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Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies

News & Events 2013-2014

Garry Bolan honored at senior recognition banquet

Posted May 5, 2014


TUPR Networking Fair 2014
Professor Garry Bolan and MCCS faculty.


Faculty honored departing lecturer Garry Bolan along with over 45 top seniors and scholarship winners at the department's annual Student Recognition Awards Banquet, held Friday, May 2, 2014. Seniors were chosen by professors based on their GPA (3.25 and above) and their contribution to the classroom.

Garry Bolan was honored for his 17 years of service as an MCCS faculty member. Bolan graduated from Towson State College’s Speech and Drama Department as a Public Address major. Before returning to his alma mater as a faculty, he worked as Director of Advertising & Publications at Maryland Casualty Company and held other positions at PHH Corporation, and Integrated Health Services. Since he started teaching at Towson in 1996, Professor Bolan has taught 18 different courses in public relations, advertising and communication studies. Over the years, more than 100 Baltimore area non-profit and profit organizations have been served through his Public Relations campaigns class. Bolan has also been instrumental in growing our sister university relationship with St. Petersburg Electrotechnical University in Russia. He Participated in a faculty exchange program in 2006, and has coordinated annual student exchange program since 2008. Bolan has supervised hundreds of internships in organizations in and outside Maryland. His dedication to alumni relations was also recognized by the university when he was the recipient of the 1999 TU Faculty Alumni Service Award. In 2005, Prof. Bolan created Richard T. Bolan Scholarship in honor of his brother. The scholarship is awarded to students with Outstanding Achievement in Integrated Communication.

Lingling Zhang receives promotion


Associate Professor Lingling Zhang
Associate Professor Lingling Zhang


Posted May 5, 2014

Professor Lingling Zhang was promoted from Assistant to Associate Professor during the 2013-2014 school year. Dr. Zhang joined the faculty of Towson University in 2008 as an assistant professor after receiving her Ph.D. in mass communication from Washington State University. She teaches mass communication research methods, theory, and effects courses, as well as a Towson Seminar on media literacy. Her research is focused on cognitive processing of narratives and sociocultural and psychological effects of media messages. Specifically, she has conducted research on entertainment education, health information campaigns, media and stereotypes, and media use and decision making. Her work has appeared in Howard Journal of Communications and Mass Communication and Society.


Nancy Giles gives #TUjday keynote address

Posted April 17, 2014

Nancy Giles of CBS Sunday Morning
Nancy Giles of CBS Sunday Morning poses with Towson University journalism students.

Over 200 students, faculty and guests attended the #TUjday keynote address given by Nancy Giles of CBS Sunday Morning. Giles spoke of her journalism career in a talk titled "Stores from the work front: From working girl to CBS Sunday Morning." The April 17 talk was followed by a paenl on "Telling Stories with Data," featuring Amy Webb of Webbmedia Group; Lee Raine, director of the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project; and Jacob Harris, senior software architect for The New York Times.

The keynote evening was the highlight of a week-long series of events, including four in-class speakers and a master class titled "Designing for the Web," featuring current and former members of The Baltimore Sun's interactive design team: Adam Marton, Stokely Baksh, Dana Amihere and Greg Kohn. Other speakers during the week included John McIntyre, night content production manager of The Baltimore Sun; Harry Jaffee, senior editor of the Washingtonian; Robert Lang, WBAL radio reporter; and broadcast news reporter Byron Scott.

Read more about #TUjday and Nancy Giles here and here.

TU PR group holds networking fair

Posted May 5, 2014


TUPR Networking Fair 2014


The Towson University Public Relations Group hosted the annual Networking Fair April 16, 2014.

Students met potential employers and attended a panel presentation featuring Kelsey Haywood, Advertising and Marketing Manager at Girls' Life magazine; Alison Krempa, Senior Account Executive at IMRE; and Ron Owens, President of Ron Owens and Associates, LLC.

Top recruiters included Kauffman Creative Services, Vocus, Media Works, WCBM Radio and Stanley Black & Decker.

PR students tour Ravens practice facility

Posted April 28, 2014

The TUPR Group toured the Under Armour Performance Center, the Owings Mills home of the NFL Ravens, April 10. Students viewed the indoor and outdoor playing fields, the team's hall of fame, and broadcast, TV and weight rooms. The tour was led by Patrick Gleason, assistant director of public relations.

Professors attend digital journalism conference

Posted April 7, 2014

Six professors attended Journalism Interactive 2014, a conference focused on digital media teaching strategies for journalism educators. The conference was held April 4-5 at the University of Maryland, College Park. Session topics included visual storytelling, data scraping, social metrics, entrepreneurship and programming. Attendees included: Jennifer Atwater, JoAnne Broadwater, Beth Haller, John Kirch, Thom Lieb and Stacy Spaulding.

Alumni receives Sports Photographer of the Year award


MCCS alumni Patrick Smith '09
MCCS alumni Patrick Smith '09.


Posted March 31, 2014

Patrick Smith '09 has been named Sports Photographer of the Year by the Pictures of the Year International Competition. He has also been named Sports Photojournalist of the Year by the 2014 National Press Photographers Association’s Best Of Photojournalism contest for the second year in a row. Smith, who was also a two-time Utah Photographer of the Year and the 2013 White House News Photographers Association Photographer of the Year, is a freelance photojournalist in the Baltimore-Washington area.


Russian PR students visit MCCS classes

Posted March 18, 2014

Seventeen public relations majors from St. Petersburg Electrotechnical University in Russia are participated in public relations and mass media classes at Towson University. The students are part of a 21-year-old exchange program in advertising, public relations and marketing. Mass Communication and Communication Studies Lecturer Garry Bolan hosts the Russian students during their visit. “The visiting Russian students help our students better understand differences and similarities between the U.S. and another culture,” said Bolan. Read the full story.

Communication students participate in Tiger Pride Day

Posted Feb. 25, 2014

Students from Carol Norton's Business and Professional Communication class joined Towson University’s Student Government Association to lobby legislators during Tiger Pride Day, Feb. 19. Along with department chair Cynthia Cooper, students met with state senators and delegates from Maryland districts to discuss the importance of funding higher education in order to keep tuition affordable. Students also lobbied for capital projects such as a new Health Professionals Building and urged legislators to increase the minimum wage.

MCCS professor named Educator of the Year

Posted Dec. 12, 2013

Senior Lecturer Les Potter

Senior Lecturer Les Potter

Senior Lecturer Les Potter has been named the 2013 Educator of the Year by the Maryland chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Professor Potter will be honored at the Best in Maryland Awards Gala Dec. 5.

Professor Potter teaches courses in public relations writing, planning, strategy and management. For 10 years, he has served as faculty advisor to the Towson chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Prior to coming to Towson, Professor Potter was President of Les Potter Incorporated, an international consultancy he founded in 1998. His firm helped organizations worldwide use communication as a strategic management tool to boost organizational effectiveness. He has also served as chairman of the International Association of Business Communicators and was named an IABC Fellow in 1997, the organization’s highest honor. He earned accreditation as an Accredited Business Communicator in 1978.

Follow Professor Potter on his blog, More With Les, or on Twitter: @LesPotter. Read more at TU News.

Professors attend National Communication Association convention

Posted Dec. 12, 2013

MCCS scholars attended the annual convention of the National Communication Association in Washington D.C. Nov. 21-24. MCCS contributions included:

Professor selected to attend Poynter Institute seminar

Posted Dec. 2, 2013

Lecturer Jenny Atwater has been selected to attend the Poynter Institute's seminar, A New Curriculum for a New Journalism: Adding Basic Data, Visualization and Digital Storytelling to Journalism Courses Jan. 6-8. Professor Atwater is one of 12 media professors selected to attend the workshop, and will use the information to enrich her courses in journalism, news writing and reporting.

Students plan, host Communication Studies conference

Posted Nov. 15, 2013

Keynote speaker Stacey Knoppel
Keynote speaker Stacey Knoppel, director of sales and marketing for the Baltimore Convention Center.

Students of COMM 422/522 Conference and Meeting Management planned and hosted the annual Connecting with COMMunity professional conference Nov. 15, 2013. This year's event, themed "Narrowing the Gap to Professionalism," featured keynote speaker Stacey Knoppel, director of sales and marketing for the Baltimore Convention Center.

Panel discussion participants included: Tara Oursler, chief of staff for Rep. C. A. Dutch Rupperberger; Tina Powell, director of business management for Beacon Wealth Management; Bryan Sartory, sales exectuvie for the Middle Marketing Division of Vocus; and Brian Vetter, exectuive vice president of business development forTessemae's Dressing.

A resume workshop was given by Laura Smith, internship coordinator and career advisor liason to the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

The course is taught by professor Carol Norton.


Silent auction raises money for Wainio Scholarship

Posted Nov. 5, 2013

Over 200 people attended a silent auction and reception to benefit for The Honor Elizabeth Wainio '95 Communications Memorial Scholarship. The Oct. 26 event was held at Federal Hill's Ropewalk tavern. The Fall 2013 winners were Alexa Lazerow and Andrea Rizkallah. They were both awarded $4,797.

Department kickoff 2013-2014
Student groups recruited new members at the department's fall kickoff event.

Department hosts kickoff event for 2013-2014

Posted Sept. 19, 2013

Over 160 students attended the department's first-ever fall kickoff event, held Sept. 18 in the University Union's Cheseapeake Room. Students were able to mingle with professors and learn about the department's student groups. The event was organized by professors Garry Bolan, Carol Norton, Maggie Lears, Jenny Atwater and Catie Micklewitz, the department's event coordinator.

Serbian disability advocates to visit MCCS

Posted Sept. 18, 2013

With the Hussman Center for Adults with Autism, MCCS will host representatives from the Serbian disability organization, Centre Living Upright, and the Novi Sad Journalism School in Serbia, as part of the U.S. Department of State sponsored Professional Fellows EMPOWER Program, administered by Mobility International USA (MIUSA). The program is being hosted on Towson's campus by Professor Beth Haller.

This two-way exchange program aims to expand the capacity of organizations in the U.S. and abroad to promote inclusive communities and advance disability rights around the world. Towson University is working on a long-term project with the Serbian organizations to create and disseminate effective media messages surrounding disability rights. Emphasis will be placed on the use of social media to advocate for the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in all sectors of society.

During their time in Maryland, representatives will meet with disability rights advocates and journalists, audit journalism training courses and develop a long-term project that will help illuminate disability rights in Serbia. The Towson University-Serbia project will include training Serbians with disabilities in both media advocacy and self-advocacy, educating Novi Sad journalism students on how to report on disability issues, creating a television show by and for Serbians with disabilities and developing a media monitoring scheme.

At the conclusion of the program, all overseas participants and their U.S. hosts will gather in Washington, D.C., for a three-day conference facilitated by MIUSA, Oct. 31- Nov. 2. Read more at TUnews.

MCCS student selected for ONA '13 newsroom

Posted July 31, 2013

Senior Brandi Bottalico
MCCS senior Brandi Bottalico

Journalism & New Media senior Brandi Bottalico has been chosen to participate in the student newsroom at the annual Online News Association Conference & Awards Banquet Oct. 17-20 in Atlanta. Twenty students were selected from over 100 applicants to be mentored by working digital journalists and journalism professors as they cover the conference using a range of formats, including interactive text, graphics, live blogging, slideshows, audio and video. Bottalico currently serves as the News Editor of The Towerlight. In addition to working with Word on the Street, a street newspaper produced homeless volunteers in Baltimore, Bottalico also writes a column for the Indypendent Reader on youth issues in Baltimore.

MCCS welcomes new faculty, staff

Posted July 31, 2013

MCCS is welcoming several new faculty and staff for the 2013-2014 school year:

Stephen Davis has been appointed a Lecturer in Forensics. He graduated in 2005 with a B.A. from Bard College, where he studied studio/performance art and was the founder of an intercollegiate policy debate team that still competes at the highest levels of national and regional competition. Upon graduating from Bard he worked as the Head Debate Coach there until 2008 when he moved to Baltimore to coach Towson to the most competitively successful season in their history.

Catie Mickletz is the department's new Academic Program Coordinator. Mickletz has worked in Towson's Theatre Department for the past two years and has experience in scheduling and event planning.

Cylor Spaulding has been appointed an Assistant Professor. Spaulding has more than nine years of public relations industry experience, working at agencies such as Rogers & Cowan and Weber Shandwick. He has worked with clients across multiple industries ranging from technology and entertainment to non-profit. As such, he has managed media relations and consumer relations campaigns for multiple clients, including Activision, EA Sports, The Hazelden Foundation, id Software, Microsoft, and Cepia, and has twice been part of an award-winning public relations team. Spaulding comes from the University of Miami, where he taught PR writing and is currently finishing his Ph.D. in Communications. His research focuses on public relations from a historical perspective as it pertains to the LGBT community. He holds an M.A. in Strategic Public Relations from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University.


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