Walking into the WVU Media Innovation Center on Saturday, April 1, was like walking
into a techie’s dream. Attendees of the Indie Games Showcase were testing out locally
made video games, experiencing virtual reality and wowing each other with game
This inaugural event was hosted by MonRiverGames, a nonprofit founded by WVU Reed
College of Media Teaching Assistant Professor Heather Cole. MonRiverGames values
“games for good” — creating meaningful and purposeful games — and aims to provide
enriching and professional experiences within game design and the arts for both
students and members of the community. This mission was the inspiration for hosting
Reed College of Media students in Adjunct Instructor Chuck Harman’s capstone class
have been developing campaigns for their client, the National D-Day Memorial. During
spring break, they traveled to France to see first-hand the places allied soldiers
landed during D-Day in World War II.
“It was a remarkable experience to see the soil where we had fought almost 80 years
ago,” said Parker Roberts, a member of the West Virginia Army National Guard and
a cadet in the WVU Army ROTC program. “This capstone course was very intriguing to
me with my military background. The most memorable thing was walking on both Omaha
and Utah Beaches. It gave me chills to know that I stepped foot where thousands
of brave heroes sacrificed their lives.”
West Virginia University Reed College of Media senior Bailee Tucker and the “WVU
News” team each won a Gracie Award from The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation.
The awards will be presented June 20 in New York City.
Since 1971, the Gracie Awards have celebrated “outstanding programming and individual
achievement created by women, for women and about women in all facets of media
in news and entertainment.” Each year, a team of industry professionals judge submissions
from national and local media professionals in television, radio and digital media.
The feelings of gratitude are mutual for WVU Reed College of Media students and leaders
of the local nonprofit organizations for which they’re providing advertising and
public relations services.
Each semester, students in Teaching Associate Professor Elizabeth Oppe’s Advertising
and Public Relations capstone course create an integrated communications campaign
for a local nonprofit organization. This semester’s clients include Get Moving!
Inc., United Way/Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, All American Grand Bash, Old
Hemlock Foundation, Monongalia Parks and Recreation and WVU Campus Food Garden.
The seven recipients of the 2023 WVU Reed College of Media IMC & DMC Scholarships
have at least two things in common – a desire to make positive change in their
communities and a clear idea about how to do it.
Recipients Kirsten McAlpin of Sumner, Georgia; Jenna Cooper of Wellsburg, West Virginia;
Megan Hansen of Sacramento, California; Julie Thomm of Charleston, West Virginia;
and Sydney Starkey of Morgantown, West Virginia are enrolled in the College’s online
Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) master’s degree program. Alesha Hemeda
of Schenectady, New York, is enrolled in the online Digital Marketing Communications
master’s degree program, and Nicolina Converso of Edgewater, Maryland, is part
of the IMC program’s Defense Information School (DINFOS) cohort of military affiliated
From professional mentorship to volunteering at his alma mater, College of Media
alumnus Brandon Thomas (BSJ, 2010) has made a habit of giving back.
Thomas was recently recognized with the Emerging Leader Award by The Plank Center
for Leadership in Public Relations at their Milestones in Mentoring Gala in Chicago.
The award honors young leaders who are mentoring new public relations professionals,
while also providing reverse mentorship to more senior colleagues, all while advancing
diversity, equity and inclusion.
This international creative competition is judged by members of the Association of
Marketing and Communication Professionals and recognizes outstanding achievement
in the concept, direction, design and production of digital media and communication.
Dana Coester and
Joel Beeson have a 20-year track record of working with key community
members — faith leaders, veterans, educators, parents, youth and civic leaders
— throughout Appalachia, specifically in West Virginia. These relationships will
be the bedrock of a series of nonpartisan virtual and in-person workshops, presentations,
panels and screening events that will help build community resilience to off- and
online disinformation, manipulation and political violence threatening election
integrity and community stability.