West Virginia University

Hilary Kinney, a West Virginia University sophomore journalism and geography student, has spent her summer working to ensure there is less food waste in the state of West Virginia. Now Kinney is bringing her work back to campus this fall. Alexis Randolph of The Daily Athenaeum interviewed Kinney about her project. Read about it online.

Assistant Professor Dana Coester, who also serves as the acting creative director for the College’s new Media Innovation Center (opening next year), was interviewed in an article on PBS’s MediaShift alongside three other universities that are creating “maker spaces.” The Innovation Center is a 10,000-square-foot project that will allow students to collaborate on projects in creative ways. Read more.

Maryanne Reed Dean Maryanne Reed’s column, “Life in the Middle Ages,” was recently recognized by The National Society of Newspaper Columnists (NSNC). The column, which runs in The Dominion Post, won third place in the General Interest, Under 50,000 Circulation category. Winners were announced at the awards banquet during the 2014 NSNC conference on Saturday, June 28, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Read the full article online.
Katie Heller Katie Heller, a strategic communications senior from St. Mary’s, West Virginia, is one of 140 people participating in the summer White House internship program. Josephine Mendez of the Charleston Daily Mail recently interviewed Keller. Keller told Mendez that the internship was a “far-fetched dream” she had on her bucket list. To read more of Keller’s story visit http://goo.gl/gbY9qO.

From start-up agencies to corporate banking, Aly Goodwin Gregg (BSJ, 1995) has been crafting strategic plans for more than a decade, but 2014 is her year to be recognized by her professional peers in her home state of West Virginia. Aly Goodwin Gregg

Gregg, vice president and chief marketing officer at MVB Financial Corp. in Morgantown, received the 2014 West Virginia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Practitioner of the Year award. The award was presented at the chapter’s Crystal Awards Gala in Charleston, West Virginia, on June 18.

The Ripley, West Virginia, native has extensive experience working in both public relations agencies and corporate public relations. Her career began on Capitol Hill, but after a year, she was back in the Mountain State working on Senator Rockefeller’s re-election campaign. Soon after that, she was managing public relations for The Greenbrier.

In the years that followed, she worked for Charles Ryan Associates, a well-known agency based in Charleston, West Virginia. She also founded and eventually sold two public relations agencies, where she worked with corporate clients and high-profile individuals like Jessica Lynch.

In 2013, Gregg was hired by MVB Bank, a former client, and in 2014 was named vice president and chief marketing officer of MVB Financial Corp.

Gregg says the primary difference between agency work and corporate public relations is what you’re expected to know.

“In agency work, you are as informed as the client allows you to be,” she said. However, corporate PR practitioners must know all the details about their company.

While it’s easy to get caught up “in your own story,” Gregg cautions that it’s essential to take a broad perspective of any situation.

“It’s a challenge and a necessity to offer a viewpoint of 15,000 feet,” Gregg said. Practitioners must be able to step back and offer their management and human resources teams an overview of both sides, for example.

Gregg said winning the award for Practitioner of the Year was a tremendous honor, particularly because she was recognized by her peers.

“To be singled out in an industry like ours in West Virginia, where we have a unique set of challenges, including environmental and social concerns, is overwhelming,” she said.

Under her leadership, MVB Bank also won PRSA Crystal Awards for Community Relations, Crisis Communications, and Special Event: Seven Days or Less, as well as honorable mentions for annual reports and invitations. MVB Bank also won the Best in West Virginia Award for having the highest single score on its entry in the Special Event: Seven Days or Less category.

The Crystal Award is the top prize in each of PRSA’s award categories. A complete list of winners from the gala will be posted at http://prsawv.org/awards.php.
Photo credit: Buddy Davidson

PRSA Crystal Award As part of their coursework at WVU, students in the public relations program at the P.I. Reed School of Journalism give back to the community through service-learning projects. Now, as in year’s past, they are earning recognition for their hard work.

School of Journalism students won five Crystal Awards and four honorable mentions at the Public Relations Society of America – WV Chapter Crystal Awards Gala held in Charleston on June 18.

All of the work was completed as part of Dr. Rita Colistra’s Spring and Fall 2013 public relations capstone classes.

“These students work hard to implement quality strategic communications campaigns for their clients, and it’s wonderful to see their work recognized by industry professionals,” Colistra said. “The awards exemplify the quality of our students and the public relations program. I couldn’t be more pleased with their work.”

The Buy Local Shinnston campaign won Crystal Awards in five student categories including top Community Relations Campaign, Logos, Research, Brochure and Poster. Six public relations seniors worked throughout the Spring 2013 semester to raise awareness of the importance and economic value of shopping at local businesses in the Shinnston area. The students used an integrated approach to build a campaign, securing extensive media coverage, executing social media efforts, launching the city’s first Buy Local Day event, and producing promotional materials.

Another student-produced campaign for the West Virginia Manufacturers Association (WVMA) received honorable mentions in the following student categories: External Communications Campaign, Poster and Research. Ten public relations students worked on the WVMA campaign during the Fall 2013 semester to increase awareness of the many unfilled manufacturing jobs and the lack of young professionals with the right skills to fill the vacancies.

Students who worked on a campaign for the Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) Engineering and Technology Expos received an honorable mention in the student category of Special Events and Observances: Seven Days or Less. A team of 10 students planned and executed two promotional events as a part of their Fall 2013 capstone course. The events took place in Huntington and Beckley, West Virginia, providing opportunities for attendees to interact with new technology and raising awareness of the HSTA program.

The Crystal Award is the top prize in each of PRSA’s award categories. A complete list of winners will be posted at http://prsawv.org/awards.php.
Photo credit: Buddy Davidson

In preparation for the opening of the School’s new Media Innovation Center, SOJ faculty are planning a digital news startup that will debut in the Center. Outfitted with a maker space, a hacker space and a device lab, the center will also feature a “digital storytelling hub.” The space is designed to support experimental journalism and serve as a sandbox for industry innovators-in-residence.
“This venture needs to be a living experiment in news production and distribution. We are taking inspiration from start-ups like Quartz, Vox, and Syria Deeply,” SOJ Dean MaryanneReed said. “But our mission has to be to iterate on these industry innovations, not to duplicate them.”

Read more on MediaShift.

The WVU IMC program hosted its INTEGRATE 2014 conference in Morgantown Friday, May 30 and Saturday, May 31. More than 200 attendees heard from incredible industry speakers from NASCAR, Microsoft, Silverpop and more. The program also hosted a networking reception and dinner keynoted by Elliott Nix, Head of Media Solutions – Tech at Google. Elliott Nix 2

Learn more about the sessions and experience INTEGRATE 2014.

  • Access INTEGRATE posts on the student blog
  • Look up the hashtag #integrate14 on Twitter or Instagram
  • Find a Storify account from attendee and student, Mel Moraes

Watch several presentations on SlideShare:

Photos and session video will be made available soon.

williams-kelly Sophomore Kelly Williams of the West Virginia University track and field team was named to the 2013-14 Capital One Academic All-District II Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country Teams, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Williams will advance to the Capital One Academic All-America Team ballots, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected in June.

Williams has maintained a 4.0 grade point average, while majoring in strategic communications at WVU.

The Chesterland, Ohio, native finished in the top 25 at the Big 12 Cross Country Championships and the Mid Atlantic Region this fall. She was the first Mountaineer to cross the line at the regional, finishing in 21st overall to earn All-Mid Atlantic Region honors for the second time in as many seasons.

Williams’ performance at the regional helped guide West Virginia to its sixth NCAA qualification in the last seven seasons.

She has been named to the Academic All-Big 12 team a total of three times in cross country and track through her first two seasons as a Mountaineer. Williams was named to the Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll and has been named to the President’s List every semester of college.

Oppe Teaching Assistant Professor Elizabeth Oppe has been recognized for her efforts to help WVU grow its impact and stature. She was nominated by Alexis McMillen, of the Center for Service and Learning, who said, “Elizabeth Oppe (School of Journalism) took this community by storm when she began teaching PR 324, Writing & Applications with the JSchool three years ago. She has made it a priority to implement service-learning, and has worked very hard to develop a sustainable model that provides quality learning out of the classroom. Elizabeth’s dedication to building a stronger bond between WVU and the community include her willingness to meet with community partners BEFORE the semester even begins; participate in service herself; and lead students to become engaged. She even coordinated online service-learning last summer working with the local and other United Ways across the region. Elizabeth was awarded the 2013 Excellence in Civic Engagement Faculty Award by the WVU Center for Service and Learning, and her students have provided hundreds of service hours and various PR products for the community.”

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