COMS News | April 2023

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Happy April COMS Mustangs!

This newsletter is designed to help keep majors, minors, faculty, and staff up-to-date so you can learn about news, career advice, events, networking opportunities, well-wishes, and inspirational stories surrounding your peers and community.


Get involved in COMS Club! Meetings typically take place on Tuesdays from 11:10am-12:00pm in Building 10 Room 222. Connect with Coms Club on Instagram @calpolycomsclub for the most up-to-date information on when meetings will be! The following meetings are scheduled so far for this month:
  • Tuesday, April 11: First meeting of the Quarter
  • Sunday, April 30: COMS Club + Hiking Club Hike

COMS Scholarships
Apply for scholarship funding! COMS scholarships are now available for the 2023-2024 academic year, and one application (available on Portal) allows you to be considered for both major-specific and university-wide scholarships. In previous years, there has been $2.3 million in scholarship money awarded, so it is worthwhile to spend the 15-20 minutes it will take to complete your application. Apply through the Cal Poly portal (the deadline is Friday, April 14, 2023).

Coms Awards Ceremony + Spring Social
Save the dates! The COMS department has 2 upcoming events in May designed to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of our students and provide a social space to connect with your peers and faculty. Mark your calendars and be on the lookout for more information as it gets closer to these two events:

  • COMS Awards Ceremony: Thursday, May 18, 11:10am-12pm (33-286, Clyde P. Fisher Science Hall)
  • COMS Spring Social: Thursday, May 18, 6:30pm-8:30m (Bang the Drum Brewery)

Broadcast Education Association (BEA)
This month, COMS majors are attending the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) Conference (April 15-18) in Las Vegas Nevada! The BEA is an international organization that drives insights in media production and career advancement. Students in attendance will have the opportunity to attend a career fair, learn about media research, and network with professionals in broadcasting and associated industries. Funding for student travel arrangements and conference attendance is sponsored by the Media & Comm Research Initiative. This year we have 4 of our COMS students scheduled to attend: 

  • Wendy Miyazaki, Jordan Schumann, Ava Whitehorn, and Josh Wiegman

Students & Alumni Spotlights
We're proud to share the amazing stories of our current students and alumni! This month, we're spotlighting the work and leadership of current student, Wendy Miyzaki, and Alumna, Kylie Clark! 

  • Wendy Miyazaki is a 3rd year COMS major (BIO Minor) who has been involved in a funded grant working to develop a virtual reality training program to help with climate change education. She is also working on another project that deals with using eye-tracking and QR codes to test the effectiveness of signs at SLO Botanical Garden and on hiking trails. In addition, she helps with the Surfrider Foundation and tries to attend as many beach clean-ups as she can. 
  • Kylie Clark is a COMS alumna who graduated in spring 2020. After graduating, she got an internship at the International Rescue Committee, where she helped immigrants and refugees apply for and secure jobs. She now works as the Manager of Advocacy & Public Policy at West Valley Community Services, a local nonprofit fighting food insecurity and homelessness. She also serves on committees and commissions, including the Los Gatos Planning Commission.

Events & Opportunities

Event: Women in News
Join authors Katya Cengel and Julia Bricklin for conversations, book signings, and refreshments. The Women in News event takes place Thursday, April 13, 2023, 6:00-7:30 p.m. in UU 220. Discussions will focus on two recent non-fiction books that cover women reporters whose work bookends the last century and highlights their gonzo style in covering everything from the freeing of a convicted cannibal to building unrest in Ukraine – and plenty in between. This event is sponsored by the departments of Communication Studies, Women's Gender & Queer Studies, and Journalism. 

Event: Cal State CREATE
Cal State CREATE w/Adobe & Apple is a CSU-wide student creative event and competition that takes place in collaboration with Adobe and Apple. This year's theme is You Belong Here, and students are encouraged to consider what it means to belong throughout the event. There will be a series of talks, keynotes, and hands-on boot camps, with distinguished industry members… and there will also be prizes! Events take place April 5-19. For more information and to apply to participate, visit the Cal State CREATE website. 

Internship with Lionsgate
Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Production Finance group is seeking an intern to train as the next generation of production accounting professionals. Interns will spend up to eight weeks in a mixture of one-on-one training, virtual workshops, and experiential modules, and at the end of the session be “camera ready” to step into an accounting role on a Lionsgate film. Lionsgate also hires and oversees the production-side accounting personnel who work on films every day, implementing policies and best practices to meet studio financial goals. Learn more about the position and apply online.

CLA USN Mentors
Join the CLA's underrepresented student network (USN) as a student mentor! In this opportunity, you can provide support to first-year mentees, join a welcoming community of underrepresented students, and gain access to academic and career resources. To learn more and apply, visit the CLA USN website. 

Volunteer for SLO Earth Day
2023 SLO County Earth Day will take place on April 22nd at Laguna Lake Park from 11am to 4pm. This festival will feature local programs, good food, and some live music. Program planner Sandra Marshall is looking for student volunteers to help with planning, outreach, media, and the website. If you are interested in participating, contact Sandra at

Donate to the Earthquake Relief Campaign
The earthquakes that hit Turkey on February 6th have been devastating for thousands of university students. Some of them lost family, friends, and relatives. Some were in the region at the time of the earthquake which happened during holidays. To help students in need, consider donating to BOYUT (Bogazici University International Community) a relief campaign for university students who have been directly affected. Their goal is to provide 400 students a one-time stipend of $265 per student so they can start rebuilding their lives post-disaster. 

Short Cuts
Short Cuts features 10 short films created by Cal Poly students under the mentorship of Randi Barros, screenwriter, editor, and ISLA Lecturer, and James Werner, Associate Professor and Chair of Art & Design. Engage with emotionally charged stories exploring love, loss, discovery, and unexpected moments of connection. From writing the scripts to filming the scenes, students of different majors have come together to bring their stories to life. Attend in-person Thursday, April 27 @6pm or access virtually April 30 - May 7. For more information, visit the Short Cuts website.

Faculty & Staff News 

Dr. Aubrie Adams 
Dr. Brie is currently on maternity leave for the spring and won't be teaching her normal lineup of classes this quarter. However, she will still be available for advising, senior projects, research, and service projects. Students can feel free to reach out to schedule an appointment. 

Dr. Megan Lambertz-Berndt
Dr. MLB is currently on sabbatical during the spring quarter. She'll be focusing on several research projects including a piece on professional athletic retirement with a specific focus on Angel City FC "Player 22," which serves as a needed organizational socialization program for women athletes as they lack finance and relational benefits compared to male athletes when entering retirement. She is also examining former professional soccer player, Carli LLoyd's use of neoliberal discourse in her retirement and new career in sports broadcasting.

Luisé (Lu) Arocho
Welcome to Lu Arocho who is starting this month in the COMS office as our new department Administrative Support Coordinator (ASC) II. Lu has a Master’s degree in Public Administration & Community Development from Rutgers, is originally from Puerto Rico, and is also bilingual, speaking both Spanish and English. We're grateful to have Lu working with us and excited about the many ways she will help support the needs of our COMS students and faculty!

Recent Publications

  • Dr. Dhillon and Dr. Lambertz-Berndt recently co-authored a published article with the Southern Communication Journal titled Working Parents’ Struggling to Achieve the Work-Life Balance During the Pandemic: Exploring the Benefits of Relational Maintenance Beyond Relational Outcomes.

Sharing is Caring

Do you have an announcement to share with COMS majors, minors, faculty, and staff? Email Dr. Brie to find out how to share it! Follow COMS on Social Media: Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn 

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