Connect With Fellow UW Oshkosh Journalism Alumni on Facebook

13 12 2017

By Taylor Kuehl (@TaylorKuehlUWO)

Are you interested in tapping into a special network of media professionals that connects alumni and current University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh journalism department students? A Facebook group named UW Oshkosh Journalism Alumni & Students is the perfect place to do so!

Reasoning Behind The Facebook Page

Cindy Schultz, academic department associate, said the Facebook group offers another way for alumni and students who share the UWO journalism experience to connect and share.

“So many of our alumni have had an interest in being involved with the department and helping current students, so we developed this group as a platform where a collaboration could potentially take place,” said Catie Schultz. “We encourage all of our alumni and students to join.”

 Give Me Some Details!

It is a closed Facebook group of 467 members, headed by eleven admins. All journalism department alumni requests for membership are accepted. Members are encouraged to share their photos, experiences and memories related to the journalism department and to engage with other alumni. Students can share happenings and network with alumni. The department hopes the group will grow past 500 members by the end of the year.

Why Should You Join?

  • It’s a place where alumni and current students can interact
  • Internships and potential job opportunities can be discussed
  • Updates are posted from the journalism department
  • Trends and news for journalism, advertising, visual communication and public relations are shared
  • It’s fun to take a trip down memory lane no matter your graduation year

What Would You See If You Joined?

You would have access to content pertaining to upcoming department events, such as guest speakers or the journalism department’s 50th anniversary celebration taking place in October 2018. Modern Monday, Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday posts are a fun way to create conversation among alumni and current students.



Current journalism department student and admin of the Facebook page, Catie Schultz, shares the successes of current and past students who competed in the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC)


Leave a comment below if you would like to be added to the Facebook group or tag a friend who may be interested in joining!


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

2 05 2017

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.”


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

NSAC Part-Two: The Presentation and Pitch

20 05 2015

By: Ian Arthur (@Ian_CHILDonFIRE)

Upon returning from a much-needed spring break, the Brand 44 North team only had two weeks to prepare their presentation and pitch. During this portion of the class, we were split into three groups. The five presenters, Andrea Larson, Hannah Bostwick, Molly Venturini, Erica Van Riper and Jordan Demeny, needed to start working on what they would say and how.

The production team was tasked with creating a Pandora radio ad, complete with audio, as well as a YouTube submission video that would play during the presentation. Finally, the remaining members were to create the actual Prezi presentation.


Since our campaign was about connecting our awkward selves from years past, and how those experiences made us a whole lot better today, just as Pizza Hut had done, the presenters came up with the idea to present next to enlarged pictures of themselves from elementary school. Throughout the week before competition, presenters practiced their pitch repeatedly, slowly memorizing their lines. Finally, it was time to get ready for the trip to Minneapolis.

After a four-and-a-half-hour drive, we arrived safely in Minnesota. After a mandatory meeting, we had a couple of hours to get ready for rehearsal. This is when it finally dawned on me that we were really about to do this. All this work was coming together. Student Erica Van Riper said, “It was rewarding to have something to show for all of the hours and work we put into the whole thing.”

The next day we got up early and made final preparations to present. We entered the big lecture hall in the University of Minnesota and set everything up. The presenters did an amazing job giving their well-rehearsed pitch. “The most rewarding experience for me as an advisor is to see the students pitch their campaign,” said advisor Dana Baumgart. Afterwards, we received some difficult questions from the judges, but the presenters answered them with professionalism and confidence. The judges left and it was finally over.

We attended the awards ceremony that night. We did not place, however we were all proud of our effort. “The best thing about this year’s campaign was the grass roots approach the students took to answering the client’s objective,” Baumgart said, “I feel this is the way that many successful advertising campaigns will happen in the future, and I was happy our students stuck with this idea.”

There were some words of advice for future Strategic Campaigns in Advertising students. “Take this class serious but at the same time have fun with it,” Jordan Demeny said, “you and your team are going to be stressed out a lot, but just remember to have fun and laugh and just enjoy the experience of NSAC.”

Van Riper also had some advice, “I would tell them to take the research class as well because I think it’s helpful to be involved in the whole process.”

It is also important to note that students who participate in NSAC receive a copy of the plans book to take to interviews. “The value of the plans book in the interview stage is priceless,” said Baumgart.

Overall the experience was one that none of us will forget. We came together and created something that we can all be proud of, and forged some amazing friendships along the way. Congratulations to Brand 44 North, we crossed the finish line!

Students From UW Oshkosh Compete at National Student Advertising Competition (part 1)

29 04 2015

By: Ian Arthur (@Ian_CHILDonFIRE)


The National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) is a yearly competition where teams of students create an advertising campaign for a real-life client. Teams are formed through university advertising clubs on a volunteer basis or they join NSAC as a semester or yearlong class offered at their university. UW Oshkosh, the only Wisconsin school participating in the District Eight competition, offers Strategic Campaigns in Advertising as a semester-long course in the journalism department. It is like a capstone class for the advertising emphasis. As part of the 2015 NSAC team, this process was long and exhausting. However, the experience was one of the most rewarding of my college career.

Spring semester started with NSAC students developing an agency name and designating individual roles. This year the agency name was Brand 44 North, in relation to the latitude of Oshkosh. The team consisted of nine individuals, along with the guidance and supervision of Dana Baumgart and Taylor Boerboom.


From left to right: Taylor Boerboom, Jake Spence, Ian Arthur, Nicole Kitzerow, Molly Venturini, Erica Van Riper, Hannah Bostwick, Andrea Larson, Dana Baumgart, Holly Schneider, Jordan Demeny, Adam Mohnen

We were provided a case study for this year’s client, Pizza Hut. In past years the case study was fairly large, this year’s was five pages. It was just enough to give us an idea of what Pizza Hut wanted, along with a brief company history, without giving us much to build on. Nevertheless, we took on the challenge, and built our campaign from the ground up. We started by looking at the research done the previous semester by the Research 472 class. The research class spends the entire fall semester conducting primary research on the company and the industry for that upcoming spring’s competition.

The first task, which takes up most of the semester, is creating the plans book. The plans book is around 28 pages and includes industry overview, research, target audience, strategy, creative, budget, scheduling and more. For this campaign, we looked at the research and conducted some of our own, and realized that our target audience should be Millennials, ages 18-34. We then started defining what the core problem was for Pizza Hut.

Our team concluded that Millennials once had a strong connection with Pizza Hut in their childhood, but over time that connection was lost. We also realized that Millennials are extremely nostalgic, and if we could somehow connect Pizza Hut with Millennials’ pasts, we could re-form that lost connection. This gave birth to our tagline, “You have changed, so have we.” Once we had an idea of the problem and how to solve it, it was time to create the advertisements, where we were going to place them, and how much it would cost.

The process of creating the content that went into the plans book was long and tiresome. Our team would meet for six hours on Monday nights and then meet for work sessions during the week. When asked about the challenges of NSAC, student Erica Van Riper said, “The most challenging part of NSAC was staying motivated each week, especially when we started to stay really late.”

On Fridays we would meet for an hour or more to update one another on our progress. As we neared our deadline, we spent entire weekends cooped up in Sage Hall, working in groups and on our own. During these long hours we also got to know one another as individuals and create friendships. Student Holly Schneider said, “The most rewarding part of NSAC was developing relationships with each team member while working in a fast-paced environment; it felt like I was actually working in an ad agency.”

The last week had graphic designers Jake Spence and Nicole Kitzerow working to make sure everything got in the book. Finally, we submitted our book just in time to go on spring break. The relief would not last long though. When we returned from spring break it was time for the second portion of the class—the presentation (coming soon).

The Road to a 4th-place NSAC Award

22 05 2014

By: Andrea Larson (@andrea_larson_)

Gaining real world experience while enrolled in college gives students a way to stand out and the opportunity to see what life is like in the field they are studying.

Journalism 424, Strategic Campaigns in Advertising, offers that to journalism students. The students work during much of the spring semester creating an advertising campaign for a client, as if they were part of an actual advertising company. The class then competes in the American Advertising Federation’s  National Student Advertising competition (NSAC).

NSAC is an annual competition that provides a case study outlining the history of the company and its products, and a current advertising situation. The case study reflects a real situation to challenge students’ critical thinking abilities and creativity. The students research the product and its competition, identify potential problems, and develop an integrated communications campaign for the client. Each student team then “pitches” its campaign to a panel of judges.

This year’s client, Mary Kay cosmetics, challenged students to create a campaign strategy to reposition Mary Kay’s target audience to a younger demographic.

Journalism 424 students often take the Research in Strategic Communication class, Journalism 472, first, during the fall semester, where the problem is defined and research is conducted. This year students used an online survey and a focus group, one of the students and one of the Mary Kay independent beauty consultants, to gather primary research.

I interviewed four students from the campaigns class who also presented at the competition: Kaila Kissinger, Calli Hoyt, Phil Aiello and Mattie Eslinger. They shared with me the ups and downs of putting together a full-fledged ad campaign.

“With our research, we targeted the millennial generation. We nicknamed them the ‘all about me generation,’ “ Aiello said. “In addition to Mary Kay’s mission to encourage beauty and self-confidence, we came up with a campaign that encouraged consumers to catch a glimpse of themselves, in hopes they would find something deeper.”

“Check yourself out” was chosen as the campaign idea. It stood out to the team for several reasons: it went along with the research, focused on a woman’s personal journey through life, and, my favorite, it was a positive spin of the team’s finding that the millennials, the target market, where into themselves.

“The walls were literally covered with possibilities,” Hoyt said. “I think someone just threw out the idea of check yourself out and we all really liked the boldness and forwardness of that.”

Eslinger said: “We knew that the idea we chose had to relate to women in every stage in their demographic. Everyone checks themselves out, it’s just a natural thing to do.”

Kissinger added: “There was a period of about a week where we were all just coming up with these crazy ideas. At the end we all narrowed it down to our favorites and eventually picked that one. It began as ‘It’s OK to check yourself out’ but we managed to shorten it and re-work it to really fit and develop our campaign from it.”

UW Oshkosh was among a competitive district made up of ten schools from Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota. The team of 14 students took fourth in District 8, the only team in Wisconsin to compete in this year’s competition.

“My favorite part of the campaign process was the ability to develop a well-rounded campaign from scratch,” Aiello said. “The hardest part was working within the 6-7 week time frame. Some of our competition had up to a year to develop their strategies.”

Journalism 424 gives students real world experience they can proudly put in a portfolio. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there and take on new opportunities, like presenting in front of an audience and a panel of judges.

“The presenting team rode to Minneapolis together and the entire four hours we were rehearsing,” Kissinger said. “Even up to the night before the presentation day we did a run-through with the rest of the class and we were HORRIBLE. We eventually pulled it together and we rocked the actual presentation.”

“It was such a rewarding experience to stand in front of an auditorium full of people and present a project that we had put so much work into and had been working on for so long,” she said.

Congratulations to the 2014 NSAC team for its hard work and amazing achievement.



Spring 2014 Students Achievement Awards

20 05 2014

By: Andrea Larson (@andrea_larson_)

Every year, journalism students are recognized for their efforts in competitions, organizations, hard work, classes, clubs and/or scholarships. This years winners are:

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For more pictures, visit our Facebook page.

NSAC Competition 2013

3 04 2013

By: Eli Drljaca (@edrljaca)


The 40th annual National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) is coming up! On April 12-13 the campaigns class will be traveling to Minneapolis, MN to go head to head against other “agencies” from many universities in the nation.


Okay sounds exciting, but let’s back it up and see what NSAC is all about! NSAC is an annual competition where a brand will provide students a history outline of a product they sell along with the target audiences the students must advertise to. The students have a limited amount of time to study the product and the competition and find any problems they may run in to.


Tyler Kerns, a student currently in the campaigns class said, “This class truly shows how much work goes into an advertisement. It most certainly isn’t about being the funniest. It’s tracking trends, building and reading research and then executing a creative plan to make the audience feel their needs are being fulfilled.”


Then once the students complete the research, they must build a series of ads and place them into a booklet and perform a presentation for the audience, and more importantly the judges to see. The judges are made up of professionals from the communications industry. I couldn’t even imagine the amount of stress built up for that presentation!


This year the product is Glidden paint, specifically the Brilliance line exclusively at Wal-Mart. The Ad Club has been putting forth efforts to come up with ideas for the campaigns class. As being part of the Ad Club I was able to work with the campaigns class and go through the creative process to come up with the final pitches.


One important part of the class is making sure the ads that are being created are unique. “Well we made them from scratch.” Kerns said, “Much later in the competition we got a memo saying we were supposed to use the original ‘Glidden gets you going’ tagline but we obviously didn’t get that. So we came up with (from scratch) an idea to fit the individual needs of each target segment in a quirky way.” images