Remember the Heroes: Troy M. Overman

Troy M. Overman was raised on a ranch in West Texas.  After being drafted into WWII at age 18, he served in Scotland & England. He remembers the thousands of American soldiers that died at Normandy beach on D-Day. Overman had orders to go to the Pacific just before the Pearl Harbor attack. He was then ordered to stay in Europe & serve under General Patton at the Battle of the Bulge. It was at this  battle that Overman received his medal. Today, the 87-year old lives in Arlington but can’t shake dreaming about war. He’s still patriotic & believes America is made of good people. Overman has only been outside the U.S. once since WWII & says he’ll  never get on a ship again. He married his childhood sweetheart, Helen, soon after the war & they raised one son& two daughters. Now a widower, he enjoys time with friends & family including several grandchildren. It was our honor to share the story of this heroic veteran.

Writer/Editor: Christine Nicholson
Reporter:  Jordan Victorin
Videographer:  Alyssa Davis

Journalist Rebecca Aguilar SPJ Lecture

UTA’s Society of Professional Journalists hosted a lecture with a very special guest: Emmy award-winning journalist Rebecca Aguilar.  The former Fox-KDFW reporter has gone on to become a freelance reporter, blogger, consultant and public speaker.  She shared her 30 years of broadcast experience with over 70 students (from both UTA and SMU) in UTA’s Fine Arts building.   Aguilar offered advice on the best sites to use for social media, the importance in networking and getting mentors, and having passion and purpose.  Visit SPJ-UTA’s website: “SPJ University of Texas at Arlington Chapter” on Facebook and Rebecca Aguilar’ website: latinocommunicators.wordpress.com.

By:  Christine Nicholson

UTA Alumna/Hollywood Actress: Raquel Bell

Raquel Bell drove straight to Hollywood after receiving her communications degree with a minor in theater arts from UTA. Bell can be seen on CBS’ “The Young and the Restless”, “The Ghost Whisperer”, “The Eleventh Hour”, “CSI: Miami”, ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and the Dreamworks/Paramount movie “I Love You, Man”.  In between auditions, TV and movie roles, she also plays the role of wife and mother at home and attributes her success to God and her family.  She is an example of just how far UTA Mavericks can go if we put our minds to it. Catch Raquel Bell on the big screen later this year in the Paramount film “A Thousand Words” starring Eddie Murphy.

By:  Christine Nicholson

CBS11’s Joel Thomas Lectures

Broadcast students had the opportunity to learn about the art of broadcasting from a local broadcast professional. CBS11-KTVT/KTXA News Reporter Joel Thomas has spent over 15 years perfecting his craft. His reports across the nation have garnered him several awards including an Emmy. Recently Joel agreed to bring his writing knowledge to UTA for students in Lance Liguez’s broadcasting class.   Thomas covered tips on writing for news, etiquette with news sources, demo reels, job hunting and how to create a story in a concise, accurate way.  His lecture made a lasting impression on future journalists. Watch Joel Thomas weekdays on CBS11 News or visit cbsdfw.com.

By: Christine Nicholson

Entertainment News 3.26.12

GALLAGHER DONE: Less than two weeks after suffering a heart attack at a Dallas-area bar, comedian Gallagher says he’s ending his 32-year comedy club career. Best known for smashing watermelons, he now wants to improve his health and have  time to work on bigger projects. The 65-year old was released Thursday from a Texas hospital after waking from a 4-day medically induced coma.  His manager says he’s surrounded by family and is already back to his old antics.

HOUSTON’S C.O.D.:The toxicology report determining Whitney Houston’s death was released on Thursday. According to the L.A. County Coroner, Houston died accidentally from drowning and the effects of heart disease and cocaine use. Cocaine, marijuana, Xanax, metabolites and other substances were found in her system. The Houston family released a statement saying their are saddened but glad to have closure.

HUNGER GAMES MANIA: “The Hunger Games” rules the box office bringing in a record 68.3 million dollars on its opening day making it the fifth biggest opening ever. With many shows sold-out early last week, Fandango reports it beat out the presale ticket sales for the first “Twilight” film.  Jennifer Lawrence stars in the post-modern sci-fi adventure about teens forced to perform in a televised death match. The LionsGate film is based on Suzanne Collins’ book & is rated PG-13.

By:  Christine Nichoslon

 

Olympian UTA Alumnus Jared Connaughton

Since 1984, six alumni from UTA’s Track & Field teams have gone on to compete in the Olympics. The most recent is Jared Connaughton. Before becoming a record-breaking championship sprinter at UTA and competing in the 2008 Olympics, Connaughton was running on homemade tracks in Canada’s smallest province. Today, he trains for international competitions with other world class athletes right here at UTA’s Maverick Stadium. He credits his long-time coach, his team & his wife Tamesha for staying humble about his Olympic fame. This year Connaughton says he’s focused on becoming a 2x Olympian as he trains to compete in the Canadian Olympic trials in June.

By: Christine Nicholson

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien at TX Hall

Hundreds gathered at TX Hall to hear Soledad O’Brien’s lecture, “Diversity in America” on Friday night as part of the Maverick Speaker Series. The CNN Anchor and Special Correspondent focused on how embracing diversity can help us understand each another. As a bi-racial journalist who’s covered global news and disasters for over 20 years, O’Brien says she appreciates all perspectives. The Harvard graduate’s books and award-winning documentaries on race, identity, humanitarianism and change support her message. You can catch her morning show “Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien” weekdays 6am-8am cst on our affiliate station CNN.

By: Christine Nicholson

Remembering Vandergriff

On December 30th of  2010, the city of Arlington lost an icon:  Tom Vandergriff. At a courthouse where he served as county judge for 16 years and in a city where he was mayor for more than 25, mourners gathered last January for the viewing of the man many called “Mr. Arlington.”  Vandergriff’s Memorial at Texas Hall, honored his pivotal role in moving UTA from a 2-year college to a 4-year research institution.  UTA’s most recent honor is “Vandergriff Hall”, a residence hall in the new College Park District. He is remembered for contributing to the broad expansion of Arlington and DFW.  He died at age 84 but many would say his legacy will live on.

By: Christine Nicholson

NBC5 Anchor Marc Fein Profile

UTA students had the opportunity to hear keynote speaker Marc Fein’s Communication Day lecture. With a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism & theater from the University of Miami, Marc recently moved back to DFW with his family to become NBC5’s newest anchor. What makes Marc special is his extensive broadcasting background in sports.  Turner Sports, CNN and Fox4 are among his past sports employers. Marc also allowed an inside look at his typical day at NBC5.  His co-anchors Meredith Land and Jane McGarry both say he’s a good fit. You can watch Marc Fein weekdays on NBC5/KXAS at 5pm & 6pm or visit nbcdfw.com for more information.

By: Christine Nicholson

Local CBS Anchors Visit UTA

At the studios of the CBS affiliate in Fort Worth, Anchors Keith Garvin and Tracy Kornet make up the news team.  At UTA, the Association for Women in Communication welcomed the dynamic duo to share advice from their many years of broadcast experience.  Keith even stayed for pizza afterwards expressing the importance of networking and internships which was an added bonus to the satisfied audience.  You can see more of  Tracy Kornet and Keith Garvin weeknights on KTXA21 and at 4pm on CBS11.  More details are at http://www.cbsdfw.com. For information on the Association for Women in Communication’s UTA Chapter, please visit Facebook.com/AWCUTA.

By:  Christine Nicholson

Chevy Campus Promo

After being one of less than ten US campuses chosen to compete in a nationwide ad campaign, the Advertising 4301 students led by Dr. Ingram and Mr. Bechtel transformed themselves into a fully functioning  marketing agency called “Mav Ads”to promote Cheverolet’s new green initiatives. The class is divided into teams working together for the entire semester. Campus wide survey results showed most students didn’t associate Chevy with sustainability. To combat that, Mav Ads held a campus-wide event to introduce the Cruze, Equinoz & Volt with some new green features. Their semester ends with research on how the event may have changed student views.

By: Christine Nicholson

UTA Distinguished Alumni Gala 2011

UTA faculty and alumni packed the Blue Bonnett Ballroom for the 46th Annual Distinguished Alumni Gala. The black-tie event showcased all at their finest.  But behind the glitz and glamour, the event celebrated seven incredible alumni for their individual achievements and community contributions while generating student scholarship funds. UTA President James Spaniolo began the event with a speech referencing the importance of this award ceremony. Among the seven award-recipients was former chair of the Department of Communication, Dr. Karin McCallum. Dr. McCallum and current chair Dr. Charla Markham Shaw thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company as well as the benefits of the gala.

By: Christine Nicholson

UTA Honors Fallen Officer Jillian Smith

In December of 2010, UTA lost one of its own.  Jillian Smith was a rookie police officer responding to a domestic assault call. She was fatally shot using her body as a shield to protect a child. Officer Smith graduated from UTA in 2009 with a Bachelors degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Now the department, headed by Dr. Alex del Carmen, is working on a scholarship fund to honor Smith’s name.  In addition, UTA’s School of Social Work Advisory Council has recently named Dr. Beverly Black as the first recipient of their “Jillian Michele Smith Professorship in Family Violence Research”. UTA truly does honor Jillian Smith.

By: Christine Nicholson

CNN: Texas Beef Recall

The US Department of Agriculture issued a recall for 40,000 pounds of ground beef.  The meat, produced by Palo Duro Meat in Amarillo, was halted due to possible E. coli contamination after making it to two Georgia warehouses.  There, it was to be distributed to a variety of institutions including six school districts associated with the National School Lunch Program. USDA authorities say they are not aware of the beef having been served as part of any school lunches. Neither Palo Duro Meat nor the USDA has received any reports of illnesses related to consumption of the beef.

By: Christine Nicholson