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Student Update

McKenna EwenMcKenna Ewen, a senior in the professional journalism track, was honored as a 2008 Scripps Howard Foundation Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting competition winner. The award for the competition was a 13-day journalism study trip to Japan and South Korea. The competition, established in 1984 in cooperation with the Indiana University School of Journalism, honors the memory of the journalist who led Scripps Howard Newspapers from 1922 to 1953 and United Press International from 1912 to 1920. Mike Philipps, president and chief executive officer of the Scripps Howard Foundation, said the prize responds to the need for today's student journalists to better understand international affairs. The expenses-paid trip this past June was led by Bradley J. Hamm, dean of the journalism school at Indiana University and a Roy W. Howard scholar, who has extensive travel experience throughout Asia. Ewen, along with eight other journalism students from around the country, were chosen for their high-quality published broadcast work and an essay about their interests in international affairs.

SJMC senior Emma Carew was a national winner in the 2007 Society for Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards for her online feature "Surviving for Today." Two recent SJMC grads, Steve Kuzj (B.A. '08) and Stacy Bengs (B.A. '07), were national finalists for their work in television news photography and photo illustration.

Carina EnbodyRecent SJMC grad Carina Enbody (B.A. '08) was selected as one of three American students to compete in the Cannes Lions 55th International Advertising Festival's Roger Hatchuel Academy in June.

The brainchild of the former Cannes Lions Advertising Festival's chairman and named in his honor, the Roger Hatchuel Academy provides training and education to a select class of 35 advertising, marketing, communication and design students from around the world. Participants learn about industry trends, attend discussions and tutorials as well as take part in Festival activities, including seminars, screenings, exhibitions and award ceremonies. As well as being coached by the dean of the academy, the students also attend numerous seminars held by internationally renowned advertising leaders.

Senior McKenna Ewen and recent graduate Kyle Pendergast (B.A. '08) were named to the fall 2008 class of The Politics and Journalism Semester at the Washington Center for Politics and Journalism. The Politics and Journalism Semester is a nonpartisan, nonideological program to teach the next generation of political reporters about politics. Students from more than 50 participating universities competed for the program, which selects about a dozen of the most talented journalism students from across the country. For 16 weeks in Washington, the students work full time in major news bureaus. Twice a week, they gather for the major purpose of the program, participating in 90-minute seminars on campaign, governance and interest group politics.

McKenna Ewen was named a top 10 scholarship winner in the Hearst Journalism Awards program for multimedia. SJMC student Joseph Halvorson placed in the top 20, receiving a certificate of merit. More than 65 individuals from 39 undergraduate journalism programs across the nation competed for the award. The University of Minnesota scored high--fifth out of the 39 total school programs that entered. Lecturer Gayle Golden nominated both winners. The Hearst Journalism Awards program is conducted under the auspices of accredited schools of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication, and funded and administered by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. The program awards more than $500,000 in scholarships and grants annually.

Instantly RecognizableSJMC students Lydia Lee and Stephanie Malloy were finalists in the 2008 One Show college competition for their work on a print campaign for Doritos titled Instantly Recognizable. The competition is open to aspiring copywriters and art directors from accredited schools, including professional portfolio schools as well as universities. The creative brief was sponsored by Doritos, and the creative challenge was to make Doritos iconic. 

SJMC student Jeanine Lilke received a 2008 Vance and Betty Lee Stickell Student Internship with BBDO New York for summer 2008. Lilke was one of just 15 students nationwide chosen for this honor. This internship was established in 1989 in memory of Vance L. Stickell (1925-87), former executive vice president, marketing, for the Los Angeles Times. During his 39-year career in advertising, Vance Stickell established himself nationally as a highly respected advertising practitioner and statesman. The program is intended to raise awareness and understanding of advertising processes and business ethics among future advertising professionals.

Senior Carly Volzer was named a recipient of the 2008-09 College of Liberal Arts Selmer Birkelo Scholarship. To be considered for a Birkelo Scholarship, students must be majoring in fields relating to history, modern languages, classics, or the social and behavioral sciences and must be nominated. Only 16 students from across the College of Liberal Arts receive the prestigious award. Volzer also received the 2008-09 Nielund Lund Scholarship.

Embedded journalists

Embedded journalistsSeveral SJMC students participated as "embedded journalists" in a week long training exercise with Minnesota soldiers at Camp Ripley in June 2008.

During the Iraq War, journalists have experienced unprecedented access to the battlefield. Allowed to be "embedded" within specific ilitary units, journalists have been able to bring war coverage home to the public like never before. Thanks to a unique partnership between the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs Center for Democracy and Citizenship and the Minnesota National Guard, several University students got their own "embed" experience in June as they participated with Army National Guard members training at Camp Ripley near Little Falls.

The weeklong program was designed with the help of National Guard Lt. Col. Kevin Olson. Six University of Minnesota students were embedded with the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor Regiment, during training. Like "real" embedded journalists, the students signed safety waivers and contracts restricting what they could report. The students wrote, produced and edited stories on their experiences. They worked in groups, producing 90- to 120-second news packages, which included video clips and one-page articles on some newsworthy aspect of what they did that day.

"The opportunities we're offered here are quite remarkable, considering we're just students," said alum Stephen Kuzj, who graduated in the spring. "We've gone for rides in tanks, fired weapons and been right beside the troops as they train. We're learning a lot about how the military operates--how the chain of command works, how weapons and vehicles function, etc. We're also getting to know a lot about the individual soldiers--why they joined the National Guard, what their experience in Iraq was like (and) how their families feel about it."

SJMC senior Kevin Keen said of the experience, "As a journalism student I could not have asked for a better real-world experience." Keen, a broadcast journalism and Spanish major, prepared a story on how young soldiers prepare to go to war. He plans to develop it into his senior project.

Graduate Student Update

A paper co-authored by SJMC graduate students Vanessa Boudewyns and John G. Wirtz won a Top Four Student Paper Award in the health communication division at the International Communication Association annual conference held in Montreal in May. The paper, "Revising a Measure of Interpersonal Communication within the Context of Mass Media Health Communication Campaigns," presented preliminary results testing a new scale designed to more accurately measure talk generated by mass media campaigns.

SJMC doctoral candidate Michael Fibison led a discussion on audience development as part of the Internet Strategies for Community Markets seminar at the American Press Institute in July. Fibison is general manager for the central Virginia division of Media General Interactive.

Patrick FilePh.D. candidate Patrick File won the Top Student Paper Award for the law division at the AEJMC Southeast Colloquium, hosted by Auburn University, March 13-15. The paper was titled "Do the Courts Think Blogging Is Journalism? An Early Examination of Descriptive and Functional Approaches to Analysis in Case Law Involving Blogs." File was awarded a Silha Fellowship for the 2008-09 academic year.

Health journalism and communication students Kelly Gulbrandson, Alexandra Harkness, Jessica Mann and Randi Niklekaj produced and maintained a blog, The Uninsured:  You're in Your 20s.  Why Should You Care?-- available at http://www.theuninsured.blogspot.com/. The blog, a project for Gary Schwitzer's Jour 5155, Advanced Reporting Methods: Health and Medical Journalism class, attracted some local news attention and was written about in The Minnesota Independent.

Graduate students Sarah Janel Jackson and Samantha Wenwoi were both awarded Graduate School Diversity of Views and Experiences Fellowships for the 2008-09 academic year.

Graduate students Julie Jones, Sumi Kim, Rita Langteau and Adina Schneeweis received the Mark Kriss Graduate Student Research Award for the 2008-09 academic year.

Ph.D. candidate and assistant professor of communication at Northwestern College in St. Paul Kent Kaiser received a 2008 Award of Merit from the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators. He also was recently elected to the board of directors of Kids Voting Minnesota.

Sumi Kim, a Ph.D. candidate in the SJMC, will publish "Feminist Discourse and the Hegemonic Role of Mass Media: Newspaper Discourse about Two South Korean Television Dramas" in the December 2008 issue of the journal Feminist Media Studies. Her paper, "Politics of Representation in the Era of Globalization: A Study of Discourse about Marriage Migrant Women in Korean Movies" received a Top Three Student Paper Award at the Korean American Communication Association's 30th anniversary conference held in August.

Ph.D. candidate Jennifer Moore served as a judge at the annual St. Thomas Media Ethics Bowl on March 29 in St. Paul, Minn. As a panelist, she evaluated the work of students who prepare analyses of current cases in media ethics and present their analyses in a format similar to a debate.

Adina SchneeweisAdina Schneeweis won the Ralph D. Casey Award ($5,000) for her dissertation proposal titled "Talking Difference: Discourses about Gypsies in Western and Eastern Europe Post-1989."

Maia Seitz's article "Nine out of 10 Food Advertisements Shown during Saturday Morning Children's Television Programming Are for Foods High in Fat, Sodium, or Added Sugars, or Low in Nutrients" was published in the April 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. She is a master's student in the health journalism and communication program.

Wonsun ShinPh.D. candidate Wonsun Shin presented "Online Communication and Gender: A Case Study of an Online Discussion Board for Korean Daughters-in-Law" and co-presented "Institutional Environment and Organizational Practice: International Advertising Strategy and Cross-National Research, 1997-2006" with SJMC professor T. K. Chang at the 58th International Communication Association conference held in Montreal in May 2008. Along with SJMC assistant professor Jisu Huh, she presented "Cultural Influence on Global Corporate Web Sites: A Comparative Study of Corporate Web Sites between Companies in the U.S. and Korea" at the 50th American Academy of Advertising conference, held in San Mateo, Calif., in March.

Health journalism and communication master's student Suzanne Sobotka has been hired as a health writer for MayoClinic.com, working on the heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol centers of the Web site. Sobotka's article titled "Empirical Analysis of Current Approaches to Incidental Findings" was published in the Summer 2008 issue of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics.

Rebecca SwensonPh.D. candidate Rebecca Swenson won the Ralph D. Casey Award ($5,000) for her dissertation proposal, titled "'Brand Journalism': A Cultural History of Consumers, Citizens and Community in Ford Times."

An article co-authored by psychology graduate students Jenny Su and Alisia Tran, SJMC graduate students John G. Wirtz and Rita Langteau and psychology professor Alex Rothman was recently accepted for publication in the journal Psychological Science. The article, "Driving Under the Influence (of stress): Evidence of a Regional Increase in Impaired Driving and Traffic Fatalities After the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks," highlights an analysis demonstrating that traffic fatalities spiked in the Northeast in the months after the attacks. This finding challenges those presented in an earlier article and analysis published by the same journal.

SJMC hosts Fulbright Fellow from Finland

Teemu PalokangasThe SJMC welcomes Fulbright Fellow Teemu Palokangas, a Ph.D. student from the University of Tampere (Finland). Upon graduating with his master's degree in mass communication in 2003, he was recruited to work as a journalist at YLE, Finland's national public service broadcasting company, the largest in the country. During his time there, he became fascinated by entertainment and the relationship between the notion of entertainment and public service broadcasting. Palokangas says that understanding this relationship is both academically interesting and crucial to public broadcasters who want to defend their role in an increasingly competitive broadcast market.

Palokangas' dissertation research deals with the role of entertainment at YLE. Today, YLE is facing economic and social pressures, forcing it to redefine its role not only as a reliable source of news and current affairs but also as a producer and distributor of entertainment programs. Palokangas' subject is at the center of a political and social debate that potentially has major national and international repercussions for public broadcasting. According to his research, Palokangas sees the question of entertainment in relation to a social contract: "Public service broadcasting should be understood as a fulfillment of a (social) contract that includes entertainment."

The YLE is part of the European public service broadcasting tradition, originally defined as the antithesis of the American commercial broadcasting system. Palokangas says this historical distinction has made him interested in American broadcasting--specifically, public broadcasting's role within the American system. He says that by studying in the United States he will better understand American broadcasting, thus bringing additional perspective to his research topic and opening a wider dialogue among both American and European researchers and professionals.