Rothenbuhler Invites Students and Faculty From Across University to 3rd Annual Media Academy | Webster University

Rothenbuhler Invites Students & Faculty From Across University to 3rd Annual Media Academy

National media executives present interactive sessions that appeal to broad audience

ST. LOUIS (March 26, 2018) – School of Communications students, alumni, and faculty as well as students, faculty, and staff from across the university are invited to meet industry experts, learn from media executives, and participate in interactive workshops at the third annual Media Academy hosted by the School of Communications on March 28-29.

Sonja Perryman head shot"This year will be the biggest and best year yet for Media Academy,” said Eric Rothenbuhler, dean of the School of Communications. “For Wednesday, we’ve added a fascinating keynote speaker from Wise Entertainment, a company dedicated to producing stories about and from underserved and underrepresented communities—and they are proud to show that those stories appeal to audiences generally, they are not strictly for underserved audiences as well as, East Los High, the five-time Emmy nominated Hulu original series. We’ve also nearly doubled the number of presenters and sessions for Thursday. We believe the keynote and several of the topics have a broad appeal and we encourage students and faculty from across the university to participate," Rothenbuhler emphasized.

Media Academy focuses on the importance of career development and industry exploration brings together students, alumni, faculty, and industry professionals to network and exchange ideas about the fast-moving and constantly-evolving professional and communication landscape. During this two-day event, executives from Coolfire Studios, Hearst Television, Inc., Raycom Media, E.W. Scripps Company, SmithGeiger, LLC, and Wise Entertainment will be featured in a panel discussion and will present interactive workshops.

Sonja Perryman will open the program on Wednesday, March 28. Her keynote address, “Wise Entertainment: Reading Culture to Make Culture,” will be followed by a panel discussion on “False Narratives, Data Security, and Trusting the Media.” Seth Geiger, president and founder of SmithGeiger, LLC, a strategic market research and consulting firm, will moderate the discussion. Wednesday’s afternoon activities will end with a networking reception.

When asked about what message she’d like students to take away from her keynote, Perryman replied, “Never underestimate the power of your voice. It can be your greatest tool to invoke the change we want to see in the world.”

On Thursday, March 29, workshops will be held from 9 a.m. to 1.p.m. Attendees will choose from between four to six sessions each hour, which will be held in the East Academic Building, Library Conference Room and the University Center.

Topics include:

  • How to Get Hired and Why You Will Want To, by Lec Coble, VP Marketing & Audience Development, Raycom
  • From Issue to Story: How to Craft Compelling Narratives Around Social Issues that Matter, by Sonja Perryman, Manager, Research and Development, Wise Entertainment
  • Leading Through Change, by Steven Ackermann, VP News, Raycom
  • Big Data: Watching Audiences Watching Us, by Seth Geiger, President and Founder, SmithGeiger
  • How to Have Your Story Seen Across Multiple Media and Platforms, by Sean McLaughlin, VP News, EW Scripps
  • From Concept to Screen: How an Idea Becomes a Reality TV Show, by Steve Luebbert, VP Development, Coolfire Studios
  • Fast, First and Flexible: Running a Real-Time Media Company, by Chris Archer, Senior VP & Senior Strategist, SmithGeiger
  • First is Desired, Right is Required! Keeping Ethics in Journalism, by Barb Maushard, Senior VP News, Hearst Television
  • Local Media Brand and Marketing in a Fragmented Media World, by Bill Seitler, VP News Strategy, SmithGeiger
  • Trust in News: The Most Important Topic in Media Today, by Andrew Finlayson, EVP, Digital and Social Media Strategy, SmithGeiger
  • The Evolution of Media Consumption: Understanding and Engaging Your Target Audience, by Jessica Rappaport, VP Marketing and Randy Thurman, KSHB Creative Services Director, EW Scripps

After the interactive sessions have concluded, a Student Project Showcase will be held in the Edward Jones Commons of the East Academic Building. It will feature individual students, and student clubs and organizations exhibiting their best work for professional evaluation by local and national industry experts and SOC partners.

A short bio about each presenter and a brief descriptions of most sessions are available at the Media Academy web pages. Attendees are encouraged to register in advance.Career Launch logo

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About the School of Communications
The School of Communications at Webster University prepares students to excel as skilled professionals in the global field of communications. We provide theory and practice in media courses framed within a liberal arts-based curriculum, augmented by personalized mentorship, and professional development opportunities. Sixteen distinct majors are available at the undergraduate level as well as six master’s degrees in diverse fields of communications. We offer BA and MA programs on the Webster campuses in Geneva, Vienna, Leiden, Thailand, and Ghana, as well as in Saint Louis and online.

About Webster University
With its home campus in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Webster University ( comprises an action-oriented global network of faculty, staff, students and alumni who forge powerful bonds with each other and with their communities around the globe. Founded in 1915, Webster is a private non-profit university with more than 17,000 students studying at campus locations in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa and in a robust learning environment online. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.