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Volume 7, Issue 3
December 1, 2013
A monthly publication of the 

UNW Communication Department

Upcoming Events

December 4
Xi Xi Chapel

December 6-8
Christmas at Northwestern

December 10-13
Bathrobe Dramas

December 16-19
Finals week

December 20
Fall Commencement

December 21-
January 12
Christmas Break

Featured Student
Krista Koester
EMC - Video


Future Plans:

My ultimate goal is to work as a Director, but I am keeping an open mind for the journey that will take me there. I hope to work as a freelance Art Director for a time. I would also be happy working in the music industry creating video content. Working at a production company is another job I would love to have. That's one thing that I love about video production. There are many different options for career pursuits! Ultimately, I simply want to be involved in creative work and bringing visions to life 


Opportunities at Northwestern:

My opportunities at Northwestern have been numerous. I have been able to try out almost every role in filmmaking while being in school, and it's been encouraged! Our film production workshop is one thing that makes this possible. By doing hands on work and putting our education to practical use, it grows us as filmmakers at an accelerated rate. The Five16 Film Festival allows students to showcase their work to friends, family and professionals from the area. Through that, I've been able to show my work to those who may not have ever seen it. Another opportunity I have gotten is to attend the Los Angeles Film Studies Center this semester. This allows for a "trial run" of working in Hollywood through internships, and also making a festival ready short film through the course of the semester. I was able to direct a film with a crew of 10 people and a small budget. 

Favorite Thing about Northwestern:

The professors of the Communication department are one of my favorite things about Northwestern. They have been an incredible inspiration to me and have taught me so much. I never imagined learning as much as I have in my time in college. They have certainly pushed me further than I thought possible. I am so thankful for the support and encouragement they have been to me. 


Featured Alumnus

Emily Rinde
Class of 2010

Where has life taken you after Northwestern?

Following graduation, I was hired as the PR/social media intern at a brand marketing agency, GdB. I was hired full-time after about six months and stayed in that role for two and a half years. My responsibilities included media relations, event planning, newsletter and blog writing and social content creation for clients like Abbey's Hope, Crystal Farms, Summit Brewing Company and Samsung Staron. In April of this year, I changed positions and am now a communications associate at Starkey Hearing Technologies, one of the world's largest providers of hearing healthcare. My role primarily focuses on social media strategy for the corporation and brands, and supporting Starkey Hearing Foundation social efforts. I manage our social media presence which means writing content, leading planning and responding to fans and followers. It's a lot of fun and every day is different!

What advice do you have for current students? 
Start building your expertise and relationships now. I'm in my current role because of the  informational interview I did almost five years ago as part of Professor Glenny's Business Communications course! The Twin Cities communications world is a small one, but it's also a very helpful one. We have all been in your shoes as college students and job seekers and we want to see you succeed. Don't feel shy or awkward about reaching out to a class guest speaker or someone you follow on Twitter. Also, try to stay in your first non-intern position at least one year - even if it's not a fit professionally, you'll learn a lot about yourself and how to work with other people. Lastly, have fun! If after that first year it's not a fit, don't settle! Move on to something you love and pursue it wholeheartedly. 

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Northwestern Alumni Present 
"The Distant Boat" Premiere


Josh (Communication Department) and Heidi Thulin (English Department), both graduates of Northwestern, produced a film premiered earlier this fall
The Big Event

On October 22nd, our small team of eight, along with a handful of other volunteers and paid workers, finally released The Distant Boat into the world! We celebrated with cast and crew members at a movie theater in Nairobi. It was an evening full of excitement, disbelief, and celebration. We did it!  

Later this week, a partnering group called Finish the Task, is holding a major missions conference for pastors and church leaders from all over Kenya. The Distant Boat kicks off the event and pastors will receive free copies of the DVD to share with their congregations.

After being so intimately involved in the movie's making, it's strange to be releasing it into the church's hands. We may never know what kind or how far-reaching of an impact this film will have on the hearts of Kenyan believers. We hope that God will use it to inspire many new people to become missionaries. There are so many unreached people here, and the Church needs Africa's help to reach them.

We have heard that the film will likely be shown in the one movie theater in Kigali, Rwanda. In the early months of 2014, we will be finishing a Swahili-subtitled version of the film so that it can also be played in Tanzania. And by the end of next year, we hope to have a French version completed. This film could spread across all of Africa!


To view this film's trailer, visit
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Join us in the Patsy Miller Studio Theatre this December for a zany evening of Christmas stories, warmth from the bitter cold, and yes...BATHROBES!


We all grew up doing "Bathrobe Drama" at Christmastime.  Who hasn't grabbed their dad's old bathrobe and become a shepherd around the manger scene for their church Christmas pageant?  In the Northwestern Theatre Program, we've put a new twist on "Bathrobe Drama" and invited 3 theatre students to write and direct 10-minute plays. (This year's writer/directors are Bridget Russell, Katie Davis and Josiah Rice.)  The only stipulations: the plays must to relate to Christmas and a bathrobe has to appear as a costume or prop in each one.


The evening is crescendos to the finale of a full-length one-act play written and directed by Northwestern theatre alum Daniel McLaughlin (Christmas theme and bathrobe stipulations still apply).  Make sure to get in line in Maranatha Lobby early as seats go fast and seating is general admission, first come, first served.  Pay $2 cash at the door or wear your bathrobe in true spirit and get in FREE!   


Make sure you come on out to the Bathrobe Drama Christmas Festival, a fun-filled and celebrative evening of original plays of all kinds that's sure to warm your tootsies and tickle you right down to your festive, fuzzy slippers. 


Bathrobe Drama Christmas Festival

December 10-13, 2013

Patsy Miller Studio Theatre



Yuletide Surprise

Written and Directed by Bridget Russell

Reminds me of a story...


A Half-Baked Christmas Carol

Written and Directed by Josiah Rice

A backstage peek into a chaotic and ghostly tale.



Written and Directed by Katie Elizabeth Davis

A heart-warming tumble through Santa's multiple personalities


O Holy Knight

Written and Directed by Daniel McLaughlin

Just another Christmas in the Dark Ages.

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Communication Professionals Visit Northwestern Students 

University of Northwestern students regularly have the opportunity to hear from highly regarded professions in the field they are pursuing. These professionals represent a variety of fields in communication including: radio, fundraising, and politics.

On November 6th KTIS broadcaster, Ryan 'Goose' Nissley, spoke in breakout chapel for Xi Xi, the Northwestern chapter of the National Communication Honor Society. 

Also November 6th, Public Relations alumnus, Jeanette Purcell, owner of Purcell Consulting visited Kent Kaiser's PR Principles and Concepts classroom. Purcell Consulting works in fundraising for the Starkey Hearing Foundation, Stewart Mills for Congress, Rhonda Sivarajah for Congress, Jeff Johnson for Governor, and the Minnesota Jobs Coalition. 

On November 18th Noah Rouen came on behalf of PR student, Daniel Shultz '16. Rouen also visited Kent Kaiser's PR Principles and Concepts classroom and taught students about the work he does. Rouen is the owner of the Rouen Group, a public affairs company.

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Speech and Debate Team at UNW

The University of Northwestern's Speech and Debate Team is making a comeback this year. After a five plus year hiatus of Northwestern Speech Team they are coming back strong. Several students have already made the final round in the three tournaments attended. Camrin King and Isaac Lind won in poetry and in the Informative category Charity Hayden also "broke" to the final round. The Speech Team competes against several schools including Bethel, Concordia, Gustavus, Bethany Lutheran and North Central but also secular schools such as Mankato State. Speech Team counts as a workshop credit for Communication majors and is available to students who have little to no experience. It is a great way to explore the world of forensics, build public speaking abilities, and construct confidence for real world business encounters. There are nine categories to choose from that range from dramatic interpretive categories to limited prep categories. Competition levels vary based time commitment, so this year, in an effort to be more open to all levels of interest we are launching a Varsity Forensics Team.  Varsity Forensics is for students who wish to engage in competitive forensics tournaments regularly. These students will have the opportunity to travel outside of the Twin Cities area. Both Speech Workshop and Varsity Forensics abide by the Speech Team Mission Statement that states, "The mission of the University of Northwestern Speech Team is to intentionally glorify Christ in a competitive and secular academic environment." 

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A Note from the Chair

There's nothing peaceful about childbirth. It's a painful, noisy, violent process to come into this world.


The reality of childbirth is far removed from our typical picture of Christmas. Our images of the birth of Christ are colored by nativity sets and Christmas carols. The still figures sit around the manger, gazing silently at the serene mother and child. We sing, "The little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes." It all seems so peaceful, so quiet, and so far removed from our world.


Thanks to today's global media, we know that a "silent night" happens only rarely. Each day our new media bring us stories of human suffering, from typhoons to malaria, from war to famine. The imagined peace of that first Christmas in Bethlehem seems impossible to recapture. Perhaps that's because it never existed in the first place.


The Israel into which Jesus was born was under Roman military occupation, not a nation at peace. The long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, the shame of an unwed pregnancy, and the lack of room at the inn would have made an already-difficult situation even harder for Mary and Joseph. The fact that the inn was full suggests a busy, noisy place. And although they all come together in your nativity set, it's likely that neither the wise men nor the shepherds were there to witness Christ's birth. Far away from family and friends, Mary gave birth to the savior of mankind surrounded by dirt and noise, conflict and agony. There was nothing silent about that night.


And that's the great message of Christmas. It's not that Christ takes us away into His perfect, orderly world. It's that He comes to us wherever we are, enters our difficult circumstances, and makes our lives different just by being there.  In times of struggle and times of peace, in trying circumstances as well as good times, the meaning of Emmanuel is the same: "God with us."


Someday there will be peace on earth, and good will toward men. But thanks to Jesus, we don't have to wait until then to have a merry Christmas.
Doug Trouten
Communication Department Chair