School of Communication News- March 2015

Editor of Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly Visits

Dr. Louisa Ha, Editor of Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly recently visited the UNO campus and spoke to students and faculty on a variety of subjects.


On March 11, Dr. Ha led the discussion “The master student’s dilemma: Ph.D. or industry career” right after a welcome reception. On March 12, she first conveyed a talk to the faculty in the School of Communication titled “My career path from industry practitioner to academic to administrator to journal editor as a working mother” at 10 am.ha4 ha3

Dr. Ha, then, delivered a campus presentation focused Online Teaching at 4 pm. In addition, there was a presentation and discussion by Dr. Ha of “My social media research and decline in new content engagement or news media engagement? A longitudinal analysis of new consumption since the rise of social media 2009-2012” held at 6 pm.

As a professor in the Department of Telecommunications at BGSU, Dr. Ha is the founder and chair of the Emerging Media Research Cluster, which “promotes interdisciplinary dialogue and research on the political, economic, cultural, social and technological aspects of emerging media,” in the School of Media and Communication.  Her research focuses lie in media management and media convergence, new media business models, social and mobile media use, online and international advertising and audience research, according to her faculty profile on BGSU’s site.

2015-03-11 19.04.57Dr. Joy Chao, with an award from UCAT, was able to extend the invitation to Dr. Ha. Based on faculty and students’ comments, her visit and presentations did advance teaching at UNO.


MavRadio Award Winners

jeske (2)

Matthias Jeske


Matthew Barros

MavRadio has two students winning awards in this year’s national BEA Festival of Media Arts out of 1352 total entries.  Matthias Jeske was awarded first place for Air Personality of the Year for his show The Waxx Museum with Mister 1960, the second year in a row that Mattias won this award.   Matthew Barros earned second place for Best Comedy/Drama for his production of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado. Matthew Barros was also awarded the Abe Voron Scholarship. Thirteen students nationwide received a 2015-2016 BEA Scholarship and Matthew was one of only two students to receive this prestigious Scholarship.

MavRadio was honored with two NBA awards for student broadcasting. Ryan Matheny and Paul Dobler earned first place for Best Live Sporting Event for their baseball play-by-play and color commentary of the Omaha Mavericks versus the Nebraska Huskers. Matthias Jeske was awarded first place for Best Promotion for his 30 second Haunted Heartland promo that aired on MavRadio.


Ryan Matheny


Paul Dobler


UNO Helps the Community

Saturday, Feb. 21 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., students from Norris Middle, Omaha South and UNO volunteered at Omaha’s first #Milk4Kids (on Twitter) event at five area Baker’s stores on Saddle Creek and Leavenworth, 120th & Center, 132nd & Maple, 156th & Dodge, Bellevue. Shoppers were asked to stop by and donate for one gallon of milk ($3 wholesale) for the Great American Milk Drive. Omaha’s Hunger Collaborative finds that local food banks are regularly short of milk and dairy products — important nutrition for children. The group wanted to change it here in Omaha by raising awareness and funds to help our neighbors in poverty. People can also donate online: Howell, Services Coordinator at Together, stated: According to the Hunger Collaborative Feeding America donation data kept between Hunger Collaborative and Food Bank for the Heartland the three pantries of the Hunger Collaborative received 507 gallons of milk for the year 2014.  Thus, the Saturday of the milk drive provided in one day more milk than we received in the 12 months of last year.


Dr. Seuss Week

seussThe National Education Association (NEA) in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, celebrates the 18th annual “Read Acrosforensics seuss 2s America Day” on Monday, March 2, which is also the 111th birthday of author Dr. Seuss. UNO Forensic students read to the Indian Hills elementary students during Dr. Seuss week.


Annual H.S. Media Conference

The UNO School of Communication will be holding the High School Media Conference on April 7, 2015. Students from around the Omaha metro come together to present their creativity in all things communication and learn about journalism at this yearly event organized by faculty member Dr. Sherrie Wilson.


Graduate Student Received Award

blood award

Graduate Student and CFAM Communications Specialist Noelle Blood received a Top Graduate Paper Award during the Sooner Communication Conference at the University of Oklahoma in March. The paper is titled “Oh My Gosh, Look at Her Butt; An Intersectional Feminist Critique of Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda.”


 Graduate Student honored at Conference

Over 1000 university students from around the world, including Communication Graduate student Angeela Shrestha and five other students from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, gathered in Florida from March 6-8 to share their passions and learn how to make their plans a reality at the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) conference.

cgiu2-hFrom Left: Angeela Shrestha, Ryan Nielsen, Larisa Akah, Michael Latta, Anthony Hughes, and Amissabah Johnson

In May 2015, Angeela plans to head to Kathmandu, Nepal to start up a humane education program for school children in the local community.  The Clinton Global Initiative University has honored her with acknowledging this humane education and care project as a ‘commitment to action’ during this conference.  For more information:


Home Matters; UNO PRSSA

A team of public relations students from the University of Nebraska at Omaha has partnered with NeighborWorks Home Solutions to help students prepare for their financial future and debunk myths of home ownership. “Our Foundation, Your Home: Preparing for a Healthy Financial Future,” was held on Monday, Feb. 23, at 11:30 a.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center in the Nebraska and Aksarben rooms.

A panel of three experts discussed the home buying process, how to build credit and offer other financial advice. A question and answer session followed. Panelists were Paula Danker, broker associate of Heartland Properties; Jennifer Doebelin, mortgage loan originator at American National Bank and Joe Kueper, president of NeighborWorks Home Solutions.

This event was part of the national initiative “Home Matters,” which believes the New American Dream is one where every American can live in a safe, nurturing environment with access to quality education, healthcare, public spaces and community services.

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chose Home Matters for its 2015 National Bateman Case Study Competition. UNO students competing are seniors, Maria Brown, Madaline Eblen, Alex Jensen, Susan Payne and junior Trent Ostrom.


Save The Date! side 1 postcard 2015

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


School of Communication News- February 2015

State Champions- Forensics

MavForensics 2015 NIFA

2014-2015 MavForensics State Champions

For only the second time in history, the UNO MavForensics team won the State Championship at the Nebraska Intercollegiate Forensics Association tournament. Nebraska is one of, if not the most, competitive states in the country, featuring four teams ranked in the top 20 at the annual national tournament. With only 12 students, the squad managed to eke out victory over the University of Nebraska Lincoln, a national powerhouse who had won the previous three consecutive years.

Among the highlights: For the third consecutive year, MavForensics claimed the top speaker in the state. Senior Karlee Currin won Individual Sweepstakes, with Junior Catie Zaleski coming in second. Both women were the first UNO competitors to ever advance all six of their individual events to finals.
MavForensics won individual state championships in five of eleven events. Currin and Zaleski won Duo Interpretation, Currin won Program of Oral Interpretation, Zaleski won Poetry Interpretation, Senior Natalie Schneider-Brooks won Communication Analysis, and Sophomore Doug Morris won Oratory. The top two students in Oratory advance to the Interstate Oratory Competition, the oldest public speaking contest on the continent. For the first time ever, UNO MavForensics will represent Nebraska by sending two students to the contest. Senior Dan Cutter finished second to Morris, punching a ticket to the contest at Berry University at Mount Berry, Georgia this April.

Full results are as follows:

Communication Analysis
Natalie Schneider-Brooks – State Champion
Dan Cutter – 3rd
Duo Interpretation
Karlee Currin and Catie Zaleski – State Champions
T’eyrr Bynum and Dominic Hernandez (Freshman) – 2nd (Also Top Novice)
Abbie Herbert and Julia Quigley (Sophomore) – 6th
Doug Morris – State Champion
Dan Cutter – 2nd
Poetry Interpretation
Catie Zaleski – State Champion
T’eyrr Bynum – 3rd (Also Top Novice)
Julia Quigley – 5th
Program of Oral Interpretation
Karlee Currin – State Champion
Catie Zaleski – 2nd
Abbie Herbert – 3rd
Dominic Hernandez – Top Novice
Prose Interpretation
Karlee Currin – 2nd
Dominic Hernandez – 3rd (Also Top Novice)
Catie Zaleski – 5th
Julia Quigley – 6th
After Dinner Speaking
Natalie Schneider-Brooks – 3rd
Karlee Currin – 4th
Bridget Hames (Junior) – 6th
Dramatic Interpretation
Karlee Currin – 4th
Catie Zaleski – 5th
Abbie Herbert (Sophomore) – 6th
T’eyrr Bynum (Freshman) – Top Novice
Impromptu Speaking
Natalie Schneider-Brooks – 3rd
Informative Speaking
Catie Zaleski – 6th
Doug Morris – 7th
Karlee Currin – 8th
Individual Sweepstakes
Karlee Currin – State Champion
Catie Zaelski – 2nd
Team Sweepstakes
UNO – State Champions


Instructor receives Teaching Award


Instructor Holly Miller is the recipient of the
2015 CFAM Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award​.


Top Graduate Paper

Photo on 8-1-14 at 9#2
Graduate Student and CFAM Communications Specialist Noelle Blood has been notified that she will receive a Top Graduate Paper Award during the Sooner Communication Conference at the University of Oklahoma in March. The paper is titled “Oh My Gosh, Look at Her Butt; An Intersectional Feminist Critique of Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda.”


New Book Published

johansen ecohustleProfessor Bruce Johansen has a new book due out in April, 2015 titled “Eco-Hustle! Global Warming, Greenwashing, and Sustainability”



UNO TV’s B.J. Huchtemann honored

Omaha, Nebr.­­– UNO Television producer-director B.J. Huchtemann was in Memphis, Tenn., during the third week of January to receive the prestigious Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Award for Journalism for her ongoing work as a writer / columnist with Omaha publication The Reader as well as her other music journalism efforts. The KBAs are given out annually by the Blues Foundation to honor significant commitments to the blues genre. UNO Television is part of the School of Communication and the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media.

Huchtemann was one of 15 blues industry professionals honored for their long-term, behind-the-scenes work in preserving and furthering the blues in a luncheon held at the downtown Doubletree Hotel in Memphis on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. Huchtemann has worked as a producer-director for UNO Television since 2000. She has been a weekly contributor to Omaha’s independent alternative journalism publication The Reader for nearly 20 years and has written for other regional and national publications since the early 1990s. Huchtemann was also among the ten industry professionals invited to judge the finals of the 31st International Blues Challenge, celebrating the talents of over 250 blues artists from around the world.B. J. Huchtemann receives Keeping the Blues Alive award for Jour

“It was a true honor to receive the KBA for Journalism, and be recognized among a group of so many accomplished individuals who have dedicated their lives to the music,” Huchtemann said. “Every recipient has a unique story of how they came to the blues and how it has profoundly impacted their lives. Being asked to judge the IBCs was also an important acknowledgement of my work, to be included on the judging panel with national and international musicians, label founders and producers was quite a distinction.”

Each year, The Blues Foundation presents the KBA Awards to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to blues music. The KBA ceremony was held in conjunction with the 31st International Blues Challenge, Jan. 21-24, featuring the final rounds of the world’s largest and most prestigious blues music competition, as well as seminars, showcases and receptions for blues societies, fans and professionals.

The KBAs are awarded by a select panel of blues professionals to those working actively to promote and document the music. KBA Committee Chairman Art Tipaldi notes, “The KBA Committee always looks to honor longevity. This year’s slate of 15 recipients comes with over 400 years of dedicated service to spreading blues music. With so many dedicated organizations here and abroad, the committee decided to honor two blues society affiliates, one American and one international. The Blues Foundation is pleased to honor these people and organizations as a tribute to the years each has given to supporting blues music.”

To read a profile on Huchtemann in the January issue of The Reader visit this link:


Ad Club Members at Meet the Pros1

UNO Advertising Club students are attending the Meet the Pros event February 16th and 17th.  This annual event is sponsored by the local American Federation of Advertising chapter.  Students and faculty from schools in the region attend to hear tips from local and national advertising and marketing professionals.  Students network with the pros and share their portfolios for feedback.​








side 1 postcard 2015



School of Communication News- January 2015

CFAM- School of Communication Fall 2014 Graduation


QueenTara Pimentel

QueenTara Pimentel delivers the undergraduate message at commencement. QueenTara is a  nationally recognized forensics team member.


2014 grads



Graduate students recognized

Bryan Hagg, M.A. 2014, has been chosen to have the top project in the School of Communication for 2014.  The project is titled “Stand and Deliver! Leading a Team with a Charismatic Purpose.”  The publication is a training manual designed for High School speech and debate coaches.

Graduate student Mary Lee Moulton was honored with a top paper award from the Master’s Education division at NCA.


Logsdon named as a TEDxUNO speaker

camCongratulations to Cameron Logsdon, assistant coach of Mavforensics and two-time UNO School of Communication alum, who was selected as a TEDxUNO speaker!

As an undergraduate student, Cameron was instrumental in elevating MavForensics to the national stage. He won UNO’s first national championship in competitive forensics in 2010 and followed it up with a second national championship in 2011.

TEDxUNO will take place on February 28, 2015 at Strauss Performing Arts Center on the UNO campus. This one-day TEDx event will explore dynamic definitions and applications of community. The goal is to explore community on campus and in the Omaha area to create a sustainable future.


Tyma co-Authors book

bookAssociate Professor Adam Tyma co-authored Beyond New Media: Discourse and Critique in a Polymediated Age, which was released in November. (from Amazon) The book examines a host of differing positions on media in order to explore how those positions can inform one another and build a basis for future engagements with media theory, research, and practice. Herbig, Herrmann, and Tyma have brought together a number of media scholars with differing paradigmatic backgrounds to debate the relative applicability of existing theories and in doing so develop a new approach: polymediation. Each contributor’s disciplinary background is diverse, spanning interpersonal communication, media studies, organizational communication, instructional design, rhetoric, mass communication, gender studies, popular culture studies, informatics, and persuasion. Although each of these scholars brings with them a unique perspective on media’s role in people’s lives, what binds them together is the belief that meaningful discourse about media must be an ongoing conversation that is open to critique and revision in a rapidly changing mediated culture. By studying media in a polymediated way, Beyond New Media addresses more completely our complex relationship to media(tion) in our everyday lives.

Allen takes on additional role

allen 2013

Dr. Chris Allen

Professor Chris Allen has been named as the General Manager for UNO Television.  Dr. Allen also teaches Advanced Broadcast Journalism and other Journalism courses and is the Executive Producer for The Omaha News.




MaverickPR/PRSSA awards


Sean Robinson, Michelle Meisinger, Kimberly Bailey and Trent Ostrom

MavPRSSA and adviser Karen Weber won three student awards at the 2014 PRSA Nebraska Paper Anvil Awards Gala.

Award of Merit
YES “Give Back with a Pack” Backpack Drive

Outstanding Media Relations
Campaign for a Nonprofit
Award of Excellence
We are the Power of O.NE

Outstanding Campus Event
Award of Excellence
Gateway 100th Anniversary Celebration


MavForensics December and January Tournament Results

Outer Limits- Kearney NE

Team photoThe MavForensics team capped off their most successful semester in team history by winning both days of the Outer Limits tournament hosted by the University of Nebraska at Kearney on December 6-7. Sunday’s tournament marked the most finalists MavForensics has ever had on one day of competition (34) and was the eighth team championship of the year, also a new high.

Freshman Dylan Morris was the top overall speaker for Saturday’s qualifying tournament, while MavForensics competitors took home the top four overall spots during Sunday’s “showcase” tournament, where schools compete with events already qualified for nationals. The final score was Hastings College 78 points (3rd place), UNL 198.5 points (2nd place), and UNO 299 points (1st place). It was easily our biggest margin of victory at this tournament ever. Senior Dan Cutter took home top overall speaker on Sunday, with senior Natalie Brooks taking second, senior Karlee Currin taking third, and freshman T’eyrr Bynum placing fourth.

Hell Froze Over- Peoria, IL


Although the MavForensics team has had many notable results over the last 9 years, few can compare to the squad’s achievements this past weekend, January 10 & 11. The annual “Hell Froze Over” swing is considered by many to be even more difficult than the national tournament. With only 7 MavForensics competitors traveling to the elite event, the squad placed second as a team on Sunday, with Junior Catie Zaleski winning top speaker and Senior Karlee Currin placing second. Even more staggering, MavForensics placed third overall across both days of the tournament, with Currin winning top overall speaker for the tournament and Zaleski placing third. For context, the two teams that placed behind UNO on Sunday, Bradley University and George Mason University, were the second and third ranked teams in the entire country at last year’s national tournament.

Complete results are as follows:

Hell Froze Over Day One (Sat 1/10)

Communication Analysis
Natalie Brooks (Senior) – Semifinalist

Prose Interpretation
Catie Zaleski – Semifinalist
Karlee Currin – Semifinalist

Poetry Interpretation
Catie Zaleski – Semifinalist

Persuasive Speaking
Natalie Brooks – Semifinalist

Program of Oral Interpretation
Karlee Currin – 1st place

Hell Froze Over Day Two (Sun 1/11)

Prose Interpretation
Catie Zaleski – 1st place
Karlee Currin – Semifinalist

Program of Oral Interpretation
Karlee Currin – 1st place

Duo Interpretation
Karlee Currin/Catie Zaleski – 1st place

Dramatic Interpretation
Catie Zaleski – 1st place
Abbie Herbert – Semifinalist

After Dinner Speaking
Karlee Currin – 3rd place

Poetry Interpretation
Catie Zaleski – 5th place

Communication Analysis
Dan Cutter (Senior) – 5th place
Natalie Brooks – Semifinalist

Impromptu Speaking
Dan Cutter – Semifinalist

Extemporaneous Speaking
Natalie Brooks – Semifinalist

Informative Speaking
Natalie Brooks – Semifinalist

Individual Sweepstakes
Catie Zaleski – 1st place
Karlee Currin – 2nd place

Team Sweepstakes
UNO – 2nd

Overall Individual Sweepstakes
Karlee Currin – 1st
Catie Zaleski – 3rd

Overall Team Sweepstakes
UNO – 3rd


Dr. Jeremy Lipschultz and Abbie Syrek assisted in providing content and photos for this blog.


UNO’s Peony Park Documentary- Showing Tonight!

by: Charles Reed, University Communications-

A documentary from School of Communication students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) has been selected for the 2014 Film Streams Local Filmmaker’s Showcase, which will take place this October.

543f7b8a9a1ea.imageThe film, “For Us Kids: A Peony Park Memoir,” is a 25-minute documentary about one of the Midwest’s most-attended amusement parks during its existence from 1919 until its closing in 1994. The feature includes a number of interviews from those who worked, lived and played at the park, including former Omaha mayor Mike Boyle and Nebraska Congressman Lee Terry.

“For Us Kids” will play at Film Streams‘ Ruth Sokolof Theater, 1340 Mike Fahey St., as part of a two-hour showing of 12 short films beginning Thursday, Oct. 16, with a special premiere screening at 7:30 p.m. with a post-show reception featuring the filmmakers.

Additional showings will run through Thursday, Oct. 23.

The rest of the story can be found at:

The Omaha World-Herald ran a front-page story in today’s paper.  That story can be found at:

School of Communication News- October 2014

Department News:

The Omaha News is back on the air for the fall 2014 semester on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. on these channels:

The Knowledge Network- Live Stream:

Cox Communications           CenturyLink Prism
TKN1 Channel 18                   TKN1 Channel 69
TKN2 Channel 109                 TKN2 Channel 79

The Omaha News Vote 2014 will be broadcasting live beginning 7 p.m. on November 4th. Student reporters will cover local, state and federal election returns and news. Guests will discuss the various races and outcomes as the night progresses.

Previous broadcasts can also be viewed on The Omaha News page: as well as on The Omaha News Ustream page:


wilsonBrownlee and Wilson visit OPS radio class

Dual enrollment and opportunities with the student-run college radio station, MavRadio, were discussed with OPS Career Center students Sept. 22. Dr. Sherrie Wilson (pictured left), explained the benefits of taking high school classes that can be used as credit in the School of Communication. Jodeane Brownlee introduced the group to the website and answered questions ranging from music selection to sports broadcasting.




Matthias Jeske, MavRadio’s Mr. 1960, along with Ryan Matheny and Cody Tromler, hosted Maverick Mayhem on October 9th at the Caniglia Soccer Field. The staff of MavRadio, advised by Jodeane Brownlee, broadcasted the event live from 6:45 p.m. until the event ended at 10:15 p.m. Earlier this year, Jeske won Personality of The Year from the Broadcast Education Association.


Johansen Directs Production of Tribal History in Pacific Northwest

A history of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe (near Seattle), Up From the Ashes: Nation Building at Muckleshoot, will be presented to about 600 tribal members and other guests at a launch Thursday, December 4, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Muckleshoot Elders’ Center’s community hall. Dr. Bruce E. Johansen, Jacob J. Isaacson Professor in UNO’s School of Communication is the principal author of the book. He also has directed its production during the past four years, assembling more than 100 pieces of artwork.

The eight-by-10.5-inch, full-color book also will appear on the Internet in full text, with free access. A press run of 5,000 copies will be used in the Tribe’s school system as well as neighboring districts, and will be given to influential people in public and private life in Washington and other states.

The book was begun several years ago by Dr. Willard Bill, Jr., the first Muckleshoot to earn a Ph.D.,who assembled rough drafts of several chapters before he passed away on December 26, 2007. The project was continued and completed by Dr. Johansen, who was recommended to the Tribal Council by Roberto F. Maestas, late principal organizer of Seattle’s El Centro de la Raza, with whom Johansen had co-authored two books. Johansen earned a B.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Washington (as well as M.A. at Minnesota), and worked as a reporter at the Seattle Times before accepting his present position at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1982. The MIT history is his 39th book, most of which are on Native American and environmental subjects.

Johansen, who began an active role in the project during 2010, emphasized that, “like so much of the remarkable recovery at Muckleshoot, this history has been a co-operative effort.” The book required many talents and a great deal of support from the Tribal Council, most notably chairwoman Virginia Cross, The Education Department (led by Joseph Martin), the Preservation Program (Donna Hogerhuis), and the Muckleshoot Monthly (John Loftus). John Daniels, Jr, also played a crucial role. Many others are named in the book’s acknowledgements. “Many books are started, but many fewer are finished,” said Johansen. “Like the Muckleshoot nation, this one was built by its members and friends.”


Update: Student Organizations:


Team after Clover ClassicThe 2014-2015 MavForensics team has hit the ground running, taking home top honors at both days of the first two tournaments of the year. Senior Karlee Currin has led the team, winning top overall speaker at both the “Debates on a Plain” tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas on September 27-28 and at the “Clover Classic” in Crete, Nebraska on October 4-5. Seniors Dan Cutter and Natalie Brooks have joined Currin, placing among the top three speakers repeatedly in the first two weekends, and Junior Catie Zaleski has finished second overall speaker three out of the four days of competition. The MavForensics team has won a record-setting 28 individual event championships, aided by the biggest-ever incoming freshmen class. Having worked hard since early this summer, the MavForensics team finds themselves positioned for another successful season!

Bridget AlyssaCommunication Studies majors: Bridget Hames (left) and Alyssa Harter (right). Both Bridget and Alyssa were recognized for their exceptional speeches at the Clover Classic.

Read more- article by Charles Reed, University Communications:


UNO Ad Club:

Mark Carpenter

Mark Carpenter

UNO Ad Club’s October meeting featured a presentation “Who Were the Real Madmen” by Mark Carpenter (pictured left), SKAAR Advertising.

Ad Club’s November speaker is:
Drew Davies
Oxide Design Co.
Wednesday, Nov. 5, 5:30 p.m.
MBSC Jenkins Room (301)


UNO PRSSA Earns Six National Awards in DC

UNO PRSSA National Conference team with Amy Robach of ABC

UNO PRSSA National Conference team with Amy Robach of ABC

Omaha, Neb., Oct. 15, 2014—The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has earned six national awards.

The awards were presented at the 2014 PRSSA National Conference in Washington DC Oct. 10 to 14. The awards include:

  • H. Teahan National Chapter Award Outstanding PRSSA-PRSSA Relationship
  • National Organ Donor Awareness Competition (NODAC) 2nd Place
  • Star Chapter designation
  • National President’s Citations awarded to graduate student Megan Romero, former chapter president and Angela Eastep, current chapter president
  • National Golden Key awarded to Michelle Meisinger, chapter vice president of professional development and MaverickPR student-run firm director.

The Teahan and NODAC awards also earned $600 for the chapter’s professional development.

Ten members of the chapter’s executive board and its faculty adviser Karen Weber attended the conference:

Angela Eastep, chapter president; Michelle Meisinger, chapter vice president of professional development; Noelle Ashley, treasurer; Alexandria Jensen, public relations director; Ashley Anderson, social media director; Dana Christensen, creative director; Trent Ostrom and Emily Huebert, co-service directors; Danyelle Stephenson, recruitment director; and Sean Robinson, newsletter editor.

The UNO chapter has won national awards for the past decade including Outstanding Chapter, the highest award given to a PRSSA chapter, in 2012 and 2009.

The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA ) is part of a national pre-professional organization boasting more than 11,000 members among 344 chapter across the US and South America.


UNO PRSSA Annual Italian Night Fundraiser

italian night groupThe UNO chapter of PRSSA raised nearly $6,000 from its 11th annual La Notte Italiana benefit dinner and silent auction. Proceeds came from alumni and faculty donations, ticket sales and silent auction packages. More than 100 guests enjoyed Italian cuisine from such local restaurants as Bella Vita, Pasta Amore and Nicolas.

italian night auctionThe silent auction featured spa to sports packages. Among the highlights of the evening was a strolling mandolin player.italian night serenade

The funds raised helped send 10 students to the PRSSA National Conference in Washington D.C. Oct. 9-14 and assist with funding of other professional development events and service projects.

italian night buffet

italian nigh sponsors


If you have an item or story to be considered for next month, send the material to Michelle Thies at

School of Communication News- September 2014

6320_nebraska_omaha__mavericks-secondary-2011Welcome to the First Installment of the School of Communication News.  This Blog will share information about our School, Students, Faculty, Student Groups and Alumni and updated about the 15th of each month.

Department News:

New Curriculum: The School of Communication has made changes to the curriculum beginning in fall of 2014. The two majors are Journalism and Media Communication (JMC) and Communication Studies, formerly known as Mass Communication and Speech Communication. Students can also minor in Journalism and Media Communication, Communication Studies and Visual Communication.

The sequences under the JMC major are:

  • Creative Media
  • Public Relations/Advertising
  • Journalism

Contact the School of Communication, 402.554.2600, for more information.


Publication Design and Graphics Course Continues to Evolve

by Melodae Morris

The former Publication Design and Graphics course is getting a new name:  PR and Graphic Design.

The course has been evolving, over the last year, to include essential aspects of applying basic design principles in a changing world of PR and Advertising. Specifically, the rapidly changing aspects of digital communication is impacting how advertising and public relations professionals do their job.  Expanded elements of the course will include interactive digital designing and lessons on creating infographics for public relations, advertising and news.

Last spring, we were fortunate to have Joe Walton, from Weber Shandwick, speak to students.  “In the next 10 years the ability to design and manipulate images will be the difference between a good PR person and a great one,” Walton said.

He also said PR and Advertising professionals will need to create more “sharable stuff” (visual content) to help their brands keep up with Internet channels of social media.  In other words, he said, they need to be able to “bash out a graphic” at a moment’s notice in order to tell a story for a client and engage the customer.

Because of the new digital age, this course will need to stay on the leading edge of the tools and design aspects what will help them be viable and relevant candidates for internships and jobs.



Former Director Promotes Book

Dr. Jeremy Lipschultz was recently a guest on The Tom Becka Show to promote his new book, Social Media Communication: Concepts, Practices, Data, Law and Ethics.

Dr. Jeremy Lipschultz at the Bookworm

Dr. Jeremy Lipschultz at The Bookworm

Dr. Lipschultz was at The Bookworm on September 14th to sign copies of his book, Social Media Communication: Concepts, Practices, Data, Law and Ethics.


Lamsam receives award


From L to R: Benny Polacca, Tara Madden, Chalene Toehay, Shannon Shaw Duty, Teresa Trumbly Lamsam, Lu King and Jerri Jean Branstetter.

The Osage News staff and Editorial Board pose with their 2014 Elias Boudinot Award at this year’s Native American Journalists Association conference in Santa Clara, Calif.
Dr. Teresa Trumbly Lamsam, board member for the Osage News, was one of the recipients of the 2014 Elias Boudinot Free Press Award at the National Native Media Conference this summer “for recognition of their work in highlighting public officials’ responsibility in following open records laws.”

The award refers to a case in which the Osage News and Editorial Board filed suit asking the court to compel Chief Red Eagle to release public records to the newspaper. Previous open records requests had been ignored and eventually denied. The parties agreed to dismiss the case after he provided the records and paid the newspaper’s legal fees. Later, in a trial hearing on other violations, he admitted to breaking the open records law. He was impeached in January 2014.

NAJA Executive Director Pamala Silas stated, “Your nomination was reviewed and selected by the NAJA Board of Directors based on the courageous work of the Osage News over the past year, bringing forth information critical for public official accountability and challenging responsibility in following open records laws.”

Elias Boudinot Free Press Award is named after the Cherokee journalist who printed the first edition of the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper in New Echota, Ga. during the 19th century and the first bilingual newspaper in the Western Hemisphere.


Faculty attend summer seminar

Professors Jeremy Lipschultz and Shereen Bingham attended a week-long service learning summer seminar in July at the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center. Together, one of the sites visited during the seminar, provides Emergency Resources and Navigation to families in Extreme Poverty to create Housing Stability.

howell together
Craig Howell
at Together.


Material Bruce Johansen wrote for a U.S. State Department publication outlining the Iroquois role in the evolution of U.S. democracy was included in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a standardized test developed by Pearson, Inc. for eight years (2015-2022) with 10 million anticipated users in 14 U.S. States.


KETV Digital Media Manager speaks to students

garciaJonathan Garcia, Digital Media Manager at KETV NewsWatch 7, was a guest speaker during the summer Media Writing class. Students were active in a discussion with Garcia about digital media impact on news gathering, live reporting.  There was also lively discussion on how to verify sources when using digital contributions from the audience.



Friday, Sept. 26th: 6:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at Security National Bank Community Room- 101st & Pacific Streets Adults-$20; Students w/ ID-$12; Children 12 & under- $5 Contact Angela Eastep for more information.


Update: Student Organizations

MavRadio won a NBA award for Best Promotional Announcement for the “Haunted Heartland Promo” and best Live Sports Event for their play-by-play of “Omaha vs. Lincoln Baseball”.


 UNO Ad Club

It has been a busy summer for the new leadership for the UNO Ad Club.  President, Sarah Bergeron; Vice President, Valerie Van Gundy; and Secretary, Emily Wheeler met with Advisor, Melodae Morris in a leadership retreat to get a head start on club planning for the new academic year.

The club’s focus this year will be in re-branding and recruitment.  A new logo has been created and plans are underway to participate in a variety of activities this fall including joint participation with PRSSA.  Ad Club will form a “Creative Team” this year to provide ad design and copywriting in the creation of flyers to promote PRSSA events.

Ad Club members will be also be involved with the annual branding and promotional activities for the club to encourage recruitment and retention of active members.  Ad Club features advertising professionals as guest speakers for each monthly meeting.  September’s meeting includes:

Topic: What is Agency Life?
Presented by Sarah Pieper, Ervin & Smith Advertising
Wed., Sept. 14 at 5:30 p.m.
MBSC Jenkins Room 301

Learn what it is really like to work at an agency: From industry culture and agency positions, to the creative process and services.

You can find Ad Club at:
Contact: Sara Bergeron


UNO PR student organization rebrands to MavPRSSA

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) has rebranded its name from MaverickPR to MavPRSSA.

The chapter’s nationally affiliated student-run public relations firm will retain the name MaverickPR. “The executive board made this decision last spring to help build a stronger identity nationally and on campus, and to distinguish between the chapter and the firm,” said Karen Weber, faculty adviser for MavPRSSA and MaverickPR.

The name MaverickPR used for the chapter and firm proved confusing to students, faculty and clients, Weber said. Both organizations are sponsored by the School of Communication and the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media.

The rebranding also includes the creation of new logos for each designed by Sarah Bergeron, a former graphic designer for MaverickPR and president of the UNO Ad Club. A committee from the executive board worked this summer to create new branding and promotional materials being rolled out the first week of school.

“It was important for the chapter and student-run firm to each have its own voice and identity,” said Angela Eastep, MavPRSSA president. “We spent a considerable amount of time making sure that our new logos and other branding materials reflected each organization’s unique identity while still being complementary to one another.”

For more information, contact Alex Jensen, MavPRSSA public relations director, at

MavPRSSA is a pre-professional organization affiliated with more than 300 chapters of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Nationally recognized for its community and university service, MavPRSSA has earned Outstanding Chapter in 2012 and 2009.


Alumni News:

Photo on 8-1-14 at 9#2Noelle Blood, BS ’11, is the Communications Specialist for CFAM, in which she is tasked with directing and coordinating the development and execution of the college’s marketing and communication programs both on-campus and in the greater community.

Noelle graduated with a dual major in Speech Communication and Journalism and Summa Cum Laude honors. She is currently taking graduate courses at UNO, toward a Master of Arts in Communication.


Alumna Sarah Casey spoke to the JOUR 3300- Social Media Metrics course this summer. Casey discussed UNO social media measurement.


Alumna and CFAM Communications Specialist Noelle Blood was a guest speaker for the JOUR 3300- Social Media Metrics course this summer. Blood discussed CFAM’s social media plans.

If you have an item or story to be considered for next month, send the material to Michelle Thies at