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FACULTY/STAFF > DEPARTMENTS & OFFICES > SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Foundations for Success

The school offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in a broad range of fields. Underlying them all is a focus on designing information in a way that makes an impact -- whether on a Web page, through a well-designed computer network, on TV, or in a CEO's speech.

Students can take advantage of our top-notch facilities and laboratories and get their creativity flowing at Colonial Theatre, RMU-TV, the student newspaper or poetry anthology, and even on an overseas shoot with the Center for Documentary Production and Study.

The university’s focus on communication and business skills gives graduates an advantage in the job market. Internships and co-ops with Bayer, ESPN, Questec and many others prepare our students for professional life. And each student enjoys the small class sizes and personal attention that make RMU a special place to learn.

What else makes us special?

  • BS Information Sciences and Computer Information Systems degrees accredited by the ABET Computing Accreditation Commission
  • Fully equipped TV studio, converged newsroom, digital editing bays, and campus radio station
  • The country's first IT project management master's degree
  • A dedicated living-learning facility for professional visiting artists, filmmakers, designers, and photographers
  • Exec-friendly doctorate in information systems and communications
  • Six integrated 5-year B.A./B.S. and M.S. programs in computer information systems and communication fields
  • Full access to an IBM zEnterprise EC-12 mainframe server

SCIS News and Updates

SCIS' Department of Media Arts to Host "A Year in the Life of a Documentary Filmmaker"
Rick Minnich has one more university-wide presentation in him. And he's delivering it on Nov. 28.

Minnich has spent the fall semester at RMU as a visiting documentary filmmaker. He's taught a course, held screenings of his works, mentored students in the filmmaking process, traveled to several U.S. cities for his current projects, and taken students to a conference. 

On Nov. 28, he'll present a multimedia reflection of a year in his life. The program begins at 5:15 in Hopwood Hall.

Minnich is an American-born documentary producer and director who has spent nearly 30 years in Germany.

The event is sponsored by the Center for Documentary Production and Study, and the Department of Media Arts. Admission is free. 
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SCIS Sponsored "Domestic Display" to be Exhibited Through Dec. 8
RMU's School of Communications and Information Systems is among the sponsors of a powerful exhibition that examines rape culture.

The other university sponsors include the Counseling Center; the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity; and the Office of Student Life. 

"Domestic Display" grew out of Denim Day, an international day that raises awareness of rape culture. Pittsburgh-based STAMPED has organized the sculpture that can be seen at RMU's Rogal Chapel. 

Each time these sculptures are displayed, they are decorated with new jeans. Men and women are invited to write and draw on the jeans to express their concerns about rape culture. The jeans are then placed onto the sculpture.

The exhibit is open until Dec. 8.
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Media Arts Professor to Present Research at National Conference
Christine Holtz, a professor in the Department of Media Arts, is heading to Philadelphia. 

She will be presenting her research as part of American Studies, Environmental Studies Working Class Culture Panel “Poison in the Garden: Politics, Industry, and Health” at the Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association’s Annual Conference on Nov. 10.
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RMU's Ad Club to Host Prominent Local Communicator
RMU's student-led Advertising Club is welcoming David Kelly to the campus.

He will speak at RMU on Nov. 9. Admission is free.

Kelly recently has been honored with a 2017 Communications Art award and with an Addy Award, which is a top recognition in the field.
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RMU Visiting Documentary Filmmaker to Discuss "Forgetting Dad"

Imagine this nightmare scenario: A man has a seemingly mild car accident. A few days later he announces he has no idea who he is. He also doesn't recognize anyone around him.

He moves out, marries another woman, and begins a new life. 

"Forgetting Dad" traces what happened when father and son meet 16 years after the father's amnesia. The man still has no memory of his past life. He says to his son, "I'm the new Richard now. Not dad, like you keep calling me." (You can view the trailer here.) 

"Forgetting Dad" was produced by Rick Minnich, who is the visiting documentary filmmaker at Robert Morris University this semester. 

He also is the son mentioned above.

His award-winning film will be shown inside RMU's Hopwood Hall, on Nov. 7. The film begins at 5:30 p.m., and a discussion with Minnich and a panel of health professionals will follow.

The event is organized by the Center for Documentary Production and Study, Media Arts Department, and the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Robert Morris University.

The film and the panel session are open to the public.

Admission is free.
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RMU's Department of English Leads NaNoWriMo Effort Across Campus 
NaNoWriMo crest, as it appears on the NaNoWriMo website

If you love to write, then NaNoWriMo is for you.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an annual event throughout the United States that challenges aspiring writers to commit themselves to do what they enjoy.

Each person pledges to write a certain amount of words before the end of November. It's a way to put writing on the top of the to-do list.

Not writing a novel? No problem, because NaNoWriMo at RMU means a bit more.

Dr. Sylvia Pamboukian is the chair of RMU's Department of English. She said, "This event is designed to be both fun but productive. People who love to write will find themselves engaging with people from all across the campus who are doing the same thing."​

The RMU chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, is leading the NaNoWriMo event on campus. And anyone who writes is welcomed to participate. 

This means if academic papers, chapters, or articles are your thing, then you should get involved. 

For more information, or to commit yourself to NaNoWriMo, email rmusigma@gmail.com
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RMU Media Arts Gallery to Showcase High School Students' Work
"Midnight Sky" is one of the many pieces of artwork that will be displayed 
on Nov. 2 and 3, 2017, in the Media Arts Gallery
Photo: Jonah Hoskins, Peters Township High School

RMU's Department of Media Arts has partnered with the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in presenting an exhibition of artwork from several area middle school and high school students, and their teachers.

The two-day exhibition runs on Nov. 2nd and 3rd. The gallery, located in the Wheatley Center, will be open from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 pm. on Thursday and from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Friday.

Each item in the exhibition was reviewed by a jury of artists.

Christine Holtz is a professor in the Department of Media Arts. She explained why this exhibition is important. 

"These students hold such promise for the future, and we're thrilled that they have a chance to display some of their work," she said. "I'm hoping this partnership lasts many years."

As part of the partnership, the Department of Media Arts also will host about 75 area high school students on Nov. 3. The students will participate in a series of workshops led by professionals that focus on photography, design, and video production.

This is the first exhibition in the Media Arts Gallery that has showcased the work of middle school and high school students.
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RMU's Lambda Pi Eta chapter inducts 15 new members
Photo: Dr. Heather Pinson

RMU's Lambda Pi Eta chapter inducted 15 new members during its Oct. 30 ceremony. That's one of the largest classes in the chapter's history.

Lambda Pi Eta is the National Communication Association's official honor society for students who attend four-year colleges and universities. Students are invited to join during their junior year.

Alyx Evans is president of the RMU chapter. She said that members are expected to present their academic research on and off the campus. 

Evans added that the chapter previously has organized the Worldwide Book Drive, an effort to send used textbooks to places around the globe where they are desperately needed. It also assists in organizing the university's annual Creativity at Work event. 
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RMU Student Media Bring Home Awards
RMU students Morgan Torchia, Delaney Hassell, Tori Flick and Sam Anthony
celebrate RMU-TV's Pinnacle Award, on Oct. 27, 2017. Photo: Carrie Moniot

RMU students brought home three awards from the annual College Media Association fall convention.

RMU-TV received a Pinnacle Award after being recognized as one of the top three student-run television stations.

In the CMA Film Festival, the station's live four-hour coverage of the 2016 presidential election night finished second in the "Video Newscast" segment. And two students finished in third place in the "Long Documentary" category for their program titled "Eugene Morgan: Blues Chronicles from the 'Burgh."

The convention took place from Oct. 25-29 in Dallas, TX.
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RMU Will Be Singing the Blues, and You Can, Too

You have an opportunity to enjoy an evening with one of world's great forms of music: the blues.

On Nov. 3, the RMU community and the public are invited to hear two blues performers. Local artist Jill West and Blues Attack along with international "Blues Challenge" performer Pierce Dipner will appear in RMU's Hopwood Hall.

West, called "Queen of the Blues in Pittsburgh," has been to the campus before; Donald Luisi interviewed her earlier this year on his RMU Radio program "Damn Right, I Got the Blues". 

Luisi will host the November program, which includes short documentaries stemming from Luisi's interviews with West and two other blues performers, Eugene Morgan and Bill Weiner.

 
                                                     Eugene Morgan                                                                             Bill Weiner
                                                     Photos courtesy: RMU Academic Media Center

The November program is sponsored by the RMU Academic Media Arts Center and the Blues Society of Western Pennsylvania. 

The program, which runs from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m., is free.
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SCIS Faculty and Students Attend "Double Exposure" Investigative Film Festival
L to R: Rick Minnich, Trevor Young, Gregory Buchko, Katey Ladika and Brittany Mayer. Photo: Anthony Moretti

Four SCIS students and two faculty are in Washington, D.C. attending the "Double Exposure" Investigative Film Festival.

The festival is hosted by 100 Reporters, a nonprofit investigative news organization that promotes the work of U.S. investigative journalists around the world. A series of panels and documentary films explores all aspects of investigative work. 

Among the topics being discussed at this year's program:
-understanding how to respond to charges of fake news
-protecting anonymous sources 
-cross-sector collaboration in film and journalism
-the Freedom of Information Act

"Our visiting documentary film-maker Rick Minnich told me about the event a few weeks ago," Dr. Anthony Moretti said. "He made it clear that SCIS students would really benefit from hearing from some of the nation's best investigative journalists and documentary film-makers."

Moretti and Minnich are accompanying students Gregory Buchko, Katey Ladika, Brittany Mayer and Trevor Young. 

The festival runs from Oct. 19-22. 
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SCIS Faculty Member Earns "Maker of Merit" Awards
Andrew Ames

Department of Media Arts faculty member Andrew Ames won "Maker of Merit" awards during the October 2017 Maker Faire Pittsburgh showcase.

Ames' winning entries were titled "Last Resort" (a picture of which you can see below) and "Argument". More than 100 games were on display for guests to enjoy, and Ames' was one of only a handful of winners.

Photo: Andrew Ames

Two of Ames' students, Tristan Coyle and Ali Cannon, accompanied him to the weekend event.
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SCIS' Visiting Documentary Film-maker Sees Overlaps in Film-making and Journalism
Photo: Anthony Moretti

Rick Minnich told students in SCIS' Information Gathering class that the research process for making a film and the research process for journalism share many characteristics.

Minnich, an American-born film-maker who has lived in Germany for more than a quarter century, is a visiting film-maker this semester in SCIS' Department of Media Arts. 

He dissected one of his most recent films, The Bomb Hunters, which details how one German town is methodically locating hundreds of bombs dropped during World War II but which never exploded. In discussing his work, Minnich analyzed several important research characteristics, including having a clear concept of the project; remaining flexible to unexpected areas of exploration; allowing people to tell their stories; and the always critical challenge to respectfully and honestly portray any person in any documentary. He suggested that journalists need to think in similar ways as they prepare longer form, investigative pieces.

Minnich also showed a trailer for a film he's eager to see be completed. The Strait Guys explores a dream that two American men have had for almost three decades: to see a tunnel built that would connect the United States and Russia.

He joked that the film already has cost him more money than any he has ever worked on, but that the passion of the two men -- and especially seeing how the son of one of the men admires his father's tenacity -- does make his investment of time and money worth it.
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Traditional Japanese Music and Dance Take Over Wheatley Center
RMU faculty, staff and most especially students were treated to a 75-minute presentation of traditional Japanese music and dance, on Oct. 12.

Approximately 100 people filled the Wheatley Center atrium for the presentation, sponsored by the university's Center for Global Engagement.

Shinojo Nishikawa and her troupe dazzled the audience with examples of various dances. (You can see selected performances here and here.)

By the end of the program, it was the students turn to get involved. After they were shown consecutive parts of one traditional dance, the audience joined with the performers to complete a dance that lasts almost seven minutes.

It's doubtful any RMU student has left any recent class as physically exhausted as those who were at the event. 
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PR Society Students Share Their PRSSA Conference Experience
L to R: Brittany McCartney, Jessica Hunnell and Gina Pratt
Photo Courtesy: Gina Pratt

By Gina Pratt and Jessica Hunnell

We and fellow PR Society member Brittany McCartney return to RMU after three information-packed days at the 2017 Public Relations Society of America national convention, which took place in Boston.

We heard from and networked with legends in the public relations and communications industries.

Judy Smith is the CEO and president of Smith Company and co-executive producer of ABC's monster hit, Scandal. The show chronicles how a group of PR professionals try to clean up the scandal-marred images of their clients. Smith addressed the convention, telling the audience how she began her career in crisis management and how she got to where she is today. 

Jonathan Yohannan, who is the Director of Public Relations at Panera Bread, and Sharon Barbano, the Head of Public Relations for Saucony, also discussed current trends in the PR world. 

The convention also had a pronounced real-world component: It was a little more than four years ago that the Boston Marathon was scarred by a domestic terror attack. Heather Abbott is a survivor of that attack; and she told the attendees how she has turned such a horrible act into something good. Abbott, founder of Heather Abbott Foundation, has begun to give back to other amputees by founding an organization that raises funds to give other amputees limbs. 

We also found it critical to discuss how students from other colleges and universities operate their Public Relations Student Society of America chapters. 

Perhaps the most important takeaway from the weekend was hearing the legends in the public relations and communications world tell the students that they'll be best performing at a job if it's something they are truly passionate about. 
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A different kind of mystery theater is coming to RMU

RMU students can't be faulted if they want to take a nap every now and then. But SCIS' Department of English wants them to think about NAP.

"NAP: The Ancient and Honorable Order of New American Revolution" invites RMU students (and faculty, too!) to the Massey Theater for an informational meeting on Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Become a member and then the fun really starts!

The society soon will offer clues, hints and (gadzooks!) red-herrings about an on-campus mystery. The entire RMU community will be informed.

Remember, only the best, brightest and most clever of people are offered membership into this organization. 

If you are one of those people and want to learn more, then contact theater professor Barbara Burgess-Lefebvre at @lefebvre@rmu.edu. 
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RMU's Society for Collegiate Journalists Inducts 2017 Class
Photo: Dr. Heather Pinson

RMU's Society for Collegiate Journalists inducted its largest class, on Oct. 9.

Twenty-two students -- almost all of whom are in the departments of Communication or Media Arts -- joined the national organization that advocates for the ethical and professional practice of all forms of journalism.

RMU's provost David Jamison addressed the inductees. He told them that all journalists must remember how important the First Amendment is; it must be supported and defended especially as the national debate about what is truth continues, the provost said.

SCIS dean AnnMarie LeBlanc also spoke to the students. She noted that whether content is distributed through print, broadcast or online means, or if it comes through a photograph or an information graphic, responsibility to self and profession must never be ignored.

The chapter's officers travel to Dallas later this month to participate in the annual fall gathering of the College Media Association. 
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SCIS Faculty Member Co-Authors Manuscript on Student Engagement
 
Dr. Anthony Moretti                                  Dr. Albena Ivanova 

Dr. Anthony Moretti, an associate professor in the Department of Communication, has co-authored a research paper that examined the importance of co-curricular engagement for undergraduate students.

Dr. Albena Ivanova, an associate professor in RMU's School of Business, was the principal author.

Titled "Impact of Depth and Breadth of Student Involvement on Academic Achievement," the paper examined almost 500 Student Engagement Transcripts with the goal of evaluating if there was a relationship between involvement in co-curricular activities and higher grade point average.

"Dr. Ivanova and I found there is indeed a relationship between engagement in co-curricular programs and a strong GPA," Dr. Moretti said. "Our advice to college students is to immerse themselves in up to four meaningful co-curricular categories. Deeper involvement is better than wider involvement."

The paper appears in the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice.
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Media Arts Gallery's October exhibition "Start With Art" Enjoys Great Opening Weekend
Smiles, handshakes and plenty of congratulations were evident as the SCIS Media Arts Gallery hosted its "Start With Art Pittsburgh: A Retrospective" opening, on Oct. 5.

The exhibition highlights 36 artists, poets, writers and photographers whose works have been gifted to almost 10,000 babies and their families throughout Pittsburgh since 2015. It was curated by Matthew Conboy, an adjunct professor in the Department of Media Arts. 

The gallery's co-coordinator is Christine Holtz, who is a professor in the Department of Media Arts. She provided the photo essay you can enjoy below.

The exhibit runs through Oct. 27. The gallery is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.

The gallery is located on the ground floor of the Wheatley Center.

    
Photos: Christine Holtz
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RMU's Chapter of Society for Collegiate Journalists to Induct Largest Class
Photo: Anthony Moretti
Twenty-two Robert Morris University students -- almost all studying in the departments of Communication or Media Arts -- will be inducted into the university's chapter of the Society for Collegiate Journalists (SCJ). 

The induction ceremony begins at 6:00 p.m. on Oct. 9 and takes place in the Wheatley Center Atrium. University provost David Jamison and SCIS dean AnnMarie LeBlanc will address the inductees. 

The 22 students mark the largest cohort in the chapter's history.

"The chapter's student leaders deserve the credit," Dr. Anthony Moretti, an associate professor in the Department of Communication and the co-adviser for the RMU chapter, said. "From the first day of the semester, they were telling the new and returning students that being involved in SCJ was critical to their role as a journalist or content creator."

SCJ was founded in 1975, when two college journalism organizations merged. Operating on more than 100 college campuses, SCJ promotes ethics in all forms of journalism, supports First Amendment initiatives, and strengthens student media.
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SCIS' Wheatley Center to Host Traditional Japanese Dance Group
RMU faculty, staff and students will want to be in the Wheatley Center atrium on Thursday, Oct. 12.

Beginning at 12:30 p.m., dance master Shinojo Nishikawa and her troupe will perform traditional Japanese dances that date back four centuries. The program runs 75 minutes.

RMU students who attend can receive SET credit (arts portfolio). 
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SCIS' Media Arts Gallery Prepares to Celebrate "Start With Art"
Aaron Blum's "Mist Over The Ohio" is one of the images that will be displayed
at the SCIS Media Arts Gallery during the "Start With Art" exhibition. 
Photo courtesy: Aaron Blum and RMU

SCIS' Media Arts Gallery, located inside the Wheatley Center, is the place to be this week. 

The gallery hosts the opening night of its month-long "Start With Art" exhibition on Thursday, Oct. 5. The celebration runs from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

"What makes this exhibit so important and special is that these photos and items are in the homes of families all across the area," Christine Holtz, a professor in the Department of Media Arts and the co-coordinator of the Media Arts Gallery said. "We tend to think of art as belonging in a museum, but this exhibit proves it can have special meaning."

The exhibition, titled "Start With Art Pittsburgh: A Retrospective", is curated by Matthew Conboy, an adjunct professor in the Department of Media Arts. It includes 36 artists, poets, writers and photographers whose works have been gifted to almost 10,000 babies and their families throughout Pittsburgh. 

The program began in 2015. 

The exhibit runs through Oct. 27. The gallery is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.

A full list of artists and artworks can be found at www.startwithartpgh.org
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SCIS Faculty Earn Best Paper Awards at Academic Conference

  
Dr. Sun-A Park                                                  Dr. Ping Wang

Drs. Ping Wang and Sun-A Park have been recognized for research that will be presented at the 2017 International Association for Computer Information Systems (IACIS) conference.

The conference takes place Oct. 4-7 in Philadelphia. 

Dr. Wang, a professor in SCIS' Department of Computer and Information Systems, earned the Best Paper Award - Pedagogy, Honorable Mention for "A Constructive Team Project Model for Online Cybersecurity Education," a paper he authored with Dr. Raed Sbeit, a senior manager at Verizon.

"The study suggests that an effective online team project model can enable students to succeed both individually and as a team," Dr. Wang said.  

Dr. Wang and Dr. Park co-authored "Communication in Cybersecurity: A Public Communication Model for Business Data Breach Incident Handling." That paper received Best Paper Award - Research, Honorable Mention.

Dr. Park is an associate professor in SCIS' Department of Communication. 

"Our research has valuable implications on corporate communication with various publics, such as stakeholders, customers, media, and industry regulation authorities, as part of cybersecurity incident response and handling," Dr. Wang said. 

Dr. Park added, "Our case study of the massive Yahoo data breaches indicates that the timing of incident response may be more important than the communication strategies in shaping public perception on the company’s incident handling responsibility and subsequently the company’s reputation." 

"I am immensely proud of the SCIS faculty for their commitment to teaching, research and service," AnnMarie LeBlanc, the SCIS dean said. "The honors bestowed by this international organization of their peers is testimony to the quality of Dr. Wang and Dr. Park’s scholarly endeavors. Together with their colleagues, I congratulate them."

Dating to 2012, faculty in RMU's Department of Computer and Information Systems have been honored with paper awards at four of the six IACIS conferences. 
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Don't Cry For Me...Robert Morris?

One of theater's most recognized musicals is coming to RMU.

Beginning Sept. 27 and running through Oct. 1, Evita will be performed at the Massey Theater on the RMU campus. 

The musical traces the life of Eva Peron, who rose rapidly from an actress to the most powerful woman in Argentina. She was the country's First Lady for six years before her death in 1952. She was only 33 years old.

Dr. Ken Gargaro, a theater professor at RMU, is the show's director.

The cast includes about one-dozen RMU students.

The Sept. 27-Sept. 30 shows begin at 7:30 p.m. The Oct. 1 show begins at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for RMU students. 
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SCIS Senior Honored as "Rising Star Award" Recipient
RMU President Christopher Howard presents the Rising Star Award to SCIS student
Megan DeArmit, on Sept. 15, 2017.

RMU senior Megan DeArmit, a student in the School of Communications and Information Systems, has received the university's "Rising Star Award."

The award is presented to a graduating senior who demonstrates academic success, individuality, determination, passion, and potential in his or her field of study.

DeArmit is studying public relations, and also pursuing a minor in political science.

DeArmit's accomplishments at RMU are numerous. A partial list is included here:

-Class of 2018 president
-Panhellenic Council president
-Student Program Board vice-president
-Women's Leadership and Mentorship Program mentor
-Lambda Phi Eta Communication Honor Society member

"I am grateful to the university for the ways it has changed my life," DeArmit noted. "I've made lifelong friends, traveled the world, and grown both professionally and personally. 

"This award allowed me to thank university donors for their generosity and tell them about the incredible opportunities so many students like me have been given because of their support." 

DeArmit, who is from McCandless, PA., is planning a career in political communication and media law.
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RMU President Christopher Howard Congratulates Students Honored at Recent Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards
RMU President Christopher Howard speaks to students in the Sentry Media
newsroom, on Sept. 19, 2017. Photo: Anthony Moretti

RMU President Christoper Howard visited the Sentry Media news room to recognize the students honored at the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards.

The group, led by program producer Dylan McKenna, was recognized for live coverage of the RMU-Bryant men’s basketball game, The students were nominated in the "Sports: Live Event" category. 

The president reminded the students that their achievement is another example of the university's commitment to ensuring students succeed inside and outside the classroom. 

L to R; Morgan Torchia, Sam Anthony, RMU President Christopher Howard,
Dakota Lamb and Zach Laufer celebrate the production award won at the recent MId-Atlantic
Emmy Awards, on Sept. 19, 2017. Photo: Anthony Moretti.

He also noted that a separate group of students won awards last year for their coverage of his induction as the university's 8th president. "I wasn't going to do another inauguration so you could win again!' he joked.
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Top Secret Colonials' Hurricane Relief Effort a Big Success

RMU students Brian Wright and Victoria Clark were two of the Top Secret Colonials helping
to deliver non-perishable items to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, on Sept. 12. Photo: Dr. Karen Paullet

The Top Secret Colonials' public mission is complete.

The student club, which highlights the importance of cyber security, kept loading one item after another into a U-Haul truck outside the Wheatley Center, on Sept. 12. 

They then delivered all of it to the Chartiers Valley Fire Dept, which is transporting the items to Texas to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.

"The generosity of the RMU and surrounding community was unbelievable," Dr. Karen Paullet said. She is an associate professor in the School of Communications and Information Systems and the faculty adviser for the club.

"We were able to see people come together to support people in need," she added. "Students, faculty, alumni, and local businesses contributed to the efforts."

The items collected by the Top Secret Colonials are prepared to be loaded to a tractor-trailer
for delivery to Texas, on Sept. 12: Photo: Dr. Karen Paullet

The Top Secret Colonials collection began soon after RMU faculty and students returned to campus at the end of August. The organization holds at least three charity events during the academic year, Paullet noted. 

And as for trying to repeat this humanitarian effort for the victims of Hurricane Irma throughout the Caribbean and Florida?

"We'll wait to see the need for the Irma victims before making a decision," Paullet said.
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Ten Robert Morris University students honored at the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards

Ten Robert Morris University students were winners at the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards, which took place Saturday night in Hershey, PA.

The group, led by program producer Dylan McKenna, was recognized for live coverage of the RMU-Bryant men’s basketball game, which was played on Jan. 21, 2017, at the Sewall Center.The students were nominated in the "Sports: Live Event" category.

“It was amazing to win for the second year in a row,” McKenna said. “We’ve come so far since we released the program two years ago, but none of it would be possible without the great people that make up our team.”

The award recipients include:
  • Dylan McKenna, Producer
  • Dakota Lamb, Director
  • Zach Laufer, Technical Director
  • Morgan Torchia, Replay
  • Alex Balenciaga, Graphic Designer
  • Tori Flick, Graphics Operator
  • Nick Milliron, Close Follow
  • Vince Russo, Play-by-Play
  • Dontae Pearson, Color Commentary
  • Sam Anthony, Sideline Reporter
RMU also was nominated in two other categories. A total of 22 current or former students were up for awards.

“I’m so proud of all the students that we work with. They’re exceptionally good, and they deserve all the honors that they get,” Carrie Moniot, student media advisor, told RMU Sentry Media.

WInners
Left to right: Dakota Lamb, Dylan McKenna, Tori Flick, Nick Milliron, Morgan Torchia, Zach Laufer, Sam Anthony.
Photo courtesy of RMU Sentry Media


SCIS Faculty Member Interviewed About Equifax Hack

SCIS faculty member Dr. Karen Paullet was interviewed by KDKA-TV on Sept. 7, 2017, about the the need for consumers to be ever vigilant about their credit cards and other personal information.

Paullet's remarks stemmed from the recent announcement by Equifax that it had been hacked. The company estimates that the data of more than 140-million Americans might have been breached.


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Award-winning documentary filmmaker to spend fall semester at RMU

Rick Minnich, in center with white shirt, will spend the fall semester at RMU as a visiting documentary filmmaker
Dr. Helena Vanhala, chair of the Department of Media Arts at RMU, led a group of faculty, staff and students in welcoming to campus Fall 2017 visiting documentary filmmaker Rick Minnich. The welcoming reception took place on Sept. 5, 2017, in the SCIS Atrium of the Wheatley Center.

Minnich will spend the fall semester at RMU sharing his knowledge of the documentary filmmaking process with RMU students and the community.

Minnich is a California native who moved to Germany more than 25 years ago. There, “I fell in love with a beautiful German woman and we had lots of beautiful babies, and I never left,” Minnich said. But the chance to return to the U.S. and to undertake this visiting documentary filmmaker role at the Center for Documentary Production & Study and the Media Arts Department was too good to pass up, he added.

Dr. Helena Vanhala welcomes visiting documentary filmmaker Rick Minnich to campus; photo: Anthony MorettiMinnich discussed several of his previous and current works, including “Forgetting Dad”, a 2008 film that explored how Minnich’s father lost his memory at age 45. “It’s a lot like a medical crime drama,” Minnich told the audience.

Along with his teaching and documentary plans this semester, Minnich also will host a “Films You’ve Gotta See” series on campus. The programs will be held on Thursdays, beginning this week on Sept. 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the basement level screening room at the Snee Reinhardt House for the Media Arts, in Colonial Village. 

To learn more about Minnich and his work, visit his website. To contact him for class visits or other campus engagement activities, please email minnich@rmu.edu