Sustainability (and such)

Summer Student Tips

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven on July 13, 2016

If you’re interested in communication, media, and writing, subscribe to Poynter’s NewsU for free, self-directed tutorials, as well as Ragan Communications’ PR Daily.  And yes…use your real name to snag a Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media addy before somebody else does.  Your business card is simply a Google search, so manage your name and your brand. 


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Dumb and Dumber PR – IHOP Missteps

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven on November 2, 2015

Sometimes folks just try so hard to be so cool.  Take a deep breath and hide any giggles of horror:

Recent tweets from IHOP:

Flat but has a great personality IHOP

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Green Health, Global Strategies, and Tribal Voices

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven on September 29, 2015

It’s shifting, our global conversation about health and sustainability. While some scholars and activists continue to argue about semantics, actual climate change case studies are now inspiring public debates about everything from anti-meat agendas to how people can adapt to crushing impacts.

The latter topic will be a focal point at “Indigenous Peoples and Nations Consultation on Climate Change: Defending Our Rights and Food Sovereignty on the Road to Paris and Beyond.” Presented by the United Nations Development Programme and International Indian Treaty Council, this session at the fifth annual Native Food Sovereignty Summit will give final feedback  for an international, legally-binding agreement to curb the pace of climate change.

I will be honored to be there, at this historic occasion with traditional food producers and Tribal Nations. At previous Summits, we’ve heard about off-calendar salmon runs and widespread crop devastation; now, global ears are listening to indigenous voices about how traditional practices (such as Ojibwe rice-harvesting) can be solutions.

Green health is a work in progress, and I hope to learn more about how humans stay at the center. Let’s keep talking!

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For my students…

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven on December 13, 2014

Grades are in and you’re off to great adventures!  As promised, here are some take-aways:  

1.  Strengthen your resume! Employers want to know if you’re a good fit and have the necessary abilities to succeed, so list your hard and soft skills. For instance, hard skills are easily quantifiable (proficiency in content analysis and other research methods, etc.) while soft skills are less quantifiable “people” skills (time management, teamwork, collaboration, communication, feedback, etc.)  If you’ve successfully completed an online course, that’s a plus for independent working and time management.  The peer review process indicates virtual skills in collaboration and feedback.  Etc…think back to what you’ve learned and match those skills to what’s desired in job descriptions.

2. Establish your online presence by building a website (<—check out the easy instructions and add hyperlinks to your resume with samples of your work) plus working on your personal identity and branding with active words.

3. Lining up an interview?  Here are the usual questions and how to answer them.

4.  Finally, if you need a letter of recommendation, contact me.  I’ll send you a template that you’ll tailor to the job description and we’ll talk more about how to best highlight your skills!

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Posted by Nancy Van Leuven on September 7, 2014

A colleague recently asked about media literacy in corporations. Smugly, I thought this discussion was a piece of cake; after all, in the midst of all the CSR trumpet-blowing, aren’t today’s corporations much more sensitive about the need to educate citizens rather than consumers? Well, I’ve been wrestling with this sticky question for a week now, with no end in sight to unravel this hidden mess of ethics and skills.

Who, exactly, should take the lead in educating everybody about how to decipher messages, motives, and senders? While the Knight Commission issued a 2010 report calling for public and private networks to take on the mantle, existing scholarship doesn’t seem to address much besides how media literacy extends democracy and how the media industry itself shines a light on media literacy. And, while it’s admirable for the mainstream producer of messages to deconstruct its processes, we’re missing a huge piece of the pie.

And there’s the rub. In this age of transparency, we’d expect organizations to self-police issues of power, audiences, and mediated information. My students this semester are starting with a reading (“Principles for a New Media Literacy”) and video (EPIC 2015) to ground our first conversation. It’s going to be a heated debate – especially the need for journalists to critique their own involvement in the waning of the Fourth Estate – and we’d love to have you join us . . .

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Posted by Nancy Van Leuven on February 11, 2014

“I dance for our people, not for causes defined by others. On February 14th, I stand with the memorial marches, and honor the missing and murdered Indigenous women.”

##MMIWThe 14th is five days away, for more information and to find a time and location for a march near you, please click here.  

If you are in the U.S. please consider organizing and participating in a solidarity event. You can also make a last minute donation to the Downtown East Side (Vancouver) march fund here — withGenevieve GrowingThunder.

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Random Musing: Climbing the (Fire) Wall

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven on January 13, 2014

We can’t always get what we want.  From intermittent media pay walls and mandatory log-ins to the Great Firewall in China, it’s often a cat-and-mouse game to see what true riches we can pluck from Interwebs.

As we, as students and social activists, continue to broadcast in a narrowcast world, it’s fascinating to see barriers crumble (such as Chinese users jumping that wall to check out censored cites) and blossom (the First Nations Development Institute’s required enrollment before allowing access to its Knowledge Center of reports and publications).

The latter example illustrates a measurement technique that’s especially valuable in gauging what content is needed by which audiences.  I readily logged into the Institute to prepare for the Food Sovereignty Summit and discovered a new series of fact sheets about Native American Food and Health; however, I also stumbled into a section about how to strengthen Native American Nonprofits that will greatly help our work with Global Spark.

My tangent is about how we painstakingly craft social media policies while unflinchingly creating log-ins and other leaps that create Big Data with large user bases.  Some of my tech-ier friends see this as an issue of connectivity — How many times are you asked to login with LinkedIn and Facebook?  Amidst worries about privacy and integration, it’s worth looking before you leap (over fire)… speak (via Google Voice) or cough up cash…

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Big News for Student Research!

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven on November 24, 2013

Students in the Fall AIS 230A course at the University of Washington are studying American Indian tribes and casinos, relying on a research framework from the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming at San Diego State University.  Including ideas from cultural theorists such as American Indian author/activist Vine Deloria, Jr., each student researched one unique tribe and also created team projects about casino-related economic development, culture, and politics.  (Individual papers will be posted here after the quarter ends.)

BIG NEWS!  This research will be part of larger presentations at the American Indian Workshop at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands from May 21-25, 2014.  Here are the shortened descriptions.

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Infographics! Let’s Do This!

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven on October 29, 2013

Amidst the round of student questions coming mid-quarter/semester, this one’s especially forceful:  How do we bring strong visual content into our presentations?  While I’ll cover this in class over the next few weeks, I really want to pass along this great resource:  HubSpot’s “5 Infographics to Teach You How To Easily Create Infographics in PowerPoint.”  AWESOME — how long has it been since you’ve thought of Power Point as your BFF? Here are five infographic templates you can download to dazzle folks right now!

(Thanks, Frank Walton, for the continuing stream of great info!)

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Seattle Asian American Film Festival CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS!

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven on September 4, 2013

Less than a month left to enter your film for consideration for the 2014 Seattle Asian American Film Festival!

Deadline is 9/15. Get that submission in soon! Seattle Asian American Film Festival CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS!

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