Undergraduate & Post-Baccalaureate Work

 Ramapo College of New Jersey

Advertising & Public Relations

"Kodak SLICE: 'There With You, Every Step of the Way'"

​CREATIVE ADVERTISING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS

February 2011-May 2011 (with Åsa Hilmersson)

 

Assigned to develop and present a professional advertising plan for a new or existing product, my classmate and I familiarized ourselves with the Kodak SLICE camera and attempted to rebrand and market the product by emphasizing a fusion of traditional quality and technological advancement. We began by analyzing the history of the Kodak brand and the SLICE product. We then examined the product's functions and features and critiqued the company's advertising campaigns, both old and new. This led us to build a SWOT analysis and creative brief to determine our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats and subsequent plan for future success. Using this plan we wrote our positioning statement, designed a print advertisement in Photoshop (view on page 9), generated a script and storyboard for a television commercial and composed a script and audio clip for radio broadcast (listen below). Our public relations plan and direct mail creative concept further focused our campaign. We concluded with a strategy for measurement of success.

 Broadcast

The following documentary pieces were developed for an advanced radio reporting course. I took part in brainstorming sessions with my peers to choose topics relevant to the Ramapo community, then partnered with a classmate to create three editorially sound and compelling pieces. Working to refine our interviewing techniques and strengthen our reporting, digital editing and vocal skills, we gained experience conducting in-depth research, writing scripts, mastering editorial and technical teamwork, adhering to assignment criteria and deadlines, presenting on-scene narration, providing natural sound and analyzing broadcast and new media ethics. Once finalized, our projects were broadcast on WRPR Radio and heard as podcasts on the Ramapo College website.

"Public Safety"

​PRODUCING RADIO DOCUMENTARIES AND PODCASTS

April 2011 (with Elyse Toribio)

 

For our final project, we took a closer look at the Public Safety Department and the sometimes-tense relationship between its officers and students on campus. This piece includes student commentary, an in-depth interview with Ramapo's president, Dr. Peter Mercer, and conversations with the Public Safety director and longtime officers who explain why it's important for both sides to humanize and get to know one another.

"Nostalgia"

​PRODUCING RADIO DOCUMENTARIES AND PODCASTS

March 2011 (with Elyse Toribio)

 

They're still in their late teens and early twenties, but many college students have already become nostalgic about the TV shows and music they've grown up with. Through the voices of current and former Ramapo students and professors, Project 2 explores what's prompting this early onset of nostalgia.

This piece was selected for inclusion in Ramapo's 11th Annual Media Collision Communication Arts Showcase of Outstanding Student Work on May 4, 2011. We presented our project before students, staff, administrators and prominent figures in the School of Contemporary Arts, including Dean Steven Perry.

(under Spring 2011 Semester)

"EOF"

​PRODUCING RADIO DOCUMENTARIES AND PODCASTS

February 2011 (with Elyse Toribio)

 

Project 1 takes an inside look at Ramapo's EOF (Educational Opportunity Fund) Program, which has given many students, who might otherwise have been unable to, the chance to pursue a higher education. We talk to the program's director, current students and former students to find out what EOF means to them, how the program has changed their lives and why it is important to continue despite state budget cuts.

(under Spring 2011 Semester)

 Journalism & Online Media

"RCNJ Make the Most of It"

SENIOR PROJECT: JOURNALISM

October-November 2010

 

Required to conceptualize and build an entrepreneurial journalism niche site to complete my senior project course, I decided to use my experience working in the Center for Academic Advisement and First-Year Experience on campus to create a tool for engaging Ramapo's student body, building campus identity and fostering community.

After narrowing my area of focus, I conducted market research to present a competition analysis, identify my target audience and pinpoint its needs. I then led a focus group (composed of five student leaders at Ramapo College and one alumna working on campus as a graduate assistant) to obtain feedback on the initial idea, goals for the site, topics for coverage, content suggestions for channels or sections, and audience usage. Using these reactions, I developed a business plan for sustainability, launched a basic version of the site on WordPress, produced original content, built a storyboard mapping out additional details and wrote an elevator pitch, as follows:



People say that the college experience is the best four years of your life; alumni and graduating seniors will tell you that this time flies by all too quickly. RCNJ Make the Most of It is a website that uses an interactive list naming “100 Things to Do Before You Graduate from Ramapo!” to build a school identity, foster community among students and faculty and preserve the Ramapo College experience. RCNJ Make the Most of It functions as a “college coach” or guide to undergraduate life at Ramapo that will be used to energize the campus and strengthen school spirit and tradition, while highlighting individuals, organizations, locations and experiences connected with the list. There are approximately 6,000 students at Ramapo — interact with each other, see what everyone is doing, earn campus rewards and local discounts by getting involved and cross as many items off the list as you can before the end of senior year. From the day you step onto campus as a freshman until the moment you walk across the stage at graduation, the campus is yours. You have four years. What will you check off your list?



I presented my idea to a panel of journalists and administrators, including editors from The Record and Patch (Bergen County and Morris County), on November 15, 2010. In doing so I received professional feedback and gained experience in responding to constructive criticism.

  Marketing

"Toyota Motor Corporation in Business:
Holding Market Share in the Automotive Industry"

MARKETING PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES

October-November 2011 (with John Heyer, Jeffrey Wardle, Gabriel Gomez, and Tyler Waldecker)

 

This term project applies course concepts, including the marketing mix, or four Ps—product, price, place and promotion—to a real marketing analysis of current events in the automotive industry. Chosen as the leader for the Toyota team, I outlined research procedures and a work plan for my group. We analyzed our company's current situation through an examination of its business sector, financial situation and key competitors. Familiarizing ourselves with Toyota's marketing plan, we identified the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to construct a SWOT analysis. We used our findings to pinpoint favorable conditions in the market and issues (both internal and external) that might prevent the company from achieving its objectives. To conclude, we were required to predict whether our company would gain, hold or lose market share. Our research findings and predictions were shared in a formal business presentation.

  Media Studies

The pieces below present three media analyses on ABC's Lost. The most recent paper, written for my Media and Persuasion course, incorporates and builds on aspects of the two before it, both written for my New TV Criticism course.

"Complex Meaning Construction in Lost and Its Effects on Audience Engagement"

​MEDIA AND PERSUASION

November-December 2010

 

This term paper and presentation called for original research on some aspect of the media within a contemporary text. I chose to examine the continuous relationship between viewing practices and meaning construction among audiences watching ABC's Lost.



This paper seeks to examine how and why audiences have continued to theorize about and draw from the phenomenon that is Lost. An exploration of Lost’s complex layers of meaning, active audiences and the ways in which viewers physically and mentally watch and comprehend episodes of the show, led to the development of the research questions: What are the processes by which audiences use the narrative, visual and semiotic elements in episodes of Lost to interpret and construct meaning? How do viewers engage in the process of interpellation when watching Lost; is it a conscious practice and how does it affect their interpretations of reality? Why are people drawn to shows such as Lost that depict characters in situations of crisis? The analysis presented in this paper: reflects secondary research on audiences, polysemy, interpellation and meaning construction; provides a narrative, textual, semiotic and visual

"Lost and the Viewing Public: Paving the Way for Postmodern Television"

THE NEW TV CRITICISM

April-May 2010

 

An examination of ABC's Lost as an example of postmodern television, this paper uses secondary research and critical analysis of the show's structure and methods of storytelling.

This paper will provide an analysis of ABC’s Lost, examining how various aspects of the show are representative of postmodern television. The purpose of this analysis is to explore Lost’s postmodern content, including its hybrid genre and multiple interpretations through a coalition audience, nonlinear story structure, ahistorical plotlines and intertextual references. This paper will discuss how Lost, as a hybrid, combines elements of different genre conventions to create a layered concept and encourage multiple interpretations from the diverse viewership of its coalition audience. The use of flashbacks, flash forwards, flashes sideways and time travel will provide a breakdown of the show’s nonlinear story structure and ahistorical plotlines. Finally, this paper will explore the show’s intertextual references to history and popular culture. Lost both follows the existing conventions of postmodernism and, with the help of viewers, establishes new ones. Lost uses postmodern techniques to distinguish itself from modern television through multidimensional storytelling and unparalleled audience participation.

"Narrative Theory and the Role of Destiny in

Lost’s Season One Episode, 'Walkabout'"

THE NEW TV CRITICISM

February-March 2010

 

Referencing specific scenes in an episode of ABC's Lost, this paper serves as a narrative analysis of a contemporary, hour-long dramatic television program.



This paper will provide a narrative analysis of ABC’s Lost, focusing on the fourth episode of the show’s first season, “Walkabout.” The purpose of this analysis is to explore the narrative characteristics and production techniques used to illustrate the development of multiple storylines, character interrelationships and viewer involvement. This paper examines two scenes that show what drives main characters John Locke and Jack Shephard to represent the binary oppositions that create values and themes in conflict on Lost—faith versus science and destiny versus free will. John Locke, who seeks to prove that nothing can stand in the way of destiny, is a modern portrayal of a historical figure—the eighteenth century Enlightenment philosopher, John Locke. Throughout the episode, archetypes and myths

As the group leader, I authored our executive summary, SWOT analysis and conclusion; edited the written contributions of all group members; compiled and copy edited the final paper, references and in-text citations; and organized the content for our PowerPoint presentation.

 

At the time of this assignment I had very limited knowledge of the automotive industry and no financial background; through research and questioning I was able to provide myself with a foundation sufficient enough to begin my analysis.

analysis of two characters represented in two episodes from the television series Lost; reports on the viewing habits of Lost fans as collected through primary research, including survey data gathered from 15 viewers; and seeks to answer the research questions through analysis of the connections between these factors. Findings indicate that audiences use symbols, myths and archetypes within in the show’s narrative and visual structures to create meaning, seek out active texts that address multiple perspectives, identify with certain characters they feel similar to or favor, use television as a means for both entertainment and education and construct meaning through collaborative discourse in a post-9/11 world.

introduce the themes of destiny, rebirth and redemption, and leadership, which become increasingly significant in subsequent seasons of the show. Lost uses distinctive visual styles and musical scores, the flashback technique, and recurring themes to emphasize the role of destiny in each character’s journey of self-discovery. These elements encourage viewers to reflect on an emotional level, and analyze on an intellectual level.

 Photoshop

"Ramapo: A Retrospective"

FUNDAMENTALS OF INTERACTIVE MEDIA

March-May 2011

 

This final project called for eight self images and an additional five layers/original images. Required to choose a theme for the self-reflective piece, I decided to look back over my time at Ramapo from orientation to graduation.



I used a tripod to shoot images of myself—wearing shirts representative of my involvement at Ramapo—around the Arch, a central location and symbol of new beginnings on campus. (New students walk up the hill, lined with their families and friends, to mark the start of their academic careers. Graduates walk back through the arch and down the hill, lined with their professors and faculty members, to mark the completion of their education.)



I included images of my reporter's notebook and Outstanding Student Service award, and the text lining the pathway to the Arch is a page scan of one of my articles printed in The Ramapo News.



I composited all images into one and worked with masking, silhouette, the magic wand tool, the brush tool, refine edge, rotation, shadow, blur, luminosity, color balance, levels and various other tools to finalize my piece.

 

"Hands"

FUNDAMENTALS OF INTERACTIVE MEDIA

March 2011

 

 

After studying famous photo series, I was tasked with creating one of my own using a consistent idea, style, approach and technique.



My idea was to define the subjects in my series through their hands, showing how the routine work people do with them tells a story about who they are.



I adjusted color balance and levels in each photograph and, for further context, added warped lyric text from the song "Hands" by Jewel that applied to each subject.

 Psychology

"Kodak SLICE Print Ad: 'There With You, Every Step of the Way'"

CREATIVE ADVERTISING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS

May 2011

 

As part of the aforementioned Advertising & Public Relations campaign, one of my responsibilities was to create a print advertisement (based on a concept developed with my peer, Åsa Hilmersson) using Photoshop. The print ad (below, left) was composed through the manipulation of an original photo used in the background, a footprint image, an image of two hands, and one of the SLICE itself (all below, right). I used masking, silhouette, the magic wand tool, the brush tool, refine edge, rotation, inner shadow, drop shadow, bevel and emboss, text and various other instruments to produce the final piece.

 

"Sexualization in the Media and

Its Effects on the Behavior of American Teenagers"

PSYCHOLOGY OF GENDER

December 2010

 

An application of course concepts to a real world issue, this paper examines the negative effects of American raunch culture on today's youth and proposes solutions to the growing problem.



American teenagers growing up in the twenty-first century are constantly being bombarded with media images and messages linked to a long-held ideology—the notion that boys will be boys and girls will be girls, and that these social norms should be accepted and internalized. The sexualization of young men and women in media sources such as television and magazines is a process by which they are exposed to various sexual scripts that control their attitudes, behaviors, interactions and experiences. This sexualization has developed into a sociocultural phenomenon known as “raunch culture,” in which stereotypical gender and sexual roles are supported and maintained through the objectification of women and the perpetuation of male dominance. As a result, teenagers aim to develop their social and sexual identities in ways that reflect these supposed norms, endangering their sexual health, mental wellbeing and overall cognitive functioning. In order to preserve the American youth, educational, family and media institutions must work together to salvage the remains of adolescent innocence and personal identity.

 

"Observing Development as Defined by Piaget and Vygotsky

in the Preoperational and Concrete-Operational Child"

CHILD PSYCHOLOGY

April 2009

 

A case study identifying the developmental stages in two children, this paper validates various psychological concepts through primary research and experimentation.



Throughout history, psychologists have conducted research to find out why people act and think in certain ways, and what creates the foundation of human thought processes. In an analysis of cognitive development, the widely-referenced views of Swiss philosopher and scientist Jean Piaget, as well as those of Russian developmentalist Lev Vygotskty, prove invaluable. Interaction with those in the preoperational and concrete-operational stages of development shows an adherence to the characteristic patterns of those phases in some cases, while indicating a blur between phases in other instances. In an original case study of two children, ages five and eight, the theories of Piaget and Vygotsky guide the researcher to identify and evaluate their behavior in, and responses to, a number of experiments and questions. Both subjects showed that cognitive development is a continuous process, and that cognitive abilities are aided by scaffolding.

©Keri Ann Flaccomio all rights reserved.