Course Spotlight: Communication Law


Above: Cameron Ramaekers uses his laptop to prepare for the next round and pass his teammates notes as they debate in the two rows in front of him.


Assistant Professor Fred Lamer teaches Communication Law and Ethics. In the class, students are taught about laws and precedent cases related to their field of study including copyright, advertising, reporter’s privilege, obscenity, libel suits and more. Arguably the most fun part of the course is the debates. The class is distributed a court case prompt, broken down into plaintiff and defendant sides and given nearly two weeks to prepare. During the debate, groups of five students take turns facing their opponents to argue the issue while citing court cases and laws.

What the Instructor Says…

“The law debates require an investment in research time and group collaboration – two important academic activities. It’s fun to watch students argue from informed positions. Tempers can sometimes flare. I love it.”

– Fred Lamer, assistant professor from Detroit, Mich. teaching for his 31st year at Northwest

What the Students Say…

I always love the Lamers’ classes. Fred has so much advice and so many stories that he can always keep the class and the material interesting. The debate challenges students to think outside the box. Knowing the history and laws behind mass media, along with how those laws and cases are in effect today, is important for all of us.”

– Cassie Lowell, journalism and public relations major from Concordia, Kan.

For more information about Communication Law and Ethics or when it is offered, email Fred Lamer at or ask your advisor.


Course Spotlight: Media Advertising


Above: Lily Gibbens, a senior public relations major from Kansas City, Mo., uses a Standard Rate and Data Service book during class in the library to conduct research for her media plan.


Instructor Jacquie Lamer teaches Introduction to Media Advertising. In the class, students are given a budget and a client and are expected to use the library’s Standard Rate and Data Service books as well as media kits to make tactical decisions about advertisement placements. Much of the class time is spent working on the project and the end result is a professional, nearly 50-page media plan. Students commonly use these projects within job interviews and as key portfolio pieces.

What the Instructor Says…

“What we’re doing is learning how ads are sold in different media types, but we’re also learning how to make business decisions. I’m not so sure that they love it as much as I do, but once the assignment is over, they usually feel pretty good about it!”

– Jacquie Lamer, an instructor from Kansas City, Mo. teaching for her thirteenth year at Northwest

What the Students Say…

“I am enjoying this class because it’s about a topic I’ve never learned about before and we’re using new tools. The combination of a realistic, client-based situation and exposure to these resources are preparing us for the future in a relative field.”

– Kylie Niichel, senior public relations major from Lee’s Summit, Mo.

For more information about Introduction to Media Advertising or when it is offered, email Jacquie Lamer at or ask your advisor. 

Internship Spotlight: Taylor Polacek

MARYVILLE, Mo. – Father-daughter dances, refreshments and bouquet tosses are just a few of the typical aspects at a wedding reception. For Northwest Missouri State University student Taylor Polacek, this summer’s weddings meant open doors and opportunities.

This summer, Polacek interned for Signal 88 Security in Omaha, Neb. Signal 88 is a security company with more than 100 different franchises across the nation that strives to establish a higher standard of professionalism within their industry. Polacek stumbled upon this opportunity after attending a wedding reception where the company’s CEO, Reed Nyffeler, was present.

“I talked with Reed about my goals,” Polacek said. “He gave me his contact information and I applied for the internship in February of 2013.”

Polacek worked in the marketing department, but was also able to contribute to the company through many different facets of advertising and public relations. She claims that without her experience in the Department of Communication and Mass Media, she would have been less prepared for the internship.

“The communication department prepared me by strengthening my writing skills and teaching me about target audiences,” Polacek, public relations major from Omaha, Neb., said. “I gained a lot of ideas and utilized concepts from the Small Group Communication and Professional Media Writing courses that are offered.”

To learn more about Signal 88 Security, visit their Twitter page at @s88security or

If you are currently looking for an internship, be sure to check out Career Services’ “How to Find an Internship” from 1-2 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12 in Meeting Room A of the Student Union.

For more information regarding the Department of Communication and Mass Media and how it can help you find an internship or prepare you for one, contact Department Chair Matt Walker at

Student Spotlight: International Edition


Student Spotlight: International Edition

MARYVILLE, Mo. – For business or for pleasure, travelling to a new country is a big challenge. Northwest Missouri State University softens that challenge by offering specialized international student support, a welcoming campus atmosphere and outstanding academic programs.

Erwin de Roo, one of Northwest’s international students from the Netherlands, arrived in the United States for the first time on Aug. 16, 2013. Just as Americans become anxious to visit Europe, Erwin was anxious to come to America.

“I have always wanted to visit the United States,” de Roo said. “When it became clear that I had the opportunity to come study over here, I didn’t hesitate for a second.”

Erwin was pleasantly surprised by how friendly the members of the Northwest Department of Communication and Mass Media are to new faces. However, Erwin misses the vibrant nightlife, music, metropolitan atmosphere and especially the diet he had back home.

“Perhaps it is because I am spoiled with healthy food in Europe, but the food is by far the biggest problem I have in America,” Erwin said.

Northwest’s various communication courses, lecture styles and student involvement have been new academic experiences for Erwin.

“The fact that Northwest has a physical, residential campus is different,” Erwin said. “Back home, I live in apartment in the city and ride my bike to school every day. The Northwest campus is much more convenient. Necessities are close by and the helpfulness of the staff has surpassed what is provided back home. The daily quizzes and papers assigned really keep me busy, that’s for sure.”

Erwin has been improving his English during his time here and, besides his 6’5” stature, he has blended in for the most part. Erwin will leave the United States in December, but plans to encourage his classmates to study here soon.

Dannen Merrill Internship Spotlight

MARYVILLE, Mo. – In the aftermath of another successful Northwest Missouri State University Career Day, many students are wrapping up phone interviews with companies they have always wished to work for. This time last year, Northwest student Dannen Merrill was doing the exact same thing.

Last summer, Merrill worked as an intern for the Gavilon Group, LLC – an agricultural product distribution and merchandising company headquartered in Omaha, Neb. The Gavilon Group has more than 2,000 employees within nearly 300 facilities on six different continents. Dannen worked on reconciling and closing accounts in the company’s month-end accounting group.

“My favorite part of the internship was getting to meet and work with people with common interests in a professional setting,” Merrill, accounting and comprehensive crisis response major from Maryville said. “Communications coursework helped significantly when it came to interacting with my coworkers. I would recommend any Northwest student to pursue an internship or career with Gavilon because there are opportunities for almost any majors offered at the university.”

To learn more about the Gavilon Group, visit their page at

If you are currently looking for an internship, be sure to check out Career Services’ “How to Find an Internship” from 1 to 2 p.m. tomorrow, Oct. 29, in Meeting Room A of the Student Union.

For more information regarding the Department of Communication and Mass Media and how it can help you find an internship or prepare you for one, contact Department Chair Matt Walker at

Mackie Keller Internship Spotlight


Mackie Keller Internship Spotlight

MARYVILLE, Mo. – The life of a student athlete at Northwest Missouri State University is a tough, but often rewarding one. Student athlete Mackie Keller has proven that you can be successful on and off the court, as well as inside and outside of the classroom.

This summer, Keller worked as an intern for the Gateway Area Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in St. Louis, Mo. This is a non-profit organization that helps nearly 7,000 individuals throughout 90 counties in Missouri and Illinois who are impacted by Multiple Sclerosis.

Mackie was involved in marketing for the Volunteer Community Outreach Department. This entailed writing press releases and newsletters for the MS Society and reaching out to media that promoted the organization’s event.

“Being involved in the 4th Annual Night on the Greens fundraising event was my favorite part,” Keller, organizational communications major from Kearney, Neb., said. “We raised money for MS by doing a glow-in-the-dark golf tournament. I got the chance to be involved during the whole process.”

Mackie found this opportunity by asking a professor in the Department of Communication and Mass Media about internships. She claims that the experience she has gained during her time at Northwest has helped her tremendously.

“The department has helped by giving me the ability to feel comfortable in my writing skills – especially press releases and newsletters – and designing brochures and business cards,” Keller said.

If you are currently seeking an internship, attend Career Services’ “How to Find and Internship” from 1-2 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29 in Meeting Room A of the Student Union.

For more information regarding the Department of Communication and Mass Media, contact Department Chair Matt Walker at

Above: Mackie Keller snaps a picture at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s 4th Annual Night on the Greens. To learn more about the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, visit their website at or find their Twitter page, @GatewayMSYP.

Curious about ECHO?

MARYVILLE, Mo. – As one of the many on-campus organizations at Northwest Missouri State University, ECHO is a club that specifically serves students within the Department of Communication and Mass Media. With a focus of preparing students to enter a variety of professional communication fields after graduation, ECHO members open themselves up for networking opportunities while perfecting their communication skills.

Upcoming events include helping organize and sponsor Walk MS and attending #PRSSAKC Summit, a networking event featuring public relations keynote speakers from the Kansas City area. ECHO President Rachel Kakareka is currently in her second term and has also previously served as the fundraising chair.

“The benefits of joining ECHO are seeing success at events, such as the #PRSSAKC Summit, in and around Kansas City and Omaha,” Kakareka, public relations major from Schaumburg, Ill., said. “Speakers are also brought in for meetings which are available for all members to attend.”

Along with the benefits of joining ECHO, Kakareka recounted how the Department of Communication and Mass Media has helped her prepare to lead this organization.

“The many different types of group assignments I have been a part of while in the communications department have helped me to develop my teamwork and leadership skills,” Kakareka said.

Meetings are held at 6 p.m. on the third Thursday each month in Wells Hall 112. ECHO is currently accepting new members.