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Greetings from Weimer Hall!

Dean Diane McFarlinThis is the first installment of what will be a regular newsletter to UF CJC alumni and friends, with the goal of keeping you up to date on happenings at the College. In acknowledgement of your busy lives, we promise to keep it brief. You should be receiving your Communigator soon, where you will find more detail on these subjects, along with other news.

New Gators:  Fall semester has arrived with a vengeance. The college now has more than 2,500 students.

There are 2,203 students enrolled in our undergraduate program, including 442 in Journalism, 478 in Advertising, 747 in Telecommunication (which includes Media and Society) and 536 in Public Relations. Enrollment for the fall semester is virtually even with last year, tapering what had been a slow decline over the last decade.

In addition, we have 118 master’s students on campus and 68 doctoral students. Our online Masters program is also booming. We now have 68 students enrolled in the Social Media program, 56 in Web Design and Online Communication and 46 in Global Strategic Communication.

Future New Gators:  This summer we held our largest Summer Journalism Institute yet, attracting more than 200 teen journalists from across the country. SJI is now one of the nation's largest summer training programs for teens.

ONA Journalism Award:  On September 27, we presented our inaugural Investigative Data Journalism Award at the Online News Association awards banquet in Chicago.   We presented two $7,500 awards which are now the largest offered by the ONA.  Minnesota Public Radio’s coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse by the clergy in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis won the award in the small/medium category.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s reporting on delays in hospital screening of newborns won in the large category.  The award recognizes the growing importance of digital and data journalism and honors high-impact data journalism that is exceptionally well presented.  It was made possible by a generous donation from the estate of Lorraine Dingman.

The Agency:  We are "breaking ground" on our new integrated communications agency (formal name to come) and are fortunate and delighted to have 30-year agency veteran Andy Hopson on board as the agency's Executive Director. Construction and design plans are being finalized and we will cut the ribbon in early 2015. The Agency, which will be staffed by professionals and provide real-world experience for Advertising and Public Relations students, will be taking on national and international clients, with a specialization in marketing to Millennials. If you're interested in working with The Agency – on campaigns, research or strategy – please contact Andy at

Innovators:  Thanks to support from the Knight Foundation, CJC will bring six industry innovators to the campus over the next 24 months. These rarely celebrated influencers are working on the leading edge of data, mobile and engagement and will join us for two days of immersive collaboration with students and faculty. The series launched on September 18 with Storyful founder Mark Little; you can see the video of his Q&A session at The Innovators Series - Mark Little. editor-in-chief Melissa Bell is the next Innovator – she’ll be in Gainesville Nov. 13-14. For more information on the series, visit the Innovators site.

Frank:  CJC is building the country's first program in public interest communication and establishing itself as a center for thought leadership on communications for social change. Last February, we organized the first Frank conference (named for industry pioneer Frank Karel, whose family fund is supporting an Endowed Chair in his name at CJC), which attracted leaders in this field from across the country. The next conference will be held in Gainesville on Feb. 24-26, 2015. In August, we launched the Frank website, which will be the definitive resource for anyone interested in public interest communications. For more information on the conference and program, contact Anne Christiano, Frank Karel Chair in Public Interest Communications, at

Slain Journalists:  Citing the necessity of a free press to report on international injustices and terrorist activities, Journalism faculty members praised the valor of two recently slain American journalists while condemning their beheadings by terrorists. Adjunct faculty member Terry Anderson, a former Associated Press reporter who was held hostage in Beirut from 1985 to 1991, said in the statement: "These two fine journalists, like all their colleagues, knew that journalism has become one of the most dangerous professions in the world. They believed, like their colleagues, that finding and telling the truth was important enough to do anyway. Their vicious murders gain ISIS nothing but more contempt."

Breaking News:  CJC's news site saw record traffic during its live streaming of the sensational Pedro Bravo murder trial. Much of that traffic was the result of student reporters setting the record straight on a story that originated from a Jacksonville news station and then blew up after national and international outlets picked up the erroneous report. Our report was cited and linked back to by many of the national outlets, including Huffington Post, Gawker, Gizmodo, Time, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and others.

We love to have our alums involved in helping us provide real-world insights for students.  If you would like to help out, please drop me an email: For the latest information about CJC, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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UF College of Journalism and Communications
PO Box 118400 | Gainesville, FL 32611