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Life after graduation – Flippin lands job with Make-A-Wish

Between the uncertainty of life after graduation and the 7.3 percent unemployment rate in America, many college students face the challenge of obtaining a job. Despite the discouraging statistics, many recent communication arts graduates have been hired and are on the road to success.

Kathryn Flippin, a 2013 Union public relations graduate, is now a wish coordinator under the Program Services Department for Make-A-Wish Mid-South, one of the 62 independently chartered non-profit chapters that grants the wishes of children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions.

“I first learned about Make-A-Wish America from my sorority, Chi Omega,” Flippin said. “We raised money each year to grant a wish for a child with life-threatening illness. I still remember the first wish granting I was able to participate in, and we were able to grant Dillon’s wish of going to the Chattanooga Choo Choo.

“It was through that encounter with Make-A-Wish America that I realized how special the organization was,” she continued.

After her junior year of college, Flippin planned to study oversees, but the plan fell through. Flippin looked at various internship options and was approached by another Union student who had interned at Make-A-Wish Mid-South the previous summer and who encouraged her to apply.

Flippin was accepted for the internship and helped coordinate the wish granting events in Memphis, Tenn. and surrounding areas.

“My biggest take-away from interning at Make-A-Wish Mid-South is that no detail is too small,” Flippin said. “”So many times we get so caught up in making a big impression that we forget about the little things. The little things matter, and I take pride in my attention to detail and my effort to take initiative in the small things.”

After the fall semester of her senior year, Flippin was contacted by her previous manager who informed her that a wish coordinator position had become available. Because of her internship, Flippin’s previous manager knew she had the set of skills and experience necessary to do the job. Flippin sent in her résumé and got the job.

Flippin encourages students to intern with the hopes of gaining experience for life after graduation.

“If you are at all thinking about interning while in college – go for it because internships lead to jobs,” Flippin said. “They also give you a good feel for a work environment. The best part, though, is the relationship you can build with your supervisor.

“When the time comes for you to get a job after college, the recommendation from your boss can really set you apart from other people,” she continued. “It is hard for employers to hire people without experience, so even if you are looking at an unpaid position for a summer, the impact that job can have is worth all the time you spend in it.”

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Communication professors attend California film conference

Union University communication arts professors Chris Blair and David Burke recently attended the Cinema Studies Conference hosted by the Los Angeles Film Studies Center in Los Angeles.

The conference theme was “The Business of The Business,” and it featured executives from Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Wind Dancer Films, as well as Anthony Zuiker, creator of the CSI franchise.

“David and I went to see the current state of the entertainment industry, so we could bring these ideas and trends back to our film studies courses at Union,” Blair said. “We also had a chance to eat lunch at Warner Bros. with a communication arts alum, John Crook, who works in their Worldwide Theatrical Distribution division.”

The conference offered a behind-the-scenes look at the RED Studios in Hollywood where “I Love Lucy” was filmed in the 1950s and “Seinfeld” was filmed in the 1990s.

Blair also made a presentation to the faculty attending the conference, entitled, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip as a Teaching Tool in Cinema Studies.”

According to the LAFSC website, the conference was aimed at the “overlooked essentials” of show business:  marketing, finance and distribution.

The Los Angeles Film Studies Center offers a semester-long, immersive filmmaking program, where students learn the art and craft of filmmaking in a Christian environment. Numerous Union students attend LAFSC as part of the Film Studies minor.

UNews

UNews to Expand this Fall

JACKSON, Tenn.—UNews, Union’s student-based news program, has launched for its fall season again this year. Since its beginnings fall of 2012, UNews has developed to provide campus wide news in a variety of ways.

In the past, UNews has provided students with a recap of the prior week’s news accompanied with a brief update of news for the future week. News has included campus and sports events accompanied with game results.

Cam Tracy, Union’s web development agent, oversees UNews production. He submits the final work, which is displayed on campus monitors and released online on Union’s portal. The student crew includes Gabe Farmer, junior digital media studies major and news editor; Kacee Enzor, junior media communications major and sports producer; Kathryn Feathers, junior media communications major and news producer; and Kelsey Graeter, junior broadcasting journalism major and director for social media.

Farmer edits and uploads content online. Feathers budgets events and assigns projects to UNews members. In addition, various students serve as anchors, not limited to communication arts majors.

“We do on-campus news,” Feathers said. “We target the students of Union, but occasionally we do have people from Jackson that will come to us. We had rappers last year, and we had to do promotion for them.”

This year, the crew plans to provide more entertainment by using a relatable personality with humor integrated between news segments, adding new background locations around campus and providing more student interviews. UNews also plans to provide Student Government Association’s officer speeches during their election period in April.

For sports news segments, the crew recaps previous games and reports on athletes’ awards and upcoming games.

Enzor writes the budget, listing what events need to be covered. Designated crew members then report on the events and write the scripts.

“We want our anchors to develop their personalities more,” Enzor said.

UNews, however, consists of more than what viewers see in finished segments.

“There are a lot of parts to the puzzle that people don’t see to get in on the air every week,” Enzor said. “We find the events, we attend them, we film them, we write about them, we record them, we edit them, we upload them and then we share them all over the place.”

Overall, each week the UNews crew meets every Friday for the final editing process for the weekly submission of news.  This process includes recording information and/or live events, editing the news content and uploading that content.  In all, this process involves six to seven crew members who meet at 3 p.m. and submit final products later that evening.

“We work really hard at it, but we love it,” Enzor said.

To contact UNews for any story proposals, email unionunews@gmail.com.

Debate 20

Debate team completes first tournament with success

Monticello, Ark. — The Union University Debate Team completed its first tournament of the season Oct. 4-6 at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

The team placed first in the International Public Debate Association sweepstakes and second in the overall sweepstakes out of 10 teams at the tournament.

“The team got off to an excellent start,” said Web Drake, debate team coach and chair of the communication arts department. “The new debaters blended into the team naturally and easily. The returnees continued to build on their previous experience.”

Lacie Fink, sophomore accounting major, won the novice division. Abby Williams, senior English and music major, placed second in the varsity division while Hunter Cochran, junior mathematics and physics major, placed second in the professional division.

“[Fink, Cochran and Williams] were wonderful representatives of our team,” said Ali Holcomb, debate team captain and senior social work major. “It was great to see how the whole team was able to come together and support them.”

The tournament was the first opportunity for the team’s seven freshmen to compete.

“I think we will have a really excellent season,” Holcomb said. “[The freshmen] worked really hard, and I have a lot of confidence in them.”

Full results from the University of Arkansas at Monticello’s “Weevil Wars Tournament”:

Team: IPDA sweepstakes first place and overall sweepstakes second place.

Cochran, professional debate finalist and professional debate speaker fifth place.

Williams, varsity debate finalist and varsity debate speaker second place.

Luke Brake, varsity debate quarterfinalist.

Holcomb, varsity debate quarterfinalist and varsity debate speaker third place.

Anna Goodman, varsity debate octo-finalist and varsity debate speaker fourth place.

Janie Owen, varsity debate octo-finalist.

Sam Strickland, varsity debate octo-finalist.

Fink, novice debate champion and novice debate speaker second place.

Daniel Keylon, novice debate quarterfinalist.

Cassandra Solis, novice debate octo-finalist.

For more information about Union’s debate team, contact Drake at (731) 661-5961 or wdrake@uu.edu.

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Union Broadcast Systems to merge with National Broadcast Society chapter

JACKSON, Tenn. — Union Broadcast Systems and Union’s National Broadcasting Society chapter are merging to provide new national opportunities for broadcasting students and remove confusion between the two organizations.

Currently, UBS and NBS are different organizations with similar functions made up predominantly of broadcast journalism and media communications majors. UBS is responsible for producing Union basketball and soccer telecasts for TV channel 6 and the student-led UNews broadcast on campus.

UBS senator Caleb Shore said the main difference between the two is level of commitment and intent.

“Anyone who sees themselves having a future in the industry of media communication should be a part of NBS,” Shore said. “UBS is good to be a part of if you’re not sure exactly what you are going to do or if you just want to get your feet wet, but once you become serious about the business then NBS is the platform which you need to build yourself on.”

With the merger, Shore said NBS will be the umbrella under which UBS operates.

“The society is the people, and the system is the operation,” he said.

Combining UBS and NBS will help the students by joining the day-to-day student production side of the present with making contacts and getting their name out for their professional future, Shore added.

Ray Eaton, executive director of media production and adviser of the NBS chapter, said he thinks the merger can be successful and beneficial.

“The functions of UBS will not totally go away,” Eaton said. “UBS will still be there and do what it does.”

Eaton said the merger would remove inter-societal complications and confusion among members of both groups, making everything “neater, smoother and more streamlined.”

Kathryn Feathers, vice president of UBS, said the merger will create a more unified broadcasting program, with UBS officers becoming NBS officers once the merger is final

NBS chapter membership requires yearly dues, but the officers say they intend to rework the constitution to allow students who do not want to be full members to work on Union broadcasts.

Members of NBS will have added resume opportunities — such as AERho, the broadcast honor society, and access to a variety of competitions. Additionally, they can attend the annual NBS conference and make contacts with key professionals in their areas of interest.

Feathers said several members of the society plan to attend the annual conference in the spring, which will be held in Los Angeles.

“The society is growing and we are serious about our careers,” she said. “We are excited to attend the conference this year and utilize everything that NBS has to offer.”

The officers plan to raise funds for the trip.

UBS senator Dominique Willingham said he is excited to be a part of what the future holds for the broadcasting program after the merger.

“We are going to be more involved with campus life and get the name out there more,” Willingham said. “It’s going to be great this year because we have a great team leading us, and we want to really grow.”

Magic-Banner

Theatre to perform G.K. Chesterton play, “Magic”

JACKSON, Tenn.—The communication arts department’s fall play this year will be “Magic,” an early 20th century comedy written by G.K. Chesterton.

Theater professor David Burke will direct “Magic.” Nick Fleming will play the main character, the conjuror-magician.

The play opens Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the W. D. Powell Theatre in the Penick Academic Complex. Performances will continue until Oct. 8. There will be additional showings Oct. 4 at 11:30 and Oct. 6 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $3 for Union students and $7 for the general public.

“Chesterton was a journalist and lay theologian, and his friend, George Bernard Shaw, was pressuring him to write a play,” Fleming said. “That’s when Chesterton wrote ‘Magic.’”

The play tells the story of a duchess whose niece and nephew come to live with her. The nephew is an American atheist and the niece a spiritual fairy-speaker, Fleming said.

Other characters are an agnostic, an evolutionist and a preacher. The duchess brings in a magician who, according to Fleming, “turns the tables on them and causes them to question everything.”

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Cardinal & Cream to Increase Web Presence

Scattered in newspaper stands around campus, the Cardinal & Cream has long been a key source for Union student news.

In years past, the paper has run six editions per semester, in both print and, more recently, web formats. However, starting in fall 2013, the publication plan has been changed to include three web-only editions and three printed editions that will also be available on the web.

One of the goals for this change is to increase readership.

“I hope that people who are tech-savvy will take advantage of the change,” said McKenzie Masters, editor-in-chief of the Cardinal & Cream. “We’re going for a bigger presence on Facebook and Twitter. All the editors will have a day to write something for the Facebook page or tweet on Twitter, which will bring personality to the posts; they won’t be stale or impersonal, and will keep followers updated.

JOUR2013smThe switch to more and online-only editions is an effort to promote awareness of and traffic to the new website (www.cardinalandcream.org) and reflect the current trends among potential readers.

“I would be more apt to click on a story through the Cardinal & Cream Twitter page than to pick up and read a paper,” Masters said.

The online-only editions will provide student writers the opportunity to develop multi-media pieces that can be used in their portfolios.

“We want to keep the department up-to-date and prepare students for post-college experiences,” said Kathleen Murray, visiting assistant professor of photojournalism and Cardinal & Cream faculty adviser. “The student writers will be responsible for making a social media blast on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

“The hope is that links and photos will be shared within the Union community and in the online communities each social media user has established in order to draw people in.”

The responsibility for the social media blast falls on the editorial staff members.

“We’ve made it so everyone has a role in the promotion of the Cardinal & Cream,” Masters said. “In order for this change to be a success and for our goals to be reached, we need everyone to be involved. It’s a team effort, especially now, because of the social media side.”

Murray said that fewer print editions are more “practical and cost-effective” and will enable this semester’s printed editions to be of better quality, both in material and in content.

The first print edition of the paper this semester was scheduled for a Sept. 12 distribution, with another edition following every two weeks.

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Eaton named to NBS-AERho Board of Governors

Ray Eaton, broadcasting technician in the communication arts department, was recently elected to the Board of Governors for the National Broadcasting Society-Alpha Epsilon Rho.

Eaton will serve a two-year term for the organization, a student and professional society of more than 85 chapters on college, university and high school campuses. He was elected to the position during the NBS convention in Washington, D.C.

“As a member of the board, I help to plan, implement and stage the national conventions as well as function as a member of specific task forces in the areas of fund raising, development, promotion and advisory roles,” Eaton said.

The 2014 convention will be held in March in Los Angeles. Eaton has been a member of NBS since 1998 and is the adviser for the group’s local chapter at Union.

In addition, Eaton and three Union students – junior Grant Atkinson and  junior Caroline Miller, both media communications majors, and senior Jacob Melder, broadcast journalism major, – were inducted into the Alpha Epsilon Rho Honor Society.

NBS_Eaton

Eaton named to NBS-AERho Board of Governors

Ray Eaton, broadcasting technician in the communication arts department, was recently elected to the Board of Governors for the National Broadcasting Society-Alpha Epsilon Rho.

Eaton will serve a two-year term for the organization, a student and professional society of more than 85 chapters on college, university and high school campuses. He was elected to the position during the NBS convention in Washington, D.C.

“As a member of the board, I help to plan, implement and stage the national conventions as well as function as a member of specific task forces in the areas of fund raising, development, promotion and advisory roles,” Eaton said.

The 2014 convention will be held in March in Los Angeles. Eaton has been a member of NBS since 1998 and is the adviser for the group’s local chapter at Union.

In addition, Eaton and three Union students – junior Grant Atkinson and  junior Caroline Miller, both media communications majors, and senior Jacob Melder, broadcast journalism major, – were inducted into the Alpha Epsilon Rho Honor Society.

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COM Alum win big at TN Assoc. Press

Three COM alumni working at the Jackson Sun received honors at the annual Tennessee Associated Press Managing Editors contest.

Tracie Holden Simer (2004, Journalism), the Sun‘s online/social media editor, won the Malcolm Law award for a project that revealed several area animal shelters did not follow state rules governing pet adoptions.

Aaron Hardin won first place in Spot News Photography for his photos of this church fire in downtown Jackson.

Aaron Hardin won first place in Spot News Photography for his photos of this church fire in downtown Jackson.

Photographer Aaron Hardin (2007, Digital Media Studies) won first place in Spot News Photography.

Reporter Jordan Buie (2010, Journalism) won first place in the Video category.

A team consisting of Simer, Buie and reporter Ned Hunter also won second place in the Daily Deadline category.

Simer and reporter Lauren Foreman won honorable mention in the Freedom of Information category, which included work from all of the state’s daily newspapers and broadcasters.

The Sun’s staff also placed first in the Website and Multimedia categories.

The Sun competed against six other newspapers across the state with daily circulations ranging from 15,001 to 50,000. The contest recognized work produced in 2012.

The awards were presented at a banquet Saturday night at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel.

[Original story found at the Jackson Sun's website here]