Public Relations Department Receives Certification in Education from PRSA

Published: June 22nd, 2016

The University of Florida Public Relations Department has received the Public Relations Society of America‘s Certification in Education for Public Relations (CERP). The department now has certification/accreditation from both PRSA and from ACEJMC.

In the review, conducted by Douglas F. Cannon, professor of practice at Virginia Tech, and Joseph V. Trahan III, a PRSA Fellow and owner of Trahan & Associates in Atlanta, they report that “Educational Affairs finds the Florida program to be a model for other schools in most standards.” Specifically, they note the departments “prominence and diversity of the faculty, their leadership roles in PRSA and the Institute for Public Relations, and their mentoring of students in Florida’s PRSSA Alpha Chapter ”

Dean Diane Mcfarlin noted that “This achievement is testament to the leadership of former Public Relations Department Chair Juan-Carlos Molleda and the outstanding teaching and scholarship from department faculty.  And it validates our ranking as one of the top five undergraduate programs in the country.”

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the world’s largest organization of public relations professionals and university and college students.

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Jim Harrison Named Creative Director of The Agency

Published: June 17th, 2016

Jim Harrison, Creative Director, The Agency at UF[1][2]

Jim Harrison

 The Agency at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications has named Jim Harrison as its first Creative Director. The Agency is a two-year-old integrated strategic communication firm led by seasoned professionals and staffed by students.

Harrison comes to The Agency from UF University Relations where he has served as Director of Creative Services since 2010. While there he was instrumental in guiding strategic creative efforts for the UF brand within the department of University Relations, as well as across campus for other units.

Harrison, an award-winning creative director, graphic designer and visual artist with over 25-year of experience, will lead The Agency’s creative team of more than 30 students, including copywriters, graphic artists, production personnel, developers and UX digital designers, and help manage an Agency-wide team of nearly 100. He will also provide creative leadership to MAVY™, The Agency’s proprietary on-line research initiative, which will include visual and written content development, user experience, and input on the development of quizzes and discussion forums.

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UF CJC Alumni Scott Sanders Receives Tony Award

Published: June 17th, 2016

Scott Sanders, B.S. Advertising 1979, was among the award winners at the presentation of the 70th Annual American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards on June 12 in New York City. Sanders was honored for his role as producer for “Best Revival of a Musical” for The Color Purple.

Sanders is the founder and CEO of Scott Sanders Productions. He is regarded as one of the entertainment industry’s most creative and prolific entrepreneurs, with a proven track record of producing quality entertainment properties for a variety of media.

This was Sander’s second Tony (he won the Best Special Theatrical Event in 2002 for Elaine Stritch: At Liberty). His original production of The Color Purple in 2006 received 11 Tony Award nominations.  His revival of Evita in 2012 received three nominations and After Midnight received seven nominations in 2013.

Jon Morris Honored as a UF Research Foundation Professor

Published: June 17th, 2016



Jon Morris

University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Advertising Professor Jon Morris was named a UF Research Foundation Professor for 2016-19.

Morris is one of 33 UF faculty who are being honored for their “distinguished current record of research and a strong research agenda that is likely to lead to continuing distinction in their fields.”  The three-year award includes a $5,000 annual salary supplement and a one-time $3,000 grant.

A UFRF Professorship is one of UF’s most prestigious honors. Fifteen CJC faculty members have received the honor over the past 18 years.


Brechner First Amendment Project Urges Supreme Court to Hear “No-Surcharge Statute” First Amendment Case

Published: June 10th, 2016

The Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman urging the Court to hear a First Amendment challenge to the constitutionality of New York’s no-surcharge statute.

That statute prohibits merchants from imposing surcharges for credit card payments but allows them to offer discounts for customers who pay with cash.

“The law negatively affects what merchants can say to customers and, in turn, the speech that consumers can receive to make better informed choices affecting how they spend their money,” said First Amendment Project Director Clay Calvert.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the statute in 2015 and ruled that it did not affect freedom of speech. A nearly identical Florida statute was enjoined by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2015 for violating the First Amendment speech rights of Florida merchants. The brief is urging the Supreme Court to look at New York’s law as well similar laws in other states, including California and Texas.

The Amicus brief “asserts that New York’s no-surcharge law inhibits the free flow of accurate pricing information to consumers and, in doing so, keeps them ignorant about the reality of swipe fees and surcharges and, ultimately, the actual cost of credit.”

The Supreme Court is expected to decide in the fall whether or not to hear the case.

The Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization located in the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. Directed by Journalism Professor and attorney Clay Calvert, the Project is dedicated to contemporary issues of free expression, including current cases and controversies affecting freedom of information and access to information, freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of petition, and freedom of thought.



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CJC Faculty Present Research Papers in Korea

Published: June 10th, 2016

University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications faculty members recently presented research papers at Sungkyunkwan University in Korea.

 The gathering, sponsored by the Korea Entertainment Association and Sungkyunkwan University Social Science Korea Research Group, included presentations by Public Relations Associate Professor Rita Men on “Building an Engaged Workforce: The Impact of Organizational Leadership and Strategic Internal Communication;” Juan-Carlos Molleda, Public Relations Department chair, on “The Balance Between Global Public Relations Standardization and Localization;” and Executive Associate Dean Spiro Kiousis on “Political Public Relations: Foundations and New Frontiers.”

In addition, Eunice Kim, Advertising Department assistant professor, will present a research paper co-authored with master’s degree student You Jin Cheong on July 1. The paper, “Consumer Socialization Through Social Media: Antecedents of Consumer Acceptance of Native Advertising on Social Networking Sites,” will be featured at the Global Colloquium organized by the Korean Advertising Society.


Rita Men

Juan-Carlos Molleda

Juan-Carlos Molleda


Spiro Kiousis


Eunice Kim

MediaShift Publishes Article by Norm Lewis on CJC Data Journalism Curriculum

Published: June 10th, 2016



Norm Lewis

MediaShift published a story from University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Assistant Journalism Professor Norm Lewis on June 7, 2016. How Data Journalism Changed the University of Florida chronicles the efforts of Lewis and Mindy McAdams, Knight Chair for journalism technologies, to create courses in both data journalism and programming to help undergraduates perfect their digital storytelling skills and shed the “I’m not good at math” crutch.

CJC Online Communication Degree Program Receives National Recognition

Published: June 10th, 2016

Three University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications online communication degrees are included in the list of Top 20 Online Communications Degree Programs. Overall UF received the number two ranking for online degrees and the College was recognized for the Bachelor’s degree in Telecommunication Media & Society and Mass Communication Master’s degrees in Web Design and Online Communication and Social Media. Judging was based on various criteria including the type of degrees available, price, retention rate and student to faculty ratio. The online communications master’s degree program was lauded as best in the nation.

Defining Moments: Terry Biehl Van Nortwick, B.S. Journalism 1970; MAMC 1977

Published: June 3rd, 2016

Van Nortwick

Terry Biehl Van Nortwick

I had just transferred from that other state university in Tallahassee, looking for a better male/female ratio and a chance to experience the college party life I had heard so much about.

While there I “majored” in psychology, sociology, English and even accounting (a five-hour “C” helped motivate me to transfer to UF).

When I enrolled in the College of Journalism, Charlie Wellborn was teaching the Introduction to Mass Media class. I knew I had met a kindred spirit when I took his class. I soon enrolled in his Typography class and Business and Technical Journalism – the magazine journalism class that was legendary for requiring a 100-hour magazine project. Charlie, or Colonel Wellborn as we called him then, became the defining person in my college career.

I devoured his every word and became engrossed in the public relations curriculum. When I whizzed through the magazine project and saw Col. Wellborn use my project as the model, I knew I had found my passion and career.

Public relations became my perfect place. I was able to delve into fascinating topics, meet people in all walks of life and write, create and persuade.

After graduation, every job brought challenges. As public relations director for a state agriculture association, I was tasked with presenting the organization’s anti-Equal Rights Amendment position to newspaper editors throughout the state– while being adamantly in favor of equal rights for women. I ran an engineering firm’s publications and promotion department in the middle of the gas crisis in the mid-70s, as revenues dipped and layoffs became an everyday occurrence.

Finally, as I turned the ripe old age of 30, I opened my own public relations business in Gainesville – with no money and no business plan in a “free” office in my husband’s electrical contracting warehouse. Charlie Wellborn was still a friend and one of my biggest cheerleaders in the new venture. Somehow I made it work, despite being one of the first woman public relations entrepreneurs in North Florida. During the next 35 years, I helped promote and communicate about organizations large and small, in a myriad of different fields. I taught journalism and public relations classes at UF, volunteered on numerous community boards and committees and became active in political and human rights issues. It was never boring.

When I was honored as an Alumna of Distinction by the J School in 2009, my only regret was that Charlie wasn’t there to see it. He would have been cheering me on just as he had when I was his student back in 1968.

Editor’s Note: Since retiring in 2013, Terry has continued her passion for travel. She has visited 122 countries and all seven continents and still has a list of another 30 countries she wants to visit.

Two Public Relations Students Selected for Frank Karel Fellowships

Published: June 2nd, 2016


Frank Karel

Two University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Public Relations students, Adrian Cibran and Luisa Guaracao, were recently selected for The Frank Karel Fellowship in Public Interest Communications. Fellowship recipients gain hands-on experience by working under the guidance of a public interest communications mentor at leading local, national and global nonprofits in the Greater Washington, DC area.

Cibran will work with Amnesty International USA, the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization. Guaracao will intern with DC Vote, a national citizen engagement and advocacy organization that fights for full and equal voting representation in Congress for District residents.

The Frank Karel Fellowship, now in its fifth year, honors and advances the legacy of Frank Karel, who established, led and nurtured the field of strategic communications and philanthropy during his 30 years as chief communications officer for the Robert Wood Johnson and Rockefeller Foundations.