What A Difference A Year Makes: Dr. Nicolini’s First Year With UWO Journalism

12 05 2017

By Carissa Brzezinski (@CJBrzezinski)

Dr. Kristine Nicolini joined the journalism department this year as an assistant professor in public relations. She primarily teaches upper-level courses within the public relations major. These courses include: Principles of Public Relations, Public Relations Techniques, Research in Strategic Communication, Case Studies in Public Relations, and Public Relations Campaigns.

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  1. What was your professional experience before taking this position?

I have over 12 years of professional experience in public relations, strategic marketing, and corporate communication. I was fortunate to have many diverse opportunities in my career including shaping the marketing and strategic communication initiatives of Children’s Health System, Rockwell Automation, Bridgestone Firestone, Boys & Girls Club and St. Francis Xavier Educational System.

  1. What encouraged you to transition from a working professional to an educator?

During my career I have had two consistent passions, public relations and education. While working as a PR professional, I also taught one or two public relations courses at nearby universities. Five years ago, the chair of my department encouraged me to pursue my doctorate so I could teach at a university. I have always loved being in the classroom because of the unique ability one has to help students develop and grow. One of the best parts of my job is working with students and helping them achieve their goals. Even though I have transitioned into academia as my full-time role, I still work with organizations to help them achieve their communication goals through my consulting work.

  1. What is your favorite thing about the journalism department?

I love the dynamic, collaborative interaction between the faculty and students. Students are actively engaged and motivated to get the most out of their educational experience and this makes the department a vibrant, energetic and continuously evolving environment.

  1. What skills do you suggest students who want to go into journalism or public relations work on honing the most when they’re in school?

One of the most valuable skills students can possess as they transition into the job market is the ability to critically assess a situation and strategically formulate a plan of action. This skill takes time to develop but makes the difference between a mediocre communication professional and a cutting-edge leader in the field. I stress the importance of taking time to think through all aspects of the problem before trying to come up with a viable solution.

  1. What was the last book you read?

Besides academic textbooks and research methods books, the last book I read was Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline. Her books have so many plot twists they keep you on the edge of your seat from the first page to the last sentence.

  1. What is your favorite family tradition?

One of my favorite family traditions is spending time at our cottage in Winneconne, WI. My grandfather built the cottage when my mom was little and we have spent many days there boating, fishing, and spending time together with my extended family. I love knowing my kids are having those same experiences and making lifelong memories.

  1. What is your next skill to master?

One of the aspects of public relations that I enjoy the most is the ever-changing nature of the field. I am continuously seeking new knowledge related to how technology impacts how PR professionals do their work. Additionally, I am particularly interested in how meta-data influences major public relations decisions related to crisis communication. I am learning the different ways researchers are utilizing meta-data as a tool to uncover these trends.

  1. What is one thing you couldn’t go a day without?

Starbucks!!! I am addicted to their Grande Iced Caramel Macchiato and their oatmeal.

 

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UWO Ad Students Win Third at the National Student Advertising Competition for District 8

2 05 2017
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The third place plaque presented to UW Oshkosh at the NSAC 2017 District 8 Competition.

By: Catie Schultz (@CatieSchultz17)

After months of hard work and long hours, the preparation has paid off for the students involved in the Strategic Campaigns in Advertising course, offered by the Department of Journalism. The team placed third among seven other schools in the American Advertising Federation District 8 at the National Student Advertising Competition in Minneapolis on April 22.

 

“Placing third in District 8 is a big achievement for our advertising students – it shows how their high-quality creative and media skills edged out competing campaigns,” Dr. Sara Hansen, who teaches the campaigns course, said. “We are exceptionally proud of these young professionals who pushed their skills and worked very hard to win. As well, we are proud of the caliber of our advertising program in the Department of Journalism at UWO, which helped them prepare with the strategy, design and digital skills for competition at this level.”

AAF District 8 is made up of four states: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The competition at this level is high, due to the caliber of schools that are in District 8. Teams from bigger schools like the University of Minnesota, the University of North Dakota and the University of South Dakota, among others, present their campaign strategies in front of judges, who are professionals within the advertising and communication industry. The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is the only school from Wisconsin that participates in NSAC, which displays the quality of the program and its students.

The work leading up to the competition involves students opting to take Research in Strategic Communication to gain insight through primary and secondary research for a national brand based on a case study. The client brand for NSAC 2017 was Tai Pei Frozen Food. Work in the Advertising Media class also helps with developing media plans that could ultimately be used for the final campaign. Lastly, work completed in Strategic Campaigns in Advertising prepares students for the real world by working as a team in various roles to develop the advertising plan for the brand. Based on this work, the team develops a plans book and presentation that is to be judged at NSAC.

The road to Minneapolis and NSAC was extensive, but once we got there, it became a life-changing experience for all involved. “The best part of the competition was honestly the compliments the judges gave us,” Cally Kobza said. “They called our notifications genius and our commercial eye candy. Those compliments from people that high up in the marketing and advertising fields mean a lot.”

Multiple students said that this experience helped prepare them to work collaboratively with others. “This has prepared me for working in IWM [Interactive Web Management] by allowing me to work with other creative people,” Emily Ackerman said. “Even for people who think they can’t be creative, it was great to show them a physical representation of their ideas. It has taught me to be patient and listen to everyone’s ideas to make sure I help create the best product.”

Other students enjoyed the overall experience. “My favorite part of the NSAC competition was just hearing our presentation and then comparing it to others,” Dakotah Armbruster said.  “I’m glad ours stood apart because it’s what made us unique as a school. Hearing other presentations was cool because we got to listen in on what other teams took away from Tai Pei, and the overall Minneapolis experience was amazing as a whole, it gave us a taste of the real world. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

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UW Oshkosh accepts the third place award at the NSAC 2017 District 8 Competition in Minneapolis.
Source: AAF District 8 Facebook.





Biersach runs for National PRSSA committee, increases awareness of UWO

1 05 2017

Brianna Colebourne    By Brianna Colebourne

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh journalism student Katie Biersach ran for a National PRSSA committee position and increased awareness of the UW Oshkosh Public Relations Student Society of America chapter and the journalism department as a whole.

Biersach, a junior majoring in public relations with a minor in Radio-TV-Film, traveled to Seattle from March 30- April 2 to run for the vice president of career services position, which entails managing the PRSSA Internship Center, planning events for Career Development Month, increasing champions for PRSSA’s presence in the society, and much more.

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In the end, she did not receive the position, but it was an extremely valuable experience. She even ended up running for another position off the floor, which she had not prepared for at all. Biersach said, “I put my professional skills to the test and proved to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to.”

Running for those positions meant so much more than the position itself to Biersach. She used it as a way to gain experience, raise awareness about the UW Oshkosh journalism department, showcase her skills, and spread her knowledge to inspire and lead students from all across the world because she truly admires PRSSA.

Sara Steffes Hansen, faculty adviser of the Dr. Julie Henderson PRSSA chapter, helped Biersach prepare for her presentation by listening to her speech and providing constructive feedback. Hansen said: “It is quite an accomplishment for Katie to be a finalist for a National PRSSA position among a highly qualified field of candidates. We are very proud of her for reaching this level, and further putting UWO and the Department of Journalism on the national stage.”

Biersach, who will graduate in May 2018, is president of the UW Oshkosh PRSSA chapter and has served on its executive board for two years. Biersach also will be the 2017-2018 Promotions Director for Titan TV and is currently a part of Reeve Union Board.

In the past, she was a news reporter for the Advance-Titan, the communications director for Fletcher Hall Government, production member for Titan TV and a news reporter on 90.3 WRST.