TXST places 1st in AAF District 10 Competition

By Lisa Callahan & Matt Shoewalter

The halls of the Overton Hotel and Conference Center in Lubbock roared with the cheers and cries of Team 104 as Texas State University won First Place at the district level of the National Student Advertising Competition.

“Right when I heard them say ‘First Place: Texas State University,’ I knew that everything we worked so hard for was 1000% worth it,” Art Director Taylor Kaufman said. “It was a surreal moment, and I’ll never forget it.”

Lauren Friesenhahn (facing) embraces Kelsey Vaeth after the announcement

Lauren Friesenhahn (facing) embraces Kelsey Vaeth after the announcement
Photo courtesy Rachel Sipe

 

Each year, The National Student Advertising Competition, sponsored by the American Advertising Federation (AAF), challenges over 200 college chapters across the country to develop an integrated marketing campaign for a corporate client. This year, each competing team was tasked with developing a campaign for Snapple. Sixteen teams from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana competed for District 10 in Lubbock from April 14-16.

Lecturer and Advertising Sequence Coordinator Jenny Buschhorn and Assistant Marketing Professor Dr. Rick Wilson held interviews in October and selected 17 students to join the team. The group of copywriters, producers, art directors, account executives, media planners and account planners began working on the campaign during their winter break, continued through their spring break and submitted their final plans book to AAF on March 25.

“The simple yet great feeling of having something you worked really hard on payoff is something that I wish everyone could experience,” said Producer Hector Sifuentes, who also received the District 10 Best Presenter Award. “It really taught us a lesson not only on the importance of working hard, but also on the philosophy of life. This is real education.”

Account Planner Rachel Sipe captured the winning moment on camera. The graduating senior said she was at a loss for words when First Place was announced.

Hector Sifuentes holding his Special Judges Award for Best Presenter

Hector Sifuentes holding his Special Judges Award for Best Presenter
Photo courtesy Rachel Sipe

“I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” Sipe said.

While taking home the prize was a major accomplishment, the team agreed that the relationships they formed with each other are even more rewarding.

“My favorite part of NSAC, even more so than winning, is how this ragtag group of students from different majors and walks of life became a family,” Art Director Angela Rhys said.

Media planner and presenter Roy Zorola agrees.

“There is such joy in the process,” Zorola said. “When the moment arrived, we realized that win or lose, the journey itself meant everything, because we did it together.”

Copywriter Lauren Friesenhahn credits the team’s supervisors for much of their success.

“Of course, we couldn’t have done it without Mom (Buschhorn) and Dad (Wilson),” Friesenhahn said. “If they didn’t push us as hard as they did, we wouldn’t be where we are right now.”

The Texas State University NSAC team last won a district competition in 2010 with their campaign for State Farm. The team went on to win second place at the national level.

Now, the District 10 champs begin preparation for semi-finals in May. This will determine whether the team advances to the national competition in Anaheim, California in June, when a total of eight teams go for the gold.

“While this District 10 win marks a major achievement for both us and Texas State, we still have more to go,” Account Executive and presenter Alexandria Reid said. “The work isn’t over, but we’ve never been afraid to work hard.”

The team celebrates their win on the conference room dance floor.

The team celebrates their win on the conference room dance floor. Photo courtesy Lauren Friesenhahn

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Society of Professional Journalists to honor University Star staff

University Star Logo

Photo Credit: star.txstate.edu

The Society of Professional Journalists will recognize five student-journalists from the University Star at the historic Hilton Hotel in Fort Worth on March 18 and 19 for its Region 8 Mark of Excellence convention.

Region 8 is Texas and Oklahoma. If any students take first place, they automatically move on to the national competition, where they are judged against all the regions. Students receiving awards are Quixem Ramirez, Madison Teague, Brandon Sams, Monique Guerrero and Jon Wilcox.

“If you would see the way these students work, it’s just amazing to me the bond that’s here,” said Bob Bajackson, SJMC Senior Lecturer and Director of Student Publications. “I think the awards that they are able to accomplish, it’s just incredible.”

The SPJ committee will also recognize the University Star for its student-redesigned website.

“The website content has just exploded,” said Bajackson. “Last month we had over 30,000 page views.”

The University Star was formed in 1911 and is the oldest publication on campus.

Becky Larson | photo credit: sxtxstate.com/about/

Becky Larson | photo credit: sxtxstate.com/about/

The SPJ will also honor graduate student Becky Larson, who has a project as a finalist. Larson’s project tells the important story of the clash of Austin gentrification and the live music scene through loud music noise complaints.

“She did a fantastic job assimilating a range of new skills, identifying a data set and creating interactive elements that were relevant to our theme of telling stories about music with data,” said Dr. Cindy Royal, SJMC Associate Professor and Digital Media Sequence Coordinator.

Larson’s project was supported by a grant from the Knight Foundation and Online News Association.

“I am so pleased that the SPJ judges recognized this type of storytelling,” said Dr. Royal.

SJMC student wins regional award for thesis

Sergio Carvajal-Leoni in a suit

Sergio Carvajal-Leoni. Photo from http://www.italchannel.tv

As a SJMC graduate student, Venezuelan-born Sergio Carvajal-Leoni, won a campus-wide award for his thesis, the Graduate College’s Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award in Digital Scholarship.

Now he has won again, at the highest level, the regional level, where he is receiving the Digital Scholarship award from the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools. His award, a plaque and $1000 honorarium, will be presented at the CSGS Awards Luncheon at the Omni Charlotte Hotel in Charlotte, NC on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016 at 11:30 a.m., and he attributes some of his success to his time at Texas State.

“The stuff I did in San Marcos, was the best decision of my life,” he told me. “I’ve decided to finish up with a PhD.”

Carvajal-Leoni called his research project the Intercultural Transmedia Approach to Learning, or ITAL.

“I’ve been working on models of community building media,” he said. “Any group of people who share an interest.”

By founding ITAL, he was able to focus on applying Communication Infrastructure Theory while creating a hyper-local documentary series called the Texan Italian Stories.

The key research concept behind the series, was how creating media could bring together the Italian niche community in Central Texas.

He attributed his success to both the freedom and guidance his thesis supervisor, Dr. Sandy Rao, provided him.

Carvajal-Leoni also thanked two Texas State University researchers on his thesis committee, Dr. Federico Subervi and Dr. Moira DiMauro.

ITAL partner, Romina Olson

Romina Olson. Photo from http://www.italchannel.tv

“Texas State played a crucial role in that journey,” Carvajal-Leoni told me. “This award is like, a validation, that this was the right journey to take.”

Despite being the lead researcher, writer, editor and director, Carvajal-Leoni was very modest about his achievement. He praised his ITAL partner, Romina Olson, as well as two USC researchers Dr. Sandra Ball-Rokeach and Dr. Henry Jenkins that played an instrumental role in the project.

If there’s one thing Carvajal-Leoni made clear, he loves Texas.

“I’ve been living in Austin since ’99,” he said. “I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could.”

PRSSA Gala Photos

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PRSSA’s Gala was a hit! Over 100 people came out.

Seniors Paige Vaughn and Gregory Tate received the Mass Communication Leader of the Year awards.

Here’s to looking forward to next year!

A Tragedy in West, TX Affects a Texas State Student

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Kayla Urbanovsky in front of Old Main

By: Olivia Garcia — Kayla Urbanovsky scrolled through her Facebook feed on Feb. 17, 2013 and that evening, she noticed many statuses about a disturbance in her hometown of West, TX. A fertilizer plant had exploded, claiming 15 lives and damaging over 300 homes. Urbanovsky’s elementary and high school were destroyed, and luckily, her family and home were safe from the explosion. On the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, she remembers how her hometown’s resilience changed her life.

“West is now known as the small town in Texas that exploded,” Urbanovsky said. “But I know it as my family of 2,800 people and the resilience of West, Texas and its people actually made me a better college student.”

Kayla

Kayla Urbanovsky at her internship

While attending Texas State University, Urbanovsky landed an internship at ChannelAustin where she puts her knowledge of electronic media to the test. She ran the teleprompter, setted up cameras and was the technical director of the control room. She was one of the top interns at ChannelAustin and felt more prepared for life after college.

Urbanovsky thanked her professors from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication for the support the Texas State University community gave her and West, TX during this tragedy.

“This turned my world upside down but was a blessing in disguise for myself and for the people of West,” says Urbanovsky. “I was inspired to be the best person I could be and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication helped me thrive to be that person.”

Urbanovsky graduated May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication – Electronic Media. Urbanovsky hopes to work on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and to continue to help rebuild her hometown and promises to keep her resilient attitude throughout her career.

Olga Wilson is Inducted into the PRSA College of Fellows

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Texas State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication Senior Lecturer and PR Sequence Coordinator Olga Mayoral Wilson, APR was inducted into the PRSA College of Fellows on Oct. 11 during the PRSA 2014 International Conference in Washington, DC.

The College of Fellows, founded in 1989, is a community of more than 300 senior PRSA members who have advanced the public relations profession and distinguished themselves through their experience and leadership in the public relations industry. Admission is open to public relations practitioners or educators with 20 years’ experience or more, hold the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential and have demonstrated exceptional capability and accomplishment in the practice or teaching of public relations. College of Fellows members also must exhibit personal and professional qualities that make them role models for other practitioners or educators.

The purpose of the College of Fellows is to recognize notable public relations leaders and to further the professionalism and reputation of public relations practice and education. College members provide mentoring for public relations professionals and students, support PRSA in the execution of its strategic plan specifically in the areas of advocacy and education, and create and sponsor a continuing education “Master Class” for advanced professionals each year during the PRSA International Conference.

A selection committee consisting current College of Fellows members oversees the nomination of new Fellows. The committee solicited and reviewed applications and recommended this year’s group of candidates to the 2014 Board of Directors.

“The fifteen impressive inductees of the prestigious PRSA College of Fellows each have more than two decades of exemplary public relations work and are a model of what can be achieved in our profession,” said PRSA 2014 National Chair Joe Cohen, APR. “I congratulate them onthis incredible honor and I urge students and new professionals to follow the example of this outstanding group.”

The 2014 inductees to the PRSA College of Fellows are:

Anita A. Brightman, APR, Fellow PRSA, president, A. Bright Idea, LLC
Douglas F. Cannon, Ph.D., APR+M, Fellow PRSA, assistant professor, Virginia Tech
Amy T. Coward, APR, Fellow PRSA, vice president, Palmetto Health Foundation
Sandra C. Duhe, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, associate professor and chair, Southern Methodist University
Geraldine Ann Evans, APR, Fellow PRSA, president and chief executive officer, Evans PR Group
Michele E. Ewing, APR, Fellow PRSA, associate professor, Kent State University
William A. Gay, APR, Fellow PRSA, president, Reliance Public Relations, Inc.
Laura R. Hammel, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, associate professor and program director, Ursuline College
Suzanne M. Holroyd, Ph.D., APR+M, Fellow PRSA, prevention outreach, office of sexual assault prevention and response, Department of Defense
Rose M. McKinney, APR, Fellow PRSA, founder and chief executive officer, Pineapple RM, Inc.
Christopher E. Payne, APR, Fellow PRSA, executive director of communications, Tulsa Public Schools
Robert E. Sheldon, APR, Fellow PRSA, public relations director, Creative Communications Consultants, Inc.
Brenda S. Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA, public affairs director, State Farm Insurance
Olga Mayoral Wilson, APR, Fellow PRSA, senior lecturer, Texas State University
Kelly L. Womer, APR, ABC, Fellow PRSA, vice president and partner, Linhart Public Relations

About the Public Relations Society of America
PRSA is the largest professional organization serving the U.S. public relations community. With a mission to “advance the profession and the professional,” PRSA provides news and information, thought leadership, continuing education and networking opportunities; sets standards of professional excellence and ethical conduct; and advocates for the business value of public relations and greater diversity among public relations professionals. Based in New York, PRSA comprises 112 localChapters; 14 Professional Interest Sections that focus on specific industries and practice areas; and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which is active at more than 320 colleges and universities.

Texas State PRSSA Bateman Team wins honorable mention for ‘Be the Difference’

photo of participantsTexas State University’s 2013 PRSSA Bateman Team was one of 16 teams nationally to receive honorable mention for its anti-bullying campaign called “Be the Difference.”
Seniors Callie Hill, Rachel David, Marissa McMinn, Seth Schoolcraft and Kerri Driver comprised this year’s team. They worked closely with officials with the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District.
“The ‘Be the Difference’ campaign celebrated differences among people and tolerance,” said Chuck Kaufman, senior lecturer and faculty adviser of the Bateman team. “Thousands of people were exposed to the bullying issue through traditional and new media to a difficult, but real, local, state, national and international problem.
“The students used excellent research, including an extensive survey among students in different age brackets, and teachers, to devise an excellent public relations plan. They executed it well.”
Callie Hill, team leader, said, “Through in-school programs and displays, publications, and traditional and social book media, the campaign began an important dialogue. We have learned that the education about bullying must be ongoing as new students make their way onto the playgrounds, school hallways and, of course, online. We believe today’s students in San Marcos have an opportunity to develop a trust between themselves and people in authority — parents and teachers.”
Among the honorable mention teams in the national competition were Brigham Young University, Butler University, the University of Alabama, the University of Florida, the University of Maryland and the University of Minnesota. This year’s finalists were Kent State University, Loyola of New Orleans and North Dakota State University.
Kaufman and the team saluted Pam Guettner, director of Curriculum and Instruction PK-12 for SMCISD, for her insights into the issue and support for the campaign team’s efforts.

Student Media finalists for Region 8 Mark of Excellence Awards

Congratulations to the University Star Staff, KTSW, and the Texas State of Change organization for being selected to receive Region 8 Mark of Excellence Awards! The actual place awarded will be announced at the awards ceremony, during the Region 8 Spring Conference. The conference takes place May 3-4 in San Antonio, Texas at the downtown Marriott Plaza.

Category
Entrants Media Outlet Entry Title
Best Affiliated Web Site (Large) Staff University Star The University Star Website
Editorial Cartooning (Large) Editorial Board University Star Main Point
General Column Writing (Large) Savannah Wingo University Star Columns
General News Photography (Large) Austin Humphreys University Star Damon “Tuba Gooding Jr.” Bryson
General News Reporting (Large) Kolten Parker University Star Presidential Perks
In-Depth Reporting (Large) Liza Winkler & Jena Coolidge University Star Poverty
Online Feature Reporting (Large) Mark Wilson, Andrew Goodwin & Austin Humphreys University Star SXSW Recap
Online Opinion & Commentary (Large) Editorial Board University Star Columns
Online Sports Reporting (Large) Josh Brown University Star Josh Brown
Sports Column Writing (Large) Jordan Brewer University Star Sports Column
Online In-Depth Reporting (Large) TexasStateofChange.com TexasStateofChange.com Texas State of Change
Best All-Around Radio Newscast Staff KTSW-FM 89.9 College Radio Day Newscast
Radio News Reporting Sarah Vasquez KTSW-FM 89.9 Hurricane Sandy

Check the conference’s event page for more information.

First-place regional winners will automatically advance to the national round of the competition. A list of regional winners will be posted on spj.org the Monday after the conference.

SJMC students win National Broadcast Society Awards

Ten Texas State students attended the National Broadcasting Society (NBS) regional conference at UT-Arlington on November 2 & 3, 2012. Texas State student Lane Lewis won First Place awards for Sports Program and Sports Package, as well as Honorable Mentions for Sports Program Audio and Sports Package Audio. Amber Anderson won 3rd place for Drama Program while Chelsea Kelley won Honorable Mention for Feature Package. Jessi MacCall won Honorable Mention for Hard News. Congratulations to all of the winners!