TMU 5(28) -- November 4, 2008

PRSSA Repeats As National Champion
UNO Chapter First In Community Service

UNO’s Public Relations Student Society of America School of Communication chapter returned from the 2008 National PRSSA Conference in Detroit with two first place awards.

PRSSA and Adviser Karen Weber

PRSSA won the 2008 Outstanding Community Service in the National Teahan Awards. The Teahan Awards are the “Academy Awards” of PRSSA. This was the third Teahan award for UNO in the last five years. The F.H. Teahan National Award for Community Service recognizes a chapter that has performed outstanding community service throughout the year. Ten members of the chapter accepted the award Oct. 27.

Keegan Niederdeppe also accepted her first-place award in the 2008 National Organ Donor Awareness Competition.

The team of Niederdeppe, Mikaela Knipe, Kristen Martin, Meagan Phenix and Kate Sypal also did a terrific job with their chapter development session presentation, “Pitching Like Pros: How to Score Clients for your PR firm.”

Adviser Karen Weber met faculty advisers from New York City, Boston and Sacramento who were all very impressed with our UNO students. “They presented themselves very professionally and we can all be proud of them,” Weber said.

“The UNO School of Communication is proud to sponsor our PRSSA chapter, and we are extremely pleased with the national success of students,” Director Jeremy Lipschultz said. “It is particularly rewarding to see this high level of PR skill applied to positive community engagement."

Among the service projects PRSSA students completed are Santa Paws, a fundraiser for the Town and Country Animal Shelter; U.S. Marines Toys for Tots; National Organ Donor Awareness Day; and Kids N Kans Carnival, a fundraiser for the Omaha Food Bank.

Prestigious Scholarship
School of Communication Student Is Among Top In Nation

Anna Berlett, a School of Communication public relations/advertising major, has been recognized as one of 14 students in the nation to receive the 2008 Most Promising Minority Students Scholarship sponsored by the Home Depot.

Anna Berlett

Berlett joins students from UCLA, San Francisco, Florida State, Howard, Illinois, California-Berkeley, Texas, Texas State San Marcos, Penn State and Detroit. Berlett is the first UNO student to win the prestigious award.

Hugh Reilly recruited Berlett and wrote the letter of recommendation. She is a UNO Ad Club officer. “This is a very prestigious award, and hundreds of students from across the country apply,” Reilly said. “While we have applied many times, to my knowledge, this is the first time a UNO student has won.”

The award comes with a paid trip to New York City and visit to the New York Athletic Club.

This is the premier advertising industry award program to recognize and recruit outstanding minority college graduates in the following areas: advertising, marketing, media and communications.

The American Advertising Federation connects the advertising industry with “the nation’s top minority college seniors.” The AAF seeks to recruit talent and “better reflect multiculturalism.” Students are “offered networking, interviewing and industry immersion opportunities.”

UNO Students Prep For Live Election Night Coverage
Convergence Effort Features Radio, TV And The Web

CNN News Services is making available their Newsource feed material for The Omaha News election coverage Nov. 4. The live program begins at 7 p.m. on The Knowledge Network (TKN, Cox 17/Qwest 74). Verizon Wireless is providing two dozen telephones and several wireless cards for laptop computers to enable video feeds from the field.

WOWT recently donated this news anchor desk

About 50 School of Communication students, along with UNO faculty and UNO-TV staff, will collaborate to cover election results on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

The Omaha News: Vote 2008 will air live election coverage Nov. 4, beginning at 7 p.m., on The Knowledge Network (available to viewers with both Cox and Qwest video services, channels 17 and 74, respectively). Coverage will include reports on the presidential election, the Terry-Esch race, the Johanns-Kleeb race and Initiative 424 (the Affirmative Action ban). Reporters will provide live coverage from the Terry, Esch, Johanns and Kleeb headquarters.

In The Omaha News studio on the UNO campus (inside the College of Public Affairs and Community Service Building), commentary will be provided by UNO faculty members Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, Gail F. Baker, Barbara Pickering, Hugh Reilly, Lynnette Leonard, Doug Paterson, as well as representatives from Nebraska's Democratic and Republican parties. A live feed of the broadcast will also be available at:

Radio students will provide election coverage on Classical 90.7 KVNO.

Public Affairs Reporting students will blog about election results on The Omaha News Web site, while News Editing and Computer Mediated Communication students will assist with editing and provide technical support for the bloggers.

Earlier this year, the School of Communication received a donation from Verizon Wireless to use two dozen cell phones and several laptop computer wireless cards for their broadcast. Albers Communications Group in Omaha facilitated the project by working with Verizon Wireless to secure the use of the equipment.

School of Communication faculty stress to UNO students that The Omaha News is not a student production, but a public service to Omaha residents.

“The School of Communication appreciates community support in helping to educate our broadcasting students on the latest convergence journalism techniques,” Director Jeremy Lipschultz said. “We depend upon engagement with the Omaha community to train the next generation of media professionals.”

Synergy Course
Lamsam and Davidson Teach Communication and Culture

The Synergy of Communication and Culture course is being taught for the first time this semester by Teresa Lamsam and Marlina Davidson.

This is “a continuation of UNO's innovative approach to developing learning communities,” Lamsam said. “In our class, students enroll in both Public Speaking Fundamentals and Introduction to Native American Studies.”

The classes are taught back-to-back.

“I took it as a good sign the first week when students were talking about how to share lunch so no one goes hungry – as our classes go straight through the lunch hour,” Lamsam said. “If they were willing to share food and look out for one another in that way, would they also share on an intellectual level?”

Lamsam and Davidson see evidence that synergy works.

Summer Scholars Research
Cruz Presents Early Results

Ana Cruz
presented research Oct. 31 on the UNO Summer Scholar Program, which has been operating since 1998.

Ana Cruz

Cruz has been participating in the program by interviewing prospective students, and she became curious about its role in reaching out to potential first-generation college students.

“Her content was compelling and important, and she opened the door to exciting discussion,” Teresa Lamsam said. “Ana is no doubt one of the best presenters I have seen – She is not only professional but she is genuine and draws people in.”

Family support, self efficacy and self esteem all are important for the students, Cruz said.

Forty students were selected from 52 applicants and were on campus in June and July. Students lived on campus for one week, Cruz said.

Cruz has found that social support from parents is an important variable for high school students considering college.

Of Note
Excellence In Action

Robert A. Franklin, UNO Television general manager and assistant professor, is planning an upcoming international trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to continue his collaborative research project on “Ethiopia Street Youth.” He will be gathering audio and video material for an upcoming documentary production. While in Ethiopia, he will send daily podcasts for eNotes, KVNO-FM and KIOS-FM. Additionally, he hopes to establish a student-scholar exchange program between Addis Ababa University and the UNO School of Communication. He also has launched Children & Youth of Omaha Media Initiative – a public service issues campaign in collaboration with several television stations and KIOS-FM. On another project, Franklin is working with the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and North Omaha Redevelopment Authority to produce, coordinate and broadcast a series of video vignettes promoting businesses operating in North Omaha.
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UNO’s fall break for the first time had a group that included Dave Ogden traveling to Red Cloud, Neb. for a service project.

The Associated Press reported on the student work on the exterior of Willa Cather’s childhood home and the Red Cloud Opera House.

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Jeremy Lipschultz’s entry on international pornography law and free expression is now available in, Donsbach, Wolfgang (Ed). The International Encyclopedia of Communication. Blackwell Publishing, 2008. Blackwell Reference Online. 30 October 2008

Did You Know?
People In The News

The North Omaha Media Alliance (NOMA), a collaborative project concerned with civic engagement and media literacy in North Omaha, is a partnership between the UNO School of Communication, Service Learning Academy, Girls Inc. of Omaha, and Omaha North Magnet High School.

So far this semester UNO has conducted two meetings with 11 UNO students facilitating discussions with 13 high schools students regarding the 2008 presidential election.

The NOMA Vote 2008 project covered issues concerning the qualities and characteristics a candidate for president should have, the concerns relevant to the election, the media coverage of the campaigns, and campaign advertising. “Our future goals involve the creation of a website to host student produced news and information covering the North Omaha community,” Coordinator Lynnette Leonard said. “We are collaborating with [the College of Information Science & Technology] on the creation of mobile phone applications that would facilitate the collection of news stories.”

NOMA meets Nov. 11 to review proposal presentations from our North High Magnet School student designers. Additionally, there will be discussions of the outcomes of the election, and discussions on how to keep citizens engaged in the political process after an election.

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Bruce Johansen will debate UNO Chemistry Professor Robert Smith on global warming at the Omaha Press Club Nov. 20. Hugh Cowdin is organizing the event.

* * * *
Mary Anna Kidd attended her first hockey game and filed this account: “Thoughts from a novice hockey fan. I went to my first UNO hockey game. Actually, it was the first hockey game I have ever attended. Not the stereotypical bloody melee, but synchronous, controlled chaos. The small black puck careening across the ice with eight to ten men chasing after it. Fascinating exchange of players with seemingly no signal. They just suddenly exchanged places with other players – sometimes all five at once. The final chant before the last score – “We want another one, just like the other one. We want a taco!” Qdoba promised a free taco with drink purchase to ticket holders IF UNO won the game with at least 4 points on the board. They did. I’m getting a taco. By the way – I plan to go again!”

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Bruce Johansen was quoted in the November issue of Via Magazine, published by AAA, about Mohawk costumes worn by members of the Boston Tea Party. Johansen also published an Oct. 21 Omaha World-Herald opinion piece on William Ayers and the First Amendment.

Alumnus Returns
Kaercher Edited Midwest Living

Retired Midwest Living magazine editor Dan Kaercher returned to campus Oct. 31 to speak to students, faculty and staff.

Gail F. Baker with students and Dan Kaercher

Kaercher credited retired faculty members Warren Francke, Hugh Cowdin and Joe McCartney with teaching him journalism skills. He also took a photography course from public relations legend Bill Ramsey.

The 1971 Omaha University graduate currently works on travel features for Iowa Public Television.

Kaercher published three travel books: Best of the Midwest, Taste of the Midwest and Parklands of the Midwest.

Collaboration Science
New Lab Opens

UNO’s Collaboration Science initiative opened a new lab Oct. 31 in Roskens Hall.

The interdisciplinary effort is about to receive approval from the University of Nebraska Board of Regents to be named the Center for Collaboration Science (CCS).

Lou Pol and the ICS faculty

Laptop computers in the new CBA lab allow up to 12 people to use collaboration science software for brainstorming and decision-making.

CCS will teach graduate seminars in the new room and offer hands-on opportunities.

Collaboration Science at UNO has received nearly $4 million in federal earmarks to develop state-of-the-art software for military operations at STRATCOM.

Several School of Communication faculty members are CCS fellows. Karen Dwyer is currently teaching a training course. Lynnette Leonard has received funding for her Second Life project. Shereen Bingham has linked her interest to mediation to the former institute. Jeremy Lipschultz is a founding member of the College Representative Committee (CRC) of CCS.

Evidence Of Excellence

1. Dave Ogden’s new book, Reconstructing Fame: Sport, Race, and Evolving Reputations, is the first volume to explicitly use reputations as a way to understand U.S. sports and media.

2. The Oct. 14 issue of the Omaha World-Herald published a guest column by Jeremy Lipschultz about the upcoming transition to digital programming.

The Week In Photos
Images From Around The School

Gail F. Baker congratulates Karen Weber on PRSSA awards

Randy Rose is encouraged by Abbie Syrek to buy more bake sale items

Brilliant fall colors remain in early November

Dates & Times
Mark Calendars For Interesting Events

4 The Omaha News election special, TKN Cox 17/Qwest 74, 7 p.m.

– Tenured Faculty, ASH 107i, 10 a.m.

15 & 16
– UNO Forensics @ Doane College.

20 - Thursday, Nov. 20 Thanksgiving Bake Sale first floor ASH 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

5 – Nebraska Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy will officiate at the Certified Public Manager (CPM)
graduation on Dec. 5 at the new CPACS Collaborating Commons on campus at UNO, 4 -6 p.m.

CFAM college meeting, Thompson Alumni Center, 3 p.m.
CFAM college Holiday Party, Thompson Alumni Center, 4 p.m.

10 – School of Communication Holiday Party, Arts and Sciences Hall 140, 11:30 a.m.

15 - High School Journalism Dinner, 6-9 p.m. at the MBSC Chancellor’s Room.

12 - Thursday, Feb. 12 Valentine's Day Bake Sale first floor ASH 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

26 - Thursday, Feb. 26, MBSC Nebraska Room Bateman team campaign event for National Banking Association College Program 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

12 - Thursday, March 12, MBSC Nebraska Room One-Five-0 and in Control Alcohol Awareness event 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

31 - Thursday, March 31, MBSC Dodge Room Communication Career Development Workshop 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

23 - High School Journalism Workshop, 12 p.m. at the MBSC Ballroom.
28 - PRSSA Presentations, 4 p.m. at the MBSC Chancellor’s Room.
30 - 10 a.m. Scholarship Breakfast at the MBSC Chancellor’s Room; 5th Annual Alumni Panel at 1 p.m. at the MBSC Dodge Rooms); 54th Annual Awards Banquet, 6 p.m. at the Thompson Alumni Center.

8 - Friday, May 8, at the MBSC Ballroom School of Communication Graduation Breakfast 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

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