Thursday, August 23, 2007

Post 1: Welcome Fall 2007 Students

Welcome to our class blog. In your first posting, please introduce yourself and tell us where you are from and what brought you to Iowa State University. What do you like to do when you are not in school? Feel free to add a photo to your profile. The deadline for the blogs is Sunday midnight. Remember, the blog is open to the general public to read.


_ said...
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Etse Sikanku said...

Hello, my name is Etse Sikanku and a first year graduate student in Journalism and Mass Communication from Ghana. My undergraduate major was in Political Science. I worked for a year as a Political correspondent for a news station in Accra after college.

I originally came to Iowa State for a Masters in Community and Regional Planning but i guess you can’t run away from your heart so i discovered the Greenlee School through Dr D’s JLMC 576 class last spring and decided to pursue a switch. I currently work with the Daily as a columnist and copy editor.

Outside school work, i play lots of tennis and i'm also helping a friend set up a global online news service with a third world or developmental emphasis.

Xiaomin Qian said...

Hello everyone.

My name is Xiaomin Qian. You can call me Xiaomin. I come from China. My family name "Qian" means money in Chinese language. Actually, this is a title for a government officer in the old times.

My undergraduate major is Chinese language and literature. After graduation, I worked as an economic journalist in Xinhua News Agency for two years. Then I married. Because my husband came to the US for his Ph.D study, I gave up my job and followed him. On the other hand, this is also a chance for me to continue my academic study and pursue a master's degree in journalism. I plan to back to China later and become a professional journalist with what I learnt here.

Cooking is one of my interests. I learnt how to make cheese cake, how to bake pizza when I come to Ames. You can come to my home and have a taste. Everybody is welcome.

_ said...

Hi, I'm Samuel Berbano, and I'm an undergraduate in JLMC and POL S from Ames. I grew up around Iowa State - following my father on his Masters research, going to the old Pre-School, and attending "nerd camp" in the summers.

After a brief stint in California, I started at Iowa State in Fall 2004 as JLMC and POL S. In the past several years, I have worked at the Daily, KURE Radio, ISU's residence hall government (IRHA), and The United Methodist Church.

In my free time, I am a podcaster for Life of a Law Student (, a regular at the Rec, and a leader for The Salt Company. If you'd like a photo, then add me on Facebook!

Melissa said...

Greetings, everyone! My name is Melissa Fenech. I'm a first year graduate student in JL MC.

Iowa State is a very important place for me; it signifies a great change in my life and is very close to my heart. If my wonderful friends had not persuaded me to try ISU after my first year of college at Buena Vista University, I would never be as successful or happy as I am today and will be in the future.

My BA is advertising. I love communication and advertising and love learning about the WAY IT WORKS. I've always been especially interested in interpersonal communication and so hope to work on a project bringing my interests together, with Dr. Bugeja as a guide. I also hope to have the chance to travel to Malta at some point during my graduate career to learn at the University of Malta.

Before I came back to ISU for my graduate degree I worked professionally at local radio station 105.1 KCCQ as an "Advertising and Marketing Consultant." In English, this means radio sales lady. I loved writing the ads, but HATED selling them (I met a lot of low-life business owners). I decided to follow my heart and return to school to get closer to what I know is my fate... become a professor or instructor at some level.

Outside school, I love to play racquetball and play regularly with the ISU Racquetball Club. I also like to read, sing karaoke, and cook!

I can be found on facebook and myspace (although it's easiest to reach me by email).


Scott Schrage -- Program Assistant said...

I'm Scott Schrage, a first-year grad student in JLMC. I hail from the Sioux City area, having grown up in a town of a thousand known only for the casino residing about a mile away.

I followed a few friends to Iowa State for my undergrad work, eventually earning my bachelor's degree in advertising (with a psychology minor). After deciding that I did not want to go work for an ad agency (my initial ambition), I decided to pursue a master's in the hopes of one day teaching on the collegiate level.

When I'm not in class, I work for the Iowa State Foundation (a NPO that raises money for the university), write, play sports / video games, sleep, and procrastinate. It looks like we've got a fairly small class, so I look forward to getting to know everyone throughout the semester. See you next week.

Erin O'Gara said...

Hi 574, my name is Erin O’Gara and I am a first year graduate student. I completed my undergraduate degree in Journalism with minors in Political Science and Speech at Iowa State in May 2007.

Most of my journalism background has been in political organizations, and as of right now I’m not sure whether this interest means that I should actually pursue a job working in politics or whether I should simply cover politics as a journalist… hopefully this is something that I figure out over the next two years!

My main interest in graduate school is to learn more about the ways that the media impacts the way we form our political ideologies, interest (or complete apathy) towards government and the political process and voting behavior. I’m not yet sure what I plan to do with this, but it’s a start.

In my free time, (when I can find it) I enjoy reading and will be volunteering with ACCESS Women’s Shelter.

I look forward to getting to know each of you this semester!

Eva said...

Hi!I am Eva, and my chinese name is Zhang XU. I am a first year graduate student in Journalism. Also it's my first time to come to America. Though I have to handle everything alone and may miss my family, I always feel excited to learn some new things, meet new friends and get understanding of other countries and cultures.

I just graduated from university with BA in Communication Studies in China. During those four years, I had one internship as a journalist in my local newspaper and another as a directorin the local TV station. I never enjoy them, because what people do is just following the old way without creative thoughts and new angles. The worse thing is most of them pursue for profits! I understand that's one part of our lives, but I don't want to follow them in that way. The jobs are boring, however they pushed me to keep asking myself--Is this what I want? Then what am I looking for? Do I have dreams or goals?

So I decided to continuing my study overseas. And here is a it is a comfortable place to adsorb professional knowledge. With people from different cultures, I will see problems from new angles and get a better understanding of each nation, also get a brand new expression of my nation and culture. Otherwise, my graduation paper is about new media. It is one interesting thing which being connected with the advanced technology tightly and brings effect to our society. And that is what I am interested in.

Well, I am a wanderlust, I wish I can travel around the world. I play Pipa--the Chinese lute, one classic and historic Chinese musical instrument. And usually, I am lazy to do the sport things. Maybe Playing Pingpang is ok, because there is less space to move. ha. So nice to meet you.

Etse Sikanku said...
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Etse Sikanku said...

Hello again, it's exciting to meet everyone. I'm really looking forward to a great time here. It feels even more comfortable to hear from people with very different and sometimes similar experiences. Eva's description of a traditional and boring Chinese media brings to memory a similar observation i made whiles working at CITI fm in Ghana. Other times what influences news stories are political forces. Can you separate journalism from politics? I think there's a thin line but at the same time journalism has reached a stage where it is able to influence peoples way of life in a more different and realistic way. Journalists should not bow to the often selfish and parochial interests of politicians.

I hope one day I’ll be able to use journalism and technology as an effective tool not only to serve society and humanity but to stand up against the machinations of powerful politicians and businesses blocs. Technology is certainly influencing politics in a great number of ways and i will be looking forward to learning and making use of these new media developments.

Eva said...

Hey guys. I saw Etse's second comment and it reminded me the importance of learning basic theory and principles in journalism and communication, such as our class. Things keep changing and making different ways in each background/culture/nation. It is true that most media news are controlled by political forces, or another sad thing is produced to entertain the masses. Then the new media stand out. Because of the developing technology, the masses get the chances to present news around them and fetch more attention to their profits which never be care about by journalists before. Moreover, this change influence our society greatly.

And, for "use journalism and technology as an effective tool not only to serve society and humanity but to stand up against the machinations of powerful politicians and businesses blocs" that's a great dream. I used "dream" cuz I think it is hard to make out. But the new strength are so powerful that some change may happen. However, what I know is so limited, and that's why I come to learn more about it here.

titun said...
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_ said...

Here's a question to Etse and others: how effectively will the new media enable us to to criticize? If we are already part of the (Web 2.0) system, won't it be harder for us to see its drawbacks and other flaws?

I'm really keen on investigating how audience fragmentation affects our politics and political processes. Since the co-creation of a message in communication is such an eminently political process, how will it be affected by fragmentation and other side effects of the new media?

Andrea said...

Hi there,

My name is Andrea, and I am a second year grad student with the Greenlee School. I completed my BA at Buena Vista University and immediately entered the ISU grad program following graduation.

I keep quite busy with a grad assistantship, heading the Greenlee Graduate Student Association, serving as the LAS grad student rep for the CEAH steering committee, and assisting Greenlee undergrads with a new chapter of Women and Communication.

I have a minor in women's studies which I also studied heavily as an undergrad, and I have a strong interest and advocacy for women's issues in my professional and personal work. In the past I have interned in an ad agency as well as a large daily newspaper and decided neither are my passion, thus the desire for higher education.

I'm currently working on the second half of my thesis which investigates the use of the Internet by young females who either self-identify or are diagnosed as eating disordered. The thesis has been going well so far, and I am anxious to get started researching again after taking some time away from it this past summer.

In my free time I like to read, catch up on sleep, watch TV, find new music, and work out a bit. Living in an apartment has also helped me broaden my cuisine interests, so trying new foods has been a big part of my home life. I'm originally from the Omaha, NE area and make trips back every once and a while to see family and friends and to go to concerts.

I hope to graduate in May and will be job searching most of the academic year for a career dealing with any elements of women, communication, politics, mental health, and journalism. I'm not sure what this job will look like quite yet, but I am really hopeful!

Andrea said...

Hi Scott,

I noticed you said you nearly entered the ad world following your undergrad work. After doing my internship with an ad agency (which I did with a very critical eye) I too decided I did not want to be involved unless as an ethical director in some way. What changed your mind?


_ said...

One last thought if you had some free time before tomorrow:

What role do spoilers ( have to play in the process of Diffusion of Innovation? Are they a new innovation? Are they a re-invention of an innovation? Are they related at all to the diffusion process?

(See also: Harry Potter 7 spoilers:

Melissa said...

Those are some very good questions regarding spoilers.

I must say I haven't had much experience with spoilers as I haven't really experienced many. However, I don't believe spoilers are necessarily a new innovation, nor do I believe they are a re-invention. I might classify the term "spoiler" as a pseudo-re-invention, as the term may or may not have existed in its present form prior to being posted on Wikipedia.

Additionally, I beleive it is a distinct possibility that posting a spoiler, or producing one out of maliciousness is, in fact, a part of the diffusion process. Diffusion by imitation, possibly?

Daniela Dimitrova said...

Hi class,

What wonderful online discussion already. Some see technology an alternative way for expressing opinions or delivering news to avoid the political and economic pressures affecting traditional media. Others have “healthy skepticism” toward new media.

I enjoyed learning about your backgrounds. For those of you who don’t know me, here is a brief self intro. I grew up in Bulgaria, a small but beautiful country on the Balkan peninsula. The fall of the Berlin Wall took place when I was in high school. The collapse of communism made it possible for me to come to the United States for grad school. I got my masters from the University of Oregon and then continued on to get my doctorate from the University of Florida. And here I am at Iowa State, my first academic job after grad school.

Look forward to an exciting new semester and getting to know you better.


Daniela Dimitrova said...

After our in-class discussion today, I thought I should post a link to the 60 Minutes segment about closing the digital divide in classrooms around the world:

Please note—the video works better on a Windows computer. Enjoy!

Jo Jackson said...

My name is Joanna Jackson, or Jo for short. This is my second year in the Greenlee School studying public relations. I received my undergraduate dregrees from Iowa State in Transportation and Logistics and in Management.
I am from Davenport, Iowa, which lies next to the Mississippi River on the eastern edge of the state. I came to Iowa State because I fell in love with the beauty of the campus while attending a summer program here many years ago.
Outside of school, I love to shoot pool and play video games. Currently, I have been spending most of my time preparing for the arrival of my first child, due the first week in January, and planning a wedding for next spring.

Jo Jackson said...

I just viewed the 60 Minutes segment and I personally think this is ridiculous. To expect a child with no formal education and no previous exposure to technology (like electricity) to be able to teach themselves how to use a laptop just sounds insane! I didn't catch too much on the cost of set up. Why would an impoverished country need Internet access IN THE DESERT where they barely have water? Why can't this idea become a reality for the poor in America, a country that is industrialized and is in desperate need of healing its own educational system? I can go on all day but in short, this segment made me bitter.
I believe the money that they have accumulated for this venture would be best used in providing agricultural education to third world children, not for pushing a form of technology they are not ready for.