TMU 6(9-10) -- April 7, 2009

Regents visit School
UNO Speech Center on display

Reilly Professor Karen Dwyer and Instructor Marlina Davidson met with the University of Nebraska Regents April 3 to show them the UNO School of Communication Speech Center.

Karen Dwyer answers questions

“Your passion for the work was evident throughout,” CFAM Dean Gail F. Baker told Dwyer and Davidson. “We are very fortunate to have you both serving in these key positions.”

The Regents were reviewing UNO’s speech, writing and math/science centers, which are supported with NU Excellence Funds. UNO Chancellor John Christensen and other top administrators also were on hand for the excellent presentation.

Associate Vice Chancellor and Graduate Studies Dean Deborah Smith-Howell coordinated the tour. She and Dwyer envisioned the Speech Center, which was later funded and built in 2004.

Additionally, Chris Allen participated in a closing program focused on the Writing Across the Curriculum initiative.

Concord Center
Bingham’s students received coaching

Shereen Bingham’s Conflict Mediation class met twice this semester at the Concord Center in Omaha to practice mediation skills and receive coaching from experienced mediators.

Communication graduate student Angel Martin and
speech communication major Reid Richards co-mediate

“We used role plays to simulate actual conflict cases, and students rotated between serving as a mediator and playing the role of a conflict party,” Bingham said. “Because of the collaboration with Concord Center, the students will receive a mediation training certificate approved by the Nebraska Office of Dispute Resolution.”

Conflict Mediation students debrief and discuss practicing mediation skills

In the first phase of the service-learning project students develop mediation skills through interactive presentations to community groups. The students engage young adults in dialogue about conflict and mediation services and then present results and recommendations to Concord Center staff. A Civic Participation Project (CPP) grant funded the off-campus activities.

TV news award details
The Omaha News takes first

The Omaha News, a School of Communication weekly cable television news program, landed a first place Eric Sevareid Award for the Vote 2008 election special.

The award demonstrated that the show, which airs locally on Cox 17 and Qwest 74, is among the best student-reported broadcasts in the Midwest. The award was presented at the annual meeting of the Northwest Broadcast News Association (NBNA) in Minneapolis.

The Omaha News can also be seen online.

School receives system praise
NU president highlights innovation

University President James B. Milliken has formally announced that the UNO School of Communication will receive the University-wide Departmental Teaching Award from the University of Nebraska on April 27.

“This award recognizes the collective accomplishments of an entire department or school, and the School of Communication is a deserving recipient,” Milliken said. “This school demonstrates commitment to the finest in teaching, as well as commitment to serving the Omaha community and the entire state of Nebraska.”

School of Communication faculty

The University-wide Departmental Teaching Award (UDTA) recognizes a department within the university that has made a unique and significant contribution to teaching. The School has a unique instructional culture integrating mass communication and speech communications with a number of interdisciplinary partnerships across the UNO campus in areas such as business, education and public affairs, the news release explained.

Faculty members in the School of Communication have been recognized with a number of teaching and advising awards including the NU’s University-wide teaching award (OTICA). The School has successfully incorporated new technologies into the curriculum, including the establishment of a 3-D classroom in the Second Life virtual world. Students have extensive opportunities for internships, study abroad programs and hands-on experience in broadcast journalism through weekly programs and specials such as live election night coverage.

The School is also actively involved in service learning projects that engage students and faculty with the Omaha community, including an ongoing program with Omaha North Magnet High School and Girls Inc.

The School of Communication will receive the UDTA at a ceremony on April 27 at the Thompson Alumni Center in Omaha. The honor originated in 1993, and the recipient is selected by a committee of outstanding peers.

Career-development workshop
Event offers employment tips

Professionals from various communication fields offered advice at a career-development workshop March 31 at UNO.

Students meet the pros

"How to Launch Careers in Tough Times" provided 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.

Leia Baez talks about "multimedia" training

Among those speaking with students were KFAB-AM radio personality Tom Becka, 2006 alumna Leia Baez, an Omaha World-Herald reporter and Jim Fagin, who is deputy director of communications for Sen. Ben Nelson.

Allen’s reality
Alum challenges current students

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

Mark Allen says students should use the telephone

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.

Of note
Excellence in action

Lecturer Karen Weber has been named the UNO Student Organizations & Leadership Programs Outstanding Organization Advisor for 2008-09. Additionally, UNO PRSSA earned a finalist spot in the Club & Organization of the Year competition. Associate Professor Chris Allen won the award lst year, and Associate Professor Hugh Reilly won it in 2007.

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Assistant Professor Paige Toller was selected by Chi Omega sorority as their teacher of the month for March 2009.

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Assistant Professor Lynnette Leonard, Professor Marshall Prisbell and Assistant Professor Adam Tyma have received funding totaling more than $2,000 from the University Committee on the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT). Leonard received support to continue the School of Communication classroom in the Second Life virtual environment. Prisbell and Tyma received travel support to attend pedagogical meetings.

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Graduate student Charley Reed will present a paper called “I, Tetsuo: How ‘Akira’ re-examines Japan’s Occidental and Oriental identities in relation to America” at the National Communication Association conference in Chicago in November. The paper was accepted as part of the Japan-U.S. Communication Association section of the conference for the "Issues in Historical and Contemporary Japanese Culture" session. “The paper takes a very popular Japanese animated film, Akira, and uses it as a lens to approach how Japan's identity has been constructed in relation to America as both a passive follower and a hated rival,” Reed said. “The film, which has previously only explored Japan and America in relation to the dropping of the atomic bomb, actually plays out larger issues between the two countries which stretch back a century before the bombs were dropped.”

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Part-time faculty member Mike Whye recently worked in Macon, Georgia, on a photography project. The Macon newspaper captured these images of Whye and posted them online.

Whye also reports that at the spring meeting of the Midwest Travel Writers Association, he won second place in each of these three divisions in the annual competition: regional destinations, books ("Omaha Impressions") and photo-journalism.

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The spring's final Paul A. Olson Seminar in Great Plains Studies Apr. 8 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will deal with baseball. "Youth Select Baseball in the Midwest: The Shape of Things to Come," David Ogden, associate professor in the School of Communication at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, will discuss how adolescent and teenage boys who are serious about playing competitive baseball don't see city recreational baseball as the best opportunity for advancing to higher levels of competition. Ogden will describe how these youngsters and their parents, along with many coaches and officials, consider select or traveling team baseball as a better avenue for honing skills and matching those skills against the best players in a given age group. As a result, the number of Midwestern select teams that registered with the United States Sport Specialty Association in 2008 has doubled and even tripled in most 8- to 18-year-old age brackets since 2001 and those teams have served as feeders for local high school and American Legion programs. The evidence, Ogden said, indicates that select baseball serves as a "grooming" period for college baseball players. In his study of nearly 500 college baseball players, he found that for the vast majority, select baseball served as an important development period. Ogden's seminar will be 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Great Plains Art Museum, 1155 Q St. The seminar and a 3 p.m. reception in the museum are free and open to the public.

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Associate Professor Dave Ogden consulted city managers in Albion, Nebraska to write a news release announcing the shut down of water wells because of selenium found in the water. Ogden is one of three School of Communication faculty members teaching public officials through the Certified Public Managers program at UNO.

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Dave Ogden and Paige Toller assisted public relations students working as the VIP team to secure permission from the Omaha Public Schools Research Division and proceed with distribution of a survey at the Marrs Middle School Financial Fair. “I believe the results of this research will provide valuable data for OPS and UNO Recruitment Services as well as this campaign,” Adviser Karen Weber said. “On behalf of myself and the team members, I want to thank you for sharing your valuable time and effort to help us make this possible.”

Did you know?
People in the news

School of Communication Secretary Michelle Thies registered for an April 9 class on Adobe InDesign. This session provides a hands-on opportunity to learn desktop publishing using the Adobe InDesign software package. While designing a poster and a newsletter, participants will learn to insert and manipulate text and graphics and create a “master” template to use for future designs. Participants are invited to bring graphics or digital images with them to use in the projects.

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Associate Professor Sherrie Wilson’s 5 p.m. internship class dodged for cover during a recent storm that passed through Omaha last month. Human resources professionals were conducting mock interviews and had an adventure in the Student Center during the tornado warning. The events were later reported in the Gateway.Everyone was safe, but the interviews were a bit unconventional.

Read about it online.

Evidence of excellence

1. Assistant Professors Lynnette Leonard, Paige Toller, Adam Tyma and undergraduate Nicole Baxley held a "Communication Research Showcase" on March 27 in preparation for presentations at the Central States Communication Association meeting in St. Louis.

Nicole Baxley presents undergraduate research

The papers are:
Baxley: "War Games: An Analysis of Emotional Appeals and Identification in Darryl Worley's 'Have You Forgotten'"

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

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

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

The week in photos
Images from around the school

Dean Gail F. Baker speaks at the Honors Breakfast
School and Reilly Professor Karen Dwyer were honored

Danielle Steen
Night Before Nationals

UNO Forensics heads to Nationals in Ohio

Rita Shaughnessy and Marlina Davidson
ran a successful food drive

Kate Baxley, Gail F. Baker, Nicole Baxley and Jeremy Lipschultz
Nicole is Outstanding Speech Communication Undergraduate

Mikaela Knipe
Outstanding Journalism Undergraduate

North Omaha Media Alliance (NOMA)
Group plans website

Persuasion speeches are underway

Dates & times
Mark calendars for interesting events


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

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

18 – PRSSA Mexican Night Dinner, Biltmore Apartments Clubhouse, 6 p.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.

27 – UDTA Teaching Award Luncheon, Thompson Alumni, 11:30 a.m.

– 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, 9 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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