Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Department of Communications Media will host the first Laurel Highlands Communications Conference on September 24 and 25, 2009.

The conference will be held at the Quality Inn and Suites in Indiana. Cost is $20 for adults and $10 for students. To register, contact Brad Wiggins,, or Deb Mock, Transportation for students from IUP to the conference site will be provided free of charge.

The theme for the conference is “Communications Media and Instructional Technology in Economically Changing Times.”

Presentations for September 24

Giving the keynote address for the luncheon will be Dr. Elzar Camper from East Stroudsburg University, who will speak on “The Importance of Public Policy: Technology, Brain Fitness and Neuroplasticity” at 12:15 p.m. on September 24.

The general session keynote presentation is by Michael Young, vice president of KDKA Radio and an IUP graduate, who will speak on “The Resiliency and Relevance of Radio” at 12:45 p.m.

Other presentations that day are as follows:

  • 1:25 p.m., Karl Roeper, Matthew McKeague and Jennifer Forrest, IUP: “The Need for Oral Communications and Presentation Skills in Undergraduate Programs”
  • 2:05 p.m., Dr. Mary Beth Leidman and Brad Wiggins, IUP: “Redefining Diversity: A Reassessment of Multiculturalism in the New Age”
  • 2:45 p.m., Leidman, McKeague, Matthew Beuker, Benjamin Diehl, Derek Lambert, Christopher Makely, Katie Morgan, IUP: “Lingering Questions: The Fairness Doctrine and Presidential Campaigns in Western Pennsylvania”
  • 3:25 p.m., David Pudder and Dr. Richard Lamberski, IUP: “Media Majors' Weekly Involvement in Mass Media and Social Networking Technologies”
  • 4:05 p.m., Dr. Ann Jabro, Robert Morris University: “Working in the Virtual Team: Understanding the Economics of Human Capital”
  • 4:45 p.m., Chad Sherman, IUP: “Teaching Advanced Web Design to Non-Computer Science Majors” workshop
  • 5:25 p.m., Dr. Jim Lenze, IUP: “Supporting Virtual Networks Through Sociotechnical Systems Theory and Virtual Worlds”
  • 6:05 p.m., Yvonne Sacripant Bland, Robert Morris University: “Introducing Virtual Learning Environments: Second Life in Higher Education”

Presentations for September 25

  • 10:10 a.m., Dr. Kenneth Gargaro, Robert Morris University: “Creating, Maintaining, and Growing a Theatre Program in a Communication Department”
  • 10:50 a.m., Christine Schaeffer and David Bruce Porter, IUP: “The Octo-Mom Phenomenon: An Analysis of Ethics and Media Sensationalism”
  • 1:10 p.m., Wiggins and George Konetes, IUP: “The Effectiveness of Virtual Teams”
  • 1:50 p.m., Lamberski, Dr. Mark Piwinsky and Dr. Jay Start, IUP: “Media Majors' Preparedness for University Online Production Courses”
  • 2:30 p.m., Mark King, IUP: “Viral marketing: A low cost and non-traditional advertising approach in today's economically challenging times”
  • 3:10 p.m., Dr. Kurt Dudt and Brandon Gomez, IUP: “R r IUP tdnts using txt msging?”
  • 3:50 p.m., Cori Dunagun, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania: “Web 2.0: A Mash-up of Technologies”
  • 4:30 p.m., Jeff Fratangeli and Sarah Tourtellotte, IUP: “The Impact of Podcasting on Learner Knowledge Retention”
  • 5:10 p.m., Dunagun, Roeper and Laurie Grosik, IUP: “Webinar Tools: A Logistical Enhancement to Higher Education or Going Green and Gathering Greenbacks” workshop