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Edward R. Murrow College of Communication


Murrow College faculty, staff, and students worked diligently as the WSU system pivoted to a virtual university in response to the COVID-19 situation.

This crisis challenges us in unprecedented ways. It’s encouraging to see what everyone at Murrow College is doing to keep us all connected and help students continue toward their academic and professional goals. We can’t thank everyone enough for their flexibility and resilience during this time of uncertainty.

Here are some of the ways Murrow College has met—and conquered—the challenges faced through the pandemic.


Virtual Experiences


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The Murrow Center for Student Success hosted virtual career coaching sessions via Zoom throughout the week of April 20. 30 Murrow alumni from the communication industry generously shared lived experiences, advice and industry know-how with 68 Murrow students. The career coaches were fantastic, helping our Murrow juniors and seniors prepare for their careers and offering valuable career advice.

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As part of our #MurrowGoesVirtual campaign, the Murrow Center for Student Success hosted two webinars. On April 28, they held a “Level up your LinkedIn” workshop focused on building a personal brand online and enhancing success using LinkedIn.

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On April 30, the Murrow Center hosted a “Proud to be First!” virtual panel. WSU faculty, students, and staff discussed the unique challenges faced by first-generation college students and raised awareness of what it means to identify as a “first-generation college student”.

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Washington State University and the University of Washington joined forces to combat misinformation surrounding coronavirus. Experts shared ways to build healthy digital practices. Murrow College Associate Professor Porismita Borah participated as a panelist. Read more and watch the livestream here.

Career Adaptability

The Murrow Center for Student Success delivered a virtual panel on July 7 about career adaptability and embracing change in your career. Lance Lijewski, Media Director of The Coug and The Land restaurants in Pullman, and Rachel Rhomberg, Account Executive at Amazon Advertising, shared career transformation experiences and discussed ways to be more reactive than resistant to change.


We are proud of how Murrow faculty and staff pivoted quickly during this time. From moving classes online over spring break to personally calling each student for wellness-checks and advising and creating virtual events, our student services team continues to provide world-class support to Murrow students.  

In addition to supporting our students with WSU Chromebooks, we initiated a laptop-loaner program for students, so they may have access to all needed video-editing and portfolio creation software. You can support these emerging technology needs. Please consider making a gift today to Murrow’s Digital Excellence Fund. Please direct any questions to the Murrow Development Team.

To learn more about WSU’s response to COVID-19, click here.

Download your Murrow College virtual Zoom background here.


Our Murrow Student Services team transitioned to virtual advising for students to help them stay on their academic paths despite the COVID-19 challenges thanks to Assistant Dean of Student Services Sara Stout and Student Services Director Megan Starr-Gepford.

For the start of the fall 2020 semester, Student Services revamped its online presence and established a virtual Student Services lobby on the Murrow College website. This allows students to have a more personal experience with our staff where they can participate in drop-in Zoom sessions and meet directly with someone from Student Services, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Our staff members are dedicated to bringing the Murrow College experience to students regardless of their location!

In response to having to cancel on-campus events, our resourceful staff decided to make things virtual with a weekly video series, Murrow Minutes Goes Virtual, which covers topics from advising FAQ’s and student perspectives to building tours and quarantine help. Recruiting Coordinator & Advisor Mickinzie Johnson and Instructor Kanale Rhoden took the lead on this project, along with our Murrow Student Ambassadors who were incredibly helpful in providing advice to current and prospective students.

In the world of communication, there is a demand for project-based work focused on content creation and social media management. Micro-internships are generally short-term opportunities that range from 10 to 40 hours each. Like regular internships, micro-internships can be paid or unpaid, depending upon the project. Click here to learn more about micro-internship opportunities.

Bringing the Classroom Home

Murrow News 8 is a nightly newscast produced, written, anchored and crewed entirely by Murrow College students. The online transition presented a challenge for the upper division class that’s conducted in-studio, but our resourceful faculty came up with an innovative solution. Thanks to Clinical Associate Professor Marvin Marcelo, Clinical Assistant Professor Matthew Loveless, and Instructor Kanale Rhoden, Murrow News 8 students produced a condensed newscast remotely from their homes and streamed it live on YouTube daily. Check out this feature story about Murrow News 8 and how they’ve adjusted amid the online transition.

With courses at WSU transitioning to an online setting, Murrow faculty hosted some notable class speakers to talk to students via Zoom. These included:

  • WSU Football Head Coach Nick Rolovich and WSU Baseball Head Coach Brian Green each spoke to Instructor Wendy Raney’s Sports Writing class about communicating and connecting with the Pullman community, specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • CNN anchor and Murrow alumna Ana Cabrera visited Matt Loveless’ TV News class to give helpful advice to our aspiring broadcast journalists.
  • Instructor Justin Barnes established a virtual speaker series to provide students with an opportunity to meet and learn from industry veterans from Twitter, Google, Snapchat, Nike, JetBlue, Johnson & Johnson, Porter Novelli andSunshine Sachs. 
  • Murrow alums in the TV & film industry, working for companies like Disney, FOX, Bravo, Skydance, and even reporting on Hollywood red carpets, joined Journalism & Media Production students in a media production panel thanks to Clinical Associate Professor Marvin Marcelo. Thank you to our media production alumni for sharing their experiences working in the industry and giving career advice to Murrow broadcasting students.

COVID-19 Research Expertise

The Edward R. Murrow Center for Media & Health Promotion Research facilitates multi-methodological communication science research across a full range of media platforms to examine how to improve quality of life and mitigate the effects of misinformation. The Center faculty investigate how individuals use media sources, platforms and content in their decision making; evaluate the impact of health promotion campaigns, and examine how message design and platform delivery strategies facilitate informed and healthy communities.

Active COVID-19 projects include surveys, experiments, social network analyses, content analyses, semi-structured in-depth interviews, and automated scraping of online content. Active projects are investigating the following issues:

  • How media literacy, science information literacy and trust in sources predict knowledge, behaviors regarding COVID-19.
  • How rural and urban populations, and political orientations, affect perceptions, including personal risk and willingness to protect others.
  • How text- and online interventions affect information seeking, decisions and stress.
  • How racism/Xenophobia is manifested during COVID-19, as well as counter-campaigns.
  • How community health clinics cultivate social support and trust during COVID-19.
  • Implications of misinformation perceptions around COVID-19.
  • How disinformation spreads in social media, mainstream and non-mainstream media, and how information flows among racial and ethnic groups.
  • How to design effective health promotion messages around COVID-19/vaccination.
  • Mental processing of features in social media posts about COVID-19.
  • The role of influencers in COVID-19 rumor spreading.
  • Effects of COVID-19 on mental health and telehealth adaptations.
  • Manifestations of individual and organizational resilience in a mediated space.
  • How virtual camp programs serve marginalized and at-risk youth.
  • Shifts in alcohol consumption and risk taking among high-risk groups of college students.
  • How to collect data from U.S. states and small jurisdictions, summarized on the NYT website (with NYT team).



Murrow students always find a way to keep reporting. Led by Clinical Assistant Professor Lisa Waananen Jones, student journalists from the Backpack Journalism program launched a pop-up news site devoted to the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on university communities and student life. Check out the impressive coverage from these students on their website and Twitter page.

Associate Professor Porimista Borah shared her expertise about why trust in the press is important, especially in a time of crisis.


Lisa Waananen Jones has also been working as part of a large team gathering data for The New York Times coronavirus tracker and open data set. We’re proud of her efforts to help keep us all informed.

Murrow student Sherwin Francies wrote a profile in The Spokesman Review about a WSU student helping make PPE for healthcare workers

Clinical Associate Professor Ben Shors and Lisa Waananen Jones spoke to DW News about the importance of local newspapers, particularly in rural areas, and the current state of local journalism in today’s world.

Murrow College professor Yen-I Lee for providing insight to The Spokesman-Review about how in the face of uncertainty, “consuming accurate information from reputable sources and proper hygiene and safety measures can help.”

Washington State Magazine featured Murrow College’s Erica Austin and Porismita Borah in the Fall 2020 edition for their insight on deciphering misinformation about COVID-19. They also shared their expertise about communication on vaccines to The Conversation.



Erin and FamilyThank you to all our Murrow Cougs that are making masks and finding ways to support the community during these unprecedented times. Instructor Cara Hawkins-Jedlicka and Business Office Manager Erin Cox (pictured below) are just a few of the Murrow Cougs sewing masks at home to help out the community. Thank you Cara and Erin!

Cable 8 Productions hosted a 24-hour telethon, raising over $1,000 for Pullman Regional Hospital’s COVID-19 relief fund. Learn more about their telethon here.

Murrow College faculty has been outstanding throughout WSU’s online transition. In particular, we want to recognize Clinical Associate Professor Rebecca Cooney and her assistance in helping members of WSU easily transition to online teaching with her “Online Teaching Tips” blog. WSU Global Campus also wrote a feature on Rebecca that you can read here.

In addition, seven additional Murrow faculty members served as online education coaches who helped WSU faculty transition to online teaching prior to Spring Break in March. Thank you to Brett Atwood, Rebecca Cooney, Stacey Hust, Ben Pingel, Chelsea Newman, Kanale Rhoden and Lisa Waananen Jones for devoting extra time to help members of the WSU family.

Clinical Assistant Professor Lisa Waananen Jones provided advice for journalism students who lost their internships due to COVID-19.

CooneyKXLYKXLY reporter and Murrow College graduate Nikki Torres produced a story about Rebecca Cooney and her family about how they’re adapting to change in their daily routines during the COVID-19 crisis.

“More than ever, our students and young professionals need your help as mentors and professional guidance counselors.” Murrow alumnus Scott Bond is dedicated to helping our students succeed, and wrote an article about the importance of mentorship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you to Murrow College alum & Murrow Advisory Board Member Rick Boyce for providing excellent advice to graduating seniors about informational interviews.