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.”

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Dee Kapila visits FDOM class

By: Jennifer Alvord

deeTexas State alumna Dee Kapila spoke to Fundamentals of Digital and Online Media students on Wednesday about the importance of constantly learning new skills in a digital career.

Kapila graduated from the University of Texas with an undergraduate degree in advertising. After graduating, she began her career at Dell as a product specialist. Kapila always had a passion for communication and technology, so she decided to further her education at Texas State University where she graduated with a master’s degree in new media in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2008.

After obtaining her master’s, she worked for many different companies doing instructional technology. Kapila is now starting her new job as a product manager at Headspring in Austin, TX.

Kapila had great advice for students by telling them to feel comfortable about jumping into new things and learning new skills as soon as possible.

“Always think about yourself as a CEO in training,” Kapila said. “As a CEO, you need to know a little bit about everything.”

She then went on to explain how quickly technology changes and encourages students to be able to adapt. “Some skills in technology come and go, but HTML and CSS aren’t going anywhere,” Kapila said. “Knowing code is very important.”

Kapila also believes that having an online presence is extremely important. “Social media and blogging are no longer frivolous endeavors,” Kapila said. “It’s now the primary way companies communicate and interact.”

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Dee Kapila and Dr. Cindy Royal

Thank you for coming and sharing your knowledge with us, Dee! We love hearing from professional alumni.

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!

Run, Cheyenne Run!

This past Saturday, the Running with the Graduate Deans organization participated in the 2015 Country Roads 10k. Texas State was well represented with a sea of maroon by seven graduate students who ran with the deans, including SJMC graduate student Cheyenne Meyer.

Cheyenne-running

Not only did Meyer participate, but she was the overall female champion in the 10k race, which is the equivalent to 6.2 miles. Originally from Houston, Meyer is studying strategic communication and was a former student athlete during her undergraduate studies.

Associate Dean Eric Paulson was the male master’s champion and several other runners from Texas State placed in their age groups, as well as set their own personal best records.

The organization encourages fitness and community building within the graduate programs, and the Graduate College matches the amount of the race fee for everyone who participates as a runner, helper or spectator wearing their logoed shirts. The group raised $420 to be put into a scholarship account for the coming year.

Meyer beat both graduate deans, thus raising twice the amount of the entry fee for the scholarship.

“When I found out about the Running with the Graduate Deans challenge, I was ecstatic. I’m a competitive distance runner and had already signed up for the Country Roads 10k many months ago. But when the deans sent out the email issuing the challenge, I knew it was my time to represent the School of Journalism and Mass Communication grad program, as well as earn some money for the scholarship fund. Associate Dean Paulson is a fierce competitor; he only finished a minute behind me. I kept looking over my shoulder to make sure he didn’t pass me,” Meyer said.

The next event will be the Día de lost Muertos 5k in downtown San Marcos on October 31. All you need to do is bring your race registration to The Graduate College (280 JC Kellam) and pick up your shirt to participate. You don’t have to be a runner to participate, email graduatecollegedean@txstate.edu to volunteer and cheer on our graduate students and deans!

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Taking a Tour: BBC in London

Story by SJMC Study Abroad graduate student, AJ Arreguin:

The British Broadcasting Corporation is one of the most recognizable, highly creditable news organizations in the world. From local to worldwide news coverage, the BBC brings the highest quality of news from journalists that reach outlets such as radio, television and social media. Unlike some news companies around the world that are owned by the government, BBC operates by an annual licensing fee, which citizens of England pay in order to run radio, television broadcasts and premiere shows such as Doctor Who, The Office (English version) and many more. corporation

Courtyard at the BBC

Courtyard at the BBC

The BBC headquarters is located in London (between Portland Place and Langham Place) and contains the BBC Broadcasting House with television studios, radio studios, the main newsroom (where some of the BBC program is recorded), and a small theatre boasting concerts held by A-list musicians.

Our Tour
After getting through security and getting our backpacks and purses scanned and checked, we waited in a lobby that showcased TARDIS, the Doctor Who famous telephone booth, in front of a small gift shop overlooking the BBC Newsroom. Our tour guide first provided us a brief overview of the history of the BBC and its mission statement toward the people of Britain and viewers from around the world. During this brief lecture, we stood in front of a wall made of glass that overlooked the hundreds of employees and desk of the BBC Newsroom. As the tour went on, the guide paused and mentioned that a live weather report was happening. Sure enough, we saw the weatherman a few feet away and on the tube. Finally, we traveled from the newsroom to the studio station, which was in another building that had radio and television sets. Along the way, we passed through historical pieces from the longevity of the BBC, from the microphone used by Edward R. Murrow in World War II broadcastings, to all the memorabilia from celebrities. Walking through the Broadcasting House was a mass communication history lesson in itself.

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After viewing the theatre, radio and television studio, it was time for us to have a bit of fun. The tour allows participants to take part in a newscast and small, scripted play. After it was all said and done, the BBC tour was a must-do if you catch yourself in London. It does not matter if you’re a journalist major, advertising major or public relations major, there is something to learn and grasp from the BBC.

Studio One Panoramic

Studio One Panoramic

For more information on how to book your tour in advance for the BBC Broadcasting House, please visit their website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/tours/.

Top 5 reasons to join the SJMC Graduate Program

Many Texas State University students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, as well as students from other undergraduate universities, will be graduating within the year. Preparing to graduate can be exciting but also very overwhelming. For students who do not have a post-graduate job secured, entering the real world can seem scary, as graduates are expected to make big, life-altering decisions for their futures in just a short amount of time. If you are looking to take your education one step further, have a leg up on the competition in your professional life, or simply to take more time to figure out what you want to do next, graduate school in the SJMC might be the right fit for you.

oldmain

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication is housed in beautiful and historic Old Main, located at the top of the hill on the Texas State Campus. (Photo by SJMC Blog)

Here are the top five reasons why you should enroll in the SJMC grad program: Read more of this post

International Studies honor student Hylary Ahrendt recognizes Dr. Sandy Rao for sharing her expertise and support

In her “Be A Bobcat” interview, International Studies honor student Hylary Ahrendt recognizes Dr. Sandy Rao for sharing her expertise and support. Ahrendt completed projects in Germany and India as part of her honors coursework.  Dr. Rao is Professor and Graduate Director in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.