Dons' Doings: COMS Career Night Tuesday 9/30

Our annual Communication Studies Career Night is coming up this Tuesday September 30th! We hope you can join us in Malloy Hall 126 at 6:30 pm! Six of our USF COMS alums are joining us to talk about their careers and life after graduation. Making the trek back to campus are…

  • Alisha Alvarez, Allied-THA Regional Marketing
  • Kelsey Chester, Assistant Account Executive, BBDO San Francisco
  • Alicia Kaufman, Junior Designer at Wombly
  • Kylie Li, Membership Manager, Bay Area Council
  • Tim Shipman, Strategy Director, Yeti LLC
  • Chelsea-Marie Sundiang, Sales Operations with Adecco at Google


A big thank you to all of our alums for joining us! We hope to see our Communication Studies majors there for what promises to be an informative evening!



Student Shout-Out: Congrats to our new Lambda Pi Eta members

I am embarrassed because it has been so long since I have posted anything to our blog. You can’t see me right now, but I am hanging my head in shame. Really, I am. However, my desire to congratulate our new Lambda Pi Eta members far outweighs my embarrassment, so here I am! I’m back!

Last week on September 10th, we inducted 13 new members into our Kappa Iota chapter of Lambda Pi Eta! A big congratulations to all of them! I also want to thank our officers, President Maude Ballinger, Vice President Megan Busch, Treasurer Melissa Serrano, President Elect Nicholas Brinkerhoff, and Vice President Elect Chris Mosby for all of their work on our Induction Ceremony and the other events we have coming up this semester!

Here are a few pictures from the Induction Ceremony:

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Our 13 newly inducted members of Lambda Pi Eta! (And an honorary member!)

Officers Melissa, Maude, and Meghan leading the induction ceremony

Officers Melissa, Maude, and Megan leading the induction ceremony

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Our new members taking the oath of membership… Yes, there is an oath of membership!

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Maude, Melissa, and Megan doing the candle lighting ceremony… Yes, there is a candle lighting ceremony!

A big congratulations to all of our new members:

Danielle Blech

Megan Busch

Patrecia Fray

Lih Seng Goh

Sean Gomes

Katie Hom

Jane Kim

Paige Kutilek

Jesica Lagarde

Danielle Maingot

Alejandra Mojica

Mark Sinclair

Christine Valenzuela



Academic Trivia #10: How do I correctly wear my academic regalia? (reboot!)

One of our most popular posts (seriously, it almost went viral!) was our “How do I correctly wear my academic regalia?” post. Today’s post is a reboot of that one, but with new models! Ahhh! Many thanks to Cayden and Kylie for their years of service, but it was time for an update. So who was I to call? Future Communication Studies alums Alisha Alvarez, Kelsey Chester, and Emily Genge! Check them out below as they demonstrate the DOS and DON’TS of academic fashion at graduation! First the DON’TS: DON’T #1: You are going to graduation, not a beauty pageant, so don’t wear your hood as a sash, hanging low over your shoulders!

Kelsey, don't wear your hood as a sash!

Kelsey, don’t wear your hood as a sash!

DON’T #2: Your cap should not defy the laws of gravity on graduation day! Women are the most frequent offenders of this rule, although I have seen some men break it too (just yesterday, in fact!).

Your cap shouldn't defy gravity, Kelsey!

Your cap shouldn’t defy gravity, Kelsey!

DON’T #3: Although your hood is called a hood, it is not to be worn as one!

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Alisha, just because it’s called a hood, don’t wear it like one!

DON’T # 4: Don’t hide your USF pride by only showing the white velvet of your hood.

Emily, show us your USF pride! Don't hide it!

Emily, show us your USF pride! Don’t hide it!

DON’T #5: While some caps (such as baseball) can be worn backwards, your graduation cap cannot!

Turn your cap around, Kelsey!

Turn your cap around, Kelsey!

Now for the DO’S! DO #1: Do show your USF pride by flaring out the chevron of gold and Kelly green on your hood! The color of the velvet on your hood signifies your area of study (white is for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences). The chevron of colors on the inside of your hood signify the university granting the degree (green and gold for USF).

Emily is proud of her area of study and her school!

Emily is proud of her area of study and her school!

DO #2: Do wear your cap on the top of your head! It should be flat enough on top so that you could balance a textbook (so last week) or a drink (so this week) on it, if you needed to!

There you go, Kelsey!

There you go, Kelsey!

DOs #3, #4, and #5: Do wear your hood close around your neck, not over your shoulders. Do wear your honors designations, including cords, pins, and medals! Do stand tall and proud! You have achieved something wonderful today! Wear your robes and caps with confidence!

Our COMS majors Kelsey, Emily, and Alisha are graduation fashion DOs!

Our COMS majors Kelsey, Emily, and Alisha are graduation fashion DOs!

A big thank you to Kelsey, Emily, and Alisha! And an even bigger congratulations to them and to all of the USF students who will be graduating tomorrow! We are so proud of you and and your accomplishments! Don’t forget to come to the Communication Studies Department Graduation Reception immediately following the commencement ceremony in LoSchiavo 104, the Getty Study. All of your COMS faculty will be there to congratulate you! We will also have refreshments and a memento for each graduate from the department! Friends and family are invited!


Dons' Doings: Alumni Speaker and Graduation Celebration Night Monday May 12

2009 Graduate and Alumni Speaker, Katie Caughman

2009 Graduate and Alumni Speaker, Katie Caughman

Graduation is just around the corner, and that means that our Alumni Speaker and Graduation Celebration Night is also just around the corner! It is coming up this Monday May 12th 6:00-8:00 pm in the Maraschi Room of Fromm Hall! All Communication Studies major are welcome! Here are more details:

Each year we invite a Communication Studies alum back to campus to give a speech to our students. This year’s Alumni Speaker is Katie Caughman, a 2009 graduate from our department. Katie is the Global Communications Associate for The Asia Foundation, a nonprofit international development organization. She previously worked at AtomicPR and GolinHarris International. She is also a certified yoga teacher! Katie will be sharing her experience in the working world with us, talking about how she uses her COMS major in her current position, and offering advice based on her experiences. In short, it promises to be a wonderful evening with one of our highly successful alums!

After Katie’s talk, we will be recognizing our graduating Lambda Pi Eta members, who will receive their honor cords, pins, and certificates.

Please join us for this special end-of-the-year event! Again, the even is open to all majors, so please join us even if you are not graduating or not in Lambda Pi Eta! You are still welcome! Refreshments, courtesy of Lambda Pi Eta and the Communication Studies Department, will also be served! We hope to see you there!


Student Shout-Out: Alfonso and Charity Super Sunday

COMS Major Alfonso Garcia

COMS Major Alfonso Garcia

The Charity Super Sunday Event

The Charity Super Sunday Event

Today’s “Student Shout-Out” goes to Communication Studies major Alfonso Garcia and his work with Charity Super Sunday, M.O.B. Charities, and the California Donor Network! While I was cheering on my beloved Seattle Seahawks in this year’s Super Bowl (I know, I hear either crickets or hisses since I am in 49er and Raider country), Alfonso was doing much more important and necessary work (after all, the Seahawks were so good, they didn’t really need my cheering). But to understand what Alfonso was doing, you need to hear a bit of the backstory…

Last fall, Alfonso took our COMS 204: Communication and Culture class. As all of our 204 alums know, the main project for the class is an ethnographic research project on a specific cultural group. Alfonso and his class project partner, Wes Mills, chose the Raider Nation Fan Base, “one of the most loyal and passionate fan bases in America,” as Alfonso describes them. They specifically focused on M.O.B. Charities, a specific fan base of the Raider Nation. Here’s how Alfonso describes the experience: “At first the name M.O.B. was terrifying, but we later came to find out through our point of contact, Dr. Death (A Raider Fan/Character), that it really meant Making Oakland Better, Making Ourselves Better, and Making Others Better. M.O.B. Charities supports organizations and groups in Oakland and its surrounding areas with their one of a kind ‘All Weekend Tailgates’ for Raiders home games that begin Friday night and conclude shortly after the game ends on Sunday afternoon.” Wes and Alfonso eventually became “Official 66th Mobsters” by participating in an all-weekend tailgate!

Through his ethnographic research project, Alfonso got to know members of the M.O.B. Charities Raider Nation and that is how he ended up participating in Charity Super Sunday with them and working for a cause that Alfonso is passionate about: Organ Donation. Alfonso is an Ambassador for the California Transplant Donor Network, and he himself is a organ donation recipient. Since his transplant over four years ago, he has been working to raise awareness about organ donation and to sign people up to become organ donors.

I asked Alfonso to share with me what happened at the event: “The event was extraordinary. Regardless of what people’s preconceived notions of the Raiders may be, M.O.B. Charities is a stand out organization in Oakland, passionate about their Raiders and helping others.  Rather than having an exclusive ‘Raiders fans only’ event for their Super Bowl viewing experience, they invited me to use their event to promote organ and tissue donation, a cause I’m heavily involved in.  We had a few people stop by the M.O.B. Charities tent and learn more about the cause, but the opportunity was to teach people about M.O.B. Charities and the different causes and organizations they support such as the Stanford Hospital Ronald McDonald House Charities.

After the Super Bowl, they promised to have a larger organ and tissue donation event during the 2014-15 regular season.  This would entail 3 full days of tailgating and sharing information about organ and tissue donation with Raider fans and fellow MOBsters.”

What an amazing story about how Alfonso took what started out as a class project, seemingly removed from his work on organ donation, and brought the two together in the most amazing of ways. Congratulations to Alfonso on his impressive work!

You can learn more about the California Transplant Donor Network here: http://www.ctdn.org/ and M.O.B. Charities here: http://www.the66thmob.com/index2.php/


Note: Sorry, I know the links above aren’t showing up. I can’t get them to work on the new blog interface. And the pictures would only appear at the top of the entry. Sigh…


Dons' Doings: Pizza with the Pros Monday April 14th!

One of our most popular events of the year is coming up this Monday April 14th at 6:30 pm in the Lo Schiavo Getty Room 104!

That’s right, PIZZA WITH THE PROS is back!

We have a slate of impressive communication professionals who will be joining us for an evening of networking with our Communication Studies majors. Each pro will talk for a few minutes about their position and offer advice to our students. Then students will have the opportunity to talk with our pros personally. We have had students land internships on the spot in past years and several of our pros are looking for interns right now!

I mean, really this is all you need to know:

  1. Pizza is always good.
  2. Free pizza is even better.
  3. Free pizza with the opportunity to network with communication professionals who want to offer you advice about how to be successful after graduation? Well, that is not to be missed.

We have pros joining us from the San Francisco Giants, Bay Area Council, Sparks, Athletes to Business, BOCA Communications, LinkedIn, About Face, and USF! 

Please join us for what promises to be a very helpful evening with local communication professionals! We hope to see you there!

Pizza with the Pros Changes-1


Dons' Doings: Graduate School Information Session Tuesday 4/8

If you are interested in graduate school, or think you might be interested in graduate school, or think you might sometime maybe might be interested in graduate school… You should definitely plan on attending our Graduate School Information Session!

A panel of your Communication Studies faculty members (Professors Ho, DeLaure, Sery, Lawless, and myself) along with one of our alums, Jamie Foster, who recently completed her Masters degree in Communication Studies at SFSU, will talk about all things graduate school, including…

  • how to research programs
  • how to apply for graduate school
  • where to go and when to go
  • funding opportunities
  • reasons to consider graduate school and reasons to not go to graduate school

That’s right, we will cover all of the ins and outs of graduate school! We hope to see you Tuesday April 8th, 11:45-12:45 in KA 211! 

COMS Grad School Info Session


Red Alert: Lambda Pi Eta is now recruiting!

We are pleased to announce that the Communication Studies Department honors society, Lambda Pi Eta, is now recruiting new members! If you can answer “yes” to the following questions, you should definitely apply for membership!

  • Do you have a 3.0 or higher overall GPA?
  • Do you have a 3.25 or higher Communication Studies major GPA?
  • Have you completed (or will you have completed by the end of this semester) 60 total units, including three Communication Studies courses?
  • Have you received a grade of a “B-” or higher in ALL of your Communication Studies courses?

Lambda Pi Eta is the official honor society of the National Communication Association. The Kappa Iota chapter at the University of San Francisco was founded in 1994. We host a variety of academic, social, and community service activities throughout the year, including Pizza with the Profs, Communication Studies Career Night, Pizza with the Pros, Alumni Speaker Night, Pie Day, and others! We also host a mentorship program for new Communication Studies majors. Becoming a member will mean that you will join a fun and friendly group of COMS majors, get to know other people in the department better, and participate in events designed to help you while you are here and as you plan for life after graduation. Plus, you get honor cords for graduation and your name is printed in the Commencement Program as one of our honors society members! You could also wear a cool shirt like this one:

LPH President Maude rocking our LPH t-shirt!

LPH President Maude rocking our LPH t-shirt!

In short, there is no reason not to join if you meet our requirements!

You can download the application here lambda pi eta application 2014 or pick one up in our main office, KA 313. Applications are due to my office, KA 342, by Wednesday April 16th. I will let you know via email if you are accepted or not by May 1st.

If you are applying (or one of our current members who is not yet graduating) you should know that we are also looking for officers for the 2014-2015 academic year. If you are interested in potentially serving as an officer, please contact me at edoohan@usfca.edu. I hope to see many applications for LPH coming in within the next few weeks!