TMU 6(8) -- March 24, 2009

School earns top teaching award
Third UNO department to be honored

The School of Communication is the 2009 recipient of one of the University of Nebraska’s most prestigious honors, the University-wide Departmental Teaching Award (UDTA).

School of Communication faculty

The UDTA recognizes a department or school within the university that has made a unique and significant contribution to teaching. It carries with it a $25,000 award to the winner. The UNO School of Communication is well known for its teaching, outreach, service and student focus. Faculty members in the school are nationally and internationally known in their various fields through research and publication.

Students in broadcasting, journalism, speech communication and graduate studies in communication also enjoy state-of-the-art facilities and a wide-range of internship options that often lead to full-time positions upon graduation. The School of Communication enthusiastically embraces UNO’s metropolitan mission and strategic goals of student focus, academic excellence and community engagement.

The School has a nationally-recognized Speech Center, an award-winning student newscast, a top-15 Forensics team, a national first place public relations chapter and student PR firm, innovative new media, computer-mediated and visual communication curricula, internationally-recognized communication apprehension instruction, numerous collaborations with all UNO colleges and world-class alumni spanning the globe. Its full-time and part-time faculty blend sound pedagogy with best practices from communication industries. Faculty members are noted scholars with significant professional experience.

The School, which is the largest department in the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media, is only the third UNO department to receive the award since its inception in 1992. The Goodrich Program and the School of Social Work were previously recognized by the NU President and Regents.

Allen’s reality
Alum challenges current students

Reality TV producer Mark Allen, a University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) graduate, will speak on campus Mar. 24, about the difficult economy and its impact on the job market.

Mark Allen spoke to graduates last year

Allen’s speech is free and open to the public, and will be held in the Chancellor’s Room on the second floor of the Milo Bail Student Center from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

While the economy remains volatile and jobs can be hard to come by, Allen, a producer for reality TV shows such as “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette,” “Supernanny” and “A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila,” is positive there is hope for students entering the job market upon graduation.

"I want students to realize it's not all gloom and doom out there. They have the chance to create their own destiny, regardless of what economic experts might say," Allen said. "It's important they know how to stay ahead of the game, easy ways to go after what they want, and how to get a job -- even when it seems everyone else wants the same one."

Allen graduated from UNO in 1987 with a degree in journalism. In 2007, Allen received the School of Communication Alumni Achievement Award for his numerous accomplishments and his continued dedication to mentoring UNO students through classroom visits each semester.

Inside Art
Promo goes online

UNO broadcasting majors are producing a new cable television program called Inside Art.

The 30-minute show can also be seen online.

Michelle Thies, a secretary in the School of Communication, built a website for Inside Art, which is produced by Gary Repair at UNO Television. Students aired three programs in the fall semester, and the show recently received a $10,000 grant from the Pacific Life Foundation.


Workshop set for March 31

Professionals from various communication fields will offer advice at a career-development workshop on Mar. 31, in the Dodge Room of the Milo Bail Student Center.

"How to Launch Careers in Tough Times" will provide students an opportunity to talk one-on-one or in small groups with professionals from advertising, event planning, print and online media, public relations, television, radio, and training and development. The session will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Students will hear advice on writing resumes, interviewing and creating portfolios. They may bring resumes and portfolios to be critiqued. The workshop is an open house.

Participating professionals are:

* Tom Becka, radio personality, KFAB-AM
* Valerie Cutshall, special sections editor, Suburban Newspapers
* Laurie Dutcher, reporter/photographer, NTV in Kearney
* Jim Fagin, deputy director of communications for Sen. Ben Nelson
* Greg Fisher, newscast director, KPTM-TV
* Kristine Gerber, owner, Eventive Marketing
* Patricia Harrold, president and owner, Career Life and Mentoring
* Adam Jacobs, producer, WOWT-TV
* Sarah Julius, corporate employee development trainer, WEST Corp.
* Gary Koenig, copywriter and advertising executive, Koenig Marketing
* Rusty Lord, meteorologist, WOWT-TV
* Jen Peterson, survey design editor, Gallup
* Caitlin Roth, meteorologist, WOWT-TV
* Stacy Seier, marketing and volunteer coordinator, Youth Emergency Services
* Susan Suggs, marketing/communications director, Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture
* Molly Susemihl, senior media buyer, Vente Inc.
* Dave Webster, graphic designer and agency owner, Webster Design Associates
* Randa Zalman, senior account supervisor, Redstone Communications

Michelle Perone, director of the UNO Career Center, will attend to critique resumes and cover letters. The workshop is sponsored by the UNO School of Communication and its student organizations – AD Club, National Broadcasting Society and Public Relations Student Society of America.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Sherrie Wilson at 554-3677 or

Of note

Excellence in action

Shereen Bingham has received an Association of Family and Conciliation Courts $580 scholarship covering registration fees to attend the 46th annual AFCC conference in New Orleans, May 27-30.

The scholarship was awarded primarily based on Bingham’s application essay indicating how her attendance at the conference would further the mission of the AFCC. In her application, Bingham discussed her upcoming faculty development fellowship research, which will focus on the impact of family mediation in Nebraska.

Bingham will connect with an international network of more than 3,500 colleagues who are dedicated to improving the lives of families and children through the resolution of family conflict. AFCC members include judges, lawyers, mediators, custody evaluators, parenting coordinators, social workers, counselors, parent educators, and researchers in a variety of disciplines.

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Chris Allen recently chaired the academic program review in the School of Criminal Justice, which is in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service.

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Graduate Teaching Assistant Sally Buck is presenting her research Mar. 24 at UNO’s Centennial Celebration of Student Research and Creative Activity.

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Teresa Lamsam presented a proposal Mar. 16 to transform the Osage News into an independent, professional news organization. The public meeting was held to discuss the future of the paper.

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Mary Anna Kidd, Ana Cruz and Holly Miller are members of a new community engagement link, and they are assembling a poster for an Apr. 20 presentation. The poster is looking at best practices in community engagement. Also, Kidd’s students will be doing their mock employment interviews from 1-2:15 p.m. on Mar. 24 and 26 – they will be interviewed by Kate Rempfer, Marlina Davidson, Bob Carlson and Holly Miller.

Did you know?
People in the news

Mary Gum, staff assistant in the School of Communication, took a SAP refresher course Mar. 19. This is the university’s accounting software ERP program.

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Michelle Thies took an optimizing graphics course from ITS Mar. 11. The course worked on Photoshop projects.

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Student intern Kristen Martin received praise from the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Nebraska. Angie Kros wrote Karen Weber a note saying that Martin is an amazing student whois truly a “shot in the arm” for the office.

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Five School of Communication PRSSA members – Mike Gerhart, Caitrin Shirazi, Heather Nasif, Michelle Horn and Juan Carrillo – participated in a media relations training exercise Mar. 13 at the Governor's Mansion with various state agency officials in crisis communication training. The students were the "reporters" in this media training exercise coordinated by Vox Optima, a media relations firm specializing in government relations.

Evidence of excellence

1. Bruce Johansen is among an impressive group of speakers for the upcoming Progressive magazine’s conference in Madison, Wisc. Among those also speaking: Actor Robert Redford, labor champion Dolores Huerta, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, author Howard Zinn, activist Cindy Sheehan, commentator Jim Hightower and former Sen. George McGovern.

Johansen is professor of Communication and Native American Studies and is the author or editor of 31 books, including Enduring Legacies: Native American Treaties and Contemporary Controversies, Indigenous Peoples and Environmental Issues: An Encyclopedia and The Dirty Dozen: Toxic Chemicals and the Earth's Future.

2. A graduate student and three faculty members are presenting the following papers at the Central States Communication Association meeting in St. Louis:

"War Games: An Analysis of Emotional Appeals and Identification in Darryl Worley's 'Have You Forgotten'," Nicole Baxley, undergraduate

"Speaking Ill of the Dead: An analysis of" Lynnette Leonard and Paige Toller

"Gateways and Entries Between the Zeroes and Ones: Toward Online Identity Assembly Theory," Adam Tyma and Lynnette Leonard

"Pushing Past the Walls-Media Literacy, the Egalitarian Classroom, and a Really Severe Learning Curve," Adam Tyma

The week in photos
Images from around the school

School of Communication Public relations students organized an extremely successful alcohol awareness event before Spring Break.

The mother of Samantha Spady spoke

PRSSA again hosted the Sam Spady Foundation. A documentary was shown on the death of the Nebraska woman at a university in Colorado from alcohol poisoning – her mother spoke at the event urging UNO students to watch out at parties for themselves and friends.

Students were urged to never leave an intoxicated person alone, stay sober to care for friends and follow the legal drinking age of 21.

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Many School of Communication volunteers turned out for the Mar. 4 MS awareness project at the 60th and Dodge St. pedestrian bridge. The team "lit" the pedestrian bridge orange on the Day of Hope by holding banners, wearing orange t-shirts and displaying balloons.

Afternoon drivers took note of the event

Dates & times
Mark calendars for interesting events


12 – UkNOw Choices, MBSC Nebraska Room, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

24 – Alumnus Mark Allen, MBSC Chancellor's Room, 11:30 a.m.

27 – Research Colloquium Showcase, ASH 110, 11 a.m.

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


13 – CEL, RT & TC Celebration, Collaborating Commons, 3 p.m.

16 National Organ Donor Awareness event, MBSC Plaza, 11:30 a.m.

– High School Journalism Workshop, MBSC Ballroom, 12 p.m.; Larry Boersma, Arts & Sciences Hall, 1:30 p.m.; and NOMA Celebration, MBSC Chancellor's Room, 5 p.m.

28 – PRSSA Presentations, MBSC Chancellor’s Room, 4 p.m.

29 – Persuasion Poster Session, MBSC Dodge Rooms, 10 a.m.

– Scholarship Breakfast, MBSC Chancellor’s Room, 10 a.m.; 5th Annual Alumni Panel, MBSC Dodge Rooms A & B, 1 p.m.; Reception, WFAB Art Gallery, 4:30 p.m.; 54th Annual Awards Banquet, Thompson Alumni Center, 6 p.m.

5 – UNO 2009 Service Award Ceremony, MBSC, 11:30 a.m.

8 - Communication Graduation Breakfast, MBSC Ballroom School, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.; Commencement, Omaha Civic Auditorium, 2 p.m.

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