News


Communication
324 McEwen Hall
The State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3410

The Department of Communication in the news -- we're making headlines!

 

Carl Lam Receives Lanford PrizeDouble communication major Carl Lam has received this year’s prestigious Lanford Presidential Prize.  The award is presented to a graduating senior who has exhibited balanced achievement and exemplifies Fredonia’s ideals.  Lam majored in audio/radio production and journalism as well as applied music.  He was also named as one of four Fredonia graduates receiving the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.  Read more . . .

Lam and two other communication graduates -- Sarah Sadler, journalism, and Samantha Schlein, public relations -- are among the nine students featured in the university's commencement video.  View here . . .


Students in several communication classes participated in unique end-of-the-semester projects, including those that connected them to the working world they're preparing to enter.

Environmental Communication studentsStudents in COMM 321: Environmental Communication worked all semester on an advocacy project aimed at incentivizing The Gap’s use of recyclable bags.  At the end of the semester, some students had the opportunity to Skype with The Gap’s regional vice president of marketing and two other executives to talk about some of their ideas. 

Senior public relations students shared their accumulated knowledge with two Chautauqua County nonprofit organizations throughout the spring semester in the major’s capstone class, COMM 422: Public Relations Campaigns.  Eight student groups developed public relations awareness campaigns for Greystone Nature Preserve and Chautauqua Rails to Trails.

Rhetoric and Criticism studentsThe final project in COMM 302: Rhetoric and Criticism called for student groups to analyze the role of music in movements for social change.  Songs presented included: "War," "Blackbird," "Imagine," "Same Love," "Love the Way You Lie," "Can't Hold Us Down," I Feel LIke I'm Fixin' to Die Rag," and "Sun City."  Emily Griffith, Brittany Georgalas, Brianne Schecht and Cody Castro (and their friend, Bruce Springsteen) presented a rhetorical analysis of "Born in the U.S.A." 



Lambda Pi EtaThe Department of Communication held an Honors Celebration in the Williams Center Horizon Room on Saturday, April 26. More than 75 students, parents, friends and faculty honored new honor society inductees and scholarship recipients.

Lambda Pi Eta, the national communication honor society, welcomed 21 new members as part of its second annual induction ceremony, led by faculty advisors Dr. Jessica Akey and Dr. Linda Brigance.  In addition, 15 students were awarded scholarships for their outstanding academic and activities achievements. Justine Januszkiewicz , public relations ’08, was the keynote speaker. She is currently the education and public relations manager for Junior Achievement of Western New York.



Persuasion ClassDr. Linda Brigance’s Persuasion class caught the attention of an author whose book was being used as an assignment. The final exam for the course was a poster session where each student reviewed a different book related to course material. Students had been given a list of book choices ranging from classics to "hot off the press" publications to show them the range of interest and research about persuasive communication beyond standard textbooks. The purpose of the assignment was to expose students to a variety of viewpoints and give them an opportunity to use critical thinking skills to evaluate and share the usefulness of the books with their classmates. One of the students tweeted about reading her book, the author picked up on it, and retweeted it and emailed the student and Dr. Brigance, thanking them because it was the first time she had heard of her book being used in a class. 


 

Mike IgoeVeteran consumer reporter Mike Igoe is the newest addition to the Department of Communication journalism faculty. He comes to SUNY Fredonia from United International College in Zhuhai, China, where he has taught journalism for the past three years. He previously taught journalism for five years as an adjunct professor at Buffalo State College. For 30 years, Dr. Igoe was a television consumer reporter at network affiliated stations in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa.; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.; and, Buffalo, N.Y. At WGRZ TV in Buffalo, he was well known for his "2 On Your Side" feature that solved problems for viewers. As a journalist, he won a number of awards for his work. His areas of expertise are broadcast journalism, convergent journalism, and media law. In addition, he is also the author of two books published by McGraw Hill: “Blending East and West: Understanding the Changing Chinese Society” and “Painless Presenting Made Easy." 


Bond BentonAssistant Professor Bond Benton recently returned from London, where he led training for effective advocacy, persuasion, and presentation skills for the U.S. Embassy. A former State Department employee, Dr. Benton was awarded a contract by the U.S. State Department to provide the training, as well as conduct research on identifying culturally appropriate messaging strategies for Foreign Service Officers and facilitating programming with Embassy leaders.  Students in Dr. Benton’s International Public Relations course will have the opportunity to assist with the project by compiling research on culturally appropriate persuasion and presentation strategies. Read more . . . 

 


Jessica AkeyAssistant Professor Jessica Akey has been selected as one of two faculty members to receive funding for a 2013 CIEE Faculty Development Seminar.  She will be attending the “Issues in Public Health” seminar in Botswana. Her field of expertise is health communication and the seminar will allow her to study how the citizens of Botswana are responding to the AIDS pandemic as well as women’s health issues, healthcare delivery in rural and urban settings, traditional and modern approaches to medicine, and mental health in an African context. Her research is based on examining physical, mental, and emotional health management tactics for women managing illness. Read more . . . 

 


The Other TownAssociate Professor Nefin Dinc won "Best Historical Documentary" at the 2012 Greek Film Fest Chicago. The film examined relations between Turkey and Greece. It explored how prevailing citizen beliefs and goverment policies can foster prejudices that perpetuate conflict between nations. Read more . . . 



Kathleen McDonoughThe Department of Communication begins the 2012-13 academic year with a new chair. Kathleen McDonough succeeds Dr. Ted Schwalbe, who served in the position for several years. Ms. McDonough, who teaches video production, joined the communication faculty in fall 2000. Before coming to Fredonia, she taught at Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore. She has also lived in Italy and Denmark.  As both a historian and documentary producer, Ms. McDonough is interested in making documentaries which explore the commonalities in human experience that cross temporal and cultural boundaries. Her research interests focus on historical films and what they reveal about the society that made them. She holds a Master's in Fine Arts from San Francisco State University.  Ms. McDonough enjoys hiking, travel, foreign films, and Medieval/Renaissance music.


Lambda Pi EtaThe Department of Communication has received a charter from the National Communication Association (NCA) for a chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, NCA's official honor society at four-year colleges and universities and is an accredited member of the Association of College Honor Societies. Lambda Pi Eta has active chapters at four-year colleges and universities worldwide. The SUNY Fredonia chapter was established in 2012.

The goals of Lambda Pi Eta are:

  • recognize, foster, and reward outstanding scholastic achievement in communication studies;
  • stimulate interest in the field of communication;
  • promote and encourage professional development among communication majors;
  • provide an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas in the field of communication
  • establish and maintain closer relationships between faculty and students; and,
  • explore options for graduate education in communication studies.

To be eligible to join the Alpha Beta Epsilon chapter at SUNY Fredonia, students must be a major in any of the department’s six majors, complete 60 credit hours, earn an overall GPA of 3.5 and a GPA of 3.25 in communication department courses. Eligible students will be contacted by the department each June and February and issued an invitation to join. The annual induction ceremony takes place each spring. Life membership dues are $40 and includes a Lambda Pi Eta lapel pin, personalized certificate (to be presented at the induction ceremony) and an honor cord to be worn at graduation.

For more information, contact faculty co-advisors Dr. Linda Brigance at Brigance@fredonia.edu or Dr. Jessica Akey at Akey@fredonia.edu.  For more information about the national organization, visit the website at www.natcom.org/lambdapieta/


PRSA

Public relations senior Carly Perreaud has received the May C. Randazzo Memorial Scholarship from the Buffalo Niagara chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.  The $1,500 scholarship is presented annually to a student in Western New York who has demonstrated academic achievement, community service, and leadership. Ms. Perreaud is athe current president of the Public Relations Student Society of America and has enthusiastically embraced this leadership position. She also is a member of the Applied Communication Association, for which she has organized special events, and is active in Sigma Kappa, where she serves as vice president of finance and a member of the public relations committee. Her leadership in campus activities has led to her being nominated and inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success. In addition to being involved in community service activities through campus organizations, Ms. Perreaud has interned with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western New York, where she helped organize and staff special events.


Georgie FuZhuojun (Georgie) Fu, a public relations major, received the Lanford Presidential Prize at this year's commencement.  The award, the most prestigious given to a member of the graduating class, recognizes a student who has exhibited balanced achievement and exemplifies SUNY Fredonia’s ideals.  Fu also was named International Student Leader of the Year by the Golden Key International Honour Society, the world's premier collegiate honor society.  Full story . . . 

 


Nefin DincAssistant Professor Nefin Dinc is one of 16 scholars from throughout the United States selected to participate in a summer program sponsored by the National Endowment of the Arts. The month-long seminar will focus on World War I in the Middle East, the topic of Dinc's next documentary.  Full story . . .


FRSThe student-run Fredonia Radio Systems has received honors from the Intercollegiate Broadcast System for the second straight year.  Audio/radio senior Jud Heussler was named Best On-Air Personality for the second time.  The station's popular show "The Morning Inferno" was recognized for Best Show Promo and Most Creative Show.  Full story . . .


Elmer PloetzAssistant Professor Elmer Ploetz advised the press corps for the 2012 Modern European Union Simulation in Exeter, United Kingdom.  Journalism major Timothy Kennedy participated in the corps, which covered the three-day conference.  Full story . . .

 

 

 

 


Jud and NickSUNY Fredonia’s Fredonia Radio Systems has gained national attention following an article in the New York Times. An article focusing on college Internet radio featured Fredonia's all-Internet station, WDVL 89.5, as an example of a college station using social media and other platforms to remain on the cutting edge of college broadcasting. The article followed Jud Heussler, FRS general manager  and senior audio/radio production major at Fredonia, through hosting the Buffalo syndicated morning show, "The Morning Inferno," and communicates with listeners to share their ideas via “text” or “Facebook.”  Full story . . .

 

 


Linda BriganceAssociate Professor Linda Brigance was selected as a “celebrity reader” for a nationwide reading of the children’s book, “Llama Llama Red Pajama,” that broke a world record on Oct. 6. The Read for the Record campaign was held to draw attention to literacy and broke the world record for the largest number of people (more than 2 million) reading the same book the same day. Reading at the Boys & Girls Club of the Northtowns, Dr. Brigance was one of 66 readers in the Buffalo area who participated in conjunction with Read for Success Buffalo,  a nonprofit organization focused on preparing children for school by helping to improve their language and literacy skills from birth through age 5. Research shows that children who start behind in school tend to stay behind leading to poor academic achievement, high dropout rates and often a lifetime of struggle.


Bond BentonAssistant Professor Bond Benton performed on "The Paper Machete" show in Chicago in September. The show has been named “Best Comedy/Variety Show” in Chicago, beating out noted performance groups such as Second City. Dr. Benton performed an essay on popular Chicago wrestler C.M. Punk that lead to broader implications about media and manipulation. The performance was well-received and was later broadcast on WBEZ, one of America’s premier public radio stations. Over 250 people attended the sold-out show, which also featured Julia Sweeney of "Saturday Night Live" and film fame.

 

 

       


Laura JohnsonAssistant Professor Laura Johnson received the bronze radio award for Best Sound in the Craft and Technique competition at the New York Festival's 2011 World's Best Radio Programs held in New York City.  Dr. Johnson, coordinator of SUNY Fredonia's audio/radio production major, won for her sound production in "Lillian," a play about author Lillian Hellman. The NYF awards honor radio programming and promotions in all lengths and formats from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from around the globe.

 


Brown Bag Series

Faculty from the Department of Communication present in the fall 2011 Arts and Sciences Brown Bag Series, a series of lunchtime talks on new scholarship and creative work.  This year's theme is "America: 10 Years Later."  Dr. Linda Brigance, associate professor, who proposed this year's theme, will present and moderate the panel "Who Are We and How Did We Get Here?: U.S. Cultural Identity in a Post 9-11 World."  Dr. Laura Johnson, assistant professor and coordinator of this year's series, and Dr. Bond Benton, assistant professor, will present on the panel "America: 'The Brand' in a Post 9-11 World."  Dr. Tracy Marafiote, assitant professor, will present on the panel "America: The Cost of Conflict."  Read more . . .

 


Mark KiyakAssistant Professor Mark Kiyak is directing a documentary on the 20th anniversary of the Great Blue Heron Music Festival, held annually in Sherman, N.Y.  Kiyak and a team of SUNY Fredonia students attended this year's festival held on July 1 - 3 to videotape the event.  Associate Professor Jane Jackson is producing the documentary.  Read more . . . 

 


 

Dr. Schwalbe with MedalDr. Ted Schwalbe, chair of the Department of Communication and coordinator of International Learning, has been named a Distinguished Service Professor by the SUNY Board of Trustees.  He is one of only seven faculty members throughout SUNY to receive the designation in 2011. It is the highest honor that the SUNY Board of Trustees can confer to instructional faculty for extraordinary service that extends over many years to their respective campuses, to SUNY and the state.  Read more . . .

 


Media Day 2011 Faculty from the Department of Communication participated in the 2011 Media Day sponsored by the Western New York Student Press Association.  Assistant Professor Elmer Ploetz led a workshop on "Features: Getting the Real Story" and Associate Professor Ann Carden spoke on "Entering the Blogosphere."  More than 100 student journalists attended the annual event, hosted at SUNY Fredonia, to attend workshops and meet notable area journalists.  The event culminated with an award ceremony recognizing outstanding student journalists for their work at their schools' publications.  View the event program here.


Radio WinnersFredonia Radio Systems, SUNY Fredonia's student-run radio station network, has won three awards from the Intercollegiate Broadcasting Systems.  The station won for best on-air personality, best event promotion and most creative show.  Read more . . . 

 

 

 

 

 


Emily Bird at news conferenceStudents in the public relations major's capstone course are partnering with two nonprofit organizations for their final project.  Thirty-three students, mostly seniors, will work throughout the spring semester with CASA of Chautauqua County and the Campus and Community Children's Center to develop public relations campaigns. 
Read more  . . .

 

 

 


Linda BriganceLinda Brigance has been named as one of two Council on International Educational Exchange scholars at SUNY Fredonia.  She was chosen from a number of applicants to attend a CIEE international faculty development seminar next summer; the program is sponsored by SUNY Fredonia's vice president of academic affairs and administered by the coordinator of international learning.  Dr. Brigance will attend the seminar “Ruin and Revival: History, Modern Memory, and Identity” that will take place in Poland and Germany. She hopes to use the seminar to further her exploration and analysis of the rhetoric of public history. She currently teaches a course in rhetoric and also plans on developing a course for SUNY Fredonia's Honors Program.


Bond BentonA former U.S. State Department employee is the newest faculty member in the Department of Communication. Bond Benton has resided in Austria for the past six years and will teach public relations at SUNY Fredonia.  Read more  . . .

  

  

  

 

 


The Princeton ReviewThe prestigious Princeton Review is shining the spotlight on the Department of Communication in its "2011 Best Colleges: Best of the Northeast."  SUNY Fredonia is one of 218 institutions The Princeton Review recommends in its latest edition.  Its profile on SUNY Fredonia mentions the university's "great degree programs" in "education, theatre, and communications."  Read more . . .


Two Department of Communication students have received the top scholarships presented by two regional professional organizations.  Phil Ginley, a double major in video production and public relations, was selected as a winner of the 2010 Don Nichols Scholarship sponsored by the Advertising Club of Buffalo. Applicants were asked to express their thoughts on how a disaster can impact society and civilization.  Ginley's short film, "Stretched Pennies: An American Tale," was created for an experimental video class and submitted to the competition; it can be viewed on YouTube.   Emily Bird, a public relations major, was selected as the recipient of the May C. Randazzo Memorial Scholarship presented by the Buffalo Niagara chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. The scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic achievement and campus/community involvement.  Both scholarships are worth $1,000.


Public Relations Writing WorktextAssociate professor Ann Carden has released the third edition of her textbook on public relations writing.  Co-written with Joseph Zappala of Cornell University, Public Relations Writing Worktext: A Practical Guide for the Profession was released in September 2009 by Routledge publishers.  Shortly after its release, the book was named by MyMediaInfo.com to a top 10 list of "must have" books for the public relations profession.

 

 


PR senior Melissa Lawrence at news conferenceSUNY Fredonia's PR seniors are getting real-life experience by partnering with two nonprofit organizations to create strategic public relations plans.  Read more . . .

 

 

 

 


"Grey's Anatomy." MTV.  "Law and Order." PBS. Broadway.  Those are just a few of the places our video production alumni are working.  Read more  . . .


Mark Kiyak headshotMark Kiyak, winner of two EMMY awards, is the newest member of the video production faculty.  Read more . . . 

 

 

 

 


John Mackowiak at NBCRecent communication alumnus John Machowiak Jr. was recognized by the chancellor of the SUNY system at graduation.  He was one of four SUNY Fredonia students to receive the 2009 Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence.  The award is given to students who have demonstrated their abilities to integrate academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athltics, creative or performing arts, and community service.  Read more . . .  

 

 


The Leader editorsThe Leader, SUNY Fredonia's student-run newspaper that is co-advised by Assistant Professor of Communication Elmer Ploetz, has received two awards from the New York Press Association.  Read more . . .

 


Ted Schwalbe teaching at IUESUNY Fredonia Communication Department chair Ted Schwalbe (left) and Associate Professor Ann Carden were guests lecturers at Izmir University of Economics in Turkey in March.  The university, located in Izmir on the Aegean Sea, has partnered with SUNY Fredonia to develop a dual degree program in public relations.  Under the program, IUE students will spend their sophomore and senior years at SUNY Fredonia stuying public relations.


News conference at SivasSUNY Fredonia Communication Department faculty members Nefin Dinc (left) and Ted Schwalbe (right) are heading the Youth Filmmaking Project in Turkey. Turkish students in six cities are being trained to use digital video to create films about important social issues in their country as part of an 18-month project that is being funded by the U.S. Department of State. Read more . . .


Ann CardenSUNY Fredonia Associate Professor of Communication Ann Carden, APR, has been named by The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) to its College of Fellows. This is the highest distinction offered by PRSA, the world’s largest organization of public relations professionals, with more than 22,000 members and 109 chapters. Read more . . .  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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