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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Communication Studies Visiting Instructor Amanda Weed Named Fellow at National Conference

Amanda Weed was named a Kopenhaver Center Fellow of the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication at the 100th Convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) in Chicago in August.

Weed is among 47 women from colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to be a Kopenhaver Center Fellow and participate in the seminar on professional leadership and team building, “Women Faculty Moving Forward: A Pathway to Success in the Academy.”

She is a visiting faculty member in the department of communication studies and teaches public relations and strategic communication.

The Kopenhaver Center at Florida International University was founded by Dr. Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver, dean emeritus and professor in 2012 to empower both women professionals and academics in all the fields of communication to develop visionaries and leaders who can make a difference in their communities and their profession. Its website is

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Communications Grads' Employment Rates Among Highest

The PR Newswire announced the results of an independent survey that indicate that communications majors have one of the highest employment rates among those surveyed who had earned their bachelor’s degree in the past ten years.  According to the article, the current employment rate for students who majored in communications is 93%, which places them among the top 5 majors with the highest employment rates

Ashland University’s communication studies programs allow students to study and master some of the most sought after and needed skill sets that organizations are demanding today and into the future.  From opportunities to work with faculty members on research and capstone projects to the chance to join a number of extracurricular activities, Ashland communication studies graduates are poised to go on to graduate programs or employment. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Ashland University Students Partner with Local Businesses

by Nathaniel Urban

 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University students of the Communication 474: Public Relations Campaigns course, led by Visiting Instructor Amanda Weed, partnered with local Ashland businesses and university organizations in the spring semester as part of the capstone course for the Ashland University Public Relations and Strategic Communication major.

Student agency teams designed and implemented public relations campaigns for their clients to provide positive outcomes for each organization.  The student team for Associated Charities of Ashland County managed a donation event that gained more than 500 donations for the Kids Closet program, which provides clothing to local families-in-need.  The student’s campaign nearly doubled Associated Charities clothing inventory in just one day.  "Our team did an outstanding job from start to finish. They saw what our need was and away they went with it. Their ads on social media were right on target with the goal,” said Shirley Bonfiglio, Assistant Director and Events Coordinator for Associated Charities.

No Pawz Left Behind, a local animal welfare organization that works in cooperation with the Ashland County Dog Shelter, worked with their student team to earn supply and monetary donations valued at more than $300.  As an added bonus to the campaign, an adoptable dog found its “fur-ever” home during the two-weekend event.  The student agency team also succeeded in creating more public awareness of No Pawz Left Behind through a social media boost that provided adoption information.

PR Campaigns student agency team for the Ashland University 
Writing Center present their work to clients and classmates.
(From L to R: Kaitlyn Dailey, Nuri Lee, Megan Furby,
and Susanna Savage), 
Photo Credit Amanda J. Weed
The Ashland University Writing Center also partnered with a student agency team to build awareness of its services among student athletes.  Through a targeted campaign that integrated social media and educational presentations with AU sports teams, Writing Center appointments among athletes increased 57% over the previous three months. “The students who chose the Writing Center for their project did fantastic work. They had a solid plan, which they executed very well with minimum resources. I am planning to use their promotional model next year and am so grateful for their time and hard work,” said Dr. Maura Grady, director of the AU Writing Center.

The students who worked with Donate Life Ohio, in cooperation with Ashland University Eagle Wellness, made it their goal to better educate other students on the impact organ donation can have on other people’s lives. The group hosted a public lecture for their guest speaker, Ashland University Professor and organ donation recipient Dr. Mark Hamilton, who discussed how organ donation helped save his life.

“We knew our client needed to create more public awareness with students to show the value of organ donation as well as how to become a donor. We also knew a lot of students loved having Dr. Hamilton for class so we saw the impact he could have by sharing his personal story with students,” said Tyler Starr, a junior double-major in Public Relations & Strategic Communication and Sports Communication, who worked on the campaign.

The Department of Communication Studies at Ashland University is committed to creating real-life opportunities for students to demonstrate what they have learned in the classroom. Each of the local Ashland businesses and Ashland University organizations benefitted from the work done by the students in the public relations campaigns course. 

Students of Public Relations Campaigns, Photo Credit Amanda J. Weed

Friday, June 2, 2017

Shawn Orr Presents at International Conference

​Shawn Orr, director of faculty services for the College of Online and Adult Studies and interim department chairperson for communication studies, recently presented at the International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence sponsored by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development.

Orr presented on building partnerships and collaboration with adjunct faculty including moderating a panel discussion with several adjunct faculty from colleges around the country.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Dr. Randall-Griffiths Quoted by Ohio Humanities

Dr. Deleasa Randall-Griffiths, Associate Professor and Director of the Online Communication Studies Program, was quoted by the Ohio Humanities, an organization dedicated to promoting the humanities in Ohio through collaborations with cultural and educational institutions, in its coverage of the Ashland Chautauqua.

Dr. Randall-Griffiths, who is the project director of the Ashland Chautauqua, noted the significance of 2017 for the Chautauqua and of the importance of the Chautauqua's relationship with Ohio Humanities:
Earlier this year, Ashland Chautauqua received the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce award for “Culture and Recreation.”  Accepting that award validated our many years producing the annual five-day event that brings history to life, Chautauqua style. None of this, not the award and certainly not the many years of scholarly performances and workshops, would have been possible without Ohio Humanities. Our community is enriched each year by Ohio Humanities. They help us see the present through the past and expand our notion of what it means to be human.         
According to the Ohio Humanities' blog, Ashland Chautauqua "exemplifie[s]...part of Ohio Humanities' mission to help leverage local support for cultural and heritage programming."

Congratulations to the Ashland Chautauqua and to Dr. Randall-Griffiths and thank you to the Ohio Humanities for its generous support.

To view the full post, please visit the Ohio Humanities blog.  Be sure to check out this year's Chautauqua, Voices of Freedom, here.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Students Inducted into National Communication Studies Honor Society

On Thursday, March 2, the Communication Studies Department honored the academic excellence of its students in a ceremony recognizing current members of and inducting eligible students into Lambda Pi Eta, the national communication studies honor society.

Lambda Pi Eta seeks to recognize, foster, and reward outstanding scholastic achievement in communication studies, and students meet rigorous academic standards in order to be eligible for membership.

                                          Left to right, back row:
                                          Kimmie Stoops, Co-President
                                          Collin Cayse, new member
                                          Jordan Martinez, new member
                                          Noah Hupfer, new member
                                          Dr. Dariela Rodriguez, Department Chair and Lambda Pi Eta Advisor

                                          Left to right, front row:
                                          Kate Siefert, Co-President
                                          Morgan Bittengle, new member
                                          Arica Fiorini, new member
                                          Maggie Andrews, new member
                                          Nuri Lee, new member
                                          Mykenna Schlorb, new member

Congratulations, Lambda Pi Eta members,
on your academic excellence!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Ashland University's Excellence Travels to Philadelphia

     Dr. Dariela Rodriguez, chair of the Communication Studies Department at Ashland University, traveled to Philadelphia to participate in the National Communication Association's (NCA) 102nd Annual Conference on November 12, 2016. This conference hosted professors across the country as well as some industry professionals. 

    Dr.  Rodriguez presented a short course about Innovative Approaches to the Application of Risk and Crisis Communication. This short course focused on the development and implementation of  risk and crisis communication plans, as well as a variety of theories and other activities used to prepare students for success. Dr. Rodriguez said,  "hearing industry professionals talk about what they want in upcoming young communication professionals at the NCA conference confirmed what I am teaching here at Ashland University."

Check out more about Dr. Dariela Rodriguez here.