CAS ALUMNI BOARD PRESIDENT
PhD Mass Media
At pretty much every turn, you’re hearing or
reading about the economy and for nearly all of
us, the twists of employment statistics, business
downturns (especially in Michigan), and the
monumental changes in the media landscape are
having an effect. As president of the College of
Communication Arts & Sciences Alumni Board
and as someone directly involved in the radio
business, I have a first-hand view.
In these uncertain times, it’s important to
continue to support our students, our college
and its mission. Of course, direct financial significant contribution in his or her field? You a faculty member currently in the college who
support is most appreciated, but there are can nominate that person for an outstanding helped change your life.
other ways you can be involved with the alumni award. For more than 30 years, the The college is on the ascent. Thanks to the
college. For example, did you know that part college has put a spotlight on the wonderful great work of former Dean Chuck Salmon and
of your MSU Alumni Association dues come contributions of alums who have made a interim Dean Brad Greenberg, the foundation is
back to the college? If you’re not an MSUAA difference. As board president, I had the in place for future growth under our new dean,
member, consider joining now. The benefits are great pleasure of meeting this year’s winners Pamela Whitten. All of us on the board are
worthwhile and it shows your support not only and introducing each of them at both the excited and energized by Dean Whitten’s recent
for MSU, but also for our college. commencement ceremony and the alumni appointment and you’ll read more about her in
You can connect to the college and with awards dinner in May. this issue of the Communicator.
fellow alums through a number of options. Speaking of nominations, the Alumni Board Be part of the college. We want your support
Whether you choose LinkedIn, Facebook has taken on the commitment to permanently and your involvement in whatever way works
or visit the college’s website (www.cas.msu. fund the Faculty Impact Award. I’m sure you best for you. Thank you.
edu), you’re part of a much bigger community remember many of the faculty that helped shape For more info on how to get involved, contact
of more than 40,000 alumni throughout the your MSU experience and your career. This Andrea Kovac at firstname.lastname@example.org.
world. There is no need to tell you the value award gives us the chance to let the best of the
of networking, but you should be aware this CAS faculty know how much they gave us and
Cohen meets a student at the college’s Speed
network already exists and can help you. to do so in a very tangible way. And you can be Networking event in February.
Do you know a CAS alum who has made a part of the Faculty Impact award by nominating Amanda Ross/CAS
ThANk yOU TO INTERIM DEAN GREENBERG
University Distinguished Professor Emeritus Bradley Greenberg
served as interim dean of the college during the national search for a
An MSU faculty member since 1964, Greenberg served as chairperson
of the Department of Communication from 1978 through 1983. He also
chaired the Department of Telecommunication from 1984 through 1990.
He was honored with the title of University Distinguished Professor in
To contact Dr. Greenberg, email email@example.com.
Interim Dean Bradley S. Greenberg hands a diploma to a new CAS
graduate in May.
Kevin Fowler/dharma bum graphics
2009 | The CommuniCaTor | 3
hONORING DEAN SALMON’S 5 yEARS
Charles Salmon, the seventh dean in the
history of the college, is in the midst of a two-
year appointment in Israel, where he is teaching,
cultivating new international partnerships, and
launching several new research and outreach
projects in the Middle East.
Prior to his departure, members of the MSU
community and friends of the college turned out
on Jan. 12 to bid farewell and to honor him for
his five years of leadership as dean.
Merri Jo Bales, college alumni board
president from 2003-2005, welcomed guests
and introduced speakers MSU Trustee
Faylene Owen; MSU Provost Kim Wilcox; the
college’s first alumni board president Edward
Deeb; veteran MSU administrator and host
Jim Potchen; Director of the Health and Risk
Communication Center Sandi Smith; and
Interim Dean Bradley Greenberg.
Jim Spaniolo, the college’s sixth dean and Potchen, a former dean from Johns Hopkins faculty for their achievements, and grateful for
current president of the University of Texas- who has been an MSU department chair for their support.”
Arlington, flew up from Texas to attend the more than thirty years, told Salmon, “You are Prior to becoming dean of the college,
event. Also in attendance was Ned Brandt, the one terrific dean. I know because I’ve worked Salmon served as Director of the Mass Media
person most responsible for establishing the for most of them.” PhD Program; founding Director of the MA
college’s first named professorship in its (then) Ed Deeb presented Salmon with the Program in Health Communication; Senior
40-year history. This honorary position, the Ellis Distinguished Service Award from the Michigan Associate Dean; Associate Dean for Graduate
N. Brandt Professorship in Public Relations, Food and Beverage Association for “outstanding Education and Research; and Associate Dean
was awarded to Salmon in 1994, and was and unselfish dedicated service to Michigan for Undergraduate Education. He was awarded
instrumental in his recruitment to MSU from State University and Michigan’s young people.” a Fulbright Fellowship to teach and conduct
Emory University. Staff members from the dean’s office debuted research in Israel in 2001, which resulted in
MSU Trustee Faylene Owen wished Salmon a surprise video tribute that they crafted in the book, Into the Fire: A Post-9/11 American in
well, saying, “Your peers respect you, your honor of Salmon and some of the highlights of Tel Aviv.
students adore you, and because your heart is in the past five years. To contact Dr. Salmon, email salmon@msu.
the right place, this is why they feel the way they Salmon recalled fond memories of his edu.
do about you. We expect your time away from service as dean. “I have been blessed with the
us to be very temporary, and that you must opportunity to work with the most dedicated
The MSU community honored former dean
return to us.” and effective dean’s office staff on campus, to Charles Salmon during a special reception on
MSU Provost Kim Wilcox, an alum and collaborate on research with some of the greatest Jan. 12. Here, Salmon (second from left) with
former Alumni Board presidents Gary Mescher,
faculty member of the college, presented minds in our field, and to enjoy the sense of Bill Castanier, Merri Jo Bales, and Edward Deeb.
“Ode to a Dean,” a poem he wrote in honor community that characterizes our college. Jordan Sweet/CAS
of Dean Salmon. I am very proud of our students, alumni and
“I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with the most
dedicated and effective dean’s office staff on campus, to collaborate on
research with some of the greatest minds in our field, and to enjoy the
sense of community that characterizes our college.”
4 | The CommuniCaTor | 2009
INTRODUCING DEAN whITTEN
Pamela Whitten, who has served MSU for Health Care Studies (1998-2004), director of
more than 11 years, is the eighth permanent the Health Risk and Communication Center
dean of the college. (2004-05) and program director of MSU’s
Whitten, a longtime professor and most Family Research Initiative (2006-07).
recently associate dean of the college, was Prior to coming to MSU, Whitten was on
approved by the MSU Board of Trustees on faculty at the University of Kansas Medical
June 19. Her appointment was effective July 1. Center where she launched and administered a
“Pamela’s academic credentials, telemedicine program for the state of Kansas.
administrative history, and active research and Before joining academia, Whitten worked
teaching agenda will serve her well in her new in the private sector as director of corporate
role as dean,” said MSU Provost Kim Wilcox. communications for an American bank in
Whitten is a professor in the college’s Germany and public relations director for a
Department of Telecommunication, metropolitan hospital.
Information Studies, and Media, and served as Whitten’s research interests have focused
associate dean for research and graduate studies mainly on the use of technology in health
for the past several years. care, specifically telehealth and telemedicine.
In her administrative role, Whitten directed She is interested in using technology to bring
the college’s Research Office and oversaw She began her MSU career in 1998 when health services and education to underserved
all graduate programs and opportunities in she was appointed assistant professor in the populations.
the college. Department of Telecommunication. Moving Whitten earned a bachelor’s degree from
In her faculty position, Whitten is quickly up the ranks, Whitten was promoted to Tulane University, a master’s from the University
responsible for conducting technology and associate professor in 2001 and full professor in of Kentucky and doctorate from the University
health-related research, as well as teaching 2004. She also has served as a research fellow of Kansas.
graduate and undergraduate courses. in the College of Human Medicine, Institute of
MESSAGE FROM DE
I look forward to working
very closely with our exten
dean of the college. In my sive network of loyal, de
first year, I seek to facilita dicated alumni in my ne
te evolution of the colleg w role as
forward. Some of my go e and continue to prope
als include: l the college
• continuing to focus the
College of Communicatio
reputation in the areas of n Arts & Sciences. The
health & risk communica college has top rankings
tion, new communicatio and a high
intercultural communica n technologies, and intern
tion. Those areas are na ational/
• advancing our college tural areas of focus for ou
by finding new ways an r college and we can bu
d sources for fundraisin ild on them.
state universities are rec g and support. MSU an
eiving less state support d many other
advancement office. We than ever. We have a str
can help you as alumni ong alumni base and we
and friends and we ask have a strong
students and programs that you help us when yo
need your support. u can. Our
• developing our college’s
resources and people. In
increasing economic do recognition that the comi
wnturn, I want to ensure ng year will most likely inc
that our personnel maint lude an
many accomplishments ain a sense of fun and pri
. We are an amazing co de in their
touch very soon. llege, and I encourage yo
u to pay us a visit and ge
t back in
To contact Dean Whitten
, email pwhitten@msu
2009 | The CommuniCaTor | 5
Software company provides major in-kind donation to department
Faculty from the Michigan State University questions and then present the findings in a positively affect our rankings,” he said.
Department of Advertising, Public Relations, visually appealing and professional manner,” “We are pleased to offer Michigan State
and Retailing have received a major in-kind Good said. University XP3 Suite, our data analysis/
software donation. Faculty member Jessica Carlo said the presentation software, as it will help to prepare
In April, Interactive Edge donated more gift also will help students gain a competitive the future leaders in the consumer products,
than $757,000 worth of the latest version of advantage as they approach the tight labor food and retailing industries with the best
business software called XP3 for classroom use market upon graduation. in class technology to prepare them for the
to leverage data more effectively. A previous “XP3 is a professional industry-level, SAP- opportunities ahead. Interactive Edge strives
software donation by the company has been certified software used by companies such as to be on the cutting edge with updates that
used in classes over the past few years with Anheuser-Busch, Diageo, Dr Pepper Snapple allow for more effective use of many different
tremendous benefits, according to Group, Quaker Oats, Gatorade, and many data sources including our latest integration
the department. more. Job interviewers were really impressed with space management and shopper insights
The upgraded software will allow students with former students’ use of professional-grade data,” said Zel Bianco, president and CEO of
in the department to better analyze and present analytical tools,” Carlo said. Interactive Edge.
data in a way that is consistent with industry Rich Tibbals, director of technology and For more information about Interactive
practices, said Linda Good, faculty member and facilities in the college, says such gifts greatly Edge, go online to www.interactiveedge.com.
associate chair of the department. enhance the opportunities for students – both For more information on making
“Our department is very grateful for this today and in the future. contributions, contact Cara Boeff, director of
continued support from Interactive Edge, which “Our college is constantly seeking to provide advancement, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
helps our students tremendously. With this state-of-the-art technology solutions in the
software, we are able to prepare students to both classrooms and labs, and such tools also help
query databases to identify answers to research us to recruit future students and can even help
The Knight Center for
successfully concluded its $2.2
million fundraising campaign
by raising $150,000 for its
endowment during the past year.
“The center raised $450,000
Join us at 2 pm on Friday, with $150,000 in matching funds
October 16 (during MSU during the past three years from
Homecoming weekend) for more than 1,600 donors. This
the dedication of the Three capital campaign has been very
Mothers Patio, made possible challenging — particularly during
by a gift from Richard Bush the past six months — because
and Patricia McGuigan, of the ongoing recession,” said
this year’s CAS Honorary Knight Center Director Jim
Detjen. “I sincerely thank all of our
Alumni Award winners. Bush
many donors whose generosity
envisioned the patio as a during a difficult economy has
way to honor three mothers, enabled us to reach our goals,”
scholars, and Spartans in he said.
his life: Ruth Cady Bush,
Phyllis Spring Petrullo, and For more information on the
June Bercin Snyder. This Knight Center, go online to
special celebration will occur www.ej.msu.edu.
before the MSU Homecoming
Parade. Join us!
6 | The CommuniCaTor | 2009
Entrepreneur gives in commercial roofing. In 1999, after 19
years in the business, Whaley began to seek
back to advertising out entrepreneurial ideas to develop his own
and environmental company. “A friend in the terrazzo flooring
business said ‘help me out, let’s make this more
journalism artistic,’” Whaley said. They began creating
samples – and trying to create a new market.
Then in July 2002, he read an article in the
Tim Whaley has been in Texas for the past Dallas Morning News that changed his life. A
26 years, but his Spartan connections have Plano, Texas company was seeking markets to
never been stronger. use their crushed glass.
Whaley (BA ’81 Advertising) is founder “I thought, why not use recycled glass for
and CEO of EnviroGLAS, a recycled glass the flooring, instead of cutting marble out of a
manufacturing company that produces mountain? Why not recycle and help create a
customized flooring and counters made sustainable product?” he said.
of recycled glass from many sources. Whaley worked closely with his mentor
EnviroGLAS products have been featured in Mattia Flabiano Jr. of American Terrazzo
national media and on HGTV programs such Company to get the idea off the ground. He
as Dream Builders, Small Space, and Red, Hot developed a patent in 2004, and applications
and Green. And his work recently garnered a of the new recycled floor began – from a city
Texas environmental awareness award. office vestibule, a sustainable school, and
After receiving a letter and questionnaire more recently the MSU Stadium entrance and
from Michigan State University to submit a Chemistry Building entrance.
career update, Whaley responded and the “MSU has really stepped out about
reconnection process began. In the process, he designing with sustainable materials,” Whaley
rekindled his MSU spirit. says, “and I’m very proud to be part of that
Over the past year, Whaley has pledged commitment.”
a generous cash contribution to the MSU In 2007, Whaley established EnviroGLAS,
Department of Advertising, Public Relations, and now makes products from crushed
and Retailing, and to the Knight Center for mirrors, beer bottles, aluminum shavings,
Environmental Journalism. Both gifts are very stained glass, mother of pearl, and clear glass
meaningful to Whaley, who is a member of the – all that otherwise might go to the landfill if
Beaumont Tower Society. not recycled by other companies. Whaley is
“As an advertising student at MSU, I an active member of the U.S. Green Building
remember the exact details of my Advertising Council. He is also working with Kohler to
486 course, a client campaigns course still develop products using recycled porcelain.
going strong today. Our team’s client in 1981 Recent developments with IKEA mean his
was Michigan Asparagus. That semester, I products will be more available than ever.
learned a lot about asparagus and a lot about “It’s a gratifying experience and a win-win
advertising. The course was one of my most for the environment and the clients. We create
memorable while at MSU and helped me products that are conversation pieces and truly
develop skills to get my first job.” one of a kind,” Whaley said.
In April, Whaley participated as a client for For more information about EnviroGLAS,
the same course he was in 28 years ago. go online to www.enviroglasproducts.com.
“It was an amazing full circle feeling passion for the environment and his company’s For information on making contributions,
to be on the other side of the table giving green stance. His gift will help support student contact Cara Boeff at email@example.com.
students feedback about their presentations, internships in environmental journalism.
which were amazing,” Whaley said. “We are “I believe it’s very important to leave
Tim Whaley (BA ‘81 Advertising) showcases
hoping to implement fresh ideas from these your mark. As I reflect on what I learned, it the EnviroGLAS flooring at the MSU Stadium
presentations.” happened to be here at MSU. I’m validating entrance.
Whaley’s commitment to the Knight Center that in my pledges,” he said.
for Environmental Journalism matches his Whaley’s career began at Owens Corning
2009 | The CommuniCaTor | 7
the celebration Left to right:
On May 9, friends of the college ANDREW MACMILLAN (BA ‘99 JAN LEWIN (PhD ‘94 Audiology and Speech
gathered for The Celebration: 2009 Telecommunication), Rising Star Alumni Award, Sciences), Outstanding Alumni Award,
Alumni Awards Banquet at the Kellogg Vice President of Product Management for Associate Professor in the Department of Head
Oracle Enterprise Content Management: “I think and Neck Surgery and the Director of the
Center. This year, the college honored
the college’s new programs are enabling people Section of Speech Pathology and Audiology at
nine outstanding individuals. Alumni
to go into fields like product management and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer
Board President Ed Cohen served as application architecture—I think those are some Center: “This honor really represents one of the
emcee for the event. Here are some of the jobs that companies are looking to fill.” most memorable events of my career.”
thoughts from their speeches.
MARK HOLLIS (BA ‘85 Communication), DAVID WEITzNER (BA ‘60 Advertising),
RICHARD BUSH AND PATRICIA Outstanding Alumni Award, Athletics Director Outstanding Alumni Award, active teaching
MCGUIGAN, Honorary Alumni Award, founders for Michigan State University: “I didn’t have a professor at USC and former president,
of the Organ Donations Communication chance to go through commencement as an Worldwide Marketing for MCA/Universal
Initiative, the Three Mothers Patio, and The Art undergrad as our basketball team was playing Studios: “Throughout my career, the one thing
of the Start course. On giving: “Giving opens up on the road and I was a manager at the time, that I have always held to, I learned here—the
a positive, whole new way of thinking in your life so yesterday was my first chance to go through efficacy of the relationship between a brand and
and the profound feelings it brings with it – those commencement, and it was a very special a consumer…I owe it to Michigan State.”
are strong and deeply rewarding feelings about moment for me.”
helping others and helping something that you FRANK BOSTER, Faculty Impact Award:
truly love; we receive a gift, when giving.” MERRI JO BALES (BA ‘77 Communication), “Nietzsche pointed out that students repay us
Outstanding Alumni Award, Director of Strategy poorly if they remain students always. Perhaps
CHRIS HANSEN (BA ‘71 Telecommunication), Development, Communication and Integration a corollary is that they repay us well if they
Outstanding Alumni Award, correspondent for Consumers Energy: “When I think about this become peers and colleagues. If so, then my
for NBC News’ Dateline NBC: “I can tell you college and this university, I am always proud to former students have repaid me very well.”
honestly that I owe a lot of my success to the say—Go Green.”
education and training and experiences that I Listen to each winner at youtube.com/
had right here at Michigan State University.” msucommarts
8 | The CommuniCaTor | 2009
talks to MSU
Lewin in her
Boster in class. Boster
received the 2009
Faculty Impact Award.
Right: Mark Hollis
with an MSU student
received a 2009
Award winner David
Weitzner with an MSU Merri Jo
student. Bales, far left,
2009 | The CommuniCaTor | 9
alumna inducted into the Cable hall of Fame
Susan Packard (BA ‘77 Advertising/Honors and Fine Living. Prior to her current post, she chronicling the contributions of women to
College, MA ‘79 Advertising) was inducted was president of worldwide distribution for the the cable and telecommunications industry.
into the Cable Hall of Fame on Oct. 16 at a Scripps cable brands. Contemporary Economics, a high school
celebration held in Denver, Colo. Susan began her cable career at HBO then textbook, profiled her as an entrepreneur in
Packard is president of brand outreach for moved to NBC to help found CNBC. She the field of media specialization. Cablevision
Scripps Networks, responsible for aligning brought her extensive experience to HGTV. magazine cited her as one of “12 Most Powerful
corporate citizenship activities with the business Under Packard’s helm as chief operating officer, Women in Cable,” and CableWorld magazine
agenda of Scripps Networks, a division of E. HGTV became one of the fastest growing cable honored her among “The Most Influential
W. Scripps. Her work maximizes the value of networks in television history. Today HGTV Women in Cable.” Most recently, she was the
the lifestyle brands to the parent company, is available in more than 95 million U.S. homes recipient of the 2007 YWCA Tribute to Women
clients and to the consumer. The brands include and distributed in 170 countries and territories. Award in the business and government category.
HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Susan helped to build Scripps Networks to a In 2004 she became the first woman elected
Living TV Network and Great American market value of over $6 billion. to serve on the board of directors of Churchill
Country (GAC). Susan has been recognized by industry Downs, Inc. (the Kentucky Derby).
Susan was cofounder of HGTV and served in peers, colleagues and employees as an innovator, Susan was named an Oustanding Alumni
many leadership roles, including chief operating pioneer, role model and mentor. She received Award winner of the college in 2003.
officer. She also served as president of Scripps the Woman of the Year award by Women in To view pictures from the event, visit www.
Networks New Ventures, where she oversaw Cable & Telecommunications (WICT) and cablehalloffame.com.
the development and launch of DIY Network was profiled in Modern Visionaries, a book
Commencement 2009: Honoring our newest alums
After going On May 8, the college added another 1,200
to the NCA graduates to the 41,679 alumni from the college
Final Four, over the past 54 years.
Almost 1,100 undergraduates and more than
player 100 graduate students became part of the college
Goran Suto alumni family at commencement ceremonies that
with a deg Interim Dean Bradley Greenberg welcomed
in reta iling.
r/ attendees to the undergraduate convocation.
Kevin Fowle The featured speaker at the undergraduate
dhar ma bum
ceremony was Hollywood executive and
alum David Weitzner, who has almost 50
years of experience and leadership in the
entertainment industry. Weitzner also received
the college’s 2009 Outstanding Alumni Award
at commencement. Ashley Rittenhouse, a
communication senior, sang The Star Spangled
Banner and MSU Shadows accompanied by
the MSU Wind Symphony. Sandra Szymanski,
a communication senior, spoke on behalf of
her student class. Students Stephanie Barth,
an advertising senior, and Christine Sheffler,
a communicative sciences and disorders
senior, were recognized for their 2009 Board
of Trustees Awards. College Alumni Board
President Ed Cohen introduced the 2009
ABOVE: The College of Alumni Award recipients and the winner of the
Communication Arts & 2009 Faculty Impact Award, Professor Frank
Sciences commencement on Boster of the Department of Communication.
May 8. Amanda Ross/CAS At the MSU advanced degrees ceremony,
the featured speaker was Dan Rather, former
LEFT: Dan Rather met
anchor of CBS News. Rather spent the afternoon
journalism students during a
visit to CAS before speaking
with students in the college, and he personally
at the advanced degrees congratulated master’s and Ph.D. students at the
ceremony. Amanda Ross/CAS advanced degrees ceremony.
Commencement ceremonies are online at
10 | The CommuniCaTor | 2009 www.wmsu.org.
Telecasters’ 20th anniversary a successful production
By BriTTany SmiTh
Network. Drive. Patience. These are three
things that will help anyone trying to break into
the media industry, according to six panelists at a
recent college event.
On Oct. 11, more than 80 Michigan State
University alumni and current students attended
MSU Telecasters: Alumni Bash & The ShoW
20th Anniversary at the Communication Arts &
The event kicked off with a panel, which
consisted of Hollywood director Greg Harrison
(BA `92 Telecommunication), freelance
producer/production company owner Richard
top: The ShoW reunion
S. Hansen (BA `95 Telecommunication and
English), Conan O’Brien Show writer Aaron from alumni, networking
Bleyaert (BA `01 Telecommunication), session, and a
CEO/Technology Architect Kevin Daymont Jack Tarantino/CAS
(BA `88 Telecommunication, MA `91
LeFt (LeFt to Right):
Telecommunication), reporter/anchor for
Bob Albers (advisor),
WXYZ Channel 7 in Detroit Christy McDonald Pam Saunders (alumna),
(BA`94 James Madison College) and actor Jeff Ryan Alloway (executive
producer), Stella Cash
Witzke (BA `92 Communication). (Alumni Association),
Following the discussion was a luncheon, Maureen Enright
(alumna) and David
studio tour, and networking session. The
event concluded with a discussion on the set producer) with the
of The ShoW. “This industry is hard, but easy,” official MSU Telecasters
Alumni Group charter in
said Bleyaert to current students. “Nothing is May. Kevin Fowler/dharma
beneath you, so do even the smallest task. Keep bum graphics
that fire alive because it will take years to get to
the place where you can do what you’re doing as a stepping stone for student producers wanted to do as a career. I had a passion for it.”
right now (in the Telecasters).” and crew interested in careers in television. Aside from The ShoW, as executive producer
The panel talked about their own experiences Students gain hands-on experience by creating, and senior David Cooper explained, the entire
making it in the industry and advice for future producing, writing and starring in their own organization is a strong foundation for students.
anchors, television producers and writers. “This productions. Today, Telecasters produces “Not many people can say they produce their
is not like a banker where you work 9 to 5. When three shows, including The ShoW that was own shows,” says Cooper. “I wanted to do this
you first start out, expect to work weekends and created in 1988 by Harrison and Scott Grayson since middle school. Telecasters definitely gives
holidays. You have to work your way up,” said (BA ‘90 Telecommunication). Taking the you the experience.”
McDonald. “But it’s worth it because you’re a ordinary happenings of college dorm life and As a result of the reunion’s success, MSUAA
touchstone to those in your community. You get transforming it to the small-screen, The ShoW is granted MSU Telecasters a charter. The group
to start fresh every day.” the nation’s longest-running college sitcom. is now an officially-recognized Alumni Interest
The event connected alumni and students “I’m blown away that it’s still going strong,” Group. To join, go to telecasters.msu.edu/
involved with MSU Telecasters. The said Grayson. “It took a lot of time, but doing this alumni.
organization was created in the early 1950s show convinced me that this was something I
“I wanted to do this since middle school. Telecasters
definitely gives you the experience.”
2009 | The CommuniCaTor | 11
MSU and Michigan Children’s Trust Fund come together to fight child abuse
By Tom oSwald A student
Michigan State University and the campaign
Michigan Children’s Trust Fund have ideas to the
formed a partnership to determine just how Children’s
much power the media have over children. Trust Fund.
The Michigan Children’s Trust Fund is CAS
working with MSU Children’s Central, a
research collaborative in the Department of
Advertising, Public Relations, and Retailing.
They are studying marketing messages and
free Internet games aimed at children.
The ultimate goal of the three-year
project, said department chairperson
Richard Cole, is to better understand the
power of the media on children and to
turn this information into new methods of
protecting children. Paul Shaheen said preventing child abuse, targets for marketing messages,” Rifon said.
“This affiliation provides hundreds of in all forms, “requires a greater and broader “It’s time we aggressively pursue research
MSU students and faculty members with an attention to advocating for positive and programming that respects our families
opportunity to become actively involved in treatment of all children in the state. While and that demands the ethical treatment of
research, outreach and educational efforts we can’t let our guard down on the need to children by our society.”
aimed at reducing child abuse and neglect prevent what we normally think of as child The collaborative also will provide
in Michigan and supporting the ethical abuse, it is time we expand our thinking to funding for as many as 25 faculty
treatment of its children,” Cole said. “It gives include the more subtle form of abuses that “innovation awards” over a three-year
the department faculty and students a clear may be occurring. period. These grants will stimulate child-
mission and new energy for developing and “TV programs, advertising, and free abuse prevention-related pilot studies of
using powerful promotional skills to make a online and rental video games that may be MSU faculty members in more than 20
real difference in our state.” harming our children are important areas to departments across the campus.
As part of the collaboration, the Michigan investigate, and we are fortunate to have a Professor Emeritus Bradley Greenberg,
Children’s Trust Fund is providing a three- relationship with scholars at MSU who are longtime media effects researcher, and
year grant worth $370,000 which will allow so willing and able to help us in this effort.” two faculty members of the Department
faculty to continue to conduct research The Children’s Trust Fund is a statewide of Advertising, Public Relations, and
and pursue additional funding on a variety nonprofit organization dedicated to the Retailing – Nora Rifon and Elizabeth Taylor
of issues related to the prevention of child prevention of child abuse and neglect. The Quilliam – also will serve as co-chairs of
abuse. fund’s board is housed within the Michigan an international conference on child abuse
MSU research interests include the Department of Human Services. Since 1982, prevention and the ethical treatment of
short- and long-term effects of media and the fund has raised more than $60 million children in East Lansing in November 2009.
marketing on children. Other areas include and has provided support to more than 6 The Journal of the American Academy of
the identification of effective advertising million Michigan children and their families. Advertising has appointed Rifon to serve
and other communication efforts to prevent The MSU Children’s Central research as co-editor of a special issue of the journal
child abuse; the promotion of fundraising collaborative is composed of faculty members dedicated to exploring issues relating to
and volunteering activity to support local from the College of Communication Arts and potential harm of media and marketing on
and statewide efforts to prevent child abuse; Sciences, under the direction of advertising children.
and Internet safety and security for children. professor Nora Rifon. For more info, go online to
Children’s Trust Fund interim director “Children are the most vulnerable childrenscentral.msu.edu.
“It’s time we aggressively pursue research and programming that respects our
families and that demands the ethical treatment of children by our society.”
12 | The CommuniCaTor | 2009
Students volunteer as summer interns at Michigan non-profits
By niCole marBle Classes in social marketing, promotions and
sponsorships, and integrated campaigning
Forty undergraduate students in rely on clients, normally small to mid-sized
Among the summer
Michigan State University’s Department of businesses, to provide real-world marketing internships:
Advertising, Public Relations, and Retailing communication experiences. • MCTF’s offices (Lansing)
have accepted volunteer internships working At the conclusion of the spring semester • CTF affiliates around the state
in non-profit agencies as a result of efforts classes, Nicole Marble, an APRR project • Detroit Historical Society (Detroit)
• Michigan Federation for Children
stimulated by the department’s relationship manager and graduate student, inventoried
and Families (Lansing)
with Michigan’s Children’s Trust Fund students in these and other classes about • Grand Rapids Symphony
(MCTF). their interest in spending part of their (Grand Rapids)
The students, mostly undergraduates, are summer vacation helping the Children’s • Brighton National Addiction
getting a unique opportunity to build their Trust Fund and its local affiliates around the Foundation (Brighton)
resumes with on-the-job communications state get the word out on child abuse. “More • American Diabetes Association
projects designed to prevent child abuse and than 100 students stepped up,” said Marble. • JARC (Farmington Hills)
support other important community efforts, Due to the overwhelming response, • Gateway Counseling Center
said Richard Cole, professor and department the MSU department and MCTF (Madison Heights)
chair. jointly approached Michigan Non-Profit • The Baldwin Center (Pontiac)
The project to place student interns in Association (MNA), a statewide coalition of • Lewton Elementary School
non-profit agencies is an outgrowth of the more than 1,100 Michigan-based non-profit (Lansing)
• American Red Cross (Lansing)
unique relationship between MSU and organizations. Cole, a former volunteer
MCTF, the foundation that serves as the board chair of MNA, describes non-profit
state’s child abuse-prevention agency. agencies as a perfect place for students to
Three MSU communication-related gain real-world marketing communication
classes developed student-directed projects experience, and in some cases, “these
aimed at the prevention of child abuse volunteer assignments turn into full time
during the most recent MSU semester. jobs for young graduates,” he said.
2009 | The CommuniCaTor | 13
ICT Global Corps students head to Tanzania
By BriTTany SmiTh install one computer and connect it to four
monitors in the school. ICT Corps has
At Michigan State University, computers gone to Tanzania twice since, each time for
and the Internet are fixtures in everyday life two weeks. The students not only put their
for students. Students even have the Internet technological skills to work, but also their
on their phones. So imagine a world without cultural skills before leaving the program.
computers or the luxury of the Internet. Students learn basic Swahili as well as
Sounds unfathomable right? Tanzanian culture and history.
Yet, for a small, rural town in northern “The idea is that students will get
Tanzania, that is not a far-fetched dream. international experience that they can use
That’s reality. And for the past year, MSU has for the rest of their lives and learn about
been attempting to bring this town into the different people and cultures. It’s a true
world of technology. With everything going eye opener.” said Telecommunication,
online, including newspapers, classes and Information Studies and Media Associate
even paying bills, it has become a necessity Professor Jennifer Olson, who is also part of
to have at least basic computer skills. the ICT Corps.
The Information & Communication Olson, who has spent the last 10 years
Technology (ICT) Corps is a working on research projects in East Africa,
multidisciplinary group that has been focused on the social aspect of the project.
working on a project in Tanzania. ICT Corps “This was a very satisfying experience
is a collaboration of the Department of because my past work is researching, but
Telecommunication, Information Studies, this was different,” said Olson. “We brought
and Media with the College of Engineering. them something that was more than just
Their first project: installing computers at results, something they could utilize. It was
Baraka, a primary school outside Arusha, fun.” DeMaagd. “We’re hoping to expand to other
Tanzania. According to DeMaagd and Olson, developing countries, but this is a start.”
For MSU faculty and students involved, the students at Baraka had never seen a For more information, contact Kurt
the harsh environment is a challenge, computer before. Some had never even DeMaagd at firstname.lastname@example.org or
but changing the lives of the children has heard of one, which really gave them and Jennifer Olson at email@example.com.
overshadowed everything else. “We wanted MSU students a glimpse into the lives
to develop a system to improve the lives of of millions of poor people who live in
Above: MSU students raise a solar panel to
the students. This school had no power grid, developing nations. Both returned to the install on the school. Courtesy photo
no water and poor infrastructure,” said Kurt village in May for three weeks along with
DeMaagd, telecommunication, information MSU students as part of a new study abroad
studies, and media assistant professor who program. The next step is to study how the
traveled to Tanzania for the project. computers impact the students.
In December, DeMaagd, along with “It changed my world because you see the
engineering faculty and students from MSU developmental challenges and experience
and University of Dar es Salaam helped the frustrations they go through,” said
“we brought them something that was more than just results,
something they could utilize. It was fun.”
14 | The CommuniCaTor | 2009
An MSU student shows
a Tanzania resident a
new solar panel.
“It changed my world because
you see the developmental
challenges and experience the
frustrations they go through.”
The MSU study abroad group in Tanzania. Courtesy photo
2009 | The CommuniCaTor | 15
Multidisciplinary faculty team makes
impact in Mexican community
By BriTTany SmiTh
For the last decade, communicative sciences and disorders associate
professor Peter LaPine and his students have traveled to a clinic in Playa
del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico to improve the speech of people
with cleft palate, a mouth deformity. Now he is also trying to improve
their health and social conditions and he has some fellow faculty to help.
Communication Associate Professor Maria Lapinski and Journalism
Associate Professor Manuel Chavez have started traveling with LaPine
to this vastly growing city, located near Cancun. Lapinski is trying to
improve prenatal care and Chavez is working with the local media to
better inform the public about health issues.
“We are trying to understand how culture influences people’s
decisions and I feel our work is making an impact,” said Lapinski.
In an area where many residents live in poverty and with a
government-regulated media, access to proper medical care has
become a huge challenge. Lapinski went to Playa in November and
interviewed pregnant women to find out if they received prenatal care that the Mexican media ignore. MSU is trying to do something
from medical experts. about that.”
Most of them did not. He said part of the problem is the government is very strict on the
“We think that one of the reasons cleft palate is so common here information they’re willing to release to the public, but the media must
is because of poor prenatal care,” said Lapinski, who studies health demand more. By informing, people become empowered and issues can
communication and social influences in diverse environments. be solved.
“Many of the women we talked with do not have access or do not use “They have to be more proactive. Journalism is about being the
prenatal care that is available. We wanted to do something preventive watchdog, not the lapdog,” said Chavez. “We know the door is closed,
and getting information about women’s beliefs and behaviors about but you still have to fight. Just kick it in.”
pregnancy is a start.” To learn more and contribute to the Playa Project, contact Peter
Lapinski plans to return to the clinic and using their feedback, find LaPine at 517.432.7044 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
options for pregnant women so they can receive prenatal care.
Chavez wants to better inform people about health issues, such as
cleft palate. Chavez studies international media, particularly in Latin
Above, LeFt to Right: A parent and child in Mexico with MSU students
America, and he went to Playa to meet with other college professors and Jennifer Riehl, Krystie Rojek and Tamra Ross. Courtesy photo
journalists to change how health is reported.
“There are about four or five newspapers in Playa and most of the
coverage was on politics and soccer,” said Chavez. “There are a lot of
environmental and health issues like lack of safe water and cleft palate
“We’re trying to understand how culture influences people’s
decisions and I feel like we’re making an impact.”
— Maria Lapinski
16 | The CommuniCaTor | 2009
Osteopath LaPine, a
ic Medicin lumna Th
e in Mexic eresa Ca
o. Courte rpinelli, a
sy photo nd MSU fa
y Prokop fr
om the C
with alumna Theresa
Q: yOU WERE A TRANSLATOR
AT THE CLINIC. HOW LONG
HAVE yOU BEEN FLUENT IN
A: The experience was very
positive – especially for my
daughter. For me personally, it was
a thrill to be able to work with staff
efforts of MSU’s doctors and grad
students. They bring not only their
expertise, but they also give hope
to those children with health issues
SPANISH? and students from my alma mater! and their parents.
Carpinelli (BA ’82 It felt good to be part of such a
Communication), a A: After studying Spanish at MSU noble project and meet Spartans Q: ANy OTHER THOUGHTS?
translator at the clinic in (as part of my Latin American involved in helping people in need
Mexico where Peter LaPine
studies) and then the intensive right here in my community. A: I’d like to say it was a real
worked in March. Carpinelli
Spanish with the Overseas Study pleasure to meet Dr. Peter Lapine
is managing editor of
The USA TODAy Mexican program, by the time I started Q: IN yOUR VIEW, HOW IS and his students. Also, it was
Caribbean edition. residing in Cancun my Spanish MSU TRyING TO MAKE A a chance for me to show my
was pretty good. However, I’d CHANGE FOR THE BETTER daughter not only the importance
Q: HOW LONG HAVE yOU have to say that I still needed FOR THE PEOPLE OF PLAyA of helping others, but that by
BEEN LIVING IN MExICO? practice to improve my vocabulary. DEL CARMEN? knowing two languages, she can
So, I’ve probably been fluent for serve as a link between people.
A: I’ve been living in Cancun, the past 20 years. A: I’ve just recently become aware The work she saw being done by
Mexico since 1984. I first arrived in of MSU’s involvement in Playa del MSU down here has inspired her
Mexico on Jan. 7, 1982 as part of Q: HOW WAS THE Carmen since a friend of mine is to continue with efforts to benefit
MSU’s Overseas Study program. ExPERIENCE WHILE AT THE now working in the administrative the clinic.
At that time I studied Spanish CLINIC? WHAT DID yOU GAIN office at the Angel Notion clinic.
and the Mayan culture for one FROM IT? From what I could see, the local
semester in Merida, Yucatan. population greatly appreciates the
2009 | The CommuniCaTor | 17
Film and media arts initiative
makes community impact
By KirSTen Khire
The college’s film and media arts initiative
has received a boost this year. The college has
long offered quality degree programs for film-
related careers. The college has a solid group of
alumni involved in the film business, ranging
from actors to producers to sound designers to
directors and storytellers.
In January 2009, former dean Salmon
appointed former Discovery Films executive
Andrea Meditch as head of the initiative.
During spring semester, CAS was alive
with visiting documentarians as part of
the Doc Series organized by Bob Albers of
the Department of Telecommunication,
Information Studies, and Media. Speakers
included Macky Alston, Marketa Luskacova,
and Andrea Meditch. All presentations were department, says the training program is a
free and open to the public. wonderful example of state partnership – with
Then in March the college partnered with economic benefits.
Lansing Community College and Capital “This training partnership demonstrates
Area Michigan Works! to prepare Michigan our commitment to community outreach,
residents seeking employment in the state’s and also to the growth of the film industry in
growing film industry. Michigan,” Steinfield said.
Michigan enacted an aggressive film The MSU department worked with LCC
incentive program in April 2008, which faculty to provide 80 hours of training to
through the end of last year, saw 35 film and prepare Michigan residents who are seeking
TV projects completed, amounting to more jobs in the film industry, such as production
than $125 million in economic activity. assistants and other below-the-line film jobs.
With a grant of $195,000 from the state The program graduated 60 Michigan residents
of Michigan, Capital Area Michigan Works! in June.
oversaw a joint training program between Competitive scholarships from Capital
TOP: Documentarian Macky Alston speaks in
MSU’s Department of Telecommunication, Area Michigan Works! covered the full cost of the college during the Doc Series.
Information Studies, and Media and Lansing the program for the students selected. Courtesy photo
Community College’s Digital Media, Audio,
ABOVE: Michigan residents at MSU during
and Cinema program to provide on-campus the Michigan film training certificate program.
film production training. Christa Milster/CAS
Charles Steinfield, chairperson of the MSU
“This training partnership demonstrates our commitment to community
outreach, and also to the growth of the film industry in Michigan.”
18 | The CommuniCaTor | 2009
Director celebrates Students and faculty
receive Emmy awards
big at the Oscars
Andrea Meditch, a noted film executive
producer whose credits include the 2009
Oscar-winning film Man on Wire and Oscar-
nominated film Encounters at the End of the
World, has joined the college as director of the
Film and Media Arts Initiative.
The new initiative is designed to work
collaboratively with Michigan’s burgeoning
film industry. Specifically, she will serve as
a liaison between the college and the film
industry, with much of her work focusing on
Several Michigan State University
the film industry’s needs related to work force, student-produced and faculty-produced
and what kind of training/education people programs received 2009 regional Emmy
need if they want to work in the film industry. awards by the Michigan Chapter of the
National Academy of Television Arts and
Meditch is working with the Michigan Sciences at the awards ceremony on
Film Office and industry leaders to create June 6.
opportunities for MSU students, while
Andrea Meditch The student-produced news TV
program Focal Point based in the MSU
helping to grow Michigan’s film and media arts and captured the praise of critics coast-to-coast School of Journalism received an Emmy
industry. during its theatrical run. in the category of student production:
“There is a great deal of film and media Meditch was at Discovery from 1995 news for Show #4, featuring post-election
coverage from fall 2008.
arts activity occurring across multiple media to June 2008 where, prior to being vice “It feels great to have MSU recognized
platforms at the university. Bringing the activity president of Discovery Films, she was head of for the quality work they do to prepare us
and energy together is key to creating increased development for the Discovery Channel. There for our fields of study,” said Matthew Myall,
a Focal Point reporter and recent journalism
opportunities for students and faculty. This will she brought in such hit series as Myth Busters, graduate.
pave the way for the concentration of expertise and such internationally recognized special The students listed on the Emmy
to reach out to the broader public and to events as The Real Eve. In 1995, she helped award are:
• Matthew Myall (journalism)
industry,” Meditch said. launch and build Discovery.com, one of the • Pavel Kofman (journalism)
Meditch comes to MSU from Maryland- first big content sites on the Internet, eventually • Brent Krzystan (telecommunication,
based Discovery Films, the theatrical arm serving as editorial director. information studies and media)
• Brandie Hansen (journalism)
of Discovery Communications, which She has served on select industry advisory • Anisa Abid (journalism)
she launched and built, overseeing the boards, including Cinema Eye, and as a • Courtney Williams (journalism)
development and production of Discovery trustee for the International Documentary “It feels amazing to be recognized for
all of our hard work,” said Brandie Hansen, a
Films’ portfolio of theatrically released Association. She has juried numerous film Focal Point reporter and journalism senior.
documentaries. festivals, including most recently the U.S. “I love being able to say that I’m a part of an
In addition to executive producing Man on Documentary jury at the 2009 Sundance Film Emmy award-winning team.”
Their faculty advisor is instructor Bob
Wire, which received a 2009 Academy Award Festival. Gould of the School of Journalism.
and took both the jury and audience awards Meditch earned a doctorate in linguistic Instructor Troy Hale, who teaches in
for World Documentary at Sundance 2008, anthropology from the University of Texas the Department of Telecommunication,
Information Studies, and Media, received an
she executive-produced the Oscar-nominated, at Austin and a Bachelor of Science degree Emmy in the category of Education/Schools
award-winning Encounters at the End of the in communications from Northwestern for an MSU Marching Band story that ran on
World. University. the Big Ten Network and MSU Today TV.
For more info, go online to www.mi-
She also executive-produced the Emmy- To reach Andrea Meditch, email nta.org/EmmyWinnerslist09.pdf
nominated In the Shadow of the Moon, which email@example.com.
won the World Documentary Audience Award ABOVE: MSU students at the Emmys
with faculty member Troy Hale, center.
at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, and the Courtesy photo
TOP: Andrea Meditch with the 2009 Oscar for
documentary Grizzly Man, which won the Best Documentary for Man on Wire. Meditch was
Alfred P. Sloan award at Sundance in 2005 executive producer of the film. Courtesy photo
2009 | The CommuniCaTor | 19