Category Archives: SOC Students

Students venturing across the pond for School of Communication first study abroad to London

Study Abroad in London

Junior communication major Caitlin Arneson is counting down the days until summer school.

But she won’t be in spending six weeks in a classroom in the Joyner East building. Instead, she’ll be earning six credit hours in London, one of the world’s leading global cities. She is one of 20 communication majors who will participate in the School of Communication’s first Summer Study Abroad to London.

The program follows last summer’s successful School of Communication Study Abroad to central Europe, in which communication students traveled to Poland, Slovenia and Hungary, taking courses in Intercultural Communication and English for Global Communication.

Arneson, who is from Northern Virginia, also was a student in that program.

She said she decided to enroll in a second study abroad program because she “absolutely loved” the Poland program. “So when I heard that there was another opportunity this summer, I decided I couldn’t miss it,” Arneson said. “Studying abroad gives class a whole other dynamic . . . Field trips and real life experiences are so much more in depth and relatable than any textbook could ever be.”

The London study abroad program will include courses in feature writing and international news communication. During their two weeks in London, students will visit the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), Bloomberg News, al Jazeera-London, the British Parliament, a contract magazine publishing house, the Guardian newspaper, and more.

Students will live two-to-a-room in apartments in the Kensington Olympia area of the city. This will enable them to save money by preparing some of their own meals in their own kitchens. The apartments also have washers and dryers and Internet.

The cost for the trip, which includes tuition for six credit hours, two weeks’ accommodations in London, local transit in London, two group dinners, the BBC and Parliament tour fees, insurance and Internet, is $1,958 per student.

Arneson, an aspiring journalist, says she hopes to learn more about both English culture and journalism while on the trip.

Communication faculty members Cindy Elmore and Barbara Bullington are leading the program.

Student’s goals and determination net internship with Charlotte Bobcats

Madison Briner with Michael Jordan

By Amber Brandau

Sports fanatic and School of Communication student, Madison Briner, initially had a stressful and frustrating experience getting an internship for Fall 2013 until she came across an open position with the Charlotte Bobcats.

“I remember last summer I spent hours and hours applying to internships across the country,” Briner said. “I went on multiple interviews, but no offers. It was incredibly frustrating.”

Briner’s perseverance and self-awareness eventually paid off when she became the Event Presentation intern for the Charlotte Bobcats. She applied for the internship after reasoning that the position fit her active and social personality.

“Each day there was something new and exciting to experience,” Briner said. “You can market and plan all you want, but what happens in the game is uncontrollable and unplanned, which I think is exciting.”

Not only did Briner leave her internship with invaluable hands-on experience, but she also left with advice from the senior vice president. Briner said she was blown away by his knowledge and willingness to help the interns.

“It was a lot of work, I met a lot of people, and I enjoyed every second of it,” she said. “I worked hard to get the internship, and I worked hard while I was there. It is important to dream big, but you have to do the little things to get there.”

(See a full Q&A profile of Madison Briner’s internship experience, written by School of Communication intern Amber Brandau.)

Local media sports director addresses Communication graduates

Brian Bailey

He loves sports, loves Greenville, and loves the Pirate Nation. And, on Friday Dec. 13, WNCT and Pirate Radio Sports Director Brian Bailey shared some love with a special group of Pirates when he addressed the Fall 2013 graduating seniors at the School of Communication Graduate Recognition Ceremony in Wright Auditorium.

Bailey has called Eastern North Carolina and Greenville home for nearly 30 years. After graduating with a degree in speech communication from Old Dominion University in 1984, Bailey started as a sports director for a Virginia newspaper, but quickly found his calling as a sports broadcaster when he joined WNCT’s broadcast team in 1984.

As a broadcaster, Bailey has won 22 Emmy awards and has been honored by the North Carolina High School Baseball Coaches, the Raleigh and Greenville Hot Stove Leagues, the North Carolina Special Olympics and by the City of Greenville for community service.

“I chose my career because I love sports. I either wanted to be a sportscaster, sports writer, or teacher (coach). I decided to try sports casting first and it just stuck,” Bailey said. Along the way, he’s devoted his spare time to coaching the Exceptional Community Baseball League for special needs children as well as a fast pitch traveling softball team. As far as advice for college students preparing for the real world, Bailey emphasized being well-versed.

“I have been lucky that I have worked in television, radio and have written an Internet column for years. I knew how to shoot video with the camera when I was hired. The more you can do, especially now with websites and blogs and everything else, the better the chance to be hired,” he said.

Helping prepare students with real life sports reporting and producing experiences, Bailey has mentored dozens of ECU communication students including current student Nicole Clark who said she is a testament to Bailey’s gift as a teacher.

“He has shared with me his passion for his work, his incredible knowledge of all things sports, his commitment to excellence in broadcasting and his talent for creating a network of contacts,” Clark said.

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.

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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