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School of Mass Communication

That’s the Ticket: Jason Irby’s Birthday Bash Nov. 10

SMC alum Jason Irby will celebrate his birthday on Saturday, Nov. 10 at an “Almost 50 Roast and Toast Banquet” that will raise money for Irby’s scholarship in the School of Mass Communication. Irby hopes to see many friends from the SMC at the Patrick Henry Hays Center, 401 West Pershing Boulevard in North Little Rock from 7-11 p.m. Tickets will be $15 at the door, and are $10 in advance. You may also call Ms. Fleta Watson at the SMC office at 569-3250 to reserve tickets. Irby enrolled at UALR in 1981, eventually earning both his B.A. and his M.A. degrees. At the recent campus picnic, he signed copies of his new book, “Love Within Life: A Book of Life’s Shared Experiences,” with funding also going to the scholarship.

Updated 10.17.2012

Tre’ Day’s “Labor of Love” earns $5K for SMC

Tre’Day’s “Labor of Love” Charity Classic at the Rebsamen Tennis Center during the Labor Day weekend pleased tennis buffs and the SMC as well. He shifted from bowling events in previous years to tennis to fund his Scholarship Project that was established in 2002. The event raised more than $5,000, attracted 132 players and more than 100 spectators, and it was nominated for the “Arkansas Tournament of the Year.”
The Power 92 broadcaster, Travis Rowan [Tre’ Day], graduated from UALR with top honors in 2000 and is the host of the number one afternoon drive time radio program in Arkansas.

Updated 10.17.2012

SMC Alum Fellone Becomes APA President

Deputy editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Frank Fellone was elected president of the Arkansas Press Association in June. The association, founded in 1873, is the oldest professional organization in the state. An adjunct lecturer in the SMC, Fellone also holds undergraduate and graduate journalism degrees from UALR as well as a master’s degree in health services administration.

Fellone’s longtime service to journalism also has included being president of the Society of Professional Journalists and the state Associated Press Managing Editors organization.
Speaking humorously regarding that prior service and his election at APA this summer, he said, “This give me the Triple Crown. I have the plaques to prove it.”

Updated 10.17.2012

Plopper Co-Authors Award-Winning Research Paper

SMC Professor Bruce Plopper recently won the top faculty paper award from the Scholastic Journalism Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the world’s largest organization for journalism and mass communication educators.

Dr. Plopper has taught journalism courses at UALR since 1990, and was named winner of the Laurence Campbell Research Award for the fourth time in his career. This year’s paper was co-authored by Anne Conaway, a former graduate student in the UALR Journalism Graduate Program.

The paper, titled “Scholastic Journalism Teacher Use of Digital Devices and Social Networking Tools,” was presented at AEJMC’s 100th anniversary convention in Chicago on Aug. 8. Plopper also won this award in 1997, 2007 and 2009.

The paper also has been accepted for publication in Journalism and Mass Communication Educator.

Updated 10.17.2012

Conaway Begins Teaching Career

Anne Conaway, who earned her master’s in journalism from UALR in 2004, accepted a tenure-track assistant professor appointment at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minn. She recently received her Ph.D. in Communication and Society from the University of Oregon. While finishing her M.A. degree, and for three years afterward, Anne worked for the Arkansas Bar Association as Publications Director.

Conaway began teaching at Bemidji State full time in August, in the Department of Mass Communication. Earlier this year, she co-authored a research paper with UALR Professor Bruce Plopper. It won the Laurence Campbell Research Award as the top faculty paper in the Scholastic Journalism Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The paper was presented in August, and it will also appear in Journalism and Mass Communication Educator.

Updated 10.17.2012

Jarrett Wins Award at UAMS

Dr. Diane Jarrett, who received both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in journalism (1985, 1986), has received a monetary “Dean’s Educational Excellence Award” from the UAMS College of Medicine.

Dr. Jarrett is the Director of Education for the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and the assistant director of the residency program. In addition, she serves on the communications subcommittee of the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Women in Medicine and Science and is a member of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. In recent years, she has made more than a dozen presentations at conferences around the United States and Canada.

Dr. Jarrett received her Ed.D. from the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) in 1995, and was the Director of Testing Services and Student Life Research at UALR from 1998 to 2008. Her husband, Hyginus Ukadike, is a UALR alumnus and works in the Department of Counseling and Career Planning Services.

Updated 10.17.2012

Kirchhaine Becomes WFFT Chief Forecaster

Kristen Kirchhaine, who received a degree in broadcast journalism in 2008 from the SMC, became Chief Forecaster for WFFT Local in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in May 2012.

A native of the midwest,  Kirchhaine grew up in Western Michigan, later moving to Arkansas.  “I’m really excited about getting back to the Midwest, and meeting the friendly people in the area,” said Kirchhaine. “I love the fact that Fort Wayne offers all four seasons and all types of weather.”

WFFT Local News Director  Jim Blue said that  “Kristen brings the energy and expertise people have come to expect from WFFT.”  Kirchhaine will deliver the forecast for WFFT Local on weeknights at 10 p.m.

Updated 10.17.2012

Ellis Wins Top Intern Award

SMC news editorial-magazine major Jennifer Ellis has won The “Publisher 2012 Intern Program” award from Arkansas Business Publishing Group, complete with a $1,000 prize. Arkansas Business is the state’s largest niche publishing company.

Ellis is the executive editor of The UALR Forum, and undertook the internship in the summer to enhance her professional skills. She is also president of the student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Updated 10.17.2012

Giese Wins University Faculty Excellence Award

Dr. Mark Giese, who teaches production courses primarily, and who has led the Summer Media Camp that brings high schoolers to UALR, has won the university’s 2012 award in public service.

Each year UALR gives Faculty Excellence Awards in three categories—teaching, public service, and research—to overall winners selected by off-campus professionals from winners across the academic colleges.  Dr. Giese was the winner in public service for the College of Professional Studies, which includes the SMC.

Among Dr. Giese’s other accomplishments are extending UALR’s reach to work with the Arkansas Education Association to help secondary school teachers broaden their technical expertise, coordinating an estimated 50 technology-related seminars, and generously assisting community and church organizations, in keeping with the spirit of an urban university.

Updated 5.9.2012

SMC Awards More than $30,000 in Scholarships

The annual SMC banquet on April 11, 2012, honored 21 students, distributing more than $30,000 in scholarships to students majoring in media production and design, journalism, and strategic communication-public relations for the 2012-2013 academic year. Graduate students also received scholarships. Qualified students also were inducted into the journalism honorary society, Kappa Tau Alpha.

SMC alum Jeanette Wagner, a longtime public relations and consulting professional, spoke to the 94 attendees about the necessity of keeping current in their fields so as to continue to be marketable and to offer value-added skills to employers. She is a 1988 graduate of the former journalism department that merged with the former radio-TV film department to form the School of Mass Communication in 2000.

Updated 5.9.2012
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