Basement Baking: Pumpkin Spice Edition

Fall is here, and Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching. You’re probably already thinking about all of the food you’re going to prepare, but don’t worry! Comm majors are known for our resourcefulness and our ability to think outside the box. It’s only natural that we apply those skills to everything we do. So this season, try your hand at baking… the Comm way!

We found two delicious pumpkin recipes that are easy to make and perfect for creating that fall feeling. First, we’ll cover something that you can share with friends and family, and then we’ll introduce something to enjoy all by yourself. Just don’t bring any sweets into the lab!

Mini Pumpkin Pies

  • (Makes ~12 mini-pies)

Pumpkin pie is a Thanksgiving staple. But don’t you wish it was easier to make? Look no further than these mini-pumpkin pies: Hassle-free and perfect for sharing among friends and family! You don’t need an occasion to make these fun-sized fall treats.



  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup Bisquick mix
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • Whipped cream
  • Ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir until it’s well-blended.
  3. Then pour the mixture into a greased muffin pan, filling each well about ⅔.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. The edges of the pies should start to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  5. Cool for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Use a knife to loosen the sides of the pies from the pan, and move them to your serving plate.
  7. Top each pie with a generous amount of whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
  8. Serve and share!


Pumpkin Spice Latte Mug Cake

  • Single serving in a large mug (20oz. or more)

When the cold starts setting in, you’ll want to bundle up with a pumpkin spice latte and a good book (or a Netflix show, if you prefer). Why not put a spin on this classic fall drink? Mug cakes are the latest trend—the fun and foolproof way to eat your favorite drink!


  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooledIMG_1372
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons brewed coffee or chai, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon canned pumpkin
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup Bisquick mix
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • A pinch of salt
  • Whipped cream
  • Ground cinnamon


  1. In a small bowl, beat the melted butter, egg, coffee or chai, and pumpkin.
  2. Next, add sugar, Bisquick, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  3. Stir until well combined (Note: the mixture may be slightly lumpy!)
  4. Pour the batter into a large mug.
  5. Microwave uncovered for about 4 minutes (or until the cake is solid)
  6. Cool for 2-5 minutes.
  7. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon.
  8. Enjoy!





Comm Alumni: Where Are They Now? Featuring James Kelley

Name: James Kelley

James Kelley

James Kelley did a podcast on depression for his Capstone project.

Graduated: Spring 2016

Concentration: Media Studies

Current Job: Full-Time at WVDM (formerly known as WHAG). He’s been there for 2 years.

How ShepComm helped him: COMM 360 Studio Production gave him a sense of what to expect when working in a real TV studio. He also learned how to use the Adobe Creative Suite, which has been really helpful in his job. He mainly uses Adobe Premiere to edit the topicals that air during the commercial breaks at WVDM.

Favorite Professor: Monica, because he loved her teaching style. He learned a lot from her classes and felt like he really had to work for his grade.

His advice for Comm students: “Don’t pigeon yourself into a major. Take a look at your hobbies and find classes that interest you.”

You can about James’ Capstone project here!

Comm Insider: Motion Graphics

Are you curious about what classes the Communication department has to offer, but the catalog leaves you with more questions? We have a solution for you! Welcome to the next installment of Comm Insider: COMM 346 Motion Graphics.

Motion graphics is a course in the New Media concentration that focuses on studying and creating animations and effects for video, film, TV, and other multimedia applications. Students work on multiple projects throughout the semester, applying their problem-solving skills and technical know-how in order to create interesting and exciting animations in Adobe After Effects. Students will learn the ins and outs of Adobe After Effects, including how to create and animate objects, how to apply effects, how to rig a 3D camera, and lots of other fun stuff!

One of the most useful skills you can gain from this class is how to plan ahead. Animation is a time-consuming process, so you definitely don’t want to waste any time reworking projects that aren’t going anywhere. Storyboarding is a good way to help think through your ideas before you start animating anything. It acts like a blueprint— a step-by-step visual representation of what your finished product will look like. It’s always a good idea to have a plan of action!

This semester, the Motion Graphics students are working on a project called Common Knowledge. Each student is tasked with creating a minute-long video that describes a theory of mass communication. These short videos will be posted to the department Instagram page to help educate other students about many aspects of communication. Common Knowledge is a cool way for the COMM 346 Motion Graphics students to show off their After Effects skills, while also highlighting the awesome things we learn in the department. We can’t wait to see what they come up with!

COMM 346 Motion Graphics is a course that takes a lot of hard work and perseverance, but nothing beats the satisfaction of making something you’re proud of. If you enjoy animation, typography, and creating awesome stuff, this class is definitely for you.

COMMon Myths Episode 2: What do Comm Majors do?

All of us who are a part of the Communication Department know we are in fact, Shepherd’s BEST kept secret, but what do other people think of us?  

In this installment of COMMon Myths, we asked some non-Comm students to tell us: “What do you think COMM students do?”. We asked Monica Larson, one of the Communication professors, to read the responses:

Our first installment of COMMon Myths was with Dr. Kevin Williams and it was a big hit. If you missed it, check out Dr. Williams responding to myths about what goes on in the Knutti basement.

Join us again soon for the next installment of #COMMonMyths. Keep up with Shepherd Comm on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram! #ShepComm


ShepComm Halloween Contest Winner Announced!

The 2017 ShepComm Make a Monster Out of Candy Contest has come to a close. We enjoyed seeing everyone’s spooky submissions! The competition was close. But, only one monster could come out on top….

Congratulations to Morgan Huyett!

Her candy corn monster was a smash hit in the Twitter poll! She received the grand prize of an awesome ShepComm mug!


Her creation was inspired by the traditional colors of Halloween, orange and black. After collecting her candy, Morgan set out to create the most morbid thing she could think of. We think she succeeded!

Thanks to everyone who participated! Check out some of the other awesome submissions on Instagram under #shepcommcontest!

Play the ShepComm Halloween Contest: Make a Monster out of Candy; Win an Awesome Prize

Calling all Shepherd students and faculty! Before you give out (or chow down) that Halloween candy, put your creativity to the test and enter the Shep Comm “Make a Monster Out of Candy” Contest! Make the most terrifying monster treat out of Halloween’s finest sweets, and you’ll be entered to win an awesome (shhh!) secret prize!


candy monster

The rules are simple:

1) Build a monster out of candy. Get creative!

2) Snap a photo and post it on Instagram using #shepcommcontest

Submission deadline is midnight, Oct. 30th!

The top creations will go head-to-head in a Twitter poll on October 31st, and YOU will pick the winning monster!

If you need help getting started, here are some tips for creating the spookiest treat:

  • Build Up, or Build Flat – Do you want to make a towering 3D creation? Or a candy mosaic? It’s all up to you!
  • Frosting is Your Friend – You can use frosting to stick candy pieces together or to add some decoration to your monster creation!
  • What About Wrappers? – Candy wrappers may not be delicious, but that doesn’t mean you should throw them away! You can use the wrappers as a cape, a backdrop, or anything else to add some extra flair to your creature.
  • Don’t Throw it Out! – This is a good time to make use of your least favorite candies sitting at the bottom of the bowl. If you’re not going to eat it, you might as well make something out of it!
  • Get Crazy! – No idea is too weird for this contest! Think outside the box! The most important thing is to have fun (and eat lots of candy).

This contest is being run by Dr. Kushin’s Comm 322 Social Media class in the Department of Communication and is open to all Shepherd faculty and students!

Good luck, and may the best monster win!

COMMmon Myths: Episode 1 What exactly is going on in the basement of Knutti?

Anyone close to the us knows the Communication Department is Shepherd’s BEST kept secret, but many others don’t even know we exist. In this installment of COMMon Myths, we asked some non-Comm majors to tell us: “What do you think is in the Knutti Basement?”. We asked Kevin Williams, one of the Shepherd Communication professors, to read some of the responses:


No, the basement of Knutti is not a dungeon, or a cave. It’s actually a much less threatening series of hallways and doors. Students can be found working in the Mac Lab, creating projects in the studio, or simply relaxing on the couches. We may not have any windows, but that doesn’t mean the Comm department is dark and brooding. Everyday, students fill the halls with their creativity and can-do attitude. There’s always a surprise around every corner of the basement.

Join us again in two weeks for the next installment of #COMMonMyths. Keep up with Shepherd Comm on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram! #ShepComm