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In this issue - Fall 2019



We’re now the UNF School of Communication


UNF cupcakes


It's official. Let's celebrate!


On March 14, 2019, UNF's Department of Communication became the UNF School of Communication. The UNF Board of Trustees approved the name change at its March meeting.


"This name change reflects the increasing size, importance, and scope of the program," said Dr. John Parmelee, director of the School of Communication and professor of journalism.


With its state-of-the art facilities, including a high-definition television studio, the UNF School of Communication's Bachelor of Science degree is one of just four communication programs in the state of Florida to be accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC). The School also offers a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies and has a thriving graduate program offering a Master of Science in communication management.

New concentration in Digital Media Production begins fall 2019

Video Production students in action

UNF communication practice the technical skills for the new concentration in Digital Video Production.


Professional demand for high quality video has been on a dramatic upward trend in recent years. In a recent article, “The 25 most in-demand technical skills of 2019 according to LinkedIn,” video production was ranked seventh.


“It is clear that in today’s world, there is a dominance of video production," said Frank Goodin, UNF communication instructor. "In fact, video streaming represents more than 70 percent of all consumer internet traffic.”


In response to this ever-increasing demand for students to acquire competent professional production skills for diverse subject areas, the UNF School of Communication has created the Digital Video Production concentration. Students will be required to take single-camera and multi-camera production classes, digital video editing and an advanced production class. In addition students will have the option to specialize in one of several areas if they so choose: public relations, advertising, journalism, documentary or narrative production.


Upon completion of the degree requirements, students will be able to demonstrate a clear proficiency in all the fundamental aspects of video production.


All of the core courses for the 2019 academic year will be taught by Goodin, who has a MFA and is an Emmy Award-winning independent filmmaker and a key contributor to the School of Communication's Uncovering Jax documentary series.


"This is an opportunity for students to learn and master all of the videography skills necessary to compete and excel in the industry, and we're excited to prepare them for their journey," Goodin said. "This is the first step towards creating a digital video production program that could one day lead the nation."

“I’m a double Osprey.” Former UNF undergraduate now holds communication master’s degree

By Dr. Stephynie Perkins

Associate Professor, Public Relations


Kia Cooper and her family

Kia Cooper (far right) relaxes with her family at the School of Communication’s spring 2019 graduation ceremony. Cooper’s family, Kaleana Bohannon (far left), great-grandmother Bettie Shorter Collier and cousin Kabriel Moorehead (standing) supported Cooper during her undergraduate and graduate education at UNF.


If there were any doubt that Kia Cooper and her family work as a team, one only need to see their coordinated outfits. Cooper’s great grandmother, great aunt and cousin flanked her in smart red and black ensembles on April 26 for the UNF graduation ceremonies. As they filed into the School of Communication reception honoring soon-to-be communication graduates, Cooper’s family members were picture-ready. She led them into the room wearing a crisp black and white plaid top. It was, after all, her day to stand out.


“I am a double Osprey,” Cooper explained to students and the families who had supported them. Cooper had already earned her undergraduate degree from the University of North Florida in 2017. Now, the former public relations major was about to earn her master’s degree in communication management.


Cooper was among the five students to graduate with a master’s degree in communication management in the spring. Elizabeth McCarthy, the program’s first graduate, earned her degree in December 2018.  For Cooper, returning to her alma mater had been a matter of finding the right program and a question of timing.


“When we were at the (undergraduate) pre-graduation ceremony, I was told that the master’s program was tailored for communication management because schools weren’t offering it. I had already spoken with my grandmother, but I told her I didn’t want to get it in anything other than what I love,” Cooper said. “This was a perfect.”


So, one summer after earning her diploma, Cooper was back in the classroom. Her concentration was leadership, and her thesis examined the portrayal of women managers in magazines. Now that she has an advanced degree, Cooper is looking for a position that will allow her to use her developing skills.


At the spring reception, Cooper’s regalia hung in a black garment bag behind her great-grandmother, Bettie Shorter Collier. The family matriarch said education is a long-standing tradition.


“Her aunt has a master’s degree,” Collier said, pointing to Kaleana Bohannon. “Her cousin,” she said, nodding at Kabriel Moorehead, “will be going to Morehouse.”


Cooper is as dedicated to them as they are proud of her.


“Those are my main squeezes,” she said a few days after the ceremony. “It was a support thing, having my family there, that day for me. Even on the days that I didn’t have confidence in myself, especially when it got to the end … they kept saying ‘Kia, what color are we going to be wearing?  We already know you’re going to graduate.’”


Cooper is a Jacksonville native who attended James Weldon Johnson Middle School and Stanton High School. From those early days, Cooper said she knew she loved writing, which prompted her to pursue degrees in communication. In a couple of weeks, her newly minted master’s degree will arrive. Cooper has a new frame and a special spot alongside her other diplomas.


But she may have to make room for just one more sheepskin, if her loved ones have their way.


“It’s been stressed by several different family members,” Cooper said. “Everyone has the confidence in me to do it. I told them I’m not completely writing off applying to schools for a doctorate degree. I just want a little bit of time.”

New Communication Studies degree has its first graduate

By Diane Matuschka

Instructor, Communication Studies

David Wisehart graduate with M.S. in Communication Studies

David Wisehart received his B.A.  in Communication Studies in spring 2019.


Born and raised in South Florida, Wisehart is a fourth generation Floridian whose family has been in the state for more than 100 years. After 9/11 occurred he took time off from his university studies at Florida Atlantic University to join the Marine Corps as a 0341 mortar man for one enlistment. After his tour ended, Wisehart once again found himself back in South Florida where he began searching for colleges. With more than 100 college credits from FAU, he sought out the University of North Florida to complete his degree.


He chose Communication Studies because, according to Wisehart, “my previous major of business management seemed unrewarding after working in business for 15 years.” Almost immediately during his first semester he knew he had made the best decision by choosing UNF. Exploring communication, psychology, and human behavior became his passion. 


“The faculty and staff in the School of Communication inspired me to excel during this great exploration of self-improvement and rejuvenation,” Wisehart said. “Drs. Holland, Stewart, Arnold, and professor Mathies gave excellent instruction in challenging courses that inspired introspective analysis of my own behavior, leading to significant personal improvement.” 


When asked if he has any advice for future Communication Studies students, Wisehart said to “not simply work through the course material mindlessly without considering the profound impact mastering this discipline can have on their lives.”


He said students need to take time exploring other aspects of the field outside of the basic course materials, such as attachment styles, personality measures like the Myers Briggs and Big Five, and additional studies in lying and deception. “Search deep down for the reasons that led to studying communication and seek out ways to nurture those inclinations when preparing for a career,” Wisehart said.


Wisehart graduated with the distinction of Cum Laude in spring 2019. When asked what his post-graduation plans were, David said he would apply for jobs in the e-commerce retail sector as a data analyst while enjoying a less complicated life on the farm. 


The quote that most inspired Wisehart in his academic career comes from Nelson Mandela: “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

Alumni Profile: Charles Robinson III. B.S. in Communication, Concentration: Advertising

By Dee Colvin

Associate Instructor, Advertising


Charles Robinson UNF School of Communication Alumni

Charles Robinson III stands proudly in front of the Home Office of Walmart where he  works as associate director, visual merchandising.


Charles Robinson III graduated in 2010 with a concentration in advertising and a minor in photography. He is now the associate director, visual merchandising with Walmart, based out of the World Headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. Robinson develops and oversees in-store marketing activations for all U.S. Walmart Services products and the Fuel businesses.


Prior to joining the world's largest retailer, he worked for a variety of shopper marketing agencies and has experience with several major grocery accounts, such as Publix, HEB, Giant Eagle, Meijer, Kroger, BI-LO, and Winn Dixie. Shopper Marketing Magazine named his "Believe in Heroes" Campaign, with AMG at Winn Dixie as the "Most Robust Shopper Marketing Campaign." All this while he was just starting out in his career.


While still in school at UNF, he won numerous Addy Awards at the city, district, and national levels. He was also named “Outstanding Student in Advertising” the year he graduated, and the American Advertising Federation (AAF) honorably listed Charles as a “Most Promising Minority Student” contender that same year.


I had a chance to ask him a few questions about UNF, his career and more.


What did you like most about your experience at UNF, academically and otherwise?


Academically, I liked having classes that I feel allowed me the freedom and flexibility to study and train myself in a "hands on" way in the areas of interest to me. For example, I'm a talented artist with a creative mind. At UNF, many of my communications and art classes gave me interactive exercises that challenged my talents and my brain. 


In my communications classes we debated in mock trials, tried to identify effects of current media on viewers, developed ad campaigns with a real client and had opportunities for independent studies. I complete two my senior year.


Alongside of academics, UNF facilitated a great environment to generate new friends. I moved to Jacksonville from St. Louis and didn't have any real friends until I started school. Now many of the friends I made will be friends for life. Today's students should remember this time and cherish the time they're spending transitioning from students to professionals. Don't burn your bridges. The guy sitting next to you may be the next big CEO, yet you don't see it now.


What internships or industry related experiences did you participate in as a student? How did they influence your professional path after graduation?


It's funny. I did become a professional before I graduated UNF. I joined our UNF Ad Club every year. I also joined AAF and started competing and winning scholarships and Addy competitions. Through serving on the board, I met and interned with Gayle Hart, vice president of marketing for the Jacksonville Fair. Interning at the Fair eventually led to a full-time contract where I worked with local media channels and big name country music artists from Nashville. This experience allowed me to embrace my many talents in a field that forces you to be really focused.


Tell us about your current job and  the work you do .


In my current role, I develop and manage in-store marketing campaigns for all of our services. Services at Walmart include anything within the Money Services area, protection plans, Walmart Credit Cards, Money Card, gift cards, financing options, home installations, truck rentals, Walmart Pay...etc. I work with many cross-functional teams such as merchants, creative, digital acceleration, supplier partners and many agency support teams. I've been a leader and partner of many re-brands inside the business along with new product launches.


Tell us about your career path and how you landed your position at Walmart.


Prior to my employment at Walmart I worked for a few large shopper marketing agencies with many large retailers and major consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands found in most retailers across North America. At my previous job with The Mars Agency, Walmart was my client for years. In my third year with the agency, I took an onsite role at the Walmart Home Office in the marketing department as an account manager. Walmart essentially rented me from my agency as a PM and marketer resource for various projects. My colleagues at Walmart enjoyed my work so much that they wanted me to pursue a number of opportunities that became available. I interviewed and now hold the title of associate director of visual merchandising. I've now been with Walmart three years.


What do you enjoy most about your work?


This is a tough question. I think the thing that I enjoy most about my work is that every day is different. I have lots of projects; no two are the same. Each project has its own set of challenges. The environment is very fast paced and the work is in a league of its own working with 5,000 stores in the U.S. There's not much that can compare.


In what ways did UNF help prepare you for the work you do?


At UNF, the challenging class work made me pull countless all-nighters. Working in Walmart's fast-paced environment, we have many tight deadlines, and I've had plenty of all-nighters. I think something that many entry level employees may not know right after college is how to apply what they learned in college to the real work force. I've utilized my education from classes such as Law and Ethics that thought us a lot about media law. I've also repeatedly used AP style that we learned in our writing classes, as I've had to review and approve advertisements prior to launch. I'm proud to say that I went to school for my passion and I put my degree to use.


What has been your proudest professional accomplishment so far?


I can't say that I have one favorite achievement over another. I look at each one as a milestone in life and they're all priceless experiences that I haven't had before. I think my favorite achievement is having the ability to say that I've succeeded in doing all of these things in my past. These things set the stage for my future in so many ways. I have yet to see my full potential.


In closing, what is your favorite UNF memory?


I think my favorite memory is of me working late nights and weekends in the photography studio. It was in the studio that I spent much of my time developing my various design processes, planning photo shoots, studying advertising and collaborating with my peers. The studio was really my home away from home and where I felt the most encouragement to do something new and different. The studio was our sweatshop. I turned my long hours spent there into Addy awards with the AFF.

Couldn’t be more grateful for Garrison Family Scholarship

By Marisa Materazzi, journalism and production major


Marisa Materazzi is our Garrison Scholarship Winner

Marisa Materazzi is the first winner of the Garrison scholarship.


As an incoming sophomore, I am new to the nest here at the University of North Florida, however I have already found my home. I have to say that honestly it was the best decision of my life to attend UNF. I have happily found my flock, and I am thrilled to continue my legacy and further education at one of the most prestigious schools in Florida.


My name is Marisa Materazzi and I currently am a double major in communication and political science. I have loved my short time here at UNF and am gaining a tremendous amount of skills and knowledge.


As a motivated student, I have had the opportunity to win the Garrison Family Scholarship, which is funded by a UNF communication alumnus, Josh Garrison.Winning this scholarship helps to open doors for my career and higher education. It shows me that anything and everything is possible, and that most importantly, I am on the right track for success. Being the sole recipient helps me stand out from peers and gives me an edge when applying for competitive jobs and programs. It shows that my hard work is paying off and that I have a lot of support from my UNF family. I truly believe that at UNF I will thrive because I have all the proper resources and a big support system. 


I am truly making the most of my college experience and I couldn’t be more grateful with everything I have accomplished so far. Thank you again to the School of Communication for choosing me to be the recipient of the Garrison Family Scholarship.


What winning the Patterson scholarship means to me

By Emily Tomasello, senior advertising student


Emily Tomasselo Patterson Scholarship Award winner

Emily Tomasello surrounds herself with sunflowers as she expresses her thanks for being selected as the recipient of the Patterson Scholarship Award.


Everything I am I owe it to my parents. Throughout my whole life, my parents have always stressed the importance of hard work and perseverance. They always tell me that “Tomasello’s never give up” and that mantra will stick with me for the rest of my life.


When I was graduating high school, I was all set on going to a different university across the state and leaving Jacksonville behind. When I got there, I quickly realized that it was not for me. I started to panic and worry that I would never find a university where I could fit in. Should I even continue going to college? What if it never feels right?


When I told my parents how I was feeling, they supported me and helped me put in my transfer request the very next day. Coming back home and attending the University of North Florida has easily been one of the best decisions I have ever made for my future. I could hear my dad’s voice in the back of my head telling me to keep going.


When I came to UNF, I felt right at home. I made friends almost instantly, thrived in all my classes, and joined clubs where I created relationships that I will hold for the rest of my life. My teachers, especially Dee Colvin-Ott, made it a priority to get to know me as an individual and not just as another seat in the classroom. I could tell that this program really wanted the students to succeed not just in the classroom, but as individuals and professionals in the industry. 

This scholarship is just a continuation of everything UNF does to further the success of all its students. The Patterson scholarship has taken such a huge financial burden off my shoulders and has proven to me that hard work really does pay off if you seize the opportunities that are right in front of you. When I graduate in the fall, my parents will be right there as I accept my diploma, and they will know that all of their sacrifices were worth it.

Scholarships and Outstanding Student Awards presented at graduation reception

Outstanding student awards and testimonials

The outstanding graduating seniors and scholarship recipients were recognized at the annual School of Communication reception on April 26, which was held immediately before commencement. 


The students recognized were (from left to right) Marisa Materazzi for the Garrison Family Communication Scholarship; Emily Tomasello for the Patterson Scholarship; Shannon McFadden, outstanding public relations student; Tonya Tucker, highest GPA; Luke Bickerstaff, outstanding advertising student; and Mike Andrews, outstanding multimedia journalism student.  


The outstanding graduating seniors were asked what they felt was their greatest achievement and what they’ll remember most about their time at UNF. The recipients said:


Shannon McFadden: “My time at UNF in the School of Communication has had a profound impact on my future career already, and I am very thankful for the opportunities this school has opened up for me. What I will remember most is the hard work and dedication it took to achieve my goals. I will also remember the valuable information and lessons I learned from all of my professors at UNF. In addition, I am proud to have served as the secretary for PRSSA.”


Tonya Tucker:  “As a communication student I will never forget the invaluable education I gained by taking hands-on classes that required the professional writing skills needed to succeed in a public relations career. My biggest accomplishment at UNF has been maintaining straight A's throughout my entire time there and I contribute part of that to the helpful staff in the School of Communication. My education combined with the hands-on experience I had at several different internship sites makes me confident in my ability to thrive in the field.”


Luke Bickerstaff: “UNF has provided me with the opportunity to grow as a communications professional. The encouragement from my professors and peers sparked my creativity and motivated me to do my best work. I will fondly remember working with my classmates on a real-world ad campaign for the Cattyshack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary, and I'll be forever grateful for the guidance from our professor, Dee Colvin.”  


Mike Andrews: “I really can’t put into words how much I valued the relationships I had with each professor I’ve had in the program. From Dr. Thornton who challenged me in the most stressful, but best way, to professor Booker, who taught me that my writing should never stop improving, and especially Dr. David Deeley and professor Ken Thomas. They believed in my leadership as producer of Inside Jacksonville, Commconnect TV, and ESPN+. I’ll treasure these lessons and relationships I’ve built forever.”

Faculty activity

Dr. David Deeley won Best of Competition from the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts Competition for “UNF vs. Jacksonville Baseball, ASUN Baseball Championships.”


Bobbi Doggett presented “How the Public Relations Campaign Class can Better Meet the Needs of Nonprofit Community Partners” to the International Academy of Business Disciplines conference.


Dr. Junga Kim and Dr. Chunsik Lee published “A Comparison of Face-to-Face Word-of-Mouth (WOM) and Social Electronic WOM Communications: Exploring the Impact of Relationship Dimensions on WOM Effectiveness” in Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing. Dr. Kim also published “Influence of Cultural Orientations on Electronic Word-of-Mouth (eWOM) in Social Media” in Journal of Intercultural Communication Research. In addition, she presented “Cognitive Appraisals on a Brand Safety Issue and Hostile Consumer Behaviors: The Appraisal-Emotion-Behavior (AEB) Model” to the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference.


Dr. Siho Nam publishedCognitive Capitalism, Free Labor, and Financial Communication: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Social Media IPO Registration Statements” in Information, Communication & Society. He also presented “It Takes Two Wackos to Make History: The U.S. News Media’s Construction of the 2018 North Korea-United States Summit” to the International Communication Association conference, and “Korean Wave Under Park in the Dark: How the Discourse of Creativity Became an Enemy of Cultural Diversity and Democracy” to the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference.


Dr. Carolynn McMahan and Dr. Jae Park presented “Exploring YouTube Marketing Communications among 200 Leading National Advertisers” at the International Academy of Business Disciplines conference. Dr. Park also published “ Brand Webtoon as Sustainable Advertising in Korean Consumers: A Focus on Hierarchical Relationships” in Sustainability, and he presented Effects of Playfulness on SNS Emoji Uses” to the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference.


Dr. John Parmelee and Dr. Nataliya Roman published “Insta-Politicos: Motivations for Following Political Leaders on Instagram” in Social Media + Society. They also presented “Opinion Leadership on Instagram: How Political Leaders’ Posts Influence Followers’ Views and Actions” to the European Political Science Association conference. 


Dr. Nataliya Roman and Dr. Margaret Stewart published “Tweeting about Terror: A World Systems Theory Approach to Comparing International Newspaper Coverage Online” in International Communication Gazette. Dr. Roman also presented “Displaced and Invisible: A Comparison of the U.S., UK, Russian and Ukrainian Newspapers’ Coverage of the Ukrainian Displaced Individuals” to the International Communication Association conference.


Dr. Margaret Stewart published “Revisiting STREMII: An Application of Social Media Crisis Communication During Hurricane Matthew” in International Journal of Crisis and Risk Communication and “An Interdisciplinary Perspective of Incorporating Social Media into Teaching Practice” in International Journal of Digital Literacy and Digital Competence. She also published “Social Media and Crisis Communication: Use of the STREMII Model for a Case Study Comparison” in Florida Communication Journal. She also presented “Social Listening During Crises: A Practitioner Guide for Crisis Communication on Social Media” to the International Crisis & Risk Communication conference. She and Dr. Christa Arnold also presented “Social Listening to Improve Practice-Patient Relations in Healthcare Communication” to the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network conference.


Dr. Tulika Varma published “Emotions, Cognitions, and Coping Strategies: How the Public Respond to Organization Crisis” in Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal. She also presented Examination of the Antecedent Conditions of the Volkswagen Corporate Fraud: Passive Acquiescence or Active Complicity?” to the International Public Relations Research Conference.

Get involved

UNF School of Communication Logo

There are eight great ways to stay connected with the School of Communication:

1. Join the School's Professional Advisory Board. The board helps us make sure we are getting students prepared for the current media environment. If you have risen to a position of leadership at a news organization, PR firm, advertising agency or other media outlet, please contact the school's director, John Parmelee. Even if you don't want to be on the board, feel free to email the chair with any advice on making the curriculum better.

2. Join the School's Alumni Association. This is a great chance to interact with fellow communication alumni and current students. To join, please contact the School's Alumni Association, mention your interest in joining, and please include your name, contact information, year of graduation and track. Also, all communication alumni are invited to be a part of the conversation on Facebook. This is the “go to” spot for UNF communication alumni. The Facebook group includes information about alumni social events, recently posted communication jobs, tech tips, departmental news, and pictures/video from school events such as Media Week. In addition, communication faculty members have joined the group, so you can connect with your old professors. Here’s how to join the alumni Facebook group: Search for UNF communication alumni and ask to join.

3. Let faculty know how you're doing. Below is a link that lists faculty and their email addresses. Faculty love to hear what their former students are up to and are always happy to offer advice.

4. Participate in the Internship + Job Fair. Every spring, representatives from companies such as WJXT, The Florida Times-Union, United Way and Mayo Clinic meet with communication students to discuss upcoming internships and jobs. If you are a leader at a company that is looking for interns to do advertising, public relations, journalism or production, please contact professor Bobbi Doggett to participate.

5. Be a guest speaker or mentor to our students. Your expertise in advertising, public relations, journalism or production could be a real benefit to current students. We are always looking for guest speakers to come to communication classes. A good time to do this is during the fall semester when the school hosts Media Week, an opportunity for media professionals to speak with students and faculty about the media landscape. Contact John Parmelee for more information. If you want to mentor our students, please fill out a profile on our mentoring website.

6. Contribute to Alumni Notes. This is your chance to let faculty and fellow alumni know of any big career or personal changes in your life. Also, consider contributing a 300- to 500-word piece on which professors made the biggest impact on your career. Submissions will be published in the alumni newsletter. Contact John Parmelee to submit.

7. Donate to the School. Even a small gift can help us enhance our facilities, academics and recruiting of top-quality students and faculty. To contribute, please go to our website.

8. Join us on Twitter and Facebook.