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School of Journalism and New Media professor speaks at Nobel Peace Prize event Oslo Peace Days

Posted on: December 9th, 2019 by ldrucker

A School of Journalism and New Media professor traveled to Oslo to be part of a panel at a Nobel Peace Prize event called Oslo Peace Days.

Zenebe Beyene, Ph.D., a professor and director of international programs who is from Ethiopia, was invited by the Norwegian Peace Research Institute to participate in a Dec. 9 panel discussion about developments in Ethiopia and possible regional implications. The panel also discussed Ethiopia’s potential role as a regional peacemaker.

Beyene was joined by Hilde Frafjord Johnson, of the Peace Research Institute of Oslo; Dan Banik, of the Centre for Development and Environment, University of Oslo; and Kjetil Tronvoll, of Bjørknes høyskole & Oslo Analytica. The panel was chaired by Henrik Urdal, the PRIO director.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and for his work to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea, according to NobelPeacePrize.org. The prize is also meant to recognize all stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.

The panel discussion is part of this year’s Oslo Peace Days set for Dec. 5-12 co-hosted by the Norwegian Nobel Institute, the Nobel Peace Centre, PRIO, the University of Oslo, and the City of Oslo.

Earlier, we asked Beyene a few questions about the event and his professional goals as a peacemaker.

The front of the Nobel Peace Prize website.

The front of the Nobel Peace Prize website.

Q. What are some of the things you hope to discuss during the panel about Ethiopia developments? What do you hope to share with others who attend?

A. I hope to use the platform to discuss the recent development in Ethiopia and its regional implications. There are a number of factors that could explain the current ethnic tension and political uncertainties in the country. For example, religious diversity is one factor that helps us understand what’s happening  in the country.

Ethiopia is one of very few countries in the world where Jews, Muslims, Christians, etc. have lived together for centuries. Due to religious extremism and the rise of terrorism, the social fabric that existed for a long time is weakening. As a result, Ethiopia has witnessed the killings of people based on their beliefs, while places of worship have been targeted by radical groups.

Unless the government, in collaboration with its international allies, does something, the situation can get out of hand any time. And that will have serious regional implications.

For a long time, Ethiopia has been known for its relative stability in the turbulent region. From Somalia in the East Coast to Senegal in the West, the belt of the continent is in trouble, and Ethiopia has served as a center of gravity.

If Ethiopia loses its stability, so does the region. Ethiopia can’t afford to fail. The international community should be aware of the danger posed by radical groups and should be behind the reform process the nation has embarked on.

In a nutshell, I will use the platform to shed light on the contemporary security challenges the country faces and regional implications of those challenges.

Zenebe Beyene, Ph.D.

Zenebe Beyene, Ph.D.

Q. Do you think peacemaking or peace-building is talked about enough in our world or country?

A. Here is a general assessment based on my personal observation. Humans tend to focus on what divides us instead of what unites us. That seems to be the case in today’s America, for example.

What we see in the current political environment here in the U.S. is focusing on the differences between Republicans and Democrats. If we only focus on their discourse, it seems as if the two parties had been from two totally different worlds, having nothing in common.

Each claim that it is the only savior of the nation while depicting the other as the enemy of the people. To that end, they create and manufacture narratives to back up their claims. As a result, what we read, watch or listen to is filled with negative stories.

Some may assume that is only America’s problem. It is not. From Brexit to the tension between populism vs. nationalism in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, etc., as well as the ethnic and religious tensions in Asia and Africa are testaments to a new reality the world is now facing.

As a result, conflict has become a norm and stories dealing with peaceful coexistence have become rare.  It is true that conflict drives stories, but life is not only about conflict.

I hope politicians, opinion leaders, activists, etc. will understand the implications of their narratives to local, national, regional and global peace security and pay more attention to what they say. The news media also needs to shed light on stories that inspire and unify rather than on stories that perpetuate divisions.

Q. Is there anything I didn’t ask that you think would be important to add?

Thank you for the opportunity to share my views about this honor with you. I have accepted the invitation to attend the award ceremony and take part in the panel to discuss current developments in Ethiopia, its regional impact and to add Ethiopia’s perspective to the conversation. However, the opportunity to attend such an important event will help me learn new perspectives that would strengthen and enrich my teaching at the University of Mississippi.

In his will, Alfred Nobel stated that the Nobel Peace Prize was to be awarded “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses.”

My attendance in the event and interaction with people from various backgrounds will help me add new perspectives to my teaching. That, in turn, will help me inspire the new generation of leaders here at the UM to think big and bring the “greatest benefit to mankind” in line with Alfred Nobel’s will, vision and dream.

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

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

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

Column: As a UM Ambassador, I helped new students realize Ole Miss is their home

Posted on: November 25th, 2019 by ldrucker

Check out IMC student Karly Caton’s journey to Ole Miss, where she became a UM Ambassador because she wanted to help other students feel welcome.

Caton, 21, is a senior from Virginia Beach, Virginia pursuing a bachelor’s degree in IMC with a minor in business and a specialization in public relations. She hopes to pursue a career in advertising.

Read her column on OxfordStories.net here.

Karly Caton

Karly Caton

 

Street takes PR students on a Memphis field trip to FedEx and St. Jude

Posted on: November 4th, 2019 by ldrucker

Students enrolled in Senior Lecturer Robin Street’s public relations classes traveled to Memphis Oct. 29 to meet with public relations professionals, including several JNM alumni, at FedEx and St. Jude.

Assistant Dean Scott Fiene accompanied the group, along with adjunct instructor Bill Dabney.

 

An added bonus at FedEx was a visit from Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman PR. He was in town to meet with JMM graduate Jenny Robertson, who is FedEx vice president for corporate communications. Edelman briefly spoke to the students.

At FedEx in Memphis, Street found 10 of her former students in communication positions.

Pictured, from left, are Lillie Flenorl, communications specialist, FedEx Freight; Teresa Daniel, senior communications specialist, social media; Jenny Robertson, vice president, corporate communications; Natashia Gregoire, director of FedEx Freight communications; Street; Ed Coleman, communications advisor, internal communications (not a former student, but an alumnus); Caitlin Adams, communications principal, office of the president and COO; and Alex Shockey, manager of social media and content. Not pictured are Rachel Hammons Parks, senior marketing specialist, brand; Cacera Richmond, senior communications specialist, FedEx Freight; Janna Hughes, communications advisor, global citizenship; and Caitlin Berry, senior communications specialist, internal communications.

Photo credit: Bill Dabney

Third annual SPJ Scary Potluck for Journalists set for Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 4:30 p.m.

Posted on: October 25th, 2019 by ldrucker

Wohoho! Hahaha Hohoho! Wohaahaahaa! (Scary laugh.)

You are invited to bring a snack to the third annual SPJ Scary Potluck for Journalists!

Set for 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 30, all journalism and IMC students are invited.

In fact, all majors are welcome.

The event will be held in Room 126 inside Haunted Farley Hall.

Those who attend are asked to bring a snack to share with others.

You’re also asked to bring a few ideas about how we can grow our Society of Professional Journalists chapter that is open to both IMC and journalism students.

Costumes are encouraged, but not required.

Invite a friend. All are welcome. The event is open to anyone interested in journalism.

Come, if you dare!

Share the event to invite others!

For more information, contact LaReeca Rucker at ldrucker@olemiss.edu.

Documentary about Faulkner household set for Thursday, Oct. 24 in Overby Center

Posted on: October 21st, 2019 by ldrucker

Much has been written and broadcast about William Faulkner. But there has been nothing produced that talks about life in the Faulkner household from an insider’s point of view.

Thinking of Home: Falkner House and Rowan Oak is a 30-minute documentary featuring Oxford writer Larry Wells, who with his late wife Dean Faulkner Wells, lived at Falkner House, the home of Faulkner’s mother.

Wells and Bill Griffith, curator of Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak, narrate a video tour of both historic houses that includes historical photos, drone footage and Larry’s personal stories about the Faulkner family.

A black and white illustration featuring Faulkner's face with historic buildings in the background.

A black and white illustration featuring Faulkner’s face with historic buildings in the background.

The public is invited to the first open showing at 4 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 24, at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics. The documentary was previously shown at the Faulkner Conference on campus last summer and in New Orleans at the Pirates Alley Faulkner Society Birthday Bash in September.

Unlike Rowan Oak, Falkner House on South Lamar is not open to the public, thus the documentary provides a rare glimpse into the residence. (William’s parents spelled the name without the ‘u’). Virtually every day, Faulkner walked the half-mile from Rowan Oak to Falkner House to visit his mother, Maud Falkner. Her husband, Murry, died shortly after the house was built. In the 1920s Murry served as business manager at the University of Mississippi.

The Rowan Oak segment includes tales of family members staying at the home and incidents, such as when famed CBS broadcaster Edward R. Murrow phoned Faulkner. The fable about Judith, the family ghost, and her untimely death at the home is dramatized.

The documentary was produced by Dr. Kathleen Wickham, professor of journalism in the School of Journalism and New Media, with videography by Mary Stanton Knight and Deborah Freeland, who also served as editor/director.

Drone footage was provided by Ji Hoon Heo, an instructional assistant professor at the School of Journalism and New Media. Music was recorded and performed by Diane Wang and Stacy Rodgers of the Ole Miss Department of Music. Archives and Special Collections, J.D. Williams Library, provided photographs.

Funding was provided by the School of Journalism and New Media and the Mississippi Film Alliance. The documentary will be donated to Rowan Oak. Plans call for it to be permanently available for viewing.

If you require special assistance relating to a disability, please contact Sarah Griffith at 662-915-7146 or via email at slgriff@olemiss.edu. Please request accommodations as soon as possible to allow time for arrangements to be made.

Former CBS Sports executive producer teaches documentary film festival workshop

Posted on: October 20th, 2019 by ldrucker

A 13-time national Emmy Award-winning sports television producer recently returned to the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media to lead a 48-Hour Documentary Film Festival workshop.

Terry Ewert, former executive producer of CBS Sports, has won Emmys for writing and documentary filmmaking. He also led production for the coverage of three Olympic games at NBC Sports and the Atlanta Olympic Committee.

Hattiesburg native Lucy Burnam, 22, a journalism graduate student focusing on photography and video, was a member of the winning student team that included Allen Brewer and Andranita Williams. The aspiring novelist and photographer said the workshop required students to complete an intensive storytelling project.

Terry Ewert, right, speaks to a student. He recently led a workshop at the School of Journalism and New Media.

Terry Ewert, right, speaks to a student. He recently led a workshop at the School of Journalism and New Media.

“You have 48 hours to pitch an idea, get a green light for it, and then physically go shoot the whole thing before finally editing it all together,” she said. “So basically, it’s a fairly large task condensed into a short period of time that’s do-able, but every second counts.”

Burnam said Thursday night involved pitching the story idea and creating shot lists and a production schedule. Students captured video around Oxford Friday and edited Saturday.

“It was extremely intense, but I recommend people do it to test their limits, because you might end up surprising yourself,” said Burnam, whose favorite part was working with others to edit the stories by deadline.

“Editing anything, especially video, is one of the most nit-picky processes,” she said, “and being under such a looming deadline was stressful. But the professors involved, as well as my team and the other students, really made it a day I’m going to remember for the rest of my life. We all just sat in the same room and laughed together, maybe cried a little too, until it was all finished. Quite the bonding experience.”

Burnam’s project was about a teammate’s father, who began experiencing shortness of breath during the summer, before learning he had two heart blockages.

Professor Michael Fagans, who helped lead the workshop, said he hopes students learned the important elements of creating a documentary and some lessons about themselves.

“(I hope) they learned where their growing edges are, the level of effort that it takes to see a project to the end, how they can apply these skills to their final class projects in other courses,” he said.

Burnam said students enjoyed the camaraderie.

“I bonded with my team and really learned how to acclimate to a group setting quickly,” she said. “Personally, I hope we all learned that we can accomplish a lot under a short period of time if we really put our minds to it.

For more information, contact Assistant Dean Debora Wenger at 662-915-7146 or dwenger@olemiss.edu.

Mississippi artist Marshall Ramsey drawing students to his Ole Miss classroom

Posted on: August 27th, 2019 by ldrucker

An award-winning cartoonist is sharing his talents at the School of Journalism and New Media this fall.

Marshall Ramsey is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, editorial cartoonist and editor-at-large at Mississippi Today. When his pair of illustrations published in The Clarion-Ledger memorializing the passing of Barbara and George H.W. Bush went viral in 2018, Assistant Dean and Professor Debora Wenger said Ole Miss’s School of Journalism and New Media took notice.

“When I saw that Marshall’s cartoon had captured the attention of the nation, I thought, ‘This is a man who is a good friend of our school. He’s been a Pulitzer finalist multiple times. He’s an amazing speaker and teacher. Why have we not had him on campus teaching a class before?’” Wenger said.

The course meets on Mondays from 4-6:30 p.m. Coursework involves discussions, marketing advice and weekly drawings based on current events. Since fall is an election season, Ramsey has said he will invite politicians, candidates and other newsmakers to speak in class and provide material for students of all skill levels to draw.

“You don’t need to be a fine artist to come in (to the class),” Ramsey said.

He says a good editorial cartoon is 85 percent idea.

“You have to have humor that everyone can relate to, and you have to be on top of the issues to know what’s going on,” he said. “But, truly, a great editorial cartoon has a great idea behind it. There are ideas that just sometimes speak to people, and that’s when you know you’ve succeeded in creating something.”

There are no pre-requirements for the class, and students from all majors with passions in storytelling through visual mediums were encouraged to attend.

“I hope that the chance to work with a Pulitzer-nominated cartoonist and amazing artist will intrigue students beyond journalism to see some of the creative classes we offer,” Wenger said.

Although many newsrooms across the country are cutting editorial cartoons to save money, Ramsey said cartoons are not going anywhere and are increasingly relevant in a visual-based, social-media savvy society.

“Editorial cartoons get a lot of information across very quickly,” Ramsey said. “They truly are made for these times.”

It did not take much to convince Ramsey to teach at Ole Miss, as he says the “gorgeous campus,” “many friends” and students in Oxford make it worth it.

“It recharges me because it’s fun to be around the students and their energy,” Ramsey said. “It makes me not get stagnant. I enjoy any chance I can to come up to Oxford and be able to contribute a little bit of my talent.”

This story was first published on HottyToddy.com.

UM School of Journalism and New Media launches new Talbert Fellows program

Posted on: August 25th, 2019 by ldrucker

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media is seeking future journalism and communications students in Mississippi and beyond for a unique program designed to provide exclusive opportunities.

Incoming journalism and integrated marketing communication students with great potential and strong work portfolios are encouraged to apply to become Talbert Fellows, an elite cohort within the school. The program launched Aug. 1 and will begin this fall.

Talbert Fellows will be selected based on a portfolio of their best submitted work in print, broadcast, integrated marketing communication, photography, etc. rather than their GPA or ACT scores. Applicants should begin submitting work in the fall of 2019 and follow the UM scholarship application process.

The Talbert Fellows program will offer scholarship opportunities and financial assistance in addition to other funding students might receive, special events, personalized attention and coaching from faculty, reporting trips and a possible travel budget.

“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,” said Assistant Dean and Associate Professor of Journalism Debra Wenger, Ph.D. “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.”

Farley Hall. Photo by Clay Patrick.

Assistant Dean and Associate Professor Scott Fiene said the School of Journalism and New Media is pleased to launch a program that offers more than just financial assistance.

“This will also create a unique cohort of students who get opportunities for faculty coaching, reporting trips, possibly special class sections, and a lot more,” he said. “It’s truly a win for students and a milestone in the evolution of our school.”

R.J. Morgan, director of the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association, said there are many high school students across the country who are proving they are skilled thinkers and innovators at a young age.

“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 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 request an interview about the Talbert Fellows program, contact Wenger at 662-915-7912 or drwenger@olemiss.edu.

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 Reese Colaluca

Posted on: August 2nd, 2019 by ldrucker

Reese Colaluca is a native of Allen, Texas, about 10 minutes from Dallas. She attended a large high school that provided many opportunities, including earning 24 hours in college credit classes.

“I really love the city I grew up in, not only because of how much it had to offer, but also because it was so close to a major city,” she said. “It gave me even more opportunity to do and see things not everyone gets the opportunity to experience living in smaller towns.”

Reese shows her school spirit.

When she chose to attend the University of Mississippi, Colaluca said she wanted to get away from the rush of life and attend a school where she could meet people who weren’t from the area  in which she grew up.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do job-wise in the future,” she said, “so choosing a major was really hard. Once I started classes, my advisor said I should take an Introduction to IMC course to test it out and see if it would be something I was interested in. After completing that course last semester, I realized I had a real passion for marketing, advertising and communications, so integrated marketing communications was perfect for me.

“The University of Mississippi gave me this amazing opportunity by offering this unique major, that allows me to excel in many different areas of marketing, advertising and communications.”

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

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.