LETTER FROM THE CHAIR
Dear Journalism Alumni:
We’re still reveling in the glow of our annual department awards ceremony. We honored the best and the brightest students and they heard inspiring words from Chris Hawley, an alumnus inducted into the Kappa Tau Alpha Hall of Fame. Hawley, managing editor of digital content for Raytheon, described how passions sparked at BGSU had shaped his life. On the trip in from the airport, he talked about how much associate professor Catherine Cassara meant to him. During his presentation, he described the value of her advice to learn how to fly a plane. Following the ceremony, Hawley caught up with Cassara at the door. After a brief conversation, they shared a long, warm hug. I hold tight to that mental picture because it typifies connections between alumni and faculty members.
Some graduating seniors have been asking what they could have done to convince other students to spend more time working in student media and attending professional conferences. They recognize how they’ve grown from these experiences. It seems as if your encouragement about the value of experience outside the classroom with early involvement in student media and professional conferences could help our students tremendously. Students always come back excited and eager after attending a professional conference. Chevon Anderson said her eyes were opened after going to the National Association of Black Journalists annual convention. For the first time, she saw her future as a professional. Attending regional conferences of the Society of Professional Journalists has inspired Alex Alusheff. All of our students benefit from hearing you reinforce how important student media, internships and professional conferences are to career success. Your participation in our Alumni Mentor Program offers an easy way for us to connect.
You could inspire students just by letting us know what you are doing. If you can make the time, we’d love to have you on campus to share your expertise and experience. We can also beam you in via Skype or other video technology if that works better for you. We know that students and alumni all reap huge rewards from being connected. We hope you can make the time to be a mentor, a visitor or the subject of an article in a newsletter update. Your experiences in shifting industries can help us keep current students at the front of change.
With that in mind, I encourage you to complete a short survey you will receive this summer about connections between aspects of your education and your work experiences. In it, we will ask for your ideas about keeping connected with our students. We need your perspective as part of our ongoing effort to make journalism and public relations at BGSU the best possible as we negotiate this current era of change. And this survey will contribute to our multi-faceted assessment efforts. We need you. We need you to tell us how you now use basic skills as we continue adapting to a changing professional landscape and strive to graduate the next generation of skilled and adaptive journalists.
We’re excited about moving into a totally renovated building as soon as August 2014. We’ve been calling it Dream Hall. You probably knew it as South Hall, but this old shell will soon contain a completely new facility within its old exterior. We will look south toward Wooster Street and north toward the student union. Our faculty have been involved in each step of the planning process. Professor Jim Foust, in particular, deserves our thanks for his work on the building committee. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.
Alumni, students and faculty have had many recent adventures and successes. Led by Cassara and Julie Hagenbuch, some of our students spent spring break in Paris and visited with European journalists and public relations professionals. For the second year, one of our students, Max Filby, the BG News Editor in Chief, received support from the Scripps Howard Foundation for a paid, multi-media internship. Filby will spend his summer at the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tennessee. For the first year at BGSU, the National Football League is kicking off a new sports journalism and communication workshop in May. Faculty and students from the department will work with 24 current and former players.
I hope you enjoy the alumni updates in the newsletter as well. You can read about Alaina Buzas, Tom Dawson, Candice Jones, Diane Larson, Joe Morehart, Nick Paine, Mizell Stewart, and Maggie Timlin in this issue.
Dr. Kathy Bradshaw, chair
Department of Journalism and Public Relations