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Fall 2016


In this issue


The fall 2016 issue of the Department of Communication alumni newsletter celebrates the recent regional and national awards won by the department’s students 


  • The Florida Society of News Editors gave several awards to Communication students for their OneTankMedia websiteStory here.  
  • Students from the department’s ESPN@UNF Club won an award for promotional videos from the Sports Video Group and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Story here.  
  • The department’s new M.S. in communication management is now taking applications. Story here.  
  • Students from public and private high schools in the Jacksonville area enjoyed an expanded scholastic journalism workshop from the department. Story here.  
  • The department honored its outstanding student award winners during spring graduation. Story here
  • This year’s recipients of the department’s Borowiec and Patterson scholarships are announced. Story here
  • Tillie McNally, class of 2014, talks about how her degree helps her make a career out of her love for country music. Story here.  
  • The “Tech Tips” column discusses Facebook’s attempts to fix freebooting problems. Story here.
  • 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




Communication students place in prestigious statewide journalism competition

By Joanna Norris, Director of Public Relations 


Picture of award winners

Students from the Social Media for Journalism class, along with their professor, pick up their awards at the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors' meeting. From left, Blake Allen, Tiziana Onstead, Kelsey Oates, Dr. Paula Horvath, Sarah DeNicolais, Jamie Swann and Andre Roman. 


A team of journalism students in the UNF Department of Communication won several awards in the 2016 Florida Society of News Editors Journalism Contest, a prestigious statewide competition for journalism professionals. This is the first year FSNE opened the contest to student journalists.

Twenty UNF journalism students were recognized in June at the annual FSNE awards lunch in Lake Mary, Florida, in the Student Publication division of the competition, which featured eight categories to showcase student journalism talent. UNF students won two first-place awards and a third-place award in the Features and Arts Writing and Multimedia categories respectively.

Senior Tiziana Onstead took first place in the Features and Arts Writing category for her article, “Farm-to-Table, Garden-to-Glass,” which discusses the food trend of restaurants linking up with local farms to serve fresh herbs, vegetables, fruit, dairy and meat to their customers.

Kelsey Oates and Jamie Swann, both seniors, also won in the Features and Arts Writing category. The duo came in third place for their article, “Chiappini’s: The Hidden Gem of Santa Fe,” featuring an iconic gas station in the unincorporated community of Melrose, Florida, which prides itself on its old-fashioned sense of community. 

OneTankMedia website

The award-winning OneTankMedia website features regional travel and food stories. 


The entire team, enrolled in Dr. Paula Horvath’s JOU 4930-Social Media for Journalism class, won first place in the Multimedia category for the website, www.onetankmedia.com, they created, which included social media, radio, TV, print and digital media. The class created around 70 stories for the website.

“I am so incredibly proud of this class," said Horvath, a senior communication instructor. “They’re all amazing students. They attacked this project like it was an actual job and put together a website of which most professional news organizations would be proud.”

The student team included seniors Cassidy Alexander, Blake Allen, Justin Belichis, Sarah DeNicolais, Ashton Elder, Ryan Hutchins, Mark Judson, Oates, Onstead, Andre Roman, Francheska Russo, Ben Samples, Swann and Carly Wille, as well as juniors Ashley Anderson, Luke Barber, Helen Mas, Megan Massion, Erin Reedy and Connor Spielmaker.

The winning website had 10,939 views over the course of the semester from more than 4,000 visitors from 10 different countries. The team’s goal was to use social media to drive traffic to its website, with Facebook driving more than 2,600 views to the website and more than 150 views via Twitter.

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Collaboration between the ESPN@UNF Club and UNF Athletics results in national award


One ESPN club award winner 

Communication student Alexander Lassen was one of the winners at the Sports Video Group (SVG) College Sports Media Awards ceremony. 


The Department of Communication completed its second year of partnership with UNF Athletics producing Osprey sports events for streaming on ESPN3. Communication students managed every aspect of game production, including directing, graphics, audio, replay, camera operation and the production of halftime features.  


The 2015-16 academic year featured award-winning growth in event coverage and a trip to the annual Sports Video Group (SVG) College Sports Media Awards in Atlanta. Under the guidance of Assistant Professor David Deeley, the student-led productions expanded to nearly 50 as women’s volleyball joined men’s and women’s basketball on the production schedule. The event streams also showed a significant increase (68 percent) in viewership on ESPN3.


During the year, students also visited and toured several sports media properties, including PGA Tour Entertainment at the World Golf Village. In June, ESPN@UNF Club officers Tony Cinca and Alex Lassen attended the SVG College Sports Media Awards in Atlanta. Both participated in various training and industry sessions during the conference and were also able to network with sports media professionals.


The conference ended with UNF Athletics winning “Outstanding Promotion, PSA, Tease, or Marketing Campaign” in the Collegiate Student Division for the hype video “One More Chance to Go 1-0,” which was shown on the UNF Arena video boards prior to the NIT First Round game between UNF and University of Florida. Multimedia Journalism and Production student Kristian Ruhe narrated the piece that featured the videography work of Savannah Volzone and other members of the ESPN@UNF Club. Watch it here.  



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Application website is now open for M.S. in communication management


The Department of Communication is now taking applications for its new Master of Science degree in communication management. The deadline for admission to spring 2017 classes is Dec. 1. The 36-credit M.S. in communication management provides graduate-level professional skills for those seeking communication-related leadership positions at public relations firms, advertising agencies, news outlets, production companies, government agencies, healthcare companies and other businesses. The program is an innovative collaboration in which the Department of Communication provides the core courses, while students customize their degree by choosing one of five outside concentrations from the Coggin College of Business (Business), the M.P.A. program of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration (Nonprofit Management and Public Management), the College of Education and Human Services (Leadership) and the Brooks College of Health (Public Health). Students will demonstrate an understanding of strategy, metrics, economics, ethical and legal issues, and social and cultural issues in communication and media management. In addition, students will conduct research that contributes to what is known about communication and media management. The department’s Professional Advisory Board was instrumental in shaping the curriculum. The director of the department’s graduate program is Dr. Brian Thornton.


To apply, click here.  


For curriculum and admission requirements, click here.



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The department's scholastic journalism workshop grows to serve more students


2016 scholastic journalism workshop

Students from Stanton College Preparatory School, Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology, Englewood High School and Providence School of Jacksonville listen to a lecture by Dr. David Deeley. 


The Department of Communication hosted its second annual multimedia journalism scholastic seminar in May for nearly 40 Duval County-area high school multimedia students. The visit was coordinated by Dr. David Deeley, an assistant professor of multimedia journalism and production. He was assisted by recent Department of Communication graduate Sarah De Nicolais.


Students enjoyed tours of the HD production facilities UNF communication students use to produce “Inside Jacksonville” and ESPN3 coverage of UNF Athletics. They also participated in three instructional sessions focused on multimedia storytelling and production. Guest lecturers included a pair of UNF alumni: Grady Trimble, a multimedia journalist at WTSP-TV in Tampa, and Emily Antworth, streaming coordinator at NBCSG in Stamford, Connecticut.


Trimble, a Florida native who did his internship in Los Angeles and spent two years working as a multimedia journalist at a television station in Portland, Maine, shared tips on how to best prepare for a career in multimedia journalism when technological and business realities are rapidly changing. He encouraged students not to be afraid to leave the comfort zone of home and take advantage of internship and employment opportunities in other parts of country. 


In her session, Antworth discussed the importance of streaming and mobile platforms in media distribution at NBC Sports Group. She explained to students her responsibilities with coordinating streams of Premiere League soccer matches and expressed her excitement for her upcoming role in coordinating coverage of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio from NBCSG’s base in Connecticut.


Executive Producer Eric Davis, from Susie Films in Charlotte, North Carolina, hosted the final session. Davis’ 30-year media career includes work in television sports, radio sales, script writing, documentary production and management experience as VP of Broadcasting & Content for a major market PBS station. Davis talked about the importance of having a passion to create and feeding that passion constantly, even when on summer vacation. Davis offered students project ideas for the summer and discussed the viability of some of their ideas. He also enlightened them on the business realities of content creation and the huge roles economics and audience play in the process. 



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2016 departmental award winners announced


2016 outstanding departmental students

The department congratulates award winners (left to right) Zack Miller, Morganne Lander, Ben Vollmer, Trevor Walsh, Jessica Russell and Joseph Cohen. 


The department’s spring graduation reception recognized the graduating senior with the highest GPA, as well as the winners of the Outstanding Student Award in advertising, multimedia journalism, production and public relations. Also honored were Morganne Lander and Zack Miller, recipients of the Borowiec and Patterson scholarship awards. Below are thoughts from several of the winners about what the Department of Communication has meant to them:


Jessica Russell, Highest GPA for a 2015-2016 B.S. in Communication Graduate: "Throughout my time in the Department of Communication, I have enjoyed the versatility of learning this major has allowed me to experience both inside and outside of the department. Originally I was not aware of how much interest I had in market research. I truly appreciate the opportunity I received to learn and practice in this area, as well as the personal growth God has allowed me to experience as a student in the Department of Communication." 


Ben Vollmer, Outstanding Multimedia Journalism Student: “In my senior year at UNF, I discovered the power of words and the kind of impact they can make on others’ lives. Through the Florida Times-Union and the Hope Fund, I was able to gain a better understanding of the misfortune of others while gaining perspective on how fortunate I am. My education at the University of North Florida was truly the best time of my life.”  


Trevor Walsh, Outstanding Production Student:The friendships and experiences that I have developed over my course as a student in the UNF communication department have simply been irreplaceable. My time in class spent working on group projects like 'Inside Jacksonville' transferred itself directly outside of the class with my passion projects. Because of those friendships and the experiences I gained, I’ve won national awards with filmmaking. And much more importantly, I shared those experiences with my classmates who I am proud to call my good friends and who I would not have been able to have done without.”

Joseph Cohen, Outstanding Public Relations Student: “It was G.W.F. Hegel who said, ‘The truth is the whole.’ And in that spirit, my proudest achievement and memory as a public relations student at the University of North Florida is the whole. I am proud of the friendships, the accomplishments and the hardships. To my fellow students, I thank you for being both cooperative and competitive. To my professors, I thank you for the compliments in bold as well as the edifying criticisms in red.”  



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Department's scholarships go to two public relations students

By John Parmelee

Professor and Chair, Department of Communication


Awards such as the Steven J. Borowiec Memorial Scholarship and Oscar Patterson Scholarships help ease the burden of college tuition and attract top students to UNF’s communication program. The Borowiec scholarship, named after a former director of UNF’s Division of Continuing Education, awards $1,300 to a student who shows academic excellence. The Patterson Scholarship is named after a former chair of the Department of Communication and gives $1,500 to a student who demonstrates excellence in the classroom and financial need. This year’s winners, Morganne Lander and Zach Miller, talk below about the value of receiving their scholarships. If you would like to create a scholarship for the department, please visit our website, or I can be reached at my e-mail.


What winning the Borowiec Scholarship means to me 

By Moganne Lander

Senior, Department of Communication  


Morganne Lander

Morganne Lander hopes to work for Disney. 


The University of North Florida has become my home over the past three years. Upon entering my senior year this fall, I can truly see how much I have emotionally grown throughout my time here. The education that I have received here at UNF is unmatched; however, I am most grateful for the opportunities that attending UNF has provided me.


My name is Morganne Lander, and I am currently majoring in Communication, with a concentration in public relations. I also decided to pursue the community leadership minor because possessing leadership skills is becoming an increasingly popular commodity in the workplace.


My education experience here at UNF has exceeded my expectations. The communication department is full of supportive professors who truly aim to help you succeed. Additionally, the department has created a variety of events in order to help students learn more about the expectations and work responsibilities of each major. Personally, I enjoyed attending the Media Week events in the fall because it allowed me to hear and talk to professionals from the public relations field.


Outside of the classroom, I work on campus as a resident assistant at Osprey Landing. I work with first-year students who have just begun their UNF journey. Whether it is mediating roommate conflicts, planning events, or helping them get involved on campus, being a RA is one of the best experiences I have had while attending UNF.


Being the recipient of the Steven J. Borowiec Memorial Scholarship allows me to focus on both the present and the future. As for the present, the scholarship will allow me to make the most of my last year here at UNF. I am planning on interning with UNF Campus Life in the spring, and I am also pursuing an internship with UNF Athletics for the fall. This is in addition to classes, work, and a couple of clubs. It is going to be a whirlwind of a year, but receiving this scholarship is going to let me fully enjoy every minute of the experience.


After graduation, I plan on participating in the Disney College Program as a stepping stone to fulfilling my goal of some day working for Disney. I am looking forward to what the future holds for me after my time here at UNF.


The opportunities that UNF provided me have changed my life. These rewarding experiences have shaped me into the person I am today, and for that I am truly grateful. SWOOP!


What winning the Patterson Scholarship means to me 

By Zack Miller

Junior, Department of Communication  


Zach Miller

 Zach Miller applies his “never quit” attitude in and out of the classroom.  


I will never forget the conversation I had with my dad when I was about 10 years old. We had just finished playing some basketball in my backyard. I was frustrated because my dad won the game we were playing. He decided it was a perfect moment for a life lesson. As we stood in the garage, my dad told me that the Miller family does not quit. Life will get hard, and there will be obstacles. But Millers never quit. He said that he always wanted me to do my absolute best. My dad did not want me to just finish. He wanted me to finish strong.


That conversation has stuck with me my entire life. It has become a mantra that sustains me through anything I may face. I was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 15. Through multiple surgeries, three rounds of chemotherapy and two months of radiation, I continually reminded myself that quitting was not an option. I was determined to beat cancer, and I have now been cancer free for the past six years.


College has been a different kind of challenge. But I have approached it the same way. I have worked very hard in all of my classes. Each exam and paper is a new competition for me. My goal is to do my absolute best on every assignment. I believe this approach has helped me be successful in college.


But I am not done yet. I still have a couple more semesters of hard work in front of me. So my goal remains. I do not want to barely crawl over the finish line. When I walk across that stage wearing my cap and gown, I want be confident and know that I finished strong.


The Patterson Scholarship will help me to reach that stage. I am thankful for a scholarship that allows me to finish college strong. This award is also a confirmation that hard work pays off. My dad was right when he told me that if I did my absolute best and did not quit then I would be successful. The Patterson Scholarships stokes the fire within me to never quit and continue working hard. 



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Production alum enjoys working in country music industry

Tillie McNally

Class of 2014


Tillie McNally

Tillie McNally sets up a camera for the show “Simply Sara” on My Country Nation. 


As my last semester at the University of North Florida approached, I had my eyes set on interning for a company that I could see myself working for one day. In summer 2014 I was accepted and was off to Nashville, Tennessee, to intern for Taillight TV, a production company that produces music videos, award shows, a digital network, live events and other various projects.


After my internship there, I was hired to freelance for Taillight for an online digital network called My Country Nation that was just in the beginning phases. My Country Nation is a lifestyle, entertainment and behind-the-scenes network of everything country. The YouTube-based channel produces content including behind the scenes of country artists such as Brett Eldredge, Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerina. There is also a series with artist including Lauren Alaina and Sara Evans, and a weekly news show with YouTube Influencers Megan and Liz.


Since the channel’s launch in August 2014, My Country Nation has become one of the largest and most successful online destinations for country lifestyle content, producing more than 400 pieces of original material. 


Working on My Country Nation, I have had the opportunity to learn so much. I started as an office production assistant. I am now producing series, I occasionally camera operate, and I am an associate producer for the channel.


My education at the University of North Florida set me up with a foundation that I find myself using on a day-to-day basis. I am thankful for professors such as Professor Joey Goodsell, who made it possible for students to have the opportunity to intern where they believe it would benefit them most. He helped me obtain the internship at Taillight, which led me to where I am today.


Click here to check out My Country Nation.


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Tech tips

By Chunsik Lee

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication


Facebook launching Rights Manager to solve freebooting issues

Facebook has recently encountered “freebooting” problems and received video creators’ complaints. Business pages post videos stolen from YouTube and TV as their own to gain more engagement and fans. In an effort to improve online video ecosystems, Facebook launched Rights Manager, its version of YouTube’s Content ID. It is Facebook’s database, where video creators need to upload videos if they do not want others to use them. Facebook can monitor videos against the database and punish freebooters (delete or notify the owners). This may be a legally debatable issue in that Facebook may want to avoid responsibility unless video owners submit (sort of registering) materials. So, this measure somehow forces video owners to contribute to original videos in Facebook. Anyway, sharing videos is still OK and encouraged just as retweeting someone else’s is OK, but tweeting others’ tweets as one's own violates copyrights. 


Facebook opening chatbot API for Messenger 

Facebook finally launches chatbot API for the Facebook Messenger app this week. As a fast follower, Facebook quickly adopted WeChat’s (China’s largest messenger service: 500 million active monthly users) chatbot services. The WeChat bot has been a huge success over the past few years in China. From WeChat, consumers can do more than just talk to friends and family. They can order taxis or food from local restaurants, do banking, pay bills, shop from vendors who have services accounts in WeChat. WeChat has built in the capabilities for a business to build a storefront on the app. This may be a huge opportunity for social media to follow and serve users in private as users move from public social media such as Facebook and Twitter into private messenger services such as SnapChat, Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp. It remains to be seen how American users respond to this somewhat intrusive chatbot service.


Facebook opening Instant Article API to all publishers

To transition from a web-based social networking site to the mobile platform, Facebook has focused on improving mobile users’ experiences, especially content loading speed. Instant Articles is one of its mobile initiatives. After one year of testing with leading publishers, Facebook is finally opening Instant Articles API to all publishers. This could be as big a game-changer to the media industry as the open graph initiative proposed in 2010 at the F8 conference. Instant Articles API aims to become the leading mobile content management system just as Wordpress API does to web publishers. 



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Faculty activity


Dr. Christa Arnold published “Patient Medical Education Training: A Pilot Test of the AGENDA Curriculum” in Medical Encounter, and she presented “Listening Skills and the Medical Encounter: Perceptions from Practicing Physicians” to the International Listening Association, Tuscon, Arizona. 


Dr. Berrin Beasley published a book review of “Radio Journalism in America: Telling the News in the Golden Age and Beyond” in American Journalism.  


Dr. Junga Kim and Dr. Chunsik Lee presented “Does Electronic Word-Of-Mouth Really Influence ‘Friends’ in Social Media?” to the 2016 American Academy of Advertising Conference, in Seattle. 


Dr. Carolynn McMahan and Dr. Jae Park published “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Online Marketing: Cross Cultural Analysis of U.S. and Chinese Websites” in the Journal of Strategic and International Studies. They also presented “Cultural Differences in Online Community Motivations: Exploring Korean Automobile Online Brand Communities (KAOBCs) and American  Automobile Online Brand Communities (AAOBCs)” to the International Communication Association, in Fukuoka, Japan. 


Dr. John H. Parmelee, Dr. Berrin Beasley, Dr. Stephynie Perkins and Dr. Nataliya Roman presented “Measuring Political Reporters’ Interactivity with Politicians and the Public on Twitter” to the European Political Science Association, in Brussels. 


Dr. Stephynie Perkins published “Fearsome or Benevolent? Letters to the Editor Reflect 21st Century Interpretations of the Ku Klux Klan” in Florida Communication Journal. 


Dr. Nataliya Roman presented “Information Wars: Eastern Ukraine Military Conflict Coverage in Russian, Ukrainian and U.S. Newscasts” to the National Communication Association, in Las Vegas.  


Dr. Margaret Stewart published “Beyond X’s and O’s on the Court: Why Social Media Demands a New Playbook for Student-Athletes” in Casing Sport Communication (Kendall Hunt Publishing); “Using Facebook and Skype for Marital Communication during American Military Deployment: A Uses and Gratifications Perspective” in Electronic Journal of Communication; and “The Dynamic Role of Social Media During Hurricane #Sandy:  An Introduction of the STREMII Model to Weather the Storm of the Crisis Lifecycle” in Computers in Human Behavior, 639-646. She also presented “Bridging the Gap in Social Media Crisis Communication: Pedagogical Applications of the STREMII Model” to the International Crisis & Risk Communication Conference, Orlando, Fla.; “Social Listening” to the International Listening Association, Tuscon, Ariz.; and “Embracing Opportunities to Adapt the Basic Course for STEM Majors” to the National Communication Association, in Las Vegas. 


Dr. Tulika Varma published “Understanding Decision-making During a Crisis: An Axiomatic Model of Cognitive Decision Choices” in International Journal of Business Communication. She and Dr. Perkins also published “An Examination of Nestle’ India’s Maggi Noodle Ban Crisis: A Study in Sentiment Analysis to Map Organizational Crisis Response” in the Proceeding of the 19th International Public Relations Conference, in Miami.  



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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.


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 click here.


8.     Join us on Twitter and FacebookAlso, 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, 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.  



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