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Student Update

Kappa Tau Alpha inductees

Nineteen undergraduate and graduate students were inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha, the national journalism and mass communication college honor society, at the SJMC's Spring Celebration in May. Kappa Tau Alpha recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication. Membership is earned by excellence in academic work. The 2007 inductees are Jeannine Aquino, S. Chastine Beckstrand, Allison Bordewick, Evan Cordes, Stephanie Ann Dickrell, Nyssa Gesch, Marni Ginther, Kyong Ham, Elizabeth Harens, Libby Issendorf, Yuening Jiang, Lydia Lee, Aaron Leth, Maureen Ly, Stephanie Malloy, Emily Miller, Jennifer Moore, Ryan Paquin, Stephanie Plant, Chelsy Quiram, Allison Wickler and Jenna Zakrajsek.

SJMC student Tiffany Dow won a Hearst Journalism Award, placing 15th in the Personality/Profile Writing competition. The Hearst Journalism Awards Program is sponsored annually by the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication. The program's mission is to encourage and support excellence in journalism and journalism education in America's colleges and universities.

Two SJMC students won three Eric Sevareid Awards from the Northwest Broadcast News Association in April. Jennifer Hoff (B.A. '06) was awarded first place for her hard news feature, "Silvera's Widow," in which she interviewed the widow of a slain Lino Lakes police officer about the impact of his death a year after he was killed. She was also given an Award of Merit for "Nate's Story," about a Boy Scout with autism who was able to earn his Eagle Scout Award. Erich Schaffhauser (B.A. '07) won a first place award in General Reporting for "Poo Power," which tells the story of a dairy farmer converting cow manure into electricity. The NBNA covers a sixstate region, including Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin.

The College of Liberal Arts awarded SJMC student Libby Issendorf the Selmer Birkelo Scholarship Award. This award, CLA's most prestigious scholarship, is named for Selmer Birkelo, who donated funds to endow annual scholarships for the most talented and highest achieving students in the College. Each year departments from the fields of journalism, history, social sciences, modern languages and the classics nominate their best students for this award. About 14 of the scholarships are awarded annually.

Kim Johnson won two College Emmy Awards from the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Television Academy. Johnson won in both the College News and College Program, Non-News/Entertainment categories.

SJMC student David McCoy earned two regional Mark of Excellence Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists this spring for his work in sports reporting. McCoy took first place in the Radio Sports Reporting category and second place in Television Sports Reporting. Nearly a dozen SJMC students who have or are working for The Minnesota Daily, as well as the newspaper itself, also won Mark of Excellence Awards.

Molly Osadjan, a junior in the SJMC, was named assistant art fair director for the Uptown Association. She earned the position after interning with the organization for one year.

A class assignment written by SJMC student Mark Remme was published online at sioncampus.com (Sports Illustrated on campus). The story, "Waiting Game: Minnesota's Erik Johnson Weighs Decision on NHL," was written for Jour 3173, a class Remme took spring semester. The piece profiled Johnson, a University student and hockey player who, at the age of 18, was the No. 1 pick in the NHL entry draft last summer and now has to decide whether to pursue a hockey career. Remme is excited about his piece being used online and credits his instructor, lecturer Gayle Golden, with helping him along the way.

Meghan StaffordMeghan Stafford, a senior in the professional strategic communication program, has been named PRWeek's Public Relations Student of the Year. The PRWeek competition, presented by Hill and Knowlton, honors undergraduate public relations students who show outstanding ability in a range of core public relations skills. Five finalists, including Stafford, were flown to New York in late January for a one-day competition, which included a presentation, pitch call and on-the-spot product promotion scenario. Stafford's presentations and ideas were called "inventive and well-informed" by the judges, who also said her presentations were "confident, passionate and sound. She was quick on her feet and took everything to the next level. A real up-and-comer." As winner of the competition, Stafford receives $5,000 and a paid internship at one of the world's largest public relations firms.

NSAC team brings home first place in national competition

NSAC team"This... is a major achievement by our students and a true national distinction for the University... We couldn't be more pleases." Al Tims, director, SJMC

The SJMC's National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) team beat out 170 regional entries to win top honors in the national competition known as the "World Series" of advertising.

"This first-place finish is a major achievement by our students and a true national distinction for the University of Minnesota," says Al Tims, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. "We couldn't be more pleased."

The recent win caps an amazing streak of success for the team. SJMC students finished first in the Upper Midwest District competition the last two years in a row, and have advanced to national competition five out of the past six years. Last year, the team brought home a third place national finish. No other school in the nation has this kind of record, according to Tims.

Howard Liszt, a senior fellow in the SJMC and retired CEO of the Campbell Mithun advertising agency in Minneapolis, is the team's faculty adviser.

"I am so proud of these students and amazed by the work they did on this campaign," says Liszt. "They presented a brilliant campaign."

For the national competition, a corporate sponsor provides an assignment or case study outlining the history of its product and current advertising situation. Students must research the product and its competitors, identify potential problem areas and devise a completely integrated communications campaign for the client. Each student team then pitches its campaign to a panel of judges.

This year, students created an integrated marketing campaign for Coca-Cola Classic, the most popular and biggest-selling soft drink in history.

"In talking about our students' campaign and commenting on their commercials, a senior executive from Coca Cola told students, 'We could run your commercials tomorrow,' " Liszt says. "That quote is my personal favorite and was the highest praise he could have paid to the students' work."

Finishing behind the University of Minnesota were the University of Michigan (second place), Syracuse University (third place) and the University of Southern California (fourth place). After returning from the national competition, the NSAC team reprised its winning presentation for a standing-roomonly crowd of Twin Cities advertising professionals on June 14 at the Murphy Hall Conference Center.

Graduate Student Update

Several graduate students have received the Mark Kriss Graduate Student Research Award. They are Brittany Duff, Penny Sheets, Jun Rong Myers, Yuliya Lutchyn and Stephanie Blake.

Graduate student Patrick File was awarded the Silha Fellowship for Media Ethics and Law.

Graduate student Itai Himelboim has been awarded the Ralph D. Casey Dissertation Research Award.

Ph.D student Nahid Khan was quoted in a March 10, 2007, Star Tribune article by Pamela Miller titled "Minnesota Muslims Find Ways to Get Along: Sunnis and Shiites Sometimes Discuss and Debate Differences but Avoid Rancor" and was the expert source in the sidebar piece titled "Shiite, Shi'ite or Shia?" which discussed news style. She also was quoted in Steve Scott's Oct. 23, 2006, Pioneer Press story titled, "Celebration Ends Muslim Holy Month: In a Break from Tradition, Science Sets This Year's Date" because of her master's thesis study on news coverage of Muslim holidays as celebrated in the United States. Finally, Khan was quoted in Pamela Miller's July 8, 2006, Star Tribune story titled "Bringing Down the Walls: A Growing Sense of Urgency About the Need for Interfaith Understanding is Fostering Innovative New Connections, Some in Unexpected Places," in which she discussed a local Muslim-Jewish interfaith dialogue group she co-founded in 2002.

Graduate student Colleen Kingsbury was awarded three scholarships for the 2007-08 school year from the Public Health Institute to cover her course work in food safety and biosecurity, and using genomics to improve people's health. She is enrolled in the M.A. health journalism program.

The College of Liberal Arts Graduate Research Partnership Program (GRPP) has recognized several SJMC graduate student and faculty teams, including Yulia Lutchyn and Ron Faber; Rebecca Swanson and John Eighmey, and Vanessa Boudewyns and Marco Yzer.

The GRPP is a graduate student fellowship program that supports research partnerships between faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and students enrolled in graduate programs housed within the College. The program provides a summer research stipend to CLA graduate students to support their professional, scholarly and creative development while collaborating with a CLA faculty project adviser on scholarly research and creative activity.

Ph.D. student Jennifer Moore presented a paper, "Thomas Nast's Political-Cartoon 'Crusade' Against Editor Horace Greeley," co-authored with SJMC professor Hazel Dicken-Garcia and St. Cloud State University professor William Huntzicker, at the annual Joint Meeting of the National Popular Culture and American Culture Associations in Boston, April 4, 2007.

Adjunct instructor Lynn Nelson received a grant from the University's Office of Public Engagement to develop a Web site for Heading Home Hennepin, a program designed to end homelessness in Hennepin County. Nelson used the grant money to hire two students from her fall Public Relations Writing and Campaign Tactics class, Stephanie Archer and Jessica Lee, to develop content for the Web site. Nelson also secured Marzan Interactive to design and host the Web site. The site can be found at http:// www. HeadingHomeHennepin.org.

Four local nonprofit organizations have fresh public relations plans thanks to the work of students in adjunct instructor Lynn Nelson's Public Relations Writing and Campaign Tactics class. Plans were developed for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Minnesota, Camp Heartland, Wise Swim School in Apple Valley and Friends of the Brookdale Library. Students gained reallife experience by working directly with their clients to devise a plan that met their organization's needs and goals. Student Sarah Seebecker, who works at Wise Swim School as well as helped create a public relations campaign for the organization, notes, "I enjoyed the overall experience, and my manager loved the ideas."

Two students in the SJMC master's program in health journalism have been recognized for their work. Suzanne Sobotka received the Science Journalism Student Award from the Society for Neuroscience. Nicole Endres received the Pride of CASE Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

Ph.D. student Rebecca Bolin Swenson presented a paper, "Keeping Up With the Joneses: Constructing Identity Through Perpetual Transformation," at the annual Joint Meeting of the National Popular Culture and American Culture Associations in Boston, April 6, 2007.

SJMC records a first as new M.A. program celebrates graduation

Graduation ceremonies in the spring included a first for the School of Journalism & Mass Communication as the first cohort of the new M.A. in strategic communication completed its academic program.

The professional degree program was developed during more than two years of collaboration between the SJMC and communications leaders at major corporations and communications agencies in the Twin Cities area. Many of those same leaders in the fields of research, advertising, public relations and communications appear in the classroom to share their insights and expertise with students.

SJMC professor John Eighmey, who holds the Mithun Land Grant Chair in Advertising, is the academic director for the program. He has held senior management positions at Young & Rubicam advertising in New York and at the Federal Trade Commission. While at Young & Rubicam, he was an adjunct associate professor of marketing at the Wharton School. He has been on the faculty at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Alabama.

"This program was developed to meet the needs expressed by the large communications industry in Minnesota," Eighmey says. "The Twin Cities area is one of the nation's largest media markets, measured by annual billings for advertising, public relations and related communications business. The rapidly changing profile of communications in advertising, public relations and direct response methods -- whether in agencies, nonprofits or corporations -- demands strong strategic leadership."

The program's coordinator is Gordon Leighton, who has more than 30 years of experience in senior communications and strategic management at leading public relations agencies and corporations such as IBM, Honeywell and Xcel Energy. He specializes in issues management, crisis communications and public opinion research.

groupp.jpgGraduates of the first cohort include, from left, Deborah Stull-Erickson, Karen Keller, Adam Pagel, Jessica Mooney, Kurt Errickson, Shreya Mukherjee, Josh Gerads, Kelly Weber, Jonathan Dueck and Carrie Stowers. Also completing the academic portion of their master's program, but not pictured, are Karen Beasley, Amy Danielson, Justin Ihle, Rebecca Lunna, Alan Olson, Matt Rogers, Katherine Staiger and Shana Weiss.