Florida Magazine Association annual meeting Aug. 7-8

Published: July 23rd, 2014

The Florida Magazine Association’s 61st Annual Publishing Conference and Expo will be held on Aug. 7-8 at the Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate. Go to: http://www.floridamagazine.org for more information and to register.

Category: Uncategorized

Ted Spiker named Interim Chair of Journalism

Published: July 21st, 2014

Ted SpikerWe are very pleased to announce that Ted Spiker has agreed to serve as Interim Chair of the Department of Journalism.

Ted joined our faculty in 2001 after working at several magazines, including Men’s Health. He earned his master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware. Before he came to UF, he was also an adjunct at the University of Delaware and Lehigh University. Ted primarily teaches magazine capstone courses, as well as our Sports Media & Society class.

He is the co-author of about a dozen books, including the YOU: The Owner’s Manual series, and his work has been published in such places as OutsideO The Oprah MagazineFortuneReader’s DigestRunner’s WorldEsquire.com, and many others. His first sole-authored book about the psychology and biology of weight loss will be published in October. In addition, he has done scholarly research on magazine covers and has served as head of the Magazine Division of AEJMC.

Ted has already played significant leadership roles in this college. The most recent example is his masterful coordination of the interdepartmental task force that revamped our curriculum to incorporate a greater focus on digital, an ambitious project that was completed in three months.

Please join us in congratulating Ted!

Category: Uncategorized

Robyn Goodman named Associate Chair of Advertising

Published: July 17th, 2014

Robyn GoodmanPlease join us in congratulating Robyn Goodman on her appointment as Associate Chair of the Department of Advertising. In this new role, Robyn will assist Department Chair Tom Kelleher in areas such as curriculum review, recruitment and evaluation of teaching assistants and adjuncts, SLOs and assessment, and advertising content.  She also will continue to teach courses in the department.

Robyn joined our faculty in 2000 after earning her doctorate degree from the University of Texas.  She earned her master’s degree in mass communications from the University of Texas and a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism from the University of Missouri.

Prior to graduate school, Robyn was a sports reporter and later a feature page and Sunday magazine designer at the Columbia Missourian. After leaving Missouri, she worked as an advertising graphic designer at the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

Over the past few years, Robyn has worked with Fox Sports to teach an advertising course called Advance Creative Fox Sports. The commercials created by her students have earned them several bronze Tellys and a silver regional Addy.

Robyn’s work has been published in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Visual Communication Quarterly, and Public Understanding of Science.  She also has written multiple book chapters.

Her research interests are visual communication and health communications.  Her current research looks at health communication with low income and minority audiences, media and cosmetic surgery, and emotional responses to beauty types in advertising.

We are fortunate that she is assuming this new role.

Category: Faculty news

Aspiring journalists learn newest skills for media jobs

Published: July 15th, 2014

journcamp-600x210Aspiring journalists from high schools around the world came to the College earlier this summer for a week-long immersion in the information industries.

The annual Summer Journalism Institute, known as SJI, which has been a staple of the college’s outreach efforts since the mid-1950s, doubled in attendance this year with 200 students from 19 states and three countries.

“You can’t imagine how happy we are seeing 200 of the world’s best young journalists on our campus learning the basic skills and setting them on a path to make our global community more informed,” said Steve Johnson, the camp’s director and visual coordinator for the College. “We spend months planning every detail of the camp, yet each year we are surprised at how the camp takes on a spirit of its own with new and returning campers connecting, learning and sharing stories — the SJI network is stronger than ever.”

The students spend a full week at UF learning from professors and professionals in the communications fields. They wake up at 6:30 a.m., eat breakfast at Gator Corner Dining and begin full days of newsroom classes, writing workshops, keynote speakers and specialized electives in meteorology, video storytelling, photography and anchoring. This year’s program added another full day of courses to the program and gave students more flexibility to select topical electives in the afternoons.

With a staff of more than 30 UF alumni, professors, adjuncts and students, the camp is a 24/7 operation starting when the first future Gator arrives to the last flight home.

“It was gratifying to see how many people from our college worked to create a unique experience for young journalists,” said Diane McFarlin, dean of the College. “It is programs like SJI that open doors and foster ideas in the next generation of storytellers. Connecting them with our network through expanded classes, speakers from across the country and additional time on the UF campus is important, and it was the coordinated efforts of so many that made this year such a success.”

SJI is one of several entrepreneurial and outreach efforts at the college. As this legacy program continues to grow, other programs will grow out of it.

“We are planning to expand our workshops, including potential options targeted to high school advisors next summer,” said Randy Bennett, director of entrepreneurship and partnerships at the college. “There is so much we can offer high school journalists, educators and working professionals, that we feel like we have laid the groundwork for even more outreach in the coming year.”

Their work from the Innovation News Center, broadcast radio and television studios and labs was curated on the camp’s Tumblr page (http://www.ufsji.tumblr.com) and shared across the college’s social networks of prospective and current students, alumni and friends.

“We’ve been constantly retooling the curriculum of the camp to keep up with the changing way we communicate,” Johnson said. “Historically, the camp used to produce a physical paper to distribute to its participants; now we are producing digital-first content and sharing it with our networks of thousands.”

The college is already planning SJI 2015 and more information will be posted at www.jou.ufl.edu/sji.

Veteran Photojournalist/Videographer Joins INC as Deputy News Editor and Digital Director

Published: July 10th, 2014

GaryWGreen120313A senior photographer and videographer who helped develop mobile reporting workflows for Tribune Co. newspapers, will join the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Division of Media Properties as the new deputy news editor and digital director, Matt Sheehan, the director of the Innovation News Center, announced today.

Gary Green joins a newsroom that provides local news, weather and sports content to seven terrestrial and affiliated digital media outlets managed by professionals and staffed with students enrolled in the College. He starts July 28.

“We’re so delighted to bring a gifted storyteller and visual thinker into the INC to help us shape the future of digital communication and news,” Sheehan said. “Not only does Gary have 20 years of experience, but as we look toward the future, we recognize that Gary’s ability as a visual storyteller will bring critical strengths into our newsroom and help shape evolutions in how we create and consume news on mobile platforms.”

Read More on College News

Two UF students selected for ONA14 Student Newsroom

Published: July 2nd, 2014

Justin Galicz

Justin Galicz

Congratulations to Justin Galicz, 4JOU, and Erica Hernandez, 4JOU, who have been chosen by the Online News Association to be members of the ONA14 Student Newsroom. Twenty students were selected from more than 100 applicants to provide intensive coverage of the association’s conference and awards banquet Sept. 25-27 in Chicago.

Only UF, North Carolina and Missouri had two students selected to the team.


Erica Hernandez

Google is providing scholarships to cover the registration, travel and lodging expenses for the 20 students and 18 mentors.

As those of you who work with them can attest, Justin and Erica are sure to take full advantage of this opportunity. Go J-Gators!

Summer Journalism Institute a success

Published: July 1st, 2014

D3S_6486The Summer Journalism Institute made history last week with 200 high school students attending – the largest camp in the history of SJI. Campers came from across the country – 19 states, to be exact – and as far away as Russia.

They were offered 32 elective classes taught by 21 instructors, including nine JOU professors and one TEL professor. Keynotes were delivered by Roy Peter Clark, Miles Doran and Andrea Billups. You can see much of the students’ work on Tumblr: http://ufsji.tumblr.com/

The camp’s measure of success, though, is much more than numbers. Testimony from students (and their parents) affirm that this experience solidified both their commitment to journalism and their interest in attending CJC.

We have already begun planning SJI 2015 for June 19 – 29. More information will be posted online at: www.jou.ufl.edu/sji

Nicki Dankers joins PATH advising team

Published: June 30th, 2014

Welcome our newest adviser, Nicki Dankers. Nicki comes to the PATH advising team with more than seven years of experience in the UF Registrar’s Office, and more recently, more than four years at the UF Graduate School. She has the depth of experience and knowledge that fully complements our advising team, and we are fortunate to have her on board. Nicki earned her bachelor’s degree in Classics from UF, and her master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from FSU.

Please join us in welcoming Nicki to our college, and stop by when you get a chance to say hello!

College well-represented at international conferences; Sylvia Chan-Olmsted receives international award

Published: June 24th, 2014

Sylvia and Amy Jo at conference copyIn May, Sylvia Chan-Olmsted was awarded the Journal of Media Economics Award of Honor at the 11th World Media Economics & Management Conference in Rio.

The biennial international honor is considered a lifetime achievement award and recognizes significant scholarly contribution and inspiration to the field of media economics. Sylvia is the eleventh recipient of the award and only the second female to be recognized.

The College was well represented at the conference. In addition to Sylvia’s three presentations, Amy Jo Coffey also presented a paper on “U.S. Hispanic Bilinguals: A Qualitative Analysis of Language, Genre, and Viewer Motivations.”

Sylvia’s presentations included: “Understanding Tablet Consumers: Exploring The Factors That Affect Tablet Ownership,” “Factors Affecting The Diffusion Of Iptv: A Cross-Country Longitudinal Study,” and “Exploring The Factors Affecting Over-The-Top (Ott) Diffusion: A Cross-Country Study.”

Sylvia at Seoul conferenceFrom Rio, Sylvia then headed to Seoul to serve as one of the visionaries for the 2014 Seoul Digital Forum.  SDF is a major international conference about innovation and inspiration in the context of the digital age.  There she talked about the development of multiplatform distribution, mobile, OTT and VOD systems like Netflix, and what the implications are for audiences and media industries. 

Congratulations Sylvia and Amy Jo! Thank you for your service and for representing the College at these key international conferences!

Category: Faculty news

Babanikos film to be honored at Budapest film festival

Published: June 23rd, 2014

Coming HomeCongratulations to James Babanikos!  He continues to add honors for his short dramatic film “Coming Home.” The film has been accepted for screening at the Budapest International Short Film Festival (BUSHO) and is one of only four short films accepted from the 138 entered from filmmakers in the United States. A total of 80 or so of the 1,200 submissions from 72 countries were accepted.

Babanikos also took home the Best of Competition Award at the 2014 Broadcast Education Association Festival of Arts Competition. BuSho was established in the autumn of 2004 by a group of young Hungarian filmmakers and the first event successfully ran its course the following year. The festival became an international breakthrough in an exceptionally short period of time with its festival screenings, selections of film academys, conferences, exhibitions, film, and all-art workshops in the program.

The 25-minute film tells the story of an American soldier making a surprise visit home from Afghanistan to see his wife and newborn daughter. Please join us in congratulating James.


Category: Faculty news