News & Events 2011

Steimel’s paper wins award at national convention; three other faculty members present papers

Sarah Steimel, assistant professor of communication, is the co-author of a paper that won the Top Paper Award in the Peace and Conflict Division of the National Communication Association Annual Convention held in New Orleans in November. The paper was titled "Re-framing Intercultural Conflict in the Management of Sino-American Joint Ventures.” Steimel also presented a co-authored paper titled “Reimagining Socialization of Profession Specific Workers through the Experience of Substitute Teachers” at the annual convention.

Three other faculty members in the Department of Communication also presented at the conference. Anne Bialowas, assistant professor of communication, presented at GIFTS (Great Ideas for Teaching Speech). Her presentation was titled “Breaking the Ice: Conquering Common Anxieties of Public Speaking.” Becky Johns, professor of communication, was a member of a themed panel titled “Voices at the Crossroads: Religious Women Speaking Out at State Institutions.” Colleen Garside, associate professor of communication, presented a paper titled "Voices of Collaboration: Community-based Learning, Supplemental Instruction, and Communication." Garside also chaired the Undergraduate Colleges and Universities Committee Interest Group. 

WSU to host 69th annual National Debate Tournament in March

Weber State University was selected to host the 69th annual National Debate Tournament. The top 78 forensics teams in the country will spend a week in Ogden from March 28 to April 2, 2013, to determine the national champion. Omar Guevara, director of forensics and a communication faculty member, sealed the deal in a presentation before the NDT Board of Trustees at the National Communication Association in New Orleans. In other debate news, WSU finished 27th in the nation out of more than 100 universities for the final rankings for 2011. 

KWCR raises $1,000 and collects food to feed 200 families for Thanksgiving

KWCR 88.1 Weber FM sponsored an all-day live remote broadcast from the Fresh Market store in South Ogden and a concert featuring local bands at the Wildcat Theater to raise almost $1,000 and to gather enough food to feed 200 families a Thanksgiving dinner. Donations went to the Ogden Rescue Mission.

Communication major named Public Relations Student of the Year

Communication major Randee Jensen won the Public Relations Student of the Year competition conducted by the Utah chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Communication major Stacy McCaig was the other finalist. The competition is conducted in two stages. In the first stage, all students have to submit a PR plan for a real client that is part of the competition. This year's client was the Salt Lake City Head Start program. In the final round four finalists present their plans, write a press release for the given situation, pitch a story to journalist over the phone, and handle a phone call from a journalist pursuing them for answers to a crisis situation. The final round lasts the better part of a day. Usually, only one student per participating institution makes it to the final.

Josephson co-authors paper on cross-racial eyewitness identification

Sheree Josephson, professor of communication, is the co-author of “Selecting the Suspect: An Eye-Tracking Comparison of Viewing of Same-Race vs. Cross-Race Photographs in Eyewitness Identification” in the October-December 2011 issue of Visual Communication Quarterly.

New show wakes up Wildcats daily on YouTube, Facebook

Weber State News has added a fourth show called Wake Up Wildcats to its rundown. The daily show under the direction of Drew Tyler, a faculty member in communication, highlights the main happenings of each day and previews upcoming events in two and a half minutes. Wake Up Wildcats has had nearly 2,500 views on YouTube since the beginning of Spring Semester. WuW can be found on Facebook, YouTube and embedded daily on

Wake Up Wildcats, a morning show, debuted during the 2011-2012 school year. Students Kiersten Voorhees and Krystal Garner produced, shot, edited and posted the two-and-a-half-minute show Monday through Friday. WuW highlights the main events of the previous day and promotes upcoming events and deadlines. The goal is to keep students informed, engaged and entertained. WuW has had thousands of views on YouTube. You can find WuW on Facebook, YouTube and embedded daily on 

Two beloved faculty members retire

Dr. Rick Sline and Howard Noel retired from the Department of Communication following Spring Semester. Dr. Sline began his career as a professor in the Department of Communication in 1993 after earning his Ph.D. in organizational and small group communication at the University of Utah. That followed a 20-year career as a university administrator, including serving as dean of Student Life at Weber State. Dr. Sline’s research interests have been in the areas of work team communication, organizational commitment, and group facilitation. He was an active member of the university community for 29 years, serving on many department, college and university committees. He was a contributing member of groups honored with the university’s Exemplary Collaboration Awards in 2000, 2003 and 2008. Dr. Sline has also served as an organizational and small group communication consultant to private and public organizations for more than 20 years. Dr. Sline mastered the art of being a rigorous, demanding professor who also receives very high marks from his students.

Mr. Noel began teaching in the Department of Communication 14 years ago. He drew upon his 12-year career as a public relations professional at Weber State and his nine years at Primary Children’s Medical Center. Mr. Noel’s background as a radio announcer, television reporter, syndicated columnist, professional photographer and author of two books, combined with his public relations experience, served as basis for real-world applications of theories and principles taught in his courses. Students adored Mr. Noel as their teacher and mentor and will miss him greatly after retirement. Mr. Noel will also be missed by colleagues who viewed him as a “class act,” especially when serving as emcee at department awards ceremonies.

Josephson has paper accepted for publication in Visual Communication Quarterly

Dr. Sheree Josephson’s paper titled “Selecting the suspect: An eye-tracking comparison of viewing of same-race vs. cross-race photographs in eyewitness identification” will be published in the next edition of Visual Communication Quarterly. She co-authored the article with Dr. Michael E. Holmes of the Center for Media Design at Ball State University. 

Josephson presents paper at VisCom conference in Taos

Dr. Sheree Josephson will be a co-presenter of a paper titled “Seeing into the Future of TV: Research and Design Issues for the Second Screen” at VisCom, which is being held at Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico. She is working on the paper with Dr. Michael E. Holmes of the Center for Media Design at Ball State University.

The Signpost named best non-daily student newspaper in regional SPJ contest

The Signpost was named Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper in Region 9 of the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence contest. The Signpost competes against college papers in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. The Signpost last won that award in 2000. In addition, The Signpost won first place for editorial writing. Photo Editor Bryan Butterfield also won first place and third place for his photo illustrations. The first-place entries will now go to SPJ's national competition.

Josephson working on project with Center for Media Design

Dr. Sheree Josephson has been invited to be the chief theorist and study designer for a project at the Center for Media Design at Ball State University.

The Signpost wins Utah Press Association General Excellence award for second year in a row

The Signpost received the award for General Excellence in its circulation category at the Utah Press Association’s yearly conference for the second year in a row.

General Excellence is bestowed upon the news organization that receives a combination of the most and highest accolades in its category. The Signpost competes against professional Utah publications of similar circulation size. “Being both a student and an editor or reporter is a balancing act, but somehow our staff members manage to be both and produce a product that is a Weber State University cornerstone,” said Gina Barker, editor in chief of The Signpost.

Awards received Saturday were for issues produced in 2010. The Signpost has also received the UPA General Excellence award for 2009, 2005 and 2002. The Signpost also came home with 17 category awards in the competition against professional Utah newspapers of similar size. The awards follow. First place: best website, best staff-produced ad (“Feed the World” by Haden Hamblin), best general news story (“Cutting Professors’ Phone Lines” by Spencer Garn), best sports page (Craig Halbasch, Eric Jensen and supporting staff) and best sports story (“Wildcats Win Overtime Thriller” by Eric Jensen). Second place: best editorial (“Making Reform that Counts” Viewpoint by Spencer Garn), best editor's/feature column (“Common Sense” by Gina Barker), best feature series (“Searching for a Solution Down in Kenya” by Gina Barker), best feature story (“Bikes for Africa” by Gina Barker), best news coverage (multiple issues), best feature or community lifestyle page (Andrew Choffel, Shaylynne Clark, Ann Johnson), best special section (Orientation Issue) and best sports photo (“Wildcats Win Overtime Thriller” by Bryan Butterfield). Third place: best front page (Spencer Garn, Gina Barker), best news photo (“Shaved for an Ailing Friend” by Ghazaleh Jazi), sports column (“Pertinent Position” by Eric Jensen) and best sports story (“Religion Leaves Prints on Sports,” by Craig Halbash).

Josephson publishes scholarly book titled ‘Visualizing the Web’

Dr. Sheree Josephson edited a book titled “Visualizing the Web: Evaluating Online Design from a Visual Communication Perspective.” The book was published by Peter Lang Publishing in New York. Dr. Josephson contributed a chapter on eye tracking to the collection and co-authored the book’s introduction with fellow editors Susan B. Barnes and Mark Lipton. She also co-authored a chapter about an interview with noted Web designer Hillman Curtis. Former Weber State student Amanda Carlton was the lead author on that chapter.

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