Category Archives: CommCrew

Former New York Times managing editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author is 2013 Visiting Scholar

Gene Roberts

Gene Roberts was in good hands when he started working in newspapers – his father’s.

“My earliest memories are of the newspaper business,” said the Eastern North Carolina native, whose father was a teacher, minister and newspaper publisher. “My father printed the weekly newspaper on a flatbed press and he used to hold me up in his arms and I would shove the paper into the press sheet by sheet.”

Students in ECU’s School of Communication were in good hands, too, when Roberts, longtime reporter and editor at newspapers ranging from the Goldsboro News-Argus to The New York Times, shared his experiences with them as a Visiting Scholar on Oct. 22 through the 24th.

Roberts met with SOC classes during his visit and was the keynote speaker at the school’s annual High School Media Workshop on Oct. 22. In addition, he was the guest of honor at a reception at Emerge Art Gallery in Greenville.

In addition to serving as a national and foreign correspondent at the Times, Roberts had stints as its national editor and managing editor. As executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1972 to 1990, he supervised a reporting staff that won 17 Pulitzer Prizes. He also won a Pulitzer Prize for history with co-author Hank Klibanoff in 2007 for the book “The Race Beat,” a chronicle of the press and the Civil Rights era, and has chaired the Pulitzer Prize board. Roberts, who earned a B.A. in journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1954, also taught at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

‘The more involved you are, the more opportunities you get’

Tori Rodriguez

Tori Rodriguez, senior communication major, was chosen to moderate the Immigration Debate on Sept. 25 in Wright Auditorium. Rodriguez said the chance to moderate the debate between two national speakers came through an email from a professor.

“The more involved you are, the more opportunities you get,” she said.

Rodriguez learned her ability to maintain composure while public speaking through her professional experiences and communication classes, which served her well in moderating the charged debate. Tori’s impartial view on the subject worked in her favor, making it easy to keep the debaters on track.

School of Communication alum receives Distinguished Alumni Award at CommCrew’s Seventh Annual Spring Reception

Valeria Lassite

Valeria Lassiter, who earned her Communication degree at East Carolina University in 1990, was presented the School of Communication’s Distinguished Alumni Award at a reception on April 20, hosted by the School’s alumni organization, CommCrew.

Lassiter is the founder and president of Lassiter & Associates, LLC, a company specializing in strategic partnerships, development, fundraising, communications, marketing, event management and planning. The firm is based in Chevy Chase, Md.

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni with a minimum of four years of work history, outstanding and uncommon achievement in one’s profession, in civic affairs, and/or politics.

“It is an honor for me to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Communication. I am deeply appreciative of my experience at ECU,” Lassiter said.

The award was presented at the School of Communication’s Seventh Annual Spring Reception organized by CommCrew, the School’s alumni and supporters’ organization.

John Cooper ’89 Presented Distinguished Alumnus Award

John Cooper

John Cooper, who earned his Communication degree at East Carolina University in 1989, was given the School of Communication’s Distinguished Alumnus Award at a reception Saturday evening, April 21.

Cooper, Deputy Manager of the Live Desk at NBC News Channel in Charlotte, has worked at the NBC news service for more than 20 years. NBC News Channel distributes national and international video news stories to NBC stations around the country. At the Live Desk, Cooper acts as a producer for field reporters.

Last fall, Cooper visited ECU to be the keynote speaker for the fourth annual High School Media Workshop, which the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association co-sponsored.

“John Cooper has been an outstanding supporter of the School of Communication for a number of years, and we are delighted to recognize his significant contributions by giving him the Distinguished Alumnus Award,” said Dr. Linda Kean, director of the School of Communication.

The 6th Annual Spring Reception is organized by CommCrew, the School of Communication’s alumni and supporters’ organization.

Fulbright Scholar Reflects on Unique Experience in Berlin

Rachel Castro

By Lexi Taylor
School of Communication Intern Spring 2012

Danke. This simple word means “thank you” in German, but to East Carolina University senior Rachel Castro, it signifies a lifetime experience.

Castro was one of 15 young journalists chosen to participate in the German-American Fulbright Commission’s Berlin Capital Program in Berlin, Germany, in December. The Fulbright program is a chance for students and young professionals in the United States to earn merit-based scholarships to study in other countries.

As the only participant selected from the state of North Carolina, Castro jumped at the chance to pursue her dream of studying abroad.

“One of my greatest ambitions is to continue traveling,” Castro said.

Castro found out about this opportunity while taking a summer session journalism course in the School of Communication with ECU professor Dr. Cindy Elmore, who participated in a Fulbright during her career.

“Rachel is a truly amazing writer,” said Elmore. “I was happy to have the opportunity to recommend her.”

While in Berlin, Castro was given an in-depth look into German news and media. She participated in two to four seminars daily on topics such as “How to be a Good Journalist” and  “Germany’s Identity in European Media.” The group was given a tour of prominent political and news structures including the German Parliament and many publishing houses. These visits allowed Castro the opportunity to experience the difference in European and American news and media.

Along with the educational experiences, Castro got a closer look into Germany’s everyday culture. She was able to enjoy one of Germany’s favorite pastimes — eating bratwurst and schnitzel. She also had the opportunity to visit the Christmas markets that are only around for about a month during the holiday season. She was able try food there and buy small, handmade gifts, as well.

On the last day of the program, the group members were allowed a free day to tour the city on their own. This was Castro’s favorite day because she was able to walk the Berlin Wall.

“That was definitely my favorite part of the trip,” she said. “It was such an amazing experience to be able to walk along such a historic site.”

Even though Castro has returned home, she still keeps in contact with the other accomplished young professionals she shared her journey with. They talk frequently through emails and a Facebook group.

To Castro, the program was more than just another item to add to her resume, it was a step closer in her pursuit of studying and writing abroad. Rachel currently works as a staff writer at the ECU News Bureau and recently acquired a position as an ESL teacher with the ECU Language Academy. This new job will prepare Castro for next fall, as she ventures back to Europe to teach English for the year.

“My top choice is Budapest, Hungary,” Castro said. “However, I am just thrilled to continue my travels.”

The School of Communication Helps Better Student-Athletes For the Future

Kelsey Brosi

by Kirstie Russell

Student-athletes have a standard to live up to. Every athlete understands that they not only represent themselves but East Carolina University as well, not just on the track, on the field or in the pool, but at all times. It is not easy to juggle two practices a day, an average of 16 credits, community service and a social life. Although Pirate Kelsey Brosi would be the first to tell you how hard this lifestyle is, she makes it look easy.

Brosi is a junior on the East Carolina Women’s Swim team studying journalism. Following in her sister’s footsteps, Brosi knew East Carolina was the school for her and didn’t decide on her major until accepted to the University.

“I finally decided I wanted to be a broadcast journalist and looked into ECU’s School of Communication. I looked at their program and immediately fell in love,” said Brosi. “All of the classes were something I was extremely interested in and would love to do.”

A concern on every student’s mind is whether the classes they’re taking are really going to help them in the future. The School of Communication makes an effort to prepare its students for their careers after college. The lessons and assignments taught within the School helped prepare Brosi for her summer internship with Sirius XM Radio. The internship taught Brosi how to write and record show promos, create show pitches to be used on air, and edit audio.

The opportunity with Sirius XM radio was “unbelievable” and the hands-on work helped to further her knowledge and experience in the field. With the help of instructors and communication classes, Brosi was more than prepared to handle the fast paced internship.

“This is exactly what I want to do in the future,” said Brosi. “I am glad to know I will be prepared for any job thanks to my classes.”

Broadcast Journalism is a highly competitive field. Continuing one’s education is often advisable. Coming into college, Brosi never gave graduate school a second thought, until she realized the dream of being a broadcast journalist on a TV news station would be much more likely upon furthering her degree.

Brosi attributes a lot of her success as an undergrad to the sport of swimming. As many student-athletes will tell you, without hard work, dedication and large amounts of caffeine, being successful is not an option. Not only is she able to maintain a GPA of 3.6 but also she currently holds a varsity record as one of East Carolina’s fastest swimmers in school history.

“It means a lot to me to be a student-athlete,” said Brosi. “As an athlete, I represent the University. I feel accomplished to know that I am helping the University through my swimming success. I also am proud of myself for being able to do so well in both school and swimming.”

School of Communication Graduate Student Receives Diversity Award from NASCAR

ECU School of Communication graduate student, Brittani Parker, who completed an internship with NASCAR, received special recognition from the organization.

“I still can’t believe it,” Parker said. “I’m elated to know that NASCAR selected me for such a prestigious recognition. It’s truly an honor to have interned with the NASCAR Foundation last summer and to be recognized for the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program Award.”

The award is in recognition of exemplary personal effort to incorporate diversity in the motorsports industry. Parker was recognized at the 4th Annual NASCAR Diversity Awards event in Daytona Beach, Fla. Key individuals from across the NASCAR community were present.

The NASCAR internship took place in the summer of 2010 following Parker’s May  graduation from Winston-Salem State University. Parker’s internship was in the Charlotte office, where the NASCAR Foundation is located. She is now a graduate student in the School of Communication’s master’s degree program. The School of Communication offers a master of arts degree in communication with an emphasis in health communication.

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