plan’s website to exchange their unused miles for the same aid packages.

“It was so amazing to work on a project that can change the world for good and show our creativity to the ad industry at the same time,” said Britt Buzan, of Jacksonville, one of the UA students on the Pencil-winning team.

Other students on the team are: Ryan Arth of Annapolis, Maryland; Sydney Estill, of Birmingham; Allie Petko, of Parker, Colorado; and Brett Van Gorden, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

The Young Ones College Competition fits in line with the One Club’s mission to educate and inspire students of the advertising business and to benefit the next generation of creatives through scholarships and portfolio reviews. Winners were announced in New York City at the 2017 One Show, a showcase for the world’s best work, inviting collaboration among individuals who are actively developing outstanding work.

C&IS CAMP

 

  • CAMP Participants gain hands-on experience, working with some of the most cutting-edge equipment available in the communication industry.

The University of Alabama’s College of Communication and Information Sciences will hold its inaugural Communication and Media Preview, or CAMP, from July 12-15.

C&IS CAMP is a four-day, three-night immersive media experience at The University of Alabama. CAMP participants will work with cutting-edge technology alongside the nation’s leading experts in areas such as advertising, communication studies, creative media, news media and public relations.

The CAMP experience is for rising high school sophomores through incoming freshmen nationwide who have an interest in communication and media industries.

Before enrolling in college courses, CAMP participants will be exposed to various career options and cultivate their interests in all five of the C&IS undergraduate majors while engaging in a hands-on, team-centered learning environment.

CAMP participants will get to work with the most cutting-edge technological equipment to plan, shoot and produce their final project. Additionally, guest celebrity speakers will speak to students, giving real-world advice and tips on how to make it in the sports communication industry.

This year, CAMP is partnering with the communication and media professionals in the Alabama Program in Sports Communication to make its emphasis on sports communication the most outstanding experience possible for its participants. Information about the APSC can be found here.

“Not only will CAMP introduce future college students to our campus, majors and faculty, but it will also give them an early start in building a strong sense of how to utilize their interests and talents in thinking about a future career as they develop friendships with peers from across the country,” said Dr. Sara Hartley, assistant dean for undergraduate studies and external relations in C&IS. “They will do all of this while working with one of the strongest athletic programs in the country to tell their story.”

Participants will attend large group sessions aimed at connecting strategies used by industry-leading professionals with their own work. Small group breakout meetings will provide participants with the opportunity to work together in completing a final project to present on the last day of CAMP. Participants will stay on-campus in suite-style residence halls and attend sessions in both Reese Phifer Hall and Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Registration for CAMP is now open. The cost of CAMP is $500 per participant, with scholarships available based on expressed financial need, on a first-call, first-serve basis. Register today to be a part of the first-ever C&IS CAMP.

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2017 Holle Award Winners

The College of Communication and Information Sciences has announced the winners of the 2017 Holle Awards for Excellence and Creativity in Communication.

The awards are designed to celebrate and reward student achievement in the areas of creative transformation, filmmaking, media writing, public speaking and screenwriting.

  • The Holle Award for Excellence in Creative Transformation is awarded to Columbia College Chicago MFA student, Woody Leslie, for his piece, “Parsely.” His work is distinguished by his playful exploration of the framework and the structure of language through diagramming, dissecting and inventing.
  • The Holle Award for Excellence in Filmmaking is awarded to Columbia University student, Connor Simpson, for “Léa,” a film about a delusional actress with an affinity for burning bridges, struggling to connect with the role that could save her career.
  • The Holle Award for Excellence in Media Writing is awarded to UA’s Rebecca Rakowitz, of Stamford, Connecticut. Rakowitz is set apart from the other finalists through her strong narrative composition, technical mastery, and direct and clear headlines.
  • The Holle Award for Excellence in Public Speaking is awarded to UA’s Will Sansoucie, of Festus, Missouri, whose persuasive speech on the importance of preparing for retirement displayed excellent talent in speech writing and delivery.
  • The Holle Award for Excellence in Screenwriting is awarded to UA’s Osagie Jesuorobo, of Stockbridge, Georgia, for his work, “Through the Brain.” This script was praised by judges for its engaging, believable characters, quick pace and strong, snappy dialogue.

“The 2017 Holle Award winners displayed a true commitment to crafting stories and creative work to represent the unique student talent within the College and across the country,” said Dr. Mark Nelson, dean of the College of Communication and Information Sciences. “These students excel in their chosen areas of study and have very bright futures ahead. We are so thankful to Brigadier General Everett Holle for his generosity in funding these awards.”

The Holle Awards are named for the 1950 graduate of The University of Alabama who served as an announcer, director, writer and producer during his 40-year career at NBC 13. Holle is a member of the College of Communication and Information Sciences’ board of visitors where he continues to invest in the success of University of Alabama students.

Bateman Team a Finalist Again

For the second year in a row, C&IS’ Bateman Team has been named a finalist in the Public Relations Student Society Association’s Bateman Case Study Competition.

The competition is PRSSA’s premier national case study competition for public relations students, providing them an opportunity to apply their classroom education and internship experiences to create and implement a full public relations campaign.

This year, UA’s Bateman Team partnered with the Campaign to Change Direction, an organization founded in 2013 whose mission is to change the culture of mental health through promoting mental health as equally valuable to physical health, raising awareness of the signs of emotional suffering and encouraging the care of personal mental well-being and the mental well-being of others.

“Working with the Campaign to Change Direction was a great opportunity to get out on campus and face an issue that so many people face, but few deal with,” said Danielle Cassidy, director of insights, strategy and finance for the Bateman Team. “We’re just five people, and we did something. We can all do something.”

PRSSA Headquarters received 67 entries for this year’s Bateman Case Study Competition.  Fifteen submissions received honorable mention, and three were named finalists. The finalists will present their campaigns to a panel of judges May 10 in Chicago.

The finalists for the 2017 Bateman Case Study Competition are as follows:

  • The University of Alabama
  • The University of Nebraska – Lincoln
  • The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

UA’s Bateman Team placed first overall in last year’s Bateman Case Study Competition. Of this year’s finalists, The University of Alabama is the only returning finalist, but the Bateman Team isn’t feeling the pressure.

“There’s a pressure internally because we’re all driven people—we want to win,” said Lauren Williams, account executive for the Bateman Team. “But we know the University, the College and our adviser will be proud of us regardless.”

The five members of UA’s Bateman Team are Danielle Cassady (Athens), Colton Cumbie (Monroeville), Nicole Morgan (St. Petersburg, Florida), Laura Ritchie (Mobile) and Lauren Williams (Cedar Rapids, Iowa).

PR Campaigns Partners with TPD

Students in Dr. Eyun-Jung Ki’s public relations campaigns course took on a new client this year – the Tuscaloosa Police Department (TPD).

Developed to allow students the opportunity to plan, execute and present a complete public relations campaign, the course typically chooses a new client each semester. This semester, however, the client chose them.

“All of the media spotlight on police violence did affect the Tuscaloosa Police Department,” Dr. Ki said. “So they came to us to improve their relationship with the community, and to improve the tarnished image [of police officers] in general.”

Students in the course were divided into four teams and each team was responsible for creating a campaign aimed at a different target audience. While all of the groups worked with student populations in some way, the students ranged in age from elementary school to college freshman.

The four groups – Crimson Communications, Druid City Firm, Mill Creek Media Management and E&E Public Relations – conducted research on their target audience, created print and digital promotions for the TPD and hosted a community event, all aimed at improving the relationship between police officers and their constituents.

The events included a basketball tournament, where members of the TPD teamed up with high school students at UA’s Rec Center; a cookie social for high school students and police officers at American Christian Academy; a junior police academy for elementary students at Oak Hill School; and a game night at the Tuscaloosa Public Library.

The course culminated on Tuesday, April 25, when each groups presented its completed campaign to Tuscaloosa police chief Steve Anderson, lieutenant police chief Teena Richardson and Dr. Ki.

Students were not only competing for an “A” in the class, but also for almost $3,000 in prize money. Money left over from each group’s allotted budget, as well as a portion of the money paid by the Tuscaloosa Police Department, was awarded to the team who best executed its campaign strategy.

After complimenting each of the teams on a job well done, Chief Anderson presented Crimson Communications with the award. He cited the team’s adaptability, social media campaigns and event execution as the reason for the decision, before commenting on the work of the students as a whole.

Druid City firm received honorable mention and a smaller cash prize.

“The creativity that you all displayed was phenomenal – it exceeded my expectations,” Anderson said of the students. “Although we only had a first runner-up and a winner, everybody’s presentation was great, everybody’s dedication to what we were wanting was great, and you have all created sustainable campaigns that we can put into place and try to keep going at the Tuscaloosa Police Department.”

Alpine Living launches seventh issue

Fifteen students from the College of Communication and Information Sciences Department of Journalism and Creative Media celebrated the launch of the seventh issue of Alpine Living magazine on Thursday. The semester-long, international magazine production experience takes place biannually and has been recognized nationally for excellence among peer publications.

Last fall, an editorial staff of distinguished journalism and creative media students was selected to produce the 100+ page, full-gloss magazine, which promotes a different country each issue. This years’ magazine provides prospective travelers and curious readers with an authentic look at the history, culture and lifestyle of the New Zealand people.

In March, the group of graduate and undergraduate journalism students traveled to New Zealand where they spent more than two weeks exploring three of the countries largest cities: Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown. Students also visited Sydney, Australia, as well as several smaller towns and suburbs outside of the cities where they stayed.

“This issue covers parts of the North and South Island,” said Jonathan Norris, editor-in-chief of Alpine Living issue seven. “While united by nationality, the North Island – which is more developed – has a city feel, while the South Island offers a more laid-back, island-time vibe.”

Stories from the New Zealand issue range from topics of food and wine to indigenous tattoo artists and native-species conservation efforts. The magazine, which is available in both print and digital format, is also intended to highlight aspects of the evolving journalism market and allow students the opportunity to learn new and innovative ways to practice the craft.

Taylor Armer, a journalism graduate student and managing editor for the magazine, said her experience with Alpine Living was one she would not soon forget.

“I’ve never traveled abroad so I was anxious and thrilled at the same time,” Armer said. “This trip, with this group, has been a humbling, life-affirming experience. I learned so much about my cohort and myself. It was truly a life-changing experience.”

Norris echoed the sentiment.

“This magazine represents a culmination of what we have been taught here at the Capstone,” Norris said. “As I prepare to leave the University, I am proud and humbled to have worked with this incredible team.”

For more information about Alpine Living Magazine, or to read their digital format, visit their website here.

Alpine Living issue seven participants included: Taylor Armer, managing editor; Kaylin Bowen, writer; Mary Kathryn Carpenter, photography editor; Christopher Edmunds, art director; Elizabeth Elkin, writer; Thomas Joa, writer; Jonathan Norris, editor-in-chief; Mary-Margaret Schmidt, photographer; Elayne Smith, writer; Lane Stafford, photographer; Hailey Grace Steele, digital editor; Madison Sullivan, chief copy editor; Danielle Waddell, writer; and Cara Walker, writer.

Dr. Kim Bissell, professor and associate dean of research for the College of Communication and Information Sciences, serves as the founding publisher and faculty advisor for Alpine Living magazine.

C&IS Students Awarded at URCA Conference

Undergraduate students in the College of Communication and Information Sciences were recognized for their research at the 2017 Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Conference in March. The conference, a premier annual event at The University of Alabama, provides undergraduates an opportunity to share their research and creative activity in a supportive environment.

Dr. Kim Bissell, director of URCA, professor and associate dean for research in the College of Communication and Information Sciences, said she believes it is important for undergraduate students to participate in research.

“We are surrounded by research in almost every aspect of life but especially in a mediated context,” Bissell said. “I think that, at a minimum, involvement in undergraduate research elevates students’ ability to think critically and to have a broader understanding of the information we are presented with every day.”

Caroline Prichard, a student in the Department of Communication Studies, was awarded first place in the category of Oral Presentation for her research on the impact of cultural values on U.S./Serbian communication.

“It’s great to get a foundation in research so that if you continue to grad school or other paths where research is important, you have some experience,” Prichard said. “Even if your research is still in progress, it’s a great opportunity to get presentation experience.”

Prichard is the associate director of the Serbia Fellowship Experience at the University of Alabama. Her research centered on a two-week fellowship experience in Serbia in May 2016. Using ethnographic and autoethnographic inquiry, including participant observation and interviews with locals, Prichard was able to identify the cultural values and expectations in comparison to those prevalent in U.S. culture.

In addition to providing a greater understanding of Serbian cultural identity, Prichard’s findings also demonstrated areas where there could be communication breakdowns between Serbian and U.S. discourse.

Additional C&IS oral presentation winners included: Amanda Flamerich (second place); Amy Lekai, Dalton Kerby, Madeline Abrams and Hudson Nuckolls (third place)

Poster presentation winners included: Elizabeth Payne (first place), Bryant Bowlin (tie for second place), Xuan Wang (tie for second place) and Sam Sheriff (third place)