;~.:~- *"' .; ~r.l`'HIC"'': I~?'*`Ci~1`-
Delivering on our
As I begin my tenure as dean, there is so much I'd like
to share with you. First, I thank you for the many
warm, congratulatory notes from across
our COLLEGE community. I hope to continuously
hear from you. I'm also eager to tell you about the wrigl
COLLEGE's numerous activities and accomplish-
ments, some of which are featured in this issue of BY DEAN
the communicator. Of course, I could never cover
them all, so I'm using this column to brief you about our major
new strategic initiative, "delivering on our digital promise."
The digital revolution is among the most significant,
encompassing and fascinating occurrences since the Industrial
Revolution. The rapid pace of change is of critical relevance
to the COLLEGE'S mission and the impact is ubiquitous. Digital
media not only have transformed mass communications; they've
changed the way people interact. And as technologies become
faster, smaller, more affordable and easier for consumers to use,
digital media will play an even greater role in society.
The COLLEGE is poised to become the global leader in digital-
media education and research. We have exceptionally talented
faculty members who are among the elite in educating future
professionals. They generate significant research and creative
projects on mass communication and related interdisciplinary
The COLLEGE curriculum is comprehensive, offering high-
level professional education in advertising, journalism, public
relations and telecommunication. Our students are bright and
engaging. Our widely respected doctoral program contributes
significantly to the COLLEGE'S intellectual creativity and pro-
ductivity. We are global in thinking and action. We have an
incredible network of support from alumni and professionals
around the world. And we are part of a world-class institution,
the University of Florida, with its great diversity of programs
in liberal arts, business, technology, engineering, science and
health, including a prestigious medical school on campus. This
environment helps facilitate our interdisciplinary productivity
related to digital technology.
Some faculty members are national and international lead-
ers in digital-media education. They've traveled extensively
to lecture and conduct workshops on online journalism, cross-
platform methods of delivery, mobile media and advanced Web
applications. David Carlson has lectured on digital-media across
the United States and has enlightened journalists and educators
at conferences and symposia in Austria, Colombia, Costa Rica,
England, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland
and Tunisia. He has made five trips to Russia to provide digital-
media training and has taught at the African Center for the
Improvement of Journalists in Tunisia, Moscow State University,
the University of Ljubliana in Slovenia, the
University of the Far East in Vladivostok, and
stuff several times at the Poynter Institute and the
American Press Institute (API). He's creating
OHN WRIGHT digital media training modules for the Society of
Lauren Hertel has conducted multiplatform and multimedia
newsroom-training sessions for Poynter and API, and has trav-
eled for the State Department and Radio Free Europe as far as
Prague, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina to lecture and pro-
vide training in online journalism, law and ethics in a new media
world, citizen journalism and other topics.
Mindy McAdams has lectured on multimedia journal-
ism to the Knight Science Journalism Fellows at Nl I. college
journalism educators at Poynter, the Pennsylvania Newspaper
Association, the Virginia Press Association, the Florida Society
of Newspaper Editors and the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute
in Nashville. She also has conducted on-site, hands-on multime-
dia journalism training for the Nieman Journalism Fellows at
Harvard, The Montreal Gazette newsroom, The Miami Herald
newsroom and the Online News Association in Toronto. The U.S.
State Department has asked her to conduct training missions for
journalists in Vietnam this summer.
Other faculty members teach and conduct research in
a broad range of topics related to digital communications.
Chang-Hoan Cho has conducted extensive research on Internet
advertising and online shopping attitudes and behaviors. Jorge
Villegas has studied consumers' ambivalence to and avoidance
of Internet advertising. Johanna Cleary has investigated the
CONTINUED ON PAGE 42
2 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
4 Public relations Prof. Linda
Hon is the COLLEGE'S new
3 executive associate dean
6 Ad Web site aids students
6 COLLEGE gives first humanitarian award
7 Ad agency chairman initiates integrated marketing education
7 PBS producer visits Documentary Institute
8 A different kind of Swiss bank
9 Senior wins two national championships
13 Photojournalism professor participates in first Pulitzer Prize workshop in China
17 COLLEGE holds freedom of information summit
29 Wright from the start
New dean makes digital media,
fundraising two of his top priorities
34 Taking flight
New executive associate dean
helps boost COLLEGE morale
36 Unmasking Gonzo
tome due out in July
40 Aruba author
Bob Morris goes island hopping,
literarily and literally
43 Wrangling with Weimer woes
toughact to follow
21 On The Record:
Alumni of Distinction
ON THE COVER: John Wright, a faculty member since 1982,
recently became the COLLEGE'S fifth dean. PHOTO BY JASON HENRY
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 3
Before I began working with the communigator
journalism was just a bunch of facts and deadlines.
But the editor made me realize that 1 can actually have
fun in this field. The experience made me appreciate
writing and editing, and helped me to love what I do.
I am grateful for the opportunity I had to polish my writing
and editing skills, and I have no doubt that this experience
will follow me into my career as a journalist.
I knew I wanted to be a journalist when I was 10
years old. I would get on my computer, type up
newsletters about my pets, and pass them out to
friends and family. Working for the communiga-
tor allowed me to once again relish in that pride,
only this time I got to share the experience with
an entire staff. The communigator re-inspired my
determination to succeed in the magazine world.
SPRING 10083 NUMBER 83
Dean John Wright
i Craig Lee
To say that working on the communigator simply
helped me through a semester would be only to
sing half of the song. What Editor Boaz Dvir,
JM 1988, showed me through the magazine was
an invaluable experience I will be able to take
to any staff I work with. At the communigator,
I found a strong confidence in my writing voice
and interviewing skills.
ERICA L. WEIFFENBACH
This past summer, I nurtured my curiosity.
People told me their stories. I grew creatively
and developed my own voice under the guidance
of a sharp, encouraging editor. And I got to do all
of this in the company of past and present Gators
who share my passion. How lucky am I?
Laurie K. Blandford
Kir Lance Walton
Erica L. Welffenbach
Raaia L. Williams
21 2 Weimer Hall
Gainesville. FL 32611-8400
This magazine is published by the COLLmnB
OF JOURNAUSI AND CO nMUUCAnONS twice
a year to provide formation to alumni,
UP community:and friends. It's supported
by gifts to the UF Foundation, designated
4 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
In the middle of taping a 1958 student
TV show,"Pathways of Faith:' in the bowels
of Florida Field, a guest suddenly pulled
a dagger on interviewer Jack Kaplan,
The guest, a Hindu Sikh, made the
threatening gesture when Kaplan asked him
about religious symbolism.
"At that moment, I was sure the show,
myTV career, and maybe my life, were all
over," Kaplan said."He said,'Yes! Symbolism
is very important. For example, we always
carry one of these!' And he pulled out a
small but lethal-looking dagger! He then
patiently explained the meaning of the
Kaplan along with Leslie E. Clemens,
JM 1959, and Roger Gilmore, JM 1959 -
created the show 50 years ago as a project
for the journalism fraternity Sigma Delta Chi.
"We felt like pioneers:' Clemens said.
Inspired by the late Prof. Buddy Davis,
JM 1948, MAMC 1952, a faculty adviser
to SDC, the students wrote and produced
the weekly, one-hour show.They interviewed
theology professors, clergy and lay people
from various faiths including Hinduism,
Judaism, Catholicism and Protestantism.They
aimed to rile up, even anger their guests.
Clemens went on to teach journalism
at Radford University and host a radio
program while Kaplan became a Hollywood
writer and producer.
"I learned at that time that it's better to
be behind the camera on television:' Kaplan
said."l'd much rather write and produce
these things than be in them."
Smells like kid spi
A few years ago, Russell Pi
1995, of Michigan had an idea fi
hard game that resembles a tv
3r a new
In the middle of this
inr iew for the 1958
mailed scratch-and-sniff cards to entice
customers to certain restaurants. He
couldn't keep Carli away from the cards.
Partnering with Dale Harris, a resource-
planning analyst atThe Ohio State University
Pinto created Unknown Games to produce
and market PU.
Initial market testing and responses
led to many years, thousands of dollars and
five different graphic artists to arrive at a
PU. is available in 50 retail stores and
with online marketers such as Amazon,
Target and Wal-mart.They company donated
400 games to autistic children.
"We are trying to get into the mass
market," says Pinto, who works full time on
the marketing and publicizing of the game.
"My daughter said she gets 50 percent
of everything I make because I used her
-KIRI LANICE WALTON, RANIA L.WILLIAM
/IA*NW# _I--V W
the-finish game like Candy Land.
The only difference: instead of walking
through Candy Cane Forest, RU. players
maneuver through Odorville's carnival of
scents and odors, sniffing out good, bad and
The good smells range from roses to
cotton candy and the bad from garlic to dog
Pinto first got the idea from his 7-year-
old daughter when he brought home
samples from his marketing agency, which
New with the old
Kathryn Reed, a journalism and adver-
tising adjunct instructor, recently spent five
months photographing Northeast China's
change going on
here, both with
the opening of
and also with
for the 2008 Beijing Olympics": she said.
Using a 1954 Agfa Super Isolette, Reed
shot black-and-white film,"perhaps as a
s reaction to so much digital design and
photography work I've done:' she said.
Reed aimed to capture some of China's
juxtapositions of old and new.
Reed spent her entire stay in the north
of China, mostly in Shenyang, a city of 7
million. She went there with her husband,
Boaz Sharon, a UF piano professor, and
their two children, Ethan and Abigail, who
attended an international school.
After receiving her B.A. degree in
international relations at Brown University
in 1986, Reed did commercial photography
in Boston, and then worked at the Maine
Photographic Workshops for two years.
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 5
Ad Web site
BY HUNTER STANFORD
Advertising students now have an
additional, more discreet way to
receive career advice.
The COLLEGE'S Advertising Advisory
Council, a group of professionals who visit
campus twice a year to receive and give
feedback to students and faculty, has set
up the Gator Advertising Board, a Web site
"It's good to have a network of
contacts," said advertising junior Vilma
Jarvinen. "This site provides that
The site accommodates students who
might have missed the most recent council
visit, said Philip Schwartz, president of
Schwartz Communications in Orlando, who
helped start the council in 1979.
Volunteer council members run the site.
Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn Atlanta,
where Rob Cherof, ADV 1982, serves as
executive vice president and chief market-
ing officer, designed it. Boca Raton-based
Worldata, where Jay Schwedelson, ADV
1998, serves as corporate vice president,
"Articles of interest, interview tips, r6su-
m6 tips and sample r6sum6s are all up on the
Web site," said Schwartz, who received his
bachelor's in marketing and MBA from UF.
"We want to help students get internships
and jobs that they will be prepared for."
The site also features FAQ and a section
that allows students to contact individual
council members directly.
With more than 20 professionals on call,
the Web site offers help from many insiders,
such as Schwartz, Cherof, Schwedelson and
Fletcher Martin President and CEO Andy
Fletcher, ADV 1979, who created the
Gator Nation ad campaign.
Listed under Helpful Resources are
College gives first humanitarian award
It all started with $465 and a single
The late Cuban exile Tere
Zubizarreta founded Zubi, a Miami-
based advertising agency, in the 1960s
after working as a stay-at-home mom and
a secretary. She started her company with
one small real estate client and a great
deal of ambition.
Today, Zubi has offices in Miami, Dallas,
Detroit and Los Angeles and boasts a client
roster that includes American Airlines, Ford,
Olive Garden and Winn-Dixie.The agency is
known as a leader in Hispanic advertising.
The COLLEGE'S Department of
Advertising recently selected Zubizarreta
as the first recipient of its new Zubi Award,
designed to honor humanitarians in the
fields of advertising, marketing and com-
munications. She died shortly after, at the
age of 69.
"Here is a woman who created one
of the largest agencies in the country,
something that can't go unnoticed in our
business', said advertising chair John
Sutherland."Tere struggled to show that
a woman, and a minority woman at that,
could do it on her own, all the while giv-
ing back to her community."
The award celebrates those who have
opened the door to such professions for
others, said Sutherland, who created it.
"She's been a hero to the Hispanic
community"' said her son, Joe
Zubizarreta, ADY 1982, the agency's
chief operating officer and a former
student of Sutherland's.
The Zubizarreta family recently
pledged $30,000 to create the Tere
Zubizarreta Graduate Student Fund.
As an active member of the United
Way and co-founder of FACE (Facts About
Cuban Exiles), Zubizarreta earned
a reputation as a humanitarian.
Due to Zubizarreta's rapidly
declining health at the time of the award's
presentation,Joe accepted it on his moth-
er's behalf. Sutherland presented him with
a large glass vase etched with the words,
"To Tere Zubizarreta in recognition of all
the doors you opened for others:'
The COLLEGE will give the award on a
case-by-case basis, Sutherland said.
6 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
-different career pos-
sibilities, each with
a snippet describing
what the job entails.
The site aims
to make students
more aware of the
council and its ben-
efits, said John
of the Department of
"We're trying to
build long-term rela-
tionships with the students," Sutherland
said. "The council offers an alternative
voice, offered in a different perspective, and
has contacts to introduce the students to."
Although targeted at the COLLEGE'S
advertising students, the site is not pass-
word protected, and any student wish-
ing to take advantage of it is welcome,
said Schwartz, a visiting professor in the
COLLEGE in 2004.
In the future, the site will offer more
articles, more tips and more features to
help students know "where things are
going and what's new," Schwartz said.
"The direction will be guided by the types
of questions we get from students and
various other comments."
PBS series producer advises
BY AUFEYA GLOVER
Y ance Ford, series producer for the PBS program PO. V,
visited the COLLEGE's Documentary Institute for two days
during the fall semester and worked with the second-year
graduate students on their thesis projects.
The students pitched their thesis topics and showed footage to
Ford, who critiqued them and offered suggestions.
"She has such constructive insight, and her instincts are spot
on," said Chris Brannan, a second-year graduate student. "She
brought us focus and clarity."
Dave Randag, a second-year graduate student working with
Brannan on the short documentary "Standard Deviation," about
eco-terrorist Billy Cottrell, described the time spent with Ford as
"She genuinely wants you to do well," Randag said. "You can
In the editing suites in Weimer Hall's basement, Ford met with
two other graduate-student teams to review their films.
"It's a privilege to have her individual attention," said Laureen
Ricks, a second-year institute student.
About to start its 21st season June 24, P.O.V is the nation's
longest-running TV showcase for independent non-fiction films
and documentaries. A coordinator for the program's annual call for
entries, Ford receives more than 100 film submissions a year and
travels to film festivals and college classrooms around the country.
"It's important to burst the bubble that surrounds theatrical
release," Ford said. "If the goal is to get an audience, you have to
consider television broadcast."
Ford showed two PO. V films, "Omar and Pete" by Tod Lending
and "The Self Made Man" by Susan Stem, as examples of films that
could air on television. She discussed the films' strong points, such
as Stem's captivating narration.
"It's a wonderful treat to be able to come and talk casually about
film," Ford said, "which is what I love."
The institute aims to bring in two to four filmmakers a year
to meet with students, said Cindy Hill, associate director of the
institute. Past visiting filmmakers included Lending and three-time
Academy Award winner Mark Harris. Hilla Medalia, whose debut
documentary "To Die In Jerusalem" recently premiered on HBO,
visits in November.
"It's been a tremendous learning opportunity to have Ford here,"
Hill said, "to give an inside perspective on what it takes to get your
film on the air."
Ad agency chairman initiates integrated marketing education
When Peter C. Barr Sr., ADV 1957,
co-founder and chairman of Orlando's
largest advertising agency, got his first $1
million account, he suggested to his client
to add $1,000 a month for public relations.
"They wouldn't buy it," said Barr, an
alumnus of distinction of the COLLEGE and
Today, Fry Hammond
Barr incorporates public
relations into nearly every
effort. It's not alone; most
advertising agencies offer
their clients integrated
To make sure the
COLLEGE'S advertising and
public relations students
realize this trend to the
fullest extent and develop
the necessary skill set, Barr BARR
recently pledged $500,000 to bring in
speakers who specialize in integrated mar-
"It will be an enlightening process,"
Dean John Wright said. "Students
will become even more highly skilled
and aware of the various professional
The Peter C. Barr
is eligible for a state match of
$250,000. Barr has given the
initial $100,000 and plans to
give the same amount annually
for the next four years.
"Today, in my business,
the effort to brand a product
or to brand a service or to
promote the sale of a prod-
uct requires the full force of
communications:' Barr said."You can't
say,'It's just public relations or adver-
tising. Most successful efforts take all
of the forces and put them behind the
The COLLEGE must continue adjusting
to a fast-changing world, Barr said."It's
what's being demanded in the profession
Barr, who served as chair of Orlando's
Downtown Development Board and
president of the Chamber
of Commerce, recently stepped down
from his daily role as CEO in the agency,
passing the baton to Peter Barr Jr.
Bringing together students from
the advertising and public relations
departments is a familiar concept at the
COLLEGE,Wright noted."We work across
department boundaries in all endeavors?'
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 7
A different kind of Swiss bank
alumna secures global
BY BOAz DVIR
Regret deepened Amy Balderson's
grief when she lost her grand-
mother in 1988.
She wished she had videotaped Mae
Ellen Balderson telling her life story.
She missed hearing her Granny recount
growing up in a small Midwest town
before the Depression and paying her
way through the University of Wisconsin
by playing piano for one silver dollar a
"I've had no further access to her
wisdom," said Balderson, ADV 1986, a
Wisconsin native who lives in Geneva.
That's when she came up with the idea
for Legacy Memory Bank, a non-profit
enterprise that captures the life stories of
leaders in various fields around the globe
and secures the high-definition tapes in two
"atomic-proof, climate-controlled locations
in Switzerland," not to mention online
Legacy, which Balderson founded in
2006, has conducted interviews with such
leaders and trailblazers as Nobel Laureate
Norman Ernest Borlaug, who helped devel-
op high-yield grains; National Baseball
Hall of Fame member Monte Irvin, and
former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss, the
first woman and Jew to hold that office.
"Legacy's mission is urgent because
every day that passes by, I see obits on
people who helped shape our world, and
I have this sense of loss," said Balderson,
who runs the nonprofit organization as
managing director. "I wish I could've sat
down and interviewed them."
With an operating annual budget of
$870,000, Legacy relies on donations and
grants from individuals and institutions.
It licenses content to documentary film
producers and organizations such as the
International Committee of the Red Cross.
The World YWCA recently commis-
sioned Legacy to conduct interviews of its
current and past world leaders. Balderson
has asked her father, Terry, who lives in
Homosassa, to conduct some of the inter-
views in the United States and receives
support from a team of Swiss and French
entrepreneurs and a technical engineer in
In her paying job, Balderson works with
Swiss-based Tessera, consulting for such
clients as Lego, Shell and Verizon.
She arrived in Geneva in 1992 via
Tokyo, where she spent a couple of years
"When I landed in Switzerland," she
recalled, "I had reverse culture shock."
She had moved to Japan in 1989, three
years after graduating from the COLLEGE.
"It was my first time overseas," she said.
"I really wanted international experience."
This experience has transformed into a
life. Balderson has made Geneva her perma-
nent home. In 1995, she married Swiss mar-
keting consultant Bernard Junod. They have
two sons, Alexander, 9, and Benjamin, 6.
"They knew they were Gators before I
even took them to Gainesville," she said.
Although a Swiss citizen, Balderson
considers herself fully American.
"Geneva is an international city. There
are a lot of Americans here," she said.
"There are a lot of people from all over the
world. It's not dissimilar to UF."
8 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
BY LAURA NOVETZKE
John W. Cox was a philosophy major,
then almost a math major, then a psy-
chology major. It was the COLLEGE'S
dreaded Reporting class that led him to
finally settle on a major.
While most students struggle in Reporting,
Cox breezed by and, in the process, discov-
ered his writing talent.
Today, the journalism senior is sure he's
where he's supposed to be. He's brought
home two national titles: first place in the
William Randolph Hearst Foundation's
Journalism Awards Program and an intramu-
ral flag-football national championship.
After placing in the Top 20 twice in
2006-2007, Cox won first place in the Hearst
competition for in-depth writing for "Student
Death Still Unsolved." The article, pub-
lished last year in The Independent Florida
Alligator, reconstructs the case surrounding
the murder of UF student Sudheer Reddy
Satti, who was stabbed more than 30 times
on campus in 2004.
"He made a complex story very acces-
sible," said Hearst judge Stephen Buckley,
managing editor of the St. Petersburg Times.
"He wrote it like a murder mystery. I didn't
want to stop reading."
Buckley gave Cox's story the top mark.
Because the case remains open, Cox was
unable to speak to most of the major players.
Instead, he talked to friends of those involved
and reporters who had covered the murder,
and spent countless hours in the courthouse
poring over documents.
"I became so familiar with the details,"
he said. "Then it really just wrote itself."
Cox spent four months documenting
nearly every aspect of the case. With the help
of Associate Prof. Ted Spiker, he edited the
copy down from 5,500 words to about 3,000.
Spiker has been an adviser and friend
of Cox's for the past two years. They get
together often to discuss stories and sports.
"John really cares about the craft of
reporting," Spiker said. "He wants to dig. He
wants to find out stuff. He wants to pursue
the really in-depth stories."
Master Lecturer Mike Foley, JM 1970,
MAMC 2004, head of the COLLEGE'S Hearst
committee, submitted the story.
The award-winning article had its origins
a year earlier. Before a summer internship
at The Miami Herald, Cox wrote an article
about a young man with bi-polar disorder that
he hoped to publish in the Herald and enter in
the 2006-2007 Hearst competition.
Because the Herald was unable to run
Cox's story in time to enter Hearst, Cox
struck a deal with Alejandra Cancino, JM
2007, an editor at the Alligator at the time:
The student paper would publish his story
and in exchange, Cox would write the Satti
Cancino knew the story had great poten-
tial but had no time to write it, she said.
"At first, I thought she was just trying to
sell me on it," Cox said. "But I quickly found
out what a great story it really was."
For "Student Death Still Unsolved,"
The William J. Randolph Hearst Foundation
awarded a $2,000 scholarship to Cox and an
equal grant for the COLLEGE.
In June, Cox will compete in San
Francisco for another national title the 2008
Hearst National Writing Championship "on
the spot" assignments.
"John's competitiveness just sets him
apart," said Sandra Storr, program assistant
at the COLLEGE'S Office of Student Services
and Cox's adviser. "He never takes no for an
He brings his competitiveness to every-
thing he does. In the fall, Cox, who is captain
and quarterback, led his intramural flag-foot-
ball team, Gator Escort Service, to victory at
the American Collegiate Intramural Sports
Tournament. They beat the University of
Central Florida, 20-18, for the national cham-
pionship. He was named an All-American.
The team, co-founded and named by
Cox, had an outstanding season, with 33 wins
and two losses.
The tournament took the players to the
University of New Orleans, where there
hadn't been a tournament since Hurricane
Katrina. It established such a buzz that FOX
College Sports network came out to film a
documentary on the event.
"There were cameras in our huddles and
everything," Cox said. "You have to make
sure you don't curse or anything, because
you're on national television."
Cox was the mastermind of the team,
coming up with most of the plays and strate-
gies, said team co-founder and good friend
Gary Palsis, a graduate dentistry student.
"We're definitely going to be in trouble
without him next year," Palsis said.
Cox, recently named College Journalist
of the Year in the Sunshine State, plans to
graduate May 4 and hopes to return to the
"I'd be fine anywhere," he said, "with a
1960s typewriter and some paper."
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 9
'Always adding something'
Wen mother-of-seven Natalie
Nichols Gillespie, TEL 1988,
needed to edit the bulk of a
300-plus-page book in one night, she ven-
tured to the Oak Hill Hospital cafeteria in
"It was cold in there, and it kept me
awake all night," she said. "I thought, 'I'm
going to write my next book here.'"
Gillespie has written more than 1,000
freelance articles for more
than a dozen publica- ggi
tions, including Christian Ju gg
Parenting Today, CCM, and HomeLife, in
the past 10 years. She's authored eight pub-
lished books, works as an editor for a half-
dozen publishers and sings in the church
choir. She also home schools three of her
children and is a member of an organization
for home-schooling parents in Hernando
County. And she and her husband of almost
12 years, Adam, are considering taking on
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Gillespie brought Jessica, 16, and
Joshua, 13, from a previous marriage. Adam
brought Lorra, 25, Leigha, 20, and Lydia,
18. They had Justin, 10, in 1998.
Almost seven years passed before
Gillespie brought up adopting. She had
been assigned adoption stories for various
magazines, kept running into families who
had adopted, and saw it as a sign from
"I told Adam 1 wanted to adopt a little
girl," she recalled, "and he said, 'You've
been thinking about that, too?' "
They adopted Amberlie Joy FuShuang,
now 2, from Chongqing, China, in 2006.
Gillespie wrote about the experience in her
2006 handbook Successful
Adoption: A Guide for
Igact Christian Families. In it,
she highlights some of the
challenges associated with adopting, such
as financial strains and strenuous paper-
work, and the joy that Amberlie brought to
While authoring books, Gillespie served
as managing editor of mtl, a women's life-
style magazine published from 2005 to
2007, and kept up with freelance writing
and editing books.
She never planned to work in print, but
after graduation, the "rude awakening" she
received at her first job at WTVA in Tupelo,
Miss., made her quickly change direction.
She quit without another job prospect and
freelanced for the St. Petersburg Times. At
times, the transition was about as smooth
as a blind date. For her first deadline, she
CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
10 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
Margaret Francois, junior in journalism
JOU 3101: ReDortina
Brechner Eminent Scholar Bill Chamberlin retires June 30 after a 43-year career.
heads into the sunset
In his 43-year career as a journal-
ist, media law scholar and mentor,
Joseph L. Brechner Eminent Scholar
in Mass Communications Bill Chamberlin
has mentored 71 master's and Ph.D. stu-
dents; written or contributed to 78 pub-
lications, including one of
the leading undergraduate
textbooks in media law;
taught 23 courses, some up
to 13 times; helped estab-
lish the National Freedom
of Information Coalition, and served as the
COLLEGE'S graduate media law coordinator.
Chamberlin is finally resting this sum-
mer. He's retiring June 30.
The first search to replace him, which
took place during the spring semester,
yielded no results. The COLLEGE plans to
restart it in the fall.
Chamberlin helped establish the
COLLEGE as a national hub for freedom of
information education and research, said
Dean John Wright, who was a member of
the search committee that hired him.
"We saw right away that this is some-
body who would be excellent as a mentor,"
Chamberlin's doctoral graduates teach
at some of the best schools in the country
and practice law at firms that represent
major media organizations.
He served as founding director of the
Brechner Center for Freedom of Information
until 1999, when he
started the COLLEGE'S
Marion Brechner Citizen
Access Project. It evalu-
ates state open meetings
and open records laws
on a scale of one to seven. It is the only
project in the nation to compare and rate
state access laws. Chamberlin and his staff
have explored more than 200 categories,
such as states' openness on sex-offender
information and election records.
Chamberlin also serves as an adjunct
professor in the Levin College of Law. He
is primarily responsible for the relationship
the COLLEGE has forged with the law school,
an affiliation that would be the envy of any
media law program, Wright said.
Chuck Tobin, JM 1984, JD 1989,
chairman of the media law team at Holland
& Knight in Washington, D.C., started tak-
CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 II
toughact CONT. FROM PAGE I I
ing Chamberlin's media law classes before
the COLLEGE offered the joint law and mass
communication program, he said.
Tobin met Chamberlin in his second
year of law school when Assistant Dean
Jon Roosenraad suggested he introduce
"I raced upstairs and barged into Dr.
Chamberlin's office, figuring I was going
to really impress this guy," Tobin said.
"He just kind of sat back in his chair and
blinked at me."
Sig Splichal, PhD 1993, heard so
much about Chamberlin before coming to
the COLLEGE that he had "built up a mys-
tique," he said.
"When I finally met him, he wasn't this
mythical creature, but very down to earth,"
said Splichal, journalism and photogra-
phy program director at the University of
Whenever Splichal runs into a difficult
problem, he thinks about how Chamberlin
would handle it.
"I just imitate him," he said. "He usu-
ally would get it right."
Ruth Walden, chair of the School of
Journalism and Communications' Graduate
Admissions Committee at the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, worked
with Chamberlin at UNC, where he served
as a journalism professor before coming to
UF. The two have been competing for the
country's top graduate students ever since,
"There are not too many people across
the country who I can spew off the top
of my head the names of their excellent
graduates," she said. "I can do that with
One of those graduates, Charles Davis,
PhD 1995, associate professor and execu-
tive director for the National Freedom of
Information Coalition at the University of
Missouri, works with Chamberlin almost
weekly to solve legal issues and share
They've also co-authored papers. While
Davis was a student, though, Chamberlin
critiqued his writing harshly, jotting hun-
dreds of words all over the page so small
"you needed a magnifying glass to read
it," Davis recalled. "The first time you go
through it, it's pretty brutal. Every third
word is criticized."
With a dozen other alumni, Tobin is
working to create a $30,000 scholarship in
"I have literally seen him corer people
at conferences to say, 'Trust me, you must
hire this person,'" when trying to find jobs
for his students, he said.
Rebecca Carr, national correspondent
for Cox newspapers, is unsure where she'll
go for guidance when Chamberlin retires,
she said. They started working together
when she shifted her beat to the rising level
of secrecy in the federal government. She
calls him whenever she needs a piece of
legislation clarified or wants his opinion
on certain laws.
"There are other voices out there, but
he has a way of taking all this complex
data and whittling it down to a story that
makes sense to the public," she said. "He's
really a freedom fighter for the people's
right to know."
Chamberlin, who admits that he tends
to over-commit, is trying to make no
plans for retirement, he said. Regardless,
he's already talking about spending more
time walking, reading mysteries, traveling
to Europe and his Amelia Island condo
with wife, Jeanne, and hiring someone
to replace the carpet in his home with
wooden floors. He also wants to remodel
the bathroom and kitchen in his condo, but
plans to keep his permanent residence in
Gainesville, he said.
He hopes to volunteer, possibly for
a hunger organization or as a Guardian
Ad Litem in the courts, and increase
his involvement in civil rights and First
Amendment related organizations. He also
already has informal offers to teach part-
time, he said.
"I doubt very seriously that I will do
any kind of formal work for the next year,"
Still, it might not be too long before
students hear the sound of his Samsonite
rolling backpack wheeling across the floor
and see his smiling face below his blue
"He's proven himself to his legions
of disciples to be an unfailing friend,"
12 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
College of Journalism
Please take a moment to fill the Alumni Note card
Or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photojournalism professor participates l
in first Pulitzer Prize workshop in China
BY MELISSA JACOBS
lashbulbs popped and spectators gath-
ered at the Pacific Place Conference
Center in Hong Kong this past fall
to welcome Prof. John Kaplan for the first
Pulitzer Prize Winners' Workshop.
As one of the workshop's international
advisers, Kaplan received a star-studded
"At the end of the conference's opening
ceremony, 30 or 40 photographers from all
over China crowded around us," Kaplan
said, laughing. "It was an interesting expe-
rience to be on the other side of the lens."
Kaplan, whose work has been featured
in museums and galleries worldwide, won
the Pulitzer for feature photography in
1992. He wrote, photographed and designed
"21: Age Twenty-One in America," which
depicted the diversity of American lifestyles
through the eyes of seven 21-year-olds. He
has also twice served as a Pulitzer judge.
He traveled to China to participate in
the weeklong event, which was sponsored
by Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU)
and the Hong Kong Economic Journal. It
featured lectures and seminars by various
Pulitzer winners as well as meetings with
students, media professionals and the pub-
lic. The workshop aimed to advance jour-
nalistic education and practice throughout
One of the workshop's events was
an exhibition featuring Kaplan's Pulitzer-
winning photographs, f ic-llini, in
Journalism: An Integration of Art and
Culture." It toured throughout Hong Kong.
"We hope by bringing a group of out-
standing journalists and media educators
to Hong Kong, we can enhance the quality
of journalism education and inspire future
journalists," said Prof. Huang Yu, head of
the Department of Journalism at HKBU
and convener of the event.
The university and the Journal plan to
hold the event annually, Yu said.
Kaplan plans to return to HKBU
during his sabbatical next spring as a
Fulbright Scholar. Besides serving as an
adviser to the workshop, he will research
diabetes awareness and social responsibil-
ity in the media, and teach international
During the inaugural works
pants such as Pulitzer winners P
**r Ae-S. W rciMLu J t :* *
Journalism Prof. John Kaplan in
poster in Hong Kong displaying
K rBU" 2'.,. iSB r a M
of the Associated Press and CN\, Michael
Vitez of The Philadelphia Inquirer and
Amy Goldstein of The Washington Post
discussed how today's media landscape
sometime compromises journalistic ethics
"I believe that in exciting times of
changing technology," Kaplan said, "those
ethical values are more important than
op, partici- More than 100 students, teachers and
eter Arnett journalists attended each of Kaplan's pre-
sentations, included "Survive and Thrive!
S Meeting the Challenges of Today's News
Media," and "New Technologies: New
front of a
some of Ethics? Are Market Force Fears Crushing
"The most important things have
always been the same about photojournal-
ism: mainly, the fact that it can still cre-
ate empathy and understanding about the
world around us just as it could 100 years
ago," said Kaplan, who has taught pho-
... tojournalism and design in the COLLEGE
since 1991. "However, at times, some of
the core values of journalism are currently
being cast aside and this is a big mistake
I was glad to address at the workshop. No
matter what exciting technological chang-
es we embrace, we must first be driven
by the highest ethical standards, and the
responsibility to do work with powerful,
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 13
2008 Alumni of Distinction include
Gator Nation ad campaign creator
BY KATHLEEN ROJAS
his year's Alumni of Distinction
winners span the communica-
tions spectrum, from shooting
award-winning photos in the Middle East
to creating the Gator Nation advertising
Andy Fletcher, ADV 1979, president
and CEO of Fletcher Martin, an advertising
agency in Atlanta,
came up with the
Gator Nation idea in
2005 with the strong
belief that there's
"We truly create Gators," Fletcher said.
"The Gator Nation is out there, and it's
not a bunch of sports fans. It's everyone
affected by the school. It's someone who
deeply cares about the university."
An expert in marketing strategy
development, Fletcher began his career as
a teenager. He's worked with major nation-
al entities such as General Electric, the
Kansas City Chiefs and Sonic drive-ins.
Kristi Krueger, TEL 1986, is usually
at WPLG-TV in Miami by 4 a.m. to co-
anchor the "Local 10 Morning News."
"I've been sleep-deprived since my
days at UF," Krueger said, laughing. "I
guess I'll catch up with my sleep when I
retire. But right now, I'm having too much
fun working here and living here."
Krueger, who received an Emmy for
her report on the possible side effects of
a Hepatitis-B vaccine, often volunteers at
such nonprofit organizations as the Florida
Heart Association and Easter Seals.
Stephanie Sinclair, JM 1998, who's
working out of Beirut, has received
awards for her photographic coverage of
the war in Lebanon and has been rec-
ognized in the American Photography
competition the past four years. Sinclair
also won a Pulitzer while working for The
Chicago Tribune as part of the paper's
coverage of problems within the airline
Sinclair's work is regularly featured
in The New York Times Magazine, Time,
Newsweek, US News
& World Report and
JM 1949, is chair-
man and CEO of a
lishing company, Worth International
Communications Corporation. Besides
publishing RECOMMEND Magazine, his
company has a custom publishing divi-
sion. Its clients have included Walt Disney
World, Universal Studios Florida, Busch
Entertainment Corporation and Spirit
Airlines, among others.
Vice Chairman Richard Bartlett, JM
1956, helps Mary Kay Inc. work with 2
million independent businesswomen in 34
"My work has enabled millions of
women around the world to establish them-
selves as women entrepreneurs," Bartlett
said. "I've enriched women's lives, not
only financially, but by helping them con-
tribute to their communities and their fami-
lies as well."
Bartlett is also a strong advocate for
conservation. He's helped to protect more
than 1 million areas of threatened habitat
in Texas and New Mexico in his work with
the Nature Conservancy.
"There's a balance," he said. "You need
to be able to give back because of whatever
you've been able to achieve."
14 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
In I.mI n
wins Pulitzer at Post
BY LAURIE K. BLANDFORD
Washington Post enterprise reporter and Pulitzer Prize
winner Anne Hull said she couldn't get into UF today
with her SAT scores.
"I'm not an intellectual," she said during the couple days she
spent at the COLLEGE this semester as a Hearst visiting professional.
"I'm just a kid who grew up in a newsroom."
Originally scheduled to come in the fall, Hull had to cancel
to work on the Post's coverage of the Walter Reed Army Medical
Center story, which won the Pulitzer in public service last month.
Hull, who was on a three-month unpaid leave during her visit to
the COLLEGE, has spoken to students at Harvard, Brown, Penn State,
Stanford and UC Berkeley in the past two years.
Dressed in black from the rims of her glasses to the points of her
pumps, Hull discussed her work, gave advice and took questions.
"I just wanted to bring a little real life into the classroom," the
Plant City native said in a phone interview.
Hull told the students that, when she started at the Post, she had
to leave the room to conduct phone interviews.
"I was afraid [her colleagues] would think my questions were
stupid," said Hull, who previously worked at the St. Petersburg
Times. "Even after 20 years of being a reporter, I'm still terrified
by the job."
When she covered the 9/11 attacks, a relief organization smug-
gled her into Ground Zero in its van when reporters were barred
from the site. To take notes without getting caught, she would sink
back into the shadows of the surrounding buildings and write on her
skin. Then she went back to her hotel room to transcribe.
"She was very down to earth and left me inspired at what we can
hope to achieve as journalists," said Rene Perez, a journalism senior.
Lydia Fiser, a journalism sophomore, knew of Hull from read-
ing her articles.
"She obviously has a lot of natural talent," she said, "but she's
also worked really hard to achieve what she has."
Journalism is a challenging and shrinking field, Hull said, so
students should consider their career choice carefully.
"You really have to want to do this because the hours are crazy
and the stress is high," she said, "but the rewards are awesome. The
chance to be a part of history or change a bad situation for people is
an amazing way to spend a life working."
Alumni of Distinction surpass 100
After 38 years and more than 24,000 McFarlin, M 1976."1 knew I was among
alumni, the COLLEGE surpassed the 100 distinguished company that year."
mark of its Alumni of Distinction. Newly named alumni of distinction
Beginning in 1970, the COLLEGE has receive an invitation to an awards banquet
annually recognized those alumni who and to speak at commencement.
have had outstanding professional suc- James Harper, ADV 1963, who
cess.As of 2007, 97 alumni became part spoke at May 2006 commencement, says he
of this elite group.This year, 10 more tried to give the graduates life lessons in the
alumni will be added to the list. Five will three to five minutes he was allotted.
be recognized in the spring and five in the "I think [the students'] favorite part
fall, bringing the total to 107 Alumni of was when I told the graduates,'Don't
Distinction. let the bastards grind you down, said
"It was a heady experience to be Harper, senior vice president for business
added to list of great alumni," said development for Acordia, a Wells Fargo
Sarasota Herald-Tribune Publisher Diane insurance brokerage division.
Harper is one of 20 COLLEGE alumni
of distinction who were also named UF
The COLLEGE'S Alumni and Professional
Relations Committee chooses the alumni
of distinction, noted the committee's chair,
Linda Hon, MAMC 1986, executive
Faculty and retired faculty nominate
and vote on the candidates for alumni of
distinction, who have included Bob Vila, JM
1969, former host of the PBS series "This
Old House"; Deborah Amos, TEL 1972,
ABC News foreign correspondent; Carl
Hiaasen, JM 1974, bestselling author and
Miami Herald columnist, and professional
golfer Deb Richard, ADV 1985.
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 15
jugglingact CONT. FROM PAGE 10
delivered the equivalent of a broadcaster's
"They were like, 'Where's the rest of
it?' she said.
Gillespie then moved to Oklahoma,
where she wrote for the Tulsa World daily
newspaper for five years. She juggled quite a
bit back then, too, said Melanie Ave, a former
coworker at Tulsa World and a reporter for
the St. Petersburg Times.
Working irregular hours and going
through a divorce made it especially diffi-
cult because she constantly needed to find a
babysitter, Ave said. But no matter how dis-
tressed Gillespie felt, she always maintained
a calm exterior.
Ave remembers a trip their two fami-
lies took to Walt Disney World's Magic
Kingdom in Orlando. When their husbands
took the children on either Space or Thunder
Mountain, Gillespie, who "always has a bag
filled with books and food," pulled out a
book and began reading in the middle of the
chaotic park, Ave said.
"She has to be doing something at all
times," she said.
During a recent phone call, Gillespie told
Ave that she recently joined a praise band
for "The Vine," the Saturday night service
at Weeki Wachee's Christian Church in the
Wildwood, she said.
"It didn't surprise me," Ave said. "She's
always adding something more to her sched-
Chad Pardue, who met Gillespie at
church about two years ago, sees her there
about twice a week, he said. Whether she is
singing for a crowd of 100 at the Saturday
service (which she helps set up), rehearsing
songs or attending a service, she often has
her computer with her in case she has time
to write or do research in her few minutes of
downtime, like between practice and church,
HOME = SCHOOL
Gillespie home schools three of her chil-
dren. She has done so with all of her children
at one point.
Her daughter, high school junior Jessica
Woolbright, whom Gillespie has been teach-
ing at home since third grade, appreciates
the one-on-one attention and waking up
at reasonable hours, she said. She doesn't
feel like she missed out on socializing with
her peers because Gillespie was the mid-
dle school activities coordinator for Home
Circle, the support organization for home
schooling parents in Hernando County,
through which she planned monthly events
for the county's home-schooled children.
They even came to her house to make
ice-cream sundaes, Woolbright said.
"She's strict on things, but she's also
understanding," said Woolbright, who
frequently goes on "mommy-daughter
dates" to the mall, dinner or a movie with
Gillespie. "She makes sure we all have time
Gillespie and Adam, who owns Williams
Auto Sales in Brooksville, are able to bal-
ance so much because they're in charge of
their careers, Gillespie said. If things are
getting crazy at home and she has a tough
deadline, he can always close his shop to
take care of the children.
"When I'm writing more," she said, "he
sells less cars."
She also makes daily adjustments to
balance her schedule around those of her
children. She writes early in the morning,
before anyone wakes up, and late at night,
when everyone has gone to sleep. A self-
proclaimed night owl, she rarely goes to bed
before 2 a.m. and wakes up between 7:30
and 9 a.m.
Her dedication is what makes her excel,
said Margaret Feinberg of Morrison, Col.,
who co-authored Five-Star Living on a Two-
Star Budget with her over an 18-month
When Laura Minchew, the publisher of
children's books and educational products at
Thomas Nelson Inc., who also worked with
Gillespie on Successful Adoption, gave her
two weeks to write a children's book on faith
symbols in The Chronicles of Narnia, she
"Because of my previous experience
with Natalie, I knew that she could write very
well and very clean," Minchew said. "And
because of her background in magazines,
The rapidly written Believing in Narnia:
Unlocking the Secret Symbols of Faith in the
Chronicles is just shy of 200 pages and hit
stores in April.
Gillespie spends most of the time she's
not working running the children to cheer-
leading, soccer, and piano and voice lessons,
she said. When her oldest teens recently
started driving, she was finally able to down-
size from a 15-passenger Ford E-350 van to
a Mazda minivan.
But she may need to go back to a larger
Although her husband used to call him-
self the "poster boy for one-time adopting,"
he's recently begun to think twice, he said.
He and Gillespie have been searching the
Internet to possibly bring twin girls into their
home, where they also care for a 10-year-old
mutt named Gus, whom they got from The
Humane Society, and a cat named Lollipop,
whom they refer to as "Mama Cat."
"[Gillespie] can give more love than any-
one I've ever known," her husband said.
16 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
BY LAURIE K. BLANDFORD
The Florida FOI (freedom of infor-
mation) Summit at UF Emerson
Alumni Hall in the fall was
as much a look at the past as a look to
Sponsored by the COLLEGE'S Brechner
Center for Freedom of Information as a
celebration of its 30th anniversary, the
two-day conference featured a speech
by USA Today Editor Ken Paulson and
discussions among journalists, media
lawyers, public officials and community
"We wanted to look back at the
contributions of key people in FOI and
to honor them," said the center's execu-
tive director, Sandra Chance, JM 1975,
MAJC 1985. "We also wanted to look
toward the future of FOI during a time of
increased secrecy in government."
During his keynote speech, Florida
Attorney General Bill McCollum dis-
cussed the Government Accountability
Project, a joint effort by the Attorney
General's Office and the center to encour-
age county governments to provide more
As part of the conference, Chance pre-
sented the 22nd annual Joseph L. Brechner
Freedom of Information Award to Miami
Herald reporters Dan Christensen and
Patrick Danner for uncovering cases
sealed illegally in the Broward County
She also recognized reporters who
wrote the top 30 FOI stories of the past
30 years and presented the Florida
Freedom of Information Hall of Fame
inductees: Justice James C. Adkins Jr.,
Marion B. Brechner, Talbot "Sandy"
D'Alenberte, H.G. "Buddy" Davis Jr.,
JM 1948, MAMC 1952, Louis Michael
"Skip" Perez, JM 1969, and Gregg D.
Brechner, the wife of the late Joseph
L. Brechner, helped fund the event.
"One focus of this conference," said
Chance, McClatchy Professor in Freedom
of Information, "was to provide meaningful
opportunities for people to become involved
in protecting freedom of information by
breaking up into small discussion groups
and actually identifying areas of concern
and making specific recommendations."
The summit featured such public offi-
cials, media attorneys and journalists as
Jane Kirtley, University of Minnesota
professor of media ethics and law; Pat
Gleason, Florida's special counsel for
open government and director of cabinet
affairs; Barbara Petersen, president of the
First Amendment Foundation; Jon Mills,
former Speaker of the Florida House
of Representatives and UF law profes-
sor; Charles Davis, PhD 1995, execu-
tive director of National Coalition for
Freedom of Information at the University
of Missouri; Pete Weitzel, coordinator
of the Coalition of Journalists for Open
Government, and Gil Thelen, execu-
tive director of the Florida Society of
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 17
students for major test
Assistant Prof. Rasha Kamhawi, a Cairo native, started
teaching the core course for telecommunication majors after
associate Prof. Sid Pactor retired last year.
Writing for Electronic Media prepares students for a
mid-semester news-placement test. Only the top 30 students proceed
to the COLLEGE'S advanced telecommunication courses.
"I understand the responsibility," she said. "There's a high
demand for this class."
Kamhawi neither administers nor grades the mid-semester test,
but prepares her students by setting high expectations and imple-
menting a strict grading policy in the course.
"[She's] one of the reasons I passed that test," said Chris
Yandek, a telecommunication junior. "Her heart is in the right place,
and she really wants to see all of her students do well in her class and
in life in general."
Kamhawi's students have to produce two writing assignments
during the two-hour lab.
"She makes you really focus on what you're doing," telecommuni-
cation junior Kayla Koleos said, "and what you need to get done."
Kamhawi estimates she spends 80 percent of her time teaching
and 20 percent conducting research. She plans to reach a 50/50 ratio
by the end of the semester.
She's working on two projects. The first examines the differ-
ences between the coverage of Egypt's first multi-candidate election
by the country's traditional news media and citizen blogs.
The other is a three-part, multi-national foreign-news study on
news-viewer satisfaction. It involves an analysis of foreign news in
25 countries. Kamhawi is working on the Egyptian part.
Kamhawi earned her bachelor's degree from American University
in Cairo in 1991 and a Ph.D. in journalism from Indiana University in
2004. She taught as an assistant professor at Ain Shams University in
Cairo for a couple of years.
At Indiana University, Kamhawi worked closely with her dis-
sertation adviser, Associate Prof Maria Grabe. They spent countless
hours conducting experimental research on the effects of media
messages on the brain, and published 12 journal articles. Their most
recent peer-reviewed article, "Engaging the Female Audience: An
Evolutionary Psychology Perspective on Gendered Responses to
News Valence Frames," appears in the spring edition of the Journal
of Broadcasting & Electronic Media.
"I saw her perseverance," Grabe said, "Combine that with her
admirable work ethic and high expectations, and you've got the
dream qualities of a professor."
Perfect place for Pelfrey
welve Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) awards
decorate Lecturer Deanna Pelfrey's Weimer Hall office.
There wasn't enough room for the other 38, or the
many other awards, including a national VISION award and the
PRSA Patrick Jackson Award for lifetime contribution to the soci-
ety and the industry.
Pelfrey, who teaches Writing for Public Relations and Principles
of Public Relations, earned most of these awards for the public-re-
lations work of her firm, Pelfrey Associates, in Louisville, Ky., which
she incorporated in 1984.The agency operated for 27 years before
she created Blue Egg Strategies LLC, a public relations consulting
firm, in 2005.
Over the years, the firm's work took her to Scotland, England,
does the math
A assistant Prof Norman Lewis taps
into his editing students' worst
On a recent Monday morning, he handed
out a stapled packet filled with enough mul-
tiplication, division and percentages to make
Students need to learn basic math, Lewis
said. "They need to use it in the real world."
Aside from the math problems, Lewis
gives AP-style quizzes with current events
and history weaved throughout, according
to his editing-lab student Sara Powell.
"He's always trying to put things in
a greater context for us," the journalism
Lewis started as a reporter at the State
Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., in 1979.
He became editor-in-chief of three small-town
newspapers in the West and the publisher of
the Montana Standard before getting his doc-
torate in journalism and public communica-
tion at the University of Maryland in 2007.
He earned his Ph.D. in three years while
teaching at UM, raising twins with his wife
and copy-editing for The Washington Post's
"[He's] a detail-oriented person who
always sees the big picture," said Tony Reid,
copy chief of the Post's financial desk.
For his dissertation, Lewis collected,
studied and analyzed known cases of pla-
giarism. "Paradigm Disguise: Systemic
Influences on Newspaper Plagiarism" dis-
covered four types of plagiarism. Lewis
coined the most common form "research
plagiarism," which mixes original reporting
with unoriginal material.
"I hope that I can contribute to every-
one's understanding of why plagiarism hap-
pens and what can be done to prevent it,"
His dissertation concluded that, since
Jayson Blair in 2003, newspapers have
reported more cases of plagiarism, and that
journalists accused of plagiarism today are
more likely to be fired.
"His dissertation is filled with impor-
tant insights and original findings," said
UM Associate Prof. Chris Hanson, Lewis'
doctoral committee member.
When needed, Lewis aggressively used
every resource available to find the source
of the plagiarism, said I!1 journalism Dean
"He became the in-house authority on
plagiarism," Kunkel said. "He helped us
At UM, Lewis became the professor
to avoid if a student wanted to plagiarize,
Kunkel said. At UF, he's quickly becoming
a student favorite, said journalism senior
She was in class when Lewis covered
one of Assistant Prof. Ronald Rodgers'
"When he's standing in front of the
classroom," Jacobs said, "you can just
tell by the look on his face that he's a
teacher who truly enjoys what he does for
Ireland, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Canada,
Mexico, South Africa and Kenya.
"It wasn't as glamorous as it may sound," she said.
As a PRSA national officer, she helped form the Global Alliance
for Public Relations and Communication Management in 2000.
Since 2004, Pelfrey has served on the national board of directors
of the World Affairs Councils of America in Washington, D.C.
Recently, she participated in a 10-member leadership delegation to
the European Union.
As the 2007-2008 chair of the PRSA International Professional
Interest Section, Pelfrey led the development of several new ini-
tiatives forums, seminars and speaker series focusing on public
relations in the international realm.
"She is committed to international views and issues" Associate
Prof. Juan-Carlos Molleda said.
Prior to joining the faculty, Pelfrey was the Hearst Visiting
Professional at the COLLEGE and served as a member of the Public
Relations Advisory Council for four years.
"She has a keen strategic outlook and is always positive," said
Jeanne Mitchell, Washington representative of Exxon Mobil
Corp. and a former council member.
Pelfrey who earned a bachelor's degree from the College of
Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati and a master's degree from Xavier
University in Cincinnati, both in English serves as the faculty
adviser for the Public Relations Student Society of America's UF
chapter. She also coaches the Department of Public Relations'
Bateman Case Study National Competition team.
"She's always available when we have questions:' said Marcel
Raphael, a public relations student and vice president of member
services for the PRSSA chapter, "or need advice and guidance on
a personal level."
-ATTIYYA ANTHONY AND ELENA SCURO
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 19
Hours before his application to the
COLLEGE was due, Timothy Sorel
still was unsure what to do. He
had a hard time choosing between teaching
and his booming company.
He is the founder and director of pho-
tography of Studio 601, an award-winning
Gainesville video production company that
has shown double-digit growth for the past
He fell in love with teaching when he
taught a workshop at the COLLEGE in 2006.
Sorel chose to become an assistant profes-
sor in the Department of Telecommunication.
He teaches the Fundamentals of Production
course and an advanced telecommunication
workshop for seniors.
He stepped down as president of Studio
601, which is now under the control of Travis
Chapman, Sorel's longtime friend, coworker
and now, frequent guest speaker.
"With him, it's not, 'Here's the camera
and here's the lights. Go do this,' Chapman
said. "He's going to get the students where
they need to be."
His senior production class is produc-
ing "Slackers," a college makeover show.
He asks his students to produce it by them-
selves, but he's always available to help.
Students are free to call and text his cell-
"He's Tim. He's a peer," said "Slackers"
executive producer Andrew Vogeney. "He
treats us with the respect we deserve and
never says no to helping us."
Sorel who earned his bachelor's in
broadcast journalism from the University
of Maine in 1987 and MBA from St. Leo's
College in 2002 moved to Boston in 1993,
where he worked for the Greenline Group,
a production company that provides crews
to I-SPN, ABC, NBC and other sports net-
works. He produced segments of the 1992
and 1996 Olympic Games, and worked on
more than 30 TV features.
Sorel helped produce Stephen King's
"25 Years in the Dark" for A&E in 1998. He
first worked with the bestselling author on
"Storm of the Century," a 1997 horror mini-
College co-hosts Latin America conference
The COLLEGE and the Center for
Latin American Studies teamed up ear-
lier this semester to tackle problems
in today's interdependent world by
hosting the 57th annual Latin American
During the two-day Uniting for
Solutions conference, participants inves-
tigated the inner workings of how and
why governments, non-profit organiza-
tions, private enterprises and com-
munities create partnerships in Latin
"The partnership that we hope
to develop with the COLLEGE is now a
work-in-progress," said Diana Deere,
director of the Center and co-chair of
The center works to increase
knowledge about Latin America and the
Caribbean and to boost teaching and
research about the region at UF.To be
considered for collaboration with the
center for this year's conference, the
COLLEGE had to submit a proposal, noted
Associate Prof. Juan-Carlos Molleda,
series. He also has worked on more than 20
In 2006, Sorel created "Gridiron Gators,"
a 90-minute movie documentary that recaps
100 years of Gator football using commen-
tary from the likes of Steve Spurrier, Emmitt
Smith and Danny Wuerffel, PR 1997.
"He's all about becoming better and
working with your ideas," said the DVD's
producer, Dennis Black.
Sorel is working on two documentaries.
"Country Forgotten: The Plight of Cambodia
30 Years After the Fall of the Khmer Rouge"
and "Young Survivors: Action, Advocacy
and Awareness for Young Breast Cancer
Sorel's sister was diagnosed with breast
cancer at the age of 34. He realized that there
weren't enough resources for women under
the age of 40 with disease.
co-chair of the conference.
"We wanted more than just an aca-
demic conference," Molleda said. "We
wanted to bring in professionals."
Representatives from organizations
such as Bounty Fresh, Edelman and
Burson-Marsteller participated in seven
sessions alongside many professors from
the COLLEGE and the Center.
"The most important thing for this
year's conference is to see the potential
for the future research and collabora-
tion," Molleda said."I think we will
definitely be able to develop projects
soon after the conference."
20 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA COLLEGE OF JOURNALISM AND COMMUNICATIONS
Roy M.Williamson, ADV 1963, is retired
from the U.S.Air Force, where he was known
as "Sheriff Roy." email@example.com
Jeffrey G. Madden, ADV 1975, is an
advertising consultant for Autotrader.com in
St. Petersburg. Jeffmadden52@yahoo.com
Steven DiManni, ADV 1977, is senior vice
president and creative director for McCaffery
Gottlieb & Lane in NewYork. He was
recently named executive vice president and
board chair of the John Caples International
Stacy Joel Safion, ADV 1977, recently
added a real estate division to his law
practice. He develops and sells residential and
commercial real estate properties in Orange
County, Calif. firstname.lastname@example.org
Fernando Luis Fernandez, ADV
1980, is president of Windowman
Amor, a full-service glass shop serving
Alachua and the surrounding counties.
Grace Eldred Zimmerman, ADV 1980, is
a consultant. She is also married and has one
Melissa Heighe Moore, ADV 1981, is
specialty resins product manager for M.
Moore & Company. email@example.com
Celio Romanach, ADV 1981, is vice
president and brand managing director for
Bacardi USA. Romanach6@comcast.net
Jeff Jackson, ADV 1982, is area sales
manager for GE Consumer and Industrial.
Dan Gitlitz, ADV 1983, is vice president
and group creative director for Zimmerman
Advertising in Fort Lauderdale. He is the
creative director for Nissan Regional Work
(General Market and Hispanic) and Papa
John's Pizza. firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Dahmer, ADV 1985, is president
and broker of Retailworks in Atlanta, a
10-person firm specializing in commercial
real estate and investments. He earned his
master's in Real Estate from Georgia State
University in 2006.
Ernie Hahn, ADV 1987, is president of
Medical Brand Associates, which represents
manufacturers of sports medicine products
that sell to athletic trainers in the NFL,
MLB, NBA, NHL, NCAA and all sports
medicine affiliations. He has been in this
industry for 15 years. He is married to
Kim Hahn, who earned her bachelor's in
accounting from UF in 1990.The couple has
a daughter, Taylor.
Juan Barrera, ADV 1989, is national
treasurer for the Association of Professional
Flight Attendants, which represents the
American Airlines flight attendants.APFA is
the largest independent flight attendant union
in the nation. email@example.com
Rob Alexander, ADV 1990, is a staff
anesthesiologist for Broward Health in
South Florida.While at UF from 1988 to
1990, he worked as an on-air personality
at Rock 104. He finished his medical
residency training in anesthesiology at a Tufts
University program in Massachusetts and is
now working for Anesco Anesthesia group.
Michelle Kornfeld Boas, ADV 1991, is
vice president of corporate affairs at HBO
in New York. She is married with three
Chris Diller, ADV 1991, is manager of
collaborative multimedia networks at the
University of Arizona. In December, he
advanced to candidacy in the Ph.D. program
in MIS at UA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Wooten FitzSimons, ADV 1991,
is senior program manager for Data Path.
She is married to Dr. Jim FitzSimons.
Jenwoo I @gmail.com
Greg Schuckman, ADV 1991, was elected
chair of the Northern Virginia Community
College board, as well as being elected
Southern Regional Chair for the Association
of Community College Trustees (ACCT).
Matthew M. Hodge, PhD, ADV
1994, is executive director for the SCC
Foundation. His article,"Funding Source,
Board Involvement, and Financial Stability in
Nonprofit Organizations," won the annual
Editors' Prize in November for best scholarly
paper in Nonprofit Management and Leadership.
Evan Shear, ADV 1994, is a certified
financial planner with The CrossleyShear
Group of Raymond James Financial
Services. He just celebrated his 10th wedding
anniversary with his wife,Jana.The couple has
three kids. email@example.com
Ansley Shultz, ADV 1996, is a Realtor for
Coldwell Banker in Atlanta.
Amy Engler Grau, ADV 1998, is graphic
designer for Premier Properties of Southwest
Florida, REALTORS. She joined the company
in 2007. firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Chris Wilcox, ADV 1998, is director
of Mid-Atlantic Sales at USA TODAY. He lives
in Arlington,Va., with his wife, Julie Wilcox,
who earned her bachelor's in business
administration from UF in 1998, and their
son, Dane. email@example.com
Christopher Bower, ADV 1999, is home-
products advertising sales director for
domino magazine, a 3-year-old home-design
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 21
and style magazine published by Cond6
Heather J. Rakes Keller, ADV 2000, is a
McVeigh Wiegmann, ADV 2003, is
account executive for Porter Novelli, a public
relations and lobbying firm in NewYork.
Brooke Baratz, ADV 2004, is national
broadcast supervisor for GM Planworks. She
is working on the General Motors account
and was just promoted to the position.
Natalia Senkova, ADV 2005,
is project director of brand development and
innovation at Added Value in Los Angeles.
Elliann M. McDonald, ADV 2006, is
marketing coordinator at Advenir Real
Estate Management in Aventura and
is an active member of the Young
Professional's Network, an initiative of
the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce.
Marianne Luis, ADV 2007, is media sales
assistant for Oceanic Time Warner Cable in
William D. Dansby, CAE, OD (Hon.),
JM 1957, retired as executive vice
president of the Michigan Optometric
Association after 40 years. He was a
television news director and anchor for stations
in Jacksonville and Lansing, Mich., prior to entry
into the association management field. He
earned an honorary Doctorate of Optometry
(OD) degree from the Michigan College of
Optometry at Ferris State University and
received the Michigan Optometric Association's
Lifetime Achievement Award.
William H. Goldman, JM 1963, is retired.
After 65 years in Florida, he moved to
Toledo, Ohio, in 2007. He spends time with
his significant other, Brenda, her daughter,
Julie, and her grandson, Jordan.
Judy Graham, JM 1969, is owner
of Graham Fla. Properties Inc and
chairman of the Board of Trustees for
the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota.
James Stanfield, JM 1969, is general
manager of Lakeland Electric. He also
published a novel, Coup.
Brant S. Bittner, JM 1974, is executive
director of the Orange County Bar
Nada Jill Butler, JM 1974, is intelligence
analyst for the SAIC, a provider of scientific,
engineering, systems integration and technical
services and solutions. Jaybee40@verizon.net
M. Lewis Green, JM 1975, recently
published his fifth book, Lead With Your Heart.
It calls on business leaders to put people
first when they make business decisions.
He's the founder and chief communications
officer of L&G Business Solutions, a marketing
and communications firm in Connecticut.
Russell Roberts, JM 1975, is publisher
and editor of The Franklin Chronicle, a weekly
in the Florida Panhandle's Franklin County.
"Johnnie Mae" Florence Richard, JM
1976, is an actress. She lives in New York
City and has starred in Premium, which
aired on Showtime, and NYC Serenade.
Paul Anderson, JM 1977, is director of
communications strategies and outreach
forward in Washington. He was previously
managing director of public affairs for the
U.S. Government Accountability Office
(GAO) for two and a half years, and deputy
chief of staff and communications director
for former Sen. Bob Graham. He spent
more than 20 years in journalism,
including time at the Miami Herald and CQ.
Susan Farmwald Begay, JM 1981, is
a freelance writer. She writes for several
technology publications and has written
features for The Indianapolis Star. She was the
ghostwriter for Wes Herschberger's When IT
Hits the Fan. She has been married to Darryl
for 18 years.The couple has two children,
Matthew and Haley. firstname.lastname@example.org
Bryan Mingle, JM 1981, is
digital copy editor for The
Hollywood Reporter in Los Angeles.
Dennis G. Corrick, JM 1983, is a
shareholder in the law firm Dean, Mead,
Minton & Zwemer. He practices commercial
real estate, land use and business law. Florida
Gov. Charlie Crist appointed him to the St.
Lucie County Children Services Council.
He is past chairman for the United Way
of St. Lucie County and sits on the county
Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
Whit Blanton, JM 1986, is vice president of
the Renaissance Planning Group. He continues
to work on community and regional load
use and transportation plans throughout
Florida, primarily in Tampa Bay, Gainesville
and Lakeland. He lives in Winter Park with
his wife, Cathy, and daughters, Melanie and
Holt Hackney, JM 1989, is publisher
of Hackney Publications. He publishes
sports litigation and alerts people of legal
issues dealing with collegiate athletics.
Seth Olsen, JM 1991, is senior designer
of marketing for Olive Garden Restaurants.
He does designs in merchandising, menus
and related collateral projects for Olive
Garden. Olsen led the menu design for the
Salute! bar renovation project including
imagery, layout, typography, apparel and
select promotional materials.
John F. Berry, JM 1993, is a reporter
for The Press-Enterprise. He covers the
courts beat in San Bernardino County.
He was selected for promotion to chief
warrant officer 3 in the Army Reserve.
David Alan Milliron, JM 1993,
is director of media services for Caspio. He
was elected as commissioner to the Avondale
Estates Board of Mayor and Commissioners
in 2007. email@example.com
Owen Lockwood, JM 1995, is senior
editor at Home & Garden Editorial
Services, a book-packaging company in
Bridgeport, Conn. He is co-author of
Outdoor Kitchens: Ideas for Planning, Designing
22 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
and Entertaining, which came out in 2008.
bigdave3 I @aol.com
Christie Caliendo, JM 1997, left her
position as editor of 12 South Florida
regional lifestyle magazines and to serve as
director of public relations with InterMedia,
a global communications and media relations
Nicole Robinson, JM 1997, is a writer
for The Tyra Banks Show.
Trish Stephens, JM 1997, is an editor for
the Golf Channel. She is also a production
manager, producer and editor of freelance
William Henderson, JM 1998,
is editor of In Newsweekly, a contributor to
Sports Out Loud, Artscope and the Advocate. He
and his wife, Holly Blotcher Henderson, who
earned her bachelor's in psychology from UF
in 1999, had a son,Avery, in September.
Jennifer Land, JM 2002, is business copy
editor for The Las Vegas Review.
Elise Lyne, JM 2002, is regional sales
manager for Ford Equity Research. She began
working for the company in September
2007. She moved to Chicago in June 2007
and graduated with her MBA from UF in
December 2007. Elise.firstname.lastname@example.org
NickTalbot, JM 2002, is sports editor of
Highland Lake Newspapers in Marble Falls,
Texas. He married Pimchard Hoontrakul,
a graduate of the MAIM program at UF
They live in Austin with their dog, Boots.
Christina Jesson Schave, JM 2003,
married David Schave, PR 2003, in
October at the Baughman Center on the
Nic Screws, JM 2003, is associate fashion
editor for Travel + Leisure in New York.
Kim Hart, JM 2004, is a business
reporter covering technology for The
Washington Post. She earned her master's
at the University of Maryland in 2005. She
also teaches a graduate class in feature
writing at Georgetown University.
Dave G. Houser, PR 1968,
won five awards at the 2007
North American Travel Journalists
Association (NATJA) Travel
Journalism competition, including
first place in the Destination Travel:
Domestic/Magazine category with a
feature on Key West that appeared
in MEN'S FOLIO and Florida's
WELLINGTON LIFESTYLES and WILD
FLORIDA. He lives near Ruidoso, NM.
Eve Ackerman, TEL 1978,
writes under the pen name Darlene
Marshall. Her Florida-set novels,
Captain Sinister's Lady and Pirate's
Price, won the 2007 Eppie Award
for best historical romance, in a tie.
The Eppies are awarded by EPIC,
the Electronic Publishers Internet
Connection, the organization of
Samuel F. Hudson, JM 2007, is copy
editor of Florida Sportsman Communications
Network. He copy edits articles and
advertisements for Florida Sportsman and
Shallow Water Angler. He also copy edits any
books published through Florida Sportsman.
Jay Gartman, PR 1971,was elected to
the New Jersey Board of Trustees of the
American Civil Liberties Union. He owns
Eastern Tool Warehouse Corp., a New
Jersey-based distributor of transportation
repair tools. He was on the original UF
Public Relations Faculty Advisory Panel.
David Phillip Payne, PR 1972, is retired.
He worked for more than 25 years as an en
route air traffic controller at JAX ARTCC in
Howard E. "Gene" Adams, PR 1976, is
an attorney and shareholder for Pennington,
Moore,Wilkinson, Bell & Dunbar in Tallahassee.
He recently joined the law firm's executive
ebook writers, editors and publishers.
Boaz Dvir, JM 1988, and Rebecca
Goldman, JM 2006, won a $1,000
University Film and Video Association
Carole Fielding Student Production
& Research Grant for their documentary,
"Jessie's Dad." The graduate students
at the COLLEGE'S Documentary Institute
also received the $1,000 Direct Cinema
Limited Outstanding Documentary
Award. It's the first time Documentary
Institute students won the grant or
Alexa Elliott, MAMC 2002, and
Allan Farrell, TEL 1978, won a
NATAS Emmy award for their work
on WPBT's nature series WILD
Katrina (Tina) Rose Freeman, PR 1977,
is an adjunct professor of communications at
Crowder College. She also does marketing
and advertising work for Freeman Health
System in Missouri. She loves both her jobs
and her sons,Trevor and Parker. kfreeman@
Pamela Marsh Gitlin, PR 1978, is a
full-time mother, school and community
volunteer. From 1980 to 1990, she did
public relations for REIT. She's a former Miss
Anthony E. Onweagba, PhD, PR 1979, is
a professor of agricultural communications
and former Dean of Faculty of Agriculture and
Veterinary Medicine at Imo State University in
Nigeria. He just relocated to the United States
and is waiting to be hired and resettle.
Kenet Adamson, PR 1980, is dean of
arts and sciences at Asheville-Buncombe
Technical Community College.
Raymond Sayeg, PR 1985, represents
college students involved in music
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 23
Jo Ann McDowell Winn, PR 1985, is
alumni affairs coordinator for the UF College
of Veterinary Medicine. She has worked for
the college for five years.
Richard Gibbs, PR 1986, is public relations
manager for DHL in Plantation. He and his
wife, Jennifer, live in Miami Beach with their
daughter, India. email@example.com
Edward Schuh, PR 1988, is director
of institutional advisory services for
Principal Global Investors. He works in
several capacities, from portfolio analysis
and portfolio management to institutional
asset management sales and marketing. He
worked for Nicholas Applegate Capital
Management in San Diego from 1990 to
1998 and Phoenix Investment Partners
from 1993 to 2003. He has been married
to Traci Kinerk, who earned her bachelor's
in recreation from UF in 1989, since 1990.
They have three children.
Ann Fahey-Widman, PR 1991, is a
public relations practitioner for nonprofit,
high-tech and health-care companies and
organizations. She's the director of external
communications for Abbott, a $23 billion
global health-care company near Chicago,
and president and founder of The Super
Jake Foundation. She and her husband
founded the organization two years ago
when their son, Jake, was diagnosed with
a rare and deadly form of pediatric cancer
called neuroblastoma. Jake died in 2005.
They've raised more than $800,000 and
have started five clinical trial programs.
Susan Stilts Collins, PR 1992, is hospital
senior account specialist for Lilly Hospital
Group in Washington, D.C. She has been
with the company for more than six years.
She married Robert Collins, chief of staff for
Representative Eric Cantor.
Melissa DeVolentine, PR 1992, is
president of Melissa DeVolentine Public
Relations, which promotes events in South
Florida such as boat and home shows, as
well as sports marketing. Past clients include
professional boxer Alfonso Gomez, who has
fought on HBO and ESPN.
Lisa Croysdale Stevens, PR 1993, is a
full-time mother and teaches Kindermusik
part time in Montgomery, Ala. Stevens and
her husband, David, had a second child,
Sarah Mason, in November. She joins Ellie, 4.
Allison Bass Mandel, PR 1996, is director
of public relations for Bloomingdale's Aventura
and Miami stores. Her responsibities include
coordinating special events, overseeing media
and community relations. allison.mandel@
Frank Sutera, PR 1997, is vice president
of international production for Sony Pictures
Television International. He oversees original
productions for Sony's international networks
in Latin America, Asia, Europe and India.
Sheri Lowe, PR 1998, is director of
marketing and outreach for Covenant
Hospice in Pensacola. firstname.lastname@example.org
Shawna Seldon, PR 1998, is vice president
for The Rosen Group, a 23-year-old public
relations firm representing new media,
publishing and entrepreneurial companies
as well as non-profit organizations. She is
responsible for business development and
strategic account management, as well as
developing long-term relationships between
Rosen Group clients and the media. She has
developed publicity programs for clients
including Ladies' Home journal, Mass Appeal
Magazine, Filter Creative Group and People
Christina Banner, PR 1999,
is vice president of resource development
for United Way of Marion County. She
completed her accreditation in public
relations and was named the "Communicator
of the Year" by the Ocala Chapter of
the Florida Public Relations Association.
Sherry Lynn Ellison Hall, PR 1999, is
policy director for the Jacksonville Mayor's
Chad Darwin, PR 2000, is client service
manager for PainePR, a public relations firm
in Los Angeles.
Bjanca Camp, PR 2001, is talent
development coordinator for CNN
Worldwide, where she recruits and
coordinates on-air talent auditions for
all CNN Networks. She also coordinates
coaching and development sessions with
on-air talent. email@example.com
Tisha L. Christie, PR 2001, is
student financial services analyst for
Cumberland University in Lebanon,Tenn.
Amanda Holt, PR 2001, is director
of public relations for the Tampa
Bay Super Bowl Host Committee.
Regan Thompson Olsson, PR 2002, is
associate director of development and health
sciences at UC San Diego. firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph Abreu, PR 2003, is a staff writer,
editor, clerk and comptroller for Palm Beach
County. jabreu I @mypalmbeachclerk.com
Lauren Furey, PR 2003, is senior account
executive at Massey Communications in
Orlando. She married Robert Leetun in
March in Winter Park.
Amy Holtzman, PR 2003, is Internet
marketing manager for BtoB Magazine in New
Ilene Lieber, PR 2003, is a publicist for
E! Entertainment in Los Angeles, where she
develops, manages and executes publicity
Alan Carroll Nash, PR 2003, graduated
from Florida State University College
of Law in 2007. He is an associate at
Purdy, Jolly, Giuffreda & Barranco in Fort
Lauderdale specializing in Sovereign
Immunity and Civil Rights Law.
Lisa Greene, PR 2004, married Barry
Gibney last year in Fort Lauderdale.They
relocated to Hershey, Penn., where Gibney
is completing a general surgery residency
at Penn State. Lisa works for PNC Bank
as a community relations and marketing
Christie McKinnell, PR 2004, is
communications manager for the
Florida Dental Association in Tallahassee.
Joshua Pila, PR 2004, graduated from
Georgetown University Law Center,
cum laude, in 2007. He passed the New
York state bar exam and is working for
the communications law firm of Dow
Lohnes, PLLC, representing broadcast,
cable, newspaper and Internet clients.
24 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
Patrick Smyth, PR 2004, is going
into his fifth year as media information
coordinator for the Denver Broncos.
Allyson Hartley, PR 2005, is provider
communication specialist for WellCare
Health Plans. She lives in Tampa Bay.
Christina Chambers, PR 2007, is
account coordinator for CBR Public
Relations. She will be married May 25.
Valeria Lento, PR 2007, is assistant
account executive for EdelmanJMiami,
a public relations firm.
Victor DiGenti, TEL 1963, is retired after
35 years with the public broadcasting station
WJCT in Jacksonville. He retired to pursue
his first love, writing. His third novel in the
award-winning Windrusher series, Windrusher
and the Trail of Fire, Ocean Publishing, was
released this spring. His unpublished mystery/
suspense novel, Matanzas Bay, won the 2007
Josiah W. Bancroft Sr. Award.
Rod Caborn, TEL 1965, is executive vice
president public relations forY Partnership, a
worldwide advertising and public relations firm.
C. Ronald Williams, TEL 1970, is
executive director of the Arizona Insurance
Information Association (AIIA).AIIA is
dedicated to educating various audiences
about the benefits and value of property
and casualty insurance and the industry that
makes it possible to drive automobiles, own
homes and operate business in Arizona.
Scott Ferguson, TEL 1975, is
communications specialist for Sarasota
County Schools in the Communications
and Community Relations department.
George O'Neill, TEL 1977, is vice president
of BVI Miami LLC/Manhattan Transfer. He
recently opened a new production division,
"Within Pictures," to support commercial and
Web-based production. email@example.com
Craig Schwed, TEL 1977, is managing
editor of innovation and content development
for Gannett News Service in McLean,Va.
He has worked in the Washington area for
25 years with UPI, LA.Times, The Washington
Post and Gannett. His wife, Lori, is a Reuters
journalist.They have three daughters.
Richard D. Ellis, TEL 1978, is vice president
for Larson Studios, a full-service post-
production sound company in Hollywood.
Their current roster of projects includes The
Shield,Jericho, Dead Zone, Deal or No Deal, One
vs. 100, Don't Forget the Lyrics, Project Runway,
Top Chef and MADtv. He and his wife, Helene,
recently celebrated their 28th wedding
Frank Volpicella, TEL 1978, is executive
director for KVUE Television in Austin. He has
met many new friends at the Austin Gator
Club, which has more than 100 members.
Maurice Philippe Boudreaux, TEL
1979, is director of European operations
for Simon International/Woo Sung. His
responsibilities include sourcing, product
oversee, media relations, legal compliance
and managing and coordinating regional
agents and representatives. He lives with his
life partner, Yoshiharu Kageyama, in Cleburne,
Texas, and has three children from his first
Cathy Curtis Mild Abbott, TEL 1980,
is retired (for now). She is making jewelry
and owns "Two Can Do It!!" Jewelry Design.
She married Fred "Catfish" Abbott last year.
Nick Gamma, TEL 1981, is a computer
tech for Estee Lauder Companies in Melville,
J. Mike Simmons,TEL 1981, is a colonel
in the United States Army. He is assigned
as the Deputy Director of Operations
for Third Army at Fort McPherson, Ga.
Lee Womble Ricci, TEL 1982, launched
her own consulting firm, LRhr, which
specializes in human resources services
and employment solutions. She has held
several positions in Central Florida, including
Orange County Government, LYNX, Florida
Jennifer McNamara, TEL 2000,
died March 5 when a truck hit her on
a crosswalk near Rockefeller Center
after she worked on MSNBC's primary
election night coverage. She was 29.
McNamara was born in Illinois and
grew up in Orlando. She worked for
Crawford Communications in Atlanta
and for ABC News in Charlotte, N.C.
During her two years in New York,
McNamara worked as a stage manager
for theater productions and freelanced
for companies such as Fox News,
MSNBC and SportsNet New York. She
also took part in charity work, includ-
ing AIDS Walk NewYork.
UF football coach Urban Meyer
plans to dedicate the first game of the
upcoming season to McNamara and
present her family with a signed foot-
ball, said her mother, Joyce McNamara.
McNamara is survived by her
mother and her brother, Jeff, both of
Orlando, and a large extended family.
Employment Solutions, Oasis Outsourcing
and most recently serving as Human
Resources Director for American Mapping
& Surveying. LNCricci@aol.com
Nedra Hoffman, TEL 1984,
is senior specialist in pharmaceutical sales
for King Pharmaceuticals in New York. She
is also in the midst of completing a master's
in International Public Health at NYU.
Nhoffman I @nyc.rr.com
Michael Goldrick, TEL 1985, is news
director for WHEC-TV, an NBC affiliate in
Rochester, N.Y. firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Zappi, TEL 1986, is associate
regional marketing coordinator for Whole
Foods Market. She manages marketing
programs for the company's southwest
region, including Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma
and Arkansas. Laura.email@example.com
Bridget Hart, TEL 1987, is a personal
chef for Sweet Enough.After 15 years in the
large-scale events business, she went back
to culinary school and started a personal-
chef and catering business. Sweet Enough
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 25
Richard C. Bartlett, COM 1957
Bartlett joined Mary Kay Inc. in 1973
to guide the company's sales and
marketing strategies. He became
an officer in 1976, a board member
in 1979 and vice chairman in 1993.
He served as president and chief
operating officer from 1987 to
1992. Under his leadership, Mary
Kay has received eight awards for
its stewardship of the environment,
including the Environmental Excellence
Award from Keep America Beautiful,
the Environmental Protection
Agency's Region Vl's Environmental
Excellence Award and the North Texas
Conservation Leadership Award from
the Nature Conservancy of Texas.
Bartlett began his career in direct
marketing in 1960 by establishing
Tupperware in Europe. He has held
various leadership positions in the
profession, including twice chairing
the Direct Selling Association Board
of Directors. In 1994, he received the
industry's top honor, the Hall of Fame
Award. He has authored three books,
The Direct Option, on direct selling as
a legitimate career choice; Saving the
Best of Texas:A Partnership Approach to
Conservation, and The Sportsman's Guide
to Texas, about blending conservation
ethics and hunting.
Andy Fletcher,ADV 1979
Fletcher is president and CEO of
Fletcher Martin, an Atlanta-based
advertising agency. He is recognized as
one of the industry's leading experts
in marketing strategy development. In
2005, his agency successfully bid for
UF's marketing campaign and launched
The Gator Nation ads. Fletcher began
his career as a teenager, when he
worked with Fletcher Mayo.At 30, he
founded Fletcher Gampper & Wirth, a
direct response agency in Kansas City.
After six years, he closed his agency to
become president of Barkley in Kansas
City. Under his leadership, Barkley
shifted from a primarily automotive
aftermarket agency into one of the
premier retail agencies in America.
Fletcher has worked on major national
brands, including General Electric, First
Data Corporation, Learjet, the Kansas
City Chiefs, Northwest Airlines, Sonic
Drive-Ins and Western Auto, where he
led its sports marketing and NASCAR
sponsorship efforts. Recently, he
directed the strategic vision for
the launch campaign for the Atlanta
Hal Herman,JM 1949
Herman serves as chairman and
CEO ofWorth International
Communications Corporation, which
publishes RECOMMEND magazine,
of which he's president and editor-
in-chief.Worth's Custom Publishing
Division's past and present clients
include Florida, Mexico and Walt
Disney World. Herman worked at a
Miami newspaper and radio station
and for a public relations firm before
starting his own business in 1953 as a
newspaper representative. He is past
president of the Advertising Federation
of Greater Miami and past vice
chairman of the Greater Hollywood
Chamber of Commerce. He serves on
the Advertising Federation's Board of
Trustees, is past chair of the Florida
Chapter of the Travel and Tourism
Research Association, a member of the
board of directors of the International
Travel and Tourism Research
Association, and a board member of
the Greater Miami Hotel and Motel
Association. He is former Florida
ambassador to the Southeast U.S./
Japan Association and former member
of the Florida Council on International
Development. He received the Silver
Medal from the American Advertising
Kristi Krueger,TEL 1986
Krueger is a major-market, award-
winning medical reporter and serves
as morning anchor and health reporter
on WPLG-TV and Local I0.com in
Miami. She joined WPLG as co-anchor
and "Eye on Health" reporter in 1993
after three years as a medical reporter
and anchor for WDIV in Detroit.
The Florida Medical Association has
awarded Krueger first-place awards
twice in 1990 for her reporting on
cosmetic surgery and in 1988 for her
series,"Nurses Needed: Stat." She has
received many other awards, including
the Florida Heart Association Award
for Outstanding Media Service, the
Florida Cancer Communicator Award,
and an Emmy in 1998. In 1999, she was
honored as the First Lady of Broward.
The Sun Sentinel named her "favorite
female anchor" that same year and,
a year later, the Weizmann Institute
of Science named her its "Woman
of Vision." She won the "Best Large
Market" and the "Best in Show Media"
awards in 2005 and 2006.That year,
the Florida Heart Association awarded
her "Best Large Market" media award.
Her broadcast career started at
WWSB-TV in Sarasota.
Stephanie Sinclair, JM 1998
Sinclair worked at The Chicago
Tribune, which hired her out of col-
lege until she moved to Iraq and then
Beirut, Lebanon, five years later to
work out of the region. Her regular
clients include The New York Times
Magazine, Time, Newsweek, US News &
World Report, Stern and Marie Claire.
She recently won the World Peace
Award. Sinclair has earned numer-
ous other awards, including the Visa
D'Or at the 2004 Visa Pour L'lmage
photography festival in France, a first
place in World Press Photo and the
FiftyCrows International Fund for
Documentary Photography's 2004
Central Asia and Caucasus Grant.
She won third place in World Press
Photo for her coverage of the 2006
war in Lebanon. She has earned sev-
eral awards in the Pictures of the Year
International annual competition and
has been recognized in the American
Photography competition for the past
four years. She earned The Chicago
Bar Association's Herman Kogan
Meritorious Achievement Award in
2000. She was also part of the Tribune
team that won the Pulitzer Prize for
its documentation of problems within
the airline industry in 2000.
26 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
specializes in cuisine to control insulin and
sugar levels. firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Crandall, TEL 1988, is media
manager for Ion Media Networks,
formerly PaxTV, which runs sports
broadcast operations for the Tampa Bay
Devil Rays and Lightning.
Steven Elliott, TEL 1988, owns an
environmental transportation business in Los
Angeles, where he provides scooters and
electric vehicles to the television and motion
picture industry. He has done scooters for
such films as Austin Powers and Charlie's Angels,
and provides these services to SCRUBS and
My Name Is Earl.
Patricia A. Gibowicz, TEL 1988, is a
dental hygienist at Dovetail Dental Associates
in Amherst, N.H. She spent 15 years in
TV sports as a freelance graphics operator,
living in Atlanta, Orlando and Los Angeles.
She won three Emmy Awards for her work
for NBC Sports on the 1992 Olympic
Games in Barcelona and for ESPN on the
1997 and 1998 X-Games. In 1997, she
moved to Manchester, N.H., where she
earned an Associates Degree in Dental
Hygiene in 2004.
Natalie Nichols Gillespie,TEL 1988,
is an author, editor and freelance writer.
She is the author of Stepfamily Success,
Successful Adoption:A Guide for Christian
Families, and Five-Star Living on a Two-Star
Budget (see story, Page 10). She is also an
editor for fiction and non-fiction books for
several publishing houses, including Simon
& Schuster, Harlequin, Random House and
others. She has published more than 1,500
freelance magazine features in the past 10
years for more than two dozen publications,
including HomeLife, Today's Christian Woman,
and CCM. email@example.com
Cynthia Hufford, TEL 1990, is a health-
science associate for Merck/Schering-Plough.
She was recently promoted and relocated to
Kenneth D. Clein, TEL 1991, and wife
Deborah Stein, PR 1994, live in Plantation,
with their three children. Clein is director of
finance at Jarden Consumer Solutions, and
Stein is a full-time mother. They fell in love
while doing news reports for TV-20 (Clein)
and WUFT (Stein) and have been married for
12 years. clein I @comcast.net
Sandor (Sandy) Bondorowsky, TEL 1992,
is president and founding partner of Remote
Digital Media, a production company and
rental house specializing in high-definition
video and large multi-track audio recording.
Mark Raines, TEL 1992, teaches television
production in Alabama, after eight years as
a television reporter and anchor in local
Julie Rabedeau Booth, TEL 1993,
is managing partner for Hummingbird
Media Group LLC, a marketing and
public relations firm specializing in
online marketing. She works with small
businesses and political candidates.
Rae Kauder, TEL 1994, is group director
for Octagon, a consulting and marketing firm.
Carrie Gomberg-Bielski, TEL 1995,
is senior adult immunization professional
for Merck & Co. She sells vaccines in
Jacksonville. She is married to David Bielski
and has two daughters, Jamie and Allie.
Rosanna Manuela Catalano Flury, TEL
1997, is assistant dean for administration for
the Florida State University College of Law in
Christopher Novak, TEL 1997, is
television scheduling/intern coordinator
for HSN in St. Petersburg. He oversees
live show staffing and is in charge of the
production intern program. He and his
wife gave birth to their daughter, Bethany,
Misty Woroner Pope, TEL 1998, is
account manager for WFLA-TV in Tampa. She
and her husband, Brian, welcomed their first
child, Braeden, in August.
Misty Showalter Wright, TEL 1998,
is producer of America's Most Wonted. She
works with law enforcement and tries to
help catch fugitives on the FOX television
show. Prior to that, she was a special projects
producer at the FOX affiliate in Washington,
D.C., where she won several awards, including
a regional Edward R. Murrow award. She
lives in Arlington,Va., with her husband, Brad.
jaime N. Kersnason, TEL 1999, is on
sabbatical from working in the Middle East.
Christina Marie Duss, TEL 2000, is senior
account manager for Google in NewYork.
Neal E. Boling, TEL 2001, is news director
forWJHL News Channel II inTri-Cities,Tenn.
She was previously the executive producer at
WFLA in Tampa. firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Dove, TEL 2001,
is operations manager for discovery
communications broadcast facility in Sterling,
Lalita Llerena, TEL 2001, is
executive producer for Bay News 9.
Zach Seidenberg, TEL 2001, is senior
account executive for Strauss Radio
Strategies, a public relations firm. He left
Florida Public Radio in 2006 to join SRS in
Washington, D.C. email@example.com
Tera Williams, TEL 2001, is a reporter
for WFLD Fox News Chicago.
Adam Pinsker, TEL 2002, is an anchor and
reporter for WVOC-AM in Columbia, S.C.
Kristen Berset, TEL 2003, is an anchor
and producer atWJHG-TV, News Channel
7 NBC in Panama City. She recently
returned from a 10-day Armed Forces
Entertainment trip through Iraq. She
helped put on the first official fishing derby
for the troops,"Operation: Catch Fish!!"
Matt Scafidi, TEL 2003, is online content
director of business for Clear Channel
Radio. He oversees the Web sites for their
three-station cluster in Melbourne with
weekend/fill-in on-air shifts with 101.1 WJRR
in Orlando and Lite Rock 99.3 and News/
Talk 1240 & 1350 WMMB in Melbourne.
Autumn Smith, TEL 2003, is a Radio
City Rockette at Radio City Music Hall.
She performed in the Radio City Christmas
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 27
Spectacular in Fort Lauderdale and
Tampa. She has been a Rockette for nine
years and her husband is the assistant
stage manager of the show.
Ryan K. Maule, TEL 2004, is creative
media director for Integrity Management.
He was the recent winner of a 2008
Bronze Telly in Health and Wellness for
a documentary on the importance of
chiropractic care. firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolyn Rodon, TEL 2004, is account
executive for DMC Advertising in Orange
County, Calif. email@example.com
Naseem Ferdowsi, TEL 2005, is a
master's student in the Middle Eastern
Studies program at the American University
of Beirut. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lauren Hills, TEL 2005, is a reporter
atWNCN, an NBC affiliate in Raleigh.
Harrison Hove, TEL 2005, is a
meteorologist for KLFY-TV, the CBS
affiliate serving Lafayette, La.
Michael Murphy, TEL 2005, is a
radio news anchor and reporter for
WINC-AM/FM in Winchester,Va.
Josh Barlow, TEL 2006, is a producer
for WEAR-TV, an ABC affiliate.
Sarah Gersh, TEL 2006, is multimedia
coordinator for Cars.com in Chicago.
Allison Seriani,TEL 2006, is an agent
trainee for the William Morris Agency.
She is in the commercials, sponsorship
and endorsement division in Miami Beach.
Natalie Caula, TEL 2007, is a general
assignment reporter for ABC News 4
(WCIV) in Charleston, S.C.
Michael Szabo, TEL 2007, is a motion
graphics artist for the Florida Video
Post under Chumney and Associates
Thomas M. Brew, MAJC 1976, is deputy
editor of MSNBC online. He joined MSNBC.
com in 1995 after 20 years at newspapers.
Dr.Vincent M. Pellegrino, MAJC 1981, is
vice president of Southwest Minnesota State
University with responsibilities for academic
advancement, accreditation and assessment.
He was recently appointed to the Peer Review
Corp of Higher Learning Commission of North
Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Nancy Keeler, MAMC 1990, is vice
president of development for the Academy of
Natural Sciences. email@example.com
Jim Sullivan, MAMC 1990,
is a visiting professor at UF's School of Building
Construction.After graduating and working
as a circulation consultant, he returned to UF
to pursue a master's in Building Construction,
and later a Ph.D. He worked for Clark
Construction in Bethesda, Md. He moved back
to Gainesville in 2003. He and his wife, Sandra,
have two girls, Catie and Grace. firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Farrell, MAMC 1994, is creator
and host of The Scott Farrell Show. His
live broadcast airs from 4 to 6 p.m. on
Sunday on Tampa Bay's NewsTalk AM 1040.
Michele Bush Kimball, MAMC 1998,
is an assistant professor in the Department of
Communication at the University of Alabama.
She will teach journalism and media law in the
fall. She earned a Ph.D. in philosophy in 2001.
Debra Deardourff Faulk, MAMC 1999,
is an attorney for Holland & Knight in Tampa,
where she deals with media and intellectual
Katie Seay, MAMC 2001, married
Brian Marquis in August in Orlando.They
live in Gainesville and work at UF
Tanya Beatty, MAMC 2002, is marketing
assistant for the Village Theatre in Everett,
Wash. It's one of the top theatres in the
Northwest. She is also a dancer in a modern
dance company, Chimera Dance Theatre.
Eric Burroughs, MAMC 2002, is chief
correspondent for Reuters in Tokyo, leading
a team of six covering currencies and the
Japanese bond market. He has been in Japan
since 2004, after spending more than four
years with Reuters in New York as a reporter
covering financial markets, economics and the
Federal Reserve. He joined Reuters in 2000 as
an intern, email@example.com
AlexaWoell Elliott, MAMC 2002, is
producer of WILD FLORIDA atWPBT Channel
2 in Miami.The series, which highlights Florida's
species and habitats, recently won a Suncoast
Regional Emmy in the health/environment
category. It airs on 35 public television stations
around the country and was sold to television
stations abroad, firstname.lastname@example.org
jenny Wills Highlander, MAMC 2002, is
public relations manager for The Ritz-Carlton
Katie Jeffers Weitekamp, MAMC 2004, is
senior marketing and communications specialist
at Gainesville Regional Utilities in Gainesville.
Dawn Hatton, MAMC 2005, is director
of development for Orange County
Regional History Center in Orlando.
Lauren Hames, MAMC 2007, is senior
account executive for PCI in Chicago. PCI
is a full-service, national public relations
and marketing communications firm.
Michael Hoefges, PhD 1998, is an associate
professor with tenure effective July I in the
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
at the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Brigitta R. Brunner, PhD 2000, received
tenure and is an associate professor at
Auburn University. She was elected gradu-
ate program officer for the Department of
Communication and Journalism. She won the
Teaching Award in Communication Sciences
and Social Sciences in the College of Liberal
Arts. She married Troy Johnson in 2005.
28 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
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"Alumni and donors to the COLLEGE,"
said Director of Development Laforis
Knowles, PR 2002, "love to work with
him and trust him to accomplish meaning-
ful things with their money."
In a year plagued with $435,000 in
budget cuts and fear of even steeper cuts
in the next fiscal year, Wright secured
new equipment for the Department of
Telecommunication, reequipped the news-
rooms, put new calibration software in the
photojournalism lab and updated editing
suites with state-of-the-art technology.
He also increased the funds available for
research seeds, completed a research lab
and boosted funds for research-related
State budget cuts threatened the sum-
mer research program, which gives some
faculty members $6,500 in seed money to
conduct research instead of teaching, so
he found private funds to keep it alive.
The majority of the COLLEGE'S cuts
came out of the operational budget,
because Wright wanted to avoid taking
money from faculty and staff, he said.
"His concern for people really shows
through," said outgoing UF Provost Janie
Fouke, who meets with Wright regularly.
"Usually, the first thing he talks about is
A deanship in this COLLEGE is one of
the most demanding in the country, said
Dean Emeritus Ralph Lowenstein, who
hired Wright in 1982 for his "unusually
good" teaching skills.
"It is the only place where the dean is
in charge of all broadcasting properties,"
Lowenstein said. Besides his administra-
tive tasks, Wright also oversees seven
radio and TV stations, including WRUF-
AM-FM and WUFT-FM-TV.
Wright is the first of the COLLEGE'S
five deans without a traditional print
background. His electronic media knowl-
edge will help the COLLEGE become even
stronger in digital communication educa-
tion, Lowenstein said.
"Many faculty don't want to change,"
he said. "But they would follow a leader
who would point them in the right way."
Wright's effective leadership style is
to include everyone in the decision-mak-
ing process, Department of Journalism
Chair Bill McKeen said.
"We've been talking about [the con-
verged newsroom] for a long time,"
30 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
McKeen said, "and now that he's here,
it's really happening."
Wright has created a climate for pro-
ductivity by making every employee feel
valued, McKeen said. Among other mea-
sures, he increased access to the dean's
"Any time he's there," McKeen said,
"his door is always open."
After graduating from Avon Park High
School in 1967, Wright initially planned to
attend Furman University and walk on to
the football team as a wide receiver. After
completing his A.A. degree in Florida, he
enrolled at Furman and worked out with
the team over the summer, but when he
realized he lacked the size, standing just
under 6 feet and weighing in at a mere
155 pounds, he left before school started
and headed to the University of Central
Florida, where he earned a degree in
political science with a minor in telecom-
Some of his professors advised him to
get his master's and become a government
consultant. While working on his degree,
these faculty members, who had a knack
for research, sparked a similar passion in
him. When they asked him to teach a class
soon after he began his graduate work, he
also fell in love with teaching and earned
his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University
Little did Wright know that almost
30 years later, his alma mater would
play the Gators for two national cham-
pionships. Before UF's 2006 national
football championship, a newspaper
misquoted him as saying he'd be happy if
Ohio State won.
"No way," Wright said.
Just days earlier, he told his Haile
Plantation neighbor and fellow Buckeye,
Gators coach Urban Meyer, that he always
roots for Florida.
Sometimes, his Ohio State connection
gives Wright a laugh, though, especially
when it comes to Assistant Dean Jon
Roosenraad, a University of Michigan
alumnus. Once, when Wright had to can-
cel as a presenter at the COLLEGE'S com-
mencement ceremony, Roosenraad filled
in at the last minute. Since presenters
wear robes garnished with the colors of
their alma mater, Roosenraad had to wear
Wright's scarlet-and-gray colored gown.
"Any time anyone from Ohio State
can get a one up on Michigan," Wright
said, "it's a good thing."
After graduating from Ohio State and
teaching at Purdue University-Fort Wayne
for two years, Wright went to the University
of Alabama at Birmingham in 1978, where
he taught telecommunication, journalism
and public speaking courses for four years.
There, he met Pam Coshatt, a vivacious,
dark-haired Birmingham native of French
descent. His "blue eyes and deep voice"
drew her to him, and Wright admired her
"ambition, confidence, natural beauty and
sports knowledge," he said. They had their
first date at Michael's Steak/Seafood. Six
months later, they got married.
"I just knew," she said.
When a friend told him about an open-
ing at the COLLEGE right before the deadline,
he raced to submit his application. He got
the job and started teaching at UF in 1982.
As a telecommunication professor,
Wright was named teacher of the year three
times. He won the College research award,
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 31
focusing on audience utilization of news
messages, telecommunication regulation
and media law. And he published a long list
of scholarly material. He received tenure
after only three years at UF.
Former student Virginia Buchanan,
TEL 1986, a trial lawyer in Pensacola,
rarely goes more than two days with-
out thinking about what Wright taught
her in History of Mass Communication,
she said. She remembers his "quiet,
understated charm" and ability to connect
"It wasn't like being in a history class,"
she said. "It was almost like living it."
When Prof. Emeritus Kurt Kent left
his role as associate dean for graduate
studies in 1993, several faculty members
encouraged Wright to step up. Six years-
later, Dean Emerita Terry Hynes promoted
him to executive associate dean.
When Hynes stepped down as dean
in 2006, Fouke asked Wright to serve
as interim dean. Although several schools
had recruited him to apply for dean-
ships, including Indiana University, The
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
and the University of California, Berkeley,
he couldn't pass up the UF offer.
"There was no way I could say no," he
said, "because I really love the COLLEGE."
After Fouke named him permanent
dean in December, Wright received cards,
e-mails and Facebook messages from
more than 300 friends, former students and
colleagues. Executive secretaries Olivia
Jeffries and Trish Wickham taped an "X"
over the word "interim" on the glass door to
the dean's office.
"I just happened to notice that it still
said interim," Jeffries recalled. "So I said,
'I'll fix that!'"
Wright strolls the COLLEGE'S halls two
or three times a week to see how things
are going with the department chairs, pro-
fessors and staff members. He sometimes
engages in non-linear conversations that
switch from work to football, back to work
and then to music.
"He's got such a wide variety of inter-
ests," Roosenraad said, "that 1 think he can
talk to people about just about everything."
This variety of interests has always
impressed Wright's best friend since
high school, Ken Dixon, president and
CEO of Leland Enterprises, a real estate
company in Orlando and the namesake
of UCF's Kenneth G. Dixon School of
During high school, Wright lettered in
three sports and started as offensive and
defensive end for Avon Park's state runner-
up varsity football team. He and a fellow
teammate were also in the band.
"You had these two football players play-
ing the tuba," Dixon recalled, chuckling.
In the state final, the team lost to
32 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
Jefferson County High School and future
Gator great Jack Youngblood.
"He caused my only fumble in high
school," Wright said, laughing.
Wright has always been loyal, Dixon
said. The two were notorious for late-night
tennis and basketball and for pulling pranks.
They still interact at least once a week, and
Dixon even bought a house in Gainesville,
which Pam decorated, so he could visit the
couple more often.
"When we're not looking in the mirror,"
Dixon said, "we still feel like we are 20."
Wright and Pam have two children.
John, 21, left home in January to attend
Flagler College in St. Augustine after two
years at Santa Fe Community College, and
Lindsey, 19, lives in a Gainesville apart-
ment and attends Santa Fe.
Empty-nest syndrome hasn't complete-
ly kicked in, though, because they still have
Dede, the family's 13-year-old black poo-
dle, who is becoming grayer these days.
"When I'm gone and John has to walk
her," she said, "he is sometimes a little
uncomfortable walking a tiny poodle with
bows in her hair."
He especially tries to avoid the walk on
game days, when Pam dresses Dede in the
Gator skirt Lindsey wore as a baby.
An avid sports fan, Wright's collection
of baseball memorabilia fills his home.
Among his treasures is the baseball-card
collection he shares with his son.
"Every closet in the house is full of boxes
and boxes of baseball cards," Pam said.
Wright and his son have obtained about
1,000 autographs on cards and professional
photographs. He treats his favorites with
"He'll scan them and put a fake one
out," Pam said.
Then, he hides the original in a filing
cabinet organized according to team, he
said. He's even considered hiring someone
to rearrange traded players and put addi-
tions into their appropriate places.
Wright's home also has a room dedi-
cated to Gator memorabilia, including auto-
graphed pictures of former UF basketball
players Corey Brewer and Al Horford,
who were students in the COLLEGE when
they entered the NBA Draft after their
junior year; and former UF quarterback
Chris Leak, whom Wright met through his
wife, Latria Graham Leak, TEL 2007.
Wright's love for music equals his pas-
sion for sports. He loves to strum one of his
five guitars while friends and family sing
along. Since he doesn't like to play with a
pick, he sometimes sports a Band-Aid on
the right thumb of one of his large hands,
which make him a natural at the guitar
and "able to catch anything," Dixon said.
Among his favorite songs to play are "It
Keeps Right on A-Hurtin" by his friend and
COLLEGE Alumnus of Distinction Johnny
Tillotson, TEL 1959, and "I'll Follow the
Sun" by the Beatles.
Wright has shown his fondness for the
Beatles' music throughout his life, like
when he and McKeen camped out one
cold night to get prime tickets for a Paul
Wright attended McKeen's annual
Beatles parties during the late 1980s, where
the 200-some partygoers wore costumes
that represented songs by the Fab Four.
One year, Wright wore a shirt covered with
various quotes and greetings to represent
represent "Things We Said Today".
Although that tradition has died out,
one custom Wright has kept alive is visiting
with his family and friends the day after
Christmas. Every year, the Wright family
travels to his brother's home in Orlando,
where he meets up with his mother; older
sister Laurinda, a music teacher in Missouri;
younger sister Mary, a Presbyterian minis-
ter in Key West; younger brother Joel, a
homicide detective in Orlando, and other
family members and close friends.
A game of touch football is a highlight
of the day. Last year's match-up pitted old
guys versus young guys. "We tied," Wright
said, "with just a little cheating."
The gathering ends with Wright strum-
ming the guitar by a nighttime bonfire.
Paired with his progressive goals, this
lighthearted demeanor is one of the reasons
the COLLEGE'S morale is much higher today,
McKeen said. "He's just the kind of guy
you want to do your best for."
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 33
New executive associate dean helps boost College morale
BY AMBER EHRKE
After 14 years as a fac-
ulty member, Linda Hon,
MAMC 1986, transitioned
to her third Gator role as
senior associate dean in
2006 when John Wright became interim
In April,Wright promoted her to
executive associate dean.
Hon has been working with Wright,
faculty and staff to restructure the
COLLEGE'S governance model, update com-
puter initiatives, launch technology, and
refurbish Weimer Hall classrooms and
"For me, the last year and a half has
been a time for listening, learning, con-
necting with faculty and staff and working
with John on strategic directions for the
COLLEGE," Hon said."Now that John has
been named dean, it feels like that exhila-
rating moment when you are at maximum
speed on the runway in a jumbo jet and
you feel the plane lift off and take flight."
She's combed through state budget and
private funding sources with Wright, look-
ing to maximize the amount of money the
COLLEGE could put toward teaching, faculty
development and research.
"I love math," she said."Learning about
the COLLEGE'S finances has been fascinating."
Hon acts as a liaison between faculty
and the administration, working with
the Faculty Senate and the COLLEGE'S
Constitution Committee,Wright said.The
Senate aims to improve the communica-
tion flow among administration, faculty
and staff and make the administration
"Nobody gives more than Linda to the
COLLEGE and to her colleagues," Wright
said."She is invaluable to me as dean
because she can provide sound advice
and counsel on just about any matter we
A recent faculty survey shows a
turnaround in how faculty members feel
about communication with the adminis-
tration,Wright noted. He and Hon have
made improving access, transparency and
accountability a key priority.
She's spearheaded this transition to
shared governance with Senate Chair
"She's good at listening," Dodd said,
"and then bringing in this sort of adminis-
Hon is three times a Gator: first, as
a graduate student, then as a public rela-
tions professor and researcher and now
as senior associate dean.
Hon's family moved to Gainesville when
she was 4 years old. Her stepfather, Charlie
Wellborn, MAMC 1958, taught editing,
graphics and publications at the COLLEGE and
hosted pool parties and cookouts for his
students in the family's back yard. Her moth-
er, Emily Childers, received her Ph.D. from
UF's College of Education, inspiring Hon to
pursue a doctorate.
"In elementary school, I was helping
him grade exams and talking with her
about factor analysis," Hon said."I guess
my future was pretty easy to predict."
At Gainesville High School, she was
an honors student, cheerleader and bas-
ketball statistician with a Farrah Fawcett
haircut and a cheerful attitude.
Her personality has remained the
same if you see her in the hallway, she'll
always have a big smile, said WUFT-TV
Director of Engineering Rob Carr, TEL
1996, who went to GHS with her.
Carr couldn't remember her dating in
"She was smart," he said, laughing.
After she graduated from GHS in
1980, Hon earned a bachelor's degree in
sociology with a minor in French from
Stetson University and then completed
her master's in mass communication at
UF. She took most of the public relations
undergraduate courses as a graduate stu-
dent, racking up twice as many credit hours
as she needed.
Wright was the first professor she had
at UF"He was really organized and always
interesting," she said."And, I thought he
was cool because he liked all the same
bands I did."
Hon received her Ph.D. from the
University of Maryland, where she worked
as a research assistant for noted public
relations researcher James Grunig. She
stayed active professionally by working on
projects such as the World Wildlife Fund's
On a rare night out with a friend at
a Capitol Hill restaurant during the 1988
Super Bowl weekend, Hon spotted the
34 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
quintessential attractive male: tall, dark
and handsome, wearing a bright royal blue
When he walked by their table, she
nudged her friend to get his attention. Her
friend grabbed his sweater and blurted out,
"That's a lovely shade of blue," Hon recalled.
Later that night, Hon told her room-
mate she had met the man she was going
The following Tuesday, she went to
lunch with her future husband. Hon
complained that she was always cold in
Maryland because she only had her Florida
clothes her research assistantship salary
didn't stretch very far in the D.C. metro
area and David Hon, who worked as a
NASA contractor, talked about his former
girlfriend the whole time. Hon thought it
was hopeless until the next day, when he
showed up at her apartment with a warm,
fluffy Benetton sweater.
They married in Gainesville a year to
the day after they met.They held their
wedding reception at the Reitz Union.
After she finished her Ph.D. at Maryland,
Hon taught for two years at the Florida
Institute of Technology in Melbourne,
then returned to UM, where she took a
one-year appointment as an instructor
and worked as the adviser to the Public
Relations Student Society of America.
Before she could look for another job
in the D.C. area, Emeritus Prof. Robert
Kendall invited her to interview for a fac-
ulty position at the COLLEGE.
"You don't ever really think you're
going to go back to your hometown,"
She returned to Gainesville in 1994
with her then-4-year-old son, Gregory. For
five years, she and her husband sustained
a commuter marriage until he found a
job with UF's Department of Astronomy,
where he worked for nine years.Today,
he's self-employed, contracting with NASA
and traveling to Goddard Space Flight
Center in Maryland one week a month.
PASSING ON HER LESSONS
As a professor, Hon has taught nearly
every required course in the public rela-
tions undergraduate and graduate cur-
"The ones I could never teach, ironi-
cally, are Charlie's courses," she said."He
loved the creative side of the field. I love
strategy and research."
Hon also served as the Department of
Public Relations' graduate coordinator for
One of her former graduate students,
Eyun-Jung Ki, MAMC 2003, PhD 2006,
has published 13 articles in top journals.
The assistant professor of public relations
at the University of Alabama worked as
Hon's research assistant for three years,
and they have published four articles
Hon read her dissertation five
times. She not only guided Ki profes-
sionally but helped her when her fiance
moved back to South Korea by sharing
stories of her own time apart from her
When Ki won an outstanding student
research award, Hon greeted her with a
big bouquet of flowers.
"She has actually enriched my life," Ki
The medley of papers, notebooks,
binders and photos of her sons scattered
across her desk in the Dean's Office mir-
rors her life.Though she works constantly,
Hon's family is her priority. She has two
sons, Gregory, 17, and Christopher, 6, and
four rescue pets including two golden
retrievers and two cats of unknown origin.
At home, she lives in a guys' world.
She has surrendered her house to hi-def,
Halo and Gator games.
She has only herself to blame for the
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 35
BY MELISSA THOMPSON
t seemed fitting to pay tribute to the Kentucky-born journal-
ist who lived life fast and hard by pouring two fingers of his
favorite bourbon: Wild Turkey.
Department of Journalism Chair William McKeen
sat in his living room in the middle of the night on
Feb. 20, 2005, sipping the fiery liquor and remember-
ing a writer whose razor-sharp prose enchanted and
perplexed the masses, a hypnotic figure whose legend
and provocative journalism even today inspires young-
At 11:15 p.m., Los Angeles Times Staff Writer Geoff Boucher,
JM 2007, called McKeen with news of Hunter S. Thompson's self-
inflicted, fatal gunshot to the head and questions about the life of the
man known as the gonzo journalist.
McKeen informed his wife, Nicole Cisneros, JM 2005. "She
urged me to say a prayer for him," he said.
Whether he's asked to discuss the eccentric writer's psyche
and work or his complicated public and private relationships,
McKeen is considered a Thompson expert by journalists and aca-
demics alike. All it takes is a glance around his office to see why.
A wall stacked with hundreds of books showcases his penchant
for rock 'n' roll and literary journalism titans like Tom Wolfe.
Among the mass of books are McKeen's published proj-
ects, including his 1991 Hunter S. Thompson, an examination
of Thompson's work. Personal notes from Thompson, display-
ing his frantic penmanship, and black-and-white photographs
of Thompson's visit to Western Kentucky University, where
36 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
isrnrnr :~ -B
I i.. tHon 1
we won't know
Alumni please tell us what you're doing:
name (include maiden) major year
current position name of business
misc. info (include names)
E-mail 1 okay to publish?
1 address change
Deadline for fall issue is Aug. 29. Please mail, fax (352-392-3939) or e-mail (email@example.com)
College of Journalism and Communications
University of Florida
P.O. Box 11 i IIi
Gainesville, FL 32611-8400
McKeen taught in the late 1970s, document the journalists' quirky
A framed, handwritten note scribbled in black marker hangs
on a wall just below one from Tom Wolfe. The Thompson note
reads: "I warned you about writing that vicious trash about me.
Now you better get fitted for that black eye patch just in case one
of yours gets gouged out by a bushy-haired stranger in a dimly lit
parking lot. How fast can you learn Braille? You are scum."
It's signed "HST."
"It was his way of letting me know he really liked the book,"
The framed portion of the note is an excerpt from an eight-foot
scroll Thompson sent McKeen about a bull-sperm auction.
T : 4W
In the days following Thompson's death, news outlets
such as the St. Petersburg Times and C N N sought insight into
Thompson's life and work.
They called McKeen.
"When the person from People magazine called, I asked,
'Well, aren't you also going to talk to this person and that per-
son?' And she said, 'No, we're talking to you and Johnny Depp,
and that's it,' McKeen recalled.
After a flurry of interviews, Cisneros suggested her husband's
next book should be a biography of Thompson. Outlaw Journalist:
The Life and Times of Hunter S. Thompson was born.
"He'll say all of his best ideas come from me, and it's true,"
she said, smiling.
Before Thompson died, McKeen entertained the idea of revising
his first book about the journalist, but never seriously considered writ-
ing more about him. After a handful of Thompson books appeared in
the early 1990s, he saw little demand for another biography.
Then Thompson died, and he felt the urge to write a book
objectively examining the late journalist's life something he felt
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 37
William McKeen and his
vice president of com-
munications and senior editor
at W.W. Norton and Company.
have never met. But when they
work on a book, they communi-
cate constantly, mostly via e-mail.
"He probably sends me the
most amusing e-mails of all of
my authors:' Cherry said.We'vee
worked together for so long that
there is a certain trust there in
our work. I can say less, and he
knows what I'm indicating. It's kind
of like we lean from each other."
In a recent e-mail exchange
between McKeen and Cherry
while working on Outlaowoumalist
The lfe and times of Hunter S.
Thompson, they discuss the biogra-
phy, McKeen's tap-dancing dreams
and the etymology of the word
McKeen: do think my por-
trayal of Hunter is as a guy who
was serious about his work.
frustrated by his creation, and
ultimately disappointed that he
did not achieve what he wanted
was lacking in the commercial market.
"The people who wrote those earlier
books put themselves in it too much,"
McKeen said. "I thought, you really need
somebody who's going to stand back and
be objective and not a) try to show off -
they try to write like Hunter Thompson
and therefore look like fools and b) they
want to emphasize their role in the story. I
thought I didn't know him well enough to
do that, but I did know him well enough to
know what the real guy was like."
McKeen, the author of five books
and the editor of three, called his agent,
Jane Dystel ofDystel and Goderich Literary
Management. Dystel shopped McKeen's
idea around to publishers and landed a deal
with a familiar editor at a familiar publish-
ing company: Amy Cherry, vice president
of communications and senior editor at
W.W. Norton & Company, an independent
publishing firm in New York City.
Cherry, who has worked at W.W. Norton
for 23 years and with McKeen for nearly a
decade, edited his last three books, includ-
ing Rock and Roll is Here to Stay and
Originally, she wanted McKeen to write
the biography as an oral history, but he fought
for a narrative and won.
He started the book with a recreation
of Thompson's suicide using cell-phone
records, but Cherry didn't like it. She sug-
gested telling the events in chronological
order, he recalled. "She said, 'Don't mess
with it. Just start at the beginning,' "
Typically, McKeen sends Cherry two
to three chapters at a time. One of the
greatest challenges in editing Outlaw, she
said, was turning the seemingly endless
supply of events in Thompson's life into a
"Especially in writing biographies, it's
hard to keep everything straight," Cherry
said. "Occasionally, I would have to say
to him, 'You know, maybe this should go
over here or what happened between these
two events?' "
The manuscript, which is nearly 500
pages and about five inches thick, is
scheduled for release on July 7. Cherry
calls the book McKeen's best writing to
"It's the most mature work he has
done," she said. "Highway 61 was good,
fun and engaging. But I think the depth he
brought to this book was much stronger.
He let you see, without psycho-analyzing,
what Hunter S. Thompson thought and
why he did what he did."
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McKeen first became fascinated with
Thompson's work when he read "The
Battle of Aspen," an egomaniacal essay
about the rise of hippie political power in
Aspen, Colo., in 1970.
"There was a picture of him in the
article where he had his head shaved,"
McKeen said. "It was demonic. He looked
like an alien. I thought, 'This is a weird
That image stayed with him. During
the 1972 presidential elections, McKeen
worked for a small newspaper in
Bloomington, Ind., and read Thompson's
coverage of the campaign each week in
Rolling Stone magazine.
He viewed the writing as a brilliant
flight of fancy.
"There I was, a young reporter,"
McKeen said, "and here was a guy who
was so funny and so entertaining. 1 was
attracted to it immediately."
McKeen, 19 at the time, tried to emu-
late Thompson's style on an assignment
in Roselawn, Ind., while covering the Mr.
and Ms. Nude America pageant at a now
defunct nudist resort, Naked City. The
result: an article riddled with incomplete
sentences, unworthy of being published.
"The lesson I learned is that only one
person can write like Hunter S. Thompson,"
he said, "and that's Hunter S. Thompson."
In 1978, McKeen met and interviewed
Thompson when he started his teaching
career at Western Kentucky. At the time,
he was hosting a speaking engagement
featuring the writer. He was surprised.
Backstage, Thompson was a Southern-
bred gentleman who hated to say no to
enthusiastic fans, especially women.
38 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
to achieve. Hey, join the club, Hunter. I wanted to
be a tap-dancer on a riverboat and look what I
ended up doing.
Amy.Well, Bill, we all come down in the
world. But that's aiming pretty high. It's a rare
person who can be a tap-dancer on a riverboat
McKeen: I was watching"Singin' in the Rain"
the other night what I wouldn't give to be able
to dance like Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor or
Debbie Reynolds.Alas, I can't dance at all. I am
from Indiana and therefore rhythmically impaired.
Cherry. I didn't know that was true for all
Indianans. Quite sad.
McKeen:"lndianians"? No such thing.We are,
sad to say called Hoosiers.
Cherry: Showing my Eastem-centric men-
tality. Of course you'e Hoosiers not to be
"He was not at all what I expected,"
McKeen said. "He was kind and gentle-
manly. People would come up to him and say,
'Hunter, I met you eight years ago in Atlanta.'
He would always pretend to remember. He
didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings."
Once Thompson stepped onto the stage,
he transformed into character. He became
the straight-shooting wild man of infamy. He
changed the way he walked, amped up his
language and exaggerated his motions so that
he was like a cartoon character.
"His public persona was a literary cre-
ation as much as Huck Finn or something
like that," McKeen said. McKeen's book is
creating a buzz among UF's Thompson fans,
such as Lauren Sachs, a journalism senior,
who's fascinated with the way Thompson
broke every journalistic rule.
"Whenever I see or hear or read some-
thing of Thompson's, I immediately see
myself in it," said Sachs, who owns a rescued
pet chinchilla named Dr. Gonzo and has
taken two classes with McKeen.
In three years, McKeen interviewed
about 100 sources and poured over mounds
of documents. Although it took some con-
vincing on his part, McKeen landed key
interviews with Thompson's widow, Anita;
Deborah Fuller, his assistant for 23 years;
Laila Nabulsi, his former girlfriend; and Bob
Braudis, Thompson's best friend.
More than a year later, they came forward
after McKeen spoke with Thompson's long-
time friend Monty Chitty.
"Monty teased me about talking on the
record for about 18 months, and then he calls
me and said, 'Get a plane ticket. I'm putting
you up.' I don't know what made him do that,
but that sort of helped other people decide
I was OK," said McKeen, who stayed with
confused with hooters. If only I were more up
McKeen: Everyone in the whole state is a
Hoosier, not just those who attend Indiana
University. Making it our team name has the
added attraction of pissing off everyone attending
Purdue and Notre Dame.You were sentenced to
three or four years in the Midwest, weren't you?
Didn't you get your doctorate at Michigan? Do
you have no Wolverine in your blood! Do you
miss the winter, with all of the drifting snow over
the rusted and abandoned Chevrolets! It is a
place of many such natural wonders. By the way,
great recent special on HBO about the utter
hatred between Ohio State and Michigan. Look
for it on your television dial. It made me cry, it
was such a beautiful thing.
Chitty in Aspen for 10 days and attended
the Hunter S. Thompson Symposium at the
Although he worked tirelessly at times
to find key sources, other sources found
McKeen. For instance, in 2005, Tom
Corcoran, an author, journalist and photog-
rapher from Lakeland, learned of McKeen's
first book about Thompson and sent him
an e-mail. McKeen replied instantly asking
Corcoran for an interview.
Corcoran knew Thompson for 28 years
and collaborated with him on a series of proj-
ects including a never-produced screenplay
about marijuana smuggling in the Florida
Keys and a never-written Esquire maga-
zine article about powerboat racing. He also
worked closely with the journalist in 1981
and 1982 on The Curse ofLono, Thompson's
book about his experiences in Hawaii.
"After Bill and I exchanged a few e-mails,
I knew his view of Hunter's career coincided
with mine I had grown to dislike all the
attention given to Hunter's behavior and
the too-scant praise offered for his brilliant
journalism," said Corcoran, 64. McKeen
drove to Lakeland for a face-to-face inter-
view. "I dug out some old memorabilia and
yakked until his tape recorder almost caught
fire," Corcoran said.
Since, Corcoran and McKeen have
corresponded, leading him to other sources
like Jann Wenner, founder of Rolling Stone
magazine and former Sen. Gary Hart.
"I gave him a few tips on additional
people to contact friends of Hunter who,
like me, had slipped under the radar of all the
other biographers," he said. "We compared
notes on a few existing HST 'legends,' some
true and some built of 'expanded' truth. I
think I was able to confirm a few stories and
debunk a few more."
Among all of the possible sources for his
book, everyone asks McKeen if he talked to
Johnny Depp, a friend of Thompson's who
portrayed him in "Fear and Loathing in Las
"Well no, in fact I didn't even try,"
McKeen said. "I feel ashamed, like I
When the biography is released, it will
have been five years since McKeen pub-
lished his last book a period he calls "an
awful long time."
"It's like 1 always say, 'I don't like to
write. I like to have written,' he said.
"I've had such a good time doing this
book. What's funny is when I go back
through the copy-edited manuscript, I look
back and say, 'Some of this is really good.'
You don't really realize what you're writing
when you're in the frenzy of it."
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 39
i5"1 L |
BY HUNER STANFORD
instead of just signing books, Bob
Morris, JM 1975, hosts island
Morris drops the formalities
Sand cranks up the Caribbean music
right in the middle of a bookstore.
The writer of Caribbean-based mys-
teries fries up conch fritters and mixes
drinks to set himself apart from the
crowd of "newbie authors."
His fourth book, with the working title
of Deadly Silver Sea, is slated for an August
release. Like the previous books, it centers
on Zack Chasteen, a fictional ex-UF and ex-
Miami Dolphins strong safety.
Whether he's hired by friends for protec-
tion from Caribbean thugs, or searching for
missing money and girlfriends, Chasteen
puts himself in the middle of murder mys-
teries from the stands of Ben Hill Griffin
Stadium to the sands of Caribbean beaches.
Rubbing elbows with money launderers,
the Royal Bahamanian police and a wife-to-
be who's sometimes missing, Chasteen man-
ages to hold his knockabout attitude. Morris
admits that his protagonist's demeanor could
be subtly based on himself. "Chasteen likes
to eat, drink and be a smartass," he said,
"which is where I am."
Each of the first three adventures -
Bahamarama, Jamaica Me Dead and
Bermuda Schwartz takes place on a dif-
ferent island, an idea that came to Morris
while walking on a beach on Harbour Island,
Bahamas. That same afternoon, back in
his cottage, he wrote the first chapter of
Bahamarama and worked out the theme for
the entire series.
"I wanted the titles to convey that these
aren't deep, dark psychological dramas,"
Morris said. "Bad stuff happens, but it is
leavened with humor."
Deadly Silver Sea is Morris' first book
set off an island. After a few magazine
assignments on small, high-end cruise ships,
Morris became intrigued with the setting.
"I think the ultra-rich passengers these
ships attract," he said, "are, ultimately,
more devious and scheming than average
His extensive knowledge of the
Caribbean environment and culture gives
his books their edge, said Morris' editor,
Marc Resnick of St. Martins Press in New
"Fiction is tough, and there are so many
guys out there," Resnick said. "Some guys
take eight or 10 books to get their name out
there, but Bob is doing fine."
David J. Montgomery, the mystery-
books columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times,
said the strengths of "Bermuda Schwartz"
are its appealing characters and evocative
"The setting contributes to a nice atmo-
sphere that is off-the-beaten path, which was
a nice change from the typical locales one
finds in most mystery novels," Montgomery
said. "Most mystery novels are set in urban
areas, especially the familiar big cities like
New York, Los Angeles, etc. By setting his
books in the Caribbean, Morris gives his sto-
ries a refreshing change of locale, and helps
to set them apart."
Morris started out aspiring to become a
marine biologist, but when he kept flunking
chemistry, he took a leave from University
40 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
of South Carolina in Columbia. "I didn't
realize I would have to spend time in labs."
Traveling, he wrote letters home about what
he had done and seen. His mother liked them
so much that when he returned with no idea
of a career path, she suggested journalism.
"I never would have thought of jour-
nalism as a career move until my mom
said so," Morris said. "This isn't just me
being a suck-up for the communicator: [The
COLLEGE] really immersed me in the journal-
In classrooms with slanted ceilings under
the stands of the football stadium, Morris
remembers rewrite after rewrite. As an edi-
tor for "Extra," a monthly supplement to the
The Independent Florida Alligator Morris
became convinced that he should move into
newspaper journalism as a career.
"My parents wanted me to go to law
school," he said. "No regrets on that front."
Morris worked for the Florida Keys Free
Press and The Orlando Sentinel. He spent
two years in Santa Barbara, Calif., where he
created AQUA, an international travel maga-
zine for water-sports enthusiasts. Then he
became editor-in-chief at Caribbean Travel
& Life in Orlando.
"He's interested in everyone and seeks
out a great cross-section in any place he vis-
its, from the gardeners and barbers and fish-
ermen to the heads of government," said Bob
Friel, who worked under Morris at CT&L.
"This gives him a great picture of life."
After almost two years at CT&L, Morris
felt ready to stop talking about being a nov-
elist and actually try it.
"I enjoyed my time at Caribbean Travel
& Life, but we'd be out two weeks pulling
together material, then spend two weeks
putting it together, then do it again," he said.
"There was no time for me to write a book.
I got the idea, so I did it. I believed in it
enough to quit my job."
After some time looking for a publisher
and "exhausting all savings in the first five
years," Morris found a home at St. Martins
Press, which has published all of his books.
Morris plans to keep his books based
around UF and the Caribbean.
"I'm in a long-term University of Florida
family," he said. "We've had the same seats
in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium since 1939."
Morris has been cheering from section 3,
row 55, seats 13-16, since he was 3 years old.
"I have one foot in Florida," he said,
"and the other in the Caribbean."
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 41
wrightstuff CONT. FROM PAGE 2
use of Web-based surveys in broadcast
newsrooms. Lynda Kaid has scrutinized
the credibility of political messages on the
Internet by comparing blog sources. Cory
Armstrong looked into the influence of
gender cues on credibility in the blog
world. Hyojin Kim has addressed the role
of interactivity in changing stereotypes
of mental illness. Mary Ann Ferguson
helped design a groundbreaking Poynter
study tracking eye movement of online
and print newsreaders. Doctoral student
Dave Stanton is conducting additional
analyses of the EyeTrack07 data, which
our graduate students had coded. Justin
Brown has analyzed the application of the
First Amendment to the Web as well as
policy implications concerning broadband
access, universal service, must-carry and
new media. And Sylvia Chan-Olmsted
has conducted various research projects
examining the development and strat-
egy of the mobile television platform and
mobile broadband in the United States and
around the world.
To build on these accomplishments and
move the COLLEGE forward aggressively
and systematically ahead of the pace
of change we must connect the vari-
ous disciplines and combine our profes-
sional education with our research and cre-
ative activities. To achieve this, I recently
announced plans to create The Center for
Media Innovation. It will have a physical
location in Weimer Hall, but it's much
more than an edifice. It will be a collabora-
tion of clusters of faculty and students from
all disciplines. They will teach, learn, prac-
tice, create, exchange ideas and conduct
research related to digital communications.
Interdisciplinary projects will include fac-
ulty and students across the COLLEGE, UF
and the world.
Carlson, the COLLEGE'S Cox Foundation/
Palm Beach Post Professor of New Media
Journalism and director of our Jerry Davis
Interactive Media Lab, has agreed to serve
as the center's executive director.
The center will feature several critical
* The 21st Century News Laboratory.
We're in the process of building this fully
convergent, multi-platform newsroom that
will provide advanced training for stu-
dents in online journalism.
Digital Laboratory for Strategic
Communications. This lab will allow
advertising and public relations students
to learn and experiment with new methods
of preparing cross-platform content.
An emergent-media, fully interactive
Web site. The site will push the limits
of digital media, providing an outlet
for student and faculty projects that tell
stories in new ways. Projects will utilize
text, real-time and edited video, podcasts,
mash-ups and other types of Web-based
data-integration applications, mobile
media, 3-D imagery and Virtual Reality
Modeling Language, animation and graph-
ics. Web content will be archival, immedi-
ate, fully interactive, community based
A think-tank consortium for digital
media. The consortium of faculty mem-
bers, professionals, and graduate and
advanced undergraduate students will
integrate the COLLEGE'S professional and
The digital labs will serve as a nucleus
of innovation and collaboration. The Web
site will provide a medium for research.
And the consortium participants will con-
duct and discuss research on digital topics
related to online journalism, online adver-
tising, political communication, public-
health education, public-interest commu-
nications and social-change messaging,
among other areas.
The center's potential is limitless. This
is true, in part, because it involves all of
us. All four departments are placing great-
er emphasis on emerging media, develop-
ment of cross-platform presentation skills,
and on the cultural, social and political
implications of digital media.
We will maintain our traditionally
strong emphasis on fundamental skills,
especially writing. And, because digital
media make it so easy for anyone to pro-
duce, disseminate and distort information,
we also must increase emphasis on ethics,
values and professional responsibility. This
captures the heart of what we want our
students to be: ethically sound, consum-
mate professionals, thoroughly prepared
professionally in the COLLEGE and through
a superb liberal arts education at UF.
When I recently visited Miami,
an alumnus of the COLLEGE asked me,
"What's the most rewarding aspect of
being named dean?" I pondered my
response momentarily, because there are
many rewards. Meeting and interacting
with alumni of the COLLEGE is extremely
gratifying. I also enjoy maintaining a
positive and open environment that allows
faculty and staff members to achieve the
highest levels of productivity and fulfill-
ment. But the most gratifying reward is
the opportunity to have a meaningful, last-
ing impact on the careers and lives of our
To provide global leadership in this era
of transformation, we have to anticipate
and adapt to change. We must ensure that
our students gain the knowledge and skills
to deal with future unforeseen changes so
they can most effectively serve communi-
ties, clients and the public interest.
It would be wonderful if my first
semester as dean occurred during a time
of financial prosperity for UF and the
COLLEGE. Unfortunately, this is far from
the case. We are facing unprecedented
budget cuts that pose enormous chal-
lenges. Although we are fortunate to have
secured initial funding to build the digital
laboratories, additional funds are neces-
sary to complete, fully engage and sustain
The future is bright. With the support
of alumni and friends, we will emerge
from the current budget crisis stronger
than ever. I thank you for all you do to
help, whether it's providing professional
expertise and counsel, internships or finan-
I assure you that once complete, our
Center for Media Innovation will be a
model of educational excellence that will
enhance our status as a leader in journal-
ism and communications education. It
also will strengthen our ability to pro-
vide students a world-class education and
prepare them for this exciting, rapidly
changing and volatile new era the digital
42 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
BY DE EMERITUS RALPH LOWENSTEIN
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 43
the COLLEGE OF
since March 1980,
when the COLLEGE
Ben Hill Griffin
Stadium into the brand-new Weimer Hall.
But few have any inkling of the decisions
- some right, some wrong that went into
the building's design.
In 1976, architect Robert Bradford
Brown of Coconut Grove provided the
first rough drawings of what our building
would look like. Rising from the atrium
toward the greenhouse roof that's now
the building's hallmark were two vertical
walls. Students would enter all the class-
rooms on the second and third floors of
the atrium wing via outdoor balconies
that faced the Reitz Union.
We pointed out to Brown that it rains
a great deal in Gainesville, and it would
be better if the balconies stood under
the atrium roof rather than outside. He
flipped the design.
Journalists believe in "openness." We
wanted to express that philosophy in
the design of our building. Thus, we
wanted people to be able to see into every
classroom, faculty office and lab, wher-
ever practical. Brown gave us windows
in every classroom door, a glass panel
next to every faculty office and huge
glass viewing windows into all the radio
and television newsrooms. Some faculty
members groused about the lack of pri-
vacy in their offices, so we provided them
with Venetian blinds, hoping they would
leave them open most of the time.
In the mid-1970s, neither we nor
the architect could predict the ubiquity
of computers just a few years later.
Thus, writing labs had half-inch conduits
that could accommodate telephone wire,
but not multiple computer cables. No
labs, classrooms or offices had computer
outlets. Fortunately, every hallway had
removable ceiling panels, and within 10
years, we were pulling miles of computer
cable over every hallway in Weimer.
Wrought-iron fences and gates blocked
all entrances to the atrium, and a glass
wall enclosed the elevators and stairway
door on the main floor. Brown designed
the north-south passageway through
Weimer to be open 24 hours a day.
We soon found that homeless people
were sleeping in this protected passage-
way overnight, and students returning to
residence halls after a late night at the
I sometimes think about the many
because of the
foi1 minMtrclutioi s our 42-inch-\\ide 'main
stairvway has provided over the cuars.
bar were using corners of the passage-
way for bodily functions. We relocated
the wrought-iron fences and gates to
block the throughway at night and junked
the glass walls.
While Weimer was under con-
struction, I walked into the building
one day and found workmen laying
cement for the main stairway from
the basement to the upper floors. I
could see that it was so narrow that
it would barely allow two people to
pass. In a panic, I called the architect
and asked him to fly in from Miami.
It was too late. He had origi-
nally designed a massive stairway,
much like the one in the Reitz
Union, which would run from the
elevator area on the second floor
straight down into the atrium. The
state fire marshal had ruled that he
had to enclose the stairway in a fire-
wall, which would have destroyed
the beauty of the atrium. Brown
eliminated the grand staircase but
forgot to widen what was originally
designed as a tiny auxiliary stair-
case next to the elevators. It would
have cost hundreds of thousands of
dollars to move other walls, already
constructed, and widen the stair-
case. We chose not to do so.
I sometimes think about the
many students who have perhaps
found life partners because of the
forced introductions our 42-inch-
wide "main stairway" has provided
over the years.
There were other problems:
The atrium had three huge
planter boxes, but Brown neglect-
ed to bring waterlines into them. We
corrected that by installing irriga-
tion pipes the day before the atrium's
cement floor was poured.
* The carefully designed light-trap
passageway leading into our main photo
darkroom had a huge ceiling light just at
the mouth of the light-trap. It was easier
later to move the light-trap than move
* We discovered that birds are
pretty dumb. They would fly into the
atrium and try unsuccessfully to get out
through the greenhouse roof. We built
two trapdoors. They refused to use them.
We soon discovered that when they
got weak and hungry, they would
drop down to the main floor level and
* After one year, we began hearing occa-
sional explosions in the atrium. Every few
days, one of the greenhouse safety windows
would implode and rain down nickel-size
pieces of glass. This made for a bunch
of nervous students, some of whom car-
ried umbrellas when crossing the atrium
in the year this problem persisted. The UF
Physical Plant was nervous, too. It strung
tape to make the unprotected area of the
atrium off-limits, redesigned the metal sup-
ports and changed every one of the 236 glass
But, and this must be said, Brown, who
died a number of years ago, designed a
beautiful building in which teachers love to
teach and students like to learn.
At 27 years old, Weimer Hall does not
show its age. It's still considered one of
the finest communication education facili-
ties in the nation. As for the narrow main
stairway, no student has ever complained.
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 45
Graduate alumni keep the fire burning
By Guy J. GOLAN, PHD 2003
doctoral studies. Since, I have published a novel, trav-
eled throughout Asia and Europe, served as a partner
in a viral advertising startup (www.ketaketa.com)
in Tel Aviv, and spent a couple of years as a tenure-track faculty
member at Louisiana State University. Of course, all of these pale
in comparison to meeting my fiancee, Sivan.
Regardless of where I lived or what I did, I remained a die-
hard Gator, which can sometimes take more effort than one may
suspect. Imagine the odds of finding a bar on the small island of Ko
Pi Pi, Thailand, with a satellite TV showing the Florida-Tennessee
Keeping in touch with UF is not limited to sports. Thanks to the
wonder of the Internet, I always read The Independent Florida Alligator
The Gainesville Sun and the communigator regardless of geography.
So many years passed since our Friday graduate student happy
hours at Caf6 Gardens, where we talked about what at times
seemed like an impossible process of finishing our theses or dis-
sertations. The happy hours could've been described as our weekly
group therapy session.
The annual conferences of the International Communication
Association and the Association for Education in Journalism and
Mass Communication serve as a reunion for many of us.
It seems like wherever I go, I always run into a Gator faculty
member. Whether you visit Chapel Hill, N.C., Knoxville, Tenn., or
Lubbock, Texas, there always seems to be at least one Gator on the
journalism faculty. (LSU once held the record with five of us on
faculty.) Greg Borchard, PhD 2003, still ranks as the No. 1 person
to visit, as his office on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, cam-
pus is located only a few miles away from the Strip.
Not everyone we went to graduate school with ended up in
academia. My friend Shane Staten, MAMC 2001, joined the
Navy, where he became a supply officer. Stationed in Japan, he met
Ayako. A year or so later, they got married.
A few weeks after they moved back to the US, she attended her
first Gator football game (the 2006 National Championship) and
was hooked. Shane and Ayako just had a girl, Sabrina Nanami. On
a recent visit, I spotted her wearing a baby Gator outfit.
Another friend, Marco Randazza, JM 2002, became a promi-
nent First Amendment lawyer in Orlando. He regularly appears on
Fox News as an expert on free speech. I guess that he must have
picked up a thing or two in that graduate media-law seminar class
we took with Prof. Sandra Chance, JM 1975, MAJC 1985.
No one, however, could compete with one of my best friends from
Weimer Hall days. As a truck driver, he now commands the great
American roads from the dash of his semi. He enjoys the full extent of
the many freedoms promised to us by our founding fathers. With his
graduate degree in journalism in his pocket and the open roads ahead,
he is sure to one day write the great American novel.
As for myself, I somehow have found my way back to
Gainesville for the third time. My fiancee is working as a surgical
intern at Shands Hospital, and I could not be happier to be back in
the heart of Gator Nation. I'm teaching public relations research
as an adjunct in the Department of Public Relations. Taking full
advantage of our College's healthy research environment, I am col-
laborating with several faculty members on research projects.
Also, with the help of Associate Dean Debbie Treise, sev-
eral former PhDs as well as Web Administrator Craig Lee and
Director of Communications Boaz Dvir, JM 1988, we've created
a new organization for graduate alumni. Check out our Web site:
The organization, along with the College, is sponsoring a Gator
breakfast during the AEJMC conference in August in Chicago.
Come and join our association and find out where your friends
from the old graduate school days ended up. If you would like to
get involved in the leadership of this organization, just drop me a
line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guy Golan's research focuses on media effects, international
communications and political advertising.
46 COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008
UP and away
BY BOAZ DVIR, JM 1988
Second in a two-part series
n recent years, UF's Student Ghetto morphed into University
Park (UP). In recent months, this area just north of campus
has entered its third phase and is now slowly becoming a
bona fide urban mixed-use neighborhood.
Although it has long combined residential and retail properties
- including restaurants such as The Swamp (formerly Chaucer's)
and bars such as Gator City (formerly Purple Porpoise) along
University Avenue UP is finally beginning to fulfill its prom-
ise of materializing into an off-campus mini downtown, like the
University of Michigan's South University Business District.
Things are progressing in crab-like fashion, appearing to go
sideways, or even backwards, at times. Still, I have no doubt we're
following in the Wolverines' paw prints (and I don't mean by fea-
turing a 1,000-yard rusher in our backfield).
As someone who lives in this neighborhood, I have mixed feel-
ings about this development. I cringe at the sight of condominium
construction sites, particularly ones that dwarf their adjacent resi-
dences, as is the case with two of UP's projects. And I miss the
quiet strolls I used to take in the neighborhood, before jackham-
mers invaded it like love bugs on the Turnpike in March.
But as a Gator, a UIF employee and a Gainesville resident, I see
many benefits for our community.
Here are some of the beneficiaries:
1. The environment. Expect less greenhouse-gas emissions,
as hundreds (and eventually thousands) more students and faculty
members live closer to campus and walk to UF.
2. Our health. Walking is one of the best exercises, right up
there with ultimate fighting and Texas Hold-'Em. (I'm kidding, of
course. Poker's far too dangerous.)
3. Efficiency. Converting our commutes into workouts, we save
a chunk of daily time, which adds up considerably over the years.
4. The college experience. Although UF has long offered one of
the best college experiences tuition can buy, having a more thriving
hangout area steps from the classroom will make it even better.
5. Campus parking. Decreasing the need for hundreds (and
eventually thousands) more students and professors to drive onto
campus every day will help alleviate UF's Achilles' heel.
6. Alumni. Y'all have plenty of reasons to visit Gainesville, but
a greater and more eclectic variety of restaurants and coffee shops
off campus would provide even more incentive to come and stay
a little longer.
So far, however, this phase has reminded me of the recent Gator
football and basketball seasons. It took off with a thundering Gator
chomp, only to mysteriously fade in crucial moments.
It began last year, when developers finished demolishing
three blocks on the northwest corer of University Avenue and
Northwest 13"' Street to make room for the $205 million, eight-
story University Corners (UC) project.
With plans for restaurants, retail space, condo units and hotel
rooms, UC quickly became a magnet for other developments. Soon,
condos such as Jackson Square, on the corer of Northwest Fourth
Avenue and Northwest 13'" Street, and LionsGate, on the corer of
Fourth and Northwest 15th Street, started spurting around the lev-
eled zone where Burrito Brothers once stood.
Yet UC has remained a mere blueprint. Developers have report-
edly put their plans on hold until the Florida Supreme Court decides
on a case that may affect whether the project receives the nearly
$100 million in reimbursed property taxes over 30 years promised
to it by Gainesville's Community Redevelopment Agency.
Meanwhile, Stadium Club, an eight-story condo across Florida
Field, flew out of the gate only to take a long breather. In November,
it appeared to move at the rate of a new story every two-to-three
days. But it came to a halt in December and has remained half
built since, for undisclosed reasons. At first, the developers told
The Gainesville Sun the cold weather froze their progress. But the
spring air has failed, thus far, to thaw it.
Stadium Club and UC developers tell the Sun and the Independent
Florida Alligator that they plan to complete their projects. Even if
they fail, someone will take over.
UP's third phase is inevitable. It's just a matter of details at this
point. Soon, Michigan will have nothing on us.
Not with Chris Rainey rocketing out of our backfield.
COMMUNICATOR SPRING 2008 47
s- -! 11 Z