Innovative COM Course Offered to UNCW Undergraduates

Hello all! The IMCHawks blog is back for a quick update.

Are you a UNCW undergraduate student looking for an exciting new class to add to your schedule?

Does “Representations of Female Surfers in Film” sound like a topic that might interest you?

Dr. Roberts’ COM495: Media, Identity, and Difference class is an innovative new course in the Communication Studies Department here at UNCW. If you have ever wanted to take an in depth look into the issues of media representation, identity, and power in our world today, COM495 with Dr. Roberts is the perfect opportunity.


Infographic from COM495 Tumblr

After teaching classes on a variety of topics including Media, Culture, and Society, Sexuality and Gender, and Engaging Contemporary Media, Dr. Roberts’ new course has an exciting new approach, and is actively utilizing a Tumblr page to host course content.

Dr. Roberts, and the entire COM Department at UNCW, invite you to take a look at the course’s Tumblr page.  Here you can find a combination of Prezi presentations on topics such as “Representations of Female Surfers in Film” and “Teen Pregnancy in Film and Television”, to intriguing infographics on topics ranging from “Women in Sports Radio” and “The Statistics of Video Games”.


Infographic from COM495 Tumblr

As stated in the course description, “this course examines representations of difference and identity formation in a variety of media. Our focus will be on how people come to understand themselves as gendered, racialized, sexed, and sexual human beings; how the meanings of these categories are created and communicated through various media, and how they can be challenged and resisted.”

Dr. Roberts and the class will also be “considering issues of authorship, spectatorship, media audiences and the ways in which various media content (film, television, advertising, journalism, new media) enables, facilitates and challenges these social constructions in society.”

Specifically, “students will analyze gendered and racialized language and embodiment as it is produced online in blogs and vlogs, gaming, social media, and the construction of cyber identities.  Students will engage key course concepts and critique various media artifacts through creative practice, presentations, writing, and primary research.”

If you have any questions regarding the availability of the course, or require more information, please contact Dr. Roberts or view his Tumblr page.

Fall 2014 is quickly approaching….Make it your best semester yet!

- IMCHawks

Hi. Hello. Goodbye!

Hi. My name is Greg, and this is my last blog post as an IMCHawk.

It all started back in 2010. Upon graduating high school I applied to Northeastern University in Boston, MA. I was accepted, and started classes in the fall. After one long year, I decided Boston might not be the best place for me to attend college and obtain an undergraduate degree. After living just outside Boston my whole life, it was time for a change.  So, I applied to UNCW, a school I had never heard of before, was accepted, and started attending classes my sophomore year at UNCW.  I had an incredible year, made close friends, and knew UNCW was the “right choice” for my undergraduate degree.  Now, after completing my last COM400 reflection essay, I am ready to graduate.

It has definitely gone by too fast, and I wish I could do it all over again! My last couple years here at UNCW, I began to get involved on-campus. I enjoyed working with my peers on projects, and loved getting to know all of my professors on a personal level.  I will never forget the fun we had this last semester, and everything I learned from the entire Communication Studies department.  After graduation, I will be working with UNCW’s newly created Pier601 Creative Marketing Agency. I plan to pursue a career in advertising, and although it will be difficult, I am ready for the challenge.  I am so excited to start my professional career, but am reluctant to leave the family I am just now realizing I have within the Communication Studies department.  I want to thank everyone I have known here for all of the wonderful memories, and help becoming who I am today. I hope to see everyone in the near future, don’t be a stranger on Facebook!!!!

Peace out Seahawks! GO RED SOX!


- Greg Rothman

UNCW Class of 2014

B.A. Communication Studies

VP Lambda Pi Eta


The End Is Near…

It is hard to believe that come July I’ll be graduating from UNCW, It seems as though it were yesterday that I transferred into UNCW as a junior. Since I have been at UNCW I have made many friends and immersed myself in extracurricular activities. I believe that joining several different clubs and organizations was the best decision I ever made in college. In doing so I was able to make many friends and keep up with interests of mine such as jiu jitsu and cycling. Another great decision of mine while at UNCW was joining the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, also known as PIKE. In doing so I met many friends who I can also call brother. With one week of finals left in the school year, the spring semester is coming to a close. On May 19th I will be starting an internship at an advertising firm off of Wrightsville Ave called Maximum Advertising and Design. I am hoping to take what I have learned there and find a job in Wilmington, Washington D.C., or Los Angeles working on the creative side of advertisement. Most likely I will be working in sales right out of college while also pursuing my creative interests. My dream is to be a writer/ producer for a television show, which is why I want to eventually head out west. It truly is surreal to think that college is almost over and that I will soon be striking out on my own. While this is a daunting thought I am more excited now then I have been in my entire life. No matter how it happens I know in my gut that things will work out. It may be a while before I achieve my dreams but I believe in myself and truly believe that if you put your mind to it anything is possible.



Austin Johnson

No Fear!

Much to my disbelief, in nine days I will be walking across the UNCW stage graduating, fist pumping and probably crying in triumph. There are multiple reasons why I thought that I would never graduate college. Most of them stemmed from my long-time battle with anxiety and depression. I bounced from school to school, and even dropped out for a little while. However, during my two years at UNCW I went from feeling powerless to powerful.

I began my college career at East Carolina University, where I had several downward spirals that lead to me leaving school for a semester right before my senior year. There were many times when I thought that I would never return to school because I simply did not believe in myself as I should have. I was fearful of others and I was fearful of my own potential. That is the worst thing about depression, it is scary and it is just there. Most of the time there is no explanation behind it which makes it feel impossible to fix.

I traveled around Europe, where most of my family is from, for a little bit after I left school in attempt to figure myself out. My life hit a turning point when I interacted with who I like to call, my airplane angel. I’m talking a real spiritual experience, ya’ll! On the plane back to the United States I sat next to a man who claimed to already know a lot about my situation and proceeded to lift me up to the point where I felt like I was on an airplane to heaven, rather than back to North Carolina. Words will never do what happened to me on that plane justice. I learned that positivity, determination and good spirit are what will drive you where ever you want to go. So, I started being positive and chose to love everything rather than be afraid of everything. 

Shortly after my return I applied to UNCW, which was always a dream school for me. I was accepted, and that was one of the best days of my life. I intended on being a double major in Film Studies and Communication Studies so that I could fulfill a long-time dream of writing and working with music and movies in some way. Quickly after I started school I dropped Film Studies because I realized that everything that I needed to achieve my goal was in the Communication Studies major.

I relapsed into depression for a short time during COM 105 and found myself failing the class because I could not even make it to class. It was then that the one and only, Dr. Weber came to my rescue. He saw potential in me and encouraged me get motivated and keep moving. Thank goodness he did because now, here I am! About to graduate! I have been consistently happy and well for over a year now, and have a lot of professors and personal motivators to thank for that. I am still working through some of my fears, but I can feel myself shining in large spurts. I know that as I continue into the next chapter of my life, my spirit will only continue to shine brighter.

In addition to Dr. Weber, I am lucky to have been taught and inspired by some amazing professors, and people. Dr. Brubaker, Dr. Persuit, Professor Chin and Professor Bollinger all touched me with their passion for what they teach as well as their clear personal strength. Because of them, I am striving to be as sure of myself and as passionate about any profession I chose to pursue in my life. You all are great! My gratitude is endless. 

Coming to UNCW as a Communication Studies major was the best decision that I have ever made. It was here that I learned to love myself, the people around me, and the world that I am living in. I have engaged in life-changing experiences, met many of my soul people, learned the art of the selfie, and began paving my road to success at this beautiful school. I am so thankful and so happy. I am also no longer afraid of my future.

You all probably know the famous quote, “you is kind, you is smart, you is important,” from The Help. This is the truth and it is for all of you, Seahawks! Those are three most special things that you can be, and the three things that will allow you to excel personally and professionally.

As my airplane angel said to me – you are in charge of your own destiny.

Cheers, lovelies!

- Hannah Turner


New Beginnings

I earned my first BA in Parks and Recreation Management with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation in 1997 from UNCW. After working in the Human Services field for fifteen years providing for people who have special needs, the North Carolina health care reform discontinued the services we provided. I found myself in the position of needing to re-invent my career. I felt the best way to change career fields was to earn a new degree and I chose Communication Studies to help me accomplish my goals. Choosing where to earn this degree was never a question. My daughter has two BA’s from UNCW, and my son has a Communication Studies degree from UNCW. My husband is the only renegade in the family, with a degree from Campbell University, (which he earned before I met him). So as you can see, we are an UNCW family.

UNCW clocktower

I have really enjoyed taking Advertising 2 this semester.  I would like to start by thanking the Advertising 2 group that I’ve had the privilege to work with and get to know.  I’ve  had the opportunity to work with a wonderful team and really appreciate the teamwork and support within this group.  Working on my second BA as a non-traditional student has been a wonderful, and hectic experience. I have enjoyed being part of the Communication Studies department and appreciate the support and advice from everyone. Since I already have a BA degree, Ms. Bulger had to work extra hard helping me deal with a difficult class schedule, making sure I took the appropriate classes. There are many classes I would love to have the opportunity to take but am unable to due to time constraints. Ms. Bulger worked with me to make sure I was able to get as many within this year as possible. I would also like to thank Dr. Olsen and Ms. Becka for the support they offered to get me through summer classes while being very ill and ultimately having surgery. I would not have been able to complete Summer 2 classes without them. Last, but not least, I want to thank Dr. Persuit for giving me the opportunity to take Advertising 2. The skills I have learned in this class and IMC 1 are invaluable and something I will carry with me into my new career.

I will be graduating July 2014 after completing a summer internship. I am excited and looking forward to having the opportunity to apply the skills I have learned while completing my internship.  There are many emotions I feel, sadness over not being able to pick out classes next semester, but mostly excitement over starting a new career and life. I will once again be graduating Seahawk proud.

Susan Willetts


It’s Not Over Yet!

It’s that time of year. COM seniors are finishing up final papers, projects, and preparing for presentations. The COM 400 portfolio is finally finished, and everyone’s talking about job interviews, families coming into town, and how they need to get out of their apartment the day after graduation.

But wait a second… I’m not done yet. I’m a July graduate. And I’m totally cool with it! 

I’m definitely not a fan of the notion that you have to finish school in four years. I’m finishing up my fifth year of college; the first three at my community college back home and the latter two here at UNCW. It doesn’t feel like five years—I wish I could stay longer! The reason why I don’t mind finishing a little later than most is because I want to ensure my college experience is the best it can possibly be.

My interest and career aspirations in media/video production are what brought me to take courses in advertising. I’ve always liked advertising. I love TV ads, and I’d love to make them for a living someday soon. Learning about advertising was the perfect complement to video production. This semester, my interest in the two fields opened me up to the rewarding experience of establishing Pier601 Creative, UNCW’s first student-run IMC firm. Be on the lookout for more exciting things to come from Pier601! If you plan to take Field Video Production courses with Dr. Bolduc, I would highly recommend signing up for IMC 1 or Advertising courses with Dr. Persuit as well. The skills you learn about advertising will greatly help you in communicating with video clients about their projects.

It’s so exciting seeing friends I’ve made in my time in the COM department prepare for graduation. I’ve met so many people in my two years here at UNCW, in both my media production and advertising classes. I’ve not only been pushed harder than I ever have before, but have been encouraged and motivated by my peers. I’ve seen them do some awesome work. One of my classmates and best friends won a car thanks to her work—how cool is that?

Whether you’re pre-COM, COM, or not, my charge to you is to take on those opportunities presented to you. Keep telling yourself it’ll be worth it… even if you graduate a little later than you thought.

Nathan Evers

UNCW…It Has Truly Been Real

I’ve learned a lot of things at UNCW. Each of my professors helped to prepare me for whatever is next in life. I am forever grateful to the four professors who gave me the most challenging assignments, the most work I’ve ever had to complete, and the most beneficial learning experiences. Thank you Professor David Bollinger, Professor Jennifer Chin, Dr. Jeanne Persuit, and Dr. Anita McDaniel. You all have shown me so much grace over these last couple of years, and continued to push me forward even when I was falling short as a student. My words cannot express my gratitude and appreciation!

I could tell all of the readers of this post exactly what I was taught in the classrooms, but I plan on showing you all that as I strive for excellence using the knowledge acquired in my 4 years as a communication studies major with a concentration in advertising/PR/IMC. What I learned the most during my 4 years at UNCW was how to keep standing no matter how difficult the obstacles are.

I grew up in a military family and married into the military as well, USMC to be specific (Oorah Marines). Military lifestyles expose you to diversity in the best ways! When I got to UNCW for the first time there was a huge culture shock! I am a black female attending a predominantly white university. While this did not matter to me at first, I realized that it became a matter that I could not ignore. I was faced with the challenge of being different, and forced to handle every negative situation that occurred because of who I am. We assume racism is over after all of these years, but for some, the negative perceptions are still caught in their minds. It was really hard to endure being stereotyped as the girl in the group who was not as intelligent as the others, or knowing that some people felt uncomfortable around me because of a skin color. Even worse was the look of shock on people’s faces when they saw me do well at something in class. Other times, receiving comments such as “I like you. You’re not like other Black people,” or “are you here to be the dance entertainment,” (asked by an older white gentlemen on a tour as I was walking to my dorm) were the things I was faced with multiple times a week. Backhanded “compliments” only opened my eyes to see that, even in 2014, some things may not ever change.

Sometimes I would speak out to suggest ideas for class projects. People would just ignore me as if I never said a word, so I shut my mouth altogether. I began just going to class and not hardly speaking to anyone unless I had to because, at times, I was made to feel out-of-place and looked down upon. Although it was indirect hatred, dislike, or discomfort on multiple occasions, actions always speak louder than words. I used to be angry all the time…always expecting the worst out of people because that’s what seemed to be a normality for me. I was also angry because there was nobody to tell outside of my family or some other black female friends, and there seems still to be no solution!

It’s sad that a black female in 2014 still faces preconceived judgements and has to try to go above and beyond only to prove that she has great worth. This is not to say that UNCW encourages or is affiliated with any of these negative behaviors. This issue happens all over America and probably the whole world to several categories of people. Some people may think they keep their feelings hidden, but I can personally say that I could almost always tell when I had to compete with the stereotypes and preconceived judgements people labeled me with.

In all my experiences I learned to not let anger build in my heart. I learned to not be afraid to speak up for myself in a respectful way, and not to be silenced because people may not want to hear me. I figured out that I have a great responsibility to love everyone regardless of how they view, think, or act towards me. Because no matter what, I’m still standing, and I only hope my love for all others will bring forth a change in how black females (and all who are a minority) are viewed. Finally, I learned not to give up just because things are hard and unfair. Giving up takes away from who I am and what I have to offer to this world. This was my largest challenge during college, aside from the arduous school assignments of course.

Whatever you are doing in life, understand your value and your worth. Learn to love all people and treat them with respect. We all have the power to uplift others with our actions and words, or crush them until they feel unqualified for the things in this life. Be mindful and careful of which outcome your words and actions are bringing forth. Humble yourself to realize that no single person is greater than another! I have no negative feelings towards any of the individuals who made me feel less than, just because of who I am. I only pray that the hearts of man are transformed over time for the better.

Thank you UNCW for an interesting 4 years, and for being a great stepping stool to the next chapter of my life. I’m especially thankful to my husband, family, Church family, and my best friend for strengthening me as I made it to the finish line to receive my B.A. in Communication Studies at UNCW. Congratulations c/o 2014! Go Seahawks!

1016952_10151493886881890_1297745842_n 12395_10151336898046890_163487958_n559757_10151318141351890_1885774600_n

-Jade Johnson-Grant