Students Display Public Speaking Skills at Betty Lou Balasi Public Speaking Contest

June 9, 2015

Melissa Martinez, a freshman Chemistry major from Chicago, IL, won the 2015 Betty Lou Balasi Public Speaking Contest. A panel of judges selected Melissa’s speech, entitled “Puerto Rico Should Not Become a State,” as the top speech delivered in the final round of the contest on April 28, 2015.

The annual event, sponsored by the Eastern Illinois University Department of Communication Studies, featured both provocative topics and excellent deliveries. Second place went to Thaija Evans, a freshman Journalism major from Chicago, IL. Third place was awarded to Mikayla Grant, a freshman Clinical Laboratory Science major from Mattoon, IL.

Attached photo, from left to right: Emily Schlitter, Thaija Evans, Mercury Bowen, Melissa Martinez, Mikayla Grant, Shaniyah Mayes.

Attached photo, from left to right: Emily Schlitter, Thaija Evans, Mercury Bowen, Melissa Martinez, Mikayla Grant, Shaniyah Mayes.

The other three students who competed in the event’s finals were:
  • Mercury Bowen (freshman, undecided major from Martinsville, IL) – Abortion is Wrong
  • Shaniyah Mayes (freshman, Psychology major from East Saint Louis, IL) – Student Involvement is Key for College Success
  • Emily Schlitter (freshman, Kinesiology and Sports Studies major from Bartlett, IL) – Women’s Sports Should be Valued as Much as Men’s Sports

The contest is named in memory of Betty Lou Balasi, a long time staff member in the E.I.U. Department of Communication Studies. Twenty-two students competed in the preliminary round of the competition on the Monday before the final round.


Student Media Productions Honored at 2015 EIU Multimedia Contest

May 27, 2015

On May 4, the Department of Communication awarded exceptional student media productions at the 2015 Multimedia Contest.

Students, faculty, and community members all gathered at the event to view the top three entries in the six categories, Creative, Radio Spot, Video Spot, News Package, Documentary, and Web Design.

The top producers of media content (From L to R): Michael Moy, Adam Austin, James Bateman, Kayla Myers, Jesse Guinn

(From L to R): Michael Moy, Adam Austin, James Bateman, Kayla Myers, Jesse Guinn

The award-winning productions came from class projects, WEIU newscasts, the Alternative Television and Film Club, as well as independent endeavors. The complete winners list can be seen below.


  1. Michael Moy
  2. Pat Banahan
  3. Will Young / Adam Austin

Michael Moy – “The Proposal”

 Radio Ad/PSA:

  1. James Bateman
  2. Jesse Guinn
  3. Ian Acree

James Bateman – “Chubby’s”

 Video Ad/PSA:

  1. Adam Austin
  2. Bryson Batson/Will Young
  3. Hosea Ruppert

Adam Austin – “InfiniteCU”


  1. Jesse Guinn
  2. Lacey Clifton
  3. Jessica Dixon

Jesse Guinn – “Canine Flu”


  1. Kayla Myers
  2. Pat Banahan
  3. Adam Austin

Kayla Myers – “Brothers”

 Web Design:

  1. Adam Austin (
  2. Kayla Myers (
  3. Mandi Mundhenk (

PSA Produced by EIU Students to Air on Television Stations Throughout Illinois

May 5, 2015

The Energy Education Council has revealed a new television public service announcement that was created by Communication Studies students at Eastern Illinois University to help raise awareness about outdoor electrical safety in Illinois.

The Safe Electricity College Challenge contest gave students enrolled in college broadcasting programs in Illinois the opportunity to create EEC’s next 30 or 60 second television PSA.  Entries were judged on creativity, message effectiveness, accuracy of safety information provided, production quality, and adherence to rules.

L to R:  ​Molly Hall, E.E.C. Executive Director, William Young, Bryson Batson, James Bateman.

L to R: ​Molly Hall, E.E.C. Executive Director, William Young, Bryson Batson, James Bateman.

A 30 second spot produced by E.I.U. seniors William Young (Newman, IL – Shiloh High School) and Bryson Batson (Shelbyville, IL) received one of the top places in the contest and will be airing on television stations throughout the state for the next six months.  The PSA also featured E.I.U. senior James Bateman (Phoenix, IL – Thornton High School) who was the on camera talent.

The spot was produced as part of E.I.U. Communication Studies instructor Fred Peralta’s Advanced Video Production class.  The PSA can be viewed online here:

The college challenge is part of E.E.C.’s latest educational efforts to increase awareness on important outdoor electrical safety issues.  The contest is funded by Illinois utilities.

Scholarship & Awards Ceremony Recognizes Top Communication Studies Students

May 5, 2015

The Department of Communication Studies held its annual Scholarship and Awards Ceremony to recognize outstanding students in the areas of scholarship, research, and achievement on April 19.

Recognized students received scholarship money from the communication studies department as well as a permanent space on the plaques located in Coleman Hall. The popular event was attended by students, faculty, and family members of the award winners.

A complete list of all winners is located below. Students are welcome to apply for scholarships here for the 2015-2016 school year beginning during the spring 2016 semester.


  • Betty Lou Balasi Scholarship  –  Kelli Halfman
  • Dr. Kenneth E. Hadwiger Undergraduate Scholarship  –  Kayla Jacobs
  • Dr. Kenneth E. Hadwiger Graduate Scholarship  –  Anna Percival
  • Jon J. Hopkins Speech Education Scholarship  –  Wade Dundee
  • Carol A. Manhart Scholarship  –  Clinton Brown
  • Ralph Y. McGinnis Scholarship  –  Kaitlyn Corzine
  • Jack L. Payan Scholarship  –  Amy Gebka & Mark Devall
  • John E. & Mary J. Price Scholarship  –  Hannah Yarnell
  • Dr. J. Glenn Ross Scholarship  –  Jennifer Awah-Manga
  • Illinois Broadcasters Association Scholarship  –  Kelsey Zancha


  • Outstanding Lab Assistant  –  Bryson Batson
  • Inspired Achievement  –  Marissa Zak
  • Outstanding Junior  –  Lisa Rhodes
  • Outstanding Senior  –  Connor Wilcox
  • Outstanding Graduate Students  –  Audra Clodfelter & Ethan Kruger

Bock Undergraduate Research Contest:

  1. Kelli Halfman
  2. Lindsay Nichols
  3. Caitlyn Strader

EIU Graduate Student Receives Top Student Paper Award

April 27, 2015

Eastern Illinois University graduate student Audra Clodfelter received the Top Student Paper Award from the Public Relations Division of the Central States Communication Association.

Clodfelter’s award-winning paper “Responding to Boston: Improving Marathon Reputations and Stakeholder Relations through Pre-Crisis Communication” analyzes the strategic communication of the World Marathon Majors series after the attacks in Boston. Clodfelter presented her paper at CSCA’s annual meeting on April 16 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Clodfelter also presented original research in the Media Studies Interest Group. Her paper “Why Can’t Watson Be a Bear? Examining the Uses and Gratifications of Sherlock Fanfiction” used audience data to explore the gratifications sought and obtained from creating fanfiction.

Currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in EIU’s Department of Communication Studies, Clodfelter specializes in strategic and organizational communication. She developed her public relations research in the graduate class of Dr. Matthew Gill and media studies research with Dr. Scott Walus.

Clodfelter is interested in a career in crisis communication or entertainment promotions. Her next big research project is her thesis on organizational legitimacy and authenticity in the craft beer industry. She can be reached at

Central States Communication Association showcases exemplar communication research at its annual conferences.

Central States Communication Association showcases exemplar communication research at its annual conferences.

EIU Communication Studies Major Wins 2015 Illinois Broadcasters Association Scholarship

April 27, 2015

Eastern Illinois University has announced the recipient of the 2015 Illinois Broadcasters Association Scholarship.  Kelsey Zancha, a junior from Lovington, Illinois, is the 2015 recipient.

Zancha is a Communication Studies major with an emphasis in Broadcast News.  She works in student media at both WEIU-FM Radio and WEIU-TV news.  She is a transfer from Lake Land College in Mattoon who won the 2014 IBA Student Silver Dome Award for Best Sales Presentation.  Zancha plans to graduate in May of 2016 and pursue a career in television news.

EIU Communication Studies major Kelsey Zancha wins the Illinois Broadcasters Association scholarship.

EIU Communication Studies major Kelsey Zancha wins the Illinois Broadcasters Association scholarship.

The scholarship was endowed by the Illinois Broadcasters Association and is presented each year to one of the top E.I.U. students who plans to pursue a career in broadcasting.

Communication Day 2015 to Focus on Communication Skills and Career Preparation

March 25, 2015

The EIU Department of Communication Studies will host its annual Communication Day on Wednesday, April 22. This year will focus on broadening communication skills and career preparation.

The annual event seeks to illustrate the importance of communication in students’ academic, personal, and professional lives.

Speakers and panels at the event will showcase the intellectual, creative, and professional activities of the undergraduate and graduate students across every concentration and option area.

The event will be held in the Martin Luther King Jr. Union from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  There is no charge to attend the event and all students of all majors are welcome.

Complete details about Communication Day will be posted on the department’s official page:

Dr. Jimmie Manning delivers the keynote for the 2014 Communication Day to a capacity audience.

Six EIU Students Win IBA Student Silver Dome Awards

October 17, 2014

Current and recently graduated EIU students won six first place awards Friday in the Illinois Broadcasters Association’s Student Silver Dome Awards Contest, a statewide contest for college broadcasters.

First place awards went to 2014 graduate Kyle Fisher (Best TV Longform Program), 2014 graduate Keith Sutterfield (Best TV Commercial), Senior Brad Kupiec (Best Radio Sports Play-by-Play), and to the WEIU-TV News WaIBA Logo tch staff for Best TV Newscast.

First place awards also went to Junior Jason Tague (Best Radio Promotion) and Junior Kelsey Zancha (Best Sales Presentation).  Jason and Kelsey received their awards for work done while they were students at Lake Land College last year.

Keith Sutterfield also took 2nd place in the TV Longform Program category, and senior Anna Richardson received 3rd place for Best On-Air Radio Personality.

The students received their awards in October at the Illinois Broadcasters Association’s annual IBA-U Conference in Chicago.

EIU Speech Team Has Strong Showing at First Tournaments of 2014

October 17, 2014

The Eastern Illinois University Speech Team traveled to Indianapolis, IN for two tournaments and had a very strong showing at the first tournaments of the 2014-2015 competition season.

On Saturday, September 19th, the team competed at the Audrey Cunningham Forensics 500. Marques Brown, a junior Corporate Communication major from Bloomington, IL, placed third in Poetry Interpretation, fifth in Dramatic Interpretation, and third in Duo Interpretation with senior Psychology major Bethany Oxford, from Norris, IL. Sophomore Political Science major Austin Mejdrich from Charleston, IL, placed second in Impromptu Speaking, and sixth in Informative Speaking.

On Sunday, September 20, at Butler University’s This Day in History Tournament, the team took third place in team sweepstakes, with every member of the team bringing home at least one award. Marques Brown was the Tournament Champion in Dramatic Interpretation. Marques Brown and Bethany Oxford placed second in Improvisational Duo. Bethany Oxford placed second in Prose Interpretation. Austin Mejdrich placed second in Impromptu Speaking, second in Informative Speaking, and second in Editorial Impromptu. Sophomore Tyler Kahanec, a Pre-Business Management Information Systems major from Spring Grove, IL, placed second in Dramatic Interpretation.

EIU alumni honored in Illinois broadcasting contest

June 23, 2014




EIU Communication Studies graduates took home plenty of hardware at the Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome Awards Wednesday night (June 18) in Champaign.  The Silver Dome contest honors the top radio and television broadcasters in the state.  EIU alumni won first place in four categories, and were finalists in three others.

Justin Ritz of WCSJ-FM in Morris won first place in two Small Market Radio categories: Best Radio News Reporter and Best Radio Spot News Coverage.

Michael Kiser of WDWS-FM in Champaign took first place in the Medium Market Radio category for Best Radio Series or Documentary.  Michael was also a finalist for Best Radio News Reporter and Best Radio Spot News Coverage.

Orion Buckingham of WLRW-FM in Champaign was a finalist in Medium Market Radio for Best Non-Humorous Commercial.

Travis Probst of WCIA-TV in Champaign won first place in Medium Market TV for Best Light Feature, and was a finalist for Best Local Program, Series, or Documentary.

Also, EIU Associate Professor Mike Bradd won first place for Best Sports Play-by-Play in Small Market Radio for his broadcasts of EIU Basketball on WEIU-FM.


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