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Volume 7, Issue 4
January 1, 2014
A monthly publication of the 

UNW Communication Department

Upcoming Events
December 21-
January 12
Christmas Break
January 13
Spring classes begin
January 20
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - No Classes
January 28
Forensics Team @ 
Featured Student


Kasey Manche



What are your plans for the future?:
My current plans for the future always seem to be shifting. However, I plan to graduate from UNW in two years. From there, I hope to move to a large city such as New York or Chicago and begin to perform professionally. Later in life I hope to attain my
MFA so I may direct and teach in universities across the nation.

What opportunities have you had at Northwestern?

Northwestern is filled with ample opportunity for us theatre majors. With nearly five shows a year, there are opportunities for performance, directing, and tech design. My favorite opportunity thus far would most certainly be playing Ado Annie in the fall production of Oklahoma. The department created a stellar show with a bonded cast and many learning opportunities. 

What is your favorite thing about Northwestern?

My favorite part about Northwestern is that I can learn my craft firmly rooted in my faith. Theatre can often be a dark industry; however with Northwestern I have been giving the chance to glorify God on stage. Northwestern also is equipping me with the tools I need to go out into and dark world and spread God's light.


Featured Alumnus
Kelsey Ploeger
Class of 2010
Where has life taken you after Northwestern?
Since Northwestern, I've gone from retail manager to career counselor and from one corner of the Midwest to another. After graduating, I started searching for positions in collegiate admissions and residence life while working as an Assistant Manager at Pier 1 Imports.  In order to expand my horizons, I went to a placement exchange in Oshkosh, Wisconsin to mass interview for both professional positions and graduate assistantships in student housing. I eventually accepted a graduate assistantship with The University of Kansas (KU) and enrolled in master's classes in Higher Education Administration. Thanks to my educational training and an internship in academic advising, I landed a full-time position with the University Career Center at KU after graduating in May of 2013. As an Assistant Director, I plan career events, present on various career-related topics, and provide one-on-one vocational counseling. I feel extremely blessed to be functioning as an educator and communicator who connects students and alumni with their academic and vocational passions. 


What advice do you have for current students? 
Embrace the uncertainty with a spirit of intentionality. Answering the "big questions" of purpose and calling can be challenging and even overwhelming at times. Whether or not you have an end goal in mind, simply ask yourself "what's my next step?" Whether that's getting an internship, getting involved, or taking an interesting class, know that every experience has the potential to reveal new likes, dislikes, and passion areas. One of the ways I learned about the "secret world" of my profession was through conducting informational interviews. If you see a job you like or notice someone who is extremely satisfied with their work, ask about it. More often than not, people are very open and willing to share their insight into their specific field. Discovering these "well-worn paths," can help you discern what your "next step" looks like.
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Congratulations, December grads!


 Public Relations
 Alexis Bertsch
 Amanda Cedergren
 Isabelle Faletti


 Electronic Media Communications - Video
 Natalea Volna


 Electronic Media Communication - Audio
 Andrew DeVall


 Communication Studies
 Jacob Fletcher


 Chelsea Lawrence
 Tracy Swenson

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A Semester with CNN 
by Laticia Mattson


I was so scared when I found out I got the fall internship position at CNN. Accepting it would mean withdrawing from classes, packing up, and moving 1,105 miles away from home. I also had less than three weeks to find a place to live that was legit and not outrageously expensive. Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to find a place that was gated and near CNN. My first day was a mess... I thought I was late, my new shoes gave me blisters, and my clothes didn't match (the lighting in my apartment wasn't great). My debit card was also blocked (because of the out-of-state charges), so I didn't have any money. It was a long day to say the least, but I survived.

            I found out my first day that I was interning in the Image & Sound Department working as a Video Journalist (VJ), which is the entry-level position. I did the same exact work as full-time VJs, which was surprising to me. I guess I just assumed that I would be treated like an intern. Although my internship was with CNN, I also worked on the Headline News (HLN) channel which I really enjoyed. I had three main roles as an intern: teleprompting, gripping, and running scripts to the anchors. I interacted with the anchors every day for three months and most were very nice!

            Prompting for CNN was kind of intimidating because if I screwed up, the anchors screwed up (I couldn't believe they let interns have that kind of power!). I gripped in the CNN studio for the steadicam operators, who turned out to be some of my favorite people I met while working there. I used iNews when dealing with scripts; it was kind of interesting because I got to see which stories were coming up and the last-minute changes made by the show Producers. During commercial breaks I brought the anchors their new scripts.

            In addition to my VJ duties, I had the opportunity to shadow other roles in my department, as well as other departments. I made a bunch of cool connections while doing so. A few times I even got to go out in the field with the photojournalists to shoot different stories. My favorite shadowing experience was at the other campus in Atlanta where the "Creatives" gathered. I shadowed Turner Classic Movies twice and I can say it was comforting being on set and around film equipment. The second time I was shadowing, Shaquille O'Neal happened to be shooting a commercial in the studio next door, so I went over there and watched. I also had the opportunity to meet and chat with Scotty McCreery and Joel Osteen while interning at CNN.

            On my days off, I took road trips to the Atlantic ocean and the Smoky Mountains. I also was booked as a background actor on a few different productions, such as The Vampire Diaries. Overall, I had a great experience in Georgia and am so happy I took the opportunity and moved down there. I made some lasting connections, learned a lot, had fun, and experienced the real world for a few months. I am going to miss it, but for now I'm happy to be back on a meal plan.

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Noteworthy News


  • December 3, 2013 the UNW Forensics Team participated in TCFL #3 @ Normandale Community College in Bloomington, MN.  The following students were finalists:
    • Isaac Lind - 4th place finalist - Poetry Interpretation
    • Anna Wiegand - finalist - Persuasive Speaking
    • Anna Wiegand - finalist - Informative Speaking
  • Kaitlyn Cox (PR '10) was the guest speaker for a breakout chapel for Xi Xi, the Northwestern chapter of the National Communication Association's honor society, Lambda Pi Eta, on December 4.  Cox is Social Media & PR Manager - Athletic Events for Lifetime Fitness Corporation, based in Chanhassen, MN.
  • Jessica Woodward, account manager for metroConnections, the Twin Cities' premier event management firm, was a guest speaker in Dr. Kaiser's PR Principles & Concepts class on December 11. 
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A Note from the Chair

With the start of each new year the Etch-a-Sketch of our lives gets turned upside down and given a good shake. We're swept up in the magic of the clean slate. When we awaken on that first day in January we're looking at an unspoiled year, free of bad decisions and filled with untapped possibility.


Surely this will be the year when we spend less and save more, eat less and exercise more. We'll look back on 2014 as the year we figured out how to get more work done while still spending more time with family and friends. It's a fresh start. We'll get it right this time.


A small cynical voice may whisper that we're still the same old people with the same old problems. But for now we'll enjoy the moment. Let me suggest two New Years' resolutions for our hard-working Communication Department students:


  • Work sooner, not later. It took me until grad school to figure out that homework doesn't really take any longer if you do it right away instead of at the last minute. And it wasn't until I started teaching that I really understood that when a professor gives you four weeks to do an assignment, it's probably because it you'll need that time to do a good job. Make 2014 the year when you do good work now, rather than panicked work later.
  • Pursue knowledge, not grades. A decade from now, nobody is going to care whether you got an "A" or a "C" in that course. But there's a good chance they'll care whether you acquired the knowledge and skills the grade is meant to measure. Focus on learning, and the grades will take care of themselves.


Finally, feel free to ignore that cynical voice. After all, we serve a God who takes away our old lives and gives us brand new ones to live with Him. That's the ultimate clean slate.



Doug Trouten

Communication Department Chair

(This "Note from the Chair" was originally published in 2009.)