Erin Geisler

An online tour of the upcoming Belo Center for New Media allows students to virtually explore the facility and preview KUT’s new home.

The tour went online at the beginning of February and unveils the inner-workings of every main room of the center, which is expected to be completed by the summer and will open its doors on Nov. 1, according to the College of Communications’ website.

The Belo Center for New Media will house the five College of Communication departments, student services, organizations and will also be the location of the KUT Public Broadcast Center, Austin’s National Public Radio affiliate.

The Broadcast Center will be housed in an adjacent two-story wing of the Belo Center that will showcase KUT’s studios from the inside out, said KUT spokeswoman Erin Geisler.

The tour displays KUT’s new glass-walled, 72-seat performance studio which will be located at street level, allowing the outside public to watch the 300 annual in-studio performances.

The KUT wing will feature a floor plan that will bring together all employees in one cooperative area, Geisler said.

“KUT is currently scattered throughout three floors of the CMB, so moving to the Belo Center will allow everyone to work together and collaborate more,” Geisler said.

A community engagement room will also be part of the wing that will allow different organizations to hold their meetings, events and workshops there.

“From the university’s perspective, this is providing a gateway to this end of campus,” Geisler said. “From our perspective, KUT is serving the community and the University, so moving into the new building will help us connect more to the community that we serve.”

Michael Wilson, development director for the College of Communication, said the opening of the Belo Center will enable the college to provide departments and programs with the needed space to enhance teaching, learning and social interaction across communities.

“Collectively, our new complex will be the type of facility the University of Texas is best known for and will allow us to continue to recruit the best of the best in students and faculty alike,” Wilson said.

KUT’s broadcast center will make the College of Communication area a cornerstone on the western end of campus, Wilson said.

“With the open view of KUT’s studios you can also expect the college to be a beacon for those who appreciate the most trusted source for news, information and the Austin, Texas music experience,” Wilson said.

Printed on, February 7, 2012 as:Online tour gives peek of Belo Center

Every year, the College of Communication recognizes people who have helped its programs in some way by giving them the college-created Jeffrey Award.

Recipients of the award are not always directly related to the College of Communication, as the award is given to individuals who have dedicated time and effort to helping the college. The five recipients will be honored on Friday during a Friends of the College dinner at the Texas Union.

The award was established in 2006 to honor Bob Jeffrey, the dean of the college from 1979 to 2003, who helped build the college’s endowment and brought in many of its celebrated faculty members.

“He had a very compassionate and warm personality, so the award was created to honor people who embody that and the spirit of the college,” said Erin Geisler, College of Communication spokeswoman. “[The award] honors the college’s greatest ambassadors.”

Up to five individuals receive the award every year, and John Barnhill Jr,, Ray Farabee, Thomas Schatz, Stephen Leslie and Terry Hemeyer were chosen to receive the award this year.

Barnhill graduated from UT in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He was on the UT System Board of Regents from 2003 to 2009 and is being recognized for his encouragement of communication between alumni and the College of Communication. Farabee, another UT graduate, serves as the chairman of the advisory board for KUT, the student-run radio station on campus. He is receiving the award because he contributed to the creation of the KUT Public Broadcast Center and helped it become a unit of the campus.

The other three recipients are current faculty members at the University. Schatz, a professor in the Department of Radio, Television and Film, is receiving the award because of his contributions to the radio-television-film department’s top-five ranking, said Geisler. Another faculty member recipient is Leslie, executive vice president and provost of the University. He is being honored for his contributions to the creation of the Belo Center for New Media and supporting other enterprises within the University, according a press release.

Hemeyer, a senior lecturer in advertising and public relations, is another faculty member. He has taught at UT for 16 years and drives from Houston to teach his class. He has also served on the advisory council for the College of Communication.

“When Hart called me, I was surprised,” Hemeyer said. “I’ve been driving from Houston for 16 years because I enjoy what I do and it’s my passion. I want to advise students on what to expect when they get their first job.” 

Printed on Thursday, November 3, 2011 as: Five dedicated recipients earn Jeffrey Award