Past Events
Short Films Produced by St. Thomas University Communication Students are Featured in the Miami International Film Festival, the MIFF Festival Stage, and Wynwood Art Walls Screenings

Two short films produced and directed by Javier Palacios and Christopher Falite, students from the Institute for Communication, Entertainment and Media of St. Thomas University, have been selected to participate in CinemaSlam 2012, a school competition of the Miami International Film Festival Florida Focus program. The students produced the short films WiseGuy (2011) and A University Horror Story (2011) at the Advanced Television Production course taught by Dr. Marcela Moyano.

MIFF Festival Stage and the Wynwood Art Walls Screenings have also selected A University Horror Story (2011) to be screened on Lincoln Road and at the Wynwood Art District. This event showcases the best shorts produced throughout the year. “We feel that A University Horror Story (2011) would be a great addition to the festival,” said Alex Van Mecl, Filmmaker Services Liaison. The screening date in the two locations will be announced soon.

Chris Falite grew up in northeast Massachusetts. He enrolled in the B.A. in Communication Arts program with aspirations to work as a broadcast journalist. However, as he grew in both age and knowledge, he discovered that his true passion lied in the art of film. Falite has written and directed three short films as well as a mini TV series. “I hope to attend film school to sharpen my skill-set on my way to the main goal, the big screen,” Falite adds.

Javier Palacios was born and raised in Hialeah, FL. He first attended St. Thomas University as a LEAD NOW student and later enrolled in the Communication Arts program. “To me, a well done film is the ultimate "painting" and/or work of art that captures the world in which we live in,” said Palacios. He also aspires to be a producer/director/screenwriter in the film industry.

The aim of the CinemaSlam 2012 competition is to celebrate the work of undergraduate and graduate students from South Florida participating schools including University of Miami, Florida International University, Miami International University of Art and Design, Miami-Dade College and St. Thomas University. CinemaSlam 2012 winners will be announced and screened on March 4th at 2:00 p.m. at the Tower Theatre as part of the 29th Miami International Film Festival.

“The goal of producing media content in an academic setting is to assure its wide distribution through various platforms and to expose the work of students to the world. Film festivals are a brilliant window for students’ art work to be appreciated and critiqued by diverse audiences,” said Dr. Moyano. For more information, please contact Dr. Moyano at

Writers of the Blog Highway to a Husband Share their Expertise with Communication Students

Recognized television anchors and producers of the blog Highway to a Husband joined Dr. Marcela Moyano’s New Media and Blog Design class on October 26 to share their experiences as bloggers.

In January 2010, Julia Yarbough, former anchor of NBC6, and Silva Harapetian, anchor of CBS Miami 4, embarked on a Journey to find Julia’s “Mr. Right “on a road trip across the Unites States and started writing about her experiences on her blog Highway to a Husband. Julia and Silva gave themselves a chance to an unconventional road trip, when they noticed that their lives were missing satisfaction in the daily rush to meet tasks and deadlines. In a quest to a more meaningful life, Julia and Silva have visited 26 states and Julia has blogged about her dating adventures.

Julia and Silva shared with Communication Arts students their learning through this process and the value of having created a blog to connect with audiences from across the globe. Silva told students that the key aspect of a blog was to “present something that appeals to the human condition” in order to attract readers despite the subject of the blog.

“You may not know the power of an idea and how it may unfold before you,” added Julia. She is now writing a book about her experiences on Highway to a Husband and her findings. She noted the importance of self-discovery and how a venture on finding the true self can lead to finally finding the “Mr. Right.”

Students of the New Media and Blog Design class have started their own blogs and are now blogging twice a week. Some of the blogs include Gourmet Squatters by Dinkinish O’Connor, Photo Memia by Emilia Vuorela, Changes in Latitudes by Juli Donlen and Re-Birth of an Enlightenment Era by Steeve Simbert. They are learning about the power of new media and some strategies to optimize their blogs, maximize views, and monetize them.

The Highway to a Husband project is now looking for interns to manage social media sites and work on promotional events. For additional information, please contact Dr. Marcela Moyano, Assistant Professor of the Institute for Communication, Entertainment and Media, at

ICEM Faculty and Students Presented their Research at the 81st Annual Convention of the Florida Communication Association 

Sudents and faculty from the Institute for Communication, Entertainment and Media (ICEM) presented their academic research at the 81st Annual Convention of the Florida Communication Association that took place from October 13 to October 15 at the Four Points Sheraton Orlando Studio City.

The graduate students, Mercedes Lardizabal and Ananda De Mello, presented their research developed while taking courses in the Master of Arts in Communication Arts with the specialization in Art Management. Lardizabal entitled her paper The Search for the Filipino American Identity: Exploring the work of Filipino American Artists written in theMulticultural Communication Theory course taught by Dr. Rafael Montes. De Mello presented the paper Ethically Communicating through Space and Self: Installation and Performance Art written for the Media Ethics course and taught by Dr. Marcela Moyano.

Rodolfo Castellon represented the undergraduate students of the Communication Arts program of St. Thomas University at the conference. He presented his research on Ethics in Photo Manipulation also written during the Media Ethics class taught by Dr. Moyano.

Work by:
Jaime Angulo | Olivier Casse | Silvana D'Mikos | Marcelo Daldoce | Irena Gapkovska | Juan Griego | Tracey Hagen | Colleen Kelley | Deborah Mitchell | Nicholas Nehaniv | Gustavo Oviedo | Hugo Patao | Russ Ronat | Carrie Sieh | Donna Lee Steffens | William Vallenilla

Live Music By:
Don Sha and Pink Bubblegum

Artists will be showcasing self-portraits that reveal a side of themselves that they seldom show to society. The concept behind this self-portrait is that in our day to day lives, as we interact with the rest of society, there is a side of ourselves that we suppress because we have been conditioned to think that this side of ourselves is somehow unacceptable or not mainstream. As humans, we have more in common than not, and this exhibition will help guests explore the connection of their hidden selves with the artists’ through these revealing self-portraits.

To enhance the guests’ experience, an interactive installation consisting of a video booth will allow the guest to enter and pose or perform exposing side of themselves they seldom show. This video will be projected during the entire exhibition, forming an installation of video self-portraits. In this way, the guest themselves become artists and connect with other guests and the exhibiting artists.