November 2013
Nicholson School of Communication


Emmy-Nominated Alumnus Honored

The Nicholson School of Communication (NSC) Alumni Chapter inducted Clay Newbill, ’82, into the Nicholson School of Communication Hall of Fame on Sept. 30. Newbill, executive producer of the Emmy-nominated TV show “Shark Tank,” reminisced about his time as a UCF student and discussed what it has been like to work on some of TV’s biggest hits. He talked in front of a sold-out crowd of 70 guests at the Citrus Club in downtown Orlando. Newbill traveled from California to receive the award in front of an audience that included his family and previous college friends and faculty, in addition to many past Hall of Fame inductees and UCF alumni.

“I could never have imagined that I would receive this award. I am so honored and thankful to celebrate this award with my family,” said Newbill. “At the age of 30, I packed up everything and traveled to California to pursue a career in TV. I have learned that you really can accomplish anything as long as you work hard and never give up.”

NSC Annual Board of VIsitors Meeting

The Nicholson School of Communication (NSC) hosted its annual Board of Visitors (BoV) meeting on Oct.11 at the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management campus. The BoV serves as NSC’s external advisory board and features prominent professionals and alumni from across the country. During the meeting the board was given a state of the school update and a chance to meet with current students from NSC’s global partners, Centric magazine staff and Hollywood Internship Program. They also brainstormed a potential Career Bridge program that would give current students a professional advantage upon graduation.
The BoV is looking for more ways to partner with the students and faculty at the Nicholson School of Communication throughout the upcoming year.

Fall Intern Pursuit

On Oct. 24 NSC student clubs Quotes, Ad Club and the Society of Professional Journalists hosted Intern Pursuit in the Pegasus Ballroom. From 10 a.m. to noon, journalism, radio-television and interpersonal-organizational students participated in the internship fair in the Pegasus Ballroom. Students sat down with members from WKMG, WESH, WOFL, WDBO and ESPN Radio for internships interviews.

Later that evening, student clubs Ad Club and Quotes hosted Intern Pursuit in the Pegasus Ballroom. The biannual internship fair saw more than 200 students in communication-related fields of study, and more than 75 communication firms, corporations, government agencies, media companies and nonprofits.

The event was a great opportunity for students to gain professional networking experience with Orlando employers, learn more about local, post-graduation career opportunities and ultimately to schedule an internship interview.

ICRC 2014 Call for Presentations

The 2014 International Crisis & Risk Communication (ICRC) Conference is calling for presentations in the area of crisis and risk communication, especially those related to the 2014 theme: The Human Element. The theme for the 2014 ICRC Conference calls our attention to the human factors that can cause crises, help mitigate incidents, create and manage communication before, during and after events, as well as the wide range of “audience variables” that affect comprehension, understanding and behavioral response to crisis and risk communication.
[Submit your presentation here]

Director’s Update

NSC Prepares to Launch New B.A. Program in Communication and Conflict

NSC is preparing to unveil a new undergraduate (B.A.) program in Communication and Conflict. The conceptual core of the new major is to center on the study of the various roles of communication in creating, perpetuating, managing and resolving conflict. Many key aspects of study and investigation fall within the subject matter area but would presumably include examples such as language of conflict (and conflict management), rules/patterns/process of communication interaction for escalation/de-escalation of conflict, communication strategies for conflict management, non-verbal aspects, intercultural and gender conflict communication variables among others.

The program is set to include a core group of four required courses: Communication Theories of Interpersonal Conflict, Conflict Communication Research Methods, Conflict & Communication Context and Communication & Conflict. Students would choose five courses from a lengthy list of other existing and newly created communication courses relevant to the area of study. Students would also select two elective courses from units outside of Communication such as Labor Relations Management, Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Finally, there will be a required capstone course (Communication and Conflict Case Studies).

We believe that the new degree program will be popular among the students and have a substantial aftermarket for the knowledge, skills and abilities learned for our students as they seek out careers and employment opportunities.
[Read more]

Faculty & Staff Spotlight

Hodgson Named FCA Teacher of the Year

Human communication faculty member Shari Hodgson was awarded the Florida Communication Association Teacher of the Year Award at its annual convention on Oct. 19. The award honors FCA members and fellow NSC faculty member, Dr. Christine Hanlon, presented the award to Hodgson at the event.

"Shari knows how to deliver excellence and inspire it in others,” said Gino Perrotte, who nominated Hodgson for the award. “This award is well deserved. She's truly an outstanding mentor, friend and woman. We are so fortunate to benefit from her wisdom, knowledge and generous spirit." Congratulations, Shari!

Faculty Members Featured on Higher Ed

Faculty members Dr. Tim Brown, Dr. Ann Miller and Dr. Jim Katt were featured on Higher Ed in October. The article features a recently published study in Communication Education about uncivil behavior among students.

The study was based on surveys of 438 undergraduates from various disciplines about the class they had attended just before taking the survey. They were asked both about their instructors and about whether they engaged in certain "uncivil" behaviors, such as packing up books before class was over or texting during lectures. The researchers then compared attitudes the students had about professors and the students’ behaviors.

Social Media for Academics

On Oct. 21, journalism area coordinator and associate professor Dr. Kimberly Voss presented a session as part of the UCF Library’s Open Access event. Voss’ presentation covered tips on how to use, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter,YouTube, and Slideshare in academia.

Paper Presentations

Dr. Kimberly Voss presented two papers in October. On Oct. 15, Voss conducted a virtual presentation at the Food Studies in Austin, Texas. Her portion was titled, “A Culinary Conversation: Newspaper Recipe Exchange Columns as Early Social Media.” Read more about her presentation here:

On Oct. 18, Voss presented her paper titled, “Quilted News: Mixing Hard and Soft News to Create a New Definition for Women’s News,” at the Florida Communication Association Conference. This paper was co-authored by NSC adjunct Lance Speere.

Student Spotlight

Football First: Brothers Nominated for Wuerffel Trophy

NSC seniors and offensive linemen Jordan and Justin McCray became the first brothers in history to be nominated for the Wuerffel Trophy. The award is handed out to the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

First presented in 2005, the Wuerffel Trophy is named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel, and is presented by the All Sports Association in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. The finalists will be released Nov. 8, with the formal announcement of the winner set for Dec. 9. The presentation will be made at the 45th Annual All Sports Awards Banquet on Feb. 7 in Fort Walton Beach.
[ Read more]

Local Morning Show Coaches Future Broadcasters

Nicholson School of Communication broadcast journalism students were given the opportunity to watch Fox 35 anchors Brown and Kaufeldt film segments that were used during the “Good Day” live broadcast from UCF on Sept. 27. Following the taping, Brown and Kaufeldt offered practical tips and advice for the student reporters.

Radio-television area coordinator Dr. Tim Brown was also on set for the interactive segment. He said, “We have great relationships with all of the stations in town, and certainly Fox 35 is right there as one of the most prominent. Aside from their generous gift of a full news set a few years ago, they take a lot of time to work with our students; you could tell that, even though they were here on site working, they were very interested in helping our students in any way they could - word choice for stories, new ways of looking at a story, tips on anchoring and reporting, even ‘down the road’ career advice. Amy and John are great resources, and they have a big impact on our students.”

The Knightly News students were also invited by Brown and Kaufeldt to attend the live broadcast to observe the production as part of their ongoing efforts preparing the future of broadcast journalism.

UCF Speech Team at the Capital City Classic Invitational

Coach Jerry Sublette and team members Stephen Sherbin II, Miriam Perez, Zavia Menning and Jahi Baldwin made their way to Tallahassee Community College Sept. 27-28 for the Capital City Classic Invitational. Perez placed second in dramatic interpretation and thus qualified for the NFA national tournament in April 2014. Sherbin placed fifth in program oral interpretation.

Other schools at the tournament include: UF, FSU, Florida Southern, Florida State College in Jacksonville, College of Central Florida, Northwest Florida State College, Florida College and Tallahassee Community College.

Candidate for Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award

A total of 30 quarterbacks were honored on the 2013 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List in the preseason, and that list has now been trimmed with interpersonal-organizational communication major Blake Bortles being one of 15 signal-callers in the country to remain a candidate for the prestigious award.

The Golden Arm Award is presented by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. and Transamerica. It has been presented at the end of each season since 1987 to the nation’s top college quarterback, based on character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership and athletic accomplishments.

Candidates must be college seniors or fourth-year juniors on schedule to graduate with their class. The 2013 award will be presented at a ceremony on Dec. 6 in Baltimore, Md.
[Read more]

Knightly News Featured on Wesh-2 News

On Sept. 27, the Knights geared up for the big game against South Carolina and reporter Gail Paschall-Brown of WESH-2 News visited campus to showcase the UCF excitement. Brown stopped by Knightly News to see how student reporters were tackling the big game day. She also offered professional advice on how to become a successful journalist.

"We're very lucky to have such strong relationships with the professional media here in Orlando,” said Dr. Tim Brown, radio-television area coordinator. “What's great is that they not only like helping our students, but that they respect our students' work enough to seek out their insight on important campus events and issues."

College Fashion Week Orlando

On Oct. 5, UCF student group HER Campus produced its biggest event, the first-ever College Fashion Week, at UCF’s Reflecting Pond. The event was a success and NSC seniors Nicholas Osler and Sarah Heyl have much to be proud of for all their hard work.

“Sarah and I got a call from the president of Her Campus, Windsor Hanger Western, in July. She asked us if we wanted to host College Fashion Week at UCF, and of course Sarah and I agreed. It was kind of a surreal moment. It was the first time we had ever spoken to Windsor on the phone since joining the Her Campus team, and she was asking us to do something Sarah and I had only dreamed of doing until that moment,” Osler said.

To learn more about the event and HER Campus, visit If you wish to get involved with HER Campus, contact faculty advisor Dr. Christine Hanlon.

WFLA Investigative Team Visits Knightly News

On Sept. 30, Tampa Bay’s WFLA Channel 8 Investigative Team stopped by the Knightly News room to discuss public records and investigative reporting with NSC students. The visitors included Steve Andrews, senior investigative reporter, and Gordon Dempsey, a veteran photojournalist. They have won numerous Emmys for their work and have been in the industry more than 25 years.

"Guest speakers give our students a sneak peek at what newsrooms are really like,” said Katie Coronado, instructor of Knightly News. “This helps shape their focus and interests especially when they are so close to graduation. A few of the Knightly students’ eyes lit up when Steve and Gordon talked about their stories and how their work has even influenced state law. Seeing student reaction is priceless for an educator."

NSC student Bibi Baksh, who studies broadcast journalism, said, "We were very honored to have Steve Andrews visit our newsroom. It is rare that we get the viewpoint of an investigative journalist who has so many years of experience in the field. Mr. Andrews gave insight on how students can begin a career in investigative journalism and highlighted the importance of contacts and the goal of journalism - which is to make a difference."

American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week

After helping UCF to a historic 38-35 win at No. 8/6 Louisville, UCF junior running back and interpersonal-organizational communication major Storm Johnson was selected as the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 21. Johnson racked up 188 all-purpose yards and two total touchdowns as the Knights topped a top-10 team for the first time in program history.

The Georgia native posted his second career 100-yard rushing game, amassing 109 yards on 18 carries, and also had a career-best 79 yards receiving on four receptions. Johnson’s first touchdown came on a 1-yard rushing score that cut the Cardinals’ lead in half to 28-14 with 4:50 left in the first quarter. Only 1:10 later, he hauled in a 20-yard touchdown pass from NSC's Blake Bortles as UCF went on to score 24-unanswered points. Johnson became the first Knight since 2003 to have at least 75 rushing yards and 75 receiving yards in a game.

Alumni Spotlight

Alumna Publishes eBook

Journalism alumna, Jen Glantz, '10, released her first eBook titled, "ALL MY FRIENDS ARE ENGAGED." It is a collection of funny dating stories--many of which take place at UCF.

“The idea for the eBook came to life when I kept seeing my Facebook newsfeed flooded with announcements of friends getting engaged,” said Glantz. She had been blogging for more than two years about funny stories that filled her day-to-day life on her blog The Things I Learned From. “I thought it would be a cool, relatable, and fresh idea to put together a book of short humorous stories that surround the disasters and awkward silences we all face on a first date.”

Co-Anchor for Daybreak

Amanda Castro, '12, was promoted at 41 NBC/WMGT in Macon, Ga. She is the new co-anchor of the morning newscast, Daybreak.

Alumna Launches Entrepreneurial Jewelry Company

Jessica Almanla, ’10, launched her online jewelry boutique this summer called Total Betty Society. Prompted by a life-long love for anything fashion related, Almanla quit the corporate routine and fully embraced her passion. Now she is the go-to girl for finding and styling statement accessories that won’t break the bank. combines all the tools a woman could need to live a beautiful, confident, and fashion-forward life. Finding the perfect accessory to match a favorite outfit is stress-free on this website. The clean layout makes navigation simple, and shopping by look, accessory type, or color allows for effective treasure hunting. The Betty Banter Blog section of Almanla’s website has useful tips and tricks on a variety of subjects, from Do It Yourself tutorials to Must-Have Monday stylist picks. And, as Almanla reminds us, “When you become a member of, an instant ten dollars is added to your account. Inviting friends to join will also help you earn cash towards purchases!”
[ Read more]

Make a Gift and Support the Nicholson School of Communication

Help improve the Nicholson School of Communication by returning to the school as a guest speaker, through a monetary donation or by providing internship opportunities for our students. For more information, please contact Amanda Nethero at or to donate click here:

Have News? 

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Intercom is designed to provide you with timely and relevant information about the Nicholson School of Communication. Stories featuring news, faculty and student highlights, NSC events and other items of interest are included in each issue. Address changes can be sent to

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