Tag Archive | "school of communication"


BBC Executive David Jordan Visits UM November 16-18

UM News

Dave Jordan

David Jordan

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 12, 2015)—David Jordan, one of the top officials of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in London, will  speak to more than half a dozen groups of University of Miami students and faculty on the Coral Gables campus over three days this week, beginning Monday, November 16.

“We’re delighted to be bringing such an accomplished journalist to the University of Miami,” said Greg Shepherd, dean of the School of Communication. “He brings a global perspective that fits perfectly with the work our students and faculty are doing.”

Jordan, the director of editorial policy and standards at the BBC, is visiting the University in connection with the School of Communication’s London Summer study abroad program. Students will be in London for three weeks next summer, from July 5 to 27, studying at some of the world’s most influential public relations, advertising, and journalism organizations. Jordan, who joined the BBC nearly 30 years ago, will show UM students the BBC newsroom, introducing them to senior editors and reporters, and talking about the business side of broadcasting.

In Miami, several faculty members in the School of Communication and the Department of International Studies will lead discussions with Jordan.

Professor Vendulka Kubalkova, of the Department of International Studies, plans to focus on the BBC’s global news coverage at classes at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in Learning Center 140 on Tuesday, November 17.

At 11 a.m. the same day, in the School of Communication’s Shoma Hall, CIB 3053, Professor Samuel A. Terilli, chair of the Department of Journalism & Media Management, will discuss with Jordan how British and American courts deal with news coverage and freedom of the press.

On Wednesday, November 18, at 11:15 a.m. in CIB 2055 at the School of Communication, Media Management Professor Ana Francois and Jordan will talk about how editors decide what news to report and how to present it to mass audiences.

Jordan opens his visit to Miami with talks at 10:10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. on Monday, November 16, in CIB 2054 in the School of Communication and ends with an audience of public relations and journalism students at 1:25 p.m. on Wednesday, November 18 in Shoma Hall.  All of Jordan’s talks are open to all University of Miami students and faculty.


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Center for Computational Science to Host 2nd Annual VizUM Symposium November 12

By Megan Ondrizek
UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 5, 2015) – In the digital, social media world of 140-character messages and 15-second video uploads, data visualization gives new meaning to the idiom “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Data visualization started out as a primarily academic field but has become much more widely practiced and visible, thanks in part to modern browsers, increased practice of JavaScript and HTML5, and online forums for displaying the work.

On November 12, the University of Miami’s Center for Computational Science holds its second annual VizUM Symposium, a data visualization celebration with game-changers from Google and OpenVis. Presenters Lynn Cherny, Fernanda Viégas, and Martin Wattenberg are each pioneers in the field of data visualization and continue to forge new ground in the domain.

“Visualization, especially interactive visualization, engages people in a way that a long text article or paper doesn’t, at least at first glance,” said Cherny, Visiting Knight Chair for the Center for Communication, Culture, and Change at UM’s School of Communication. “Sometimes a great visual piece will pull people into a longer story, or make them curious about the data and lead them on a quest to learn more.”

At VizUM, Cherny will present an overview of interactive visualization design techniques to give the audience a feel for what goes into designing one of these interactives. As design principles for interactives differ from those of static infographics, the examples will make for a more engaging demonstration for the audience and showcase the educational work Cherny oversees with the Center for Communication, Culture, and Change.

“Interactive visualization in journalism often presents a prepared story and then opens up an exploratory space for the reader to look further for things of more personal relevance,” Cherny said. “In scientific work, interactive visualization is a key exploratory method for finding ‘results’—visualizations of data help us find patterns, outliers, errors in the data, and direct the next path of statistical inquiry. Science doesn’t happen without visualization, and great journalism can be enhanced with great visualization.”

Other speakers include Fernanda Viégas, and Martin Wattenberg, leaders of Google’s “Big Picture” data visualization research group, which invents new ways for people to understand and explore data. Viégas and Wattenberg are well known for their global contributions to social and collaborative visualization, and their visualization artwork has been exhibited at museums worldwide.

The event includes introductory remarks by Sawsan Khuri, director of Engagement for the Center for Computational Science, and Alberto Cairo, Knight Chair in Visual Journalism for UM’s School of Communication. The symposium is sponsored by the Knight Foundation, UM’s Center for Computational Science, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the School of Communication’s Center for Communication, Culture, and Change.


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Brothers Grim Gain Acclaim for Their Horror Films


Brothers Grim Gain Acclaim for Their Horror Films

By Maya Bell
UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 14, 2015) —As motion picture students in UM’s School of Communication, Andres and Diego Meza-Valdes were known as the blood brothers, shorthand for the crazy duo who had an unquenchable thirst for horror films—both watching and creating them.

“We even had keys to the Cosford Cinema, and would screen all kinds of weird stuff through the night,’’ remembers Diego, now manager of video production for UM’s Office of Communications and Marketing who, like his older brother, graduated in 2009. “People would wander in, see what was on the screen, and, wide-eyed, head right back out.”

Now, fellow horror and indie genre film aficionados are streaming to The Meza Brothers work, most recently their first action thriller, Boniato, which, co-directed with stuntman Eric Mainade and co-produced by another UM motion pictures alum, Cory Czajkowski, now an archives assistant in Special Collections, won the Best Short Film award at the Diabolique International Film Festival, in Bloomington, Indiana, last month.

Then, this past weekend, the 23-minute Boniato, which puts a terrifying spin on the horrors of being an undocumented migrant worker in the U.S., was among the nine international films shown at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, known as one of the best horror film festivals in the world.

“It’s a great honor,” said Diego. “It legitimizes all the work we put into that film. We’ve known about that film festival since we were kids.”


Andres, left, and Diego Meza-Valdes literally grew up reading horror magazines and watching horror films.

As kids, they also were avid readers of Diabolique Magazine, which has presented its eponymous film festival for the past nine years. To the chagrin of their Cuban mother, the Meza brothers’ Chilean dad, Alberto Meza, professor emeritus of art at Miami-Dade College, whose prints often featured monsters and goblins, used to buy his sons the publication dedicated to horror cinema.

“We grew up on horror movies,” Diego said. “We would rent all kinds of scary stuff from the video store, and my mom would drive us back to return it.”

Now, their mom, Grisel Valdes, UM’s director of student employment and assistant dean of enrollment management, couldn’t be prouder of her sons, or the education and experiences they received at UM. Since graduating with double majors—Diego in motion pictures and studio art and Andres in motion pictures and theatre arts—they’ve been dubbed the “Future Stars of Horror” by SexGoreMutants.com. They’ve also collected other awards for other horror shorts, including The Room, which opened Edinburgh’s Dead by Dawn Festival and won the jury prize at the Freakshow Film Festival.

Their last film, Play Dead, premiered at the Fantasia Film Festival and went on to play more than 20 other international festivals, winning numerous jury and audience awards before being distributed on FearNET. It was recently released online, where it has been viewed several hundred thousand times, featured on Vimeo, and named Short of the Week for its “abundance of style” and “auteur streak.”

Filmed in Spanish, Boniato, named for the Cuban sweet potato picked in the fields of south Miami-Dade County, was inspired by the plight of illegal immigrants who live in the shadows—an issue particularly important to South Florida. But being a horror film, the short stays away from politics and policy and focuses on a young, undocumented farmworker who, while trying to escape her lonely, exploitative life, discovers a sinister subterranean network that is preying on the long-ignored migrant workers above ground.

“We wanted to explore our backgrounds a little bit—of being immigrants in a foreign land,” Diego says of the plot. “But we grew up on horror films, so we mixed disparate concepts and tied them together. Horror is the glue.”

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UM Launches New Online Master’s Degrees in Communication, Nursing Informatics

 CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 13, 2015)—The School of Nursing and Health Studies (SONHS) and the School of Communication (SoC) are now registering students for their first, fully online master’s degree programs, with SONHS offering two master’s degrees in health informatics and SoC offering a Master of Arts in Communication Studies. All three UOnline programs launch in January.

SONHS’s new Master of Science in Nursing—Nursing Informatics (MSN-NI) and Master of Science in Health Informatics (MS-HI) programs are designed to address the increasing demand for qualified health informatics professionals, which, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, will increase by 22 percent by 2020, a growth propelled by the Affordable Care Act and the federal mandate that health care providers use electronic medical records.

“Health care providers across the nation are seeking professionals with the specialized knowledge to bring them into compliance with new governmental mandates to implement shareable electronic health records,” said SONHS Dean Nilda Peragallo Montano. “We are educating the first generation trained to provide this expertise. Our MSN-NI and MS-HI graduates will be positioned to help lead the transformation of health care delivery in the U.S.”

The School of Communication’s Master of Arts in Communication Studies program, which will be taught by the school’s world-renowned faculty in a flexible, online format, is geared toward working professionals who want to pursue careers in communication or earn advanced degrees. The course of study is designed to build oral, written, critical thinking, and research skills.

“In this program students will study conflict resolution, group decision-making, relationship management, persuasion, and much more in courses designed for people who understand that mastering the art and science of communication is key to leadership development,” Dean Gregory J. Shepherd said.

The 36-credit program can be completed in 24 months. Program graduates can expect to gain a competitive edge in the workplace by improving their communication and leadership skills in the contexts of interpersonal, intercultural, and organizational communication.

The SONHS’s online degrees target professionals in nursing and health informatics and bring together the knowledge and skills needed in nursing and health care practices to successfully manage electronic medical records. Students will develop competencies to use and apply information and computer sciences to manage and communicate data and information.

Potential students for the new degree programs include working professionals in the health care and information technology fields, workers already in the informatics field seeking a health care focus, and career changers from diverse backgrounds.

The two programs will share a common core of five fundamentals courses, but will differ depending on their admission prerequisites. The MSN-NI, which focuses on the role of nursing leadership within clinical informatics, requires an R.N. degree for admission and will educate nurses to use informatics in their daily nursing and nursing management practices. Nursing informaticists work in settings that are directly related to nursing care.

With a broader scope, the MS-HI program is open to applicants without nursing credentials who seek a career in health informatics. Health informaticists are generalists prepared to work in diverse settings such as pharmacies, hospitals, medical insurance agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and public health agencies. Either program can be completed online in 12 months of full-time study or 24 months of part-time study.

Applications for the SoC’s Master of Arts in Communication Studies and the SONHS’s MSN-NI and MS-HI programs are now being accepted. Scholarships are available for qualified applicants. For more information, visit www.miami.edu/online or call 888-926-6968 to speak to an advisor.


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World Bank Report Details Challenges Still Facing Haiti

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World Bank Report Details Challenges Still Facing Haiti

UM News

World Bank Forum

Louis Herns Marcelin, right, associate professor of anthropology at UM, discusses the World Bank Report “Haiti: Towards a New Narrative” with audience members, while Raju Singh, World Bank lead economist for Haiti, looks on.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 15, 2015) – Despite a modest surge in its economy following the destructive 2010 earthquake, Haiti continues to be mired in economic crisis, as political instability, natural disasters, and other factors such as an unfavorable business climate continue to make the island nation the poorest in the Americas, according to the findings of a new World Bank report shared with the University of Miami community on Wednesday.

Presented by Raju Singh, World Bank lead economist for Haiti, during a 90-minute forum at UM’s School of Communication, Haiti: Towards a New Narrative examines post-earthquake reconstruction and assesses the efficiency and effectiveness of foreign aid efforts in Haiti five years after the temblor that killed more than 200,000 people and destroyed much of the capital city of Port-au-Prince’s infrastructure. Read the full story

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