“The Rape Joke”

22 03 2014

by Nicole Kiefert (@nicole_kiefert)

Have you ever gotten chills reading a story? A story so well written and so moving that you sit and stare at it after you have finished just to recompose your thoughts? That was my reaction to reading “The Rape Joke” written by Tanvi Kumar, a student at Fond du Lac High School.

the rape joke

The story has sparked a controversy at the school and beyond, but unfortunately it is not for how well it was written. It is mainly about because the principal and the superintendent had concerns about the story, and decided to enforce prior restraint on stories that will be published in the Cardinal Columns, the school newspaper.

UW Oshkosh journalism associate professor Vince Filak has been interviewed a couple of times regarding the controversy and feels passionate about it.

“This young lady did an incredible job of writing about an incredibly sensitive topic in an extremely restrained way and still gave people the facts they needed to be able to form an opinion, and to punish the newspaper for it is pretty gutless,” Filak said.

He said the story was well written and could be considered for a writing award.

“They really painstakingly wrote it and they put forth a piece that I think is an award-winning piece,” he said. “I think this could be a story of the year for high school publications.”

UWO law and ethics Professor Mike Cowling said students have freedom of speech so long as the stories published do not disrupt the educational process or are not considered to be obscene, indecent or vulgar.

“Court rulings have said that high school students have free speech rights,” Cowling said. “They can make political statements, they can do things as long as it’s not disruptive to the student environment.”

Cowling said school administrators, who are considered to be the publishers of most high school newspapers, have a legal right to determine what is acceptable and what is not for the publication.

“The top administrator is considered to be the publisher, as you would have at a newspaper, so he or she can say ‘we’re not going to run this’ and, in essence, have a right to do so,” Cowling said. He cited a United States Supreme Court ruling in the 1988 case of Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier in which the justices said school-sponsored student publications can be censored for legitimate educational concerns.

Barb Benish, UWO adjunct instructor and executive secretary of  the Northeastern Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association (NEWSPA), has added a session to the NEWSPA spring conference called “Prior Review: What to do if it Happens to You.” The session brings in the writer of the story and other members of the Cardinal Columns publication to talk about how they took a stand. Professor Cowling will also be there to discuss the legal aspects.

The students started a petition that generated about 4,500 signatures in a little more than a week.

Tell us your thoughts on the story, the reactions and how you think the situation will turn out.

International Day of Happiness

19 03 2014

By Nicole Kiefert (@nicole_kiefert)

March 20 is a twofold day of things that should make you feel good. On calendars it is the official first day of spring, and after our latest winter everyone is probably extremely excited for the seasons to change. March 20 also marks a fairly new holiday called the International Day of Happiness.

History of Happiness Day

The International Day of Happiness may sound like something that should’ve been celebrated since the beginning of time, if not every day of your lives, but this day was officially started in June of 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly that believed “the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal.”

The holiday was started to spread the awareness of how important happiness and general well-being are to human life. With money and power becoming so essential in the world, it is important for us to take a step back and realize that all we really need is our health and our happiness to get by.

How You Can Spread Happiness

The first step on the main page of the U.N. website is to vote on whether you think wealth or happiness is more important. Eighty-seven percent of the people who have voted feel that happiness is more important, which means the International Day of Happiness has started to spread. The goal of the day is to reclaim happiness around the world. You can also find out how to get more involved from the website. One of the ways it is attempting to hit its goal is by having people send in photos of things that make them happy and using #happinessday.

UWO is taking part in the International Day of Happiness and we want your help. On March 20, tweet us pictures of things that make you happy or tell us what you do to make others smiling using the #UWOspreadshappiness.


Smiling Students at UWO

In honor of International Happiness Day, I asked a couple of students at UW Oshkosh how they maintained and spread their happiness to others.

UWO nursing student Leanne Neu said her friends and family make her happiest.
“I would say I’m happy when I’m with friends or my family,” Neu said. “And I think warm weather, like summer. Country music always puts me in a good mood, too. Specifically Luke Bryan and the big poster I have of him. And sleeping in now that I think of it.”

Leo Costello, a journalism major, said easygoing people with a sense of humor make him happy.
“When people have a sense of humor that allows them to laugh at anything,” he said. “Also people who don’t take life too seriously.”

Abby Schwartz, a junior at UWO and a physical therapy major, agreed that her family and friends make her happy.
“My family and friends, of course,” Schwartz said. “But I’m sure everybody says that. Petting dogs and working out make me happy too.”

Scott Bellile, another journalism major, said finishing a task or goal and feeling a sense of accomplishment is what really makes him happy.
“As a journalism student, I feel relieved but also proud when a writing assignment I’ve spent a week working on is sent off, ready for the web or a newspaper page,” Bellile said. “This also applies to finishing a homework assignment or cleaning my room, but the tasks that take extra motivation leave me with a great feeling when they’re finished.”

There are plenty of ways to express your happiness and UWO has students with a wide variety of ways to show just how happy they are.

Neu said she expresses happiness by smiling.
“Smiling, smiling is my favorite.” She said. “Sorry, that was from ‘Elf.’ But I do smile and laugh a lot. I sing badly to music when I’m happy. How do you express happiness…? I don’t know, I just do.”

Aside from smiling, Schwartz said she also likes to dance around her house to loud music.
“Well laughing and smiling are always signs that you’re happy,” She said. “But I also like to blast music and dance around my house and sing… badly.”

Costello said, “I generally just act in a good mood and I try to entertain people.”

Bellile said he can range from a laid-back happiness to an extreme ball of energy.
“When expressing my happiness, depending on the appropriate setting,” Bellile said. “I’ll either relax and smile or I’ll spring off the walls exploding with energy. “

The goal of International Happiness Day is not only to be happy, but to spread happiness. The UWO students also told us how it is they make sure others are happy.

Neu said she is generally a nice person and doesn’t like to make people upset in the first place.
“I try to make others happy by trying to be a nice person,” Neu said. “I don’t like confrontation so I pretty much try to please everyone. I like to quote movies to make people smile.”

Schwartz spreads happiness by making other people smile.
“Singing really well to them, obviously.” Schwartz said with a laugh. “Doing nice things for people or telling them stories about funny things that happened to me.”
Knowing how it feels to have a happy person come up and have a conversation with you to turn your mood around, Bellile tries to approach people just to talk and make them happy.

“I always try to express a positive attitude toward others,” Bellile said. “Some people just won’t care, but I assume others will appreciate it, because I know I feel great when I have a nice conversation with an upbeat person.”

Campus Release of Adobe Creative Cloud

17 03 2014

By: Andrea Larson (@andrea_larson_)

We have great resources at UW Oshkosh, but some students don’t know they have access to programs they can receive at a discounted price. I want to share one of these resources so students can start taking advantage of it while they can.

Being a journalism student, certain Adobe software programs are convenient to have on your personal computer so you can work from home or at an internship. Adobe Creative Cloud allows you to do this, and as a student you can get this program at a discounted price.

What is Adobe Creative Cloud? It has the resources you need to craft amazing designs and visuals. You have all-access to the latest versions of Adobe professional creative desktop applications and receive new upgrades when they are available. These programs include:

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 12.18.41 PM• Photoshop CC

• Illustrator CC

• InDesign CC

• Dreamweaver CC

• Adobe Premiere Pro CC

• After Effects CC

• Acrobat XI Pro

• Adobe Muse CC

• Bridge CCC

• Fireworks

• And much more

I downloaded Adobe Creative Cloud so I could work on class projects from home and also for my personal use to receive more practice. What I like about it most is you can install only the applications you want and add more at a later date. You also don’t need ongoing Internet access when using the applications, just on the initial installment.

Cloud storage and file syncing capabilities allow you to reliably access your files wherever and whenever you want, even on your mobile devices. You have the option of installing only one app to your computer with the single app membership so you do not have to pay for the entire creative suite if that better suits your needs.

UW Oshkosh is hoping to have a full campus release soon, which will include Adobe Creative Cloud on all school-owned computers. In the meantime, download Adobe Creative Cloud to your personal computer and start learning all the applications by watching Lynda, a one-stop shop for online tutorials on these same programs.

If you are interested in installing Adobe Creative Cloud, refer to the visual below and click here:

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 1.04.49 PM

Please note any university-issued computers get this software free, it only costs if you want it on your personal computer.

Click here to learn more about the programs included on Adobe Creative Cloud and comment below for questions and comments.

Spring Break

14 03 2014

by Nicole Kiefert (@nicole_kiefert)

The countdown to spring break is just about at single digits, and whether you are going somewhere warm or going back home everyone can agree that it is easily the best part of the spring semester.

When people first think of college spring break, they probably think of the popular trips to Panama City Beach, Fla. But with the help of a group called Ballin’ on a Budget, UW Oshkosh offers to fill a coach bus with students and drive them to PCB, stay at the Boardwalk Beach Resort and get free T-shirts all for $550. Unfortunately, deadlines for the trip this year has closed, but it is an option  for next year.

If you are not up for a road trip with your friends to Florida, there are plenty of other options offered through campus for alternative spring breaks.  Deadlines for applications this year have closed, but if an alternative spring break sounds like something you would like to do in the future, the program starts taking applications as early as October. Be sure to look into it when the time comes.

Through Reeve, ResLife and Mike Lueder, director of alternative spring breaks, comes a fantastic opportunity to visit places and have a once in a lifetime experience. Through alternative spring breaks, students can take trips to New York City, Washington, D.C., Guatemala and Honduras. All of these trips include helping people less fortunate than you and immersing yourself in a different culture.

In New York students will get to see the diversity and culture as well as help prepare and deliver meals to people in need in the boroughs.

The trip to Honduras gives students the chance to help underprivileged children finish an education they were forced to quit.

The trip to Guatemala is about sustainability and helping residents with disaster relief.

The trip to Washington offers students an opportunity to learn more about homelessness, not only by witnessing it first hand and helping those people, but the group sleeps in the shelter where they are volunteering to add an even more beneficial experience.

Part of the group decided to go zip lining.

Lueder said everybody who has gone on an alternative spring break has come back a changed person, definitely for the better. He hopes to be able to offer additional trips in the next couple of years to give more people more options for places to go. If  you are interested in looking through photos and blog posts from last years trip, there is a blog everyone kept throughout the trip.

Not only are the alternative spring breaks kept at an affordable cost and give you the chance to give back to the world, you also make life long friends, get to go to a cool place and do some amazing things.

Whether you would rather be at home with your family, in Florida with your friends or doing volunteer work in a different country, any spring break is a fun one.

NODAC 2014: Dribble, Dunk, Donate

11 02 2014

By: Andrea Larson (@andrea_larson_)

Every year, the Public Relations Students Society of America (PRSSA) participates in the National Organ Donor Day Awareness Competition (NODAC). Thousands of Americans wait on the organ donation list, hundreds more recipients in need than willing donors. The PRSSA members work hard to bring this awareness to campus by planning an on-campus activity, providing information on the importance of organ donation.

Neal Corby, vice president of PRSSA, said the Oshkosh Chapter started planning and marketing for the event early last semester, hoping to bring more awareness and a large crowd. This year’s theme is Dribble, Dunk, Donate. The activity is geared around a three-on-three basketball tournament. There can be three to six people on a team, they can be mixed (both men and women), and is open to everyone, not just UWO students and staff. First-place winner will receive a $300 cash prize!

How can you sign up?

• Look for tables stationed in Revee Memorial Union and at the UW Oshkosh men and women’s basketball games

• Message their  Facebook or Twitter page with your team name and captain’s name

• Tweet @AssistTheList

• Email DribbleDunkDonate@gmail.com with your team name and captain’s name

• Fill out the survey on SurveyMonkey by clicking here

The event will be held on Sunday, April 27, in Albee Hall and will start at noon and end with the last team standing. Sign up today and support PRSSA and organ donation!


Super Bowl Ads 2014 – Which was your favorite?

7 02 2014

Phil Aiello (@phil_ilo)

For the fourth time in five years, the 2014 Super Bowl has set a record for the most-watched television event in U.S. history, drawing 111.5 million viewers.

For many viewers, the Lombardi Trophy match-off between Denver and Seattle was just something that happened between breaks in commercials. For other’s, the tone of advertisements also defined the tone of the game with one word: disappointment.

Nonetheless, each year Super Bowl ads raise the bar, and the price tag. Advertisers spent more than $4 million to buy a 30-second ad spot for the MetLife Stadium hosted game. Many broke the bank with the use of appearances by celebrities, villains and sports hall-of-famers.

However, we would not dare to celebrate one of America’s favorite past-time sport, (or the most viewed televised event of the year) without the use of social media – including  controversial backlash. Esurance, the most-tweeted brand of the evening, offered to give away $1.5 million to select tweeters who utilized the hashtag #EsuranceSave30.

Top nods were given to Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Chobani, H&M, T-Mobile Audi and Toyota. But we want to know what your favorites were. We have selected some of the top ones, now we want you to vote!


Click here to vote!

DMA Conference in Chicago

15 11 2013

By: Kaila Kissinger (@KailaKissinger)

Journalism and Business students recently attended the Direct Marketing Association Conference in Chicago. The conference draws professionals from around the world to discuss and learn about topics on data-driven marketing. Over the four-day conference, there were various speakers, information sessions, and exhibits on the trade show floor for people to attend. UWO’s own Dr. Hansen was chosen to present her research on small to mid-sized business social media usage.

Students attended the Student Career Forum put on by Marketing EDGE. The student forum included a panel of professionals who were there to answer questions and provide insight into the marketing and advertising industry. The panelists included:

The keynote speaker for the student forum was Craig Wood of The Futures Company. He had many helpful insights and focused on Mythbusters: Marketing Edition. He debunked the following myths about what people say about entering into a career after college and the reality.

The Myth: There is only one way to prepare for your career.

Reality: There is only one way to prepare yourself for your future. YOUR way.

The Myth: Your first job matters.

Reality: People in the millennial generation don’t define themselves by their jobs like past generations have. Your first job doesn’t matter as much as your experiences do.

The Myth: Your first boss will understand you.

Reality: Your boss is most likely going to be older than you are. With all of the differences between generations, some things are different.

The Myth: It’s not what you know, but who you know.

Reality: This may have been true in the past, but now it is a combination of both. Of course, the connections you make with people are valuable when looking for a job, but employers are now looking more closely at the skill sets you have.

The DMA conference was a great experience for Journalism and Business majors to interact and see how their fields intersect. It was also a great way to network with professionals in the industry.

UWO at DMA Conference Chicago 2013

Mobile Media Additions Made to Core Journalism Courses

24 10 2013

Photo Credit: Mashable.

By: Phil Aiello (@phil_ILO)

New additions to the Department of Journalism’s Foundations of Multimedia Production and Online Publishing will introduce opportunities for students willing to take on developing mobile communications.

Studies suggest that mobile Internet usage will exceed desktop Internet usage as early as 2015, and the Department of Journalism will make changes to reflect the trend beginning this spring.

In Foundations of Multimedia Production, Dr. Shu-Yueh Lee will deliver conceptual knowledge of applications and services for mobile multimedia. The learning objective is for students to obtain knowledge about the development process for mobile applications.

In Online Publishing, introductory lessons on JavaScript and jQuery will be applied to create interactive web packages that can be accessed both by the Internet and mobile devices.

“The hope is to provide students with the knowledge and skills for creating mobile sites and mobile multimedia messages,” Dr. Lee said.

With innovative, all-in-one products like tablets and smartphones, which include millions of mobile applications, the need to purchase products like GPS systems, cameras and storage devices have led analysts to believe that desktop computers may become extinct.

Studies reported in Mashable state that nearly 5.1 billion mobile phone users will possess a mobile phone by 2017, growing from 1 billion from 2013.

Mobile communication is a key aspect of modern journalism for writing and visual content. Students should consider these trends when registering for classes, and staying current with technology. In what ways may mobile impact your work in journalism?

Three Journalism Alumni Dared to Dream

11 10 2013

By: Andrea Larson (@andrea_larson_)

Where Titans Dare to Dream, this year’s homecoming theme, is more than fitting for the accomplished alumni being recognized tonight at the 2013 Alumni Awards Dinner. Ten UW Oshkosh graduates dared to dream and are now on a path to having a large impact in their professions. We are happy to announce that three of the honorees are journalism alumni: Jeff Griffith, Shane Arman and Kate Briquelet.

“The Department of Journalism is proud to have so many wonderful alumni making significant contributions to the profession,” Mike Cowling, chair of the journalism department, said. “Over the years, the department has had more majors recognized by the University Alumni Association as Outstanding Young Alumni Award or Distinguished Alumni Award winners than any other department on campus.”

Jeff GriffithJeff Griffith is receiving a Distinguished Alumni Award, the Alumni Association’s highest honor. It is hard to fit everything Griffith has accomplished in only a few short paragraphs because he has achieved an incredibly creative career in advertising.

While a student, Griffith was a Journalism major with an advertising emphasis, and a minor in Radio/TV/Film. He also was involved in Reeve Union Board, UW Oshkosh Ad Club, and the Advance-Titan. Griffith’s passion was advertising, and once he graduated, he landed jobs in ad agencies all over the country.

His first job was with Milic Valemi Park and Gabriel in Honolulu, Hawaii. He landed other jobs within the advertising world working for Babbit & Reiman in Atlanta, Hal Riney & Partners in New York and many other freelance opportunities. Griffith even co-founded an ad agency, JUGULAR Advertising, before he made the switch to publishing. He now serves as the Creative Director of Men’s Health at Rodale Publishing. What an honor it is to have Griffith as one of our Journalism Alumni.

Take a look at what Jeff has to say about his career and other experiences in this interview with UW Oshkosh Career Services.

Shane Arman

Shane Arman is receiving his second award after being named the Young PR Professional of the Year this spring. At the alumni awards dinner, Arman will be receiving the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

After graduating in 2010 with a Journalism major, Arman became an associate in consumer and sports marketing at Burson-Marsteller in Chicago. Arman started at the agency as an intern, and impressed his employers who offered him a full-time job after college.

While a student at UW Oshkosh, Arman received his degree with an emphasis in public relations, and a business administration minor. He was the president of Reeve Union Board and the vice president of UWO’s chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America.

See what other things Shane has accomplished by reading this article.

Kate Briquelet

Kate Briguelet is receiving the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

After graduating in 2008, she moved to New York and earned a master’s in journalism at New York University. Briguelet has accomplished her dream and is currently writing for the New York Post as an enterprise reporter for the Sunday Edition.

Briquelet was very involved while attending Oshkosh. She worked for the Advance-Titan, where she earned a position as a features editor; she was involved in the Society of Professional Journalists and the journalism honors society, Kappa Tau Alpha. On top of her school activities, she was a freelance writer for the Oshkosh Magazine and worked as a copy editor at the Oshkosh Northwestern.

After graduation, Briquelet worked for the Business Traveler where she traveled the world to cover airline and luxury hotel openings and edited copy for the monthly national magazine. She also worked as an intern at City Hall News.

To read more about Kate’s success check out this article from UW Oshkosh Today.

“We as faculty try to provide a solid foundation from which our graduates can build successful careers. They become great ambassadors for the department and the university,” Cowling said.

See what happens when you challenge yourself to think big and follow your dreams? You, too, may be receiving an award some day.

The Alumni Awards Dinner will be held beginning at 5 p.m. tonight in Reeve Memorial Union Ballroom.

Leaving Oshkosh with a Smile

22 05 2013

By: Eli Drljaca (@edrljaca)

As we know some of our own journalism students went on to graduate this spring, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go back and see what it was like for these students to go through the journalism program here at UW-Oshkosh and what some of their last journalism classes were like.

One person I was fortunate to meet was Olivia Blanke, a recent graduate through the Journalism program. I was able to have a class with her during her last semester and had the chance to talk to her about her new media class, which was one of her last classes here at UWO. Olivia explained to me how they used all new media in that class including social media, and emphasized on blogging. “The class was a lot of fun and I learned a lot as well.” Olivia said, “It was cool to use social media in the classroom while also learning how to use it professionally and in a marketing and advertising sense.”

She also went on to say how her professor, Dr. Sara Hansen, made the class much more enjoyable and fun. “My favorite part about the class was getting to use social media on a daily basis. Professor Hansen makes the class fun by incorporating a lot of fun YouTube videos and encouraging live tweeting during student presentations and guest speakers.”

Olivia created her blog targeting incoming freshman into college. She shares with the reader how college really is, and the advice that these students need to not only succeed, but to survive.

So if you’re a freshman, or a soon to be senior, don’t hesitate to check out Olivia’s blog and other journalism students blogs here at UWO.

olivia blog

UWO 101   Hints, tips and friendly advice for your adventures at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh


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