Does a Pregnant Beyoncé Have Swollen Ankles?

What should artists release to the media?

Source: Instagram

In a recent article in The New York Times, “Beyoncé 3.0: The Maternal Ideal“, suggests that despite a positive message (“Pregnant is beautiful. It should be worshiped.”) Beyoncé’s depiction of pregnancy in the media doesn’t acknowledge that pregnancy is “also messy, sometimes uncomfortable and just another fact of life. And in her extended fetishization of her own physical evolution, Beyoncé has not allowed for any of that.” Continue reading


Ever Wonder if Women Reporters are Treated Unfairly in the Sports Industry? I Did.

Tess Hyre

Tess Hyre is a Spring 2017 graduate.

Before I begin, I think it is appropriate to introduce myself. My name is Tess Hyre and I double-majored in Communication & New Media as well as Recreation & Leisure with a concentration in Sports Communication. As a double major, it was imperative to have my capstone completed in the Fall of 2016 due to requirements I had to meet in the Recreation & Leisure Department. However, I did not foresee that my capstone project would eventually carry on throughout my entire senior year.  Continue reading

Writing My Graphic Novel, “Sleeper Chronicles”

graphic novel page

This page is a work in progress, with the top two images being final and the bottom sketch still in draft form.

Coming back to college as a non-traditional student, with ten years to forget what college life was like, and a young child in tow, was definitely interesting, to say the least. Continue reading

Developing Coding Confidence… Almost

Students in COMM 447 Advanced Internet Media are finishing off the semester producing sites in Drupal, a content management system similar to WordPress. It seems like every year there is a certain point where breakthroughs happen… when it all starts to make sense. And even if your site crashes, you learn valuable trouble-shooting technique.

Can Reading Comics Make You a Better Filmmaker?

4c9e9paniIn COMM 343 Graphic Novel students not only read selected works, but also create their own comics. This semester we’ve read Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, Craig Thompson’s Blankets and David Small’s Stitches. Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis is next on the agenda. For those unfamiliar with comics, the common thread between these books is that they are all award-winning autobiographies. Continue reading

Course Spotlight: Special Effects in Film with Professor Larson

If you have been following our blog you have learned that the best kept secret of the Shepherd U Communication Department is that we have awesome students and awesome professors. Well what do you get when you put awesome students and awesome professors together? Well, awesome classes of course!

A Special Topics course offered for the first time this semester is Special Effects in Film, taught by our own Monica Larson. This class teaches students the building blocks and techniques to create special effects in digital video using the software Adobe After Effects.

Professor Larson got the idea for the class after teaching COMM 346 Motion Graphics. “I had taught COMM 346 many semesters, and there were always film students wanting to go beyond the scope of that class to apply special effects in their video projects” says Larson. “So this year I decided to make a Special Topics course to see if there was enough interest to integrate it into our permanent curriculum.”

The class combines a study of the history of effects with hands-on exercises. For example, after studying the films of Ray Harryhausen students did a one-class workshop using OSnap!, a stop-motion and timelapse app for the iPad. Here is a product of the workshop that Sam Romine created along with three other students in the class:

Another technique students are learning is how to use masks creatively to combine different scenes. Something really cool to do is to put two of the same people in the same frame at the same time like Comm student Bryant Jack did in this clip.

Other goals for the class include creating ghostly apparitions in a graveyard scene, and learning to use particle effects to create explosions.

Special Effects in Film is just one of the many classes offered in the Department that makes Shepherd Comm the best kept secret on campus!