Class of 2020 Commencement events to be held Sept. 17-19

Syracuse University will host a Commencement ceremony—delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic—and other celebratory events for the Class of 2020 during the weekend of Sept. 17–19.  

Commencement will be held Sept. 19 at 10 a.m. at the Stadium. This University-wide ceremony, where Syracuse University Chancellor and President Kent Syverud will formally confer degrees, is for all undergraduate, graduate and doctoral candidates. Doors open at 8 a.m.

Following Commencement, all 2020 Newhouse graduates and their families are invited to join Dean Mark J. Lodato and the faculty and staff for a celebratory reception. The event will include a dean’s welcome, recognition of participating graduates and an opportunity to reconnect with faculty. A precise time and location will be announced soon; stay tuned for details.

For more information about Commencement activities for the Class of 2020, see the event listing.

From Quad to Commission: Kristen Northrop Reflects on Raising 2 US Army Officers at Syracuse University

This story was originally posted by Syracuse University News on Dec. 1, 2023

While her sons were training to become officers in the military, Kristen Northrop had a rare vantage point to observe their development from her office at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Two of Kristen’s three sons, William Northrop ’19 and John Northrop ’22, contracted through the U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps, a career path that Kristen says neither she nor her husband anticipated early on. It wasn’t until high school that it became apparent their middle son might follow in the footsteps of his grandfathers and enter military service.

8 people, 3 in military uniforms, stand together and smile for the camera
The Northrop family, from left to right: William, Gabby (William’s wife), Dana, John, Kristen and EJ with grandparents Janet and Ed Heinrich

“Both my father and my husband’s father served. My father was in the Air Force; my father-in-law was a Marine. Both were Cold War vets,” says Northrop, assistant director of the Office of Research and Creative Activity at the Newhouse School. “Both our families grew up with an admiration and respect for the military that was obviously passed down to our boys.”

The Northrop brothers came to Syracuse University after growing up in nearby Camillus. Kristen had taken a job at the University to take advantage of the dependent tuition benefits offered to employees. Kristen’s husband, Dana, had graduated from the University in 1986 and worked in the Central New York region.

All three of their sons attended the University, but each pursued widely different degrees. Kristen’s oldest son, E.J., graduated from in 2018 and now teaches at the nearby Public Service Leadership Academy at Fowler High School with the Syracuse City School District.

two military personnel participate in a training exercise in the woods
Brothers William (left) and John Northrop participate in a field training exercise with the Stalwart Battalion.

William, her middle son, graduated from the College of Engineering and Computer Science with a degree in civil engineering. John, the youngest of the brothers, graduated with a degree in sociology from the College of Arts and Sciences. Both William and John also contracted with the Stalwart Battalion and are now serving in the U.S. Army as commissioned officers.

“Early in Will’s time in high school, he went to a lacrosse camp at West Point Military Academy. He’s always liked a very structured environment and has a ‘Type A’ personality,” Kristen says. “Later, he went to Boys State and really liked that regiment; the routine and detail of it all but not the politics.”

While the boys attended games and other events on campus while growing up, Syracuse wasn’t an automatic choice for them. During his junior year of high school, William toured the campus and spoke with Eric Schaertl, the recruiting operations officer for Stalwart Battalion. After seeing the resources and opportunities available to students, he solidified his choice for which direction he would go in life.

Newhouse IDEA Office Recognizes This Year’s AAPI History Makers

Newhouse School’s T. Makana Chock, Genaro C. Armas and David C. Oh honored

The Newhouse School’s Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Office is proud to announce this year’s Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) History Makers honorees, celebrating AAPI faculty, staff and alumni who have made exceptional contributions to their respective fields.

The Newhouse School’s T. Makana Chock, Genaro C. Armas and David C. Oh were recognized during a May 23 celebration.  

T. Makana Chock

Professor, Communications
Director, Extended Reality Lab

Makana Chock

Dr. Chock joined Newhouse nearly two decades ago in 2005, where she has worked in the fields of media psychology, augmented reality and health risk. As a scholar with an extraordinary record of accomplishment, she has been named the David J. Levidow Endowed Professor, and she is the director of the Extended Reality Lab. Through Dr. Chock’s work in the lab, the Newhouse School is recognized as a leading site for work on augmented reality and media psychology. Indeed, Dr. Chock recently received a grant for nearly $600,000 to develop a project on “Media Literacy in the Metaverse.” With her prominence in the field, she has become a sought-after speaker, delivering talks in Germany, South Korea, China, the Netherlands and, of course, the United States. Despite her prominence and scholarly commitments, she is a generous mentor, advising numerous doctoral dissertations and master’s theses. She is also a dedicated member of the Newhouse community, making a lasting imprint with her service to the school. Finally, as a scholar with native Hawaiian heritage, her embodied experience informs her scholarly work on D.E.I.A.; the courses she teaches, including Race, Gender, and Media and Diversity & Virtual Reality; and her service. Awarding Dr. Chock the inaugural award recognizes the important contributions of Pacific Islander Americans in AAPI communities, including the community at Newhouse and the university.

Genaro C. Armas

Director, Office of Communications

Genaro Armas headshot

Genaro is a ’94 graduate of Newhouse and a ’95 graduate of Maxwell. After graduation, he was hired by The Associated Press where he enjoyed a 20+ year career covering everything from politics to sports, including the Little League World Series and college and professional sports. He worked in marketing and communications at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and later served as public relations manager before returning to his alma mater. At UWM, he worked on various projects including enrollment marketing efforts; educational initiatives that promoted inclusivity, diversity, equity and accessibility; and a university research podcast.

David C. Oh

Associate Professor, Communications

David Oh

Dr. Oh earned a Ph.D. in mass communications in 2007 and an M.A. in broadcast journalism in 2000 from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School; a B.A. in psychology in 1996 from Baylor University; and a certificate of completion in Korean Language from Yonsei University in 2002. Oh’s research focuses on Asian American representations in popular and digital culture; Asian American identities and media; othering in Korean media culture; and transnational and diasporic reception of Korea popular culture. He is the author of “Navigating White news: Asian American Journalists at Work” (2023); “Whitewashing the movies: White subjectivity and Asian erasure in US film culture” (2022); and “Second-generation Korean Americans and transnational media: Diasporic identifications” (2015). He’s also the author of nearly 40 refereed journal articles, an edited book and 10 book chapters. He currently teaches classes in media and diversity and cultural theory at Newhouse.

Teaching Creative Advertising Students to Excel

When Mel White was recruited by the Newhouse School to teach the advertising creative track, she had a goal: to provide students with the education, guidance and mentorship she wished she had received in college.

White’s enthusiasm for her students has been unwavering since she began her teaching career at Newhouse in 2015 as a professor of practice for the creative advertising program. In her time at Newhouse, she has grown the program into a national powerhouse, acknowledged by the most prestigious advertising industry award shows and competitions.

Mel White headshot
Mel White, Professor of Practice

After eight years under White’s leadership, Newhouse creative advertising students have gone from winning zero to over 1,000 awards at competitions like Cannes Future Lions, Clios, One Show Young Ones, D&AD New Blood, New York Festivals, Communication Arts, Addys, Graphis New Talent, Ads of the World and more. The awards reflect positively on the quality of White’s teachings.

White’s dedication to teaching her students is one of the reasons why she was one out of two professors in the entire university who were awarded the Syracuse University 2023 Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Teaching Recognition Award for Continuing Excellence.

“No Newhouse professor has had such a dramatic impact on our students and our reputation as a school as Professor White,” said Edward Russell, chair of the advertising department. “In her short time here she transformed our creative advertising major into the nation’s leading undergraduate program.”

Before starting her career at the Newhouse School, White had 25 years of professional creative experience at leading global ad agencies such as Ogilvy, Y&R, Grey, Publicis, DMB&B and Digitas.

Innovative techniques

Throughout her experience in the industry, White intuitively developed her own process on how to create ideas for compelling ad campaigns.

“There were times when I was in college where other students and I would come up with ideas for campaigns, and my professors either loved them or hated them, and we couldn’t figure out why,” White said. “The professors didn’t teach a process on how to concept. So when I became a professor, I was determined to demystify the concepting process and teach it to the students.”

Today, she teaches the creative advertising students a process of ideation to spur unexpected ideas to create compelling ad campaigns. As a result of this process, students avoid creative block and create innovative campaigns that are recognized and awarded by the ad industry.

“My students do not say ‘where do I start,’” White said. “They have a defined process to follow that continues to exercise their creative muscles while in school. And one they can repeat in the industry with much success.”

In addition to her teachings, White created an awards program for the school’s creative advertising track. Understanding the lack of awareness among students regarding such opportunities and the submission processes, she created a 100-page guide for 22 competitions on how they can enter their work.

While searching for prestigious competitions, White prioritized those that were free to enter, ensuring accessibility for students. The Newhouse advertising department receives funding to enter some of the ad campaigns into the more expensive award shows, which means great work will still be entered, regardless of a student’s ability to pay.

“I want to get as many students participating so they can get that opportunity to win in these award shows,” White said.

“Students earning awards for their ad campaigns elevate their appeal to creative recruiters and creative directors when looking at their portfolios for internships and jobs,” White said. “Now, it’s not just your teachers, peers or family praising your work; it’s the validation of the advertising industry. When industry creatives win awards, it propels their careers forward. Similarly, student award wins in school can help launch them into the industry.”

Two people take a selfie in front of a sign that says #CannesLions
White (right) and student Emily Alek at the Cannes Lions Festival following her prestigious win of the Cannes Future Lions Award, an honor only given to five student campaigns globally.

White also started the first annual Newhouse Portfolio Review, a virtual event that brings over 50 creative recruiters and creative directors from around 30 top ad agencies to review student portfolios.

The event usually results in many students receiving internships and job offers. For example, Sam Luo ‘21 received a job offer as a junior art director from Wieden+Kennedy, one of the top ad agencies in the world, after meeting a creative recruiter at the portfolio review.

According to Luo, his success in the creative advertising industry comes from White’s dedication and guidance.

“I really cannot express enough how lucky I am that Professor White opened my eyes to the wonders of creative advertising,” Luo said. “Her classes were not easy . . . she [encouraged] us to create ideas that we didn’t even know existed in our heads. I cannot express enough how grateful I am.”

Encouraging representation

White is adamant about her desire for diversity in leadership amongst the creative advertising industry. As someone who faced gender inequality in this field, she’s determined to ensure ad agencies notice the work of underrepresented students, leading them to full-time positions that hopefully advance into leadership positions.

“My goal is to get anybody who is underrepresented in the industry to be able to create incredibly bold work,” White said. “I want to help them grow strong creatively, win awards in the industry as a student, and get noticed by top ad agencies.”

For White, it’s not all about challenging students to just think creatively, but to also implement relevant cultural and sociopolitical issues and topics like racism, LGBTQ+ rights, climate change and more. Students’ innovative ideas were not made only for the purpose of being creative; rather, they were stimulating and thought-provoking, she said. White’s teachings demonstrate to students how to fully grasp complex issues and go beyond their limited perspectives to play a socially responsible role in the world.

Jaden Wilson is a graduate student in the magazine, news, and digital journalism program at the Newhouse school.

This is the third in a series of three stories about Newhouse faculty honored by Syracuse University in 2023 for teaching excellence.

What’s it Like to Speak to Your Entire Graduating Class?

The Newhouse School’s 2024 Convocation speakers reflect on the excitement and responsibility of the moment.

Jared Dowling ’24

Public Relations

When I received the message announcing that I had been chosen to give the undergraduate student address for the Newhouse Convocation, I nearly dropped my phone out of sheer excitement. Graduation speeches are normal, but the Class of 2024 is so unique in the fact that many of us never experienced a high school graduation because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just four years ago I was senior class president, forced to give my graduation speech to an empty football stadium for a virtual ceremony, so the opportunity to unite my peers with a celebratory message was not something I took for granted. 

a person in a graduation gown stands outside and smiles
Jared Dowling

As I researched and viewed previous convocation speakers’ speeches, I knew that I wanted to leave my classmates with a relatable and motivational message that would empower them as they reflected on their journey through Newhouse and Syracuse University.  This central idea is how I eventually developed “The Power of a Melting Pot” – to illustrate how the Syracuse University community allowed each and every one of us to embrace all of the parts of our personal identities and how maintaining that community as we enter our adult lives is paramount to future success. 

On the actual day of graduation, I was filled with nervous anticipation as all of the soon-to-be graduates made their way toward the JMA Wireless Dome. I meticulously double and triple-checked all of the parts of my regalia to make sure that everything would be perfect while sitting on stage. But as Dean Lodato introduced me to speak, all of my nerves went away as I looked through the crowd and saw so many familiar faces – friends I’d shared countless memories with, faculty members who’ve provided priceless guidance and even my family sitting front-row cheering me on.

three people in graduation gowns stand and smile
L-R: Dowling stands with fellow Newhouse graduates Nicole Aponte and Annie Levin (Photo Genaro C. Armas)

The most surprising thing to come from my speech, however, was the number of people who genuinely loved it and resonated with the personal messages I shared. Over the next couple of days on campus, there was an outpouring of love and appreciation as people not only congratulated me on a job well done but took time to be vulnerable themselves and shared how my message had caused them to truly reflect on the people and place Newhouse and Syracuse had become in their lives. 

As a proud graduate of the Newhouse School, I will be working as a senior communications specialist at ADP (Automatic Data Processing) in Roseland, New Jersey, on their public relations and marketing team to forward their mission of amplifying the ADP brand. I look forward to leveraging all of the experiences gained during my time at Newhouse to be a fearless communicator in the workforce!

Gloria Rivera G’24

Goldring Arts Journalism and Communications

When I first received an email asking if I’d like to be considered to speak at the Newhouse convocation, I was flooded with so much angst and excitement. I often forget to push myself to be bold and do things that bring me out of my comfort zone. However, I saw this as an opportunity to share my story and talk a bit about my journey to Newhouse.  

a person in a graduation cap and gown holds their diploma
Gloria Rivera

I fully believe that as people, we’re not singular. I’m not just a first-generation Latina student, I am not just a New Yorker, I am a complex blend of the generations before me. Their hard work, challenges and dedication has paved the way for me to land where I am today. 

I was honored to stand in front of my peers and share that story. We have been reminded multiple times that the state of journalism today is challenging and complex. We are reminded that entering this world is an immense feat. And yet, I have watched my peers approach these challenges with such grit. Which is why I have no doubt that we’ll be more than okay. However, I wanted to be sure to include a reminder that while we’re entering this world, we have a duty to think about more than just us. We have a duty to grow, rehabilitate these relationships and be better for the generations to come. 

a person in a graduation cap and gown speaks at a podium
Gloria Rivera gives the graduate student address. (Syracuse University photo/Angela Ryan)

“As journalists and communicators, our stories are told – and our integrity is all we have. Not everything we do will change the world, but we have to make sure we’re enacting the change that we want to see in the world. Who we are today is what determines the future generation’s tomorrow, whether we get to see it or not.  

As you enter a world still riddled with inaccuracies, hypocrisy and a lack of representation, remember that you get to choose to be better. You get to determine your legacy and how you tell the stories that deserve to be told.” 

I’m still immensely humbled by this opportunity and hope that my story is an ounce of insight into how large the realm of possibilities really is. Congratulations to the Class of 2024, it’s an honor to join this industry with you all as my peers. 

2024 Newhouse Student Awards Roundup

It’s student award season! Here are the Newhouse students who have been recognized so far this spring semester for their outstanding work. Check back for updates.

Hearst

The final round of the Hearst Journalism Awards monthly competitions netted three Top 20 finishes for Newhouse students in the Investigative Writing and Team Multimedia contests. 

Society of News Design

Newhouse students and campus media outlets took home 11 awards including three top prizes in this year’s Society for News Design’s Student Design Contest.

Best-Designed Student Magazine

Best-Designed Student News Website

Special Section Design

Standalone Multimedia

Digital Storytelling Design

Magazine Cover Design

Art & Illustration Design

2024 SND Student Design Contest 

Syracuse Press Club Awards

Newhouse School students and members of the WAER staff were recognized with 20 honors including eight First Place awards in this year’s Syracuse Press Club Awards.

Newhouse Students and Staff Shine at 2024 Syracuse Press Club Awards

Society of Professional Journalists

Newhouse students had a great showing at the Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) Mark of Excellence Awards with 10 winners and 17 finalists. The winners will advance to compete against other SPJ regional winners for the national Mark of Excellence Awards announced this summer.

Newhouse Students Win 10 SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards

Syracuse University Scholars

Nicole Aponte and Yasmin Nayrouz were among the 12 seniors named as 2024 Syracuse University Scholars, the highest undergraduate honor the University bestows. 

2024 Syracuse University Scholars Announced

Hearst

Newhouse School senior Chilekasi Adele took top prize this spring in the Television News competition at the prestigious Hearst Journalism Awards. Adele was among several Newhouse students honored by the Hearst Journalism Awards as the competition announced winners over the past few months.

Newhouse Student Wins First Place at Prestigious Hearst Journalism Awards 

White House Correspondent Association Scholarship

Magazine, news and digital journalism sophomore Danielle Blyn is one of 30 students from 16 colleges and universities around the country to be selected for the White House Correspondent Association Scholarship.

2024 Scholarship Winners Announced

Berlin Indie Film Festival

Alexandra Siambekos ’23 won the Best First Time Director, Documentary award in the Berlin Indie Film Festival’s monthly competition. She won for her documentary film “The Keepers of Manari,” which served as Siambekos’s honors thesis while she was a television, radio and film student at Newhouse. 

Newhouse Students Honored in Berlin Indie Film Festival, White House Eyes of History Contest

The White House News Photographers Association

Four Newhouse students earned accolades in this year’s Eyes of History contest—sponsored by The White House News Photographers Association—including three wins for broadcast and digital journalism (BDJ) senior Nicole Aponte and a First Place honor for BDJ senior John Perik. 

Newhouse Students Honored in Berlin Indie Film Festival, White House Eyes of History Contest

Broadcast Education Association

Newhouse School students and their projects had a phenomenal showing at the 2024 Broadcast Education Association (BEA) Festival of Media Arts with 25 awards, including a Best of Festival honor for the The NewsHouse‘s “Infodemic” reporting project and five First Place wins. 

Newhouse Students Win 25 Awards at BEA Festival of Media Arts

Graphic Design USA

Seven Newhouse School students each won an American Graphic Design Award for their design projects at the 60th annual Graphic Design USA (GDUSA) showcase. It was a remarkable showing in a competition with over 8,000 entries.

Newhouse Students Win 7 GDUSA American Graphic Design Awards

Graphis

Newhouse graphic design majors and multimedia, photography and design graduate students won 22 awards across several categories in this year’s design competition.

Silver

Stamps
Alex Ryberg Gonzalez 
Nicole Beaudet 
Samantha Swiss 
Hailey Lawless 

Type Design
Darren Cordoviz 
Quinn Carletta 

Honorable Mentions

Poster
Ally Manziano 
Elliot Rosenberg-Rappin 
Charlotte Little 

Illustration
Ally Manziano 

Product Design
Olivia Doe

Stamps
Charlotte Little 
Ally Manziano 
Amelia Flinchbaugh 
Lior Edrich 
Elizabeth Vogt 

Type Design
Ita Kim 
Ethan Rujak 
Dean Lourenco 
Cayla Israel 
Zhengrong Chai 
Jonathan Wideman 

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

Newhouse students and faculty earned five Gold honors and swept the video/film and advertising categories in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) 2023-2024 VIMFest Contest. The work will be featured at the AEJMC national conference in Philadelphia in August.

Large School (10,000+ )​ Schoolwide/Multi-class Media Project, Gold – Infodemic by The Infodemic Staff
Student – Video/Film, Gold – Murphy McFarlane​, “Full Circle

Student – Advertising, Gold – Brooke Hirsch​ and Charlotte Shea, “Digital Blackout”

Student – Interactive and Motion Design, Gold – Emily Baird, “Metanoia
Faculty – Advertising, Gold – Milton Santiago and Jason Lozada, “Infodemic Launch Spot

This post was originally published on April 29, 2024.


Newhouse Faculty, Doctoral Students to Participate in 2024 ICA Conference

Several Newhouse School faculty members and doctoral students will participate in the 74th annual International Communication Association conference on June 20-24, in Gold Coast, Australia. Their involvement includes paper presentations, panel appearances and more.

Note: For times and locations of presentations, please visit the conference website.

Friday, June 21

Uncanny Valley: The Paradoxical Effects of Anthropomorphism on Social Presence & Patronage Intention in the Context of e-Commerce Chatbot

Heejae Lee

University Branding & Emotional Shifts Affecting Message Responses: A Psychophysiological Experiment on University COVID-19 Vaccine & Mask Policies

Jocelyn McKinnon-Crowley

The Role of Media Literacy & Identities in Youth Civic Engagement & Media Activism

Srivi Ramasubramanian and Shannon Burth

Perceived Relationships with a Female World Leader: A Public Diplomacy & Nation Branding Experiment of News Framing

Martina Santia

Unintended Effects of Health & Risk Communication: Uncovering Message Strategies Against Message Fatigue

Youngji Seo

Probing the Asymmetry: Examining the Relationship Between News-Finds-Me Perceptions & Affective Polarization

Lars Willnat

Exploring the Comparative Effects of VR & AR on Learning Outcome: The Role of Plausibility Illusion, Cognitive Load, & Learner Personality

Heejae Lee

Emotional & Cognitive Effort in VR: Quantifying Empathy Evoking Effectiveness of Immersive Storytelling in DEIA-Themed Narratives

Kandice Green, David Peters and Makana Chock

The Right to Attribution in News: Truth & Transparency in AI & Journalism

Jason Davis, Gina Luttrell, Carrie Welch and Nalae Hong

Saturday, June 22

Effects of Message-based Affirmation on Responses to Environmental Risk Messages about Fast Fashion

Faren Karimkhan

When Crises Happen in News Deserts: Rural Social Media Commenters Adhering to Journalistic Norms

Jocelyn McKinnon-Crowley

How Do We Engage People with Low Motivation in Supporting Social Causes: Harnessing the Power of Influencers in Effective CSR Communication

Jeongwon Yang

Do ASMR Videos Have a Therapeutic Effect on Stressed Individuals: Examining the Neural Synchrony across Stressed Individuals Watching ASMR Videos

Yoon Lee

Delivering Change: The Diffusion of Doula Care in Black American Communities

Bryce Whitwam (recipient of Top Student Paper Award)

Inspiring Change or Protecting Status Quo: A Critical Look at Corporate Social Advocacy in Sports

Maria Grover

Exploring Audience Responses to Outdated Cultural Depiction Labels on Older Entertainment Media: A Mixed-Methodological Study

Nick Bowman, Yoon Lee, Srivi Ramasubramanian and Shannon Burth

The Roles of Media Platforms, Political Orientation, & Climate Change Belief in Pro-Environmental Behaviors: Cross-Cutting vs Like-Minded Exposure in the US & South Korea

Heejae Lee

Sunday, June 23

Negotiating Identities & Political (Dis)Engagement: An Exploration of Women’s Political Experiences during Brazil’s Presidential Election

Raiana de Carvalho

Data Justice & Trauma-informed Approaches to Health Equity

Srivi Ramasubramanian

Geopolitical Frictions & Science Journalism: A View from the Hierarchy of Influences Model

Xi Liu

Translation & Validation of the Video Game Demand Scale to Spanish

Heejae Lee and Nick Bowman

Exploring the Confidential Safe Zones: DV Shelters’ Communication Strategies towards Asian-American Women

Amanda Ni

Monday, June 24

Deep Description, Systematic Representative Design, & AI, AI, AI: Advancing Communication Science

Charisse Corsbie-Massay

Framing the Yanomami People during COVID-19: A Content Analysis of US Media Coverage of the Indigenous Health Emergency in Brazil

Raiana de Carvalho, Martina Santia and Srivi Ramasubramanian

Immersion or Identity Tourism: A Cautionary Note on our Emotionally Connected Future

Nick Bowman

The Power of Curiosity Fuels Award-Winning News Anchor Mary Calvi ’90

Mary Calvi’s early path to become an award-winning news reporter and anchor is a familiar one: Calvi ’90 fell in love with journalism at a young age, cultivated an intense curiosity and became determined to cover the news.

headshot of person smiling
Mary Calvi

But it was that curiosity—combined with the confidence acquired through her broadcast journalism classes in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a big break provided by Sandy Montag ’85, president of The Montag Group—that helped Calvi realize her childhood dreams while remaining appreciative of the powerful impact of the alumni network.

“I feel indebted to Syracuse University and the incredible alumni connections and the powerful reach of this network of alumni. We’re all so open to connecting and sharing our advice and feedback with each other, and there’s a tremendous camaraderie among the alumni,” says Calvi, a 14-time New York Emmy-winning anchor on WCBS-TV in New York and anchor of “Inside Edition Weekend.”

Choosing Local News Over Cartoons

While her childhood friends were watching cartoons, Calvi vividly remembers being enthralled with the local newscasts. There was something powerful, captivating and mesmerizing about how the on-air reporters delivered the news to Calvi, who grew up in Yonkers, New York.

When she was in the ninth grade, Calvi first got her hands on a microphone and camera and started writing and producing her own newscasts for a small local community television station in her hometown.

“I was doing really local news, talking about the upcoming festival or what was happening in and around town that weekend, but I loved it,” Calvi says. “It was the power of curiosity. I was always curious about what was happening, but also what was the reason behind what was happening.”

a reporter speaks into a microphone while being filmed
Mary Calvi (right) reporting from the scene of a news story for WCBS-TV in New York.

While anyone who watches Calvi deliver the news today can’t help but see her as a natural, it wasn’t until she arrived at Syracuse University to study broadcast journalism that Calvi discovered the confidence she would need to launch her on-air career.

“There was no better journalism school in the country, and there was no other place I wanted to go. But just because I knew this was what I wanted to do from an early age, didn’t mean I actually thought I could do this. It really took me having the real support and encouragement from my Newhouse professors that allowed me to become confident that I could go out and do this for a living,” Calvi says.

Newhouse Impact: New Study Analyzes How Audiences Perceive News Beat Coverage; 2024 Newhouse Summit to Cover Immersive Storytelling

The latest Newhouse Impact research roundup also covers more about healthcare communications campaigns and loneliness.

A new study in the journal “Journalism,” investigates differences in news beat coverage between female and male journalists and their potential effects on audiences. The study’s authors are Newhouse School postdoctoral scholar Martina Santia; professor of communications and John Ben Snow Endowed Research Chair Lars Willnat; and doctoral candidate Stan Jastrzebski.

Read the study

2024 Newhouse Impact Summit

This year’s Newhouse Impact summit will be held Aug. 1-2 at the Newhouse School. Titled “Advances and Opportunities in Immersive Storytelling Technologies,” the event will feature speakers from around the world presenting their innovative and provocative creative and scholarly work on the past, present and future of storytelling through extended reality technologies.

Newhouse Impact Podcast

A recent episode of the Newhouse Impact podcast covered research on loneliness and how health care professionals and those who create public information campaigns about wellness seek to learn more about stress impacts different groups. 

Amy Barone, a student in the master’s of public relations program spoke with host Chris Bolt about her research on how loneliness impacts specific demographic groups and what can be done to address it. Barone, who also teaches in the writing studies, rhetoric and composition department in the College of Arts and Sciences, worked with Hua Jiang, associate dean of academic affairs at the Newhouse School and a professor of public relations.  

Excerpts from the interview are below. Listen to the full show by visiting the WAER episode page.  

What led you to research loneliness and the effects of the pandemic and politics upon it? 

Barone 

That’s a great question. I had spent the past four-five years in the classroom, creating writing courses focused on mental health. And students were writing about these topics. We were having conversations about and exploring scientific, peer-reviewed research on them. The students were just really eager to talk about what was transpiring in their personal lives and how that spilled over into their experiences in college. 

I also have a little bit of a background in mental health. Through that, I have learned that people are not necessarily aware of their loneliness, but feel lonely, nonetheless. So, I wanted to use this research opportunity to further explore the implications of that and determine how it connects to the field of healthcare communications. 

We know that people are feeling more isolated due to the pandemic and the current divisiveness of the political climate. But what exactly were you looking for in terms of a more scientific or research-supported view of that? 

Barone 

We started by doing a tremendous amount of secondary research. From those statistics, we learned that one in five adults live with mental illness, and that people are experiencing loneliness in epidemic proportions. In fact, it was the Surgeon General of the United States, Vivek Murthy, who [brought] to the public the idea that loneliness is currently an epidemic of sorts. This concept also came up in clinical studies in the [United Kingdom] to the degree that their government specifically appointed a minister to deal with it.  

This is a serious mental health issue, and a physical one as well. But is it also something that might be ameliorated through effective healthcare communication? 

Hua, you were sort of the guide for the students going into this research course. What did you think they could learn about loneliness that was scientifically-supported as opposed to anecdotal? 

Jiang 

In this course, we really encourage students to do both secondary and primary research, and to connect what was done in the past with what is happening now. We first got a lot of data from past studies, and then used that as the foundation of our primary research. This primary research consisted of surveys, social listening with focus groups and interviews. We wanted to get information directly from people. We also checked to see whether our findings coincided with those of the secondary research. 

Our ultimate goal was to generate information for medical practitioners, pharmaceutical companies, and others from the health field. To provide them with insights that would be useful in developing communication campaigns to target specific stakeholder groups in the real world.  

Also listen to: Can laughing at jokes and satire actually help bridge racial gaps and misunderstanding?


Recent accolades, highlights and notes

Michael O. Snyder talked about his best photograph, which is part of a long-term project, “The Queens of Queen City.”

Michael O. Snyder’s photographs were featured in a National Geographic press release and feature story about the ancient city of Petra and climate change.

The Code^Shift Symposium highlighted the complexities of the portrayal of immigrant communities in media.

Dennis Kinsey wrote about his keynote speech and research at the Annual Conference of the International Society for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity in Belfast last semester.

Newhouse School faculty members and doctoral students will participate in the 74th annual International Communication Association conference in Australia on June 20-24.

Harriet Brown has been chosen as a 2024-2025 Fulbright U.S. Scholar. 

An IDJC report tracked the influence of social media ads on presidential primaries.

Roy Gutterman was a panelist at the SPJ Region 1 conference, the Albany Government Law Review symposium and the Education Writers Association panel “College Campus Free Speech Challenges Amid Israel-Hamas War.”

Roy Gutterman wrote about the how the spectacle of O.J. trial is one reason we won’t get to see Trump’s.

Bella Tabak is Fashionably Flying Through Newhouse

In her seemingly rare moments of spare time as a Newhouse School student and co-editor of University Girl magazine, Bella Tabak can be found being launched through the air during athletic events at the JMA Wireless Dome as a member of the Syracuse University Cheer Team. 

a person poses in a cheerleading uniform
Tabak

Tabak was so busy one day this past semester that she even showed up at Newhouse in her cheer gear before sprinting to the Dome to assume her lofty role as Cheer Team flyer. She was determined not to miss class.  

“I try and balance it, but sometimes I have to [prioritize] one over the other,” said Tabak, who will be a junior in the fall. “But if I could be in two places at once, I definitely would be.” 

Like many of her many Newhouse classmates, Tabak balances academics, extracurriculars and personal interests in filling her schedule. Those three areas intersect with her work at University Girl, fulfilling a passion for writing and desire to bring sustainable fashion practices to the forefront. 

A magazine, news and digital journalism (MND) major, Tabak began her journey with University Girl the summer before starting college at Syracuse. When trying out for the Syracuse Cheer Team in her senior year of high school, the eastern Connecticut native heard from a friend on the team who also worked at University Girl. She recommended Tabak for the staff, too.  

cheerleaders pose in a formation on an athletic field
Tabak (middle, top row) cheers on the Orange as a member of the Syracuse University Cheer Team.

“I ended up following [University Girl] and they posted something about how they were taking summer interns. I said, ‘Well, I’m not on campus yet, but I’ll just see. The worst that they could say was no,’” Tabak explained. “Then I ended up interning for them over the summer.” 

Less than two years later, she’s the co-editor-in-chief alongside MND senior Ellie Batten, who graduated this May. They make editorial decisions and provide direction to writers, editors, designers and photographers.  

Tabak’s favorite part of the job is writing and giving feedback to other writers.  

“Being able to make sure that my vision for my own piece is achieved – because I’m the one running the show – is very, very nice,” she said. “So much goes into [the magazine] and to be able to help guide all of the other, amazing talented women into creating something like the print magazine is super exciting.”  

Tabak was undeclared in the College of Arts and Sciences for her first year. Though she always loved writing in middle school and high school, she said she “never thought that it would be a profitable career for me, so I never really looked into it until I got to college.”  

a person in a black dress stands holding a magazine
Tabak at the launch party for the spring 2024 edition of University Girl magazine.

After spending her first year at Syracuse writing for University Girl, Tabak decided to pursue a career in fashion and pop culture journalism.  

“That’s when I was like, ‘I need to switch to Newhouse,’” she said, transferring into the school before the start of sophomore year in fall 2023.  

Within Newhouse, Tabak also joined the Fashion and Beauty Communications Milestone, a partnership between Newhouse and the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA). The program gives her priority access to Newhouse and VPA classes about the fashion and beauty industry. 

Using those resources, Tabak hopes to pursue a career in sustainable fashion journalism. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she researched fast fashion, which is cheap, trendy clothing that’s mass produced and quickly shipped to retail stores, leaving massive amounts of waste and pollution in its wake. 

“I found out about how horrible it is for the environment… so I started researching how I can stay away from this. I got super into thrifting,” she said.  

a person poses for a headshot
“Being able to make sure that my vision for my own piece is achieved – because I’m the one running the show – is very, very nice,” Tabak said.

Tabak took a course last semester about sustainable fashion. She said the course gave her the opportunity to combine her new knowledge of sustainable fashion with her passion for journalism. In the spring 2024 print edition of University Girl, which dropped May 3, Tabak wrote an article all about sustainability in fashion and reducing overconsumption, called “A Beginner’s Guide to Slow Fashion.”  

With the magazine finally out, Tabak jumps right into running the University Girl summer internship, which two years ago opened the magazine’s door for her. But she’s also reflecting on the work she’s done.

“Since the semester is over and I’ve looked back on all the stuff that I’ve accomplished with University Girl just this semester, I do feel really proud of myself because it takes so much.” 

Samantha Rodino is a sophomore in the television, radio and film program at the Newhouse School.

Byron Allen to Receive Dressler Leadership Award at 2024 Mirror Awards

MLK50: Justice Through Journalism to be honored with Lorraine Branham IDEA Award at the June 13 event in New York City, while CNN anchor and national correspondent Erica Hill will serve as master of ceremonies.

Byron Allen, the founder, chairman and CEO of Allen Media Group, will receive the Fred Dressler Leadership Award at the 2024 Mirror Awards on June 13 in New York City.

Allen

Headquartered in Los Angeles,  Allen Media Group  owns 27 ABC-NBC-CBS-FOX network affiliate broadcast television stations in 21 U.S. markets and 12 24-hour HD television networks serving nearly 300 million subscribers. Allen Media Group is the first African American-owned multi-platform media company producing and distributing wide-release motion pictures and content for all platforms.

The Dressler Award is given to individuals or organizations that have made distinct and consistent contributions to the public’s understanding of the media. Past recipients include: Judy Woodruff, senior correspondent at PBS; Jorge Ramos, anchor with Univision Noticias; Sheila Nevins, executive producer and former president of HBO Documentary Films and Family for Home Box Office; legendary journalist Tom Brokaw of NBC; and Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times.

MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, an award-winning nonprofit digital newsroom in Memphis, Tennessee, focused on the intersection of poverty, power and policy, will be honored with the Lorraine Branham IDEA Award. Accepting the award will be founding editor and publisher Wendi C. Thomas.

Established in 2021 in honor of late Newhouse Dean Emerita Lorraine Branham, the IDEA Award recognizes a media organization that has worked to promote inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility over the previous year. Specifically, the award acknowledges the hiring and development of leadership talent who create change, both to the organizations they oversee and the content they produce. The inaugural Lorraine Branham IDEA Award went to Brown Girls Doc Mafia. Previous recipients also include The 19th News and Amplifier.

Master of Ceremonies

Hill

CNN anchor and national correspondent Erica Hill will serve as master of ceremonies for the evening. An award-winning journalist and veteran of morning TV news , Hill most recently anchored HLN’s “On the Story with Erica Hill,” a daily, New York-based daytime news program. 

During her CNN tenure, Hill co-hosted six CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall specials for families about COVID-19, one of which earned the network’s first-ever Daytime Emmy Award nomination. Hill was also part of an NBC News team that won a Peabody Award in 2013. Two years later, the Alliance for Women in Media honored her with the Gracie Award for Outstanding Correspondent.

About the Mirror Awards

The Dressler and IDEA awards are the featured non-juried prizes at the annual Mirror Awards event. The ceremony will be held again this year at the Edison Ballroom in midtown Manhattan.

Established by the Newhouse School in 2006, the Mirror Awards honor the reporters, editors and teams of writers who hold a mirror to their own industry for the public’s benefit.

The competition is open to anyone who conducts reporting, commentary or criticism of the media industries in a format intended for a mass audience. Eligible work includes print, broadcast and online editorial content focusing on the development or distribution of news and entertainment. Winners are chosen by a group of journalists and journalism educators.

This post has been updated to add that Hill will serve as master of ceremonies. It was originally published April 16, 2024.