TMU 7(7) -- May 25, 2010

Intern gains unforgettable experiences in New York. Jake Buckingham, a broadcast news major and outstanding broadcasting student, interned at ABC News during the spring semester. Buckingham was one of seven students selected from universities across the nation for the highly competitive paid internship program.

"The experience was eye-opening, one that I will never forget," Buckingham said. "On many days I helped several associate producers and field producers with logging video and audio, writing transcripts, research and editorial treatments -- I worked on several stories for 20/20." In addition, Buckingham also was a production associate researching story ideas, preparing and writing numerous transcript books for 20/20 shows.

"My time at ABC News is an experience I will never forget," He said. "The minute I walked into the ABC building for my first day of work and showed my badge to the security guards, I couldn't help but tear up not because I was nervous or taken back but because I realized that I had finally made it." Buckingham added that the internship helped him accomplish a childhood dream to work at a television network. Before the internship, he worked in Omaha at WOWT as a videographer.

Communication Week, Awards Banquet and Commencement feature celebration. School of Communication alumni, students and faculty celebrated accomplishments, offered advice and awarded more than $50,000 in undergraduate scholarships at the end of April.

Broadcaster, speaker and author Mort Crim was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award. He was a television news anchor for 23 years in Detroit, and he also aired national radio programs. Crim was joined by outstanding alumni Deb Dice, Karen Furbush and Marcia Kalkowski at the sixth annual Alumni Panel. The School of Communication also recognized the Omaha Star with a Communication Achievement Award.

Communication Week featured the programming of Sherrie Wilson (High School Media), Lynnette Leonard (Persuasion), Karen Weber (PRSSA) and Hugh Reilly (Ad Club). Each event was made richer because of the many faculty members taking time out of busy end-of-semester schedules to attend one or more events.

The 55th Annual School of Communication Awards Banquet was a success thanks to the hard work of committee co-chairs Karen Dwyer and Holly Miller, committee staff members Mary Gum and Michelle Thies; faculty Cynthia Robinson Moore, Chin-Chung Chao, Karen Weber (scholarship chair); Kate Rempfer, Courtney Fristoe, Abbie Syrek and Marlina Davidson; and emcee Chris Allen.

Joan Lukas, president of Leslie Kline Lukas, sponsored the wine and cheese reception before the banquet. The following faculty, staff and alumni made contributions to buy dinners for scholarship recipients and outstanding students: Jim Adams, Chris & Elaine Allen, Bob Carlson, Joy Chao, Hugh Cowdin, Marlina Davidson, Kathy Denker, Karen Dwyer, Mary Gum, Frank & Shirley Hartranft, Jerilyn Kamm, Teresa Lamsam, Lynnette Leonard, Jeremy & Sandy Lipschultz, Becky Means, Holly Miller, Dave Ogden, Barb Pickering, Kate Rempfer, Randy Rose, Deb Smith-Howell, Paige Toller, Karen Weber and Sherrie Wilson.

Paul Sather, director of UNO's Service-Learning Academy, received the Director's Award at the Commencement Breakfast. Dave Ogden, Lynnette Leonard and Ana Cruz recognized Sather's leadership in their service-learning projects. Chris Allen was master of ceremonies for the event, which was planned by Maverick Solutions. Fifty-nine Communication undergraduates were May graduates, as Commencement was again held at the Civic Auditorium.

Meanwhile, three School of Communication outstanding undergraduates and four outstanding graduate students were recognized April 21 at a College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media reception in the UNO Art Gallery. Lauren Blakemore (speech communication) expects to graduate in fall of 2010. She was vice president of UNO Talking Hands, a campus group that volunteers in the Deaf community. She also was active in Delta Epsilon Iota, a professional career development organization. Lauren was an assistant forensics coach for Millard West from 2007-2010, and she judges high school forensics tournaments. She has assisted with sign language interpreting at the theatre performances of "A Christmas Carol" at the Omaha Community Playhouse, as well as "Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde" and "The Fantasticks" at UNO. Lauren is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and the UNO Honors program. She has received the Petersen OPPD scholarship, as well as other awards. She plans to pursue graduate work in women studies. Jake Buckingham (broadcasting) expects to graduate in December. He has been active in the National Broadcasting Society and Lambda Pi Eta. He recently completed a paid internship in New York with ABC News and 20/20. He worked with Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters and Elizabeth Vargas, among others. He previously was news photographer and video editor at WOWT-TV, and a freelance producer for the Midlands Business Journal and State Farm Insurance. This year his youth violence story won an Award of Merit from the Northwest Broadcast News Association. He has received scholarships from the Omaha Press Club, NBNA and WOWT. Jake plans to work as a producer, reporter, photojournalist and talk show host. Andrea Ciurej (journalism) graduated in May with the Bachelor of Arts degree. She is the founding president of Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society at UNO. Andrea also is a member of Delta Epsilon Iota and Kappa Tau Alpha. She is the editor of the Gateway and has written for the student newspaper since 2006. Andrea also is newsletter editor for UNO PRSSA – selected as the top chapter in the nation this year. Her team also won first place in the National Ethics Advocacy Competition, which featured roundtable discussions with 14 professionals. She interned at the Henry Doorly Zoo and twice has been an undergraduate teaching assistant. She has been a judge for the high school journalism competition. Andrea has written for blogs and managed her own. She is planning a career in journalism or public relations following work this summer at the Omaha World-Herald and Silicon Prairie News.

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs). Steve Campbell is an outstanding graduate student recognized by Phi Kappa Phi. He expects to complete his M.A. in fall of 2010. Steve has taught Public Speaking Fundamentals for two years and received outstanding evaluations from his students for each class. In addition, Steve has served as a consultant and coach in the Speech Center, as well as a graduate student representative. He has been a leader in graduate seminar discussions. Last summer, Steve was an education intern at the Durham Museum. Steve plans a career in training and development or related field and wants to pursue a doctoral degree. Charley Reed expects to complete the M.A. during the summer. He has served as a graduate teaching assistant in the mass communication survey course, graduate student representative, and graduate student orientation volunteer. Charley also has been faculty advisor for the UNO Japanese Animation Fan Club. He has been a Gateway contributing writer, UNO Television crew-member and graphics designer. Charley presented papers at the National Communication Association (NCA) Conference last year, and Central States Communication Association meeting this year. He had one of three top student papers in the Communication Theory division. His NCA paper for the November meeting in San Francisco is among the top four student papers in the nation. He plans doctoral studies in visual rhetoric and cultural studies.

Outstanding graduate students. Tara Doughty, from Bellevue has been an outstanding graduate student in the School of Communication and expects to complete the M.A. in fall of 2010. Her contributions elevate class discussion, and she is willing to step-up and help others when it is needed. Tara goes above and beyond expectations in the classroom whether she is student or teacher. Her energy and enthusiasm are invaluable in both roles. She has served as a Public Speaking Fundamentals instructor for 2009-2010 and as a consultant and coach in the Speech Center. Tara plans to be a teacher and seek her doctoral degree. Jessica Morrish, from Bradenton, Florida, has been an outstanding graduate student. Jessica has been a graduate teaching assistant and member of the Media Writing teaching circle for two years. Morrish's 2104 class was taking a test when a fire broke out in Arts and Sciences Hall. Her students finished a test outside! She did a nice job of getting them all safely outside. She recently defended her thesis titled, "Pantsuits, Lipstick, and the Oval Office: The Media's Portrayal of Female Candidates Campaigning for President of the United States." Jessica has been a judge in the school’s Annual High School Media Contest. She was awarded a Rhoden Graduate Scholarship in competition with graduate students across campus. Jessica also was the School of Communication’s Helen Hanson Outstanding Graduate Student Nominee. She plans to get married in July and look for a job in a communication-related field.

Two students claim top advertising scholarships. Two School of Communication advertising students received two of the top three scholarships from the American Advertising Federation Omaha (AAF Omaha), formerly the Omaha Federation of Advertising. Anna Berlett and Tom McCauley each were awarded $2,000 scholarships. “AAF Omaha proudly supports students pursuing careers in advertising, marketing, graphic design and communications,” said Jane Shinn, AAF Omaha’s president. “Offering scholarships is one way to help them meet their goals and help us build future leaders for our community and our industry.” Eligible students must have completed the first semester of their junior year as an advertising, marketing or communications related major and show great interest in the field of advertising. Selection criteria include academic performance of a 3.0 grade point average or above and extracurricular activities including AAF student advertising club involvement.

Small fire disrupted communication classes. A small fire just outside Arts and Sciences Hall in mid-April forced an evacuation of classrooms and closure of the building for one night. The fire on the Northeast outside door of the building was apparently caused by a discarded cigarette. Smoke from the wood trim that was burning filled the hallways on the first and second floors. Fortunately, the damage was limited, and everyone was safe.

PR students gain media relations experience. Students Yan He and Andrew Kerr assisted UNO at the news conference for the Transformation Project, which is designed to help prisoners re-enter society. The event received coverage on WOWT, KETV and the Omaha World-Herald. Yan took photos, Kerr shot Flip camera video and Lecturer Karen Weber assisted with note-taking. Chris Rodgers, the project director, singled out Maverick Solutions for its work. The student firm prepared a media kit for the event.

Academic excellence in action. Teresa Lamsam will be a visiting professor next year at the University of Kansas. She is collaborating at KU in her area of expertise in Native American studies. Lamsam also just learned that Abilene Christian University faculty have named her the recipient of the 2010 Gutenberg Award recognizing her distinguished professional achievement. The award is given for her important and unique role in Native American journalism. She will be recognized October 7. *** An undergraduate certificate in Technical Communication was approved by the UNO Chancellor's Cabinet, and this was scheduled to be sent to the NU Provost's Office for approval. *** Bruce Johansen had a letter published April 27 in USA Today. He wrote about global warming and carbon dioxide. *** Joy Chao, who won the 2009 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award, was recognized at a campus ceremony in April. *** The 96th Annual National Communication Association Convention in San Francisco will feature presentations by several School of Communication faculty and graduate students. The meeting is held in November.

Alumni news.
Matt Eledge was hired as the new head speech coach for Skutt Catholic High School. He was a very successful forensics competitor for four years at UNO. Two alumni of the UNO Forensics team now lead speech teams in Omaha, Matt at Skutt and Teresa Oberdorfer at Millard South. *** Glaucia Steckelberg, former GTA, and her husband, John, are the proud parents of Sophia Grace Steckelberg born April 28, 2010. She weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and was 19.5 inches long.

UNO Service Awards. Congratulations to communication, media and related area faculty and staff recognized in May. 40 years - Bill Blizek, Tim Fitzgerald; 35 years - Dave Kline; 30 years - Frank Vacek; 20 years - Deborah Derrick; 10 years - B.J. Huchtemann, Teresa Lamsam, Holly Miller; Ted Turgeon; 5 years - Kim Balkovec, Marlina Davidson, Clifford Jones, Mike Pacholski, James Sewing.

The photo gallery.

International Communication students toured London in May

Advertising students presented at UNO in April before competing in St. Louis

Adam Tyma's Computer-Mediated Communication students used Second Life

Mort Crim spoke to scholarship recipients

A wine and cheese reception was held before the banquet in late April

The Omaha Star was recognized at the banquet

Brandon Bartling is the first TKN scholar

While in town, Mort Crim visited the Aero Club at Offutt:
He was at the base 50-years ago

Upcoming events.

27 - PRSSA UNO Run ‘N’ Munch, Elmwood Park, 10 a.m.

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