Read articles from the Summer 2010 issue:
By Megan LaRue
USI’s Department of Communications has a long tradition of graduating successful students from its program. Alumnus,LaDonne Craig, is no exception. In 1986, Craig graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. Throughout her years at USI, Craig worked full-time to pay for her tuition. Although balancing a full-time job and course load proved to be challenging, she claims it was worth it. “I apply the same work ethic I used in college to everything I do now in my career.”
Craig is the director of sales for seven separate radio stations out of Evansville, IN, and Owensboro, KY, which include 106.1 Kiss FM and 99.5 WKDQ. Her job requires overseeing the sales staff and she is responsible for monthly revenue in excess of $600,000.
She attributes much of her success to her USI experience. “At USI, I took every communication and speech class offered and had professors who wanted me to succeed. Good communication skills aren’t easily taught but I had a variety of instructors and learned differed things, both good and bad, from each of them.”
Erik M. Scheub is another successful graduate. In the spring of 2008, Scheub graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and Advertising. He is now the director of media and public relations for the Indiana Coalition against Sexual Assault (INCASA) in Indianapolis, Indiana.
“I use skills every day that I acquired at USI,” Scheub said. “When I was an undergraduate student, Instructor of Public Relations, Mary Beth Reese, told me I would carry around my AP Stylebook every day as a professional. As it turns out, she was right! I carry the very same book I used in class in my briefcase daily.” As the Director of Media and Public Relations, Erik’s tasks include producing a monthly newsletter, maintaining and updating social networking sites, producing and distributing media releases, and producing an annual statewide media campaign for INCASA.
In his first year, Scheub had his first news release published in the Indy Star newspaper and developed a statewide media campaign. “I realized I have a job to do and I have the education and the self-confidence I need to be successful. USI prepared me for the real world.”
If you are a graduate of USI’s Department of Communications we would like to write a story about you. Contact Dr. Wayne Rinks,by e-mailing him at email@example.com.
By Whitney Ross
The University’s Communication Studies Connection became a charter member of the National Communication Association (NCA) in the fall of 2009. The National Communication Association Student Clubs Division is an aggregate of student communicationorganizations charted on college and university campuses that elect to affiliate with the National Communications Association.
This was not an easy achievement. To earn this national charter, Dr. Henning and the students had to meet certain guidelines and work long hours to complete the application process. First, they had to recruit and sustain membership. Second, the association created a leadership structure complete with eligibility guidelines and officer duties. Third, they had to submit their application along with a mission statement and a constitution with bylaws, which all had to be approved by the NCA.
Dr. Henning feels that being a charter member of the National Communication Association will help put the student organization on a national scale and “bring recognition to us beyond our walls.”
By Jen Dryer
College students typically exclaim, “I can’t wait to graduate,” but as graduation gets closer they begin to grow more nervous. When looking back, students realize that education has consumed many years of their lives. School is part of their comfort zone, so stepping into the real world can be overwhelming.
Whether you are a college graduate or a person re-entering the workforce, an effective strategy is to sign up with local staffing agencies that serve client companies. They can find a good match for you, your skills and abilities, and the industry of your choice. President of HR Solutions, Inc, Vicki Hubiak, of Evansville, Indiana, emphasizes the importance of finding jobs that will give you experience in your field.
One should not take a job that has no ties to their field after graduating unless it is absolutely needed. She recommended signing up with temporary staffing agencies because it is a good way to gain experience as an entry level candidate. Temporary assignments can often lead to a full time job offer if you prove yourself to be an upstanding employee by going above and beyond, and showing exemplary work ethic. There is no cost to sign up with a staffing agency, and it is recommended to sign up with more than one as each staffing agency serves a different set of client companies.
Hubiak stated, “Temporary staffing is an excellent way of getting your foot in the door and working your way up in the company of your dreams.”
For more information about Hubiak or HR Solution, Inc. of Evansville, Indiana visit www.hrsolutionsinc.com.
When searching for potential jobs consider areas that have benefitted from the economic stimulus package such as healthcare, alternative and renewable energy, education, small businesses, and the government since these areas will be hiring. If you are interested in a government position visit www.studentjobs.gov.
Once you land an interview then it’s essential to do your “homework” on the company. Research the entire company and show them you have done so by asking questions. An employer doesn’t want to hire an individual if they cannot take the initiative to research the company. One essential in an interview is to be honest. If the employer asks if you have a certain skill and you don’t, then be honest and tell them. Second important aspect of an interview is to be concise. A common problem when interviewees are nervous is that they start rambling aimlessly. Is seems that when one is nervous, they often focus on what they plan to say instead of really listening to the question being asked. In your next interview, truly listen to what they are asking and stay on target with your response.
Practice your response to questions. Recognize that employers ask a variety of questions including behavioral questions. The job search is critical especially in the current economic situation. Do your research, be prepared and be flexible. Share information about your experience as well as your education. Be professional in all aspects of the job search and the interview.
By Whitney Brauer
When people relied on telegraphs, they had to wait days or even weeks to receive communication from someone. Now, within seconds, one can update their feelings, thoughts, pictures, or even relationship status at the click of a mouse.
Today some of the most common social media networks being used include YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and Flickr. Every social media is uniquely designed with a general purpose. Facebook defines itself as a “social (networking) utility.” Facebook helps keep family and friends connected and also allows businesses to promote their products to Facebook clients. Wiggio is a network that helps facilitate communication in groups in an easy manner. Wiggio tools include a shared calendar for groups as well as a shared folder to be stored and edited. Groups are also able to host web meetings or conference calls are an added bonus to Wiggio groups.
No matter what social media you are using and how you are using it, social media is changing communication in today’s social and professional worlds.
Social Media’s in Today’s Professional World
Steve Radick, an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, has made quite a reputation for his success in social media for Booz Allen Hamilton. Radick visited USI this spring and discussed the importance of social media in today’s world to students and faculty.
Radick has created many helpful blogs for those who desire more information about social networks. In one of his blogs, he created a nine-step playbook to social media. In the playbook, Radick sugests research on social medias by reading a variety of books including, “Cluetrain Manifesto” and “Now is Gone.” He also advises to try everything out yourself. Make sure you are familiar with a social media before you start one for your company.
Radick also stresses the importance of showcasing your passion of social medias to your boss even if that makes you “annoying” at times. He also suggests getting other’s in your organization involved such as people in IT, public affairs, and internal communication. To visit his full blog about his nine-step playbook please click here. If you would still like more helpful information on starting a social media visit Radick’s blog, “Getting Started.”
Radick’s nine-step play book
“Social media is about building and maintaining relationships, and that’s only done by connecting people to people.”- Radick
USI Student Uses Social Media in Internship
Megan LaRue, a senior at USI, currently has an internship at The Girl Scouts of Raintree Council where she set up a Facebook and Twitter account for the organization.
Before their social media was set up, the organization was having difficulty communicating with the teenage demographic. LaRue claims that the Girl Scouts of Raintree Council has had tremendous success with their Facebook page. “Now we are able to relay messages to a large demographic of our older troops in a matter of seconds, and the best part about it is that we can get instant feedback (LaRue).”
LaRue stresses the importance of spending a lot of time on your social media account especially professionally. It is a great advantage to receive feedback from the audience. However, if concerns or questions go answered, your social media will not only lose credibility but will lose it’s purpose.
To attract social media attention, LaRue suggests network, network, network. Tag other organizations, create creative content, and listen to what your audience is saying!
Visit LaRue’s Facebook and Twitter that she set up for The Girl Scouts of Raintree Council.
Social Media & Graduates
For those of you who are graduating in the near future, the old advice was to keep your Facebook private! However, now some are recommending you to do the opposite. It is advised to keep your Facebook censored to a certain degree but still leaves room for your personality to show. All those crazy snapshots taken from your spring break trip should be taken down. Through Facebook show the company your personality and how you will represent the company in a positive light. Some employers will find information on apositive light. Some employers will find information on a potential employee and use it during an interview. The information given from the Facebook profile could provide a great icebreaker and help set a positive mood for the interview.
If you have experience with social medias, make sure you include it on your resume! Some employers will not even touch a resume if it doesn’t include social media experience. Another helpful hint is to engage in your potential companies’ social media. Show the company you are genuinely interested in the company and its’ mission.
Whether you are applying for the position as a newscaster, video editor, or anything related to film, put your work on YouTube and include the link on your resume. Include all links on your resume including your Twitter, Facebook, Blog, and other networks that would be beneficial. In addition to your hard copy of your portfolio, provide a digital copy saved on a CD or flash drive that you could leave with your potential employer.
Start a Blog
If you are unfamiliar with social medias and would like to start a blog, Steve Radick recommends starting at Wordpress or Posterous. Wordpress provides free templates and allows you to customize your blog. Posterous is more plain and does not have the “glitz and glam” like Wordpress. Remember, if you are considering creating a social media network for your company, make sure you are ready to represent the company. Just because you are able to express yourself through social medias as a student, does not mean you are ready to express the company’s in first person. You must have the best intentions for the company as your top priority. Consider the company’s goal as you choose one social media over the others. How will this social media help reach the company goals and how will it measure success?
Do’s and Don’ts of Starting a BlogDo’s
WHAT ARE YOU WAITNG FOR?
So what is stopping you? Get Online! There are no excuses to not be involved in social medias. They are not expensive and you don’t need special access to create one. Afraid of failing? Don’t be! Radick claims that there are no wrong ways to use social networks; however, there are ways that can be more effective than others. The best way to improve your skills with social medias is practice!
The Do’s and Don’ts came from Sarah Evan’s and Megan Dorn’s blog.
By Garra Gomoll
The University of Southern Indiana has a division of the extended services department called service learning. The service learning projects are an, “academic pedagogical approach to university education that incorporates community projects into courses.”
Two goals of service, that are both equally important, are enhancing the students learning and to provide a valuable service to the community. These goals both have to be met in order for it to be successful.
There are three different categories to the service learning at USI. The first of these categories is academic. The academic category integrates meaningful community service with instruction and structured reflection that the students then receive school credit for. The second is curricular which involves “services projects sponsored by a particular academic major or program of study that may occur outside of the classes.” Lastly, co-curricular which typically does not have course credits connected with it. This includes having learning objectives and opportunities for reflection.
You can become involved with service learning projects by getting involved in organizations at USI, such as the Volunteer USI Program or Greek Life. Internships also have a big part in the service learning department. Dr. Anne Statham is in charge of this program and she said that one of the projects she is currently involved in “is designing a public education campaign for the Jacobsville Lead Removal Project, where nearly 10,000 homes will eventually have the soil replaced because it was contaminated by lead and arsenic, around the 1900s. Some of the students are actually designing the products that will be used in the campaign.”
Dr. Yoon-Joo Lee is teaching a class called Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC). Her students are currently working with the United Way organization. “Students should set objectives for the campaign for the United Way, such as increasing visibility of the United Way in Evansville through the IMC campaign. They have to use various communication tools, such as advertising, public relations, event marketing, and promotions,” says Dr. Lee. Dr. Lee also mentioned that “the United Way helps various non-profit organizations and social causes, therefore, students’ campaigns may help them to achieve their goals. By achieving these goals it could possibly have an impact on various areas in the community, as well as areas affected by social causes that the United Way has been involved with.”
Part of the planning process that is involved is contacting a service learning coordinator and the director of the company that the class would be working with. “They have to approve that they will be part of the service and would be willing to help students’ with their projects,” says Dr. Lee. Lastly, the application must be filled out to complete the process.
Some of the classes in this program not only help the community around us, but also work with agencies and programs in other countries. “We hope students will build some networks through the contacts they make that will help them when they graduate,” says Dr. Statham. In the last several years there has been over 70 courses that have been involved in the service learning program. There are national service learning organizational websites, including servicelearning.org and nylc.org that explain in detail where service learning began and how it has helped many communities around the country. For more information on service learning or becoming involved at USI, contact Dr. Anne Stratham at 812-465-1203 or go to www.usi.edu/EXTSERV/outreach/ServiceLearning.ASP.
By Meagan Whalin
It was while working as a journalist that Erin Gibson first heard of the lead contamination issue in the Jacobsville area of Evansville. She always had a desire to learn more, and this past summer she had her chance. Gibson attended a neighborhood meeting, where she learned that the beginning in the 1800’s, companies were unintentionally releasing toxins containing lead into the air and into the soil. Years later, while a project was in the works to build parks and other features, the Environmental Protection Agency discovered that the soil in the Jacobsville area was highly contaminated with lead. In light of this, the local EPA began conducting a lead cleanup project, that requires residents to sign consent forms in order for their yards to be tested and then cleaned, if found contaminated.
This year, Gibson finally saw a perfect opportunity to aid this issue. She believed that a Service Learning Project would be an excellent opportunity for the students in her Public Affairs Reporting class. She explained the lead contamination issues in the Jacobsville Area, and how the EPA was using stimulus money to help clean it up. The students had never heard of the project, but took the challenge head on, researching the area, health issues caused by lead, and the EPA’s plan among other details. Students were excited to take a project that was real and not just a scenario. Most importantly, they were excited to make a difference.
Successful Service Learning Projects usually involve a community partner to support the project. Ideally, Gibson wanted to partner with a media outlet. The Courier and Press has a high readership and Gibson felt that they would be a very suitable partner for this particular project. The Courier and Press agreed to partner with the class on this project, and specifically, reporter Mark Wilson, was very helpful.
Since he had already written multiple articles on the superfund site, he shared important sources and reporting tips with the class.
The students have had a busy semester full of research. They have been researching the history of where the lead contamination came from and the health risks it may cause, as well as the history of the Jacobsville neighborhood itself. The students have also traveled to the neighborhood in order to learn more about these issues.
At the end of the semester, their goal is to compile various stories, video clips, slide shows, and other interactive links about the project. The Courier and Press visited the classroom, and the students gave a presentation. At this point, the students will turn their pieces over to them, and The Courier will do necessary editing, fact checking, and then post it to their website.
The biggest accomplishment that Gibson and her students are hoping for is that their work will be published. The main focus of the Service Learning Project was to raise community awareness of the Jacobsville project. Students worked hard to produce solid reporting, in an accessible way, so the community was well educated on this issue.
Erin Gibson is very proud of the Service Learning Project. “I’m really passionate about the interior of our city. It’s where our history is; it has great people who are committed to protecting and supporting it. This area keeps falling further and further into the shadows. It’s time to shed some light and show some good is being done and money is being spent on an area that deserves it.”
By Nicole Marrs
Dr. Karen H. Bonnell’s communication students are participating in a service learning project that will provide them with great experience in the stages of detailed research as well as Institutional Review Board training.
Before entering the professional world, it is important that the students have a greater understanding of all the details that go into a successful communications study.
This is the second semester that Bonnell’s class and the WNIN worked on the Service Learning Project. The beneficial project allows the communication students of USI to receive hands on experience and WNIN is able to receive helpful information and audience feedback. Bonnell believes the project will allow students “to be able to go out to a job interview and be able to say they have done real research with a real client.”
The class met with Vicki Paris, WNIN director of community engagement. Paris explained to the students what information WNIN needed from the study subjects. She also discussed the importance of getting to know your audience. For example, find out what the television viewers want to see and what the radio listeners want to hear. Paris stressed the significance of staying current with your audience.
After meeting with Paris, the students then designed the survey for WNIN audience members and then sent the generated questions to Paris for approval.
The communication students also gained knowledge about the Institutional Review Board, and how to work with the program SPSS, Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. This is the analysis and technical side of completing research and questionnaires. “An IRB is made up of a committee of scholars who review proposals for research projects, determine their ethical and legal qualifications, consider the potential impact on participants, and either approve or disapprove research projects (Bonnell).” To understand the entire process of research study, the communication students wrote practice IRB proposals.
Students received the questionnaire back with WNIN’s revisions. Bonnell’s class did a pilot test of the questionnaire. The test determined the length of time it takes to fill out the questionnaire as well as comprehension of the survey.
The students are able to see the Service Learning Project from the beginning to the end. The results collected from the students are sent to WNIN for evaluation.
Bonnell plans on continuing the project as long as there is a need. Bonnell states “each step and every assignment is a building block to get us to the end of this service learning project. These students will have the tools to assists them working in the real world thanks to the projects like the Service Learning Project with WNIN.”
By Chris Johnson
For many, college can be overwhelming. Stress from the pressure of intense studying, the tensions that modern life brings and the question that lingers in many college students’ heads, “I don’t know what I want to major in.” Although many college students go through this, there are those who tend to rise to the occasion. A perfect example is University of Southern Indiana’s own, student Andrew Bolin.
Bolin, a 22 year old senior from Winslow, Indiana, is making the most out of his college experience. Majoring in Radio and Television, Bolin states he chose USI because of the cost and the college was close to home.
Recently, Bolin placed second in the nation and received the BEA 2010 (Broadcasters Education Association) for being a great “DJ” or on-air personality.
Originally, Bolin’s plans were to just be part of sports broadcasting at USI. Bolin expanded his skills and is now program director of the USI radio station. He chose that route because to him the broadcasting was fun, he could use his creative ability, and the opportunities seemed exciting. Now Bolin has long term goals of managing and operating his own radio station. He even wants to come back and teach at USI someday.
Some may wonder what it takes to be successful or a great leader. When Bolin was asked that question he replied: “One, you have to have great communication skills. Two, lead by example. Three, always be open to new ideas. The fourth and final way to have what it takes to be successful or a great leader is, go with your gut feeling.”
Bolin is an example of what a person can do when they follow their dreams, and take advantage of the full college experience.
John Morris is the general manager at the University of Southern Indiana radio station, 820 The Edge – WSWI. Morris said winning the BEA award is a “big deal,” for the students, the department, and the university.
Morris said the national award is an honor and a motivation for students who may be transferring and thinking about enrolling into USI’s Radio and Television department.
When it comes to Andrew Bolin, Morris says Bolin is a phenomenal student and has developed as a great on air personality and program director.
The national award is a great accomplishment for the university, and an even greater one for Bolin. When asked how you could sum this up, Morris replied: “Winning an award is one thing, but winning a national award, with national recognition, and knowing you had a part in it is another.” Congratulations Andrew!
By Sarah Nelson
USI students visited Carter Hall on Tuesday, March 18 to get two things: free food and a free lesson during the first ever USI First Amendment Free Food Festival.
The catch, students had to temporarily sign away their First Amendment rights. The idea of the event came from Radio and Television majors, Adam Poulisse, who attended the National College Media Convention in Kansas City in 2008, where he attended a First Amendment Free Food Festival event.
“He got really excited about it and immediately wanted to start planning one,” Erin Gibson, The Shield advisor said. “It was pretty much his idea to bring it to USI.”
The event was hosted to teach students the value and knowledge of their First Amendment rights. While in Carter Hall, participants endured the ruling of the student volunteers taking away their First Amendment rights, such as freedom to press or to peacefully assemble. Consequences of not following the rules landed participants in a jail area.
“The whole idea is to drive the point home, that these rights you might not realize,” Gibson said. The First Amendment consists of freedom of speech and press, free exercise of religion, and the right to petition the government and to peacefully assemble.
The event was sponsored by The Shield, Access USI and The Edge. Students from all three campus medias came together to volunteer for the event. By the time it was over, 175 students signed away their First Amendment rights.
This free event made possible by a grant given by both the USI Student Government Association and the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists. The first time event proved to be a great success. After the event was over, surveys were sent out to the participants to get feedback about the event.
Student organizer, Adam Poulisse said the results were “overwhelmingly positive.” “For a first time event, especially one as different as this, to be so well received by the student body, and to have amazing support from the staff, it just shows that the USI community is willing to try new and fun things. And if they are willing to give up their First Amendment rights again, we’ll be more than happy to take them at another USI First Amendment Free Food Festival,” Poulisse said.
Poulisse stated that there is a possibility that another First Amendment Free Food Festival event will come to campus in the upcoming fall semester.
By Ashley Sanders
Throughout the year, prospective students visit the University of Southern Indiana. Choosing the college that is right for you can be a challenging decision. The visits are designed to provide information to future students and their family. The main purpose is to help ease the student’s decision.
Student ambassadors serve as tour guides, representatives, hosts, and leaders. They answer questions and showcase USI’s campus to the guests. The student ambassadors lead tours of the campus and housing, correspond with prospective students through email and other various methods, host overnight visitors, serve on student information panels, assist with mass mails, and help with telemarketing campaigns.
There are two informational sessions that students and family can attend. Academic interest sessions provide the qualifications for specific majors and highlight some of the classes offered to USI freshmen. If someone is undecided on a major there are sessions that discuss the University core classes. The sessions illustrate their freshman year as well as their career at USI. The students and families are also able to learn about the activities and organizations offered at the USI.
All prospective students are invited to attend Southern Hospitality Days. Family and friends are encouraged to participate in the events hosted by the University.
Lindsey VanDoornik, a student ambassador, claims the Southern Hospitality Days are “very effective because students get to visit the campus and see what USI has to offer; therefore, increasing their interest in the University. They receive a positive perspective from current students which is a great benefit!”
The 2010 Southern Hospitality Day schedule is posted online under the Office of Admissions page. Additional information can be found online at http://www.usi.edu/ADMISSN.visit.asp
To sign up for Southern Hospitality visit register online at https://www.usi.edu/admissn/ssl/SHDresForm.asp or call the Office of Administration at (812) 464 – 1765. After registration, a letter of confirmation will be sent through postal mail or email. Directions to USI and a list of hotels will be provided as well. Individual appointments and tours may be arranged.
By Sadie Atz
What used to take 4 years to get a degree, it is now taking students 5 years to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree. In Summer 2011, summer sessions will change to help benefit students and faculty at USI. The May term will allow students to complete a course in a shorter amount of time before summer break. Also, instead of the traditional 3 five-week summer term, students will be able to select courses that are offered anywhere from 4 weeks to 8 weeks.
The students are not the only ones to benefit from these changes. The faculty will decide what length is appropriate for their courses. Instead of trying to squeeze a complicated course in 3 weeks, it can now be taught over an 8 week period allowing students to maximize their learning.
The summer classes are being built with an increase in flexibility. Students will see more hybrid and online classes as well as more study abroad opportunities. The program will be more appealing to the nontraditional student. Another positive upside to the new developments is the time per credit will not change.
Whether you need to catch up or get ahead academically, the new changes to the summer sessions will greatly benefit USI students. USI hopes all the transformations will allow students to benefit academically and financially by helping undergraduates finish their degree in 4 years. Look for the new summer schedule in late October.
By Jordan Sills
"Desire is the key to motivation, but it's the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek." This quote by Mario Andretti does an excellent job of describing the recent year USI’s radio station The Edge has had. In 2009 The Edge accomplished three major successes that now has the radio station wondering what could possibly happen next.
Each year Indiana college radio stations come together to compete in the IASB School Radio of the Year competition. This competition consists of schools and students entering different works to a panel of judges to be scored. The school with the most points is then named the IASB School Radio of the Year. USI’s The Edge not only won many individual awards at the contest but was also named grand champion. John Morris, current general manager for The Edge, said that it was a great accomplishment to be named IASB School Radio of the Year.
Morris also received an individual award on the national level for the segment he created titled, Heroes of the Tri-State: WWII Stories. (A link for the stories will go here) Many people have not heard of Morris’s recent award due to his focus on the students. While interviewing Morris, he expressed his great desire to make sure his students have the best chance to succeed in the professional world. He said that the best way to accomplish this is to, “Stay on the cutting edge technologically”.
It was this goal that led to The Edge’s most recent success, the move not only from AM to FM, but from AM to FM HD.
FM HD is the most current form of radio that offers a crisp, clear, high quality sound much like the HD channels on a television. In areas such as Indianapolis, HD radio is becoming more popular than standard radio. This change has allowed the students working at The Edge to experience what it will be like working at a professional station. Morris said that the opportunity came when WPSR 90.7 FM, the local school district radio station made the transition to HD Radio. Morris stated that USI and the Evansville school district have always had a strong relationship and that when the HD 2 signal became available an agreement was reached to allow The Edge to broadcast on that channel.
Obviously, 2009 was obviously a year of great successes for The Edge, but it was hard work and determination that led to the success. Morris explained that this concept of hard work and determination appears to be contagious. He said that the current class shows a desire to do better than last year’s class. If this concept remains true, I am certain we will see many more successes for USI’s The Edge.