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CMME Spring Newsletter

May 10, 2022

Message from the Department Chair

I would like to welcome back CMME students, faculty and staff from what I hope was a restful and rejuvenating Spring Break. As we start the final quarter of the 2021-2022 academic year, I want to give a special welcome to the new professors who have joined our department this Spring Quarter. Professor Tyrah Majors and Dr. Aaron Day are tremendous additions to our learning community, and I thank them for their hard work in preparing to teach their first CMME courses here at Seattle University. We also welcome back Professor Aparna Ghosh and are excited to have her teaching for CMME again, after joining us in Winter 2021.

At the beginning of each quarter, I think it is important to reflect on the successes of the previous one. Notably, two CMME students, Maddy Scherler and Lilly Panetta, were accepted to present their CMME 4010 research papers at the Broadcast Educators Association convention in Las Vegas this Spring. Another Spring event will celebrate the creative work of CMME’s Dr. Victor Evans with the Sharon James Lecture. Dr. Evans will read from and discuss his new novel The Case of the Missing Lightning Bat: An Evan Sinclair Mystery. This novel complements Dr. Evans’ scholarly work regarding media representation of the LGBTQ+ community. We celebrate CMME students’ many successes of the past quarter–and if you haven’t already checked out the Project Fair on the CMME website, I’d encourage you to do so!

While there were a few obstacles in returning to in-person instruction during WInter Quarter, the level of engagement between students and faculty remained high in virtual and hybrid settings. Faculty continued to optimize their Canvas sites and other online tools, and online instruction proved to be successful. With most Communication and Media Department courses, and several events, returning to in-person modality, I urge us all to exercise caution and continue to take care of one another–the pandemic is not over. Be safe, and I wish you all an excellent start to the quarter.


Dr. Rick Malleus

Featured Students:

Alka Narayana

Alka Narayana is a CMME student pursuing a double specialization in Strategic Communications and Communication Studies. She has earned the praise of her Communications and Media professors since entering the department during the 2020-2021 academic year, and she plans on graduating next fall.

Two of Alka’s favorite courses in the CMME Department have been Communication Law and Strategic Communication Writing. Outside of school, she enjoys watching films, and two of her recent favorites are The Worst Person in the World and After Yang.

One of Alka’s CMME projects that she is most proud of is the website she created to showcase her work from CMME 3300. Here is what she said about the project. “I am most proud of the website I created for Strategic Communication Writing, because I could apply and showcase my skills for public relations.”


Yaslynn Makein

Yaslynn Makein is a CMME fourth year student specializing in journalism. She entered the CMME department ahead of the 2020-2021 academic year and plans on graduating this spring. 

Yaslynn’s impressive resume includes her roles as a digital marketing intern for Bayview, a communications consultant for Hedgebrook, and the social media manager for the Spectator–Seattle U’s student run newspaper. Yaslynn has a passion for social media management, and she is currently the social media manager at Just Poké in Kirkland.

“I have been with Just Poké, a healthy local poké chain in the Pacific Northwest, for about a month now, and I have enjoyed every second of it! I decided to apply as their social media intern because I wanted to expand my knowledge of social media and content creation with an ever-growing company.”

Winter Quarter in Review:

CMME Student Achievements

Maddy Scherler and Lilly Panetta were accepted to present their CMME 4010 research papers at the Broadcast Educators Association convention in Las Vegas this spring after having their papers accepted by the BEA during Winter Quarter. 

Ben Wiley interned with where he gained sportswriting experience and networked with sportswriters. Noah Romley worked for Darigold during Winter Quarter, compiling the company’s first plant-specific newsletter.

Max Slade interned with Likelihood in Capitol Hill. He bolstered the store’s SEO and social media presence with the creation of blog posts and Twitter content. Claire Fernandez worked with Party on the Rocks to increase sales through improved social media management and client communication.

Faculty Achievements

Dr. Victor Evans’ recently completed novel, The Case of the Missing Lightning Bat: An Evan Sinclair Mystery, was selected as the subject for this spring’s Sharon James Lecture. Dr. Evans will present and read from his book at this event.

Dr. Caitlin Carlson presented about her book, Hate Speech, at the Holocaust Museum in Houston, Texas. Hate Speech was the subject of last year’s Sharon James lecture.

Dr. Sonora Jha was named a 2022 Literary Lion by the King County Library System Foundation for her book, How to Raise a Feminist Son.


The SU Debate Union hosted two middle school tournaments during Winter Quarter with a total participation of 207 teams. Seattle University also hosted a high school tournament for the first time in over two decades with participation from 503 students from around the country.

Debaters Alex Cruz and Eduard Strok declared 9th, while Stacy Wood-Burgess declared 17th in the Alaska West League for Debate. Eduard Strok of the debate team was awarded first place and first speaker at the Climb IPDA Debate Tournament. 

Stacy Wood-Burgess was a finalist at the San Diego State Debate Tournament in impromptu speaking. Alex Cruz placed fourth in impromptu speaking at the Final Northwest Forensics Conference Tournament.

New Faculty:

Dr. Aaron Day

Dr. Aaron Day is an instructor in the Communication and Media department. He has been teaching in higher education for more than 15 years. He has taught journalism and mass media courses at Eastern Washington University and other colleges across the greater Seattle area. He has more than 20 years of experience producing newscasts at local television stations in Seattle, San Diego, and Los Angeles. He’s led coverage for some of the biggest stories in the history of American journalism including the inauguration of former President Barack Obama and the very first COVID-19 case in the United States.

Dr. Day is also an expert in resistance to organizational change. His doctoral research explored the phenomena of emotional resistance to change and focused on the experiences of leaders in busy TV newsrooms. He holds a B.A. in Film & Electronic Arts from California State University, Long Beach, a M.A. in Organizational Leadership from City University of Seattle, and Ed.D in Organizational Leadership, also from City University of Seattle.


Professor Tyrah Majors

Born and raised in San Diego, California, Tyrah Majors is a journalist, content creator, and author of children’s book Grammy and Me. Currently, she is an Anchor/Reporter for the weekday morning newscasts on KOMO-TV from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. She also produces and hosts a franchise, “Hometown Connections” and hosts entertainment segments on ‘Seattle Refined.’ Prior to joining the KOMO team she was a morning news reporter at CBS/FOX Bakersfield. 

Professor Majors’ love for broadcast journalism comes from her experience at NBC 4 Los Angeles, NBC 7 San Diego, FOX 5 San Diego, and a few entertainment news outlets. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from California State University, Fullerton, and a Master of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Southern California. She also created a talk show, “Major Movies with Tyrah Majors,” highlighting millennial entrepreneurs. She is excited to teach ‘Social Media and the News’ this quarter!