UF at the cutting edge of journalism education with CMIR

Any Uf J-school student knows that to be successful in the field of journalism, you have to have experience before leaving school. UF’s college of journalism and communications is recognized for giving students numerous resources and opportunities for hands on, real world learning. As a telecom-news student I have worked for both WUFT-FM and WUFT-TV and I can honestly say these have been some of the best learning experiences I’ve had.  My credentials have led to a couple great internships, including last summer, when I did PR and social media for the Tampa Bay & Company aka the Tampa Convention and Visitors Bureau (during the RNC- super exciting!). Not only do you get great field experience, but because the program is small, you can really make connections and friendships with your fellow students.


A co-worker and I at a TB&C event


Fun at the WUFT-FM newsroom cook out

Last year, our newsroom received a huge makeover and the new, fully integrated Center for Media Innovation and Research (CMIR) is spectacular! By integrating the newsroom, UF journalists are now able to be creative and advance their skills in the digital and multimedia platforms. These skills are growing in importance every day and the world becomes more digital. The radio, TV, and print journalism students can all world together to create awesome multimedia projects like this radio story about the Pope’s twitter account.

This semester I will be graduating, and even though I don’t think I will end up an on-air reporter, the skills and experiences I have had at Weimer and at the CMIR will be beneficial to almost any career path in the communications field, and I am proud to call myself a graduate of this program. Go Gators!


Filming for a piece on the Florida Lineman Competition


Review of “The Tipping Point”

I wanted to share with you all a great book I was assigned to read for school this week called “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” by Malcolm Gladwell. I was excited to see this book on our syllabus because I am a huge fan of his other book “Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking”.  Not only is Mr. Gladwell a best-selling author, but also he has been a staff writer with The New Yorker magazine since 1996 and has won numerous awards and recognitions for his work. Basically, he thinks about things differently and unconventionally but at the same time, makes perfect and total sense to the point where you say to yourself “How has no one else ever written this before”. “The Tipping Point” discusses how small ideas or can have a huge impact on the world thus reaching “epidemic” status. He explores the circumstances under which the ripple effect can be most effective.

There are three rules Gladwell describes as being necessary in order for an epidemic to occur. They are: The law of the few, the stickiness factor, and the power of context.

The law of the few states that in order for a social epidemic to be a success, it must be known and supported by certain people who a certain set of skills that make them a crux of a community.  This law is also synonymous to the 80/20 rule, which states that in any kind of situation, 20% of the people will do 80% of the work. Connectors are people who have large social networks, which transgress over different social and economic backgrounds. Connectors enjoy making introductions and have a knack for attracting people and maintaining relationships. An example of this would be Paul Revere. He was able to rally the Patriots into action against the British quickly due to his large network of friends and colleagues.  Mavens are experts, specialists, and know lots about the marketplace. They also cannot help themselves from assisting others and are constant problem solvers. Finally, there are salesmen: charismatic, outgoing, and powerful negotiators who are able to change people’s minds and convince others to follow them easily. These three kinds of people are key in making an idea a social epidemic.

But not just any idea can go viral. It must contain the stickiness factor. It must be worthy of passing on. Gladwell states that many ideas are tweaked and changed through trial and error before they have that undeniable, yet indefinable stickiness factor.  The climate of the place and time is also a factor in determining viral success. The law of context states that the geographical location as well as mental and physical state of the population is important to consider. For example, a group of teenagers in Manhattan began wearing Hush Puppy shoes as a fashion statement in the early 1990s. Because they were in a high-density population with a fashion culture, this trend was able to go viral. If this group had been in the middle of nowhere in the mid west, the trend probably would not have picked up speed.

Gladwell’s book makes some excellent points about how entrepreneurs should go about their business ventures. All successful ideas become epidemics through the combination of having an excellent and unique product or service and making connections with the right people who will help push your idea to the outside world. One without the other will seldom result in a viral phenomenon. This is important to remember as we enter the professional world and will have to pitch ideas of our to upper level executives. I would recommend “The Tipping Point” to anyone looking to learn more about how to have an impact in the world in the 21st century.

More Blog Love- Hobbies

While stalking my classmate’s blogs today I also found some really entertaining ones that I am particularly interested in. Two of my favorite hobbies are traveling and following television shows. I do a lot more researching and thinking about traveling than actual globe-trotting (poor college girl, remember?) so Lysette Portales‘s blog Are We There Yet?! is perfect for daydreamers like me. I have never been to London but consider myself an Anglophile thanks to Harry Potter and the Royal Family, so I loved reading her post about the London Eye. I am however planning a European backpacking trip for after my graduation. Ashley Stout‘s blog Words of my Wanderlust had a great post all about traveling on a budget. This is will be so helpful in my planning!

I love following television series. Its amazing to me how millions of people can fall in love with characters and plot-lines and become so involved in the lives of people who don’t even exist! Its truly an art-form in my eyes. I especially love comedies so Katerina Sardi‘s blog The TV Devotee is one of my favorites. She posts about some of my favorite shows including The Office, Community and Parks and Recreation.  Very funny stuff!


Recipes From My Classmates

Recently I have been checking out the blogs of some of my University of Florida classmates and am truly impressed with their creativity and range of interests and expertise. Its also fun when you find out you have things in common with people you don’t know or have only met briefly.  Take food for example.


Alexa Padillas blog Healthy and Tasty Gainesville is all about… you guessed it, foods that are good and good for you. Right up my alley! She makes a lot of her recipes from scratch and posts great step by step instructions with photos for those of us who are kitchen challenged (me). I tried out her Classic Turkey Chili on Halloween and it was a hit with everyone!


Auriel Rolle-Polk is a UF foodie as well and her blog Foodies are Us features some awesome seasonal fall recipes. She talks about the importance of Good Eats and has great links to some other healthy food blogs.


For those of us who sometimes like to indulge (hey, everyone deserves a treat especially during the holidays!) Check out the slutty brownies featured on Stephanie Jones’s blog, ______ Days Until the End of the World. She talks about things she is thankful for because according the Mayan calender, the world is ending next month. Let’s all hope that doesn’t happen. But in the event that its true, please make and eat these insane brownies before your life ends.

A Short Bio

Hi all! I thought I would tell you a little bit more about myself and the things I love. I am 21 years old living the college dream in Gainesville, FL. Its a great year to be a Gator with our football team’s 8-1 record! I grew up a Gator so I feel a lot of loyalty to the team and love following college football. I am studying telecommunications and business management and am pursuing a career in corporate communications. I plan to move to Atlanta when I graduate next December, so this summer I hope to intern for a company there to start getting my bearings and making connections.

I am originally from Tampa and am the older of two girls. My little sister Hannah is 17. I have the stereotypical first child personality. “Type A”, responsible, maternal, assertive (try not to be bossy!) logical, and grounded. I love bringing people together, problem solving, setting goals, and watching them come to fruition. I get great satisfaction from working on long-term projects and planning events. I actually plan all internal events for my sorority and truly enjoy my position.

I think it takes that certain “Type A” personality to really get the running bug. Running takes time, discipline, and stamina. Lots of people become bored or give up. It takes training to get to long distances.  Once you are in the physical condition to complete them, it takes discipline to run for an hour or longer. It’s all in your mind at a certain point. But the feeling of completing a goal whether it be time, distance, or you just ran better than you did the day before, is one of the best feelings of satisfaction in the world. I love basking in my sweat and endorphins after a long, hard run!

Some fun things: I love love LOVE the Harry Potter book series. I also enjoy Jane Austen novels, and historical non-fiction. I really appreciate comedy and adore Kristen Wiig and Amy Poehler. I am addicted to caffeine and country music and love the beach and spending time in nature.
Click on over to my resume (Shannon McCarthy) or check out my LinkedIn profile to see more about my experience and what I am interested in professionally!
Sidenote: If you are in Florida right now the weather is BEAUTIFUL! Definitely not too hot for a quick Stadium session to get those endorphins flowing! I love running outside during this time of year 🙂

More about Shannon McCarthy

While I would love for my life’s number one priorities to be experimental baking and volunteer puppy babysitting, right now my focus has been professional and academic. I am finishing up my undergraduate degree and am now starting my second module of graduate school for business management. Recently I have become extremely aware of the importance of networking and creating a strong personal brand. I have had the opportunity to meet with professionals in many different fields. Ultimately I aspire to combine my passion for fitness and health with my communications and marketing skills in a brand management role for an athletics-related company such as Nike, ASICS, lululemon, or something of the sort.

My resume: Shannon McCarthy

LinkedIn: Shannon McCarthy

Registered for my first half marathon!

In my first post, I stated a goal of mine was to run a half marathon in early 2013. I have taken the first step in achieving that goal by registering for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series event in St. Petersburg, FL on February 10th! I am so excited for this one because the course mostly runs along beautiful St. Pete Beach, and it features live bands every couple of miles. What a fun way to keep everyone motivated and entertain the crowd!

This means I am going to get serious about training now. With the weather cooling off in Gainesville, I know I will be able to run farther than I have been with the heat. I am going to follow a more regimented training schedule starting next week to better keep track of my progress and be sure I can complete the 13.1 miles in under 1:45! I will keep you posted!

Pronation: Choosing the right shoe for your foot.

The kind of shoe you run in is essential to the success of your long-distance runs. Many novice runners will make the mistake of bargain hunting for their first pair of shoes because they don’t know how long they will continue running. Running in the wrong shoe can lead to pain and muscle trauma in your entire foot and legs, so spending the extra time and money on a quality pair is definitely worth it! It took me a couple of pairs before finding my sole-mate (see what I did there?).

What is Pronation?

Pronation is the rolling of the foot from heel to toe through the foot strike. A proper (neutral) pronation is hitting the outside of the heel and up to ball of your foot evenly across the front. This is the least stressful on the foot from repeated impact with the ground. However some people over-pronate, or under-pronate.

Over-pronaters run mostly on the outside of their foot. They should consider purchasing a motion-controlled running shoe.

Under-pronaters run on the inside of their foot. They should consider purchasing a neutral-cushioned running shoe. 

Neutral-pronaters who run evenly through their foot should consider purchasing a stability running shoe

You can look at your current pair of shoes and see where the shoe is most worn to determine what kind of runner you are.

My pair of Asics are the perfect shoe for me and I am on about my 7th pair. I am a mild over pronator with wider feet. Their are roomy in the front and still fit snugly on the heel so I have never had any problems with blisters during long runs. They are also more supportive than Nike’s women’s running shoes in my experience, but I do have friends who prefer Nike over Asics as well.

Another Tip: Head to a real running store for help from experts and a wide range of shoes to chose from. A lot of stores also have treadmills so you can give your shoes a test run.


Tis the season! Healthy pumpkin loaf

Fall is here! You know this because Starbucks is serving the famous pumpkin spice latte. Cans of pumpkins greet you first thing at the grocery. And I even ordered a pumpkin martini at happy hour the other day. 

I love pumpkin goodies but they often involve lots of oil, butter, and sugar. I decided I wanted to get in the fall spirit by baking a pumpkin loaf, but one that I wouldn’t feel guilty about. I found this recipe that replaces oil with applesauce and greek yogurt. Cutting out LOTS of fat and calories. I was afraid it wouldn’t taste as good as the real deal but it was just and sweet, moist and delicious! The yogurt adds protein and pumpkin is chock full of health benefits as well. I am going to eat some tomorrow morning for breakfast before I complete my favorite stadium routine!

How do you all modify your favorite recipes to make them more nutritional? 


Simple Stadiums Routine

Here is a circuit you can do at any football stadium or even just tall set of outdoor stairs. I love doing stadiums because you get your heart beating fast quickly and can start burning calories faster. Also I love spending time in the Swamp whenever I can 🙂

This fat-blasting circuit includes:

  • Burpees
  • Tummy-Tuck Push ups
  • V-sits
  • Tricep Bench Dips
  • Shoulder push-ups

You can do this whole circuit in about 50 minutes, get your cardio in for the day, and strengthen and tone your whole body!

This video is from the Tone It Up workout company and blog. Karena and Katrina are awesome and I use them all the time for recipe ideas, work out videos, and fitness inspiration. Check them out here : http://toneitup.com/index.php