Figure 1: Fast growing STEM occupations; Bureau of Labor Statistics (n.d.)

Writing Sample: Grant Proposal

This grant proposal was developed through the coursework for my Bachelor of Science in Communications degree from Colorado State University. It is based on real information for a makerspace grant. The original project spans many pages, and an edited, APA-formatted PDF version appears below. This proposal explores the expansion of the makerspace at Windsor High School, and the grant funding that can begin the process. Makerspaces increase practical learning opportunities for students, providing students and faculty with a unique combination of formal and informal learning practices.
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Parody: Legal, Ethical and Organizational Communication in Landmark Court Cases

Parody has been a part of media and entertainment for centuries, with seemingly few public figures escaping notice. Parody and satire, particularly in politics and with public figures, dates back at least to a political cartoon by Benjamin Franklin from 1754, predating the United States as a country7. From political caricatures and books of the 19th century, through the Keystone Cops and comedy films of the 20th century, parody has been a vital part of American culture. Even in just the past few months, television shows such as Saturday Night Live featured acerbic parodies of public figures such as President Donald Trump.… Read the rest

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Persuasive Case Study Analysis

Understanding how persuasion can affect a reader is an important skill when writing about a controversial topic. J.J. Keith of The Huffington Post editorialized one side of the vaccination debate, and used both Aristotle’s proofs and Kenneth Burke’s theory of identification in an attempt to persuade the reader5. This paper analyzes the methods of persuasion used in the editorial and how effective those methods were in convincing the reader of the author’s stance.

Summarizing the Editorial

The featured editorial took a position on whether or not parents should vaccinate their children, based on the vaccination safety debate.… Read the rest

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Connecting PR & Writing

Organizations in 2017 have found a new problem to solve, a fight generated by fake and exaggerated news on social media spread by celebrities. When that falsity is spread by the President of the United States, an organization must defend itself from enormous publicity. PR Week explored the attacks that President Trump has made against organizations through his Twitter account and how those organizations responded1. Just as individual people do, organizations have a “fight or flight” response to the event, and choosing the right option comes down to how the organization has prepared for it.… Read the rest

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Evaluating Social Media Customer Service

The ways in which organizations use social media to feed their audience is not much different than the varied ways in which zookeepers feed the animals in their care. In the petting zoo, the hens are looking for whatever food they can get. At the other end of the spectrum, feeding the lions takes a specific set of rules, to keep everyone safe and happy with the care provided. Smaller organizations are closer to their audiences, and stricter guidelines, much like feeding a lion, need to be in place to protect the organization and the audience.… Read the rest

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Coursework: 5 Unique Tools To Take Control Of Your Paintings

Artist April McConn looked out the window of her studio, taking in the flat landscape of the Colorado plains as she started her new painting of ancient Rome. McConn has spent the last two years creating popular paintings of life in the Roman empire, despite not having access to the massive architecture the Romans are known for. McConn faces the challenges each day of painting with realism and accuracy, with only the reference models she finds or creates.

McConn and other artists have learned to use unique, often unexpected tools as references for things that either no longer exist or never have.… Read the rest

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Components of Issue Management

Executive Summary

The history and success of the Washington Redskins is important to the National Football League, fans of the team, and the heritage of American sports. Washington has won the Super Bowl three times in its storied history, and is one of the strongest brands in all of sports. The Redskins organization helps local and Native American groups through its strong foundations and charitable events, and supports environmental concerns through a solid program of environmentally friendly and ground-breaking resource management.

The great narrative of the Redskins’ success, however, is marred by the controversy over the name itself.… Read the rest

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Team Dynamics

Imagine a small news organization, in a local market, discovered that their website was rated the worst in the area. It is a tired design, with outdated technology and ideas, one that the previous CEO would never allow to be fixed. But now, the CEO has been replaced with a new president, one that wants the organization’s managers to work together as a team to create a new, far better web presence. Without an energetic, central web location for all of its news, advertising, and multimedia, the organization will face bankruptcy within the year.… Read the rest

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Creating a Team Building Culture

When promoted to being the president of an organization, a person immediately needs to find ways to make the organization stronger. New leaders are often tasked with creating teams and rewards for accomplishments, and to create a thriving culture is important to the longevity of both the leader and the organization. Having the right team in place is essential to the growth of the organization, to reach personal and organizational goals. To help reach those goals, a rewards program can help to motivate staff. This paper examines the need for leaders to cultivate an environment of solid team building, and to design a rewards program with the proper levels of responsibility and recognition.… Read the rest

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Evaluating Social Media Customer Service

The ways in which organizations use social media to feed their audience is not much different than the varied ways in which zookeepers feed the animals in their care. In the petting zoo, the hens are looking for whatever food they can get. At the other end of the spectrum, feeding the lions takes a specific set of rules, to keep everyone safe and happy with the care provided.

Smaller organizations are closer to their audiences, and stricter guidelines, much like feeding a lion, need to be in place to protect the organization and the audience.… Read the rest

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Media Coverage Around the World: Pulse Nightclub Attack

Very early on the morning of Sunday, June 16, 2016, as the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was announcing their last call for drinks, a man walked into the club and began shooting people. Over the next several hours the gunman killed 50 people, wounding at least another 53, ending in his death after an intense shootout with police. News media across the world reported the tragedy, often in real time, detailing the horrific event and its aftermath.

Those details, and the way that the articles were written, offer a fascinating look into how media organizations in different parts of the world report on events.… Read the rest

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The 13th Warrior

Intercultural Relationships and Film: The 13th Warrior

Halfway through the 1999 film The 13th Warrior, the Northmen’s much-feared serpent of fire is seen in the distance, working its way around the mountain towards them. One of the Northmen bangs a gong to warn the villagers, and as the villagers seek shelter the stranger among them, an Arab named Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan, starts to believe that maybe the mythological dragon could be real after all. Ibn Fahdlan races towards a small girl trapped near the head of the dragon, and as he reaches her he sees that it is not a dragon, but hundreds of cavalry with torches.… Read the rest

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The Impact of Streaming

In the middle of 2015, our household faced a dilemma that many families ultimately have to face: whether or not to keep cable television service. I was still only working part time in 2015, and money was tight. The year before, Comcast had offered us an upgrade on our services, promising that the great price would not go up drastically in the future. A year later, after a frustrating call with Comcast’s billing support, it turned out that it was not true, and the price went up almost $50 from one month to the next.… Read the rest

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Crocodile Dundee

Stereotypes and Film: Crocodile Dundee

As a parent, one of the things we encourage our children to do is to take in entertainment from various time periods, including books, music, and movies. One of the older films we watched recently was the 1986 film Crocodile Dundee, a comedy featuring an Australian man from the Outback and the female news reporter from New York City who shares adventures with him. Viewing the film after 30 years, it also features a laundry list of stereotypes from the mid-1980’s, including the stereotypes of the Hispanic maid, the affluent New Yorkers and their high style of living, and African-Americans as either chauffeurs or gang members.… Read the rest

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Creating Fan Art: The Artist’s Perspective

It is truly interesting that fan art is this week’s topic, since it is something I am not only intimately familiar with as an illustrator, but this week my freelance life centers around that very idea. One of the things I enjoy doing is interviewing the cover artists for Apex Magazine, and I am sending several this week. Fan art questions often come up with those artists, who create fan art for various reasons. Along with that, I am also working on a piece of fan art this week, in the hopes that it will be published later this year in a book filled with art based on the 1982 film The Thing.… Read the rest

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