Jasmine McNealy Joins Telecommunication Faculty

Published: September 1st, 2015

Jasmine McNealy

Jasmine McNealy

Congratulations to Dr. Jasmine McNealy who joined the Telecommunication Department this fall as an Assistant Professor.

McNealy, comes to UF from the University of Kentucky School of Library and Information Science. She is a three-time Gator grad, receiving both her Masters (2006) and Doctorate (2008) from the College, as well as her law degree from UF. McNealy specializes in privacy and trade/public interest issues in digital media. She will be teaching undergraduate and graduate classes in Telecommunication Law and Regulation.

McNealy is also the host of the “New Books in Technology” podcast tailored toward authors discussing their new books. She presented her research paper “Differential Reasonableness: A Standard for Evaluating Deceptive Privacy-Promising Technologies” at the recent AEJMC Conference in San Francisco. A passionate traveler, she is working her way around the globe and embarked on excursions to China and the Caribbean this summer.

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Randy Bennett Named Executive Director of External Relations

Published: August 31st, 2015

Randy Bennett

Randy Bennett

The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications has named Randy Bennett to the new position of Executive Director of External Relations.  Randy was formerly the College’s director of entrepreneurship and partnerships.

In this new role, he will combine his previous responsibilities of pursuing collaboration opportunities for the college with overall communication strategies to engage students, faculty, alumni, industry and other constituencies.

Randy joined the college in March 2014 and quickly helped raise the visibility of the college through stories written by faculty and staff as well as stories written about the College’ accomplishments. He launched Captivate, a collection of articles by 30 industry executives, to help accelerate thought leadership efforts. In addition, he established partnerships with companies such as Elite Daily, Parse.ly and Yik Yak.

Randy will focus on the College’s branding and communication strategy, building off the discussions and results of the school’s 2020 planning process. He will continue efforts to raise the College’s visibility within the communication industry and academic community.

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Florida Public Radio Launches Free ‘Florida Storms’ Mobile Phone App

Published: August 28th, 2015

IMG_0603Florida residents and visitors have a new resource to help them prepare for destructive storms and other emergencies. The Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN) today launched Florida Storms, a free, mobile weather application that offers a simple way to stay informed of potential weather and other hazards, backed by real-time credible information from the nearest Florida public radio station.

Using a combination of state of the art weather tracking and forecasting technology and the expertise of staff meteorologists at WUFT-FM, the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications public radio station and host to the FPREN StormCenter, Florida Storms helps deftly navigate weather-related emergencies, from preparedness checklists to storm updates to evacuation routes.

“Millions of people visit this state every year, and millions more have moved here since a hurricane last struck our shores ten years ago,” said Jeff Huffman, Florida Public Radio Meteorologist at UF. “Think about this: Twitter, YouTube, and even the iPhone weren’t around when Wilma made landfall back in 2005. To say there will be a lot of Floridians experiencing a potential disaster for the first time on social media or the smartphone is an understatement. We hope Florida Storms will help them cut through the noise and come to rely on a service that’s been proven for decades to be there in time of need, which is the backbone of public radio.”

FPREN communicates emergency information statewide through a seamless system of free over-the-air FM radio stations. The new mobile app extends the reach of the Florida station network with reliable and immediate accessibility on weather developments.

FlaStorms“The launch of the Florida Storms app is the natural next step into mobile distribution of the critical lifesaving information FPREN provides,” said Randy Wright, executive director of WUFT-FM and the Division of Multimedia Properties at UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. “The features of the app are groundbreaking and it’s very user-friendly.  Combine that with it being available at no charge equals what we believe will be an essential mobile tool for Floridians and visitors to our state.”

The iOS app, now available free in the Apple App Store, was developed in collaboration with mobile engagement provider Mobiquity. An Android version will be ready early this fall.

Among the features of the new app are:

  • Weather map: Clean and fast national radar with 1-hour past loop and future radar up to 48 hours, including current temperatures, wind speeds and lightning data
  • Radio streaming: Live stream of nearest FPREN partner station, with ability to customize based on desired location
  • News feed: Multiple feeds of real-time watch and warning information from various sources, with simultaneous advisory text and radar view
  • Emergency preparedness: Information for a weather disaster, including what to do before, during and after a storm
  • Push notifications: Customizable, from the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center.


Florida public radio stations joined forces with the Florida Division of Emergency Management to form FPREN in 2014. The FPREN Storm Center is operated by WUFT-FM at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications providing local 24/7 weather, data and storm updates to all stations in the network.

FPREN stations collectively cover 99 percent of the state and are locally staffed and equipped to stay on the air even during times of massive power outages in order to deliver important information to local audiences before, during and after an emergency. In the event of a weather incident, the FPREN stations will continue to provide recovery information for as long as necessary. Working in partnership with the Florida Division of Emergency Management and local Emergency Operations Centers, listeners and users of the mobile app can be assured of having access to the most up to date information.

About FPBS

FPBS is a non-profit association of public radio and public television stations in the state of Florida. As the largest broadcasting network in the state, we reach more than 99 percent of Florida’s population through traditional broadcast, online tools and community engagement. FPBS stations are a state partner in education, emergency management and public affairs. Through our collaborative efforts, we identify and implement regional and statewide projects that enhance and sustain community initiatives that serve the citizens of Florida. For more information, visit the FPBS website at www.fpbs.org.

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Dodd Gives Advice to Teaching Assistants in Inside Higher Ed

Published: August 28th, 2015

Julie Dodd

Julie Dodd

Inside Higher Ed on August 28, 2105 published, “Tips for New Teaching Assistants,” an article by Journalism Professor Julie Dodd based on her presentation at UF’s Orientation for New Teaching Assistants.

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Wanta Gives Anniversary Lecture at Dhaka University in Bangladesh

Published: August 27th, 2015

Mofizur Rhaman, Arefin Siddique, Wayne Wanta, and Akhtar Sultana.

Journalism professor Wayne Wanta is presented with a plaque commemorating his Anniversary Lecture at Dhaka University in Bangladesh. The Anniversary Lecture highlighted activities celebrating 50-plus years of instruction in the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism.

Pictured with Wanta, from left: Mofizur Rhaman, chair of the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism; Arefin Siddique, Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University; and Akhtar Sultana, professor and chairperson.

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2015 Bateman Team Wins FPRA Award of Distinction

Published: August 26th, 2015


From left to right: Nathan King, Valeria Yulee and Andrea Cepeda. Team members Trisha Tucker and Eliot Levy and adviser Deanna Pelfrey were unable to attend the awards event.

CJC’s 2015 Bateman Team won the Florida Public Relations Association Award of Distinction in the Student Projects in Public Relations Division Public Relations Campaign category for their “Imagine…a Place Called Home” project.

The team won second place in the Public Relations Student Society of America national competition for the same project.

The Bateman team includes seniors Andrea Cepeda, Nathan King, Elliot Levy, Trisha Tucker and Valeria Yulee. They were presented with the award in a ceremony on August 11.

Category: College News, Student Awards

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Clay Calvert Article Examines Content-based vs. Content-Neutral Regulations of Speech

Published: August 24th, 2015

Clay Calvert, professor of journalism and Brechner Eminent Scholar in Mass Communication and Director of the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project at the University of Florida, published an article in the Richmond Journal of Law and Public Interest titled Content-based Confusion and Panhandling: Muddling a Weathered First Amendment Doctrine Takes its Toll on Society’s Less Fortunate.


This article examines multiple problems now plaguing the fundamental dichotomy in First Amendment jurisprudence between content-based and content-neutral regulations of speech.

The troubles were highlighted by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 divided decision in McCullen v. Coakley. Building from McCullen, this article uses a quartet of federal court rulings from 2014 and 2013 involving anti-begging ordinances affecting the home-less as analytical springboards for examining these issues in depth.

Ultimately, the article proposes a three-step framework for mitigating the muddle and calls on the nation’s high court to take action to clarify the proper test for distinguishing between content-based and content-neutral regulations.

Category: Research News

New Fundraising Course Offered for First Time

Published: August 21st, 2015

Professor Kathleen Kelly lectures to fundraising management class. Joining CJC’s roster of graduate classes this fall is a new course on fundraising tactics, MMC 6936 (02EE)—Fundraising Communication Fundamentals (syllabus). The 2015 fall class is held Tuesdays, Periods 9 to 11, and is open to all current graduate students.

The course is organized into four modules of four weeks each covering different types of fundraising tactics, and each module is taught by a different CJC graduate faculty member – representing three of the Colleges four departments.

Dr. Julie Dodd, professor of journalism, leads off the course with her module on “Writing Effective Business Communication Tactics.” Dodd previously was named the College’s Teacher of the Year and twice received a UF TIP Award for outstanding teaching. She serves on the UF Graduate Student Teacher Awards Committee and the UF Faculty Senate. Her research focuses on pedagogy and technology use.

Dr. Amy Jo Coffey, associate professor of telecommunication, teaches the second module on “Mastering Interpersonal Communication Tactics with Diverse Publics.” Coffey’s expertise focuses on ethnic and non-English speaking audiences in the United States, audience behavior and preferences, and advertiser perception of ethnic audiences. Her teaching and research has earned her several UF awards, including being named a 2014-2016 UF Foundation Research Professor.

Dr. James Babanikos, associate professor of telecommunication, teaches the third module on “Producing Electronic Communication Tactics.” Babanikos has experience in writing, directing, producing and editing films and digital/video programs in virtually every genre, including drama, documentary, corporate, and television commercials. He has received production grants from various organizations, including the Independent Television Service, and his projects have won many awards in competitions.

Dr. Linjuan “Rita” Men, assistant professor of public relations, wraps up the course with her module on “Utilizing Digital and Social Media Communication Channels.” Men is a specialist on digital engagement, leadership communication, and employee relations. Her recent research on social media has earned her five awards from national and international communication conferences and associations. Men just joined the UF faculty this semester after three years at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.

MMC 6936—Fundraising Communication Fundamentals is one of the two required core courses in the College’s new Graduate Certificate in Fundraising Management. The certificate, which requires just nine credit hours to complete, is one of only a few in the nation that qualifies for graduate credit. Students can complete the certificate in as little as two semesters, and its courses may be taken as electives to satisfy degree requirements – at both the master’s and doctoral levels.

The fundraising certificate program likely is the first in the United States that is co-sponsored by a university-affiliated foundation, the University of Florida Foundation. Upon completion of the certificate, students will be granted an exploratory interview with the Foundation for available employment opportunities.

Detailed information on the certificate program is available at www.jou.ufl.edu/fundraising-management. For more information on MMC 6936—Fundraising Communications Fundamentals, e-mail the coordinator of the program, Dr. Kathleen Kelly at kskelly@jou.ufl.edu.

Category: College News

Dodd Gives Presentation at UF Orientation for New Teaching Assistants

Published: August 20th, 2015

UF Teaching Assistant Orientation

Julie Dodd

Julie Dodd

Journalism Professor Julie Dodd made a presentation on “Your Syllabus and the First Week of Class” at UF’s Orientation for New Teaching Assistants. Four hundred new teaching assistants attended the orientation, sponsored by the Graduate Division and the UF Teaching Center.​

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Hank Conner’s last radio show featured in Gainesville Sun

Published: August 20th, 2015

Hank Conner

Hank Conner

Professor Emeritus Hank Conner is hosting his last radio call-in show, Conner Calling, on WUFT-FM on August 21, 2015. The Gainesville Sun features the occasion in the August 20, 2015 article, “Now 76, Hank Conner airs his last ‘Conner Calling’ show Friday.”