Media College eNews

WVU and OU partner for women’s incarceration investigative journalism project

Women's Incarceration Project

Big 12 rivals West Virginia University and the University of Oklahoma may compete on the football field, but they’re collaborating in the classroom to help solve a national problem impacting both of their states disproportionately. 

West Virginia and Oklahoma have the highest percentage of women behind bars, outranking every other state and every other country in the world, according to the Prison Policy Institute’s 2015 Report.

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College of Media hosts camp for high school students

Students attend sports and adventure media camp

Seventeen high school students from six states joined the College of Media for a three-day Sports and Adventure Media Camp at the end of June.  

Campers participated in workshops to enhance their communication, photography, video and journalism skills, as well as improve their understanding of media in the modern world. 

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Q&A with alumna Eleina Elachkar

Eleina Elachkar (BSJ, 2014) discovered her dream career as a publicist not long after graduating from the College of Media. She currently works for Cinetic Media, a film-focused PR and marketing firm in New York City, specializing in Indie films and documentaries such as “I, Tonya,” “Moonlight,” “Boyhood” and “Icarus.” Elachkar assists with film campaigns by pitching to the press, creating and organizing press materials, running press screenings and press days with talent, representing films at festivals and managing red carpets. Previously, she worked as a publicist at the Tribeca Film Festival and FRANK PR.

Ally Kennedy: Why did you choose the College of Media?

Eleina Elachkar: I have always loved Journalism, particularly writing, and I have always been a people person. When touring WVU, I was most excited when touring the College of Media. After a conversation with my Dad and learning about what PR was specifically, it sounded fascinating! 

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College of Media student hits LA

Rising senior Meg Weissend came to the College of Media with an interest in print media, but she’s leaving with a passion for producing. And with a summer internship at the center of the nation’s film and television industry, she’s gaining the real-world experience that will help her achieve her ultimate goal — producing and writing for a major-network television show.

In high school, Weissend was editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper and envisioned becoming the next ground-breaking New York Times reporter. She always knew she wanted to write, so she specifically chose the College of Media for its reputation in journalism. She didn’t expect to find her calling in behind-the-scenes broadcast work, but through courses like Video Editing and Adventure Travel and Writing, she discovered this hidden passion.

“Meg had unmatched enthusiasm and was always asking questions,” said David Smith, senior lecturer for the College of Media. “If she didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do, she was always willing to do the research and work to figure it out.”

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College of Media wins big at 2018 PRSA Crystal Awards Gala

College of Media students won six Crystal awards and one honorable mention for their outstanding campaigns and projects at the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) West Virginia Chapter Awards Gala in Charleston on June 13. The Crystal Award is the top prize in each of the Association’s award categories and honors the most exceptional communications and public relations work in West Virginia.

For the second year in a row, the WVU chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, led by faculty adviser Geah Pressgrove, was recognized as the Chapter of the Year with a Crystal Award.

Additionally, Associate Professor Rita Colistra’s students won the following:

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May 2018 Commencement


The West Virginia University Reed College of Media celebrated its May Commencement on Friday, May, 11, at the WVU Coliseum.

This year’s ceremony featured keynote speaker Nzinga Shaw, senior vice president of community and chief diversity and inclusion officer for the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club and Philips Arena. Her address encouraged students to face the future with confidence, a positive attitude and a commitment to making a difference.

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College of Media student wins LaunchLab Network Idea Challenge

Mannering, a Strategic Communications senior in the WVU Reed College of Media, and her business partner, mechanical engineering major Michael Brinkley, successfully pitched and promoted their invention to five judges and a live audience during four rounds of competition.

“To be completely honest, we were shocked when we won,” said Mannering. “We just believed in our product and hoped that everyone else loved our idea as much as we do. Winning the competition was truly an indescribable feeling.”

Their business, Mountain Momma, is currently in the prototyping phase of making the customizable stomp pads. The idea came to them over Christmas break when Brinkley was getting ready for snowboarding season. He needed a new stomp pad for his board and after searching the internet, he and Mannering realized that there wasn’t much variety in the industry today.

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WVU and GW partner for Atlantic Coast Pipeline reporting project

In a unique effort to burst long-standing “media bubbles,” students and faculty from the  West Virginia University  Reed College of Media and the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs are teaming up for an in-depth reporting project to assess the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s impact in West Virginia. 

The project, which culminates with a four-week intensive collaboration, is being funded by Scott Widmeyer who has played a senior role over the past three decades in strengthening public affairs communications and supporting a wide range of journalistic endeavors. The founder of Washington-based Widmeyer Communications, his firm is now part of Finn Partners, a growing global communications firm where Scott serves as founding managing partner and chief strategy officer in Washington, D.C. 

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a large, 42-inch diameter, gas pipeline that will originate in Harrison County, West Virginia, and travel through Virginia before reaching North Carolina and decreasing in size. The pipeline was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in fall 2017 and construction will continue into 2019. 

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"Path to the Pulitzer" on April 4

Eric Eyre

Eric Newhouse

The West Virginia Humanities Council and WVU Reed College of Media will present “Path to the Pulitzer: Journalism and the Informed Citizen” on Wednesday, April 4, at 7 p.m. at Ming Hsieh Hall. The panel presentation features two award-winning journalists: 2017 Pulitzer winner Eric Eyre of the Charleston Gazette-Mail and Eric Newhouse of Charleston who received a 2000 Pulitzer while with the Great Falls (Montana) Tribune.

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