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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Elgin Named December Intern of the Month

Stephany Elgin, a Public Relations & Strategic Communication major with a minor in Business Administration, has been named Intern of the Month for December.

She completed her internship this summer at Hospice of North Central Ohio in Ashland. She encourages students to "never take yourself out of the running for an internship by not applying. Even if it doesn't seem like something that you would like to do for a career, there are learning opportunities from every situation."

Stephany is also involved with Alpha Lambda Delta, the Orientation Team, Accent on Public Relations, the Public Relations Student Society of America, Lambda Pi Eta, Omicron Kappa Delta, Rho Lambda, & the Order of Omega. She is a senior and plans to graduate in May 2015.

Congratulations Stephany!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

DOCS' Students Leave No Doubt!

This weekend was an amazing weekend for the DOCS program! Our students showed off the tradition of excellence that we work so hard to teach them, both in and out of the classroom.

To start the weekend off, the Sport Communication Club (SCC) gave AU students and football program their first pep rally on campus in, what we were told, was nearly two decades. The event started off as a Sport Comm internship project from Chris Harvey, and through the help of the SCC, it was able to be executed for the fans in one semester's time. The event served as both a pep rally and a jersey reveal for the new black football jerseys for the Eagles, and the concept of the Blackout for the game was the theme for the event. With the support of the AU Gridiron Club and the athletic department, we were able have a raffle and a #Blackout tee shirt giveaway. More than 300 students came to the event and it was praised as a success by Ken Krupp from the Gridiron Club, Coach Lee Owens, and Al King, Interim Athletic Director. 

On Friday, five students traveled to Franklin University in Columbus to present at the 78th Annual Ohio Communication Association Conference (OCA).

Lauren Fattlar was awarded the honor of Outstanding Undergraduate Student by the Ohio Communication Association. Along with this honor, Lauren also won Top Undergraduate Student poster at the conference on Saturday. Her project used Expectancy Violation Theory to assess the experiences of incoming college
athletes compared to the "college life" they expected to encounter. Lauren is a senior triple majoring in Public Relations & Strategic Communication, Health & Risk Communication, and Sport Communication. 

Megan Salatino also presented a poster at OCA and was given immense praise by the judges for her research into the use of social media as a platform for college team fandom. Megan is a junior double majoring in Public Relations & Strategic Communication and Sport Communication.

Kate Lentz presented a co-authored paper covering the effects of immediacy and efficacy in women's college basketball. An attendee later stated that the level of research in Kate's study was exceptional for the undergraduate level, and other panel attendees also commented on the study asking for information on the follow up in the works currently. Kate is a senior double majoring in Sport Communication and Digital Media Production and a minor in Digital Media Journalism.

Nellie Cronin and Taylor Campbell lead a panel discussion, along with professors from Franklin University, about the opportunities afforded in PRSSA and PRSA. This panel discussed everything from the use of social media to grassroots efforts for resume building and organization fundraising. Nellie is a senior double majoring in Public Relations & Strategic Communication and Health & Risk Communication. She is also the president of AU's chapter of PRSSA and Accent on PR. Taylor is a junior double majoring in Public Relations & Strategic Communication and Health & Risk Communication with a minor in Religion.

The faculty and staff congratulates each of the students involved in the events from this past weekend... from the pep rally to OCA. You all represented AU and DOCS with professionalism and excellence.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fattlar Interns with Top Ranked Hospital

Senior Lauren Fattlar had a busy and rewarding summer interning with the Cleveland Clinic as a Corporate Communication Intern. In this position, Lauren pitched stories to the many media outlets, such as the news, TV, and magazines, she posted tweets on the Clinic's Twitter site, as well as researched trending topics and stories to send out as weekly tips to general reporters.

Lauren also had the opportunity to attend video shoots. One of the shoots recorded behind-the-scene activities of the heart center as the Clinic was recently named the No. 1 heart hospital by U.S. News & World Report for the 20th consecutive year.

"Communication courses such as Public Relations Writing, Health Communication, Organizational Communication and Interpersonal Communication really helped prepare me for my internship by giving me the proper skill set and confidence to write press releases and to work in a fast-paced corporate communication environment," says Lauren. "It was really neat to have used what I learned about health communication and apply the importance of patient interaction first-hand at the Cleveland Clinic!"

Lauren is triple majoring in Health & Risk Communication, Public Relations & Strategic Communication and Sport Communication and plans on graduating in May 2015.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Five Students from AU'S Department of Communication Studies Joined O-Team

Lauren Fattlar, Alexys McQuillen, Stephany Elgin, Taylor Campbell and Byron Reyna-Corzo joined Ashland University's Orientation Team and are in the Department of Communication Studies. The Department of Communication majors include Health and Risk Communication, Sport Communication and Public Relations and Strategic Communication.

Ashland University's O-Teamers are responsible for guiding freshmen through their transition to campus life during orientation weekend and drive-ins. O-Teamers are selected based on personality and academic standing. These students instruct, guide, entertain and support freshmen by organizing events, giving tours and moving freshmen in early. 

Lauren Fattlar is on left standing next to Alexys McQuillen. Stephany Elign is in the middle with Taylor  Campbell and Byron Reyna-Corzo on her right. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Elgin Gains Experience Interning with AU's Department of Student Life

Public Relations and Strategic Communication major, Stephany Elgin, interned this summer with Ashland University's Department of Student Life as an Orientation and Commuter Services Intern.

Stephany's duties included assisting the director of Orientation with planning and implementing orientation programs, leading the Orientation Team as an executive member during programs, developing Orientation Team training materials, and preparing materials and presentations for incoming students and their family members, as well as working with special populations such as commuters, out of state students, and transfer students to feel more acclimated to campus. She also helped out with the day-to-day office tasks in the department.

"One class that has particularly helped me in this position would be organizational communication," says Stephany. "The course taught me how to develop and implement a training program, which was extremely beneficial when producing and designing a training program and materials for the Orientation Team members."

Public speaking was a large part of her experience.

"The skills I developed from many of my communication courses have helped me to become a better public speaker. I had been asked to give speeches or speak to crowds with very little notice on a number of occasions. Being able to organize my thoughts and present information in a logical manner has prepared me for this challenge."

Stephany added, "Working for the Student Life Office and the Department of Orientation has showed me just how much work goes into student life at AU. I am proud to be a part of a department that touches the lives of every new student on Ashland's campus!"

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wright Awarded National Scholarship

Madison Paige Wright, a double major in Public Relations & Strategic Communication and Health & Risk Communication was named one of 35 students nationwide who will receive the Jo Anne J. Trow Scholarship from the Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society for First Year Students.
Dr. Susan Melson Huffman, national president of Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society, made the announcement of the $1,000 scholarship that Wright will receive.
“For the 2014 competition, the national selection committee reviewed more than 85 strong applicants,” Huffman said. “This year’s applicant pool was extremely strong, and selecting 35 winners from such a large group of outstanding students, was, as always, a challenge.”
Wright, a junior, is also working on a minor in History. She is in the Ashbrook Scholars Program and is a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America.
Earlier this year, the Ashland Chapter of the Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society named Wright the outstanding sophomore of the year.
Wright is the daughter of Fredrick and Cheryl Wright of Lakewood.
The Jo Anne J. Trow Scholarship was started in 1988, in honor of a past national president of Alpha Lambda Delta. Trow is the former vice president for Student Services at Oregon State University. She served National Alpha Lambda Delta as a district adviser from 1974 to 1979, as national secretary from 1979 to 1983, as president-elect from 1984 to 1985, and as national president from 1985 to 1988.

Stoops Interning for ACIS


Kimmie Stoops is interning for American Collegiate Intramural Sports (ACIS). She is working as an ACIS Marketing Intern and assists with the execution of ACIS sponsor events and promotions on the Ashland University campus.
Some of her duties include brand marketing, advertising, and conducting surveys, and then reporting the results back to ACIS.

Kimmie is enjoying her internship and credits her communication courses in helping her work with people and the public. Through her courses she has learned several different techniques on how to relate to people and how to positively represent products and companies.

"Working as an ACIS intern has helped me improve the techniques I have learned in class and has also widened my knowledge about how the public perceives information best. It really is a fun job!" says Kimmie.
Handing out sample products

Kimmie is pursing a bachelor of arts degree with a double major in Sport Communication and Public Relations & Strategic Communication. She plans to graduate in May 2017.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Federal Gov't Proposes Risk-Based Health IT Regulatory Framework

On Thursday, HHS released a draft report that includes a proposed strategy and recommendations for creating a risk-based health IT regulatory framework.

The draft report was developed by FDA, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the Federal Communications Commission (HHS release, 4/3).


The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act directed the agencies to develop "a proposed strategy and recommendations on an appropriate, risk-based regulatory framework pertaining to health IT including mobile medical applications that promotes innovation, protects patient safety and avoids regulatory duplication" (iHealthBeat, 10/18/13).

The report was originally due to Congress by January 2014 (iHealthBeat, 3/20). 

Details of Proposed Framework

Under the federal agencies' proposal, health IT products would be classified into three categories based on the function and risk level of the product, rather than on the product's platform.

The first category would include health IT products with administrative functions that pose little or no risk to patient safety and therefore require no additional oversight. Products in this category would include software for billing, claims processing, scheduling and inventory management.

The second category would include health IT products with health management functions, such as software for health information management, medication management, provider order entry and most clinical decision support. Because such products are of relatively low risk, FDA does not plan to focus its oversight on them. Instead, the draft report recommends relying on ONC and private-sector efforts to highlight quality management, industry standards and best practices. The draft report also proposes incorporating testing, certification and accreditation processes for products in this category.

The third category would include health IT products with medical device functions that could potentially pose significant risks to patients if they do not perform as intended. Such products would include computer-aided detection software, software for bedside monitor alarms and radiation treatment software. According to the draft report, FDA would continue to regulate health IT products that fall in this category.

The proposed framework also calls for ONC to work with FDA, FCC, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and other stakeholders to create a public-private Health IT Safety Center. The center would be tasked with developing best practices and providing an avenue for sharing information and ideas related to patient safety.

FDA, FCC and ONC plan to hold a public meeting to collect comments and feedback on the draft report.


HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, "The diverse and rapidly developing industry of health information technology requires a thoughtful, flexible approach," adding, "This proposed strategy is designed to promote innovation and provide technology to consumers and health care providers while maintaining patient safety."
National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo said, "ONC welcomes comment on the draft report and stands ready to collaborate with stakeholders to ensure that health IT is designed and used with both innovation and patient safety in mind."

Matt Quinn, director of health care initiatives at FCC, said, "The draft report reflects FCC's narrow but important role in encouraging new and innovative wireless medical technologies and ensuring that developers and users of these technologies are minimizing the potential for causing potentially harmful interference to radio services," adding, "We look forward to future collaboration with all stakeholders to achieve the promise of health IT" (HHS release, 4/3).

Reprinted from:
iHealth Beat

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ashland Eagle Becomes a Member of the Cavs

Ashland University Class of 2012 alumna, Angelique Cunningham, is now a part of the Cleveland Cavaliers. When she attended the MAC Career Fair at Quicken Loans arena, alongside Dr. Theodore Avtgis, she had no idea that a meeting would land her a job with one of the big three professional sports teams in Cleveland. The Cavs spared no expense as Cunningham had the opportunity to return to a game with her family and sat in 3rd row courtside seats. One day later she was offered a position with the Cavs as an account executive for inside sales.

Angelique graduated from Ashland in 2012 with a double major in Public Relations and Electronic Media Production.

“As I reflect back on my personal, professional, and academic growth I attribute much of my success to my time spent at Ashland University,” said Cunningham.

She also credited the strong Department of Communication Studies at Ashland University, guided by Dr. Avtgis.
“The communication program built a strong platform for me that not only promoted the value in majoring in communication studies but afforded me the skill-sets necessary to handle communication studies at the master’s level.” 

Following her graduation from Ashland Univeristy, she pursued a master of arts in communication at The University of Akron and will be graduating in May.

“I am a proud alumna of Ashland University and as a communication major there are absolutely no limitations what you can do.”

Congratulations, Angelique, on the start of your new career. Forever you belong to Ashland University and Ashland University belongs to you. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Wright Named Outstanding Sophomore

A big congratulation goes out to Ashland University Sophomore Madison Wright. The Ashland Chapter of the Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society has just named Madison the Outstanding Sophomore of the year. Madison is a triple major in Public Relations, Strategic, and Health and Risk Communication and also minors in History. The sophomore is in the Ashbrook Scholars Program at Ashland and is also a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America.

After winning the award Wright began to work with Dr. Vickie VanDresar and LeeAnn Larson on submitting her application to the national outstanding sophomore competition. “I am honored to be the one chosen to compete in nationals for Ashland University and the recognition of the work I have completed thus far has motivated me to continue putting all of the time I have into the University,” said Wright on her award.
As for all those who have helped her along the way Madison said “my main supporters have been my parents and professors who have pushed me to maximize my potential and drive. Without the professors giving me their time and believing in me, I would not have been aware of half the activities I am in.”

On behalf of all of us here in the Department of Communication Studies at Ashland University congratulations Madison on this great achievement, and best of luck in the national competition. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Concussions Causing Serious Concerns

by Halee Heironimus

Would you believe that sports are the third leading cause of concussions?  Believe it, because over the past three years, concussions have reached a more serious level that could consequently affect the future of sports.

Coaches and officials are beginning to experience the challenges that concussions bring to sports. Head football coach Lee Owens expressed his concern for football.

“The future of the game is in danger because of head injuries,” he said.

On Monday, March 24, Secretary of the Sport Communication Club Megan Salatino held a forum regarding concussions. Students and faculty gathered in the Student Center Auditorium to receive information and get their questions answered from six panelists: Owens, Mark Hamilton, Dariela Rodriguez, Melissa Snyder, Dennis Gruber and Mike Millward.

Questions included the myths, treatments, and studies of concussions over the years. The myth concerning how concussions happen is well-known; one has to be hit in the head to be concussed. That’s proven not always true, though; concussions can also occur by a severe jolt of the body.  

Another myth about treatments is that people shouldn't rest, that they should awake every four hours.  Panelists disagreed with that myth. It’s suggested that one must rest in a dark room for at least 24 hours with no phone, television or exciting music. Any activity that raises one’s blood pressure and heart rate raises symptoms.

Rodriguez, an assistant professor of Communication Studies, compared concussion symptoms as a “grey area” because every individual’s reaction is different.

One certainty, though, is the signs of concussions: dizziness, nausea, headache and the biggest sign, emotion instability.

Millward and Gruber, Director of Athletic Training, stated the impact concussions have on emotions.
“Players will say ‘My headache is gone, but I don’t feel like myself,’” Millward said.
Dr. Gruber said, “Emotion is the last sign to resolve.”

So how many concussions are too many? When is it time to quit? Again, it’s individualized, depending on the severity and recovery.

Panelists’ stated that each concussion you have, you are more likely to have a second one. Concussions tend to get worse after the first, and symptoms last longer. Multiple concussions, or even one severe, cause the brain to deteriorate, resulting long-term consequences such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, hearing loss, behavioral issues and even death.

Thankfully, the awareness of the severity with concussions has spread over the past few years. People are beginning to realize the long-term consequences and taking “the bell was rung” more seriously. For Ashland University, staff members conduct computer testing, also known as a neurocognitive test, a balance test, an impact test and a question test on all athletes.

“We now have a better understanding of what we need to do on our end,” said Gruber.

As for Coach Owens, he’s struggling with the progress. He reflected on how the game has changed over the last two to three years in order to prevent injuries, including limited contact during practice.

“It feels like we’re taking the physical part of the game away,” he said, “But if we don’t be proactive, we will lose the game completely.”

Millward compares the progress from a different perspective.

“It’s like warriors went to battle and got betrayed for what they went to battle for,” he said.

When it comes to concussions, many factors come into play. One thing is for certain, though, and that’s to take care of head injuries right away.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Scary Scene on Dallas Ice

Daniel Greenway

Monday night at a National Hockey League game between the Dallas Stars and the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets, a scary scene unfolded as the Stars’ center, Rich Peverley, collapsed on the Dallas bench. Peverley collapsed due to a reported heart problem; he had surgery prior to this season for an irregular heart beat ESPN Dallas reported. The game was postponed as neither team felt like finishing it, at the time of Peverley’s collapse the Stars trailed the Blue Jackets 1-0 early in the first period. Peverley was conscious as he was taken off the bench and rushed to a local hospital; Dr. Gil Salazar stated that they treated Peverley for a “cardiac event” using chest compressions and a defibrillator to bring rhythm back to his heart was successful (ESPN Dallas). 

The scene in Dallas is a perfect example of risk communication at its finest. The Dallas Stars play in an arena (American Airlines Arena) where a defibrillator is mandatory. Having quick access to the defibrillator as well as a swift action by the team and staff saved precious seconds that are critical in these situations. Understanding risk communication and how to create a crisis plan is crucial in these life-threatening situations. The sports industry is always looking for educated and experienced individuals who understand risk and crisis communication principles.

Ashland University’s programs in health and risk communication as well as sport communication look at events such as this to educate their students. Anyone who is interested in the Sport or Health career fields can find their calling at Ashland University, gain valuable real world experience and learn from events such as this in Dallas and apply them in a positive learning environment. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

COM 101 Students Participate in Service Learning Projects

Students in Sherry Bouquet's Human Communication class participated in a service learning project to cap off their fall semester. Given the task of selecting a local organization to assist in solving a problem, students worked in groups and selected four community organizations: Ashland Salvation Army, Ashland Dragons Special Olympics Basketball program, Military Support Group of Ashland, and Wayne County Humane Society. Bouquet is an adjunct professor in the Department of Communication Studies.

Captain Jessica DeMichael at the Kroc Center directed one group to the need for bell ringers. This group then planned to ring the bells and endeavored to get the word out about how students can serve at the Kroc Center as well as the many services offered.

Megan Maguire, Desiree Boyer, Kristen Roch, Kim Pitre,
and Garrett Babcock ring the bell for the
Salvation Army.

Another team of students connected with the Special Olympics basketball program to attend and help at one of their weekly practices. The whole team enjoyed the practice at the Ashland Y and several students in the class are planning to volunteer again in this month. The team prepared flyers to solicit others who like to play basketball and would be interested in coming out to help.

 Emily Harrington, Colt Miers, Madison Spain, Erica Lawhun,
and Jamie Waltz practice with the the Ashland Dragons.
A group working with the Military Support Group focused on awareness and collection addresses of deployed military personnel. The local support group voiced this as one of their biggest needs in order to send care packages out to those who need support. The students were also proactive in suggesting the MSG expand its mission to include veterans in their support efforts.   (Haley Ingle, William Krese, Danielle Lucas, Brianna Holmes)

Finally, pulling on our heart strings with adorable dogs and cats, one team got down and dirty cleaning up at the Wayne County Humane Society. The most rewarding “chore” they took on was to play with the dogs and cats to give them some socialization time. Getting the word out through various social media outlets was suggested by this group to encourage others to volunteer to support this cause.  (Paige Rengert, Tori Casper, Zach Wright, Maggie Lorentz, Coral Nelson)

Understanding the importance of effective group process and communications was made practical for each group as they made an impact on the local community and encouraged others to do the same.