Blood drive Tuesday hosted by SJMC students

facebookIn the spirit of giving (and earning an A), some SJMC students are asking students, faculty and staff to literally give from their hearts this season. Students in Grace Capwell’s PR Campaigns class are hosting a student-run blood drive on Tuesday Dec. 1  from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center (room 3-15.1).

Along with the blood drive, they are also running a Twitter contest — everyone who participates is eligible to win a Jam Wireless Speaker. The following rules apply:

  1. Take a selfie donating blood
  2. Tweet the selfie, tag and follow @centralTXblood
  3. Use #TXSTstudentsgive

Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments can also be made here. The Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas is located in Austin and keeps all donated blood local. With the upcoming holiday season, the blood center needs more donations to keep up with the demand. According to the center, each pint of blood can help save three lives of local people.


SJMC Digital Short Course Series


This fall, SJMC offered its first Digital Short Course Series. These one-credit-hour courses are meant to provide students with an introduction to cutting-edge, digital topics. Students may take one, two or all three courses in a semester. This semester, the topics were Digital Media Ethics (taught by Jon Zmikly), Drones and Sensors (taught by Cindy Royal and Dale Blasingame) and Coding Workshop (taught by Cindy Royal).

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Jon Zmikly leads the online Digital Media Ethics course.

The Digital Media Ethics course was delivered completely online over three weeks. Students completed modules via TRACS, covering topics including Truth in Storytelling, Transparency and Community.

Sensor Workshop

Cindy Royal assists with a sensor connection.

The Drones and Sensors course was delivered in a hybrid model with two weeks of online work that culminated in a one-day, in-person workshop. Students gained experience working with a drone and using a sensor kit. They manipulated connections on the sensor to control LED lights, monitor brightness, detect motion and log temperatures to a spreadsheet.

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Students in the Coding Workshop learned the skills to create an interactive quiz.

The Coding Workshop was delivered in a similar hybrid manner, with two weeks of online preparation leading to a one-day workshop. In the workshop, students got experience with HTML, CSS and JavaScript, developing an interactive quiz. They learned the basics of Web design and introductory programming syntax.

Students had positive responses in blog posts about the workshops.

As it turns out, I LOVE messing with tiny breadboards and photons. The whole process tapped into the engineer buried somewhere in my brain, and we even got to mess around with coding, another casual interest of mine.

I developed a strong interest in these topics when I realized how significant this technology is in both good and bad ways. Flying drones over volcanoes? The capability to take photographs and videos of endless matters that a human could never possibly do for themselves? Count me in! Spying neighbors or general violations of privacy? No sir.

Drones and sensors class was a blast! What other course lets you play with flying cameras and tinker with electronics?

Getting to see all of those radio buttons and objects respond to your changes makes me happy in the heart for some odd reason.

You can make anything you want whether it is your own website, a quiz, a form, etc. I did not realize how easy it was and how fast it is to create these things with coding.

Taking this class has to be one of the best decisions of my career. The main reason I feel that way is because now if you want to be involved in media, you have to know how to build a website and know a bit of coding.

You can read all the student observations by visiting the course sites linked above.

The gender makeup of these sessions was 83% female, which indicates that women are interested and enthusiastic about technology topics related to communication careers.

The Spring 2016 Digital Short Course series includes three more cutting edge classes: Framing Solutions-Storytelling Through Digital Narrative taught by Holly Wise, Mobile Storytelling in the Park and Digital Media Entrepreneurship, both taught by Dale Blasingame. See CatsWeb for registration information for these Spring courses.

More photos from the workshops:

SJMC Student selected to present at NCA Conference

Graduate student Joshua Morrison, will be representing Texas State and SJMC at this year’s National Communication Association’s 101st Annual Conference. The conference will take place Nov. 19 – 22 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This is Morrison’s second time to present at the conference and will be presenting two papers — one in the Performance Studies Division and the other in Rhetorical and Communication Theory Division.

The rhetoric division is the biggest at the conference, and Morrison will be presenting as one of the top four papers in that division.

He discusses how celebrity studies is an emerging and growing field in academia, a very broad and interdisciplinary field that includes departments in English,FullSizeRender history, sociology and communications.

“The intersection that I meet at when I study this topic is rhetoric and communication, media studies, performance studies and critical cultural studies,” Morrison said.

Morrison is interested in the role the media plays in celebrity culture and the conversations the media industry has about fame and celebrities, especially women as public figures.

According to Morrison, the conversations regarding men usually revolve more around their craft as a performer, but the focus of women is more about what they are wearing and less about their craft.

Morrison encourages expanding the institution of celebrity studies to increase awareness about the disparity of gender, racial and class lines that exist in the media’s coverage.

“Who better to change these conversations than the people who write the headlines?” Morrison asks.

Best of luck to Joshua at the conference this week!

Texas State Bateman team selected

The Public Relations Department in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University has selected its 2016 PRSSA Bateman National Case Study Competition team. The will begin planning its campaign for client the Student Veterans of America. SVA is working in partnership with the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and Edelman.

Team members are seniors Tammy Garman, Jericka Desire Christianna King, Kelsey Heitzmann and Jaelyn Lyles. All are public relations majors.

“I’m proud to say we’ve assembled another outstanding Bateman team,” said Chuck Kaufman, Bateman coordinator, who works with the team in tandem with his Public Relations Campaigns course. “But this team, particularly, brings some very special qualities from diverse experiences that should enhance their creative and strategic thinking. They all are highly motivated individuals in very special ways.”

Garman, who is minoring in Aerospace Studies, is wing commander at the University’s Air Force Reserved Officer Training Corps, Detachment 840th, and a recipient of the Sons of the American Revolution Medal of Honor. Garman also is a Dean’s List student and a New Student Orientation Leader.

King is a minor in international studies and has worked at several retail jobs in San Marcos. She is the reigning Miss Black Texas State University. Previously she was the assistant public affairs officer for the Arnold Air Society’s U.S. Air Force Association.

Heitzmann is a Dean’s List communications studies minor and has studied abroad in Great Britain, German and France. She has served as both an Orientation Leader and Resident Assistant at the University. Kelsey has worked with the South by Southwest Music Festival, Phi Beta Chi sorority and the Victoria Generals baseball club of the Texas Collegiate Baseball League.

Lyles has worked as the PR chair/webmaster for Mu Phi Epsilon; interned with the American Diabetes Association; and worked in the Office of the President at Texas State University.

In addition, Kaufman also named alumna Rebecca Hind Gough, an account executive with Weber Shandwick in Austin and a former Bateman participant, as a professional outside adviser to the team.

Planning begins immediately with implementation taking place between Feb. 15 and March 15. Case studies are due to the PRSSA national office on April 8.

The goals of this year’s Bateman Competition are to increase awareness on college campuses and in communities about veterans who are students around the globe, as well as to increase the support and networks for these deserving individuals, PRSSA announced from its New York headquarters.

“As the number of veterans in college continues to increase, so does the need for university administrators and the public to gain a deeper understanding of their issues,” said Jared Lyon of Student Veterans of America. “Just like traditional students — there is no singular journey for the student veteran. Our goal at Student Veterans of America is to change the public perception surrounding veterans at the crossroads between military-to-civilian transition to a longer view from degree completion to meaningful employment. We believe that veterans bring with them a wealth of knowledge, experiences and diversity, and we are thrilled to partner with PRSSA to ensure that every veteran becomes an informed consumer of their GI Bill benefits and to communicate the value that veterans bring to higher education, employers and to our communities.”