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Integrated Marketing Communications grad’s handcrafted work is getting noticed

Posted on: April 13th, 2023 by ldrucker
IMC graduate Shelby Toole with her pottery.

IMC graduate Shelby Toole with her pottery.

When Shelby Toole entered the University of Mississippi as an integrated marketing communications major, she never expected to become a potter. She took pottery classes during college and fell in love with the craft.

Now, after expanding into other creative areas, her jewelry is being noticed by others in the spotlight. Erin Napier, of HGTV’s “Hometown,” posted a photo of a pair of her ceramic earrings on Instagram.

After graduating and attending graduate school for her master’s degree in IMC, Toole began teaching pottery at the local community center before starting her own business.

“I started taking pottery classes as a freshmen at Ole Miss, and I just fell in love with it,” she said. “I took it every semester, and it was kind of like of my therapy. In grad school, I started teaching at the community center, but when COVID hit, classes died down.”

Her love for pottery eventually turned from a passion into a business. Toole describes SJ Ceramic Company as: “Functional pottery and personal enjoyment. It isn’t a brand or business. I picture my work as my art…I like taking a piece of pottery, and letting it slow people down, and letting it invite people in to take in the day.”

IMC graduate Shelby Toole with her pottery.

IMC graduate Shelby Toole with her pottery.

SJ Ceramic Company, (SJ stands for Share Joy), started in 2019 and has largely been run through online stores and social media platforms like Etsy and Instagram, but she also sets up booths in local and state art festivals. The majority of pieces Toole makes are personalized commissions customers can request.

The company is largely a one-woman business. “It’s just me, but I ask my sister to help me with the miscellaneous work,” she said.

Running a one-person business can be stressful, but Toole sees it as a method of expression. “In the big picture, it’s a business, but at the center (the art) is the heart of it,” she said.

Toole said she sometimes becomes creatively blocked when she is involved in large shows or has large orders. “It’s easy to get in production mode and have to remind myself to do something fun,” she said.

For Toole, the best way to overcome a creative block is to avoid putting pressure on yourself, step away, and do something you enjoy. Some of her biggest inspirations are artists Keith Haring, Adam Trest, and Walter Anderson. She is influenced by their use of movement, abstract shapes, nature scenes and vivid colors.

One of the biggest struggles with running SJ Ceramic Company is monitoring inventory. Though actually making the pieces is exciting, displaying and advertising the finished product can be tedious and tiresome.

“Even though I have a master’s for (marketing)…the online aspect can be heavy because there’s a lot that goes into selling a product and showing it off,” she said.

Everyone wants to do what they love for a living, but that doesn’t mean we love every part of what we do.

“(Glazing) is my least favorite part of the process,” she said. “It can sometimes be the most intimidating because I’m overwhelmed with all the options.”

Once a piece is made, it is the only one in existence, which gives the customer something that truly belongs only to them. The company produces many products, from plates, cups, and pots to earrings and necklaces, all hand-made from porcelain. All earrings are made with a form of 14k gold.

Toole loves to create jewelry, cups, plates. Her life motto, “drink well,” which means to take in life and all that it offers, is part of her art. Her cups and mugs often have this message abstractly carved into them, connecting message, art and functionality.

Though SJ Ceramic Company is primarily run by Toole, her biggest helper and supporter is her sister Kellie Bickes, who helps with marketing, product assembly, and often travels with her to art shows and festivals throughout the state.

“I was very excited for her because she was always very artistic growing up,” Bickes said. “I would describe her art as very organic. Everything’s bright and happy and makes you want to gather with friends and family. They’re always good pieces to have in your home; they’re all very inviting.”

For those who wish to have their own Shelby Toole creation and support SJ Ceramic Company, they can be found on Etsy under SJ Ceramic Company and at the upcoming Double Decker Arts Festival April 28 – 29.

This story was written by student Taylor Rogers.

Mississippi Today named Silver Em winner by UM School of Journalism and New Media

Posted on: April 4th, 2023 by ldrucker
Headshots of the Mississippi Today staff.

Headshots of the Mississippi Today staff.

It’s the first time in history a news organization has won the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media’s prestigious Silver Em award.

Mississippi Today will receive the honor during the annual ceremony Wednesday, April 12, at 6 p.m. in the ballroom at the Inn at Ole Miss.

Adam Ganucheau, editor-in-chief of Mississippi Today, said he is proud that Mississippi’s largest newsroom was named a Silver Em winner.

“We are very familiar with the prestigious Silver Em award and know full well that it is given to Mississippi journalists with exceptional journalistic contributions to the state or nation,” he said. “We’re immensely proud our organization is now among that number. The UM journalism school has such a rich history of producing impactful journalists and journalism, and we’re proud to carry on that legacy in our home state.”

Several Mississippi Today staff members are UM graduates, including Ganucheau and three more of the site’s top leaders: Mary Margaret White, CEO; Kayleigh Skinner, managing editor; and Lauchlin Fields, audience development director.

Other alumni include Devna Bose, health reporter; Julia James, education reporter; and Bethany Atkinson, community manager.

Ganucheau said the Mississippi Today team aims to make everyday Mississippians their reporting focus and to show that powerful leaders and systems either serve or don’t serve the people.

“Since our launch in 2016, we’ve built a loyal following of readers who trust us to call it like we see it in the halls of state government,” Ganucheau said, “and some of our more recent investigative and accountability work, in particular, is among our proudest.

“We continue to deploy a full staff of reporters to the Mississippi State Capitol every single day for the state’s deepest watchdog journalism of the Mississippi Legislature, and we cover a wide range of beats touching every corner of state government.”

Debora Wenger, associate dean and professor, said the school is proud to honor Mississippi Today.

“It is only fitting that our school, which is focused on instilling journalistic excellence in our students, has the opportunity to recognize one of the most innovative and high-quality news sites in the country,” she said. “The fact that Mississippi Today is producing journalism in service to our state just adds to the pleasure we take in honoring these fine reporters and editors.”

Ganucheau said his staff also loves writing positive stories of Mississippi, including sports and broader cultural stories that show off the breadth of talent and creativity of the state.

“But lately, we’re especially proud of our investigation and close coverage of the sprawling Mississippi welfare scandal,” he said. “Mississippi Today poverty and investigative reporter Anna Wolfe revealed in our ‘The Backchannel’ investigation former Gov. Phil Bryant’s role in a sprawling welfare scandal. Each part of series delved further into Bryant’s previously unreported influence over the misspending of at least $77 million in federal funds intended to assist nearly 588,000 of the state’s poorest residents.”

Wolfe’s work on “The Backchannel” series won the 2023 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, which is considered among the most prestigious national investigative journalism awards.

Other finalists for the award were The New York Times, The Associated Press, Reuters, National Public Radio, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“We always strive to use our public service platform to the state’s advantage, offering our work completely for free to readers and to any Mississippi news outlet that would like to republish it,” Ganucheau said. “We see our role as helping bolster the state’s journalism outlets, not competing with them, and we firmly believe that the more sunshine that can be shed on our state’s leaders, the better.”

The Silver Em awards date to 1958, and recipients must be Mississippians with notable journalism careers or journalists with notable careers in Mississippi.

This story was written by LaReeca Rucker.

UM School of Journalism and New Media student wins Gracie Award for documentary

Posted on: April 4th, 2023 by ldrucker
Emma Harrington

Emma Harrington

A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media student has been named one of the winners of the 48th annual Gracie Awards.

Emma Harrington was one of the Television Student Winners for her documentary “Wyatt Waters: Below the Surface.”

Student Media Director Larz Roberts said he was surprised but not shocked to hear of Harrington’s win.

“Emma is sharp and she keeps her motor running,” he said. “Her work reflects that. Spend 10 minutes in a room talking with her and anyone can see how Emma representing Ole Miss on the national stage for that honor just makes sense. I’m happy the Gracies recognize the quality of student we have in Emma Harrington through her documentary.”

Read Harrington’s description of the documentary below:

“Mississippi is not a big place or a famous place. Yet somehow, truly amazing people arise here. William Faulkner and Eudora Welty set their stories here. Bo Diddley, Robert Johnson and Elvis Presley strummed their first guitar chords here while Medgar Evers and Myrlie Evers worked to change the world. Ethel Wright Mohamed and Walter Anderson captured the small world around them in scenes that now reside in the Smithsonian. Wyatt Waters stands humbly in this famous crowd, a nationally recognized painter… and so much more.

“With little more than a cup of water and a squeeze of pigment, he captures a forever frozen feeling… a moment in time deciphered masterfully onto a sheet of Arches paper. Paper colored not only with pigment, but with words and with music. He is first a painter. A lifelong, everyday, out in the heat or cold or rain, anywhere and everywhere kind of painter. His ability to see…to really see allows us to become a part of his work. Maybe there is another reason his paintings also capture us. We’ll take you below the surface of the painter. I hope you enjoy learning more about this amazing artist.”

Harrington said she hopes others see the beauty of Mississippi in her work.

“Many things have described Mississippi over the years, not all of them positive,” she said. “However, Mississippi has produced some of the most talented and inspirational people in history. Wyatt Waters is one of them.”

The Gracies are presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. The awards recognize outstanding programming and individual achievement created by women, for women, and about women in all facets of media in news and entertainment.

Local and student award-winners will be recognized at the Gracie Awards Luncheon on June 20 at Cipriani in NYC, according to award website.

This year’s theme is “Storytelling.” The awards were inspired and named after actress Gracie Allen.

Harrington said she hopes people are inspired to follow their dreams after watching her documentary.

“Wyatt didn’t come from much, but he made something of himself with a paintbrush and a dream,” she said. “He worked hard and never gave up, even when giving up would have been a whole lot easier.

“If you think the world wants you to give up, I hope this documentary can convince you otherwise. I never thought a girl like me from small town Mississippi could win such a prestigious award as a Gracie, and yet here I am. Find your people and chase your dreams.”

You can watch Harrington’s documentary here.

Click here to read the complete list of Gracie winners.

This story was written by LaReeca Rucker.

School of Journalism and New Media leaders travel to Ethiopia to bring the world to Ole Miss

Posted on: March 15th, 2023 by ldrucker
UM professors in Ethiopia

Beyene, Wilkin, Smith and Hickerson.

University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media leaders are working to build international relationships by strengthening partnerships with Ethiopia Airlines, meeting with Ethiopian officials, and visiting the University of Namibia.

Four school and university leaders recently traveled to the African countries Ethiopia and Namibia to meet with business and government leaders.

The group included Andrea Hickerson, Ph.D., dean and professor; Marquita Smith, Ed.D., assistant dean for graduate programs and associate professor; Zenebe Beyene, Ph.D., associate professor and coordinator of international programs; and Noel Wilkin, Ph.D., provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.

Beyene said the purpose of the trip was to demonstrate the school’s committed partnership with Ethiopian Airlines and explore other possible collaborations.

“Partnership is like establishing friendship or planting a seed or a tree,” Beyene said. “If you have a very good partnership, it has to be sustained and nurtured with effective communication. And you have to make sure that you are there for a long term, and you are interested in the relationship, not only the business aspect.”

That’s where many institutions fail, he said. They focus exclusively on outcomes.

“Once you establish a strong relationship, like having a strong foundation for a building, you can achieve so many things together,” said Beyene. “Because when you envision a partnership, it’s not only based on your interests and priorities, but it is also based on the interests and priorities of your partners.”

UM professors in Ethiopia

Beyene, Hickerson and Smith.

In 2018, a group of University of Mississippi IMC students traveled to Ethiopia, visited the airline facilities, and created a marketing campaign for Ethiopian Airlines.

“The major focus of this partnership was enrolling employees of Ethiopian Airlines into our regular Master of Arts program or the online program,” Beyene said.

Leaders discovered that Ethiopian Airlines employees were also interested in short-term training.

The UM group also traveled to Namibia, a country in Southern Africa that borders the South Atlantic Ocean between Angola and South Africa, to explore possible collaborations with the country’s leaders and those at the University of Namibia.

Hickerson said one of the trip highlights was touring the Ethiopian Airlines facilities, including its airport and aviation university.

“The logistics of airlines have always impressed me, but here we saw our graduates at work. It was impressive and rewarding,” she said.

“This partnership is just beginning. We have many opportunities for future collaborations with EA, other organizations in Ethiopia, and in Africa more broadly. We are fortunate to have faculty with expertise in the region to facilitate meaningful, long-lasting work.”

While in Africa, school leaders visited the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa and held meetings with a U.S. diplomat, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Centers for Disease Control, and other government agencies in Ethiopia.

This was Wilkin’s first trip to Africa and Ethiopia. He said he was impressed with the welcoming hospitality and commitment Ethiopian Airlines executives have to being an industry leader.

“The training facilities and the extent to which the airline is committed to educating its employees and adapting to the needs of the continent are inspiring,” he said. “They are looking for creating programs or finding partners who can help them to ensure they have a well-qualified workforce.”

Wilkin said it was enjoyable to visit with graduates from the University of Mississippi in their home country.

“To be an industry leader, Ethiopian Airlines recognizes and is committed to provide their employees with the necessary education and abilities,” he said. “This commitment and their commitment to excellence is wonderful and is being recognized by other companies in Ethiopia and throughout Africa.”

Beyene said the group held talks with leaders about strengthening the collaboration with Ethiopian Airlines and other institutions in Ethiopia. He said one of the trip highlights was attending an event organized by the U.S. Embassy that provided information for prospective students. More than 200 students registered for the information session.

Beyene believes one of the University of Mississippi’s priorities is campus internationalization.

“Campus internationalization is an institutional response to globalization,” he said. “What that means is through various programs, projects, entities and departments, the university would increase its reach to the external world having some kind of role in serving humanity in general through providing quality education.

“By bringing in students from around the world, we can increase diversity and enrollment, and we can add value to our program. Our students would learn from our international students. International students greatly benefit from the resources and opportunities here in the university.”

Beyene said one of the university’s missions is to “transform lives, communities and the world by providing opportunities for the people of Mississippi and beyond through excellence in learning, discovery, healthcare and engagement.”

“People have very strong interests in advancing their career to get quality education if you make education affordable and accessible,” he said. “As you know, our university, compared with many, many other universities – we offer quality education at a very reasonable, affordable price. Not many people know this. So we can attract talent from around the world, and then make our institution a better place for everybody.”

Strengthening the relationship with Ethiopian Airlines will help the University of Mississippi extend its reach internationally, Beyene said.

“We can make Ole Miss one of the destinations for global education,” he said. “We can bring the world to Ole Miss and give our students firsthand experience that they cannot find elsewhere.”

This story was written by LaReeca Rucker.

“Educational Divide: The Story of East Side High” documentary to screen at the University of Mississippi

Posted on: March 8th, 2023 by msross

OXFORD, Miss. — When a federal judge ordered Cleveland, Mississippi, to desegregate its schools over 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, local residents were forced to grapple with a new reality while moving forward. The documentary, “Educational Divide: The Story of East Side High,” takes a candid look at the Cleveland community in the heart of the Mississippi Delta as it works through the transition. 

The film will be screened at 4 p.m. on March 22 in the Overby Auditorium in Farley Hall. The screening event is free and open to the community. A panel discussion featuring executive producer Dr. Eric Elston, director and UM alum David Ross, and producer Don Allan Mitchell of Delta State University will be hosted immediately following the film, and moderated by UM journalism professor Ellen Meacham. The screening is sponsored in part by an award from the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area Partnership, with funding provided by the National Park Service.

The Educational Divide movie poster

“Educational Divide: The Story of East Side High” will be screened at 4 p.m. on March 22 in the Overby Auditorium in Farley Hall.

“Educational Divide: The Story of East Side High” is a celebration of the legacy of East Side High School. The film features interviews with East Side legends like Hall of Fame Coach Lucy Seaberry, former Ole Miss and NFL football standout Ken Lucas, and the film’s executive producer and NBA veteran Johnny O’Bryant, as well as community leaders, legal experts, and scholars of the Delta’s complex history and culture. 

“Telling the story of East Side High was something I knew must be done. East Side was a school that was a second home to many students but also a staple in its community,” said O’Bryant, an East Side alumnus and professional basketball player. “East Side is filled with rich history and the world needs to understand how a very small place could leave behind such a huge legacy for its community. I hope anyone that watches this film understands that East Side’s story is one of perseverance and pride.”  

Seaberry, an East Side living legend who coached women’s basketball for more than 30 years, said she is excited to share the project with all Mississippians.

“East Side was my pride and joy,” said Seaberry. “I believe in helping others, and East Side provided me the opportunity to do just that. This documentary will be an eye-opener for a lot of people. I hope that [the audience] will take away that we may be different, but we are all equal in God’s eyes.”

According to the film’s producers, “Educational Divide: The Story of East Side High” reveals that in America, culture and history are complicated and our past is never that far away from the present. Covering issues of race, public education and civil rights—all via the prism of basketball and high school sports—the film explores what America can learn from Cleveland.

“We hope this film allows us to recognize that we have a long way to go with race relations and equality in America, but the first step in making progress is listening to each other,” said Director David Ross. “The film forces its viewers to wonder, what can the rest of America learn from this small town in Mississippi?”  

For questions or more information, contact organizer R.J. Morgan at morgan@go.olemiss.edu or Don Allan Mitchell at amitchell@deltastate.edu.

University of Mississippi students win awards at multiple journalism conferences

Posted on: March 6th, 2023 by msross
A man and two girls stand with certificates in their hands at an award event

Director Larz Roberts with DM news editor Mary Boyte and DM arts & culture editor Kharley Redmon.

Congratulations to students in the S. Gale Denley Student Media Center for winning multiple awards in February at the 2023 Southeast Journalism Conference and the 2023 Intercollegiate Broadcasters Conference. 

Director Larz Roberts, along with The Daily Mississippian editors Mary Boyte and Kharley Redmon, first traveled to Thibodaux, Louisiana to attend the SEJC conference and accept awards on behalf of The Daily Mississippian, NewsWatch Ole Miss and Rebel Radio 92.1 staff. 

“I’m always excited to travel with students, especially when it’s for them collecting the awards they’ve earned,” said Roberts. “And with this being my first year as SMC director, I get a big kick out of seeing them get that recognition. In fact, this is just the beginning. With the talent collected in the SMC, I expect we’re going to bring in more.”

The Daily Mississippian ranked 4th in the best newspaper category, NewsWatch Ole Miss ranked 5th in the best TV station category and Rebel Radio ranked 5th in the best radio station category. 38 colleges and universities are members of SEJC. 

  • Erin Foley, a journalism major and design editor for the DM, ranked number 2 in the Best Newspaper Designer category. 
  • Hal Fox, an international studies major and news editor for the DM, ranked number 2 in the Best News Writer category. 
  • Emma Green, journalism major and writer for the DM, ranked number 2 in the Best Feature Writer category. 
  • Kharley Redmon, a journalism major and arts & culture editor for the DM, ranked number 4 in the Best Arts and Entertainment Writer category. 
  • Clay Hale, integrated marketing communication major and writer for the DM, ranked number 5 in the Best Arts and Entertainment Writer category. 
  • David Ramsey, integrated marketing communication major and writer for the DM, ranked number 5 in the Best Opinion/Editorial Writer category. 
  • HG Biggs, a Chinese major and photo editor for the DM, ranked number 7 in the Best Press Photographer category. 
  • Fletcher Canup, international studies major and photographer for the DM, ranked number 9 in the Best Press Photographer category. 
  • Aidan Gallardo, a journalism major and sports editor for the DM, ranked number 9 in the Best Sports Writer category. 
  • Justice Rose, a journalism major and DM opinion editor, ranked number 9 in the Best Opinion/Editorial Writer category. 
  • Violet Jira, journalism and philosophy double major and news editor for the DM, ranked number 10 in the Best News Writer category.
Two girls stand in front of a curtain with trophies in their hands

Graduate student AC Barker and senior Sarah Gail Myers accepted two awards on behalf of NewsWatch Ole Miss and Rebel Radio.

The Intercollegiate Broadcasting System hosted its IBSNYC 2023 Conference on February 24-25 in New York City. Graduate student Anna Caroline Barker and senior journalism major Sarah Gail Myers traveled with Roberts to attend the conference. While there, they were able to attend sessions, where they heard from broadcast professionals. 

NewsWatch Ole Miss was a finalist for Best Newscast and Rebel Radio 92.1 was also a finalist for Best Newscast. Becoming a finalist meant the stations were in the top 5% of their categories. The team returned to campus with two golden microphones. 

The Student Media Center in Bishop Hall is home to multiple publications including The Daily Mississippian, NewsWatch Ole Miss, Rebel Radio 92.1 and The Ole Miss yearbook

St. Jude cancer survivor and IMC major Addie Pratt takes historic Ryman stage

Posted on: February 27th, 2023 by msross

Addie Pratt takes the stage at Ryman Auditorium with Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood on February 21, 2023, in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for ALSAC/St. Jude)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Bobby Bones’ star-studded sixth annual Million Dollar Show benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® featured a special guest: St. Jude cancer survivor and integrated marketing communications major Addie Pratt. Bones invited Pratt onto the coveted stage of the historic Ryman Auditorium for a surprise performance of her debut single “The Woman That I Am.”

Joined by Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood of multi-Platinum trio Lady A and award-winning producer Nathan Chapman, Pratt belted her empowering anthem to a sold-out crowd where she received a standing ovation alongside her co-writers. The track is inspired by Pratt’s triumphant journey with cancer and an ode to the strength she has embodied ever since.

“‘The Woman that I Am’ is about how life’s trials made me who I am today,” shares Pratt. “I had leukemia in high school and that was a life-shaping experience. St. Jude saved my life and I now feel stronger and more determined than ever to graduate college and pursue my dream of making music. I hope this song will inspire anyone going through dark moments in life to have hope. I am so grateful to Nathan, Charles, Dave, Bobby and St. Jude for this opportunity.”

Last fall, Pratt attended the third annual St. Jude Presents: Curated, a live auction fundraiser at Kelley’s home. Moved by her performance of “Slow Dancin’” and the Lady A hit “American Honey,” Chapman offered to produce a song for Pratt if 15 guests would donate $2,500 each to St. Jude. The donations poured in and Chapman stayed true to his word, producing Pratt’s single.

Bobby Bones, Addie Pratt and Jake Owen are seen backstage at the Ryman Auditorium on February 21, 2023, in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for ALSAC/St. Jude) 

“I was blown away by Addie the second we met. I think she is such a bright talent and has such a great story of resilience and determination,” shared Kelley. “I’m thrilled we could be a part of her journey here in Nashville and I can’t wait to see how her career takes off.”

Bobby Bones and The Bobby Bones Show have together raised more than $22 million dollars for St. Jude since 2014. The Million Dollar Show, an event that amplifies the country music industry’s support for St. Jude, has featured stars including Parker McCollum, Deana Carter, Randy Houser, The Wreckers, and special guests Jake Owen, Dierks Bentley as well as Kelley and Haywood. During Tuesday’s event, country superstar Owen alongside Pratt, presented Bones with an award recognizing his support of St. Jude.

Join the St. Jude community of music industry supporters and become a Partner in Hope at musicgives.org.

Addie Pratt takes the stage at Ryman Auditorium with Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood on February 21, 2023, in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for ALSAC/St. Jude)

About Addie Pratt

Hailing from Corinth, Miss., Addie Pratt is a senior at the University of Mississippi, has been singing since the age of three and writing since the age of 11, with a passion for country music. In February of 2016, Pratt was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia while she was a freshman in high school. She spent six months in treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital without coming home. Her experience at St. Jude inspired her to speak and sing for the hospital, which led to her being featured on Brad Paisley’s ABC special and his song “Alive Right Now” in 2019. Pratt is extremely proud of “The Woman That I Am,” the song she wrote with Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood, and Nathan Chapman and she hopes that it inspires listeners to have hope even in their darkest moments. Pratt is a member of Tri Delta sorority and she continues to advocate for St. Jude kids.

School of Journalism and New Media Set to Host IMC Connect! 2023

Posted on: February 9th, 2023 by msross

Faculty and Students Invited for Second Annual IMC Connect! Event

OXFORD, Miss. – After a successful debut in the spring of 2022, the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media is set to host its annual two-day IMC Connect! event on March 30 and 31, 2023.

IMC Connect! is an event designed to bring together some of the nation’s top communications executives and leading researchers to campus. Its purpose is to provide various opportunities for attendees to learn from expert practitioners throughout a series of collaborative events.

This series of events include workshops, topical panel sessions, and breakout sessions. The lineup of guest speakers and panelists allows faculty and students the chance to network and contribute to discussions involving leading trends in integrated marketing communications.

At IMC Connect! attendees can contribute to discussion topics such as maximizing messages on both social and traditional media channels, 5-minute findings of hottest topics in IMC, crisis communication and corporate reputation management, and sharing success stories from IMC experts.

The 2023 guest list is created and organized to enhance knowledge and best prepare students entering the job market. This year’s event, sponsored by The Boeing Company and The Graduate Hotels, includes:

  • Marti Powers, Vice President of Communications, The Boeing Company
  • Stacey Murray, Vice President, Marketing, The Graduate Hotels
  • Natashia Gregoire, Head of Internal Communications, Worldwide Operations, Amazon
  • Elizabeth Whittington, Executive Communications Director, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Malcolm Berkley, President Global Network Communications and Reputation Management, UPS
  • Jeff Motley, Vice President of Communications, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Sonoma Raceway
  • Jennifer Smodish Anderson, Senior Vice President of Marketing, C-Spire
  • Hua JiangAssociate Dean of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Public Relations, Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications
  • Glen Nowak, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, Co-Director of Center for Health and Risk Communication, and Professor, University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Jonathan Schroeder, William A. Kern Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Communication
  • María Elizabeth Len-Ríos, Associate Director for Faculty and Administration and Professor of Strategic Communication, University of Minnesota’s Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Click here to learn more about IMC Connect! 2022 and what to expect at this year’s event. For more information on IMC Connect!, please contact Asbrads1@olemiss.edu

 

IMC Connect! panelists take the stage inside Farley Hall.

IMC Connect! panelists take the stage inside Farley Hall during the 2022 conference.

University of Mississippi IMC professor featured on podcast about advertising industry

Posted on: February 7th, 2023 by ldrucker

Christ Sparks is featured on a cell phone with a microphone in the background.

Chris Canty Sparks, a University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media instructional associate professor of integrated marketing communications, was recently one of the featured guests on a podcast about the advertising industry.

Q. Can you tell me a little about the podcast?

A. The podcast is a part of a series of podcasts about breaking into the advertising industry called “Breaking and Entering” and is hosted by Geno Schnellenberger. Geno also works at Havas Agency in Chicago, which is an agency I like to follow. We have collaborated in the past to give some of my industrious students an opportunity to create a podcast re: the Advertising Industry.

This particular podcast is called ADJunct! Geno contacted me in December and asked if I would be a guest on the podcast. Although I am not an adjunct instructor, he wanted me to talk about my background in the industry, transitioning into higher education, and how I prepare my students to start their careers in advertising and marketing. The episode aired Jan. 12.

Links to podcast:

Link 1

Link 2

Chris Sparks is featured on a podcast.Q. What was the episode about that you were in and what did you talk about?

A. I talked about my background, how I became an instructor at the University of Mississippi, and how I prepare my students for careers in advertising and marketing.

Q. What do you hope listeners took away from the episode in which you spoke?

A. I hope listeners take away awareness of the IMC program at the University of Mississippi. I talked about my path to get to the University as an instructional associate professor of IMC. I also conveyed that I am student-centric and am passionate about helping students prepare for their careers. I ended with advice on pushing for creative ideas and how to think about a target audience.

Click one of the links above to listen to Sparks on the podcast.

University of Mississippi journalism student selected as SEC/CBS Sports Title IX Ambassador for championship game

Posted on: January 29th, 2023 by ldrucker
Loral Winn stands on a sports field.

Loral Winn stands on a sports field.

A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media student was recently selected as one of five SEC/CBS Sports Title IX Ambassadors for the SEC Football Championship game, a program that exposes young women to the inner workings of careers in sports journalism, media, and broadcasting.

We asked Loral Winn a few questions about herself and the opportunity before she participated in November and December.

The Dresden, Tennessee native has studied TV and video storytelling while minoring in Spanish. During her fifth year of athletic eligibility, she will work to earn her master’s degree in journalism.

And it’s also worth noting that the School of Journalism and New Media has added a sports journalism emphasis that will be available for incoming students beginning in the fall.

Q. Can you tell us a little about your background?

A. I run cross country and track here at Ole Miss, which is one of the main reasons I even began looking at the university as a potential future college. However, I fell in love with the campus and community on my official visit and was incredibly impressed by how top-tier the journalism program was at Ole Miss. I almost immediately knew it was the place I wanted to spend the next few years of my life as a student and athlete.

Q. For those who don’t understand what this opportunity is, can you explain it? How did you find out about it?

A. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) launched a celebration of Title IX in a campaign called “50 years of Title IX– Creating Opportunities” in February 2022. One of the campaign’s initiatives is the SEC’s partnership with CBS Sports to create a program called the Title IX Ambassadors. The SEC states that this program “was created to expose young women to the inner workings of careers in sports journalism, media, and broadcasting.”

I was fortunate enough with the help of Ravin Gilbert, our director of Social Responsibility and Engagement with the university’s Athletics Department, to be selected by the SEC as one of the five women who (traveled) to Atlanta, Georgia to cover the SEC Football Championship Nov. 30 – Dec. 3.

Ravin does a wonderful job of assisting every student athlete here at Ole Miss in finding exemplary internships and opportunities as well as jobs after graduation. She is exceptional at her position and has helped me to get my foot in the door with the SEC and in finding opportunities as a hopeful future sports broadcaster. I have been able to do some really neat things with her help.

I will be shadowing CBS producers, directors, on-air talent, operation leads and executives while being able to interact with and ask questions about their jobs and positions throughout the day when covering a championship game.

Q.  What did you hope to gain or take away from participating?

A. This is an incredibly unique opportunity for me to be able to meet and converse with individuals who work in television and sports broadcasting, which can be difficult to do as  a student. It is not often that you are given the chance to sit down with CBS Sports producers, directors, and broadcasters and pick their brains. I am most excited to learn from the people I shadow and to have an in-depth, up close look at what goes into covering a major sporting event.

I will spend several days in Atlanta, which means I will follow the same schedule that CBS on-air talent does as they interview coaches and players and prepare for covering the game well. I am truly so excited for the opportunity and plan to soak up all of the knowledge that I possibly can. This is a great stepping stone for the career that I desire to pursue after graduation as a sports reporter and broadcaster.