Media College eNews

WVU College of Media selects Point Pleasant for community branding

Point Pleasant Aerial

The West Virginia University Reed College of Media has announced Point Pleasant, West Virginia, as the next partner for BrandJRNY, a project that aims to revitalize communities in the Mountain State through customized branding plans that promote tourism and economic development.

Located in Mason County, Point Pleasant is situated along the state line that separates West Virginia from Ohio at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio rivers. It is a town rich with history and folklore, such as the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774 and the Mothman legend. It is a community on the rise, with diversified tourism attractions and the infrastructure and amenities to support visitors.

The Point Pleasant community is also already engaged in efforts to increase tourism and economic development. Community engagement is a key indicator of success for BrandJRNY projects. Throughout the year-long project, residents will be encouraged to attend events and roundtable discussions and participate in a number of ways that will help guide research and implementation of an overall branding strategy that will benefit the community for years to come.

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New faculty members join the College of Media, current faculty promoted

Two new faculty members have joined the College of Media this fall semester. Heather Cole is a teaching assistant professor for the Interactive Design for Media program, and Jim Iovino has joined the College of Media as the Odgen Newspapers Visiting Assistant Professor of Media Innovation. 

Cole came to WVU from Penn State Behrend in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she was an assistant teaching professor of digital arts and program chair of the Game Minor. She earned her MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College in Plainsfield, Vermont. 

Iovino was the deputy managing editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which was awarded the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Reporting for its Tree of Life massacre coverage. Iovino managed all digital editorial initiatives at the Post-Gazette, including driving audience-first and digital subscription efforts. Previously, Iovino was a senior news editor of operations and managing editor for NBC Universal in Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C. Iovino has an extensive journalism background that includes newspaper and television leadership experience.   

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College of Media holds reception for "Be Still" photo exhibit by Elaine McMillion Sheldon

The West Virginia University Reed College of Media will host Elaine McMillion Sheldon during an opening reception for her photo exhibit, "Be Still," on Thursday, September 5, from 3 - 5 p.m. at the WVU Media Innovation Center on the fourth floor of Evansdale Crossing. 

"'Be Still' is to bear witness to both the beauty and pain before you, and accept them both as reality," according to Sheldon's exhibit description.

The reception will be the first chance to view Sheldon’s exhibit at WVU and “Be Still” will be on display at the Media Innovation Center through Friday, October 4. Light refreshments will be served, and the event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Shannon Cunningham at slcunningham@mail.wvu.edu or (304) 293-6246.

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Former WVU journalism dean and vice president of university relations dies

Chris Martin

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Chris Martin, former dean of the West Virginia University P.I. Reed School of Journalism (now the Reed College of Media) and former vice president of WVU University Relations, died on Wednesday, August 7, at the age of 67.

In Martin’s 23 years at WVU, she became known for her love of journalism and innovative approach to both media education and branding at the university. She joined the journalism faculty in 1990 and served as the director of the school’s undergraduate writing program, news editorial sequence chair and dean from 1997-2003.

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100 Days in Appalachia awarded two grants for expansion across campus and throughout the nation

people meeting

100 Days in Appalachia, a media outlet incubated at the West Virginia University Reed College of Media’s  Media Innovation Center, continues to expand with two new grants that will have a big impact on how the program educates both students and the nation’s media. The digital publication is a collaboration with  West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WVPB) and  The Daily Yonder, of the Center for Rural Strategies.

100 Days has garnered a national reputation as a go-to source for real stories coming out of Appalachia, told by the journalists and community members living and working there. What started as a way to combat stereotypes in the first 100 days of the Trump administration has turned into an ongoing, evolving project that is not only changing the way our country perceives the region but is also experimenting with new digital storytelling and community engagement techniques.

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First MSJ students pursue emphasis in Advocacy and Public Interest Communication

student wearing a virtual reality headset

Two West Virginia University Reed College of Media students are dedicating their classtime to learn about how to generate positive social change through their respective undergraduate programs. The Advocacy and Public Interest Communication program merges various academic fields’ science-based insights about strategic communication for sustained behavioral change into one degree.

Maura Flynn and Julia Hillman took their first APIC course together, working toward criminal justice reform in West Virginia under the leadership of assistant professor Geah Pressgrove. While Flynn and Hillman are passionate about different social issues and have different undergraduate backgrounds – Flynn studying journalism and leadership, Hillman studying public relations and political science – the two found their niche in the advocacy class.

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WVU College of Media students take study abroad trip to Asia


With more than 15,000 miles traveled in just two weeks, College of Media and John Chambers College of Business and Economics students immersed themselves in the cultures, media industries and technologies of Tokyo, Japan, and Seoul, South Korea.

The 14-day trip, led by Associate Professor Sammy Lee and Teaching Assistant Professor David Smith, focused on individual content-creation specific to students’ interests while exploring their future career fields throughout different parts of the world.

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Big changes for WVU IMC and DMC master’s degree programs

New IMC

West Virginia University’s renowned Integrated Marketing Communications master’s degree program has implemented significant changes for the 2019-2020 academic year, including reduced tuition, fewer required courses and seven new areas of emphasis.

The tuition and course requirement changes affect both IMC and the relatively new online M.S. in Data Marketing Communications. Tuition for both programs will decrease by 16 percent, lowering the overall program cost to $24,600. And, graduation requirements will be decreased by one course, allowing students to complete their degree with ten courses in as few as one and a half years. This is in response to an increasingly competitive market.

“Our online IMC program was the first of its kind, and we’re always looking for ways to keep our programs innovative and accessible,” said Chad Mezera, assistant dean of online programs. “WVU IMC is among the best online master’s degrees in the country and the DMC program is the first of its kind, developed specifically to address a known talent gap in today’s industry and graduate highly-sought data-minded marketing communicators. We don’t want tuition to be a deterrent from pursuing a world-class graduate education.”

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College of Media students and faculty recognized at 2019 PRSA Crystal Awards Gala

Rita and Geah at the PRSA Crystal Awards

West Virginia University Reed College of Media faculty members and students received several honors at this year’s Public Relations Society of America West Virginia Chapter Awards Gala.

Associate Professor Rita Colistra, Ph.D., was named the 2019 PRSA-WV Practitioner of the Year, and Associate Professor Geah Pressgrove, Ph.D., was named the 2019 PRSA-WV Public Relations Educator of the Year. Additionally, the WVU chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America was named the Chapter of the Year for the third consecutive time.

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