Media College eNews

WVU offers new online B.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications

Student at Computer

A new fully online bachelor’s degree program at West Virginia University will give students complementary business and communications skills suitable for careers in the marketing, advertising and public relations fields.

The Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications degree is an interdisciplinary program where students will take courses in marketing through the internationally accredited John Chambers College of Business and Economics and courses in advertising and public relations through the Reed College of Media, home of the nationally renowned M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications.

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College of Media launches virtual internship program

Student sitting at a computer, typing

West Virginia University Reed College of Media students are gaining valuable, hands-on experience reporting, producing podcasts and creating marketing and promotional materials from home this summer, thanks to a new partnership with local businesses and generous sponsorships from College alumni and friends.

The Coronavirus pandemic forced many companies to rescind in-person summer internship opportunities for College of Media students. In response, the College was able to offer a limited number of virtual internships to returning seniors.

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College of Media students, professors win international awards

Jeff Boggess with BrandJRNY   

West Virginia University Reed College of Media students and faculty won five Telly Awards this year in categories that included storytelling in online commercials, non-broadcast social issues, social media video, and immersive and mixed reality.

Telly Awards are the international, premier honor for outstanding local, regional and cable productions. The 2020 competition had more than 13,000 entries, which were judged by hundreds of industry experts. Now in its 41st year, the Telly Awards recently added categories in immersive and mixed reality, diversity and inclusion, and social impact. Silver and Bronze Telly Awards, respectively, are the most prestigious honors given.

Projects created for 100 Days in Appalachia won two awards. Journalism student Sean McCallister worked with instructors Ashton Marra and David Smith in the Social Video for Publication course to create Permit Loophole Allowing Appalachian Mines to Sit Idle, which won a bronze Telly in the social video general-student category. Bienvenido a Pupuseria Emerita, a freelance project by advertising student Jeffrey Boggess, won a bronze for non-broadcast general-social Issues.

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West Virginia Public Broadcasting Highlights Journalism Student’s Pandemic Coverage

Kayla Starcher in Podcast Studio

Even though COVID-19 closed WVU's campus in early March, students in the Reed College of Media continued with their hands-on, project-based coursework from afar. They explored new ways to interview, report and produce stories, leading to publication for two students in a statewide media outlet.

Journalism students Kayla Starcher and Maxwell Shavers produced stories as part of a podcasting class with teaching associate professor Emily Corio. Students transitioned to cover the impact of coronavirus on their hometowns for the final episode of High Street Beat , the class’s three-part, 20-minute collaborative show.

“Having my story picked up by West Virginia Public Broadcasting validated my own talent,” said Starcher, a journalism junior from Rainelle, West Virginia. “Media work went from being something I enjoy to something I could genuinely see myself doing for a living.” Starcher’s piece was published on West Virginia Morning and explores the creative ways religious organizations are continuing services after being deemed “non-essential” by state officials.

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100 Days in Appalachia awarded Facebook Journalism grant to support pandemic coverage

100 Days Graphic

100 Days in Appalachia, a media outlet incubated at the West Virginia University Reed College of Media’s Media Innovation Center, was the only newsroom in West Virginia selected for a grant from the Facebook Journalism Project (FJP) to support local coverage of COVID-19.

Launched in January 2017 to combat Appalachian stereotypes depicted during 2016 election coverage, 100 Days is a nonprofit digital newsroom that has an open-source, co-publishing model and shares content from Appalachia’s diverse communities with regional, national and international media organizations. Its news is reported by journalists and community members living in Appalachia, and it also serves as a teaching platform that experiments with new community engagement and storytelling techniques.

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WVU and College of Media celebrate commencement virtually

Graduation Graphic

The COVID-19 global pandemic forced universities across the nation to rethink commencement ceremonies and move celebrations online. West Virginia University held its first virtual commencement ceremony, and the College of Media recognized graduates, including the first from the Sports and Adventure Media major, through social media and a new online yearbook.

On May 16, WVU held Mountaineer Graduation Day, an online commencement experience for May 2020 graduates. While the ceremony was unlike any in the history of the University, it still featured key elements of the traditional May ceremony. Provost Maryanne Reed congratulated graduates, President E. Gordon Gee gave a keynote address and conferred degrees, and students moved their tassels to the left before singing “Country Roads” from their homes all over the world.

“As you continue traveling toward your dreams in the years ahead, you will understand better than any class before that journeys can make shocking and unexpected detours,” said Gee. “Grit and determination have always fueled Mountaineers. That spirit empowered your quest for a degree and it will continue to sustain you during this very difficult time. But as the word commencement implies, your real journey is only beginning.”

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Five NewStart fellows named for new master's program

NewStart Newspapers on the Press

Five journalists from across the country were awarded NewStart fellowships to study Media Solutions and Innovation at the West Virginia University Reed College of Media. NewStart and the new one-year online master’s program were created in partnership with the West Virginia Press Association (WVPA) to train the next generation of community media owners and publishers.

Funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports the five fellowships, and although the fellowships are no longer available, applications for the master’s degree program are still being accepted.

“Current events and economic conditions have created an environment conducive for learning and growing as a media entrepreneur,” said Jim Iovino, NewStart director. “There is still a great need for credible local news outlets in this country, and the coming year will likely see a lot of innovation in the media industry. This new online master’s program examines new business models during this time of forced innovation, and the NewStart fellows are diverse in geography and professional experience, allowing for a rich educational atmosphere.”

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College of Media alumni communicate about mental health amid pandemic

graphic that says 1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health condition    

Stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures are in place all over the United States in an effort to protect the physical health of millions of Americans, but the COVID-19 pandemic is also taking its toll on mental health.   

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five Americans live with a mental health condition, and with the current global crisis, they face additional challenges, making communicating about mental health more important than ever.  

As the chief development officer, Chuck Harman (BSJ, 1981; MSJ, 1984) leads NAMI’s Strategic  Alliances & Development team , working to solidify partnerships with key stakeholders and celebrity ambassador groups to distribute key messages and resources to the people who need them most. NAMI is the largest grassroots mental health organization in the nation with more than 600 state organizations and affiliates across the nation, as well as relationships with 2 4 Fortune 100 companies.

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Student-run newspaper and radio station continue to provide content during COVID-19 pandemic

radio station mic
Shortly after spring break in March, students at West Virginia University were notified that they would not return to campus and would finish the semester online. Amid this chaos, The Daily Athenaeum and U92, WVU’s student-run newspaper and radio station, have continued to provide valuable content for their audiences.

While this might be surprising for some, journalists are considered essential employees because of their role in providing crucial information to the public, particularly during major world events like the current Coronavirus pandemic. While most of the student journalists have returned to their homes around the country, they’re still reporting on issues affecting WVU.

In order to continue providing content for their readers, the DA staff has switched to an entirely online publication. Meetings take place through use of programs such as Zoom, mirroring the methods used in the classroom over the last few weeks.

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IMC alumna finds passion in helping others through crises

Pamela Holstein-Wallace IMC grad
Life-altering events, including the current global pandemic, often give people new perspectives that change their relationships, careers and hobbies. For Pamela Holstein-Wallace (M.S. IMC, 2007), the 9/11 terrorist attack was that event.

Holstein-Wallace began her career as the community relations and development director at Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson, West Virginia, where she was working during 9/11. She acted as the official spokesperson for the hospital, communicating with local, state and national news organizations, in addition to managing the advertising and marketing efforts.

“After 9/11 my career goals completely changed. I realized I wanted to help my community plan and prepare for catastrophic events,” she said. “And now I’m in the thick of it again as we battle COVID-19.”  

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