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SoMe Award Information

We’re serious about preparing our students for the world. And we know that this world is more interactive, social and connected than ever before. We take our students from facile consumers of social and new media to strategic thinkers, problem solvers, innovators and creative minds.

Through classes in public relations, journalism and advertising we bring our students (sometimes kicking and screaming) into this brave new world. We approach these media as an extension of the fundamentals that have always driven each of our disciplines. Just because we blog or tweet doesn’t mean solid writing, planning, strategy and understanding of audience aren’t paramount. They are.

Our students are in demand, even in this economy, because of the skills they bring to the table. Our professors and instructors are viewed as thought leaders in this space. We’re serious about preparing our students. And it shows.

Leading the charge:


As faculty, we are inventive and flexible. And each of us is committed to ensuring that their students leave the program prepared for the realities of the agency/organization/newsroom of today. Above all, though, we love what we do. This is a small sampling of the outstanding faculty at the SOJC. We couldn’t be on the forefront of exploring social media if we didn’t have the support of our administration: Dean Tim Gleason, Associate Dean Julianne Newton, Advertising Chair Deb Morrison and Public Relations Chair Patricia Curtin, in particular.

Kelli Matthews (@kmatthews)
Tiffany Derville Gallicano (@derville)
Suzi Steffen (@suzisteffen)
Harsha Gangadharbatla (@gharsha)
Michael Werner (@mwerner1)
Mark Blaine

PR: (Kelli Matthews’ blog)

picture-4 (Tiffany Gallicano’s blog)
Both Kelli & Tiffany focus on teaching social media tools in the Advanced PR Writing class. Each term, students launch their own blogs, which are maintained for 7 weeks. Students also create podcasts and participate in social networks.

picture-3 (Class blog/site for Kelli’s Social Media class)
#J412: Hashtag for Strategic Social Media
54 students, both undergrads and grads filled this class to capacity not even 24 hours after registration opened. Students get it. They are engaged, insightful and focused on applying social media strategically to meet objectives.


Journalism: (Blog for Suzi Steffen’s Reporting 1 Class)
Suzi has reinvented the Reporting I class and taken it to a whole new level. All 16 in her writing lab are energized about this work.

picture-8 (Media coverage about Suzi’s class live blogging) (Record of the live tweet event aforementioned)

#SOJCBaron: Marty Baron/Ruhl Lecture Hashtag

#J361: Reporting I Hashtag

Cross Sequence: (Michael Werner’s J199 tweetchat)
64 students participating in a variety of multimedia assignments and activities.


For all these reasons, and a thousand more bubbling beneath the surface as students & faculty work together to chart the future of the industry, the SOJC deserves to be reconized by the The Portland chapter of Social Media Club, SEMpdx and Software Association of Oregon. Our forward-looking, innovative curriculum is preparing the next wave of practioners who will create award-winning communication campaigns and journalism (in all its forms) for years to come.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2009 8:57 am

    I thought it was interesting that Tim Gleason tweeted this factoid yesterday: “Just asked 240 incoming freshmen + parents if they had Twitter accounts. No hands. Facebook about 20 percent.” It’s great to hear the J-school is integrating social media into the curriculum. This is such a huge shift in how the world is communicating, and it’s only going to get more interesting.

    Alice Wright
    Class of ’91

  2. April 13, 2009 10:06 am

    I think what the University of Oregon Journalism School’s social media curriculum demonstrates real innovation and vision. I can personally say that my career has benefited tremendously from the social media courses I took at the U of O. I had the opportunity to return to the Turnbull Center last week for an overview of their current programs. I was very impressed with the expansion of the program in the last year. I think the University of Oregon Journalism School would be an excellent candidate for a SoMe.

    Hannah Smith
    Class of 2008

  3. Arthur McMahon permalink
    April 13, 2009 10:17 am

    I love the 7 week blog program, but I wonder if 7 weeks is too short. I think students could gain a much better perspective of the digital world if they had to maintain a blog over 2 terms, or 14 weeks.

    The longer time frame would give students a chance to gain a few followers. 7 weeks is a nice stretch of time to learn how to use blog features, podcasts, and such– but if you hold on to your blog for a few months you may start attracting some attention.

    I’m not sure if this is in your program or not, but students can learn how to use social bookmarking tools (digg, reddit, stumbleupon, twitter, etc.) to effectively promote their blog content and themselves. Given more time to build a following, UO social media students can build a wealth of content for themselves and a digital network that they can use to reach for job opportunities after graduation and beyond.

    Social bookmarking sites are all about networking as well. To successfully market yourself on a site such a digg, you’ll need to build relationships with other digg users and create a support network that will digg your submissions in return for you doing the same. Twitter has now fallen into a similar pattern thanks to

    2 cents

    I graduated in 2008 with a degree in advertising, but I’m going to be returning this fall to get my PR degree. I love what I see here and I’m very excited to be a part of it!

    Arthur McMahon

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