Tag Archives: Communication

There are many different ways to explore the world’s largest campus – on foot, via bicycle, even horseback. But unicycle? Student Noah Syverson recently won a third-place national award at the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts for “A Wheel, a Trail, and a Student: The Story of Berry’s Mountain Unicyclist,” chronicling the one-wheeled adventures of fellow student John Patten Moss. Don’t believe us? Watch the video and see for yourself.

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Kevin Kleine has spent the last 30 years losing sleep as Berry’s student publications adviser. Now his work with the Campus Carrier, Ramifications, Valkyrie and Cabin Log has earned him national acclaim as a “Distinguished Adviser” by the College Media Association. He received his award at the CMA national convention in October.

Kleine’s achievements can be measured in awards won and careers inspired. Grateful alumni flocked to a special Mountain Day reception in his honor. Many also supported a successful crowdfunding effort to raise $5,000 in seed funding for a study abroad scholarship that will bear his name.

“Kevin always made us feel like we were part of a family,” said Randee Walters-Paraskevopoulos (92C), a former Campus Carrier editor who flew in from Texas to attend the Mountain Day reception. “More than a teacher, Kevin was a mentor, a friend and a big brother. He brought the Carrier staff together and made it so we could depend on each other in all things.”

Under Kleine’s direction, Berry’s student publications have earned recognition from such notable organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the College Media Association and the Georgia College Press Association. Previous honors for him include two Presidential Citations for Service from College Media Advisers, Inc., and the 2008 Eleana M. Garrett Award for Meritorious Advising and Caring, one of Berry’s most notable honors.

“Week after week, he saved us from our own inexperience with his seasoned advice and somehow turned any mishaps into learning opportunities for us,” praised another former Carrier editor, Bonny Harper Dixon (13C).

Gifts to the Kevin Kleine Study Abroad Scholarship are still being accepted with the eventual goal of raising $25,000 to permanently endow the award. Click here if you wish to honor Kleine with a gift.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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President Steve Briggs at the Dedication of the Sam Spector MBA Classroom

WORDS OF WISDOM: A quote by Dr. Sam I. Spector can be seen on the wall of the MBA classroom that now bears his name. Berry President Steve Briggs (center) joined family members and other guests for the September naming.

Dr. Sam I. Spector Speaking at Berry's 2008 Commencement

Dr. Sam I. Spector

Dr. Peter Lawler

Dr. Peter Lawler

Beloved faculty members have been remembered and celebrated this fall with campus namings made possible by the generosity of alumni and friends. Their gifts, in turn, have seeded opportunity for future students by supporting scholarships named for those same faculty legends.

Recent honors include the naming of the MBA classroom in Berry’s Campbell School of Business for the late Dr. Sam I. Spector, whose accomplishments at Berry include the 1973 establishment of the MBA program. Read more.

Similar recognition has been bestowed upon the late Dr. Peter Lawler, whose famously messy office remains a touchstone for the many Berry alumni privileged to have known him during his nearly 40 years on the faculty. His former office space in Evans Hall isn’t so messy anymore, but it fittingly bears the name of the man whose unexpected death in 2017 generated an extraordinary outpouring of love and remembrance.

While both of those alumni-driven campaigns benefited existing scholarships, another honoring longtime student publications advisor Kevin Kleine has resulted in nearly $6,000 in gifts toward a new fund supporting study-abroad experiences for communication majors.

Kevin Kleine and Bob Frank

Kevin Kleine, left, with another legendary member of the communication faculty, Dr. Bob Frank.

Alumni from as far away as Texas gathered for an informal Mountain Day reception celebrating Kleine’s 30th year at Berry. Fittingly, this recognition coincided with Kleine’s receipt of a national advising award from the College Media Association. Fundraising for the Kevin Kleine Study Abroad Scholarship continues with an ultimate goal of $25,000 in gifts to endow the award.

Also on Mountain Day Weekend, friends, family, colleagues and former students gathered for the official naming of the Ouida Word Dickey Living Room in Berry’s Ford alumni center, made possible by a successful 90th birthday giving challenge. This effort resulted in more than $570,000 in gifts to the Ford Auditorium renovation, pushing fundraising for that project past the halfway mark to $3 million in total commitments.

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Graduates embrace at Berry's 2017 spring commencement.For three decades, Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson challenged, encouraged and inspired students and colleagues alike, first as a faculty member in Berry’s communication department and later as college provost. This spring, the honorary Berry alumna took a brief respite from her duties as president of Westminster College in Pennsylvania to offer words of wisdom to the Berry class of 2018, daughter Lauren Richardson (18C) among them.

Citing sources as varied as researcher and author Sherry Turkle, communication alumnus Andy Wood (94C), singer/songwriter Paul Simon, and former Saturday Night Live comedian Mike Myers (by way of alter-ego Linda Richman), Richardson encouraged the graduates to draw upon Berry-developed “soft skills” such as “clear expression, respectful listening, critical thinking, effective collaboration and creative problem-solving” as they make their way in the world.

“Trust me,” she stated. “You can learn or relearn technical skills along the way – and you’ll have to, because technologies and processes change – but you will be able to adapt to such change quickly because of your soft skills, if you continue to use them.”

Richardson placed particular emphasize on the value of earnest conversation in an increasingly technology-driven age, noting, “Civil dialogue and critical conversation may be the most effective prescriptions for social meaning, empathetic connection and professional accomplishment that we can find as a culture and as individuals.”

A total of 403 graduates earned bachelor’s or master’s degrees this spring. Click here to get a sense of where they’re off to next and to hear remarks from student speaker Payton Stone (18C).

Related coverage: Around Berry Photo Gallery; A father’s influence drives Berry graduate

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Valkyrie Magazine CoversValkyrie, Berry’s new student-produced lifestyle and culture magazine, transitioned from online-only to print during the 2017-18 academic year, establishing an important physical link on campus.

Featuring a wide array of content ranging from cultural commentary and recipes to fashion tips and in-depth coverage of campus life, the magazine provides fresh opportunities for Berry communication majors and others to gain relevant experience in writing, photography, design and publication development. It took the place of the Cabin Log yearbook, which was retired after many years of waning interest.

“Berry needed a publication that allowed for newsworthy creativity,” explained Sara Arms, who helped launch the magazine in late 2016 and in 2017-18 served as editor-in-chief.

Valkyrie is produced by a staff of 20-25 students responsible for all areas of production for three 60-page issues each academic year. Many staff members hold paid positions through Berry’s Work Experience Program. Opportunities for scholarships and credit hours are also available.

As Valkyrie continues to evolve, Arms imagines more first-person narratives and an expanded online presence featuring more interactive elements and blogs.

Click here to view the publication online.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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Viking Fusion HomepageViking Fusion continues to excel in regional and national competition, recently claiming the title of “Best Independent Online Student Publication” in the Society of Professional Journalists’ regional Mark of Excellence Awards. This was one of six distinctions claimed by Viking Fusion and the Campus Carrier newspaper in this year’s contest. Read more.

Viking Fusion also made its presence felt in the the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences regional Student Production Awards, earning three wins and nine honorable mentions. Read more.

Click the graphic at left to visit the Viking Fusion homepage and sample some of the award-winning content.

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A banner year for Viking Fusion ended with recognition as “Four-Year TV Station of the Year” in the College Media Association’s Pinnacle Awards competition. The CMA also recognized staff member Steven Hames as an “Honor Roll Broadcast Adviser” for his work shepherding the student-run multimedia hub. All together, Viking Fusion claimed seven awards and 20 nominations in state, regional and national competition in 2016.

“The awards mean that we’re doing the right things, and they encourage us to grow and branch out into areas we haven’t even dreamed of,” said student executive director Deanna Cunningham.

Click the accompanying video for one example of the students’ award-winning work, a parody of the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens that earned national recognition in two different contests as well as a Southeast Regional Emmy nomination.

By Katherine Edmonds, philanthropic communications student writer

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Andy Johns Blog ImageAndy Johns (06C) has spent his whole career telling other people’s stories as a journalist and public relations professional. Now he’s set out on a 506-day odyssey to tell his own.

In May, he began a journey across the continental United States with wife Jessica Rabun Johns (04C) and 4-year-old son Braden with the goal of seeing as much of the country as possible before Braden starts kindergarten. Johns is blogging all along the way, documenting how (and why) he and his family decided to embark on this “Big Idea.” Click the image to follow along.

Story by Katherine Edmonds, philanthropic communications student writer; photo by Kathleen Greeson

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Valkyrie MagazineA new student-produced magazine debuted in November, marking the end of one era in Berry student publications and the beginning of another. Valkyrie, a 60-page publication currently hosted online, takes the place of Berry’s traditional Cabin Log yearbook. More than 20 students contributed to the inaugural issue, which features stories on a wide variety of topics.

“We really want to cover stuff that’s unique and wouldn’t necessarily be found elsewhere,” said student Sarah Casagrande, assistant PR and marketing director for the new publication. “It’s kind of a time capsule in the sense that people will be able to look at our magazine years later and see what was going on at Berry.”

Two more issues are planned for the current academic year. Click the cover image to take a look.

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Communication Students in Vienna

Communication students pause for a photo in Vienna. Front row from left are Candler Lowe, Lexie Turner, Lauren Fiorillo, Lia Batista and Sarah Casagrande; back row from left are Abbie Smith, Lauren Richardson, Jackson Mattox, Eric Jackson, Madison Eiberger and Courtney Fox.

Lauren Richardson will go to any lengths to get a good story, even if it means traveling halfway around the world. This summer, the aspiring journalist joined 10 other Berry communication students and three faculty members in Vienna, Austria, for a four-week course in international multimedia reporting.

While fellow students reported on topics ranging from opera to coffee houses to street art in their exploration of Austrian culture, Richardson decided to get the scoop on how Viking football is played on that side of the pond. Her subjects were the Vienna Vikings, a professional team playing American-style tackle football in Europe.

“It was really neat to get to know the coaches and players on a personal level and to be able to see the contrast of football in their culture versus ours,” she explained.

To learn more about the Vienna Vikings and other subjects explored by the students, check out the The Spaces of Vienna online magazine.

More than 130 Berry students took their education “on the road” this summer through various study-abroad programs. Destinations ranged from the waters off Honduras to Iceland to Costa Rica, touching five continents in all.

By Katherine Edmonds, philanthropic communications student writer

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Viking Fusion wowed judges at this year’s Southeast Regional Emmy Awards, earning top honors in the College/University Student Production/Non-News Program category for Sunrise, a short film written and directed by senior communication major Gino Destefano Valdivia.

The winning entry tells the story of a suicidal man confronting his own sorrow. Inspiration came from Valdivia’s childhood, when his mother taught him to smile at people he met on the street because you never know what they might be going through.

“That smile could save a life,” he noted. “Even though Sunrise is simple from a production standpoint, my hope is that the story captures this sentiment.”

Valdivia’s film was one of three Viking Fusion productions to earn Emmy nominations this year. It previously claimed third-place honors for Best TV Entertainment Program at the College Media Association’s Pinnacle Awards.

This is Viking Fusion’s second regional Emmy.

Other recent honors for Viking Fusion include a third-place national showing for The Collector, a dark comedy produced by junior communication major Ryan Warrick, and a first-place regional award for The Things They Carry, an online series produced by students in Berry’s COM 311 Sports Journalism class.

By Katherine Edmonds, philanthropic communications student writer

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Kathy and Randy RichardsonProvost Kathy Brittain Richardson will be leaving Berry at the end of the current academic year to take on a new challenge as president of Westminster College in Pennsylvania. She is the first woman to be named president of Westminster, a top-tier liberal arts college that has been ranked among the “Top 25 Best Colleges in the Northeast.”

A beloved member of the communication faculty since 1986, Richardson has been honored with Berry’s top awards for teaching, scholarship and service. In addition to her work in the classroom, she also distinguished herself as associate provost and dean of academic services (1999-2007) and interim provost (2007-08) before assuming her current role as chief academic officer in 2013.

“We will always know Dr. Richardson as a colleague who fully embraced Berry’s commitment to an education of the head, heart and hands,” said Berry President Steve Briggs. “She has poured herself into the fabric of our community and has worked tenaciously to make Berry better.”

Joining her at Westminster will be husband and colleague Dr. Randy Richardson, another beloved member of the communication faculty who is legendary for his work with the Berry forensics program. Under his leadership, Berry has won 20 consecutive state forensic championships and numerous national honors. He is a past recipient of the National Forensic Association’s Distinguished Service Award.

Berry officials will conduct a nationwide search for a new provost. Dr. Andy Bressette, currently associate provost, has accepted an interim appointment for 2016-17.

If you’d like to honor these amazing faculty members for their many years of service to Berry, please consider an online gift to the “Kathy Brittain Richardson Faculty and Staff Leadership Fund” or the “Randy Richardson Forensics Union Fund.” The former will support a variety of activities within the Faculty and Staff Leadership Academy, a future initiative of the Berry College Integrity in Leadership Center. The latter helps fund the activities of the Berry College Forensics Union. Contact Fred Mercer at 706-290-2164 or fmercer@berry.edu for more details.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Westminster to get first look at new president

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