Seventh Brown Bag – October 31, 2014

Today’s brown bag featured four faculty members who currently are or who have served as journal editors: Annie Lang (Co-Editor, Media Psychology, 2008 – 2011), Radhika Parameswaran (Editor, Communication, Culture & Critique, 2014 – present), Harmeet Sawhney (Editor-in-Chief, The Information Society, 2004 – present), and David Waterman (Co-Principal Editor, Information Economics and Policy, 2005 – 2010; Coordinating Editor, 2008-2010). They spoke about the manuscript review process as well as what it takes to publish in top-flight journals – and answered questions, too.

A Man of Many Hats

by Teresa Lynch

Just as it becomes the make-yourself-feel-crazy busy season here in terms of workload, we at the blog are winding down. This semester we have recounted to you a few of the many wonderful stories playing out in and on the fringes of our department.  Hopefully, our efforts have given you some insight into what some of the folks in Telecom are up to these days. Perhaps our blog stories have even prompted you to chat with them about something they shared with all of us.   That, after all, is very nearly the entire point. But, as we come to a close of another semester, we will also be bidding adieu – at least in blog terms – to my co-contributor at the blog, Ken Rosenberg.

As the new gal on the (blog) block this semester, I had the chance to work alongside Ken. His deep dedication to the blog and the spirit of the blog is unparalleled – except perhaps by Harmeet’s. Reflecting back to when I started contributing for the blog, I remember Ken saying that the best thing about the blog was the opportunities it opened up for getting to know people. Not getting to know them the way you might in class or working on a study, but getting a glimpse of what makes them tick. If I can borrow from Harmeet – getting a feel of their texture. Ken was certainly right and I will agree that this is one of the huge perks of our job.

Ken is a man of many hats (literally). He’s known for his signature caps, his love of the Beatles, and his undying enthusiasm for video games. But, if you’ve been around our department at all and paying attention, you probably associate one thing with Ken – tea. You definitely wouldn’t be wrong to make that association. He sets up the tea at the brown bags, he provides tea for the blog meetings, and he’s happy to chat with anyone about the leafy beverage. He even brought me a bag of tea I had off-handedly commented on liking a week ago. What might not be readily apparent, though, is that in Ken’s weekly tea offerings is a sincere and serious generosity.

red shirt (low-res)

Writing for the blog is rough business… it messes with your head.

This quality of Ken’s character has made him an asset to the blog team over the past year. Now, he’s taking leave of his position as a blog writer and setting his sights on other endeavors. Monday morning blog meetings this semester have often consisted of Ken and Harmeet joking about things I didn’t quite follow. Not necessarily because of any necessarily esoteric quality of their humor – although, that was sometimes the case. But, more so because both of these fellows have marvelous senses of humor, finding laughter in many things. They click. They have worked well together. And, more importantly, they have a tremendous respect for one another. It has been a pleasure getting to know both of them better as a member of the blog team this semester.

In some ways, it was very much like any of the interviews that I have had with many of you. But, spread out. And, of course, with tea.

The Musings of David Waterman, the Editors Panel, Holiday Spirit, and 3D

T600 with David Waterman

Over last five years Professor David Waterman has been organizing the department’s T600 seminar series, popularly known as the brown bags. The dedication with which he has been cultivating this important forum for sharing ongoing research, especially works in progress, is an inspiration.  For doctoral students, who have to register for T600 four times and present at least twice, the brown bags provide an opportunity to develop their presentation skills.  The department, as a whole, has opportunities to hear about research by doctoral students and also Telecom faculty and visitors. In these idea bouncing sessions, David’s witty and clever intros have become a feature by themselves.  “Sometimes I put some thought into them and sometimes inspiration comes to me, but I always think of something better after the fact.”  Ultimately, David wants the presenters to feel at ease before they share their research.  “It’s easy to make people feel good when they are accomplished.  I just have to acknowledge their abilities to the audience.”

Here are some highlights of David’s introductions for the brown bags over the semester:

Brown Bag: The Editors Panel

In a panel discussion moderated by Professor Rob Potter, the four journal editors in our department – Erik Bucy, David Waterman, Harmeet Sawhney, and Annie Lang – shared reflections on their editing work and gave advise on what it takes to get published.  They covered extremely wide territory, touching on almost all facets of journal publishing.  Video of the entire discussion will be made available later.  This blog post focuses on only some of the advise they gave to graduate students, mainly on one thread in the conversation.

David Waterman, who just completed a 6-year tenure as the coordinating editor of Information Economics and Policy, advised students to take advantage of the mentoring opportunities, both formal and informal, within the academy.  In his words, “it’s useful to ask your advisors and mentors for help. You learn a lot by going through this process.”  In effect, the nuances of journal publishing can be best learned in the apprentice mode.  The grad students need to engage faculty beyond the classroom setting and seek out such opportunities.

Erik Bucy, currently the editor for Politics and the Life Sciences, advises students not to be hesitant to submit. Politics and the Life Sciences, he said, has published exceptional undergraduate work before, and grad students should not doubt the quality of their own research. “Don’t be afraid of submitting,” Erik said.  “Don’t think you’re out of the game.”  At the same time, he pointed out that there is no point in submitting underdeveloped manuscripts, as that only burns up the research communities resources in terms of reviewers’ time.  The winning combination then is to create good works and then not be afraid of facing reviewers’ scrutiny.

Annie Lang, editor of Media Psychology, suggested that selecting the right journal for your work is crucial to getting published. “Be sure you’re submitting something that’s in the scope of the journal,” she said.  Annie urged the grad students to direct their energies to making their papers substantive, as opposed to perfect.  According to her, pre-occupation with the latter leads to immobility and focus on the former to advancement with the review-revise-review-revise of the peer review process ironing out the imperfections.  She went on to provide advise on how to respond to reviewers’ comments.

Harmeet Sawhney, editor of The Information Society, said it is also important to understand the texture of the journal. The Information Society, which covers a wide range of topics from artificial intelligence to the digital divide, is flexible about methodology but insistent about a significant conceptual contribution.  He says, in a journal like this, conceptually strong articles are essential because “the appeal of the published article needs to go beyond the sub-speciality the researcher is working in to the broader audience.”

Sharing Some Holiday Cheer

Take a look at the Christmas Tree next to the entrance of Graduate Program Administrator Tamera Theodore’s cubicle.  The little gifts under the tree are particularly delightful.  Most of them are pieces knitted by Annie, including the one featured in the close-up shot.

3D Storytelling and IU Cinema

The semester is coming to a close, and with it, the end of IU Telecom’s inaugural 3D storytelling and production class. The course, T452, is wrapping up final projects for a class viewing on Monday.  In the spring semester, the public will have an opportunity to view the class projects, along with additional 3D productions at the soon-to-open IU Cinema.

Grad student Chris Eller, who assists Professor Susan Kelly in the course along with Informatics student Sean Connolly, says the final projects are the culmination of the theory and practical work learned and applied over the course of the semester. “This project will showcase their knowledge,” Chris says. The class of 12 has been working in three teams, each completing 3 projects for the class, with the final one being the biggest.

The public viewing of the final projects will take place on January 30th at 3:00 p.m. at the IU Cinema, closing out the week-long grand opening of the venue, which will seat about 240 people. The showcased 3D productions will include projects from T452 as well as 3D modeling and animation work from students in the IUPUI School of Informatics.

Chris was also interviewed by the Herald Times because of his expertise on 3D production. You can access the Herald Times article here. (Subscription required)

Random Comment of the Week

Ted Castronova:  “The grad blog is freaking cool . . . a moment of joy.”

Random Photo of the Week

Julie Fox: “Check out David’s new wheels!”


Katie Birge:  Editors Panel and 3D Storytelling and IU Cinema

Nicky Lewis:  Musings of David Waterman and Holiday Spirit

Special Thanks

Julie Fox:  For spotting David’s new wheels

Bryant Paul:  For taking the picture with infectious enthusiasm

Andrew Weaver:  For suggesting possible shots for photographing David’s new wheels

Orientation Week 2010

The IU Department of Telecommunications Graduate Program ushered in the Fall 2010 semester with orientation week activities, welcoming new grad students and reuniting returning ones. Here’s a quick glance of the orientation week happenings:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Orientation Week kicked off with breakfast and introductions in Studio 5.  Faculty, staff, new and returning grad students got a chance to meet and greet. View a quick video of introduction highlights here:

New grad students spent the rest of the day with Grad Director Harmeet Sawhney to learn the ins and outs of the graduate program. Later on, Professor and Facilities Manager Ron Osgood took the new students on a tour of the building, showing the studios, offices, and various classrooms.  The Radio-TV Building houses not only the Department of Telecommunications, but also WFIU and WTIU, the local public radio and TV stations. Check out some high points of the tour here:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Professor Susan Kelly spent the morning with new and returning grad students in an associate instructor training session “Micro-Teaching Preparation,” covering what to expect on the first day and beyond. Later, Professor Bryant Paul led new and returning grad students through a workshop on grading techniques and policies. See brief tidbits of Bryant’s words of wisdom in this video:

Interest Area Meetings took place throughout the building on several topics. Take a look at what occurred at each of the sessions:

Cognitive Processing of Media

Faculty and grad students discuss current research interests and ongoing projects at the cognitive processing interest area meeting.

Economics, Law and Policy

Mike McGregor introduces the faculty and welcomes grad students at the economics, law, and policy interest area meeting.

Design and Production

Students and faculty discuss current creative projects and ongoing production work.

New grad students also attended an associate instructor workshop on campus climate, conducted by Campus Instructional Consulting, and production-oriented graduate students took part in a Studio 5 training session to prepare for their AI work in upcoming undergraduate production courses. Later, all grad students prepared for micro-teaching sessions in small groups.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The graduate students convened to conduct several micro-teaching sessions, each presenting on a topic or interest area of their choosing. They received valuable teaching experience and feedback for improving their classroom skills.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New grad students participated in three workshops organized by Campus Instructional Consulting—The First Day of Class and Beyond, Discussion Techniques for Active Learning, and Three Strategies for Creating Success in the Classroom.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Professor Rob Potter led new grad students through the Institute for Communication Research (ICR) at Eigenmann Hall. The ICR hosts many student and faculty projects related to physiology, psychology, political communication, and other areas of research. See the abbreviated version of Rob’s tour in this video:

More Interest Area Meetings took place on Friday. Have a look at some photo highlights:

Sex and Violence in Media

Faculty members Andrew Weaver and Nicole Martins begin the sex and violence in the media interest area meeting.

New Media and Social Theory

Mark Deuze leads an interdisciplinary brain storming session at the new media and social theory interest area meeting.

Later, Professor Bryant Paul led the group critique session of the grading workshop. The week of orientation events and activities concluded with an evening reception for the graduate students and faculty at the grad director’s house.

For more glimpses of the week, check out these photos from orientation activities:

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Also, grab your 3-D glasses to view a photo of orientation introductions taken by grad student Chris Eller. The department is offering a cutting edge 3-D production course entitled “3-D Stereoscopic Digital Production and Storytelling” as a T540 (special projects course). For more information about the course, contact Professor Susan Kelly:

Graduate students and faculty in the third dimension at orientation introductions.


Special Thanks

Siyabonga Africa: photographs during orientation introductions

Chris Eller: 3-D photographs during orientation introductions

Mark Deuze: for allowing us to use the sensibilities of “Media Organizations @ IU” blog


Nicky Lewis: Videographer and Writer

Katie Birge: Photographer and Writer