School of Journalism and New Media

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UM School of Journalism and New Media offers jobs site and career advice

Posted on: August 3rd, 2019 by ldrucker

Landing your first job out of college can be challenging. That’s why the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media has created a jobs website to help, but many people aren’t aware it exists.

Business leaders throughout the state and country are encouraged to submit job, internship, fellowship, scholarship and other opportunities to our jnmjobs.com site. Students are encouraged to take a look at what’s offered.

“We realized we needed one place to post jobs,” said Assistant Dean Scott Fiene. In the past, faculty members were often told about job opportunities, and if they had a student in mind, they would forward the job to them. “We thought, let’s try to build this thing on our own. It’s very informal, and it’s linked to our school website.”


The school website address is jnm.olemiss.edu. The jobs site address is jnmjobs.com.

Fiene said employers from around the country often send job opportunities to faculty and staff, and they are now posted on the jobs site. He wants to promote the site so more people will become aware of it. Visitors can also subscribe to the site and receive newly posted jobs via email.

Bobby Steele, instructional assistant professor of branding and promotions, said the website is like the school’s own LinkedIn.

“I think the website is very important because I had a professor tell me once that 75 percent of the jobs people got in integrated marketing communications (IMC) are word-of-mouth marketing,” he said. “It gives students an opportunity to see jobs that we are not necessarily recommending, but we are letting them know that they are available.”

Amanda Haley

Atlanta native Amanda Haley is a multimedia journalist for WTVA-Tupelo who graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media. Haley said it’s important to think broadly when searching for jobs after college.

“It’s important to set long-term goals,” she said, “but don’t limit yourself when job searching right after school. Apply everywhere that might work for you, and never turn down an interview or phone call with potential employers, even if you don’t see yourself working for them. Getting used to answering questions about your career goals, and getting yourself out there professionally will always be beneficial.”

Many students don’t take advantage of resources at the University of Mississippi that may help them land a job. It’s important to ask questions and reach out to faculty members who may be able to put you in touch with individuals or opportunities who can help you achieve your goals.

Haley said connecting with faculty and meeting and communicating with others in your field is an important part of the job search.

“Any conversation is an important one,” she said, “And when it comes time to look for a job, you’ll have some relationships already made, and they can help guide you or refer you to a job.”

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student George Young

Posted on: August 2nd, 2019 by ldrucker

George Young studied integrated marketing communications at the University of Mississippi with a business minor. The Madison, Mississippi native began his freshman year at the University of Mississippi undeclared and eventually chose IMC as his major.

He knew he was interested in journalism, art, and music, but wanted to find a major that would include all his interests and still give him a competitive marketing and business edge. He realized that with an IMC degree, he could one day have a career outside the conventional desk jobs.

His eyes were opened to how broad the journalism and marketing fields are and how they both connect in ways he could personalize to his interests. After taking a few classes, he said he began to see the world around him differently. He knew he had a special eye for recognizing what people want and figuring out how to get it to them.

Young is a member of the music and artist group Dreamland Gateway, and he performs under the moniker Harvey. Dreamland Gateway includes four hip-hop musicians and other contributing artists.

Dreamland Gateway has performed in Oxford four times over the past year. They have played at local house shows and at Proud Larry’s. Young’s music has inspired his degree and career path.

He wants to use his degree to get a job with Spotify or iTunes helping curate suggested music for subscribers. He hopes he can make a difference in the music industry and make the streaming experience more enjoyable for subscribers with his marketing expertise and music passion.

– By Miranda Waddell

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media journalism student Alicia Watts

Tupelo native Alicia Watts moved to Oxford to pursue her bachelor’s degree at the University of Mississippi. She is majoring in English and minoring in journalism. Before becoming a Rebel, she attended Itawamba Community College in Fulton for two years.

“I was a mathematics major for a year and a half until I realized that English was my calling,” she said. “I hope to get my bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Ole Miss, and then I plan to become an English professor at a community college on the East Coast.”

Watts said she’s known she wanted to become a teacher since she was little, but it wasn’t until her sophomore year of college that she realized her career path.

“Writing and reading are two of my passions, and I could not imagine doing anything else with my future,” she said. However, she wasn’t sure what her minor would be.

“I knew that I wanted to do something that involved writing because I wanted to do something that would benefit my major. My brother was a journalism major, and he currently works for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. I did not want to copy my brother, but I decided I should at least take a journalism class to see if I enjoyed it.

“The journalism class taught me so much about writing and inspired me, so I decided to officially make journalism my minor. All of my school assignments now involve writing, but I would not have it any other way. Choosing journalism was the best choice for me and my education.”

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Maggie Bell

Columbia, South Carolina native Maggie Bell grew up in Atlanta, where she attended a Catholic school from kindergarten until senior year. After kindergarten, she said her parents sent her to a pre-first grade school, so she is a year older than many of her peers, which has its perks.

Bell said she was inspired to major in integrated marketing communication by her sister, who graduated from the University of Georgia.

“She majored in public relations and now works as a sales representative for radio stations in Atlanta,” she said. “Since I watched her graduate from college and work during the summers before I even graduated high school, I always thought her job seemed very cool.”

Bell said she enjoys interacting with others and knew she didn’t want to sit behind a desk all day.

“She taught me some about her major, PR, which is very similar in my eyes to IMC,” Bell said. “I picked IMC because it also relates to journalism. In high school, I grew to enjoy writing. Communication is essential to personal and career success in order to understand yourself and others around you.”

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Perk Swift

Perk Swift, a native of a small town in South Georgia, followed his older brother to the University of Mississippi.

“I realize now Ole Miss was my blessing in disguise,” said Swift, who came to UM without knowing anyone other than his sibling and started a new life.

Instead of studying business or accounting like many friends and family members, Swift chose to study integrated marketing communications, or IMC, hoping to someday work in television.

 

“My dream job would have to be directing commercials,” said Swift, who said he’d also enjoy working in news or film production.

“The storyline matters, but what’s even more interesting to me is the shot,” he said, referring to his favorite movie, “Good Will Hunting.”

Swift said he hopes to one day work in front of or behind a camera.

  • By Talley Bass

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Talley Bass

Talley Bass moved from a small town in South Georgia to an even smaller town in North Mississippi before becoming a University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media student.

“I now see the irony in this,”she said. “I was tired of my small town life in Georgia and wanted something new. I picked the farthest college I could think of that was within my most tolerable driving distance, and I went.”

Bass enrolled in UM as a business major with a minor in art, but switched to IMC because she said it is a good combination of both fields.

“I love hearing people’s stories and getting to know their background,” she said. “When people are interviewed, they feel a sort of importance that they matter in the big picture. I enjoy making people feel important because I believe everyone plays a part of importance to society, offering different insight and thoughts.”

Bass said she supports the expression of individuality. “I am known in my circle of friends for being the one that could be fine for the rest of her life with no one else but myself,” she said. “I always wanted to be the person that did something no one else has, or does the crazy thing, because I grew up in such a predictable town.

‘I believe independence is important for a person because, at the end of the day, only you look at yourself in the mirror. You get to decide if you like what you see or not.”

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media student Kenlea Barnes

Oxford native Kenlea Barnes is one of our many students who made Farley Hall part of her world while enrolled in elective classes. Even though she majored in general studies and minored in English, history and education, she chose to take some of the classes taught in the UM School of Journalism and New Media.

Raised in Desoto County, mostly in Southaven, Barnes said her favorite hobbies are watching Harry Potter and YouTube videos; playing with her three adorable cats, Renlea, Rory and Riley; and singing and hanging out with friends.

“The wizarding world of Harry Potter always made me feel like I was destined for greatness, like I could and would do anything,” she said. “This movie series (I do plan on reading the books. I just haven’t gotten the chance) has helped me to realize that Harry, just like myself, is “exceptionally ordinary” as Luna Lovegood would say. So, greatness is something a person becomes, something anyone can achieve.”

Although she didn’t major or minor in journalism, Barnes said the field is a big part of her life.

“YouTube, especially, is a huge form of communication,” she said, “and vlogging is like having an open diary of sorts,” she said. “… Journalism and communication shape the society in which we all live in today, and I, for one, am grateful.”

The School of Journalism and New Media welcomes anyone who has an interest in journalism or IMC classes to enroll in a course or get involved in some of our many clubs and organizations.

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media journalism student Caroline Nihill

Freshman Caroline Nihill, 19, spent her days in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before deciding to move to Oxford for a change of scenery at Ole Miss. Nihill also has family residing in Oxford, and desired the warmth of the South.

She originally started college as an English major before discovering journalism was the best fit for her. “I enjoy writing about the things currently happening in our society,” she said. “Not only that, I’m a very curious person who thoroughly enjoys research and finding the truth. I realized that journalism is something that would help me satisfy my curiosity and spread the truth on current events.”

Additionally, Nihill fell in love with the Ole Miss journalism program. She enjoys writing and loves investigating and discovering more about a topic.

“I just thought about where I could see myself in 10 years, and I can see myself being a journalist,” she said.

Nihill is working on a minor in political science. She understands politics and enjoys learning about government. She said the “nice, down-to-earth” people of the School of Journalism and New Media are her favorite aspect of the major, describing it as a community with commonalities. “I could read something interesting, and someone would sit down and dissect it with me,” she said.

She is also an ambassador for the School of Journalism, and noted the openness and genuineness found in that group. Nihill said fellow students are always open to discuss current events, offer advice, or simply talk.

Nihill knows the value of journalism and communication. “Communicating to a larger audience about the things that are or could be affecting them is a necessary thing for the world to function,” she said, adding that communication is the basis of who we are as humans and how we interact with one another.

“Journalism is the people who consume it, considering they decide what to read and how they want it accessible to them,” she said.

Nihill was part of the Oxford Stories journalism class this semester, and she won the Editor Award at the end of the semester, evidence that she has demonstrated leadership skills and quality work.

She aspires to become an investigative print journalist to satisfy her hunger for truth. “Journalism is what I consider myself good at, and it feels like second nature,” she said.

– By Chloe Baker

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media journalism student Chloe Baker

Olive Branch native Chloe Baker, 19, was raised just an hour north of Oxford on the Tennessee line. She is the fourth of five children.

“When I was younger, I spent my days listening to music, playing soccer, and watching sports (especially football and baseball) with my family,” she said. “One day while watching football, I realized that I could become a sideline reporter, just like those women I watched on television and admired. That sparked the idea of studying journalism, which I kept in mind as I went through high school.”

Chloe Baker

As a sophomore, Baker joined her school’s news broadcast program and loved it. She worked as an anchor, reporter, director, producer, photographer, and more.

“When senior year arrived, I was torn between the University of Memphis and Ole Miss,” she said. “However, when I visited Ole Miss, I just knew this was home. The amazing journalism department happens to be a fantastic plus.”

Baker said journalism is important.

“Though many conflicting opinions arise when discussing media, one thing rings true – it is a necessity,” she said. “Without journalism and communications, people would have no way of learning about the world around them.

“The job of a journalist is extremely important and unique, as they get to learn about the world, then share it with the world. It is a beautiful thing to have the ability to be a storyteller and promote truth and awareness for various topics.”

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.

Interested in journalism or IMC and law? Sign up for the Accelerated Law Program

Posted on: July 11th, 2019 by ldrucker

If you are student who is interested in journalism or IMC and law, the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media has a new program that will allow you to study both simultaneously.

The Accelerated Law Program offers a unique path to study at the University of Mississippi School of Law. The School of Journalism and New Media is just one of the schools or majors at UM that offers this pathway to law school.

Here’s how it works.

·         Students must complete general education coursework and all required courses for both their major and minor.

·         During the “junior” year, students apply to UM Law.

·         If accepted, they enroll in law school during their “senior” year.

·         The hours completed as a first-year law student are “transferred” back to fulfill the advanced electives for the undergraduate program of study so that the degree could be finalized.

·         Journalism or IMC students should contact the dean’s office to notify them of their intent to “participate.”

Jennifer Simmons, assistant dean for student services, said because many students enroll with dual credit and/or advanced placement coursework, the required classes vary each semester.

“However, on average, students must complete 18 hours of degree-applicable coursework each semester,” she said.

A willingness to enroll in and complete coursework during the summer term and intersessions could reduce the 18-hour average per semester, Simmons said.

Jack Hall is one of the first School of Journalism and New Media students to participate in the Accelerated Law Program. We asked him a few questions about his decision to get involved.

 Q.    How did you hear about the program, and what made you decide to become part of it?

A.    I first heard about the 3+3 accelerated juris doctor program through the journalism school. I decided to apply to be part of the program so that I could use law classes to cover elective credits in order to save some time towards graduation.

 Q.    Tell me a little about your interest in journalism and law? 

A.    I’ve always had a strong interest in public service, and I believe both a formal education in both journalism and law combined could allow for a strong career in service to my community.

Q.    What has the program been like so far? I know you have taken some journalism classes, but have you taken any law classes? If so, which ones have you taken, and what has the experience been like?

A.    I begin taking a full-time course load of law classes this August. So far, I have applied and gained admission to the University of Mississippi School of Law. Orientation begins Aug. 21.

Q.    What advice do you have for other students who may want to pursue this program/route?

A.    If you’re interested in pursuing this same program, be prepared to work hard and take advantage of the excellent resources provided by the School of Journalism and New Media. I don’t believe this would have been possible for me without the work of the faculty and staff of the School of Journalism and New Media.

For more information about the Accelerated Law Program, email jour-imc@olemiss.edu.

Column: I was anxious to leave Delaware, but Mississippi felt like the place I belonged

Posted on: June 18th, 2019 by ldrucker

As I look back on my time as a student at the University of Mississippi, I have nothing but fond memories.

From my first day freshmen year, moving to a new state, not knowing a single soul, I met a random roommate from Minnesota who was so homesick she tried to move home the entire first month of school.

I went to the dining hall at the wrong time every day and couldn’t figure out why only half the food stations weren’t open. I even missed my first college exam because it was given on Blackboard on a Friday night, and I forgot to take it.

Now these may not sound like amazing memories to you, but they are how my college experience began. As a second semester senior, I look back on all of those memories and wish I could go back to my very first day and relive everything again. I would love to have my undergraduate experience repeat over and over again.

Alli George

Farley Hall

Fast forward to senior year. I still live with my random Minnesota roommate who turned out to be one of my best friends.

I finally found something I was really passionate about, and I switched majors from public policy leadership to integrated marketing communications.

The School of Journalism and New Media has provided me with some amazing opportunities over the past few years. My public relations class assisted me in obtaining an internship. Through experiences with my classes, I have obtained two other internships during my college career. One was last summer as a marketing intern in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The other was a marketing internship with the Oxford Community Market during my sophomore year.

Besides the academic opportunities that Ole Miss has given me, it also created an environment for me to grow as a person and grow socially. When I first moved to college, I was anxious and nervous. I had never lived anywhere besides Delaware. However, I knew I needed to move somewhere new or I might never leave my hometown.

My senior year of high school, I applied to many schools in the South. I figured at no other point in my life would I live in the South, and I wanted to experience the culture. My parents took me to visit all of the schools I was accepted into. I honestly really liked most of them, but I always felt a stronger connection to Ole Miss.

Lyceum. Photo by Alli George.

From the day I took my tour, I felt at home on the Ole Miss campus. As anxious as I was to leave home, it felt like the place I belonged. I wanted to move to a place that made me feel uncomfortable, as crazy as that might sound.

I knew Mississippi, as a state, had different political viewpoints than I did and stronger religious beliefs. I wanted to put myself in a place where I didn’t necessarily agree with everything that was going on. Mississippi proved to be a very good place to do that.

I came here with a certain perception of Mississippi, and I didn’t think that would change over my four years as a student. However, now as I’m about to leave Mississippi forever, I have such a fond view of this state. Even though there may be some aspects of the state’s past and present political views that I may not agree with, Mississippi has changed my life forever.

I will always be grateful for the state of Mississippi for building a university that provided me with much more than an education. I became a writer, joined a large Greek organization, became a leader on campus and came out of my shell socially. I have made friends that will hopefully last a lifetime.

I have had many of my “lasts” in Oxford. My last senior dinner with my sorority sisters. Finishing my last classes to get my degree in integrated marketing communications.

I’m nervous and anxious all over again, except this time, it’s about going home. I found a home in Oxford these past four years, and now I have to re-establish that home back in Delaware. I don’t have a plan for what’s next. I have applied to just about every marketing job in the state of Delaware. I have also applied to graduate school to pursue my master’s degree in business administration.

Whatever the future might hold, I am so thankful and grateful for Ole Miss. This university has helped me grow in so many ways. I’m sure if I had attended another school, I could have had a similar experience. However, I would have never had my first Saturday in the Grove, all my memories on the Square with my incredible friends, and all the sunsets I watched set over Sardis Lake.

Most importantly, I would have never been a Rebel. For the rest of my life, I will be proud and honored to say I am an Ole Miss alumnus. Hotty Toddy!

This column was written by Alli George before graduation. To learn more about our journalism and IMC programs, email jour-imc@olemiss.edu.

 

UM School of Journalism student finds success in sales with Cox Media Group

Posted on: June 3rd, 2019 by ldrucker

Many of our recent graduates, like Brittany Clark, are out in the world doing amazing things. During her senior year at Ole Miss, Clark bumped into Assistant Dean Debora Wenger, Ph.D., who inquired about Clark’s plans after graduation and suggested sales.

“She had received an email about the Media Sales Institute through the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation, and suggested I apply,” Clark said. “I was accepted and received a scholarship to attend the program. I traveled to Arizona State and studied for a few weeks. It was an amazing opportunity to network, and learn more about a different side of the media industry.”

After several months of interviews, Clark landed a job as a sales assistant for CBS television stations in Atlanta. She assisted local sales reps about their digital and local TV buys.

“By the end of my role, I had started managing several large agency accounts on my own and started to assist our National Sales Department,” she said.

Fast forward 10 months, and a previous work colleague reached out to Clark to let her know his sales team was looking for a new assistant at Cox Media Group Atlanta. A few days later, she went for an interview and was told, based on her career goals and talent assessment, she wasn’t a fit for the position.

“I was asked if I would be willing to wait a few months, since they were looking to hire an entry level sales person,” she said.

Being patient paid off. Four months later, Clark was hired as a sales associate for radio and digital and promoted within 10 months to media consultant. Now, she manages a list of agencies. Some of her largest clients include AT&T, Coca-Cola, and Kroger.

“The company I work for has given me an opportunity to expand my digital knowledge,” she said. “Since I have been with Cox Media Group, I have become Interactive Advertising Bureau Media Sales Certified, Google Fundamentals, Search, Video, and My Business certified. My favorite part about my job is working on digital campaigns. I have the opportunity to help people grow their business in ways they may have never thought of.”

Clark graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in broadcast journalism with a specialization in public relations. During her time at Ole Miss, she earned several Associated Press awards telling stories of tornado and hurricane devastation and covering the Rebels’ Bama win.

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UM School of Journalism and New Media trains three new drone pilots

Posted on: May 27th, 2019 by ldrucker

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media has trained three new certified drone pilots.

Professors Iveta Imre, Ph.D., Bobby Steele and Michael Fagans all took professor Ji Hoon Heo’s class, then passed the test to become certified drone pilots.

Heo said UM has trained around 30 to 40 drone pilots who have passed certification. That number will likely increase to 50 after the last class completes the test, he said.

“When I first developed the course, I wanted to teach it the way I wanted to learn,” Heo said. “When I first studied for the test, I had to read 300 plus pages of the study guide that the Federal Aviation Administration had put out. It was dry. So I lecture half the class, and the other times, we go out in groups of three or four in the intramural field, and we practice flying.

“We do cone drills to develop their flying skills and also learn the types of shots you can use with a drone. We take a lot of practice quizzes and tests to get them ready for the FAA Part 107 test, which is what you need to get the certification.”

Imre, who completed Heo’s last class, is an assistant professor of visual storytelling at the UM School of Journalism and New Media.

“I wanted to become a drone pilot because I think having that skill can be very useful for teaching my broadcast journalism classes,” she said. “It was also a challenging goal I set for myself, and the more I got into studying for the exam, the more I actually enjoyed the process and flying drones. I think footage you can capture using drones can be extremely useful and can provide a unique visual perspective. “

Imre said having a license to professionally fly drones will allow her to work with students on visually compelling stories.

“The students will be able to fly drones under my supervision, get the experience and create amazing stories for their portfolios,” she said.

If you are interested in learning how the UM School of Journalism and New Media can help you become a certified drone pilot, email our school at jour-imc@olemiss.edu.

Faculty Profile: Burson teaches students to find their passion

Posted on: May 25th, 2019 by ldrucker

Mark Burson began teaching at the University of Mississippi Jan. 27, 2016, but not before spending 43 years in California.

“My only regret is that it took me so long to discover Oxford, Mississippi,” he said. “I wish I had done it 30 years ago.”

Growing up, Burson had no desire to teach. He wanted to play baseball.

“I went to a private school,” he said, “and I was the first freshman to start all four years. I made all-league those four years as well. So by the time I was a senior, I thought I was really good.”

With no collegiate offers to play ball, Burson decided to walk on at the University of Southern California. At the time, USC had a freshman team and a junior varsity team that held open tryouts for walk-on athletes. He made the team.

“I spent two weeks on that team,” he said, “and I was amazed at how good everybody else was. I soon realized that I had never seen a real curveball before. I had never seen athletes who were so fast and could jump so high.”

Reality began to set in, so he talked with the coach, asking when was the last time that someone from the freshman team made it to JV or varsity? “The coach said, ‘Oh that’s easy. Fred Lynn.’”

Fred Lynn is a former center-fielder who had an impressive career in the Major Leagues. Burson said he then realized he had to do something else with his life.

While studying art history, only because he registered late for classes, Burson discovered he really enjoyed it. “It was through art history that I developed this appreciation of just looking at the world, and then being able to tell stories about what I saw,” he said. “And while I didn’t know it at the time, that was the business that I would end up in.”

Burson graduated from USC in 1977, but decided to stick around for graduate school. He earned his master’s degree in public relations in 1979.

If you’re in the public relations business, you’ve probably heard of Harold Burson, his father, who co-founded Burson-Marsteller in 1952.

“I had no intention of ever working for my father’s company, and that happened just through serendipity,” he said.

Burson joined the Santa Monica-based firm in 1985, but left in 1997 to run the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for seven years before returning to Burson-Marsteller.

“Through accident of birth, I was born into a PR family,” Burson said. “I didn’t have a choice; it just happened. Because of that, I’ve had a unique ringside seat to the growth of this business.”

Burson said the business that has only been around for about 100 years has changed a lot. If you’re an integrated marketing communications major at the University of Mississippi’s School of Journalism and New Media, you may have an idea of this change.

“This business used to be about relationships between the agency and the client,” Burson said, “and when I first started, that’s what really appealed to me, because you could develop, not only business relationships with the client, but also real friendships.”

Burson feels the industry has moved past these relationships and is now in a more “What can you do for me today?” state of mind. He said the things he loved most about the business has been slowly vanishing and transitioning into what he calls PR or publicity stunts – doing a random act to attract the public’s attention.

“That’s not what I signed up for,” Burson said.

With the nature of the business changing, Burson said he knew he wasn’t going to be able to do the things he really liked doing, so he developed an interest in endurance competitive cycling. After competing in several signature events, Burson thought about starting a company that would help promote those events, but nothing took off.

It wasn’t until a friend invited him to guest lecture a course at USC Annenberg School of Communications, Burson thought: “Wow. This is a pretty cool gig.”

With two of his children out of the house and the third about to graduate high school, Burson began to consider teaching. When his daughter graduated high school, she decided to attend the University of Mississippi because she heard about it through Burson’s father, Harold Burson, who earned his degree from UM.

Burson moved his daughter to Oxford and said, “I just fell in love with Oxford and the university and inquired about how to get a teaching job here in the school of journalism, and what would I teach,” he said. “The subject that I knew most about was how to put together a campaign from start to finish, and then build an environment within that team that would optimize success. So that’s what I teach here and why I’m here.”

Burson doesn’t just teach a class; he makes connections with each student, and he builds relationships that last. Anessa Guess, who took a class under Burson, said he is a wonderful teacher whose aim is to positively impact student lives.

“In just a short time, he inspired a classroom full of hopefuls to go beyond the normal realm of dreaming and tear down the veil to seek limitless dreaming with a sturdy foundation to start with,” she said. “He is a teacher capable of so many things, and the most important is instilling hope, grounding, diligence, and character in the youth of tomorrow with tools learned from the past.”

Audrey Ryan, who was also enrolled in a class Burson taught, said he is her favorite instructor. “His enthusiasm for not only IMC, but teaching is inspiring,” she said. “He is interested in each individual’s path and wants to learn about every student he teaches.

“You can tell his passion is teaching just by the way he interacts with his students, and the way he can build a bond with each student, and always have a way to relate to them. He is phenomenal at what he does, and as a person.”

Burson has found his passion, and he teaches students to never give up searching for what you’re passionate about. Take chances. Live life. Do what makes you happy, no matter where it might take you.

This story was written by Brandon Hancock for OxfordStories.net. To learn more about our program, email jour-imc@olemiss.edu.

University of Mississippi journalism student honored for defending First Amendment at Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Posted on: May 16th, 2019 by ldrucker

There are few principles that journalists hold dearer than the First Amendment, and on the rooftop of the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Ole Miss journalism sophomore Grace Marion was honored for her work in fighting for the fundamental rights of a free press.

Marion won a Hefner First Amendment Award, and in introducing her to the crowd, Washington Post columnist and award judge Karen Tumulty indicated how impressed she was by Marion’s work.

“Many have been asking, ‘Is there even a future for journalism?’ Well, we have an answer in two words – Grace Marion.”

While in high school, Marion was editor-in-chief for The Playwickian, the student newspaper at Neshaminy High in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. In the face of much resistance, she published an investigation into the way the school handled records of sexual harassment and assault complaints against teachers.

Grace Marion

“Again, and again, Grace fought censorship,” Tumulty said. “Courage and fortitude won her this award.”

Other award winners included Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, who wrote the bestselling book, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, and attorney Ted Boutrous, Jr., who represented CNN’s Jim Acosta when Acosta had his White House press credentials pulled.

Marion said she was excited to learn about her award, but a bit overwhelmed when she learned who else had won.

“I thought, ‘Oh no, they messed up.’ My work didn’t actually do anything, and that guy got Jim Acosta’s press pass back,” Marion said.

Marion’s parents and Assistant Dean Deb Wenger were in the audience to cheer Marion on. Wenger said the school is proud to have her in the program.

“Grace has the drive and the smarts to do whatever she wants to do,” Wenger said. “I’m just glad she wants to be a journalist and that she wants to learn her craft at our school.”

Marion said her goal is to one day be a foreign correspondent. Tumulty is confident we’ll be hearing more about her in the future.

“Now a sophomore at Ole Miss, Grace Marion is just getting started,” Tumulty said.

Never Dimming Her Light: Thornton excels and overcomes obstacles to graduate

Posted on: May 15th, 2019 by ldrucker

The obstacles in the way of pursuing a college education began well before Lasherica Thornton stepped foot on the campus of the University of Mississippi.

A Type 1 diabetic and mother of two before she graduated from Bruce High School at the top of her class, Thornton was never a stranger to adversity.

“My mother passed away when I was 2 years old,” Thornton said. “She was killed in a car accident. I was dealing with that as I was growing up, and I had the typical behavioral problems that go with it.”

Thornton had her first child, Naomi, when she was 13. She had her second daughter, Aubrey, when she was in high school.

“Honestly, (Naomi) changed my life for the better,” Thornton said. “I just don’t know where I would be if it was not for her. (Aubrey) further helped me become the person I am today.”

Lasherica Thornton was named one of the Who’s Who students at the University of Mississippi Class of 2018-19. Thornton said her daughters Aubrey, left, and Naomi, middle, keep her motivated.

When it came time to pick a college, Thornton decided it was best to stay close to home and attended UM on a variety of scholarships.

“We moved to Oxford and they loved it just as much as I did,” she said.

Thornton found her calling early in life when an adviser recommended she join her high school newspaper.

“From the first moment of writing that first story, I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” she said.

Thornton hit the ground running at Ole Miss, excelling in her classwork and joining a variety of organizations. But obstacles continued. Her diabetes caused health issues, putting her in intensive care twice. Another health scare occurred when Thornton was a freshman.

“Naomi had a seizure and I had to rush her to the hospital,” she said. “When I got her home, I still had a final exam to take. I had to get her situated, get to campus and take a final. It was moments like that (that were the biggest obstacles).”

Thornton said she would not have made it through her three-and-a-half years at Ole Miss and gotten her job at The Jackson Sun, a daily newspaper in Jackson, Tennessee, without her professors, particularly Jennifer Simmons, assistant dean for student services in the School of Journalism and New Media, and Alysia Burton Steele, assistant professor of journalism.

Thornton is the education reporter at The Jackson Sun, a daily newspaper in Jackson, Tennessee.

“I owe Ole Miss so much and all of the professors so much for that,” she said.

Thornton said she looks forward to Commencement.

“I worked really hard for this,” she said. “I’m not a person who gives up, so I was never giving up, but it was about getting through those tough moments.

“More than anything, it’s about breaking statistics and letting my children be able to see that mama did this with two kids. They saw mama graduate high school as valedictorian, but mama went beyond that and got her bachelor’s.”

She said Ole Miss has taught her to strive for her goals, no matter the twists and turns it takes to get there.

“I got my first B in college,” she said. “I cried about that. Some people may have thought that was silly, but don’t let anybody stop you from crying about the things that you are passionate about.

“This university showed me (that you) don’t ever dim your light for anybody. Always be dedicated and determined to do what you want to do.”

This story was written by Justin Whitmore of University Marketing Communications. For more information about our programs, email jour-imc@olemiss.edu.