skip to main content
School of Journalism and New Media
University of Mississippi

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Smith honored with News Leaders Association award for encouraging students of color in the field of journalism

Posted on: August 9th, 2022 by ldrucker

A photo of Marquita Smith outside.A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media assistant dean has been named the 2022 recipient of the Barry Bingham Sr. Fellowship, awarded by the News Leaders Association.

Marquita Smith, Ed.D., assistant dean for graduate programs, won the $1,000 award given in recognition of an educator’s outstanding efforts to encourage students of color in the field of journalism. Smith’s achievements will be recognized at next year’s News Leaders Association Awards Ceremony.

According to the News Leaders Association website, “NLA provides support and training that empowers news leaders and emerging news leaders to build diverse, sustainable newsrooms that use fact-based information to inform and engage the communities they reflect and serve.”

The website reports that the Bingham Fellowship selection committee was particularly impressed by Smith’s career-long commitment to diversity from her days at Knight Ridder, McClatchy and Gannett to those in academia.

The graphic reads Congratulations Marquita Smith.

According to her School of Journalism and New Media bio, Smith has a background in journalism and worked in various newsrooms in Alabama, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi and Virginia for 16 years. Her last newsroom position was Virginia Beach bureau chief at The Virginian-Pilot.

In 2008, Smith went on leave from The Pilot to complete a Knight International Journalism Fellowship in Liberia. During her time in West Africa, she created a judicial and justice reporting network. Both networks continue to operate in the post-war country today. Smith, selected as a Fulbright Scholar in Ghana for the 2016-2017 academic year, is passionate about teaching and researching in West Africa.

Smith earned her doctorate from the University of Arkansas focusing on curriculum and instruction and faculty leadership. In her bio, she said she believes graduate education is a privilege and opportunity for students to gain outstanding communication and research skills.

To read the full story about Smith’s win, visit https://www.newsleaders.org/bingham-award-winner

What’s Next? Journalism and IMC graduates tell us their next career moves

Posted on: August 1st, 2022 by ldrucker

Many of our University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduates are embarking on new adventures in jobs or internships. Here are some of our most recent updates about grads who are taking on the #RealWorldRightNow.

This is a photo of Thomas Lee standing in front of green trees.

Gulfport native Thomas Lee, a University of Mississippi graduate, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with an emphasis in International Conflict and Cooperation and Arabic with a minor in Spanish. He is now an IMC graduate student.

He said he decided to shift to IMC for graduate studies because he has always had a passion for language, culture, and graphic design. He has been working as an intern at BBDO (short for Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborn, a merger between two companies), one of the largest advertising agency networks in the world with more than 15,000 people in 289 agencies across 81 countries.

Lee said his best advice to other journalism and IMC students is to “always have an open mind and apply, apply, apply.”

“I went on a massive LinkedIn internship hunt and got hundreds of rejection emails, but it’s important to not get discouraged,” he said. “ . . .  I truly believe that I would not have been in this position if I did not put myself out there – you never know what can happen if you do.”

Crick holds her diploma while wearing her cap and gown at graduation.

Greenwood native Micah Crick, 22, started working remotely as an account management intern at BBDO Atlanta before moving there to continue working for the company.

“I found the job by deciding I wanted to work for one of BBDO’s offices,” said Crick, who was originally assigned to an account management team working on competitive research and providing support before she was promoted to business affairs coordinator. Now, she assists business managers in the Business Affairs Department.

The recent UM graduate, who studied integrated marketing communications with a specialization in visual design and a minor in general business, felt like she wasn’t involved in campus activities until her senior year of college. Then, she decided to say “yes” to everything she could. That led to new opportunities, including work with BBDO.

Crick became the visuals editor for The Daily Mississippian her senior year, sold advertising for HottyToddy.com, was involved with the National Student Advertising Competition with Instructional Associate Professor Chris Sparks’ campaign class, and she interned for Parents of College Students/662 Marketing.

The graphic features people climbing a ladder and reads: Our grads tell us What's Next?

Liz Corbus graduated from Ole Miss in 2017. The IMC graduate now works at TikTok.

After graduation, Corbus was employed as a digital account coordinator at Warner Media. That led to her current job as a client solutions manager at TikTok for their Beauty and Personal Care Department. She works directly with mid-market beauty advertisers to grow their brand identity through marketing efforts using the TikTok platform.

Liz Corbus

“Month over month, I’m responsible for making sure that clients meet their key performance indicators (KPI),” said Corbus, “but ultimately, we want them to grow their business using TikTok. My day-to-day includes a lot of creative best practices.

“A lot of people are still trying to figure out how advertising works on TikTok because they think it’s apples-to-apples like Instagram or Facebook. But, creativity is the number one driver of success on TikTok. So, if you don’t have the resources or the creative strategy to run ads on TikTok, it’s gonna be a little bit harder.”

Daniel Payne

Daniel Payne graduated in 2020 with a journalism degree and started his career as a reporter for The Desoto Times-Tribune. He said his experience as editor-in-chief for The Daily Mississippian taught him a lot about what was to come in his professional career.

“The Mississippian was maybe the most important part of my education at UM,” said Payne. “Every aspect of that work showed me what a newsroom was all about and gave me a taste of what a career in journalism would actually be like. It confirmed my love for journalism.

“There’s no replacing planning, writing, and editing stories that will have real impact, even if it is just in the university or Oxford. I wasn’t sure if I was up to the challenges that came with all that, but I am so thankful for everyone who encouraged me to go for it. There really isn’t a workday that I don’t use what I learned at The Mississippian.”

Payne landed his first job at The Desoto Times-Tribune, then a full-time fellowship with POLITICO. He is now a full-time reporter at POLITICO after completing his fellowship there.

Natalie Pruitt

Natalie Pruitt graduated with an IMC degree in 2021. After going through the arduous process of job hunting, Pruitt finally landed her current job with FleishmanHillard (FH) as an assistant account executive, but she said her job is more like that of an assistant designer.

“I still can’t believe that I get to do design every single day,” she said, “Working as a designer makes every day so much fun and different from the last. It’s also rewarding being able to use and to strengthen the skills I learned as an IMC major.”

Pruitt also offered advice for incoming freshmen and graduating seniors. She said there are many things she could have done differently in college. However, her best advice is to work hard.

”Never let the fear of judgment stop you from unleashing your inner ‘try-hard.’” said Pruitt. “Being a ‘try-hard’ is what gets you noticed and opens doors that leave you asking, ‘How did I end up here?’”

Billy Schuerman is pictured in this black and white photo.

Billy Schuerman is pictured in this black and white photo.

Billy Schuerman graduated in 2021 and completed his first year in the visual communication master’s program at Ohio University. He has worked as a photographer and writer at a newspaper in Colorado and had a photo internship at the Virginian-Pilot.

He was also one of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media students who recently placed in the Top 20 in the prestigious national Hearst journalism competition in the team digital news/enterprise category. Rabria Moore and Schuerman were winners for the project that tied for 16th place in the Hearst contest with a project from Elon University. The project was about water supply problems in the community of Taylor, Mississippi.

“Before we are journalists, we are humans, and this is a human story,” he said. “This was not a project we could just walk into. We dedicated our time to telling a meaningful story about something that really matters.

“I hope other students can take away that in order to tell the rough draft of history, we must truly dedicate ourselves to the people we serve.” His advice to other journalists is to find time to do important stories. “Not everything you work on will come through,” he said, “but when you have an opportunity to really do something important, it’s important to take it head on.”

This article was compiled from recent student stories.

If you are a University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduate, feel free to email us with your career update.

Putting Yourself Out There: UM School of Journalism and New Media students land jobs with BBDO Worldwide

Posted on: July 27th, 2022 by ldrucker

When Kirsten Flanik, president and CEO of BBDO New York, spoke during an Overby Center presentation last year, she mentioned that the company was interested in interviewing more University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media students.

Flanik brought Oliva Dames, vice president and director of agency marketing for BBDO New York, who is a 2017 UM graduate. Dames earned a degree in business/commerce with minors in marketing and French.

Gulfport native Thomas Lee was in that audience, and his story proves that putting yourself out there sometimes pays off.

“Following the conclusion of the event, I walked up to thank both of them and handed both of them my resume,” said Lee, a UM graduate student. He said, “I really enjoyed your presentation and would love to intern with you all if you have any positions available.’

“We stayed in touch after the event. I sent a lot of emails throughout the fall and spring to both of them just trying to keep myself at the top of their minds. Kirsten encouraged me to apply for the internship program. I applied and landed the opportunity of a lifetime.”

The graphic features a world with people standing on top of it and reads: Putting Yourself Out There.

The graphic features a world with people standing on top of it and reads: Putting Yourself Out There.

Flanik and Dames spoke about the global presence of BBDO Worldwide. BBDO (short for Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborn, a merger between two companies) is one of the largest advertising agency networks in the world with more than 15,000 people in 289 agencies across 81 countries.

Flanik said she’s had to bring in new voices, like Dames, to keep up with changing times. But she’s not the only UM grad working for the company.

Other UM School of Journalism and New Media grads who have worked for BBDO, according to LinkedIn, include Samantha Rippon, Abbie DeLozier, Jasmine Meredith, Mallary Goad, Micah Crick and Lee.

This is a photo of Thomas Lee standing in front of green trees.

Lee, a UM grad who earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with an emphasis in International Conflict and Cooperation and Arabic with a minor in Spanish, said he decided to shift to IMC for graduate studies because he has always had a passion for language, culture, and graphic design. He puts those skills to use at BBDO.

Greenwood native Micah Crick, 22, started working remotely as an account management intern at BBDO Atlanta before moving there to continue working for the company.

“I found the job by deciding I wanted to work for one of BBDO’s offices,” said Crick, who was originally assigned to an account management team working on competitive research and providing support before she was promoted to business affairs coordinator. Now, she assists business managers in the Business Affairs Department.

Crick holds her diploma while wearing her cap and gown at graduation.

Crick holds her diploma while wearing her cap and gown at graduation.

The recent UM graduate who studied integrated marketing communications with a specialization in visual design and a minor in general business said she has also learned that putting herself out there can be rewarding.

Crick felt like she wasn’t involved in campus activities until her senior year of college. Then, she decided to say “yes” to everything she could. That led to new opportunities, including work with BBDO.

Crick became the visuals editor for The Daily Mississippian her senior year, sold advertising for HottyToddy.com, was involved with the National Student Advertising Competition with Instructional Associate Professor Chris Sparks’ campaign class, and she interned for Parents of College Students/662 Marketing.

Lee, who spent the summer working with BBDO as an account intern in New York City, said his best advice to other journalism and IMC students is to “always have an open mind and apply, apply, apply.”

“I went on a massive LinkedIn internship hunt and got hundreds of rejection emails, but it’s important to not get discouraged,” he said. “ . . .  I truly believe that I would not have been in this position if I did not put myself out there – you never know what can happen if you do.”

This story was written by LaReeca Rucker.

Learning Behind the Mask: Communities come together in remarkable ways to learn and adapt through COVID-19

Posted on: July 25th, 2022 by ldrucker

It has been two years since Ole Miss students were sent home, in-person classes were moved online and COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. There have been challenging moments, deep sorrow over lives lost and moments of social disconnect. Nonetheless, communities have come together in remarkable ways to learn how to adapt and reconnect.

Integrating technology into classrooms has provided opportunities for students to learn beyond the traditional classroom setting and instantly connect with anyone, anywhere and at any time. The enhanced learning environment inside and outside the classroom has provided interactive experiences and intentional education. The combination of in-person, virtual, and hybrid appears to be conditioning students for the technologically-dependent world they live in today. The current student generation should be better equipped, more resilient, and more prepared to face whatever communication challenges and experiences should come because of the skills learned by communicating online.

Video conferencing, for example, has served a variety of purposes and enhanced learning because people have been able to virtually connect from across the globe with their peers, co-workers, and family members. Students meet inspiring speakers from their field on a Zoom call that they may not otherwise have had the chance to meet if they were in a traditional, everyday classroom setting. Throughout the school year, many professors, club leaders and organizations invite alumni and guest speakers to speak on Zoom.

Jacqueline Cole is a junior integrated marketing communications major from Memphis, who enrolled at Ole Miss in Fall 2019. Cole reflected and compared her experiences before and through the pandemic.

The graphic reads: Learning Behind the Mask: Communities come together in remarkable ways to learn and adapt through COVID-19

The graphic reads: Learning Behind the Mask: Communities come together in remarkable ways to learn and adapt through COVID-19

“We didn’t video-conference in our classes or anything before the pandemic,” Cole said. “But now, it’s a regular thing that I look forward to in many of my classes and clubs. Last semester, we had an influencer reach out to my internet marketing class. The influencer, Sara Caroline Bridgers, actually went to Ole Miss. She now lives in Hawaii, and we were able to talk to her about how she became an influencer, how she makes money, and how to promote a self-brand.”

Remote opportunities have also provided many options for students in terms of learning and future possibilities for flexibility in the workforce. It has been to the advantage of students to learn more about the latest opportunities that have emerged in the past few years.

“I can go beyond what I have always known because I have the idea now that you can work remotely from everywhere. So, I don’t feel like I have to be stuck in one city,” Cole said. “I could definitely move around and have the opportunity to work for the same company, and my life wouldn’t be affected because I had to move to a different location for another job. I feel like this [opportunity] has definitely opened up since COVID.”

Since returning to campus this school year, Cole has noticed the empathy of her professors. She feels like her health is a priority. When Cole has to miss class for being sick, she knows she can rely on her professors to work with her outside of class to make up her work. She feels less pressured to constantly show up for class when she is not feeling well.

“The teachers have become more understanding,” Cole said. “I have noticed that the teachers take more time and are a lot more caring about out-of-class circumstances. When students are sick, Zoom options for students make things healthier, especially for someone who gets sick all the time. I never feel like I’m missing something anymore.”

As the world is evolving at an extremely fast technological pace, The University of Mississippi is growing with it. The University has employed several initiatives to help students continue to learn and prevent learning gaps.

“I have been able to connect with people despite the literal communication gaps,” Cole said. “I think the pandemic has helped the world, as a whole, communicate.”

Students can pursue and balance their passions and hobbies with their academics when flexibility is built in by a remote schedule. Combining traditional and virtual procedures where necessary, timely, and convenient helps the day-to-day tasks flow more smoothly. The developments from the past few years, such as online advising, virtual tours and virtual speakers, should remain because they are efficient and informative.

Dawson Wilson is a senior majoring in integrated marketing communications from Ocean Springs. He is the current director of photography for UM Square Magazine and was the 2020-2021 photo editor for The Ole Miss yearbook. Wilson also shoots freelance photography.

“Ever since COVID hit two years ago, I have learned just how much better of a learner I am when I take online and pace-yourself classes,” Wilson said. “I am a photographer, so this gave me leeway to really hone in on my craft while also being able to do school on my own time. I ended up finding the perfect balance of work, school, and play.”

The novelty of the technology and circumstances at hand proves there is no true expert in the room–or on the Zoom. However, this is how and where great ideas can be born and developed. Students are navigating, growing, and learning during a highly confusing time when much of the world is trying to do the same.

“I feel like going through all of this and knowing what I know now, the basic message that I have learned is just to live your life,” Wilson said. “If you don’t do it, your mind will eat away at you with the ‘what-ifs,’ but if you do it and don’t like it, then you have the ‘well, at least I tried it’ mindset.”

Wilson went on to say, “I think that whenever something major like this happens, technology will always advance to make things easier for us. As much as I think I remember the internet being super popular before the pandemic, it, no doubt, got much more popular during and after COVID. A big thing that people learned is how easy it is to find inspiration and a passion, while also being able to monetize that passion. At the beginning of the pandemic, when people were making small businesses in their homes with their stimulus checks, they realized how much the internet could open the world to everyone.”

The University of Mississippi PRSSA chapter members.

The University of Mississippi PRSSA chapter members in masks.

The world is more than what students have known thus far, in terms of location or opportunity. With the world becoming more technologically advanced, each generation must refine their online communication skills. Integrating technology into the classroom has helped college students navigate the complexities of communicating professionally and socially.

“I was literally blown away when Kara Brand, who worked at Vogue, told us her story in our Square Magazine virtual meeting one day,” Wilson said. “The story was that she had graduated from Ole Miss and decided to move to New York. She worked for the MET Museum, where she worked the MET Gala annually.

“One year, she met the editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, and she was offered a job on the spot. From there, she moved to L.A. to work for Teen Vogue, where she eventually ended up landing a job at Vogue in New York City. That is the short story, but I was so fascinated by her and her luck. I definitely do not think we would have gotten to hear from her if we had not had the pandemic.”

Elena Ossoski is a sophomore pursuing degrees in education and integrated marketing communications with an emphasis in public relations. Ossoski currently serves as editor-in-chief of UM Square Magazine, where she works with a team of directors to lead the staff. The staff worked together to publish the first volume of the student-run fashion magazine during the pandemic.

The pandemic provided an opportunity for reflection, outreach, and creativity for Ossoski and the magazine staff. Since UM Square Magazine posts weekly content online, including social media and blog posts, the team members could still contribute to story-telling, despite obstacles put in place by the pandemic.

“I’ve been able to form connections and relationships with people through social media and email, whether they are professional or friendships, even with people I haven’t met in person,” Ossoski said. “I would reach out to alumni, fellow students, and just people I thought were cool. Since it was during the pandemic, most people I interviewed I haven’t met in person. I would form relationships and share the stories through Square.”

“It has been very rewarding,” Ossoski said.

Social media became a direct reflection of what people were craving during the pandemic. Society had been missing out on normalcy: students wanted to know what everyone else was doing daily, so students constantly watched everyone post about it online. Students longed to be with each other.

“There’s so much knowledge that you can share from one person to another,” Ossoski said. “You can share someone’s life experiences, what they did that day, what they did at school, what they choose to wear each day–it’s a very intimate way to get to know somebody–and it also happened during the pandemic, when we also weren’t able to meet face-to-face, so it was just nice to hear about how other people lived their lives and share about these experiences on social media and on the blog. It just gave more insight to life in general.”

Social media and blogs became an outlet to get to know each other. Students desire human connection. Sometimes, you need that “push” from someone who has done something slightly scary before you; deep down, you know it will be okay, but when you hear a story from an inspiring individual who has “made it,” it motivates you. Social media provided that extra level of connection during that time of disconnection that allowed our generation to reach out instantly and take that leap of faith that students otherwise may not have been brave enough to take.

This story was written by By Haley Clift.

To read more stories from The Review: https://issuu.com/mrmagazine123/docs/the_review_all_pages_final

To learn more about our programs: https://jnm.olemiss.edu/

To follow our school on social media @umjourimc: https://linktr.ee/umjourimc

Apply now: https://bit.ly/36t5f3l

 

The graphic features a student sitting at TV monitors and reads: Turn Your Dreams Into Reality.

 

Why Internships Matter: Hard work and the right internships can prepare students for the future

Posted on: July 11th, 2022 by ldrucker

The graphic reads: Why Internships Matter and features a cartoon laptop and notebook.

 

This story was written by Abby Hamelton for The Review.

Over the years, The University of Mississippi has had many successful alumni that have begun their careers at the bottom and worked their way up. Whether they majored in integrated marketing and communications (IMC) or journalism, they all made their impact on this world by starting out on the right foot with a degree from the School of Journalism and New Media.

Liz Corbus

Liz Corbus

Liz Corbus graduated from Ole Miss in 2017 and has been building her career ever since. Being an IMC major, Corbus could have chosen several different career paths, but chose to stick with media. Now, as a result of her decision, she works at TikTok. While still in college, Corbus worked at two different internships, which she believed helped her better understand what she wanted to do after graduation. Although her internships did not necessarily relate directly to her eventual position after college, she believes that her internships in college helped her acclimate quickly to new work environments and responsibilities. Corbus explained that her first internship was for Comedy Central and was PR related. Her second was working in production at a television station.

“I would say most of the internships that I did in undergrad didn’t set me up to know how to do this job,” explained Corbus. “I think that’s the great thing with each new experience in the workforce. Most things you won’t know how to do until you start the job. So it’s really just a mentality of your work ethic and being open to learning. In general, when everyone’s applying for different roles, as long as in the interview you come across like you’re willing to work hard and learn, well, that’s what they’re looking for.”

While completing her internships, Corbus continued to take courses at the University to improve her knowledge in the field of marketing. Corbus believes the classes she took helped her best prepare for the real world.

“Overall, you really get to learn every different area of the IMC world through these classes,” said Corbus. “I think it gives you a very holistic approach. Even if it’s not necessarily what you do after graduation, you really learn each touch point in the business. The class that I was very excited about, which was one of my favorite classes, was a sales class that we had. It was the most useful class for what I do in my day-to-day job now because it was about how to pitch, the sales cycle, and how the sales world works.”

After graduation, Corbus was employed as a digital account coordinator at Warner Media. During her three years at Warner, she was able to learn more about the industry, and her interest in and understanding of the different areas of marketing increased. According to Corbus, her time spent at Warner was productive, and it led to her current job at TikTok, which is yet another new opportunity for her to hone her skills in another area of marketing.

“I would say they’re pretty different. The role at Warner Media was on the publishing side. This role is very much a strategy role, as well as a sales role. But basically, throughout my whole week, I am tasked to understand my clients’ needs and how they’re ultimately trying to drive sales,” said Corbus.

Corbus has been at TikTok for seven months and is working as a client solutions manager for their Beauty and Personal Care Department. In her position, she works directly with mid-market beauty advertisers to grow their brand identity through marketing efforts using the TikTok platform.

“I am responsible for growing the advertisers,” said Corbus. “Month over month, I’m responsible for making sure that clients meet their key performance indicators (KPI), but ultimately, we want them to grow their business using TikTok. My day-to-day includes a lot of creative best practices. A lot of people are still trying to figure out how advertising works on TikTok because they think it’s apples-to-apples like Instagram or Facebook. But, creativity is the number one driver of success on TikTok,” explained Corbus. “So, if you don’t have the resources or the creative strategy to run ads on TikTok, it’s gonna be a little bit harder.”

Daniel Payne

Daniel Payne

Daniel Payne graduated in 2020 with a journalism degree and started his career as a reporter for The Desoto Times-Tribune. Like Corbus, Payne also had two internships in college; however, he found that his experience as editor-in-chief for The Daily Mississippian helped teach him a lot about what was to come in his professional career.

“The Mississippian was maybe the most important part of my education at UM,” said Payne. “Every aspect of that work showed me what a newsroom was all about and gave me a taste of what a career in journalism would actually be like. It confirmed my love for journalism. There’s no replacing planning, writing, and editing stories that will have real impact, even if it is just in the university or Oxford. I wasn’t sure if I was up to the challenges that came with all that, but I am so thankful for everyone who encouraged me to go for it. There really isn’t a workday that I don’t use what I learned at The Mississippian.”

Although Payne had a lot of experience showcased on his resume, finding work after graduation was not easy because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Because I graduated just as the pandemic was starting, a lot of publications were not hiring, and others canceled their fellowship and internship programs,” explained Payne. “So, I just kept applying and doing the work I could and everything worked out.”

Payne finally landed his first job at The Desoto Times-Tribune, where he worked for seven months until later landing a full-time fellowship with POLITICO. He described how the work environments differed from one another.

“Those were very different environments, but both were really important and taught me a lot in their own ways. The DeSoto Times-Tribune had a very small staff where I was busy reporting, editing, designing and planning coverage with a couple of other people. It was sort of like my time at The Daily Mississippian — trying to do impactful work that really mattered for the community, but overseeing that work from idea to execution, interviews to product redesigns,” Payne explained. “What I do at POLITICO is very different in some ways, but that mission of reporting for the good of a community is the same, even if that community is much larger. My reporting is focused in one area, and I’m not doing much besides reporting and writing — just trying to do it at the highest level I can. I’m thankful for time at both places, though. I wouldn’t have the skills, perspective or drive I have now without both environments.”

Payne is now a full-time reporter at POLITICO after completing his fellowship there.

“There are still a lot of great development and education opportunities in the newsroom,” said Payne.

Looking back at his time at Ole Miss, Payne has some advice for incoming freshmen and for graduating seniors. He believes freshmen should begin reporting the news as soon as they can, and graduating seniors should be prepared to fill out a lot of applications.

“There’s really no replacement for doing journalism yourself in order to learn it,” Payne said. “Also, I have told friends who are graduating to get ready to apply for a lot of openings. It may have just been my experience, but it took a lot of time and perseverance to get a job in journalism that I really wanted. But it was absolutely worth it. The time invested is worth getting to do what you really love.”

Natalie Pruitt

Natalie Pruitt

Natalie Pruitt graduated with an IMC degree in 2021.

“During my spring semester, senior year, I essentially applied to every job that sounded remotely interesting to me as well as some that didn’t out of pure desperation. I spent a week perfecting my online resume and portfolio,” said Pruitt. “I also applied to post-grad internships at companies that were known for having excellent internship programs, since I felt my qualifications matched those of an intern role rather than the jobs advertised at larger firms.”

After going through the arduous process of job hunting, Pruitt finally landed her current job with FleishmanHillard (FH) as an assistant account executive, but she explained that her job is more like that of an assistant designer.

“Assistant account executive is the title given across the board to all junior level staff at FH,” said Pruitt. “The title that more accurately describes my role is assistant designer. I still can’t believe that I get to do design every single day. Working as a designer makes every day so much fun and different from the last. It’s also rewarding being able to use and to strengthen the skills I learned as an IMC major.”

Pruitt explained that having a job that is rewarding to her makes the hard work she put in at school all the more important to her. She explained that her internship at FH was also important because it led to her current position at the company.

“I was lucky enough to convert to the role of assistant account executive/assistant designer at FleishmanHillard after working as an intern for six months,” said Pruitt. “Honestly, the transition has been so smooth, and I felt very prepared to take on the new role and the new responsibilities that came with it. Before my internship at FH, the role that most prepared me for my current position was when I worked as a content marketing intern at Ole Miss in the Office of Marketing and Communications. It was while working in that position that I realized how much I love design. While there, I was given a multitude of opportunities to develop my design skills.”

Pruitt also offered advice for incoming freshmen and graduating seniors. She explained there are many things she could have done differently in college. However, her best advice is to work hard.

”Never let the fear of judgment stop you from unleashing your inner ‘try-hard.’” said Pruitt. “Being a ‘try-hard’ is what gets you noticed and opens doors that leave you asking, ‘How did I end up here?’”

Liz Corbus, Daniel Payne, and Natalie Pruitt have all had great success with their careers after graduating from the University of Mississippi. They are proof that hard work and the right internships can help to better prepare anyone for the future.

To read more stories from The Review: https://issuu.com/mrmagazine123/docs/the_review_all_pages_final

To learn more about our programs: https://jnm.olemiss.edu/

To follow our school on social media @umjourimc: https://linktr.ee/umjourimc

Apply now: https://bit.ly/36t5f3l

 

The graphic features a student sitting at TV monitors and reads: Turn Your Dreams Into Reality.

Society of Professional Journalists names two UM finalists in 2021 Mark of Excellence national competition

Posted on: June 29th, 2022 by ldrucker

The Society of Professional Journalists recently named two University of Mississippi finalists in the 2021 Mark of Excellence national competition.

Student HG Biggs, a journalist with The Daily Mississippian, was named a finalist in the Breaking News Photography category of programs with more than 10,000 students. Hotty Toddy News was named a finalist for Best All-Around Television News Magazine.

The 2021 Mark of Excellence Awards recognize collegiate work published or broadcast during 2021. The awards honor the best in student journalism.

This is an image of Farley Hall with the SPJ logo over the building.

School divisions are based on student enrollment, which includes both graduate and undergraduate enrollment. Schools with more than 10,000 students are designated as large schools.

National Mark of Excellence Awards judges can choose up to one national winner in each category and two national finalists (runners-up).

Winners and finalists were previously recognized by receiving first-place in one of SPJ’s 12 regional competitions. The results of those competitions can be found in the April 2022 SPJ News archive. Each first-place regional winner advanced to the national competition.

Below is a list of winners in both categories with UM winners.

Click to read the full list of winners.

Art/Graphics

Breaking News Photography (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: Racial reckoning – by TJ Shaw, Syracuse University
Finalist: Walking out – by Dominick Sokotoff, University of Michigan
Finalist: Confrontation – by HG Biggs, University of Mississippi

Television

Best All-Around Television News Magazine
Winner: “Our America” – by staff, California State University, Fullerton
Finalist: “ViewFinder” – by staff, The University of Maryland
Finalist: “Hotty Toddy News” – by staff, University of Mississippi

Two University of Mississippi journalism students place in prestigious Hearst competition

Posted on: June 20th, 2022 by ldrucker

Congratulations to two University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media students who recently placed in the Top 20 in the prestigious national Hearst journalism competition in the team digital news/enterprise category.

Rabria Moore and Billy Schuerman were winners led by editor/adviser Ellen Meacham, according to Patricia Thompson, former director of the S. Gale Denley Student Media Center at Ole Miss.

Thompson said the project tied for 16th place in the Hearst contest with a project from Elon University. The Top 5 winners in that category were students from Western Kentucky, Syracuse, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Oregon.

The project, about water supply problems in the community of Taylor, Mississippi, was published during the spring semester of 2021, and this is one of several major awards it has won since then, Thompson said.

Rabria Moore is pictured in the photo.

Rabria Moore is pictured in the photo.

Moore is entering her senior year at UM and is The Daily Mississippian editor-in-chief for 2022-23.

Schuerman graduated in 2021 and just completed his first year in the visual communication master’s program at Ohio University. He spent winter break as a photographer and writer at a newspaper in Colorado and has a photo internship this summer at the Virginian-Pilot, Thompson said.

Moore, 20, is a Durant, Mississippi native entering her senior year at the university studying journalism and political science.

“I was very excited to find out I received a Hearst award for this project,” Rabria said. “When I started this project, I didn’t think about winning any awards. My main goal was to tell a story about a woman who’s been fighting for access to water, and hopefully bring attention to the issue of water access, especially in Mississippi. I’m happy to receive the award, but I definitely take more pride in knowing that the story has reached a broader audience.”

Moore said working on this project was different from others.

“For months, I was able to visit Ms. Ilean’s home to hear about and see the problems she was facing without access to community water,” she said. “I hope others, especially people living in Mississippi, understand that not everyone has access to the same resources. Water is something we take for granted and something we don’t typically think about, but I hope people can appreciate the ‘small’ things that we don’t have to figure out on our own.”

She said learning to listen was one of the things she took away from the project.

“So many times, we think we know someone’s story or situation,” Moore said. “I think listening gives people the opportunity to tell their stories without us injecting ourselves into those stories.”

Billy Schuerman is pictured in this black and white photo.

Billy Schuerman is pictured in this black and white photo.

Schuerman, 23, who is from Houston, Texas, said he was elated to hear that their hard work was recognized in the competition.

“I am more hopeful that this recognition helps provide a future for the community we reported on,” he said. “Awards are secondary to the communities we serve.”

He said the project was meaningful.

“Before we are journalists, we are humans, and this is a human story,” he said. “This was not a project we could just walk into. We dedicated our time to telling a meaningful story about something that really matters. I hope other students can take away that in order to tell the rough draft of history, we must truly dedicate ourselves to the people we serve.”

His advice to other journalists is to find time to do important stories.

“Not everything you work on will come through,” he said, “but when you have an opportunity to really do something important, it’s important to take it head on.”

What you need to know to apply to the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media

Posted on: June 13th, 2022 by ldrucker

An outside shot of Farley Hall with students entering the building.

Are you or someone you know thinking about applying for admission to the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media?

On July 1, we encourage you to begin the application process.

Students will apply online at https://admissions.olemiss.edu/

It’s a simple process. Here are the steps:

  • Students apply online, pay the application fee, or submit an ACT/SAT fee waiver.
  • They must supply transcripts from high school and/or all colleges they have attended.
  • While the university is currently considered test optional, students are encouraged to submit ACT and/or SAT scores for consideration for some scholarships and placement in some courses.
  • Once all needed documents are received, the Admissions Office will communicate the admissions decision to the student.

Jennifer Simmons, former assistant dean of the School of Journalism and New Media, said she encourages students to apply even if they are unsure if they plan to attend.

“Students who apply to the UM School of Journalism and New Media will get hands-on, real-world experiences in their major courses that they can carry forth into the workforce,” Simmons said.

Fun classes await.

“There are opportunities to become involved with study abroad, internships, HottyToddy.com, the Student Media Center, and UM Athletics opportunities the first year,” Simmons said.

Students who attend other schools may wait until they are upperclassmen to be considered for similar opportunities.

Simmons said students can become involved in activities their freshman year that could catapult them into the careers of their dreams when they graduate.

Apply online today at https://admissions.olemiss.edu/

New director set to lead University of Mississippi’s S. Gale Denley Student Media Center

Posted on: June 6th, 2022 by ldrucker

A new director will soon lead the S. Gale Denley Student Media Center (SMC), which includes The Daily Mississippian newspaper, the campus television station NewsWatch, Rebel Radio and The Ole Miss yearbook.

Larz Roberts will be joining the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media June 24 as the new SMC leader.

Roberts comes to UM from Arkansas State University, where he advised Red Wolf Radio and ASU-TV News. For the past 25 years, he has worked in student media and as a faculty member teaching radio, television, online and print courses. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Mississippi and his B.S. from Florida A&M.

“His students have won national, regional and state awards for their work,” said Interim Dean Debora Wenger, “and Larz tells us that his goal is to help our students ‘grow across platforms, think critically and gain practical experience.’ Larz joins an exceptional team in the SMC and will be able to build on what is an excellent foundation.”

Larz Roberts is the new director of the S. Gale Denley Media Center.

Larz Roberts is the new director of the S. Gale Denley Media Center.

Roberts said he has always been a “utility player,” and that helped him learn many aspects of operating a media organization.

“If the media outlet where I worked needed someone to do a variety of whatever, I was often one to toss myself or get tossed onto those tasks,” he said. “Once I got into academia, I relished being that utility player, being able to teach and coach a number of things both the students and my departments needed.”

Students now produce a newscast, but Roberts said he’d like to see them have an entire television channel to create a variety of television programs, telling stories from all over the area.

“I’d love to see any student with a skill set or interest they can put to use in the media center use that opportunity to stretch their legs,” he said. “Get practical, real experience with content they create added to their portfolios.”

Whether that is in journalism, advertising or marketing, Roberts hopes students will use the SMC to build their portfolios and tell stories that would not otherwise be told.

“The mass media landscape is such now that everyone should think of creating multi-platform content,” he said. “Or at least, creating content that can be adapted to run across the different media platforms.

“That’s what those who are hiring are looking at, so it’s important any students wanting media experience be aware of that as an expectation.”

Roberts said it’s important that students and the program earn recognition for their work.

“I want to see students bringing back multiple national and regional awards,” he said. “With what I’ve seen of the work they produce, it’s a realistic goal . . . My mind has been churning almost nonstop in the past couple of weeks. I love seeing the lightbulbs turn on over students’ heads.  I can hardly wait to work with the faculty and the students there to make all that happen.”

Roberts is the current president of the Arkansas College Media Association, and he is involved in the Central Arkansas Association of Black Journalists, Arkansas’ only National Association of Black Journalists chapter.

He is also the founding faculty co-adviser for the state’s first student NABJ chapter, the Arkansas State Association of Black Journalists.

Andrea Hickerson Named Dean of School of Journalism and New Media

Posted on: May 20th, 2022 by ldrucker
Andrea Hickerson, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina, as well as associate dean and professor, is the new dean of the UM School of Journalism and New Media. Hickerson is a respected researcher, educator and administrator whose vision for the school involves preparing students to succeed in an evolving modern media landscape and deal with ongoing technological and social changes. Submitted photo

Andrea Hickerson, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina, as well as associate dean and professor, is the new dean of the UM School of Journalism and New Media. Hickerson is a respected researcher, educator and administrator whose vision for the school involves preparing students to succeed in an evolving modern media landscape and deal with ongoing technological and social changes. Submitted photo

Respected administrator brings expertise in 21st century practices, research into deepfakes

OXFORD, Miss. – Andrea Hickerson, an internationally renowned researcher, educator and administrator, is joining the University of Mississippi as dean of the School of Journalism and New Media.

Her appointment was approved Thursday, May 19 by the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning board of trustees at its May meeting. Hickerson begins her new role July 1.

“The appointment of Dr. Hickerson resulted from a national search that attracted a well-qualified pool of applicants,” said Noel Wilkin, UM provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.

“She is an accomplished researcher and scholar with experience studying deepfakes and issues facing international journalism. She is also an accomplished administrator, having served as a director at two universities.”

Hickerson earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and international relations at Syracuse University, master’s degrees in journalism and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Texas, and a Ph.D. in communication at the University of Washington. She has served on the faculty at both the Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of South Carolina, where she most recently was director of the USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications, associate dean and professor.

The new dean said she is “incredibly positive” about coming to Ole Miss and Oxford.

“I love the setting and the history,” Hickerson said. “When I visited campus, I felt a great energy and sense of mission from faculty, staff and students. I was excited by their drive to serve local, state, national and international communities in creative ways.

“I thought we would make great partners and thrive off of each other.”

Hickerson has been a principal investigator, co-principal investigator or investigator on projects generating more than $1.6 million in external support from a range of sources that include the National Science Foundation, U.S. State Department, philanthropic foundations and news networks.

Hickerson said her vision for the school is to prepare students to meet the challenges of evolving modern media and deal with ongoing technological and social changes.

“A short-term goal is to enhance the things the school is already great at, like supporting student media and creating opportunities for experiential learning,” Hickerson said. “To do this, I look forward to listening to and learning from faculty, staff, students and alumni.

“I’m especially interested in traveling across the state and meeting current and future employers of the school’s graduates.”

Hickerson said she wants to make sure that the school is setting students up not just for their first job, but for successful careers.

“I also want to make sure our curriculum is well-rounded and has the right blend of skills classes and topical courses so our students can engage critically with key challenges facing citizens, especially those with backgrounds who differ from their own,” she said.

A long-term goal of Hickerson’s is to increase the school’s expertise and reputation as central to community problem solving.

“A pet peeve of mine is when people equate communication with ‘messaging’ or ‘publicity,’” she said. “Communication experts know how to listen, assess needs, contribute to solutions and communicate them to public and private audiences.”

The incoming dean said she hopes to accomplish this goal by prioritizing interdisciplinary projects and research, including grant-funded research.

“I also hope to achieve this through proactive programming and events that bring experts from different fields to campus to address a common problem,” she said. “I believe that if we take this initiative – creating spaces to discuss and iterate on problems – we can easily demonstrate our centrality to its analysis and solutions.”

A prolific scholar, Hickerson is the author or co-author of more than 25 peer-reviewed journal articles. She has also been a presenter at numerous national and international conferences, as well as at professional development training seminars.

Hickerson said her strong background in research – particularly on deepfakes, manipulated videos that can make it appear that a person said something that they did not – should be especially useful in her new role.

“My research on deepfakes is an example of how journalism and communication can be paired with tech fields to solve a community problem; in this case, fighting misinformation,” she said.

“Also, at the heart of this research is a deep commitment to verification. No matter how we challenge and create new storytelling forms, verification is a central practice.”

Hickerson has received many awards for her teaching and research. One of the most meaningful for her is the University of South Carolina’s Educational Foundation Research Award from Professional Schools. The award is one of the university’s highest research honors.

“I’m proud of it because it recognized how my research impacted the overall practice of journalism, particularly through my deepfake research,” she said.

Hickerson said she is also proud of and grateful for being asked to serve on the advisory board for a community-based research project concerning media portrayals of race in Rochester, New York, in 2018 and again in 2021.

“Both the results of those reports and the community members working on it taught me to question traditional journalism practices and to reconsider who tells community stories and even the definition of ‘newsworthy,’” she said.

Her professional activities and memberships include the editorial board for the Journal of Global Media and Diaspora, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the International Communication Association, and the International Association for Media and Communication Research.

Hickerson will bring “a thoughtful and measured approach” to leading the school, said Debora Rae Wenger, interim dean and professor of journalism.

“Dr. Hickerson appears to think deeply about the role that communication can, does and should play in our society,” Wenger said. “Under her leadership, I think we can reimagine the ways in which our school can contribute to the big conversation taking place around credibility, authenticity and accuracy of news and information in today’s tech-mediated world.”

Wenger said Hickerson’s plans to take the time she needs to understand the culture and to build strategically on past successes are also welcome.

“It’s always good to bring in fresh ideas and new approaches,” she said. “Dr. Hickerson’s previous administrative experience offers us the opportunity to grow.”