Media College eNews

WVU Reed College of Media receives $250,000 AEP Foundation grant to expand community branding initiative

West Virginia University  Reed College of Media students will work with local communities to tell and “sell” their stories thanks to a grant from the American Electric Power Foundation.

The $250,000 grant supports WVU’s Community Branding Initiative,  BrandJRNY. Students enrolled in specialized upper-level strategic communications courses will develop integrated communications campaigns for selected West Virginia communities within AEP’s Appalachian Power service area. Students will hone skills in campaign research, strategy, community engagement, budgeting, innovative storytelling and creating promotional materials, while they discover and decide how best to brand each community.

”The AEP Foundation is proud to support the WVU Reed College of Media to help communities promote unique regional qualities,” said Dale Heydlauff, president of the AEP Foundation and senior vice president of AEP Corporate Communications. “The Community Branding Initiative is a rare opportunity for college students to not only learn the art and science of building a positive image but also to execute it. The project is truly a win-win for communities and students.” 

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WVU Reed College of Media among the best in MediaShift rankings

The  West Virginia University  Reed College of Media has topped two different “best of” lists for innovation.

MediaShift, the premier destination for insight and analysis at the intersection of media and technology, recently announced its top picks for media innovation in several areas. Dean Maryanne Reed was recognized in  “EducationShift20: Honoring Innovative Journalism Educators.” College of Media faculty Dana Coester and Gina Martino Dahlia were listed in  “MediaShift20: Recognizing Digital Media’s Top Innovators” for their work on “100 Days in Appalachia,” which was also recognized in  “Top 6 Journalism Collaborations of 2017” by MediaShift contributor Stefanie Murray.

Since her appointment as dean in 2004, Reed has been working with faculty like Coester and Dahlia to establish the College of Media as a national leader in modern media education. “100 Days in Appalachia” is an example of an innovative journalism project that has received national and even international attention. 

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Report for America: Seeking 'ground truth' in Appalachia

Join us for a conversation with top, local journalists, including Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter  Eric EyreDana Coester of WVU and 100 Days in Appalachia, and  Roxy Todd of WVPB and Inside Appalachia, led by  Charles Sennott, head of The GroundTruth Project which is launching its new Report for America initiative here in West Virginia and in Eastern Kentucky, part of a national effort to place emerging journalists in local newsrooms to revitalize American journalism.

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December graduation includes first DMC grads

The West Virginia University Reed College of Media celebrated its December graduates at the University’s ceremony on Friday, December 15, at the WVU Coliseum. Keynote speaker Wes Bush, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Northrop Grumman Corp., a leader in global security, offered advice and words of encouragement to graduates.

“Never stop learning, never stop striving and never stop dreaming,” Bush said. “When you see change on the horizon, don’t flinch. Rejoice that you can see it. Don’t hide from it – turn toward it, and charge, but do so with your feet firmly planted on the bedrock of your own moral and ethical code. I believe the result of doing so will be what I wish for each of you today – health, happiness, prosperity and lifelong innovation and creativity.”

More than 125 College of Media students graduated this month, earning bachelor’s degrees in journalism, strategic communications and multidisciplinary studies, and master’s degrees in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and Data Marketing Communications (DMC). The College also recognized Nancy Gonzalez and Kathryn Jones, two of the first six graduates of the new DMC online graduate degree program.

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College of Media Alumna produces Netflix Original Documentary


The national media has covered the opioid crisis in West Virginia extensively, but College of Media alumna and Peabody award-winning filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon (BSJ, 2009) takes on the story through a new lens—one of hope.

She is the director of “Heroin(e),” a Netflix Original documentary that follows three women in Huntington, West Virginia, as they fight the opioid epidemic and try to make a change in their community. The film features Huntington Fire Chief Jan Radar; Judge Patricia Keller, who runs the local drug court; and Necia Freeman, who works with Brown Bag and Backpacks Ministry delivering food and Bible passages to prostitutes and addicts.

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WVU Reed College of Media honors outstanding alumni

A public relations veteran, a former newspaper editor, a magazine publishing rising star and a high-level health communications executive were all recently honored by the West Virginia University Reed College of Media at its annual Alumni and Donor Recognition Ceremony.  Originated by the College’s local alumni chapter, the outstanding alumni awards acknowledge exceptional professional achievements as well as commitment and service to the College of Media.  

Dean Maryanne Reed welcomed alumni, donors and guests to the ceremony, which was held at the Media Innovation Center on October 27, before presenting the awards.

“The alumni and donor awards program recognizes both our successful graduates and our friends and supporters whose dedication to the College has made a significant impact on the quality of our academic programs and the student experience,” said Dean Reed.  “This year’s awards recipients are no exception.  They are top professionals who make our College proud.”

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Have your donation to the College of Media doubled or tripled November 8

West Virginia University is holding its first-ever Day of Giving on November 8, and you have the opportunity to give back to the College of Media and help us tackle our greatest needs.

Have your gift to the College of Media doubled or tripled by making a donation to the College on November 8th.  Alexis (BSJ 73) and Jim Pugh have generously proposed a Global Challenge to the University on the Day of Giving by matching donations made to any scholarship fund up to $25,000. We want to bring as many of those match funds home to the College of Media as we can. The match begins at 8 a.m. ET, and will run until the funds are depleted, so make your gift early to ensure your funds are matched and go directly to our College. 

Alumnus Scott Widmeyer (BSJ 1974) has also set a match challenge exclusively for the College of Media. He is matching donations to any College fund up to $20,000.

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WVU Reed College of Media to host a women’s hackathon on artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has a serious diversity problem. Algorithms that increasingly influence much of our daily lives are created by technologists who aren’t necessarily doing the best job representing gender, racial, or economic diversity.

That’s why the College of Media has teamed up with MediaShift to co-host “Hack the Gender Gap: A Women’s Hackathon on Diversifying AI," which will bring together college-age women from around the country to add their voices to the emerging artificial intelligence market.

The three-day event will kick off at the College’s Media Innovation Center on Thursday, November 9 with a special guest symposium, featuring women at the forefront of tackling AI’s diversity problem. Guest speakers include; Cyber-bullying expert Michelle Ferrier, founder of TrollBusters; human rights attorney and social entrepreneur Flynn Coleman who writes about humanity’s future in AI; and Susan Etlinger, a global expert in AI, data and digital ethics who works with the technology futurist company Altimeter.

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Reed College of Media launches new Sports and Adventure Media major

The Reed College of Media has developed the only known undergraduate major in the country to focus on sports and adventure media.

With its big-time college sports programs and beautiful natural setting, the Mountain State is a mecca for sports and adventure enthusiasts, and also the perfect setting for the new major designed to prepare students for careers in sports journalism and adventure media communications.

Both the College of Media and the College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences will offer courses in the Sports and Adventure Media major set to launch in Fall 2018.

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Student Wins Best Director Award at Sundance Film Festival

This is a picture of Sam standing behind a camera man, directing a film.

Multidisciplinary studies senior Sam Thompson aspires to be the best writer and director in Hollywood, and with a Sundance Film Festival award under his belt, he’s on the right track. 

In January, Thompson, along with two former WVU students, wrote, directed and filmed the musical, “The SunDANCE,” a coming-of-age story that pits the indie film industry against Hollywood. The five-minute short film earned him the “Creative Mind Best Director Award” at the renowned Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.  

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