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JMS Grad Students Star at Pop Culture Convention
The Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies is committed to promoting the growth of knowledge about mass communication and enhancing the enlightened use of mass communication to achieve individual, group and societal goals. VR Ukraine A search of Crisis in Ukraine shows a myriad of images from the region. The political crisis will be the topic of a series of talks in Journalism 313 this week and next. / Screenshot from Google Images. The Tony & Linda Scholarship is sponsored by the Nevada Broadcasters Foundation and The Tony & Linda Bonnici Scholarship Fund The 2013 Rebelation Media team shows their award-winning ad concept. Photo credit: Peter Suh Journalism and Media Studies have recognized Valeria Gurr-Ovalle as April’s Outstanding Graduate Student of the Month From the nominations of faculty and fellow students, Michael Vendivel has earned recognition as March’s Outstanding Graduate Student in Journalism and Media Studies Graduate students and faculty made unprecedented appearances at the Far West Popular Culture and American Culture Associations Jessica Zimmerman has excelled in her studies, with her assistantship, and work outside the classroom Received the 2012 Hazel Dicken-Garcia Award The Nevada Broadcasters Foundation awarded three JMS students prestigious Journalism and political science major, Maria Flor Jose Ágreda took first place in the The Nevada Broadcasters Foundation awarded three JMS students prestigious Journalism 313“documentary photography” course demonstrate a The Nevada Broadcasters Foundation awarded three JMS students prestigious Jennifer Liese has been selected as the Outstanding Graduate Student for the Month of September Taisik Hwang’s academic work has earned him recognition as the Outstanding Graduate Student for the Month for October. A second-year graduate student in the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies, has received funding from a prestigious source Denitsa Yotova-Green and JMS graduate coordinator Gregory Borchard visit Chattanooga's Lookout Mountain for the Symposium.

Virtual Rebel Reaches Status of Registered Student Organization

By Elizabeth Gardner, journalism undergrad

The Office of Civic Engagement and Diversity approved Virtual Rebel as a Registered Student Organization this semester, allowing the site’s developers to expand and grow readership with new resources.

Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies sponsors Virtual Rebel as a strictly online news site and portal for student work. Registered Student Organizations are university-recognized clubs that include at least five active students and a full-time faculty advisor.

“Virtual Rebel’s becoming a Registered Student Organization is a new level of awesome,” said Kim Ulmanis, managing editor. “The status will help us grow and become more visible in our community.”

As a new RSO, Virtual Rebel is eligible for funding through the Consolidated Students of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. CSUN, as an undergraduate student government, has a Ways and Means Committee that has the power to allocate money to RSOs.

Dr. Gregory Borchard, Virtual Rebel’s faculty advisor, has sought funding to strengthen the website’s presence online.

Ulmanis plans to use funding to increase website functionality by implementing improved search functions and modified graphic features.

Virtual Rebel now also has the opportunity to take part in the Student Involvement Fair and set up a table in the Student Union at the beginning of each semester.

Students, faculty and UNLV alumni are encouraged to publish stories and build their portfolios.

For additional information, please visit the Virtual Rebel website at <http://virtual-rebel.com> or email an editor at <VirtualRebelWebsite@gmail.com>.

Greenspun Professors Commemorate Nevada’s 150th Birthday

Two Greenspun School faculty members are featured in UNLV’s Nevada 5 series of historical essays commemorating the state’s 150th birthday.

Associate Professor Stephen Bates recounted five of Nevada’s most memorable cases involving freedom of speech < http://news.unlv.edu/article/my-nevada-5-free-speech>.

Associate Professor Julian Kilker contributed a photo essay on Walking Box Ranch, once the home of silent film star Clara Bow < http://news.unlv.edu/article/my-nevada-5-images-walking-box-ranch> .

Greenspun Grads Rake in the Prizes

Congratulations to the Greenspun grads who were winners in this year's Nevada Press Association Contest < http://www.nevadapress.com/nevadapress.com/2014_awards.html> !

Among the top honors was the Journalist of Merit prize for Urban Weeklies for Mark Adams at Las Vegas Weekly

A first place winner was feature writer Michael Lyle at the Review-Journal, who took home several other awards.

Other grads who took honors (some with multiple prizes) include Caitlyn Belcher, Ray Brewer, Glenn Cook, Sean DeFrank, Jack Johnson, Jorge Labrador, Valerie Miller and PJ Perez, as well as grad student Matt Ward.

The Boulder City Review won the General Excellence Award for community newspapers in the past year when Arnold Knightly was editor and Jack Johnson was the reporter. Steven Slivka is the reporter there now.

Associate Professor Julian Kilker received a third place prize for a photo essay in Vegas Seven.

In addition, Greenspun School benefactor Brian Greenspun was inducted into the Association's Hall of Fame.

Prizes were announced at the Nevada Press Association’s banquet in Las Vegas on Sept. 20.

JMS Student News Website Succeeds in Drawing Increased Visitor Use

Justine Ipac

Virtual Rebel, a news portfolio site for students in the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies, has quickly reached a bounce rate of 40 percent, a remarkable achievement for only three semesters since its launch, according to Gregory Borchard, executive editor.

Virtual Rebel serves as the JMS school’s official exhibition of pieces from its students, showcasing work such as feature stories, photojournalism galleries and broadcast clips, including  subjects such as local news, politics and sports.

Michael Vendivel, who designed the site as part of his work as a master’s student, evaluated the bounce rate for his graduate studies thesis. Bounce rate is a measurement of how long each visitor spends digging through the site’s content. The longer visitors tend to explore the various stories the lower the bounce rate. With a bounce rate of 40 percent, it means that 60 percent of Virtual Rebel visitors are sticking to the site.

“We made good progress this year in working toward a converged media platform with the new Studio G section, added photos, and related content, and plans with KUNV-FM to link streaming radio content,” Borchard said.

The website had humble beginnings as a blog-like page titled “East Paradise.” From 2007-2009, it operated on the fundamentals of civic journalism in which citizen reporters worked to submit their own stories.

In January 2013, the site underwent a complete overhaul thanks to Vendivel’s work.

Gone was the site’s blog-like feel. Then, came a logo design representative of the university, and the coding necessary to create the individual tabs and pages.

Although Vendivel is set to graduate from the university this spring, Virtual Rebel administrators seek to use his work as a foundation for continued excellence. They plan to continue making daily student work additions and working towards a fully converged media platform.

“Our goal for the next year will be to focus on increasing the site's ‘stickiness,’ which is making sure readers who visit read more than just one story alone,” Borchard said.

For more information about Virtual Rebel, visit http://virtual-rebel.com, or contact Greg Borchard at 702-895-4868.

Media Coverage & Female Athletes

JMS students get rare opportunity to discuss breaking news in real time

By Julian Kilker

Please join us to discuss "Breaking News -- Understanding what's happening right now with Ukraine, Russia, and the US" over the next two weeks, held as part of the Jour 313 photojournalism course in the Emerging Tech Lab, room 1120, at 10 a.m.

JMS students, staff and faculty are welcome to participate in discussing how media and politics (and sports) are intertwined in the "Crisis in Ukraine" (as the New York Times puts it in today's lead story).

This opportunity just came together this morning as a few speakers generously moved their schedules around. We now have an impromptu speaker series. (We're "nimbly pivoting," in today's lingo...more like a news bureau than a university.)

For background, take a look at thus "Crisis in Ukraine" section on the front page of the nytimes.com. The Atlantic's In Focus and Boston.com's Big Picture, usually good visual sources, have been quiet about Eastern Europe in recent days. Unless there's nothing newer, I recommend looking at these entries:
Tomorrow, Tuesday March 4, at 10am in the ETL room 1120
… we have Dr. Greg Miller, editor of Vegas Seven and Russia specialist (his PhD and professional experience combine journalism and Russian studies). Dr. Miller will discuss international news coverage and help us understand multiple perspectives on this topic.  

Thursday, March 6, at 10am in the ETL room 1120
... we have Julie Jacobson, highly-regarded war, sports, and hard news photojournalist who will have just returned from Sochi and Moscow (and before that, the Super Bowl). Julie will be discussing her recent experience covering sports and being in Russia, as well as present her perspective on the current and emerging challenges of photojournalism.

Next week
... our new Fall 2014 hire Olesya Venger has offered to discuss the crisis from the Ukrainian perspective and also talk with interested students about her own work. I'll let you know more about her presentation's date and time when I have the details.


Virtual Rebel Website Showcases Wider Range of Content

By Sean Wyatt

With its newly redesigned format, the Virtual Rebel website encourages students to grab their notebooks and find a story.

Virtual Rebel is an online-only news source produced by the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies. Students and other members of the university community contribute stories for the site.

"The big idea behind Virtual Rebel from the get-go was that if you were someone on the other side of the planet and you wanted to find out what the students in the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies were doing, you could just pull up one link and it would all be there," said Greg Borchard, executive editor.

When first launched as Virtual Rebel in August 2012, the site averaged about one new story a day. Since then, it has grown to four to five stories a day on average. During final exams week, the daily amount of content increases even more as some students are offered extra credit for publication on the site.

Faculty of the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies help edit the content that is published on the page. Stories are submitted via e-mail and reviewed before publication.

The site also has some exciting plans for the future.

"We have had this in the works for a while now -- that's our Studio G section on the site." Borchard said. Studio G is a live newscast that airs five days a week and features broadcast students.

Studio G broadcast stories have begun to be featured on Virtual Rebel, and Borchard plans to update faculty and students about an increased online presence for student-produced news shows.

For additional information about Virtual Rebel, visit http://virtual-rebel.com/about


JMS student excels at national conference

Congratulations to JMS graduate student Denitsa Yotova-Green who had an excellent conference debut during the Twenty-First Annual Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Her paper titled "Late Nineteenth Century Visual Media as Social Documentary: Jacob Riis's Five Points Photography, Magic Lantern Spectacle and the Beginning of Documentary Film" was among three by doctoral and master's students recognized, receiving an award for excellence. The November 7-9 conference attracted nationally recognized media and history scholars. Please contact Gregory Borchard for additional information about the JMS graduate program.



New Public Relations Professor Brings 20 years of Experience, Life Lessons to the Classroom

By Steven Slivka

syzdek Nancy Syzdek

Nancy Syzdek has come full-circle in becoming one of the new journalism professors at UNLV.

After growing up in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, Syzdek graduated from UNLV with her degree in political science in 1994.

Now, she’s returned to UNLV help students make strides in the field of public relations, a field worked in for 20 years.

“The opportunity became available and I put my name in,” she said. “I didn’t expect to get it, but then they offered me a full-time position and here I am.”

Syzdek originally wanted to write environmental policy and become a policy committee staffer in Washington D.C., but the future would hold different plans for her.

When she graduated from UNLV in the mid-1990s, Syzdek interned for Congresswoman Dina Titus. Shortly after the legislative session ended, Syzdek then went on to work full-time for U.S. Senator Richard Bryan.

“That’s where I got my first introduction into media relations,” she said. “If you would’ve told me back then I was going to be in public relations, I would’ve told you that you were crazy.”

After working for Senator Bryan, Syzdek worked as a contractor in government and media affairs on the Yucca Mountain project for the Nevada Department of Energy. From there, she moved to Denver and worked for the largest design multi-model transportation project in the U.S.

Her experience has also translated well to her students in the classroom.

“She’s a great instructor,” said student Danny Webster. “She’s very firm, but it’s a great thing. She uses a lot of examples in her teachings to make us think more outside of the box regarding ethics. She uses a wide variety of topics so that we can each relate to the situation.”

Syzdek currently sits on the board of the Public Relations Society of America. In 2011, she was the chair of the Western District of the PRSA where she supervised a 10-person committee and planned a two-day conference with speakers from Google, Zappos and NPR.

Since 2008, she’s worked in corporate communications for JT3, a joint-venture company that provides engineering and technical support to the Air Force and Navy's Joint Range Technical Services test and training ranges in Nevada, Utah and California.

Adjusting to life as a full-time instructor has been hectic for Syzdek, but she said she’s enjoyed it.

“I was very honored that they thought I had the right skills to match up to the students’ needs,” she said. “I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been a great challenge having to prep three classes from scratch. It’s a lot of work and I’ll never feel like I’m caught up, but it’s been a lot of fun.”

In the classroom, Syzdek wants to challenge her students to look at more than just what is.

“I’m hoping they can walk away with a bit of a process to make sound decisions or ask the right questions as they go forward,” she said. “I think they’ve become different consumers of news as well.”



New Visiting Professor Brings Sports and Media Expertise to UNLV

By Steven Slivka

Bellamy Robert Bellamy

Dr, Robert Bellamy is more than just a journalism professor. He’s also an author, a media guru, and a sports lover.

He even stayed in the same hospital room as legendary college basketball coach Adolf Rupp in his native Kentucky when he was 17.

Bellamy, 57, is the newest faculty member in UNLV’s Journalism and Media Studies department after spending the last 23 years at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh where he also spent a semester teaching abroad at its Rome campus.

He’s used to teaching at private schools with smaller student populations, but Bellamy said he’s enjoyed the students just as much at UNLV.

“At Duquesne, the population is less than 11,000. I’ve found the students here to be very chatty and I like that,” he said. “It’s very important to the classes I teach.”

Bellamy teaches two classes at UNLV: Forms of journalistic writing and Media sports and society.

In class, Bellamy had his students participate in a fantasy football league where they will write news stories, feature stories and press releases on their teams as the NFL season progresses.

“It’s important that they can differentiate between different forms of writing,” he said. “I’m hoping the students can learn more of the current state of the media.”

Bellamy has also contributed chapters to several publications about sports and the media, as well as authored and co-authored three books of his own.

His most recent work, co-authored with James Walker and titled Centerfield Shot: A History of Baseball on Television, was the winner of the Sporting News Research Award in 2008.

“That book is a great representation of my interests,” Bellamy said. “I believe we can teach sports through the media in a way that makes it attractive to people. But it’s not just sports. I want students to understand the business, pop culture and political economy behind the sports.”

After receiving his Master’s degree from the University of Kentucky in 1979, Bellamy earned his PhD. from the University of Iowa in 1985 where he wrote his dissertation on the first paid programming in television.

During the mid-1980s, he wrote a paper on the impact of television media and the structure of MLB.

“One of the positives of him being here is that he gives us more diversity,” said UNLV Journalism and Media Studies director Dr. Lawrence Mullen. “He’ll help give students a broad base in media communication and he’ll help us develop the media and sports certificate.”

A Pittsburgh resident since 1989, Bellamy enjoys watching Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games at PNC Park. Throughout his life, Bellamy said he’s been to at least 25 baseball stadiums. He’s also visited the NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB Halls of Fame.

Despite his love for American sports, Bellamy said his favorite sports moment was watching people in Prague react to the final of the Czech Republic-Slovakia game in the World Hockey Championships during the late 1990s.

“It was amazing to see all of those people celebrate like that all over the city,” he said. “Just to see how much sports can mean to people, it was just amazing to see. It proved to me that if you like them, hate them or don’t care about them, sports matter.”



JMS Students Awarded Tony & Linda Bonnici Scholarships

By Jessica Zimmerman and Greg Borchard

Deserving UNLV and UNR students celebrated excellence July 25 upon discovering they had won the prestigious Tony & Linda Bonnici Broadcast/Communications Scholarship.

The award includes a full year of tuition and a guaranteed broadcasting internship. Events scheduled for August 17 will publicly announce the recipients during the Eighteenth Annual Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame Gala.

The Tony & Linda Bonnici Broadcast/Communications Scholarship is sponsored by The Tony & Linda Bonnici Scholarship Fund (TLBSF) and the Nevada Broadcasters Foundation (NBF). Established to support promising broadcasters, the foundation promotes journalistic ethics and societal responsibility among broadcasters.

UNLV undergraduates — Sylvia Alvarado, Dena Banning, Karina Gaytan, Christina Jones, Alaina Leadbeter, and Crystal Muguerza — who either major or minor in Journalism and Media Studies, and JMS graduate student Jessica Zimmerman won 2013-2014 awards. They were joined by two UNR students.

"I can only say that I’m extremely blessed, grateful, and thankful that I was chosen," said Alaina Leadbeter, a JMS student focusing on broadcast. "I cannot thank the Nevada Broadcasters Foundation and Tony and Linda Bonnici enough for this helpful and amazing opportunity."

Applicants were submitted transcripts, letters of recommendation, and an essay about why they wanted to be broadcasters, explaining how the profession can better serve society. They were then interviewed thoroughly.

Selected recipients — students enrolled in a broadcast or a related communications program — receive the scholarship and internship with the requirement that they volunteer at several fundraising events held throughout the year.

For more information on the Tony & Linda Bonnici Broadcast/Communications Scholarship, please visit Nevada Broadcasters Association or their Facebook page.



UNLV’s Rebelation Media Advances to Nationals

by Irene Williams

NSACGabriel Lapuz, Kristina Guerrero, Rebecca Koonce, Lisa Coruzzi, Brianna-Jayde Anderson, Kayla Agnello, George Machado. Photo Credit: Peter Suh

Faculty and students in the Journalism and Media Studies program are still buzzing with pride over a first place District 15 finish in the National Student Advertising Competition.

The Rebelation Media team received top honors in District 15 for a campaign they presented in Fullerton, Calif., April 25, 2013. The win was a first for students in the program, as they bested eight other universities. The students are now headed to the national competition June 5-8 in Phoenix to compete against 16 other first place district winners.

"Congratulations to our team for besting USC, UCLA, and other major universities," said Dr. Daniel Stout, JMS director. "A panel of professional judges deemed UNLV’s written campaign and oral presentation to be the best. Kudos also go to Dr. Kathy Callahan and Dan Schott as advisors."

JMS faculty Kathy Callahan and Dan Schott advised the team, heading a class of 37 students to develop a strategic and competitive strategy for the competition. The class tackled a complete integrated marketing campaign, including research, strategy, media budget and schedule, creative concepts, social media, in-store promotions and community outreach, and public relations. Students developed a 20-page plan book and 20-minute presentation for this year’s client, Glidden Paint. The requirements of the class are extraordinary, including 20 to 30 hours a week outside of regular meeting times. “There's almost nothing about this competition that's like anything students have experienced in a typical class,” Callahan noted.

She recalls the excitement and joy the students experienced when the heard the news of their victory.

“The suspense was palpable as the district coordinator announced third place: California State Fullerton; then second place, USC,” Callahan said. “And finally and very slowly with dramatic pauses, ‘the winner of the 2013 District 15 championship -- that will go on to represent the district at the national finals -- is the University of Nevada.’ The announcer hadn’t even finished saying ‘Nevada’ when everyone on the team was on their feet, jumping up and down, cheering, hugging each other.”

The announcement validated late nights, intensive preparation, and submitting work that met the demanding professional standards of the competition, Callahan said.

“The moment that the team was announced as the winner was incredibly exhilarating,” she said. “It’s a highlight of my career and something I’ll always remember, and I’m sure the team members will as well.”

What made the Rebelation Media campaign stand out compared to the other universities? Callahan said it was the extensive research on the target audience and the client company, Glidden Paint, that led to a solid strategy. The students developed a solid campaign based on understanding the customers of Glidden Paint.

Gabriel Lapuz, one of the five students who presented on stage and a member of the creative group, was recognized along with two students from other universities with a special “Creative Ink Difference” award for his work on the creative concept and executions in the campaign.

“It takes a wide variety of skills to create this type of campaign: project management, teamwork, copywriting, graphic design, print production, film production and editing, research and analysis, critical thinking, media planning, presentation skills, understanding emerging trends in creative and media,” Callahan said. “It can only happen with dedication, persistence and commitment to the project and to your teammates.”

For students who may want to consider being part of the experience next year, she advised: “Be prepared for the most demanding, and most rewarding, experience you'll have in college. You’re very likely to learn things about yourself you didn't know you could do.”

If you would like additional information about the JMS campaign class, please contact Kathy Callahan at kathy.callahan@unlv.edu.



Valeria Gurr-Ovalle JMS’s Outstanding Graduate Student for April

by Irene Williams

Valeria Valeria Gurr-Ovalle

For her extraordinary work inside the classroom and professionally, faculty and fellow students in Journalism and Media Studies have recognized Valeria Gurr-Ovalle as April’s Outstanding Graduate Student of the Month.

At the Fourth Annual Greenspun College of Urban Affairs Graduate Research Symposium, Gurr-Ovalle presented research titled “The Other September 11th: El Mercurio Media Coverage after the Chilean Coup of 1973,” a subject that is the focus of her thesis. The April 15th presentation for the College of Urban Affairs was also an extension of a paper she presented in the February convention of the Far West Popular Culture and American Culture Association.

“I have tried to sign up for and become involved in everything I have been invited to do,” she said. “I think that today, students have to go that extra mile.”

Gurr-Ovalle edits the new Spanish section for Virtual Rebel, contributing stories and collaborating on them with other Spanish-speaking journalism students. In addition, she interns for Univision.

Her advice for students who want to purse JMS is to take advantage of all of the opportunities that the program offers. She said it has been difficult for her to get hands-on experience since she came from Chile, but the JMS program has provided support.

After graduation, Gurr-Ovalle said she would like to be a journalist in either a newspaper or magazine company, and she would enjoy working for a public relations company.

Being April’s Outstanding Graduate Student of the month means a lot to Gurr-Ovalle. She said that the recognition helps her feel like she is part of a larger family. When she first started the program, she was not sure if she was going to survive the first semester.

“It was very hard at the beginning,” she said. “I sincerely thank my family and my two professors and mentors, who have been guiding me since the beginning, Drs. Gregory Borchard and Julian Kilker.”

For more information about either the JMS graduate program or Virtual Rebel, contact Gregory A. Borchard, graduate coordinator, at gregory.borchard@unlv.edu or 895-4868.



Virtual Rebel Website Re-Imagined

by Djuan Muldrew

Students in the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies are buzzing about the new design of the Virtual Rebel website that now showcases article translated to Spanish and new multimedia.

“The vision for the site is that anyone can come to it and find out about the work being done in the School,” said Greg Borchard, JMS associate professor and the site’s executive editor.

The site reflects the standards in journalism and media studies classes, but publications are not limited to journalism and media studies students. Virtual Rebel is also not limited to stories that involve UNLV students.

“We welcome stories whether they’re UNLV related or not,” Borchard said.

A recently added feature of Virtual Rebel is to make content available for a Spanish-speaking audience by students who write original articles in Spanish or translate them from English. The section provides a resource for aspiring journalists who would like to pursue jobs in Spanish media. It also allows Virtual Rebel to develop and grow a Spanish-speaking audience.

Virtual Rebel began in 2007 as a website originally named East Paradise. It was focused on community-generated news through the practice of civic journalism. In 2012, the plans for the newly named Virtual Rebel site began to fall into place, with a focus on student-generated work while also aggregating other UNLV news.

The new design of the Virtual Rebel showcases re-imagined multimedia with an updated info tab that incorporates the range of work produced by students in Greenspun Hall, including UNLV’s radio station KUNV, the student operated TV show Studio G, and UNLV-TV.

With the help of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates in the JMS program, Borchard and reporting faculty Jean Norman and Mary Hausch have made the resource an increasingly vital and important one for everyone in the School.

The redesign work has been produced by Michael Vendivel, a grad student, for independent study credit. Graduate assistant Jessica Zimmerman is the web coordinator and invites all UNLV students to present stories to the Virtual Rebel website. Student Mark Vucovich created the name for Virtual Rebel, and another student Mitch Levenson created its logo.

To find out more information, contact Dr. Borchard at 702-895-4868 or Zimmerman via email at virtualrebelwebsite@gmail.com.



Michael Vendivel JMS’s Outstanding Graduate Student for March

by Irene Williams

Michael VendivelMichael Vendivel

From the nominations of faculty and fellow students, Michael Vendivel has earned recognition as March’s Outstanding Graduate Student in Journalism and Media Studies.

Vendivel has successfully redesigned the new interface for the Virtual Rebelwebsite, and many of his efforts, which began months ago, became apparent with new features launched in March on the site.

Vendivel’s graphic design and technical website knowledge significantly improved the Virtual Rebel site by making it practical for journalists and more manageable for users. The site is designed for JMS students to gain experience in writing, reporting, editing, and publishing stories.

“The design and placement of articles and features on the site is my main responsibility,” Vendivel said. “It’s both challenging and fun to solve some of the problems of convergence media that we run into.”

Vendivel co-founded the first graphic design group at UNLV called Student Association of Graphic Artists (SAGA). He works full time for Clark County School District as a Web and Graphic Designer.

Balancing a healthy lifestyle with school, friends, and family is very important to him, he said. In his spare time, he volunteers at events for local organization.

In the future, Vendivel plans to use his skills in graphic design toward improving converged media for journalists.

“The two goals I have from my studies in JMS is to establish a software company that creates great software for journalists and to develop applications that provide rich user experiences to keep readership more informed about topics of interest,” he said.

For more information about either the JMS graduate program or Virtual Rebel, contact Gregory A. Borchard, graduate coordinator, at gregory.borchard@unlv.edu or 895-4868.



Megan Gilliland JMS’s Outstanding Graduate Student for February

by Irene Williams

Megan GillilandMegan Gilliland

Students and JMS faculty have endorsed Megan Gilliland as the program’s Outstanding Graduate Student for the Month of February.

Gilliland was recognized in particular for her extraordinary work at last month’s Far West Popular Culture and American Culture Association Convention. She presented two papers at the event—“Self-Presentation of Deployed Troops on Facebook” and “A Deluzian Examination of the Film Cloud Atlas.” In addition, she moderated a panel titled “Trends in Visually Based Media.” Gilliland plans to pursue a doctoral degree in media studies.

“It feels great to be named Graduate Student of the Month for February,” Gilliland said. “I appreciate the acknowledgement, and I believe this type of recognition program is a great way to celebrate the work of JMS graduate students.”

Gilliland is active with campus activities, maintaining an assistantship with the Center for Social Justice where she co-instructs Leadership as Social Change (PUA 382). She serves on the Women’s HerStory Month committee and is JMS graduate representative for GPSA. For her GPSA position, she helps produce The Luminary, a quarterly newsletter. Gilliland is also an Air Force Reservist in the 4th Combat Camera Squadron.

She said graduate school is challenging, but she has been able to balance all of her duties including motherhood.

For more information about the JMS graduate program, please contact Gregory A. Borchard, graduate coordinator, at gregory.borchard@unlv.edu or 895-4868.



JMS Grad Students Star at Pop Culture Convention

By Greg Borchard
February 25, 2013

Graduate students and faculty from UNLV’s Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies made unprecedented appearances at the Far West Popular Culture and American Culture Associations 25th-Anniversary Convention Feb. 22 to 24.

Of the approximately 200 registered participants, which included international, national and UNLV guests, 16 were affiliated directly with JMS, a representation unmatched by other schools or universities.

The three-day meeting hosted at the Palace Station has become a favorite annual gathering for both veteran professors and aspiring students.

“I found the event was a very positive experience, and I was surprised to see how much people liked my topic,” said Valeria Gurr-Ovalle, a second year JMS grad student who presented research on American ties to Chilean media during the nation’s 1973 coup. “The conference was a great opportunity for students to present their research and to get feedback from other professors and students.”

As with other students at the event, this was the first academic conference Gurr-Ovalle has attended, but she said she already looks forward to another opportunity like it.

The overall success of the 25th anniversary event ensures it will continue.

“The Far West Pop Culture and American Culture Associations conference this year has been the most successful event we’ve ever had,” said UNLV’s Dr. Felicia Campbell, executive director of the FWPCA and FWACA. “We maxed on our capacity, and I was particularly pleased with the heavy representation from UNLV faculty and students.”

The JMS presence was especially strong Saturday, when students and faculty presented papers from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., speaking individually and on panels that addressed a range in research topics.

First-year JMS grad student Megan Gilliland had an extraordinary day, as she presented two papers—“Self-Presentation of Deployed Troops on Facebook” and “A Deluzian Examination of the Film Cloud Atlas”—and also moderated a panel titled, “Trends in Visually Based Media.”

Faculty who presented papers included Dr. Paul Traudt, Dr. Gary Larson and Urban Affairs doctoral student Jean Norman. Dan Stout, the School’s director, and Gregory Borchard, graduate coordinator, moderated panels. Dr. Larry Mullen and master’s student William Brigman contributed directly to discussion.

“Popular culture is one of the most important topics of our day,” said Stout, who headed a panel focusing on social media’s contemporary interactions. “Clearly Greenspun School faculty and students are making their mark in this area of research as demonstrated by their major presence on the program.”

The attendance in each session was also remarkably high, as the following JMS students discovered through lively discussions after each of their presentations:

  • Amanda Cunningham, “Walt Disney and His Impact on American Mass Media and Popular Culture”;
  • Ryan Hamilton, “It’s Getting Better, Not Worse: Contrasting Contemporary Campaign Rhetoric with the Election of 1800”;
  • Taisik Hwang, “Video Game Violence and Children”;
  • Jennifer Liese, “Media Organizations and the Manufacturing of News: Decoding the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars through Visual Narratives”;
  • Matt Ward, “Murder and Mayhem: The Role Nineteenth Century Illustrated Murder Pamphlets Played in the Rise of Jacksonian Era Penny Papers”;
  • Kyle Yim, “Fantasy Football: Building a Taxonomy of Player Types”;
  • Jessica Zimmerman, “Media Bias through Facial Expressions on Local Las Vegas Television News.”

Dr. Campbell said she is already looking forward to next year’s event, which promises to attract attention from media outlets.

For additional information about the JMS graduate program, please contact Dr. Gregory Borchard, graduate coordinator at gregory.borchard@unlv.edu or 895-4868.



Jessica Zimmerman JMS’s Outstanding Graduate Student for November

by Irene Williams

Jessica ZimmermanJessica Zimmerman

Jessica Zimmerman has excelled in her studies, with her assistantship, and work outside the classroom, earning her recognition as November’s Outstanding Graduate Student in the School of Journalism and Media Studies. Both students and faculty nominated Zimmerman for the designation, noting her accomplishments for the month of November specifically.

“I feel that it is an amazing honor,” Zimmerman said. “I’m so thrilled to be a part of such a great academic program as JMS.”

Zimmerman’s assistantship responsibilities include working as the web coordinator for the JMS School’s Virtual Rebel site, which enjoyed a surge in popularity from her work on Election Night. She has helped rebrand and revive the site and helped edit and publish stories while recruiting students to submit their work. She also launched a new Facebook page and Twitter account for Virtual Rebel.

Zimmerman, a recipient of the Greenspun Journalism Scholarship, is currently working on her thesis, which is about nonverbal bias in local television news through a visual analysis of local newscasts, analyzing bias in facial expressions from anchors and reporters. She also holds the secretary position for her sorority (Alpha Xi Delta) alumni executive board. She has done all this while at the same time being a mother to her one-year-old son and a wife.

Upon completing her degree, she plans to teach journalism at CSN and eventually pursue a doctorate. She said her dream job is to work in public affairs at a college or university.

Her advice for JMS students is to pursue every opportunity available, from assistantships to internships, since they can help with career plans. She also recommends getting to know the professors, as they are essential for academic success.

For more information about the JMS graduate program, please contact Gregory A. Borchard, graduate coordinator, at gregory.borchard@unlv.edu or 895-4868.



JMS Media Historian Gregory Borchard Receives Hazel Dicken-Garcia Award for Distinguished Scholarship

by Irene Williams

Gregory Borchard"David Sachsman, left, presents Gregory A. Borchard, JMS graduate coordinator, the Hazel Dicken-Garcia Award for Distinguished Scholarship at the UTC Symposium, Nov. 9, 2012 (photo, David W. Bulla)"

Gregory A. Borchard, an associate professor in the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies, received the 2012 Hazel Dicken-Garcia Award at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga’s 20th Annual Symposium on 19th Century Press, The Civil War, and Free Expressionon Nov. 9.

The award, named after a mentor of Dr. Borchard’s at the University of Minnesota, recognizes distinguished scholarship in journalism history.

"I was both very happy and even surprised when it was announced at the luncheon that I had won the award," Borchard said. "It was a real honor to receive recognition from this exceptional group of media historians."

Renowned historian David Sachsman, head of the Symposium, noted Dr. Borchard’s work since 1999, including his recent books, book chapters, and journal publications.

Gregory Borchard"Gregory Borchard, photo by Aaron Mayes, courtesy UNLV Innovation"

His most recent book Abraham Lincoln and Horace Greeley is featured in UNLV's Innovation Magazine with an article published by JMS’s Laurie Fruth. The book provides biographical information about key figures in American politics and journalism during the mid-nineteenth century, following the lives of Abraham Lincoln and his match in the press, New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley.

For the Symposium’s keynote address, Borchard presented a paper titled "The Campaign from Candidate to President: Abraham Lincoln and the Press, 1858-1861." After the presentation, he moderated a panel featuring international scholars he recruited to address the subject of "Lincoln and the Press." He also guest lectured in Dr. Charlene Simmons' Introduction to Mass Communication class at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga about the 1860 election.

For more information about the book, contact Dr. Borchard at gregory.borchard@unlv.eduor at (702) 895-4868.



Graduate Student Irene Williams Receives UNLV Access Grant

by Jamie Barnard

Irene WilliamsIrene Williams

Irene Williams, a second-year graduate student in the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies, has received funding from a prestigious source, the UNLV Access Grant, to continue her studies in social media.

Williams, who has also received funds from the JMS School in the form of the Hank Kovell Scholarship, maintained excellent work in the classroom in order to qualify for both opportunities.

The Access Grant is a gift awarded to UNLV students with financial need. Students may receive up to $1,250 per semester from Access funds. Williams was awarded the fall 2012–spring 2013 funds for her high GPA, funds that will help her complete her studies at UNLV. This grant includes money set aside to help pay for tuition.

JMS’s Hank Kovel Scholarship is designed to benefit students within the UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs specifically, primarily those focused on advertising, public relations or marketing. Recently the Hank Kovell Scholarship met endowment status, meaning the scholarship is now receiving more money from donors, allowing it to be available over a longer period for students in the future.

According to Kathy Espin, internship coordinator at the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies, the Hank Kovell Scholarship is one of as many as 10 scholarships awarded each year. Williams received $1,000 for her studies, which concentrate on marketing and social media.

Williams is also a student worker for JMS as a writer and photographer for the JMS website. She manages social media outreach on Facebook and Twitter.

“We’re very happy Irene can work with the JMS school’s social media projects another semester,” said Gregory Borchard, graduate coordinator. “She has done excellent work with the opportunities provided her, and the funding will allow her to continue to do so.”

Outside of school, Williams has another job focused on managing social media pages for attorneys, but her dream job it to someday work for an advertising agency and eventually own a creative marketing business.

“I am honored and grateful for everything I have received and I highly advise all students to apply for scholarships even if you do not think you will get selected,” Williams said. “You will be surprised how much perseverance and dedication can do for someone, especially in academia.”

The Hank Kovell Scholarshipsite has additional information about this opportunity. For additional questions about scholarships in general, contact Kathy Espin at (702) 895-5126 or via email kathy.espin@unlv.edu.



Taisik Hwang Named October’s Outstanding Graduate Student

by Irene Williams

Taisik HwangTaisik Hwang

Taisik Hwang’s academic work has earned him recognition as the Outstanding Graduate Student for the Month for October. Hwang has worked on a range of projects at UNLV, and one of his biggest accomplishments recently included the translation of a journalism textbook from English to Korean, which was published this semester.

Hwang said the recognition is an honor for him, and it has motivated him to continue his intellectual journey. “My recommendations for future graduate students writing a research paper, is to be sure to choose a topic that fascinates you,” he said. “It ultimately makes it easier and more enjoyable to write instead of being force into a topic.”

Hwang balances school, work, and parenting as he helps his wife raise their one-year old son. He maintains an assistantship with the Greenspun Student Advising Center as an academic advisor. He is also a member of UNLV Toastmasters Club, which he says enhances his skills as a presenter. The club provides a friendly and supportive environment that welcomes people from a variety of backgrounds—anyone who wishes to improve their leadership and communication skills.

Hwang presented a paper at the 2011 Far West Popular Culture and American Culture Association Convention about the empirical evaluation of religion coverage in South Korea’s newspapers. The paper is under review for possible publication in the Journal of Media and Religion. Hwang has worked closely with journal’s editor Dr. Daniel Stout, JMS director, on a couple of research projects, primarily focusing on their mutual interest in media and religion.

After graduation, Hwang plans to pursue doctoral studies in mass communication, continuing research on the interplay between media and religion. More specifically, he is interested in studying how mass media function as a social force influencing the beliefs and values of religious communities or how particular groups engage in or respond to mass media technologies and messages.

For November nominees, graduate students should email nominations to Irene Williams at lopezi2@unlv.nevada.edu For more information, contact Gregory A. Borchard, graduate coordinator, at gregory.borchard@unlv.edu or 895-4868



Jennifer Liese Named September’s Outstanding Graduate Student

by Irene Williams

Jennifer LieseJennifer Liese

Jennifer Liese has been selected as the Outstanding Graduate Student for the Month of September for her participation in an international conference and for her dedication to the graduate program.

After a brief summer hiatus, the Outstanding Graduate Student of the Month Program has returned as a way for students and faculty in the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies to recognize the work of a different graduate student each month. Students, such as Liese, will be selected based on their achievements in coursework, research, assistantships, or a combination of these areas, which can include work outside the classroom by nominations from faculty and students alike.

In September, Liese attended the International Crime, Media and Popular Culture Studies Conference in Terre Haute, Indiana, where she presented a paper titled “My Lai: Critical War Coverage of Vietnam Atrocities.” Her research compares visual rhetoric and narratives of war images, which she hopes to publish in the future. She also worked with Daniel Stout, director of JMS, as a journal article evaluator and initiated the JMS Media Production Club for graduate students to study practical production skills.

Liese is a Graduate Teaching Assistant for JOUR 202 Electronic Media Production and the producer and host of “Mystery Music Mondays,” a radio program on KUNV 91.5 HD2 The Rebel the student-run non-commercial radio station. She also serves on the Executive Board for the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) for UNLV as Secretary. In her position, she publishes the quarterly newsletter The Luminary and is involved in several GPSA committees.

Her advice for graduate students: “Be honest with your advisor on what you want to accomplish in this program and utilize classes outside the department and independent study courses to help reach your goals.”

Recognition of the selected October student will be announced shortly. For November nominees, graduate students should email nominations to Irene Williams at lopezi2@unlv.nevada.edu For more information, contact Gregory A. Borchard, graduate coordinator, at gregory.borchard@unlv.edu or 895-4868



National Winner Maria Jose Flor Agreda

by Irene Williams

Maria Jose Flor ÁgredaMaria Jose Flor Ágreda

Journalism and political science major, Maria Jose Flor Ágreda took first place in the national case study competition at the Washington Media Scholars Foundation. Over 200 students competed: Maria and fellow student Jami Vallesteros won the National Excellence in Media Award, receiving $3,000 in scholarship money each, and a trophy.

What made Maria and Jami’s case study stand out? She believes they provided much more than what the case called for. They provided extras such as campaign fundraising ideas, written handouts, and a detailed PowerPoint presentation.

The competition was an incredible experience for Maria; she learned advertising strategies from various experts in political campaigning. They visited Politico, The Washington Post, The Daily Caller, Kantar Media, Google, CQ Roll Call, among others and learned from their business models.

Maria was pleased to have the advertising experience as she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in media and politics. Her advice to future contestants is “not to procrastinate, practice a lot, and seek help and feedback. Also an outside perspective into the project can prove to be an invaluable asset, and I highly recommend it.”

For additional information click on the UNLV News Center link. UNLV News Center Link



Nevada Broadcasters Foundation Scholarship

by Irene Williams

The Nevada Broadcasters Foundation awarded three JMS students prestigious full tuition scholarships including a paid in-station internship in the candidates' medium of choice. The awards come from the Tony and Linda Bonnici Scholarship Fund.

Winners were undergraduates: Freshman Dena Banning, Senior Honey Love, and Senior Rommel Santiago. Awards are based on academic achievements, persistence, and dedication.

Dena BanningDena Banning

Dena Banning was honored and grateful for receiving this scholarship. As an incoming freshman, it’s a relief to be able to focus more on her studies, instead of worrying about working to pay tuition. Her dream is to utilize media for humanitarian purposes, and shed light on animal rights and cruelty. Her advice to students is to “find what drives you. Passion is what makes effort worthwhile. Never allow others to discourage your dream and accept fault as a means of growth.”

Honey LoveHoney Love

Honey Love was also thrilled. As a single mom with a three-year-old daughter, it has been exceptionally challenging to continue the path of higher education without family nearby. However, this scholarship makes things easier for Honey, especially financially. It’s also an opportunity to network at her internship. Her dream job is to host her own travel show to educate TV audiences about third-world countries and their lifestyles, cultures, and beliefs.

She encourages future applicants to apply because “nothing in life is handed to you; if you really want something you have to go for it” says Honey. She has had to balance life, school, work and motherhood; however she is driven and does it to provide a better future for herself and her daughter.

Rommel SantiagoRommel Santiago

This scholarship was a dream come true for Rommel Santiago, a senior. Not only does it help financially, but he was also offered a job at Lotus Broadcasting in the process. During his interview with the NBA Foundation Board members, he was introduced to the program director for Lotus Broadcasting. Soon he was offered a job as an on-air assistant for one of the local radio stations. He is extremely grateful for the opportunities NBA has provided, and is eager to continue to grow with his new job.

Past scholarship winners- Sedinam Kakrada, Rachel Johnson, and Adrienne Lefebvre have greatly benefited from this award. They all have received internships in different TV stations and are on the right track for their careers.

For more information on upcoming scholarships and internships see our website. Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter to receive additional information.



Projects: Las Vegas beyond the stereotypes

by Julian Kilker

These project photographs from the Journalism 313“documentary photography” course demonstrate a cross-section of perspectives and techniques explored by students asked to show Las Vegas beyond its common stereotypes—of excess, materialism, and a lack of community or concern for the environment.



Award-Winning JOURNALIST and author joins UNLV's Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies as Visiting Professor Alicia C. Shepard, Former NPR Ombudsman

Alicia ShepardAlicia Shepard

Award-winning media critic Alicia C. Shepard has spent three decades as a newspaper and magazine reporter, author and university journalism professor. She brings an expertise in writing, speaking and teaching about how the news media works -- or doesn't. UNLV President Neal Smatresk said, "We are thrilled to have someone of Ms. Shepard's experience and abilities join our Journalism and Media Studies program. Her hire exemplifies our commitment to building strength in an outstanding program and providing our students with a world class education."

In her most recent job, she spent nearly four years as National Public Radio Ombudsman, where she explained NPR to the listeners and the listeners to NPR. Her commentary on NPR's firing of news analyst Juan Williams, sparked national discussion in 2010. The Washington Post, New York Times, and Chicago Tribune have published her ideas on journalistic practice and ethics.

Shepard is author of the critically acclaimed book, Woodward and Bernstein: Life in the Shadow of Watergate, which explores the lives of two of America's most famous journalists and their impact on the profession. Shepard is a preeminent expert in a crucial era of investigating reporting. According to former Newsweek correspondent Michael Isikoff, "Alicia Shepard has written a brilliant biography of two giants of American journalism."

She is co-author of Running Toward Danger: Stories Behind the Breaking News of 9/11, which documents the role journalists played in our Democracy on that fateful day. She has won the National Press Club's top media criticism award three times.

"We are delighted she's joining the Greespun School," said Director Daniel Stout. "Alicia is a champion of quality journalism and an influential media critic of national scale." She will teach media ethics courses and be involved with KUNV, UNLV's public radio station. Shepard has also taught at the University of Texas at Austin, Georgetown University, and American University.

Traveling widely, Shepard sailed with her family through the South Pacific for three years on a 32-foot sailboat. This summer, before joining UNLV, she plans to do a seven-day bike ride across Iowa.

For more information contact Director, Daniel Stout via email daniel.stout@unlv.edu or (702) 895-5957.



East Paradise Site Acquires New Editor, Plans Name Change

by Alexa Medrano

Jessica ZimmermanJessica Zimmerman

East Paradise, a website housed in the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies, has secured a new Web Coordinator and will rebrand the site as part of the transition.

The non-profit site has branched out from civic journalism based reporting on the Paradise area of Las Vegas to more student-covered events and stories about the UNLV community.

Michelle Aikin, Editor and Web Coordinator, graduates spring semester. The transition in editors will take place over the summer under Jessica Zimmerman, the new Editor, and JMS Professor Gregory Borchard.

"We're not tearing it down and starting over," Borchard said. "We're tuning up the focus."

Zimmerman and Borchard intend to rejuvenate the website through developing a new name that better expresses East Paradise's content. In addition, the team at East Paradise plans to incorporate more multimedia within the site, including links, audio and video to accompany the stories featured on the website.

Zimmerman said she wants to promote the website and showcase student work under a new name, a new layout, and a revised focus fall 2012.

A unique attribute of the site is that it covers events neglected by area news outlets, Aikin said. East Paradise reflects the spirit of the community through student reporting, all the while giving them the opportunity to be published.

For further information, or if you are interested in publishing on East Paradise, please contact the Web Coordinator at eastparadisewebsite@gmail.com or visit the website at east-paradise.com.



Professors Bates and Kilker Win $15,000 in Faculty Opportunity Awards

by Irene Lopez

Julian Kilker photo by Aaron MayesJulian Kilker photo by Aaron Mayes

UNLV President Neal Smatresk has announced that two members of the Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies faculty, Associate Professors Julian Kilker and Stephen Bates, have been given Faculty Opportunity Awards. Together they will receive $15,000 for their future research.

Of the 13 grants awarded in the Scholarly and Creative Works category, the Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies was one of only three departments across UNLV to receive more than one.

Director of Journalism and Media Studies, Professor Daniel Stout said, "These awards reflect the scholarly and creative excellence of the Greenspun faculty. These colleagues are having influence far beyond the borders of the campus."

Professor Kilker is documenting cultural artifacts in the Mojave desert using night and low light photography. The award will allow him to continue his work, already exhibited by the National Park Service in California, at the Barrick Museum at UNLV, and in Geneva, Switzerland, by focusing on Walking Box Ranch, the former home of silent movie star Clara Bow. The immediate goal is to provide documentary images for education and research projects related to the ranch, while the longer-time goals are to experiment with imaging techniques under extreme conditions. "Starting out from an interest in the act of 'driving by' desert locations, this project has grown into an exploration of interactions between the fragile desert environment and its visitors, and of techniques to better document these challenging locations," said Professor Kilker. "Using low light techniques allows me to better control the imaging process, almost as if I were in a laboratory setting; this grant will allow me to invest in equipment to further improve and explore this process."

Stephen Bates photo by Irene LopezStephen Bates photo by Irene Lopez

Professor Bates is writing a book about a leading critique of the American press from the 1940s. Chaired by Robert Maynard Hutchins, president of the University of Chicago, the Commission on Freedom of the Press featured a dozen of the most prominent public intellectuals of the era, including playwright Archibald MacLeish and theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.

According to Professor Bates, journalists and journalism educators mostly denounced the group's 1947 report, A Free and Responsible Press, because of its criticisms of the press. But the report's influence has grown with time. Still in print after 65 years, it's assigned reading in some schools of journalism. It forms the basis of the "social responsibility" theory of the press, he said. "I first wrote a monograph about the Hutchins Commission in the 1990s, and I've always hoped to expand it into a book," said Professor Bates. "This grant will enable me to study Commission members' papers and other relevant materials in archives at Yale, Duke, the University of Chicago, and elsewhere. It will be a much more comprehensive project as a result."

For Professor Bates, it's a historical study with contemporary relevance. "The Hutchins Commission addressed some of the fundamental questions in our field," he said. "How does the press serve American democracy? Can the government improve its performance through regulation, or are there better alternatives? We're still looking for answers."

Congratulation to both professors, we are proud and look forward to their future research. To contact Professor Bates email him at Stephen.Bates@unlv.edu. For Professor Kilker email kilker@unlv.nevada.edu.



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