26 September 2014

Buffalo State Ad Club Meets Sept. 30

Communication Professor Diane McFarland has announced an organizing meeting of the Ad Club of Buffalo State College on Tuesday, September 30th at 12:30 p.m.  in the Communication Department Conference Room on the first floor of Bishop Hall.  

Buffalo State's Ad Club will feature guest speakers and field trips to advertising agencies.  Copywriters and students interested in film, graphic and web based design, public relations and advertising are encouraged to attend.  The club will become a USG organization and apply for USG funding.

Buffalo State Ad Club members may want also to join the Advertising Club of Buffalo, which supports and connects communications professionals in Western New York, providing national industry involvement with a local focus.  Students are provided access to the resources (and people) they need to get in, and get ahead.  Monthly meetings like AdLab, advertised above, bring advertising professionals together to discuss trends and issues in the field.

See more about the Advertising Club of Buffalo here.

Come and join us on September 30!

20 September 2014

Mini Reunion!

Professor Deborah Silverman and Professor Joe Marren are shown with a group from the Communication Mini Reunion at Cole's on Friday night.   It was a great event, with more to come.

19 September 2014

Diversity Film Series Debuts with The Homestretch Sept 25

Production Still from The Homestretch

Communication Department Professors Ruth Goldman, Meg Knowles and Michael Niman are proud to present a three-film documentary series for this semester.  The first film screened will be The Homestretch, a 2014 documentary about homeless teens in Chicago.   The film will be presented at the Burchfield Penney Art Center on Thursday, September 25 at 6:30 p.m.   This 90-minute documentary was directed and produced by Anne De Mare and Kirsten Kelly.  The series, Beyond Boundaries: Dare to be Diverse, is co-sponsored by the Buffalo State Office of Equity and Campus Diversity, Buffalo State's Department of Communication, the Buffalo State Office of Student Life and the Burchfield Penney Arts Center.

The Homestretch (trailer) from spargel productions on Vimeo.

Filmmaker Kirsten Kelly partnered with award winning director Anne De Mare over the course of five years to produce The Homestretch.  De Mare and Kelly produced their first film together in 2009, titled Asparagus! Stalking the American Life.  While working in Chicago, Kelly learned of the multitude of homeless teens flocking to the city.   The women were granted access to Chicago Public Schools where they sought the backstories of kids who didn't fit the "homeless" stereotype.

Kasey, Anthony and Roque are smart, ambitious Chicago teens.  Like many their age, they struggle to keep their grades up so they can graduate from high school.  What sets them apart from other teens is that after the school day ends, they don't go home.   Instead, they spend their nights looking for a warm, safe place to sleep.  They're among the 19,000 homeless students in Chicago public schools, and like so many, they've fallen victim to issues of juvenile justice, immigration, foster care and LGBTQIA discrimination.   This powerful documentary follows their stories, and those of the heroes and heroines who support them, as they work to overcome the trauma of abandonment at a very young age.  They face overwhelming odds, but the courage and conviction of these three teens defies stereotypes in this story of struggle and triumph.

The documentary has already been screened at Toronto's Hot Docs as well as Gene Siskel's Film Center in Chicago.   "Its intimacy is a reflection of its compassion…The Homestretch invites you to empathize with its subjects, to worry with them, to laugh with them, to worry about them.  It's engaging and compelling viewing," says Glenn Kenny of RogerEbert.com

After the film, a panel of local experts from the non-profit community will lead a discussion. Candice Fletcher-Pacheco, Development Director of Compass House; Marvin L. Henchbarger, Executive Director of Gay and Lesbian Youth Services (GLYS); and Jennifer Ditta, Program Manager, Second Chance Home at Homespace will be be featured at the panel discussion.

The next films in the series will be Bipolarized on Thursday, October 16th and 15 to Life on Thursday, November 13th.   For more information, visit the Beyond Boundaries Facebook page.

- by Lauren Cifra, '14 (Public Communication)

COM Reunion for Homecoming

The Communication Department Alumni Network presents an alumni mini-reunion at Cole's Restaurant and Bar --  Guests are welcome to enjoy light appetizers, beverages, and networking with fellow alumni on Friday, September 19 from 7-9:30.

You can attend for only $15 for alumnus/alumna and Communication Department staff, and $20 for non-alumni, significant others and colleagues.  Registration is available at the door.

Several Communication Department faculty will be in attendance, and are looking forward to socializing with both old friends and new!

BSC-TV Covers Homecoming and More

Ronnie O'Campo '15 (Media Production), current Vice-President of BSC-TV, posted this video of the Homecoming Pep Rally today on BSC-TV's YouTube page.   You can follow BSC-TV's programming on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/BSCTV3) or on Twitter (https://twitter.com/BSC_TV) and Instagram (@BSCTV3) to keep up to date on events, sports, and campus news.

Regular programming announced this fall includes:  "Pat's Food Review," "Bengal Sound," "The Light," "The Jungle," "The Game Show," and "BSC News".

22 August 2014

Brian Milbrand and Torn Space Spectacle at Silo City

Brian Milbrand
Communication Department Technical Director Brian Milbrand is collaborating for the 3rd year with Dan Shanahan from Torn Space Theater Company to produce Storehouse, a site specific spectacle near Canalside.   It will be a unique evening combining film, art and performance at Silo City on August 22-24, with shows on the half-hour from 6-9 p.m. each evening. Amanda Matthews '14 (Media Production) and Emil Goranov '16 are assisting with the production. Parts of the performance will be shot on Super-8 film, then developed and projected before the end of each half-hour as the audience moves with the performers through the former grain silos.

Scene from Storehouse

Tickets can be reserved online at Torn Space's website.   An article about Milbrand's work with Torn Space appeared here, written by Mary Durlak for Buffalo State's News and Events page.

21 August 2014

Welcome Communication Class of 2018!

Professor Joe Marren

Communication Chair, Professor Joe Marren welcomed more than 150 freshmen Communication majors to SUNY Buffalo State and the Communication Department at an Orientation session in the Student Union's Social Hall on Wednesday afternoon.

In a short presentation, Marren pointed out that Buffalo State has the largest and only accredited Communication Department in all of SUNY, and is amongst 6 accredited Communication programs in the state.   Furthermore, the Communication Department has grown to more than 900 students and is one of the largest departments on campus.  Professors from the department introduced themselves and gave advice to the incoming class.

Professors Karlis, McCray, Oyer and Bryski prepare to
welcome Communication freshmen.
Freshman then divided into 4 breakout sessions, meeting with professors from their chosen concentrations to learn more about the programs, extracurricular activities and opportunities available to  Communication students.

Media Production majors participate in a "Character Sketch"
exercise during a breakout session.

The Record is Back!

Jonny Moran '15 and Colleen Young '15

Record Managing Editor Colleen Young '15 and Executive Editor Jonny Moran '15 spoke about student clubs at the Communication  Department Freshman Orientation session today, and promoted student membership at the Record, WBNY, BSC-TV and PRSSA.  They presented freshmen in attendance with copies of the Summer Issue of the Record (hot off the presses), which features stories on Katherine Conway-Turner, the new President of Buffalo State, and construction projects underway on campus. There is also a compelling editorial on the mistreatment of journalists covering recent events in Ferguson, MO.  You can pick up a copy in most buildings on campus.

Young and Moran also promoted STRIPES MEDIA, the overarching name for the joined efforts of all four media clubs.  Stripes Media will soon have a website up and operating, as well as a Twitter Feed.  While each media organization will retain its autonomy, Young explained that there would be convergence across the groups to share stories and cross-platform outlets for news.

If you are interested in joining the Record, there are meetings at Bengal Pause on Tuesday and Thursdays on the 4th floor of the Student Union in the Record offices.

22 July 2014

Recent Grad's Guide to the Job Search

Calvin Gwinner '13 at work at WETM-TV
Recent Communication Grad and Outstanding Senior in Media Production Award Recipient Calvin Gwinner '13 (Media Production) offers some advice to other grads tackling the job market!

As a May 2013 graduate of Buffalo State College, I was worried. I had no idea HOW I was going to find a job in an industry that is highly competitive, has been under stress from recent technological shifts, and that is located, for the most part, in cities. Somehow, I beat the odds and found a job. An entry-level job, in a small market, but a job nonetheless. As somebody who has entered the real world, and has come out (relatively) victorious, this is my field guide for all you Buff-State Comm. majors.

            Before we begin... a brief little run-down of my job.
            I work at WETM-TV in Elmira. WETM is an NBC affiliate in a small market, which covers a few small cities in the Twin Tiers area of New York and Pennsylvania. We share the market with an ABC/CBS affiliate, a FOX affiliate, and the local PBS station. WETM is the local news leader in the market, as evidenced by our new "Your Local News Leader" slogan. Although the station itself has been in HD for a while, the news has recently switched over to HD as well, resulting in a new logo, new graphics, and tons of the promo spots. That is where I come in.
            Although I was hired as a "production assistant," I am, in practice, a full-fledged member of creative services at the station. My job consists of performing all video-shooting duties for commercials, shooting non-studio video for promotions, and editing  about a third of said promos/spots. In addition, I shoot and edit a weekly show, entitled "Friends & Neighbors," where a well-off magazine owner goes around the area interviewing businesses. Sometimes the job is very boring, sometimes it is very hectic, and the pay is not that great.... but it is a real job. It's a full-time, unionized, big-boy job, and I love it.

            Now for the guide itself.

            Seriously. Anything. Most people get an internship, which is excellent. Others sign up for clubs, which is great too, though you really should join one that is relevant to your career. Playing inter-collegiate sports is an okay option too, as it shows that you can dedicate yourself to something. What you should NOT do is nothing. I know college is fun. I like to party as much as the next guy, but you have to show potential employers that you CARE about your career. How do you show them that? Extra-curricular activity.
            Personally, I joined BSC-TV. As many of you know, BSC-TV has its share of drawbacks... but it has its benefits too. The BEST benefit is that it is easy to rise through the ranks. It is always nice for your resume to have some leadership skills, in your career path, on it. I went from Secretary to President within one semester, and actually DID something while I was there. Getting the station through a transitional period like I did can be a pretty useful skill in an industry where stations are always changing. If anything, joining the station and becoming President shows employers that I CARE about my career, and that is what they really want. They need caring people, not some slouch who goes through the motions. Whether you join BSC-TV (please do, they always need members,) intern at WBEN, or play men's hockey (go Bengals,) just make sure you do SOMETHING while you still have a chance.

            2. PRACTICE YOUR CRAFT
            This is something that I wish I could change about myself. I honestly went into the job hunt with little practical experience. I am competent with shooting video, and audio production, and basic editing, but I fell far short in effects work. If you can't take the actual After Effects class at Buff State, do your best to familiarize yourself with the program. The same goes for Photoshop. I lucked out and found a job that allowed me to come in with zero AE experience, and I have been learning every day, but it pays to know about this stuff from the get-go. Maybe you know how to use AE, but you have barely touched a camera. Learn about cameras. Practice. Any skills you gain before you look for your first job will help a TON.

            I think some people are intimidated by creating a resume, but it really isn't hard. If you have trouble, go to the CDC, but it really is not as complicated as it looks. Make it simple, to the point, and make it promote you with hard facts. List any accomplishments that make you seem more employable in your field. My resume includes my time at BSC-TV, my "Most Outstanding Student in Media Production" award, and any and all skills I learned in class (audio mixer, Final Cut 7, studio cameras, etc. etc. etc..) Good things to stress are technical skills and leadership skills. I think those are very helpful in this career path. Also, make the resume look nice, but don't get too crazy. You can add some lines to divide sections, but leave the emojis and flowers off.

            When I write a cover letter, I basically write my resume, but with a lot more eloquence. First and foremost, get the information out there. From there I think it is good to put a little emotion and pride in the cover letter. You want to show that you care about your career. Make sure, however, that you do not sound desperate. You do not want it to sound like you NEED this job, even if you do.

            5. GET SOME REFERENCES
            By get references, I mean get references that matter. Your art professor and frat bro are not good references. Every student should try to cultivate relationships with your professors. Believe it or not, they do care about you. I am thankful to have had the now retired Paul Dewald as a mini-mentor at BSC, as well as having the help of Meg Knowles in preparing for my job search. Not only did they give me help as non-official advisors, but having them as references goes a long way as well. Even if your potential employer doesn't call, just having good references can certainly help.

            6. APPLY ALL OVER
            As someone who happened to get a job within driving distance of where I have lived for 15 years, it is weird to say this, but apply all over. I did. I applied to news stations as far south as Virginia and as far west as Ohio. I also tried to apply to ESPN in Vermont, and to Fox Sports in LA. Although I happened to get a job close by, do not expect to. Being open to where you live will raise your ability to find a job exponentially.

            I don't make a ton of money. I'm entry-level, in a small market. I'm okay with it though, and you should be to. Expect to "pay some dues." It's normal to be in the trenches for a while before you can be the top dog. It's better that way too. Those people who pay their dues always get more respect than those who somehow go right to the top. I have seen it myself. In the end, I make a livable wage. I'm fine with that. I have fun, I have a second job at Best Buy that I work a couple of 4-hour shifts a week, and I do my best to improve myself so that I can raise my pay-grade. The one thing I do NOT do, is dwell on how much I make.

            8. BE PATIENT
            This is a big one. Do not think you will get a job a week after graduating. You MIGHT, but you probably won't. It took me almost exactly a year to find my job. I submitted an easy 50 applications, and made inquiries for dozens more. Finding a job in this market is honestly tough. You have to bring something to the table, at the right time, to the right place. I think it takes luck. I happened to see my station was hiring at a time when they needed someone THEN. They had an HD conversion on the way, an employee leaving that week, and the need for someone that could step in immediately. I lucked out. I fit the bill. Sometimes, you just need to be in the right place at the right time.

            9. BE PROFESSIONAL
            This is simple. In your emails, on the phone, during your interview, you need to act professional. Have some gravitas. Dress nice, in a suit that fits. Go to the thrift store if you have too. You should look the part of a GQ cover model, and have the professionalism of a GQ editor in chief, to the best of your ability. If you look like you don't care about the interview, then you look like you don't care about the job. This is an OBVIOUS for those of you who want to be a reporter, or anchor. You have to look and act the part, whether you are mentally ready or not.

            And finally....

            10. BE ENTHUSIASTIC
            You spent at least two years of your life learning about this career, so act like you enjoy it! Television is a lot of fun, even when it is boring. I would not want to be in any other career in the world. Whether you prefer radio, newspaper journalism, film making, or television, enjoy it. Love it. It really is rewarding, fun, exciting, and it makes me proud every day.

            There it is. Everything I could think of from my experiences that could help YOU get a job. I really hope it helps, and maybe I will see your spot, or story, or segment someday soon.

Calvin Gwinner- WETM-TV

20 July 2014

Evans Wins 2014 SPJ Scholarship

Autumn Evans '15
The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) recently announced that it has awarded Autumn Evans '15 (Journalism)  a 2014 scholarship from the College Scholarship Fund of their Greater Buffalo Chapter.  Autumn, who hails from Sanborn, NY, will be a senior at Buffalo State this year.  She is currently the Associate News Editor of the campus newspaper, The Record, and has also written for The Lewiston Looking Glass, a blog covering businesses on Center Street in Lewiston, NY. 

Monica Disare, a senior at Yale University and editor of the Yale Daily News, was also awarded a scholarship this year.

SPJ Scholarship awardees are chosen from amongst WNY college journalism majors who are judged based upon their writing and journalistic skills.

17 July 2014

Brennan named Station Manager at WNYB

Sean Brennan, a part-time lecturer in the Communication Department, has recently been promoted to Station Manager at WNYB-TV.   He has been a Production Manager at that station since 2000, specializing in directing live television programs broadcast to both local and global markets.  Previous to that, Brennan was the Senior Promotions Producer at WNYO WB49 in Buffalo.  Brennan teaches Media Literacy (COM 100) courses at Buffalo State College.

WNYB, UHF Digital Channel 26 (Time Warner Cable Channel 23 in Buffalo),  is owned by Tri-State Christian Television, and is a religious television station with studios located in Orchard Park.  Brennan has an MS in Television/Radio/Film from  Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Communications.

07 July 2014

P-T Prof Named WBFO News Director

   Brian Meyer, part-time adviser and lecturer in Media Writing, has been named as News Director at WBFO-FM 88.7
   Meyer has taught journalism and writing courses at Buffalo State for 20 years. He also has served as academic adviser for Communication students for the past year. 
   Meyer will continue his part-time work with Buffalo State students while he settled into his new job.
   Professionally, Meyer served as a city government writer, business writer and most recently, a digital media producer at The Buffalo News. Prior to that, the St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute and Marquette University graduate was the managing editor at WBEN radio.   He was inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasters' Hall of Fame in 2010 and has received the "General Excellence of Individual Reporting" award by the Associated Press. He also was selected as Buffalo Business First's "40 Under Forty" award.

14 June 2014

Com Grad Interns in Southern Belize

Evan Johnson at the Maya Leadership Alliance Office
2013 Communication grad Evan Johnson is completing a two month internship in international affairs working with the Maya Leadership Alliance in the Toledo District of Southern Belize.  The Toledo District is the poorest and least developed in Belize. The MLA works with Acaldes (traditional village leaders) in assessing and protecting the rights of Maya peoples in Belize. Evan conducts archival research and travels with MLA leadership to Q'eqchi and Mopan village in Southern Belize.

Evan Johnson in his new neighborhood
During his internship, Evan is living with a Belizian family in the town of Punta Gorda a few blocks from the MLA office. Punta Gorda is home to Garifuna, Kriol, Mopan Maya, Q'eqchi Maya, East Indian, Chinese, and Mennonite communities. Students interested in interning or volunteering in Belize should contact Professor Niman.

Photos by Mike Niman - June 2, 2014.

12 June 2014

Join the Comm Alumni Trip to see Tom Brokaw

Communication Alumni, staff and faculty are invited on a day trip hosted by the Communication Alumni Committee on Monday, June 23rd.   The group will travel to the Chautauqua institution to see NBC journalist and author Tom Brokaw speak.  Brokaw anchored the NBC Nightly News for more than 20 years, retiring in 2004.   He has also authored several books, including the best-selling The Greatest Generation.  

The group will travel by bus, departing from Lot M-1 at 7:30 a.m and returning around 4:00 p.m.   The cost to participate is $30, which includes the bus, entrance to the institution and the lecture, which takes place at 10:00 a.m.  Participants will also have time to eat lunch on their own on the grounds before departure.   Register here.

The Communication Alumni Committee is also planning a reunion during Homecoming Weekend in September for Communication Alumni.   Those interested should contact Associate Professor Deborah Silverman at silvered@buffalostate.edu . An article with further information about the trip appeared in News & Notes,  here.

02 June 2014

Jobs, Internships and more Jobs!

The state's unemployment rate fell by .2% to 6.7% in April 2014, the lowest level since December, 2008 according to statistics announced by the Department of Labor on May 20th.

 The employment resurgence in Western New York has been evident to Communication student and alumni in the month of May, 2014, as more than 20 job and internship opportunities in the communication field have been posted to the Communication Facebook and alumni LinkedIn sites.  Jobs are posted by alumni, friends of the department or have been sent to the department by professional contacts. Please keep them coming!

Some of the opportunities we have fielded over the last month include:

Marketing/Advertising/Public Communication Jobs

Part Time Graphic Designer   -   Block Club, branding & marketing agency
Marketing & Communication Coordinator  -  St. Edward High School (Lakewood, Ohio)
Annual Special Giving Coordinator  - Hilbert College
Communication Manager  -  Amazon Prime Air
Recruitment Publications Specialist  -  Genesee Community College

Media Production Jobs

Producer  -  WKBW Channel 7
Assistant Editor  -  Paper Route Productions
Producer, Assistant Producer  -  ND Studios Music Video Productions

Journalism Jobs

Reporter - The Cortland Standard
Full Time Sports Reporter, Lockport  -- Community Papers of WNY (Metro Group, Inc.)
Full Time Sports Reporter, Orchard Park/West Seneca -- Community Papers of WNY (Metro Group, Inc.)
Freelance Writer / Photographer  -  West Seneca & Elma Sun newspaper

Internships / Volunteer Opportunities

Marketing & Writing Intern - Troy & Banks
Video, Design, Marketing Internships  -  SunSpin Media, branding & marketing agency
Community Relations Intern  - Bertrand Chaffee Hospital
Graphic Design Intern - The Quilted Squirrel, advertising agency

Social Media / Photography Intern  -  Leadership Buffalo
Media Production Intern - The Quilted Squirrel, advertising agency
Production Assistants   -  ND Studios Music Video Shoots

Paid Journalism Internships - Batavia Daily News
Writers & Podcasters - The Scoop online news blog

According to the NYS Department of Labor's newsletter Employment in New York State: "Thirty six months of over-the-year private sector job growth show that Western New York's labor market is indeed recovering from the 2008-2009 recession.  Job opportunities currently exist in almost every sector throughout the regional economy."

29 May 2014

Seeking Assessment Help From Alumni

The Communication Department is seeking two alumni volunteers, starting next week, to read a series of short communication history essays as part of an assessment project. The alumni readers would be needed for approximately three hours.

Each year, the Communication Department assesses student performance in a selection of courses to determine if students are achieving the desired learning outcomes for our courses.    Assessments help us improve Communication courses and teaching methods. 

If interested, please contact Department Chair Joe Marren at marrenjj@buffalostate.edu or call the department office at 878-6008.