College of Humanities and Social Sciences

CHSS News & Events

2017 School of Communication & Media Colloquium

September 14, 2017 ( 5:30PM - 9:00PM )

Digital literacy and innovation are critical for today's university students and tomorrow's professionals. How will the digital revolution affect your career choices? How is the media and communication landscape changing because of opportunities in digital media? How can state-of-the-art software tools enhance your ability to innovate in the digital environment? Learn more through the 2017 Communication Colloquium, to be held Thursday evening, Sept. 14, sponsored by the School of Communication & Media at KSU.

The Colloquium will kick off with an opening session from 5:30-6 p.m. in the Social Sciences auditorium, followed by a networking reception in the Atrium, and concurrent breakout sessions featuring leading professionals from 7-9 p.m. The Colloquium is free and open to all KSU students and alums. Join us on Thursday!

Colloquium Speakers

David Armstrong, Director of the Georgia News Lab and Senior Lecturer of Communication at Kennesaw State

David Armstrong is the director of The Georgia News Lab, an award-winning investigative reporting collaborative. The News Lab is a partnership between several of the top college journalism programs in Georgia, along with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB TV. Armstrong was formerly the director of The News Enterprise, an investigative reporting project at Emory University. Armstrong is a veteran investigative reporter and editor. He served as bureau chief of the National Security News Service in Washington, D.C. and earlier as editor of the Texas Observer.

Laura Beth Daws, Assistant Professor of Communication at Kennesaw State University

Dr. Daws has been teaching communication courses at the college level since 2004. Before joining the KSU School of Communication & Media in the Fall of 2015, she taught at Southern Polytechnic State University, Georgia Highlands College, the University of Kentucky, and Auburn University. She has taught a variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate level, but she primarily teaches courses in the areas of media studies and research methods.

Morgan Bryant, Founder of Eat Here ATL™

Morgan Bryant founded Eat Here ATL™ in January 2015 as a social media platform to encourage locals and travelers in Atlanta to try new restaurants. EHATL serves as a friends guide to the ever changing food scene. With features on websites like Creative Loafing and Black Foodie, Eat Here ATL™ has become a name people can trust. Along with the online community they've built, Morgan and her brand ambassador, Arielle Kleinman, place the brands logo decal at restaurants in and around Atlanta as a stamp of approval. The decal lets the community know that the business’s food, atmosphere and service is worthy of their patronage.

Sharon Dunten, Assistant Regional Director of Society of Professional Journalists

Sharon Dunten is a veteran journalist who has worked in the news industry for more than 20 years. She presently holds the position as SPJ Region 3 assistant regional director. She is editor for the SPJ Region 3 news website, and coordinator of SPJ Region 3 social media. Dunten is co-founder of the SPJ Georgia Pro Chapter, established in 2013. Dunten worked with Gannett Media Group as a reporter for the Indianapolis Star and the Hattiesburg American, and as well as a copy editor for the Richmond Palladium-Item in Indiana before getting laid off in 2011. As a freelance reporter and photojournalist, she has covered both Hurricanes Katrina and Matthew for national news organizations like the Washington Post and Disaster News Network. She continues to work as a freelance professional within her own company, Dunten Media Services LLC. Dunten is a graduate from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where she studied journalism and sociology.

Tyler Hartsook, Associate Director of Content Marketing at 22Squared

After starting his career co-creating one of the first online real estate education courses in the state of Georgia, Tyler found his passion in the ever-evolving digital space. Tyler uses this love to define and build strategies and campaigns that turn passive consumers into passionate advocates through storytelling and creative concepts. These brands include Mondelez, Chick-fil-A, Delta, Mattress Firm, The Coca-Cola Company, Mizuno, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and more.

Sarah Johnson, Lecturer of Communication at Kennesaw State

Sarah Johnson began her public relations and marketing career while working in the nonprofit sector. With more than nine years of experience, she has developed comprehensive public relations campaigns, marketing plans, and graphic design pieces for the following industries: healthcare, publishing, community outreach, and higher education. Ms. Johnson graduated with a bachelor's degree in communication (public relations) and a minor in marketing from Kennesaw State University in May 2003. She was a member of Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Honor Society, where she served on the executive board. In May 2009, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a master’s degree in professional writing with a concentration in applied writing and support area in composition and rhetoric, also from Kennesaw State University. Ms. Johnson's current lectures include Digital Publication Design, Magazine Media and PR Writing.

Melissa Libby, President of Melissa Libby & Associates PR

Melissa likes to joke that she eats and drinks for a living but it’s not far from the truth. Since founding Melissa Libby & Associates (MLA) in 1992, Melissa has opened more than 300 restaurants, and that’s after spending a few years in hotel public relations, promoting cafes and fine dining rooms. Her skills include publicity, social media, strategic planning, idea generation, event implementation and always ordering the best dish on the menu.

She has received numerous honors, including being named the Crohn’s & Colitis “Citizen of the Year” and is distinguished among her peers for taking Julia Child through the McDonald’s drive-thru while on a media tour. She is president of the Board of Trust for the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and a long-time board member of Georgia Organics and Adopt A Golden Atlanta and is a KCBS certified barbeque judge. She is a member of several food-focused non-profits including Les Dames d’Escoffier, James Beard Foundation and the National Restaurant Association. She has published two cookbooks featuring Atlanta chefs, Atlanta Cooks (2001 Longstreet Press) and Atlanta Cooks at Home (2006 CityBooks Publishing). When not eating or drinking, Melissa enjoys traveling, running, gardening and is always up for learning something new.

J.K. Murphy, Managing Editor and Vice President for Content for Times-Journal Inc.

J.K Murphy is the managing editor and vice president for content for Times-Journal Inc. Times-Journal Inc. publishes daily newspapers in Marietta, Rome, Cherokee, seven weekly newspapers in metro Atlanta and north Georgia, and monthly magazines and business journals. Murphy has nearly four decades of experience in the news industry and has directed all aspects of newspaper production, including news generation, advertising sales, production of print and online projects, distribution, personnel, and budgeting.

Rick A. Perez, Senior VP and General Manager, Movies and Series Portfolio for Turner Broadcasting Latin America

Under Perez’s leadership, Turner Broadcasting Latin America became one of the leading pay TV general entertainment portfolios in Latin America. Units included in this portfolio included TNT, Warner Channel, SPACE, TCM and ISAT. He created, developed and aligned a team of more than 100 people engaged in programming, creative services, marketing, public relations, digital and program operations based in Atlanta, Buenos Aires, and Sao Paulo. He had full accountability for finances and was responsible for strategy, execution and organizational alignment.

Jennifer Rigby, WXIA News Director

Jennifer Rigby is news director at The Networks at 11Alive, overseeing the news and content efforts of two television stations, WXIA and WATL, and those for all associated digital properties, including and She joined 11Alive in November 2014.

She was previously vice president of live programming at The Weather Channel television network, responsible for more than 99 hours per week of live programming. She joined the network in 2010 as multimedia content director, coordinating coverage on all platforms and also held the role of senior director coverage and talent. Prior to The Weather Channel, she was senior consultant at SmithGeiger, where she worked with various local television stations in news, marketing and online strategies. Previously, Rigby led three Cox newsrooms as news director at WSB in Atlanta, WPXI in Pittsburgh and WHIO in Dayton. Rigby was the first female news director at all three stations, and was the first and only female news director in Atlanta during her tenure. During her 33-year career, Rigby also worked as executive producer and assistant news director at KFSN in Fresno, and has held producer positions at KTSP (now KSAZ) in Phoenix and KTVX in Salt Lake City. She started her career at KTVX before graduating from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in communication. Rigby is an alumnae of Leadership Atlanta.

Megan Roth and Kathleen Cone, Hungry Girls Do It Better

Hungry Girls Do It Better all started at the prestigious Florida State University, where we quickly discovered our passion for all things food related and WAA LA a friendship for the ages was created. From there, we graduated college, packed our bags and moved to the greatest city of all time, Atlanta. We are constantly searching for a new adventure, and figured there was no better way to explore the city than through our mouths! Whether it be upscale or quick service dining [as long as it’s good, we eat it]. Voted Best Food Instagram of 2016 by Creative Loafing and Best Food Instagram Account to follow by

Julius Suber, Former Senior VP for CNN News Features

Suber is an Emmy-award-winning and George Peabody-award-winning news and documentary producer. After producing local news programming in Philadelphia, Suber came to CNN where he ultimately managed 14 units and programs under the umbrella of CNN News Features. He guided story development and lead teams of writers, reporters, producers, executive producers, and videographers/editors as they produced weekend programming for CNN.

Colloquium Schedule: Download PDF

Event Location:
Kennesaw State University
Social Sciences Auditorium
Bldg #402 , Room 1021

Directions and Parking:
Off-campus visitors should park in Visitor parking.