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Articles tagged with: communications

27 Apr
moises Every so often, we like to spotlight Eberly College students who are doing great things while enrolled at West Virginia University. This time, we present to you Moises Cardenas, communications studies major. He’s currently interning at WVNet, a company providing internet and communications access across the state. We caught up with him recently for this Q&A.

What’s one skill or concept from one of you classes that you found yourself using in your internship?

I would say strategic social media stuff because you have to come up with strategies on how to really engage your followers and audience and how to build a network up of strong and weak ties that I learned in many of my communication studies classes.

Walk us through a typical day at your internship.

I actually share an office with our data management center manager and he runs everything within WVNet. Ill just go and have my own computer and desk space, go through and bring up all my social media feeds and first thing I like to do is see if anybody has followed me, or mentioned me or how I plan on engaging people that certain day. And you know every day really varies because it’s just starting to take off the ground now. So I have a whole media team, I have a graphics designer and video editors and web designers so I tell them what I need for that day, if I need a new logo, or need something new, a new photo I can go to them and ask them what I need. And I really like to specify my content towards if there is an event going on or anything like that and it just changes day to day on how I feel and what creativity comes to me that day.

How do you connect people in these rural communities with Internet?

What URcast and WVNet does really is provide caching services which is, if these places have low broadband or internet connections, if 5 students get on they’re not going to be able to get on it will be way too slow so what this allows is for them to all get on at the same time.

With more and more commerce taking place online, access to broadband can level the playing field between rural and urban communities. What drew you to an internship at WVNet?

I was really looking for something within the field of Social Media and the fact that it’s not only you know that this is a good internship and I’m getting great experience, but I am also really making a change in the state that I really love and going to WVU you feel even more of a sense of pride for West Virginia. You’re making a change and it’s kind of a sense of fulfillment to see how happy they are just to be able to be doing something new and something different. And you can see how much they improve within the classroom.

What has been your favorite moment so far in the internship?

On March 13 there was a nationwide initiative called Digital Learning Day. I actually organized an entire event which was a DLD carnival. So this is at an elementary school and we had different types of games that related to technology. We had them create a digital superhero online and it was like the Marvel website. They created a superhero and wrote a paragraph about how you could be saved using something online or learn something digitally. We had different prizes, we had games for them.

Fill in the blank: Majoring in Communication Studies has …

Really just helped me to be able to do what I want to do because it is such a broad field. I can go on to do some marketing, I can do web design, I can go and do a little bit of social media.

What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve had while interning with WVNet?

Being comfortable and being confident about what I know because you’re on the phone with people who have years of experience they’re all older than you, they’re all established financially within their job you know and you feel as though you’re learning so much from them. It’s kind of nerve racking when they come to you what do you think we need to do, what do we need to do (with marketing) and being confident in your ability to say “this is what we need to do!” and really being able to utilize it and go through with it and see the results. It’s nerve racking, but when you see the results you see that you are confident about what you are doing.

3 Mar

Elizabeth Cohen of the Department of Communication at West Virginia University told WDTV Monday that a study saying Facebook causes depression may be flawed.

“The problem is that correlation doesn’t always equal causation,” she said.

Watch the full segment below.

12 Feb

Elizabeth Cohen, assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies, was recently featured during a panel discussion on Bloomburg Radio about the announcement Jon Stewart was leaving “The Daily Show.”

Click the video below to listen to the interview.

9 Dec

West Virginia has the highest adult obesity rate in the nation at 35.1 percent —nearly triple that of the state’s rate 20 years ago. And while increases in childhood obesity rates in the Mountain State have begun to slow, medical professionals are warning that disparities persist and severe obesity may be on the rise.

Experts in health campaigns and communications at West Virginia University said to reverse the negative health trends across the country, the conversation is going to have to tap into people’s desire to know “what’s in it for me?”

“There’s only so many times you can say to people ‘there’s a big obesity and diabetes problem in this country. People know,” said Keith Weber, professor of communication studies and coordinator for the master’s in theory and research program.

“We can’t just ask people to make decisions because it’s good for them. Advertisers have figured that out a long time ago. Look at the way we sell LED light bulbs. We don’t sell them on ‘It’s good for the environment.’ We sell them on ‘they’ll last longer,’ ‘they’ll save you money,’ ‘they won’t use as much energy.’ ‘Do it because you’ll get something out of it’ is what I think motivates people.”

Second-year doctoral student Hannah Ball alongside Weber to research evidence-based social influence messages that promote prosocial health behaviors.

She has worked on projects related to organ donor consent, testicular cancer awareness, and obesity/diabetes prevention and management.

The public’s awareness of West Virginia’s obesity statistics and efforts to combat the disease still hinges on some of the most at-risk populations being able to access the information.

“The people with access to (the) information and resources are the people who are more likely to know about it and seek more information,” Ball said.

“How do we reach those people affected by the huge gap in knowledge and resources? Usually those are the people who need the most help.”

According to The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America, a report released last month by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Foundation:

• Obesity rates remain higher among Black and Latino communities than among Whites
• Adult obesity rates for Blacks in West Virginia were 36.5 percent
• Rates of adult obesity among Latinos in West Virginia were 32.1 percent
• Among Whotes, adult obesity rates were 33.8 percent in West Virginia
• Baby Boomers (45-to 64-year-olds)* have the highest obesity rates of any age group – and 38.7 percent of Baby Boomers in West Virginia are obese.

Some strong resources, Weber said, are already in place. For instance, Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia, houses the WVU Hospitals’ Diabetes Education Center, which provides programs in
diabetes self-management, utilizing dietary counseling, exercise
protocols, and other state-of-the-art techniques.

“It’s not ‘if you build it they will come,’” Weber said. “You’ve got to get (people) there.”

For more information contact Keith Weber at (304) 293-3905 or

12 Nov

Nick Bowman, assistant professor in the WVU Department of Communication Studies sat down with WDTV to speak about cell phone service providers.

Full story:

Elizabeth Cohen, assistant professor of communication studies also sat down with WDTV to discuss net neutrality.

Full story:

27 Oct

If you have older kids who want to trick-or-treat by themselves, it’s not always easy to find out where exactly they are at all times, but a new app, available for downloads on smartphones is allowing parents and their kids to check-in and find out where each other are located. A new app called “Trick or Tracker” allows parents and their children to locate each other, and send their locations to each other, not only during trick-or-treat, but year round, giving kids a little more freedom, but keeping mom and dad in the know of their location.

17 Oct

Knowing our family and friends are safe after any type of disaster is something we all care about, and now, Facebook is making it even easier for people to notify family and friends of their safety. Natural disasters don’t often happen in our area, but when they do, safety is our number one priority.

“It seems like this app wouldn’t even be able to function if people have their location settings turned off. In other words, if you don’t give Facebook access to your location, the app probably cant work. it’s not really for the people who are in the disaster, its for the people who are worrying about the people who could be in the disaster. It’s just a neat little feature to give people that extra sense of security,” said Elizabeth Cohen, Communication Studies professor at West Virginia University.

15 Oct

People who use Snapchat send pictures to their friends and family, and they last only for a couple seconds. However, after over 100,000 of these pictures were released over the weekend, more questions are being raised about the app’s security. Selfies are sent via Snapchat by thousands of users every day. One person takes a photo, determines how long they want their friend to view it, and send it out. Once it’s viewed, it disappears.

12 Sep

The 4th Annual Communication Studies Reunion and Speed Networking Event will be held the Friday of the West Virginia University homecoming weekend – Oct. 3rd, 2014.

Both events will be held at one of High Street’s newest establishments, Jameson’s Pub and Eatery. Communication Studies students, faculty, and alumni are invited to attend this annual celebration.

The Speed Networking Event will kick-off at 3:00 p.m. Students will meet in small groups with Communication Studies graduates to hear about the various career options available to Communication Studies majors.

Each session will last 5-8 minutes and each student will be able to visit with up to eight different alumni. This will enable students to speak to many different graduates with different professional backgrounds in a short period of time.

“The Speed Networking Event is a comfortable environment where you can put your communication skills to use and make valuable connections for your future. Don’t miss out!” said Loryn Spady, a current Communication Studies major who attended the event last year.

At 5:00 p.m., all Communication Studies alumni and faculty are invited for our Communication Studies Reunion to catch up and enjoy the Homecoming Parade on High Street with free food and drink specials.

To RSVP to the reunion, please visit

For more information, contact Andrea Weber at 304-293-3905 or



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11 Apr

Morgantown, W.Va.- Figuring out what ails you and how to cope can be a daunting task. But the road to good mental, emotional and physical health is available to those who are informed.

Maria Brann, associate professor in the department of communication studies, and her Health Communication Dissemination class focus on arming the public with the tools they need to make those informed decisions about their health.

On Tuesday, April 15, the class will host its first health communication fair from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Mountainlair on the Downtown Campus. Students, faculty and staff will be able to learn about leading healthier lifestyles through guided activities and displays.

“This health fair is completely student generated,” said Brann. “Undergraduate and graduate students have worked together to really address the needs of the community.”

Comm 509: Health Communication Dissemination is a dual-level course that focuses on health messaging. During the semester, students conduct health communication research, develop interventions and present their outcomes to community groups, schools, and at conferences and workshops.

“The materials are all original, and all messages have been tested with target audience members and adapted based on their feedback,” Brann added.

Among the interactive displays at the fair will be a booth with medical models allowing participants to feel for breast and testicular cancer lumps so that they’ll better understand self-examinations. There also will be quick, stress reducing techniques and time-management aids available to help with hectic, end-of-the-semester schedules.

“It has been a great learning experience for the students in class, and now the entire campus community will get to benefit from their hard work.”

For more information on the fair please contact Maria Brann at



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