Gilda’s Cup improv competition gets its start at Fisher

The inaugural Gilda’s Cup Collegiate Comedy Improv Competition, benefiting Gilda’s Club of Rochester, will be held at the St. John Fisher College Cleary Auditorium on Friday, April 4 at 6 p.m.

The competition is a first time event for Gilda’s Club of Rochester and was created through a partnership that began with a service learning project in Professor Kathy Marchaesi’s Introduction to Advertising class in the spring of 2013. Students found the project meaningful, and she encouraged them to continue their work through involvement in the Department of Media and Communication’s student run Public Relations, Integrated Marketing, and Advertising agency (PRIMA).

Recognizing the value and service they could provide to Gilda’s Club, PRIMA officially began planning the event that would become Gilda’s Cup Collegiate Comedy Improv Competition during the summer in 2013. “We have a real result supporting a great cause that is very rewarding, especially in the case of Gilda’s Club,” says Paige Willson ’15, one of the many students who joined PRIMA and are helping to make the event a reality.

The student organizers hope the event becomes a tradition in helping to fund and build awareness of the 1,200 programs Gilda’s Club of Rochester operates locally each year. All of the programs the organization provides are free to those who live with or are affected by the impacts of cancer. “We’re hoping this becomes something that can carry on year after year and not just be a one time thing,” says Bob Russell, Executive Director of Gilda’s Club Rochester.

Russell began working with Fisher students in order to come up with a creative way of reaching out and sharing the Gilda’s Club mission with young people. Young people are also affected by the impact cancer has on our community, and Russell wants to make sure they know that there is support, through a multitude of programs, available at Gilda’s Club.

According to the organization, approximately 17,000 Monroe County men, women, teens, and children are affected by cancer each year and it’s the little things, like laughter, that can make the biggest difference. “Laughter is a big part of what goes on here,” Russell says. “You talk to people who are living through cancer – laughter really does help them, and of course, Gilda’s legacy is as a comedian, so we try to find a way to bring that together.”

The Gilda’s Cup competition keeps Russell’s sentiments in mind, “laughter is the best medicine.” The event was created with a goal of bringing other area colleges together, and will include competing improv troupes from Fisher, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and State University of New York at Oswego. Each team will have 15 minutes to showcase their Improv skills, and the Gilda’s Cup Champions will be determined by an audience vote.

“Gilda’s Cup is an incredible opportunity for college students from local schools to come together in support of a noble cause. Students will have the opportunity to showcase their talents in a fun and competitive environment while supporting an essential community organization,” says Rob Meacham ’14.

Tickets for the Gilda’s Cup Collegiate Comedy Improv Competition are $5.00 and can be purchased online at

Gilda’s Club Mission
To create welcoming communities of free support for everyone living with cancer – men, women, teens and children – along with their families and friends.
Our innovative program is an essential complement to medical care, providing networking and support groups, workshops, education and social activities.

More about PRIMA
All Fisher students are welcome to become a member of PRIMA. There are no membership fees and students are encouraged to join the open agency as both an extracurricular and experiential learning activity. Students may also opt to make their involvement in PRIMA count toward 1 credit as an Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) Practicum.



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Job opening for faculty member in speech and business comm

The Media and Communication Department at St. John Fisher College anticipates a faculty opening to teach a combination of speech and business communication courses beginning in Fall 2014. This position will be filled as a one-year term Visiting Assistant Professor position, and is subject to final budget approval.

Applicants should hold a master’s degree and also have significant practical experience in business communication settings, plus recent college teaching experience at least at an adjunct level.

The successful candidate will be responsible for teaching four courses per semester in speech communication, which covers a combination of public speaking, interpersonal and organizational communication; and business communication, which incorporates presentational and writing skills for a business environment. The position also includes coordination of the curriculum for the business communication course, which has several sections taught by adjunct instructors.

Electronic application should be made through the St. John Fisher College jobs portal.

Consideration of candidates will begin March 10, 2014.

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Orientation helps new students find activities to join

Fisher media Communication orientation

Professor Todd Sodano, center, sits with incoming freshmen and transfer students as they discuss the opportunities that most interest them.

By Matt Ulakovich

This first week of the semester, St. John Fisher’s newest communication students participated in an orientation session in which they were able to meet with returning students and advisers to learn about all the opportunities that await them in the newly re-named Media and Communication department.

The students and advisers at the orientation represent such career focused extracurricular groups as Cardinal Courier Media, Cardinal Television, PRIMA Connections, Fisher’s PRSSA chapter, and the Lambda Pi Eta communications honor society.

Greetings and Opportunities

While beginning a new journey may seem a bit overwhelming at first, students found the event to be a welcomed retreat. “The speed dating was great because it allowed me to see what Fisher had to offer in a more intimate setting,” Jillian Nalivyko says. “Just [meeting] with Comm. students, not with every single transfer and freshman made me choose some clubs that I didn’t think I would have been interested in.”

Nalivyko, of Rochester, transferred to Fisher as a second-semester sophomore who is interested in becoming a broadcast journalist and has already completed an internship at YNN Buffalo. “I’m really looking forward to trying the television station, as well as the newspaper and the honor society,” Nalivyko says.

Getting Involved/If You Missed It

While the orientation catered to the interests of Media and Communication students, ALL Fisher students are welcomed, encouraged, and often do become a part of the Media and Communication family. Students interested in joining one of the media and communication groups can stop by the Cardinal Media Tent at the Involvement Festival on Tuesday Sept. 17 to find out how to get involved.

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From C/J to MAC: Department gets new name, additional major

The St. John Fisher College Communication/Journalism Department has a new name and new major offering for the new 2013-14 academic year.

The program will now be known as the Department of Media and Communication, and will present students a choice of two distinct degree offerings.

The department will continue to offer a bachelor’s of arts (BA) degree but will add a bachelor of science (BS) in Media Management, which combines elements of degrees in communication and business management/marketing. The college and department received approval to offer the new degree from the New York State Department of Education in July.

The BA for now will continue to be known as Communication/Journalism, although the college has applied to the New York State Department of Education to change the name of the degree program to match the department’s name of Media and Communication. A decision from the state about the change is pending.

This program is for students who are interested in learning to create content for presentation across platforms (written, audio/video, graphical, online) for a variety of purposes, including traditional and emerging journalism, broadcasting, video production, and creative work in public relations and advertising. It consists of 37 credits, with several required courses and a large number of electives that allow students to tailor the program to best suit their interests.

Requirements for this program are unchanged from the BA the department now offers. They were last revised in 2011 to add a greater emphasis on multimedia production skills and greater flexibility for students in choosing their of courses.

The BS in Media Management provides a blend of production skills and conceptual understanding of media with business literacy. It prepares students for careers that have a strong communications component yet lie outside of traditional media industries, including corporate communications, non-profit agency marketing/communications, and positions in public relations, advertising and marketing that require skills in social media management, digital media production, and Web-based presentation.

As a BS it includes more requirements and carries more total credits, with 63 credits of required and elective courses including a mandatory capstone sequence focused on practical experience.

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