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

Posts Tagged ‘featured’

Ethiopian Airlines graduate cohort flying high with University of Mississippi master’s degrees

Posted on: January 14th, 2022 by ldrucker

Partnership puts 17 employees through UM School of Journalism and New Media integrated marketing communications program

Though they’re rising stars working for Africa’s largest airline and already have impressive resumes, 17 integrated marketing communications students soon will be able to add master’s degrees from the University of Mississippi to their qualifications.

The cohort is the fruit of a partnership between the UM School of Journalism and New Media and Ethiopian Airlines. The students began the program in 2019 and have continued their studies during the pandemic, and several of them have finished their coursework.

Zebiba Miftah, manager of group advertising and sales promotion for Ethiopian Airlines, recently completed her master’s degree in integrated marketing communications at the School of Journalism and New Media. Miftah, who is based at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, said she uses the knowledge and insights gained from the program on a daily basis in her job. Submitted photo

Zebiba Miftah, manager of group advertising and sales promotion for Ethiopian Airlines, recently completed her master’s degree in integrated marketing communications at the School of Journalism and New Media. Miftah, who is based at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, said she uses the knowledge and insights gained from the program on a daily basis in her job. Submitted photo

UM Chancellor Glenn Boyce shared how this partnership and the students’ achievements are helping the university meet its mission of offering enriching and life-changing educational opportunities.

“At the University of Mississippi, we’re committed to increasing educational access and opportunities,” Boyce said in a video message of congratulations to the cohort. “We’re also committed to making sure that our students are prepared to compete in a global economy. Our collaboration with Ethiopian Airlines – and your success in the IMC online graduate program – reflect that commitment.”

Interim Dean Debora Wenger

Interim Dean Debora Wenger

The program has many benefits, said Debora Wenger, the journalism school’s interim dean. The cohort brings together seasoned professionals with their own experiences to interact with the other students in the IMC master’s program.

“They are already highly successful professionals who realize that to help their company thrive, they need to do a different kind of marketing and communication, and our IMC program is ideal for this group,” Wenger said.

“These are top executives in the largest airline in Africa. They get stationed all over the world. The exponential reach of our program through them is something we think is incredibly valuable.”

Zenebe Beyene, UM assistant professor and coordinator of international programs for the School of Journalism and New Media, and Marquita Smith, the school’s assistant dean for graduate programs, lead the program.

The partnership has provided the university with a group of enrolled students who were eager for “one of the best educations,” Beyene said. The cohort has exposed other students to their cultures and added to the diversity of the program, while gaining skills to help their company reach the next level.

Zenebe Beyene, Ph.D.

Zenebe Beyene, Ph.D.

Beyene is from Ethiopia. When he was a student at the naval academy there in 1990, he found himself captured by the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front and became a prisoner of war. He has deep ties to the region, which has helped the program succeed, Wenger said.

The chancellor noted that many in the cohort managed a full-time job, family obligations and the challenges of distance learning, all during a global pandemic.

“You are to be commended for your perseverance, hard work and focus, all of which led to your graduation,” Boyce said. “The invaluable insight, experience and knowledge that you have gained from the program will yield tangible outcomes for yourself, your employer and your career.

“The skills you have acquired will enable you to take Ethiopian Airlines to the next level.”

Samson Arega, the airline’s area manager for Canada, is among those who have completed the program. He said it has given him greater confidence in his academic prowess and also in his ability to move into positions of leadership.

Since enrolling, he’s helped his company through the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused business to decline severely.

“You can easily imagine how challenging it was with the existing new company responsibility, and being a dad of two little boys who need a lot of their parents’ cuddling, and at the same time, pursuing my studies at Ole Miss,” Arega said. “So, I had to develop new skills to manage multiple tasks at once, and now I know how persistence, passion and hard work pays off.”

Tadesse Tilahun, who lives in Addis Adaba, Ethiopia, has been with the airline for 20 years. He said he was initially unsure what he would gain from the program, but after a few classes, he clearly saw its potential to help anyone working in sales or marketing.

“I became highly interested and enjoyed all the readings and exercises,” Tilahun said. “The knowledge I gained from the program and the ideas and experiences shared with my classmates gave me the confidence to work as an IMC professional, which I hope will be applicable in my job.”

Tilahun said he came away impressed with the breadth of the skills he has mastered.

“I never expected that I would be able to get this much practical knowledge from the program,” he said. “The program gave me a number of opportunities to grow and explore my skills.

“I really enjoyed the two years in the program and I have done my level best to benefit the most out of it.”

Zebiba Miftah, the airline’s manager of group advertising and sales promotion based at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, just completed her studies. She said she understands that she must read constantly to stay on top of ever-changing market trends and always be aware of the needs of her target audience, while having a good handle on the relationship her brand has to its customers and the media.

She has seen her value to her company grow, she said.

“It has been quite an experience for me to see as the knowledge and insights gathered from each course added value to my daily activities and decision-making process,” Miftah said. “Now, I can contribute to the organization I am in or anywhere in the field of marketing with the knowledge and insight from the master’s program.

“I feel like a marketing expert, and it is a great feeling.”

This story was written by Michael Newsom for University Communications.

University of Mississippi journalism graduate creates Gulf Coast publication Seaside Social News

Posted on: January 5th, 2022 by ldrucker

A University of Mississippi journalism graduate has started an online publication on the Mississippi Gulf Coast that showcases its people and culture.

Amanda B. Compton-Ortiz, who moved from Memphis to Mississippi with her family when she was 12, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi in 2002. Today, she is founder/publisher of Seaside Social News, a positive, online news source she created as a tribute to the Mississippi Gulf Coast where she now resides.

She formerly served as editor of the Long Beach Breeze in Long Beach, where she lives with her husband and two German shepherds.

While her career in journalism has offered incredible opportunities over the years, from a fly-along with Air Force pilots to exclusive interviews with influential leaders in her home state and across the globe, Compton-Ortiz said she relishes most the connections she makes in the communities she serves. Creating Seaside Social News was her way of “paying it forward” coupled with her mission to promote positivity.

“Combining the crafts of photography and storytelling, we will bring the best of the Gulf Coast home to our readers,” she said. “We hope that you feel a sense of community when you venture through our stories of the vibrant coast life.”

Amanda Compton-Ortiz

Amanda Compton-Ortiz

Seaside Social News debuted July 31, 2019.

“Sometimes in the world of reporting and publishing, we get bogged down in the drudgery of the everyday news,” she said, “but Seaside Social News allows us the opportunity to explore the fun and colorful side of the area.

“In each online edition, we’ll profile interesting people and places in our communities. We’ll talk with musicians, entrepreneurs, city and county leaders, and others. We’ll spotlight local businesses and organizations. We’ll also take tons of photographs of folks attending area parties and special meetings and functions to help illustrate the best of who and what makes our beloved towns and cities special with pictures featuring our neighbors, friends, co-workers, and who knows, maybe even you.”

Compton-Ortiz was recently recognized as one of “100 Successful Women to Know 2020” by Gulf Coast Woman Magazine. She said she was also selected by the local American Cancer Society as a 2021 Shuck Cancer Gulf Coast Honoree. As one of 17 business professionals on the Mississippi Gulf Coast charged to raise funds to fight cancer, her work benefited a Mississippi Community Transportation Grant Program that awards grants to local health systems to aid in transporting patients to facilities for treatment.

She said her journalism career was shaped in the early 2000s by UM professors, such as the late Stuart Bullion and Samir A. Husni, a.k.a. “Mr. Magazine,” founder and director of the Magazine Innovation Center, among others.

“My newspaper career began as a student reporter and photographer at Ole Miss’ The Daily Mississippian,” she said.I’ve had the opportunity to work with some incredibly talented people and a special crop of reputable publications throughout the state, many of which were major successes in print media and who have successfully transitioned into the age of the internet.”

Some include The Democrat in Senatobia, her first reporting job as a summer intern; and the DeSoto Times-Tribune in Nesbit, where she worked in the mid-2000s as a staff reporter and photographer under the newspaper’s former name, DeSoto County Tribune, with then publisher Layne Bruce, who is now the Mississippi Press Association’s executive director.

“Having had the opportunity to study inside the university’s historic Farley Hall that houses the School of Journalism and New Media and graduate into the newspaper business during a time when printed publications were booming and the practice of ethical journalism was on the forefront to now managing my own online publication in today’s fast-paced digital world has equipped me with a unique skillset,” Compton-Ortiz said. “I feel I have much more to bring to the table in my profession, as well as a more well-rounded approach as I strive to meet the needs of our readers and grow the publication into something I and my team of writers and photographers can be proud of.”

During her time as a UM journalism student,  Compton-Ortiz said she was nominated for Who’s Who Among Colleges and Universities in 2001. And in 2002, she said she placed second in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications Student Magazine Contest in the Individual Magazine Start-Up category among 224 universities competing across the United States and Canada for Reach, a personally designed 86-page women’s magazine.

She was a member of the university’s Society of Professional Journalists (Sigma Delta Chi). The same year, she said she was awarded a journalism scholarship from the late Terry Keeter, a UM graduate and longtime political reporter for The Commercial Appeal.

In October 2016, she relocated from Holly Springs to Long Beach.

“Though I had always known about the horrific storm and its devastation to the area, seeing remnants of it for myself, in person, planted a seed; one that has continued to root itself deep within my heart,” she said. “A seed I have discovered I share with many others here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. One that keeps growing through connections with people who truly take pride in their communities by supporting small businesses, participating in service projects, school and city functions, churches and charitable causes, volunteering, keeping their parks, beaches and neighborhoods clean, and so much more.”

Compton-Ortiz said seeing this daily is the evidence she is where she should be.

“I feel honored to be a part of such a strong network of places and people who won’t quit when the seas get rough or when the going gets tough,” she said. “They will stand up, they will recover, they will rebuild, and they will flourish.

“It’s this strength in community that makes me excited for another day in the life in Coastal Mississippi and proud I have continued my work as a journalist. I’m proud to join the multitude of others who are living, working and sharing the possibilities of the future. Like-minded people who have the courage to face the storm, not once, but twice.

“I reference here to Hurricane Camille that made landfall in August 1969. And I have no doubt, they would do it all hundreds of times over if that’s what it takes. Thank you, Coastal Mississippi, for teaching me the meaning of true love for community. I look forward to giving it back.”

UM School of Journalism and New Media mourns the loss of professor Nancy McKenzie Dupont

Posted on: December 27th, 2021 by ldrucker

Faculty, staff, students and alumni of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media are mourning the loss of colleague and friend, Dr. Nancy McKenzie Dupont.

Dupont joined the faculty in 2006 after spending 17 years as a broadcast journalist and 13 years as a journalism educator.

In recent years, she made history by becoming the first person ever to win the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication – Broadcast and Mobile Journalism Division’s two most prestigious awards in the same year.

Dr. Nancy McKenzie Dupont

Dr. Nancy McKenzie Dupont

Dupont won the Edward L. Bliss Award for Distinguished Broadcast Journalism Education and the Larry Burkum Service Award.

She was the 38th recipient of the Edward L. Bliss award and is only the 5th woman ever to win.

Dupont retired earlier this year from the School of Journalism and New Media.

In her academic career, she also served as chair of the Radio-Television Journalism division (now Broadcast and Mobile Journalism) of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).

She served twice as chair of the news division of the Broadcast Education Association. In 2019, she was elected to a two-year term to the Broadcast Education Association Board of Directors.

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

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

You can read this story about her written by Carter Diggs for University of Mississippi Communications.

Many tributes from her colleagues and students have appeared on social media. Those who have known Dupont may tag @umjourimc on social media, and we will share your thoughts about her with others.

You can also read other tributes to her on Facebook @nancy.dupont.

We will share details on arrangements when they become available.

University of Mississippi integrated marketing communications program turns 10

Posted on: December 5th, 2021 by ldrucker

Young program, one of university’s largest, thanks to passionate faculty and alumni

Scott Fiene remembers watching the first handful of integrated marketing communications students walk across the commencement stage in 2013, completely unaware that in less than a decade, he would be watching hundreds of IMC graduates cross the stage each year.

The University of Mississippi‘s IMC program began with 51 students in the School of Journalism and New Media in 2011, and has since boomed to just under 1,200 enrolled.

The unprecedented growth is thanks in large part to the passion of the faculty members and IMC professionals who take students out of the classroom and into the ever-changing world of marketing and communications.

Archive Photo: Sports marketing professional Scott Pederson talks to students in an IMC Sports Marketing intersession class in Farley Hall. Part of what has made the Ole Miss IMC program so successful in its first decade is the ability to bring passionate practitioners into the classroom. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

Archive Photo: Sports marketing professional Scott Pederson talks to students in an IMC Sports Marketing intersession class in Farley Hall. Part of what has made the Ole Miss IMC program so successful in its first decade is the ability to bring passionate practitioners into the classroom. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services.Passion for the Work

Debora Wenger, interim dean of the journalism school, was the administrator tasked with being the “paper pusher,” as she describes it, shepherding the program through the creation and approval process, but she credits Fiene with being IMC’s greatest advocate and promoter on campus. Fiene was assistant dean of curriculum and assessment for the program during its unprecedented growth.

“Scott really nurtured it,” she said. “The program grew because of Scott’s passion and dedication. He has incredible enthusiasm for the program and his passion is infectious. Students would take his class and then switch majors because he made it so engaging for them.”

Fiene passes that credit on to the faculty the program has been able to assemble over the past decade.

“Our faculty really care and put students first,” Fiene said. “I don’t recall sitting down and saying, ‘This is how we’re going to grow, and this is the experience we’re going to deliver to these kids.’

“A lot of it is simply the attitudes of the people we hired who have had very successful careers and now want to teach because they have an absolute passion for this.”

Archive Photo: Students take notes during a lecture in Robin Street’s IMC 491 class. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

Archive Photo: Students take notes during a lecture in Robin Street’s IMC 491 class. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services.

The passion for students is evident. Even on sabbatical, Fiene finds himself following his graduates as they enter the job market and move into leadership positions around the country.

Jackson Sepko, a senior IMC major from Collierville, Tennessee, first encountered the IMC faculty’s enthusiasm the spring before his freshman year. After his tweet about Ole Miss baseball went viral within the Ole Miss sports online community, he received a direct message from IMC professor Debbie Hall asking if he was an IMC major.

Sepko had already signed up to be an IMC major, but it was a series of continued positive, affirming and proactive interactions like the one he had on Twitter that gave him the confidence to pursue more and more competitive opportunities. During his freshman year, Hall encouraged Sepko to pursue a PGA internship reserved for juniors and seniors.

“Every single professional opportunity I’ve had has been because of an IMC professor,” Sepko said. “Once a professor understands a student’s passions, they plug them into the classes and experiences and introduce those students to the people who are doing it in the real world.”

This semester, Sepko is applying his IMC experience as a digital media marketing assistant for the Ole Miss Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Clare Combs, a 2021 IMC graduate from Austin, Texas, is a community manager at Likeable Media in New York. Combs recalled the way Hall, her professor and academic adviser, made her feel welcome on the first day of class. Running late, Combs rushed to class through the rain and then slipped and fell the moment she arrived in class.

“I was so embarrassed,” Combs said. “But Mrs. Hall immediately directed the class’s attention to herself so I could quietly make it to my seat. After class I thanked her, and she told me, ‘I never want my students to feel anything other than great in my class.’”

After that, Combs took one of Hall’s classes every semester and relied on Hall as a mentor and sounding board while looking for her first job after graduation.

Dennis Irwin teaches students. n 2011, the Integrated Marketing Communications program at #OleMiss began with 51 students. Today, the program is one of the largest at the university, with just under 1,200 students enrolled.

Dennis Irwin, associate director of marketing and brand strategy for the University of Mississippi, teaches students. In 2011, the Integrated Marketing Communications program at #OleMiss began with 51 students. Today, the program is one of the largest at the university, with just under 1,200 students enrolled.

Real-World Application

In its early days, the IMC program took a few plays out of the journalism school’s playbook. The faculty frequently invites successful practitioners to campus to expose students to real-world work while providing networking opportunities with the industry’s best.

Similarly, the faculty places an emphasis on turning classroom theory into practical application.

“We send students out to work with clients in the community,” Fiene said. “We’ve taught campaign classes and we partner with organizations in the community so our kids can put together a full IMC campaign and pitch to clients.”

IMC faculty members also encourage students to engage in the many media opportunities on campus, including the Student Media Center and the program-run HottyToddy.com, where many students get daily multimedia publishing experience.

“These students are very well-rounded – they learn writing, design, market research, campaign building,” Fiene said. “But it’s those real-life experiences students get that matter, so that when they get a degree it’s not just academic. It has real-world relevance.”

Bright Future

Jason Cain, who succeeds Fiene as the program’s leader, is excited about IMC because the future of business, media and communications is all intertwined.

Whether preparing for careers in advertising, journalism or PR, graduates are finding themselves more and more in integrated roles, Cain said.

“This is where the action is in a lot of ways,” he said. “While more traditional departments are grappling with how to address the future within their silos, IMC is ready-made for straddling all these different channels.

Cain, who joined the faculty in 2016 as an assistant professor of IMC, said he hopes to continue to emphasize the practical side of the program by bringing graduates back to campus so that students can see how they are using their degrees in a professional environment.

The program continues to expand its intersectional role, offering specializations in fashion, health communications, magazine publishing, media sales, public relations, social media, sports communications and promotions, and visual design.

“I think we have a good core group of faculty with a cool skill set,” Cain said. “I know that we can take a healthy program and start diving in a little deeper. We can take a decade of wisdom and filter that back into the course work.”

School of Journalism and New Media leaders establish University of Mississippi PRSSA Chapter

Posted on: November 22nd, 2021 by ldrucker

Undergraduate communications students gain access to extensive career resources, networking and scholarship opportunities

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), an organization for students interested in the public relations and communications fields, has added the University of Mississippi to its network of chapters worldwide.

Under the guidance of experienced faculty advisers, and in coordination with the local Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) chapter in Memphis, students will have opportunities to further their education, gain valuable career advice and experience, and access a variety of scholarships.

PRSSA has added a total of five new chapters in 2021.

“We’re thrilled to be able to expand our PRSSA footprint in New York and Mississippi,” said Linda Thomas Brooks, chief executive officer, PRSA, in a news release. The organization also added a chapter at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York. “The communications profession continues to grow in importance, and skilled practitioners are in high demand at organizations and agencies worldwide. Preparing the next generation of leaders is a hallmark of PRSSA, and we look forward to working with these students to ensure they are ready to succeed in their future endeavors.”

Amanda Sams BradshawDr. Amanda Bradshaw, assistant professor of integrated marketing communications, will serve as faculty adviser to the University of Mississippi PRSSA chapter. She earned a doctorate in mass communication from the University of Florida, a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from West Virginia University, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Alabama.

Professionally, she worked as the public relations manager of Preferred Medical Group, a multi-disciplinary, multi-location medical practice. Additionally, she served as director of sales and brand growth for Chick-fil-A in Lawton, Oklahoma. Simultaneously, she owned and operated a social media consulting firm before beginning her doctoral studies.

“We are excited to launch a PRSSA chapter at the state flagship institution, becoming part of an esteemed international organization,” Bradshaw said. “We are also thrilled to collaborate with the wonderful, talented public relations professionals at PRSA Memphis and look forward to learning from and working with them in the coming years. With more than 1,000 IMC majors, our student body is large, and we already have 25 enthusiastic student leaders signed up to serve on our executive board and lead our committees. We are ready to hit the ground running to build the University of Mississippi PRSSA to be the best that it can be.”

Bradshaw said UM has wanted to add a PRSSA chapter for a long time. Professors Debbie Hall and Robin Street have worked to launch a chapter, but the IMC curriculum had to evolve.

“We had to first develop a robust curriculum sequence of at least five public relations courses and additional supplemental courses in the field, which we have now done,” she said. “As we now have that curriculum in place, we qualify to have a chapter. So, we mailed off the 250+ page application to the headquarters in New York (an old-fashioned paper application in a FedEx box), and as they say, the rest is history.”

The University of Mississippi PRSSA chapter members.

The University of Mississippi PRSSA chapter members.

Bradshaw said PRSSA is connecting the school with an international network of chapters that forms the most recognized leading professional organization, serving the communications community.

“Students at the undergraduate and graduate levels have the opportunity to join our campus chapter,” Bradshaw said. “Students can get involved with and gain hands-on experience with social media, recruitment, onboarding, service/philanthropy, fundraising, awards, publicity, public relations content creation, high school outreach, event planning, and more.

“All of these line items look great on a resume for those wanting to enter communication fields. Additionally, students will be eligible to compete for both individual-level and chapter awards in exclusive PRSSA competitions.”

Bradshaw said PRSSA is based on three main pillars: 1) Enhance your education 2) Broaden your network 3) Launch your career.

“Our chapter plans to host monthly activities, bringing in top-notch guest speakers in various sectors of public relations and offering soft skills workshops, such as resume’ reviews and cover letter writing,” she said. “With a strong partnership in place with our sponsor chapter, PRSA Memphis, which is just an hour away, we feel confident that we have the resources and talent to mentor our students to help them map out their career paths and get to the next level in their careers.”

Bradshaw said they are planning a “field trip” to visit an agency in Memphis in the upcoming year and will work with both PRSA Memphis and the University of Memphis PRSSA chapter.

“In addition to strong mentorship locally and nationally, our student members will have the opportunity to travel to conferences, such as ICON– the international PRSA annual conference– to meet professionals in the industry from all over the world,” she said.

QR code

QR code

Students who want to get involved can send an email to: olemissprssa@gmail.com.

The cost to join is $85 per year — $55 for national dues + $30 for local dues. They can pay both at this link: https://www.prsa.org/prssa/join-prssa and/or email the general email address for more questions.

Students can also use this QR code to fill out a brief survey of their interests to get involved with one of our committees and to potentially serve in a leadership role.

Interested students and faculty may also join the school’s LinkedIn group here: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12583345/ The first main chapter meeting, an informational session, will be held on Jan. 25, 2022 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. More information will be provided later.

Bradshaw said PRSSA is not just for IMC students in the public relations specialization. It’s for anyone looking to develop their communication skills. If you’re majoring in any of the following, you may want to get involved: advertising, business administration and management, film and video, graphic design, journalism, marketing, political science, public and nonprofit administration, and more.

Scholarship established to honor alumnus Oscar Pope, NBA on TNT marketing manager

Posted on: November 11th, 2021 by ldrucker

Oscar R. Pope, creator, mentor, friend and a revelatory alum of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, passed away unexpectedly in June at the age of 32.

To honor his life and legacy, his friends and loved ones have established the Oscar Pope Memorial Scholarship to benefit future School of Journalism and New Media students majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications.

You can learn more by clicking this link.

Pope’s latest role was as the marketing manager for the Turner Sports show NBA on TNT, and NBA TV.

The Terry, Mississippi native began his four-year journey at the University of Mississippi as an art major with an emphasis in graphic design. He also double-majored in broadcast journalism. He became a production manager for Rebel Radio, a news anchor for NewsWatch in the student media center, and the visual editor of The Daily Mississippian.

According to an alumni profile, Pope accepted a position as an advertising coordinator at a sports publishing firm in Atlanta after graduation. He later joined the Atlanta-based startup Scoutmob as an advertising executive for four years before landing at Creative Loafing Atlanta as a multimedia marketing specialist.

His career path eventually led to Turner Broadcasting as content marketing coordinator of the NBA on TNT and NBA TV at Turner Sports. He handled consumer-facing creative messaging and branding for both networks in addition to NBA.com.

MacKenzie Ross, who served as the editor and creative director for the latest edition of the UM School of Journalism and New Media’s student-produced edition of The Review magazine, worked with students who interviewed Pope about his career for the publication. The following is a Q & A with Pope that student Wade Griffin compiled.

The Turner Sports family mourns the loss of our very own, Oscar Pope.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/AgVxogSF0M
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) June 4, 2021

 

Oscar Pope

Oscar Pope

Q & A With Oscar Pope

By Wade Griffin

 

Q. How has your education from Ole Miss helped you get to where you are today?

A. I double-majored in graphic design and broadcast journalism, so my days at Ole Miss look a lot like they do now and are just as multidisciplinary. What used to be running from a three-hour design studio class to shoot a news package for my JOUR 480: Advanced Broadcast Reporting class is now running from creative briefings to production and program meetings. The education and wide range of experience I received at Ole Miss prepared to me to wear many hats, without hesitation, simultaneously and effectively.

Q. Can you give me a brief description of your job duties?

A. I manage all consumer-facing creative, messaging and branding for NBA on TNT, NBA TV and Turner Sports podcasts. My team is responsible for driving viewership of live games, original programming and key NBA tentpoles, including NBA Tip-Off, NBA All-Star and the NBA Playoffs across both networks. My team is also responsible for building and executing go-to-market content and creative strategies.

Q. What is a favorite memory from your time in your current job?

A. There are so many favorites, and many include our “Inside the NBA” crew, but the memories that mean the most are the ones where we’ve been able to tell purposeful stories at the intersections of sport, community and culture. My favorite would have to be writing ‘Dear Chicago’ for NBA-All Star 2020.

The NBA was making its first All-Star return to Chicago since 1988, so I found it imperative that we redefine how the world viewed Chicago. ‘Dear Chicago’ was written and produced in partnership with Bleacher Report as a three-part vignette series – highlighting the convergence of basketball and community and telling the stories of the people, the places and culture that define Chicago.

Through this series, we were able to give basketball fans an opportunity to experience what makes Chicago a beacon of culture and not defined by negative headlines, but rather a rich quilt of neighborhoods, each with its own identity and native heroes – athletes that have transcended sport and artists that create with a homegrown purpose. The entire series is available at dearchicagotnt.com

Q. Is there a professor who made an impact on them as a student? What is their name and why/how?

A. There were many professors who had a profound impact on me as a student and beyond. You’d be hard-pressed to find better design professors than Ginny Chavis and Paula Temple. Marvin Williams and Garreth Blackwell were critical in my growth at the J-school.

The two professors that made the biggest impacts on me were Nancy Dupont and Laura Antonow. Dr. Dupont taught with such a passion for broadcasting, and it was absolutely infectious. After my first course with her, I knew I had to be in or around the broadcast industry in some capacity.

I believe I took at least four courses with Professor Antonow, and I would’ve taken more if possible. She had an energy that was palpable and her courses were open forums of dialogue and engagement which greatly contributed to my academic and personal evolution.

https://bit.ly/3DbkugO

Talbert Fellows are an elite cohort at the UM School of Journalism and New Media

Posted on: November 3rd, 2021 by ldrucker

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media Talbert Fellows are journalism and integrated marketing communications (IMC) students from Mississippi and beyond who are part of an elite program launched last year.

Members include Carleigh Holt, Davan Reece, Emma Harrington, Grace Massengill, Lily Sweet King, Brittany Kohne, Virginia White, Travis Coopwood, Justice Rose, Chloe Calo, Kelby Zendejas, Rabria Moore, Erin Foley, Shayna Saragosa, Summer Keith, Brady Wood, Sahara Portlance, Zoe Keyes, Paleif Raspberry, David Ramsey, Julieanna Jackson, Ava Johnson and Layton Lawhead. We will be sharing their photos and stories on social media.

From left, Grace Massengill, Paleif Raspberry and Chloe Calo attend the latest Talbert Fellows meeting. They listened to a guest speaker who talked about a New York internship program.

From left, Grace Massengill, Paleif Raspberry and Chloe Calo attend the latest Talbert Fellows meeting. They listened to a guest speaker who talked about a New York internship program.

“We are really happy you have joined our school, because in order to be a member of the Talbert Fellows, you have to have shown something exceptional,” Dr. Debora Wenger, interim dean, said during the Talbert Fellows first meeting of the semester.

Dr. R. J. Morgan, instructional associate professor of journalism and director of the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association, said investing in the Talbert Fellows will be a good investment for the school.

“The other vision is that it would also give you the opportunity to invest in each other,” he said.

Talbert Fellows are selected based on a portfolio of their best work in journalism, integrated marketing communication, video, photography, and other media skills, rather than their GPA or ACT scores. Applicants submit work in the fall and follow the UM scholarship application process.

The Talbert Fellows program offers a scholarship, access to special events, personalized attention and coaching from faculty, among other perks.

“Students have a lot of choices when it comes to finding the right university, and we think the Talbert Fellows program might be just the little extra incentive some need to choose the School of Journalism and New Media,” Wenger said in an earlier interview. “From scholarship money to unique experiential learning opportunities to networking options, the students accepted to become Talbert Fellows will find themselves positioned to become future leaders in the fields of journalism and integrated marketing communications.”

There are many high school students across the country who are proving they are skilled thinkers and innovators at a young age, Morgan said.

“Students like that need to be honored, but more than that, they need to be challenged to reach their full potential,” he said. “This program will help us better identify those students from the outset so that once they arrive on campus, we can focus our best resources on pushing them to an elite level of success.”

The Talbert Fellows program is named after Samuel S. Talbert, Ph.D. The versatile administrator and author wrote three academic books on journalism, several plays and a column published in more than 100 newspapers. He chaired the UM Department of Journalism from 1951 until his death in 1972.

Talbert Fellows selections will follow the university’s annual calendar with new students notified in April and admitted each fall semester. New, transfer and current students are also eligible to apply. Awards are renewable for up to four years.

Applicants must submit a link to their online portfolios and the information required through the University of Mississippi scholarship application portal.

To learn more, contact Morgan at morgan@go.olemiss.edu.

UM’s 2021 Homecoming King and Queen have studied journalism and IMC

Posted on: October 14th, 2021 by ldrucker

Congratulations to the 2021 University of Mississippi Homecoming King and Queen, who have both taken classes in journalism and integrated marketing communications (IMC) at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media.

Students Kenzee Blount and Bradford Stewart were voted as Ole Miss royalty.

Bradford Stewart is a Birmingham native studying IMC.

She started a fashion blog with her sisters called Poema, Spanish for poem, that was inspired by a Bible verse, and she dreams of turning the blog into a clothing store with her sisters, according to a story in The Daily Mississippian.

Homecoming King and Queen, from left, Bradford Stewart and Kenzee Blount. Photo from the Ole Miss social media account.

Homecoming King and Queen, from left, Bradford Stewart and Kenzee Blount. Photo from the Ole Miss social media account.

Stewart is involved in the Rebelettes and The Grove Retreat, a Christian-based student organization that welcomes incoming freshmen to Oxford. Her older sister founded the group. Stewart is also involved in Tri Delta sorority, serving as membership experience chair. You can read the full story at this link. 

Blount is a senior in the School of Business Administration who is earning a bachelor’s of business administration in general business. He has taken journalism classes and written for Oxford Stories.

Blount was co-director for special events for the Active Minds organization, and he served as a learning and engagement ambassador, MPower peer leader, director of Rebel Run, and as an orientation leader, according to a DM story. You can read more about the Independence, Mississippi native below.

Texas Monthly editor in chief inducted into Alumni Hall of Fame

Posted on: October 11th, 2021 by ldrucker

A University of Mississippi journalism graduate was recently inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame. Dan Goodgame, who graduated from UM in 1975, is editor in chief of Texas Monthly, an award-winning magazine that has covered the Lone Star State for 48 years.

The Ole Miss Alumni Association recognized seven distinguished University of Mississippi alumni, including Goodgame and a former professor and campus administrator, with its highest annual awards as part of Homecoming 2021.

Alumni Hall of Fame inductees for 2021 are: Coolidge Ball (BRL 75), of Oxford; Dan Goodgame (BA 75), of San Antonio, Texas; Richard C. O’Ferrall Jr. (BBA 57), of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee; Michael H. Stewart (BA 75, MCJ 78), of Oxford; and Judy Trott (BSHPE 1961, MEd 64, EdD 72), of Oxford.

Ole Miss Alumni Association Names Distinguished Alumni for 2021

Since Goodgame took the helm of Texas Monthly in 2019, “the magazine has sharply increased its online audience and revenue; expanded its storytelling through podcasts, videos, books and live events; and optioned a dozen of its articles to Hollywood for development into movies and video series,” according to a UM news release.

Before joining Texas Monthly, Goodgame served as a vice president for Rackspace, a cloud computing company in San Antonio.

Dan Goodgame. Congratulations Dan Goodgame. University of Mississippi Distinguished Alumnus.

Dan Goodgame. Congratulations Dan Goodgame. University of Mississippi Distinguished Alumnus.

A Pulitzer Prize finalist and bestselling author, Goodgame has interviewed and profiled leaders in many fields, including six U.S. presidents, Saddam Hussein, Steve Jobs, Rupert Murdoch and Tiger Woods, the UM news release reports. Goodgame served as editor in chief of Fortune Small Business, whose subscribers were 1 million owners of entrepreneurial companies.

He earlier worked for Time magazine as White House correspondent, Washington bureau chief and assistant managing editor. He is co-author of the book “Marching in Place,” about President George H.W. Bush.

Goodgame worked for the Miami Herald as Middle East correspondent in the early 1980s, covering the Israel-Lebanon and Iran-Iraq wars. He started his career as a crime reporter at the Tampa Tribune.

“Goodgame is a native of Pascagoula, where his parents worked at Ingalls Shipbuilding,” UM reports. “After graduating from Ole Miss, he earned an M.Phil. in international relations as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University. He played on the university golf team and rowed for his college.

“During the past 12 years, Goodgame has served on the boards of Texas Public Radio, the World Affairs Council, Medical Foundation and Sports Foundation. His wife, Marcia, a retired journalist and educator, works part-time for the San Antonio Book Festival. They have two sons, Clayton and Sam.”

Created in 1974, the Hall of Fame honors select alumni who have made an outstanding contribution to their country, state or the university through good deeds, services or contributions that have perpetuated the good name of Ole Miss.

Read more about Goodgame and the other Hall of Fame inductees at this link.

University of Mississippi Internship Experience leads Ayers to New York City

Posted on: October 6th, 2021 by ldrucker

Memphis native Molly Ayers, 21, is a senior integrated marketing communications (IMC) major with a minor in general business. She recently gave a presentation during the University of Mississippi Internship Experience. We asked her a few questions about the event and her goals.

Q. What is the UM Internship Experience for those who don’t know? What story did you share about yourself during this event?

A: The Internship Experience is a preparatory class that provides a support system and resources to help with the internship search. For the first semester, we spent the majority of our time on resume work and LinkedIn. We researched the cities we aimed to work in and began compiling a list of possible companies to work for.

When applications opened up, the IE staff helped us with cover letters, interview prep and sent opportunities our way. It was actually Dr. Kristina Phillips who sent me the application for the internship I ended up getting. Additionally, the IE program already had housing picked out in each city, so it took a ton of pressure off me while I was working on my applications. I was the only student who chose NYC as a location, so I was a bit nervous about living up there for a couple of months on my own.

Dr. Laura Antonow, Gabby Coggin, and Dr. Phillips kept in constant contact with me as I was making decisions and planning my trip. Dr. Antonow stayed up in the city for several days to help me get adjusted, which was such a lifesaver.

Molly Ayers leans agains a brick wall.

Molly Ayers

Q. What have been some of your favorite journalism and IMC classes?

A. My favorite IMC class I’ve taken is 104 with Scott Fiene and 306 with Brad Conaway. As a freshman in IMC 104,  Scott Fiene introduced the concept of IMC to me in a way that made me absolutely sure this is the major I wanted to pursue.

IMC 306 with professor Conaway was about internet marketing. We used a social media marketing simulator all semester, and I consider it to be one of the most valuable projects in my college career so far. Jour 273 Creative Visual Thinking was by far my favorite in that department. Professor Joe Abide’s class gave me a completely new set of skills including design and Photoshop. His class is definitely the reason I still pay for an Adobe subscription two years later.

Q. What are your plans or goals for the future? Dream job?

A: When I graduate, I’d love to continue my work for GAPPA (Global Alliance of Partners for Pain Advocacy). I think they have such a strong, important mission and so much room to grow as an organization. Something I learned about myself this summer is that I love talking to people with unique stories and being able to share them. That being said, I think I’d consider promotional marketing for nonprofits my dream job. My goals for the future mostly involve traveling the world (which is where a remote job would be convenient) but eventually, I know I want to move to NYC.