Menu Menu

What's Happening


Exciting Special Topics Course Offered in Fall 2015!

Is the path to leadership more complex for women? Do women manage leadership, power, conflict, and authority differently than men? Do the decisions of young professional women impact their long term success as leaders? How do theories of gender and leadership inform our practice as leaders? Is it possible for women leaders to have it all? 

In this fall 2015 course with Beth Talbert, Special Instructor of Communication, students will explore the research about leadership as it is experienced by women in a variety of communication contexts; learn historical and contemporary views of women in leadership; meet successful women and hear their stories of struggle and success; and learn how to navigate leadership with more confidence. 

Women and men of all majors welcome! The course takes place on Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 1:00-2:27 PM. This course counts towards the Interpersonal requirement. Click here for a flyer. Sign up now! 

Dr. Rebekah Farrugia and Dr. Kellie Hay Publish Article in Music & Politics

Dr. Rebekah Farrugia and Dr. Kellie Hay, Associate Professors of Communication, published their article, "The Politics and Place of a “Legendary” Hip Hop Track in Detroit" in Volume 8, Issue 2 of the journal, Music & Politics. Their paper examines how a collective of women in Detroit are using hip hop culture and rap music specifically to create spaces of resistance in a place inundated with environmental ruins, race politics, social alienation, and dilapidated living conditions. The authors contextualize the historical and contemporary environmental situation of Detroit before moving on to examine the collective process of creating the rap song and music video “Legendary.” “Legendary” locates Detroit’s contemporary struggles in racially marked places in the city through an array of arresting images that capture environmental waste, forgotten spaces, and resilience among residents to survive such challenges.  Ecomusicological and urban planning literature, along with Adam Krims’s concepts of design intensity, cultural regeneration, and urban ethos, are reconfigured in relation to socially conscious, women-centered hip hop. Ultimately, the authors argue that the video serves as an example of how music can be used to question gendered power dynamics in hip hop culture and its connection to the environment, creating more desirable, sustainable communities. The department congratulates the authors on the publication of their fascinating article. 

Dr. Tom Discenna's Research Published in International Journal 

The research of Dr. Tom Discenna, Associate Professor of Communication, was published in volume 32.3 of the international, peer-reviewed journal, Rhetorica: A Journal of the History of Rhetoric (pp. 245-266). Dr. Discenna's article, "Rhetoric's Ghost at Davos: Reading Cassirer in the Rhetorical Tradition," takes up a fascinating discussion concerning the 1929 debate between philosophers Ernst Cassirer and Martin Heidegger by reading it as an instantiation of an ongoing dilemma within the field of rhetoric. Dr. Discenna argues that the Davos may be productively read through the lens of rhetorical theory and that such a reading can contribute to a more nuanced understanding of this event. The essay concludes by making a case for Cassirer's philosophy of symbolic forms as a normative ground for a rhetorical theory whose central purpose is to construct a decent, cultured, cosmopolitan, critical humanism. The department congratulates Dr. Discenna on publishing his work in this important venue.
Dr. Rob Sidelinger Publishes Research on the Use of Humor to Moderate Inappropriate Conversation 

Dr. Robert Sidelinger, Associate Professor of Communication, published the article, "Using Relevant Humor to Moderate Inappropriate Conversations: Maintaining Student Communication Satisfaction in the Classroom," in Volume 31.3 of Communication Research Reports. Dr. Sidelinger's study assessed students’ perceptions of instructors’ relevant humor and inappropriate conversations in the classroom and used expectancy violation theory (EVT) as a lens to position instructor relevant humor as a moderator between instructors’ inappropriate conversations and student communication satisfaction. Relevant humor strategies include humor related to material without a specific target, jokes related to the course material, college life stereotypes, and role playing and activities. Results showed a positive association between students’ perceptions of instructors’ use of relevant humor and student communication satisfaction and, in contrast, a negative relationship between perceptions of instructors’ inappropriate conversations and student communication satisfaction. Consistent with the tenets of EVT, results also indicated that instructors who use relevant humor in the classroom may overcome students’ negative perceptions of inappropriate conversations and maintain student communication satisfaction. The department congratulates Dr. Sidelinger on the publication of his article. 

Dr. Scott Crabill Publishes New Book on Civic Engagement in the 21st Century University

Dr. Scott Crabill, Associate Professor and Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, along with Dr. Dan Butin, Associate Professor and Founding Dean of the School of Education and Social Policy at Merrimack College, published the edited collection, Community Engagement 2.0?: Dialogues on the Future of the Civic in the Disrupted University. Crabill and Butin argue that the monopoly of place-based institutions controlling the college experience has been fundamentally shattered. Demographic changes, market pressures, and technological advancements have put into doubt the value proposition of traditional post secondary pathways. This raises a host of questions. Does online learning undermine the raison d'être of community-based models of teaching, learning, and research? How does civic learning as a deeply labor-intensive practice continue to have resonance in an automated, machine-driven pedagogical environment? What happens to service-learning as a critical, justice-oriented, and disruptive pedagogical practice in an online learning environment? The book provides an in-depth examination of such critical questions through chapters devoted to theoretical issues and important case studies, as well as responses and dialogues from a variety of perspectives. The department congratulates Dr. Crabill on the publication of his new and exciting book!

Holly Gilbert Recognized with Teaching and Service Award at 2014 OU Founder's Day

The Department of Communication and Journalism is pleased to announce that Holly Shreve Gilbert was honored at the 2014 Founders Day Faculty Recognition Luncheon for her exemplary contributions to teaching and service at Oakland University. She was recognized for the myriad contributions she makes to the department and the broader campus community in the diverse roles she executes. Indeed, Holly skillfully blends student engagement and pedagogy as she empowers students and colleagues in her roles as Chief Adviser in Journalism, Faculty Adviser to The Oakland Post, and instructor of digital media and writing courses. Professor Gilbert's knowledge and professionalism are evident in all of her work, but it is perhaps her work with the department's special projects in branding and alumni engagement that best express her talents, according to Dr. Jennifer Heisler, Chairperson of the Department of Communication and Journalism. The incredible success of these projects can be attributed to Holly's dedication to teaching, her willingness to mentor students, her expertise in multimedia journalism, and her unfailing collegiality. Dr. Heisler states that, "As instructor, adviser and active journalist, Professor Gilbert prepares students for today's ever-changing media landscape. She is an exceptional model of service, discovery and teaching for the department." The department congratulates Holly on this much-deserved award!  

Dr. You Li Secures "Innovations in Teaching" Grant

The Department of Communication and Journalism is pleased to announce that Dr. You Li, Assistant Professor of Journalism, was awarded the “Innovations in Teaching” Grant from the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL).  In her grant proposal, Dr. Li notes that nearly 80% of employers recommend gaining hands-on experience while in college--either through completing an internship or a community-based field project--to assist them in succeeding after graduation.  To address this demand, Dr. Li will implement a community based case-study approach for her new course, JRN 480: Interactive Communication Strategies. The course will partner teams of advertising and public relations students with local small businesses and non-profit organizations. The students will assess the organizations’ communication needs and then implement solutions by developing digital communication strategies via social and interactive media. The purpose of Dr. Li’s innovative approach to teaching and learning is to generate community partnerships that will enhance student learning and integrate university expertise with community resources for mutual benefit.  If you know of a small business or non-profit organization that would like to be involved in this endeavor, please contact Dr. Li. The department congratulates Dr. Li on securing this important grant to enhance teaching and learning in communication and journalism.

Charles Lapastora Honored with Meritorious Achievement Award

Communication major, Charles Lapastora, has been selected to receive the prestigious Meritorious Achievement Award at the spring 2014 commencement. The award is presented to outstanding students who, in their academic activities, exemplify the variety and scope of work in the Arts and Sciences. It includes a citation and a $250 honorarium. Charles will be recognized by Dean Kevin Corcoran during the College of Arts & Sciences commencement ceremony held on Saturday, April 26, at 12:30 p.m. in the O'Rena and he will provide a short speech just prior to the conferring of degrees. Charles's exemplary ethical foundation, concern for the community, intelligence, motivation, leadership skills, and work ethic make him the perfect recipient of this award. In addition to being an outstanding student whose role modeling inspires other students to be better, he has been an active leader on OU's campus--hosting his own radio show on WXOU, serving as an admissions ambassador, and working as an intramural intern for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Romania and California. He also has served as a Resident Advisor in the residence halls and as an OU New Bureau Video Reporter. This past November, Charles raised over $1000.00 for orphans in Thailand and India when he ran the 26.2 mile Detroit Free Press Talmer Bank marathon with his church, the Woodside Runners. In 2013, he was one of three students selected to receive the Keeper of the Dream Scholarship. The Department of Communication and Journalism congratulates Charles on being selected to receive this prestigious award. We have no doubt you will continue to inspire all those around you! 

Undergraduate's Research on the Use of Guilt Appeals in Advertising Wins Award 
By OU's Communications & Marketing

Recent alumna Mallory Smith will have her research on guilt appeals in advertising published in the Michigan Academy's academic journal.  When Oakland University hosted the 2014 Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters Conference in late February, hundreds of scholars from the United States and Canada turned out for a day of presentations in more than 30 disciplines. But the event was something of a homecoming for OU alumna Mallory Smith, who was recognized with the 2013 Ronald O. Kapp Undergraduate Award for the most outstanding paper presented at last year’s conference.
Smith’s research focused on guilt appeals in advertising – why the appeals are used, how they are implemented, how effective they are and what industries use them. Her paper reviewed current literature on the topic and offered projections on where research would lead in the future. “It is a fascinating subject that is surprisingly under-researched at this time,” said Smith, who graduated last December with a degree in communication. “There is plenty of information on it, but not nearly as much as I was expecting to uncover.”

Dr. Jeffrey Youngquist, who mentored Smith during the project, said he isn’t surprised she won an award. “Presenting a paper at an academic conference can be an intimidating experience for anyone, especially for an undergraduate,” said Dr. Youngquist, an associate professor of communication. “I've been most impressed with Mallory's confidence and her willingness to challenge herself.  Mallory was an exceptional undergraduate student here at Oakland, and I think this award and this experience made for a very nice conclusion to her OU experience.”

Though the award came with a monetary prize of $100, Smith said the experience preparing and presenting the paper was of far greater value to her. “The chance to speak in front of an engaged audience is something I think every undergrad should seek out,” she said. “I think the more you speak in front of people the more comfortable you become sharing your ideas with others, which is important not only in a professional setting, but in personal life as well.”

An abstract of Smith’s paper, "Guilt Appeals in Advertising: An Examination of Past Research and Directions for the Future," will be published in the Michigan Academy’s academic journal, the Michigan Academician. To read the full story on Mallory, click here.

Dr. S. Lily Mendoza's New Book Hits Bookshelves! 

Dr. S. Lily Mendoza, Associate Professor of Culture and Communication, and Dr. Leny Mendoza Strobel, Professor and Multicultural Studies Chair at Sonoma State University, are pleased to announce the publication of their new book, Back From the Crocodile’s Belly: Philippine Babaylan Studies and the Struggle for Indigenous Memory. This edited collection is a celebration of the beauty, richness, and diversity of indigenous ways of being as revealed in the critical studies and creative performances of living native traditions in the Philippines and in the United States diaspora. In revealing the beauty and vibrancy of native Filipino cultures, the book lays claim to the relevance and power of indigenous epistemologies in healing colonial and civilizational trauma brought on by the violent conscription of native peoples into the project of Modernity.  In the face of growing economic, spiritual, and ecological crises portending global collapse, the book affirms that the abjected “Primitive,” who now stands as Modernity’s only remaining Other, has much to teach us not only about survival but also about living generously and fiercely “with all our relations.” The Department of Communication and Journalism congratulates Dr. Mendoza and Dr. Strobel on the publication of their new book!

Dr. You Li's Research Appears in National Journal

Dr. You Li, Assistant Professor of Journalism, along with Dr. Tim P. Vos, Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Missouri, trace the rise of adopting advertising as the funding source of newspaper business in the 19th century in their co-authored article, Justifying Commercialization: Legitimating Discourse and the Rise of American Advertising. The article appears in the national, peer-reviewed journal, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 90 (3): 559-580. Their analysis shows how supporters of advertising overcame ambivalence and hostility toward advertising. Prior to the early 1840s, advertising was promoted by publishers, geared largely to general newspaper readers, and restrained via subtle discursive strategies. Later, promoters of advertising—including publishers and ad agents—tapped into socially and institutionally located legitimating discourse to sell advertising to a wide range of American businesspersons. The findings invite a reconsideration of conclusions made in previous advertising histories.The Department of Communication and Journalism congratulates Dr. Li on her publication in this important journal. 

Communication Master's Student, Travis Bader, Sets NCAA Record!

Travis Bader is a student in the Master's Program in Communication and a senior member of the Oakland University basketball team. He also has just set the all-time NCAA record for 3-pointers, breaking the NCAA record with 475 3-pointers made! Hailing from Okemos, Michigan, Bader is rated as the top 3-point shooter in the country and the 8th best scorer in college basketball by Bleacher Report. He also was mentioned as one of twelve players to watch in 2013-2014 by Bader earned his Bachelor's degree in Communication in three years and now is working on his Master's Degree. The Department of Communication and Journalism congratulates Bader on his hard work in achieving this great accomplishment. Check out Bader discussing his experiences at OU here

Edit tab Direct link

Forensics Team Garners Third Place at First Tournament of the Academic Year

Oakland University is proud to announce the completion of the first forensics tournament of the year. Forensics is an academic activity where student compete individually in competitive speaking and acting categories. The team is supported by the Communication and Journalism department and comprised of about ten students. The first tournament took place on Saturday, September 27 at Saginaw Valley State University.  There were nine schools represented and the team had a wonderful showing for the first tournament.  It was a beautiful morning and the competitors were anxious to begin. Four students were in attendance representing Oakland – Evan O’Hara (Senior), Courtney Stockman (Senior), Eliza Hensley (Junior), and Emily Ryan (Sophomore). All students were happy to break the ice on a new season and all took home some early success.  As a team, Oakland University finished in 3rd place overall.  Evan finished 2nd in Prose Interpretation and the three others all placed in Dramatic Interpretation.  Emily Ryan finished 6th, Eliza Hensley took 5th and Courtney Stockman grabbed 3rd place.  Three of the four have already qualified for Nationals! 

The entire team is excited with the result and are enthusiastic as they prepare for the next tournament in November.  If you are interested in forensics, please reach out to Evan O'Hara (president of the student forensics club at or Charlie Rinehart (faculty director of the program at The group meets Tuesday evenings from 5-8pm in the Oakland Center and are always looking for new members.

Communication and Honors College Students Present their Research at the 2014 Michigan Academy of Science, Arts & Letters

Two communication students and two honors college students inspired by a communication class presented their research papers at the 2014 Michigan Academy of Science, Arts & Letters Conference at Oakland University on February 28, 2014.  Ashleigh Curp, a student in the Master's Program in Communication, presented her paper entitled, "The Masculine Woman and the Feminine Man: The Effects of Feminism on Men and the Portrayals in Romantic Comedies," which she wrote in Dr. Jeff Youngquist's class. Amanda Benjamin, also a student in the Master's Program in Communication, presented a paper she crafted in Dr. Lily Mendoza's class entitled, "The Discursive Formation of the Sexualized Superwoman: Media Coverage of Roller Derby." Ashley Ault and Brooklyn Gutowsky, students in the Honors College, wrote their papers for the communication course, Women in the Rhetorical Tradition, with Dr. Valerie Palmer-Mehta. Ashley presented her paper, "A Symbol for Women's Progress: A Rhetorical Analysis of Hillary Rodham Clinton's Story as America's Story" and Brooklyn presented, "Improving Rights for Women: A Rhetorical Analysis of Logos in Susan B. Anthony's Speech Titled, 'Is it a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote?'" The Department of Communication and Journalism congratulates these students for having their papers accepted to this impressive conference. 

WXOU earns College Station of the Year — again!
MAB award bash
Oakland University's student radio station will proudly display its third-in-a-row College Station of the Year Award.
By Eric Reikowski, public information specialist

For the third year running, Oakland University’s student radio station WXOU-88.3 FM is set to receive the College Station of the Year Award, among other honors, from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation (MABF). The awards will be announced officially on Wednesday, March 12 at the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference in Lansing.

“This level of success was made possible with the teamwork of every DJ at the station,” said Patrick Cymbalski, WXOU’s general manager.  “We put everything we had into these entries, and when it came time to submit, I couldn’t have been happier with the finished products.  If you look at the names on the awards we won, you can see very few were solo efforts.  Everyone at the station really pulled together to help one another succeed.”

Along with the top overall prize, WXOU students claimed individual accolades in a variety of categories. They swept the Current Events Program category, with Lauren Barthold and Mark Cowan taking first place, Ashley Allison and Nicholas Rolling coming in second place, and Cymbalski and Leila Cotton earning an honorable mention. Cymbalski also won first place in the Air Check category, followed by Sean Varicalli, who finished second.
MAB winners
WXOU takes home the top prize from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation for the third year in a row, as well as several individual awards.
Related Links: 

Full list of MABF winners
Listen to WXOU
Communication and Journalism programs

In the Daily Newscast/News Feature category, Barthold, Varicalli and Don Tottingham claimed first place and Cymbalski received an honorable mention.  Varicalli also earned an honorable mention in the Public Service Announcement category and teamed with Cymbalski and Barthold for a second place showing in the Promotional Announcement category. Scott Hunter and Briana Carlesimo earned an honorable mention for Promotional Announcement.  

Rounding out the list, Mike Sullivan and Garrett Kolodziej won top honors in the Talk Show category.

The MABF awards gauge the skill and talent of student broadcasters across the state, and are judged by industry professionals and national radio experts. Christine Stover sees the station’s third consecutive Station of the Year honor as a tribute to the increasing quality of students and programs at WXOU.

 “It’s such a great privilege to work with the talented students we have at Oakland,” said Stover, who has served nearly 10 years as WXOU’s faculty advisor. “We have great student leaders and a supportive environment that encourages and applauds creative freedom and expression.  This recognition is truly an honor and belongs to everyone who was ever a part of WXOU, past, present, and future."

For more on WXOU-88.3 FM, visit the website at

Communication Alumni Present at the 2014 Student Success Conference

Communication alumni and Dr. David Lau presented an insightful panel at the 2014 Student Success Conference. The conference was entitled, "High Impact Practices: Creating a Culture of Completion," and it was held on OUs campus February 5-6, 2014. Dr. Lau notes that, punctuating each student's experience of college are defining moments--and these moments often determine whether a student finds a way to become productively engaged and stay in college, or become disengaged and leave. Since no one knows these experiences better than the students who go through them, selected OU alumni were asked to share their stories. Jamar Lockhart, Brent Pasquantonio, Kaniqua Daniel-Welch, Jonathan Parks and Stefan Welch discussed what made the difference for them as students, what happened to those who weren't so fortunate, and they provided their best insight regarding what might help other students in the future. The department appreciates not only Dr. Lau's initiation of this panel, but also the willingness of our alumni to reach back, and give back, to OU. 
Communication Major Runs Detroit Marathon for Charity
By Katie Williams, journalism major

Through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Lapastora plays basketball with children in sports campus in London.
Communication major Charlie Lapastora hates running. He’s been doing an awful lot of it lately, though, and he’s learning to love it – for a good cause. The Oakland University senior is training to run the full Detroit Free Press Talmer Bank marathon on Sunday, Oct. 20. He will run with his church group, The Woodside Runners, to raise money for orphans in Thailand and India.  “I wasn’t necessarily passionate about running,” Lapastora, a communication major, said. “But I am passionate about helping the orphans. I just went for it and started training. I’m becoming addicted to it now – I understand that runner’s high everyone talks about.” 
Lapastora will join roughly 6,000 other runners on a 26.2-mile course weaving through downtown Detroit and Windsor, with international crossings at the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.  He began training with The Woodside Runners this summer, and Lapastora is roughly half way to his fundraising goal of $1,000. 

“My heart is for kids, and I have a huge passion for helping them,” he said. “On mile 15, 16, 17 when I’m thinking, ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ I’ll have them in mind. I’m only one person and I can’t save the world, but I try to live my life to love and serve others as Jesus did.” 

Prior to registering for the marathon, Lapastora, who is minoring in international relations, traveled with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to Romania, Italy, London and Wales where he learned about sport ministry and worked at various children’s’ sport camps. Working with these children has encouraged Lapastora to continue giving back. “The kids in Romania were the most genuinely happy people I have ever seen and they have next to nothing. It stuck out to me, because I think in America we live in a bubble centered around material things and ourselves. I think if we had a mindset to love and serve others, the world would be a better place.” 

In addition to his full academic schedule, Lapastora is active on campus and within his community. He works two jobs, holds a broadcasting internship, hosts a radio show on WXOU, serves as treasurer for the Recreation Leadership Council, is a student leader for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a group leader at his church, and is a member of the lacrosse club. Lapastora was also a 2013 recipient of OU’s prestigious Keeper of the Dream scholarship, which is awarded to student leaders who demonstrate strong citizenship, scholarship and leadership in promoting interracial understanding. As the marathon approaches, Lapastora has realized how much running long distances relates to life. “No matter how hard things may seem and no matter how hurt you may get in life, it’s all about how you get back up and persevere through the storms. You have to just keep going.” 

Forensics Team Starts Off Strong!

Oakland University is excited to announce the results of the 2014 MISL Novice States tournament. OU had a successful run and came home with six trophies to highlight a great day of competition. The Michigan Intercollegiate Speech League hosted their 2014 Novice State Tournament at Hillsdale College on Saturday, February 8, 2014. The tournament was attended by the other colleges and universities in the state including Eastern Michigan University, Central Michigan University and the University of Michigan. Oakland had four students attend the event: Lauren Baker (Senior), Courtney Stockman (Junior), Dani Archer (Freshman) and Max Sarvello (Freshman).  Lauren Baker took 2nd place in Poetry Interpretation; Dani Archer took 6th place in Dramatic Interpretation; Max Sarvello took 5th place in Dramatic Interpretation; and Courtney Stockman took home three trophies overall: 6th in Poetry Interpretation, 4th in Dramatic Interpretation, and 2nd in Prose Interpretation. The team is proudly preparing for the last tournament of the year before the National Forensics Association's annual national competition, which will take place at the end of the month. If you are interested in forensics, please reach out to Jeff Butts (President of the Student Forensics Club at or Charlie Rinehart (Faculty Director of the program at The group meets Tuesday evenings from 5-7pm in the Oakland Center and is always looking for courageous new recruits!

CJ Alumna Savana Ciavatta Lands On-Air Position at WLNS in Lansing

Savana Ciavatta, CJ alumna, landed a much-coveted position as an on-air reporter on WLNS Channel 6 in Lansing. 

A Winter 2013 graduate, Savana positioned herself for success from the very beginning by taking her studies seriously, making the most of student organizations on campus, and engaging in a series of relevant internships. As a member of OU’s Honors College, Savana majored in Communication and minored in Journalism. She took advantage of relevant student organizations on campus, participating in OU’sStudent Video Productions (SVP) and reporting and anchoring forOUTV, the university's television station, for two years. She interned at State Champs High School Sports Show on CW-50 Detroit for two years and did 3 consecutive internships with HOMTV, Meridian Township's Government access channel. She also interned in the News and Sports Departments at Detroit’s WXYZ-Channel 7. 

Savana’s advice for communication majors is “continue to be persistent.” She says that the communications industry in general, and the television news world in particular, are very competitive:  “You have to put in the work to get what you want. This often means working for free a lot of the time, but my job is so rewarding, and it was all worth it!” The Department of Communication and Journalism applauds Savana on her achievements! 

Edit tab Direct link
What do OU journalism and communication students do after graduation? See for yourself:

Tim Rath, 2009

I have worked as a non-profiter in San Francisco, a blogger in Lima, a busker in Amsterdam and a team leader in Oxford. I currently work as local editor of West Bloomfield Patch, using skills acquired earning a bachelor's degree in Summer 2009 including video editing, beat reporting and event photography to provide hyperlocal news in an entirely online media. I am also a proud alum of The Oakland Post's web division at

Kaniqua Daniel, 2004

After graduating from Oakland, I landed my DREAM-job as a news reporter at The Oakland Press. A Pontiac native, this is my ‘hometown’ newspaper, thus a big deal for me and my family. Within four years, I provided news coverage for every major community in Oakland County, including the courts and cops beats, as well as my beloved city of Pontiac. That love quickly died after enduring 2 a.m. city council meetings. In 2008, I made the switch to P.R. at the POH Riley Foundation, the non-profit organization and fundraising arm of POH Regional Medical Center. Here, I am responsible for all corporate publications, marketing material, and media relations for coverage of hospital news and foundation events. I am also pursuing a master's degree in communication at Wayne State University.

Rob Tate, 2008

I have been a sports writer at the Daily American Republic newspaper in Poplar Bluff, Missouri for two and one-half years. Since moving in August 2008, I married my longtime girlfriend Sara and we bought a house. I really enjoy living in a small town and have made a smooth transition personally and professionally. I report on high school sports, which are very popular here since the nearest pro sports team is more than two hours away, as well as junior college sports. I also assist in copy editing, page layout and I shoot my own photos on a Nikon D300 at sporting events, which is something I've really grown to love. I'm known around here for my fanatic behavior when it comes to Detroit sports teams as well as those at Oakland University. 

Kelly Kozlowski, 2008

I graduated with a job offer at the Detroit Free Press. It was a college grad's dream: working on the web desk, covering everything from weather reports to Bon Jovi while learning from some of the city's finest journalists. During my year at the Freep, I was offered a fellowship at the Oakland University SmartZone Business Incubator, which meant a career path change. I took it and completed half of my MPA while learning the business of economic development. That job led to a position at Automation Alley, where I now work full-time as a business consultant. I'm in the process of completing my MPA at Oakland University, and my spare time is devoted to freelancing for the Detroit Free PressMetromixPatch and a handful of companies that contract me for business writing. I also contributed to a book due out in March 2011, but that's a very long story. Basically, the point here is that there is plenty of work out there for journalists (you just have to be hungry), OU's journalism program is solid (once you take it seriously), and the ability to write will land you job interviews and offers (how else do you think I ended up in economic development?).

Lindsey Wojcik, 2009

I moved to New York City to begin my editorial career in October 2009. I began 2010 as an editorial intern at Time Out New York magazine. I spent five months assisting editors with fact-checking and also wrote feature stories for the print and online edition. In October 2010, Jewelers' Circular Keystone magazine, a jewelry industry trade magazine, hired me as an editorial assistant. I worked with the editorial team to create news content for the website's daily newsletter, in addition to contributing to the monthly print edition. After leaving JCK, I recently became an associate editor at Pet Business magazine–a pet business trade magazine–managing and writing content for the news and new products sections of the magazine. In addition, I produce content for the weekly e-newsletter and copy edit the entire book.

Kyle Magin, 2007

I recently finished my first year with The Union newspaper in Grass Valley, Calif., where I cover county government and outdoor recreation. It’s my second stop with our parent company, Swift Communications, after starting my career with the Tahoe Bonanza and Sierra Sun newspapers in North Lake Tahoe, Nev./Calif. I’m now getting the hang of the daily newspaper grind and in my spare time started a college football blog. At the paper, we have a smaller staff than ever, and I’m always reminded that it behooves you to do more with less.

Nick Degel, 2008

My 2010 was strange in that it sort of transpired in three different phases. I spent the first third painting houses. And by painting houses I mean I literally painted an entire rental property in Farmington Hills by myself (otherwise known as the never ending job or "a snapshot of my personal Sisyphus punishment in hell"). My summer was comparatively – and a little obnoxiously – quite relaxing. Took a couple vacations. Enjoyed a lot of "me" time. September arrived and with it came law school. As I write this I'm taking a much needed break from finals as I finish up my first term at Thomas M. Cooley in Auburn Hills. It has challenged me in portions of my brain I never knew existed but I have truly enjoyed the work load and the benefits of a JD education.
Go Grizzlies!

Colleen (Miller) Campbell, 2010

As editor-in-chief at The Oakland Post, I garnered first place general excellence in our division from the Michigan Press Association along with 10 other awards including third place for an editorial I wrote, "No confidence in vote." We were also recognized as an Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker finalist for the second year in a row. 

I am now the online media specialist for Oakland University's Communication and Marketing department. I'm also a member and officer of the Wolverine HOG Chapter. 

Jeff Kranitz, 2007

I bounced around like a whirling dervish after graduation. First worked as a film publicist for the Detroit branch of a national agency. Sunny Florida was my next stop, writing TV and radio commercials for a marketing group in Fort Lauderdale. Just as my shuffleboard game was beginning to get good, I fell victim to the recession and decided to move back home and learn the broadcasting biz. Specs Howard led to an internship with the Web team at WJBK. I was offered a job during my internship, and now rotate between writing for the newscasts, publishing stories for and working the assignment desk. Currently putting together a demo reel, with hopes of landing a reporting job somewhere.

Hillary Sawchuk, 2009

Hillary is an OU journalism grad who runs an innovative website called A Drink With Chicagowith co-owner Kelly Kane. Hillary and Kelly interview noteworthy Chicagoans one drink at a time, hoping to build an audience for their site using social media. "Since making Chicago our home, we have found that all it takes is one great conversation over one drink to create a long lasting friendship, change your outlook or learn something new," write Hillary and Kelly, "We have had so many of these experiences that we thought we’d start to share them as we continue getting to know the many fascinating people around our city." Their site includes interviews and pictures with "local entrepreneurs, chefs, celebrities, socialites, artists and athletes who all love Chicago as much as [Hillary and Kelly] do."


If you're an alum, we'd love to hear from you! Send a first-person micro-blurb to Holly Shreve Gilbert ( Be sure to include the year you graduated and any professional links you'd like us to include. We're always happy to send you updates and keep you connected.

Edit tab Direct link