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IMC Campaigns class on DeSoto campus works with community businesses

Posted on: April 25th, 2019 by ldrucker

Students enrolled in the School of Journalism and New Media’s integrated marketing communications program on the Ole Miss DeSoto campus are working hands-on in their communities with businesses as part of the IMC 455 Campaigns class with professor Patricia Overstreet-Miller.

Susannah Jones, 21, is a senior from Hernando enrolled in the class that pairs students with a real world client.

“It’s a nice break from all the simulations and practice and an exciting step into the post-college workforce,” she said. “The class is less lecture-based and much more hands on. We have three local non-profit organizations that we’re working with this semester, including Create Foundation, Desoto Grace, and BLDG Memphis.”

Each two- to three-person team collaborates with a business and comes up with an IMC campaign.

“This means that we get to be incredibly involved with the community,” she said. “My team will be working on a campaign for BLDG Memphis, a non-profit aimed at neighborhood revitalization. Throughout the semester, we will use our skills to integrate their messages on all platforms and channels to grow in developing and redeveloping Memphis communities. This will involve areas, such as special community events, social media, media coverage, print pieces, and website design.”

 Jones said she’s learned a lot from the class. “This class brings every piece of what we’ve been learning and practicing together and gives us an opportunity to put together the whole puzzle,” she said. “I’m excited to understand more of the hands-on work that goes into IMC.

“I think students will have more of an understanding of the impact that IMC can have and be able to work with a team more efficiently. This class will be a giant step toward our goals as students. After years of class-time and hard work, this course is the long-awaited cherry on top that equips us to accomplish all that we have been trained for.”

Southaven native William Rustenhaven, 24, is also enrolled in the capstone class for all IMC students. The course takes all of the skills and knowledge obtained through the journalism, business, and IMC classes and utilizes that knowledge to create a marketing campaign for a selected client or business bridging school and the real world.

 “The professor reaches out to a business that the students will be doing a campaign for,” Rustenhaven said. “Once the business agrees to let the class create a campaign for them, it is the student’s duty to set up meetings, do analytic research, and create the campaign for the company . . .

“The company we are working with is called BLDG Memphis, which is a non-profit in Memphis. They help revitalize different parts of the community throughout the Memphis area.”

Rustenhaven said the real world experience of working with companies is important. “It will give them a taste of what the actual world is like outside of the academic classroom,” he said. “It will teach them how to communicate with professionals in the corporate and business world.”

Rustenhaven said he hopes others understand what the IMC program can offer. “It is such an amazing and interesting degree field, and it has a large amount of flexibility,” he said. “So many students have majors, such as business, marketing, communications, journalism, etc. However, with IMC, you can gain experience in all of those fields.

 “As I have told people before, I can apply for a job as an event coordinator, travel up the road and apply for a job at a marketing agency, and then go somewhere else and apply for a business management position or even at a PR firm. These are just a few examples of what the IMC program can offer students, and that does not even begin to break the surface on the opportunities that the IMC program can provide for students.”

This story was written by LaReeca Rucker. For more information about our journalism and IMC programs, email jour-imc@olemiss.edu.

School of Journalism and New Media to have first graduate with degrees in both journalism and IMC

Posted on: April 22nd, 2019 by ldrucker

Savannah Woods, 21, will have the distinction of being the School of Journalism and New Media’s first person to graduate with degrees in both journalism and IMC.

Woods is a senior double major and double minor at the University of Mississippi from Cabot, Arkansas.

She is majoring in integrated marketing communications with a minor in business administration, and majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in English.

Woods received the Excellence in Integrated Marketing Communications Award during the University of Mississippi Awards Convocation and Journalism School Awards night. Only two seniors were selected out of all graduates from the program this year.

We asked Woods some questions about how she managed to do this during her time at UM, and she offered advice about how other students can make the most of their time in college. She said the key component is drive.

What are some of the things you are involved in on campus?

I have been heavily involved on campus over my last four years. Freshman year, I served on the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Student Advisory Council with 25 of the top leaders on campus. I also served on Crosby Community Council while I lived in the dorms. For two years, I served as the Spoon University Editorial Director. I currently am a School of Journalism and New Media Ambassador. I am also a member of the American Marketing Association and Society for Professional Journalists.

What made you decide to study at Ole Miss?  

I always knew that Ole Miss was where I wanted to go to school. Back in 1998, my parents began purchasing season tickets to football games, and I grew up, from the time I was a year old, in the Grove. My whole life, it was my dream to be an Ole Miss Rebel. In high school, I was heavily involved in public speaking, debate and journalism. My love for these areas grew into something I knew I wanted to become my career path.

Originally, at freshman orientation, I was signed up for the integrated marketing communications degree program. Over my first year at Ole Miss, I was constantly back and forth trying to decide if I wanted to pursue journalism and be on camera or stay in IMC.

How did you come to major in both journalism and IMC?

I went to my amazing advisor, Jennifer Simmons, and expressed my concern about being undecided. Ultimately, I decided to change my major to broadcast journalism, but then started second guessing the switch . . . so I went back into her office. I looked at her and said, “Is it possible to do both, but still graduate on time in four years because I can’t afford to do additional semesters?”

And she just kind of looked at me and said, “With most students, I would say it’s ‘no,’ but I think you can do it.” So after declaring both majors and minors, I had to work extremely hard. Every semester, I was in 18 hours, trying to crank out all of the requirements so I could graduate on time. It also helped that I did dual enrollment in high school, so I already had 12 credit hours towards my general education classes when I started freshman year.

Now, after much hard work and dedication, I will complete and graduate this May (2019) with two majors and two minors in four years from the School of Journalism and New Media at Ole Miss.

Was it difficult balancing your schedule while taking both tracks?

It was definitely difficult at times to balance my schedule while taking both tracks. Not only was I a double major and double minor, but I worked three jobs and was involved in extracurricular activities all while trying to maintain a social life.

While I was taking 18 hours every semester, I worked all four years for Ole Miss Football Video and traveled with the football team. I also worked all four years as a student desk assistant at the J.D. Williams Library, then as a social media and editorial intern for HottyToddy.com, and as a teaching assistant for Journalism 102 for a semester.

Would you recommend that other students double up like you did?

My advice and recommendation for all other students trying to double up and tackle everything is time management. Dewey Knight, one of my greatest friends and mentors, stressed this so much to me my freshman fall at Ole Miss. My planner is like my best friend. I don’t go anywhere or do anything without it. Being a good time manager is key in trying to balance two degrees, jobs, clubs and a social life, but it is totally possible if you have the work ethic and drive to do so.

What do you hope to do/work after graduation? And when will you graduate? This May?

I graduate May 2019. Last summer, I lived in Normandy, France while working on my internship filming a WWII Documentary “The Girl Who Wore Freedom.” After graduation, I am returning to Europe to see the premiere of the film that I had the privilege to be part of and work on. After a month in Europe, I will return home to Arkansas to visit my friends and family before moving and starting my job in Nashville, Tennessee in August.

What advice do you have to offer current and future journalism/IMC students in our school?

Enjoy every second. Ole Miss is a special, special place. As a journalism/IMC major, I encourage other students in the school to utilize every opportunity that we are provided with. There are so many outlets and tools available to us to get involved in and take advantage of.

Engage with your professors, ask them for advice, get involved in the clubs and programs, go to class. We are so blessed to attend a university and be part of a school that cares about our progress and our future as leaders in these industries. A good work ethic and determination to succeed will take you all far in life, so don’t take this place and these resources for granted.

I just want to also say thank you to all of my professors and mentors in and out of the journalism school who have been so monumental in my progress and molding me into the young woman I am today. I could not have accomplished my goals and dreams without their help and guidance.

Journey to Commencement: From the Grove to 30 Rock

Posted on: April 19th, 2019 by ldrucker

This story is part of the “Journey to Commencement” series that highlights University of Mississippi students and their academic and personal journeys from college student to college graduate.

Mack Hubbell likes to make people laugh.

The University of Mississippi senior grew up a bit of a class clown, used his humor as a campaign strategy while running for Mr. Ole Miss, and kept things lighthearted during his time as chaplain for the Kappa Alpha fraternity, a technique that allowed him to break down barriers of communication between himself and his fraternity brothers.

When he graduates in May, Hubbell hopes his ability to make people laugh will blossom into a career. He is a School of Journalism and New Media integrated marketing communications major.

“I want to eventually do comedy writing and perform full time,” he said. “My dream would be to become a cast member on ‘Saturday Night Live.'”

Hubbell laid the foundation of that dream as an Ole Miss student. He had separate internships in New York City, one for “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and the other for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

“Those experiences were incredible,” Hubbell said. “I was getting to walk into 30 Rock (30 Rockefeller Plaza, home of NBC) every day for work. I have watched shows like ’30 Rock,’ ‘SNL,’ ‘Friends,’ all the late-night shows, ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘The Office’ – like, every great show – and I am getting to walk into the building where it all happens.”

To read the full story in the Journey to Commencement series written by Justin Whitmore of University Communications, click this link.

UM students sweep awards from Public Relations Association of Mississippi

Posted on: April 17th, 2019 by ldrucker

One student named Outstanding PR Student in the state

University of Mississippi public relations students swept the awards in the Public Relations Association of Mississippi student competition recently, including one student being named Outstanding PR Student in the state.

Students and recent graduates from the School of Journalism and New Media won 16 of the 19 student awards presented for public relations projects at the PRAM state conference in Vicksburg on April 12.

In addition, IMC major Davis Roberts from Grenada was named Outstanding PR Student in Mississippi. He was selected from 13 nominees from statewide colleges for the award that came with a $500 scholarship. Journalism major Hailey McKee and IMC major Hayden Benge were also recognized as nominees for the award.

For the competition for PR projects, the students entered public relations campaigns they produced in Senior Lecturer Robin Street’s advanced PR class during 2018.  Each student created a campaign to increase awareness or change opinion on a topic of their choice. Topics included prescription drug abuse, the detrimental effects of loneliness, the importance of registering to vote, equal pay for women, eating disorders in men, sex trafficking, suicide prevention, the physical and emotional health benefits of having a pet, the dangers of e-cigarette use, autism, and the dangers of bullying among teenagers.

School of Journalism and New Media Students and their instructor at the Public Relations Association of Mississippi Student Prism Awards Luncheon April 11 awaiting the results. Pictured are: counter-clockwise from far left are Kendall Patterson, Davis Roberts, Hayden Benge, Ally Langston, Anna Bess Pavlakovich, Barrett Climer, Senior Lecturer Robin Street, Melanie Wierzbicki, Hailey McKee, Holly Lasker, Madison Stewart and Chloe Parrish.

Each campaign required multiple aspects including writing news articles, shooting video and photos, planning creative events, conducting research and creating online and social media posts.

“Today’s communication specialists require skills in research and planning, as well as in all forms of communication including writing, designing, photography, video, social media and website creation,” Street said. “These students demonstrated that they excel in this diverse skill set. Their awards are a tribute to the preparation they received from all the faculty members at the School of Journalism and New Media.”

University of Mississippi public relations students and recent graduates swept the Public Relations Association of Mississippi student competition recently, winning 16 of the total 19 awards presented for PR projects. In addition, IMC major Davis Roberts was named Mississippi Outstanding PR Student. Pictured, left to right, are some of those winners: Front row: Hayden Benge, Chloe Parrish, Maggie Crouch, Senior Lecturer Robin Street, Anna Bess Pavlakovich and Aleka Battista. Second row: Samantha Metz, Calyn Hoerner, Kendall Patterson, Hailey McKee, Holly Lasker and Ally Langston. Third row: Davis Roberts and Melanie Wierzbicki. Not pictured are Barrett Climer, Caroline Hewitt and Madison Stewart. Photo credit: Stan O’Dell

Comments from the judges, who remain anonymous, on the students’ entries included “solid research and planning,” “very thorough and impressive,” “exceptional,” “very creative,” “comprehensive and well done,” “thoughtful campaign to bring awareness and assistance to a difficult topic” and “creative and thought provoking.”

Davis Roberts, an IMC major from Grenada, was selected as Outstanding PR Student by the Public Relations Association of Mississippi from nominees representing colleges around the state. Here, he is congratulated by his nominating professor, School of Journalism and New Media Senior Lecturer Robin Street.  Davis was previously named a winner of the Marcus Elvis Taylor Memorial Medal, the university’s highest academic honor. Photo credit: Stan O’Dell

Matt Martin, PRAM vice president for awards, commended the students’ entries.

“The award-winning work submitted by the students of the University of Mississippi is notable for its creativity and solid understanding and use of the public relations process,” Martin said. “While their awards will add stars to their resume, it’s their mastery of these fundamentals that will lead to successful careers as PR practitioners.”

Multiple students can win in the same category if they earn the required number of points as scored by the judges. No awards were given in the highest category called the Prism. The Excellence Award is the next highest award, followed by the Merit Award.

Winning Excellence Awards were Benge from Tulsa, Oklahoma; Calyn Hoerner, an IMC graduate from Houston; Holly Lasker, an IMC major from Seattle; and McKee, from Dyersburg, Tennessee. Street also won an Award of Excellence in the professional media writing category.

Winning Merit awards were Aleka Battista, an IMC graduate from Tupelo; Barrett Climer, an IMC graduate from Jackson; Maggie Crouch, a journalism major from Westmont, Illinois; Caroline Hewitt, a journalism graduate from Covington, Louisiana; Ally Langston, a journalism major from Dallas; Samantha Taylor Metz, a marketing and corporate relations major from Hernando; Chloe Parrish, an IMC graduate student from Germantown, Tennessee; Kendall Patterson, a journalism major from Corinth; Anna Bess Pavlakovich, a journalism major from Denver; Roberts; Madison Stewart, an IMC graduate from Dallas; and Melanie Wierzbicki, a double major in Spanish and marketing and corporate relations from Waxhaw, North Carolina.

For more information, contact Robin Street at rbstreet@olemiss.edu.

Magazine Innovation Center’s ACT 9 Experience all about the students

Posted on: April 17th, 2019 by ldrucker

Annual conference draws all-star list of industry leaders to UM

A who’s who of the international magazine industry will be at the University of Mississippi  from April 23 to 25, but it won’t be the movers and shakers of publishing who will be in the spotlight.

The real stars of the show, according to ACT 9 Experience founder and coordinator Samir Husni, Ph.D., are the Ole Miss students.

“There are a whole bunch of magazine conferences, but, to me, what makes this conference unique is the presence of the students,” said Husni, a UM journalism professor, Hederman Lecturer and director of the Magazine Innovation Center. “This conference brings together current industry leaders and the future industry leaders.”

More than 30 speakers from the highest ranks of magazine publishing will be on campus, and Husni places a priority on having students in the university’s magazine publishing and management specialization interact with those professionals.

“I assign students to shadow the speakers; they actually will pick them up from the airport,” Husni said. “I want that interaction. I want the students to have enough time to spend time with these leaders of the magazine industry.”

For junior Sarah Smith, the ACT 9 Experience serves as a chance to further her knowledge of the industry in which she wants to work, but also to meet people who will prove to be invaluable for her future career.

“This is the only opportunity I know of that you’re going to get a taste of worldwide magazine making anywhere near here,” said Smith, a journalism major from Mount Pleasant. “I expect to gain a lot of information about the next few years of magazine making.

“For media students, this is an unparalleled event where we can meet and mingle with industry leaders. This is a great chance to secure a summer internship or even a job after college.”

The ACT Experience, which stands for “amplify, clarify and testify,” is hosted by the Magazine Innovation Center at the School of Journalism and New Media. The event began in 2010 and has more than doubled in size in nine years.

The university has created a name for itself as a higher education hub for magazine publishing, and the ACT 9 Experience is the highlight of that achievement, Husni said.

“We have people from all over the world coming to this conference, coming to Ole Miss,” he said. “That’s why I tell people, when they say, ‘You need to have something like this in New York or you need to do something like this here or there,’ I’m like, ‘No, the ACT Experience is Ole Miss and Ole Miss is the ACT Experience.’”

The theme of this year’s ACT 9 Experience is “print smart, digital proud,” which Husni said emphasizes the ever-changing landscape of print publications.

“I want to focus on the integration between print and digital, that we are no longer an either/or industry,” he said.

Among the speakers for this year’s event are Linda Thomas Brooks, president and CEO of MPA: The Association of Magazine Media; James Hewes, president and CEO of FIPP, the network for global media; Michael Marchesano, managing director of Connectiv, a leading business-to-business magazine media network; and Jerry Lynch, president of the Magazine and Books at Retail Association.

Husni will moderate a discussion featuring these industry leaders.

“We will talk about some of the challenges facing the entire magazine and media industry locally and worldwide,” Husni said. “It should be fun to have those CEOs at the same place on the same campus in front of future industry leaders.”

The diversity and depth of the speakers makes the event unique, Smith said.

“Dr. Husni is a genius when it comes to magazines, and he puts his heart and soul into this event,” she said. “I think that the fact someone as successful and well-known as him puts his heart in it, always creates something genuine and fresh that you can’t get anywhere else.”

All lectures at the Overby Center are open to the public.

Activities begin Tuesday (April 23), with an opening gala for registered participants, featuring welcoming remarks by UM Provost Noel Wilkin and keynote speaker Stephen Orr, editor in chief of Better Homes and Gardens.

Speakers will continue all day Wednesday and Thursday, and Thursday’s events for paid participants feature a bus trip and tour of the Mississippi Delta. The Overby Center for the Study of Southern Journalism and Politics will host the majority of speakers, and a full list of speakers can be found online.

Registration for the event includes all meals, sessions and transportation to and from the Delta. The Inn at Ole Miss is also offering special rates to ACT 9 attendees.

This story was written by Justin Whitmore of University Communications. If you are a prospective student who is interested in learning more about our undergraduate or graduate programs in journalism or IMC, email jour-imc@olemiss.edu.

 

UM journalism students win Broadcast Education Association, Associated Press and SPJ awards

Posted on: April 9th, 2019 by ldrucker

University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media students just keep winning awards.

The Broadcast Education Association has an annual Festival of Media Arts that garners thousands of entries from faculty and students nationwide.  This year, we have two national winners:

Brittany Brown

Long Form Video or Film Documentary Category

1st Place – “Hate in America” – Justin Parham, Scott Bourque, Brittany Brown and Jasmine Putney, of Arizona State University, the University of Mississippi and the University of Iowa were the winners. The winning entry came from the News21 Fellowship Brown received last year. You can watch the documentary at the link above.

Television Hard News Category

Award of Excellence – Ole Miss Alums and Students Deal with Aftermath of Hurricane Michael – Abbie McIntosh, University of Mississippi – This winning entry was the result of a school-sponsored reporting trip to Panama City, Florida this fall, right after the hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle.

“This is a really good showing in a BEA contest,” said UM professor Nancy Dupont, who has been involved in BEA for many years. “It’s tough to win anything from BEA because we’re competing with the best of the best.”

The winners receive their awards in Las Vegas at the annual BEA conference Festival of Media Arts celebration, an event that will be produced by UM School of Journalism and New Media students, including McIntosh, under the direction of professor Iveta Imre.

Regional Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists Awards

The regional AP awards banquet was Saturday in Jackson. The regional SPJ awards banquet was March 30 in Nashville.

We’re proud The Daily Mississippian, NewsWatch and Rebel Radio each won first place awards in best all-around newspaper, television and radio categories in at least one of the two contests.

SPJ includes entries from student media in four states, and AP in two states. Competing against the top student media in our region, The Daily Mississippian won first place for best student newspaper in both SPJ and AP, and NewsWatch won first place awards for best newscast in both contests, and a second place award for general excellence in AP.

As more information becomes available, we will update this story.

AP First-place awards

The Daily Mississippian, General Excellence for newspapers

NewsWatch OleMiss, Newscast

Billy Schuerman, two first-place awards, for Spot News Photo and Sports Photo.

Billy Schuerman also won a prestigious Best of Show, which includes a cash award and is given to the most outstanding student for a specific media platform. Only six Best of Show awards were given out. Schuerman won for photos published in The Daily Mississippian in 2018. This academic  year, he is studying abroad in Austria.

Rebel Radio, General Excellence for radio stations

Victoria Hosey, two first-place awards, for Radio Reporter and Radio Continuing Coverage. Hosey graduated in December and is studying and working in China this year.

Tyler Hayes, Radio Sports Story

Andranita Williams, Radio Feature Story

DeAndria Turner, Radio News Story

Abbie McIntosh, TV Reporting

Alec Keyzer-Andre, Sam Gray, Gracie Snyder, TV Documentary

 

AP Second-place awards:

NewsWatch Ole Miss, General Excellence

The Daily Mississippian, Editorials (a series of three)

Abbie McIntosh, TV News Story

Victoria Hosey, two second-place radio awards for Newscast and a shared award with Will Stribling for Radio Continuing Coverage

Will Stribling, two second-place radio awards for Feature Story and News Story, and the shared Radio Continuing Coverage award with Victoria Hosey

 

And check out our recent story about the School of Journalism and New Media’s Society of Professional Journalists Awards.

Meet Our Students: IMC student Cam Achord

Posted on: April 7th, 2019 by ldrucker

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Cam Achord

Achord, 20, is an integrated marketing communications major from Olive Branch, Mississippi near Memphis. He said he chose to attend the University of Mississippi because it is located far enough away from his hometown to give him independence, but he’s still within driving distance of his family, who he enjoys visiting and spending time with.

“I chose to pursue a degree in integrated marketing communications because I felt that is was geared towards certain aptitudes of mine,” said the National Merit Finalist. “I find the coordination of different elements of advertising very interesting, and I like to think from an advertiser’s point of view.”

Originally a psychology major with plans to attend medical school, Achord said he learned he wasn’t as passionate about the career field as he thought he would be.

“I did, however, very much enjoy studying psychology,” he said. “I believe that there is a strong element of psychology associated with marketing, as one must understand the tendencies of the human mind to effectively advertise and persuade people.”

Achord also believes communication is important. “Without communication, the spread of information would be extremely limited, and we would not be able to enjoy many of the accomplishments made by humanity,” he said.

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Parker Blaylock.

Blaylock, 20, is a University of Mississippi junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in integrated marketing communications with a specialization in public relations and a minor in general business.

The Eupora native was originally a biochemistry major, but after hearing from friends about the School of Journalism and New Media’s IMC program, he decided to make the switch during his freshman year at Ole Miss.

Blaylock quickly fell in love with the program and all the potential career options, saying it has taught him how to think critically and creatively.

“Before I became an IMC major, I was lost,” he said. “I really did not have a sense of direction for what I wanted in life.”

Blaylock said his personal skills are best utilized in the world of marketing and sales. He is proud of his communication skills and sees value in those skills for his daily life and future career path.

“Communication is one of the most important skills a person can have, in my opinion,” he said. “There aren’t many scenarios in life where you won’t have to communicate with someone.”

After he finishes school, Blaylock plans to pursue a career at an advertising agency working in the creative department. He sees himself living in a larger city, specifically New York or Nashville.

Ideally, he would like to create social media content and do copywriting, but he is also interested in conducting research for campaigns.

Blaylock said he would also love to work for a greater cause at a nonprofit organization, such as the Human Rights Campaign or the Advertising Council.

– By Ali Arnold

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Allie Allen.

Allen, 20, is a University of Mississippi sophomore majoring in integrated marketing communications. The Jacksonville, Florida native moved to Memphis at age 6 because her dad took another job.

“In 2013, my life took a turn when I was diagnosed with brain cancer,” she said. “After my first brain surgery, I became a patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. One of the reasons I chose to come to Ole Miss was because it is far enough, yet close enough to my house and St. Jude if I ever need to go there for treatment or scans.”

Allen said the past six years of her cancer journey have made her realize how much she wanted to work for the hospital that saved her life.

“As much as I would love to be a doctor, I do not feel that I am fit for that job,” she said, “but there are many different jobs that work directly with the hospital that I am interested in working with in the future.”

The fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is called ALSAC, an acronym for American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities.

“ALSAC specifically has jobs that deal with integrated marketing communications,” said Allen, “and this is a big part of why I chose IMC as my major. I feel that integrated marketing communication is important because it is more than just marketing.

“It takes all the aspects of marketing communications and combines them together using different approaches for a specific customer. Even if I do not end up working for ALSAC or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, I wish to work for a company that gives back. I plan to take everything I have learned from this major and apply it to my future career.”

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Shelby Bickes.

The Saltillo native, 22, who is majoring in integrated marketing communications, said she chose IMC because she enjoys creative thinking and how IMC requires you to create and design, yet also involves business, marketing and communications.

As a senior, Bickes has been very involved on campus. Since her freshman year, she has worked with the Wesley Foundation, a United Methodist campus ministry. She served on the entertainment committee for the Student Activities Association, providing campus entertainment and opportunities for student involvement in programming.

She was also a member of the advanced ceramics group, The Mud Daubers, and she participated in an internship with the Oxford Arts Council.

“IMC is about meeting all of the ever-changing generations in their way of effective communications and marketing,” she said.

University of Mississippi journalism student among Hugh M. Hefner Foundation honorees

Posted on: April 4th, 2019 by ldrucker

The Hugh M. Hefner Foundation will honor a University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media student at its annual First Amendment Awards event May 15, 2019, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Grace Marion, a journalism student who serves as the Society of Professional Journalists president, will be honored with others recognized for their efforts to help protect and enhance First Amendment rights for all Americans and to raise awareness of modern-day challenges to freedom of speech and expression.

As the former editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper, The Playwickian, Marion fought against school censorship after she saw about a dozen articles censored.

“Marion was able to publish her final jaw-dropping article during her last year at the school, which outed the school for the lack of sexual misconduct records for its teachers,” the foundation news release reads.

SPJ President Grace Marion, center, at the recent Nashville SPJ conference. She is pictured with UM journalism student, Brooke McNabb, SPJ vice president, right.

According to the Freedom Forum, more Americans are concerned about their First Amendment rights than at any time in the past 25 years, the release reports.

“Recent concerns stem from censorship issues on school campuses and social media, attacks on reporters and threats to the press, and the growing threat of new technology, such as tracking devices and facial recognition software,” the release reports. “As threats to the press reach an all-time high, the Newseum, the Freedom Forum Institute and the Student Press Law Center have declared 2019 as the Year of the Student Journalist.”

Christie Hefner, founder and chairman of the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards said Americans’ First Amendment freedoms are under assault like never before.

“From a reporter being stripped of his White House press pass, to newsrooms being threatened and attacked, members of the press are being viciously targeted while ‘fake news’ has become a common term used by politicians and the public,” Hefner said in the news release. “Millions of students are exposed to a censorship culture within our education system as free speech violations take place at our schools and on college campuses. We cannot allow First Amendment threats to become commonplace in our country.”

Christie Hefner established the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards in 1979 to honor her father’s lifelong commitment to defending the First Amendment. Since 1979, the Foundation has recognized 150+ free speech advocates at their annual awards events. Previous honorees include high school students, lawyers, librarians, journalists and educators. A complete list of past award winners and judges can be found here.

“Because of the dedication and commitment of Americans who refuse to be censored, threats to the First Amendment do not go unchallenged,” Christie Hefner continued in the news release. “We honor and recognize America’s unsung heroes: the individuals who put themselves and their organizations at risk by bravely defending their constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression. The Foundation is honored to recognize this year’s award winners who were carefully selected from hundreds of nominations. Assaults to the First Amendment cannot go unnoticed. We’ll continue to raise awareness of these violations and recognize America’s brave free speech heroes.”

The 2019 honorees also include:

  • Law: Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and global co-chair of the firm’s Litigation Group, for his work on behalf of CNN and Jim Acosta in connection with the restoration of Acosta’s White House press credentials.
  • Government: Dr. George Luber, former chief of the Climate and Health Program in the Division of Environmental Health Science and Practice at the National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). After the 2016 election, Dr. Luber was directed to cancel a conference on climate change with Al Gore; he refused on the basis of science education and was outspoken on the issue. The CDC sent Dr. Luber home on administrative leave. After taking a public stand, the CDC withdrew Dr. Luber’s proposed termination.
  • Book Publishing: Greg Lukianoff, president and CEO, FIRE, & Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist, NYU’s Stern School of Business, for their book, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.
  • Education: Christian Bales, an openly gay and gender non-conforming student, who was not allowed to deliver his valedictorian commencement speech at his Catholic high school’s graduation ceremony. Bales decided to deliver his speech with a bullhorn following the graduation ceremony surrounded by students and faculty.
  • Lifetime Achievement: Floyd Abrams, senior counsel, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, for his lifelong devotion to constitutional law. Abrams has argued numerous significant First Amendment cases in the U.S. Supreme Court. Many arguments he has made orally and in his briefs to the Court have been adopted by it as binding precedent protecting freedom of speech and the press from infringement by the government.

After a public call for nominations issued by the Foundation, the awardees were selected by an independent panel of judges: Karen Tumulty, a columnist and former national political correspondent for The Washington Post who writes frequently on free speech and the First Amendment; Neal Katyal, the Paul and Patrician Saunders Professor of Law at Georgetown University, a partner at Hogan Lovells, and former acting solicitor general of the United States; and Michael B. Keegan, president of People for the American Way and People for the American Way Foundation.

The Hugh M. Hefner Foundation was established to work on behalf of individual rights in a democratic society.  The primary focus of the foundation is to support organizations that advocate for and defend civil rights and civil liberties with special emphasis on First Amendment rights and rational sex and drug policies.

UM journalism students win Society of Professional Journalists awards at Nashville conference

Posted on: April 1st, 2019 by ldrucker

Congratulations to the University of Mississippi students who won 13 awards for their 2018 work in the annual Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence contest.

The Region 12 conference and awards luncheon was Saturday, March 30, at Lipscomb University in Nashville. Region 12 includes four states – Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas.

Six UM student journalists – Grant McLaughlin, Carter Diggs, Grace Marion, Brooke McNabb, Sarah Liese, and Gracie Snyder – attended the conference that included workshops with many high achieving area journalists and networking opportunities.

Regional first-place winners automatically are entered into the national contest, competing against student winners in the other 11 regions.

In the newspaper and art/graphics/photo categories, SPJ separates entries from large schools and small schools, and our students compete in the categories for large universities.

Our Mark of Excellence first-place winners are:

The Daily Mississippian, best all-around daily newspaper

NewsWatch Ole Miss, best television newscast

Ariel Cobbert, breaking news photography (Honoring King’s legacy, Martin Luther King assassination 50th anniversary march)

Madison Scarpino, television breaking news (Ole Miss community reacts to controversial Facebook post)

Lasherica Thornton, breaking news reporting (article from her internship in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)

Victoria Hosey, radio news reporting (Meek social media post forum)

Hurricane Harvey reporting team (Italiana Anderson, Lana Ferguson, Victoria Hosey, Abbie McIntosh, MacKenzie Ross), best use of multimedia

SPJ picks one winner and two finalists in each category. Our finalists are:

Circle & Square staff, student magazine

The Daily Mississippian, breaking news reporting (Chancellor, campus leaders condemn post made by Ole Miss alumnus)

Victoria Hosey, radio feature (Michael Rish, hurricane survivor)

Billy Schuerman, general news photography (James Meredith photo from black alumni weekend)

Gracie Snyder, Sarah Liese, Lauren Conley, online in-depth reporting (African American students, faculty aim to make UM more inclusive)

Victoria Hosey, Abbie McIntosh, Madison Scarpino, online news reporting (Ole Miss student copies with the Hurricane Michael destruction of her hometown)

If you would like to become a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, contact UM SPJ Chapter President Grace Marion at spjumchapter@gmail.com.

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University hosts annual MSPA convention for student publishers

Posted on: March 28th, 2019 by ldrucker

Hundreds of Mississippi’s aspiring writers, publishers and journalists visited Oxford in April for the 72nd Mississippi Scholastic Press Association Convention hosted by the University of Mississippi.

Students from high schools across the state came for the one-day event Monday, April 1, to hear speakers, participate in seminars and immerse themselves in the Ole Miss campus.

The convention helps high school students who work for their respective school newspapers, yearbooks, broadcasts and literary magazines realize they share a passion for publication with hundreds of peers in the state, said R.J. Morgan, MSPA director.

“(The convention) is a great opportunity for the university and a great opportunity for Mississippi high school kids to get on a college campus and see what college life is like,” said Morgan, an instructional assistant professor of journalism at UM.

“There will be a lot of these students who have never been on a college campus, so letting them see how college works and exposing them to that environment gets them thinking in terms of attending college. The convention really serves as a rallying point and pep rally in terms of helping these students understand that this is something they should feel proud of, something they can hang their hat on.”

The highlight of each year’s convention is the MSPA awards ceremony, Morgan said. This year, besides announcing more than 100 winners and finalists, including best-of honors for several publication types, the MSPA announced a new honor called the All-Mississippi recognition. Ten students were selected from a field of 20 candidates who submitted portfolios of their journalism work.

More than 700 individual pieces of work were submitted for the various prizes.

“The awards are really what the kids are most excited about,” Morgan said.

This year’s Pam Hamilton Keynote Address was delivered by Ronnie Agnew, an Ole Miss alumnus and director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

Agnew is a veteran of the newspaper and news industry, previously serving as the executive editor of The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson.

High school students at the 2018 MSPA spring convention listen to keynote speaker Jesse J. Holland. This year’s keynote speaker was Mississippi Public Broadcasting director Ronnie Agnew. Photo courtesy UM Division of Outreach and Continuing Education

“(Agnew’s) wealth of experience in both print and digital media, as well as his dedication to education and serving others, made him a natural choice to deliver this address to our statewide audience,” Morgan said.

Other speakers include Pablo Correa, a documentary filmmaker working on a feature-length film about Fannie Lou Hamer, and Lori Oglesbee-Petter, a nationally recognized newspaper and yearbook adviser who serves as an advocate for First Amendment rights.

“There’s never been a greater need for good communicators,” Morgan said. “The number of platforms and reasons to tell those stories has greatly diffused in the last decade, and we really need good storytellers to cut through the noise in our society.

“We hope to help these students find their voice and refine that voice and teach them going forward how to be good citizens and good communicators.”

Besides attending the convention, Correa discussed his work with the “Fannie Lou Hamer’s America” documentary team in a separate event in the Overby Center Auditorium.

The MSPA was created in 1947 to “support, promote and nurture journalism in a high school setting through workshops, competitions, conventions and online aids and advice. Membership is open to any Mississippi school that has a newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine, online publication, broadcast and/or journalism class.” It is housed at the university.

UM has hosted the spring convention since its inception. Two years ago, a fall convention was added at the University of Southern Mississippi. The event usually draws approximately 500-600 high school students, Morgan said.

For more information on the convention or MSPA, visit its website.

This article was written by Justin Whitmore of University Communications.