School of Communication- April 2015

MavForensics 5th in Nation.

forensics nationalUNO MavForensics placed in the elite 5 teams in the country, taking home the 5th place trophy for the 3rd time in school history. Senior Karlee Currin caps off an outstanding career by winning a national championship in Dramatic Interpretation. Junior Catie Zaleski placed 2nd in Poetry interpretation, freshman T’eyrr Bynum placed 2nd in Prose, and senior Dan Cutter placed 4th in Persuasive Speaking. Several other speaking events advanced to quarter and semi-finals, contributing to UNO’s impressive 272.5 points!

MavForensics also had two students named to the All-American team, the highest honor, which recognizes students who excel in academics, forensics, and service. Seniors Karlee Currin and Natalie Brooks were both honored with this award, which was bestowed upon them by the national committee. This makes three All-Americans in UNO history, and a first for having two in the same year (it is exceptionally rare).

MavForensics also had three students earn individual sweepstakes awards, meaning that their individual point totals placed them in the Top-20 speakers in the nation overall. Natalie Brooks earned 17th, Karlee Currin 15th, and Catie Zaleski 11th. These three awards are exceptional because they reflect the student’s cumulative performance for the weekend. With hundreds of students at the event, having three in the top-20 is exceptional.

Here are the other schools in the Top 10 (there were 86 schools total at the national tournament):

10. Doane College
9. University of Northern Iowa
8. University of Alabama
7. University of Nebraska Lincoln
6. Illinois State University
5. University of Nebraska Omaha
4. Bradley University
3. George Mason University
2. University of Texas-Austin
1. Western Kentucky University


Forensics Fiesta.


If you would like to support the team and help cover expenses for the national tournament,  join us for the 3rd annual Forensics Fiesta dinner. There will be delicious all-you-can-eat Mexican cuisine and exciting items in silent auction packages. The evening will be held at Security National Bank at 101st and Pacific, Thursday, April 30 from 6:0-8:30 p.m.


60th Annual Awards Luncheon!

side 1 postcard 2015

If you are interested in joining us on May 1, 2015 at 11:30, please email Michelle Thies at and she will send you the information.

2015 Award Honorees will be:

Lifetime Achievement: Neil Nelkin, Former NRG Media, LLC. Op. Manager
Alumni Achievement: Kathy Denker, Assistant Prof. at Ball State Univ.
Rising Star: Kayla Scott, Major Gifts Officer at the American Red Cross


MavRadio broadcasts from Boston.


UNO hockey traveled to Boston for the Final “Frozen” Four last week and MavRadio had four reporters reporting and broadcasting the game live from TD Garden. There were also four students broadcasting from the studios on UNO campus.

Ryan Matheny and Avery Wenck

Coverage began at 2:30 with host Matt Barros and reporters Adam Preister, Noah Sullinger and producer Jordan Stratman reporting from UNO campus.    At 4 pm, MavRadio broadcasted from Boston, where Ryan Matheny and Avery Wenck called the game. Reporters JR Kantor and Eric Anderson gave live updates from the arena.

MavRadio had four sponsors for this event: UNO College of Business Administration, UNO School of Communication, Sears Homes and RDC-Remodeling Dreams Construction.


Graduate student awarded grant.

MaryLee Moulton

Graduate student, MaryLee Moulton has been awarded the GRACA grant ($5000) for her proposal titled, “Twitter as Speech: An Analysis of the Tweets of Nebraska State Legislators” to assist her in her research. This is her first grant and is the School of Communication’s first GRACA grant awarded to one of our graduate students.


Chao awarded grants.

Dr. Joy Chao

Dr. Joy Chao’s proposal titled “From Professionals to First Ladies: The Role of Liyuan Peng and Michelle Obama in the Media’s Portrayal” has been awarded for Faculty Research International (FRI) grant award in the amount of $5,000.

In Fall 2014, she was awarded a 2015 UCRCA grant for her proposal titled, “I Am in the Homeless Home or I Am always on the Way Home: Formatting Identity and Imagined Community through Ethnic Media Use.”   Previously, she received a FRI grant award in 2013-2014 for $5,000, which led to the publication: Chao, C. C., & Tian, D. (2014). Disputes over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands: Communication tactics and grand strategies. Journal of International Relations and Foreign Policy, 2(2), 19-47.


Faculty attend BEA convention.

bea panel
Jodeane Brownlee, Sherice Gearhart, and Chris Allen

Sherice Gearhart, Chris Allen and Jodeane Brownlee were part of a panel, led by Dr. Gearhart, at the 60th annual Broadcast Education Association Convention.  The panel was titled: The Package is No Longer Enough: Incorporating Social Media into Radio and Broadcast Television classes. They were joined by Dr. Kelly Kaufhold, Texas State University; Mary T. Rogus, Ohio University; Lakshmi Tirumala, University of Cincinnati.  The discussion included real-life experiences incorporating Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms in an already tight curriculum. They also shared best practices and obstacles encountered while including digital technology in the classroom.

Sherice Gearhart

Dr. Gearhart also presented a paper she and Dr. Teresa Lamsam co-authored, “Why Health News Matters: Health Reporting in Native American Media Outlets.” This paper was awarded first place in the BEA Multicultural Division.


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