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27 Apr

The G2 computer lab will be open during the following times the week of finals (5/1-5/5).

Monday, 5/1, 8:30 am – 9 pm
Tuesday, 5/2, 8:30 am – 9 pm
Wednesday, 5/3, 9:30 am – 9 pm
Thursday, 5/4, 11 am – 6 pm
Friday, 5/5, NONE – Visit the main office if you need access to G2.

25 Apr

West Virginia University released the official list of 2017 May Commencement keynote speakers. Topping the list was WVU Reed College of Media Alumna Margie Mason (BSJ,1997) who will deliver the keynote address for her alma mater.

Mason delved into the unseemly world of Indonesian slavery and brought home a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and a Grammy winning Mountain State native whose music has been covered by legends of the industry and sung at presidential inaugurations top the ranks of speakers at the University’s commencement ceremonies this year.

Margie Mason, (‘97) was part of a four-member team of female Associated Press reporters who won more than 30 journalism awards, including a Pulitzer, for groundbreaking work that exposed a slave island in a remote part of Indonesia where migrant fishermen were being held in a cage and forced to work against their will for years. The series of stories used satellite technology, Customs data and shoe-leather journalism to meticulously trace seafood caught by the enslaved men from Indonesia to Thailand and all the way to the United States. The work revealed that supply chains at some of America’s largest grocery stores and pet food brands were tainted by the slave-caught fish. The stories led to laws being passed, companies shut down, perpetrators being jailed and more than 2,000 slaves freed and sent home.

Mason, who grew up in Daybrook, will speak at the Reed College of Media commencement at 9 a.m. May 12 at the Coliseum.

For the full story visit WVU Today.

20 Apr

Marshall University, in partnership with West Virginia University, will hold a “Career Kickoff” event designed for undergraduate students prior to our INTEGRATE West Virginia conference on Friday, June 2 from 8:30 to 11 a.m.

The Career Kickoff will take place on Marshall’s campus in Huntington and feature mock interviews, resume reviews, networking opportunities, professional headshots and more. This event is free and open to all undergraduate students and their accompanying advisors/faculty, and includes a lunch directly following the event.

For questions, or to RSVP, please email Megan Bayles by Monday, May 15.

This pre-conference event will help kickoff INTEGRATE West Virginia, a weekend conference on June 2-3 for marketing communications students and professionals from across the state. INTEGRATE will feature speakers from brands such as Coca-Cola, Verizon, Cleveland Clinic, Google and more.

We are also extending a special $100 discount off the conference-only rate to undergraduate students who want to stay for the conference. By entering the code “UGINTWV” at checkout, students can attend the conference for half-price: $100 (this conference-only pass does not include the keynote dinner).

For more information visit the INTEGRATE West Virginia website. Register today! All INTEGRATE West Virginia discounts will end Monday, May 15.

13 Apr

Journalism students at West Virginia University Reed College of Media and Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication partnered to investigate the inequities in food access in both urban Baltimore and rural West Virginia.

The experimental class was part of the College of Media’s Knight-funded Innovator-in-Residence program, which is designed to bring in industry experts to work with students on experimental projects that push the boundaries of traditional journalism.

John Ketchum, a social media producer for CNN, and Tricia Fulks Kelley an independent journalist and College alumna were the Fall 2016 Innovators-in-Residence. In addition, WVU Food Justice Fellow and Ph.D. candidate Joshua Lohnes provided context and subject matter expertise for the course.

In collaboration with faculty from WVU and MSU, Ketchum and Kelley worked with students to cover systems of food distribution and access, and to investigate the roles that government, corporations, local communities and individuals play within the food ecosystem.

“Through storytelling work I was doing for an organization out of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, I was able to become more familiar with the potential threats food insecurity has on science and society,” said Kelley. “Shining a light on themes of food security, and other social justice issues is so important. I’m happy that these students at WVU and MSU took them on. These aren’t the easiest stories to tell, but their impact can be great.”

Students, faculty and innovators met via Google Hangout each week to hear from industry experts and to work with their teams on reporting projects. In addition, they met in person and conducted three shared immersion-reporting trips to Baltimore, Morgantown, and Charleston, West Virginia. As students dug deeper into each other’s communities, they discovered commonalities around issues of food justice.

“In Baltimore, there is a whole bunch of people in one area with no food, and in West Virginia, ?everyone lives in separate areas, and there is one place for food,” said Morgan State senior Synclaire Cruel. “It’s the complete opposite, but we have the same issues.”

The project also harnessed the power of emerging social media platforms—using them as both a reporting and audience engagement tool.

The class produced a mobile app in partnership with the WVU Food Justice Lab to enable community members across the nation to provide data about their food access strategies and food security status.

“We wanted to use the class to experiment with different ways creators can connect with their audiences,” said Ketchum. “In order to do that, we pulled knowledge from other industry experts and tried some stuff on our own. I think right now as an industry, we need to think about what we’re making and who we’re serving when it comes to the content we produce.”

This is the second time West Virginia University has partnered with Morgan State University. In 2015, students and faculty collaborated to create Bridging Selma, a unique social justice reporting project to promote conversation about race in America.

Media professionals, researchers and community members interested in a behind the scenes look at this innovative investigative project are encouraged to attend a free public workshop on April 28 at the WVU Media Innovation Center.

Participants will receive hands-on training in audience engagement, community data sourcing, and use of social media video by industry leaders from ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity, NowThis and NPR.

The workshop is sponsored by Morgan State University School of Global Journalism, The Knight Foundation, The West Virginia Community Development Hub and the WVU Media Innovation Center.

Register online to reserve your spot today.

12 Apr

The West Virginia University Reed College of Media recently received a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation that will help students gain valuable media skills while sharing the stories of Appalachia.

The grant, worth $97,000, will support a media enterprise that experiments in new distribution models for digital publishing while offering a solutions-based approach for reporting and cultural analysis of the region.

Students enrolled in the fall 2017 course will get hands-on experience in content curation, monetization, audience development and distribution, and in-depth reporting.

In addition to being a teaching tool, the project will strengthen collaborative publishing opportunities connecting national and regional media with community organizations and the College of Media.

“There is a need in West Virginia communities to create new narratives about their reality and their future,” said Dana Coester, creative director of the WVU Media Innovation Center. “With this project, we hope to provide an outlet, and an audience, for those stories.”

The project will also meet the need for a growing national and international audience for rural content, insights and analysis in the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential election.

The media enterprise will build on “100 Days in Appalachia,” which was launched in January 2017 and narrates President Trump’s first 100 Days in office from a unique Appalachian point of view and how policy decisions may impact Appalachia’s communities.

The College partnered with West Virginia Public Broadcasting and The Daily Yonder on “100 Days in Appalachia.” They plan to continue the partnership into the fall.

The grant was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University, which runs through December 31.

4 Apr

Two West Virginia University faculty members who embody WVU’s land-grant mission of teaching, research and service are the recipients of WVU’s 2017 Heebink Awards for Distinguished Service to the state of West Virginia.

Daniel McNeil is a Distinguished Eberly Family Professor of Public Service, a professor in the Department of Psychology in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and a clinical professor of dental practice and rural health in the School of Dentistry. His service activities in West Virginia span multiple disciplines—and decades.

Geah Pressgrove, assistant professor of Strategic Communications in the Reed College of Media, incorporates elements of community service and outreach into every aspect of her teaching at WVU.

“The Heebink Awards recognize members of our campus community who have truly made service to the citizens of our state a priority in their professional and personal lives,” Provost Joyce McConnell said. “Both of this year’s recipients clearly live—and love—to serve, and they have positively impacted the lives of thousands of others through their work. We are very proud to honor them with the Heebink Awards.”

In all of his roles at WVU and throughout his career, McNeil, the recipient of the Heebink Award for Extended Service, has demonstrated a commitment to public health across the state. From numerous initiatives in the field of oral health to a statewide program promoting health in pregnant women and their children, his work focuses on groups who experience great health disparities, particularly underserved populations and those in rural areas

A state-licensed psychologist, McNeil blends his service activities with research and teaching, involving undergraduate, doctoral, and professional students in his Anxiety, Psychophysiology, and Pain Research Laboratory. He has also served as the faculty advisor to WVU’s chapter of Psi Chi, the international psychology student honor society, for more than 10 years and received the international Psi Chi Outstanding Advisor Award in 2015.

McNeil’s service extends beyond his professional role; he is the coordinator of WVU’s Merit Badge University, a cooperative effort with the Boy Scouts of America’s Mountaineer Area Council and the Girl Scouts that brings more than 300 middle and high school students to WVU for a day-long series of activities across the three Morgantown campuses.

Pressgrove, recipient of the Heebink Award for Beginning Service, has used a community-focused approach to create a network of partners across the state that has allowed her to secure funding for her students to conceptualize and execute more than a dozen service-learning and civic-engagement projects.

In her introductory and advanced courses in strategic communications, Pressgrove has guided students to the completion of public education campaigns, community branding projects and fundraising events. She has also leveraged student talent to develop marketing materials for nonprofit organizations in Monongalia and Preston counties.

In each of these endeavors, Pressgrove has worked to achieve both maximum results for the community partners and an optimal learning experience for the students, specifically about the importance of civic engagement.

Pressgrove also advises the award-winning WVU chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, volunteers extensively for the United Way of Mon and Preston Counties and is a published researcher in the area of nonprofit public relations.

The Heebink Award for Extended Service, given annually, was established by David Heebink in 1982 in memory of his parents, Ethel and Gerry Heebink, two former employees (Department of English and Extension Services) of the university. The Heebink Award for Beginning Service, given biennially, was established in 1992. The awards are given to faculty or staff members who have “used the unique resources of the university” and their own professional expertise to provide an educational or public service activity to the citizens of the state.

Both McNeil and Pressgrove will receive honoraria in professional development support ($3000 for extended service and $2000 for beginning service) and be recognized by President Gordon Gee and Provost McConnell at the annual faculty and staff awards dinner at Blaney House later this month.

30 Mar

Join us for “Engage! Using Audience Engagement to Report on Social Justice Issues” on April 28 from 8:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m at the WVU Media Innovation Center. This daylong workshop on audience engagement will try to answer some of these tough questions facing our industry. A ground-breaking partnership between the Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication and the West Virginia University Reed College of Media experimented with these concepts last fall in an immersive food justice reporting project that paired students and faculty from both programs to collaborate on an in-depth food access reporting project that will be screened at this event. Through the Knight Innovator-in-Residence program, the project also created an audience listening tool that collects data on how people across America access food. Participants in the program will walk guests through the process of creating an application that puts audiences at the forefront storytelling.

This free and open workshop takes participants behind the scenes of an innovative investigative reporting project with hands-on training in audience engagement, community data sourcing, and use of social media video by industry leaders. Professionals from newsrooms across the country, including ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity, NowThis, NPR and others will walk guests through how they utilize different audience engagement strategies every day to reach consumers of their content. Experts will also share strategies for using data resources, data visualization, community-based resources for covering food insecurity, as well as insights for effective community engagement in social justice reporting.

Reserve Your Space Now, Space is Limited

28 Mar

Students and faculty at West Virginia University aren’t waiting for internet giants like Google and Facebook to provide solutions to fake news.

The WVU Reed College of Media, in collaboration with computer science students and faculty at the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, is hosting an artificial intelligence course at its Media Innovation Center that includes two projects focused on using AI to detect and combat fake news articles.

Students in the senior-level computer science elective course are working in teams to develop and implement their own AI programs under the instruction of Don McLaughlin, research associate and retired faculty member of the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.

Stephen Woerner, a computer science senior, is on one of the teams charged with creating a system that detects fake news articles. His team’s approach utilizes a machine learning system to analyze text and generate a score that represents each article’s likeliness that it is fake news. Woerner added that this score is accompanied by a breakdown that explains the rating and provides transparency.

“Artificial intelligence can have all the same information as people, but it can address the volume of news and decipher validity without getting tired,” Woerner said. “People tend to get political or emotional, but AI doesn’t. It just addresses the problem it’s trained to combat.”

This collaboration with the computer science course serves as an example of the Media Innovation Center’s mission to support initiatives, projects, research and curriculum innovations that intersect its work in technology, media and information networks.

“Fake news isn’t just a media problem,” said Dana Coester, the Media Innovation Center’s Creative Director. “It’s also a social and political problem with roots in technology. Solving that problem requires collaborating across disciplines.”

McLaughlin says working at the Center has helped his students this semester, as it suggests a more creative atmosphere than classrooms he’s used in the past.

“I’ve taught this course before, but the students seem to be more enthused this time. We appreciate the space and the breakout areas available for team collaboration here at the center,” McLaughlin said. “Those amenities are valuable in a university environment.”

Each team will demonstrate their completed AI project during the last week of classes at the Media Innovation Center located in the Evansdale Crossing building.

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.

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