I’m turning this space over to PR Writing (CMMN A317) student Vannia Zelaya, who provided this information on her summer 2011 experience for a recent assignment:




Studying abroad is becoming increasingly popular among students at Loyola, but more should know about the option of doing a semester in Washington, D.C. There is a program in particular that allows students to focus on a specific area of interest, such as journalism or global economics, and it is the Washington Semester Program of American University.

I had the opportunity to do this program in the Fall of 2011, and I chose to focus on foreign policy. The program includes two seminars on the concentration of your choice, an internship, and an optional research project. Students focus on the internship two days a week, and the other three days on the seminars. The seminars involve meeting with leaders at organizations that have an impact on foreign policy, such as the World Bank and the Department of State. They also include an on-campus class meeting to learn about theory in the field. Additionally, students gather on their own to attend events such as book launches and President Obama speeches, or more relaxing activities such as enjoying a cupcake or kayaking in the Potomac River.

This program completely submerges students into their field of interest. It is an opportunity to create a network for future jobs, gain work experience, and attain a greater sense of independence. Students also enjoy the vast diversity of events D.C. offers while getting to know students from all over the world. With so much to offer, this program is an enriching experience that should be considered by more Loyola students.

Comments Off | Permalink »

Students sometimes think of grades as punishment, but grades are no different from the dollars given to “Jeopardy” contestants for correct answers or Olympic judges’ ratings for individual performances.

Students may not realize it, but faculty get graded as well, through student surveys, in-class observations and annual evaluations. And departments/schools and universities as a whole have external reviewers “grade” programs.

As the university goes through SACS accreditation review and the SMC seeks accreditation from the American Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC), we’ve been doing a lot of assessment – grading – of ourselves.

Part of that assessment looks at how our students are progressing in their march toward employment. Are we teaching them what they need to know? Can they show evidence of their skill levels? Are they ready to take on internships and jobs in their field? It’s more than mere grades; it’s a look at progress from beginning to end of the university experience.

One way to judge that progress is to look at students’ professional output; in other words, we examine their work through portfolio reviews. Each student in our internship course and in the various capstones (Advanced Journalism, PR Campaigns and Ad Campaigns) puts his/her best efforts together and has a media or communication professional tell it like it is. Is this person ready to tackle the real world? Does this portfolio represent a critical eye, an understanding of the industry, a level of professionalism that meets the standards of the current market?

This past spring we were fortunate to have an outstanding group of professionals review the 60+ students who are embarking on jobs and internships. They represent literally hundreds of years of experience in newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, photography, social media, advertising and public relations.

Our thanks go out to:
Victor Andrews, The Times-Picayune
Melody Alijani, La. Office of Tourism
Dawn Buckley, The Times-Picayune
Joe Duke, CBS News (ret.)
Edmund Kee, Amelie G magazine
Ryan Lips, The Times-Picayune
John McCusker, The Times-Picayune
Eric Morgan, Morgan + Co.
James O’Byrne, nola.com
Charles Pizzo, Pizzo Strategic Communication
Brandon Rizzutto, New Orleans VooDoo AFL
Stephen Schmidt, Zehnder Communications
Jonathan Shelley, WDSU
Bill Siegel, WWL-TV
Jason Taix, HEROfarm
Shaun Walker, HEROfarm
Katie Williams, Film New Orleans

1 Comment | Permalink »

The music in my chiropractor’s office (Dr. Shawn Smith) is always good, so I commented that I really liked whatever radio station it was set on. That led to a discussion about the kinds of music we liked, and we talked about all the “old stuff” we listen to. Dr. Smith asked if I’d ever heard the song “1985” by Bowling for Soup. It’s all about classic rock, he said.

Well, I hadn’t heard of it, so he explained the lyrics talked about music from the ‘80s, with references to a lot of music icons who might seem like old fogies to today’s youth.

On my way to finding the song online, I discovered the musicians are based in Denton, Texas. Ironically, my niece is a musician from Denton (hey, Bonnie!). Small world.

So, back to BFS. The lyrics to “1985” make reference to those icons I mentioned (Springsteen, Madonna, Blondie, White Snake, Duran Duran) and take a poke at MTV for straying from its roots of playing music videos. There are also a couple of ‘80s movies mentioned: Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, The Breakfast Club. (Apparently, the songwriters are big John Hughes fans. So am I.)

It always makes me cringe when I hear a song made popular two years ago referred to as “old school.” Another niece, excited about attending a Lady Gaga concert, gushed that she’d found some “vintage” Lady Gaga. Now I’m wondering how someone born in 1986 could possibly create anything that could remotely be labeled vintage.

Maybe my perceptions are wrong. When I think golden oldies, my mind replays early Beatles, the Who and the Rolling Stones, the Monkees, Beach Boys and Iron Butterfly. Thanks to my piano teacher and band directors, I can even recall the music to some of the seriously golden oldies, like the 3 Bs:  Bach, Brahms, Beethoven. Today that might be Beyonce, Britney and Bieber.

If you missed the song “1985” but remember the year, you’ll probably enjoy the references. If you’re post-1985, check out the video.

2 Comments | Permalink »

It all began in the fall of 2007. A class of upper-level public relations students was charged with rebranding the School of Mass Communication. The 16 members of the CMMN A318 P.R. Cases & Campaigns class, working in teams of four, had to devise a plan to create awareness of a program that many thought had been eliminated in the post-Katrina reorganization at Loyola. What had been the Department of Communications now had a new name but little name recognition. So the students had a great challenge: breathing new life into a 70-year-old institution that had been pronounced DOA by some in the community.

Among the four campaign proposals the class created and turned over to the SMC that semester was the idea of a hall of fame. Fast forward five years, which – in academic time – is but a blink of an eye. After hours of additional research, many discussions and brainstorming sessions, a rigorous selection process and university support, the Den of Distinction was born.

On Friday, May 11, kicking off the SMC’s celebration of 75 years of communication excellence, the first four of what will be many distinguished alumni were inducted into the Den of Distinction. They are truly shining stars, representative of the success of Loyola’s communication graduates and models for current and future students. And they are:

John Deveney, Class of 1988
John Deveney opened his own firm in 1996 in New Orleans, after working in government, hospitality, education and health care. Deveney Communication specializes in strategic planning, crisis management, media training, community relations, internet marketing and media relations. Their clients include Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Louisiana Office of Tourism, March of Dimes and the New Orleans Museum of Art.

An internationally-recognized practitioner and speaker and certified as both an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) and Public Relations practitioner (APR), John was selected by PR News for its first of “15 to Watch” PR leaders from around the world who are shaping the profession. PR News named him 2006 Agency Executive of the Year and in 2011 inducted him to its Hall of Fame. John topped PRWeek’s list of the profession’s four “Brightest Stars and Ambassadors that are Heroes” and was included in the PRSA College of Fellows.

Shawn M. Donnelley, Class of 1991
Shawn Donnelley is a permanent part of the SMC. Literally. She is the founder and patron of the Shawn M. Donnelley Center for Nonprofit Communications, a student-run agency that gives mass communication students real-world experience in public relations, design, advertising, event and strategic planning by working with nonprofits to create communication solutions.

Shawn is president of Strategic Giving, a Chicago-based philanthropy consulting firm. She is a member of the executive committee of the Chicago Community Trust, a Guild Fellow of Corpus Christi College and University of Cambridge, a member of the boards of United States Artists and American Associates of the National Theatre and is a past chairman and current trustee of the Goodman Theatre.

Today’s Chicago Woman magazine named Shawn one of 100 Women Making a Difference in Chicago, and she’s been recognized by Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Network. In 2008 she was selected as one of Crain’s Chicago Business “Forty under Forty.”

Maurice (Moe) Guillerman, Class of 1953
Maurice Guillerman came to Loyola for Wolfpack baseball, then went on to build his PR and production skills in the U.S. Army, where he became producer of a TV show called “Your Army In View.”

Returning to the city as an account executive for the New Orleans Item newspaper, Moe was hired away by a client, the newly-formed WWL TV, where he started as an account executive in 1958. Positions as national sales manager, general sales manager and assistant general manager followed, until he eventually became station manager, where he remained until he retired.

While at WWL, Moe hired some of the best-known figures in the New Orleans broadcast community: Jim Henderson, Hep Glauddy, Bill Elder, Eric Paulsen and Angela Hill.

Bob Marshall, Class of 1971
Bob Marshall is best known as the outdoors editor of The Times-Picayune, but he’s covered topics as diverse as the environment and the Olympics.

He got his start at The Maroon, where he served as sports editor and news editor. He’s also been conservation editor and South region editor for Field & Stream Magazine, South columnist of Outdoor Life Magazine and written features for publications ranging from Reader’s Digest to National Geographic Adventure.

In 1997 Bob was a member of The Times-Picayune’s three-man team that earned the newspaper its first Pulitzer, the Public Service award for the series “Oceans of Trouble.” In 2005 Bob’s investigations into Corps of Engineers missteps in building the New Orleans levees and floodwalls was part of the paper’s reporting package that won the Pulitzer for Katrina coverage.

Bob was co-authored of the series “Last Chance: The Fight to Save a Disappearing Coast,” which won the 2007 John H. Oakes Prize for Distinguished Environmental Reporting from Columbia University, and the Keck Award for best science reporting from The National Academies of Sciences.

Since 2008 Bob has been the journalism professor for the Institute for Education in International Media at the University of Urbino, Italy.

Comments Off | Permalink »

Each semester, the public relations courses in the SMC partner with nonprofit organizations to provide a unique experience for both students and professionals. Our students put in many hundreds of hours and get to see the work they do help local organizations do good for the community.

Service learning is standard practice at many universities and is inherent in our Jesuit mission. Students get to learn and improve their skills – in this case, in public relations – and the nonprofits get applicable, strategic PR plans and materials that they could not otherwise afford.

I’ve been happy and proud to be part of this partnership at Loyola, working with organizations as diverse as Voice of the Wetlands, Ozanam Inn, Boys Hope Girls Hope and Green Light New Orleans. Selecting clients is a challenging process; the SMC uses an RFP (request for proposal) process to identify interested groups and make strategic matches between needs of the students and needs of the organizations.

Dr. Cathy Rogers, head of the PR sequence, and I have just completed the latest round of semi-annual applications. We were fortunate to be able to choose from a wealth of opportunities, meeting with a number of representatives of nonprofits that provide New Orleans with a broad spectrum of services.

We are pleased to announce that, for fall 2012, our community partners will be the Louisiana SPCA Community Clinic and the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency. We look forward to a semester of learning and serving with both of these organizations.

1 Comment | Permalink »

And the winner is….
Loyola’s Bateman team! Maggie Moore (account executive), Alexandra Broussard, Wade Kimbro, Jack Lien and Nhi Tieu – working with team adviser Jeffrey Ory – have won first place in the PRSSA national Bateman competition.

One of three finalist teams – with University of Florida and University of Maryland, College Park – to present their Choose Dat, Not Dis campaign to United Way and General Mills representatives at the General Mills headquarters in Minneapolis today, Loyola’s team brings home the university’s sixth first-place trophy since the competition began in 2000. Loyola also has five second-place finishes, one third-place and an honorable mention. Dr. Cathy Rogers is Loyola’s PRSSA adviser.

The SMC students were among 70 teams competing in the 2012 competition. The competition goals were “to increase awareness among children, teenagers and their parents of the serious short and long-term consequences of obesity, inform them of the steps they can take to adopt a healthier lifestyle and provide incentives to take action now,” according to PRSSA’s website. The client-of-record for this competition was United Way Worldwide, and the sponsor was General Mills.

Named in honor of the late Carroll J. Bateman, APR, the competition challenges teams of students to research, plan, implement and evaluate a public relations campaign for an actual client. The Loyola team started work in the fall and executed their campaign during February, working with school children, parents and parade-goers to spread the word about healthier lifestyles. The team will be recognized at the PRSSA National Conference in October in San Francisco.

Comments Off | Permalink »

In my previous post, I mentioned quite a few students who’ve gone above and beyond, bringing pride and recognition to the School of Mass Communication. And those aren’t the only ones!

Loyola’s student media, staffed by mass comm majors as well as students from other departments around campus, brought home more than a dozen awards. The Wolf was named one of the top student magazines in the South by the Southeast Journalism Conference. The Society of Professional Journalists named The Maroon as one of the top non-daily student newspapers in the region, and Precious Esie, Carl Harrison, Leslie Gamboni and Jamie Futral were awarded first place for in-depth reporting in the nation for their series on sexuality. Masako Hirsch won second place in the region for general news reporting, and Camara Thomas won third place in the region for sports writing. The Associated Press Managing Editors awarded Futral first place for feature writing and Craig Malveaux second place for best sports writing.

Advertising major Jamie Martin won a prestigious Stickell Internship. Martin was one of only 15 students in the nation to receive this honor.

Loyola’s Bateman Team, serving up a big helping of “Choose Dat” to combat childhood obesity, was named one of the top three teams in the national Public Relations Student Society of America competition. Members Maggie Moore, Alexandra Broussard, Nhi Tieu, Jack Lien and Wade Kimbro, along with adviser Jeffrey Ory, will be in Minneapolis this week to try to take the crown.

Members of Rebirth Advertising, Loyola’s AAF Ad Team, placed fourth in the highly competitive District 7, earning the first “place” award for a Loyola ad team since Hurricane Katrina. Team members are David Aviles, Ophelia Battle, Cristina Chiu, Kristin Diaz, Kate Gremillion, Erica Guastella, Norrene John, Jared Katsoupis, Jamie Martin, Eddie Schneider and Kylie Tregre. Their adviser is Dr. Yolanda Cal.

The newest SMC organization, Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), under the leadership of Dr. Mark Poepsel, developed “Pack News.” Members Colby Wilson, Khephra White, Xavier Mantica, Crystal Brotmeyer, Santi Caicedo, Danielle Latimer and Kamaria Monmouth created a four-minute, 33-second story for “Washington Week with Gwen Ifill,” a national news program on PBS. The story, “Voice of the Voters: Louisiana Youth,” aired March 20.

Donnelley Center staffers worked to reorganize and rebrand the Center, while continuing to work with area nonprofits. In addition to a presentation to the National Conference of Bar Foundations, an open house and a showing at President’s Open House, the staff put on workshops on presentation software and skills, grant applications and social media. Members of the staff included Emily Andrus, Hedda Asmussen, Carolina Avila, Ophelia Battle, Deidre Gallagher, Michelle Garcia, Elizabeth Kunzig, Danielle Latimer, Madie Robison and Monica Tolosa.

Comments Off | Permalink »

Each year’s commencement allows us to acknowledge the students who’ve worked so hard and accomplished so much in the brief four (OK, maybe five) years they’ve been at Loyola. During our annual SMC Spring Fiesta, held each April, and at May’s College of Social Sciences honors convocation we take time to honor those who’ve excelled in their endeavors and brought even greater recognition to the School of Mass Communication. This year we applaud the accomplishments of these mass comm students:

Michelle Gingras, winner of the A. Louis Read Award for Outstanding Electronic Media Student, given in memory of Read, Class of ’37, in hope that the recipient will be inspired to emulate both his successful career and his extraordinary record of service to Loyola and to the community.

Masako Melissa Hirsch, who took home several awards: the R. Tom Bell Award for Outstanding Journalism Student; the Bonomo Award for the Outstanding School of Mass Communication Student; and the Kappa Tau Alpha Top Scholar Award for highest grade point average in the School.

Kylie Tregre and John Bickle, winners of the School of Mass Communication Faculty’s Outstanding Advertising Student Award.

Kate Gremillion, the School of Mass Communication Faculty’s Outstanding Public Relations Student Award.

Kevin Zansler, the School of Mass Communication Faculty’s Outstanding Photojournalism Student Award.

Angela Hernandez, winner of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Outstanding Graduating Chapter Member Award.

Kimberly Kolb Aguillard, the Public Relations Student Society of America Outstanding Graduating Chapter Member Award.

Cristina Chiu, the Ad Club of Loyola Outstanding Graduating Chapter Member Award.

Xavier Mantica, the Radio Television Digital News Association Outstanding Graduating Chapter Member Award.

Diedre Gallagher, the Shawn M. Donnelley Center for Nonprofit Communications Outstanding Student Award, for the student who has contributed most to the success of the Donnelley Center.

Carl Harrison
, the Nia Renee Roberston Memorial Award, which is presented to a mass comm student from the New Orleans area who stands out in their determination to succeed.

The SMC also inducted new members into the Loyola chapter of Kappa Tau Alpha, the national honor society in Journalism and Mass Communication: Alexandra Broussard, Vanny Zelaya, Paige Hendricks, Madie Robison, Zainya Aziz, Danielle Latimer and Lauren Irwin.

Comments Off | Permalink »

There’s always something going on in the School of Mass Communication, but it seems that things have moved into hyperspeed lately. We’ve just survived midterms, with all those exams and papers, and now we’re moving rapidly into that part of the semester during which our time management skills are severely tested.

SMC ad students returned from the Addy Awards, sponsored by the Ad Club of New Orleans, with an armload of trophies. Erica Guastella won a Silver ADDY, and Virginia Peters-Rodbell won a Gold ADDY. And the Ad Team – aka Rebirth Advertising – took two awards, including Best in Show for the student division. Rebirth, as you might recall, created a campaign called “Let Life Be Your Runway” for JCPenney for last year’s American Advertising Federation National Student Advertising Competition. Rebirth is currently hard at work on a campaign for Nissan that they will unveil at the District 7 NSAC presentations in April in Nashville.

The staff of the Shawn M. Donnelley Center for Nonprofit Communications sponsored their first workshop in the series called the Nonprofits Toolkit. The workshop, entitled, “GRANTS: Hammering out the details,” showed representatives from area nonprofits how to fill out applications and grants forms for greater success. The next workshop, “PRESENTATION SOFTWARE: Nuts and bolts of presentations,” is scheduled for March 19.

The Bateman team has just wrapped up its month-long campaign called “Choose Dat.” After submitting their plans book, they’ll be waiting with bated breath to see if they are among the top three teams in the country that go on to make a live formal presentation in Minneapolis in May. (By the way, Loyola’s teams have the best record in the history of the Bateman competition.)

This semester’s combined PR/Ad Campaigns course (the first time the two sequences have merged for one strategic communications capstone) is working with the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency. The two competing teams – Street Technique and Matador – have turned in their proposals and are now moving forward on their tactical executions.

Internships are a hot topic this time of year as students finalize their summer internship plans. I recently attended a gathering at Xavier where I met with representatives from Dreamworks Animation, NBC Universal and the Golf Channel about their summer opportunities. (Apply now, if you haven’t already. Interviews are going on at this time for most summer internships.)

The internship class recently talked about what not to wear on interviews and on the job, one of the most vigorous discussions we have all semester. Coming up are our mock interviews, with outside professionals coming in to “interview” students for internships and jobs, with critiques following. April 24 we’ll have our portfolio review, with all senior mass comm majors meeting with media and communication professionals to give tips on how to best package yourself for those upcoming interviews.

Teaming with the Press Club of New Orleans, the SMC sponsored the 36th annual Silver Scribe workshops and competition. With support from The Maroon, the SMC provided learning experiences for students from area high schools, newspaper critiques and contests. At the end of the day, Grace King High School was named the most outstanding school, and Mary Margaret Monistere of Mt. Carmel Academy won individual honors.

And we’re far from done. March 17 we’ll be part of the President’s Open House, showcasing the sequences and successes of the SMC and our various student opportunities and organizations. We’ll officially begin advising for summer and fall scheduling on March 19. A month later, we’ll recognize our most outstanding SMCers at the annual Spring Fiesta.

If you want more information about the School of Mass Communication or to find out what ELSE we have on the calendar, drop by our office (Communications/Music 332) or visit us online at http://css.loyno.edu/masscomm/.

Comments Off | Permalink »

I’m turning over this space today to the 2012 Bateman team from the Loyola School of Mass Communication.

Loyola’s School of Mass Communication’s 2012 Bateman team is raising awareness among elementary school students, teachers and parents of those students, and the New Orleans general public with an emphasis on Loyola’s campus of this year’s national childhood obesity campaign.

The first question people usually ask is, “What in the world is the Bateman team?” The Bateman Case Study Competition is Public Relations Student Society of America’s premier national case study competition for public relations students, and gives students an opportunity to apply their classroom education and internship experiences to create and implement a full public relations campaign. Usually somewhere between 80-100 schools compete in this competition, and Loyola’s Bateman team has won more than any other team.

A dilemma of this year’s team members, who are Maggie Moore, account executive, Alex Broussard, Wade Kimbro, Jack Lien and Nhi Tieu, was how could they get the Loyola community involved and interested in childhood obesity? The solution they came up with was to reach beyond the topic of childhood obesity by raising awareness about what it means to live a healthy lifestyle in New Orleans. This can be very difficult living in a city that loves to party and eat delicious but not-so-healthy southern cuisine.

When creating a campaign in New Orleans that will be judged on a national level, the culture of New Orleans should be present. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is in New Orleans but Mardi Gras and the Saints should be incorporated. The team has strategically chosen the slogan “Choose Dat Not Dis” and created a logo using fruits and vegetables to design a fleur de lis.

The team encouraged Loyola students, faculty and staff to taste test some healthy southern food created by GW Fins and fat-free and sugar-free cupcakes created by Sodexo. Students embraced their pledge to Choose Dat when they tasted how good shrimp etouffee can taste with brown rice and grilled fish on top.

During Mardi Gras the team will make sure that the crowds are going to “Move it, Move it” as they pump up the crowds and get them to dance to their own mix of Choose Dat songs. Loyola students have also submitted their own healthy recipes and Mardi Gras snacks and meals they pack to keep themselves on track during the week of partying. Since we think of Mardi Gras as finishing a marathon, not a sprint, the team wants to help Loyola students stay energized, fresh and healthy during Carnival season.

To find out more about the campaign or to learn how you could win a Rouse’s Market gift card, visit the team’s Facebook page, Choose Dat, or follow their Twitter handle, @ChooseDat.

Loyola’s teams have, over the past 12 years, finished in first place a record FIVE times, with five second place finishes. The team will submit their plans book in March, with finalists notified in April and the top three teams presenting in May.

Comments Off | Permalink »