Archive | Faculty/Staff

Valentine recognized for Residential College work

Posted on 06 January 2018 by jmcjournal

Bob Valentine, center, received the Kern Alexander Book Award at the 2017 Faculty Awards Banquet in April. He is pictured with University President Bob Davies, left, and and Vice President for Student Affairs Don Robertson. The Kern Alexander Book Award is given by the Council of College Heads to a member of the residential college faculty who has made special contributions to the Residential College System in the preceding year. JMC’s Robert Valentine, a former head of Elizabeth Residential College, was recognized for his volunteer work with the colleges and particularly for his public promotion of the residential colleges as a meaningful part of the Murray State experience.

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Wright elected interactive multimedia, emerging technologies vice chair

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

Leigh Wright, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications, was elected vice chairman of the Interactive Multimedia and Emerging Technologies division of the Broadcast Education Association recently.

Wright will serve two years as vice chair and then will move to the chairman’s slot for two more years. As vice chairman, Wright will manage the research paper competition for the division.

She previously served a two-year term as the webmaster in IMET.

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Shemberger selected for Academic Leadership Academy

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

Dr. Melony Shemberger, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications, has been selected as a fellow for the Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy, June 11-14, at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

The Manship School of Mass Communication at LSU partners with the Scripps Howard Foundation each year to host 12 to 15 participants in the academy. The program brings together professionals, scholars and administrators to help fellows learn about the challenges and rewards of leading an academic program.

To be considered for the academy, applicants submitted cover letters discussing their interests in academic administration, resumes and two letters of recommendation.

Shemberger is in her fourth year of full-time teaching at Murray State. In addition to her teaching duties, she serves as the department’s undergraduate assessment coordinator.

She has published peer-reviewed journal articles, media education book chapters, and several public relations guidebook articles.

She has presented at several academic and professional conferences. Her research interests include journalism history, sunshine laws, and pedagogy.

In 2014, Shemberger was named a Business Journalism Professors Seminar Fellow by the Reynolds Journalism Institute. One of 14 faculty members from across the nation, she completed her fellowship at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in Phoenix.

At Murray State, she is a Provost Faculty Teaching Fellow, presenting workshops and writing articles that focus on pedagogy and course redesign.
She served as interim director of the Faculty Development Center in 2016.

Prior to teaching in 2013 at Murray State, she served eight years as the assistant director of communication in the public relations and marketing office at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. Her PR work was honored by two groups, the Tennessee College Public Relations Association and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

She was adjunct faculty in the APSU Department of Communication, APSU College of Business and the Murray State Department of Educational Studies, Leadership and Counseling.

Before entering academia, Shemberger had successful, award-winning reporting careers at newspapers and radio stations, specializing in the education and court beats. Today, she continues to cover the education beat.

Since 2000, she has received numerous reporting and page design awards from the Kentucky Press Association.

Shemberger is a lifetime member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and serves on the national board of directors, leading as chair of the advisory council for the organization’s Forum magazine. She also is chapter vice president at Murray State.

She also holds memberships in the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society and several academic discipline-specific honor societies.

Shemberger has a bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University, with a double major in mass communication, and history and government; master’s in mass communications from Murray State; master’s in management from Austin Peay State University; and a Doctor of Education in administration and supervision from Tennessee State University.

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Anderson named adviser for The Murray State News

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

Stephanie Anderson defended her dissertation in June. Her committee included, from left, Melony Shemberger, Teresa Clark, Anderson, and Robert McGaughey. She completed her doctorate in August.

Dr. Stephanie Anderson has joined the JMC department as an assistant professor in the journalism sequence and advisor for The Murray State News.

Anderson received all three of her degrees from Murray State. She earned her bachelor’s in electronic journalism in 2004 and her master’s in mass communications in 2008. She recently completed her doctorate of education in August 2017.

Anderson at her hooding ceremony

Anderson was a member of the inaugural cohort of the College of Education and Services’ P20 and community leadership doctoral program. This is the second doctoral program offered at Murray State.

Anderson specializes in the area of trauma journalism. Her dissertation topic, How to educate collegiate journalists to cover and cope with traumatic events, has already been integrated into her JMC 398 Reporting for Broadcast and Online Media course. She will present her findings at the Kentucky Press Association conference as well as the Broadcast Education Association’s national conference in 2018.

After working in television news in Paducah and Albuquerque as a producer and assignment editor, she transitioned to public relations in the casino entertainment and non-profit industries. Before beginning her career in academia, she worked in advertising sales for newspapers and magazines in Illinois and Kentucky.

Anderson began teaching as an adjunct in the JMC department in 2010, teaching at the Paducah campus as well as the main campus.

She is a lifelong member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority and currently serves as the communications advisor. She was the recipient of the L.J. Horton Journalism Scholarship, which is what originally brought her to Murray State in 2000. In 2015, she was awarded the Vincent T. Wasilewski Award from the Broadcast Education Association.

She is married to Robert Anderson and has two stepchildren.

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Wright presents at broadcast conference

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

Leigh Wright, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications, presented three sessions at the Broadcast Education Association conference in Las Vegas.

Wright received a BEA Ignite Scholar designation for her peer-reviewed presentation “Never Let Them See You Cry: Teaching Student Journalists How to be Human First.” The BEA Ignite program is a peer-reviewed competition where 10 presentations of the best teaching ideas are selected.

She participated in two panels. For the first one, she highlighted Murray State’s journalism capstone and joined Sandy Henry of Drake University and Cliff Brockman of Wartburg University to discuss the challenges and rewards of conducting multimedia capstone journalism classes.

For the second one, she joined Chandra Clark of Alabama and Gina Baleria of San Francisco State to discuss how to use live-streaming tools in classes and how news organizations use these social media live-streaming apps.

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NATPE fellowship aids course revamp effort

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

For all those people who think college journalism professors get to spend their summers relaxing by the pool, think again.

Leigh Landini Wright, assistant professor of journalism at Murray State, spent much of July as an “intern” for WTVF Newschannel 5 in Nashville, Tenn. Wright received a faculty development fellowship from the National Association of Television Production Executives Educational Foundation to spend three weeks in a television newsroom. 

During her summer immersion, Wright followed news crews and multimedia journalists in the field, studied social media trends with the web editors, shadowed web editors and shadowed producers. 

The immersion proved helpful for revamping course assignments in the multimedia writing class and the journalism capstone. As the academic year continues, Wright plans to add new assignments based on her observations of a top 25 market. 

The fellowship provides Wright with an opportunity to attend the NATPE conference in Miami in mid-January.

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Welsch honored for distinguished service

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

Murray State University has awarded Gill Welsch the Faculty Award for Distinguished Service in recognition for his contributions to the department and greater university. He received the honor at the 2017 Faculty Recognition Banquet in April.

Welsch, a senior lecturer, joined the faculty in August 1992 and has served as head of the advertising major and adviser for the MSU Ads Club since that time.

Gill Welsch, right, was recognized by MSU President Bob Davies for his service to the department and University at the spring Faculty Recognition Banquet.

He has been the department’s internship coordinator since 2012. He is also author of the department’s advising handbook. Welsch has been a judge for DECA and FBLA competitions since 2000. He has also served as secretary of the College of Business Undergraduate Programs Committee.

As a member of the university’s Bring Learning to Life Advisory Committee, he helps to oversee the university’s quality enhancement plan for experiential learning. Since 2014, he has been a faculty marshal at commencement exercises.

Welsch is a staunch supporter of the Residential College system. He is active in Hart College, serving as a member of the Hart College Advisory Committee. During the Great Beginnings move-in days, he coordinates the loading of the elevators in Hart College.

Welsch has also served as faculty adviser for the Nu-Rho Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. from its founding in 2000 to 2016. He currently serves as honorary faculty adviser.

He has also served as a referee for the American Academy of Advertising’s annual conference since 1994.

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Innovation grant funds oral history project

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

Dr. Melony Shemberger, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications, was one of two inaugural recipients of the Faculty Innovation Initiative Grant awarded in April from the Giving Back Endowment at Murray State University. 

Dr. Melony Shemberger, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications, was selected in April 2017 as an inaugural recipient of the Faculty Innovation Initiative grant, which provides initial project support to faculty across campus seeking to incorporate innovative approaches to student community engagement into their courses. Pictured with Shemberger are MSU President Dr. Bob Davies, left, and Dr. David Whaley, dean of the College of Education and Human Services.

The grant funds were used to purchase two Tascam audio recorders and shotgun microphones, plus cover printing expenses, for a community engagement project that focused on using oral histories as a news-gathering technique. The project was launched in the fall 2017 semester in her JMC 397 Reporting for Print Media course (renamed In-Depth Reporting beginning in spring 2018) and will continue throughout the spring semester.

The students unveiled the oral history-news project at a Scholars Week presentation on Nov. 15. This project examined public education in Kentucky in the years before standardized testing became common.

The oral history-education news reporting project will continue in the spring 2018 semester. In December, she received a Bring Learning to Life grant to purchase additional Tascam devices for students to use in additional oral history interviewing assignments.

The project can be accessed online at A Facebook page is available at this link:

Shemberger delivered a presentation about using oral history across the disciplines at a research presentation for the Faculty Development Center.

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Thomas writes Star Trek book chapter

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

A book chapter published in May 2017 has been authored by Elizabeth A. Thomas, senior lecturer and public relations sequence head.

Published by DePaul University Press (Chicago), the book is Time Lords and Tribbles, Winchesters and Muggles. It covers the best of the Midwest Popular Culture Conference presentations from 2011 through 2016.

Thomas’ chapter, titled “50 Years of Trek and the Fascinating Lessons We’ve Learned,” covers the moral codes of Star Trek.  

According to Thomas, the original Star Trek television series set clear examples for living a moral life.

In her extensive study of the 50-year compilation of Trek’s television, literature, film and fan culture, she describes specific lessons taught in each of Star Trek’s incarnations.
Most science fiction fans know the basic lessons of Star Trek – non-interference is the prime directive, to boldly go where no one has gone before, Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (or the one). Upon deeper inspection, Thomas unlocks a vast universe of Trek teachings in this latest publication. 

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Faculty fellow brings international legal insight to JMC

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

Sonya Noruwa, J.D., has joined the Journalism and Mass Communications Department as a Faculty Fellow as part of Murray State’s Diversity Development Initiative for 2016-2017. The Diversity Development Initiative is housed in the Office of the Provost.


Dr. Noruwa is a graduate of Thurgood Marshall School at Texas Southern University, Houston, with an International and Immigration Institute certification. She holds a Master of Legal Studies, Health Law LL.M., International Law LL.M. from the University of Houston, Houston, TX, where she also earned her bachelor of arts in public relations in communications.
“Dr. Noruwa is an exceptional addition to the JMC department and we welcome the opportunity to work with her as a visiting professor,” said Dr. Debbie Owens, interim department chair.

“Faculty as well as students have benefited from her public relations experience and her legal expertise in international issues.”

Owens added that Noruwa has contributed much to the department’s goal of providing JMC students with diverse perspectives on the media industry.

While at Murray State, she is teaching three undergraduate courses – contemporary mass media, international mass communications and mass media effects.

This fall, she participated in JMC’s student internship interviews and served as a judge for Organizational Communication Department’s Speech and Debate teams.

Dr. Noruwa’s international experience also includes travel to London, England, with the Southern University Law Center’s Study Abroad Program in 2013.

Next spring, Dr. Noruwa plans to present research at the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education conference.

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