College of Media at Illinois

University of IllinoisCollege of Media
The Media I, a monthly electronic newsletter of the College of Communications.
December 10, 2008
Journalism Students Earn Broadcaster Awards

Seven University of Illinois students brought home Student Silver Dome Awards from the 2008 Illinois Broadcasters Association student conference held in November at Illinois State University. Students from across the state competed in categories including radio news story, radio sports story, radio newscast, television news story and television sports story. The College of Media student winners include:

  • Elana Schuster '08 JOURN: 1st Place, TV News Package
  • Bobby Savich '10 JOURN: 1st Place, Radio Sports Story
  • Leigh Krahenbuhl '09 JOURN: 2nd Place, TV Sports Package
  • William Miston '08 JOURN: 2nd Place, TV News Package
  • Jhane Reifsteck '11 AgComm: 2nd Place, Radio News Story
  • Karis Morrall '10 JOURN: 2nd Place, Radio Newscast
  • Weston Carter '08 JOURN: 3rd Place, TV Sports Package
American Advertising Federation Names Most Promising Minority Students
Jessica Gaden ‘09, Haruka Honda ‘09, Ann Lee ‘09, and Jackie Lau ‘09 
Jessica Gaden '09, Haruka Honda '09, Ann Lee '09,
and Jackie Lau '09

The College of Media and the Department of Advertising are proud to announce the selected students for the American Advertising Federation's 2009 Most Promising Minority Students/The Home Depot Scholarship. Jessica Gaden '09, Haruka Honda '09, Jackie Lau '09, and Ann Lee '09 were four advertising students chosen for this prestigious honor.

The AAF's Most Promising Minority Students Program is the premier advertising industry award program to recognize and recruit outstanding minority college graduates. Each winning student will receive a $5,000 scholarship to be used for their tuition and education-related expenses. To be eligible for the scholarship, students had to be college sophomores or juniors and demonstrate the potential to become a candidate for AAF's Most Promising Minority Students Program, which focuses on multicultural seniors. Students also had to have a minimum 3.0 GPA and be a U.S. citizen of African, Asian, Latino, Native American or Pacific Islander descent.

Students will travel to New York City in February for the three-day program at the New York Athletic Club. The program provides young professionals opportunities to meet with advertising agencies and to help the industry's workforce better reflect today's multicultural society. AAF will cover the cost of hotel accommodations and round-trip travel to New York City for the 40 Most Promising finalists and their advisers.

The College of Media and the Department of Advertising would like to congratulate these deserving students on their outstanding achievement.

Read the AAF release.

College Honors December Graduates
College of Media December Graduates 
Dean Yates and December Graduates

College of Media hosted a reception to honor the College's 52 December graduates. More than 100 people attended, including graduates, their families, faculty, and staff. The reception, held December 7 at Campbell Hall for Public Telecommunication, was hosted by College Dean Ron Yates.

"I want to wish you all well in the journey that is about to begin," said Yates in his remarks, "This is a new phase of your life when, for many of you, your success no longer will be measured by the grade a professor gives you, but by something called a paycheck."

We congratulate these talented College of Media graduates, and wish them the best of luck! We invite all alumni to stay connected to the College by updating us with news and contact information anytime by sending email to:


Honors and Awards

Larry Doyle MS '83 JOURN, a former television writer-producer for "The Simpsons," has been named the winner of the 2008 Thurber Prize for American Humor. He was cited for the novel "I Love You, Beth Cooper." Doyle will receive $5,000. The prize, named for author-illustrator James Thurber, was founded in 1996 by Thurber House, a Columbus, Ohio, literary center for writers and readers. Previous winners include Jon Stewart, David Sedaris, and Christopher Buckley.

Seven College of Media students were chosen as part of the 2008-2009 Illini Externship Program. Students will shadow sponsors in their field of interest for two to five days during the University's spring break. Approximately 150 students apply for the program and only 60 are selected. Chosen from the College of Media: Trente Blonski '10 ADV, Regina Dentzman '12, Vincent Dixon '11 JOURN, Hye Ri Kim '12 MEDIA STUDIES, Katie Leifheit '10 JOURN, Amanda Villarreal '10 ADV, and Ryan Young '10 MEDIA STUDIES.

Kent Ono, professor of communications and Asian American Studies, received the 2008 Charles H. Woolbert Research Award given by the National Communication Association. The award is given for excellence in scholarship, specifically for a published essay that has continued to be influential and innovative over time. The award was given for his 1995 essay with John M. Sloop titled, "The Critique of Vernacular Discourse," which was published in the journal "Communication Monographs" (Vol. 62, No. 1, pp. 19-46). Additionally, his book, "Asian Americans and the Media," with Vincent N. Pham Ph.D. '11 COMM was published this month by John Wiley and Sons Ltd., under their Polity list. Finally, with Joy Yang Jiao, Ono co-authored an essay, "China in the U.S. Imaginary: Tibet, the Olympics, and the 2008 Earthquake," published in the journal "Communication and Critical Cultural Studies."

The Institute of Communications Research congratulates three graduate students -- Myra Washington '13, Melissa Stanfill '15, and Mariana Goya-Martinez '14 -- who were awarded travel grants for conference travel from the Graduate College. The following ICR graduate students recently presented at conferences:

  • Richard Doherty '15, Northeast Political Science Association November 13-15, in Boston, MA.
  • Mariana Martinez Goya '14, Digitalization of Transitional Objects: From Diaries to Blogs, October 15-18, in Copenhagen, Denmark; and the National Communications Association, November 21-24 in San Diego, CA
  • Robert Mejia '14, National Communications Association, November 21-24 in San Diego, CA
  • Katherine Sredl '10, 2008 Association for Consumer Research North American Conference, October 23-26, in San Francisco, CA
  • Melissa Stanfill '15, Semiotic Society of America, October 15-19 in Houston, TX
  • Melba Velez '08, National Communications Association, November 21-24 in San Diego, CA
  • Myra Washington '13, National Communications Association, November 21-24 in San Diego, CA
  • Jianqin Yang '14, 2008 Association for Consumer Research North American Conference, October 23-26, in San Francisco, CA


Around the College

Panel Discussion on Mobile Entertainment Technology and Distribution

Panelists at Playboy Mobile Panel Discussion 
Panelists Lisa Nakamura, Elizabeth Austin, and
Greg Johnson

Students and College faculty enjoyed a panel discussion with representatives from Playboy Mobile, a division of Playboy Enterprises. In spring 2009, Playboy Mobile will debut a new video series called "interns," that will be distributed entirely via cell phones and the Internet. In "mockumentary" style, "interns" follows three college-aged Playboy Enterprises interns through their assignments. Edited into three-minute episodes, "interns" plans to build an audience by encouraging viewers to log on or text in for the downloadable episodes. Playboy Enterprises representatives, including Elizabeth Austin '80 JOURN, vice president of corporate communications, and Greg Johnson, director of mobile content and associate producer of "interns," fielded questions about the distribution, recruitment, and production of the show. Lisa Nakamura, professor of media studies, Asian American studies, and gender and women's studies, offered an academic perspective on this new media technology.


Faculty and Staff News

Jason ChambersJason Chambers, assistant professor of advertising, gave a keynote lecture entitled "Breaking Down Doors: The African American Fight for Inclusion and Opportunity in the Advertising Industry" for the Fontaine Society Colloquium on November 7 at the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School of Communication.

Sarah Dolinar joined the College of Media Advancement Team as the new Associate Director for Communications in November. Sarah has been on the UI campus for more than four years, and comes to us most recently from The Global Campus. Her strengths include writing, editing, web content development, and strategic planning. Prior to her move to Illinois, Sarah was the Assistant Director for Publications and Web in the Office for Public Affairs at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. Her responsibilities included creating publications and web content that supported academic programs, alumni engagement, and student recruitment. She served as Managing Editor for "Pomona College Magazine" and as Web Editor for the college web site.

Matt Ehrlich, professor of journalism, has had his article "Radio Utopia: Promoting Public Interest in a 1940s Radio Documentary" published in the international scholarly journal "Journalism Studies." The article focuses on the program "The Eagle's Brood," produced by the CBS Documentary Unit under the oversight of Edward R. Murrow.

Steven Helle, professor of journalism, just finished his one-year term as chair of the Human Rights Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association. While chair, he wrote two articles for the section council, one on student speech rights after the Supreme Court decision in the "Bong Hits for Jesus" case and another on Illinois' new anti-SLAPP law, which provides remedies to defendants sued frivolously for engaging in expression. Earlier this year, Helle lectured around the state to attorneys on copyright law as part of Illinois' Continuing Legal Education program. He also presented a program to lawyers in Chicago and in Champaign on "Pressing Challenges: The First Amendment and Press Freedoms." At the last minute, he was asked to substitute for the Illinois ACLU executive director when she could not make it to Champaign for a program last semester on "Talking Back to the First Amendment: A Community Forum on Free Speech and Hate Speech." In addition to hate speech, Helle says he has now defended flag-burning, Nazis marching in Skokie, and ribald cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammed. For a change, he says, he would like to defend speech everybody likes.

Lisa Nakamura, professor of media studies, Asian American studies, and gender and women's studies, was Visiting-Scholar-in-Residence at Intel Labs, People and Products Research Group, in Oregon last July and August. While in residence, she presented the paper "Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game: the Racialization of Labor in World of Warcraft." She also gave the paper at the Pratt Institute in New York City in the fall. Additionally, her book, "Digitizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet," was nominated by The University of Minnesota Press for the Media Ecology Association's 2009 Dorothy Lee Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Ecology of Culture Book Award. "Digitizing Race" is in its second printing, and has been adopted as a textbook at Yale, Columbia, University of California-Berkeley, Maryland, Fordham, and Vassar. Finally, Nakamura has been appointed Interim Director of the Asian American Studies Program at UI this year.

Lisa Romero's Marathon finish in AthensLisa Romero, associate professor of library administration and Communications Library Head, ran the Athens Marathon in November. The 26.2-mile course, which stretched from Marathon to Athens in Greece, took her just under five hours to complete. This was her first marathon, so she is proud to be among the 70% of people who actually finish the race.

Jay Rosenstein, associate professor of journalism, has been named a Faculty Associate to the UI Center for Advanced Study for the 2009-2010 academic year.

Tim Vruwink '98 ADV joined the College of Media in October as the new Internet Technology Specialist, a joint position with WILL-AM-FM-TV-Online. He joins us after 11 years with UI's Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services. He has a solid background in just about everything related to computers, networks, and servers, including website systems, virtualization, and storage area networks. His main responsibility is to support the IT infrastructure required for web development and online media for the College and WILL. He recently completed his master's in Management of Information Systems from the University of Illinois at Springfield.


Student News

Christine Kim '09 JOURN appeared on a panel this fall discussing her recent multimedia news internship at WLFD-TV in Chicago. Christine won a competitively awarded paid multicultural internship through Illinois Broadcasters Association last summer.

Melba VelezMelba VĂ©lez '08 Ph.D. COMM was a 2008 Summer Doctoral Fellow at Washington State University this summer. Her dissertation examines the ways in which the long-term success of conservation efforts depend upon fundamental shifts in cultural values, in aesthetic and moral communication, and in shared understandings of how the individual fits into social and ecological communities. She also currently serves as student representative for the National Communication Association's Environmental Communication Division.



College of Media in the News

Jason Chambers, assistant professor of advertising, was interviewed by "BrandWeek" for "The Minority Report," an article about diversity in advertising. The article highlighted Chambers' book, "Madison Avenue and the Color Line," about African Americans' role in advertising over the last century, in which he links the historically negative depictions of black people in ads to their limited opportunities in the industry. Read the entire article.

Ryan Keating '11 JOURN inspired writer Marlene Lang's editorial in the "Southtown Star" on December 2, "The purpose of journalism remains--if there are journalists to do the job." Keating posed the question, "why did you decide to become a journalist," to several journalists as part of a class project. Read the full article.


Alumni Notes

Notes are sorted by graduation year.

Charles "Chuck" Chapman '55 JOURN fondly remembers being one of only two UI graduates from a special College program in "medical journalism," established through the influence of the Mississippi Valley Medical Writers Association and under the guidance of former College Professor and Dean Ted Peterson. Chapman has had two books published, "Writing for Communication in Science and Medicine" (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1980), and "Medical Dictionary for Medical Terms" (Barron's Educational Series, 2006, 5th edition).

Merrill Ann (Hahn) Clark '59 JOURN is currently writing her memoirs about growing up on a small farm and her mother's remarkable talents and her Revolutionary War ancestry. Married to UI alumnus John Clark, she and her family run the 1,800-acre Roseland Organic Farms in Michigan.

Bob Epstein '74 JOURN has been named Executive Producer of "Nightly News with Brian Williams." Epstein's career with NBC News began in February 1996 when he joined MSNBC as executive producer of MSNBC daytime in July 1996 before the official launch of the cable news network. His work has earned him two Peabody Awards, four Emmy Awards, a Dupont Award, Sigma Delta Chi Award, and several National Headliner Awards. In addition, he is in the Hall of Fame of the Illini Media Company, which runs UI's radio station, WPGU-FM, and is a member of the College's Resource Development Board.

David Angsten '77 ADV had his second novel, "Night of the Furies," was published in October 2008 by Thomas Dunne Books.

Chris ChandlerChris Chandler '90 JOURN is currently serving as an anchor and editor for CNNRadio. His work at CNN and WHAS-AM in Louisville, KY, has included live reports from Jerusalem about the Mideast crisis and from ground zero following the September 11 terrorist attacks. He won two awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for his reports from the Middle East. He also received an Edward R. Murrow Award for "Outstanding Spot News" in 2004.

Daniel Bernard '91 JOURN received a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota in May 2008. He was recently honored with the University of Minnesota's Student Leadership and Service Award and the Mary A. McEvoy Award for Public Engagement and Leadership for his advocacy work related to children's rights in Sudan and discrimination against Muslims in the Midwest. He works in the Egypt office of John Hopkins University's Center for Communication Programs. He and his wife, Marcia Lynx Qualey, have two sons, Isaac, 5, and Rami, born in April.

Brant Hansen '91 JOURN won the Radio and Records Achievement Award for "Personality of the Year" in a Christian format. Earlier this year, he won the Radio Echo Award for "Personality of the Year" from the Christian Music Broadcasters. Hansen currently works for WAY-FM Christian Radio in Florida.

Rachel LeeRachel (Sockloff) Lee '94 JOURN has been named afternoon anchor for CNNRadio Network, based in CNN's world headquarters in Atlanta. Before joining CNNRadio in 1998, she worked as a news anchor on WGST-AM in Atlanta, an on-air personality for WPCH-FM in Atlanta and WPGU-FM in Champaign, and as the "morning sidekick" on 101-FM on Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Lee has also worked as a traffic reporter and a television news writer.

Eric Schmidt '95 JOURN and Carrie (Gilbert) Schmidt '95 JOURN welcomed a son in April. New baby Austin joins older sister Taylor. Carrie currently heads up internet strategy for Sanford Brands, and Eric recently added entertainment reporting to his duties with Comcast. He is featured in "Prime Time Chicago," a show on the Chicago nightlife and dining scene.

Jonathon Berlin '98 JOURN, design director for the "Chicago Tribune," presented at the Society for News Design's 2008 Annual Workshop in Las Vegas in September, and debuted his work on the new page designs. View a video of Berlin's presentation.


The Media I is published 10 months a year for the alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the College of Media at the University of Illinois. Your comments, news items, and Alumni Notes are welcome. Please email us at:

Publisher: Ron Yates, Dean of the College of Media
Editor: Sarah Dolinar, Associate Director for Communications