class discussion

CLP founders Jessica Partnow (from right), Alex Stonehill and Sarah Stuteville (second from left) teach entrepreneurial journalism.

Innovative Teaching

Multimedia journalists teach entrepreneurial journalism class

The Common Language Project (CLP) group is teaching the Department’s new journalism course on entrepreneurial journalism. The CLP is a nonprofit multimedia production house that reports news from around the world about people affected by key social issues. The project has a core staff of journalism and political science graduates from Hunter College and New School University, a funding and outreach coordinator (and UW grad) and a CUNY graduate student. Student stories from the entrepreneurial journalism course are showcased on the Common Language Project web site:

Creativity through Communication

In 2011, the Department of Communication launches “Creativity through Communication,” a workshop series for undergraduate students designed to develop student skills in creative problem solving, creative thinking, and creative expression in a global context. Communication professor Nancy Rivenburgh created the workshop series and the College of Arts and Sciences is funding the effort with the competitively awarded Transition Initiative.

“In the twenty-first century, innovation and creativity are not merely good skills. Today, they are essential skills,” said Department Chair David Domke. “We are a Department and University that is committed to producing not only smart citizens, but ones who can creatively solve problems. The course by Nancy Rivenburgh will directly put students in positions to think expansively, and to do so in diverse contexts. This is a great innovation by one of our faculty with a focus on innovation for our students.”

The Office

Florangela Davila and Joanne Harrell co-taught Office 2.0 this year. The idea for the class came from Harrell and addresses life lessons and themes from hit television shows. Students in the class develop and market a unique show based on accessible, real-life situations. They use themes from The Office and other work-setting television programs as inspiration for the creation of their new shows.

Davila said, "The notions of work, especially with unemployment being so high, the recession, economic issues, job issues are things that are at the forefront of people's minds."

Davila covers the arts for KPLU and was a features writer for The Seattle Times. She is a part-time lecturer for the Department. Harrell is a 1976 graduate of the Department and serves as a University of Washington Regent. She is also a member of the Communication Hall of Fame.

iAM Magazine

iAmA group of students from the Supraprint Communication course launched their online magazine iAM. The students of the course propose that “each individual has a face, story and an identity.” iAM magazine shares some stories of individuals and encourages readers to discover their own identity.

The magazine can be viewed at:

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Undergrads study cell phone usage by Seattle drivers

Phil Howard’s Basic Concepts of New Media class recently did a study on 2,460 drivers using cell phones during a two-week period in February. The students set out to answer questions such as:

  • How many Seattle drivers use their cell phone while driving?
  • What times of the day and days of the week have the highest rate of cell phone use by drivers?
  • How do these things vary by gender and age?

The students were learning about the rapid diffusion of new communication technologies and how and if social norms develop around those technologies. The students’ work caught the attention of The Seattle Times.