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Spring 2014


In this issue 

The spring 2014 issue of the Department of Communication alumni newsletter focuses on how the department connects the professional media world with the classroom.

  • The department began a new tradition last fall: Media Week, an event that brings in media professionals to talk with communication students and faculty. Story here.

  • Anneliese Delgado, a recent alum of the communication program, talks about the journalism experience she gained during her final semester while interning at Cox Media Group, WJCT Public Radio, and Fox 5 News in Washington, D.C. Story here.

  • Another recent alum, Jessica DuBois-Maahs, shares her story about how the department prepared her to excel in her graduate work at Northwestern University. Story here.

  • Instructor Joey Goodsell joined PR student Ryan Traher and communication alum Roxie Lute in winning awards from the North Florida chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Story here

  • Journalist and author Bob Woodward sat down with communication students in January, talked about his career and took students’ questions. Story here.

  • Production students helped produce country singer Tim McGraw’s Veterans Day weekend concert in Jacksonville. Story here.

  • Dr. Paula Horvath introduces “Tech Tips,” which will be a regular item in the alumni newsletter. Tech Tips shares the latest news about gadgets, software and apps that can help you in your current media job. Story here.

  • We wish a happy retirement to Dr. David Goff, who guided the communication program through significant changes during his six years as department chair. Story here.

  • You can also stay current with faculty members’ most recent research and awards. Story here.

  • If you want to get more involved with the department, there are eight great ways to stay connected with the Department of Communication. Story here


John H. Parmelee, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair





Media Week connects media professionals with students and faculty


The Department of Communication hosted “Media Week” in October 2013 to help communication students meet media professionals and learn from their experience. The five-day event provided students and faculty with insights from professionals in advertising, public relations, journalism and production. Media professionals visited communication classes, engaged students in specialized Q-and-A sessions, and participated in a panel on the state of the media industry.

Media professionals were guest lecturers in 18 classes, including JOU 3342-Multimedia Storytelling, ADV 4800-Advertising Campaigns, PUR 4801-Public Relations Cases, MMC 3200-Law and Ethics of Communication, and MMC 4420-Mass Communication Research. Guest lecturers included Ron Littlepage, columnist for The Florida Times-Union; Christine Bowley, executive producer at WTEV/WAWS-TV; Cynthia Weiss, senior marketing communication specialist at Mayo Clinic; and Katie Evans, a member of the ad platform team at Twitter.


State of Media (1)

Jason Mudd (center) talks technology at the State of the Media Industry panel. Joining him are (left to right) Sharon Siegel-Cohen, Jim Dalton, Shawn Parks and John Burr.


In addition, students in the advertising, public relations and multimedia journalism and production tracks attended track-specific Q-and-A breakout sessions with media professionals. The professionals talked about their field and answered students’ questions regarding the skills needed to be successful. Media professionals attending included Kristi Dosh, sports business reporter for ESPN; John Apostol, Web developer for iDrive Marketing; and Heather Smith, social media manager at Anton West Advertising. Many of the professionals also spent more one-on-one time with students during several small-group lunches that took place during the event.


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Students and faculty members asked questions at the State of the Media Industry panel.

One Media Week event that can be viewed is the concluding panel discussion, titled “State of the Media Industry.” Several panelists (Sharon Siegel-Cohen, executive producer of WJXT; Jim Dalton, president of the Dalton Agency; Jason Mudd, CEO of Axia Public Relations; and Shawn Parks, associate media director for St. John & Partners) joined moderator John Burr, editor in chief of the Jacksonville Business Journal, to discuss the state of the media and trends to watch for. To view the panel discussion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szXzZC9cFyw



State of Media3
Sharon Siegel-Cohen answers a student question.


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My last semester

By Anneliese Delgado
Class of 2013




Anneliese Delgado reported from Washington, D.C., as an intern for Fox 5 News.

I was engulfed in broadcast journalism during my last semester at UNF. My alarm would start screeching at 4:15 every morning, willing me to roll out of bed and go to work at Cox Media Group, where I would produce and report radio traffic until 9:30 a.m. Then I would speed to my internship at WJCT Public Radio. After four hours of interning, I would either go back to Cox to do afternoon traffic or go to class. At night I would edit packages, write scripts or fill out story planning sheets for homework until I fell asleep.

My last semester of college, while extremely hectic, exemplifies how the communication department provides encouragement and support to aspiring journalists. For example, I would have never known about the opening in the traffic department at Cox Media if it wasn’t for the department’s weekly e-mail newsletter, CommStudentUpdate.

My internship at WJCT Public Radio would not have been possible if Dr. David Deeley didn’t agree to sponsor me for an independent study. I would never have been able to balance interning for Fox 5 News in Washington, D.C., and at a non-profit simultaneously over the summer if Dr. Paula Horvath wasn’t flexible with internship deadlines. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to work full time, intern and anchor for department's news magazine show, “Inside Jacksonville,” if Dr. Peter Casella did not accommodate my weird hours of availability. The rest of my professors in the communication department gave me enough insight into broadcast journalism to allow me walk into a newsroom, whether it be as an employee or an intern, and feel comfortable in the environment. 

While I am grateful for all the support, I also realize that good things don’t just fall into a person’s lap. I know it takes hard work, a little luck, and in my case, a lack of sleep and a lot of coffee, to get where you want to be after graduation. 

It’s been almost a month since I graduated from UNF. I am still working full time as a traffic reporter/producer, and my reports can be heard on four local radio stations. Now that I have more free time, I am focusing on being more involved in the news department and participating in professional development seminars at work. 

Motivation and drive are useless without skills and knowledge. The professors and curriculum in the communication department gave me the skills and knowledge to be successful in my current job and for my future career. 


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The communication program is what you make of it

By Jessica DuBois-Maahs
Class of 2012




Jessica DuBois-Maahs braved the cold while completing her master’s degree in journalism at Northwestern University.

About a month before I was set to graduate with my B.S. in communication degree from UNF, after I had already accepted my seat in Northwestern University’s 2013 MSJ class, a compelling wave of gratitude moved me to write an incredibly embarrassing letter to the then-department chair, Dr. David Goff. In that letter, I poured my guts out, thanking the handful of communications professors who made my future career in journalism a possibility.

After clicking send while sitting at a desktop computer in the Thomas G. Carpenter Library about a week before graduation, I felt a slight pang of regret. The letter was slightly too honest, and naturally, it was circulated to the very professors I openly wrote about. From professor Brian Thornton, who taught my very first Principles of Journalism class, to Amy Parmelee and Dr. John Parmelee, who combined, taught five of my media and journalism classes in a three-year timespan, I shared how the close-knit UNF communication community made me the dedicated and capable journalist I am today.

Throughout graduate school, UNF’s intense focus on grammar, accurate reporting and writing exploration carried me through the grueling 12-hour seminar days at Northwestern, giving me the confidence and foundation from which to build my multimedia and technical abilities. Many of my peers attended schools such as Vanderbilt, Columbia and Dartmouth for their undergraduate degrees, but the journalism abilities I garnered at UNF matched, if not exceeded, theirs, and I earned the highest grade among my cohort in my first semester.

As I sat in my first Wednesday night MMC 3105-Advanced Writing for the Media class as a sophomore, staring at my Word document for more than three hours trying to come up with my very first story lede, I would have never imagined that starting in January 2014, I would be part of the editorial team for Business Insider, reporting for their “Strategy” vertical in New York, MSJ degree in hand.

Looking back, I don’t regret sending the letter of gratitude to the entire communication department; I now realize it was just a swatch of the individuality I acquired through earning my journalism degree at UNF. The communication program is what you make of it, and the more effort and creativity you put into it, the more it shapes you. This is an exciting time to be a journalist, and instead of sitting on the sidelines, be a part of the digital and personalized-news movement that will carry reporting into the next generation.

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Department wins awards from the Public Relations Society of America

An instructor, a student and a graduate from the communication department took home prizes at the 2014 North Florida PRSA Prism Awards.

Multimedia production instructor Joey Goodsell won a Digital Media-Award of Excellence for creating a fundraising video for the Mississippi Burn Foundation and the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi. The video brings awareness to and raises funds for Camp Funshine, which is free of charge for children who have suffered burns. The camp provides numerous activities, such as a ropes course, arts and crafts, swimming, boating and counseling. The winning video can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/55302433



Instructor Joey Goodsell receives award from NFPRSA President Leyla Goodsell.


Ryan Traher, a senior in the public relations track, won PRSA’s Student Promise Award. Patrick McSweeney, an adjunct instructor in the department and past president of NFPRSA, said of Traher: “Ryan embodies what a serious public relations professional-in-training should be. He is curious about everything around him, recognizing relationships that may be invisible to other students between people and organizational policies.” Ryan impressed his bosses during his internship at St. John & Partners, establishing himself as the go-to intern.


At UNF, Traher has been treasurer for the Public Relations Student Society of America UNF Chapter, and he has served as communications director for Student Government, advising senators on issues and on how to effectively present proposals.


After graduation, Traher wants to do public relations for a non-profit organization focused on public education reform. 


Student Promise Award-winner Ryan Traher poses with Goodsell.

Rachel “Roxie” Lute, class of 2011 in the public relations track, won the Rising Star Award for her contributions to several organizations. Shortly after graduating from college, Lute helped create a virtual PR firm, Renaissance 2.0, which managed clients such as Valencia Condominiums, Cantina Laredo and the Dunn Wellness Center. She is currently project manager for Beson4 Media Group, where she manages clients, creates promotional ideas, conducts events and writes for various publications.

At UNF, Roxie was the vice president of the PRSSA chapter. Under her leadership, the chapter’s social media was updated, off-campus programs such as agency tours were created, and student government funding was established for PRSSA members to go to regional and national conferences.

“When I looked at the criteria for the Rising Star Award, I first thought of Roxie,” said senior instructor Bobbie Doggett, who nominated Lute: “When you look at her leadership qualities and all that she has accomplished being less than 25 years old, one can only imagine what she will achieve in the next quarter century of her life.”



Communication alum Roxie Lute won the NFPRSA Rising Star Award.


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Communication students meet Bob Woodward

A select group of students from the communication department had a chance to talk with Bob Woodward and ask questions about his career and his advice for young journalists. The event happened shortly before Woodward spoke as part of the UNF Presidential Lecture Series Jan. 21 at the UNF Arena. Woodward, associate editor of The Washington Post, is best known for his efforts in uncovering the Watergate scandal. Woodward spoke about his latest book, The Price of Politics, which focuses on the relations between the Obama Administration and Congress.

Bob Woodward makes a point while talking with communication students at UNF.


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Production students work Tim McGraw concert

Students Daniel Starr and Ciara Thomas got the chance to test their skills as production assistants when country music singer Tim McGraw came to Jacksonville. Instructor Joey Goodsell placed the students with RockStream Studios, which produced the concert.

The free concert, called “Chase Presents Live From The Home Front,” took place at Naval Station Mayport Nov. 10, 2013. Active duty military, veterans and their families attended the event.

The highlight for Starr was posing as Tim McGraw’s stand-in during a camera rehearsal with the band. McGraw didn’t fly into Jacksonville until right before the show.



 Daniel Starr poses as Tim McGraw. 



 Ciara Thomas worked in McGraw’s production truck. 


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Tech Tips

By Paula Horvath

Senior Instructor, Department of Communication

Conduct searches with the first hashtag-driven search engine
Remember when none of us even knew the meaning of the word hashtag? Those days are no longer. Hashtags are now used to aggregate information in all forms of social media. A new platform now lets you search hashtags with the world’s first hashtag-driven search engine. Hshtags operates by seeking hashtags across all the social media. Give it a try at http://hshtags.com/.

Collect and share online information with Kippt
Kippt is new way to collect, share and discover interesting things on the web. It's a collaborative bookmarking system, built especially for professional networks, that lets people share with one another on a dedicated platform. Collect something on Kippt and the page and content will be searchable, organizable and readable on all devices and easily shared. Check it out: https://kippt.com/.

Webydo builds perfect websites, and no coding is needed
A new web-designing platform allows designers to create and manage cross-platform business websites, without writing code. Webydo gives designers complete control over the entire design process with an interface that meets the needs of professional users. The platform actually converts graphic designs into website code, meaning that as you add images, resize text and insert links, the underlying code is automatically written and rewritten with pixel-by-pixel accuracy. The results are indistinguishable from websites that took weeks to code. The best part? Building a site is absolutely free. To check out this new platform, go to: http://www.webydo.com/.

Associated Press launches new “robot” style editor
From the Associated Press: “Lingofy is a browser plugin that checks website content for AP Stylebook’s spelling, language, punctuation, usage and journalistic style guides. The for-purchase plugin also checks against Webster’s New World College Dictionary, the primary dictionary for the AP Stylebook. Lingofy works for people writing directly into a CMS they access via a web browser. Users can add stylebook entries, and its dictionaries improve over time. The longer you use Lingofy, the more the system can learn about your unique writing style and the better the software gets at spotting errors and suggesting corrections.” Check out AP’s new plugin here: http://lingofy.com/.


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Former department chair retires

Dr. David Goff, who served as chair of the Department of Communication from 2007 to 2013, retired during summer 2013. He was responsible for many important changes to the department, including moving the program to new facilities and updating the curriculum.

When he came to UNF, the department was housed in the Fine Arts Building (Building 45), though the department’s TV studio and several classrooms were elsewhere on campus. Also, the growing faculty needed more space for offices. Then the Andrew A. Robinson Jr. Building (Building 14D) became available after the new Student Union was completed. Goff lobbied to move the department and procured hundreds of thousands of dollars to gut Building 14D and rebuild it from the inside out. In doing so, space was made for a new high-definition TV studio, as well as extra classrooms, offices and a conference room. Now the department has a building big enough to meet its needs.

Goff was also instrumental in identifying the need to update the department’s curriculum. Through a series of meetings and with the assistance of the department’s Professional Advisory Board, it became clear that revisions were needed so students could stay current with the changing media environment. As a result, the Journalism and Electronic Media tracks were combined into a single concentration called Multimedia Journalism and Production. Also, the Advertising and Public Relations concentrations added required new classes in economics, marketing and media graphics.

UNF was not the only university where Goff served as chair. He previously ran the communication programs at the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of West Georgia.


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Faculty activity

Dr. Christa Arnold presented “Are Physicians and Patients Really Trained Listeners? Demonstrating and Discussing Listening Skills Training for Medical Encounters,” "Examining Patient Behaviors in the Medical Interview: Towards Creating Enhanced Medical Communication Skills Training" and “Revisiting Patient Communication Training: Introducing the AGENDA Model and Curriculum” at the International Conference on Communication in Healthcare, in Montreal, in September 2013. Also, she received a 2013-2014 Faculty Fellowship from the Dean’s Leadership Council to conduct health communication research.

Joey Goodsell received the “Award of Excellence” in Digital Media from the North Florida chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for the marketing/corporate video “Camp Funshine,” which is a camp for underprivileged child burn victims.

Dr. Christine Holland presented a workshop session, “Communicating: Your Elevator Pitch” at the regional conference for the Florida Office of Women in Higher Education, in Jacksonville in June 2013. Also, she received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from UNF in December 2013.

Dr. Chunsik Lee won an AA Faculty Development Scholarship Grant to do research during summer 2014.

Dr. Carolynn McMahan presented “Studying Communication Abroad in the Global Economy” at the American Academy of Advertising conference, in Atlanta, in March.

Dr. John Parmelee published “Political Journalists and Twitter: Influences on Norms and Practices” in the fall 2013 issue of Journal of Media Practice. He also published “Framing and Priming in Presidential Campaign Ads” in C. Liberman (Ed.), Casing Persuasive Communication (pp. 413-423). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.


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Get involved


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



  1. Join the department'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 department chair, John Parmelee, at jparmele@unf.edu. Even if you don't want to be on the board, feel free to e-mail the chair with any advice on making the curriculum better.

  2. Join the department's alumni association. This is a great chance to interact with fellow Communication alumni and current students. To join, please contact the department's alumni association chair, Lauren Darm, commstu1@unf.edu, and include your name, contact information, year of graduation and track.

  3. Let faculty know how you're doing. Below is a link that lists faculty and their e-mail addresses. Faculty love to hear what their former students are up to and are always happy to offer advice: http://www.unf.edu/coas/communication/faculty.aspx.

  4. Participate in the Internship 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 senior instructor Bobbie Doggett rdoggett@unf.edu to participate.

  5. Be a guest speaker. Your expertise in advertising, public relations, journalism or production could be a real benefit to current students. We are always looking for such guest speakers to come to communication classes. A good time to do this comes during the fall semester when the department hosts Media Week, an opportunity for media professionals to speak with students and faculty about the media landscape. Contact jparmele@unf.edu for more information.

  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 jparmele@unf.edu to submit.

  7. Donate to the department. Even a small gift can help us enhance our facilities, academics and recruiting of top-quality students and faculty. To contribute, please go to http://www.alumni.unf.edu/NetCommunity/SSLPage.aspx?pid=461.

  8. Join us on Twitter and Facebook. The official social media pages for the department are: https://twitter.com/unfcomm and https://www.facebook.com/unfcomm  



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