Photo Gallery: Orange Central Recap at the Newhouse School

A look back at the 2023 Orange Central weekend events at the Newhouse School, from alumnus Bob Costas’ discussion Friday with students about storytelling and the Newhouse Diversity Alumni Reception, to a breakfast gathering on Saturday for graduates to catch up with classmates before the Clemson game.

Bob Costas ’74 Visits Newhouse

The Hall of Fame broadcaster shared insights with students during the Leaders in Communications lecture series event Friday inside a packed Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium. (Photos below by Genaro C. Armas)

2 men sit in chairs and talk into microphones
Bob Costas ’74 speaks with John Nicholson, former director of the Newhouse Sports Media Center, at the Leaders in Communications lecture series eventl.
a mean sits in a chair and talks into a microphone
2 men sit in chairs and talk into microphones
a student in a crowd asks a question into a microphone

Costas talks Newhouse before the Clemson game

“What’s happened is, it’s built on itself, it’s become self-fulfilling. It already was a great communications school, both print journalism and broadcasting. But then, as more and more of us of note went here, the legacy built on itself. And it isn’t just that people are getting a quality education‑we’re getting, by and large, the cream of the crop, because those who have some ability and some real passion and inclination for it, are gravitating to this place.”

_Costas when asked about what it means to be part of the Newhouse alumni legacy.

Diversity Alumni Reception

Photos by Arthur Maiorella

a man smiles at people
3 people smile and talk to each other holding plates of food
three people smile and pose with signs in front of a promotional backdrop
a girl smiles and poses with a sign in front of a promotional backdrop
2 men stand together and smile
a woman speaks into a microphone while other people look on
4 people smile and pose in front of a promotional backdrop at a reception

Dean’s Breakfast

Photos by Arthur Maiorella unless otherwise noted.

a man smiles and talks to a family who are sitting and eating at a table
three men talk
people smile while eating breakfast
a sign on a table
two women pose together and smile
two people pose together in front of orange balloons and smile

a woman takes a photo of two men posing with a mascot
two people pose with a mascot

Photos by Genaro C. Armas

Arthur Maiorella is a junior in the visual communications program at the Newhouse School.

Broadcasting Legend Bob Costas ’74 Shares Tips, Stories From Hall of Fame Sportscasting Career

Even Bob Costas ’74 can strike out occasionally in the broadcast booth.

During an appearance Friday at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the decorated sportscaster shared a story from his iconic career about a regrettable mistake that he turned into a teachable moment for the students who packed the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium for the Leaders in Communications lecture series.

a man sits in a chair and speaks into a microphone
Bob Costas speaks at the Newhouse School. (Photo by Genaro C. Armas)

The Chicago Cubs were taking on the St. Louis Cardinals on June 28, 2015, and Cubs pitcher Pedro Strop had an outing to forget, allowing a home run, hitting a batter and walking a batter in a disastrous relief effort. As he walked off the mound, Strop pointed to the sky, a trademark gesture for the reliever. Costas admits he’s not a fan of athletes celebrating when their performance is substandard, and he wanted to poke a little fun at Strop during his MLB Network broadcast.

Problem was, Costas didn’t have as much time as he anticipated going into the commercial break, and he was forced to cut off his remarks quickly.

“Strop is on his way out, pointing toward the heavens. We can only ask — or wonder — that he is asking some departed relative for forgiveness for this atrocious performance,” Costas said at the time, words he would later regret as the moment went viral on Twitter.

Two days later, the remorseful Costas approached Strop in the team’s hotel lobby in St. Louis, delivering a heartfelt apology. Strop knew Costas made a mistake and appreciated the Major League Baseball Hall of Famer speaking to him in person.

“My producer told me Twitter was blowing up over this, and usually if Twitter is blowing up, I’m okay with it,” says Costas, 71, who stays off social media.

“But I wasn’t okay with it. I rewatched the clip and it was even worse than I thought. But if Twitter did not exist. If somehow, I had done this in 1990, I would have done the same thing. … We were bonded by this goofy incident, where I admitted that I stepped in it. That’s the way you handle a screwup. Not a big to-do online, but you look the person in the eyes and admit you screwed up.”

Newhouse Impact: Research and Creative Activity Roundup

A roundup of recent research and creative activity by Newhouse students, faculty and staff, along with accolades and other highlights.

The Newhouse Impact podcast is a collaboration of the Newhouse School and WAER 88.3 to showcase research and creative work. A recent episode focused on “The Cycle Project,” a proposed collaboration that former Newhouse student Olivia Kienzle and other students presented in a class taught by Mel White, a professor of practice in the advertising department.

Below is part of the conversation between Kienzle, White and host Katie Zilcosky. To listen to the show, please visit the Newhouse Impact episode page.

Q: What exactly is “The Cycle Project” and what do you hope it accomplishes? 


“The Cycle Project” was born out of one of the prompts that Professor White gave us where we were to look into a problem and solve it using our advertising medium, something for the public good that also brought an element of new technology into it.  

So, my partner, Yuri, and I were thinking about different things that we were passionate about. Yuri recalled a conversation that had come up in one of the classes she was taking, about how a lot of women who are homeless don’t have access to the hygiene supplies that they need. We thought that was interesting and something one doesn’t think about often. So, we kind of dove into that. And we realized, as we were researching, that it was really difficult for homeless people to clean themselves safely and privately. We wanted to bring awareness to this problem, but also show how maybe we can solve it with some new technology out there. 

Q: Mel, why are projects like this important to you as a professor and to your field? 


A project like this is very important because it’s what one may end up doing in the industry once they get a job. When people think of advertising, they tend to think of your typical ad campaign: a commercial, some outdoor advertising, print ads, or maybe something in the digital space. But actually, advertising has changed a lot in the last 10 years.

Yes, we still do “traditional” campaigns. But a lot of companies have now started trying to move the needle in areas related to their products. As creatives, as art directors and copywriters, it’s our job to solve these problems for our brands. 

For this particular project, Olivia and Yuri chose the brands, Dove and North Face. These are two companies who create outstanding products, ones that people find very useful in their lives. But they also want to give back to their communities, to do something good for the world using their products. 

So, Olivia was able to use Dove liquid soap in the packets, and North Face supplied a poncho that would turn into a tent to give homeless people privacy. And all of this would be donated to the people who need it, those who are homeless and female. 

Q: Olivia, can you talk a little bit more about the products from Dove and North Face?


There were actually two problems that we needed to tackle to help women regain their dignity by being able to care for themselves in this way. One of the issues was access to the products they needed. Dove came in here with their soap; and we were able to find some new tech that allowed us to put this soap into packets that also contained sterile water.  

Then North Face came in to help with the second issue. Though we had provided homeless women a way to clean themselves, they were still not in safe environments. We wondered how we could make something that was accessible. That’s how we got onto the idea of it being something wearable that they’re able to bring with them from place to place. We looked into brands that had a good profile for sustainability and that did things like use recycled materials in their clothing. And that’s how we arrived at North Face. 

The choice of these two brand partners did seem a little unconventional at first. But in the long term, they came together to come up with a solution that enabled us to not create more problems. 

Other recent episodes:

The Future of Media Platforms

Guest: Dan Pacheco, Peter A. Horvitz Endowed Chair in Journalism Innovation

Hexes, Curses and Free Speech

Guest: Roy Gutterman, director of Tully Center for Free Speech

Recent accolades, highlights and notes

Six Ways to Get Involved at Newhouse 

As September comes to a close, first-year students are now adjusting to their first fall semester at the Newhouse School. With classes and schedules set, what now? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in your first year, so here are six fun ways to meet other students, make friends, gain experience in your chosen field and make Newhouse feel like a new home.

1. Become a Newhouse Ambassador 

Newhouse Ambassadors. (Photo by Addie Christopher)

If you love to talk about the Newhouse School, stop by the Visitor’s Center in the third-floor lobby of Newhouse 1 and apply to be a Newhouse Ambassador. In this volunteer role, you’ll give tours to prospective students and their families, speak at information sessions and be at the center of everything going on. You’ll also get cool merch, yummy snacks and random facts about Newhouse history! 

2. Go to events 

Newhouse frequently holds social events, speakers and panels for students, so an easy way to stay involved is to read your emails and check the events calendar! You’ll know when you and your friends can stop by a food truck, work on your resumes in a resume building session, hear a distinguished guest speak in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium and much more.  

3. Join a club or organization

Students produce Loud and Clear, an award-winning music show on Orange Television Network. (Photo by Joohee Na)

Newhouse students can get involved with more than 30 communications organizations. From CitrusTV, Z89 Radio, University Girl magazine and TNH advertising agency to The Daily Orange, Jerk magazine, Hill Communications and Orange Television Network, these clubs are a great way to gain experience for a future internship and career, build your network and make fun memories outside of a classroom.  

4. Get to know your professors 

Newhouse professors have the knowledge and experience us students aspire to have. Ask your professor to coffee and get to know them! It’s a good way to connect with them and get engaged with their class as well as expand your professional network.

5. Take a non-major elective

The Newhouse School has some wonderfully unique communications courses available. For the Spring 2024 semester (registration starts Nov. 8) and beyond, talk to your advisor, check the course catalog and look into taking a class that is not required for your major! This is an awesome way to meet other students, make friends and expand your knowledge to bolster your Newhouse education. 

6. Sit in  

L-R: Students Sam Johnston, Olivia Allison, Mira Berenbaum and Luci Messineo-Witt collaborate at a booth in (Photo by Leigh Vo)

If you’re in Newhouse 3, head up to the second floor and immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of! Sit and study or plan a group project at a booth. You might get asked to be in a photoshoot, give a statement for a story or be featured in a video…and you’ll definitely see friends and classmates.

Analise Piemonte is a sophomore in the broadcast and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.

A Home Run: Newhouse Public Relations Senior Helps Yankees Player Build Brand

Samantha Messina’s work on a public relations campaign for the New York Yankees’ Oswaldo Cabrera was a big hit with the utility player.  

A public relations senior, Messina collaborated with Cabrera on the project during the Spring 2023 semester. It was an unforgettable opportunity for Messina that cemented her goal of a career in sports public relations and management.  

She even got to see Cabrera deliver a PR pitch.  

Samantha Messina

“It was so cool to be at a table where I had an idea,” Messina said about the meeting in June to speak with Cabrera about his brand. “He was kind of pitching us these real posts that he wanted to do and real sponsors that he would consider.” 

It started in the Sport Sponsorship and Promotion course that Messina was taking at the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics with associate teaching professor Dave Meluni. Messina had to build a marketing deck presentation for an athlete, with one of the options being Cabrera.  

The class got connected to Cabrera through Brandon Steiner ’81, a sports marketing expert and president of Falk’s Sport Management Advisory Council. Steiner, the founder of the Steiner Agency, Athlete Direct and CollectibleXchange, has a long-running relationship with the Yankees from his days as founder of Steiner Sports, a sports memorabilia business.  

Messina worked with Tracey Edson, a Falk sport management major, on Cabrera’s deck and brand. Working with a partner from a different school was a good lesson that people’s backgrounds and education make a difference, Messina said.   

“In the same way that when you go out into the real world, the person sitting next to you might not have the same degree as you,” she said.  “That’s all the better because they’ll have their own experiences and their own classes that they’ve taken.” 

“It was so cool to be at a table where I had an idea,” Messina said about the meeting with Cabrera about his brand. From left to right: Samantha Messina, Oswaldo Cabrera, Tracey Edson and Brandon Steiner.

After completing the assignment, Messina and five other students traveled to New York City to meet Cabrera in early June and attend a Yankees game. The scheduled game ended up postponed, but it didn’t ruin the trip. Instead, Meluni arranged for Cabrera to come to their hotel and meet with the students to talk about their projects.  

“That give and take — I’ve never gotten to do that before with someone who I could see on my TV screen,” Messina said. 

Even as a die-hard Red Sox fan, Messina, who grew up in a town about 45 minutes northwest of Boston, dug into her team’s rival and gained a professional awareness of the Yankees’ market.

“The team’s branding, as well as its players’ branding, is different than the Red Sox and in an entirely different city with its own rich history,” Messina said. “When considering sponsors for [Cabrera], it was an important thing to learn.”

Sports weren’t always part of Messina’s plan. During junior year of high school, she was set on pursuing public relations in college, but leaned more toward the entertainment industry as she watched marketing strategies and campaigns unfold for some of her favorite bands.   

After one comment from a professor, her public relations trajectory veered more toward sports. A Massachusetts native, Messina was already a big sports fan.

In her first-year Public Relations Principles and Practice class at Newhouse, Brad Horn, a professor of practice, mentioned his past in sports public relations. Messina was immediately hooked.  

She began learning what goes on behind the scenes in sports, and “every step that I’ve taken after that, picking a minor, taking all the Falk classes, it’s been just a trajectory towards doing something in sports,” she said.  

Messina and other sport management students got the incredible opportunity to create marketing decks and brands for New York Yankees player Oswaldo Cabrera. From left to right: Elizabeth Ellis, Alison Gilmore, Brandon Steiner, Tracey Edson, Cabrera, Samantha Messina, Cecilia “CJ” Westwater, Kate Lawton, Dylan Canell and Dave Meluni.

Besides the project for Cabrera, Messina has also interned with the Syracuse Crunch minor league hockey team, a fashion and beauty corporation in London, a PR agency in Boston and worked as an assistant firm director for student public relations firm Hill Communications. She’s done event management and communication work with the Newhouse Sports Media Center, and is a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America and the Kappa Alpha Theta fraternity.

Messina, now a senior at Newhouse, believes that her interest in public relations comes from the more subjective storytelling that the job requires. 

“That kind of persuasion, the potential to argue and debate and really sink teeth into what makes a story and how that affects people and their thinking was really what got me into PR,” she said.   

Horn, who is also Messina’s faculty advisor, said she is “someone who is pursuing something that is more than just a title …  It’s kind of that truly ‘can-do spirit,’ her ability to see the bigger picture and see things that could be better.”

Brooke Borzymowski is a junior broadcast and digital journalism major at the Newhouse School.

Elizabeth Gardner ’18: Creating Content for the Academy of Country Music

If you tune into the 16th Annual Academy of Country Music (ACM) Honors broadcast Monday night on the FOX television network, Elizabeth Gardner ’18 hopes you’ll appreciate her work. She’s not a performer or presenter, but Gardner played a crucial role in putting the show together—writing the script that will guide host and four-time ACM Award winner Carly Pearce. This is Pearce’s third time hosting the ceremony and Gardner’s third year writing the script.

Elizabeth Gardner

“The first year I wrote it, ACM Honors wasn’t televised so it was just a live in-house event,” says Gardner, ACM’s senior manager of content and editorial. “Last year, it was televised on FOX, and this year it’s returning to FOX. So, it’s really exciting to see my work on national television.” 

Gardner started at ACM as an intern during her senior year in college, while attending Newhouse’s Syracuse University in Los Angeles (SULA) program. The television, radio and film major decided to spend her final semester away from campus so she could immerse herself in the TV/Film industry. She says she’s been inspired through connections with successful alumni and she credits her Newhouse professors, and Bob Boden in particular, with providing real world lessons and inspiring her to get out of her comfort zone.

Editor’s note: Though her role at ACM includes responsibilities for scripting shows like the ACM Honors Ceremony, Gardner is not a member of the striking Writers Guild of America. 

Human Rights Film Festival: Changing the World, One Conversation at a Time

From the rural landscape of Michigan, to the devastated landscape of Bucha in the Ukraine, to the virtual landscape of the African diaspora, filmmakers address social issues and the fight for human rights around the globe at the 21st annual Syracuse University Human Rights Film Festival. The festival, a cherished annual event on the University calendar, has been held over two decades, representing an dynamic interdisciplinary collaboration across schools and colleges. The Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Humanities Center in the College of Arts and Sciences partner to co-present the festival.

“The film festival provides a space for faculty, students, staff and community members not just to view impactful films, but more importantly have a space in which we can share our reactions to them, ask questions of their filmmakers and learn more about the situations, people and events they depict,” says Roger Hallas, associate professor of English and director of the festival. “This is how films can change the world, one conversation at a time.”

Tula Goenka
Tula Goenka

Founded by Tula Goenka, professor and graduate director of television, radio and film in the Newhouse School, the festival has consistently engaged the urgent issues of our time, from climate change to institutional racism to ongoing wars. Two films about the current war in Ukraine, to be presented Saturday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m., were made by filmmakers with Syracuse connections. Shashkov Protyah’s short film “My Favorite Job” offers an intimate look of Ukrainian volunteers rescuing civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol. “I was struck by how powerfully this short film conveyed the courage and resilience of the rescuers,” says Hallas. Protyah is a member of Freefilmers, a film collective from the city, whose members include Oksana Kazmina, who is also a current graduate student in the M.F.A. film program in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

‘My Heritage Defines and Guides Me:’ Students Discuss Importance of Celebrating Latine Heritage Month

What does it mean to be a descendant of Latine, Latinx, Latino, Latina and Hispanic heritage and trace your cultural roots to a Spanish-speaking community in Latin America, Central America, South America or the Caribbean?

It’s nearly impossible to come up with a singular defining trait, characteristic or value that represents the Latine culture, but beginning on Friday, the University community will come together to celebrate Latine Heritage Month (LHM) and learn more about the rich cultural history of the Latine community.

Three current students—Evelina Torres ’25, German Nolivos ’26 and Janeice Lopez G’25—share what their cultural heritage means to them, how they’ve discovered a cultural home on campus and why they wanted to get involved in planning LHM celebrations.

The monthlong celebration begins Friday night with an opening ceremony, an information fair and the “Futurismo Latino” exhibition opening event in the Schine Student Center atrium.

One of the most anticipated programs, the Fiesta Latina, occurs on Oct. 6 and features Latine cuisine and live entertainment from Trio Los Claveles, Raices Dance Troupe and the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations. LHM festivities conclude with the fifth annual LGBTQ+ History Month Potash Collaborative Keynote on Oct. 19.

Learn the stories of how these three students celebrate their cultures, then check out the complete schedule of Latine Heritage Month events and programs.

German Nolivos ’26

When Nolivos was 12 years old, his family left Caracas, Venezuela, and relocated to Miami, Florida. He remains connected to his Latin culture, preferring to speak in Spanish, listen to Latin music and cook dishes from his native Venezuela.

German Nolivos

Nolivos is a Possee Leadership Scholar and first-generation college student studying both political science in the Maxwell School and public relations in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. When he graduates, Nolivos plans to establish a public relations firm.

Nolivos serves as the vice president of community and government affairs in Student Association—the student governing and advocacy body at Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry—and is also a student senator in University Senate and president of Las Naranjas Spanish Club.

What role does your cultural heritage play in your life? “My heritage is a defining aspect of who I am—it’s ingrained in me. My first language is Spanish. I think, react initially and communicate with my closest friends and family in Spanish. Being in a place like Miami, where Latin culture and heritage are prevalent, has certainly been a significant factor. However, in Syracuse I’ve learned how to build a sense of community, finding people who understand my heritage, who make me happy and help me feel at home.”

Hometown Hero – Levi “L.J.” Guerra

United States Marine Corps Sgt. Levi J. “L.J.” Guerra was born on Feb. 25, 1997, in Moses Lake, Washington. She graduated from Warden High School in the Class of 2015 and from Big Bend Community College, Washington, Class of 2016.

Sgt. Levi J. “L.J.” Guerra

Sgt. Guerra reported for boot camp on Dec. 11, 2017, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina. After boot camp, she reported to the School of Infantry East for Marine Combat Training (MCT) at Camp Geiger, North Carolina. Upon the completion of MCT, Sgt Guerra received orders to her Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) School and reported to Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.

On Aug. 28, 2018, Sgt. Guerra graduated from the Defense Information School (DINFOS) and earned her Military Occupational Skill (MOS) as a Combat Mass Communicator and would later become a Combat Videographer. She reported for duty to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 3, San Diego, California. In September 2018, she was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal.

Sgt. Guerra is a student in the military visual journalism program at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Meet Biko Skalla ’18, Voice of the World-Famous Savannah Bananas

Baseball is America’s pastime, a game rich in history and time-honored traditions, where change is slow to be embraced and slower still to be adopted.

Then, there are the Savannah Bananas, a minor league baseball team that has changed the way baseball is played.

Yes, the fundamentals of the game remain the same. But the Bananas—who are bringing their unique brand of baseball to Syracuse’s NBT Stadium Thursday evening as part of their sold-out Banana Ball World Tour—incorporate a fan-friendly style that has ushered in a new generation of fans, something that was sorely lacking in Major League Baseball (MLB).

Biko Skalla

Enticements include a breakdancing first-base coach, a dance team consisting solely of grandmothers (the Banana Nanas), choreographed walk-up performances for every batter and a commitment to providing fans with nonstop entertainment from the moment they enter the ballpark.

And the voice of the Bananas, Biko Skalla ’18, is an up-and-coming broadcaster who, like the players he covers, isn’t afraid to break traditional norms. Skalla shows excitement and passion that is reflected whenever he calls a huge moment for the team. He lets his goofy personality show through to the audience with an over-the-top call. He’s even conducted postgame interviews in the shower or in an ice bath following a big win.

With a personality that perfectly aligns with the zany on-field antics of the team he covers, Skalla has found a home in Savannah as the Bananas’ ultimate hype man while honing a craft he hopes can carry him to the big leagues.

Biko Skalla ’18 is an alumnus of the broadcast and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.