Santa Clara University


Communication News & Events

Back to Blog

Student Spotlight May 2013

Sunday, May. 5, 2013

During spring break 2013, Michael Whalen took 40 students to Los Angeles to meet with more than 20 SCU alumni working in the film industry, including Academy Award-winning editor Art Schmidt; Emmy winning writer-producer Michelle Ashford; Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes; and NBC vice president Stacey Melle. A group of students also received front row tickets to tapings of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Students from two of Sally Lehrman’s courses — Science News and Introduction to Journalism — published their work online. Alexandra Johnston, Ellen Wilfley and Ellen Eustaquio contributed to Patch. Their three articles ran on ten Patch sites. Stephanie Yanaga and Emily Robinson both had stories published on

Buford Barr’s Public Relations Capstone course is making disposal of drugs a social issue to increase awareness of the issue and to bring pressure on authorities to provide easily accessible means to dispose of a rapidly expanding amount of unused and unneeded drugs. Students are also developing plans to garner support for Senate Bill 727 Solid Waste: Drug Abuse Prevention and Safe Disposal Program sponsored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson in Sacramento. Capstone students are learning how the business communication world works, how the political world works all while honing their communication skills and helping build a social issue that is critical to our future.

Lisa Davis joined Lowell Bergman, producer of PBS’s Frontline and professor of journalism at UC Berkeley, and Lance Williams of the Center for Investigative Reporting to discuss the future of investigative journalism in a panel that was part of San Francisco State University’s Journalism Department’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Katharine Heintz taught a senior thesis section in winter quarter 2013 examining mobile apps for social change. Students worked in teams to investigate a social issue, understand the theory behind the current social situation and how to mobilize groups to change, and then designed a mobile app to promote a behavior change that could result in social good. Two of the teams presented their papers at the Bay Area Undergraduate Communication Research Conference held at SCU on April 20, 2013.

Students in Jonathan Fung’s Independent Filmmaking Practicum (COMM 191) produced the short film Happy Endings.

Lotta Kratz is teaching a new course in spring quarter 2013 entitled Visual Cultural Communication (COMM 162B). Students use photography to explore questions about how to represent diverse cultures and identities. Students advance their digital photography skills while reflecting on the ethics of representing others and themselves, informed by readings on cultural and visual communication theory. In their final projects, students create and share images from local communities in online exhibits.

Jonathan Fung and students in the Montage Film Club filmed Bethlehem, a live nativity in Santa Clara fora a 15-year anniversary DVD.

Students in Chuck Byers’ Organizational Communication (COMM 150B) course are working on the Solar Decathlon website and house tour script as part of their class project. Their work will also be submitted as part of the Santa Clara University sustainability initiative.