News & Events 2012

Cross-racial eyewitness identification research highlighted in WSU magazine

December 2012—Research into how race can impact eyewitness identification of criminal suspects was featured in the Fall 2012 edition of the Weber State University Magazine. Dr. Sheree Josephson, department chair and professor, examined how witnesses visually tracked photographs used in criminal lineups. Her eye-tracking findings were published in a national research journal.

Funding awarded for mobile news reporting labs

December 2012 –The Department of Communication received a campus grant of about $25,000 to purchase iPads to be used in several new media journalism courses. The proposal was written by Drew Tyler, faculty adviser to Studio 76, and Shane Farver, faculty adviser to The Signpost. Students enrolled in Comm. 3130 Advanced News Reporting and Writing and Comm. 3780 Broadcasts News Writing and Production will begin producing content on these tablets this semester.

Master of Professional Communication office specialist hired

December 2012—Judy Victorin has been hired as the office specialist for the Master of Professional Communication program. She is a Texas native who moved to Utah in the summer of 2012. Most recently, Judy served as the database manager for a children's hospital in San Antonio, Texas. Throughout her career, Judy has worked in public relations and the nonprofit sector. She holds a bachelor of arts in communication from University of the Incarnate Word.

Johns’ chapter ‘Babies, Bishops and Binders’ to be part of book

December 2012—Dr. Becky Johns, adviser for family communication, has a chapter accepted in a soon-to-be-release book on the intersection of religion, women and media. More than 40 submissions were submitted to the book but only 10 were selected. The article is titled “Babies, Bishops and Binders.

Instructors quoted on front page of Standard-Examiner

December 2012—Drew Tyler, instructor of digital media, and Shane Farver, instructor of multimedia, were quoted in a Page 1 story of the Standard-Examiner on Dec. 20. They were interviewed about rumors of school shootings that were spreading throughout social media following the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children dead, including a former Ogden resident.

Student selected as Utah Public Relations Student of the Year

November 2012—Amy Fiscus, a public relations and advertising major, was named the Utah PR Student of the Year on Nov. 13 in a competition sponsored by the Salt Lake City Public Relations Society of America. She won $1,000, a trophy and an internship with People Helping People. To win the contest, she created a public relations campaign plan for that non-profit organization. A former graduate of WSU’s PR program, Jason Carlton, was instrumental in starting this competition.  

Recent graduate hired in the international department of E! television

November 2012—Kaylee Connors, who graduated in journalism in 2012 and completed an internship with E! News, has been hired as a production assistant in its international department. To get the job, she had to pass a writing test and participate in five one-hour interviews. She will write, edit video and assist producers. The international department takes what E! and Style run in the United States and repackage it for international use in the U.K., Latin America, and other places around the world.

Student awarded full scholarship in Master of Public Administration

November 2012—Shawn Storbo has been accepted to the Master of Public Administration program at Southern Utah University with a full scholarship. He expects to graduate in 18 months.

Journalism graduate featured journalist in national email blast

November 2012—Cimarron Neugebauer, a recent graduate in journalism and self-described “one-man band” at the Salt Lake Tribue, was the featured journalist one day in November on the Muckrake Daily email blast. Neugebauer shoots and edits his own video along with writing print stories. His most recent piece is an in-depth piece about Utah's Highway Patrol being disciplined differently for the same offenses and the problems with the publicly funded law enforcement division. Neugebauer recommends that all aspiring journalists network. “It is all about who you know. Use the heck out of social media to make connections and update local reporters of your success.”

Weber State News 76 now the proud owner of KSL’s News Set

November 2012—Weber State News is now filming from KSL Television’s former news set. A WSU Communication alum contacted the department with the news that KSL was getting a new news set and suggested that Weber State News could use the old one. Students and faculty spent two full days (a month apart) breaking down the set and getting it transported to the studio. Weber State News has used the new desk a handful of times this semester. KSL actually donated the old set more than 10 years ago.

New department secretary hired to work with students

November 2012—Patricia Burton has been hired as the department secretary for Communication to replace Virginia Stevens who retired. Burton is very experienced and excited to begin working with students. She worked for seven years as the associate business manager at the Weber County Library, for seven years as the administrative assistant/office administrator for the Weber County Commission, and for three years as a legal assistant for the Weber County attorney. She even worked briefly as the secretary for an interim dean of the business school at Weber State University.  

Kim receives RS&PG grant to conduct survey on Corporate Social Responsibility

November 2012—Yeonsoo Kim, assistant professor of Communication, has been awarded a $1,500 RS&PG grant to conduct a survey on Corporate Social Responsibility: Effects of corporate reputation and fit of CSR programs.

Steimel’s paper named top in Communication Education at Central States

November 2012—Sarah Steimel, assistant professor of Communication, has the top paper in the Communication Education division at Central State Association in April. It is titled “Partners' Assessment of Service Learning in an Interpersonal and Small Group Communication Course.” It came about thanks to an RS&PG grant she received last year.

Weber State Debate wins J.V. tournament; student named top speaker

November 2012—Weber State Debate won the junior varsity division of the 2012 University of Nevada-Las Vegas tournament with a 9-1 run. Khalid Hussein Sharif and Jordan Roberts defeated a field of 25 talented teams over the course of 70 hours of tournament competition. Nine teams of Wildcats debated in this tournament with four surviving to elimination rounds. Also Matt Gomez was named top speaker while Hannah Shoell came in second in the J.V. competition Three more Weber J.V. debaters earned Top 10 speaker awards in a pool of 50 debaters. Aaron Loftus was 10th in novice.

MPC student to speak to Utah School Board on social media

October 2012—A Master of Professional Communication student has been invited to present to the Utah School Board Association on social media. Jeff Haney extensively uses social media strategies as part of his public relations job with the Canyons School District. He said he has been able to more effectively use social media after taking Kathy Edwards’ Strategic Communication class.

The Signpost breaks news on WSU presidential search

October 2012—Accolades to The Signpost and for the coverage of the presidential search. The Signpost was the first news organization to break the announcement of the finalists. Numerous Signpost staffers attended the announcement, with several reporters breaking the news on Twitter and Facebook. Reporters also posted photos to Instragram. About one hour later, Editor in Chief Cozette Jenkins had a full story on the announcement online. Morgan Briesmaster livestreamed the event, and the Web editor designed a special place for the video above the scroll on the site.

Canfield presents at WSUSA leadership conference

October 2012—Clair Canfield, an instructor in Communication, made two presentations at LEAD, the leadership academy, hosted by Weber State University Student Association. His presentations were titled “Daring to speak authentically: putting your dreams into words and leading others” and “A look at the fundamental principles of effective public speaking."

Bialowas elected to Faculty Senate

October 20120—Anne Bialowas, assistant professor of Communication, has been elected to serve on the Weber State University Faculty Senate.

Edwards presents on social media to school administrators

October 2012—Kathy Edwards, associate professor of Communication, made a presentation to the Weber School District on "Social Media Issues in K-12" on Oct. 22. The presentation was for school principals and administrators in the Weber School District.

Two WSU debaters rank among top speakers; team finishes fifth at tournament

September 2012—Weber State University debaters had an excellent showing Sept. 28-30 at the University of Missouri Kansas City Baby Jo Memorial Policy Debate Tournament. In the varsity division, Matt Gomez was 16th speaker out of 168 debaters. Dillon Olson and Gomez ended preliminary competition with a 6-2 record, and beat Kansas State in their double-octafinals round and then Trinity University in their Octafinal debate. They lost in quarterfinals to Emporia State (who was the second seed at the tournament and one of the top teams in the nation) in a very close round. Overall, they ended tied for the fifth-highest ballot count out of 84 teams at the tournament. In the junior varsity division, Steven Sanchez was seventh speaker out of 50 debaters in that division. Sanchez and Hannah Shoell ended preliminary competition with a 4-3 record and beat Indiana University in their partial-octafinals round, and then lost to Oklahoma University in quarterfinals.

Communication grad begins law school, another accepted

September 2012—Jared Hyde, who graduated in 2012 with an emphasis in Civic Advocacy, has begun his first semester at BYU Law. Hyde reports he was “pleasantly surprised to discover he had a head start” in his legal writing class with his knowledge of three defamation cases: Times v. Sullivan, Gertz v. Welch, and Curtis Publishing v. Butts. David Bundy, who graduated in 2010 with an emphasis in Organizational Communication, has been accepted to Michigan State’s law school.

‘Wake Up Wildcats,’ ‘Train City Eats’ featured on local website

September 2012—An article was posted the week of Sept. 17 on highlighting hosts Kiersten Voorhees and Krystal Garner from “Wake Up Wildcats.” The week of Sept. 10, a story on Studio 76’s new show “Train City Eats” was featured on the same site at

New Studio 76 continues to brand itself, build interest

September 2012—Studio 76 is racking up views on its YouTube channel with 7,200 already this semester. This compares to the average view-count of 9,000 for an entire semester last year. In addition, Studio 76 has launched its new website at  The site contains the Weber State News shows and the in-studio entertainment show Your Entertainment! (YE!).

Two Communication students to graduate with Honors in December

September 2012—Danielle Edwards, Organizational Communication, and Amy Gerrard, Civic Advocacy, will graduate this December with Honors in Communication. Edwards’ project titled “Home Schooling v. Public Schooling’ will be presented at the Utah Educators Conference while Gerrard’s topic “Alternative Tobacco: Community Education Lesson” will be presented to the Utah DARE Mentor Council. Honor students must have a 3.5 GPA overall and a 3.7 in the major, and they must present their research/project at a conference. As a result, Honors will show on their diploma, they will receive a letter from the WSU president and they will be invited with their partner/spouse/family member to a banquet. If interested, contact Dr. Susan Hafen at

National Society of Collegiate Scholars kicks off with Communication faculty help

September 2012—Becky Johns oversaw the first induction service for the Weber State Chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars Sept. 21 in Elizabeth Hall. Ninety-one members were inducted. Omar Guevara was the featured speaker. You can find them on Facebook at NSCSatWSU.


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