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Great Things Happening in Communication

The Digital Communication and Media emphasis claimed 4 national production awards and 6 individual and chapter awards in the 2020 National Broadcasting Association Competition: WTAMU students Chase Brady, Katy Zimmerman and Cody Stephens won the award for Video Studio or Live Performance Segment with One Sessions-AJ Swope Musical Tribute’s song “Black Crow.”  Jordan Unfred and Rachel Widder tied for the top Video Editing entry. Unfred won with his “Rubber Trailer 2 Copycat,” and Widder won for her “Napoleon Dynamite Mock Trailer.” Unfred was also named Rookie Member of the Year. Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities Student Success Coordinator Dane Glenn earned the title of Professional Member of the Year. The chapter earned the award for best community service event, as well as earning the coveted Model Chapter designation. Widder received AERho Student Member of the Year-Honorable Mention, and Advisor of the Year-Honorable Mention went to Dr. Emily Kinsky.

The Prairie News went digital in 2019, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the publication of the campus newspaper October 21, 2019 with the final print copy of the paper.

Broadcast Journalism students earned 6 awards in Division Four at the 2020 Texas Intercollegiate Press Association.  Awards included  First place, electronic reporting, feature news reporting- audio, Alyssa Gonzales; First place, visual reporting, cartoon strip/panel, Jonah Dietz; First place, visual reporting, sports action photo, Alyssa Gonzales; First place, production, advertising campaign, Buffalo Advertising ;Second place, electronic reporting, multimedia story, Ceasar Escalante & Savannah Wesley; Third place, narrative reporting, breaking news, Olivia Spiezio; Third place, narrative reporting, feature story, Jonah Dietz.

Randy Ray, associate lecturer and director of broadcasting at WT, was one of two 2019 inductees into the Pampa Hall of Fame.

Dr. Enyonam Osei-Hwere led a study abroad experience to Cape Town, South Africa in January 2020 with a focus on Global Media and Social Change. Nine West Texas A&M University students, one graduate student, two high school students from Wellington and Dumas completed service learning with two non-profits in Cape Town. The purpose of the trip was twofold: to develop a website to promote tourism in Langa township, a Cape Town suburb of 52,000, and a service project working with Building Bridges, an after-school program for elementary and middle school students in the surrounding area.

The KWTS studio lobby received renovations during the Spring 2020 semester, giving students more workspace, more privacy, and a better production suite. With the renovations, the couches that occupied the lobby were replaced by desks to give the students better workspace. New glass doors were also installed to give the students more privacy and to add a better flow from the offices to the lobby.

West Texas A&M University Department of Communication students won four Gold ADDY Awards, two Silver ADDY Awards and a Special Judges Award at last night’s American Advertising Awards in Amarillo. WTAMU’s Buffalo Advertising team earned a Gold ADDY for its “Be a Dog Person” campaign for Wienerschnitzel, as well as a Special Judges Award for that Integrated Advertising Campaign. Maroon Productions members Chase Brady, Anna Parsons and Cody Stephens earned two Gold ADDYs for their video productions entered in the Film, Video & Sound, Cinematography category: “Buffalo Stadium Ribbon Cutting” and “Inaugural Game Day.”  Chase Brady and Maroon Productions also won a Gold ADDY for the WT Fast Track Mobile App in the Film, Video & Sound, Animation or Special Effects category.

Lily Gamble earned a Silver ADDY for her work on the 1910 PR website in the Online/Interactive, Website category. The 2019 WTAMU Bateman Team, consisting of Darby Sparkman, Keila Valdez, Adelyn Hokanson, and Agol Aloak, won a Silver ADDY for “As We Are,” the team’s campaign summary designed to increase diversity in public relations. The team won in the Blogs & Digital Publications category.

For the first time ever, because of the COVID 19 pandemic, Buffalo Advertising put together their plans book for the National Student Advertising Competition virtually and competed in a virtual competition in April, placing 5thin Region 10.

COMM-E-DY Week was the focus of Communication Week, 2020.  Communication Hall of Fame inductee and past WTAMU Alumni President Zenobia Harris Bivens was the featured distinguished lecture speaker.

West Texas A&M University Department of Communication student Alaina Africano  received a $5,000 scholarship to pursue her education for fall, 2020 from the Advertising Education Foundation of Houston (AEFH).

The site visit team for the American Communication Association has recommended reaffirmation of the department’s accreditation through March 2025.

Research presentations for 2019-2020 included six presentations by graduate students at the 2019 Texas Speech Communication Association; 2 presentations by a graduate student and an undergraduate student at the Southwest Popular Culture Conference and acceptance of three rhetorical analyses written by Communication Studies undergraduates by the Undergraduate Honors Conference of the Southern States Communication Association. (UHC papers were not presented because of the cancellation of the conference due to the COVID19 pandemic).

WTAMU Digital Communication students earned one Silver and 3 Bronze Tellys in 2020:  Silver Telly and 2 Bronze Tellys--WT APP, Maroon Productions (Chase Brady); Bronze Telly--COMM Hall of Fame, 2019 Kerry Moore Profile (Chae Brady, Anna Parsons, Cody Stephens).