Journalism Master's Student Has Refereed Paper Accepted at International Convention

Brooke Borgognoni
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Brooke Borgognoni

Brooke Borgognoni, who is completing her master's degree in journalism, will present a paper based on her thesis project at the international Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication convention.

Borgognoni was first author on a paper titled, "A Survey of Faculty Advisers at Student-Run Agencies," to be presented to the Advertising Division Teaching and Pedagogy session.

Borgognoni served as graduate assistant for Student Media while completing her studies in the School of Journalism and Strategic Media, and helped launch Main Hill Media, the student-run advertising and creative agency.

For her thesis project, she surveyed faculty advisers and student leaders of 110 student-run agencies nationwide to analyze how they currently operate, the practices used for student learning, and how the leadership roles of students and faculty advisers influence the agency.

Borgognoni found that faculty advisors are spending more time working at student-run agencies, with 18.3% working less than three hours per week compared to the 26.1% of advisors who spent less than three hours per week with their agency in a 2011 study. Yet more than half of agencies surveyed (55%) run the risk of dissolving because they do not train new student managers using written agency manuals, suggesting that institutional knowledge is lost when student leaders leave the agency.

The results reveal that student managers are taking full and/or partial authority over their agency team (65%), including the training of new student managers (95%) and financial decisions involving the agency (31.7%).

Robyn Starling-Ledbetter, director of the U of A student media, noted the importance of Borgognoni's work and research on Main Hill Media. 

"Brooke's research helped us build and maintain our first student-run advertising and creative agency," Starling-Ledbetter said. "She is one of the best students I've ever worked with. She exudes creativity and management skills that are admired by industry professionals. Her research and vision helped us shape the future of student media."

Borgognoni said that "obtaining a master's degree has been a rewarding experience. I have achieved so much through the guidance of wonderful faculty members. The most impressive part of the program is the fast-paced learning environment and the depth of each lecture and class discussion. I am grateful to be using the skills and knowledge I have learned through this program and apply them to my career."

Borgognoni works at CJRW in Little Rock as an associate social media coordinator. CJRW is an employee-owned agency offering all services for planning and executing a fully integrated communications campaign.

Professor Jan LeBlanc Wicks, vice chair of the School of Journalism and Strategic Media, served as Borgognoni's thesis adviser, while Ignatius Fosu and Rob Wells served on her committee.

"Brooke is a bright, creative and talented graduate we'll always be proud to claim as our own. We wish her all the success in the world, today and always," Wicks said.


Jan LeBlanc Wicks, vice chair and professor
School of Journalism and Strategic Media


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