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February eCommunigator
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February will be a seminal month for our college.  On Feb. 24, we will hold a public ribbon-cutting ceremony for The Agency, a full-service communication agency led by professionals and staffed by advertising and public relations students. What will distinguish their work is a particular focus on Millennial audiences, a proposition that is resonating with potential partners and clients.
 
You are welcome to join us for this exciting milestone. The Agency and the Innovation News Center, our immersive experience for journalism and telecommunication students, are now hallmarks that distinguish CJC as one of the top communications programs in the county.
 
That same week is the second annual frank gathering, which has become the premiere event for the nation’s public interest communicators. The College’s focus on storytelling to drive social change also sets us apart and is beginning to infuse itself into other parts of the University.
 
As always, your participation in these and other College activities are encouraged and appreciated.

- Diane
After an extensive recruitment process, we now have 57 of our best and brightest students staffing The Agency.  Although the dedication ceremony is this month, we officially launched in January with a number of engagements, including a large assignment with the Florida Department of Citrus and the development of a PR campaign for Experiencias Xcaret, a popular eco-archaeological theme park near Cancun.
We are also developing, under the auspices of The Agency, the Millennial Research Core, which will be a hub for research on young adults.  We are actively seeking industry partners interested in acquiring additional insights on this market segment.
frankwhich is named after CJC alumni Frank Karel, the father of public interest communications, started in 2013 as a meeting in the basement of Weimer Hall. We talked about how we could create a gathering that would connect and nurture a field of people working on social change communications. Thirty people attended that meeting. Last year, 220 scholars, practitioners and students met in Gainesville. 
 
This year, 275 people are already registered, and the gathering will be sold out in a matter of days. Close to 150 students have stepped forward as volunteers, and the speakers include some of today’s most prominent and provocative writers and thinkers, including Sheryl WuDunn, co-author of “Half the Sky” and “A Path Appears”; Steven Pinker, an experimental psychologist at Harvard and one of the world’s foremost writers on language, mind and human nature; and Mark Little, founder of Storyful.  The gathering will take place Feb. 25 -27.
Reporter’s Workshop: CJC was one of four institutions (and the only college) nationwide to win a Robert R. McCormick Foundation Specialize Reporting Institute.  The grant will fund a two-day workshop in the fall for journalists and meteorologists covering climate change and its impact on water resources.  We are fortunate to have Cynthia Barnett, an internationally recognized reporter and author on environmental issues, as a Hearst Visiting Professional this year. She will play a key role in the workshop.
Gators Thriving: For the first time, UF has named the Gator100 – the fastest growing businesses in the U.S. owned or run by Gators.  Ten CJC graduates were on the list and include:  Kristen Vocelle Barstow (’05), owner Vocelles The Bridal Shop; JW Dicks (‘71 ), founder, Dicks Nanton Celebrity Branding Agency; Geoff Gaborino (’84), owner,  Gulf Shores Vacation Rentals; Lee Goldstein (’98), president, DiMassimo Goldstein; Jill McCrory (’03), McCrory Law Firm; Helen Stefan Moreau (’88), president and CEO, The Midtown Group; Chip Osborne (’94), CE0 and president, National Bus Sales; Dana Rhoden (’00), The Dana Agency; Edouard Rollet (’01), co-founder and president, Alter Eco Americas, PBC;  and Brad Weinbrum (’86), president, ABB Optical Group.  The Gator100 will be honored at a lunch on Feb. 6.
 
In addition, two of our alumni were named to Forbes’ 2015 30 under 30 lists.   Deanna Lazzaroni (’09) was chosen in the Marketing/Advertising category for her work as Manager, Global Content Marketing and Social Media Strategy at LinkedIn.  Elan Miller (’09) was named in the Consumer Technology category for co-founding Glimpse, an Instagram-based dating app.

Two CJC photojournalism alumni have also risen to national prominence for their volunteerism to the profession.  Mark Dolan, assistant professor of journalism at Southern Illinois University, is now president of the 6,000-member National Press Photographers Association.  And Melissa Lyttle, formerly of the Tampa Bay Times, is vice president of NPPA and a judge at the “Pictures of the Year International” competition currently underway at the University of Missouri.
Je Sui Charlie: Last month, in conjunction with the publication of the first Charlie Hebdo edition following the tragic murders of 12 staff members, CJC released a statement condemning the killings and supporting the right of free expression.  From the statement:  “Our colleagues, alumni, faculty and staff stand by the right to free speech and look forward to the positive discussions that will occur as a result of this senseless act.”
Speakers and Events:This quarter CJC will be hosting a variety of events and prominent speakers. On Jan. 28, author and journalist David Epstein joined us as part of UF’s Science Journalist in Residence program. Epstein, who has written for Sports Illustrated, Scientific America, National Geographic and other publications, is the best-selling author of “The Sports Gene.” The topic for his public talk here was “Roger vs. Tiger: Why sports science says we’re developing young athletes wrong.”
 
Also in January, the Public Relations Department and Alpha PRoductions organized a panel on Diversity in Public Relations.  A video of the hour-long program is available here.  An article on the event, written by one of our students, appeared in PRNewser. Also, a piece on how the logo for the event was developed appeared in the Culpwrit public relations blog.

Other guest speakers this quarter include Tampa Bay Times Environmental Reporter Craig Pittman, “The Walking Dead” cable series photographer Gene Page and soundman Robert Maxfield and our own Ted Spiker, interim Journalism Department Chair, speaking about his book Down Size as part of UF’s Authors@UF series.
On March 16, Terry Anderson, the former AP reporter who was abducted in 1985 by Shiite Hezbollah militants in Beirut and held captive for six years, will tell the harrowing and poignant story of his survival. Terry is now an adjunct professor here teaching international journalism.
On March 26-27, we will host a Freedom of Information Act conference, featuring some of the most prominent FOIA experts in the U.S. The event was made possible by a generous donation from CJC alumnus Sharyl Attkinson, a former CBS News reporter and author of “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”
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