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School of Journalism and New Media
University of Mississippi

School of Journalism and New Media Faculty and Staff


Debora Wenger

Debora Wenger Profile-BWTitle: Interim Dean and Professor
Phone: 662-915-7912
Twitter: @dhwenger

Debora Wenger, Ph.D., is Interim Dean and Professor in the School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi.

Prior to her academic appointments, Wenger worked as a reporter, producer and in newsroom leadership roles for multiple TV stations. She has worked for the U.S. State Department providing multimedia journalism training in the South Pacific and in Europe. She conducts multimedia workshops in newsrooms around the country for SPJ in association with its Google News Initiative Program and is co-executive editor of She is also co-author of two books, Advancing the Story: Journalism in a Digital World and Managing Today’s News Media: Audience First.

Wenger received her Ph.D. From Kingston University in London and was named as a top journalism educator by NewsPro magazine in 2017. She has made more than a dozen campus visits as a consultant, a member of site teams for the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism & Mass Communication (ACEJMC) or as a state board program evaluator. Her 2018 research on news video and local television news was completed with support from the Knight Foundation. In 2018, AEJMC’s Electronic News Division also honored Wenger with the Larry Burkum Service Award for her service to journalism and journalism education.

Wenger has previously served as Assistant Dean for Partnerships and Innovation in the school and was Associate Professor for Media Convergence at Virginia Commonwealth University prior to her association with the University of Mississippi.

Jason Cain

jason-cainTitle: Integrated Marketing Communications Coordinator/Assistant Professor
Phone: 662-915-5397

Jason Cain is an assistant professor of integrated marketing communications. Cain joined the school after working in corporate consulting in Austin, Texas. Originally a musician, he worked in Nashville and Austin in live music and studio settings for 15 years. His research interests include digital media related issues from news gathering to intellectual property.

Cain has a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Florida, where he studied as an Alumni Graduate Fellow, a master’s degree in mass communication from Texas State University – San Marcos in mass communication, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University in recording industry management.

Charles D. “Charlie” Mitchell

mitchell BW web

Title: Journalism Program Coordinator/Associate Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-8780

Charlie Mitchell is an associate professor, having previously served as associate dean. He came to the School of Journalism and New Media in 2010 after 24 years as executive editor of The Vicksburg Post. He is a past president of the Mississippi Press Association and has also served as a director and president of the Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information and the Mississippi-Louisiana Associated Press Managing Editors Association.

He has been a columnist in more than 20 state newspapers for more than 30 years and has won many writing awards for the column, his reporting from Iraq and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He is an attorney and is admitted to practice in state and federal courts.

Jennifer Simmons

Jennifer Simmons bwTitle: Assistant Dean for Student Services
Phone: 662-915-1547

Jennifer Simmons is originally from New Albany, Mississippi. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master of Arts in higher education/student personnel from the University of Mississippi.

While enrolled in her master’s program, Simmons worked as a graduate assistant in the Office of Financial Aid, and upon completion of her master’s, was hired as a full-time employee there. She worked as financial aid advisor and senior financial aid advisor until she was offered a position in the UM Admissions Office in 2004.

Simmons served as the assistant director, interim director and associate director of admissions. In these roles, she managed the application process for the Oxford, Tupelo, Desoto, Booneville and Grenada campuses for all new undergraduate applicants. She also served as the department’s DGET officer. She served on several university standing committees, including the Admissions, Orientation, Recruitment and Advising Committee, Non-Resident Admissions Committee, and Institutional Compliance Committee.

Simmons joined the School of Journalism and New Media in October 2015 as the assistant dean for student services. In this role, one of her primary functions is freshmen advising. She also reviews graduation applications and is overseeing the student internship program.

Marquita Smith

Title: Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs

Marquita Smith, Ed.D., is the assistant dean for graduate programs. Smith earned her doctorate from the University of Arkansas focusing on curriculum and instruction and faculty leadership. She believes that graduate education is a privilege and opportunity for students to gain outstanding communication and research skills.

Her vision for the school’s graduate programs is for students to acquire advanced and enhanced knowledge of journalism and integrated marketing communications. The goal is for each degree program to provide a unique experience for those who are interested in professional practitioner development, media production expertise and leadership, or the generation of new knowledge in the field.

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.

In 2012, Smith, an associate professor, was named to the list of Top 50 Journalism Professors. Prior to moving to Oxford, Smith served as the Communication and Fine Arts Division Chair and Coordinator of Diversity Relations at John Brown University. She is a past chair for AEJMC’s Commission on the Status of Minorities and a past member of the national organization’s board of directors. Her research interests focus on media development, public health communications and topics on diversity and inclusion.

Patricia Thompson

thompson_BW_REVISEDTitle: Executive Director of ACEJMC, Assistant Dean for Student Media, and Assistant Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-5503

Pat Thompson is assistant dean for student media, and executive director of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, the agency responsible for the evaluation of professional journalism and mass communications programs at colleges and universities.

She oversees the operation of the Student Media Center, where students and staff produce the Daily Mississippian, The Ole Miss yearbook, NewsWatch Ole Miss, Rebel Radio WUMS 92.1-FM and several websites. She teaches writing and editing courses, and she led a multimedia journalism project that won the 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Award for college journalism.

Thompson has more than 25 years of experience as a journalist — as a staff writer at The Washington Post and as a senior editor at the San Jose Mercury News and South Florida Sun-Sentinel. She was part of the Mercury News staff awarded the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for general news reporting.

Thompson was an assistant professor of journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where she taught classes and directed programs. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She was a Presidential Scholar, a Curators Scholar, and inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha and Mortar Board honor societies. She has been actively involved with ACEJMC journalism accreditation work for many years, and served on the national accreditation committee and on accreditation appeals boards.


Shannon Dixon

Title: Operations Supervisor
Phone: 662-915-8779

Shannon L. Dixon is operations supervisor of the School of Journalism and New Media. She is chief of all administrative functions, and her job responsibilities include supervising student workers, processing departmental scholarships, processing payroll and processing accounts payable.

Paula Hurdle

Title: Academic Counselor
Phone: 662-915-2015

Paula Hurdle is an academic counselor at the School of Journalism and New Media.  She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Business Education from the University of Tennessee at Martin, and has over twenty years of experience in the field of education.  She first joined the University of Mississippi in 2013 as the Receptionist/Secretary at the School of Journalism and New Media, then the Records Coordinator in the School of Business.  In March 2021 she re-joined the School of Journalism and New Media in her current position.

Jack Lawton

Title: Network Manager
Phone: 662-915-2046

Jack Lawton is the network manager for the School of Journalism and New Media. He joined the school after 30 years with Auburn University. There, he served IT needs in many positions. In his last position at AU, he served as director of IT for the Harbert College of Business for 15 years. Lawton has a master’s of business administration degree from Auburn University and has also served in our military with honor.


Michelle Martin

Title: Administrative Assistant
Phone: 662-915-7146

Michelle Martin started out as a Rebel Reserve for The Department of Facilities Management where she worked closely with the former director. Upon completing her assignment at Facilities Management, Martin began another Rebel Reserve assignment in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Afterward, Martin went on to become Secretary II for the Department of Chemistry for 13 years where she assisted the chairman, faculty, students, and other staff. Martin is currently working on her General Studies degree.


Rivers Myres

Title: Academic Counselor
Phone: 662-915-2321

Rivers Myres is an Academic Advisor for the School of Journalism and New Media. Rivers is tasked with advising and recruiting new students into the school.

Prior to working in the journalism school, Rivers worked three years as an admissions counselor in UM’s Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services. He recruited in North Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky while working there. Other experiences include working for a startup company and in financial services.

Rivers is a graduate of the University of Mississippi class of 2012. He majored in English and classics in the College of Liberal Arts. He was also a member of Eta Sigma Phi Honor Society and Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. Rivers is from the Mississippi Delta, but attended The McCallie School in Chattanooga.

Catherine Robinson

Title: Accountant
Phone: 662-915-1319

Catherine Robinson earned a bachelor’s degree in managerial finance and another degree in accountancy from the University of Mississippi. She also earned a master’s degree in accountancy. She is a licensed certified public accountant by the state of Mississippi who has worked as an accountant in Oxford and the tech industry. She came to the School of Journalism and New Media after working in the Bursar’s office. She previously worked at the Student Media Center as a Daily Mississippian photographer and hosted her own specialty show on Rebel Radio 92.1.

Hannah Vines

Title: Graphic Designer I
Phone: 662-915-2143

Hannah Vines is the graphic designer for the School of Journalism and New Media. Vines graduated from the University of Mississippi with a bachelor of arts degree in art and a minor in journalism. Prior to joining the JNM staff, she was the creative director for and Experience Oxford magazine for three years. Vines has been a freelance designer for companies in Jackson as well as Nashville for over five years. She creates designs for the school’s marketing, branding and social media while also producing website materials for our student organizations. Vines is also the advertising designer for the Student Media Center.


Joseph B. Atkins

atkins2Title: Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-5510

Joe Atkins, professor of journalism, has taught at the University of Mississippi since 1990. He teaches courses in advanced reporting, international journalism, ethics and social issues, media history, and labor and media.

Atkins is the author of Covering for the Bosses: Labor and the Southern Press, published by The University Press of Mississippi in 2008, and editor/contributing author of The Mission: Journalism, Ethics and the World, published by Iowa State University Press in 2002. He organized an international “Conference on Labor and the Southern Press” at Ole Miss in October 2003.

A statewide columnist and 35-year veteran journalist, Atkins was a congressional correspondent with Gannett News Service’s Washington, D.C. bureau for five years. He previously worked with newspapers in North Carolina and Mississippi.

His articles have appeared in publications such as USA Today, Baltimore Sun, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Progressive Populist, Southern Exposure, Quill and the Oxford American. Atkins is also author of the novel Casey’s Last Chance, published by Sartoris Literary Group in 2015.

John Baker

john-bakerTitle: Instructional Assistant Professor of Journalism and Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-2030

John Baker teaches basic and advanced writing courses, and news and depth reporting. In pursuit of a doctorate in communication and information from the University of Tennessee with a concentration in law and public policy, Baker’s research interests focus on the First Amendment and other policy issues, as well as the intersection of religion and media.

While earning a master’s degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Baker taught or co-taught courses in news reporting, ethics and internet journalism. He was also a juror for the CINE Golden Eagle documentary competition.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from McNeese State University, where he also worked in television and radio production.

Zenebe Beyene

Title: Assistant Professor and Coordinator of International Programs
Phone: 662-915-7146

Dr. Beyene earned his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in political science in 2012. He specializes in media in conflict and post-conflict societies. He has taught, researched and provided training in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and the United States.

Dr. Beyene has served as a consultant for InterNews Network, US Agency for International Development, United Nations Development Programme, Voice of America, Pennsylvania University/Carnegie Foundation, Oxford University and Oxford University/U.K. Embassy in Ethiopia and Aadland Consult/IDEA International.

Dr. Beyene has published or co-published work about tolerance and online debate in Ethiopia; the role of TeleCourt in changing conceptions of justice and authority in Ethiopia; the role of ICT in peacebuilding in Africa; media use and abuse in Ethiopia; From an Emperor to the Derg and Beyond: Examining the Intersection of Music and Politics in Ethiopia.

Graham Bodie

Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

Title: Professor

Phone: 662-915-7665

Graham Bodie, Ph.D, is a scholar, educator and consultant. In each role, he attempts to bring attention to one fundamentally important, yet undervalued skill – listening.

Dr. Bodie is an internationally recognized expert on listening and has published over 80 monographs, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries. His most recent project, The Sourcebook of Listening Research (Wiley-Blackwell), is a comprehensive resource that reviews and critiques current and potential approaches to measuring listening.

Dr. Bodie’s work has been funded by the National Science Foundation (EPSCoR) and featured in the Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, and on National Public Radio. In addition to several research awards, he was honored twice with Professor of the Year by students in the Department of Communication Studies at Louisiana State University, where he also was recognized with university-wide teaching awards.

When he consults, he prefers projects that allow him to make a difference. Currently, Dr. Bodie serves as an executive advisor for the Listen First Project and vice chairperson for the Global Listening Centre.

Dr. Bodie received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in communication from Auburn University and his Ph.D. from Purdue University. In addition to LSU, he served as a visiting scholar in the School of Media and Communication at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea.

Emily Bowen-Moore

Title: Instructional Assistant Professor of Media Design
Phone: 662-915-5505

Emily Bowen‐Moore joined the faculty in spring of 2015. She earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and journalism at Ole Miss in 1997, and after several years of teaching, she earned a master’s degree in illustration.

She has been a freelance illustrator and designer for the last 20 years, and her work has appeared in various printed media, including music CDs, children’s books, and large printed murals.

In 2004 and 2006, she was awarded Earthwatch Institute S. A. Rosenbaum Fellowships through the Phil Hardin Foundation. In recent years, she has been illustrating, designing, and publishing her own children’s books.

Amanda Bradshaw

Title: Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications

Dr. Amanda Sams Bradshaw is an assistant professor of integrated marketing communications at the University of Mississippi. Her research focuses on how social network interactions impact maternal health decision-making, specifically childhood vaccine hesitancy. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Alabama, M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University, and Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Florida. Her professional experience includes three years as the Public Relations Manager of Preferred Medical Group, a multi-disciplinary, multi-location medical practice, where she rebranded the company, co-led a merger, wrote and produced 18 television commercials, and generated ~$875,000 in potential revenue. She later held the role of Director of Sales and Brand Growth for Chick-fil-A in Lawton, OK, resulting in an outside sales increase of 600% over one year. Simultaneously, she owned and operated a social media consulting firm for more than two years before beginning her Ph.D.

Ike Brunner

Title: Instructional Assistant Professor of Social Media & Data Analytics


Ike Brunner is part of the IMC faculty specializing in social media, data analytics, and influencer marketing. He has over a decade of industry experience in market research and digital/social media marketing and has worked with all types of businesses, from local SMBs to top international global companies. He has expertise in digital marketing & social media training, strategy, research, and evaluation.

Ike received his Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Bowling Green State University and previously taught at Wright State University and Texas Tech University.

Brad Conaway

Title:Instructional Assistant Professor of Social Media and Data Analytics
Phone: 903-258-1965

Brad Conaway earned two bachelor’s degrees from the University of North Texas, one in radio/TV/film and one in English Literature, with a history minor. Following a 15+ career in television content producing, now he studies and specializes in emerging forms of digital communication; especially social media.

As a digital manager, he created a social media strategy that was named “Best in Company” in terms of “Engagement” analytics. As the corporate digital content manager, Conaway led Raycom’s push to think “Digital First,” using social media.

Conaway has covered several events from a local shooting at a courthouse, the explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia upon re-entry in 2003 and the morning of Super Bowl 45 in 2011, that blanketed Dallas for 2 days caused by a super freeze resulting in injuries. He was an Emmy nominee, Best Morning Newscast-Large Market and TAPB Winner, Best Morning Newscast-Large Market in 2010.

Mark K. Dolan

dolan BW webTitle: Associate Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-5397

Mark K. Dolan earned his Ph.D. in journalism and mass communications from the University of South Carolina in 2003. His teaching interests include new media, narrative journalism, photography and media law.

He has worked with students on feature packages for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sun Herald (2006) and, most recently, on a Web documentary. His research areas include new media, cultural studies and literary journalism.

Dolan’s work has appeared in the music Issue of Southern Cultures, published by the University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill, and he is writing a book about blues in the black press to be published by The University Press of Mississippi.

He has written for several daily newspapers, including the Savannah Morning News, the Naples Daily News and The (S.C.) State. Highlights from his newspaper work include interviews with novelists Toni Morrison and Salman Rushdie.

Michael Fagans

Title: Assistant Professor of Journalism
Phone: 661-616-8409

Michael Fagans is a multimedia journalist, author and documentary filmmaker with more than 17 years experience in photojournalism and nonprofit communications. He is the author of the book iPhone Photographer and the iPhone Photography for Everyone with Amherst Media.

Fagans was the director and co-producer of the documentary film “The Trafficked Life” about anti-human trafficking efforts in California. He was the National Press Photographers Association’s Photographer of the Year for 2005 for New York state, and Ontario and Quebec provinces and was also a Visual College Fellow at the Poynter Institute in 1999.

Fagans has had a gallery show of his documentary work in Afghanistan titled “Unguarded Moments.” Prior to teaching at the University of Mississippi, Fagans was an instructor at California State University, Bakersfield, and at Bakersfield College. Fagans has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photojournalism from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in political science from the University at Albany, SUNY.

Scott Fiene

Title: Associate Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-7195

Scott Fiene is associate professor and oversees the undergraduate Integrated Marketing Communications program. He has more than two decades of corporate marketing communications experience, including roles as owner of a Des Moines, Iowa-based consulting firm and vice president of the global financial services company Principal Financial Group.

Fiene has taught marketing and sales courses at the collegiate level for more than 15 years. Before coming to Ole Miss in 2012, he taught in the College of Business at Drake University.

Fiene is faculty advisor for the Ole Miss chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA), past president of the Iowa chapter of AMA, a member of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi (PRAM) and has served on the board of the International Association of Business Communicators.

He majored in English and minored in journalism at the University of Iowa. He received his graduate degree in journalism and mass communications from Drake University, where his research was focused on integrated marketing communications.

Vanessa Gregory

Title: Associate Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-7127

Vanessa Gregory began teaching at the University of Mississippi in 2010. She is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in a number of regional and national publications, including The New York Times, Afar, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal and Outside.

In 2010, she was awarded a Middlebury Fellowship in Environmental Journalism. Previously, she worked as a newspaper reporter at The Bakersfield Californian. She earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she also participated in News21, an in-depth reporting program funded by the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education.

Deborah (Debbie) Woodrick Hall

debbie-hallTitle: Instructional Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications

Deborah (Debbie) Woodrick Hall is an instructional assistant professor of Integrated Marketing Communications. Hall earned a master’s of business administration degree at the University of Mississippi in 1980 while working in the vice chancellor’s office as academic program coordinator and a bachelor’s of business administration degree in 1977.

Hall helped coordinate the first online registration at Ole Miss. When she left the university in 1983, she began a career in public relations that led her to work with the Girl Scouts, United Methodist Senior Services of Mississippi, the United Methodist Children’s Home of Alabama and West Florida, United Way of Northeast Mississippi, and Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Mississippi. At each of these organizations, she also held the job as the fundraiser.

Hall also served as Community Relations Director at North Mississippi State Hospital. During her tenure, she was recognized as the Junior Professional of the Year by the Mississippi Hospital Association and was a graduate of the first Focus Program, a leadership development program of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health.

Iveta Imre

Title: Assistant Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-7146

Iveta Imre is an assistant professor of visual storytelling. She joined the faculty in 2018. Prior to coming to the United States, she worked as a broadcast reporter for the Croatian Public Television (HRT). Imre graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Ph.D. in communication and information, where she also produced documentaries and worked as a visual specialist. For the past 10 years, she has been teaching classes that range from television news and documentary production to multimedia reporting and social media publishing.

Her research focuses on broadcast media development in former Yugoslavian countries, trust in media, and journalism education. During her academic career, Imre has published articles in journals, such as International Communication Gazette, Mass Communication and Society, and Visual Communication Quarterly, and has presented papers and participated in panel sessions at national and international conferences, such as the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and International Communication Association (ICA).

Evangeline Ivy

Title: Instructional Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-5447

Evangeline Ivy began teaching integrated marketing communications courses in the school in 2012. She has 17 years of experience in fundraising and nonprofit marketing communications.

She has worked for Wonders: The Memphis International Cultural Series; the Metropolitan Community Colleges Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri; the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles and Jackson State University.

She received a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and a master’s degree in history from Jackson State. She received a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi.

Cynthia Joyce

Title: Associate Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-8787

Cynthia Joyce has been a writer, editor, and web producer for more than 15 years and has contributed to several regional and national publications, including The Washington Post, Newsday,, Entertainment Weekly, and, where she was a senior producer from 2007-2011;, where she worked briefly as a producer post-Katrina; and Salon, where she was arts and entertainment editor from 1995-2000.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Duke University in 1991, and her master’s of science degree in journalism from Northwestern University in 1993. She joined the Ole Miss faculty in 2011.

Robert Magee

Robert MageeTitle: Associate Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-7566

Robert Magee conducts experimental research in persuasion and new media. His persuasion research tests how people’s world views and values influence their responses to marketing communications. His research in new media demonstrates how characteristics of Web interfaces can affect attitudes and behavior by influencing cognitive processes.

Magee is the author of Persuasion: A Social Science Approach. His research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, such as Marketing Letters, Media Psychology, Journal of Interactive Advertising, Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, Journal of Health Communication, and Ethics and Information Technology, among others. He has also won top paper awards from the Communication Technology division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Magee has a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, a master’s degree from the University of Miami, a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University, and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree (magna cum laude) from Belmont University.

Patricia Overstreet-Miller

Title: Instructional Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-7146

Patricia (Pattie) Overstreet-Miller is focused primarily on the satellite campuses. She has more than 25 years of senior-level public relations and marketing experience in a variety of industries, including financial services and healthcare, and has taught courses in English and public relations at UCLA, Pasadena City College, Columbia College in Chicago and Virginia Tech.

She has won numerous national and international professional awards, including the Public Relations Society of America’s silver anvil and the prestigious Business Issues Award from the International Association of Business Communicators.

She holds an MBA from the University of Illinois, Chicago; a master’s degree in English from Virginia Tech; and an undergraduate degree in English from Centenary College of Louisiana. She has earned the Accredited in Public Relations designation from PRSA and holds the Chartered Financial Consultant designation.

Ronnie “R. J.” Morgan

Title: Instructional Associate Professor of Journalism and Director of the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association
Phone: 662-915-7150

R.J. Morgan is a JEA Certified Journalism Educator currently pursuing his Ph.D. in K-12 education leadership. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Mississippi State University and previously taught at Starkville High School, where he received honors including STAR Teacher, Third Congressional District Teacher of the Year, the Paul Cuicchi Innovative Educator Award, and the MSPA Adviser of the Year (three times).

His media experience includes writing for The Associated Press, Sporting News magazine, The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and The Commercial Appeal. Morgan is the recipient of the 2018 Elizabeth Dickey Distinguished Service Award from the Southern Interscholastic Press Association.

Darren Sanefski

Title: Associate Professor of Media Design
Phone: 662-915-2031

Darren received a bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts and a master’s of arts degree with honors from the State University of New York at Oswego. He worked for The Post-Standard in Syracuse, N.Y., where, most recently, he was the paper’s sports design editor. He also created interactive data visualizations for their website,

Darren was on the faculty at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University from 2005 through 2017.

He is the presentation editor for Via Corsa magazine and the art director for the highly-acclaimed New York Horse magazine. He has designed or art-directed many award-winning scholastic magazines as well. Darren runs a freelance business providing graphic design for a variety of projects with local and national companies.

Darren has won numerous regional, national and international awards for his illustrations, info-graphics and designs.

Chris Canty Sparks

Chris Canty SparksTitle: Instructional Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications

Chris Canty Sparks teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate IMC programs. Sparks joined the school as a professional in residence after a 25-year career in strategic consumer marketing, agency campaign planning, category management and communications with Fortune 100 companies that include Ogilvy & Mather, The Coca-Cola Company, M&M/Mars Incorporated and The Colgate-Palmolive Company.

Sparks has considerable experience in the creation and execution of integrated marketing campaigns and brand introductions. She has been an integral member of the teams that launched Coca-Cola Zero, Diet Coke with Lime, Diet Vanilla Coke, Diet Cherry Coke, Fresca Flavors and other brands of The Coca-Cola Company.

Sparks received her master’s of business administration degree from the Owen Graduate School of Business at Vanderbilt University earning a dual concentration in marketing and organization management. She has a bachelor’s of business administration degree with a double major in marketing and management from the University of Mississippi.

Alysia Burton Steele

Alysia Steele

Title: Associate Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-2096

Alysia Steele, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, is the author of “Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom.” The book is a collection of formal portraits and oral histories from church mothers, including civil rights activist Mrs. Myrlie Evers – widow of NAACP leader Medgar Evers. The women share poignant highlights about life during the Jim Crow era in Mississippi.

The book, released nationwide in April 2015, has been endorsed by activist Gloria Steinem, Miami Herald Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr., best-selling author Roy Blount, Jr., to name a few. NYT best-selling author Bishop T.D. Jakes featured her story in his 2015 DocuSeries Destiny Visions because of her passion for oral history. She is only one of three artists in the United States featured in the series.

Delta Jewels has been featured in various national publications, including The New York Times, National Public Radio, Southern Living, NBC. comUSA TodayChicago Sun-Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Garden & Gun.

Her book was a finalist in the esteemed Jessie Redmon Fauset Award for nonfiction, and she was awarded the Ofield Dukes Educator of the Year Award from the National Black Public Relations Society in Washington, D.C. The Mississippi Humanities Council, which Congress funds through the National Endowment for the Humanities, named her the “2016 Preserver of Mississippi Culture” award.

Steele worked at several newspapers, including The Columbus Dispatch and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she worked as a picture editor and deputy director of photo. In 2006, she was part of the Dallas Morning News photo team that won the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News for their Hurricane Katrina coverage. She served as one of the picture editors.

She volunteered to document life in the Ivory Coast, Uganda, and South Africa for Habitat for Humanity’s 25th anniversary coffee table book and did documentary work in Ghana and Kenya. Her work documenting Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp won the esteemed James Gordon Understanding Award for photographic excellence.

Steele teaches writing, audio and video production, podcasting, photojournalism, and the senior capstone class. She has her master’s degree from Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication and her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She just finished the draft for her memoir and is working on her third book while also currently earning her Ph.D. in U.S. history since the Civil War, minoring in African American studies and gender studies. She expects to defend her dissertation in 2022.

Bobby D. Steele Jr.

Title: Instructional Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications

Bobby D. Steele Jr. earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi and a bachelor’s degree in health services administration from Franklin University.

After a graduate internship for the Division of Outreach and Continuing Education at Ole Miss, specializing in creative content, photography and social media marketing, he became an adjunct professor for IMC. In the fall of 2018, Steele was promoted to the branding and promotions manager for the School of Journalism and New Media.

He is director of operations and a board member for the nonprofit organization Delta Jewels Support Foundation and marketing director for Cherry Blossom Way Farms in Columbus, Ohio. Steele is a decorated veteran who served seven years in the United States Navy. He was an active member during campaigns, Desert Storm, Desert Shield and Kuwait Liberation.

Kristen Alley Swain

Kristen Swain.Photo by Mark K. DolanTitle: Associate Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-7637

Kristie Swain teaches reporting, media ethics, theory, and public opinion. With a professional background in print journalism, she has written for Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Living, The Oxford Eagle, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo, and the Tuscaloosa News. She served as a managing editor for the world’s first university-based online newspaper at the University of Florida.

Her research focuses on science communication with an emphasis on effective health communication campaign design and risk framing in news. As part of her health campaign research about the role of black churches in HIV prevention, she served as strategic communications consultant for the 16-county North Central Florida AIDS Network. Her recent projects examined news coverage of the anthrax attacks, environmental justice, Sub-Saharan AIDS, and sea-level rise.

Her work has appeared in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Journal of Risk Analysis and Crisis Response, and other international journals and books.

The recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Service Award in Sustainability at Ole Miss, Swain has served in leadership roles on NIH and national security grants, coordinated student video production for PBS Planet Forward, and served as the director of a science journalism center and on the Ole Miss STEM Innovation Task Force. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Florida, a master’s degree from the University of Alabama, and a bachelor’s degree from Ole Miss.

Mike Tonos

Title: Instructional Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-5393

Michael Tonos has spent more than 40 years in the media and communications business, primarily newspapers. Over his 35-year newspaper career, he served as executive editor of The Sun Herald in Biloxi-Gulfport and managing editor at The Sun Herald, the Vicksburg Post and the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo. He also owns JMT Consulting, a public relations firm.

A native of Greenville, Tonos has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi and a master’s degree in public relations from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has served as president of the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press Managing Editors and as a board member for the Mississippi Press Association. He also has been a member of PRAM.

Kathleen Woodruff Wickham

Title: Professor of Journalism

Dr. Kathleen Wickham, a former reporter with 10 years reporting experience in her native New Jersey, teaches writing and reporting courses across the curriculum. She has lectured at the Sorbonne and spent Spring 2019 teaching at the University of Rennes, Brittany, France. She worked in radio, television and public relations in Memphis before earning her doctorate at The University of Memphis, where she also taught for more than a decade.

The Society of Professional Journalists, in 2008, named her the national Outstanding Faculty Adviser for her work with the campus SPJ chapter. She has served as a judge for the National Headliner Journalism Awards for the last 10 years, served as chair of the Newspaper Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and is on the editorial board of Newspaper Research Journal.

Wickham’s most recent book, “We Believed We Were Immortal: Twelve Reporters Who Covered the 1962 Integration Crisis at Ole Miss” was reviewed world-wide and featured in an international podcast by AFP, the French news agency. Her related research led to SPJ naming the Ole Miss campus a national historic site in journalism in honor of the 300+ plus reporters on campus during the 1962 crisis as well as a memorial bench in memory of the French reporter murdered on campus during the 1962 riot.

Wickham’s other publications include “Math Tools for Journalists,” “Perspectives: Online Journalism” and “The role of The Clarion-Ledger in the adoption of the 1982 Education Reform Act by the Mississippi State Legislature,” for which it received the 1983 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for public service. Her academic articles have appeared in American Journalism, Journalism History and Newspaper Research Journal.

Dr. Wickham also produced “Thinking of Home: Falkner House and Rowan Oak,” a 30-minute documentary featuring family stories about life in the William Faulkner household, which aired on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and WKNO-Memphis.

Student Media

Roy Frostenson

frostenson_BW_revisedTitle: Student Media Assistant Director/Advertising and Radio
Phone: 662 915-5503

Roy Frostenson’s areas of responsibility are both advertising and Rebel Radio WUMS-FM 92.1. He has more than 30 years experience in broadcasting as a reporter, news director and general manager at network-affiliated TV stations in Monroe, Louisiana, and Eureka, California.

He was an executive producer for an investigative series that won an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University award for excellence. He served as president of the Louisiana AP Broadcasters Association. He has a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Arizona State University, a master’s degree in journalism from West Virginia University, and he was an adjunct instructor in journalism at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He teaches a media sales course.

Steven Miller

Steven Miller 2Title: Student Media Broadcast Engineer
Phone: 662-915-5503

Steven Miller is the staff engineer at the Student Media Center, where he works with students and advisers for the daily TV newscast and the radio station. Previously, he worked for more than 13 years as a broadcast maintenance engineer and IT tech for WAPT-TV, a Hearst station in Jackson.

He has also taught electronics engineering technology at Hinds Community College. He has an AAS degree in electronics engineering/biomedical technology from Hinds, and he has a bachelor’s degree in technology in business management and management information systems from Mississippi University for Women.

Jared Senseman

Title: Student Media Technology Manager
Phone: 662-915-5503

Jared Senseman manages all technology for the SMC, including computers, websites and servers. He has a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from the School of Journalism and New Media and a master’s degree in digital publishing from Kingston University in London.

He is an Apple Certified Support Professional and has worked for the university’s IT Helpdesk. He has experience with coding, network administration, server maintenance and social media marketing. He is proficient in website creation, design and maintenance through his management of three online businesses from startup to scale-up.

He worked as commissioning editor for a global media company and as editor-in-chief of a nanotechnology website. He teaches an intro to IMC writing course as an adjunct instructor.

Support Faculty

Thomas R. Burchfield

Title: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-213-0990

Randy Burchfield is a 40-year marketing services veteran. He retired in 2017 from BancorpSouth where he most recently served as senior vice president of corporate communications. Burchfield joined BancorpSouth in 1998 as senior vice president and director of corporate marketing. Prior to joining BancorpSouth, he served in marketing management positions with another Mississippi-based bank.

At BancorpSouth, Burchfield was instrumental in expanding the marketing department’s scope and structure in supporting a range of marketing opportunities as the company expanded its presence as a regional financial services institution. He led numerous advertising, public relations and communications initiatives, including efforts to formulate and execute new company branding initiatives.

Burchfield is currently a member of the board of directors of the Tupelo Main Street Association and the Mississippi Methodist Senior Services Traceway Campus where he serves as board chairman. He also serves as a member of the MMSS Corporation and is a member of the North Mississippi Health Services Institutional Review Board.

Burchfield has served in past leadership positions in the Mississippi Bankers Association and on the boards of the United Way of Northeast Mississippi and the Mississippi Main Street Association. He supports our country’s military as a Military Outreach volunteer with the Employee Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program.

Paris Buchanan

Paris Buchanan

Paris Buchanan

Title: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications

Paris Buchanan was named Ole Miss’ assistant athletics director for marketing and fan experience in June 2020. Buchanan oversees the marketing strategy for all 18 Rebel sports and directs in-venue fan experience for home athletics events. He is the point of contact for football and men’s basketball promotional efforts and coordinates all aspects of the department’s digital marketing and advertising.

An adjunct professor in the School of Journalism and New Media, Buchanan acts as the faculty advisor for the Ole Miss Cardinal Club, the on-campus school spirit student committee. He currently serves on the strategic communications marketing committee for the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA),

Since first working with the Ole Miss Athletics Department as student intern in 2009, Buchanan has risen through the ranks, serving as assistant director of marketing and associate director before being promoted to department head. A native of Grenada, Mississippi, Buchanan received a bachelor’s degree in managerial finance from Ole Miss in 2011 and completed a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications in 2014.

Mark Burson

mark-bursonTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications

Mark Burson has spent his entire career in the public relations business. He recently left Burson-Marsteller where he served in various capacities for over three decades, most recently as a managing director in Burson-Marsteller’s Global Marketing Team. During his tenure with the firm, he took six years off to serve as Executive Director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation.

Prior to his initial stint with Burson-Marsteller, Mr. Burson served in the public relations departments of two Fortune 500 companies – Rockwell International and the Fluor Corporation. Throughout his career, Mr. Burson has developed a reputation for developing creative communications solutions that help clients manage change. His most noteworthy accomplishment is the role he played in bringing Ronald Reagan’s Air Force One to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.

Allison Estes

Title: Adjunct Instructional Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications

Allison Estes grew up mostly in Mississippi, but lived in New York for 30 years, so she claims dual citizenship. Estes is the author of 17 books and numerous articles. She has been a professional editor for decades, most recently as editor in chief at Invitation Magazines. She came on board as an adjunct in the School of Journalism and New Media in 2015.

Estes is a founding faculty member of New York Writers Workshop, and a session leader in its biannual pitch conferences for fiction and nonfiction. She has taught all kinds of writing classes and workshops to all ages for a bazillion years, at the West Side YMCA Writers Voice, the Jewish Community Center, the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and other locales. She started NYWW@NYPL, a program of free multi-genre writing workshops at the New York and Brooklyn public libraries, and “Memory and Imagination,” a workshop series at senior centers in the New York metropolitan area.

Estes has a B.A. in English and theatre, and a M.A. in journalism with emphasis in integrated marketing communications.

If you made it this far, you might enjoy knowing that Estes loves dogs, kids and horses (not necessarily in that order) so she has two of each; she never, ever gets tired of reading; and besides friends and the food, what she misses most about New York is singing in the St. Michael’s choir and playing softball.

Stefanie Goodwiller

stefanie-goodwillerTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Media Design

Stefanie Goodwiller is manager of design services at University Communications and has been an adjunct instructor at the School of Journalism and New Media since 2013.

Stefanie has more than 30 years’ experience as a graphic designer and visual communicator in print, media, corporate, and non-profit venues. She has been creative director for two international B2B magazines and has spent many years in the newspaper industry, including employment with Gannett and Community Newspapers.

She also maintains an active freelance business. Stefanie’s extensive background includes print production, photography, marketing and editorial design, as well as an entrepreneurial endeavor creating, marketing and manufacturing an award-winning food product, Coffeebark.TM

Stefanie earned her bachelor’s of fine arts degree (cum laude) from the University of South Alabama and a masters’ degree in IMC from the UM School of Journalism and New Media. She is an active member of the international Society for News Design ( and is involved with its student chapter, OleMissSND.

Claire Hick

Title: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-7146

Claire Hick joined Longleaf Hospital as CEO in January 2018. Her background is in hospital administration, marketing management and TV news. She received both her undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism and a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Ole Miss.

At Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto, ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 hospital in Mississippi, she serves as the director of marketing, patient experience, volunteers, outpatient referral and community relations. She also is the hospital’s public information officer and administrator-on-call as a senior leader for the hospital.

She previously worked for her parent company, Baptist Memorial Health Care, in corporate communications, overseeing strategy for hospital and physician practices in three states. Her journalism background started during her undergraduate years when she worked for the New York Times Broadcasting Company as a news reporter, anchor and producer transitioning to tourism public relations for five years.

At Ole Miss, she was recognized as the Most Outstanding Broadcast Journalism Student in undergraduate school and won the Graduate Outstanding MHA Student award from the business school in graduate school and she was given the Outstanding MHA Student Award, graduating first in her class.

Other career accolades include the Overall VOX Grande Award, the top award given in marketing/public relations by the Public Relations Society of America, named “Most Valuable Employee” by New York Times Broadcast Group, and she won six Associated Press Awards. In 2017, she was named “Woman of the Year” by the Southaven Chamber of Commerce.

Summer Hill-Vinson

Title: Adjunct Instructor of Journalism

Summer Hill-Vinson earned her Ph.D. in journalism from the University of Missouri and both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in journalism from the University of Mississippi. Prior to returning to Mississippi, she taught journalism courses at the University of Missouri and Middle Tennessee State University.

Hill-Vinson’s research area is journalism during the civil rights movement. Her dissertation told the story of the launch of Southern Living magazine in the 1960s in Birmingham, Alabama. Before graduate school, Hill-Vinson was a production editor in Atlanta, Georgia.

Hill-Vinson is currently pursuing health promotion research concerning premature birthrates, and she is writing a memoir about her experiences with premature babies hospitalized in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. When not on campus or writing, Hill-Vinson runs a vacation rental business with her family, and she passionately follows local government issues.

Dennis Irwin

Dennis Irwin

Dennis Irwin

Title: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications

Dennis Irwin is the Assistant Director of Marketing and Brand Strategy at the University of Mississippi and teaches Creative Visual Thinking at the School of Journalism and New Media.

Dennis is a United States Navy mass communications veteran with 15+ years of experience in the field of creative marketing. His true love is found in the subjects of graphic design and other visual communication. Throughout his career, Dennis has worked as a designer and marketer on national recruiting campaigns for the United States Navy and the University of Mississippi.

Intertwined within his work in graphic design, Dennis also wrote and published news stories for the United States Navy, developed and published video stories for the Armed Forces News Network, hosted on-ship radio shows, photographed life on a Navy aircraft carrier, managed public relations situations (we ran over a whale once), and even explained how the nuclear reactors on an aircraft carrier function to foreign dignitaries.

Dennis holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing management, and masters’ degrees in business administration and graphic information technology with a specialization in user experience and user interface design. Dennis has seen Phish 16 times, Tool 12 times, and Pearl Jam 10 times among many other concerts and a long list of other random experiences.

Timothy Ivy

Timothy Ivy 2Title: Adjunct Instructor of Journalism

Timothy Ivy began his career in photojournalism as a student photographer for the University of Mississippi Public Relations Department during which time he was also a regular freelancer for the Associated Press, The Clarion-Ledger, The Commercial Appeal and other newspapers and magazines.

Since then, he has covered national and international stories with images appearing around the world in various publications, including The New York Times, Ebony magazine, The Oxford American, Business Week, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Education Week, Delta Magazine and many other periodicals, books and journals.

In 2014, he was awarded an artist’s fellowship by the Mississippi Arts Commission and continues to document life in the Mid-South for various publications and journals. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi.

Lynnette Johnson

Lynette Johnson

Lynnette Johnson

Title: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications

A part of the University of Mississippi for three decades, Lynnette Johnson earned the title of deputy athletics director for sports and administration in February 2018.

Johnson is entering her 22nd year as the senior woman administrator and 31st overall in the department. Her oversight includes human resources, student-athlete development, gender equity and policy-management for the department. She serves as the sport administrator for nine Ole Miss programs, including women’s basketball, rifle, soccer, softball, volleyball and men’s and women’s golf and tennis.

During her supervision of the sports, the teams under her purview have combined for 17 SEC Western Division championships and nine overall regular-season or tournament titles. Among the many highlights, the 2005 Rebel men’s tennis squad advanced to the NCAA Final Four; the women’s basketball team reached the 2007 Elite Eight; soccer played in the Sweet Sixteen in 2015; softball earned a Super Regional berth in both 2017 and 2019; and volleyball captured the NIVC crown in 2017.

Academically, the teams are excelling in the classroom as well; putting up high graduation rates, multiple Academic All-America honors and Taylor Medalists, as well as the first athlete to be inducted into the school’s Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society chapter.

Johnson has represented the department on campus, within the conference and at the NCAA on multiple committees. She has served twice as a member on the NCAA Softball Committee. During her first nine years, Johnson was a member of the sports medicine staff. She worked with all sports programs but mainly with football and women’s basketball. In 1997, she became the first female head athletic trainer overseeing all sports in the Southeastern Conference.

The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, native is a 1988 graduate of East Carolina University and a 1990 graduate of Ole Miss with a master’s degree in education. In 2018, Johnson earned her doctorate in higher education from Ole Miss.

Ellen Kellum

Ellen KellumTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Media Design
Phone: 662-915-7146

Ellen Kellum is a graphic designer with a great love for magazine design and extensive experience as a muralist and scenic artist. She has been both the graphic designer and art director for an international B2B publication and the graphic designer for a global humanitarian faith-centered organization and other non-profit entities.

In addition to teaching media design at UM School of Journalism and New Media, she currently serves as the editor and art director for the school’s magazine, which highlights the accomplishments of the school’s esteemed alumni, as well as the outstanding faculty and students.

A native of Oxford, Mississippi, Kellum received her B.F.A. in Theatre from Texas Christian University. She has since lived and worked in Washington, D.C., Houston and in New York City, where she worked for Lincoln Center and various Broadway productions. She returned to her hometown to earn her master’s degree in journalism with an art emphasis from the University of Mississippi.

Ellen Meacham

Ellen Meacham croppedTitle: Adjunct Assistant Professor of Journalism Instruction, Affiliated Faculty with the Department of Southern Studies
Phone: 662-915-7535

Ellen Meacham is a Tennessee native, longtime resident of Mississippi, and a career journalist and journalism instructor at her alma mater, the University of Mississippi. She is the author of “Delta Epiphany: Robert F. Kennedy in Mississippi” and has been an award-winning journalist for more than two decades. She is a former fellow with the American Association of Newspaper Editors, and was selected as one of only 20 journalism professors in the nation.

She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi in journalism and a master’s degree in Southern Studies, a multidisciplinary program at the University of Mississippi, that focuses on the politics, economics, culture, and the people of the American South.

She teaches news writing, reporting and editing. Meacham is currently working on a book about Frederick A.P. Barnard, who was the chancellor of the University of Mississippi at the outbreak of the Civil War and later the president of Columbia University.

Her work has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today Online, American Heritage Magazine Online, The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tennessee and The Advocate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

She has also been featured on “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on MSNBC, the BBC, Ireland’s Newstalk Radio, Newsmax television, “Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal” and on numerous other public radio shows.

She lives in the tiny town of Taylor with her family, where she is a member of the town’s board of aldermen. Read more about her at

Scott Pederson

Title: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications

Scott Pederson has spent more than 35 years of his career marketing some of the most high-profile events, corporations and celebrities in the world. He has staged a World Series, negotiated endorsement contracts for professional athletes, and consulted with each of the four major sports leagues – NFL, MLB, NASCAR and NBA.

He has also designed numerous integrated marketing programs for companies, such as Gatorade, Delta Air Lines, Pillsbury and General Mills. His sports marketing experience includes Oklahoma State Athletics, the Kansas City Royals, and Miller Brewing Company Sports.

While leading Leader Enterprises, the company grew to a $12 million agency with clients, such as Nike, Motorola, TaylorMade, DirecTV, and Vizio. Leader’s marketing and public relations plan for Lance Armstrong’s “LiveStrong” yellow wrist band programs is considered one of the most successful cause-marketing campaigns in history.

In 2009, he started an organization called Positive Athlete. With the help of Super Bowl XL MVP Hines Ward and CNN Sports, the Positive High School Athlete Awards were created in Western Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Minnesota, where over $200,000 in scholarships have been given away to student-athletes.

Jeffrey Roberson

Title: Adjunct Instructor of Journalism

Jeff Roberson, a native of Baldwyn, Mississippi, and a resident of Oxford, has written sports for more than three decades with most of that time spent at the Oxford Eagle daily newspaper and the Ole Miss Spirit magazine and website. He has covered sports from the little league level to the professional sports leagues.

A graduate of the University of Mississippi, during his undergraduate years he wrote for the Daily Mississippian and worked in the Ole Miss sports information department.He is the author of “Midnight Train,” the life story of former Ole Miss quarterback and Hall of Fame songwriter Jim Weatherly, a Yoknapatawpha Press product in conjunction with the School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi. He is also a co-editor and contributor to Nautilus Publishing’s “Stories from 125 Years of Ole Miss Football” and “Trivia from 125 Years of Ole Miss Football.”

LaReeca Rucker

Title: Adjunct Instructor of Journalism

Twitter: @lareecarucker

LaReeca Rucker has been a journalist for more than 20 years and spent a decade as a reporter at The Clarion-Ledger – Mississippi’s largest daily newspaper that is part of Gannett News Services and the USA Today Network.

She worked as a religion reporter, trends reporter, features reporter, general assignment reporter and digital content producer. She was also a USA TODAY contributor and the first reporter at The Clarion-Ledger to promote her work using social media.

She created the Oxford Stories classes at UM and the website that serves as a student news wire service. She was named as one of 10 National Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education Winners in 2017 by the Online News Association. The goal of the fund is to hack or disrupt the journalism curriculum using a customized version of the teaching hospital model.

In the summer of 2018, she learned more about creating audio stories for journalism and marketing at Columbia University in New York City, and attended Maine Media Workshops and College in Rockport, Maine, sharpening her video editing skills. Her work combining education and pop culture has been mentioned in Harvard Political Review.

Rucker helped launch and organize the first Mississippi Capitol Press Corps class at the School of Journalism and New Media. She serves as the campus leader of the Society of Professional Journalists, and as a regional SPJ Judge for the Excellence in Journalism competition.

Rucker earned her master’s of arts degree in journalism from UM in August of 2016, completing both the academic and professional tracks. She won the Graduate Achievement Award in Journalism and was nominated by faculty for the Graduate Instructor Excellence in Teaching Award. She earned a bachelor’s degree from UM with a triple major in print journalism, broadcast journalism and English literature.

Rucker has interviewed celebrities, such as Oscar winners Whoopi Goldberg and writer/director Alan Ball of “American Beauty” and “True Blood,” comedian Ray Romano, actress Sela Ward, religious leader Joel Osteen; FOX News anchor Shepard Smith; former-teen-heartthrob-turned-evangelist Kirk Cameron; and even Mississippi native Kermit the Frog.

Her work has been distributed by The Associated Press and Gannett News Service to newspapers across the country, including USA TODAY. Read more at

Christina Steube

SteubeTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-6966

Christina Steube is a communications specialist for the University of Mississippi and adjunct instructor of integrated marketing communications. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the School of Journalism and New Media in 2011 and a master’s degree in journalism in 2016.

In the last two years as a communications specialist, Steube has written news releases, marketing campaigns and social media posts for departments across campus. Prior to returning to Ole Miss in 2014, she worked as a multimedia journalist for two years at the Sun Herald in Gulfport, Mississippi, covering government in Jackson County and general news across the Gulf Coast. After completing undergraduate studies in 2011, Steube worked as a broadcast production assistant at Fox News Channel in New York City.

Robin Street

Title: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-5081

Robin Street teaches public relations and is known for emphasizing good writing skills and championing diversity, health and mental health topics.

Street led two student teams to win a Silver Anvil, the top award given by the Public Relations Society of America, in 2018, and the Silver Anvil Award of Excellencein 2012. She was named Professional of the Year in 2014 and Educator of the Year in 2009 by both the Public Relations Association of Mississippi and Southern Public Relations Federation, along with winning almost 50 other awards from those groups. Her students have also won more than 100 PRAM awards.

She was honored as Ally of the Year by the UM LGBT Allies organization and as a Strong Woman mentor by Lifetime Television and Baptist Women’s Services. Her online class earned the Paragon award for the outstanding web class at UM in 2017.

A widely published feature writer, her articles on health and mental health topics have appeared in major magazines including Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping and Cooking Light.

Street, who has taught for the School of Journalism and New Media since 1990, holds a master’s degree in journalism and a master of science degree in health promotion from Ole Miss, and the national APR accreditation in public relations.

Rachel West

Rachel WestTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-7146

Rachel West is the publisher of Invitation Magazines (Invitation Oxford, Invitation Tupelo and Invitation University), North Mississippi’s only local magazines covering Oxford and Tupelo. She oversees a staff of artists, editors, writers and a sales team. She founded Invitation Oxford in 2006 and Invitation Tupelo four years later.

Previous to launching Invitation Magazines, Rachel won several awards from the Mississippi Press Association as a daily newspaper feature writer, worked in public relations, and served as a public information officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency during the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Rachel earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Ole Miss (Class of 2001) and a master’s degree in business marketing and management. She is a native of Arkansas and has lived in Mississippi for 19 years.

Emeriti Faculty

Nancy McKenzie Dupont

dupont BW webTitle: Emerita Professor of Journalism

Nancy McKenzie Dupont joined the faculty in 2006 after spending 17 years as a broadcast journalist and 13 years as a journalism educator. She has served as chair of the Radio-Television Journalism division (now Electronic News) of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). She has served twice chair of the news division of the Broadcast Education Association. In 2019, she was elected to two-year term to the Broadcast Education Association Board of Directors.

She co-authored a book Journalism of the Fallen Confederacy in 2014. She has authored 12 book chapters. She frequently presents her research at the Symposium of 19th Century Journalism, the Civil War, and Free Expression and at the Transnational Journalism History conference. She has published extensively about 19th-century Mississippi and Louisiana newspapers.

Dupont earned a Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1997.

Curtis Wilkie

Title: Emeritus Overby Fellow, Associate Professor of Journalism

A 1963 graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in journalism, Wilkie worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for nearly 40 years. Most of his career was spent as a national and foreign correspondent for The Boston Globe. Following his retirement, he began teaching at Ole Miss in 2002.

He has written for many national magazines and is the author of four books, most recently “Assassins, Eccentrics, Politicians and Other Persons of Interest,” published by University Press of Mississippi in 2014.