ADDY Awards 2017

Posted on: March 23, 2017


And the ADDY goes to…

Each year, young creatives from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences submit their work in the hopes of winning an ADDY Award. The annual award ceremony is organized by the American Advertising Federation and the Mid-Michigan Creative Alliance and recognizes students and professionals for their work in TV, print, design and digital.

Above: Ad created by Madison Johnson for her brand "Bad Habits Brewing Company," won her a Gold ADDY and Judge’s Choice award. She won 11 awards in total.

The submitted works were judged by a panel of professional advertising creatives, including Andy Azula, the creative director and vice president at The Martin Agency in Richmond, Virginia; Silver Guellar III, from Van Winkle + Associates in Atlanta, Georgia; and Melanie Wiesenthal, a partner at Deerfield, a branding and design studio that focuses on fashion and beauty in Brooklyn, New York.

Eric Schwartz, advertising senior and Silver ADDY winner, looks forward to the ADDYs each year, as they promote and reward students in the MSU Department of Advertising + Public Relations and local professionals for their hard work.

The ADDYs to me is such a great way to celebrate the work that students do in and outside of the classroom, and the hard work that professionals are doing in the industry just down the road,” said Schwartz. “The students in the creative concentration within the advertising program are small and few, so having an event to celebrate and bring all of us together is really special – it’s a family reunion of sorts.”

This year’s entries included ads for Fruit of the Loom, Walgreens, Best Buy as well as companies and brands created by the students.

Above: Ad created by Madison Johnson, won a Gold ADDY for TV Advertising and an Excellence in Diversity award.

Students stole the show with stunning work

Recent advertising grad Lauren Cutler was awarded a Gold ADDY for work on a brand she created called Lumberjane, with fellow student Matt Richter. The brief they were given was to create packaging and advertising for a brewing company – for women, by women. Cutler also won a Judge’s Choice award for the brand, which she was excited to receive from judge Andy Azula.

lumberjaneThis year's ADDYs was really wonderful. The student work was exceptional, even compared to last year's,” said Cutler. “The most rewarding part of the whole experience is seeing your classmates and friends be recognized for the awesome stuff they do and to celebrate all our hard work together!”

A total of 60-plus awards were given to students in MSU’s Advertising + Public Relations program this year. However, if this were the Olympics, senior Madison Johnson would be Michael Phelps. She left the ADDYs as the most decorated student of all time. With 11 awards, ranging in color from Bronze to Gold and a Judge’s Choice, Johnson said she felt very lucky.

The awards I am most proud of are my Judge’s Choice and Best in Show for Bad Habits Brewing,” said Johnson. “I created the project over the summer in the Intensive Portfolio Workshop with Henry Brimmer and Lou Schiavone, but kept working on it afterward which is something that I should do with all my projects. Because I spent so much time on it, refining and adding, it was really great to get recognized for the hard work.”

Another honorable mention includes Tiffany Nagy’s “Coming Out” film trailer, which won gold for Television Advertising.

Above: Ad created by Tiffany Nagy, won gold for Television Advertising.

Celebrating creative work

Ross Chowles, professor of practice in the MSU Department of Advertising + Public Relations, compared having an ADDY award on a resume as “ringing a bell” that the student has something special about them.

You could have a nice portfolio, but having an award starts to ring a little bell that this person is different,” said Chowles. “More important, I guess, is that competitive spirit, that belief in their work. The problem with our business is it’s all of gut feel. It helps
acknowledge your gut feel when someone says ‘Yeah, it’s great’, but even then, it’s the judges’ opinions.”

A Gold ADDY allows the winner entrance into a regional competition and, depending on performance, potentially entered at the national level. We wish our Gold ADDY winning students the best of luck in the upcoming competitions!

View all of the ADDY Award entries on the Mid-Michigan Creative Alliance’s website.


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ComArtSci Faculty and Alumni Rank Top 5 in AEJMC Competition

Posted on: March 20, 2017

fountain-pen-1851096_1280The votes are in! Two research teams of faculty and alumni from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences came out on top in a quest to receive the 2016 JMCQ Outstanding Research Article Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

The ComArtSci faculty team includes Brendan Watson, professor in the School of Journalism, and Steve Lacy, professor emeritus in the School of Journalism. The two were recognized for their article “Three Decades of Reliability in Communication Content Analyses: Reporting of Reliability Statistics and Coefficient Levels in Three Top Journals.” The article details their study of “reliability reporting in content analysis articles in three flagship communication journals.”

The second team includes alumni Brian Bowe, Ph.D. in journalism and media and information, and Jennifer Hoewe, M.A. in journalism. Their work, “Night and Day: An Illustration of Framing and Moral Foundations in the Oklahoma Shariah Amendment Campaign,” studied the “constitutional amendment banning judicial use of the Islamic moral code called ‘Shariah Law,’” and how moral foundations shaped people’s opinions about it.

The individual articles for the two teams of researchers were nominated for the 2016 JMCQ Outstanding Research Article Award and made it to the top five. The articles are now in the running for the outstanding article winner, which will be announced in the coming months by the AEJMC.

To mark their award, the winning articles are now available to read for free until March 31, 2017.

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MSU Science Festival Features Research Event led by ComArtSci Faculty

Posted on: March 13, 2017


Grab your lab coat and put on your goggles. It’s time for the annual MSU Science Festival, April 7- 23 in various locations throughout the state of Michigan. The festival offers a multi-day experience filled with hands-on activities and demonstrations, tours, open houses and so much more.

Check out this year’s schedule and decide what you’d like to see. Explore the MSU greenhouses and learn how to identify plants in Michigan. Discover the importance of clean water and see those affected by the Flint Water Crisis through the work of artist Jan Tichy at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum. And if you would like to learn more about the coffee brewing process or discover something new about the trees around MSU's campus, you’re sure to find a workshop, presentation or activity close by. Finally, don’t miss out on presentations from faculty and staff from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

The Science of Effective Communication

Do you want to  to learn more about the science of communication and what it means to communicate effectively?

Three professors from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences will talk about their research through the event “3 in 30: The Science of Communication”, April 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Dublin Square.

Presenters are Kjertsin Thorson, assistant professor of advertising and public relations; Dave Ewoldsen, a professor in the Department of Media and Information; and Jingbo Meng, assistant professor of communication. They will each briefly share the details of their latest research before opening the floor for discussion and questions.

Facebook and Politics. Have you ever used Facebook to talk politics? Thorson’s research covers how people share news and information on the popular social media site and studies their willingness to discuss politics through Facebook.

The Effects of Playing Video Games. Ewoldsen’s research targets why people like to play violent video games cooperatively. He will tell more about the results, which show an increase in pro-social behavior during and after play.

Monitoring Health with Mobile Devices. Meng will share the progress of her research about using technology and mobile devices to assist clinicians and health professionals with counseling services for college students. She will discuss the results of interviews with clinicians and describe the behavioral monitoring technology being developed for the project

For more information about the MSU Science Festival, click here.

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Elizabeth LaPensee receives Serious Games Community Leadership Award

Posted on: March 8, 2017

elizabethElizabeth LaPensee, an assistant professor in the Department of Media and Information, was recently recognized by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Serious Games Special Interest Group for her dedication to advocacy and “reaching new communities through serious games.” LaPensee was honored with the 2017 Serious Games Community Leadership Award. She accepted the award in San Francisco, California on March 1.

LaPensee is known for her work with indigenous communities, contributing her talents as a designer, artist, and writer to several games with focuses on promoting language and cultural traditions. Recent releases include Mikan, a mobile game for passing on her language; Manoominike, a motion game about ricing; and Coyote Quest, a game for sharing indigenous science. She also designed the game Honour Water, which brings attention to threats to water and using singing as a way of healing.

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ComArtSci Faculty and Staff recognized for success in teaching, administration and creativity

Posted on: February 17, 2017

Join us in celebrating the success and accomplishments of our faculty and staff. Congratulations to all!
Screen Shot 2017-02-17 at 3.30.45 PM

The following individuals were recognized at the 2017 All-University Awards on Feb. 7:

Rabindra “Robby” Ratan

Assistant professor, Department of Media and Information

Teacher-Scholar Award

As a professor, Robby Ratan brings a unique style of teaching to the classroom. He shares with students about the exciting field of digital technology through real-time communication methods, avatar-based forums to facilitate student interaction and more. In his research, he is currently studying avatars and more using virtual reality; gender in video games and online; as well as autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles.

Swarnavel Pallai

Associate professor, Department of Media and Information

Teacher-Scholar Award

In the classroom, Swarnavel Pallai teaches students about film production, especially documentary, and the history of it with his expertise in Hollywood and Hindi genre cinema. During his time at Michigan State University, he has taught classes like Introduction to Film and Film Technologies. He is jointly appointed with the College of Communication Arts and Sciences and the College of Arts and Letters, where he teaches in the Department of English.

Mary Bresnahan

Professor, Department of Communication

W.J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award

Mary Bresnahan has been a member of the faculty at the College of Communication Arts and Sciences since 1987 and has produced over 90 published pieces of work, covering research in the area of health and intercultural communications. As a professor, she specializes in teaching her students about cross-cultural communication, interpersonal communication and topics like bullying and stigma.

Ann Hoffman

Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education, College of Communication Arts and Sciences

Distinguished Academic Staff Award

A dedicated member of Team ComArtSci, Ann Hoffman has grown the student advising program and staff and continues to create new systems that will better student experience at the college. She regularly participates in cross-college collaboration and partnerships to bring in innovative solutions. Hoffman is passionate about guiding and assisting undergraduates through their years at MSU.  

Juan Mundel

Doctoral Student, Department of Advertising and Public Relations

Excellence-in-Teaching Citation

Juan Mundel believes that communicating and building relationships with his students are the keys to success when it comes to teaching about advertising and public relations. He has contributed his insight to the development of the first online version of the Principles of Public Relations course, the Advertising and Society in Europe study abroad program all the while dedicating his time to his own higher education as a devoted Ph.D. student in the Information and Media program at MSU.

Karl Gude

Professor, School of Journalism

Media Sandbox Director

MSU Alumni Association of Mid-Michigan Award

Karl Gude is an advocate for expressing creativity in any and every possible way. With students, his teaching approach attempts to find new and innovative ways to encourage them to create and connect. He is known for his enthusiasm as a professor and imagination in both his in-person and online courses. He believes in providing students with real-world experiences that will motivate them for their future careers and life beyond the college stage.

peter-lapine_entryAdditional awards:

Peter LaPine

Associate Professor, Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders

Ralph H. Smuckler Award

Peter LaPine is a longtime faculty member in the department and is responsible for founding the Vocal Tract Performance Laboratory. He is honored with this award for his dedication and work toward advancing international studies and programs at MSU. He will receive it on March 29, 2017.

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Michigan State School of Journalism Adds Reallusion Animation to growing strategic partnership group

Posted on: February 16, 2017

The Michigan State University School of Journalism is excited to announce a new strategic partnership with Reallusion, a Silicon Valley-based animation and software content developer. The company is helping outfit the new Immersive Media Studio, located in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, with their full production pipeline of 2D and 3D animation software and plug-ins for motion capture.

The MSU School of Journalism is the cutting-edge home students to learn non-fiction Augmented and Immersive storytelling. Students in the School of Journalism’s animation courses are blending reporting traditions with new digital tools, allowing them to capture motion, puppeteer facial expressions and lip-synching in real time to characters. The School of Journalism’s Animation and Comics Storytelling in Media courses and minor are open to all Michigan State undergraduates, with no prerequisites, to enable exposure and collaboration in the creative technology mediums.

“The students are so excited to work with the Reallusion software pipeline,” said Stacey Fox, MSU’s professor of animation, mixed realities and immersive journalism. “The tools give them the industry type of production experience they can use to move from initial storyboard to full animated film, as well as 360 degree film production, which also fits in with MSU Journalism’s Immersive initiatives. The additional plugins also allow for the students to utilize the motion capture hardware generously donated from Perception Neuron, one of our other strategic partners.”

The power of setting scenes, documenting emotion, and relaying information is one of the most ancient of human traditions, dating back to pre-historic petroglyphs drawn in caves. Technology has evolved, but the innate desire to share experiences and moments will always remain central to the human experience.

"Reallusion is honored to partner with the Michigan State University School of Journalism,” said Reallusion Vice President John Martin. “MSU Journalism’s progressive curriculum engages students with Reallusion's 2D & 3D real-time animation, motion capture, and production technologies that will equip students with vital industry experience.  The six courses currently offered at the School of Journalism leverage iClone, Character Creator, CrazyTalk Animator and popVideo as tools to learn and apply innovative media production skills that are at the forefront of television, film, virtual reality, and interactive media.”

For more information on the School of Journalism Animation and Comics storytelling in Media Minor:

MSU JRN Students Live Motion Capture to Character with Reallusion and Perception Neuron:  

For more information on Reallusion:


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Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders thrives after growth of faculty and programs

Posted on: January 27, 2017

CSD Faculty

CSD FacultyCSD FacultyCSD Faculty

In the 80 years since it first began, the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at Michigan State University has transformed into a frontrunner in the study of speech pathology, audiology, communication disorders and more.

In 1937, CSD started as a single interest area in the Department of Speech and Drama at MSU with only one faculty member. Since then, the department has established several successful programs, including a new minor for undergraduate students, a popular master’s program and a resurgent Ph.D. program.

In recent years, CSD has carefully selected respected scholars to join its faculty to lead these growing programs. Among the recruits are award-winning researchers on topics like stuttering, distinguished American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) Fellows and academics with profound enthusiasm for advancement in the field.

New faculty, new students

Jeff Searl joined the CSD faculty in the spring of 2017. Searl came with 16 years of experience as an educator and a dedication to research on speech and voice disorders – both of which recently helped him achieve the title of an ASHA Fellow. The recognition from ASHA is one of the highest honors in the field, and has been awarded to more than 30 MSU CSD faculty and alumni.

Searl said that simply talking about his new role at MSU excites him.

“There’s a real buzz around the department at this point within our profession. In the last four or five years, folks have really taken notice of (it) more and more,” said Searl. “It’s really an attractive department for me to come into because there are other folks ... with interests related to mine, so we can work together collaboratively in the classroom and in the research that we do.”

Professor Eric Hunter, associate chair of the department, said that when he first started four years ago, the department had just started seeing the results of recent measures taken to enhance and increase valuable opportunities for both students and faculty. Today, the department is closer than ever to where they want to be, he said.

“Next year is a completely different game. Strong faculty members doing important research and strong students coming in,” said Hunter. “When I came in, there was a lot of potential. Now, we’re seeing the results and stability that allows for an even greater growth.”

Much of the department’s development can be attributed to the expansion of its academic programs, like the Ph.D. program.

Several years ago, the program was put on hold to reevaluate the curriculum. In August 2016, one Ph.D. student graduated, marking the first to complete the program since its rebirth. Currently, there are six students enrolled in the program, and at least three more coming next fall. Each hoping to follow in the footsteps of the recent grad by receiving their doctoral degree from MSU’s Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders.

“While it is absolutely important to train future clinicians, which our master’s program does well, Ph.D. students are the next generation of academics who will train the next generation of clinicians. Thus, it’s really an indication of where a program is at when you’re preparing a strong cohort of future faculty members to continue to train the students,” said Hunter.

An opportunity for undergraduate excellence


With the Ph.D. program back on its feet and a growing master’s program of 64 students and counting, the department is becoming a popular place for professionals and graduate students to further their learning. Two years ago, the addition of a minor brought additional opportunity for undergraduates to gain knowledge in the field. While all undergraduates can enroll, students who typically choose to take on the CSD minor come from a variety of degree programs such as education, psychology, neuroscience and more.

The MSU chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA)a longstanding national student organization – has been growing in size since the establishment of the minor, according to Kelly Jones, the organization’s president and neuroscience senior pursuing the CSD minor. As a group with more than 50 members, NSSLHA aims to bring attention to the research conducted by people who study communication disorders, as well as volunteer and work in the field at nursing homes and local schools.

Jones said that while she loves her major as a part of the Lyman Briggs College, the people at CSD have blown her away with their knowledge and kindness.

“This department has been overwhelmingly welcoming. All of the faculty members, all of the professors, office staff at Oyer – they’re all extremely friendly, very helpful,” said Jones. “We actually do a lot of our (NSSLHA) events with the faculty members and the professors where we can get to know them better.”

CSD students are also given several international opportunities. The department offers the nation’s longest-running study abroad program for communication disorders to all of its students. They study in London, England; Dublin, Ireland; and Edinburgh, Scotland, and learn about the differences in clinical practices and national health care systems between the countries they visit and the United States.

Learning by doing

csd-research-20131010-B_RakerdAmanda Hampton Wray, assistant professor, admires the way the department organizes its clinical training for students. She believes the training is one of the major things that sets the MSU Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders apart from other schools.

“Most departments have an in-house clinic, so they have their own clinic as a part of the department, and students will work with clients in a controlled clinic with supervisors. Michigan State has chosen instead to send our students all out into the community during the school year,” said Hampton Wray. “This means our students get to see a realistic picture of the caseload and what it’s really like to do that job in that setting very early in their training.”

During these internships, students work with different types of people – children and adults – as well as with various health issues – like swallowing disorders and brain injuries – preparing them to address similar cases in their careers.

The future

Dimitar Deliyski, the chair of the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, said with the new additions and enthusiasm that has joined the department, it will undoubtedly continue to do great things through training and educating students, and conducting research in order to help people all over the world.

“Right now, we have a department which is growing very fast in terms of the research that’s going on and in terms of academics. Then, the next stage will be to sustain that,” said Deliyski.

As for the future of the department, Deliyski noted the importance of growing the program. Not only in size, but also cultivating academic connections, initiatives and big projects.

By Savannah Swix

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ComArtSci Connect Career Fair 2017

Posted on: January 13, 2017

unspecified-3Brush off your blazer and update your resume, it’s that time of the year again – ComArtSci Connect is right around the corner! On February 10th from 1:30 - 4 p.m., dozens of companies will make their way to the College of Communication Arts and Sciences to talk to prospective student interns.

According to Karin Hanson, ComArtSci’s Director of Employer Relations and Professional Transitions, “last year, 86 percent of students who attended reported they received a lead on a job or internship, and nearly all stated they felt more comfortable networking within their industry as a result of the event.”

Who will be there?

Big company names include: Auto-Owners Insurance Company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Detroit Public Television, Martin Waymire, Edge Partnerships, DISH Network, Target Corporation, Yelp – and more!

For a full list of the companies that will be in attendance, click here.

Hanson’s best tip is to be prepared by researching the employers ahead of time on Handshake to see how your skills match with the opportunities they’re offering.

Need help?

Get your resumes and cover letters reviewed by taking a trip to the ComArtSci Career Center in room 181 at the Communication Arts and Sciences building. The staff there will help you with everything from getting started on your internship or full-time job search, interview tips and strategies and even connect you with alumni in your field of interest.

Why go?

unspecified-4By attending ComArtSci Connect, not only are students learning about internship and job opportunities, they’re expanding their professional network beyond just MSU.

Michelai Graham, a journalism and media and information double major, discovered  City Pulse – Lansing’s alternative weekly newspaper and the company where she’d later intern – at ComArtSci Connect.

Alexis Dammar, senior advertising student, says she couldn’t have secured her spot at Optimedia, a New York City-based media buying agency, without the help of the ComArtSci Connect Career Fair.

Communication alumna Herasanna Richards obtained her internship with Martin Waymore in Lansing after networking at ComArtSci Connect.

Richards says, “It’s the best opportunity to have a face-to-face connection with employers that may turn into a long-lasting relationship and help you make huge leaps in your career.”

Anything else?

In addition to the career fair, there will be many opportunities for students to meet with professionals earlier in the week through guest lectures, resume reviews and workshops.

For more information about ComArtSci Connect, click here.

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Michigan State Journalism School Creates Strategic Motion Capture Partnership with Noitom Ltd.

Posted on: January 4, 2017


We are surrounded by body language, in every moment of every day. From passing the time people watching at the airport, or observing how co-workers are reacting during a meeting, we are being perceptive – and possibly reactive – to our reading of body language.

The Michigan State School of Journalism is leading by globally pushing the boundaries of fact-based storytelling, from multimedia to the visuals of photography and video. The newest frontier of powerful journalistic storytelling is Motion Capture, helping journalists document and produce layered stories. Motion Capture reads and documents body language, pairing state-of-the-art professional technology with one of the oldest forms of communication in all species on our planet.

The addition of Motion Capture technology, and the new Immersive Media newsroom, brings MSU’s J-School to the forefront of innovating newsgathering. Noitom’s Perception Motion Capture system will be part of MSU’s program, thanks to a groundbreaking partnership reached with the China-based company in early December.

“We are extremely excited about this opportunity working with you and anticipate all of the innovative possibilities that lie ahead,” said Susy Ferrer of Noitom.

MSU’s JRN 492, Motion Capture for Storytelling, course and the Animation and Comics in Storytelling Media minor, open to all undergraduates at MSU, will use Noitom’s systems.

“Our students in MSU Journalism’s animation and motion capture courses are already utilizing the Perception Neuron technology and suits and have been excited to watch their characters come to life in real time,” said lead Motion Capture/Immersive Journalism Professor Stacey Fox. “We are excited to partner with Noitom Perception Neuron as we increase our motion capture technology offerings for students and build our animation, sports and immersive journalism programs.”

Motion capture comes in many forms. The basic principle has a subject’s movement recorded within 3-D space, such as MSU’s new Immersive Media room, using Perception Neuron’s 32 inertial sensors (called “neurons”) placed at specific joints on a body.  The information is transmitted to a computer, where the animator works to render the 3-D image into a dynamic format for different platforms of journalism.

“There are so many exciting and intriguing possibilities with this technology,” said Professor Joanne C. Gerstner, the Michigan State’s Sports Journalist in Residence. “Having the Perception Neuron as a storytelling tool allows us to teach students to be even more revelatory in their storytelling. Instead of simply describing a big sports play, we can take it to the level of showing the bio-mechanics to take the audience truly inside.”

For more information contact Professor Stacey Fox or visit

By Savannah Swix

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Enter to win Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center’s statewide art competition

Posted on: December 14, 2016

Calling all painters, graphic designers, sculptors, photographers and animators from ComArtSci! If you have an artistic talent and a desire to share it with the community, and possibly win some money in the process, enter Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center's statewide competition to have your work featured in the Michigan College Art Exhibition supported in part by the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

In March 2017, the exhibition will open at the Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center, which will celebrate its fifty-first year.

Best of Show will win $1,000.

You must submit your entry online by January 17, 2017!

Learn more - click here.

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