Department of Communication News

Fall 2016

News from the Chair

Happy Fall Semester! I hope that you are all enjoying your classes as we enter the month of October. This year, we are fortunate to have received funding to conduct a site study to improve our facilities as part of the university's new strategic planning initiative. We have been working with administrators to improve our infrastructure by planning for a new multimedia lab and improvements to the TV Production Studio. We also have some exciting news to share with you about the successes of the students and faculty in our program. As you engage in internships, class projects, and related professional activities, please send us your newsworthy items for upcoming issues. Special thanks to Caroline St Peter for her help with the newsletter, and Judy Crown for her continued dedication to our department and students.

Have a productive semester!

Julie Frechette, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair

WSU Department of Communication


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Center for Community Media Launches Political Profiles of Worcester

Professor Julian Berrian, in collaboration with Worcester State University's Center for Community Media, is producing a soon-to-be-released video series entitled Political Profiles of Worcester. Designed for student consumption via Internet streaming, the series features interviews of local politicians, such as Mayor Joseph M. Petty, first-term Councilor-At-Large Khrystian E. King, Councilor-At-Large Michael T. Gaffney, and District 5 Councilor Gary Rosen, and others. Photo (left to right): Samantha Carroll, Professor Julian Berrian, Moses Dixon (candidate for State Representative of District 17), Professor Daniel S. Hunt, Robert Sheedy.

Student News

Amy Peterson: 40 Under 40

Former Communication major, Amy Peterson, Class of 2003, was recently featured in Worcester Business Journal Online, 40 under 40 for her role at the SMG-managed DCU Center. Peterson’s notable accomplishments include overseeing the marketing for a $31 million dollar renovation at the DCU center, developing the restaurant incubator for a facility that houses the Figs & Pigs Kitchen + Pantry, and helping produce the annual craft beer festival known as Woo-Brew. Peterson is now supervising brand management for a 14,000 seat-faculty.

Public Relations Students Society of America

This semester, WSU students received national recognition from the Public Relations Society of America. The Boston area PRSA is asking Worcester State to consider hosting regional PRSA practitioners to expose students to a network of New England communication leaders. PRSSA Student Members include: William Camacho, Jaclyn Delany, Alexander Dewitz, Rocco Diverdi, Stephanie Duprey Samantha Findlen, Shane Finnegan, Luke Fontaine, Rebecca Genis, Sarah Guemelli, Boyoung Kim, John Leary, Julia Dufault, Vicky Chea, Christopher Lola, Michael Long. Michael Powers, Melissa Edberg, Alexandria Murphy, Justin Andrews, Audrey DiBuono. The board of directors are: President - Jamal Smith, Vice President - Nana Asamoah, Secretary - Haley Gosselin, Treasurer - Julia Ward, Public Relations - Andre Ipojuca, Historian/Delegate - Daniel Nieuwenhuis. Special thanks to Faculty Advisor - Dr. Emanuel Nneji, and Professional Advisor - Joe Klimavich.

Faculty News

Shared Scholarship Event 2016

The Department of Communication faculty participated in the first Shared Scholarship event of the Fall 2016 semester. Suzanne Gainer, MFA, presented her talk, Images of the Arribadas: Photographing the Mass Nesting of the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle in Costa Rica. Julie Frechette, Ph.D., and Dan Hunt, Ph.D. presented their contributions to the book Media Education for a Digital Generation co-edited by Julie Frechette and Rob Williams. Photo below (left to right): Professors Suzanne Gainer, Dan Hunt, and Julie Frechette.
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Carrie Johnson Releases her Debut Novel

Carrie H. Johnson, an adjunct professor in WSU’s Department of Communication, released her debut novel, Hot Flash (Kensington Publishing, June 2016). Hot Flash is the first in the Muriel Mabley mystery series.

“A lively and clever novel that will dare you to put it down. The reader will leave fingerprints pressed into the cover of this one. Top of the ‘must read’ list.”

– John Lutz, New York Times bestselling author.

Barbara Zang and Lyn Branscomb on Good Grammar

"Good Grammar Will Do You Good" is the name of a self-study grammar program compiled by Dr. Barbara Zang and Prof. Lyn Branscomb, both of whom worked over the summer on a Davis Grant through the Center for Teaching & Learning to develop this program and make it available to the University community. The grammar program consists of 10 units with each unit accompanied by a Powerpoint presentation, a learning package with descriptions and worksheets, and a self administering quiz. Users can also access the entire program through a 172-page manual that will soon be available in the library and the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Julie Frechette Explores News Literacy

Dr. Julie Frechette, Professor and Chair, published an article in Journalism Education entitled, “From Print Newspapers to Social Media: News Literacy in a Networked Environment” (Volume 5, number 1). The article is part of the special issue Exploring News Literacy: Preparing Future Journalists and Citizens for Engagement in Global Digital Culture.

College Graduates with Communication Degrees Have the Knowledge and Skills Employers Need

Employers agree—strong communication skills are critical in the contemporary workplace. When responding to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) Job Outlook 2015 survey, employers identified the ability to verbally communicate with others inside and outside the organization and the ability to create and or/edit written reports as among the top ten skills they seek when hiring new college graduates.

What Does a Graduate with a Communication Degree Know, Understand, and Have the Ability to Do?


Graduates are able to adapt to different audiences and adjust message appropriately using a variety of communication channels.


Communication graduates are active listeners who effectively process and respond to all types of messages.


Graduates are keen observers of their environments, able to identify barriers to effective information exchange and adjust their communication practices when necessary.


Communication graduates are prepared to communicate with ethical intention and to evaluate the ethical elements of any communication situation.


Communication graduates recognize and respect diverse perspectives and are able to adapt their communication in diverse cultural contexts.


Communication graduates are able to frame and evaluate local, national, and/or global issues using a communication perspective to productively respond to those issues.

Internships and Part Time Job Opportunities

ASPiRE Internet Radio Station at Seven Hills

Seven Hills Foundation is seeking student interns or volunteers from our program who are seeking course credit, a stipend, or volunteering for work on their ASPiRE Internet Radio station, which helps individuals with developmental disabilities, autism and brain injury in a day program at 150 Goddard Memorial Drive in Worcester. The foundation has built a state-of-the-art internet radio station, with the intent to provide the individuals they support a voice, and an opportunity to express themselves through either a music or talk show forum. While they have many talented staff at Seven Hills who can operate the station, they are seeking more help to launch the station and to build content. Contact Kathleen Myshrall, Vice President of Advancement, Seven Hills Foundation, (508) 983-1302

WMCT-TV Internship. WMCT-TV now has three weekly newscasts, as well as a weekly sports program, so now is the time for interested students looking for hands-on experience to step forward! Contact Dan Guindon,

AV Support Technician Program @ WPI

Interested in a paid, part-time AV Support Technician Program at WPI? Work with one of our department alumni, Matt Pinault, and Stephen Hemming, for this incredible opportunity. Knowledge of AV equipment and experience in AV set-ups involving laptops, projectors, display resolutions, audio recording, sound mixing, wired and wireless microphones, and videotaping are helpful. Training will be provided. Contact Stephen Hemming: Manager, Campus Media Services, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Academic Technology Center
(508) 831-6772

Help Us Grow and Develop -- Share your News with Us!

In order for us to continue to grow and develop, your input is needed! We are seeking to include relevant news about your achievements and interests, along with news about related upcoming events you are planning. Please send an email to Judy Crown,, or stop by to see Department Chair Julie Frechette.