School of Communications hosts statewide media conference

Student media leaders from across the state attended professional sessions, many of which were led by Elon faculty and staff. 

The North Carolina College Media Association’s 2017 conference, held at Elon University, kicked off with a opening panel titled “How the Media Can Cover President Trump in His First 100 Days.” With Associate Communications Dean Kenn Gaither (far left) serving as moderator, the panel featured John Robinson, Cami Marshall Anthony, Jason Husser and Mark Dalhouse. Al Drago ’15 (not pictured) served as the panel’s featured respondent.
Elon University’s School of Communications hosted the annual North Carolina College Media Association conference Feb. 25 in Dwight C. Schar Hall. More than 20 Elon University faculty, staff, students and alumni participated in the gathering by offering workshops, critiques and welcomes. Photos of the conference are available on the school’s Flickr account

Drago also offered the event’s keynote address highlighting his use of Snapchat, the popular social media platform.
Associate Professor Naeemah Clark (left) chats with students attending her session on promoting diversity.
Below is a list of the Elon participants and their role in the conference:
Assistant Professor Jonathan Albright led an insight session on his research of fake news, a topic he’s discussed with numerous national and international media outlets over the past few months. 
Assistant Professor Max Negin used the new Jane and Brian Williams Studios to discuss visual interview techniques. 

  • Colin Donohue, director of student media and communications instructor, co-organized the conference.
  • Tommy Kopetskie, communications manager in the School of Communications, co-organized the conference.
  • Brooke Barnett, associate provost for inclusive community and professor of communications, offered the official Elon University welcome.
  • Tarah Holland, assistant director of graduate admissions, promoted the Interactive Media master’s program.
  • Kenn Gaither, associate dean of the School of Communications, moderated a panel titled “How the Media Can Cover President Trump in His First 100 Days.” The Elon representation on the panel was: Jason Husser, assistant professor of political science and policy studies and director of the Elon Poll; Mark Dalhouse, director of Study USA and assistant professor of history; Al Drago ’15, photojournalist at The New York Times.
  • Andi Petrini ’03, features and digital content editor at the Daily Press in Newport News, Virginia, and Tommy Hamzik ’17, executive director of the Elon News Network, offered a panel session titled “Successful Coverage of College Athletics.”
  • Ben Hannam, associate professor of communications, presented “Creativity vs. Logic in Graphic Design.”
  • Max Negin, assistant professor of communications, hosted “Art of the Visual Interview.”
  • Jonathan Albright, assistant professor of communications, presented “Examining the Spread of ‘Fake News.’’
  • Drago offered the conference’s keynote address titled “Snapchat Success: Reporting Live 10 Seconds at a Time.”
  • Randy Piland, senior lecturer of communications, led a session titled “Mobile Photojournalism Trends.”
  • Drew Perry, associate professor of English, presented “From Start to Really Finished: Matching Your Vision to the Page,” a session geared toward literary magazines.
  • Adam Constantine ’10, Elon’s social media manager, hosted “Avoiding the Social Media Echo Chamber.”
  • Naeemah Clark, associate professor of communications, offered a session titled “Bringing Diversity to Your Newsroom and Your Coverage.”
  • Camilla Brewer and Jes Coggins, graduate assistants in Elon’s Gender and LGBTQIA Center, hosted “Improving Coverage of LGBTQIA Communities.”
  • Kelly Furnas, lecturer of communications and Elon News Network adviser, presented “Yearbook Coverage,” a session geared toward yearbook editors and staffs.
  • Jonathan Jones, director of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition and assistant professor of communications, led a session titled “Media Law Update: Getting Access to Police Records On- and Off-Campus.”
  • Glenn Scott, associate professor of communications, offered a session titled “How to Build Your Editorial Page.
  • Nagatha Tonkins, internship director in the School of Communications, Amber McCraw, assistant director of career services for the School of Communications, and Ashley Pinney, associate director of employer and corporate relations at Elon, offered resume and portfolio critiques to students in attendance.

The NCCMA conference, in its ninth year, brings together student media leaders and advisers from across North Carolina. This year, 160 people came to Elon for the convention, marking the highest attendance in NCCMA’s history. This is the second time Elon has hosted.

Several Elon students were honored for their reporting, design, photography and writing at the 2017 conference.