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2015-2016 Department News

Retirements Spring 2016:

Professor Peggy O'Neill-Jones, Interactive Media Production

Assistant Professor Marilyn Starrett, Public Relations

Awards Spring 2016:

Extraordinary Service Award - Professor Peggy O'Neill-Jones

Professor Emeritus - Professor Peggy O'Neill-Jones

Faculty Distinguished Service Award - Professor Kenn Bisio

SPJ Educator of the Year Award - Professor Kenn Bisio

Promotions Fall 2015

Assistant to Associate Professor (Granted Tenure) - Shaun Schafer

Assistant to Associate Professor (Granted Tenure) - Kip Wotkins

2015 News Archive

November 16, 2015

Photojournalism student Alyson McClaran won first prize in the Associated Collegiate Press’ national photo competition. PHOTO: Michael Ortiz

Big Shot

When Alyson McClaran left class that day, she didn’t expect to shoot any photos. But like any good photojournalism student, her camera was ready when an opportunity presented itself.

A crowd had gathered around two men – one a student and one a street preacher who is a regular on campus. The men were face to face, gazes locked and by all appearances, ready to come to blows. A policeman moved to intervene.

And it was at that second that McClaran took her shot.

“I knew I’d gotten something good,” she recalled. “A storm was coming in and the sky was dark with this gorgeous light pouring through. And the framing felt just right.”

She was so sure, in fact, that she went to the editors of The Metropolitan, where she serves as photo editor, and lobbied to have the photo included in the next issue. They agreed, but only if she wrote a story to accompany it. She did.

It turns out the photo wasn't just good; it was good enough to earn the 2015 Photo Excellence Award, first place in the General News Picture category, from the Associated Collegiate Press.

Big shot



October, 2015

Summer 2016 internships at the Denver Post

The Denver Post is helping shape the futures of the next generation of journalists by offering a 10-week paid internship for the summer of 2016. To do so, we are looking for talented students who want to make a difference. Denver Post interns are paid about $517 per week.

The Post works with Dow Jones Newspaper Fund to identify candidates for copy editing, sports copy editing, online production and business reporting positions.  Please apply directly to Dow Jones Newspaper Fund for these positions at

The Post also works with The Sports Journalism Institute to select a sports reporter intern. Click here to apply directly to The Sports Journalism Institute sports reporter internship.

Post editors choose interns for several parts of the newsroom as news or features reporters, photographers, graphic artists or designers. If you are applying for one of these positions, please send your clips or link to a portfolio, cover letter, resume and list of references to:

Alexandra Alonso, Internship Recruiter
The Denver Post
101 W. Colfax Ave. Suite 800
Denver, CO 80202

Summer 2016 internships at the Denver Post



September, 2015

Professor Schafer hosts international journalist

Shaun T. Schafer, Ph.D., Journalism and Technical Communications, hosted a visit from Thai journalist Kamolporn "Koy" Chirasuwan and a translator on Sept. 22. Ms. Chirasuwan was at MSU Denver as part of the Visitor and Exchange Programs of WorldDenver, which is overseen by the U.S. Department of State's International Visitors Leadership Program. Ms. Chirasuwan sat in on a reporting class and met with Dr. Schafer afterward to discuss investigative reporting. Ms. Chirasuwan is honing her investigative skills in light of Thailand's new freedom of information act designed to encourage government transparency in the Southeast Asian nation.



Summer 2015

Professor Chris Jennings teaches abroad

Dr. Chris Jennings recently took a 40-day trip to two continents that included over 30 thousand miles of travel via plane, train, automobile, raft, horse and by foot. It started with two weeks of work with Yunnan Open University in Kunming, China. While there he worked with students and faculty on emerging technologies such as the Leap Motion and Mobile technologies. 

In addition, Chris worked with faculty and staff regarding Distance Education in support of the University’s Distance Education program. This involved English translation for technology terms in reports and academic papers as well as lectures with examples that showed how to use distance education technology at MSU Denver. Examples shown included Mobile, Desktop and video conferencing capabilities of Blackboard and other technologies Chris uses in his courses. He also shared adult learning methodologies and content development strategies.

Professor Chris Jennings teaches abroad



Spring 2015

Professor Kenn Bisio honored as Educator of the Year

The Society of Professional Journalists' Colorado chapter honored Professor Kenn Bisio as Educator of the Year at its May 15, 2015, awards banquet.

Bisio, a professor of photojournalism and social documentary, has taught at MSU Denver since 1994. While he is widely recognized for his passionate teaching style, practical criticism and great stories, he never expected to win a prestigious educator award.

“A complete surprise,” Bisio said of the achievement. “You have to be nominated by a working professional, by your peers essentially, so it’s really a great honor.”

Doug Bell, a longtime adjunct faculty member at MSU Denver who also sits on the SPJ Colorado chapter board of directors, offered his insights on Bisio’s selection.

“Kenn is an accomplished photojournalist. His work has appeared in every magazine imaginable from Sports Illustrated to National Geographic. He has photos in the NFL Hall of Fame. He has won every award in the profession, and yet, when I tell people about Kenn, I say I can easily list 25 photojournalists who are excelling in the field today who are his former students … He has this amazing ability to identify talented people and bring them along so they can succeed.”


Spring 2015

Professor Chris Jennings interviewed by

Ask the Professors: How is SEO being taught in colleges and universities?

Now that SEO is becoming such an important industry and such an important part of running a business, it’s only a matter of time before colleges and universities start taking it seriously as a field of study. For now it seems that most schools teach SEO as a small unit under a larger major, such as marketing or communications, but that doesn’t mean that professors aren’t seeing SEO classes on the horizon.

Professor Chris Jennings entire interview 


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