Communication Studies Student Featured in Nationally Recognized “It’s On Us” Video

Communication Studies major Jeannine Lane is featured in a nationally recognized video created for It’s On Us, a campaign started in 2014 by the Obama administration to end sexual assault.

Lane’s participation in the campaign started in August 2016. A member of the Tri Sigma sorority, she took part in an August 2016 It’s On Us photoshoot featuring many members of the Grand Valley community.

In January 2017, Lane, who is minoring in Advertising and Public Relations, traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in an It’s On Us discussion featuring then-Vice President Joe Biden.

Lane was soon approached to represent Tri Sigma nationally as part of the It’s On Us’ national Greek Leadership Council, officially launched October 24.

The five-minute video was produced by Video and Media Arts major Lauren Holt for Professor Kim Roberts’ Media II course. Holt was assisted by VMA majors Baylie M. Rajter and David Astudillo, and Skylar Healy, a 2017 Advertising and Public Relations graduate.

According to a post by the non-profit group Civic Nation on, the Greek Leadership Council features 95 partners, 550 campuses, and over 440,000 people committed to, they write, “taking a stand, changing the conversation, and agreeing that it all starts with us.”

“If I could be part of an organization that allows me to make a lasting impression on my sisters and on others, that would be perfect for me,” Lane says in the video. “That’s what drew me to Greek life initially.”

For more information, visit It’s On Us’ website.


Recent Advertising and PR Graduate Receives Prestigious Award at Annual Conference

(GVSU APR graduate Jacklyn Ermoyan ’17 received the PRSSA National Gold Key Award on October 10 at the PRSSA National Conference in Boston. This post is cross-posted from enLIGHTen, the blog of the Advertising and PR major at GVSU)


Ermoyan speaks at the WMPRSA Awards after being named PR Student of the Year.

Jaclyn Ermoyan, a 2017 graduate of the GVSU Advertising and Public Relations Program, has earned the PRSSA National Gold Key Award. The award goes to students who excel in their academic study of public relations, have pursued ambitious professional development opportunities and are leaders in their PRSSA Chapter. It is the highest individual honor given by the national organization.

In May, Ermoyan was honored by the West Michigan Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (WMPRSA) as its Student of the Year for 2017. While at Grand Valley, Ermoyan served as the CEO of the award-winning, student-run public relations firm GrandPR, which is a part of the GVSU chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). In this role, she managed a team of more than 25 students and various projects for community clients. As the CEO of GrandPR, Ermoyan participated in the 2016 Public Relations Student Society of America’s National Conference as a panelist and expert in student-run firm processes, organizational structure, retention and success.

Ermoyan also went beyond the APR major to be involved in the GVSU community. She was a co-creator of Humans of Grand Valley in 2013, which shares Laker experiences and aims to encourage a strong sense of community on campus. Ermoyan was also an integral part of planning the TEDxGVSU event in February. She was the 2017 recipient of the Thomas M. Seykora Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Campus Community.

During her time at Grand Valley, Ermoyan gained professional experience working in University Communications, the Career Center and University Development, and participated in the Cook Leadership Academy. She is currently doing a post-graduate internship at Quicken Loans.

Professor and Students Prepare for Journalism Conference in South Africa


The 10th Global Investigative Journalism Conference will have a Laker flair this year: Assistant Professor of Multimedia Journalism Jeff Kelly Lowenstein will be accompanied to the prestigious event with two Multimedia Journalism majors.

Kelly Lowenstein is taking seniors McKenna Peariso and Eric Deyo to the event, which is being held November 16 to 19 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“The Global Investigative Journalism Conference brings together close to one thousand of the world’s top investigative journalists, many of whom do impactful work while operating in dangerous reporting environments,” Lowenstein explained. “It’s a humbling and inspiring experience to meet and learn from them.”

Such a busy and well-attended event requires significant preparation, which Peariso and Deyo are learning firsthand. “We have been trying to establish a loose schedule of what seminars we want to attend each day,” Peariso said. “We are hoping to not overlap too much so we can cover as much ground as possible.”

Peariso and Deyo are meeting with Professor Kelly Lowenstein each Wednesday to learn about attendees and plan their trip.

Exploring the conference’s website, Deyo came across a participant with an intriguing story. “I eventually came across a woman by the name of Giannina Segnini, who has a remarkable reputation—including taking down two presidents through her investigative reporting,” he said. “To my luck, Professor Lowenstein is actually familiar with her, and knows her personally. So he was able to put me in touch with her via email, and I have been in correspondence with her since then. I plan to meet her and talk to her at the conference.”

Peariso’s goal is to aim each day toward specific sessions. “I am focusing more on the topics I would like to cover someday such as investigating LGBTQ issues, covering mafias and mobs, disaster reporting, and environmental crime reporting,” she explained.

The pair are not only planning to take in the conference, but to document the experience from a journalistic perspective, as well. “Eric and I are also looking into how we plan to cover the event, specifically how we are getting equipment to South Africa,” Peariso said.

Deyo recommended that the students stream their experiences via a Facebook Live video feed. “I proposed the idea to Professor Lowenstein that McKenna and I could livestream some of the event, and assign the students in Lowenstein’s classes to watch and possibly interact with us while we are there,” Deyo explained. “He thought that sounded like a great idea, and I believe we are going to do that on the Thursday we are there.”

Deyo is also interested in reporting from the conference for one of the Multimedia Journalism major’s many student media outlets, including Laker News, GVTV, the Lanthorn, and the newest addition to the roster, WGVU’s West Side Stories.

When Kelly Lowenstein asked interested Multimedia Journalism students to apply for the conference, he received a competitive group of applicants, from which he selected Deyo and Peariso.


Assistant Professor Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

“The excellent response we had from CMJ students to this opportunity speaks highly of their hunger to learn from the world’s best investigative journalists,” said Kelly Lowenstein.

Kelly Lowenstein reserved specific thanks to College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Frederick Antczak, interim School of Communications unit head Jonathan Hodge and Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Suzan Mendoza for supporting Multimedia Journalism students’ attendance at the conference, which he noted is the first to ever take place in Africa.

“I’m confident that McKenna and Eric will be fine representatives of our community. My goal is that Grand Valley students present at the next conference in 2019.”

Peariso and Deyo are both excited for the trip, and are balancing their preparation with their regular coursework. They are most eager to share what they learn with their peers.

“At the end of the day we are hoping we can come back with as much information as possible to share with the rest of the department,” Peariso said.

“Words could not begin to express how incredibly excited I am for this once in a lifetime opportunity,” Deyo said. “I’m eager to share my overall experience with everyone when I return.”

The 10th Global Investigative Journalism Conference is convened by the Global Investigative Journalism Network and Wits Journalism.

School of Communications to undergo reorganization

Provost Gayle R. Davis has announced a reorganization of the eight programs within the School of Communications.

Davis said the changes will better meet and support the educational needs of students, faculty and staff; the reorganization will take effect prior to the 2017-18 academic year.

The following changes will take place in August: The Theatre program will become part of what is currently called the Music and Dance Department; Photography, and the Film and Video Production programs will join the Art and Design Department.

The School of Communications will continue to facilitate the Communications Studies, Advertising and Public Relations, Multimedia Journalism and Health Communications programs, in addition to the Master of Communication program.

No units will be closed or created by these changes, nor will curriculum in the majors be affected. Davis said the realignment will better support students, faculty and staff members by offering increased opportunities for visibility, collaboration and innovation as the programs will be housed with others that have operational parallels. She added that the new formulation will also more closely meet the expectations of the university’s accreditation bodies.

Fred Antczak, dean of the College of liberal Arts and Sciences, said that he is enthusiastic about the future of the SoC and other reorganized CLAS departments.


James W. Carey Memorial Lecture 2016 Video

The 6th Annual James W. Carey Memorial Lecture featuring Dr. John Lyne from the University of Pittsburgh took place on Sept. 19, 2016. If you were unable to attend the lecture “Metaphors We Die By: How Patterns of Communication Can Become Deadly,” you can watch it here: