TMU 10(2), February 12, 2013

School hires social media researcher. School of Communication public relations students will be taking classes this fall from a social media expert. The School hired Sherice Gearhart, who will receive her doctorate in May from Texas Tech University. Gearhart has published articles in Health Communication, the Encyclopedia of Cyber Behavior, the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, and other journals. Gearhart’s research has addressed political behaviors in social network sites, the self-presentation of identity, and civic engagement. One of her current projects focuses on strategies and tactics in political campaigns. Her doctoral dissertation is about how Facebook users strategically express and avoid expressing their opinions online. Before graduate school, Gearhart was a marketing director for a fundraising firm in San Antonio, TX. She will teach communication, public relations and social media at UNO.

Excellence in action. Assistant Professor Chin-Chung Chao will present, “Testing News Trustworthiness in the Online Public Sphere: A Case Study of The Economist’s News Report Covering Riots in Xinjiang, China” at the 2013 International Communication Association meeting in London. Chao’s paper was among 36 percent of submissions accepted.

UNO PRSSA’s Bateman team earned coverage on KETV’s 10 p.m. newscast. Their Boys and Girls Club campaign focuses on bullying prevention. Reporter Jeremy Maskell interviewed UNO School of Communication students and Club members learning to stop bullies. Bateman is a national competition engaging public relations majors on important social issues.

Isaacson Professor Bruce Johansen will speak Feb. 26 on, “Warm Winter Days: Climate Catastrophe Can Be So ‘Nice’” at UNO’s Milo Bail Student Center. The noon luncheon series is sponsored by the Newspapers In Curriculum group on campus.

Alumni news.  Alumnus Dick Ulmer’s book, Yorktown: Growing up in Southwest Iowa, quickly reached the top 10 within its Kindle segment, as well as the top one percent among Amazon books in December. Ulmer read from the book and signed copies at the Benson Branch of the Omaha Public Library and the Lied Library in Clarinda, IA.

Alumna Tunette Powell recently read from her new book, The Other Woman, at a Weber Fine Arts Gallery book signing. Powell told the story of her father's drug addiction, prison time and recovery. The book event was featured in a Huffington Post blog.

Alumna Melissa Kucirek is a publicist for the band Great White. She was contacted by CNN and NBC following the recent fatal nightclub fire in Brazil. Kucirek told Hugh Reilly that her UNO PR training was very helpful. Her management viewed interviews as self-serving and declined them.

Student service. Lambda Pi Eta (LPE) students held an Annual Warm Winter Drive for the third consecutive year. Winter clothing and blankets were donated to the Siena Francis House Homeless Shelter.  Students Jacob Thacker, LPE Secretary,  and Lauren Harrahill, LPE Vice President, assisted with the donation organization and delivery.

Videos and photos.

The Omaha News Returns in February

Alumnus Leo Biga spoke at the OPC
about his new book and his writing

 Jeremy Lipschultz spoke at a national
PR meeting in Kansas City

Chris Allen spoke about Oman at a
high school media advisers dinner

Adam Tyma assisted faculty with
Digital Measures annual review software

Alumna Heather Tweedy guest lectured
in Social Media Metrics class

8 – UNO Research and Creative Activity Fair, MBSC.
25 – High School Media Conference, MBSC Ballroom 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

12-14  PRSSA Regional Conference, Mammel Hall, TBA.
15-19  Communication Week, TBA
26 – School of Communication Strategic Planning, Thompson Alumni Center, 12-3 p.m.

–  58th Annual Communication Awards Banquet, Thompson Alumni Center, 5-9 p.m.
–  Commencement Lunch, Thompson Alumni Center, 11 a.m.
–  CFAM Commencement, Thompson Alumni Center, 11 a.m.

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