Year in Review 2020
During the 2019-2020 academic year, WVU Reed College of Media faculty, students and staff hosted events, received national recognitions, led projects to make a positive impact on our communities, initiated new programs and were published on the front page of a national news outlet.
BRANDJRNY WORKS WITH POINT PLEASANT, WEST VIRGINIA
It’s a town rich with history and folklore as home to the 1774 Battle of Point Pleasant and the Mothman legend, and a community on the rise with diversified tourism attractions and the infrastructure and amenities to support visitors. The College’s BrandJRNY team, led by Associate Professor Rita Colistra and Teaching Assistant Professor David Smith, created a cohesive brand identity for Point Pleasant which included storytelling pieces, media strategies to promote tourism and plans for community leaders to manage and maintain the new brand for long-term sustainability.
“I’ve seen firsthand how showing passion for the state and commitment in the classroom,
coupled with the enthusiasm and dedication of community members, can lead to positive
results. Our students are doing some of their best work because they feel invested
and committed. It’s a win- win for the students and the communities.” practice
what I learned in Martin Hall.”
PATRICK ORSAGOS NAMED MR. MOUNTAINEER
Patrick Orsagos, a 4+1 journalism student from Avon, Ohio, was named the 2019 Mr. Mountaineer. The prestigious Mountaineer Week award recognizes exemplary academic achievement and extracurricular involvement. Orsagos is a member of the Honors College and a student ambassador for the College of Media. He is the president of WVU Friends of Literacy, president of the WVU Student Media Coalition and an English as a second language tutor with the Literacy Volunteers of Monongalia and Preston Counties.
The annual WVU Reed College of Media outstanding alumni awards acknowledge exceptional professional achievements as well as commitment and service to the College. This year, Veteran award-winning journalist Ken Ward Jr. (BSJ, 1990) received the P.I. Reed Achievement Award; policy reporting rising star Mackenzie Mays (BSJ, 2012) won the Young Alumna Award; data-driven B2B marketer Cyndi Greenglass (M.S. IMC, 2014) received the Commitment to Service Award; and former advertising and PR executive Alexis Pugh (BSJ, 1973) was presented with the Friend of the College award.
PLAY LIKE A GIRL: THE NEXT GENERATION OF WOMEN IN SPORTS MEDIA
Sports media trailblazers spoke about their accomplishments, struggles and the future of the industry in WVU’s Diversity Week keynote event. Speakers included Paola Boivin, first female member of the College Football Playoff Committee; Meghan Duggan, captain of the U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team and three-time Olympic medal winner; Tomika Ferguson, Virginia Commonwealth University assistant professor; and Kelli Zinn, deputy athletics director at WVU.
REMOTE INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
The Coronavirus pandemic forced many companies to rescind in-person summer internship opportunities for College of Media students. In response, the College was able to offer a limited number of virtual internships to returning seniors at the Dominion Post, Impakt Results, Mon Health, NPR Nantucket, WBOY-TV and the WVU School of Medicine. Each student was awarded a $2000 stipend for their work throughout the summer, funded by student enhancement accounts established by John (BSJ, 1978) and Cindy Walls, Betsy Klebe Dziedzic (BSJ, 1979) and Douglas and Scott (BSJ, 1975) Widmeyer.
INTEGRATED AND DATA MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS SCHOLARSHIPS
Four students were awarded scholarships from the College’s General IMC/DMC Scholarship Fund. The competitive awards are given to students each fall and are the first and only scholarships dedicated to online graduate students in the College of Media. Saresa Bass of Edmond, Oklahoma; Kaitlyn Lopez of Morgantown, West Virginia; and Jesse Yang of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, are the recipients of the IMC scholarship, and Peyton Neely of Raleigh, North Carolina, received the DMC scholarship.
FACULTY AND STUDENTS CONTRIBUTE TO WASHINGTON POST STORY
Emily Corio, teaching associate professor, and journalism senior Douglas Soule were co-authors on a Washington Post story that tracks the state’s nearly 20-year history of lawsuits against drug companies and exposes the opioid epidemic’s effect on children in West Virginia. The article, “‘They looked at us like an easy target’: Inside West Virginia's opioid battle,” published online and on the front page of the printed edition in October. Corio spent months reporting on the story with Debbie Cenziper, a contributing reporter at The Post and former assistant professor of journalism at the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs. Cenziper and GW journalism senior Kelly Hooper are also co-authors on the story, which lists an additional six students and WVU faculty member Mary Kay McFarland as contributors.
FIVE FELLOWSHIPS ANNOUNCED FOR NEWSTART INITIATIVE
Five journalists from across the country were awarded NewStart fellowships to study Media Solutions and Innovation at the College of Media. NewStart and the new one-year online master’s program were created in partnership with the West Virginia Press Association to train the next generation of community media owners and publishers. Funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports the five fellowships.
STUDENTS AND PROFESSORS WIN INTERNATIONAL AWARDS
College of Media students and faculty won five Telly Awards this year in categories that included storytelling in online commercials, non-broadcast social issues, social media video and immersive and mixed reality. Telly Awards are the international, premier honor for outstanding local, regional and cable productions. The 2020 competition had more than 13,000 entries, which were judged by hundreds of industry experts.
100 DAYS IN APPALACHIA RECEIVES CONTINUED SUPPORT
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Facebook Journalism Project (FJP), with the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, awarded $250,000 to support 100 Days’ social documentary storytelling, an editorial advisory board and reporting toolkit ensuring proper coverage of Appalachia. The regional media outlet incubated at the Media Innovation Center was also the only newsroom in West Virginia selected for a grant from the FJP to support local coverage of COVID-19.