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Media College eNews

20 Mar

The Mountaineer Health Initiative is hosting a multidisciplinary panel on Appalachian poverty and its impact on health outcomes on Wednesday March 29 4:00-6:00 p.m. at The Erickson Alumni Center A-B. The panel will be moderated by WVU Provost Joyce McConnell.
Objectives are to examine the issue from different perspectives and determine the role WVU can play in providing meaningful solutions. Panelists include:

•Valarie Blake, J.D., WVU College of Law
• Rita Colistra, Ph.D., WVU Reed College of Media
• Lynne Cossman, Ph.D., WVU Eberly College of Arts and Sciences (Sociology)
• John Deskins, Ph.D., WVU College of Business and Economics
• Clay Marsh, M.D., WVU School of Medicine and Health Sciences Center
• Travis Stimeling, Ph.D., WVU College of Creative Arts (Music)
• David Weissman, M.D., WVU School of Medicine and National
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Time for Q&A and networking will follow the panel presentation.

Please RSVP to Rick Remish at by March 20. See the attached flyer for details.

14 Mar

West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media and Marshall University’s W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communication are partnering to present INTEGRATE West Virginia, a two-day conference for marketing communications students and professionals.


INTEGRATE WV will be held June 2-3 at Marshall University’s new Visual Arts Center in downtown Huntington. Conference attendees will learn valuable techniques and strategies they can apply immediately to jobs in the marketing communications industry.

“We are thrilled to partner with our Marshall colleagues this year to bring INTEGRATE to Huntington,” said WVU Reed College of Media Assistant Dean Chad Mezera. “Together we have attracted an impressive lineup of industry experts and we look forward to bringing marketing communications students and professionals from across the state together to learn, network and share.”

The conference will feature networking opportunities, general sessions, breakout sessions and a keynote dinner featuring award-winning advertising executive Andy Azula.

Azula, executive creative director of The Martin Agency, is best known for developing and starring in UPS’s Whiteboard campaign. During his career, Azula has won several major awards including Cannes, Communication Arts, The One Show and Clios. In addition, he has served on the board of The One Club and worked with numerous clients such as BMW, Nikon, Miller, Timex, HP and Microsoft.

During his keynote presentation, Azula will share “life lessons from an advertising executive” and discuss best practices for rebranding products, services, brands and categories.

“The adage ‘you are only as good as your last campaign’ has never been truer,’” said Azula. “It’s either the best or worst time to be involved in marketing, and that’s what I love so much about this business.”

Additional speakers at INTEGRATE West Virginia include:

• Scott Cuppari, global director of marketing at Coca-Cola Freestyle
• Tony Dobies, social media director at West Virginia University
• Jonathan Lorenzini, brand insights and measurement lead at Google
• Bill Oechsler, chief marketing officer at Furniture Row Companies
• Steve Radick, VP, director of public relations and content integration at BRUNNER
• Jennifer Sangid, head of client solutions – USA & CA at
• Lauren Tilstra, senior executive communications manager at Verizon
• Amanda Todorovich, director, content marketing at the Cleveland Clinic
• Sebastian Webber, music industry executive and creative director of TIDAL

“Marshall University’s world class Visual Arts Center in downtown Huntington is the perfect venue for this conference as the interactive space encourages creativity and collaboration,” said Associate Dean of Marshall’s College of Arts and Media Janet Dooley. “We are pleased to work with the WVU IMC program and host this unique industry event.”

The conference and keynote dinner are open to registered conference participants. Register online. Early bird rates are available through March 31.

13 Mar
1432041590_md Recognized for her innovative leadership in journalism and media education, West Virginia University Reed College of Media Maryanne Reed, has been named the 2016 Scripps Howard Administrator of the Year.

Co-sponsored by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, The Scripps Howard Administrator of the Year award recognizes an administrator who has provided vision and leadership for the discipline through creativity and excellence. It is the only award offered to administrators of journalism and mass communications programs.

Since Reed was first appointed dean 13 years ago, The College of Media has achieved record student enrollment, gained a reputation for excellence in online education and cultivated a number of award-winning programs and projects.

“I’m thrilled about the award, not just for me, but for the College and the University,” said Reed. “This award recognizes the hard work and success of our entire faculty and administrative team.”

Over the past several years, the College has repositioned itself as a leader in modern media education. It has transformed the curriculum to have a digital-first approach, created the nation’s first Data Marketing Communications master’s degree program and launched a new state-of-the-art Media Innovation Center on the Evansdale Campus.

In addition, the College created an Innovator-In-Residence funded by the James L. Knight Foundation that engages high-level journalists and newsroom “change-agents” in virtual residencies that result in real-world projects and curricula at the intersection of media, technology and audience.

“This award honors Maryanne for the very traits and skills we at West Virginia University recognized long ago,” said President E. Gordon Gee. “She has led the Reed College of Media in a transformation that is preparing the journalists we need for the digital age. We are so very proud of her and her accomplishments.”

As further recognition of her accomplishments, Reed just completed her second successful five-year review as dean.

“My office received overwhelmingly positive input from students, faculty, staff and alumni,” said Provost Joyce McConnell. “Her energy, her vision and her nuanced understanding of the profession—all things that this award recognizes—are in evidence every day on our campus. We are very fortunate to have Dean Reed in her role.”

Reed has served on the faculty of the College of Media (formerly WVU P.I. Reed School of Journalism) since 1993. Prior to coming to WVU, Reed was a broadcast reporter and producer, and she has produced several award-winning documentaries and long-form stories for regional and national television.

13 Mar
Peter Essick Head Shot-800x1200

For the past twenty-five years, freelance photojournalist Peter Essick has traveled across all seven continents exploring some of the earth’s most beautiful and captivating landscapes. Essick has earned a spot as one of the forty most influential nature photographers in the world.

Essick will give his presentation, “Can Photographs Help Guide Us Through Environmental Crisis?” at West Virginia University Reed College of Media’s Innovation Center on March 28 at 7:00 p.m. During this event, he will speak to students about visually illustrating environmental topics such as climate change, nuclear waste and ecosystem restoration. Also, he will discuss his career as an environmental photojournalist for National Geographic.

He started at National Geographic as a summer intern while attending graduate school at the University of Missouri. Since then, he has published over thirty stories for the magazine.

In a recent interview, Essick revealed how his love of environmental photojournalism emerged.”The assignment I did for a National Geographic special issue on water in 1993 was my first exposure to photographing an important environmental issue,” said Essick “I found I liked the intellectual challenge and the work seemed worthwhile beyond just the artistic value.”

His photographs have been showcased in other publications such as Time magazine’s article “Great Images of the 20th Century,” and shown on popular television shows such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” In addition, the photojournalist has also authored two books featuring his work titled, “Our Beautiful Fragile World” and “The Ansel Adams Wilderness.”

He currently lives in Stonewall, Georgia with his wife, Jackie, and son, Jalen. More information and copies of his work can be found online.

The event “Can Photographs Help Guide Us Through Environmental Crisis?” is free and open to the public. The Media Innovation Center is located on the fourth floor of the Evansdale Crossing building.

21 Feb
wvunews Television viewers can now watch the number one college newscast in the country right here in the Mountain State.

This month, the Broadcast Education Association awarded “WVU News” first place in the Television Newscast (airing three days per week or less) category in the 2017 Festival of Media Arts competition. “WVU News” won the top honor out of more than 1,500 entries.

The winning entry, “Special Edition Heroin and Opioids: When Addiction Hits Home,” was produced by students at the West Virginia University Reed College of Media and focuses on the Mountain State’s rising heroin and opioid addiction.

WVU students involved with the award-winning project include Executive Producer Megan Saporito and Anchors Hannah Goetz and Kristen Tuell.

This is the second time “WVU News” has received the top award under the leadership of teaching associate professor Gina Martino Dahlia. The newscast also won a national Emmy Award in 2015.

“I am extremely proud of the continued success of ‘WVU News,’” Dahlia said. “Winning these high caliber awards is a testament to the quality of our students, faculty and our program.”

In addition to the first-place win, the news team brought home an “Award of Excellence” in the Television News Magazine category for their entry “WVU News-Special Edition: We Remember. Fifteen Years After 9/11.”

WVU graduates Shishira Sreenivas and Colleen Good were awarded second-place in the Educational Program category of the Student Audio competition for their entry, “WVU Student-Journalists Use DIY Sensors to Investigate Water Quality.”

On the research side of the BEA conference, Associate Professor Rita Colistra and alumna Chelsea Betts Johnson won a first-place award in the Gender and Sexuality Division’s debut category for their peer-reviewed paper, “News Framing of Marriage for Same-sex Couples: An Examination of Broadcast and Print News Coverage Surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court’s Landmark Decision to Legalize Same-sex Marriage.”

The BEA Festival of Media Arts is an international refereed exhibition of faculty creative activities and a national showcase for student works sponsored by the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation.

More than 175 colleges and universities are represented at the festival. Competition categories include audio, documentary, interactive multimedia, news, scriptwriting, sports, two-year/small colleges and video.

Award-winners will be recognized at the 15th Annual BEA Best of Festival King Foundation Awards Ceremony held in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Monday, April 24, 2017, as part of BEA’s annual convention.

A full list of 2017 BEA Festival of Media Arts winners can be found at

21 Feb
rita-1 Rita Colistra, professor of public relations in the Reed College of Media, has been named the recipient of the 2016 James and Karen Caveney Alumni Association Faculty Excellence Award.

The award, established in 2014, is intended for a “highly-productive” faculty member who demonstrates excellence in teaching and research alongside a demonstrated “commitment to the people of West Virginia.”

Dr. James and Karen Caveney, the alumni sponsors of the award, boast 19 WVU degrees, including eight at the doctoral level, in their immediate family. They are deeply committed to supporting the world-class research and teaching at WVU.

“The Caveneys love to hear about all the successes of Dr. Rita Colistra. She has really made a great impact on the state of West Virginia,” James Caveney said. “WVU is the ‘crown jewel’ of the state. Dr. Colistra and her students are making a big difference in small cities of our state. Great professors change lives forever.”

A national-award-winning professor and scholar, Colistra has been the recipient of a state Public Relations Educator of the Year Award, a national Promising Professor Award, a national PR SuPRstar Award and a Faculty Excellence in Civic Engagement Award, among others.

She has obtained nearly $200,000 in both grant and client funding for her students to implement more than 15 strategic communications campaigns for communities and organizations. In the most recent example of this work, Colistra served as principal investigator and project director for the Community Branding Initiative, funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. Through the CBI, WVU Strategic Communications faculty and students worked to revitalize three West Virginia communities through integrated branding efforts and creative strategies.

“Dr. Colistra’s work is exciting because it truly encompasses all three areas of a faculty member’s role—research, teaching and service,” said Provost Joyce McConnell. “Moreover, by engaging our students in local communities, she is demonstrating to the next generation the power we all have to make a difference in our world.”

Colistra and her students have won 18 Crystal Awards and eight Honorable Mentions from the West Virginia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for their client campaign work serving West Virginia communities and organizations.

As the recipient of the 2016 Caveney Award, Colistra will receive professional development funds from the Caveney Fund and be recognized by WVU President Gordon Gee and McConnell at the annual faculty and staff awards dinner at Blaney House this spring.

17 Feb

The AP Broadcast Scholarship awards $1,000 through the Virginias Associated Press Broadcasters.

Applications will be accepted through Feb. 28, 2017. The student must be enrolled in a broadcast journalism program at a Virginia or West Virginia college or university. The scholarship winner will be recognized at the 2017 Virginias AP Broadcasters Awards Luncheon on Sat., April 1, at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center in Roanoke, Va. They are invited and encouraged to attend this event, 12pm-3:30pm! The VAPB is a professional organization whose members include working broadcast journalists representing all types of jobs in the field—from news directors to sportscasters to videographers to web managers and general managers.

For additional information see attached application .

13 Feb

Join us for a Multimedia Journalism: Networking and Careers Info Session on Friday February 17 from 1-2:30 in the Media Innovation Center. WVU graduate RJ Jewell has more than a decade of experience in the web, film and television business – as a Webmaster, Production Assistant, Director of Photography, Producer and Editor. In his current role as a Video Producer for Bloomberg, RJ works with the various news desks to identify important topics and breaking events that will be covered through multimedia.

Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Fairfax, Virginia, RJ started his video production career as a production assistant in Washington, D.C. working with networks such as: Discovery Channel, A&E, MTV, O Network, PBS, Fox Business and Food Network.
RJ wants to share his insight into video jobs that you may have never considered and share the tips and tricks that took him on a path to a career in global broadcasting.


See attached flyer for additional information.

10 Feb

Fake news is nothing new, but the anonymity of the social web has allowed it to spread faster and farther than ever before.

At the same time, people are seeking and sharing information that reinforces their political views, aided by algorithms that target stories directly to them. The end result is a public that is finding it harder to discern fabrication from fiction, and a nation further divided.

To explore these topics, The David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas and the West Virginia University Reed College of Media will co-host, “Truth and Consequences: Fake News, Filter Bubbles and Democracy.” The panel discussion will be led by journalists and thought leaders who will address the impact of fake news and filter bubbles on our society and offer strategies on how to fight fake news and be better informed.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. Feb. 22 in the WVU Mountainlair Ballrooms located on the University’s Downtown Campus. It is free and open to the public.


David Mikkelson, Founder, Mikkelson
Mickkelson founded in 1995, based on his interest in researching urban legends. Today, the site is widely regarded by folklorists, journalists and laypersons alike as one of the web’s essential resources. is routinely included in annual “Best of the Web” lists and has been the recipient of two Webby awards. Mikkelson has appeared on 20/20, ABC World News, CNN Sunday Morning and NPR’s All Things Considered.

Paige Lavender
Paige Lavender, Senior politics editor, The Huffington Post
Lavender is a West Virginia native and a 2011 graduate of the WVU Reed College of Media. As senior politics editor, she covers congress, the president and political news around the nation. Lavender earned her master’s degree in interactive journalism at American University in May 2016.

Errin Haines Whack, Urban affairs reporter, The Associated Press Paige Lavender
Whack is an award-winning reporter based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her work focuses on the intersection of race, politics and culture, including civil and voting rights, the African-American electorate, and issues of inequality and injustice. She has previously worked at The Washington Post, The Orlando Sentinel and The Los Angeles Times.

Zach-Headshot 2
Zach Graves, Technology policy program director, R Street Institute
Graves manages development efforts, and coordinates campaigns on intellectual property, cybersecurity, surveillance, cryptocurrency, privacy, the sharing economy, transparency and open data. He previously worked at the Cato Institute and the America’s Future Foundation. He holds a master’s degree from the California Institute of the Arts and a bachelor’s from the University of California at Davis.

Elizabeth Cohen 2 Elizabeth Cohen, Assistant Professor of Communications Studies, WVU Cohen conducts research on the psychological motivations and effects of social media use, specializing in the cognitive and emotional reasons why people share things on social network sites. Her research has appeared in Mass Communication and Society, Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, and Psychology of Popular Media Culture. She has also been featured as a guest blogger for Scientific American. Cohen earned her PhD from Georgia State University.

About the Moderator

Paige Lavender

Assistant Teaching Professor Emily Corio teaches courses in video and multimedia reporting. Before joining the College of Media in August 2011, Corio spent a decade working in journalism. She was assistant news director for the statewide public television and radio network in West Virginia. There she reported and produced stories for radio, television and the web, including award-winning pieces on environmental issues and breaking news.

The David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas was created in 1995 by former WVU president David C. Hardesty Jr. and is produced by University Events. It was inspired by events he organized as WVU’s student body president in the 1960s. Today, the lecture series spans the academic year and engages a diverse group of newsmakers, public figures, thought leaders and WVU’s own superstars.

This event is funded in part by the Ogden Newspapers Seminar Series and the WVU Libraries.

6 Feb
1c3a491f-7fb3-4bdd-b7c2-277105e3e20a Imagine walking into a small, dark tent. To the left are trash bags full of personal items; to the right, sleeping bags bundled on the ground. For some people in southern West Virginia, this is what home still looks like seven months after floods ravaged their communities.

This spring, students in a strategic communications capstone course at the West Virginia University Reed College of Media are using virtual reality and 360 video to create empathy for flood victims and inspire action to help them.

The project is being led by the College of Media’s first Harrison/Omnicom Innovator-in-Residence, Ben Roffee. Roffee is digital director at RYOT, an immersive storytelling affiliate of The Huffington Post.

“VR is a great way to immerse people within your story, even if the context is far from their own reality,” said Roffee. “Immersive storytelling gives strategic communicators the ability to leave an emotional impact that may not have been achieved through other storytelling means.”

Students in the course will focus on assignments to promote donations and volunteer efforts in communities still affected by the floods. They will help produce the virtual reality stories and integrate them into their strategic communications campaigns to target audiences.

“I was really drawn to the advocacy aspect of the (capstone) course,” said Hollie Greene, strategic communications junior. “I love that we’re going to have the opportunity to experiment with innovative forms of storytelling while also helping flood victims.”

Advertising CEO Dr. Tom Harrison founded the Harrison/Omnicom Professorship, which will now fund the visiting innovator program. Harrison says he is excited about this new direction.

“The Innovator-in-Residence program will draw uniquely talented and creative collaborators to the College to develop cutting-edge curricula and prepare students to own and embrace the world,” Harrison said. “I am thrilled that the Harrison/Omnicom Professorship can underpin this brilliant effort.”

Assistant Professor Geah Pressgrove is the on-site professor assigned to the class. She says that content creation and storytelling have become essential tools for strategic communications professionals.

“At the College of Media, it is our responsibility to teach foundational principles and apply them in an area where change is constant,” said Pressgrove. “In strategic communications, storytelling is an important way to engage audiences and build affinity for a product, brand or cause.”

The College of Media launched its first Innovator-in-Residence program in 2014 with a grant from the Knight Foundation. That program brought innovators to campus with a journalism focus to lead students in experimental projects and help cultivate a culture of innovation at the College. The program is a cornerstone of the College’s Media Innovation Center located in the new Evansdale Crossing building.

2 Feb
mainanchor The Spring 2017 WVU News anchors have been announced! The main “WVU News” anchors for spring 2017 are CJ Harvey of Charleston, West Virginia and Briana Parks of Atlanta, Georgia.

The social square anchors are Alexa Ciattarelli of Princeton, New Jersey and Tessa Iglesias of Annandale, Virginia

The ESPNU sports reporters are Hannah Goetz of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Andrew Caridi of Morgantown, West Virginia.

View a full list of anchors, reporters and producers here .

“WVU News” won a platinum and gold award from the 2016 AVA Digital Awards. The “WVU News’” Go Green episode won a platinum award, and “The Many Dimensions of Diversity” episode won a gold award.
In spring 2015, “WVU News” won a first place national Emmy Award for “Best College Newscast” in the Country. Also, “WVU News,” was recognized in 2011 by the Broadcast Education Association as the “Best Student-Produced Newscast” in the country.

The television newscasts are produced by journalism students at the WVU Reed College of Media. “WVU News” reporters cover events on the University campus, and in the Morgantown community.
Students report, write, shoot and edit television news stories for the program. They also serve as on-air anchors, producers, directors and technical crew during newscast tapings at WVU’s professional television studio.

The award-winning program provides students with hands-on experience and access to professional, state-of-the-art digital equipment.
Students who enroll in the “WVU News” course are well prepared for careers in television journalism after they graduate.

“WVU News” airs statewide on West Virginia PBS as part of “Campus Connection” and on Time Warner Cable in North Central West Virginia.
The production is available on YouTube. You can also follow “WVU News” on Twitter or visit the team’s website.

2 Feb
1485969407_md A panel of West Virginia University faculty from journalism to public health will discuss how images in the media affect the nation’s perceptions of Appalachia during a forum Feb. 7 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Downtown Campus Library, Room 104.

The program is inspired by Looking at Appalachia, a juried collection of images by amateur and professional photographers, currently on display at the DCL as part of the WVU LibrariesArt in the Libraries series. West Virginia native Roger May directs the ongoing Looking at Appalachia project that chronicles life in the 13-state region more than 50 years after President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.

“This forum is a great opportunity to use the Looking at Appalachia exhibit to spark conversations about how images in the media can affect a range of issues facing the region,” said Alyssa Wright, chair of the Art in the Libraries Committee.

Panelists will include Emily Corio, Reed College of Media, Dr. Ken Fones-Wolf, History, Dr. Rosemary Hathaway, English, Mary Kay McFarland, Reed College of Media, and Dr. Michael McCawley, Public Health. Dr. Brandi Slider Weekly, Education, will moderate the event.

The Looking at Appalachia project seeks to expand the image and description of people in Appalachia beyond impoverished.

Discussions will delve into how the War on Poverty and an accompanying photo project made poverty a dominant narrative concerning the people and region of Appalachia.

Panelists will address how this narrative has shaped their respective fields and their own work. They will also share aspects of their work that speak to the need to address overgeneralizations that stereotypically depict the region and people.

There will be time for questions from the audience.

The event is open to the public. The Looking at Appalachia exhibit will remain on display until June. For more information, contact Wright at 304.293.0337 or

24 Jan

The College of Media will be hosting a integrated marketing communications study abroad experience in China from June 2-23. The trip gives students the opportunity to have an international internship within an advertising or public relations agency. In addition, students will be taking an IMC course at Guang Dong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS) for 3 elective credits (400 level). The trip will spend 4 days in Hong Kong, 13 days in Guangzhou, and 5 days in Beijing. For additional information contact Dr. Sammy Lee or Professor David Smith.

See the attached flyer for details.

19 Jan
1484751161_md Following the 2016 presidential election, voters left a trail of red from Alabama to Pennsylvania, including nine of the 19 states that make up Appalachia.

The national media dubbed the region “Trump Nation” as they searched to find the answers behind what many considered to be a surprise victory for Donald Trump.

But much like America, Appalachia is a melting pot of people representing a variety of social, economic and political perspectives. In an effort to provide a more nuanced understanding of the region to a national audience, West Virginia University Reed College of Media, in partnership with West Virginia Public Broadcasting and The Daily Yonder, is launching the reporting project,”100 Days in Appalachia.”

The project is designed to burst the filter bubble of social news and to candidly narrate the first 100 days of the new Presidential administration from within the heart of our region.

“We’ll listen, and ask the world to listen with us, as people respond to cabinet picks, policies and promises made, said Dana Coester, project editor and creative director. “While we’re at it, we’ll do some soul searching on the role media plays at building, or eroding, peoples’ trust in journalism.”

The project will include a mix of content — news stories, multimedia features, opinion pieces — produced by faculty, professionals, and thought leaders from across the region. Students from several classes will be tasked with editing and curating stories in a social feed.

Dean Maryanne Reed says the project offers students a unique opportunity to work alongside professionals in a real newsroom environment.

“This project will give students the in-demand skills they need to work in a digital newsroom,” Reed said. “Students will learn how to build an audience for compelling content across multiple media platforms. That’s something you don’t see in most traditional journalism classes.”

One item already on the storyboard is a piece that demonstrates how cultural identity and political identity are aligning in new and unexpected ways. The 360 series, “Muslim in Appalachia” will provide a window into what it means to navigate both Muslim and Appalachian identity, while challenging stereotypes of both.

“The voices you hear from this region are usually from very expected sources, they’re very routine,” said Dave Mistich, project managing editor and digital editor/coordinator for WVPB. “What we’re trying to do is reach people who can narrate the first 100 days that aren’t the expected voices.”

Subscribe to the “100 Days in Appalachia” mailing list by visiting and follow the project’s progress on Facebook and Twitter.

18 Jan

The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) (May 30-July 28, 2017) is now accepting applications from undergraduates who are interested in graduate school and research/creative work within their discipline as well as their faculty research mentors. Selected students complete 8-weeks of full-time research at West Virginia University (WVU) under the direction of a WVU faculty research mentor and a graduate or post-doctoral mentor. Undergraduate participant benefit includes $3,700 stipend. The application works best if the student has a faculty mentor in mind (or vice versa), and they both apply separately, requesting that they each work with the other. Review of completed applications will begin March 1, 2017. For more information and link to the online applications (for undergraduates and faculty research mentor), visit the SURE website .

Spring Symposium: The Office of Undergraduate Research and the Honors College in conjunction with Undergraduate Admissions are organizing a campus-wide, culminating spring poster event to celebrate undergraduate scholarly activity (research/creative endeavors) whilst encouraging prospective students to decide on attending WVU. We are now accepting abstracts for this event that is set to take place on Saturday April 8, 2017 (1-3 p.m.) in the Mountainlair Ballrooms. To submit an abstract, go to The poster event will coincide with prospective student and family attendance at the April 8 Decide WVU Day at the Mountainlair. Please encourage your undergraduate students to submit abstracts for consideration by the February 15, 2017 deadline. More info? Contact

18 Jan
1484687857_md The West Virginia University Reed College of Media is in an optimistic “State of Mind” after receiving its largest planned gift ever.

A journalism alumna who wishes to remain anonymous has pledged $700,000 to the College through a planned estate gift. The bequest is part of “A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University.”

At the time the money becomes available, it will be used to support major journalism initiatives that provide students with both foundational skills in writing, reporting and research and new skills in emerging journalistic practice.

“We are very appreciative of the generosity of our donor whose gift will have a transformative impact on the College,” said Dean Maryanne Reed. “Private giving is essential to support the good work of our students and faculty and the continued growth and success of our academic programs. “We still have a year to go in the campaign, and we hope to end 2017 on a high note.”

The College of Media’s fundraising efforts are part of a comprehensive campaign to raise money for WVU and its regional campuses. “A State of Minds” was launched by the WVU Foundation in 2012 and runs through the end of this year.

Proceeds raised during the campaign will be used for a variety of funding priorities including scholarships and enhancement funds, faculty research support, student projects and capital improvements.
What type of legacy will you leave? Planned gifts are one of the best ways to support WVU and benefit yourself and your loved ones at the same time. With thoughtful planning you can:

• Make a gift that costs nothing during your lifetime
• Give stock and realize larger tax savings
• Get quarterly income for life in return for you gift
• Donate your house, continue to live there, and get a tax break at the same time

It’s never too early to get started, check out the WVU Foundation’s interactive Legacy Planner for ideas. You can also connect with the College of Media directly by contacting Director of Development Tiffany Samuels at or 304.293.6775.

9 Jan

As a young professional and a student at the P.I. Reed School of Journalism, now West Virginia University Reed College of Media, Martha Smith, (BSJ, 1970) had some unforgettable mentors. Martha Smith

Legendary West Virginia sportswriter Mickey Furfari, his wife Betty, a columnist at The Dominion News, now The Dominion Post and beloved journalism professor Paul

Atkins left such an impression on Smith that she is creating endowed scholarships in their names.
Smith’s planned gift of $155,000 will establish the Mickey and Betty Furfari Endowed Fund and the Professor Paul A. Atkins Endowed Fund. The money will provide scholarships to undergraduate students studying journalism at the College of Media.

As a student writer, Smith worked with the Furfaris during a summer at The Dominion News. She was able to observe Mickey in the newsroom and get hands-on experience with Betty as a contributor to her society column. She became friends with the Furfaris and remained in contact with them throughout her career.

As for Atkins, she says having him as a professor helped her become a stickler for spelling and editing.
“If I see a typo I will point it out,” said Smith. “When I do, people always ask if I’m a teacher. I respond: ‘No, I’m a journalist.’”

A first generation college graduate, Smith recognizes the importance of giving since she was able to attend WVU with the help of scholarships. Smith wants to give budding journalists the same opportunity.

“When I get the alumni magazine, I am very interested to read about the students going places and helping people,” said Smith. “I support what the College and its students are doing, and it’s time to put my money where my mouth is.”

Smith a native of West Virginia spent 50 years as a journalist including 30 years as a staff member of the Providence Journal. She has received several honors including New England Magazine Journalist of the Year and an induction into the Rhode Island Press Association Hall of Fame. She is the author of two books, her most recent, “Me and Mr. Zane Grey,” was released this year and is available nationally.

Betty Furfari was a 1947 graduate of the School of Journalism and Mickey graduated from the School in 1948. The couple met while working together at The Daily Athenaeum.

Betty passed away in 2004, just shy of the couple’s 56th wedding anniversary. Mickey referred to her as his “best friend, editor and confidant.”

Mickey passed away last July at the age of 92. He began covering WVU sports for the Times West Virginia in 1989, and he continued his column until his passing. Furfari was a five-time winner of the West Virginia Sports Writer of the Year award and a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame.

Known as the “Flying-A,” Paul Atkins taught at the School of Journalism for 33 years before retiring in 1986. In addition to being a full-time professor, Atkins served as the faculty adviser of The Daily Athenaeum for 12 years, holding the position longer than anyone else.

What type of legacy do you want to leave? Join other Mountaineers who are making a difference and connect with us by visiting or email Director of Development Tiffany Samuels at

The gift was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University which runs through December.

3 Jan
Commencement_December_2016_080 copy On Friday, December 16, 75 students from the WVU Reed College of Media participated in the University’s Commencement Ceremony. The annual event was held at the WVU Coliseum. This year’s keynote speaker was Sean McWilliams, an assistant professor in the WVU Department of Physics and Astronomy. McWilliams stressed that graduates should utilize their newfound knowledge and abilities to work together toward a common goal of a greater, grander future for all of humanity. Watch the full video at
21 Dec

2016 December Commencement

December 21, 2016

On Friday, December 16, graduates from the WVU Reed College of Media celebrated the culmination of their college careers at the University’s December Commencement ceremony held at the WVU Coliseum. The ceremony’s keynote speaker was Sean McWilliams, an assistant professor in the WVU Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Each December, The College of Media recognizes its Top Overall Graduate. This year the honor goes to Hannah Booth. Booth is a native of Buffalo, West Virginia. She earned a bachelor’s degree in strategic communications with an emphasis in public relations. After graduation, Booth will join the College of Media staff as the social media and marketing coordinator for the Media Innovation Center. Her parents are LuAnn Wiseman, stepfather Chris Wiseman and the late J.L. Toney. Commencement_December_2016_050 copy

During her college career, Booth interned with Fahlgren Mortine of Charleston, West Virginia, and the WVU School of Nursing. She was an active member of the WVU PRSSA chapter and served as chapter president during the 2015-2016 academic year.

The College also wants to recognize its students who achieved Latin Honors. In an academic institution, Latin Honors indicates the level of academic distinction with which an academic degree is earned. There are three levels of Latin Honors:

Summa Cum Laude, which means “with highest honor”—a student must have an overall GPA of 3.80 or higher
Magna Cum Laude, which means “with great honor”—a student must have an overall GPA of 3.60 to 3.79
Cum Laude, which means “with honor”—a student must have an overall GPA of 3.40 to 3.59

Three students received summa cum laude including Hannah Booth, Lindsay Terlikowski and Whitney Norris. Magna cum laude recipients include Darian Seese, Merill Tebay and Megan Saporito. Students who received cum laude include Nathaniel Temple, Jaden Hardesty, Maleea Martin, Morgan Mularski, Elena Paige, Angela Sparachane, Natalie Lorenze and Liam Frawley.

Congratulations to all of our December graduates!

More than 2,800 students participated in WVU’s December Commencement ceremony.

20 Dec

The Larry Whiteside Scholarship offers an undergraduate or graduate student the opportunity to attend 2017 NABJ Convention and Career Fair. The scholarship winner will receive an award of $5,000 covering the trip to the 2017 NABJ Convention & Career Fair in New Orleans, LA. Registration, lodging, a round-trip flight and a meals stipend will be provided. He/She will be acknowledged during the Sports Task Force events and required to write a post-convention account of the experience.

Specific Application Requirements:

  • Must major in journalism with an interest in pursuing a career in sports journalism
  • Must be an undergraduate or graduate student with at least one year left in school.
  • G.P.A. requirement: 2.5 or higher in journalism major and at least a 2.0 cumulative
  • Essay topic: “Write a profile essay on a sports journalist (alive or deceased) you admire and explain why this person has inspired you to pursue a career in sports journalism.” (1,000 – 2,000 words)

General Application Requirements:

  • Resume, cover letter, official college transcript, five work samples and three references.

Deadline: March 1, 2017

Larry Whiteside, a pioneer in the field of sports journalism, was the first African-American beat sports writer for The Boston Globe. His achievements earned him many prestigious honors including induction into NABJ’s 2009 Hall of Fame (posthumous); NABJ’s 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award; induction into the 2008 National Baseball Hall of Fame (posthumous); and the 2008 J. G. Taylor Spink Award posthumously given by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Mr. Whiteside passed away in 2007 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. NABJ’s Sports Task Force established this scholarship in Mr. Whiteside’s honor to provide financial assistance to journalism students interested in sport journalism.

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