A Day in the Life: #15 Sean Burns

In honor of our upcoming Communication Studies Game Day (it’s this Sunday, May 1st at 1:00 at Benedetti Diamond!), today’s “A Day in the Life” features Senior Communication Studies major and right-handed pitcher, #15 on the Dons men’s baseball team, Sean Burns!  Here is A Day in the Life of Sean, March 30, 2011:

#15 Right-handed pitcher, Sean Burns

10:00am- wake up and make breakfast.
11:00am- clean kitchen.
11:15am- shower and get ready for class.
11:45am- first class starts: Drawing for Non-Majors.
2:30pm- first class is over.
2:50pm- baseball practice starts. We typically have two practice days during the week. The team usually goes through a number of things, which include: batting practice, team defense drills, our own individual throwing programs (long toss, bullpens, etc.), conditioning (sprints, agility drills, core exercises, etc.), and weight training after we finish our work on the field.

Diamond Dons baseball team... Sean is third from the right

4:15pm- practice ends.
4:20pm- shower in locker room.
4:35pm- Get something to eat from the cafeteria.
4:45pm- Second class starts: Law, Politics, and Baseball.
6:25pm- Second class ends.
6:30pm- Third class starts: Advertising Planning and Placement.
9:15pm- Third class ends.
9:30pm- Arrive back at home.
9:45pm- Eat dinner.
10:00pm- Homework/study.
11:00pm- Call girlfriend and relax.
11:45pm- Go to sleep.
Sean, like the other players, juggles practice and three games per week with a full load of classes.  The baseball team has a jam-packed schedule, playing 55 games in the regular season!
Come join us to cheer on Sean and the rest of the team this Sunday at our Communication Studies Game Day!  1:00 at Benedetti Diamond!  The #1 ranked Dons will take on the #3 ranked Lions of LMU.  Fun fact: Baseball players are highly superstitious, so in addition to watching the field, I’ll have my eye on the dugout to catch some of the team’s game time rituals.
Thanks, Sean, for taking us through your day!  Congratulations to you and the rest of the team on your season and good luck this weekend!  Go Dons!
Photos courtesy of Alex Crook and the USF Athletics Department.

Dons' Doings: Communication Studies Game Day, Dons Baseball vs. LMU, 5/1!

This Sunday, May 1st at 1:00 is our Communication Studies Game Day at the Dons Baseball game versus Loyola Marymount University at Benedetti Diamond.  This isn’t just any Game Day, though.  It is our last Game Day of the 2010-2011 academic year!  And, more importantly, we will be cheering on the #1 team in the WCC!  That’s right, our Dons are having a great season and are coming off some important wins that have landed them in first place!

We have three Communication Studies majors on the team.  Check them out!

#15 Sean Burns

Senior right-handed pitcher #15 Sean Burns struck out two of the three batters he pitched to in one of the Dons most recent games.

#18 Jonathan Abramson

We have another right-handed pitcher in Senior Jonathan Abramson.  He got a groundout in the first game of the Santa Clara series (which the Dons swept, by the way!).

#28 Adam Clear

#28 Adam Clear plays shortstop and, by my read, leads the team in overall stats!

It should be a great day at the ballpark!  Turn left through the gates to find us on the bleachers.  You get in free with your student ID, otherwise tickets are $7 at the gates.  And here is breaking news: I think our banner, the banner that was previously banned and almost confiscated at War Memorial Gym during our Game Day at the women’s basketball game, is making its triumphant return at Benedetti Diamond!  So, look for our banner and come out support your #1 ranked team!  Go Dons!


Club Ed: Ciara, President of "Sister Connection"

I’m hoping that you get the name of our new category of blog posts, “Club Ed!”  I thought it would be fun to profile our majors who are involved in different clubs on campus.  We can recognize their involvement and also learn more about all of the clubs that you can join as students (FYI, by last count there were 98!).  You know, like “Club Med” but focused on our students’ involvement in clubs associated with our EDucational institution.  We’re getting EDucated about clubs.  Club Ed!  (Am I the only one who thinks this is funny?  Maybe.  But I’m okay with that.).

First up in Club Ed?  Communication Studies major Ciara Robinson, who you could call “President Robinson” if you wanted to.  Why?  Because she is President of “Sister Connection,” an organization that was started by and for women of color on campus.  According to Ciara, “the purpose of the organization is to Inspire, Empower & Connect the women outside of the classroom in a more comfortable setting.  I became involved because it is a great way to meet other women of color as well as discuss topics specific to us during our ‘Girl Talk.'”

Sister Connection President Ciara Robinson

As President, Ciara is in charge of their monthly meetings along with monthly Sisterly Outings, which are social activities for the members.  She is responsible, along with the rest of the E-board, for maintaining the good standing of the organization.  Sister Connection has many events throughout the year, including a sleepover at the end of each semester and an end of the year banquet “to reflect on what we have done as well as a farewell to any involved seniors.”  The Sisters recently started a program called “Inspire, Empower, Connect” where they tutor elementary and middle school girls as well as bring them on campus for a day to show them around USF and teach them about the college experience.

I asked Ciara if her Communication Studies background helps her in her role as President (hey, I can ask leading questions if I want to!): “Communication Studies has helped me in being President because it has taught me how to approach different relationships on the E-board.  I have learned that I have to use different styles of communicating with people because responses are so different.”

Sister Connection is open to all women of color on campus (and don’t feel left out, guys, there is also a Brother Connection, I checked!).  Congratulations to Ciara on her work with this campus organization!

Are you a Communication Studies major involved in a club on campus?  Contact me at edoohan@usfca.edu to win a trip to “Club Ed!”  (Note: No trip is actually won.  You will instead be featured in a blog post entitled “Club Ed”).


Alumni Spotlight #15: Maura Kelly, '09

Today’s Alumni Spotlight shines brightly onto 2009 Communication Studies graduate Maua Kelly!  Maura currently works as a producer in LA!  Let’s catch up with her!

Before we catch up with what Maura is doing now, I want to highlight a few of the things she did as an undergrad.  Maura minored in Film Studies.  Yes, you can minor in this here at USF!  (There are actually a ton of minor programs here, and, if you have “room” to pick up a minor, there is bound to be one that fits your interests).  During spring semester of her junior year, Maura attended the presigious Tisch program at New York University.  It was there she discovered her knack for film producing. 

2009 Communication Studies graduate Maura Kelly

Because of her interest in the film industry, Maura moved to LA after graduation.  Once there, she secured an internship on a feature film, and was promoted to a paid Coordinator position in only six weeks!  From there she built a networked with filmmakers and she has now collaborated on music videos, webseries, and various short films.  Most recently she produced “Homeschooled” a webseries about a kid who gets himself kicked out of school, only to find that the pains of high school have followed him home.  It was a finalist in the NYU Alumni Writer’s Lab competition and screened at the NYU Tisch West Showcase!  Congratulations, Maura!  “Azad”, a Farsi language short about two Iranian kids who find themselves in an abandoned mine field, just screeneda few weeks ago at the DGA (Directors Guild of America).

Maura has also worked as an assistant at Paramount Pictures, and she is currently at a talent agency in Santa Monica that represents cinematographers, production designers, and editors who work such projects as: The Dark Knight Rises, Harry Potter, Black Swan, Blue Valentine, Mad Men, and even those hilarious Old Spice commercials!   Maura is currently awaiting decision letters from law school, where she hopes to study intellectual property and contract law, because, according to Maura, “both I feel will make me a more competent Producer.  New technologies are transforming the way deals are made, and I certainly don’t want to be left in the dust.”

I asked Maura to share some advice with us based on her life after graduation.  Here’s what she said: “A piece of advice: Don’t underestimate the interpersonal skills you learn as a Communication Studies major.  I wholeheartedly believe that my course of study at USF has given me an edge against all the other interns and newbies in this industry.  I have learned how to identify and navigate different personalities, I understand the importance of using skills like ‘convergence’ in creating a good rapport with vendors and producers, and always carry with me the knowledge that nonverbal behavior speaks much louder than words.” 

I don’t know about you, but “producer” is a title that I hear all of the time, but I don’t have a clear idea of what the job actually involves.  So I asked Maura The Producer to fill us in: “The producer is the person who discovers material, gets money/directors/talent attached so that it can be created, supervises the project both creatively and logistically throughout the entire process, and then is responsible for marketing and distributing the property so that it makes everyone money.” Oh, is that all?  “I like to joke that it’s just a whole lot of babysitting: babysitting money, crew, actors, financiers, etc.  Lots of split second decisions and high pressure scenarios that demand excellent communication skills and the ability to anticipate 10 steps ahead of everybody else.”

Maura, The Producer

Congratulations, Maura, on all of your accomplishments!  Thanks for the excellent advice (I swear that is the advice Maura actually sent me.  I, of course, loved it!).  It is so wonderful to see our students go on to interesting careers.  Are you an alum up to something fun (check the rap!)?  Contact me at edoohan@usfca.edu.


Student Shout-Out: Outstanding Students in Communication Studies!

Each spring the faculty of our department choose a graduating Communication Studies major to win the “Outstanding Student in Communication Studies” award.  The award is determined first by grade point average: we look for the highest major GPA and highest cumulative GPA.  Then we look at the student to make sure that the title “Outstanding Student” is fitting.  This is the highest honor our department bestows.  This year, we couldn’t choose just one.  So, this past Monday (at our very successful Alumni Speaker and Graduation Celebration event!) we recognized four students as the “Outstanding Students in Communication Studies” for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Congratulations to Teresa Garcia, Sarah Hirsch, Abbey Lee, and Addysen Trumper!  Each of these students is truly outstanding.  They excel inside the classroom, but what is especially impressive about this year’s winners is that they each excel outside of the classroom as well.  They are involved in our department, the campus, and the larger community.  We are so proud of each of you and your accomplishments!

The inscription on the plaque that hangs in our departmental office

Up close list of our Outstanding Students 2010-2011

Outstanding Student Addysen Trumper

Outstanding Student Abbey Lee


Outstanding Student Teresa Garcia

Outstanding Student Sarah Hirsch

Congratulations Addysen, Abbey, Teresa, and Sarah on being our “Outstanding Students in Communication Studies”!  (If you want, you can write “OSCS” after you name now… as in Addysen Trumper, OSCS!”).


Internship Ideas: Jessy at "District 12 CA State Assemblywoman Ma's Office"

A few weeks ago we had a trivia question on our facebook fan page that asked what the number one piece of advice the pros who spoke at our “Pizza with the Pros” event passed on to our students.  The answer?  Do internships!  To help inspire you, we bring you another edition of “Internship Ideas” featuring Communication Studies minor Jessy Mekpoh.  When Jessy is not beating opponents on the tennis court (she’s on the Dons women’s tennis team), she is a busy intern.  Here we go…!

Q: Where do you intern and what do they do?

Jessy: “I am interning in California State Assemblywoman Fiona Ma’s office who has been elected for the third time to represent District 12 (San Francisco, Daly City, Broadmoor, and Colmar).  So her and her office’s job is to meet with the community, know about people’s needs, write bills and propose them to the Assembly to be passed to improve the community’s life.”

Q: How did you find this internship?

Jessy: “I am taking the Communication Studies Internship class this semester, so I looked on the Internet mostly, until Pr. Pabst sent us a flyer for this internship, so I decided to apply; I got a response a few days later for an interview.  At the end of the the interview, they hired me.”

Q: Why did you choose to intern there?

Jessy: “I’ve always liked politics in general and I thought that such an internship would be largely related to my major – Media Studies – and my Communication Studies minor. I thought that working with and for a leader making decisions that affect our city and our state would be a great opportunity and a great place to learn.  Also, I am going to be honest, with four classes, practice every day, and my tennis season, I needed flexible hours, and they were willing to adapt to my schedule.”

Q: What do you do on a regular basis at your internship?

Jessy: “This is what’s great about my internship: I never really know what I am going to be doing.  I write for the monthly newsletter, I edit three guideline documents for new interns, and about every two weeks I go to events and meetings with Assemblywoman Ma, the district office director, or my direct superior.”

Q: What have you learned from this internship?

Jessy: “I learned about issues that Ms. Ma has been prioritizing such as domestic violence, education, Hepatitis B, and  healthcare and what she has done to fix the problems or improved the situations.  Obviously, I learned how a district office was run and worked.  But what I get the most of this is meeting with the community when I go to events: I get to know people from different background and ethnic groups, they tell me about their lives, their interests, their opinions, and I tell them about mine.  These are great and rich exchanges for me, especially since I am from a foreign country.”

Q: What advice do you have for other students looking for an internship?

Jessy: “Try to find something related to your interests; I think that’s how you will make the most out of it.  Also, apply for as many internships as you can; I spent a whole week applying for at least 15 internships, got seven responses back, and five interviews.  The process might be a hassle but it is worth it, and in the end you will get more than one interviews; then, you just have to pick your favorite!”

COMS student and intern Jessy

Thanks for the helpful advice, Jessy!  I want to echo Jessy’s idea to apply for several internships.  The experience applying for positions and interviewing is really beneficial, and worth the extra work.  Congratulations, Jessy, on your internship!  We also want to wish Jessy and the rest of the Dons tennis team good luck this weekend!  The WCC Tournament begins tomorrow in San Diego… Go Dons!


A Day in the Life: Ed Carpenter, USF Web News Content Coordinator

Today’s “A Day in the Life” profiles Ed Carpenter, USF Web News Content Coordinator.  Ed’s name may be familiar to some of you because his byline is on all of the USF News stories (thus his title!).  Ed’s position will be of great interest to many of our majors, as he does for USF what many of you are interested in doing for a job.  Fun fact: He is also the person who decides on the USF Connect Featured Photo!  Indeed, I first got to know Ed when I e-mailed him several times (okay, I’m underestimating, it was way more than “several”) about choosing one of our Game Day pictures as the featured photo.  Luckily, he hasn’t held that against me and agreed to participate on our blog! 

Ed has been at USF more than three years.  He writes online news and makes videos about the research, service, and awards being done and won by USF students, faculty and staff.  He also highlights USF’s connections to San Francisco and the Bay Area.  The news is online at http://www.usfca.edu/newsroom/ or on USF Connect.  Ed develops USF news stories through an extensive list of contacts on campus, by monitoring the mainstream news, and by reaching out to administrators, faculty, students (including student clubs), and staff on a regular basis.  Since the launch of USF’s new website, he has also developed news ideas by monitoring blogs and other social media (I think our blog is one of them!).  Ed earned a BA in English and Philosophy from the University of Arkansas, and his MA in journalism from UC Berkeley.  Here’s “A Day in the Life” of Ed Carpenter: April 1, 2011:

USF Web News writer extraordinaire, Ed Carpenter

6:15 Awake, clean up, iron, dress.

6:45 Change and dress one-year-old Mateo. Practice saying “stinky” with him so that his grandmother (my mom) will be duly impressed when she visits in two weeks.

7 Out the door.

7:10 Pick up riders at casual carpool.

7:35 Drop riders in downtown San Francisco.

7:45-8 Hightail it to USF.

8 Arrive. Boot computer. Make coffee (French pressed, of course), eat some yogurt, skim the San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times.

8:30 Check Google Alerts for “USF” and “University of San Francisco.” Read online news. Check email. Sign in and check USF’s social media. Review calendar/daily agenda. Review to-do list.

9:15 Prepare to publish a USF News story on Prof. Katz’s work with indigenous tribes in the Amazon: edit photo, publish using Ektron

9:45 Compose and send questions via email for interview for Prof. Gunn for story on winning National Science Board’s Public Service Award.

10 Compose and send questions related to eight School of Nursing news stories for upcoming college e-newsletter. Review the materials I’ve already received.

11 Organize sidebar story ideas for USF Magazine feature on how USF provides a Global Education. It’ll be out in May people! Look for it. Your classmate is probably quoted.

11:15 Read Higher Ed Impact, Jan/Feb, “Social Media: Uncovering Opportunities For Higher Education.” Discuss with Thomas Listerman, USF E-Communications Director.

12 Lunch at my desk.

12:30 Talk with PatchU of Patch.com about reaching out to faculty and students who might be interest in covering local news for class credit or the even more popular cash.

12:45 Check out Quara.com (mentioned in Higher Ed Impact article). Email link to media relations colleague Anne-Marie Devine for possible use down the road. I believe most of you read Anne-Marie’s Day In the Life recently.

1 Begin sidebar of USF Magazine on Israel-Palestine immersion for story on how USF provides a global education. Thanks to Celeste Wilson ’10. It’ll be out in May DONSCOMers! Look for it. Did I mention that your classmate might be quoted?

No, you didn't time travel back to an 80s video... it's another shot of Ed C

2 Blue Bottle coffee break. Can’t believe I just paid $3.50 for this tiny cup of cappuccino. Sure is good though.

2:30 Meet with colleague about gender justice award and doing a USF News story. It’s coming.

2:45 Set up meeting with Liza Locsin about A&S college e-newsletter.

3 Begin brainstorming Prof. Dube’s Zambia/Zimbabwe HIV/AIDS immersion for USF Magazine sidebar for story on how USF provides a global education. It’ll be out in May; don’t forget. Get yourself a copy. Your classmate could be quoted. Well, she’s an alum – so more like a former classmate.

3:30 Read background on Zambia Today immersion.

4 Compose and email questions to Prof. Dube.

4:15 Email initial inquiries to students who took part in the Zambia immersion last summer to gage interest in being interviewed.

4:30 Meet with USF Magazine design team

5 Flintstone’s prehistoric bird/horn sounds in the back of my head. It’s quittin’ time. Does anyone even know that cartoon these days? Instead of sliding down a dinosaur’s tale into my car and zipping home, I crawl across the Bay Bridge at 15 mph.

5:45 Arrive home

5:50 Practice soccer with Mateo in the kitchen. He yells “goal” every time he kicks the ball. Where does he get that from?

6-6:15 Anne washes Mateo. I make dinner, or start to.

6:15 Read to Mateo. Sing the ABCs (He loves that).

6:30 Anne puts him down to sleep. I finish making dinner.

7 Eat dinner. Grilled baby back ribs and sweet potato French fries with salad. Tofu doesn’t touch these lips. But, don’t hold that against me.

7:30 Wash dishes. Clean up. Talk with Anne about the hike we will take Mateo on Saturday from Presidio to the Golden Gate Bridge.

8 Hello Facebook and personal email account. Did you miss me?

8:25 Meditate on taking my new motorcycle for a drive on Saturday after hiking. Zen…

8:30 I should say I did something productive like read a groundbreaking article in the unopened Atlantic sitting on my coffee table at this point. But, it’s Friday. I vegged out and watched Champions League Soccer. While I’m watching, I daydreamed that I’ll play as good as those guys during my Sunday pick-up match. Messi, who?

11 That’s pretty much it, aside from hitting the sack. Say “hi,” if you see me around campus!

Wow!  Thanks, Ed, for giving us a glimpse behind the scenes of USF News.  Ed’s day shows all of the work involved in creating news stories about USF.  Check out Ed’s stories to keep up to date about what is going on at our university!


Dons' Doings: Professor Jacquemet's NEH Lecture, Tuesday 4/19!

North African fishermen.  Italian and Maltese officers.  Turkish sailors.  Undocumented migrants.  The backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea.  Communication technologies.  Foreign languages.  No, this is not the plot of the new Matt Damon action movie… it is the subject of the upcoming NEH Lecture by our very own Professor Marco Jacquemet! 

Some of you avid readers of the blog will remember a post from last semester that explained why Professor Jacquemet is not teaching this semester.  It is because he was selected as the National Endowment for the Humanities Chair for 2010-2011, a very presigious recognition.  In case you missed it, you can read it here (or re-read it!): http://blogs.usfca.edu/coms/2010/11/23/faculty-feats-professor-marco-jacquemet/

Professor Jacquemet will be giving a talk about the research he has conducted over the past several years this coming Tuesday, April 19th at 5:00 pm in the Maier Room of Fromm Hall.  His presentation, entitled “Caught in the Net: Communication and Power in the Mediterranean Region” will be followed by a reception to celebrate his work as the NEH Chair.  As they like to say in Athletics, we are hoping to “pack the house!”  Come and join us for what promises to be a very interesting talk.

Question: If this was being made into a blockbuster movie, who should be cast as the role of researcher Marco Jacquemet?  Any suggestions?