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Spring 2016


In this issue


The spring 2016 issue of the Department of Communication alumni newsletter promotes the department’s new graduate program and discusses departmental activities with media professionals and the Jacksonville community. 


  • The department is launching a new graduate program focused on communication management. Story here
  • Media professionals from Disney, Revlon and Jacksonville news outlets talked with students during Media Week 2015 about convergence and career issues. Story here
  • The department has formed a new partnership with the Jacksonville Historical Society to produce shows about northeast Florida history. Story here
  • Tracy Collins, a 2004 graduate who also goes by the name “Tracy Dot Com,” talks about her transition from journalism to public relations. Story here.  
  • Marcel Robinson, class of 2012, explains what it’s like covering the Jacksonville Jaguars and other teams as a producer/editor for WCWJ-CW17. Story here
  • A majority of communication faculty now teach at least some online classes. What they’ve learned about distance learning from their training and their students has dispelled some myths about online education. Story here
  • The department welcomes two new faculty members: Dr. Nataliya Roman and Dr. Margaret Stewart. Story here.  
  • The “Tech Tips” column discusses new apps, such as Google Primer, which provides mini online lessons for digital marketers. Story here
  • Stay current with faculty members’ most recent research and awards. Story here
  • You’re invited to join the department’s alumni Facebook group. 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
  • The final article remembers former broadcasting professor Joe Lesem, who recently passed away. Story here


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




Master's in communication management to start spring 2017


The Department of Communication is pleased to announce the creation of the Master of Science degree in communication management. The 36-credit degree is an innovative collaboration in which the Department of Communication provides the core courses, while students also choose from one of five outside concentrations from the Coggin College of Business, the M.P.A. program of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, the College of Education and Human Services and the Brooks College of Health. The outside concentrations are business, nonprofit management, public management, leadership and public health. Student will learn media management, strategy, metrics, economics, and business/communication ethical and legal issues. The M.S. in communication management will teach students how to be a manager and leader in a communication company, such as a public relations firm, advertising agency, news outlet or production company. Graduates can also find employment in leadership positions at government agencies, healthcare companies and businesses that have an in-house public relations department. M.S. in communication management graduates will also be prepared for doctoral programs.


To make it easier for media professionals to get their master’s degree, most on-campus classes will take place after 6 p.m. Also, some of the courses will be delivered through online distance learning or hybrid instruction.


The Department of Communication will start taking applications in summer 2016. More details about admission requirements and the application process can be found on the department’s website


The curriculum, listed below, shows the extent to which you can customize your coursework to fit your needs.


Major: Communication Management

Degree: Master of Science

Hours: 36



MMC 6990-Foundations of Communication Management (3 credits) 

MMC 6991-Strategic Communication Theory (3 credits)

MMC 6992-Qualitative Research Methods in Mass Communication (3 credits)

MMC 6993-Quantitative Research Methods in Mass Communication (3 credits)

MMC 6994-Ethics in Communication Management (3 credits)



Select 1 course from the following:

COM 5990-Organizational Communication (3 credits)

COM 5991-Lying & Deception (3 credits)

COM 5992-Listening (3 credits)

COM 5993-Theory and Research Methods in Health Communication (3 credits)

COM 5994-Small Group Communication (3 credits)

COM 5995-Interpersonal Communication (3 credits)

COM 5996-Interviewing: Theories and Methods (3 credits)

SPC 5990-Theories of Persuasion (3 credits)

MMC 5990-Political Advertising (3 credits)

RTV 5990-Media Management (3 credits)

MMC 5991-Internship in Communication Management (3 credits)


OUTSIDE COURSES: (12 credits)

Pick 1 of these 5 concentrations(Business, Public Health, Leadership, Nonprofit Management, or Public Management):


Business Concentration (Coggin College of Business)

Select 4 courses from the following:

MAN 6204-Organizational Theory (3 credits)

ISM 6021-Management Information Technology (3 credits)

MAN 6581-Entrepreneurship/Venture Capital (3 credits)

MAR 6805-Marketing Strategy (3 credits)

ECO 6415-Making Decisions with Data (3 credits)

ECP 6705-Economics of Business Decisions (3 credits)


Public Health Concentration (Brooks College of Health, Department of Public Health)

Select 4 courses from the following:

HSC 6603-Theory of Health Behavior (3 credits)

PHC 6102-Public Health Policy and Management (3 credits)

HSC 6585-Health Promotion and Health Education Strategies (3 credits)

HSC 6587-Program Planning in Health Promotion/Education (3 credits)

HSC 6215-Environmental Health (3 credits)

HSC 6505-Epidemiology (3 credits)

PHC 6050-Public Health Biostats I (3 credits)


Leadership Concentration (College of Education and Human Service’s Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management)

EDA 6191-Team Leadership (3 credits)

EDA 6196-Leadership & Learning Organizations (3 credits)

EDG 6285-Fundamentals of Program Evaluation (3 credits)

EDS 6130-Human Resource Management (3 credits)


Nonprofit Management Concentration (Dept. of Political Science and Public Administration)

PAD 6142-Management of Nonprofit Organizations (3 credits)

PAD 6164-NPO Stakeholder Relations (3 credits)

PAD 6208-Nonprofit Financial Management (3 credits)

Select 1 more course from the following:

PAD 5384-Civic Groups and Public Policy (3 credits)

EDA 6930-Grants Development & Project Design (3 credits)

HSC 6706-Grantsmanship (3 credits)


Public Management Concentration (Dept. of Political Science and Public Administration)

PAD 6060-Public Admin in Modern Society (3 credits)

PAD 6227-Government Budget and Finance (3 credits)

PAD 6417-Human Resources in Public/NP Management (3 credits)

Select 1 more course from the following: PAD 5000 to 6999 or PUP 5000 to 6999 (3 credits)



Students will complete either an academic communication management-related thesis OR a professional communication-related research project under the supervision of a faculty advisor and committee. Students will take this 3-credit course twice to reach the required 6 credit hours of thesis/applied research project needed to graduate with the M.S. in Communication Management. 



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Media Week provides opportunities for offline and online interaction with professionals


The UNF Department of Communication’s third annual Media Week event engaged students through face-to-face panels with media professionals, as well as social media interaction. The five-day event ran from Oct. 19 to Oct. 23 and included professionals visiting communication classes and student clubs; answering students’ questions in panels focused on advertising, public relations, journalism and production; advising students about global and domestic diversity issues; and talking about the state of the media industry.


One of the most popular events, titled “Public Relations in a Converged World: The View from Disney” included Victoria Lim, managing editor for Walt Disney World Public Relations. She discussed the important of understanding media convergence in order to be effective in public relations.   


Lim’s discussion can be viewed online


 Media Week 2015 Lim Selfie

Disney’s Victoria Lim takes a selfie with her audience before her discussion on media convergence.


Media Week’s many panels included distinguished professionals, such Tuan Tu, marketing director at Revlon; Kerry Baldwin, vice president for advertising solutions for Web.com; Austin Van Horn, senior account manager for The Cross Agency; Rob Sweeting, anchor/reporter for WJXT; Katrina Greco, corporate communications analyst specialist for FIS Global; Lanette Hart, principal/consultant for Hart & Associates LLC; Karen Feagins, vice president of content and operations for WJCT; Gary Corbitt, retired research director for WJXT; Carla Jones, CEO for Carla Mechele Media; and Mary Kelli Palka, managing editor for The Florida Times-Union.


Students, faculty, alumni and media professionals also discussed the event on Twitter using the #UNFMediaWeek hashtag.


 Media Week 2015 Twitter comments

 The #UNFMediaWeek hashtag allowed students and media professionals to continue the conversation.


Alumni once again gave back to the department by participating in Media Week. Alumni participants included Tracy Collins, vice president of marketing and public relations for Goodwill Industries of North Florida; Donia Crime, vice president for public relations and social media for Burdette Ketchum; Ashley Mitchem, anchor/reporter for WJXT; Anneliese Delgado, reporter for WOKV-FM; Toni Boudreaux, director of development for The Cultural Center of Ponte Vedra; Haleigh Dunning, project manager for The Connect Agency; James Canon, managing editor for the Jacksonville Business Journal; Zach Sweat, digital editor for Void Magazine; Marina Martin, account manager for Shepherd; Lindsey Kilbride, reporter/producer for WJCT; and Joni Shockey, press secretary for U.S. Representative Dennis Ross (FL-15). The annual alumni mixer was held in the communication building during Media Week. 


Video of many of the events can be found on the department’s Media Week website



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Communication department helps tell Jacksonville history

By Harry Reagan, Jacksonville Historical Society


The UNF Department of Communication and the Jacksonville Historical Society are collaborating on the production of the Jacksonville History Show.


The show presents interviews and discussions about Jacksonville and Northeast Florida history. Recent shows produced in the department’s TV studio include a discussion of the Black Wings exhibit (African Americans in Aviation) at the Ritz Museum, a discussion of some of the historical society’s archives and a review of the historical society’s list of most endangered historical structures. There is also a preview of the Gingerbread Extravaganza, an annual JHS event.


All episodes of the Jacksonville History Show can be seen on the JHS website.


Jacksonville Historical Society President Edward Booth Jr. (left) is interviewed by Harry Reagan (right).

 Jacksonville Historical Society President Edward Booth Jr. (left) was one of the first guests interviewed by Harry Reagan (right).


The show was part of the Comcast Cable public access channel for many years, but when Comcast dropped the public access channel, the JHS found a new partner: the communication department. JHS President Edward Booth Jr. said he is pleased with the collaboration.


“This allows us to continue producing a Jacksonville History Show and it gives UNF students an opportunity to get involved with us,” Booth said. “It may spark their interest in local history. I was interviewed on one of the first shows at the UNF communication department and we updated the JHS Endangered Properties List. I enjoyed it very much.”


Recent communication alum Karen Gardner worked on the first shows. She said her favorite part was “discovering how much I enjoy video editing. By the end of the semester I had figured out enough about Premier Pro software to complete a project in three days.”


Since 1929, the Jacksonville Historical Society has been working to preserve and present local history. The organization’s most important activity is collecting and disseminating Jacksonville and North Florida history. Thousands of documents, photos and films are maintained by the group, all available for use by the public. 



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"Tracy Dot Com" leaps into journalism and public relations

By Tracy Collins

Class of 2004


Tracy Collins   

Tracy Collins makes her living as Goodwill’s vice president of marketing and public relations, but she continues to participate in fundraisers and other community events, including the Boy Scouts of North Florida Council’s “Over the Edge” event.


When I came to UNF to get my degree in broadcasting, I had already been practicing in the field for four years as a U.S. Navy journalist. I thought I would go through the motions as just a formality to get an official degree. What I didn’t realize at the time is I would have never been able to accomplish my goals without my UNF experience.


It was my relationship with Dr. Paula Horvath that created an opportunity to intern at The Florida Times-Union as a community and entertainment video journalist for Jacksonville.com. And it was my relationship with the late, great professor Joe Lesem that created an opportunity to work on the first season of UNF’s “Inside Jacksonville” on CW-17.


After graduation, I went to work for the T-U. It was a dream job. Except for a few required assignments each week, I got to pick what I covered. That included the Jacksonville Jaguars, annual festivals and fundraisers, and all the things I was passionate about.


My career from there transitioned into a position at Action News as a morning show reporter known as Tracy Dot Com. It’s where I got to do more of the same coverage, only on a much larger scale.


I’ve interviewed a countless number of celebrities and athletic professionals. I’ve been on national television standing on a lonely stretch of flooded Interstate10, the only reporter going live from the scene. And I’ve been able to say I did the kind of reporting I wanted to do and get paid for it, even when naysayers told me that kind of job didn’t exist.


But none of this would have been possible without a few key pieces of advice. Be true to your passion. Take communication classes outside of your field of study. And make sure you create relationships with your professors.


In both cases with Dr. Horvath and professor Lesem, I would not have been enrolled in the classes that led me down those paths. But because I had worked hard in previous classes and created friendships with them, they each asked me to take the necessary courses to make it happen.


Today I am the vice president of marketing and public relations for Goodwill of North Florida. I still write an entertainment column for the T-U. And I still get to fulfill my love of being on TV and radio with fun Goodwill stories. But none of this would be possible without my time at UNF.



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Electronic media alum mixes love of sports and broadcasting

By Marcel Robinson

Class of 2012


Marcel Robinson
 Marcel Robinson covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for WCWJ-CW17. 


Growing up, my career goal was to work in television and focus on sports media.


Currently I am a producer/editor at Jacksonville’s WCWJ-CW17. My role has expanded immensely during the last three years. I play a big role in the vast majority of our sports programming at the station, including live sports broadcasts, our Fantasy Football program and our Jacksonville Armada coverage. I recently began covering the Jacksonville Jaguars on behalf of the station as well. I shoot video of the practices and games, and I conduct interviews in the locker rooms throughout the week.


We also have a partnership with 1010XL, Jax Sports Radio, in which I serve as the point of contact for most of our ventures. I work very closely with Frank Frangie (1010XL and The Voice of the Jacksonville Jaguars) in producing various Web videos for GridironNow.com as well as producing a high school football program that also airs on CW17.


I recently took up professional photography, so I spend a lot of time perfecting that craft. In addition to the work I do at the station, I serve as an independent producer for numerous outside productions, including a local athlete spotlight show. You’ll catch me shooting video and/or taking pictures at sporting events around town, everything from high school sports to college sports and professional sports, including the Jacksonville Sharks and Jaguars.


While attending UNF, I participated in the media programs we produced on campus including “Inside Jacksonville,” and a weekly news magazine highlighting campus life. Between those courses and completing an internship here at CW17, two great things happened. One, I was able to get a lot of hands-on experience, which helped me gain skills that enabled me to “hit the ground running” when I was hired. Two, my experience with the news programs confirmed my initial reservations about working in news. I had a lot of fun and learned a ton, but I could tell that news wasn’t the direction I wanted to go. Ironically when I met with Professor Deeley at the end of my senior year, he felt the same way.


Participating in the Communication program at UNF was an incredible experience. I make my way back to campus fairly often, and between Media Week events and the UNF interns we receive, I see how much the program has grown. There is no question that it prepared me for the “real-life” media market. For the most part, every skill I learned as a student is called upon in one way or another every single day. In fact, whenever any student asks me for advice on getting into this business and being successful, I have five simple words: Get Involved and Do Everything.



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Communication faculty become students again to learn how to teach online


In an effort to make classes more available to students and provide innovative teaching, the Department of Communication has greatly expanded its number of online courses. The department has gone from offering its first online course in 2010 to teaching about 30% of its courses as fully online or hybrid as of 2016.


Because the department recognizes that there are differences between face-to-face teaching and online teaching, faculty members are not allowed to teach online courses without first being properly trained. UNF provides a 6-month workshop, called the Teaching Online Seminar, which covers pedagogy, course design, instructional strategies, communication strategies, and online assessment. All 14 faculty members who have taught distance-learning or hybrid courses during the last five years have gone through the Teaching Online Seminar. 


Many faculty members who have completed the training and gone on to teach online courses said some of their stereotypes about online learning did not turn out to be true. Dr. Berrin Beasley, a journalism professor who has taught online the longest, said “there's a perception that students can feel isolated and disconnected in online classes because they lack the face-to-face interactivity found in the traditional classroom environment, but I've found the opposite.” She added, “My students regularly tell me they feel more connected in my online classes than in their traditional classes. When placed in small online discussion groups where students interact with each other on a regular basis, they can feel more connected than in a traditional classroom. Through their written comments they get to know each other, trust develops, and they become more comfortable in sharing their thoughts and ideas, which ultimately leads to a better understanding of the course content and a more effective and enjoyable learning experience.”


Communication studies instructor Sam Mathies also had to do away with some myths about online education. “The biggest surprise I found when I started teaching online was that students are consistently involved in class discussions,” he said. “While there is a requirement to post in discussion boards, I find that many students post more often than they need to post. In discussion boards I have read student comments like ‘This is cool that we get to talk about this for a whole week instead of just 15 minutes like we would in a traditional class’ and ‘For a person who is usually quiet in class, this is a great way to express my ideas.’”


Most faculty members, such as Dr. Tina Holland, a senior instructor in communication studies, said adapting their courses for online teaching has been quite a learning experience. “The most interesting aspect of teaching online for me has been the realization of how important clarity and specific language is in describing the actions I want students to take,” she said. “I see how important video and audio files are in being clear for giving directions. A short video will be more effective for students to understand than a long paragraph.”



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Department of Communication hires new faculty in journalism, production and communication studies


Dr. Nataliya Roman and Dr. Margaret Stewart are settling in to their first year at UNF. Roman is an assistant professor of multimedia journalism and production and teaches classes such as JOU 3342-Multimedia Storytelling and RTV 4221-Advanced TV Production. She began her career as a TV reporter in Ukraine. Seven years into doing news she “transitioned to documentary filmmaking where I explored fascinating topics such as gender relations, social justice and culture,” she says. She was then offered a Fulbright scholarship, which led to her getting her Ph.D. in telecommunication from the University of Florida. Her research interests include international and political communication. “Recently my focus has shifted to studying media aspects of the ongoing war in Eastern Ukraine,” she says. In her free time she enjoys traveling, photography, reading and yoga.


Nataliya Roman     Margaret Stewart

 Dr. Nataliya Roman (left) and Dr. Margaret Stewart both study the intersection of war and communication.


Stewart was hired as an assistant professor of communication studies. Her classes include COM 4930-Strategic Social Media and SPC 4064-Public Speaking for Professionals. She completed her Ph.D. in communication media and instructional technology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Working in the music business before graduate school fostered her interest in communication studies. “It was at that time that I really began to take an interest in the relationship between human communication and communication technologies, so that underscored my current research agenda.” Her research focuses on social media. She wrote her dissertation on how military couples use social media to communicate and maintain their relationships during deployment. The idea was inspired by the deployment of her younger brother’s unit to Afghanistan. She says her current research plans are to “study military family communication regarding PTSD, and their use of social media and the Internet as vehicles for information-gathering and social support” and to examine “the uses and effects of social media and emerging communication technologies on the educational transition of veterans.” For fun, she likes to visit the beach, travel, cook, garden and watch football. 



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Tech tips

By Dr. Chunsik Lee

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication


Google mobile search offering app streaming

The search giant Google has been struggling to crawl and index content found in mobile applications (in-app content) as mobile searches surpassed desktop search. Google’s deep linking technology has somewhat relieved this problem for the past two years. However, when users found in-app content through Google, the search results directed to a mobile app that users had not installed on their phone. The new app streaming offers you the option to “stream” the app without having to install the app. This feature is now available only on Android phone. How users and the app market will respond to this feature remains to be seen because it may harm app developers’ business.   


Google Primer: digital marketer’s self-study application

Google Primer provides mini online lessons for digital marketers. This nerdy app started as Google’s side project and was initially used by Googlers. As a card format, it offers a variety of marketing lessons, such as online advertising strategies, online measurements and content strategies. Each topic does not go over five minutes, which consists of learning goals, bullet points and quick tests. Primer serves as a fun distraction, helping marketers kill time. It expands its repertoire of knowledge and potential skills.  

Facebook allowing Google to crawl and index its app
As more and more content has accumulated inside the Facebook wall, its content has been kept out of Google’s reach. Google has not been able to crawl and index much online content inside Facebook, which has fundamentally eroded Google’s search capability. Facebook now allows Google to crawl and index Facebook app. Google search in Android smartphones displays information from public Facebook profiles, pages, groups and events. If a user clicks on a Facebook link, they will be directed to the link within Facebook app. Private and protected posts and photos that users see while they are logged in Facebook still will not be searchable through Google.



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Faculty activity


Dr. ​Christa L. Arnold presented "Enhancing Patient Medical Communication: Implications for Patient Training” at the International Conference on Communication in Healthcare (ICCH), in New Orleans.​


Dr. Christine Holland presented "Team-Based Learning for Communication Courses” at the 85th annual Florida Communication Association Conference, Orlando, Fla.


Dr. Siho Nam presented a “The Democratic Divide in South Korea: The Growth of the Internet and the Decline of Democracy during the Lee and Park Administrations, 2008-2015” at Partnership for Progress on the Digital Divide 2015 International Conference, Scottsdale, Ariz.


Dr. Stephynie C. Perkins, published "Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Ku Klux Klan, Southern Pride or Civic Oppression: 21st Century Readers' Letters to the Editor Frame a Modern Discussion of Race and Racism" in Florida Journal of Communication.


Dr. Margaret C. Stewart presented "The Dynamic Role of Social Media During Hurricane #Sandy: An Introduction of the STREMII Model to Weather the Storm of the Crisis Lifecycle​" to the Florida Communication Association.    



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Join the department's alumni Facebook group


Alumni Facebook group pic

 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 departmental events such as Media Week. In addition, the communication faculty 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.


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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. 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 Furey, mention your interest in joining, and please 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 professor Bobbi Doggett 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 John Parmelee 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 John Parmelee 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 https://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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In memoriam


Joe Lesem picture


Joe Lesem, a retired professor in the broadcasting track, died Nov. 15, 2015, after a long battle with Leukemia. Lesem began his career at UNF in 1993 and was instrumental in developing the radio and television sequence until his retirement in 2011. He had more than 30 years of media experience with a mix of television news, magazine and newspaper writing, as well as advertising. His true love was drawing. Prior to coming to UNF, he was a professional illustrator having worked as a courtroom artist, newspaper illustrator and editorial cartoonist. He coined the term “Illustrative Journalism” to describe how illustrative artwork can be used to enhance television and print journalism.



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