TMU 8(6), April 19, 2011

Maverick speech team breaks into top five.  UNO Forensics earned its first top-five national finish, as five competitors took four events to national finals in Kearney, Nebraska (left, photo courtesy UNO Forensics). UNO students claimed an unprecedented three national championship events and a second place in a fourth event.  UNO had the third highest national points in the final round of competition. Director of Forensics and Coach Abbie Syrek was named national New Coach of the Year. “This is a terrific accomplishment,” Chancellor John Christensen said. UNO finished behind national powerhouses Western Kentucky, Bradley, George Mason and Texas.   The four national champions from UNO are:  Tessie Stednitz, Program of Oral Interpretation; Allison Henri, Poetry; and Iven Mendoza and Cameron Logsdon,  Duo Interpretation.  Niveditha Rajagopalin earned a national second place in  After-Dinner Speaking.  This is the second consecutive year that UNO finished in the top 10 (eighth place last year), and this is the second national championship for Logsdon. This is also the fourth straight year that the Maverick speech team finished among the top 20 in the nation.  Syrek and assistant coaches Vanessa Hatfield and Ryan Syrek have received national praise for their innovation in forensics performances.  UNO had 14 quarterfinal events across nine competitors. Last year, UNO had nine quarterfinal events across six competitors at the American Forensics Association (AFA) Nationals.   

Next issue: Kabul University professors collaborate with  UNO  

Broadcasting students, KVNO win regional awards. UNO Faculty and staff members Chris Allen, Bob Franklin, Robyn Wisch, and School of Communication broadcasting students, brought home 12 radio and television awards from the Northwest Broadcast News Association (NBNA) at the Midwest Journalism Conference in Minneapolis.  KVNO News, including student work, brought home 10 awards. was awarded best website.  Outgoing NBNA President Chris Allen also was recognized with a Golden Gavel for his contributions.

Allen receives Fulbright.  Associate Professor Chris Allen has been awarded a Fulbright fellowship to teach in Oman during the 2011-12 academic year.  Allen received word April 16 from the selection committee and said he was overwhelmed by the opportunity.  The Fulbright Program is the flagship of the U.S. Department of State international exchange program.  It is designed to improve mutual understanding.  The program is named for the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, who sponsored legislation after World War II.  Allen joins more than 114,000 U.S. citizens and 186,000 from other countries to participate in the program in the more than 60 years of its existence.  About 8,000 new grants are awarded each year in more than 155 counties.  

UNO hosts PR Connections regional conference. Maverick PR concluded a very successful first-ever Omaha PRSSA Regional Conference at UNO's Mammel Hall. The event was a hit in the building and on Twitter.  Lecturer Karen Weber and her students received extremely positive feedback on the excellence in event planning. Associate Professors Dave Ogden and Hugh Reilly chaired panels.  Instructor Abbie Syrek also was  featured during the three-day event. Dean Gail F. Baker and Director Jeremy Lipschultz welcomed  attendees.  Associate Vice Chancellor and Graduate Dean Deborah Smith-Howell also attended the opening at the Omaha Press Club.  Numerous alumni and professionals offered  information to students from University of Iowa, Kansas State, UNL, UNO and elsewhere.  Weber also announced that UNO has received additional national recognition: "The PRSSA headquarters called to say UNO was the second runner-up in the National Random Acts of Kindness Campaign, which carries a cash award of $300. This campaign was conducted this spring by two new officers, Kristin Drake and Tanner Johnson and two new members, Dia Snyder and Shanae Springer."  Their posters promoted kindness in public spaces on campus this semester. 


Graduate and faculty present research.  Adam Tyma, Joy Chao, Barb Pickering, Charley Reed and students presented research papers and participated in presentations at the Central States Communication Association (CSCA) meeting in Milwaukee.  School of Communication graduate students represented UNO extremely well.  Several graduate and undergraduate students also presented earlier in the week at the UNO Research and Creative Activity Fair. 

Alumni lead self-branding workshop.  Alumni Joan Lukas and Jen Estep spoke on campus at an April 6 workshop on self-branding.  Lukas is president of Leslie, Kline, Lukas.  Estep is campaign coordinator at TD Ameritrade.  Douglas County Treasurer John Ewing and Life Coach Lamarr Womble joined Lukas and Estep.  The Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women sponsored the event.  The experts advised participants that creation of a powerful personal brand may promote professional success. 

Excellence in action.  Isaacson Professor Bruce Johansen had a letter published April 6 in the Washington Post.   It focused on professors right to profess.    *** Alumnus  Juan Carrillo ('10) has been hired by Edleman in New York City as an assistant account executive for digital. *** UNO PRSSA earned Outstanding Student Organization at the Student Organization, Leadership and Programming (SOLP) Awards.  Kristin Webb, president, and Brittany Stevens, newsletter editor, accepted the award.  Webb and Kelsie Olson, communication director, wrote the entry, assisted by Cathy Enoviso, social media director. *** Enoviso was among more than a dozen students inducted into Lambda Pi Eta on April 1. Instructors  Marlina Davidson and Kate Rempfer are advisers of the successful chapter, which earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2010.  Alumna Wendy Townley was keynote speaker. Lecturer Holly Miller and Director Jeremy Lipschultz also attended the event. *** Part-time faculty member Brigit Talkington will be awarded a Ph.D. from the School of Media and Communication at Bowling Green State University May 6.  The dissertation is entitled,  “Communicating Support: Where and how Army Spouses Seek Community.”  Her degree has an emphasis in Global Communication, but she has primary interests in interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, and in the basic speech course. ***  Alumnus Bill Dickson, news director at NRG Media in Fremont, recently won regional excellence in journalism awards for station work. 

Bill Dickson (left) with colleague Rich Ray
(Photo courtesy Bill Dickson)  

Streaming .TV shows by Ustream
The Omaha News (click this link for 4/13/11)
live broadcasts are now archived on Ustream.

Dart Center panel.  Media and health care professionals, journalism students, faculty and others gathered April 2 at Creighton University for a Dart Center program on trauma and journalism.  The School of Communication co-sponsored the event, which featured an Australian Broadcast Corporation correspondent.  Research suggests that reporters may suffer post-traumatic stress after lengthy assignments covering disasters. 

High School Media Conference.  More than 380 area high school students and their advisers attended UNO's High School Media Conference 2011.  Students attended panels on social media, online media writing, storytelling, and graphic design.  A panel of educators discussed school policies on access to social networking sites during school hours. The conference also recognized top work with individual and school media awards.

Events and photos. Faculty host professors from Japan.  Despite the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, several professors from Meiji University in Tokyo spent the week Of March 14 in Omaha to attend the Meiji Faculty Development Program.  Jointly sponsored by International Professional Development, UNO’s Faculty Development Center, and the UNO Speech Center, the program offers faculty from Meiji University the opportunity to develop their public speaking skills and learn some Western-style teaching techniques.  This year, Peg Peterson, Karen Dwyer, and Joy Chao taught the seminars, and Marlina Davidson and Kate Rempfer provided public speaking coaching. Chris Allen and Lynnette Leonard offered to be Faculty Partners, allowing classroom observations and interaction with American students. “We learned good methods to improve our presentation skills and PowerPoint presentations,” one participant said.  “The discussions about cultural differences will be very helpful when teaching foreign students,” another professor added.  “My confidence to teach in English has increased due to this program.” 

Bruce Johansen and Lynnette Leonard were recognized at the Honors Breakfast April 7.  Johansen is the Isaacson Professor, and Leonard received the Excellence in Teaching Award.

Sam Petto, Broadcasting, received the CFAM Dean’s Award at Convocation April 7.  He also will be the recipient of the Omaha Press Club Mark Gautier Intern Award.  This semester, he received the Albers Intern Scholarship.

Barbara Pickering, Lynnette Leonard, and Charley Reed spoke to Adam Tyma’s students in a session held at Brazen Head April 13.  They discussed rhetorical, critical and cultural theory, as well as the role of critique as a research method. 

The calendar.
20 - CFAM Honors, Weber Fine Arts Gallery, 4 p.m.
21 -  Kappa Tau Alpha Induction, MBSC Chancellor's Room, 8 a.m. 
21 -  North Omaha Media Alliance, CPACS Commons, 4 p.m. 
25 - Communication Week: Advertising presentations, ASH 112, 3-4:15 p.m.
26 - PRSSA presentations, MBSC Chancellor's Room, 4-6 p.m.; and DuSable to Obama screening, Aksarben Cinema, 5:30 p.m.
27 - Advertising presentations, ASH 112, 3-4:15 p.m.; Research Poster Session, ASH 140, 4 p.m.
28 - Alumni Panel, MBSC Dodge A and B, 1-2:15 p.m.; 56th Annual Communication Awards Banquet, Thompson Alumni Center, 6-9 p.m.
29 - Omaha Press Club Scholarship Dinner, OPC, 5-9 p.m.

3 - UNO Service Awards, MBSC Ballroom, 11:30 a.m.
5 - NOMA Celebration, MBSC Chancellor's Room, 4 p.m.
- Commencement Breakfast, Thompson Alumni Center, 9 a.m., and UNO Commencement, Civic Auditorium 2-4:30 p.m.

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