Category: CIS News

‘Revise and Resubmit’ Podcast Talks C&IS Research

Dr. Anneliese Bolland (left) and Dr. Kim Bissell record an episode of Revise and Resubmit

It used to be that faculty members in the College of Communication and Information Sciences (C&IS) could routinely walk to their departmental mailboxes and find a printed bulletin, titled the “ICIR Scholar Spotlight,” a regular publication put out by the Institute for Communication and Information Research (ICIR). The publication featured a different C&IS faculty member discussing their research each month.

In Fall 2020, Drs. Kim Bissell and Anneliese Bolland brought the Scholar Spotlight into the 21st century by releasing their podcast, Revise and Resubmit. Each episode is a conversation with a C&IS faculty researcher about their research interests, ongoing projects and how their field of study relates to everyday people.

“At the end of the day, we want to know about their research and make it accessible for everyone. Even if we’re talking about something really technical, we break it down so that anyone can understand it,” said Bissell. “The coolest thing about the research in our College is all of the practical implications. Of course, we contribute to the research culture methodologically and theoretically, but what we’re focusing on is how we contribute to the betterment of society, even if it’s in a small niche area.”

Not only is the podcast informative, it’s entertaining; there really is something for everyone to enjoy. Episode titles include “George Bush Did Not Kill Harambe, The Internet is Just Weird and Other Conversations about Social Media” and “When Dolly Parton Steps in During Times of Crisis and Other Conversations about Crisis Communication.”

One additional hope for Bissell is that listeners across campus and beyond would hear the exciting research that C&IS faculty are a part of and see the numerous and varied opportunities for creativity and collaboration.

“Researchers across campus who tune in and listen will hear how interdisciplinary our work is,” said Bissell. “There is obvious potential for partnerships campus wide where our research can connect to every single academic unit on campus. We’ve identified and developed a lot of those opportunities, but not all of them. I think there’s more we can do.”

Season 1 launched in Fall 2020 and includes 13 episodes. Now well into the second season Revise and Resubmit can be found on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. During the season, new episodes release every Monday at 11 a.m.

The College of Communication and Information Sciences’ faculty and students at The University of Alabama conduct cutting-edge research that creates knowledge and provides solutions to global issues across the full communication and information spectrum. To learn more about research at C&IS, visit https://cis.ua.edu/research

C&IS Common Read: Soul Food by Adrian Miller

C&IS is hosting a common read of the book Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time by Adrian Miller. The common read will kick off the week of March 15 and conclude on April 12.

Miller describes his book as a love letter to African American cooks, and his hope is that after reading his book, anyone will be able to prepare a soul food meal and understand its cultural context. In each chapter, he seeks to answer the following questions: What is the food item? How did it get on the soul food plate? What does the food item mean for African American Culture?

C&IS plans to read Soul Food during March and April before joining Miller for a Zoom call on April 12. Ideally, group read participants will join the call from their dining room tables, where they will be eating a meal they prepared themselves from the book.

The common read project is part of C&IS diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. The idea was proposed by C&IS instructor, Jay Waters (Advertising and Public Relations) to present a topic and a book that would provide the maximum opportunity for engagement, conversation and reflection.

“Food and foodways is an underappreciated pathway to understanding history, culture and conflict,” said Waters. “It can be an eye-opening experience to hear that the foods you eat – something you don’t think much about – tells a story that illuminates literally centuries of human experience, while challenging your own view of the world.”

This project is funded by the College of Communication and Information Sciences to enhance its strategic priority to provide a learning environment that promotes diversity, equity, leadership and service.

If you are interested in reading along with C&IS, you can learn more by clicking here. If you are part of the C&IS family and would like to request a free copy of the book, click here.

About Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time:

In this insightful and eclectic history, Adrian Miller delves into the influences, ingredients, and innovations that make up the soul food tradition. Focusing each chapter on the culinary and social history of one dish–such as fried chicken, chitlins, yams, greens, and “red drinks”–Miller uncovers how it got on the soul food plate and what it means for African American culture and identity.

About the Author:

Adrian Miller is a writer, attorney, and certified barbecue judge who lives in Denver, CO. He served as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton, a senior policy analyst for Colorado Governor Bill Ritter Jr., and a Southern Foodways Alliance board member.


In the University of Alabama’s College of Communication and Information Sciences, diversity is celebrated, appreciated and embraced. As outlined in the College’s Diversity Plan, C&IS encourages the exploration and appreciation of diversity in everything from College-wide communication to the classes in our curriculum and student organizations designed to build leadership skills in the area of diversity. To learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion at C&IS visit cis.ua.edu/diversity

APR Graduate Student Named Finalist for PRNEWS’ CSR and Diversity Awards

C&IS APR Graduate Student, Taylor Garner

Taylor Garner, an advertising and public relations (APR) graduate student, was recently named a finalist for Graduate Student of the Year in the PRNEWS Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Diversity Awards competition. This award honors a graduate student who has demonstrated outstanding academic performance and interest in the fields of communication and PR.

Garner was nominated for the award by ESPN after serving as a communication intern for the company during Summer and Fall 2020.

“It honestly feels unreal. From the moment ESPN PR told me that they wanted to nominate me for this award up until being announced as a finalist, I haven’t stopped smiling,” Garner said. “I am so grateful to ESPN PR and PRNEWS for this honor and to be among all of the other amazing finalists that are striving to make change in this industry as I am.”

In addition to her internship with ESPN, Garner has gained industry experience through several internships during her time in C&IS. She formerly served as a communication intern for the Capstone College of Nursing and currently works as a student assistant with The University of Alabama Athletics Communications office and as a Sports Brand Solutions Intern at The Walt Disney Company.

After graduation, Garner hopes to become a publicist and would like to continue working in the sports industry. She credits C&IS for preparing her through providing various experiential learning opportunities.

“C&IS has so many opportunities for you to get involved and gain a lot of industry experience. Our professors genuinely care about your success and help in any way that they can to prepare you. From the organizations that I have been part of to the lessons we have learned in class, I feel more ready than I ever have to enter this industry successfully,” Garner said.

View the full list of CSR and Diversity Award finalists here.

PRNEWS will host a virtual awards ceremony on April 27 to honor the finalists in both the CSR & Nonprofit Awards and Inaugural Diversity Awards categories. These finalists represent the communicators who use their platforms for the betterment of their local communities and the global community at large.

C&IS’ Martha Glen Sease Speaks Out on Women’s Sports at Tide Talks

C&IS Junior and News Media Major, Martha Glen Sease

We’re watching women’s sports wrong. This was the main point of C&IS junior news media major Martha Glen Sease in the latest installment of Tide Talks, a presentation series in which students at The University of Alabama share their experiences, trials and successes during their time at school.

According to Sease, women’s sports don’t get a fair shake because there are assumptions made by sports fans about what sports are supposed to be. The presence of the male hormone testosterone means that men’s sports involve athletes that, as a general rule, are faster and stronger than their female counterparts. It’s the assumption that “faster and stronger means better” that frames the whole conversation surrounding men’s sports versus women’s sports.

“People assume that women’s sports are boring because they have more estrogen,” said Sease. “Now, what fails to be taken into account is that the presence of extra estrogen means that there are other advantages women have such as increased flexibility and endurance.”

Sease says that we don’t enjoy women’s sports as we could because we’re watching it through a lens that is biased toward speed and strength. Furthermore, when discussing women’s sports, the conversation often centers around the athlete’s personal life or sense of fashion. When athletic ability is praised, it typically fits back into those two categories—speed and strength.

Citing research conducted by C&IS professor Andy Billings (Journalism and Creative Media), Sease notes that the conversation in the sports booth is part of the issue. Commentators for men’s sports use more direct language when announcing the game and women’s sports commentators use more indirect language, which reinforces the “faster and stronger is better” viewpoint.

“Think about this, if you turn on ESPN and it’s a sport you’re unfamiliar with, who do you rely on? The commentator,” said Sease. “If you’re a casual fan of women’s sports and you turn on the TV and the commentators aren’t talking about the technicality, the grace, the physicality in a different way than they do men’s sports… you have no shot at fully enjoying these games.”

So, how do we fix the problem? Sease suggests three ways that sports fan can learn to better appreciate women’s sports. Have conversations about women’s sports, watch women’s sports through the different lens she describes—appreciating grace, technicality and endurance—and follow people who report on women’s sports.

A good place to start might be following Martha Glen Sease on Twitter (@mgsease) and listening to her host the “Student Section” on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. for WVUA 90.7FM.

You can view Sease’s Tide Talk here.

Founded by UA students in 2013, Tide Talks is a student organization at The University of Alabama that showcases student triumphs and experiences through engaging speaker series. It’s real talk, real life, and real students. To learn more about Tide Talks, visit their website at tidetalks.org or visit their YouTube page here.

C&IS Students Win Multiple Honors at American Advertising Awards

C&IS students were recognized for their hard work and creativity during the 2021 American Advertising Awards celebration last week, taking home a total of 17 awards from the competition.

The annual American Advertising Awards ceremony took place virtually on the evening of Friday, February 26 and celebrated the outstanding work of students, agencies, corporations, nonprofits, universities and freelancers from Tuscaloosa and surrounding cities.

Fourteen undergraduate students from Minerva, C&IS’ creative advertising portfolio program, received awards at the event. Out of the 18 awards offered at the student level, students from the program took home two gold, 8 silver, all four of the Judge’s Choice awards and the Best of Show award.

APR graduate student Allison Reid won a silver ADDY in the competition for her Buffalo Bison Rebranding Campaign collateral material pictured above.

“Winning an American Advertising Award is a very public acknowledgment of a student’s dedication and hard work,” said Mark Barry, director of Minerva. “The competition is strong and the work has got to be good to win something at this level.”

In addition, two C&IS graduate students were also awarded with silver and gold ADDYs during the ceremony.

The gold and silver awards recognize entries that demonstrate creative excellence. Best of Show is awarded to the student whose submission is determined to be the best overall in the student category of the competition. This year’s submissions were judged by professionals from Chicago, Montana, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Students who won at the local level will now be entered into the district American Advertising Awards competition.

For a list of winners and categories, click here.

The American Advertising Awards, formerly the ADDYs, is the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition, attracting nearly 35,000 entries each year in local American Advertising Federation Club (Ad Club) competitions.

For more information on Minerva, visit their website.

C&IS Student Receives Premier Award

C&IS News Media Major, Tionna Taite

News media major Tionna Taite is one of nine recipients of The University of Alabama’s (UA) highest honor, the Premier Awards. The awards are given to students, faculty and staff who exemplify the highest standards of scholarship, service, leadership and character. Taite received the William P. and Estan J. Bloom Award, which honors a junior who has improved intergroup relations within the University community.

In addition to her coursework in C&IS, Taite serves as the editor-in-chief of UA Honors College’s MOSAIC magazine, and she recently created the University’s first Black-student-led magazine, “Nineteen Fifty-Six,” which highlights Black culture, Black excellence and the Black student experience.

Taite’s work toward improving intergroup relations at UA stems from her desire to give a voice to students from historically marginalized groups.

“It is important for me to improve intergroup relations within the University community because I believe all students should have a way to be heard, especially minority students at a predominantly white institution,” Taite said. “I am honored to be selected as a recipient for the Premier Awards, and I am glad to have a platform that enables me to improve understanding among groups on campus.”

Upon graduation, Taite plans to pursue a law degree and become an intellectual property lawyer. She also plans to do pro bono work centering around civil rights cases and aspires to establish mentorship programs for minority girls who are pursuing a higher education.

View the full list of the Premier Awards recipients and learn about each of their achievements here.

C&IS is committed to promoting an environment that fosters diversity and inclusion and is proud of the efforts of our students, faculty and staff. To learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion in C&IS, visit cis.ua.edu/diversity.

C&IS Alumna Excels in Journalism Industry

Alumna Tina Turner (B.A. in Communication in News Media ’20) is currently working as the inaugural Jim Lehrer Fellow at PBS NewsHour. The Jim Lehrer Journalism Fellowship program was created in 2020 in honor of Jim Lehrer, co-founder and anchor of PBS NewsHour. The year-long program selects one college graduate each year who is interested in pursuing a career in journalism and provides them with hands-on experience in the areas of broadcast and online editorial and production units.

Turner credits much of her success and preparation for the role to her time at C&IS. “C&IS does an excellent job of providing valuable learning opportunities for students. There are so many news media and journalism jobs offered and I tried to take advantage of as many of them as I could,” she said.

During her time as a student, she participated in a variety of experiential learning opportunities ranging from working as a student reporter at Alabama Public Radio (APR) to working as the station manager at WVUA-FM her senior year.

Turner’s campus involvement and dedication to honing her journalism and reporting skills undoubtedly paid off as she was recently named a top ten finalist in the audio category of the Hearst Journalism Awards Program. The program awards students for outstanding work in the journalism field. Turner was recognized for two audio reports she completed during her student internship with APR.

Her advice for those looking to excel in their career is simple. “Put in the time. Put in the work,” Turner said. “You have to devote time to finding out what you want to be great at,” she said.

Click below to view Turner’s two award-winning submissions:
Historic hotel hopes to welcome visitors to Selma after refurbishment
Selling Kids: Being LGBTQ in the Bible Belt

C&IS Hosts Virtual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

C&IS hosted its biennial Hall of Fame ceremony on Friday, Feb. 19. The virtual ceremony honored Nancy Parker Boyd, E. Culpepper Clark, Jan Crawford and Bryan Stevenson. C&IS Board of Visitors member Barry Copeland, president of The Copeland Strategies Group, served as emcee. The video produced by the Center for Public Television to honor each of our inductees can be viewed here. Additional information about each inductee is available below.

Nancy Parker Boyd

Nancy Parker Boyd graduated from the College of Communication and Information Sciences with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism in 1988 before beginning her television broadcast career with TV stations in Georgia and Alabama. After anchoring the news for several years at WAFB in Baton Rouge, she made New Orleans her home where she covered New Orleans and South Louisiana for three decades. A five-time Emmy Award-winning journalist who served as a morning anchor for WVUE FOX 8 in New Orleans, Boyd was a legend in the community and an inspiration to young aspiring journalists. Boyd passed away in a plane crash while reporting a story on August 16, 2019.

E. Culpepper Clark

Culpepper “Cully” Clark is dean emeritus of the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, a position he held from 2006 until his retirement in 2013. Prior to the University of Georgia, Clark worked at The University of Alabama for 27 years, including serving as dean of the College of Communication and Information Sciences. His published works have focused on the New South Movement and his book, “The Schoolhouse Door: Segregation’s Last Stand at the University of Alabama,” was named a Notable Book by the New York Times Book Review.

Jan Crawford

Jan Crawford is the chief legal correspondent for CBS News and a recognized authority on the U.S. Supreme Court. Her 2007 book, “Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for the Control of the United States Supreme Court” gained critical acclaim and became an instant New York Times Bestseller. Crawford is a 1987 graduate of The University of Alabama and a 1993 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School. She has taught journalism at American University and frequently speaks about the Court to universities, law schools, legal organizations and civic groups across the country.

Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a human rights organization in Montgomery, Alabama. Stevenson is a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, incarcerated and condemned. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard’s School of Government and the author of the award-winning New York Times bestseller “Just Mercy,” which was recently adapted as a major motion picture.

About the Hall of Fame:

Established by the College’s Board of Visitors in 1998, the Communication and Information Sciences Hall of Fame was created to honor, preserve and perpetuate the names and accomplishments of individuals who have brought lasting fame to the state of Alabama through the application of disciplines taught, researched and practiced in the College.

Capstone Agency Gives Back Through Annual CreateAthon Event

Dean Nelson joins Capstone Agency members to kick off the fifth annual CreateAthon

Imagine a 12-hour day full of virtual meetings…two days in a row.

That’s what the nationally affiliated, top-ranked, student-run communications firm, Capstone Agency, undertook for its fifth annual CreateAthon, a pro bono marketing marathon where students harness their skills to benefit the local community.

Nearly 70 students took part in the event, producing $40,487 worth of donated marketing work for nonprofit organizations around Tuscaloosa and Birmingham.

This year’s event was held virtually over two 12-hour days. Students worked in their own living spaces, gathering on Zoom calls for collaboration.

Even though the event looked different than in years past  it’s typically a 24-hour marathon where students gather in Reese Phifer Hall to pull an all-nighter  students delivered impressive results.

“I was initially worried about how engaged and enthused our participants would be in this year’s virtual event, but I was blown away by the energy and motivation our members maintained,” said Stephanie Cohen, a junior marketing major who serves as the pro bono director for the Capstone Agency. “I think that speaks volumes about the culture of our agency. It looked different this time, but we were all just really excited for the opportunity to help these nonprofits, who need it this year more than ever.”

CreateAthon served seven local nonprofits, including Arts ‘n Autism, Miracle League of Tuscaloosa, Parkinson Association of Alabama, Success By 6, Sweetwater Outreach, Tuscaloosa International Friends and YMCA of Tuscaloosa.

Each nonprofit presented the agency with a communications problem, and students worked through the event to create marketing solutions to donate to the organizations. All of the nonprofits who benefited this year were impacted in some way by the pandemic.

“Most of the organizations we worked with wanted help with how to do things virtually, such as how to effectively brand a virtual fundraiser,” said Cohen. “These organizations rely heavily on fundraisers, and the pandemic really affected their ability to do those last year.”

Over CreateAthon’s five-year history at UA, students have donated over $250,000 worth of creative services, benefitting 30 local nonprofits.

“Capstone Agency members are always so eager to give back to the organizations that do so much for our community, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it,” said Cohen.


This story originally appeared on UA News Center.

C&IS Student Among Most Promising Multicultural Students

A University of Alabama senior was selected as one of the American Advertising Federation’s Most Promising Multicultural Students of 2021.

Hanna Fridriksson, a Mobile native, is one of 50 college students from across the country chosen to participate in the Most Promising Multicultural Students program, a premier event put on by the AAF to give traditionally underrepresented, multicultural students an opportunity to network with and learn from top advertising, marketing and media professionals.

The program is part of an AAF initiative to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within the advertising industry.

“It’s a really great program, and I’m thankful for the opportunity,” said Fridriksson, who is in UA’s accelerated master’s program in advertising and public relations. “The advertising world is a bit homogenous, in a sense. It’s really nice to see that there are programs trying to push back on that and add diversity into the industry because it’s really important for different perspectives to be represented.”

Students were selected for the program by a panel of leading industry professionals, including representatives from Apple, Google, L’Oreal and Twitter, among others.

The four-day event, held last year in New York City, will be fully virtual this year and run Jan. 26-29, 2021.

“I’ve been fortunate to build some relationships from a program I did last summer,” said Fridriksson, who participated in a virtual summer fellowship with the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ Multicultural Advertising Intern Program. “With the Most Promising program, I’d love to grow my network and create relationships with some new people in the industry, and hopefully land a really great internship or job for this summer.”

During her time at UA, Fridriksson has been highly involved with the Capstone Advertising Federation, UA’s chapter of AAF, and has been on the executive board since her sophomore year. She began as secretary and now serves as president.

In addition, she serves on the student executive council for the College of Communication and Information Sciences and is a member of UA’s Ad Team.

Last semester, Fridriksson studied abroad in an exchange program with Kedge Business School in Bordeaux, France, which ended early due to COVID-19.

Fridriksson is set to graduate from UA in May 2022 with both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Upon graduation, she plans to move to a big city and work for an advertising agency to gain experience and build her portfolio; she dreams of eventually working for a large beauty brand, such as Sephora.


This story originally appeared on UA News Center.