Category: Academics

Jose Antonio Vargas Speaking at OU

Vargas  Gaylord Speakers

The Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma is excited to invite you to an opportunity to hear and engage with one of our nation’s boldest voices on the topic of undocumented immigrants and citizenship.

The Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, immigration reform activist and renowned speaker, Jose Antonio Vargas is coming to the University of Oklahoma on Oct. 13. He will speak at Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall in Catlett Music Center at 7 p.m., along with students and leaders from Oklahoma-based Aspiring Americans. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists is the host for this event.

Vargas admitted he was an undocumented immigrant in a groundbreaking essay published in The New York Times Magazine in 2011. The article stunned media and political circles throughout the country and attracted worldwide coverage. A year later, he appeared on the cover of TIME magazine with fellow undocumented immigrants as part of a follow-up cover story he wrote.

Vargas’ work centers on the changing American identity. He is the founder of Define American, a non-profit media and culture organization that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration and citizenship in America, and the executive editor of #EmergingUS, a multimedia news platform he conceived focusing on race, immigration and the complexities of multiculturalism. In August MTV aired, as part of its Look Different campaign, White People, a television special he directed on what it means to be young and white in America.
Vargas wrote, produced and directed Documented, a documentary feature film on his undocumented experience.

The Hispanic American Student Association will show this documentary in the Gaylord Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Auditorium Oct. 8 at 7 p.m.

The Gayord College is grateful to partner with many organizations to bring this speaker to the college. Those partners include the Hearst Foundation, Latino Student Life, Aspiring Americans, College of Arts and Sciences, Price College of Business, Diversity Enrichment Programs, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, Administration and Finance, College of International Studies, UWC Davis Scholars, OU College of Law, Enrollment Services, the Office of University Community, OU WebComm, and OU Housing and Food Services.

Ed Kelley named interim dean of Gaylord College

Ed Kelley, Interim DeanAward-winning newspaper editor and reporter Ed Kelley, who has been serving as Director of Experiential Learning for the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Oklahoma, has been named interim Dean, pending approval of the OU Board of Regents.

An OU journalism alumnus, Kelley will address – on an interim basis – the responsibilities of the position previously held by Joe Foote, who resigned his administrative post to rejoin the college’s faculty after a decade as the college’s leader. The permanent successor to Foote will be named after an appropriate selection process.

“The University is extremely fortunate that Ed Kelley is willing to return to his alma mater to serve as Dean of Journalism and Mass Communications,” said OU President David L. Boren. “An outstanding journalist, Kelley has for years demonstrated his care and concern for the College and its students. Like Joe Foote, he will be a student-oriented Dean.”
As Director of Experiential Learning, Kelley has been working with students, faculty and employers to increase internship opportunities for students. It was a summer internship with The Oklahoman that launched Kelley’s 36-year career with the paper. Over the years, he held a variety of positions, including state roving reporter, city editor and business editor. For four years in the mid-1980s, he served as the paper’s Washington bureau chief. He returned to Oklahoma City in 1990 to be managing editor. In 2002, he became editorial page editor. In 2003, Kelley succeeded Edward L. Gaylord as editor of The Oklahoman and served in that role until 2011.

“I’m honored to have been asked to serve in this position at my alma mater,” Kelley said. “It’s an exciting time in journalism, and the faculty and staff at Gaylord College are working hard to ensure students have the skills needed to succeed as professionals upon graduation,” he said.

Kelley returned to OU from Salt Lake City, where he was senior contributing editor at The Deseret News. He also has served as editor of The Washington Times.

A recipient of numerous journalism awards, Kelley was named national Editor of the Year in 1996 by the Washington-based National Press Foundation for directing The Oklahoman’s coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing. He served as a juror to the Pulitzer Prizes in 1998 and is a member of the National Press Club and the American Society of News Editors. Kelley was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame in 2003.

Kelley earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from OU, graduating Phi Beta Kappa.

­Gaylord College hires coordinator of community inclusivity

Dorion BillupsThe Gaylord College has hired Dorion Billups (2013, BA in Journalism; 2015, MA in Adult & Higher Education) to serve as the new Coordinator of Community Inclusivity. He will join the Gaylord College student services team in the Paul D. Massad Student Services Center.

Diversity and inclusiveness have long been important to the Gaylord College and valued in the journalism and mass communication fields, so even before the SAE incident became national news, the Gaylord College leadership team had identified these areas which needed to be addressed at the academic unit level as well as the campus level.

“When Unheard swept the OU campus, we knew there was urgency in helping our students to experience a deeper and more positive connection with one another, the Gaylord College, and the University of Oklahoma,” said Assistant Dean John Hockett.

Under Dean Joe Foote’s leadership scarce funds were identified and designated to create this key position making Gaylord College one of the first units on campus to directly address these issues.

As the new coordinator of community inclusivity, Billups will work with current and prospective students in the Gaylord College advising student groups, fostering and organizing large-scale mentorship programs, recruitment, academic advising, and helping to foster increased diversity throughout the Gaylord College, said Hockett.

“I am looking forward to creating a greater sense of unity throughout the college by working with the deans, faculty, staff, unity groups, and international students to highlight all of the wonderful communities within Gaylord College,” said Billups.

Billups is a 2013 journalism graduate and will complete his master’s in higher education in May. He brings to the position knowledge of student programming and a keen understanding of the value of community from working with OU Camp Crimson and the Graduation office. He is also very familiar with Gaylord College and its five majors after serving as a Gaylord Ambassador as an undergraduate.

Global Public Relations Executives Visit Gaylord College

NORMAN, OKLAHOMA – The Gaylord College at the University of Oklahoma will host Rob Flaherty, CEO and senior partner of Ketchum PR, and David Gallagher, CEO and senior managing partner of Ketchum-Europe, on Thursday, April 23. The executives will present a public lecture as part of the Global Public Relations Presidential Dream Course.

Ketchum is one of the largest and most geographically diverse global public relations agencies with offices in 70 countries providing marketing, branding and corporate communication services for brands like Kleenex, Special Olympics, Delta, Wendy’s and Barbie.

“I am honored to meet and network with two prestigious public relations experts from Ketchum Inc. Their viewpoints will help students to integrate strategic communications into the international context. As an international student, I value the work they have done around the world because they are passionate about promoting diversity and building multicultural relations worldwide,” said Anna María Restuccia, senior Public Relations major from Venezuela studying at the Gaylord College and a student in the Global Public Relations Dream Course.

Rob Flaherty, Ketchum PR
Rob Flaherty

Rob Flaherty is senior partner, CEO & president of Ketchum, one of the world’s top communication firms and PRWeek’s 2012 Agency of the Year. Flaherty leads Ketchum’s Worldwide Executive Committee to guide the strategy, client service and performance of the agency.

Since joining Ketchum in 1989, Flaherty has been involved in all aspects of the firm’s business, including having successfully led its largest office, one of its global practices and several of its largest client engagements. Flaherty became president of the agency in 2008 and today is one of the industry’s most sought-after client counselors.

David Gallagher, senior partner and CEO of Ketchum’s European operations and chairman of the UK agency, has more than 20 years of public relations experience, both as a client and as a senior agency adviser with some of the world’s leading brands and companies.

David Gallagher, Ketchum PR
David Gallagher

Gallagher oversees Ketchum’s nine European agencies and their specialist services, which include consumer public relations, healthcare communications, corporate affairs and social responsibility, public affairs, change management, and clinical trial recruitment. He also is a member of Ketchum’s global Executive Committee and chairs the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives.

The Ketchum Lecture is part of a Global Public Relations Dream Course taught by Dr. Katerina Tsetsura, Director of Graduate Programs for the Gaylord College. President David L. Boren initiated the OU Presidential Dream Course in 2004. The competitive Dream Course program provides extra resources to instructors to bring distinguished speakers to campus. Dream Courses cover important topics for concerned and engaged citizens in the 21st century. This is Tsetsura’s second Dream Course to host.

The public lecture will take place on April 23 at Noon in the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation Auditorium, Gaylord Hall room 1140, on the Norman campus. The lecture is free and open to the public. For accommodations based on disability, please contact the Gaylord College at 405-325-2721.


Gaylord Hall enjoys a prime location on the South Oval on the University of Oklahoma Norman campus.

Gaylord College voted one of the top 10 journalism programs in nation

Top 10 RTDNAThe Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication was named one of the top 10 journalism programs in the nation by and the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Gaylord College is proud to be included on this prestigious list for the first time and prouder still to enter with a tie at fifth place with Arizona State’s Cronkite School. This is the third year that RTDNA and TV Week have teamed for this survey of members and readers.

Across the board the primary criteria for being included in this list of excellent programs was the quality of hands-on programs available for students.

One respondent who named University of Oklahoma the No. 1 school explained, “The University of Oklahoma is an often-overlooked leader in journalism education. The faculty set is a balanced mix of researchers and practitioners, giving students a healthy mix of cutting-edge research and on-the-job application. The Gaylord College houses an integrated advertising agency within its halls as well as a state-of-the-art broadcasting facility. It’s a playground for future storytellers that should be commended on its rise in recent years.”

Gaylord College provides a variety of opportunities for students including the student-run advertising and public relations agency, Lindsey and Asp; a commercial production unit, Gaylord Hall Productions; TV news magazine and website, Routes; the award-winning daily newscast, OU Nightly; and the live audience sports show, Sooner Sports Pad, which is seen in more than 9 million homes on FOX Sports Southwest.

The survey was distributed on and to members of the Radio Television Digital News Association, with 673 respondents participating. A total of 607 of those respondents answered the question about their professional status; of those, 260 (42.8%) said they were news professionals. Additionally, 169 (27.8%) answered non-news professionals, 104 (17.1%) identified as students, and 74 (12.2%) said they were educators.

Read more about the survey.

OU Public Relations Students Present Research to German Town Leaders

Erfurt Group
OU public relations students Katherine Fikes, Nathan Robertson and Katherine Brannen traveled to Germany with Professor Katerina Tsetsura to make a research presentation to City of Erfurt leaders.

Four public relations students and a professor from the Gaylord College traveled to Erfurt, Germany May 15-17, 2014, to present the results of a year-long research program they conducted for the City Marketing Department.

Katherine Brannen, Dusti Gasparovic, Katherine Fikes and Nathan Robertson were competitively selected from the Public Relations Research class of over 40 students to collect additional data and prepare a professional presentation for the representatives of the city of Erfurt. The research project was conducted as part of Tsetsura’s OU Presidential Dream Course on Public Relations Research last fall.

Students conducted surveys and interviews with more than 400 people in Oklahoma and Texas to learn what motivates U.S. tourists from these states to travel to Europe, and specifically to Germany. Over the course of the year, the students focused on getting research insights and analyzing the data. Then, the winning team of four identified the most useful information and conducted additional research. The team presented the results of the year-long research efforts in person to representatives of the City Marketing Department of Erfurt on May 16.

“This research presentation was a huge opportunity for us as American students. One thing that cannot be taught well in a classroom is how the international dynamic can affect a business setting. The chance to present four months of research and receive feedback from the client in their home country was a rare opportunity for an undergraduate student,” said Nathan Robertson, member of the winning team.

“This trip was a great chance to show OU’s partners in Erfurt the quality of programs we possess at the Gaylord College. While our research only goes as far as validating strategic recommendations, it showcases the communication research methodology that is taught at this institution,” said Robertson.

“The students were excited to present their research project in Erfurt. The results of the research were of great interest to the city of Erfurt on how to attract travelers from states like Oklahoma and Texas, which are at the heart of the USA,” said Dr. Katerina Tsetsura, the Gaylord Family Professor of public relations at the Gaylord College.

OU President David L. Boren initiated the OU Presidential Dream Course in 2004. The competitive Dream Course program provides extra resources to professors to invite distinguished speakers to campus and to offer unique opportunities to OU students. Dream Courses cover important topics for concerned and engaged citizens in the 21st century. This was the first time a required public relations research course has been designated as a Dream Course.

Dr. Katerina Tsetsura has partnered with the University of Erfurt to bring University of Oklahoma students to study communications in Germany for several years.

NOTE: Variations of this article have been published as part of the PRSSA FORUM newsletter.

The City of Erfurt has also published it on their website and local newspaper.