Highlights of the past year include work on the university’s upcoming Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation (drafting one of six sections of the self-study, and serving on the communications committee) and two class projects in the fall that were such successes we are repeating them during spring semester. The first was the Global Media Roundtable presented by her graduate-level Ethics and Critical Analysis class: 15 students, including nine international students, offered to the university a discussion of the media their countries. The room in Atwood was filled to overflowing, and the students were pleased and excited for this opportunity to speak to other students about their home countries. The event was recorded for rebroadcast on both TV and radio.
The second project was undertaken by her Public Relations Cases and Campaigns class, who rose to the challenge to increase students’ awareness of university accreditation. With support and funding from the co-coordinators of the accreditation effort, the raised student awareness of accreditation from 17% to 50%. The two class projects described above have breathed new life into those courses. Students’ genuine enthusiasm continues this semester.
Two student projects done under her supervision won awards at the Classics Awards of the Minnesota Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Manaf Bashir won for his “Public Relations Campaign for Kuwait News Agency” and Maria Fedorova won for “Russian Week at St. Cloud State University,” both in the Fifth Annual PRSA Student Classics Awards, under category 5, Planning. This was a statewide competition and they were competing against the University of Minnesota, among many other universities.
Additionally, last summer she learned to teach online using WebCT. This skill should be very useful in the future, as technology’s role in teaching is increasingly prominent.
She continues to add in-class, hands-on work to both the PR Cases and Campaigns and the Advertising Creatives classes.
In the area of creative development, she continues to write free-lance articles. Last spring she wrote and photographed a travel piece on northern New Mexico (two of four stories under “Mesas, Mountains and Mystery”) for the front page Sunday travel section of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She also write a monthly column, “Close to Home,” for Avenues, St. Paul’s news and entertainment weekly newspaper (the column focuses on St. Paul’s history), and has been getting very positive feedback on it.She has now contributed 32 columns since beginning the column during her sabbatical in 2003-2004:
As for professional organizations and professional development, she is still accredited (nationally) by PRSA; this status has continuing education requirements that must be fulfilled to retain the credential. And, her membership in the organization is current. Membership in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) also is current. One benefit of these memberships is several journal subscriptions which enable her to keep current in the field, and she reads relevant excerpts and uses them for class. Also, she receives AdAge online, which has provided several articles useful for class. Just in the last month, PRSA added a weekly news update similar to the AdAge one, but more extensive.
Her contribution to student growth and development is most evident through my work with graduate students, including chairing of three thesis committees and organizing the Global Media Roundtable. She has as advisees around 50 to 60 students at any given time, plus of course there is always informal advising such as writing letters of reference, reviewing resumes, and providing career counseling. She maintains contact with quite a few alumni and her professional network and location in the Twin Cities has helped several graduates find jobs.
In service to the university, she is currently active on the Faculty Association Graduate Committee, as she has been for years. As part of that, she volunteers to represent St. Cloud State on the MnSCU Graduate Council, a group of representatives from the six state universities that offer graduate degrees. The Council is still grappling with the challenge of creating rules and regulations for the newly legislated applied doctoral programs. Last year, when the legislation allowing applied doctorates first went into effect, she chaired the Council. Dennis Nunes, Dean of Graduate Studies, is ST. CLOUD STATE’s administrative representative to the Council.
She served on the writing team for the self study for the Higher Learning Commission’s accreditation review of the university in April 2007. She has also served on the communications committee for the accreditation effort for the past two years. Additionally, she has served on the College of Fine Arts and Humanities Awards Committee for two years.
As for community service, she is now volunteering weekly at The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis.