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Volume 7, Issue 6
March 1, 2014
A monthly publication of the 

UNW Communication Department

Upcoming Events
March 1 
A Midsummer Night's Dream
March 6-16
Spring Break 
March 17
Quad 4 Classes Begin
March 17 
Five16 Film Festival Submissions Due
March 19
Theatre on Purpose begins 
March 28
Spring Preview Day
Featured Student

  Katie Morford



What are your plans for the future?
The future is always scary, but it's exciting too. I would like to go into print or online journalism, preferably at a community or regional newspaper. Eventually my goal is to be an editor at a community newspaper or news organization. I'm passionate about storytelling and informing people within the context of a community.
What opportunities have you had at Northwestern?

I have had so many opportunities here, everything from being involved in student media to being challenged academically through the honors program. I've had the opportunity to be on the staff of our student newspaper, The Column, and rise from staff writer to news section editor to my current position of editor-in-chief. I really appreciate that I've been able to jump into my field-my involvement with student media definitely prepared me well for my first internship.  At UNW I've been able to learn how to use professional software programs, equipment and so much more. Also, I've been able to work with students and faculty more broadly interested in journalism as I've assisted in the founding of our new campus chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).  


What is your favorite thing about Northwestern?

By far, the community is my favorite thing here at Northwestern. Our student body is great; people really care about each other. Professors are willing to go out of their way to make time for their students, even students who aren't in their department, and it's such a blessing. Also, I think there's a lot of camaraderie between the students in the communication department, which I really appreciate.    





Featured Alumnus
Amy Overgaard

Where has life taken you after Northwestern?
Since graduating, I have had a couple of journalism internships, perfected my latte-making skills as a barista, and since October have been a full-time freelance writer and editor. As such, I do all sorts of writing, from blogs and website copy, to magazine features a city council meeting coverage, with a lot of editing in between. I love how varied and flexible my work is, and it's wonderful to come in contact with so many interesting and talented people in these many facets of writing.
What advice do you have for current students? 
My biggest piece of advice is to take initiative. Whether it's asking a professional in the field out for coffee simply to pick their brain, pitching ideas to a company, or being proactive in your personal branding, a little initiative will go a long way. And you'd be surprised at how willing professionals are, in general, to offer wisdom and advice to those entering the field who show a glimmer of promise. More than half of the work I have right now is due to connections I've made because I asked one writer out for coffee, and she has continued to professionally recommend me. But you also have to back up that initiative with follow-through. Meet deadlines and produce excellent work. It will get noticed. Be extraordinary. 


Congratulations iNRB Winners!
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) has announced the winners in the 2013 Student Production Competition and the University of Northwestern - St. Paul students in the Electronic Media Communication major have won NINE iNRB awards including TWO first place production awards. Collectively, UNW students won more awards than any other college by nearly 2-1. 
Aaron McIntire
won 1st place in the Radio News Category 
Tracey Trouten
captured 2nd Place in the Radio News category 
Micah Engel
won two 3rd place awards for Radio Drama and Radio PSA/Commercial.

Krista Koester and Chris Behnen
won first place in the TV PSA/Promo category 
Jared Myers
was awarded 2nd place in the Long Film category 
Christpher Behnen
won 3rd place in the Long Film category 
Matthew Abeler
captured a 2nd place for his short film  
Anna Marie Carey
won 2nd place for her music video

Micah Engel was the winner of the 2014 Al Sanders Scholarship 
Jared Myers, Christopher Behnen, Krista Rose Koester, and Anna Marie Carey
took home 2nd place for their film PLATFORM in the 36 hour Digital Video Challenge 

Laticia Mattson, Karina Triller, and Josette Elieff 
won 2nd place for their 36 hour Digital News Challenge

Micah Engel and Tony Mansmith 
took home the 3rd place award in the 36 hour Digital Audio Challenge

Congratulations to all these students. They pursue Christ joyfully and faithfully and allow him to fuel their creative craft. We thank God for his work through these students and are thrilled for our students. May they feel God's great pleasure in their accomplishments. While the industry has honored these students, it is the Lord's grace that abounds. Our prayer is that these students will always strive to remember that they "have been entrusted with the Gospel, so they speak not to please man but to please God, who tests their hearts (1 Thessalonians 2:4)

The Lord has done great things for us (again!) and we are glad (Psalm 126:3).
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2014 NRB Convention
by Laticia Mattson
There's only one real way to describe this year's NRB experience: crazy. As a first timer, I had no idea what to expect... it turned out to be more fulfilling than I had imagined. The five day trip started last Friday the 21st at approximately 4am and the 36 hour challenge kick-off took place that night at 8. The digital news team consisted of myself, Josette Elieff, and Karina Triller. Our objective was to make a 30 second, 90 second, and 2:30 package about the installment of the new NRB president and his goals for the future, relating it to the church, government, and culture. We immediately attended the press conference following the kick-off and spent the rest of the night and next morning trying to contact people for interviews. We finally got connected with Heather Johnson from TWR and Carl Bliss from our very own KTIS. We finished the interviews, spent a few minutes outside in the 60 degree weather, and then filmed the installment of the new president. Saturday night we pulled an all-nighter, and although the challenge projects were due at 9am, we ended up filming a few stand ups and voiceovers around 6. We literally ran from our hotel room to the convention center to deliver our project, just 10 minutes before it was due. We were so exhausted that the three of us immediately went to bed to catch up on some much needed sleep. That night we had a group dinner with Northwestern Media at Solario, a Mexican restaurant within Opryland. 
Monday was an exciting day! Around noon, the iNRB award ceremony began, giving out student production awards and the 36 hour challenge awards. Northwestern took home many prizes, including 2nd place for our digital news team. Josette and Karina had agreed to create a package for Eagle 7 News, so we started filming that afternoon. That night, all 15 of us went downtown, ate at Jack's BBQ and Mike's Ice cream, and just walked up and down Broadway. On Tuesday, a group of students (including myself) toured the Contemporary Music Center that recording arts students can attend through the EMC program here on campus. There were some pretty cool elements to their campus and the audio buffs were absolutely thrilled. When we got back to Opryland, there were just a few hours until we had to leave for the airport, so we finished filming our package before grabbing a cab to the airport with the rest of the group. NRB was such a fun experience and I'm already planning out next year's trip! 
During our time in Nashville, I had the opportunity to network with professionals and students from other schools, grow closer with the students and professors who attended, and make unforgettable memories! 
Laticia, Josette, and Karina at the Contemporary Music Center in Nashville, TN
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My Forensics Tournament Experience
By Anna Rose Meeds

At the tournament, the competition bites and scratches its way to the top. Swear words fly out of mouths while racy content attempts to shock the judges. People rattle off statistics and mime props until you can practically see their sources and the objects they are touching. Every contestant focuses on one thing: to make it to finals.

Breaking (or making it to finals) is difficult especially in categories with numerous people. Although I dreamed of standing in front of the judges and repeating my speech in hopes of winning a trophy, the reality of this longing seemed distant and ridiculous. After all, who was I to beat out speech teams that trained for the whole year and offered scholarships to incoming students?

Thus, when I saw my name up on the list of finalists for Dramatic Interpretation, I could not believe it. Me? Did they really choose me? What about all of the polished and poised speakers that I had heard? How could this be?

Excited but terrified, I began the final round. Like expected, others received the trophies for first, second, and third. However, winning fourth/fifth still filled me with joy. Perhaps I did not do perfect, but my performance was good enough to make finals. Perhaps next time I can go even farther. 
Interested in what's going on with the UNW Forensics Team?
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The University of Northwestern's newly launched chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) recently coordinated a tour of the Saint Paul headquarters of Minnesota Public Radio. Minnesota Public Radio is a premier public radio station that reaches 1 million listeners a week.


16 students toured the downtown St. Paul headquarters on Feb. 12. This opportunity was open to all students, not just SPJ members, and it was attended by a variety of majors including marketing, electronic media communications, professional writing and journalism students.


While at MPR, the students met Tim Nelson, a general assignment reporter who had also previously worked at the St. Paul Pioneer Press for over a decade. Nelson showed the group around the recording studios at MPR where programs such as the Daily Circuit and All Things Considered air from. Other stops on the tour included the newsroom, the studios of 89.3 The Current and MPR's vast library of CDs and vinyl records.


After the tour, students had the chance to sit down and ask Nelson questions about journalism, the radio industry and his personal transition from newspaper to radio reporting. He discussed the methods he uses as he goes through the process of reporting a story using the mediums of social media, the web and radio news segments. During this open Q&A time, Nelson also offered suggestions for the students heading into journalism and radio broadcasting. He told the UNW group not to be afraid of making mistakes but to get out there and start producing content and doing what they love.


The new campus chapter of SPJ is continuing to plan monthly events like this MPR tour and the January breakout chapel with KSTP producer Amanda Theisen. Some events will be open to all students while others will be for members only. Students interested in joining SPJ can contact Annie Kelby or Katie Morford.


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Noteworthy News


  • Students in Dr. Kaiser's political communication class attended their GOP, DFL, or Independence Party precinct caucuses on Tuesday, February 4, and tweeted about their experiences with hashtag #unwcaucus.  Several students were elected as delegates to their parties' conventions, and some were also elected as local party officials.
  • Taylor Filzen (PR '12) started as the coordinator of volleyball operations at the University of Dayton, an NCAA Division I program in Ohio that participates in the Atlantic 10 Conference on Monday, Feb. 17 after working at Northwestern in the role of coordinator of athletics communication and events since August 2012. While working on her undergraduate degree, Filzen played volleyball for three years at Northwestern.

    In her new role, Taylor will assist the Dayton volleyball coaching staff with the day-to-day operations of the program, organizing all team travel, coordinating equipment for home and away matches and practices, and overseeing film exchange while working with the compliance, academics and athletic training staffs.

    In addition to earning her undergraduate degree in public relations, Taylor will complete her graduate school work this spring in Northwestern's Master of Organizational Leadership program.

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A Note from the Chair

You'll often hear that the opposable thumb is what separates man from animals, but of course this is nonsense. Monkeys have opposable thumbs, as do apes. Don't get me wrong - thumbs are great. They're just the thing for holding objects, rating movies, and snapping fingers. But they're not our ticket to the exclusive humans-only club.


So what sets us apart from the animals? It's communication. While some animals have limited communication abilities -- and with all due respect to Hugh Lofting's wonderful Dr. Dolittle books -- it is clear that nothing in the animal kingdom comes close to mankind's unique communication skills. We can talk in concrete terms, or abstract terms. We can talk about the here and now, or about other places and times. We're so good at communication that we can even communicate about communicating.


This human gift is surely at least part of what it means to be created in God's image, for communication is clearly important to God. In the Book of Genesis we read that God spoke the world into existence. In the Old Testament God chose to make Himself known to His people through words rather than images. The Gospel of John talks about Christ coming to the world as "the word." We were created to fellowship with God - to commune, and communicate.


We write and speak so easily that it's easy to forget what a gift it is to be able to communicate. But it is indeed a gift, given by God, to be used for God. As we go through our day, we should pray that God will be honored in all we write, speak, or otherwise communicate.


Doug Trouten

Communication Department Chair