Answers to questions we’ve received about your #JOU3109 EHST story for Lab 9


A highlight of the semester can be getting your EHST story published and having that byline.

Everyone should be in some stage of the EHST story assignment — pitching a story idea, identifying sources, conducting interviews, doing background research, or writing the story.

Here are some of the questions that Ms. Karimipour and I have been asked, via Twitter, email or in conversations. Thanks to Hannah Colson and Elena Castello for helping us with the in-lecture questions via Twitter.

Q: When should we start pitching our EHST story?
A: In the panel discussion, Alligator editor Kathryn Varn said that you can contact an Alligator editor (Metro or University) either with a story idea or a finished story. Erica Hernandez, who is an editor for, said they review final stories.

Q: Is there a deadline to when we need to get it published?
A: The deadline for getting published is Lab 14, which is April 14-20. Some of the EHST stories could have a time hook related to UF’s Earth Month or to Earth Day (April 22).

Q: How do you handle it if an editor is taking awhile to reply to you, and your article is time sensitive?
A: Try to submit the story with as much lead time as possible. In the email you send to the editor, be sure to note the time issue and say that you would appreciate receiving feedback as soon as possible. Then send a followup if you haven’t heard from the editor. If still no reply, email to say that due to the time sensitivity of the article that you are withdrawing it from consideration there so you can approach another publication. Be sure to let the editor know that you are moving on. You don’t want to have the article published by two publications with each publication thinking that the story was exclusive to that publication.

Q: How can I find expert sources at UF?
A: Visit ‪  to find an expert source to interview for your story. Beware that the list isn’t always up to date. Also even when you find a faculty expert, that person may be on a research trip or too busy to be interviewed. One strategy is to ask the expert if there is a colleague or graduate student that you could talk to about the story topic. Sometimes a great expert source can be a professor you have had for class.

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Thanks to panel of @UFJSchool students for offering advice, sharing stories with #JOU3109 class

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Thanks to the panel of upper division students who offered advice and told stories to help you in planning your own future as CJC students. Having the panel is a special class day for me, as I can hear former students talk about all they are accomplishing as CJC students.

Thanks to all of you who were in class. I hope you are feeling empowered — knowing steps to take and having the panelists as resources for you. They all told me that they are available to answer your questions – just tweet to them.

Here are a few of the take-aways I had from their comments.

Erica Hernandez – @EricaAlyssa

Erica Hernandez

Erica Hernandez

One internship has led to the next for Erica. Her Spanish language skills have been a valuable skill. Much of her internship work last summer with the Atlanta Braves was interviewing players who spoke only Spanish. She promoted membership in SPJ and explained the process for submitting stories to

Audreyanna Louguerre – @aljourno

Audreyanna Louguerre

Audreyanna Louguerre

Audrey’s EHST story was about students in Hawthorne receiving Kindles. Not only did the story get published but helped Audrey know she wanted to use her skills with a service focus. She stressed the value of what is learned in the classes you take. She has used her social media skills in Student Government work.

Ryan Baum @RyanBaum

Ryan Baum

Ryan Baum

Writing skills learned in Multimedia Writing and Reporting are vital to public relations students because writing is such an important tool. Ryan encouraged you to use social media as a way of connecting with media professionals. That assertive approach is part of why he’s now so involved with The Agency.

Chris Burg – @ChrisLBurg

Chris Burg

Chris Burg

Think about how you can stand out by being the one who has a skill that others don’t. For Chris, that’s coding. Start now taking fundamental coding classes (like MMC 3260) in order to get to higher skill-level courses. Chris has had technology experience working in CJC, including building a phone app.

Gabriella Nicholas – @gbbynicholas

Gabriella Nicholas

Gabriella Nicholas

Take advantage of opportunities that are presented to you. For Gabby, that meant talking with Kristen Grace after Ms. Grace talked in JOU3109. Gabby now is working with Ms. Grace at the Florida Museum of Natural history and having exciting photography experiences.


Chad Furst – @chads1st

Chad Furst

Chad Furst

Being a transfer student didn’t keep Chad from excelling. Even before he started classes at UF, he reached out to the PRSSA president and then got involved in the organization right from the beginning – and now is PRSSA president. He also is one of the student leaders in The Agency.


Kathryn Varn – @kathrynvarn


Kathryn Varn

She was working for The Alligator her freshman year, worked on several beats and now is editor. She encouraged you to submit your stories to The Alligator – learning the process and improving your stories by working with editors. She’ll be using her social media skills in a post-gradation internship at The New York Times.

Thanks to all of you who contributed to the conversation by tweeting with the #JOU3109 hashtag.



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Student panel offers advice in #JOU3109 lecture, Feb. 24 — internships, getting published, student organizations

A special panel of guest speakers will join us for class on Tuesday, Feb. 24. I’ve asked these students to talk about their experiences:

  • Getting published
  • Internships
  • Joining student organizations
  • Studying abroad
  • Taking specialized classes

Please be in class to hear their advice, which can help you in getting your environmental, health, science or technology story published and can help you in mapping out your academic plan.

The panel also provides an opportunity to practice live tweeting. You’ll be required to live tweet for Lab 11, so you can live tweet during the panel presentation to practice.

The best tweets of an event go beyond saying who is speaking to include a piece of advice or key point from what the person has said.

Please include the class hashtag when you tweet so we all can follow the tweets — #JOU3109.

Here are some of the organizations that will be discussed by the panel:


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Consider publication opportunities when writing your #JOU3109 Labs 7 and 9 stories

by Rich Shumate

Your sustainability story for Lab 7 and your environmental, health, science or technology (EHST) story for Lab 9 offer an opportunity to get your work published, providing not only the thrill of seeing your name in print but also the potential of up to 25 points of extra credit.

One key to getting published is to think of who might be interested in your story before you finish it, which allows you to craft your story in such a way as to maximize publication potential – from the focus of the story to the sources you interview.

With that in mind, here are a few places where Multimedia Writing students have been published in the past:

•    The Alligator – More info on the Getting Published page of the blog and on The Alligator’s website.

• – website affiliated with WUFT. Emphasis on the counties surrounding Gainesville – not UF stories. More info on the Getting Published page of the blog.

•    Layman’s Terms Media — health and science blog, run by Rebecca Burton, a CJC graduate.

•    Friends of Paynes Prairie website – More info on the Getting Published page of the blog.

•    UF Sustainability website – Contact Allison Vitt.

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Improve your photography skills in #JOU3109 lecture and take Quiz 2 (based on your attendance, not textbook chapters)

Kristen GracePhotography is an important part of communications jobs, whether in telling stories, promoting organizations and events, creating websites, and tweeting.

And photography is an important part of everyday life for most people, including taking photos of family and friends and posting photos on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Guest speaker Kristen Grace will help you improve your photography skills by expelling how you can better plan and visualize your photos. She’ll also talk about how to successfully take photos of people you don’t know and get information for captions.

Kristen Grace’s assignments include taking photographs of scientists and their research. Her photos appear in print and on the Web. During lecture, she’ll tell about one of photos that received more views than Gator sports photos.

Ms. Grace, photographer and digital asset manager at the Florida Museum of Natural History, will show some of her photographs and offer photo tips in lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 17. Her advice will be connected to your photography assignment for Lab 8.

Quiz 2 will be given at the end of lecture and will be an attendance check for attending class. You do not need to read any textbook chapters to prepare for the quiz. Please bring your own pencil and pick up a Scantron when you arrive in class.

Here are three handouts that provide information for Lab 8:

I’d encourage you to read these materials before Ms. Grace’s presentation, as that will help you be able to focus on “the big picture” of her advice.


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