On Thursday, Nov. 7, 2017, The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is welcoming local high schools to join us in the Chippewa Valley SchoolJournalism Association’s event where communication and journalism is promoted to area high schools through hands-on workshops and excite students about the possibilities available with a degree in communication and journalism. The event will be held in the Davies Center and run from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. with varying activities during the day to educate students about the communication and journalism field.

CVSJA logo.jpeg

Throughout the day, students will get the chance to participate in many different activities, including an organization fair displaying UW-Eau Claire organizations, a fun photo booth, an opportunity to attend panels with UW-Eau Claire Communication and Journalism students and professionals and participate in hands-on workshops. Students who submit work have the opportunity to receive awards and recognition if their piece is selected as best in their category by the judges.

The theme will mimic the board game “Life” to help create a fun way to get students moving through workshops and the day’s activities. CVSJA is a great way to get students thinking about where they will go next if they choose a career in communication and journalism. This is an exciting experience that holds many opportunities for high school students in the region. So if you see a young new face walking around campus that day, feel free to say, “Hi,” and welcome them to our campus!


Eau Queer Film Festival

 Facebook+Cover Eau Queer

Tuesday, Oct. 10, through Saturday, Oct. 14, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host the 8th annual Eau Queer Film Festival in Davies’ Woodland Theater. The Eau Queer Film Festival celebrates and expresses the diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual communities through the screening and discussion of fascinating documentaries, remarkable features, quirky comedies, and short films. According to the Eau Queer website,

“We embrace difference, promote equality, encourage activism, and challenge and educate through the powerful medium of film.”

This is a powerful festival that likely will inspire many faculuty, students, and Eau Claire locals. Come to the Woodland Theater and enjoy great films and support those at UW- Eau Claire who made this all possible for the 8th year in a row!

Schedule of films being screened:

Tuesday, Oct. 10:

Saturday Church at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 11:

A Queer and Pleasant Danger: Coming Out with Heart at Noon

Stumped at 5 p.m.

Just Charlie at 7 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 12:

Girl Unbound at 12:30 p.m.

Shorts: Liberate at 3 p.m.

Chavela at 5 p.m.

Signature Move at 7 p.m.

The Streets Are Ours: Two Lives Cross In Karachi (proceeding Signature Move)

Friday, Oct. 13:

Shorts: Queer Nations at 12 p.m.

Princess Cyd at 3 p.m.

QUEERCORE: How To Punk A Revolution at 5 p.m.

After Louie at 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 14:

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson at 11 p.m.

Apricot Groves at 1 p.m.

Shorts: Getting Real at 3 p.m.

God’s Own Country at 5 p.m.

Freak Show at 7 p.m.

For more information or to contact organizers, please visit Eau Queer’s website.

Continue reading “Eau Queer Film Festival”

How being in the right place at the right time ended in a social media internship

By Courtney Roszak

My final semester in college was supposed to be easier. I only have 13 credits — all within my major or minor. I don’t have class on Fridays and I had cut down m14063942_10209924206199525_3049293065106592238_n.jpgy hours at work.

But on the first day of the spring 2017 semester I went to visit Judy Gatlin to pick up a few forms for being an academic apprentice for CJ 373: Writing for Public Relations. Ten minutes later I left her office with a job as one of the office workers within the Department of Communication and Journalism.

Don’t ask me how, but somehow within the first two weeks my office job turned into an internship with the CJ Department. I know there had been talks about me working with the social media accounts between Judy Gatlin and Jan Larson, but it wasn’t until after a staff meeting it was announced that I was the new Communication and Journalism Social Media Intern.

Suddenly my easier semester became a little more hectic. However, it gave me the opportunity to create changes within the department through social media. I have worked this semester at sharing different internship opportunities, publishing students’ stories and posting about the different things our department does — all on social media. Being an upperclassmen within the department, I know about all the interesting things CJ majors do, and through this internship I have gotten to bring those stories to a bigger audience.

I have developed relationships with the faculty; a little hint, they aren’t as scary as you would think. Through my internship I have bonded with Jan Larson over traveling and learned about her family. I have laughed with David Tschida about his interesting Facebook pictures and chatted with Kris Knutson about the stress of senior year and entering the “real world.”

Do I sometimes wish I hadn’t accepted a job within the department? Rarely. It is true I would have more time for homework or Netflix binge watching had I kept my mouth shut. But 99 percent of the time I am happy I opened my mouth. This internship has given me a chance to experience more on my campus as my time dwindles down. I have gotten to make a change within the department and develop stronger social media skills. At the end of each day, I know I wouldn’t change a thing. Besides, I can always watch Netflix later on.

University faculty and student are traveling across the pond to present research

By Rachel Clepper

At the beginning of my sophomore year, I decided to take an Environmental Communication class because it was something that I had always interested me.


My advisor, Dr. David Tschida, happened to be teaching that class and within the first couple weeks presented the opportunity to collaborate on a research paper within the field of environmental communication. When I first heard him talking about this opportunity, I did not think that I would have the experience or expertise to be able to do this kind of research, but throughout the class I began to realize that it was something I had a true passion about. I later asked to meet with Dr. Tschida to discuss what the research would entail and the specifics of what we would be working on.  We created a proposal that was accepted for presentation at the International Environmental Communication Conference that will be held in Leicester, England this summer.

Rachel Clepper and Dr. David Tschida review their presentation for the International Environmental Communication Conference.

Dr. Tschida designed a direct study course for me.  We meet twice a week to discuss our paper and research. This semester I am also enrolled in Dr. Tschida’s Intercultural Communication class. I like to give him a hard time that by the end of the presentation this summer, he is going to be very tired of me because we see each other every week day and are in constant communication through email because he is not only a professor for two of my classes, but he is also my advisor.


This summer both Dr. Tschida and I will pack our bags and head across the pond to Leicester, which is north of London. We will attend the conference there as well as present our research. The paper focuses on the Facebook check-in involving the North Dakota Access Pipeline that was very popular earlier in the fall of 2016. We are analyzing the communicative functions of the Facebook check-in within the North Dakota Access Pipeline event and other social movements.


I have never been to England before and am thrilled to not only have the experience to write and present a research paper, but also to get to talk with and meet other professionals in the field of environmental communication. After the conference I am planning on staying to travel around the London area. This opportunity was not something that I expected to happen in my undergraduate education and I am so thankful for the support of Dr. David Tschida, but also for many of those who work in the CJ department as they have supported both Dr. Tschida and myself in our effort to make this trip and research happen.

Koepp Fellow spent TIME in a New York State of Mind


By Kiri Salinas

 Editor’s Note: Stephen Koepp is a 1978 graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire with a Bachelors degree in Journalism. The Stephen Koepp Journalism Fellowship is awarded to a student who shows excellent promise and skill as a journalist.

Kiri Salinas, Koepp Fellow, with the TIME Inc. Breaking News Video Team who taught her valuable skills during her time working with them. 

My time as the second Stephen Koepp fellow was incredible! I was nervous the whole plane ride to New York and on my first day at TIME Inc. Steve and his family welcomed me in with open arms and were very eager to show me around Brooklyn and Manhattan. I am still grateful for their hospitality and for how they welcomed me into their family for a short three weeks.

I had no clue what I was getting myself into since I had little to no experience working for a website. On my first day, I was introduced to the Breaking News Video Team. This small team of five people were the people I would learn from for those next three weeks. During my time there, I was able to work on my video editing and writing skills. Right off the bat, the team had me working on projects of my own, which was scary to think about.

My process was pretty simple. I would get assigned an article that was gaining popularity on the site. I would find video that complimented the story. I edited the appropriate videos, summarized the article in 4-5 sentences and uploaded and posted the video to The team was welcoming and willing to stop and help me with any questions/problems I had.

Kiri Salinas working on one of her stories at TIME Inc..

I covered multiple stories, from a gorilla’s death to turmeric not being a miracle spice. It was incredible to know that my work was being put out there on such a big platform. Every day I saved the videos I worked on and now I have up to 20 videos that were solely produced by me.

Besides working, I took advantage of my weekends by going to a variety of tourist sights and musicals on Broadway. Before I knew it, I had become a pro with the subway system. I got to explore multiple Manhattan spots like Central Park, Times Square and the World Trade Center Observatory.

Overall, my experience was amazing and it is all thanks to Steve Koepp and his family: Lesley, Charlie and Patrick. Also the team at TIME Inc. whose members taught me valuable skills: Chris Gransigner, Anne Most, Lauren Bogholtz, Joey Lautrup and Joyce Lee. I knew that I was in for an experience of a lifetime, but little did I know that I would meet such incredible people along the way.


Spectator staffers travel to Washington, D.C., study education reporting

Editor’s Note: Four Spectator staffers recently attended the Young Invincibles College Journalist Summit. The non-profit group is based in D.C. and represents the interests of 18-34 year olds related to public policy. 

Andee Erickson, Gabe Lagarde, Sami West and Lara Bockenstedt represented The Spectator staff at the Young Invincibles’ College Journalist Summer in Washington D.C..

Renewing a passion for journalism

By Sami West

I can’t help but revel in the timing of our visit to Washington, D.C. Not only had we just returned from a trip to a journalism conference in Madison, with our heads brimming with ideas and information we were eager to apply to our classes and to our beloved student newspaper, but we are in the midst of what will surely mark a turning point for the practice of journalism. With what seems like more distrust in the press than ever and our nation’s president publicly deeming the press an enemy of the American people, it’s  difficult to keep from feeling discouraged about the future of journalism.

Still, I found my passion for journalism to be stronger than ever following the two-day trip. We made the most of our 36 or so hours in the District, spending all of Sunday sightseeing before the conference Monday. After checking in at our hotel, we hopped on the Metro to walk the National Mall in pursuit of the Newseum. There, we had the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the history and practices of journalism across the country; all over the world. I was reminded of just how central the First Amendment is to the premises America was founded on in their First Amendment exhibit, and got an eye-opening look into how some of America’s greatest events and tragedies were covered, like the Civil Rights Movement and all the presidential elections. We ended our day taking in a perfect sunset from the stairs of Jefferson Memorial, and from there, scurrying to the rest of the monuments in the dark. The day, though fleeting, was nothing short of magical.

Monday was spent at the Young Invincibles’ College Journalist Summit. Surrounded by fellow college students, journalists, future politicians and philosophers, it was an enlightening experience in the atmosphere alone. The opportunity to hear from top-tier higher education journalists, as well as Sen. Tim Kaine in the Russell Senate Building were certainly the most exciting parts of the day. I left D.C. with a better understanding of the most prominent issues within higher ed today, and a newfound confidence in reporting on issues I had little knowledge of before. I can’t stop thinking about the beautiful cherry trees, beginning to bloom, and how I too have blossomed since that trip. I look forward to applying all that I’ve learned to my studies and time as editor-in-chief.


Captivating what Journalism is all about in the Newseum in Washington D.C

Finding Diversity in my Journalism Experience

By Lara Bockenstedt

Unloading the suitcase from Madison and filling it again for Washington D.C., the four of us (Andee Erickson, Gabe Lagarde, Sami West and I) landed Sunday afternoon at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. We spent the afternoon in the Newseum, immersed in their well-known exhibits such as the 9/11 Gallery and the Berlin Wall Gallery, and the newer exhibits too, like the Annenberg Space for Photography’s Refugee exhibit which presented the work of photojournalists around the world covering the refugee crises. We then dashed to make it to the monuments before sunset.

Young Invincibles, the D.C.-based non-profit group that created the journalism summit for students across the U.S., works to empower student activism in issues of higher education and health care. Our itinerary allowed exciting opportunities such as taking part in a Q&A session with a panel of journalists who cover higher ed for media like Politico, and a session with Sen. Tim Kaine. Perhaps the most enriching part of the trip was conversing with students about how varied issues of higher ed are across the country. Overall, it was an experience that diversified my view of journalism and higher ed. I returned more passionate about what I’m studying and eager to apply the knowledge here at UW-Eau Claire.

Updates from our friends at The Spectator…


In case you haven’t picked up a copy of The Spectator in a while, make sure to check out what the staff is up to and how they can help you become a more informed CJ student.

In a recent conversation with the staff members at The Spectator, they noted that one of the biggest pushes for the publication this year is to have a larger online presence. What does this mean for students? This means that all of the content that used to come out once a month is now put out online as fast as they can write it! No more waiting for campus details and stories. The best way to check out what the staff is writing about would be to follow the link listed below and see what they have been up to with their new online look. Also be sure to check out what they are up to through their Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

In addition to putting out new material in a more tech savvy way, it should be noted that staffing changes often at The Spectator and that new writers and editorial staff are always welcome. Not a journalism major? Not to worry. The Spectator is currently working with interns from PR and advertising to help push the publication to an even more online friendly place for our student readers. Although some prior writing experience is a plus, major and career path shouldn’t stop you from applying to work with The Spectator. Like any organization, The Spectator thrives when students have a variety of perspectives and skills.

If you would like to check out The Spectator online, see the links listed below:







Rest Easy: Success is Waiting for You

Welcome to summer in the Department of Communication and Journalism.  We’ve sent our 2016 graduates on their way into the world, we’ve started welcoming students to their summer classes, and in a few short weeks incoming first year students arrive on campus for orientation.  This week, integrated strategic communication major Jessica Wicklund introduces us to this semester’s edition of “What’s your CJ Story?

Rest Easy: Success is Waiting for You

As a communication and journalism student witnessing seniors beginning to pack up their University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire swag and say their final goodbyes, I have envisioned a future in public relations more than ever before.

Prior to finding my niche in public relations, I began brainstorming major options such as business, chemistry, life coaching, educational counseling – I had exhausted all possibilities. After meeting a few public relations students, I was convinced that I had found people who shared similar passions and goals.

A rush of emotions fell over me as I spoke over the phone with public relations alumna, Anna Moegenburg, for an assignment in my CJ 373 class. Originally planning to relocate to New York, California or anywhere but the Midwest, Anna found herself working at Hiebing, an integrated marketing and advertising agency in Madison as a digital coordinator.

Anna’s biggest piece of advice was to live in the present and to not be afraid to make mistakes. Her honest words spoke to me in a way that I could digest without question. “You will dedicate more hours than you plan on, but the result is worth it all,” she explained.

Speaking with someone who had taken the exact same courses, walked on the same sidewalks and had similar career aspirations, helped me reform my vision post-graduation. Anna provided me with advice for multiple situations that I may encounter in life.

Things I can be sure of:

  • Coffee will remain a best friend
  • Networking pays off
  • You get what you put in
  • Work is called work for a reason

With the help of the communication and journalism department, I am ready to face success and failure in my future. Both are mysteries but inevitable. Both are terrifying but welcome. Both are what my professors, cohorts and family have prepared me for.

Along with 28 other communication and journalism alumni, Anna’s story is published in the spring issue of “What’s Your CJ Story?” – a magazine written by the students of CJ 373 (Writing for Public Relations) whose spring issue features alumni who have graduated with a mass communication degree with an emphasis in public relations. If you are feeling uncertain about your journey or how your story will unfold, take a look at this semester’s magazine to gain real-world insight from our own alumni.

Outgoing CJ intern reflects on his time with department

By Trent Tetzlaffaaaa trenr

As graduation sits just over a week away for the large group of seniors that will walk across the stage in Zorn Arena, many are in a state of panic, and some are relaxed.

For a CJ student like me I could be in a stage of panic, but after four years of learning how to become a better communicator, writer, editor and professional in general, I can sit back and relax.

I can relax because I know I am more than prepared for my career that awaits me. Prepared because of the classes I took, the professors who mentored me, the internships and jobs I held and the relationships that I made.

Opportunities are aplenty in the CJ department, thanks to the dedication of faculty and alumni to create these opportunities for students.

For me it was professors like Jan Larson and Mike Dorsher, as a journalism student, that were able to shape me into who I am today, jobs like mine with the Spectator and as the Social Media Intern for the department and every single course I took along the way.

Along with the professors and the courses, another thing that a lot of students seem to forget about during their time in the CJ department is all of the amazing scholarship opportunities they have.

The department offers a ton of great scholarships that can fit any type of CJ major. For me it was the Henry Lippold scholarship for excellence as a Spectator staff writer early on in my time at UW-Eau Claire.

This recognition early in my journalism studies pushed me to become an even better journalist and gave me extra funds to help pay for school.

As I came into my senior year one thing that I lacked yet was professionalism. How do I apply for jobs? How do I interview correctly? How do I dress professionally? These were all questions I asked myself.

Through my work with my communication and journalism professors, these questions were answered.

I will come out of UW-Eau Claire with a journalism degree. But the degree has so much more behind it thanks to the CJ department.

Whether it is my plethora of strong communication skills, professionalism or drive to succeed. Some day it will all pay off in my career.

So now as I prepare for my post graduate internship as a producer with the Post-Crescent back home in Appleton, I take all of these things that I have learned as a student in the CJ department and bring them along with me for the ride.

It’s been a fun four years CJ department!

Communication skills build student leaders

Communication Studies major Jake Wrasse is completing his 2015-2016 term as president of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate.  He will be succeeded by another communication major–Ashley Sukhu who was recently elected president for the 2016-2017 academic year.  Here they discuss the role of communication knowledge and skills in effective leadership.

Organizational communication student Ashley Sukhu recently was elected as the next Student Senate President at UW-Eau Claire. Sukhu reflects on how her communication skills have allowed her to run such a successful campaign for her presidency, and how they will help her throughout her presidency.

Ashley Sukhu and vice president Colton Ashley recently elected president and vice president of Student Senate Pose for a picture on campus. Photo By: Kendall Ruchti
Ashley Sukhu and vice president Colton Ashley recently elected president and vice president of Student Senate Pose for a picture on campus. Photo By: Kendall Ruchti

How have communication skills been important in the process of running for president this past semester?

While running for president, I utilized a lot of my communication skills. As I interacted with students, I would watch their body language to see how receptive they were to the messages we were sending. When students seemed disengaged, we would change our tactics. We found that students were most receptive when we tried to have conversations. Even though they initially may have been bothered, by the end of the conversation a lot of students seemed more receptive to the role of Student Senate and shared governance.

How will communication skills continue to be important as you take on the presidential role with the University?

Communication, to me, is the most important skill for someone in the presidential role. As I will be working with students, administration, and legislators it is necessary for me to be able to create messages that align with the views of all. There are many ways we can improve our communication with all of these other entities. One of my goals for the upcoming year is to create higher involvement and engagement of Student Senate and the shared governance process. I would like to see more student input in the local, national, and even international conversations.

How has your CJ coursework been helpful and how can it continue to be helpful to you in this position?

In each CJ course I have had I have been able to learn about different models of communication. The Linear Model explains communication in a somewhat simple way. There is a sender, and there is a receiver. What I think is most important about this model is that no matter what the intent of the sender, it is ultimately up to the receiver to decode the message. As I will be the sender of messages, I will need to remember this and recognize and understand the perspectives of the receivers.

Additionally, the 5 problem solving methods of avoidance, accommodation, competition, compromise, and collaboration are going to be important in moving forward. As much as I would always like to collaborate, there will be times to compromise.

Why is having strong communication skills in today’s society something that employers love to see and something that will take you far?

What I love most about communication is everyone has to do it. It is impossible for me to go a day without communicating. Even if I am walking around campus with a smile on my face that is a form of communication. To get careers, we have to communicate. It is a huge part of the process of getting the dream job.

Because communication takes form in many ways, it is arguably the most important skill. Though each person will have different ways of communicating, whether it be verbal or nonverbal, employers want it in employees.

How do you think this role as Student Senate President will help you as a communicator?

This role will help me be a better communicator because it will provide me with opportunities to practice my communication skills. There are opportunities to enhance many areas of communication like writing professionally, having casual conversations with students, and public speaking. The opportunities to enhance my skills are endless.

What are you most excited for as president?

Easy. I love people, and every experience I have working with people is joy and excitement for me.


Senior communication studies student Jake Wrasse is the outgoing Student Senate President. Wrasse reflects on his his communication skills and how they helped him during his time as president and can help him in his future after graduation.

Senior Jacob Wrasse, a communication studies student, said his communication skills were a big help for him during his presidency with the Student Senate.
Senior Jacob Wrasse, a communication studies student, said his communication skills were a big help for him during his presidency with the Student Senate.

How have your communication skills been important during your presidency?

As Student Body President, I’ve always felt that is was important I kept the fact that I’m the president of the whole student body, and not just people who agree with me, at the front of my mind. Being able to communicate effectively, professionally, and fairly were all crucial in the difficult situations I encountered during my term (and in the past two years where I served as Vice President and Intergovernmental Affairs director). If you can relay your points respectfully and actively listen to the person you’re speaking with, you’re infinitely more likely to build trust in that relationship and, as a result, get better results.

Being a competitor on the UW-Eau Claire forensics team was also a huge advantage for me in my work advocating with legislators at the city, state, and federal level. Forensics categories like Impromptu, Extemporaneous and Persuasive speaking trained me to speak well and with conviction off the cuff, which helped me convey student interests to legislators effectively during the midst of the UW System budget cuts last year. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have a communication background when you encounter a ‘hostile’ legislator or staffer who vehemently opposes your perspective on an issue!

How has your CJ coursework been helpful for you as the president?

To an extent, this plays into my communication skills as well. My Communication and Journalism courses, particularly ones dealing with journalism, communication theory and organizational communication, lent themselves to everyday aspects of my position. My background as a journalist in high school and my journalism classes helped me understand how to effectively engage the media, which helped Senate engage with the community by being featured in television, radio, and newspaper articles. Communication theory provided a valuable understanding of how individuals and groups make communicative choices, which helped me enhance the annual Student Senate retreat to be more inclusive and productive. This, and my work in organizational communication and the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People model, helped me adjust to the task of overseeing, directly or indirectly, Student Senate’s 25 paid employees.

Why is having strong communication skills in today’s society something that employers love to see and something that will take you far?

With personal communication being easier to broadcast via the internet and social media, people who also now how to make a persuasive argument or display high emotional intelligence while communicating in person are extremely valuable to employers and communities. Being who can effectively communicate are needed in all fields, and in every unit of any company. Graduates with good communication skills will be more impressive in interviews and naturally build influence among their peers, making them more likely to be hired and become leaders.

How did the role as Student Senate President help you as a communicator?

My extensive legislative relations work with the Senate has given me real insight into the nature of state and federal politics, which only increases my ability to effectively engage legislators. I’ve learned how to give speeches outside of a Forensics context and, in the process, spoken to crowds in excess of 1,000-2,000 people. My entire experience as President has given me more confidence in my professional skills and made me less hesitant to use my voice to help other people.

What are your future plans after graduation?

Next year I’ll be a graduate student at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. I’ve also accepted a graduate assistantship, which will have me working with the JMU Forensics Team as an assistant coach and teaching Fundamental Human Communication to freshmen. I’m graduating from UW-Eau Claire with a BA in Communication Studies with a rhetoric emphasis, and a minor in political science.

What changes would you like to see Sukhu make on campus during her time as president? Feel free to drop a comment below.