SMI '22 Electives

Below are the SMI ’23 electives. This page will be updated regularly as the program approaches.

Beyond Words: the role of body language in communications | Do you think what you say matters? Think about what you don’t say but can be perceive through your body language? In this workshop you will discover different techniques to excel in the way you listen, look, move and react.

Communicating During a Natural Disaster | Meteorologists communicate to the public during hurricanes and tornadoes. Learn how to anchor severe weather coverage when it matters most. The Weathercasting and Green Screen Magic is recommended before taking this elective.
Crash Course in Health Communications | In this course students will learn what health communications is, why it’s important (understand health communication’s effect on public understanding), and how strategic messaging (specifically social media), can be used to improve health outcomes.
Deliver Your News Straight to the Cellphone | Professor Joanna Hernandez, a CJC lecturer, began her journalism career when computer work was saved onto floppy discs – but she continues to update her skills with the latest technology. In her keynote she will share best practices for using the newest storytelling tech tool: Adobe Express.
Google Search Hacks | We all “Google it,” but how can we more effectively find quality information faster? Learn a variety of internet search hacks and tools to help you locate relevant research, government information, data and so much more. Take your fact-checking skills to the next level as we discuss how to verify everything from photographs and videos to social media posts and statistics. Get in touch with your inner detective as you learn how to evaluate sources critically and identify misinformation.
How to Become a Radio Host | Ever wondered how radio jocks/DJs come up with content for their talk breaks? Learn how to turn campus news and updates into fun content for the radio station.
How to Craft an Effective Call to Action | We all receive messages urging us to act. “Sign our petition!” “Stand up for the climate!” Some messages are more effective than others. Why? How do you write a call to action that will motivate someone to act? We’ll explore the answers, then you’ll get to try out your newfound knowledge.
Know Your Audience | Whether you’re in Oklahoma City, in Washington DC, or Miami, knowing who your audience is imperative in order to better serve them. Weather, crime, housing costs, immigration, are just some of the topics that cause concern for many Americans. But in some News markets, the importance of these issues can change and fluctuate. Do you know any of these markets? Do you know why serving the community is important in News?
Mobile Reporting Techniques for Beginners | Reporter turned news manager Kalisha Whitman has trained mobile journalists from all over the world. Cell phone technology means anyone can gather video at the scene. She’ll share mobile reporting basics to help make anyone a multiplatform journalist.

Photojournalists: The Global Gators | 
This session will spotlight proud UF graduates who have taken their photographic talents worldwide to share their vision.  We’ll talk about CJC Hall of Fame winners Stephanie Sinclair and the Middle East, Adrian Dennis and his role covering World Cup soccer, and Essdras Suarez’s travel adventures to Cuba, Dublin and Mexico.
Pitch Perfect | How do you pitch the perfect pitch when it’s hard to find stories? This elective will help you find and develop story ideas from source materials like agendas and press releases and also your own observations and perspectives.
Play-by-Play- Preparation, Practice and Presentation | Narrating a live sporting event lasting multiple hours is a tall task. Learn how analysts and commentators perform in the moment and gain tips on how you can elevate your skills now.
Preparing to Cover a Major Sporting Event | Conducted by Dr. Roxane Coche, a former international sports journalist, this workshop focuses on the research and pre-production processes sports media professionals do before covering major sporting events.
Producers: Making TV Magic Happen | What does a newscast producer do? They make magic happen every day on DEADLINE. You’ll see why some believe producing is the best job in the business.  Learn how to do it well and you’ll climb the career ladder fast. Join Denise Vickers for this fast-paced, fun session where you’ll learn the tricks to have up your sleeve for success.
Public Relations: the day-to-day tasks | In movies or on television, public relations is often positioned as a sort of mysterious job where the professional “deals with the press” or improves “corporate reputation” or “manages the brand” but what does that actually mean? This elective will talk about modern career paths in public relations, what it means to have a public relations way of thinking, and what a degree in public relations can help you achieve in your career.
Screenwriting Workshop | In this elective you’ll learn the fundamentals – both formatting and effective story tools – of narrative screenwriting. No matter what genre you’re writing in there’s essential ways to keep your audience/reader engaged and anticipating what will happen next. Discover best practices for character building and story structure, so that you can create engaging stories to the best of your abilities.
So You Want to Start a Podcast | In this elective, you will learn some of the basics of getting your podcast idea off the ground. During class, students will produce an episode of the SMI podcast with just a phone and learn skills they can take back home to do their own podcasts with little to no cost to them.
Social Media and Branding | Learn how organizations can leverage social media to promote their brands and engage with new audiences. Students will learn about social media marketing, analyzing current trends and creating content for brands.
Sports Event Stadium Announcing—Be the Voice! | “Who’s the voice behind “Touchdown Gators!” or “Threeeeeee Pointer, Gators!”.  Every sporting event has a team of operations people that work to make the gameday atmosphere as fun and as engaging as possible.  Learn how it all works and get your time behind the microphone.”
Sports Storytelling That Makes a Community Care | People can grab a sports score or see highlights on demand. Learn how to set your sports reporting apart. We will discuss how to find unique stories and build characters that elevate your content.
The Art of the Interview | Learn how to ask the tough questions. Students will learn how to prepare and approach interviews while using techniques the get the answers. This elective will also include tips on overcoming shyness and being awed by sources.
The HeArt of Storytelling | Great news stories don’t just inform – they CONNECT with the audience.  So, what’s the secret to memorable video storytelling? We’ll discover the answer together by examining and analyzing some of the most compelling news stories.
Visual Storytelling with Data | Data visualization is an important skill for journalists and communication specialists to convey important information to the public. The course will serve as a primer to teach students the basic guidelines for visually representing data in a manner that is accurate, easy to interpret and visually appealing to the audience through storytelling. Students will learn through a hands-on group activity where they are provided key facts/information about a topic, and they are tasked with developing an infographic with their group based on visual design principles. It is important that students have access to a computer where they can access the internet and/or software to design their infographic.
Weathercasting and Green Screen Magic | Students will see how television meteorologists make and present a forecast on air. From crunching numbers to stepping in front of the green screen, learn weather basics. Students will also have a chance to step in front of the green screen.