Category Archives: SOC News

Dr. Ian Brodie speaks October 12 about Fake News and Real Funny: Navigating Political Stance in The Onion, John Oliver, and George Carlin.

Dr. Ian Brodie

The English Department, the School of Communication, and the Harriet College of Arts and Sciences are co-sponsoring visiting International Scholar Dr. Ian Brodie on Friday, October 12, 2018 at 3 p.m. in Bate 1028. His presentation is on Fake News and Real Funny: Navigating Political Stance in The Onion, John Oliver, and George Carlin. Dr. Brodie is a professor of folklore at Cape Breton University in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada

International Visiting Scholar Dr. Peter Schulz visits the School of Communication

Visiting Scholar Dr. Peter Schulz from the University of Lugano in Switzerland.

We welcome visiting scholar Dr. Peter Schulz to ECU and the School of Communication October 2 through October 6.

Schulz is a Professor of Communication at the University of Lugano (USI) in Switzerland. During his visit to ECU, Dr. Schulz will lecture to multiple classes including Public Relations Campaigns, Public Relations Strategies, Media Effects and Health Communication.

Dr. Schulz’ visit is part of the School of Communication’s efforts to continuously build international relationships and create a globally diverse learning environment for our students and our faculty.

Face Your Fear: Public Speaking Workshop

Speech Communication Center host Face Your Fear public speaking workshop on 10/3

The Speech Communication Center is hosting a Face Your Fear public speaking workshop Wednesday, October 3, 2018 from 10 am until 12 pm in Joyner Library 2409.

The Face Your Fear event includes a panel on using public speaking professionally and special guest speakers include:

Dr. Virginia Hardy, Vice Chancellor Student Affairs;

Coach Heather Macy, Head Basketball Coach, Women’s Basketball;

Jordan Koonts, SGA President ECU Student Government Association.

This event, like all SCC events, is FREE! Contact today at 252-328-2790 or

Event schedule:

10:00 am
Welcome! Mix and Mingle with students and staff. Light refreshments will be offered.

10:15-10:45 am
Panel presentation; Using Public Speaking Professionally. Speakers include:

Dr. Virginia Hardy, Vice Chancellor Student Affairs;
Coach Heather Macy, Head Basketball Coach, Women’s Basketball;
Jordan Koonts, SGA President ECU Student Government Association.

10:45 -11:15 am
Speaking anxiety tips presented by Kelsey Rhodes, SCC Assistant Director ECU Speech Communication Center; Caroline Umphlett, Academic Advisor ECU Academic Advising & Support Center.

11:15 -12:00 pm
Impromptu Speaking Contest with prizes

ECU alum and WITN co-anchor Lynette Taylor is the SOC Graduation Recognition Ceremony Keynote Speaker on May 4th at 3 p.m. in Wright Auditorium by Mariah Smith

ECU alum and WITN co-anchor will address SOC Spring 2018 graduating class on May 4 at 3 p.m. in Wright Auditorium

Lynette Taylor calls herself a “drama queen.” Her love for acting and theater throughout her high school years in Durham, led her eventually to broadcast journalism at East Carolina University. She graduated from ECU with a degree in electronic journalism and immediately started working with WITN as an associate producer. Later that year, she accepted a position at WITN as a reporter and later was promoted to weekend morning anchor.

After four years at WITN, she moved to Florida to become the morning and noon anchor for WCJB-TV 20 in Gainesville, Florida. During her time at WCJB-TV 20, she featured local adoptable children in the foster care system and many were successfully adopted. While there, she mentored aspiring University of Florida journalism students and became an honorary Mistress of Ceremony for the Ronald E. McNair Program at the University of Florida.

Taylor eventually returned to her beloved Carolina roots as a weekday reporter for WITN and in 2008 teamed up with Dave Jordan as co-anchor for WITN News at six.  At home, Taylor is married to an East Carolina University Professor and has two dogs, Henri and Murphy. She enjoys spending time with her family, who still live in Eastern North Carolina. She is an award-winning Associated Press Journalist and has received several awards for her work in the community. She is a Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society Member, ECU Alumni Board member, Independent Beauty Consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics and Executive Director of her Godmother’s up and coming foundation.

We are pleased to have Ms. Taylor as our keynote speaker at the School of Communication Recognition Ceremony which will be held at three o’clock May 4th at Wright Auditorium. Graduating seniors should report to the 1st floor of the Bates building at two o’clock to prepare for the ceremony which will be streamed via a link on the School of Communication webpage. To view graduation live go to

The link will go live 10 minutes before the ceremony starts. You do not need a password at that time.


Broadening Horizons with International Exchange Programs

American University of Sharjah. Dr. Linda Kean visited the UAE in March to promote the College of Fine Arts and Communication Summer Exchange Program.

Dr. Linda Kean, Director of the School of Communication, traveled throughout the United Arab Emirates in March promoting the College of Fine Arts and Communication Summer Program during Summer Session II 2018.


Kean visited Abu Dhabi University, the University of Sharjah, the American University of Sharjah, and Higher Colleges of Technology to recruit students to ECU for the summer. This unique opportunity is part of the CFAC and SOC’s global initiative to build relationships with universities around the world and create exchange programs for both faculty and students. Visiting students can take numerous classes in the School of Communication and the School of Art and Design, such as Video News Performance, Public Speaking, Web Design, Foundation and Intermediate Drawing, Printmaking Survey, and Typography and Letterpress. Other general electives include Introduction to Theatre, World Geography, General Biology, General Chemistry I, and Introduction to Film Studies. Additionally, faculty and students in the exchange programs get to explore cultural opportunities beyond the university.


During Summer Session II of 2016, the School of Communication hosted students and a faculty member from the University of Sharjah in the UAE. Kean’s efforts abroad this past month support continued efforts to build educational and opportunity bridges for the College of Fine Arts and Communication.


To read about the 2016 visit, go to

ECU Communication Professor Engages Students and Expands Horizons by Jordan Koonts

Spring Break 2018 North Ireland Study Abroad
A professor’s love for communication studies has a global reach and a lasting impact.

Dr. Rebecca Dumlao of East Carolina University’s School of Communication has found a unique way to share her innovative studies with students across the globe. And now, some will get a chance to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience alongside her.

Dr. Dumlao has a passion for communication studies and the benefits they can entail. Lauded for her expertise in the field by School of Communication Director, Dr. Linda Kean, Dumlao is regarded by many as a leading scholar of communication. “Dr. Dumlao’s expertise in communication and conflict is long-standing,” says Dr. Kean.

This expertise has helped propel Dr. Dumlao to the forefront of many global outlets and publications. Dumlao’s work has been featured in journals such as the Journal of Family Communication, Science Communication, and Health Communication. Dr. Dumlao is also currently completing a book on collaborative communication.

In addition to being a well-published author, Dr. Dumlao is known by the ECU School of Communication as a great mentor to both students and her peers. In 2013, Dr. Dumlao received the Robert L. Sigmon Award for Service Learning as a testament to her work across the department. Dr. Dumlao also serves on the University Service Learning Committee for ECU.

It is this passion for service through scholarly work that has driven Dr. Dumlao to spearhead a student trip to Northern Ireland. This spring break, Dr. Dumlao and the School of Communication are partnering with the Honors College and the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement (CLCE). Along with Amizade, a nonprofit service-learning organization in Northern Ireland, ECU students will learn how cultures and past histories, including conflicts addressed by the Belfast (Peace) Agreement of 1998, still impact communication and daily life for residents. Students will learn to work collaboratively through hands-on, service-learning experiences at youth clubs. They also will visit with officials who have experience in community-based learning, peace-building and peace-keeping efforts. Students taking Dr. Dumlao’s Honors Seminar, “Communication, Conflict and Community Engagement” will work along students participating in the Alternative Break Experience during this trip.

Dr. Dumlao is no stranger to studying communication and conflicts within another culture. She has previously worked and instructed students in both Trinidad and Tobago and in the Netherlands. To Director Linda Kean, this trip is yet another testament to Dumlao’s “commitment to global teaching and learning.”

The East Carolina University Alternative Break Experience has a mission of “Pushing Boundaries and Creating Change.” Along with Dr. Dumlao, Dr. Dennis McCunney, director of the CLCE, and Nichelle Shuck, Associate Director of Student Leadership and Educational Programs in the CLCE, will co-lead this unique experience for ECU students.

The 2018 trip will run from March 2nd until March 10th and will engage students as they study in Northern Ireland. This first-of-a-kind international service-learning program at ECU involves cross-campus partnerships between the Honors College, the School of Communication, and the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement.

SOC Annual Career Panel & Opportunity Fair is February 14

Image from 2017 SOC Career Fair. An employer us handing information to a student.

The annual SOC Career Panel and Career Opportunity Fair is February 14, 2018 from 1-4 p.m. in Mendenhall.

The Career Panel is from 1-2 p.m. in Mendenhall 244. This year’s panel guests include Melissa Abrahamsen, News Director at WITN; Stephen McNulty, Public Information Officer for the Town of Cary, NC; Gray Williams, Sports Sales Manager at Greenville Pitt County Convention and Visitors Bureau; Kat Everett, College Recruiter for Red Ventures; and Amanda Miller, Independent Consultant Communications/Digital/Marketing Strategy and Execution at Mavis Consulting.

Following the Career Panel, the Career Opportunity Fair is from 2-4 p.m. in the Mendenhall Great Rooms.

SOC Fair Attendees:

MrBeast Youtube Production
Greenville Utilities
ENC Stop Human Trafficking Now
Red Ventures
Carolina Mudcats Baseball Club
American Red Cross
ECU Campus Recreation & Wellness
The Association of Mexicans in North Carolina (AMEXCAN) Inc.
WCTI – News Channel 12
Washington Newsmedia LLC.
Eastern Radiologists

This SOC Career Fair is exclusively for communication majors and minors. Dress in at least business casual, preferably business professional and come with polished resumes in hand. Registration closes at noon February 12.

Register Today:

SOC Spring 2018 Career Panel


ECU alumna and Air Force Major Natassia Cherne will speak as the keynote speaker for the December 2017 Graduation Recognition Ceremony. By Emory Saia

ECU Alum Natassia Cherne is SOC keynote speaker at Fall 2017 Fall Graduation Recognition Ceremony

Talented East Carolina University alumna Natassia Cherne will make her way back to ECU as the keynote speaker at the December 2017 School of Communication Graduate Recognition Ceremony.

Natassia Cherne graduated from ECU in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. A major in the U.S. Air Force, she has served her country at home and abroad, including during deployments to Okinawa and Afghanistan. Currently she is Assistant Director of Operations and Operations Flight Commander, 1st Combat Camera Squadron at Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina.

From May 2011 to July 2014 Maj. Cherne was Deputy Director of Public Affairs and advisor to the 18th Wing commander at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. She led a team of 27 in media relations, civic outreach, internal relations and social. Okinawa is known to be a difficult political environment, where many residents wish the U.S. would leave its military bases and demonstrations occur frequently.

She also served as Media Relations Officer in the Combined Air and Space Operations Center at Al Udeied, Qatar, for eight months during 2013. From July 2008 to May 2011, she served as advisor to the commander of three major bases in the San Antonio area, leading a team of 10 in media relations, civic outreach, internal relations and social media. She also supervised the staff of a weekly newspaper with a circulation of 35,000.

In Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, between September 2009 and March 2010, Maj. Cherne led the first-ever “Female Engagement Team,” helping local Afghan women tell their personal stories. She participated in 20 combat missions, documenting operations through articles, still photography and video.

In 2016, Maj. Cherne was in the second annual class of the ECU Division of Student Affairs’ 40 Under 40 Leadership Award honorees. She is a member of the ECU Alumni Association Charleston Privateers group.

While at ECU, Maj. Cherne was a member of Theta Nu Chi Multicultural Society and Public Relations Student Society of America. On her LinkedIn page, she proclaims, “I love being and will always be a Pirate.”

The School of Communication Recognition Ceremony will be held Friday December 15 at 2 p.m. in Wright Auditorium. Students must register for this event, however, tickets for family members are not required.

For family and friends that cannot attend, the SOC recognition ceremony will be broadcast live. You can watch via the link
We will go live approximately 10 minutes before the event begins at 2 p.m. You will not need a password to view the broadcast.

School of Communication journalism student, Emory Saia, travels to Berlin on Fulbright Scholarship

School of Communication student Emory Saia travels to Berlin for Fulbright Scholarship.

ECU School of Communication senior, Emory Saia, is one of 14 young professional journalists and students to receive a Fulbright Scholarship for the Berlin Capital Program in Germany.

The Berlin Capital Program is a weeklong seminar from November 12-November 19 in Berlin, Germany. The Germany and U.S. Fulbright Commission ran program provides an opportunity for journalists and students to better understand the media’s role in the political, economic, and cultural landscape of Germany and Europe. The program consists of day-long activities including visits to political, cultural, and media institutions and will include seminars and discussions with media experts.

Saia, a journalism student from Pennsylvania, learned about the exciting opportunity from SOC journalism professor, Dr. Cindy Elmore. Saia says that Dr. Elmore thought she would be a great candidate for the program and mentioned that ECU alum Corrine Grettler also participated in the program. With encouragement from Dr. Elmore, Saia spent most of the summer compiling her 19-page application for the program. Saia says that throughout the process Dr. Elmore was “patient, kind, and so willing to help and motivate me to continue.”

Saia says that she is anxious “to take this leap, literally on a plane across the world by myself,” but fully embraces the benefits of this opportunity as a journalist. The youngest of five children with parents who are professors, Saia credits her family for the desire to seek new learning experiences. Saia’s family has been unbelievably supportive and proud of her applying to the program and starting this learning opportunity. Her older brother, Taylor, was also a recipient of a Fulbright scholarship and traveled to Indonesia to teach English and music for six months. Taylor, and her ECU alumna sister, Maggie, guided and cheered her on throughout the process. “They reminded me that it’s not about the end result, but the journey,” said Saia.

Saia encourages students that are anxious about taking a chance like hers to challenge themselves. “Push yourself out of your comfort zone and accept new experiences and adventures as they are around you. You just have to be willing!” Saia advises.

Saia is currently the School of Communication intern. She maintains the social media accounts, creates promotional material for the school, assists as a director in Dr. Mary Tucker-McLaughlin’s Producing the News class, and aides in event planning.

In addition to her participation in the program, Saia will take over the School of Communication Instagram account to document her experience. Follow her journey at

School of Communication Beach Clean-Up by Emory Saia

The School of Communication faculty and staff travel to Fort Macon State Park Beach to participate in the Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup.

This event supports Chancellor Staton’s strategic plan to serve the public. SOC instructor, Barbara Bullington says it’s important that ECU, more specifically the SOC contribute to serving the Eastern NC community. “Helping to build a stronger community means safer, happier lives for everyone.”

Coming across the opportunity to organize a cleanup, Bullington reached out to faculty and staff. The response—immediate and positive. Before the cleanup, SOC faculty and staff donated tools to assist with the pickup. Donated items include: trash pickup tools, garbage bags, bug spray, gloves and a first aid kit.

Accumulating seven bags of trash, the crew rid the beach of a cigarette butts, plastic bottle caps and wrappers, balloons, tissues, cigar tips, plastic cutlery, fishing lines and a hair curler. Bullington says, “We not only left the beach cleaner, but also inspired others to clean up after themselves or do future cleanups.”

On Saturday, Sept. 16, the SOC cleanup crew acted. Beginning the cleanup at 11 a.m., Bullington says it lasted around two hours, covering a mile across the state park.

The crew consists of more than 15 SOC faculty, staff and family volunteers: Barbara Bullington, her son Kevin Bullington and his son, Kevin Jr. Bullington’s fiancé, Mike Harris, SOC Director Linda Kean, Ph.D., Brian Massey, Ph.D., Jin-Ae Kang, Ph.D. and her husband and two children, Brittany Thompson and her son, Cindy Elmore, Ph.D., Festus Eribo, Ph.D., Gina Presson, and Deborah Thomson, Ph.D. and her son.

The SOC welcomes new faculty to its team. Specifically, Gina Presson who has dedicated her journalism career to interviewing and reporting for Ocean Conservancy monthly.

Presson served as the Florida bureau chief, reporting and producing radio, print and web stories for Public News Service. Her stories airing on NPR and CBS affiliates around the country.

Reporting environmental, political, educational and health issues for Ocean Conservancy, Presson devoted her tenure to the Deepwater Horizon Spill and its impact. In addition, Presson covered beach cleanup efforts, protection of sharks, limiting oil drilling off the Florida coast, protecting marine life from debris, the impact of agricultural runoff among others.

Referring to Chancellor Staton’s vision for ECU, Presson says “It’s important to make a difference in whatever way we can.”

As for Bullington, she has hopes for future cleanups. After discovering the debris on the beach, Bullington says it has made her reevaluate her daily plastic use. According to the Ocean Conservancy, plastic has been found in 62 percent of all seabirds and in 100 percent of sea turtle species.

Adopting community outreach, Bullington has served her community in more ways than one. Contributing as a volunteer for The Unnatural Resources Institute of Greenville, NC and the Dream Factory of Eastern North Carolina, she says these actions often spread in positive directions.

Beyond creating a cleaner community, Bullington and Presson agree that opportunities like this allow SOC faculty and family to connect outside of the workplace, to generate new ideas in a fun, collective way.

In addition to serving the community through the beach cleanup, the SOC held a kid’s bicycle donation last year. In spring 2016, the Outreach and Engagement Committee organized a kid’s healthy eating event at a local after school program.

The SOC continues to serve the Eastern NC community as part of Chancellor Staton’s 2017–2022 strategic plan.

To view pictures from the event and learn more, visit:

To learn more about Chancellor Staton’s strategic plan, visit:

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