2015 McGruder Lecture and Awards Luncheon Takes Place April 1

16 Mar

Notable casting director tapped for Media Distinguished Leadership Award

Kate O'BrianKate O’Brian, president of Al Jazeera America, has been named the 2015 winner of the Robert G. McGruder Distinguished Guest Lecture and Award for Diversity by Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The award recognizes the accomplishments of media professionals who encourage diversity in the field of journalism.

Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication will honor O’Brian at an awards luncheon and lecture on Wednesday, April 1. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 2:15 p.m. at the Kent Student Center Kiva. O’Brian will be the keynote speaker at the lecture. Following her lecture, she will be presented with the Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity

Lillian Pyles, one of the most familiar and respected names in the Cleveland casting industry with film credits such as Spider Man III, Antwone Fisher and The Soloist, will be recognized at the annual McGruder luncheon as the 2015 Diversity in Media Distinguished Leadership Award winner. The luncheon is by invitation only, and will include comments by Pyles. Special awards will be given to student media representatives who have reported on diversity issues in the past year.

The luncheon and lecture are co-sponsored by Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Todd Diacon, Ph.D., Kent State’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost; Alfreda

Lillian Pyles, a familiar and respected name in the Cleveland casting industry, will be recognized as the 2015 Diversity in Media Distinguished Leadership Award winner.

Lillian Pyles, a familiar and respected
name in the Cleveland casting industry,
will be recognized as the 2015 Diversity
in Media Distinguished Leadership Award

Brown, Ed.D., vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion; AnnMarie LeBlanc, interim dean of the College of Communication and Information; and Thor Wasbotten, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will speak at the luncheon. Special guest Annette McGruder will be recognized for her continued support of diversity initiatives and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

About Robert McGruder

The late Robert G. McGruder was a 1963 graduate of Kent State and a foundational local figure for diversity in journalism.

He went on from Kent State to become the first black editor of the Daily Kent Stater and first black reporter at The Plain Dealer. McGruder marked several other firsts in his career, becoming the first black president of the Associated Press Managing Editors group and the first black editor of the Detroit Free Press, in 1995 and 1996.

McGruder was a strong proponent for diversity in and out of the newsroom: “Please know that I stand for diversity,” he said once. “I represent the African-Americans, Latinos, Arab-Americans, Asians, Native Americans, gays and lesbians, women and all others we must see represented in our business offices, newsrooms and newspapers.”

For more information about the Robert G. McGruder Award or event, contact Eugene Shelton, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, at eshelto1@kent.edu.

To RSVP for the luncheon by March 24 contact Darlene Contrucci at 330-672-2623.

For more information about Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, visit www.kent.edu/jmc.

Media at the Movies: “A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power and Jayson Blair at The New York Times”

10 Mar

Join Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication for a screening of the 2014 documentary “A Fragile Trust: Power, Plagiarism and Jayson Blair at The New York Times” on March 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Franklin Hall First Energy Auditorium (Room 340).

“A Fragile Trust” tells the story of Jayson Blair, the serial plagiarist of our time, and how he unleashed the massive scandal that rocked The New York Times and the entire world of journalism. The story of “The Blair Affair” is both a compelling, character-driven narrative about an important chapter in the history of journalism, and a complex story about power, ethics, race and accountability in the media. Featuring exclusive interviews, including Blair himself, “A Fragile Trust” is the first film to tell the whole sordid story of the scandal while exploring these deeper themes.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion of ethics issues. Panelists include Jim Crutchfield, former publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal and current member of the board of the Knight Foundation; Brian Welsh, M.D., board-certified psychiatrist and chief medical officer at Coleman Professional Services; Deborah Barnhaum, Ph.D., chair of Kent State’s Department of Philosophy and ethics expert; and Thor Wasbotten, director of Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

  • Doors open at 6 p.m. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.
  • Movie begins at 6:30 p.m.
  • Panel discussion and Q&A at 7:45 p.m.

The movie screening is sponsored by the Media Law Center for Ethics and Access (MLC) and funded by the Akron Community Foundation.

IdeaBase Students Earn Real-World Experience

9 Mar

IdeaBase Design ImageIn a new video, students and staff at IdeaBase speak about their experiences working on real-world client projects. Directed, edited and filmed exclusively by students at IdeaBase, the video shows how students from various backgrounds put into action what they’ve learned in their Kent State University classes. IdeaBase is a student-run advertising agency in downtown Kent and is a service of the College of Communication and Information.

View the video:

You can learn more about IdeaBase by visiting www.ideabasekent.com.

Two Advertising Majors Participate in Virtual Internship Program

5 Mar

Danielle and EllieBy Taylor Nickel

Senior advertising majors Ellie Kohl and Danielle Wright are participating in the Advertising program’s Virtual Internship Program this semester with CBD Marketing, an integrated marketing firm headquartered in Chicago.

Kohl and Wright kicked off their internship at the start of the spring semester in January and worked on-site the week of February 17, where they met the CBD team, as well as participated in project-related and agency orientation activities.

Kohl said that she was impressed with the team working at CBD and looks forward to working with an agency in Chicago because she hopes to start her career there when she graduates in May.

“Everyone at the agency is so wonderful,” Kohl said. “Although we were only able to visit for a short week, everyone made sure we felt welcomed and part of the CBD family right away. CBD is a special place, and I am lucky to have been given this opportunity to work and learn from these talented people.”

The two students have the unique opportunity to work with the Chicago agency, while continuing to attend classes on Kent State’s campus. Kohl and Wright will connect to CBD via an online project management platform and will also have weekly status calls with their supervisors at the agency, which will allow them to report their progress and receive real-time feedback.

Wright said she is looking forward to the advantages of working with an agency in Chicago while completing coursework at JMC. [Does ‘JMC’ need definition for the readers?]

“The virtual aspect of this internship is great because you are able to complete tasks wherever you work best, and it’s very easy to work the hours into your schedule,” Wright said.

Wendy Wardell, lecturer in JMC’s Advertising sequence, shared the opportunity with the students. Wardell serves as a local resource for the students, collaborates with the CBD team on the overall project and student development strategy, and provides the students with direction, as needed.

The students will work closely with executives at the agency on various projects including research, developing an industry thought-leadership blog series, and completing account service and planning assignments.

Kohl said the virtual internship is a great opportunity for her because she was limited in her search of local advertising internships.

“Personally, I want to go into the account planning side of advertising; however, there are not a ton of planning internships around Kent,” she said. “The CBD planning internship has given me the opportunity to dive deeper into this side of the business and hopefully better prepare myself for after graduation.”

The assignment includes giving the interns the opportunity to conduct both primary and secondary research to inform thought-leadership via blogging; online surveys and interviews with industry leaders and executives will help them gain necessary skills to be competitive marketing planning contributors. Kohl and Wright will also be exposed to client service functions and new business development functions.

“We will be sorting through the data to write our blog posts,” Wright explained. “In addition to this project, CBD Teamwe will be working on small projects throughout areas of the agency including media, new business, and account services.

“I am extremely excited to finish a blog series that supports CBD’s commitment to presenting insights that can help B2B and B2C companies anticipate the future,” Kohl added. “Also, it will be a great addition to include in my portfolio.”

JMC’s partnership with CBD began last year when JMC graduates Danielle Kilgore, ‘14 and Rachel Miller,’14 were the first Kent State students to participate in School’s first ever virtual internship.

Kilgore contributed research to the white paper Business On-Demand, a comprehensive survey of technology innovations and their effects on the customer experience, as well as impacted industries. Miller worked on Today’s Values Revolution, a white paper that explores “the seismic shift in the American Dream, and its implications to marketers.”

About CBD Marketing: CBD Marketing is an award-winning, creative, integrated marketing agency in Chicago. The agency serves national and global clients in manufacturing, energy, food, building products, education, retail and other industries.

Photos by Sarah Flagg, account executive, PR & Social Media at CBD Marketing

Student Group To Address Diversity Issues In Journalism School Organizations

5 Feb

Real TalkThe Student Voice Team will work with student media and organizations in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) to identify and solve diversity issues in its “Real Talk: Uncut & Uncensored” event Monday, February 9, at 6:30 p.m. in room 340 Franklin Hall.

The Student Voice Team is a group of student champions for diversity commissioned by JMC in 2014 to identify areas for improvement in both academics and student life. After speaking with the leaders of student media and organizations in the School, the Student Voice Team discovered a growing need to increase diversity in extracurricular activities.

“We, including some professors in JMC, feel that we’ve been coddled here in terms of [diversity in] the media and the real world,” Julia Adkins, Student Voice Team co-chair, said. “We want everyone to be prepared when they leave Kent State to go out into the real world and succeed, but we can’t do that if we don’t have a firm grasp on reality outside of college.”

“Real Talk: Uncut & Uncensored” will be a student-only conversation about tough topics in diversity, including underrepresentation, cliques within media organizations and what diversity means in journalism and mass communication.

Both the Student Voice Team and student media and organization leaders will lead the discussion. Students can share their concerns with representatives from TV2, Black Squirrel Radio, The Kent Stater, Public Relations Student Society of America and more.

“It’s an important conversation that needs to happen; we need to talk about things that are happening without the fear of backlash from our peers and our professors,” Adkins said. “That’s also why it’s a student only event. We wanted to create a safe space for students to talk about the things that are most important to them in regards to the media within today’s society, a place where we can all speak freely with each other and not be afraid to voice our opinions.”

Students Collect 2,300 Books for Reach Out and Read

27 Jan

Reach Out and ReadThis is a story about a student group project that is certainly one for the books – 2,300 books to be exact.

Five students in the School of Communication Studies’ Small Groups and Teams course, taught by Professor Rebecca Cline, Ph. D., last fall collected 2,300 new and gently used children’s books to donate to the Reach Out and Read Program at Akron Children’s Hospital.

With a course requirement that students choose a project to help a population in dire need, team members John Birkbeck, Skyler Chill, Sarah Courey, Kurt Freiberg and Eli Martin decided they wanted to participate in a project that would help children.

By the end of the fall semester, the collection of 2,300 books more than doubled their original goal, making the total one of the largest Reach Out and Read donations from a university to Akron Children’s Hospital.

“All the members in our group have a heart for children, and after researching organizations which assist children’s needs, I found Akron Children’s Hospital’s Reach Out and Read Program,” Courey said.

Team members collected the books through partnerships with libraries, donation boxes placed in strategic locations and through a book drive competition at Tri-Valley High School. Members stored books at their houses or their residence halls and later transported them to a storage facility in Akron.

Akron Children’s Hospital’s Reach Out and Read Program gives away more than 40,000 children’s books (ranging from toddler to teenage reading level) each year. Books are placed in lobbies and patient rooms at the hospital’s 22 campuses; when a child finds books he or she enjoys, the patient is encouraged to keep them. Many of these children have cancer and are hospital bound most of their life; these books could be the only ones they will ever receive.

Through Reach Out and Read, pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners give the parents or caregivers of children ages 6 months to 5 years new, age-appropriate children’s books and suggestions for how to help their children develop a love of books and reading.

“This project not only benefited children with cancer at Akron Children’s Hospital, but also impacted our lives in a positive way,” Courey said.

Kent State Intern Creates New Face For Local Company

3 Dec

By Endya Watson, Flash Communications

Kent State interns perform a variety of tasks at work. All internships provide real-world experience and a chance to grow as a professional. Some internships, though, provide a chance for Kent State students to not only perform “duties as assigned,” but to make a lasting impact on companies who hire them. For Emily Beal, senior visual communication design major and entrepreneurship minor, her experience proved to be the latter.

Beal began an internship at Price Builders & Developers Inc., LLC, a Cleveland construction company, in February 2014. She worked through the spring performing standard design tasks such as creating brochures and organizing product presentations. Over the summer, however, owner David W. Price challenged her with revamping the company image.

“I sat down with Mr. Price at the end of the school year and asked, ‘What are the threePrice Logo main goals you want your company to portray?’” Beal said. “Mr. Price wanted to be friendly, have a green, sustainability focus and to have his name be prominently strong.”

With these three objectives in mind, Beal transformed PB&D from merely friendly and patriotic to sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Recreating the company image wasn’t a scary idea, Beal said. Her Kent State experiences, combined with the support from the Price Builders team, made Beal eager to dive into the job.

“I was excited to see someone so passionate about his company and then recognize my talent as a college student that could take this on,” Beal said. “Mr. Price really gave me free reign; he said he trusted me, and I should go with whatever I felt was best for the company.”

According to Price, Emily has taken on revamping all company marketing materials, redesigning the logo, writing articles for local magazines, recreating the website and taking company photos, among other tasks. Price said he has been pleased with her attitude toward the work.

“Emily is really independent, motivated and driven,” Price said. “We both put ideas down on paper, but she really takes off with them.”

With her major and minor working in tandem, Beal said she understands the creative steps that need to be taken to take the company image to the next level.

“The VCD program has taught me to be thick skinned and take criticism,” Beal said. “In addition to that, my entrepreneurship classes have led me to understand how business works outside of the creative side, so I am able to incorporate my creative mindset to enhance the image of Price Builders.”

Beal said she finds her internship most rewarding because she is treated like a professional.

“I am given the opportunity to be a professional, not just a college intern,” Beal said. “When given an opportunity I am able to take the initiative to exceed expectations and others recognize that.”

Price said he is proud of what Beal has done so far, and he would like to see her continue to grow with the company.

“She’s really great at what she does, and I have high hopes for her,” Price said. “I anticipate her being with the company for a long time, hopefully as head of our graphics team.”

Beal continues to work at Price Builders part-time while taking classes at Kent State. She agreed with Price, saying she would love the opportunity to continue at Price Builders.

“They’ve talked about me working with them after graduating, which would be awesome and ideal,” Beal said. “They’ve been so supportive of me.”

To see some of Beal’s finished design work, visit the Price Builders website at http://www.pricecorpgroup.com.


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