News & Events 2009 and Earlier

Board of Regents approves Master of Professional Communication

December 2009 – The Utah Board of Regents approved the Master of Professional Communication. The start date of the two-year program is yet to be determined. The MPC will be a 36-semester-hour program designed to meet the needs of challenging schedules of working adults. Flexible scheduling consisting of evening, weekend and online-enhanced courses will be offered. The specific goals of this proposed graduate program are to produce graduates who: Will make effective leaders, managers and organizational members in a wide range of careers including business, the public sector, and non-profit environments. Are specifically prepared to understand the role of communication within the overall enterprises of industry, citizenry, and individual lives. Are experts in oral, written, visual and digital communication and are prepared to lead and teach others in these areas. Demonstrate understanding and abilities across a broad array of communication contexts (organizational, interpersonal, small group, mass media, public relations, etc.) Are engaged on issues of difference, global diversity and multiculturalism. For more information contact Dr. Sheree Josephson at

Student chapter of SPJ named best in Region 9

September 2009 – Weber State’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists was honored as the Chapter of the Year in Region 9 for 2008-2009. The chapter hosted 10 events, including a public viewing of the presidential inauguration and a luncheon with a discussion about the impact of new media on journalism. Dr. Sheree Josephson is the faculty adviser.

Weber State News, Studio 76 now on Facebook and YouTube

October 2009 – Weber State News and Studio 76 are now on Facebook and YouTube. WSN is a student-produced newscast covering Weber and Davis counties. Studio 76 is WSN's entertainment program focusing on arts, entertainment and recreation. To become a Facebook fan or to subscribe to Weber State News and Studio 76, go to the following addresses to register. Web page: Facebook: YouTube:

The Signpost wins eight awards from Utah Press Association contest

March 2009 – The Signpost won eight awards in the Better Newspaper Contest, sponsored by the Utah Press Association. In this contest, The Signpost competes with professional newspapers of similar circulation size in Utah. The eight awards are: 1st place, Best Special Section (Orientation) 1st place, Best Use of Ad Color (Brittanie Stump) 2nd place, Best in-house Produced Ad (Brittanie Stump) 2nd place, Best Sports Page (Sports Team, Jon McBride Editor) 2nd place, Best Sports Column (Jon McBride) 3rd place, Best Front Page (News Team) 3rd place, Best Feature Column (Cynthia Loveland, Matt Jacobs) 3rd place, Best Sports Photo (Matt Glass) The year’s biggest winner in its category was the Uintah Basin Standard. The editor of the Uintah Basin Standard is a Department of Communication and Signpost alum, Geoff Liesik.

Master of Professional Communication approved by Faculty Senate

April 2009 – Weber State University’s Faculty Senate approved the proposed Master of Professional Communication degree. The MPC now goes to the President’s Council, the WSU Board of Trustees and the Utah State Board of Regents for approval. It may be available as early as Summer Semester 2010 or 2011. The specific goals of this proposed graduate program are to produce graduates who: Will make effective leaders, managers and organizational members in a wide range of careers including business, the public sector, and non-profit environments. Are specifically prepared to understand the role of communication within the overall enterprises of industry, citizenry, and individual lives. Are experts in oral, written, visual and digital communication and are prepared to lead and teach others in these areas. Demonstrate understanding and abilities across a broad array of communication contexts (organizational, interpersonal, small group, mass media, public relations, etc.) Are engaged on issues of difference, global diversity and multiculturalism. The Master of Professional Communication will be a 36-semester-hour program designed to be completed in two calendar years. It is primarily designed for people who are currently employed and are in need of an advanced degree in order to allow them to seek improved positions, move up in organizational hierarchies or take on more demanding and/or challenging positions or careers. It is anticipated that this proposed degree would also enroll and be ideal for more traditional students who wish to enter their careers with an advanced degree. The proposed degree is designed to meet the needs of challenging schedules of today's working adults. Flexible scheduling consisting of evening, weekend and online-enhanced courses will be offered. The curriculum will include these courses: MPC 6000 Introduction to Graduate Studies for a Masters in Professional Communication MPC 6100 Team Building and Facilitation MPC 6200 Communicating Professionally in Speaking, Writing, and Visual Communication MPC 6300 New Media In Professional Communication MPC 6400 Communicating Organizational Leadership MPC 6500 Topics in Professional Communication MPC 6600 Strategic Communication MPC 6700 Measurement and Evaluation for Professional Communication MPC 6800 Advanced Communication Research and Writing MPC 6900 Thesis/Project MPC 6950 Thesis/Project 9 credits of electives

Josephson presents paper at national visual communication conference

June 2009 – Dr. Sheree Josephson presented a paper titled “Focusing on e-mail interruptions: An eye-tracking study of same-screen, cross-application task multitasking” at VISCOM: The Visual Communication Conference on June 18 in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Josephson conducted the study in conjunction with researchers from the Center for Media Design at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. The second author is Dr. Michael E. Holmes, the associate director for the research center.

Department secretary, work study student honored for customer service

February 2009 – Department secretary Virginia Stevens and work study student Bill Silver were honored with a Certificate of Exemplary Customer Service. They received high scores on customer service score sheets submitted by evaluators who contacted departments with questions either by phone or in person.

The Signpost wins seven awards from the Society of Professional Journalists

April 2009 – In the annual Mark of Excellence awards, sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists, The Signpost earned seven awards. The Signpost competed with university newspapers in a four-state region. 3rd place, Breaking News Reporting, Earthquake Hits Nevada (The Signpost staff) 3rd place, General News Reporting (Cimaron Neugebauer) 1st place, Editorial Writing (The Signpost staff) 1st place, Sports Writing (Matt Gerrish) 3rd place, Sports Reporting (Gentry Reinhart) 2nd place, Sports Column Writing (Jon McBride) 3rd place, Editorial Cartooning (Josh Barney)

Electronic media students win two grand-prize awards

April 2009 – Broadcast students received two grand-prize awards at the National Broadcasting Society’s student electronic media national competition. Scott Wiser of Plain City, who graduated in December 2008, won the grand prize in the animation category for his video “Creative Hat.” The WSU video production team of Wiser and seniors Cathie Carnes and Jessica Schreifels, both from Ogden, won the grand prize in the video public service announcement category for “Code Purple.” WSU also had finalists in the Instructional/Industrial/Promotional Video, Audio Public Service Announcement and Music Video categories. In the Instructional/Industrial/Promotional video: the finalist was “Mass Casualty Events: Nursing Response Training” produced by the Spring 2008 Advanced Audio & Video Production Team of Shay Bonney, John Carrillo, Luke Eddy, Jed Hall, Mike McIntosh, Halbert Pete, Jon Schade, Christian Westergard and Scott Wiser. In the Music Video category, the finalist was "Place" produced by Scott Wiser, Mike McIntosh and Halbert Pete. In the Audio Public Service Announcement category, the finalist was “Future Method: Skydiving” produced by Tim Sessions. “It truly is an honor to be a finalist in this competition, so the fact that Weber State students were finalists in five categories and came home with two grand prizes is a very positive reflection of our students and the electronic media program,” said Terri Reddout, communication instructor and advisor to WSU’s student-run broadcast news organization Weber State News. The competition, held in New York City, featured schools from across the county and was held in conjunction with the NBS national convention.

Colleen Garside wins Lindquist Award for community involvement mentoring

April 2009 – Colleen Garside, associate professor of communication, has been named the 2009 recipient of the John A. Lindquist Award. The Lindquist Award, which was established in 2007, is given annually to faculty or staff members who have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to mentoring WSU students in learning through community involvement. Since 2003, approximately 650 students have enrolled in Garside's interpersonal and small group communication courses. One of the assignments in the course asks students to provide service to local agencies, such as the YMCA and Youth Impact. In the past five years, Garside's students have provided more than 5,500 service hours to community organizations and schools. According to Garside, there are practical reasons for incorporating community-based learning into her courses. "First, I want my students to have real-world experience where they can put into practice the concepts they are learning in class," she said. "Second, I want to instill a sense of civic responsibility within my students so that upon graduation, they will recognize their responsibility to give back to their communities." Garside has taught communication courses at Weber State since 1986 and has been an active supporter of community service through her involvement with Communicating Common Ground, a national service learning initiative, and Utah Campus Compact. She also researches the benefits of community-based learning and recently had an article published in the International Journal of the Humanities focusing on student perceptions of affective, behavioral and cognitive learning through civic engagement. A committee with representation from faculty, staff, trustees, community partners and students selected Garside. She will be formally honored at a special awards luncheon on April 10 in Shepherd Union Ballroom B, which also will honor student volunteers. This award is named for John A. Lindquist, a strong advocate for education and the community, who has spent a lifetime supporting Ogden, Weber County and Weber State. Lindquist's ties to WSU date back to the late 1930s, when he attended Weber College and was a student body officer. Through the years, he has generously supported cultural, academic, athletic and student activities and programs at Weber State.

Susan Hafen publishes article in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies

March 2009 – Susan Hafen, professor of communication, published "Patriots in the Classroom: Performing Positionalities Post 9-11," in the national journal Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1, March 2009, pp. 61-83. The journal has a 7 percent acceptance rate.

Two debaters qualify for 78-team national tournament

March 2009 – WSU's junior and team captain Stacy Dawson (Lone Peak High School), debating with Shola Adesanwo (Henderson, Nev.) qualified to the elite 78-team National Debate Tournament at The University of Texas-Austin (March 26-30). In order to impress the "At-Large" Selection Committee, they debated at 10 tournaments with a 61 percent win record, defeated a Top 10 team (Whitman College's top team) and a Top 25 team (Gonzaga's top team), and placed in finals at the University of Denver among many other achievements.

Electronic media students win awards at regional NBS contest

March 2009 – Communication students received a number of awards at the Region 6 National Broadcasting Society’s student electronic media competition. A list of the winners follows: Video News Package First place: Lindsay Poll, Davis Career Fair Third place: Lindsay Poll, movie theater Video Instructional/Industrial/Promotional First place: Advanced Audio &andVideo Production Team 2008, mass casualty events and nursing response training Third place: Jon Schade and Luke Eddy, Kim Lissinna charity Music Video First place: Scott Wiser, Mike McIntosh and Halbert Pete, “Place” Second place: Chris Gillis, “This Bottle” Audio PSA First place: Tim Sessions, future method sky diving Second place (tie): Tim Sessions, Vegas STI Second Place (tie): Tim Sessions, future method freestyle Video Music/Entertainment Program First place: Weber State News Team "Studio 76,” Oct. 10, 2008" Video Sports Segment First place: Trevor Warner, Weber State vs NAU Video News Program: First place: Weber State News Team, "WSN: Post-Election Special"

Allison Hess named SPJ chapter president

Allison Barlow Hess (Instructor Specialist, Communication) recently returned from the national Society of Professional Journalism conference in Atlanta. Allison was recently elected as the president (two-year term) of the Utah SPJ professional chapter, following two years as vice president. At the conference, the Utah Chapter was honored as one of the top three small chapters in the nation and was also recognized with a "Circle of Excellence" award for the best communication among members. While at the convention, Allison was asked to serve on the national Legal Defense Fund committee, which is a committee that raises and disburses money for the defense and support of working journalists. Among other activities, the chapter will host a four-state regional conference this spring.

Virginia Stevens published in Learning through History

Virginia Stevens (Secretary, Communication) is a freelance author of history for children and a regular contributor to Learning through History, a home schooling magazine and resource for teachers. Her article on Crazy for Tulips (a story about tulip bulb speculation during the Dutch golden age) appears in the July/August issue.

Department hosts successful debate tournament

The first Leland Monson Debate Institute and Tournament was held June 2-6. A 10-hour work session for campers was held at Alta High School and then the tournament was held over the weekend at Weber State. More than 70 students from across the Salt Lake Valley participated. The entire camp only cost participants $25 because alums and WSU forensics faculty worked for virtually nothing. WSU's director of forensics, Omar Guevara, said response was very enthusiastic and 150 participants are expected next year.

Allison Hess honored by SPJ

Faculty member Allison Barlow Hess is serving as the president of the Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The chapter recently received the SPJ National Small Chapter of the Year Award. Hess, communication instructor specialist, has served as one of the professional chapter's officers for the past five years, including two as a vice president. The Utah Headliners Chapter of SPJ, which was founded in 1952, carries out SPJ's advocacy and educational mission throughout the state.

Josephson eye monitoring studies published

In April 2008 Sheree Josephson, a communication professor, published a chapter titled "Eye Monitoring Studies on TV News and the Web Converge: A Tale of Two Screens" with Michael E. Holmes of Ball State University. The chapter is in the book "Passive Eye Monitoring: Algorithms, Applications and Experiments," edited by R.I. Hammoud and published by Springer-Verlag.

Broadcast students win big

Broadcast students from Weber State University did well recently, receiving three grand-prize awards at the National Broadcasting Society (NBS) national student electronic media competition held in Anaheim, Calif.

Sheree Josephson published in Visual Communication Quarterly

Sheree Josephson, a communication professor, published an article titled "Keeping your readers' eyes on the screen: An eye-tracking study comparing sans-serif and serif typefaces" in Visual Communication Quarterly, Winter/Spring, 2008.

Josephson presents at international conference

Sheree Josephson, professor of communication, presented a paper titled "Cross-race recognition deficit and visual attention: Do they all look (at faces) alike?" with Michael E. Holmes at the international conference of Eye Tracking Research and Applications (ETRA), a division of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), in Savannah, Ga., on March 26, 2008. Their article was selected for publication in the conference proceedings.

Student newspaper honored by UPA

Weber State University's student newspaper, The Signpost, received 10 awards—including one first-place honor—during the Utah Press Association's annual winter convention and Better Newspaper Contest in St. George, Utah, March 8. The Signpost competed against similarly sized, professional newspapers. Sports editor Jon McBride of Ogden won first place in the Best Sports Page category. Taking home second-place prizes were McBride for sports column, photographer Matt Glass of Roy for feature photo, and editor-in-chief Molly Bennett of Bountiful and managing editor Cynthia Loveland of Ogden for special section. Graphics editor Brittanie Stumpp of Ogden was also awarded second place for in-house advertising design. Third-place honors went to Glass for sports photo, columnist Gina Barker of Layton for editor's column, former copy editor Amber Wilson of Ogden for editorial and former news writer Deborah Ramsay of Syracuse for feature story. Stumpp also received a third-place award for use of advertising color. The Signpost also competes in a regional student newspaper contest sponsored annually by the Society of Professional Journalists. This year the newspaper was a finalist in three categories: Best Overall Newspaper, Best Editorial Writing and Best General News Reporting.

Becky Johns and Colleen Garside present at national conference

Department of Communication faculty members Becky Johns and Colleen Garside presented papers at the National Communication Association's annual convention in Chicago, Nov. 15-18, 2007. Johns' paper was titled "A Feminist Reading of Female Mormon Missionary Narratives: Rhetorical Strategies of Appropriation." Garside presented "The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and Communication Across the Curriculum: Integrating the Communicative ‘World Views' of Mechanical Engineering in Cross Curricular Instruction." Garside also was elected chair of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Initiative for NCA.

Rick Sline's publication awarded

Associate professor of communication Richard Sline has a chapter in the book "Facilitating group communication in context: Innovations and applications with natural groups" edited by Lawrence Frey of the University of Colorado. The book received the 2007 Distinguished Book Award from the Applied Communication Division of the National Communication Association and the 2007 Ernest Bormann Research Award from the Group Communication Division of the NCA. Sline's chapter is titled "Who owns the Jazz Festival? A case of facilitated intergroup conflict management."

WSU pair make it big Super Bowl dreaming

BY JORDAN MUHLESTEIN Standard-Examiner OGDEN — The work of two Weber State University public relations students appeared on national television Wednesday morning as part of a Super Bowl commercial contest sponsored by Chevrolet. The commercial, written and produced by students Michael Eddy, 27, a senior from Layton, and Michael Jordan, 25, a senior from Colorado Springs, Colo., was featured on CBS' "The Early Show" along with two other student-created commercials featuring Chevrolet vehicles. The Weber State commercial shows a football player being knocked out on the field and day-dreaming about a trip to the beach with his friends in a new Chevy. While not one of the five finalists — one of which will have their concept produced to run during the Super Bowl — the Weber State student's commercial was picked by Chevrolet as one of the most humorous. More than 800 student teams registered for the contest, representing 230 schools in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Eddy said the pair began working on the project in early October, taking about three weeks to come up with the plot. "We spent hours and hours," he said. "Thinking of ideas, writing ideas down, brainstorming, using every technique we'd been taught." The pair used several research methods they had learned in class and also focused on such concepts as what consumers look for in a vehicle and what could grab the attention of the audience. Eddy said the project took a lot of time, but was also an enjoyable learning experience. "The fact that it went on TV makes it all worth it," he said. "I'm still kind of in shock." The goal was to make the 30-second spot funny and imaginative, Eddy said, while highlighting the Chevrolet vehicle. The pair, who are not football players, even convinced several members of the university's football team to act in the video. "They loved it," Eddy said, "especially when I had to take them all out to breakfast — that cost me $100." He said the contest helped him understand how the advertising business works. Would it work? Mukhbir Singh, an assistant professor of communication and the person who encouraged the pair to enter the contest, said he tries to help his students gain on-thejob experience before they graduate. "It has always been my intent to get them to do projects that are real-life instead of hypothetical," he said. Singh said the project was a good learning experience and will be good for the students' resumes. He said his role was to lead them through the process and encourage them to think independently. He also explained that some things would be easy to do and some would not. "Some concepts are very good in theory and on the story board, but they are difficult to execute," Singh said. "I told them it should be easy to execute." Interplay of info Travis Parman, communications manager for Chevrolet, said the company was impressed with the results of the contest, which was open only to college students. "Nothing like this has ever been done before," he said. "We didn't really know what to expect." One important aspect of the project was the reciprocal relationship between Chevrolet and the students, Parman said. The students learned about advertising and the company learned about the student demographic. "We wanted to learn from them how to create messages that resonate within that youth market," Parman said. Some of the teams did only a storyboard or simple animation; Parman praised the Weber State team for actually filming their commercial. There was a lot of diversity in ideas and concepts, Parman said, as well as in what kind of students participated. Advertising students competed, but so did students from other disciplines, including fine arts, international business and English. The Weber State students' commercial is going head-to-head with two other humorous commercial entries. To vote for a favorite and view other videos, go to and click on the Early Show tab.