Laura Brubaker Crisco (M '13) Takes First Place in Competition
Last spring, then- graduate student Laura Brubaker Crisco (M '13) took home the First Place Communications Award in the Arthur W. Page Society Case Study Competition in Corporate Communications 2013, an international competition. Crisco won for her case called, "Pink Politics: How Komen's Planned Parenthood Communications Response Unraveled the Pink Ribbon." Her submission to the competition was based on the case study she had done as a student in the CMM 555W Corporate Communications course.
Miller-Ott and Kelly Publish Articles on Relational Aggression
School of Communication faculty members, Drs. Aimee Miller-Ott and Lynne Kelly, published two articles on the topic of relational aggression among college women. The articlespresent results of a study they conducted in which college student women discussed during in-depth interviews their experiences as participants, targets, and observers of relational aggression that took place among women on campus. The article, "Communication of Female Relational Aggression in the College Environment," published in Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, Vol. 14 (3), provides rich descriptions and examples of the forms, precipitating issues, participants, channels used, and management of relational aggression. The second piece, "Mean Girls in College: An Analysis of How College Women Communicatively Construct and Account for Relational Aggression," appeared in Women's Studies in Communication, Vol. 36 (3). This paper uncovers that women are aware of the duality of relational aggression as both bad and normative behavior for women and, therefore, they must communicatively account for their participation in it to manage this dilemma. The project was funded by a grant from the University of Hartford's WELFund.
This past fall was particularly active in terms of alumni involvement in events on campus. Our annual Communication Alumni Reception, held during Hawktober weekend, drew a record number of alumni (over 60), representing classes from 1975 to 2013. The Public Relations Bootcamp event, held earlier that same day, brought current students together with alumni who served as mentors and judges as students worked on a case study and presented their communication plans before the panel of judges. In addition, throughout the semester alumni returned as guest speakers to share information about their careers with current students. Among those who came back to present were Lee Villas ('91, M '93), Senior Vice President and North East Regional Manager for CBS Television Distribution; Douglas Goodstein ('92), Executive Producer of Howard TV On Demand; and Tamar Juda ('05), president and owner of Last Word PR in New York City, where she represents some of the biggest talent in music and entertainment today, including Grammy Award winning producer, rapper and TV star Lil Jon.
In its latest newsletter, "Professional Trends in Communication Scholarship," the Communication Institute for Online Scholarship (CIOS) identified the University of Hartford School of Communication as among "a small number of departments where the masters degree is the highest degree offered" whose" accumulated research record exceeds the mean level of productivity of the field's Ph.D. granting departments." Our faculty are so productive as scholars that we were further noted as among a few programs whose accumulated record of accomplishment "places them not only above the mean of Ph.D. granting programs but within range of the field's top 25 Ph.D. granting programs." The School of Communication shares this honor with universities such as Cleveland State University, Depaul University, and San Diego State University.
At the University's opening meeting on August 28, 2013, Dr. Susan Grantham was awarded an Innovations in Teaching and Learning Award for her public relations campaigns course, where students work with actual clients. This year the clients were Sikorsky Aircraft and Hartford Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs. Students were divided into teams and researched the clients' communication needs, industries, competitors, and audiences. They developed communication plans that they presented to the clients. Each client then selected the team that they thought created the best plan. Although labor-intensive for Dr. Grantham, the course gives students real world experience and a terrific learning experience.
A new scholarship has been created, the Pratt & Whitney Communication Scholarship, thanks to a donation from the East Hartford based company, a division of United Technologies Corporation. At a ceremony on April 18, 2013, two Communication majors were awarded the scholarship for the 2013-14 Academic Year: Shannon DePaul (’14) and Eboni Rhodes (’15). Ms. Julie Busque (M ’12), an alumnus of the Master’s program in Communication and Communications Manager, Engineering, at Pratt & Whitney, was in attendance at the inaugural awarding of the scholarship.
To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be majoring in Communication, have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, be rising juniors or seniors, and show an active interest in their chosen field through participation in one or more student organizations, or through internships and volunteer work.
Shannon DePaul is majoring in Communication, with an emphasis in Media and Journalism, and a minor in Dance. She is treasurer and captain of the Dance Team, a Red Cap, a staff writer for The Informer, a member of the new volunteer organization, Circle K, and participates in community service activities such as Hawks Helping Hartford.
Eboni Rhodes has an emphasis in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Business Management. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Pi Leadership Honor Society, is publicist for the Mock Trial Team and for the University of Hartford Gospel Choir, and is cultural arts chair for Brothers and Sisters United. She is involved with Hartbeat Magazine and philanthropic activities such as Relay for Life.
Dr. Susan Grantham of the School of Communication was instrumental in the creation of the scholarship along with Ms. Busque; Mr. James Jannette, Manager, Communications Operations; and Ms. Heather Summerer, Manager, Public Relations and Communications, all from Pratt & Whitney. Faculty, staff and students of the School of Communication are grateful to all of them for their efforts and generosity.