In this issue of Converging News:
Global Lens Film Screening Shown at Texas Tech
By Nick Stockland, Photo by Tarryn Lambert
History repeatedly points to the importance of great storytelling. The medium of cinema produces many examples of telling stories in a profound way.
This spring semester, the College of Media & Communication is showing 10 foreign films as part of the Global Film Initiative's Global Lens film series. The films began being shown March 22 and continue until May 2.
Among the films to be shown is China’s “Dooman River,” India’s “Soul of Sand,” and Iran’s “The White Meadows,” all of which have achieved critical acclaim from various film festivals.
According to Susan Weeks Coulter, chairwoman of Global Film Initiative’s board, this year’s lineup raises the standard.
“This year’s lineup really does break new ground for the series,” Coulter said in a press release. “The films are unusual and intriguing, wildly creative, experimental at times, and quite different from previous editions of Global Lens — we’re thrilled to be screening them at Texas Tech.”
According to the organization’s official website, the purpose of the initiative is to promote cross-cultural understanding through the medium of cinema. The site states that traditional funding sources for foreign films have all but disappeared in recent times, which emphasizes the importance of the organization’s mission.
Robert Peaslee, Ph.D., assistant professor of electronic media and communications, is presenting the series for screening at Texas Tech. He said the Global Lens film screening is an opportunity for Lubbock residents to see films that focus on complexity and depth, as opposed to the mainstream revenue-focused films that often fill the theaters.
“The films are all very stunning in their own way,” Peaslee said. “Some are very challenging in terms of form, others present a challenging narrative.”
Peaslee said whereas most films in American theaters have the same narrative structure and basic format, the Global Film Initiative aims to present films that challenge the status quo.
“Part of the goal is to give an outlet to films that explore interesting cultural problems and issues in places that we don’t normally get to see stories from,” he said.
This marks the third year the series will play at the College of Media & Communication. All screenings will begin at 6 p.m. in Room 101. For a complete list of the films to be shown, visit www.globalfilm.org.
Kippra Hopper: A Celebration of Art
By Nick Stockland, Photo by Jerod Foster
College of Media & Communication instructor Kippra Hopper is receiving critical acclaim as an author and photographer for her recently published book, “Art of West Texas Women: A Celebration” (Texas Tech University Press, 2010).
The book was named a finalist in the New Mexico Book Awards, which covers books in the American Southwest region. The book focuses on the work and lives of 20 West Texas women artists, and details art forms including paintings, sculptures, pottery, photography, and textile arts.
Hopper, who has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and an interdisciplinary master’s degree in women’s studies, both from Texas Tech University, said her passion for art and the West Texas landscape inspired her to write the book.
“I have a great appreciation for West Texas,” she said. “I’m a native of West Texas. My life has always involved having lots of artists as friends. I wanted to show what kind of great work these individualistic artists are creating.”
Susan Wittig Albert, writing for Story Circle Book Reviews, said the book is more than just portrayals of art.
“Every now and then, a book comes along that teaches us how to be grateful,” Albert writes. “‘Art of West Texas Women’ is such a book, an inspired and inspiring presentation of the work – and the lives – of 20 West Texas women artists.”
According to storycirclebookreviews.org, the reader is challenged to understand, examine and appreciate each of the artists in environments such as their changing life situations, relationships with the world of art, and observations of the West Texas landscape.
Hopper took the photographs of the artists and their works for the book. She and co-author, Laurie J. Churchill, interviewed the artists who live in the western third of Texas, from the Panhandle to the Big Bend. Hopper has been a professional photographer for 30 years, and she said her writing and photography skills are a perfect fit for what she loves to do.
“I think the book shows a love of art and a passion for writing, photography and landscape,” she said. I really love and am connected to the landscape of West Texas.”
Art of West Texas Women: A Celebration (Video)
Bichard and Infinity Win Multiple ADDY Awards
By Morgan Grubbs, Photo by Tarryn Lambert
The College of Media & Communication recognizes Shannon Bichard, Ph.D., associate professor of advertising, and Infinity, her American Advertising Federation student competition team. The team was awarded a Lubbock Advertising Federation gold ADDY in the local student category in February for its National Student Advertising Competition, State Farm Campaign for Mixed Media.
Also, the Infinity team won a “Judges’ Choice Award for Concept,” another ADDY, in which team members competed against work in categories primarily dominated by Lubbock area professionals, such as the Price Group and University Medical Center Health System.
Local competitors for the ADDY Awards are vying to be recognized as the best in their markets. The local winners then go on to compete against other winners in their regions in one of the 14 district competitions. The Infinity team’s campaign materials for State Farm were forwarded to the national competition. Nicole Server, a junior advertising major from Slaton, Texas, said winning the awards was important for many reasons.
“I think it inspires all of us to keep giving our best efforts, now and in the future,” Server said, “because hard work does pay off. As for the entire organization of Infinity, winning ADDYs hopefully will inspire more students to try out and more of the university and community to support us.”
The ADDY Awards are organized annually by the American Advertising Federation. With about 60,000 entries submitted in local competitions every year, the competition rewards and recognizes artistic excellence in advertising.
Bichard said acknowledgment at the Lubbock ADDY Awards not only benefits the students, but also gives Lubbock area professionals insight into what the students are accomplishing within the College of Media & Communication.
“Recognition at the Lubbock ADDY Awards is very fulfilling for our students,” Bichard said. “It is a great way for them to receive recognition for all of their hard work developing materials for the NSAC competition. It is also great for the Lubbock area professionals to see what kind of work our students can do. They are incredibly talented.”
The American Advertising Federation and its local and district associates use the profits from the awards program to enhance the industry through internships, advertising education, public service, consumer awareness, and advocacy groups.
New Electronic Media & Communications Student Organization Providing Students with Exciting Opportunities
By Morgan Grubbs, Photo by Tarryn Lambert
The Department of Electronic Media & Communications in the College of Media & Communication has a new student organization, the Texas Tech Association for Student Electronic Media, organized by Todd Chambers, Ph.D., chairman and associate professor of electronic media and communications.
The mission of the organization is to give all students at Texas Tech University the opportunity to explore the field of electronic media. The group’s focus is to produce content by students working and learning from one another and educating students on all aspects of the media.
Anthony Palagi, a senior electronic media and communications major from Houston and the president of the Texas Tech Association for Student Electronic Media, said the organization shows students in the college as well as other Texas Tech students that electronic media is a very useful tool to communicate messages using the latest technology and equipment, which subsequently greatly benefits the students.
“We take the principles they are learning in the classroom and apply them to create professional-looking productions,” Palagi said. “If an EMAC student was in this group, they shouldn’t be intimidated at all when it comes time to enter the job market.”
Six students who wanted to take their experience and education in electronic media beyond the classroom founded the organization in Fall 2010. The organization gives students the opportunity to receive hands-on experience with software and production equipment that faculty members may not be fully incorporating and using in their classrooms.
The Texas Tech Association for Student Electronic Media’s first project involved producing a promotional video for the college’s Department of Electronic Media & Communications. Students in the organization worked together to produce an entertaining, upbeat video explaining the benefits of earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in electronic media and communications. The video gave members the opportunity to explore every aspect of production, from scripting to editing. The video will be shown to prospective and incoming mass communications students at orientations and will be on the College of Media & Communication’ website, http://www.depts.ttu.edu.edu/comc/.
Chambers said the organization has been very successful because students feel connected to the department, the curriculum, and the industry.
“There are several talented students who get asked by other departments to help out in the production and design of media products,” Chambers said. “This organization will help showcase that talent.”
April's Faculty Awards & Recognitions
- Congratulations to doctoral student Daewook Kim on his recent publication: Choi, M. I., Kim, D., & Park, S, B. (2011). “Impacts of humorous radio advertising on attitude toward advertising: mediating effect of perceived humorous and moderating effect of need for cognition.” Korean Journal of Advertising and Public Relations. 13(1), 138-162.
- Congratulations to Kevin Stoker, Ph.D., associate dean for faculty affairs, for being selected as a participant for the 2011 Scripps Howard Leadership Academy. He will join other current and rising mass communications administrators for four days of training and leadership development.
- Congratulations to faculty members Coy Callison, Liz Gardner, Trent Seltzer, John Wirtz and Weiwu Zhang for having papers accepted for presentation at the 14th Annual International Public Relations Research Conference in Miami. Two of these papers were co-authored with College of Media & Communication doctoral students Dane Kiambi, Daewook Kim and Prisca Ngondo.
- Doctoral student Patrick F. Merle’s paper, titled “The U.S. correspondents in Paris: A longitudinal study of the profession 1998-2010,” was accepted for presentation at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication/International Communication Division Midwinter Conference, which took place March 4-5.
- Rob Peaslee, Ph.D., has written a paper that has been accepted for publication: Peaslee, R.M. (2010) "The man from New Line knocked on the door: Tourism, media power, and Hobbiton/Matamata as boundaried space.” Tourist Studies. 10(1), pp. 57-73.