April 26, 2001
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Eleventh Annual Communicators Forum Conference
Earle Brown Center, St. Paul Campus
Brochure PDF

What to Expect From the Conference
How to Register
Making it Meaningful Contest
Conference Schedule
Special Thanks...
Parking and Directions to Earle Brown
As University of Minnesota communicators, we convey the University's messages of stewardship, education, and leadership. In addition to our regular workload, we're also asked to take on special projects like legislative requests and anniversary celebrations. How can we keep our messages fresh and keep ourselves from burning out? This year's Communicators Forum Conference will focus on how to create meaningful messages for the University and meaningful work lives for ourselves.

What to Expect From the Conference

  • If you have already created balance in your life and your work life adds to your sense of purpose, this conference is an opportunity to build upon that foundation, and help you bring that kind of joy to others.
  • If your work feels like a path to burnout, and your creativity and motivation have declined, use this conference to start pulling yourself out of the mire. Start now to identify work that you love and that creates meaning for you.

Choose From Sessions Such as

  • Collaboration between writers and designers
  • Planning meaningful communications
  • Approaching your life holistically
  • Conveying the U's key messages
  • Creating your own meaningful work life
  • Choosing a desktop publishing program

We'll conclude the day with a panel of local journalists, representing print, radio, and television media, who will tell us what makes a story newsworthy to them.

How to Register

Register via the Web or by printing and completing the registration form (PDF) . Space is limited. Registration is due no later than April 19. Tip: when you register, be ready to give your CUFS number and choose your concurrent sessions.

Making it Meaningful Contest

As part of the conference, the Forum wants to share how its members find meaning in and inspiration for their work. Submit your entry in the following categories

What do you do to create meaning in your work life? Tell us about the mantra or version of the serenity prayer you recite. Are you more in touch with your muse now that you've started meditation? Do you give a few primal screams at the start of a new project? Share your tools or a good, true story about finding meaning in your work life. Maximum 500 words.

Have you done something special in your office space that supports your creativity? E-mail a photo or description of your office.We'll make arrangements for someone to take photographs.

E-mail your entry to mckin013@tc.umn.edu by Thursday, April 12. Winners will be announced at the conference. Winning entries will be awarded prizes and featured on the Communicators Forum Web site.

Conference Schedule

Speakers and sessions may be subject to change.

7:45-8:30 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
8:30 Welcome
8:40-9:40 Keynote Address
Don't Be a Dead Fish in Your Workplace!
Making Your Workplace More Fulfilling
Carr Hagerman

"I played today. I had fun."
--excerpt from a second grader's journal.

According to FISH! Philosophy, this excerpt should be part of your next work update to your boss. FISH! is about making your workplace more fulfilling, more joyful, and more human using the power of play. FISH! is about:

  • Customer service: Staying fully present and making a difference with every encounter.
  • Adaptability: You can reach your creative potential by stepping outside your comfort zone.
  • Creativity: Playing is a mode of discovery, problem solving, and managing change. That's why every employee should make a daily commitment to play at work.
  • Accountability: 'Being It' means taking absolute ownership of the organization by the way you live your job from moment to moment.
  • Teamwork: You and your coworkers depend on one another for survival. Maybe you should think of yourselves less as members of an organization and more as parts of
    an organism.

Carr Hagerman, a longtime improvisational performer and storyteller, has brought his talents to the business world, provoking unexpected insights. Caught by the FISH! Philosophy, Hagerman will inspire you to imagine incredible possibilities and to come alive in your work life. Hagerman sees that traditional, tightly scripted workplaces are giving way to more flexible organizations in which workers have the freedom to explore and create new solutions and have fun while doing it! He's inspired organizations such as American Express, Wells Fargo, 3M, and Lands End to create more effective, fulfilling, and human workplaces. He will share with you some powerful ideas that will challenge you to think differently and, perhaps, take you outside your comfort zone. Warning: You may leave this presentation feeling lighthearted and rejuvenated!

9:40-10:00 Break and Vendor Fair
10:00-10:45 Concurrent Sessions I
Knowing Your Whole Self: Mind and Body, Holistic Life
Guy Odishaw

You can't have meaning in your work if you don't have meaning in your life. Using ancient traditions, modern philosophy, and psychology, Guy Odishaw will show you how to create a conceptual framework and practical approach for realizing more of your potential. Regardless of the aspect of your life you wish to improve, this integral and transforming approach is a beneficial tool.

Guy Odishaw has worked at Boynton Health Service for the past five years as a massage therapist. A graduate of the Minneapolis School of Massage and Bodywork, Guy's interest in alternative healing has led him to study whole life integrative practices as ways of adding meaning to people's lives through conscious living.

A Place that Works: Applying Feng Shui to the Workplace
Elaine R. Anderson

Using principles of Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese system for creating harmony with one's surroundings, you can enhance your creativity and effectiveness in the workplace.

Elaine R. Anderson offers Feng Shui consultation services to people in various environments, such as their homes, workplaces, gardens, and healing/recovery settings. Elaine is an advanced student of renowned Feng Shui practitioner and author Carole Hyder and is founder of Red Tortoise, Inc., a Twin Cities Feng Shui consultation service.

Collaborating to Create Meaning: Writers and Designers
Karen Atkinson and Cindy Munson

Writers and graphic designers are challenged to work together to connect with their audiences. First hook them, then deliver a message that conveys your meaning in a way they'll care about it. A writer and a graphic designer from a local advertising agency will discuss their collaborative process. Hear how ideas are generated and how to work together to leverage each other's communication talents to create the most meaningful content.

Karen Atkinson founded Rebus Marketing Communications, Inc. after majoring in advertising at the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism. As creative director and president of the agency, she's dabbled in a little bit of everything: from design and production to taking out the trash. However, it's the title "copywriter" that she wears most proudly. She has collaborated with Cindy Munson of Munson & Company on projects for 3M, General Mills and Wilson Learning Worldwide.

Cindy Munson has seen all sides of the design business. She began her career working in a design agency, then took a corporate position before starting her own graphic design firm Munson & Company. Although she has clients throughout the U. S., her heart and home are in the Twin Cities, where she collaborates with Karen Atkinson of Rebus Marketing Communications, Inc. Cindy holds a B.S. in art and graphic design from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Finding Meaning Behind Every Communications Project
Robert A. Hansen

Are you ever given projects that leave you wondering, "What's the purpose?" Every project you work on should advance your department's mission. Gain insight into how to be more strategic and purposeful in your communications, whether you are responsible for communications planning or whether you just need to understand good, strategic planning.

Robert A. Hansen, an associate professor of marketing in the Carlson School of Management, holds a B.S., M.B.A., and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on developing marketing strategies for public sector service and measuring user satisfaction. His articles have appeared in a number of scholarly journals including Industrial Marketing Management and the Journal of Marketing Research.

10:45-11:00 Break and Vendor Fair
11:00-11:45 Concurrent Sessions II
Finding Balance through Creating a Personal Vision Statement
Nancy Von Horn

In this groundbreaking workshop, you will explore your own personal philosophy of life and how it relates to your behaviors and actions. Network with others interested in developing their personal mission statements. Prioritize what's important and minimize distractions for a more balanced and satisfying work and personal life.

Nancy Von Horn is a certified professional coach and founder of Chartered Destiny Coaching. She is also a part-time trainer and career consultant with WomenVenture, a Twin Cities resource that helps women and men find jobs, plan careers, and start and grow businesses. As a trainer, social worker, and consultant, Von Horn brings 15 years of experience to business and personal coaching.

Café Philo: Making Sense of Work
Jeremy Iggers

The Café Philo phenomenon began in Paris in the early 1990s, when philosopher Mark Sautet told a radio interviewer about his weekly chats with friends at a local cafe. The next Sunday, a hundred people showed up at the Café des Phares, uninvited, to join the conversation. They had so much fun they have been coming back ever since. Today Café Philo conversations are held regularly at more than 100 locations around the world, from Tokyo to the Twin Cities. In Café Philo conversations, ordinary men and women discuss their ideas about everything from art and ethics to the meaning of life. In this conversation, we will explore what work means in our lives, and how work can be made more meaningful.

Jeremy Iggers is a staff writer and restaurant critic for the Star Tribune and a visiting professor at the University of St. Thomas. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas, and recently received a fellowship from the Bush Foundation to pursue a second career as a public philosopher. He has written a cheesecake cookbook, a book about journalism ethics, and a book about food, sex, and the meaning of life.

Are You a Freak? Connecting with U Graphic Designers
Steven McCarthy

Designers often look at the world in, shall we say, a different way. They can be a little quirky and they're usually proud of it. Who are these people? They're all over the U, and we want to get as many as we can into one room to connect with them, learn from them, and be inspired by them. If you're a designer freak, or a freak for design, bring your favorite artwork from bulletin boards and kiosks, in your mailbox, even your own work and share what you like about it.

Steven McCarthy is an associate professor in the Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel where he teaches graphic design. He also maintains a small consulting practice, from which the profits are used to fund his vacations to exotic places, like Mallaig, Scotland.

Building on What President Yudof is Saying: Key Messages at the U
Donna Peterson

Every department has its own purpose within the University,and we sometimes forget that we're part of a greater whole. Learn how the University's key messages can make your own more powerful. Whether it's celebrating the sesquicentennial or embracing President Mark Yudof's "Service, Service, Service" message, knowing the University's central themes can give you a launching pad for your communications and make all of the messages being delivered by U communicators more cohesive.

Donna Peterson has served the University of Minnesota since 1990, first as director of State Relations and currently as associate vice president of Government Relations.

11:45-1:30 Lunch and Vendor Fair
1:30-2:15 Concurrent Sessions III
Creating Your Own Meaningful Work Life
Barb Krantz-Taylor

This interactive session will help you identify what gives you a sense of meaning in work. You'll get a career planning overview, participate in self-assessment exercises, learn what is important to you, and identify your ideal work situation. You'll also receive suggestions on how to transfer your ideas into action.

Barb Krantz-Taylor is a licensed psychologist and the director of the Employee Career Enrichment Program through the Office of Human Resources. Currently, she serves staff and faculty as they endeavor to find their niche here at the University.

If Wishes Were Horses, Things Would Get Really Weird
Steve Schroer

Does your job require creativity? The answer is almost certainly yes, even if you don't realize it. This workshop will introduce you to a creative process that can be used by anyone, from artists to business people. The key to the process is imagining what you really, really want and making wishes. Learn how to open the doors and windows of your mind and let the ideas flow through. You'll also learn how to build on other people's ideas, and what kinds of questions to ask (and NOT to ask).

Steve Schroer is a freelance writer and theater professional, teaching at the Guthrie, the Playwrights' Center, Concordia University, and the University of Minnesota. He holds an M.A. from the University of Minnesota in English/Creative Writing. Schroer was director of the theater program at the University of Chicago, founder of a Chicago-based improvisation theater company, and general editor of Chicago Review, a nationally-distributed literary magazine.

Choosing Between Quark and InDesign
Daphne Orlando

Need to find a better desktop publishing software? Hear how users feel about the usability and functionality of both Quark and InDesign. Get your questions answered to help you decide which desktop publishing software is right for you.

Daphne Orlando teaches part-time at the Science Museum of Minnesota's Computer Education Department. She also freelances as an illustrator and graphic designer. Daphne obtained her masters degree in medical and biological illustration from Johns Hopkins University. In her work she uses QuarkXPress and InDesign for a wide variety of printing projects.

What the Internet Will Mean to U – Post Hype
R.T. Rybak

Experts now agree that the Internet's role in our society will continue to grow especially in shaping how we conduct business. This is true for nonprofit organizations and for-profit organizations alike. Already we know that over 70 percent of the University's students register for courses online and that's just the beginning. Learn about the exciting roles the Internet will play in our society, how our Web sites will be used to conduct business, and how all of this will affect our lives as professional communicators at the University of Minnesota.

R.T. Rybak is an Internet strategist who has advised clients that include Target Corporation, Best Buy, Edina Realty, Minnesota Public Radio, and Public Radio International. R.T. is the former vice president of Internet Broadcast Systems (Channel 4000) and is currently a mayoral candidate for the City of Minneapolis.

2:15-2:45 Break and Vendor Fair
2:30-4:00 Closing Panel Discussion
The University and the Media: A Meaningful Match

To close this year's conference, a distinguished panel of local journalists will discuss meaning in their lives, meaning in their work, and, meaning in their stories.

More than ever, as communicators for the University we are aware of the need to find meaning in our relationship with the media. No one can tell us how to do so better than reporters who cover University-related beats. The closing panel represents print, radio, and television media, and includes journalists who have covered both flattering and not-so-flattering recent stories about the U of M.

  • Panelists will tell you what makes their work meaningful. They will discuss how and why they entered the journalism field, describe what their typical work days are like, and share a few interesting on-the-job experiences.
  • Panelists will tell you what makes a story meaningful and newsworthy. They will advise you about how to effectively communicate with the media, give you tips for pitching story ideas, recommend formats for submitting information and supporting materials, and tell you the truth about timelines.
  • Panelists will answer your questions about their work, about particular stories, and about how the University and the media can better work together.
  • Panelist will offer a few "words that communicators should live by."


Judith Yates Borger covers higher education for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Her beat includes Minnesota's private colleges, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, and the University of Minnesota. She recently covered the Gopher men's basketball scandal, the state budget request, and the death in Bailey Residence Hall

Tom Hauser is chief political reporter for KSTP-TV Eyewitness News. He is an Emmy Award winner who joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992, after working as a reporter and news anchor in Austin, Minnesota, Fort Myers, Florida, and Des Moines, Iowa. Tom received undergraduate degrees in journalism and political science from the University of St. Thomas and a master's degree in journalism and mass communications from Drake University in Des Moines. About his career covering Minnesota politics Tom says, "I grew up in the heyday of Humphrey and Mondale, but I have to believe Ventura has sparked more intense and widespread interest in Minnesota politics than anyone before him."

Patty Marsicano has been a broadcast journalist for sixteen years, working in public and commercial radio in medium and large markets. She began her career in La Crosse, Wisconsin, but has spent the last ten years working in her native Twin Cities at Radio City Network News, Minnesota News Network, and currently at Minnesota Public Radio. Marsicano has done extensive reporting on issues ranging from politics and government, courts and legal affairs, education, activism, immigrants, business, crime, the environment, and labor. She now covers the University of Minnesota for Minnesota Public Radio.

Emilio Garcia-Ruiz is the sports editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press where he directed the newspaper's Pulitzer prize-winning investigative pieces uncovering academic fraud in the University of Minnesota men's basketball program. The series of stories won reporter George Dohrmann the 2000 Pulitzer for beat reporting and won the newspaper numerous other honors, including the Associated Press Sports Editors' award for best investigative project. Before arriving in St. Paul, Emilio was an assistant sports editor and copy editor at the Los Angeles Times, where he ran the sports department's award-winning investigative unit for a year. He has also worked as an assistant sports editor at the Orange County Register, an assignment editor and copy editor at the Washington Post and a sports editor/reporter at the Prince George's Journal in Lanham, Maryland.

Bob Shaw has been in newspapers for twenty-five years, working as everything from investigative reporter to managing editor. He was project editor of a Pulitzer prize-winning story in 1992, and was a Knight Fellow at Stanford University in 1994. Today he is the arts and entertainment editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press – a role that puts him in almost daily contact with numerous University of Minnesota representatives for a wide variety of the University's publicity needs.

4:00-4:30 Making it Meaningful Contest Awards and Social Hour

Special Thanks to the Following Individuals Who Helped Make This Year's Conference Possible:

Conference Committee
Deb McKinley (chair), Minnesota Technical Assistance Program
Liisa Beckman, Human Resources
Connie Burkhart, Institute on Community Integration
Megan Dushin, Institute on Community Integration
Keith Okan, Carlson School of Management
Rich Straumann, Environmental Health and Safety
Lori Ann Vicich, Parking and Transportation Services

Publicity Committee
Gretchen Rings (chair), Environmental Health and Safety
Amy Friebe, Center for Transportation Studies
Ginny Hanson, University Relations
Michael Weinbeck, Parking and Transportation Services

Technology Committee
Libby Frost, Family Practice and Community Health

2000-2001 Board of Directors
Chair: Debbie Boyles
Chair-elect: Jerry Taintor
Chair-emeritus: Laura Weber
Recorder: Sharon Wikstrom
Treasurer: Bill Stein
At-large director: Sara Pedersen
Conference Committee chair: Deb McKinley
Membership Committee chair: Ruth Pechauer
Program Committee chair: Laurie Ward Gardner
Publicity Committee chair: Gretchen Rings
Technology Committee co-chairs: Libby Frost, Maureen Smith
Financial Administrative Assistant: Vicki Casey Larson
Membership Database/Listserv: Lani Payette

The Earle Brown Center is wheelchair accessible through two north-side entrances and an east-side, basement-level entrance. The elevator and rest rooms have accessible features. Parking, including disability parking, is available adjacent to the building, off Buford Avenue. If disability accommodations are needed or to request this publication in alternative formats, please contact Deb McKinley at MnTAP, 350 McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak Street S.E., Minneapolis MN 55455 or at 612-624-4697.

Photo: Adam Pagel, model; Deb McKinley, art director; Gretchen Rings, assistant to the art director; Jessica Mooney, photo stylist; Martin Curley, digital photographer; Connie Burkhart, film photographer; Charlie Mooney, fishing gear provider. Special thanks to the guys at Como Recycling.

Publication design by Connie Burkhart
Copywriting by Deb McKinley

No fish were harmed in the making of this brochure.