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Students provide IT solutions to local clients

Posted on: May 3, 2016

The ITM 444 (I.T. Project Management) Capstone is concluding on Thursday, April 28, 2016. This year, 16 organizations (9 sponsoring the I.T. Minor) participated and afforded our students experiential learning opportunities that related to web design, database development, social media communications, and video production.

Students in ITM 444, the capstone course for those pursuing a minor in Information Technology, spent their semester working with local clients to develop high level technology products for local businesses and organizations.

The class of 60 was broken up into 16 teams, and each team was given a client with a unique technology challenge related to web design, database development, social media communications and video production. Clients interested in working with students submitted an application and were hand selected.

John Donohoe, an account services specialist for Ciesa Design, a small design firm located in Lansing, heard about the class in an MSU Today update and decided to submit an application. Ciesa Design was looking for a new promotional video.

Donohoe is also a member of the MSU College of Arts and Letters Alumni Board Awards Committee, and submitted another application for the creation of a digitalized grant application process.

“I was involved with two groups and they both delivered professional products,” Donohoe said. “The Arts and Letters group listened to what we wanted and developed an interactive web tool that will make it easier for students and administrators in the grant application process.”

The team at Ciesa Design was also impressed with the promotional video and plan to show it at an upcoming a development conference.

“I definitely gained a lot of insight in how projects are managed and worked on in the real world, said Kyle Kulesza, a senior Media and Information student. “Working in groups on class projects is one thing, but the external client part really helped me learn skills I'll use in the future.”

The course is taught by Associate Professor Constantinos Coursaris and Assistant Professor Wietske Van Osch, both Media and Information faculty members.

By Victoria Bowles, senior Journalism major and ComArtSci Editorial Assistant

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ComArtSci student to speak at university commencement

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image1Graduating communication student Brooklyn Sondgeroth, has received the distinguished honor of being selected as the student speaker at the 2016 spring university commencement ceremony.

Sondgeroth will be representing a class of more than 35,000 undergraduate students and hopes to instill a sense of pride and self acceptance in her fellow graduates as they move on to new ventures.

“I've always enjoyed public speaking, and being able to do so on such a large scale at the Breslin center is really an incredible opportunity,” she said.

Growing up Sondgeroth lived in Illinois, New York and Michigan and became accustomed to acclimating to new environments. These experiences helped give her the confidence to choose MSU, and attend a Big Ten University.

“I am no stranger to being the new kid on the block. I think this is one of the main reasons that I was so excited to attend Michigan State University; I saw it as a challenge,” she said.

During her four years at MSU Sondgeroth has worked as an Outreach Tour Guide, Resident Assistant and as a Legislative Intern for Senator Margaret O’Brien, as well as volunteering with Spartan Day of Service and St. Jude Children’s Hospital. These opportunities helped her cultivate her interest in health communication and government, which she plans to eventually pursue.

“As far as post-graduation plans go, I haven't quite narrowed down exactly what I will be doing yet but I know I am prepared, and with so many faculty and staff at MSU willing to connect me with their colleagues in the professional world, I'm fully confident in myself and in my ability to succeed,” she said.

It was the job hunt and post graduation plans that inspired Sondgeroth to share her story and discuss the discouragement and battle with self-worth that many gradating students face.

“I hope that by sharing my own personal story, and highlighting the unique experiences that we all have as Spartans, I will be able to inspire the class of 2016 and the audience to realize how valuable we are as graduates of Michigan State University,” she said.

The university commencement ceremony will take place on Friday May 1 at 1 p.m. at the Breslin Student Events Center. Sondgeroth will be speaking at the ceremony with keynote speaker Dr. Hanna-Attisha, who helped bring awareness to the lead in Flint’s water and the impact it was having on area residents.

By Victoria Bowles, senior Journalism major and ComArtSci Editorial Assistant

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2016 Media Sandbox Challenge Winners Announced

Posted on: April 19, 2016

Animated-Sandbox-Challenge copyIssues associated with depression, sexual assault, eating disorders and anxiety are growing challenges facing students today. A recent competition hosted by the Media Sandbox challenged students to create awareness of those issues in a creative way with the goal of curbing recent trends.

The 2016 Media Sandbox Challenge winners were announced this month, after thirteen teams presented their work to faculty and the Alumni Board Panel.

The Media Sandbox is an integrated media arts program within the College of Communication Arts and Sciences that includes cinematic arts, game development, graphic design, web design, visual storytelling, 3D art and animation.

The challenge encouraged students to research and create a campaign that would bring awareness to issues faced by college students each day including:

  • Binge drinking
  • Sexual assault
  • Depression
  • Anorexia
  • Anxiety
  • Obesity
  • Racism
  • Suicide

Teams worked for more than two months with professional mentors to create complex campaigns that would bring awareness to one or more of the topics. The first place team was awarded $5,000, second place won $3,000 and third place winners took home $1,500.

First Place

Bryce Airgood, journalism senior
Peter Burroughs, media and information senior
Elise Conklin, media and information senior

mediasandbox-challenge-burroughs-conklin-20160418spartans-have-your-back-4The first place winners focused their campaign on sexual assault preventi on, awareness and improving resources for victims. The presentation included a website mockup, short video and examples billboards and mockups of print ads that would be featured across the university.

Second Place

Marissa Schmidt, advertising senior
Max Cullen, advertising senior

mediasandbox-challenge-20160418-TK_sparty-wpfThe second place team focused their efforts on anxiety and formulated a three-step process to help identify, personify and socialize anxious behavior. The team developed a campaign that included a video, website and social media plan.

Third Place

Congyi Han, advertising senior
Nan Jin, advertising senior
Lingxue Kong, advertising senior

The third place winners addressed anorexia with their campaign that featured a video about the toll eating disorders can take on everyday activities and relationships.

The Media Sandbox challenge is an annual competition hosted by Media Sandbox that challenges students to answer difficult questions and address complex issues.

By Victoria Bowles, senior Journalism major and ComArtSci Editorial Assistant


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Newest 'Bias Busters' Guide Focuses on American Jews

Posted on: April 14, 2016

unnamed-1The “Bias Busters: Guides to Cultural Competence” series has published its tenth publication. It is aimed at educating people about Jewish culture, history and traditions in, “100 Questions and Answers About American Jews."

“I am so thankful that Joe Grimm convinced me to take this course. I didn’t realize how little I knew about the Jewish culture,” said journalism senior Madeline Carino. “Working on a publication like this is eye opening because it allows you to step out of your comfort zone, explore a new culture and ask questions you normally wouldn’t.”

The book is part of a series of guides produced in editor-in-residence Joe Grimm’s, journalism course on cultural competence. The class focuses on using journalism to produce books to replace bias and stereotypes with factual information and to encourage conversation among people.

“We try to answer the questions that everybody has but might be afraid to ask because they don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or embarrass themselves,” Grimm said. “We hope the guides help people get ready for more in-depth conversations.”

“100 Questions and Answers About American Jews” includes graphics and videos created by students and is one of the largest guides to date.

“I’m Jewish, and even I learned new things and found a better understanding of some topics,” said journalism senior Daniel Hamburg. “I hope this guide will be a simple tool for those looking to learn about Judaism and also dispel common myths.”

For the fall 2016 semester the Bias Busters series will expand to include a guide on transgender people.

By Victoria Bowles, senior Journalism major and ComArtSci Editorial Assistant


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MSU instructor and veteran photojournalist inducted into renowned NATAS Silver Circle

Posted on: April 4, 2016

gould-bob-20150828DSC_9951 copyBob Gould, MSU broadcaster in residence in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, hadn't intended to build a career in broadcast news. While a self-proclaimed "news junkie" as a kid, the MSU alum says he actually had his sights set on working in a production house, editing and shooting video.

But something changed after he graduated from MSU in 1990 with his bachelor's in telecommunications. He discovered he really did love news after shooting and editing stories for daily newscasts for WILX-TV in Lansing and later for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Mich. It was a path that led to a 17-year career as a revered photojournalist, earning more than 40 awards for his work from the National Press Photographers Association, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, and the Michigan Associated Press, and a combination of 10 regional EMMY nominations and awards. It was also a path that led to leadership, causing him to seek out roles with the NPPA, the Michigan TV News Photographer's Association, and the organization that will honor him for his devotion to the industry.

In late February, the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Science will induct Gould into the Silver Circle—an honor reserved for individuals who have devoted a quarter of a century to the television industry, and who have made a significant contribution to the Michigan broadcast community.

Humbled by the news, Gould continues to find himself in disbelief.

"When I look at the list of people who have been inducted over the years, I have to pinch myself," Gould says. "These are people you look up to and watch on TV, and people who have reached the pinnacle of their career. I'm just the person shooting video and telling stories."

Gould left working in the field in 2007 to pursue his dream job teaching TV reporting, multimedia and media law/ethics courses at MSU. Part of his work includes executive producing the multi-award-winning, "Focal Point," a 30-minute student-produced newscast that has garnered nearly 60 awards. He also helps ensure the future of broadcast education as vice president of the Michigan Chapter of NATAS, as committee chair for the Broadcast Education Association, and as a member of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation board.

"I had so many wonderful experiences in the field, shooting and putting together stories that mattered to people," he says. "Now I get a chance to mentor students. That's pretty cool thing."Bob Gould and Mara Thompson at President's Farm Bill signing

Lucinda Davenport, professor and director in the MSU School of Journalism, says that the knowledge Gould brings to the classroom helps students know what is expected of them to succeed and be leaders in the industry.

"Our students can aspire toward the things that Bob reflects, and feel confident stepping out his classroom and into the newsroom," Davenport says. "We're very proud of Bob, and it's nice to see the rest of the world sees his successes."

Gould will be among five honorees inducted into the Michigan Chapter NATAS Silver Circle this year. The ceremony took place Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016 at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Michigan.

Gould's daughter Ilene, produced this video as a tribute to his Silver Circle Tribute.


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Busfield visits ComArtSci

Posted on: March 28, 2016

WKAR TV Station Manager gives a WKAR tour to Tim BusfieldEmmy Award-winning actor, Timothy Busfield visited the College of Communication Arts and Sciences on March 22, to speak with faculty and students about the growing potential of new media.

Busfield, who grew up in the Lansing area, is known for his work in “The West Wing,” “Thirtysomething” and “Field of Dreams.”

“The new media world is the wild west,” Busfield said. “Now anyone can create content without spending large amounts of money.”

With technology improving young filmmakers have access to the tools they need to produce competitive work and a growing media landscape that allows amateurs to share content with viewers all over the world.

“Now everyone has the chance to compete against the best,” he said.

Throughout his career Busfield has taken on roles in front of the camera and behind the scenes and his advice to young graduates is to never stop working.

“Repetition is very important,” he said. “Once you finish a film move on to your next one, you can never get too attached to one project.”

Busfield’s passion goes deeper than just encouraging young filmmakers, it also about arts outreach, and exposing more children to the arts in schools when they are young.

“Kids are more receptive to culture when they grow up with it,” he said. “It’s too late to discover the arts when your 27.”

Busfield has founded two community theaters to help create greater accessibility to the arts. In 1986 he created The Fantasy Theatre in California and in 1992, he co-founded B Street Theatre in Sacramento, California.

Busfield holds an honorary doctorate of humanities from Michigan State University after he addressed spring 2013 graduates at commencement.

By Victoria Bowles, senior Journalism major and ComArtSci Editorial Assistant

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Alumni News

Posted on: April 27, 2015

Name: Company- Position

Andy Manthei: Pole Base- Business Development and Sales
Kevin Widerstedt: Fjord- Business Development Coordinator
Ryan Ballein: C.H. Robinson- Manager of Strategic Accounts
Joel Traugott: Jellyfish Online Marketing- Conversion Rate Optimization Manager
Jacquelyn Nagle: L.V. Nagle and Associates: Sales Representative
Brad Beurmann: Woverine Packing Company- Production Assistant
Steven Genuardi: BGA Insurance Group- Sales Representative
Jessica Stamm: Cintas- Sales Representative- One year anniversary
Max Neistein: C.H. Robinson- Account Manager
Danielle Miceli Oliver: Lucky Brand- Wholesale Planner, Jewelry and Fashion Accessories
Ryan Schoen: Quicken Loans- Capital Markets Analyst, Credit risk and economics
Ryan Gallagher: L2T Media- Digital Advisor
Matt Gross: Siemens- One year anniversary
Emily Lundmark: Cloud Harmonics Inc.- Channel Manager
Matt Blumhardt: Cedar Fair Entertainment Company- Two year anniversary
Kestutis Tatarunas: Keyence- One year anniversary
Devon Moyer: Textron Specialized Vehicles- Golf Coperate Accounts Administration
Amanda Stowers: JLL- One year anniversary

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National Collegiate Sales Competition

Posted on: April 17, 2015

The National Collegiate Sales Competition at Kennesaw State University was where the four finalists of the All MSU Sales Competition advanced to compete, individually, against students from 68 different universities across the United States. The competition was set up tournament-style exactly like it was at the All MSU competition, except for the larger number of student competitors. The competitors sold ADP RUN Payroll software to prospective buyers and had to sell their way to the top. MacKenzie Walters and Zac Swierad represented Michigan State, while Sam Coskie and Rachel Kern were prepared to compete by standing in as alternates. Michigan State ranked ninth overall amongst the 68 universities. MacKenzie placed 64th and Zac placed seventh- both ranked out of 134 individual competitors.

four finalists

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All-MSU Sales Competition

Posted on: February 21, 2015

On the morning of February 20th, 2015, before the sun had even started to rise, the MSU Sales student competitors and volunteers were awake and preparing for the day ahead. Competitors checked in at 7am, and the games began promptly at 8am after a quick continental breakfast. The competitors were then sent down to sweat it out in "the bull pen" ten minutes before dividing into their sales scenarios- alone. The tension built as some students playfully psyched one-another out and other students studied their case. Finally, the time had come for the first tier of competitors: the knock at the door. The students walked into their assigned room, where a buyer and 3-4 judges sitting on the sidelines of the scenario would watch and review the competitor's sales performance. The judges' reviews, tabulated by the volunteers,  determined who progressed into the next rounds.
The cases went about in this manner throughout the progression of the tournament-styled competition, except the clients. The clients became more and more difficult to converse with, making the sales process that much trickier for the students. With multiple objections and limited buying signals, the students had to be adaptable and tactful in their selling process. The final four competitors role plays were shown to an audience of judges and students via a live feed that was shown in the conference room. The final four competitors were: (1st place) MacKenzie Walters, (2 place) Zac Swierad, (3 place) Rachel Kern, and (4 place) Sam Coskie. In being the final four, they will participate in the National Collegiate Sales Competition in Kennesaw, Georgia this April. The winner of the competition, was the talented MacKenzie Walters- she was congratulated and awarded with $1,000 scholarship. Everyone who participated in the competition, student competitor, volunteer, faculty, corporate partners, and corporate sponsors made this incredible day possible.

Competition results as follows:

First Place MacKenzie Walters
Second Place Zac Swierad
Third Place Rachel Kern
Fourth Place Sam Coskie
Semifinalists Jason DeFranco, Kody Klenow, Mario McLean, Annie Thurber
Quarterfinalists Elena Bandalene, Christine Coffey, Michael Condon, Shamus Cook, Taylor Devine, Taylor Dick, Zach Doerr, Dan Emmerich, Isaac Gilliam, Nick Grider,  Aubrey Karrip, Kaylin Jones, Rob McGowan, Matt Markachev, Cory Urbats, Luke Voelker
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Looking Back: National Team Selling Competition, Looking Ahead: MSU Sales Competition

Posted on: January 27, 2015

The National Team Selling Competition (NTSC) is held every year at Indiana University where 20 different student sales teams go head-to-head in selling a product or service to a buyer. The competition is held for two long days, and after deliberations from the judges, the winning team is revealed. Most recently, the judges were 3M and Altria; Altria is also a sponsor of the MSU Sales Specialization. In past years, Michigan State paved the way of success by winning three out of the seven competitions, and this year they made it into the top six teams. In response to the success at the National Team Selling Competition, Michigan State's participants were asked to reflect on the competition:

"The National Team Selling Competition was a gratifying experience for me. Our MSU team put countless hours in, and we had exceptional chemistry, which I believe is key to getting results from a sales competition." -Rachel Kern

"The National Team Selling Competition was the best group project experience you could ever ask for. I will be using it in many interviews to come!" -Jake Majeske

"The National Team Selling Competition taught me the importance knowing your client. As we've learned in many selling courses, there are unique buyers, and it's essential to understand how to pitch your partnership in a way that appeals to the potential customer." -Jennifer Sliva.

Looking ahead, the Specialization is soon to be involved in another sales competition, the All-MSU Sales Competition at the Henry Center on February 20, 2015. The All-MSU Sales Competition is made up of MSU students within the specialization who will be competing, tournament-style, for the championship. The product in which the students will be selling is ADP's "RUN payroll solution" system to a small business owner. The winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship for their performance.

Check out the full article on the NTSC here!

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