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Welcome back Robertson School students!

Aug 26, 2016

Posted in: News

William Lineberry

Welcome back Robertsonians! We hope you had a great and productive summer. We’ve been really busy prepping for your return and can’t wait to have you back in class! Here’s a little of what we’ve been up to over the summer:

International Work

This summer Robertson School professors engaged with students both in and out of the country. Marcus Messner, Ph.D., and Vivian Medina-Messner, both Robertson School journalism professors, led their annual course at the VCU Social Media Institute for the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP). The course connects current VCU students with Iraqi exchange students to build social media campaigns in support of Richmond-area nonprofits. This year marked the seventh consecutive summer the course has been offered at VCU. Read the full story about the program here. This was the final year of the program at VCU. Job well done, Vivian and Marcus!

Tim Bajkiewicz, associate director of the Robertson School and broadcast journalism professor, took a cohort of 10 students to study media in Ireland as part of a three-week study abroad course. Students visited media outlets as well as historic sites throughout the country. Check out some of students’ multimedia work and pictures from the trip here!

Academic Scholarship and Professional Awards

Research and professional faculty awards were another big part of our summer. Robertson School faculty had an overwhelming presence at the annual Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. AEJMC is the top nonprofit, educational association of journalism and mass communication educators, students and media professionals. Robertson School faculty members presented cutting-edge research and lead panel discussions. Journalism professor, Karen McIntyre, Ph.D., won the Top Faculty Paper award in the Newspaper and Online News Division. In addition to faculty participation, this year the national conference logo was designed by our very own advertising Robertson School student Ethan Ireland. 

Other awards that were announced over the summer came to advertising professor Jay Adams and journalism professor, Jeff South. Adams won a bronze in the Summit Creative International Awards for his television spot he helped create for Virginia Farm Bureau. The Summit received more than 5,000 entries from across the world competing for the top honor in their respective advertising divisions. Read the full story on Jay's award here.  

Journalism professor Jeff South won the Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. South will be formally accepting the award next month at SPJ’s annual conference, held in New Orleans. Read SPJ's story on this here!

Public realtions professor Shana Meganck became the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) faculty adviser in the Robertson School. If you’re interested in joining any of the student organizations that are specific to your concentration, contact the following faculty members: Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), contact Jeff South (jcsouth@vcu,edu); for PRSSA, contact Shana Meganck (; and for AdClub, contact Bridget Camden ( 

New Faces in the School

This semester the Robertson School will be welcoming some new faces to the academic family. Bob Levey will be serving as the 2016-17 visiting Dabney Distinguished Professorship. Levey is a longtime newshound and worked at the Washington Post for more than 30 years. He will be teaching multiple courses while here, as well as giving lectures that will be open to all VCU students and personnel.

The School will also be welcoming six new visiting scholars from China. While at VCU, the visiting scholars will conduct research on media education and observe classes taught by senior faculty members at the Robertson School. These scholars come from a variety of backgrounds, comprising of doctoral candidates and master degree students, as well as practicing journalists.

Looking forward

This fall will mark the first time in our history that the Robertson School will be participating in VCU’s Comprehensive Capital Campaign. The School could not be more excited to participate in this important campaign, which will last until 2020. Funds raised during the campaign are dedicated solely to improving student success, faculty excellence and capital (infrastructure and equipment) improvements.

The Robertson School will be kicking off our campaign at this year’s Broad St. Mile on September, 24. Come stop by our table to learn more about the School and grab some free Robertson School gear!