College of Communication Accomplishments for June 2009

I am so happy to share with you several honors that our faculty and students have received in the month of June.

  • Rowan Television Network (RTN) received three Bronze Telly Awards for the programs All Access with the Profs, Game On, and Up All Night. The Telly Awards honor local, regional, and cable TV programming/advertising, as well as online film and video. All Access with the Profs, RTN’s weekly show covering Rowan sports, was produced and anchored by Cody Chrusciel and Corey Scheiner and directed by Megan Patterson. Game On, a video game show, was produced by Alex Wanschura and edited by Tony Wanschura. Their winning episode considered the Nintendo Mega Man game. Up All Night, was produced and directed by Adam Bradshaw. This late night talk show stars Kevin McTigue and Joe Penn and earned honors in the student category.
  • Bill Wolff and two Writing Arts students (Katherin Fitzpatrick and Rene Youssef) have recently had the honor of having their work published in the online journal, Currents. The article, titled  ”Rethinking Usability for Web 2.0 and Beyond” was informed by research Katie and Rene completed as part of Bill’s NSFS grant and is about important issues of website usability and audiences (crucial to most of domains of communication career at this point). You can find their work online at:
  • Emily Kostic, a senior student in the journalism program, has been honored for her extremely impressive “Journalism 3.0” blog.  Emily received a 2nd place award in the “Best Independent Blog” category  in the Society of Professional Journalists New Jersey Chapter’s Excellence in Journalism Awards. To visit Emily’s blog, go to: To view the other winners of the NJSPJ awards, go to
  • Rowan Radio’s Studio 89.7 was the 2009 First Place winner in the Enterprising Reporting category of the New Jersey chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists annual competition. The winning episode featured host Paul Perrello’s interview of Hill Harper, author of Letters to a Young Sister.
  • Rowan Radio’s The Women’s Room, hosted by Julia Giacoboni, won First Place for Best Radio Magazine Feature in the Philadelphia Press Association’s annual competition. The winning entry discusses post-partum depression, with commentary by expert guests Susan Ellis Murphy, Coordinator of PPD Services in South Jersey and Connie Bonillas, Associate Professor at Kean University and a PPD survivor.

Please join me in congratulating our talented faculty and students!


May 2009 Student Accomplishments

Several Communication students were honored for their excellence in May 2009.

  • The Bagin-Ambacher Scholarship Committee announced the names of the scholarship winners for 2009-2010. The transfer student winner is Rebecca Cicione who will be majoring in Public Relations at Rowan.  The freshman winner is Matthew Farrel, who intends to major in Journalism.
  • The Gloucester County Times covered the work of student in our online journalism class taught by Mark Berkey-Gerard.  You can check out the article at
  • The radio documentary “From First Snap to Stagg: A History of Rowan Football” has won a first place award in the category of radio sports reporting for the 2008 Mark of Excellence national competition conducted by the Society of Professional Journalists. The Society of Professional Journalists’ annual competition recognizes college radio, television and cable systems, photography and weekly newspapers, magazines and newsletters.  The winning documentary was produced by RTF grad Joe Staudenmayer (now a PR grad student), and 2008 alumnus Jim Vassallo.
  • WGLS students won two awards in the fifteenth annual Communicator Awards competition. The Communicator Awards is a national organization founded by communication professionals to recognize individuals and companies  whose talent and creativity achieves excellence and serves as a standard for the industry.  This year’s competition featured a pool of over 7000 entries. In the student production category,  the Award of Excellence was given to “Fading Farms & Saving Grace: Preserving the Garden State,” a 30-minute documentary on the state of farming in New Jersey. “Fading Farms” was co-produced by former WGLS-FM Public Affairs director Julia Giacoboni, a recently graduated Radio/Television/Film (RTF) major,  and Brian Kanady, who earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism May 2008.  This is the eleventh major award for “Fading Farms.”  A Crystal Award of Distinction was given to “Depression: Sad But True,” a documentary that explores the signs, symptoms,  causes and effects of depression. The documentary was co-produced by RTF graduates Ashley Smith and Jeff O’Connor. This documentary previously won third place in the 2008 Best Educational Program competition conducted by the Broadcast Education Association.

Please join me in sending congratulations to Jeff, Ashley, Brian, Julia, Joe, Jim, Matthew, Rebecca and the Online Journalism students for a job well done!


Commencement 2009

Commencement 2009 was quite a success.  The weather threatened and wavered and graduate commencement had to be moved inside, but the undergraduate ceremonies were held on the green, and in the end, Mother Nature cooperated and we had no rain and reasonable temperatures.  Being able to have the ceremony outside was quite a bonus, because the university had its largest graduating class ever, meaning an immense crowd of family, friends, and loved ones.

Speakers for the day included President Donald Farish; founder, David Girgenti; Armand corporation president, Barbara Armand; senior class president, Brittany Meyer; and SGA president, Phillip Castro.  An honorary degree was awarded to mezzo-soprano Barbara Dever, who also addressed the crowd. Their speeches were touching, humourous, and inspirational by turns.

The audience for the main ceremony, students included, was truly impressive to me.  Not only did everyone look lovely and happy, but they were incredibly courtous and respectful.  Students stood when asked, cheered at appropriate moments, and listened attentively.  Not once did I hear a rude yell or see a beach ball get batted at someone’s head.  Watching them made me feel even more proud of Rowan students than I usually do (which is a lot).

The College of Communication ceremony also went well.  Though the recreational center was a little warm, our administrative staff, lead by Assistant Dean Lin Sweeten, had organized a well-orchestrated event that resulted in very few little hitches along the way.  As with the university ceremony, students and their loved ones were extraordinarily pleasant and responsive.  Getting the opportunity to congratulate each student who crossed the podium was the highlight of my (admittedly brief) tenure as Interim Dean, and something I look forward to doing again next year.

So, all in all, it was a great day.  Congratulations, Class of 2009, and thank you for letting us share in your success.