Academic Trivia #8: USF had a football team?

The news from earlier this week that NFL football will be returning this fall with the end of the lockout has football on my mind! Anyone else? In any case, football inspired today’s Academic Trivia question: USF had a football team?

I’ve said it before: I am no athlete, but I am a great fan! And one of the reasons I love sports is that so often they are about more than athletic ability, stats, plays, wins, and losses. The best story, in my opinion, of how this is definitely true is the story of the USF football team. Specifically, the 1951 football team that went “undefeated, untied, and uninvited.”

First, a bit of a history lesson. Yes, USF did have a football team. Football first began at USF in 1917 (when we were still known as the University of St. Ignatius Gray Fog). The first game was played against what is now UC Davis.  We won 13-7. The program ended after one year, though, but returned again in 1924. Interestingly, except for the head coach and the athletic director, all aspects of the program were managed by students. That’s right, students were the assistant coaches and trainers!

The most famous of USF’s football teams is the 1951 football team, which is considered by some to be the best intercollegiate team ever. Nine of the starting players were drafted into the NFL, five became pro-bowlers, and three were inducted into the Hall of Fame. The team had a perfect 9-0 record, with an average score of 33-8. But they didn’t play in a bowl game. Teams that they had beaten were invited, but not USF. They finally received a much-deserved bid to the Orange Bowl, but were told that they could only participate if they left their African American players behind. The team took a stand and declined the bid. Because of the financial losses associated with the program, the 1951 football team was the last team to play football at USF.

The 1951 Dons are the only team in college football history to produce three Hall of Fame players: Ollie Matson, Gino Marchetti, and Bob St. Clair. Burl Toller went on to the become the first African American NFL referee. And the sports information director at the time, Pete Rozelle, went on to become the NFL Commissioner (check your footballs at home… one probably has his name on it!).

The team was honored during the 2008 Fiesta Bowl. Check out the video of their story here:


The members of the 1951 football team were given well-deserved honorary doctorates at the 2006 Commencement ceremonies.

The history lesson comes courtesy of Dr. Alan Ziajka’s book Legacy & Promise: 150 Years of Jesuit Education at the University of San Francisco. You can purchase your own copy at the USF bookstore for $18.55 (get it?). You can also check out the great t-shirt in the bookstore honoring USF’s football history:

So, yes, USF did have a football team. A great one, both on and off the field. Incidentally, I think the story of our football team would make an excellent movie. Any takers, Hollywood?


94 Days of Sumer, Day 64: Corin's DIY Summer

Time to check in once again with Communication Studies major and guest blogger Corin Sanchez…

“Well, we’re officially less than one month from going back to class! This means that it’s time to try and get the best deals on our textbooks online, attempt to find that last minute apartment, and mentally prepare ourselves for yet another year of late nights. While I’m looking forward to starting my last semester at USF, I am joyfully taking advantage of my last summer. This past month has gone by quickly, and thank god, because I am missing home! My mom came to visit me in Boston at the start of the month, and we got to see a spectular firework show! I now know why people come to Boston for the 4th of July 😉

Fourth of July fireworks in Boston

After she left, my new baby niece was born, Riley Grace. I am now an auntie x2 and cannot wait to go home and meet her.

Corin's new baby niece... so cute!

For the rest of the month I have been interning, working, and taking plenty of naps. I clearly am not having a glamourous summer, but I can say that it has been relaxing thus far. In between working and interning I have been into DIY’s. I have made lots of bracelets and have picked up some pretty cool vintage pieces at the Boston Flea Market.

Some vintage necklaces I plan to use in future projects:

A Mary Kate Steiner inspired bracelet made w/vintage clip on earrings:

My previous friendship bracelts that I bedazzeled:

I’ve also made this tasty apple pie. It’s a great recipe for a beginner who wants to make pie for the first time. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/the-ultimate-caramel-apple-pie-recipe/index.html

Thanks, Corin! I think summer is a great time to do all of those projects that you wanted to do when you were in school but were too busy. I myself always have the goal of improving my Spanish every summer (my goal has not been as successful as Corin’s jewelry and pies…).


Internship Ideas: Kylie at "Storefront Media"

I know that many of you are hoping to find internships for the fall semester, so, to inspire you, here is another edition of “Internship Ideas.” Today we are featuring Communication Studies major Kylie Li! Here we go…

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

Kylie: “I am an intern for Storefront Political Media, which is a political media consultant firm. Our firm coordinates political campaigns for politicians and other figures of that arena, managing all aspects of a campaign, from field marketing to policy research and all other marketing aspects. The most unique trait of this firm is our innovation based in how we conduct our campaigns and agendas. For example, our current tool for marketing is utilizing the untapped population of San Francisco youths by using social media (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc).”

Q: How did you find your internship?

Kylie: “I came across this internship when I met the executive account manager at our firm, Kate Maeder, at USF Coms department’s Pizza with the Pros event at the end of March in spring of 2011.”

Q: Why did you choose to intern there?

Kylie: “After hearing the panelist of pros and their job descriptions, Kate’s profession stood out to me immediately. After hearing about what she does and all the unique traits of Storefront Political Media, I introduced myself to her and after a few minutes of casual conversation, Kate hired me on the spot to be the newest intern at her firm. Since my time here, I have not even considered seeking a different internship because I love what we do and the people I work with.”

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

Kylie: “Since my first day in April, I have been working directly with Kate and Joshua, who is the primary campaign director for Phil Ting, a candidate for the SF mayor election this November. I work alongside around a dozen fellow interns and each member holds a specific position at our firm. My internship position is mostly directed in the promotional and marketing side of Phil’s campaign, from field marketing to bilingual assistance, since I speak Mandarin fluently, to policy research and blogging for our www.Resetsanfrancisco.orgdomain. Our teams works closely with one another, aiding in any area of the campaign that we can. I was primarily hired as a PR/linguistic intern, however, my bosses encourage all of us to seek out of our titles and to contribute to the political push for social reform, by keeping involved with current city events and issues. This is the second reason why I chose this internship, and why I love it! As a pre-law graduating senior at USF, I felt blessed to have been chosen at a firm that incorporates my my ability to perform well in the marketing industry along with my interest in politics and social change. Our goal is to make social, economic and political issues heard by encouraging every voice to be heard in the community. Phil is currently our Assessor and Recorder in city government and has held a reputable image amongst San Francisco citizens since his elected position in 2005.”

Q: What have you learned from your internship?

Kylie: “After working with my Reset San Francisco team for the past 6 months, I have learned more about city government and social change than I ever have. This internship has pushed me to utilize all aspects of my academic knowledge in sociology and politics, and taught me to apply these realms into the reality of life in San Francisco today to inflict progressive change for the better.”

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

Kylie: “My advice for future internship seekers is to simply get involved whenever and wherever. As a Communication Studies major, our job market is vast and full of opportunities. The key is to network with the right professionals and to make your efforts visible by these professionals. Although the competition is fierce, I really believe that there is a position out there fit for every individual. Going to career fairs and events such as Pizza with the Pros, as I did, opens the doors for networking and getting internship opportunities. So my advice is just to go out there and get it because there are PLENTY of opportunities available!”

Thanks, Kylie, and congratulations on your internship! What a great success story from our Pizza with the Pros event, and a testament to Kylie’s networking abilities that she was hired on the spot!

Communication Studies major Kylie


Alumni Spotlight #17: Matt MacLean, '10

Today’s “Alumni Spotlight” shines onto 2010 graduate Matt MacLean. Matt has been working steadily since graduating in December, but just recently started a new position as an Associate Account Manager, GCS MCM eMarketing Services at Acxiom Corporation. Matt’s position is actually usually two positions (that’s right, Matt, USF Communication Studies grad, can do the work of two people!): he manages content and works with clients directly. He is working on the Sephora and HP accounts, managing all of their digital content. You know those e-mails you get from Sephora or HP? Matt formats and distributes those!

COMS graduate Matt, smiling because he loves his new job!

Check out the long list of perks that come with Matt’s new job:

  • Free breakfast and lunch
  • Discounts on clothing brands (Gap is a client), computer stuff (HP is a client), discounts on cosmetics (Sephora is a client), free or really cheap phones (AT&T is a client)
  • Happy hour on Fridays
  • Game room equipped with a pool table, video games, and music
  • Free gym
  • Free parking

Whoa! I know Matt just made many people jealous! (Including me… free food, discounts, and parking?).

I asked Matt to share with us how he thinks his Communication Studies background helped him land his new position.

“How my background helped me:

  • Ability to interview and make a positive first impression. Nonverbal behavior helped here because I needed to come across confident and knowledgeable.
  • Ability to synthesize different materials and data in courses helps me do it in the workplace.
  • Grammatical and writing styles I learned help me be clear in my communication throughout the office and show I’m professional and smart.
  • Studying material: I needed to study a ton of information which I was quizzed on.
  • Time management: dealing with multiple projects in communication courses helped me deal with my time on upcoming projects here.
  • A smile goes a long way. I learned that smiling is important in communication and it has helped me meet people here even if I don’t interact with them on a day-to-day basis.
  • My experience in Communication Studies helped me interact effectively and has helped me navigate the new office and office atmosphere.
  • Finally, my degree got me the job. Communication Studies is a general degree that a lot of people are looking for– it gives a wide range of expertise. It allows me options here in the office and helps me be diverse in the office.”

Did anyone else notice Matt’s use of the word synthesize? That reminds me of a very specific writing assignment! See… learning how to write a literature review is helpful!

Thanks, Matt! Congratulations on your new position! We are so proud of you!


Study Abroad Chronicles, Ch. 2: Louise Littig

It is time to check in once again with Communication Studies major Louise Littig, who kindly agreed to document her study abroad adventures in beautiful Spain for us here. Let’s see what Louise has been up to!

COMS major Louise enjoying Porto, Portugal

“Hola todos! I hope you’ve all survived finals and are now relaxing and enjoying your summer! This is my second post for USF’s Communication Studies Department where I have been documenting my experience studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain.

In my first post I highlighted some of my beginning experiences studying abroad and also how I was adjusting to living in a different country. As I sit here writing this on my flight back to the U.S. it seems like time has flown right by and I have to now come to terms with this wonderful experience coming to an end! Here is an update of some of my highlights since my last post!

If you haven’t already heard, Barcelona’s soccer team, Fútbol Club Barcelona, won 3 out of the 4 titles this year including: La Liga, Supercopa de España and Champions League, the tournament for the best soccer team in Europe. Just like last fall when the San Francisco Giants won the World Series, the Barcelona FBC fans took to the streets and celebrated with fireworks, chants and flag waving for their three impressive title wins! As crazy as the celebrations were when the Giants won the World Series, I have never been more impressed by the pride and loyalty the entire city of Barcelona showed for their team!

barca fans celebrating title win on las ramblas

Since my last post I had the opportunity to travel to a few more cities in Europe. I went to Porto, Portugal during my spring break where I got to surf, visit wineries where they make Port Wine and also explore the ancient city. Also during my spring break I headed over to Mallorca, one of the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain. While we were there we rented a car and drove around the island; stopping and spending time in different cities and beaches. Another huge highlight of my travels was visiting Paris, France. While in Paris I got to visit Notre Dame, Saint Chappelle, Sacre Coeur Montmarte and many, many others. The city is very intriguing and quite romantic and I hope to be able to go back someday to explore it more.

Sacre Coeur- Montmarte Paris, France

Sant Chapelle- Paris, France

Before coming to Barcelona I had been fortunate enough to be able to travel to countries outside of the U.S., so when I approached this opportunity I decided that this may be one of my only chances to actually live in a different country for an extended period of time. My thinking is that I will have my entire lifetime to travel and explore different countries but when will I have an opportunity again as a student to live and experience Spain? That being said, I chose to spend the second half of my stay in Spain to really get a feel of what it is like to be a resident there. I am so happy I made this choice because now I am leaving Spain knowing the language, understanding the culture and having friends that I will keep for a lifetime. This past month was filled with endless goodbyes. These goodbyes have left me with a feeling that has truly made me realize what an incredible experience studying abroad has been. I urge and recommend to anyone who has the opportunity to study abroad to take up that offer! It is a wonderfully unique experience that I will surely never forget. I will always treasure my time spent living in Barcelona. Nos vemos pronto.


Catalan flag with view of Barcelona in background. View from Montjuic.

5 Things to Do When Visiting Barcelona

  1. Go check out El Museu Picasso- one of the most extensive collections of Picasso
  2. Sit outdoors at a cafe and enjoy traditional Catalan tapas and sangria with some good friends
  3. Hike Montjuic to visit the Castel and take in the views of the Mediterranean Sea
  4. Walk down Las Ramblas and enjoy the street performers and masses of tourists!
  5. Explore the historic, narrow streets of Barrí Gotic”

Thanks, Louise, for sharing your wonderful experiences (and pictures!) with us! It sounds like you had an amazing time! I have asked Louise to blog for us once more right before school starts to document her how she is adjusting to being back in the States. Welcome back, Louise!


94 Days of Summer, Day 48: Tess's Anesthesia-Induced Realization

I’m happy to feature a new guest blogger today, senior Communication Studies major Tess Parsons. Here Tess recounts for us a recent career epiphany that came about while she was under anesthesia! Read on…

Senior COMS major and future DDS Tess!

Although I am finishing my time at USF in December, my schooling won’t stop there.  During the last year I spent here in college, I had a total change of heart and went from thinking I wanted a career in event planning, to deciding to go to dental school.  I know what most of you must be thinking, ‘how could you make such a drastic change, and how will your Communication Studies major be related at all to dentistry?’  To answer that question, there are two parts.

First, the drastic change happened when I was under anesthesia to get my wisdom teeth pulled.  My mom had been telling me that a career in dentistry seemed like a good idea, but I shrugged it off and didn’t bother looking into it any further.  But when I was just about to be put to sleep for the wisdom teeth extraction, my thoughts about the future suddenly became clear (oddly ironic huh?).  As I started to fall asleep I said to the oral surgeon and his nurses, ‘I definitely want to be a dentist!’  The doctor must have thought the laughing gas was kicking in and that I must have been making stuff up.  But to his surprise, as soon as I woke up, I told him again, ‘For some reason I just had a total change of heart and want to go into dentistry.’  It really had nothing to do with my experience with this dentist in particular, it just seemed to be the right fit for how I envisioned my future.

So that was how the drastic change happened, but to answer the second part of the question in everyone’s mind, ‘How will Communication Studies be related at all?’  When I had my dental school epiphany, I don’t think I had realized just how much work it takes to become a dentist, but I was not easily daunted.  I did a ton of research of dental school and what they required as prerequisites.  To my surprise and delight, dental schools prefer that you have completed your BA before applying to their program.  And even better, Communication Studies was one of the BA programs that dental schools were looking for in a candidate.  I have always enjoyed every minute of my classes in the Communication Studies department and hoped that just because I changed my mind about a career didn’t mean that my classes weren’t going to be used in my ‘real life.’  But this just goes to show that people need communication skills in any career path they choose, whether it is a Communication professor or even a dentist.  The skills I have learned in my classes will be so helpful in talking to patients, communicating with my family, and even running a successful practice someday.

So what now?  I have a final semester in undergraduate, a year of dental school applications and prerequisite science classes, and four more years of school to become a dentist.  Seeing the look on my Oral Surgeon’s face when I was at my internship dressed in scrubs, helping with a tooth extraction on a patient: PRICELESS!”

Thanks, Tess! That is so great to know that dental schools are looking for our Communication Studies majors! Can’t wait to keep track of you and your career plans!


94 Days of Summer, Day 45: An's Remedy to an Empty Resume

Our summer guest blogging series continues! Next up, Communication Studies major An Mai. Here she is…

“Well, obviously I’m a Communication Studies major at USF! I’m supposed to graduate spring 2012 and the thought of that is absolutely petrifying to me. I’ve got a weakness for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and can easily be bribed with them. I’m obsessed with strawberries. I could probably recite every single line from The Parent Trap (1998). I’m in the process of crocheting a cardigan. I believe the great thing about cold San Francisco summers is that I can bake cookies without turning the entire house into a sauna. On that note, I’m going to shamelessly plug my baking blog: www.maiasinpie.tumblr.com. Funnily enough, I don’t think I’ve ever had a Girl Scout cookie. I love to travel. The music on my iPod is a weird mix of classic rock/oldies from my dad’s collection and show tunes. I’m a massive Harry Potter nerd and am on a quest to find all the different Deathly Hallows Part 2 movie posters on MUNI bus stops, so please let me know if you see any! (I’ve found Ron Weasley and Professor Snape so far.) Finally, I love that my middle initial is X. I was in the COMS office talking to Lee one day when he said to me, ‘The way your file is marked ‘Mai, An X’ with the X makes it look like there’s something top secret in there.’ I thought that was pretty funny.

You can tell An's a Harry Potter fan!

Find a Remedy to the Empty Resume Crisis…

By the end of this summer, one thing better be certain: my resume is going to rock.

I’ve been to enough events hosted by the Career Services Center to know that they recommend students have at least three internships or relevant experiences by the time we graduate. I officially became a Communication Studies major with a minor in Media Studies at the end of my sophomore year; it wasn’t until then that I was able to sort of figure out what direction to go in when I started looking into possible jobs and internships.

The thing I came to realize though was that ‘relevance’ is a very arbitrary concept you’re your major is undeclared like mine was my first two years of college. My resume only listed a few volunteer activities I did in high school (serving at a soup kitchen and peer-tutoring) and my former TA job in the USF Physics Department. As you can see, these experiences don’t exactly seem pertinent to a COMS major. For awhile the only ‘experience’ I was having was what I later coined ’empty resume crisis.’ I was reluctant to apply for internships I was interested in because I thought my knowledge was inadequate and that I wouldn’t be able to contribute very much because of it. It was a classic case of ‘I can’t get a job because I don’t have the experience, but I can’t get the experience without a job.’ Argh, paradoxes suck.

Thank goodness for the Boston University London Internship Program! My semester in London in fall 2010 included an 8-week internship placement at ETV Media Group, a digital media production company. Being able to add that experience along with some more COMS major classes to my resume, I was more confident in my search when I got back in the spring. Armed with a folder full of resumes and cover letters written with some help from CSC, I landed two internships for this summer. Empty resume crisis averted!

I’ve really enjoyed the work so far. One of my internships is twice a week in SoMa at an online travel guide called WCities; I actually found it through USF’s Career and Internship Fair! I work in the Creative Media department sourcing Creative Commons-licensed pictures to go with all the points of interest in the database. The great thing about this is that I’m researching destinations all over the world ranging from Portuguese churches to Vietnamese beaches. I’m basically looking for people’s vacation photos! The other three days I’m the social media intern/studio assistant at a photography studio in the East Bay called Catherine Hall Studios. (Use Craigslist—it just might work!) So far, I’ve written a few blurbs for the company website, researched and communicated with potential blog contributors, and brainstormed ideas for how to reach a wider audience using social media.

It’s been five weeks since I’ve started and holy moly, I’m tired. Is this what adulthood’s supposed to feel like? Normally during this time of year I’m hanging out at home in San Jose, sleeping in until noon and spending my days watching Mad Men or hanging out with friends at the mall just because there’s air conditioning. This year, I’m in the city grocery shopping, paying credit card bills, and working 40-hour weeks for the first time in my life. I suppose I should try to get used to that part though. Regardless, I’m excited about these opportunities I’ve been given. I’ve already learned a lot and I look forward gaining more valuable skills. Even though I don’t have a specific job title in mind to work towards just yet, I’m grateful that I’m finally making progress in the general direction that I want to be in. Hopefully if I can continue along this vein, I’ll be able to graduate with some fulfilling career prospects next year.

If not, at least Mad Men will be back on TV by then.”

Congratulations on the internships, An, and thanks for sharing your experience! I’m personally looking forward to working with An over the next year and she takes on the role of President of Lambda Pi Eta! We’re in good hands.


Class Notes: "GreenSpeech" with Professor DeLaure

Some of you may have noticed some interesting classes listed in our class schedule for this upcoming fall semester. Wait, of course all of our courses are interesting. Start over: some new courses listed in our fall schedule. One of them is Professor DeLaure’s “GreenSpeech: Communication and the Environment,” the subject of today’s “Class Notes.”

This course is a First Year Seminar, meaning it is a course only open to new first year students (sorry sophomores, juniors, and seniors!) and it fulfills the university Public Speaking requirement. I wanted to share a description of the course to give everyone an idea of what Professor DeLaure and her students will be working on. It also gives you a bit more information into Professor DeLaure’s research and teaching interests.

"GreenSpeech" focuses on communication and the environment

According to Professor DeLaure, “GreenSpeech examines how communication shapes our understandings of, and interactions with, the environment.  Over the course of the semester, we’ll address the following questions: How do we define ‘environment’ and distinguish between ‘nature’ and ‘culture’?  What are the myriad ways we humans narrate our relationships to the natural world?  How do modern lifestyles and human ‘progress’ impact the planet?  What are the most pressing ecological problems facing us today?  How do scientists, environmentalists, elected officials, and ordinary citizens deliberate over environmental issues, and how to the media frame these debates?  And how can you develop your voice to become a powerful advocate for the environment?

Muir Woods

Together we will explore our local San Francisco environment through readings and field trips; we’ll also learn about contemporary environmental problems and various forms of activism seeking to address those problems.  Students will sharpen their speaking skills, hone their critical thinking abilities, and educate one another through a series of speech assignments rooted in environmental topics. The class meets MWF from 2:15-3:20 pm AND F 3:25-5:00 pm.  That’s because on most Friday afternoons, we’ll be venturing out into the city (on foot or by bicycle) to explore; on some Fridays, we’ll watch a documentary film together.”

No, that's not Lance Armstrong... it's Professor DeLaure!

Did any of you current students take a First Year Seminar in the Communication Studies department? WE have had several over the years. Tell us about it if you did!