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What’s Next? Journalism and IMC graduates tell us their next career moves

Posted on: June 12th, 2021 by ldrucker

Many of our recent University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduates are now embarking on a new adventure in their first job or internship. We will be sharing what’s next for them in a series this summer as they take on the #RealWorldRightNow.

Sophia Cuozzo, 22, is a native of Orange, Connecticut, who plans on moving to San Diego at the start of July to start a new job at Burns International as a social media manager and executive assistant. “I am very excited,” she said. “I would love to continue to learn through my new job and, hopefully, be given more opportunities to grow with my degree. Cuozzo is an integrated marketing communications (IMC) major with a minor in business administration and public relations.

Clinton native Sarah Kane, 23, will continue growing her photography business on the side and move home to serve in ministry. “I am planning on continuing my education by attending Bible school and focusing in worship ministry,” she said. “I would love to one day be a worship pastor and write music and lead worship at a church. I would also love to help younger, growing worship leaders better their skills in serving the Lord. Kane is an IMC major with a minor in general business.

Knoxville native Kate Albritton, 21, will be moving to Nashville to further her education at Vanderbilt University and pursue a Master of Marketing Degree. “I would like to work in marketing for a financial services or healthcare company,” said Albritton, an IMC major with a minor in business administration.

Julia Peoples

Julia Peoples

Julia Peoples, 21, a native of Puckett, Mississippi, will be attending Yale Law School as a member of the class of 2024. “I hope to one day enter legal academia,” said Peoples, an IMC major with minors in general business and political science. Read Julia’s story in our Journey to Commencement series.

Corinth native Austin Newcomb, 22, will be staying in Oxford. “After receiving acceptance in LSU, Auburn, Alabama, John Hopkins, Ole Miss, and UChicago, I decided to further my education at Ole Miss for graduate school in Education – Clinical Mental Health Counseling to become a licensed therapist,” he said. “I would like to open up my own private practice after gaining experience in the public and private sector of clinical mental health. I plan to open up a private practice with other therapists as well as estheticians to create a business for the mind and body.” Newcomb is an IMC major with minors in general business and gender studies.

Biloxi native Sofia Cooper, 22, will serve as a missionary for two years with FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. “I hope to pursue a career in social media marketing within the sustainability sector,” she said. “I’d love to work for a sustainability advising company that helps other businesses reduce their carbon footprint.” Cooper is an IMC major with a minor in general business.

Allison Schultz, 22, who is from Mokena, Illinois, will be working for Otis Elevator Company as a sales trainee in Lombard, Illinois. “I hope to become a successful account manager and have my own sales territory,” said Schultz, who is majoring in IMC with a minor in general business.

Brandon native Tyler McDowell, 22, will be moving to London for the summer for an internship at a PR firm. “I want to find a job abroad that will make me happy,” said McDowell, a broadcast journalism major with a minor in cinema.

What's Next logo for series

What’s Next logo for series

Texas native Dayna Drake, 21, who studied journalism and general business, will be working over the summer at Pillar4 Media as an editorial intern. She’ll be editing content for their sites and making all things publication-ready while incorporating SEO practices. After the summer, she will return to Oxford to attend graduate school earning a master’s in professional journalism.

“I want to see how far I can go in the world of journalism,” she said. “Right now, my ultimate dream is to be a television anchor for a major news network. My career goal is to make my name known as someone who helped the public trust the news platform and helped lose the idea of ‘fake news’ surrounding the field of journalism.”

St. Louis native Nick Weaver, 22, studied integrated marketing communications and public policy leadership. He will begin law school at Saint Louis University this fall.

Nick Weaver

Nick Weaver

“This summer, I will be marrying my fiancé and moving back to my hometown,” he said. “I would like to continue studying communications law and hopefully become a judge one day.”

Flora, Mississippi native Tyler White, 22, who studied integrated marketing communications and general business, will continue to grow his custom apparel company Tee-Whites and begin law school at the University of Mississippi.

“I would like to practice law for a few years and then get a job in the C-suite of a big tech company,” he said. “CMO or CEO would be great.”

Tyler White

Tyler White

Reese Colaluca, 20, a native of Allen, Texas, studied general business and earned a social media specialization. She will be attending graduate school to earn her master’s in integrated marketing communications (IMC).

“I hope to one day be able to work for Coca-Cola as a marketing executive in Atlanta, Georgia,” she said.

Southaven native Katlyn Tidwell, 22, studied IMC and business administration. She will be attending graduate school to earn her master’s in IMC.

“My dream job is to one day work for Cosmopolitan in New York City,” she said.

University of Mississippi IMC major picked as national student representative for Lamda Sigma honor society

Posted on: May 18th, 2021 by ldrucker

A University of Mississippi junior has been selected to serve as a national student representative for Lambda Sigma, a national honor society for sophomores.

Margaret “Maggie” Walker, a dual public policy leadership and integrated marketing communications major from Suwanee, Georgia, was chosen to be the primary liaison between the national board and all Lambda Sigma presidents.

She will be in charge of facilitating communication among and between the chapter presidents, as well as assisting with the coordination of the Presidents Conferences. As a voting member of the national board, Walker will participate in the discussion and decision-making processes.

Maggie Walker

Maggie Walker

“I am immensely honored to have been chosen to serve Lambda Sigma as a national student representative,” said Walker, who will serve for two years, attend two summer board meetings and two fall President Conferences.

“I look forward to embracing the opportunities to connect with students and adults alike that share an enthusiasm for fellowship, scholarship and service. I know that these connections will be ones of depth and longevity.”

A Stamps Scholar, Walker is a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and the Trent Lott Leadership Institute. As president of the university’s Iota Chapter of Lambda Sigma, Walker’s primary responsibility was to facilitate effective communication with the rest of the executive board and the chapter as a whole, and to ensure the mission of Lambda Sigma was advanced.

She booked speakers, planned and led bimonthly meetings, and communicated with chapter adviser Jacob Ferguson and Lambda Sigma nationals.

Beyond these responsibilities, Walker also worked closely with chapter co-service chairs and the secretary to organize numerous service and fellowship opportunities. These included writing Valentine’s Day letters for local teachers, decorating pumpkins for Breast Cancer Awareness Month for the Baptist Cancer Center, donating to the Jackson water crisis and planting trees with Hill Country Roots.

Under Walker’s leadership, nearly all the members were involved in RebelTHON, the Big Event and other Ole Miss service and leadership organizations.

“As I approached the end of my tenure as president of the Iota Chapter, I found myself never wanting the experience to end,” Walker said. “Seeing the passion and impact of our Iota Chapter was beyond inspiring. Serving as a student representative means I can aid in fostering this shared passion for change throughout the country.”

Walker said the organization has influenced her immensely on a local level, and that she can only imagine how these service, leadership and fellowship experiences will affect her on a national level over the next two years.

Maggie Walker makes a heart sign while wearing a T-shirt that says Oxford Love

Maggie Walker.

“Serving this chapter has opened my eyes to the power student leaders have when they come together for a shared vision of service,” Walker said. “Not only have I been able to facilitate service initiatives and assist our members in catalyzing community change, but I have been able to connect with our member’s passions, stories and aspirations.

“Working with the executive board has been an honor in itself, as I have had the opportunity to grow closer to some incredible student leaders.”

Walker has been a model president and will represent the university well as a student representative, Ferguson said.

“Maggie made my job as adviser easy because I could always count on her to take initiative, make plans and execute meetings, service opportunities and her presidential duties,” said Ferguson, an admissions counselor with the School of Education. “This was even more impressive considering that Maggie and the executive board had to juggle COVID-19 restrictions, hybrid meetings and limited in-person service opportunities.

“I am so proud of the work that Maggie has done and overseen in the past year, and I know that she will excel as a national student representative.”

Walker said that the key to the chapter’s success has been working through unprecedented times together, and continuous open, honest and collaborative communication. This year, the members established Lambda Sigma family groups and threw a Fellowship Field Day.

Through these events, the chapter grew closer by fostering genuine relationships absent of school and personal stressors.

“They made my job significantly easier and stood by me throughout the entire year,” Walker said. “I am forever thankful for their hard work.”

For more information about Lambda Sigma, click here.

To learn more about the School of Journalism and New Media’s journalism and IMC programs, visit our website.

This story was written by Edwin Smith for University Communications.

Kappa Tau Alpha chapter announces class of 2020 and 2021 initiates

Posted on: May 5th, 2021 by ldrucker

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media Kappa Tau Alpha chapter has announced its Class of 2020 and 2021 initiates.

Both groups were honored at initiation ceremonies during graduation. The KTA top undergraduate award was given to Nigel Dent. The faculty honoree was Alysia Steele, associate professor of journalism.

Only the top 10 percent of senior and junior journalism and IMC students are invited to join the society. Graduate students are also invited. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required.

Award

The Greek letters Kappa Tau Alpha stand for knowledge, truth and accuracy. There are no better words to describe the goals of journalism.

The society was founded at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1910 and now has 99 campus chapters. Kathleen Wickham is the chapter advisor.

Kappa Tau Alpha is a college honor society that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication, according to the organization website.

Membership must be earned by excellence in academic work at one of the colleges and universities that have chapters. Selection for membership is a mark of highest distinction and honor.

2021 New members

Seniors 

Danielle Angelo

Kaylee Crafton

Danya Drake

Lauren Kate Drewry

Sage McNamara

Madeline Quon

Sarah Tonos

Ansley Wood

Hayden Wiggs

Juniors 

Mary Boyte

Grace Bynum

Anne Clark Harvey

Inductees from 2020 (Inducted as juniors, now seniors) 

Kailee Ayers

Alexandra Barfield

Anna Borgen

Nigel Dent

Asia Harden

Matthew Hendley

Avary Hewlett

Gavin Norton

Julia Peoples

Olivia Schwab

Jackson Sepko

Reagan Stone

Mason Scioneaux

Tyler White

Lauren Wilson

Inductees from 2020 who have graduated 

Callahan Basil

Payten Coale

Cathryn Crawford

Andrew Gardner

Katherine Johnson

Virginia Monssor

Alexander Norris

Austin Parker

McKenzie Richmond

Hannah Rom

Meredith Sills

Nicholas Weaver

Hannah Williamson

View highlights from the UM School of Journalism and New Media 2021 graduation

Posted on: May 4th, 2021 by ldrucker

If you missed graduation, or you want to relive the fun, check out our Graduation 2021 page.

There,  you’ll find videos featuring candid photos of our graduates’ favorite memories from the University of Mississippi. We’ve put together a video slideshow.

Senior Memories 2021

Senior Memories 2021

You can also view the Class of 2021 Commencement Ceremony Program and watch a video featuring our guest speaker, Jesse J. Holland, who also graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media before becoming a journalist and author.

And you can read profiles of some of our outstanding 2021 graduates. You can access this content later under the Graduation tab on our website.

Congratulations seniors!

Meet some of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media’s outstanding 2021 graduates

Posted on: May 1st, 2021 by ldrucker

Journey to Commencement

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media congratulates the Class of 2021. Here are a few profiles of some of our outstanding graduates. The students shared thoughts on what drew them to UM, what they learned on their Journey to Commencement, their favorite classes and professors, and their future plans.

Their collective advice for future students is to make the most of your four years of college because it’s over quickly, and don’t wait until you graduate to begin building your resume. 

By LaReeca Rucker

Eumetria Jones in front of Farley Hall

Memphis native Eumetria Jones is an IMC major who has moved to Austin, Texas to work as the new social media coordinator for YETI Coolers with hopes of learning more about marketing from top branding companies so she can create her own consulting business.

Jones said she chose the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media because she was offered a scholarship that paid for all of her studies.

“I’ve always wanted to help people,” she said, “and this degree offered me the most comfortable, yet wide variety of career paths . . .

“I know how far you can go in life and also where you can be limited if you don’t try to reach out beyond, which has motivated me to push past any limitations or standards that others have set for me.”

UM also offered Jones distance from home, but not too far, so she could spread her wings and explore new avenues of school and life, but also go home for a Sunday dinner, she said.

“Teachers like Debbie Woodrick Hall introduced me to PR, and I have been in love ever since . . . ,” she said. “Rachel West was an example of a teacher . . . who will never let you fail yourself. Chris Sparks has prepared me so well for an actual (marketing) campaign . . . Dean (Jennifer) Simmons has gone above and beyond to help me with my degree plan and after graduation transition.”

Jones said the school has helped her build confidence and offered ways to express herself.

“I have stopped being scared of writing and have had the ability to strengthen and showcase these abilities,” she said. “I have learned how to communicate effectively across different audiences.”

Her advice: “Use you college professors, faculty, administration to get the experience you need for your next steps,” she said. “College is only four years, and you have to use them wisely so make sure you make connections that you can rely on from people who want to support you and have your best interest at heart.

“Because in life, the saying is very true, ‘It is not what you know, but who you know!’ Truly, the staff and faculty at the school is who you need to know!”

Hadley Hitson

Birmingham native Hadley Hitson is a journalism major with minors in digital media studies and Spanish who attended Mountain Brook High School before becoming a student at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media.

“Experts in Southern journalism like Curtis Wilkie and Cynthia Joyce have helped me build a steady foundation for my reporting based in ethics, curiosity, empathy and storytelling during my four years at the University of Mississippi,” she said. “Learning from professor Wilkie and professor Charles Overby in their special topics classes and from professor Joyce in her advanced reporting class shaped my understanding of good journalism.”

Hitson said she would not have had the opportunities to intern at places like Fortune magazine, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the White House without having worked at The Daily Mississippian.

Rising from a staff reporter all the way up to managing editor has been the most rewarding experience of her college career, she said.

“I’ve reported on activism in the Oxford community, the causes and effects of record breaking voter registration in Lafayette County, and the state of election security in the South, among other topics,” she said. “With these stories, I was able to win fourth place for Best News Writer in The South and develop great clips for my portfolio.”

Hitson said her career goal is to be a well-respected politics and government reporter — whether that’s for a local paper or national publication.

“During my last semester at the university, I’ve been able to do freelance reporting for Fortune magazine, and I hope to continue freelancing for major outlets post-graduation while pursuing external publication for my honors college thesis ‘Moving the monument: The University of Mississippi’s decades-long journey to relocate its Confederate monument,'” she said.

Her advice for other students is to “stay critical and ask as many questions as you can. I love this university, and in order to keep it progressing, we, as journalists, have to hold Ole Miss and ourselves accountable to UM values.”

Tyler White

Flora native Tyler White is an integrated marketing communications major with a minor in general business and a specialization in social media.

During his freshman and sophomore year, he attended Southwest Mississippi Community College, where he played baseball and was the student body president.

“While in college, I’ve definitely learned the importance of consistency and hard work,” White said. “There are a lot of good brands and experienced workers, but those that put in the most work and don’t give up when speed bumps come their way are the ones that will succeed.

“If you are doing what everyone else is doing, you will get the results everyone else is getting. To be the best, you have to work like the best.

“Whatever I do, I want the best. When I played baseball, I didn’t want to be a catcher; I wanted to be THE catcher. This same principle applies to everything I do in life.”

White plans to attend law school in the fall.

Tyler White

Read Tyler's Story

In an internet age when it’s easy to open shop online and create your own business without a brick and mortar store, Tyler White, an integrated marketing communications major from the small town of Flora in Madison County, Mississippi, is on track to make $100,000 in sales from his custom apparel company TeeWhites this year.

Julia Peoples

Julia Peoples was valedictorian of Puckett High School in Puckett, Mississippi before enrolling in the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media.

The integrated marketing communications major who minored in general business and political science will be attending Yale Law School as a member of the class of 2024.

“My time at the university has been a period of growth and reflection,” she said. “Some of my favorite classes have been ones that push me to challenge myself and think outside of my comfort zone, like Communications Law, Research for IMC, and Creative Visual Thinking.

“I will always be grateful for Professor Sparks in the School of Journalism and New Media, who taught me so much about communicating and connecting with people and has always believed in me. The greatest lessons I have learned throughout this journey are trusting myself and asking for help when needed.”

Her advice: “Enjoy the ride. The past four years have been a roller coaster, but a beautiful one nonetheless.”

Asia Harden

Greenville, Mississippi native Asia Harden, an integrated marketing communications student at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, plans to attend the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City and pursue a career in editorial publishing or publicity.

She said she chose to become an IMC major because it gave her the freedom to explore writing, marketing, public relations, and graphic design without feeling boxed in.

Harden, who has a minor in Spanish, studied abroad in Granada, Spain for the fall semester in 2019, one of the highlights of her college experience.

“The courses I’ve liked the most have always been the ones that challenged me or stretched my worldview,” she said.

Harden said the greatest impact the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media has had on her has been through the Student Media Center and her work with the Ole Miss yearbook.

“I’ve been one of its writers since freshman year, and this past year, I served as only the second African American editor-in-chief of the publication,” she said. “I’ve grown not only as a storyteller, but also as a leader and young professional through my work with the yearbook. My involvement in such a beloved publication has brought me lots of joy throughout my college experience.”

Her advice: “Be yourself, and chase after your own dreams, not anyone else’s. We only get one life, so it only seems fair to honor it by constantly learning, growing, and living up to our fullest potential. Whether you want to be a lawyer, news anchor, publicist or English teacher, live life on your own terms. And be kind to those around you; the world is full of enough hate as it is.”

Asia Harden in Granada, Spain

Read Asia's Story

Asia Harden, a graduating IMC senior and The Ole Miss yearbook Editor-in-Chief, has been selected for the prestigious Columbia Publishing Course, a six-week summer program in New York City. The program prepares students for entry-level jobs in book, magazine and digital publishing through lectures and workshops.

Matthew Hendley

Matthew Hendley, a Madison, Mississippi native, attended St. Joseph Catholic School before enrolling in the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media.

He was drawn to the journalism program at UM and the campus television station, NewsWatch. He studied broadcast journalism with a minor in political science. 

“My time at UM has been the most outrageous four years of my life,” he said. “If it wasn’t for the opportunities offered at the J-school, I would have never landed an internship with the longest running primetime TV news show (60 Minutes), nor would I have been able to join a UFO cult for a day at the same exact time. 

“The outlets the journalism program (has) took me everywhere I wanted to go – at the desk at NewsWatch Ole Miss, on the ground telling stories in Holly Springs, and even in opposite corners of the country with two consecutive internships in New York City and Phoenix.”

After graduation, Hendley plans to move to Nashville with his band Happy Landing to pursue music while working part time in media and marketing at a non-profit called Shower Up that serves the homeless community by parking mobile shower trucks in public places. 

Matthew Hendley playing guitar.

Read Matthew's Story

Matthew Hendley is always looking for new ways to tell stories – whether that means researching and reporting, being an activist or fronting his band, Happy Landing.

Julia James

Mandeville, Louisiana native Julia James, who studied public policy leadership and journalism, will begin an investigative reporting internship with Mississippi Today after graduation.

“I am extremely excited to be working with and learning from this team of thoughtful and influential journalists,” she said. “I am considering going to graduate school to study data, media, and society issues or going to law school in a few years, but I am excited to first work and gain professional experience.”

James said her experience in the summer Lott Leadership Institute and the personal recruiting she received helped her imagine a future for herself in Oxford and attracted her to the University of Mississippi.

“My last four years held unprecedented challenges globally and personally,” she said. “I feel particularly grateful for the way professors have supported and encouraged me through these events, specifically Vanessa Gregory, Cynthia Joyce and Ellen Meacham.”

James said the most thought-provoking and enlightening courses she took at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media were Writing with Voice (with Professor Gregory) and the Presidency and the Press (with Charles Overby and Curtis Wilkie).

“Writing with Voice helped me expand my understanding of what journalism could be, past rigid AP-wire type stories, giving much more humanity and depth to my storytelling,” she said. “Presidency and the Press really was just so fun, retelling me the history I was familiar with from the perspective of the journalists who lived it.”

Advanced Reporting (with Professor Joyce) was more practical, but it made me do the work of being a journalist in a regular and consistent way, which helped me build confidence in myself and my abilities.”

Her advice: “Be intentional about the stories you choose. It’s hard to make every project be the penultimate project, but just the sheer act of doing your homework can introduce you to unique people and opportunities that can expand your community if you choose wisely.”

Abbey Edmonson

Tupelo native Abbey Edmonson was drawn to the University of Mississippi because it was more of a traditional college experience, and she liked the Sally McDonnel Barksdale Honors College. She also loved Oxford and its artistic history.

The editorial journalism major with minors in English and creative writing earned a specialization in social media.

“My time at UM has offered me so much more than I expected,” she said. “Through my time here, I’ve gained a lot of confidence in myself and my abilities as a writer and journalist.”

One of her favorite courses was Editorial Cartooning with Marshall Ramsey.

“Ramsey is one of the greats, and I was extremely lucky to be able to take his class,” he said. “I have ancestors who were successful editorial cartoonists back in the day, so taking that class was personally really fulfilling to me.”

She also enjoyed classes with professor Cynthia Joyce.

“I took two classes with professor Joyce: Media Ethics and Advanced Reporting,” she said. “Both of those classes taught me skills that I’m going to keep with me in both my professional and personal life.

“I learned that it is okay to ask uncomfortable questions, and it is okay to write about something important, even – or maybe especially – if it makes you uncomfortable.”

Edmonson will soon step down from the job she has held the past two years as Invitation Magazine’s editorial assistant so she can attend graduate school.

“I hope to one day continue to climb the ladder in the magazine and/or publishing industries,” she said. “In the meantime, I’ve been accepted into both Columbia University’s M.S. in Journalism program and Savannah College of Art and Design’s (SCAD’s) M.F.A. in Writing program, and I’ve decided I’m going to SCAD in Atlanta starting this September.”

Edmonson said she hopes to use her time in Atlanta to grow her network and hone her writing skills across multiple forms of media.

“The UM School of Journalism and New Media is here to help its students and offer opportunities for growth,” she said. “I urge other students to take advantage of those outside-of-the-classroom opportunities.

“During my time here, I participated in Lens Collective 2019, took a class in New Orleans and interviewed the mayor, traveled to the Mississippi Coast to write about climate change, connected with people who gave me my dream internship and eventual job, and so much more.”

Edmonson said you can learn a lot in the classroom, but you also gain valuable insight when you get real life experience outside of the classroom.

“When a professor suggests you should apply for something, do it,” she said. “All of those extra hours put into your college experience are the elements that build you up as a journalist and as a person.”

Abbey Edmonson rides in a boat during a recent journalism project that explored climate change in Mississippi. The photo was taken by Billy Schuerman.

Read Abbey's Story

The great-great-granddaughter of a Pulitzer Prize-winning Memphis cartoonist is forging her own path in the journalism world.Tupelo native Abbey Edmonson’s great-great-grandfather and great-grandfather, J. P. Alley and Cal Alley, were editorial cartoonists for the Memphis Commercial Appeal during the early to mid-20th century. J. P. Alley was the first cartoonist at the Appeal, and he won a Pulitzer Prize for journalism in 1923.

Two School of Journalism and New Media IMC students named 2021 UM Hall of Fame inductees

Posted on: April 12th, 2021 by ldrucker

Two University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC students have been named 2021 UM Hall of Fame inductees.

IMC majors Asia Harden and Cade Slaughter were among 10 students who received the honor.

 

Asia Harden

Asia Harden

An integrated marketing communications major, Harden has served as an orientation coordinator, vice president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., and member of the Columns Society. The Greenville, Mississippi native also has been involved with RebelTHON, the Big Event and several civic organizations. Her most memorable experience was a semester abroad in Granada, Spain. Harden has worked with The Ole Miss yearbook for four years and serves as only the second African American editor-in-chief of the publication.

 

Cade Slaughter

Cade Slaughter

Slaughter is a dual public policy leadership and integrated marketing communications major. His leadership at Ole Miss has included Columns Society president, Associated Student Body co-principal of First Year Experience and Student Activities Association co-director of pageants. The Hattiesburg native also welcomed potential and incoming students through his roles as an Ole Miss Ambassador, orientation leader and orientation coordinator. Serving as co-director for the Big Event was one of many ways he focused on serving the community. Slaughter was also voted Mr. Ole Miss.

Inductees were selected by a committee in accordance with policy developed by the Associated Student Body. Selections are based on outstanding contributions in all aspects of campus life.

Hall of Fame inductees Asia Harden and Cade Slaughter

Hall of Fame inductees Asia Harden and Cade Slaughter

This year’s Hall of Fame members are Shelby D’Amico, Harrison McKinnis and Robert Wasson, all of Madison; Victoria Green, of Canton; Swetha Manivannan, of Collierville, Tennessee; Joshua Mannery, of Jackson; Gianna Schuetz, of Huntsville, Alabama; and Slaughter and Madison Thornton, both of Hattiesburg. All are members of the university’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.

“The 2021 Hall of Fame class will hold the distinction of completing 25% of their junior years and 100% of their senior years in the midst of a global pandemic that forced the university to change virtually every aspect of our operations, including academic, leadership and service opportunities in which each of these students have excelled,” said Brent Marsh, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students.

“Undeterred by COVID-19’s challenges, these students continued to lead and serve the university community with grace, skill and tenacity. These inductees continue the legacy of Hall of Fame members who left indelible marks at this institution.”

An in-person ceremony was held Friday (April 9) at The Pavilion at Ole Miss in accordance with university COVID-19 protocols.

To read the full story and more about the other inductees, click this link.

University of Mississippi journalism grad Payne selected for national POLITICO Fellows program

Posted on: January 29th, 2021 by ldrucker

Daniel Payne started work this month as a POLITICO Fellow. Payne graduated in May 2020 from the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media. He was in the Honors College, a Taylor Medalist, and editor in chief of The Daily Mississippian, where he led a staff that won national journalism awards. He participated in Lens Collective and had a summer internship at a Washington news website. Following graduation, he was executive editor of The DeSoto (MS) Times-Tribune.

The POLITICO Fellows program offers four journalists an opportunity to work on teams throughout the newsroom reporting full time on politics and policy. The 12-month professional fellowship also includes a robust training component and work on enterprise reporting projects on policy areas with disproportionate impact on underrepresented communities. Upon successful completion of the program, each fellow is invited to a full-time reporting role at POLITICO.

Daniel Payne

Daniel Payne at his desk in Washington.

“Daniel is foremost a thoughtful journalist who has demonstrated serious commitment to his craft,” said Robin Turner, director of editorial diversity initiatives at POLITICO. “In addition to his solid journalism chops, he demonstrated strong leadership in pushing The DeSoto Times-Tribune toward a digital-first approach as the weekly newspaper’s executive editor. In addition to his compassionate approach to serving his community, Daniel impressed our selections committee with his aggressive accountability reporting on the pandemic, his role in redesigning the newspaper, his work on newsletters, and in his savvy, but responsible social media skills.”

Turner said that Payne, as a graduate of the University of Mississippi who hails from Tennessee, also offers a geographic perspective and background that often go missing in D.C.-area newsrooms. “In short, Daniel is a talented, creative and innovative contributor with fresh insight that any newsroom would welcome.”

Turner, who designed the professional fellowship with the support of POLITICO’s Editor in Chief Matt Kaminski, said that fellows are “full colleagues from Day One.”

“Daniel will be embedded as a reporter on two editorial teams and will learn how POLITICO launches new products. We are pleased that all of our fellows – those who have served previously, and those now serving as professional fellows – know they are respected and valued team members. They also help advance POLITICO’s editorial mission for delivering strong, independent and credible journalism on politics and policy – and with diverse voices and perspectives.”

Grad students Lucy Burnam and MacKenzie Ross caught up with Payne as he started his new job this week and asked him a few questions:

Q. Daniel, why did you apply for the fellowship?

A. I have always enjoyed POLITICO and the work that comes from its newsroom, especially all the work they do innovating digital journalism. When I saw that they would be bringing two fellows on board in January, I knew I had to apply.

Q. How do you feel about being a reporter in the nation’s capital in 2021?

A. I’m very excited about it. I think, especially over the last year or so, people have focused more on the importance of understanding how policies and politicians affect day-to-day life in the U.S. That makes the job of reporting important stories all the more exciting.

Q. How did your journalism and Honors classes, and your work at The Daily Mississippian, prepare you for this fellowship?

A. My experience at UM has been foundational in preparing me for this fellowship. I feel that, though I still have a lot to learn through professional experience, I’m ready to get to work in the world of journalism. The experience I got at The Daily Mississippian has proved to be monumental in my understanding and practice of reporting and editing. I can’t imagine being able to get this fellowship without the real-world education I got at the Student Media Center.

Q. What do you hope to learn from this fellowship?

A. I hope to sharpen my reporting and writing skills, and I also hope to learn about the diversity of opportunities available to someone who wants to report on politics. POLITICO has journalists working in many unique niches of politics and policy reporting, and I think working with different people who have different interests will give me a wealth of perspective on journalism today and my future in the field.

Here is the press release from POLITICO about the new Fellows:

POLITICO Announces Inaugural Class of The POLITICO Fellows

ARLINGTON, Va. — POLITICO today announced its inaugural class of The POLITICO Fellows, a competitive professional fellowship program that offers four enterprising journalists a front-row seat covering the biggest storylines dominating Washington.

The POLITICO Fellows program, which just began this week, seeks to empower journalists seeking to advance their careers in political and policy journalism. POLITICO is pleased to share that Jonathan Custodio, Anna Kambhampaty, Marissa Martinez and Jonathan “Daniel” Payne emerged from an outstanding and competitive applicant pool impressing the selections committee with their strong journalism skills, entrepreneurial spirit and unique contributions to newsroom diversity.

“The POLITICO Fellows builds on our strong commitment to develop newsroom talent as we deliver authoritative, independent politics and policy coverage with diverse voices and perspectives,” said Robin Turner, director of editorial diversity initiatives for POLITICO. “Our incoming cohort includes four very talented journalists, each with the demonstrated ability to lead teams, innovate and break news even beyond U.S. borders. We are proud of all of our fellows – past and present – and are pleased to partner with the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) in identifying and preparing these emerging newsroom leaders.”

The 12-month program will train professionals and provides a unique opportunity to cover the White House, Congress and policy areas such as health care, trade, technology and finance. Reporting opportunities will include in-depth exploration of how key policy issues disproportionately impact underrepresented communities.

“NABJ is proud to partner with POLITICO in creating this critical pipeline of diverse journalists who will become the next generation of political reporters. Now more than ever, it is important that people who represent Black and Brown communities are leaders in reporting on the government and policy issues that impact communities of color every day. We look forward to the dynamic work that will come from the 2021 cohort and extend our support to each of them,” said Dorothy Tucker, president of NABJ.

Participants receive total compensation of $60,000, plus benefits, and are invited for a full-time reporting role at POLITICO upon successful completion of the program. This professional fellowship program also features monthly workshops, mentoring and other training as well as editorial rotations for career exploration. Anna and Daniel begin their fellowships in the POLITICO newsroom this week. Jonathan and Marissa will begin their 12-month terms in June.

The 2021 POLITICO Fellows

Jonathan Custodio brought his Bronx-honed reporting skills to POLITICO in October as an intern in the New York office, where he contributes regularly to New York Playbook and the New York Real Estate newsletter and covers city campaigns. A member of NABJ, Jonathan’s work has been featured in ProPublica’s Electionland and the immigration news outlet Documented NY. A graduate of LaGuardia Community College and Lehman College, Jonathan also served as a reporting intern at The Chronicle of Higher Education and Bronx community newspaper Norwood News. The Pulitzer Center awarded Jonathan a grant in 2019 to do groundbreaking bilingual reporting on Afro Mexicans’ struggle for political, social and cultural recognition, which helped (along with decades of activists’ efforts) lead to unanimous vote by the Mexican Senate to ensure constitutional recognition for the disenfranchised community. Jonathan is a member of NABJ.

Anna Kambhampaty has spent the past year and a half as a reporter/researcher at Time Magazine, and delivered a major scoop– Anna broke the Justin Trudeau brownface story for Time in the midst of the 2019 Canadian election. A native of upstate New York, Anna brings a mix of skills to the newsroom: She studied information science at Cornell University while writing a column for the Cornell Daily Sun, and was an interactive web development intern at CNBC and a UX engineering intern at The New York Times before landing at Time. Since mid-2019, Anna has researched and reported on art, agriculture, politics, and history for Time, but developed a specialty at the intersection of politics, race and identity. Anna is a member of AAJA.

A native of Chicago, Marissa Martinez has already made a name for herself as a newsroom leader and editor in chief of the Daily Northwestern, during a tumultuous year for higher education. Marissa managed a staff of more than 80 journalists and reported on issues of race, health and education for the city, campus and investigative desks at The Daily, which serves as the only newspaper for the city of Evanston, Ill. Marissa, who speaks Spanish and has studied Portuguese and Arabic, created the newspaper’s first diversity and inclusion editor and has been interviewed by the Columbia Journalism Review for her work in newsroom diversity. Marissa currently covers COVID-19 as a reporting fellow for the Texas Tribune. She is a past participant of the POLITICO Journalism Institute and is a member of NABJ, AAJA and NAHJ.

Daniel Payne has worked to push The DeSoto Times-Tribune toward a digital-first approach as the Mississippi newspaper’s executive editor for the past year. He emphasized aggressive accountability reporting on the pandemic and redesigned the newspaper, newsletters and social media accounts. A graduate of the University of Mississippi, Oxford, Daniel was editor in chief of The Daily Mississippian, where he also helped overhaul the newspaper’s website and workflow. Daniel has interned for the Global Post in Washington, D.C., and worked as a reporter and panelist for the Lens Collective researching, filming and editing short films on civil rights activists.

Mr. Magazine, of University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, offers industry insights

Posted on: January 8th, 2021 by ldrucker

Samir Husni, Ph.D., also known as Mr. Magazine ™, has been called the leading authority on magazines. He has been very busy the last few months participating in interviews and writing articles about the magazine industry.

As the founder and director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, the professor and Hederman Lecturer’s work and insights have appeared on websites like Poynter, Editor & Publisher, Forbes and in the New York Post.

Below is a collection of some of those recent articles.

Samir Husni

Samir Husni, photographed by Robert Jordan for University Communications.

BoSacks Speaks Out: Disputing the Death of Journalism

Husni is featured in this article.

Samir Husni’s presentation at Augusta University

Husni discusses freedom of the press and the role the audience plays in it.

Marc Benioff’s Time magazine gets cease-and-desist

Print magazines may be a struggling business, but a recent cease-and-desist aimed at Time magazine suggests the business of churning out high-priced special issues, or “bookazines,” is still hot. Read this article that features Dr. Samir Husni.

Opinion: In a digital world, magazine covers still carry tremendous weight

Opinion: In a digital world, magazine covers still carry tremendous weight

Media Voices Podcast: Mr. Magazine Samir Husni on why magazines are new media

This week, Dr. Samir Husni, founder and director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi’s School of Journalism and New Media, tells us why magazines are the ultimate new media. He explains the wild ride that was magazine publishing in 2020, his print evangelism, the benefits that digital brings and his favorite magazine. Oh, and why he’s called ‘Mr. Magazine’.

Listen to the podcast.

Poynter: Magazine covers in 2020 have featured Black subjects three times more than the previous 90 years

Today, a first-time visitor to a newsstand would see something long-sought: a mainstreaming of Black people into American life.

In the 90 days following the death of George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police, mainstream magazines celebrated Blackness on their covers about three times more than in the previous 90 years combined. Husni collaborated with other UM faculty – Mark K. Dolan, Ph.D., Marquita Smith, Ed.D. and Charlie Mitchell – on this article.

Magazine covers in 2020 have featured Black subjects three times more than the previous 90 years

Against the Grain: Are Print Magazines Still Relevant?

ATG Asks the Expert: Mr. Magazine-An ATG Original

Oprah Winfrey: recently announced a shift in her media kingdom with what publishing partner, Hearst, called a “rethinking the future of the magazine’s print editions and following a more digital-focused route following its December 2020 issue.” Hearst representatives went on to call this “a natural next step for the brand, which has grown to an online audience of 8 million, extending its voice and vision with video and social content. We will continue to invest in this platform as the brand grows and evolves into one that is more digitally centric.”

Husni is interviewed in this article.

Are Print Magazines Still Relevant? ATG Asks the Expert: Mr. Magazine-An ATG Original

Podcasts from the Printverse: Journalism, Justice and Publishing in a Pandemic with Mr. Magazine

In this podcast, Husni talks about the role of a journalist amidst a social revolution, and why the audience – not the platform – should remain the focal point of all media companies.

Journalism, Justice and Publishing in a Pandemic with Mr. Magazine

Editor & Publisher: Publishing During A Pandemic

Husni is “the country’s leading magazine expert,” according to Forbes magazine; “the nation’s leading authority on new magazines,” according to min:media industry newsletter; “a world-renowned expert on print journalism” according to CBS News Sunday Morning; and The Chicago Tribune dubbed him “the planet’s leading expert on new magazines.” It’s no wonder he is better known in the industry as Mr. Magazine. Read the article about publishing during a pandemic.

Poynter: Is the increase in Black representation in magazines hypocrisy or a genuine change?

And why do some magazine editors and public relations directors not want to talk about the sea change that has taken place in the industry?

“Blackness exploded on the covers of magazines during the middle months of 2020. But is it hypocrisy? A performative act so that those magazines can profit from the pain of Black people, as one editor told me? Or is it a genuine change, as I heard from another?” Read Husni’s article below.

New York Post: Despite pandemic, 60 new print magazines launched in 2020

The number of new print magazines launched in the U.S. dropped by more than half in 2020 to 60, compared to 139 a year earlier. But in a surprise move, the pace of new launches accelerated in the second half of the year with food, home and fitness titles proving the most popular. Husni is interviewed in this story.

Forbes: Stop Saying Print Journalism Is Dead

60 Magazines Launched During This Crazy Year

It’s long been axiomatic among people who care about the news business that print is on the way out. That digital opportunities are where resources and investment need to be steered, and that the anachronistic, fusty pages of alt-weeklies, newspapers, and magazines should not operate in competition with the digital side of their respective businesses. If anything, the era of President Trump has only accelerated the throbbing pulse of the news business that already kept us all — journos and readers alike — hopelessly tethered to the digital grid. Husni’s work was reviewed for this article.

An interview with Bloomberg Quicktake

Can magazines compete in a digital world, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic? Samir Husni, also known as Mr. Magazine, discusses how magazines offer a unique experience for the consumer.

Mr. Magazine’s blog

You can read more posts about the magazine industry at Mr. Magazine’s blog.

People en Español: The Most Trusted Voice In Hispanic Culture Approaches Its 25th Anniversary As It Continues To Thrive Even During A Pandemic – The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Monique Manso, Publisher & Armando Correa, Editor In Chief…

The Daily Mississippian wins Newspaper Pacemaker Award, one of college media’s highest honors

Posted on: October 31st, 2020 by ldrucker

The 2019-20 Daily Mississippian, a newspaper produced by the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, has been awarded one of college media’s highest honors: a Newspaper Pacemaker Award.

Each year, the Associated Collegiate Press presents Pacemaker awards to the best in collegiate journalism. Entries are judged by teams of professionals based upon coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership, design, photography and graphics.

Daniel Payne was editor-in-chief in 2019-20, and Eliza Noe was managing editor.

The awards ceremony was held during the annual Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Association annual conference (virtual this year).

Daily Mississippian

Daily Mississippian

The 2019-20 Daily Mississippian also recently won an Honorable Mention for Best Daily Newspaper in the CMA Pinnacle Awards contest. The 2018-2019 DM also won an Honorable Mention in this contest.

The University of California-Los Angeles Daily Bruin won first, The Michigan Daily at University of Michigan was second, The Daily Orange at Syracuse University was third, and The DM tied with California State University-Fullerton for Honorable Mention.

“These are both national awards, meaning student newspapers from all across the country enter in the contests, and we compete against extremely talented student journalists who work for great publications,” Payne said. “In these instances, we ranked among the top 20 and top five newspapers to compete, respectively.”

Payne said he believes what made The DM stand apart are the combined passion, creativity and dedication of the staff.

“It’s a joy to work with people who are driven to serve their community and are talented enough to do it in such a powerful way,” he said. “The staff was one of the most talented, inspiring groups of people with which I’ve had the pleasure of working.

“At the end of the day, that is what these student journalists work so hard to do: serve their campus and community through quality reporting. It’s really wonderful to see that passion and talent recognized on the national level.”

Payne said it’s also impossible to understate the importance of the editorial advisors at the Student Media Center.

“Our advisors taught us, believed in us and led by example for us — all while giving us the independence to allow us to own the newspaper we produced,” he said.

Daniel Payne

Daniel Payne

Payne said if you want to lead, serve, create, think and learn, the Student Media Center is the place for you.

“I worked for student media from my first semester at UM, and it has been the highlight of my education at the university,” he said. “I was smarter, more inspired, more engaged and more successful because of my time at the Student Media Center — especially because of the effort of the faculty at the SMC.”

Eliza Noe served as managing editor for the 2019-2020 Daily Mississippian staff. She is now the editor-in-chief.

“Hundreds of papers all over the country submit for (these awards), and that involves choosing your best five issues,” Noe said. “They didn’t split it up into categories, so we were in the running with weekly, daily and bi-weekly publications. It’s amazing to see that our hard work was able to compete with other really great student work.”

Eliza Noe

Eliza Noe

Noe said the 2019-2020 DM staff was a “dream team.”

“Everyone on staff was on the same page about what kind of coverage we wanted to have, and that went across all sections of the paper,” she said. “We also became very close as friends, and I think that helped a lot with team-building and cooperation. It was definitely rewarding to see how much everyone had grown by the end of last semester.”

Noe also commended the advisors.

“I think having both journalistic and editorial freedom, and also constructive feedback, makes the Student Media Center one of the best places to learn,” she said.

Noe began working at the DM her freshmen year.

“There’s no way I would be as comfortable in my own abilities if I didn’t have the newsroom experience I’ve had,” she said. “Getting to learn all of the levels of how a publication works has shown what I’m passionate about and how to get there.

“I think working at the Student Media Center allows you to actually apply the skills you learn in a classroom in a way you can use to better yourself as a journalist, designer, photographer, etc. We welcome anyone who’s interested in putting in the work.”

If you are interested in getting involved with The Daily Mississippian, you may email Noe at dmeditor@gmail.com or the newsdesk thedmnews@gmail.com.

2020-21 University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media student media managers leading through unprecedented times

Posted on: October 29th, 2020 by ldrucker

Our 2020-2021 University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media student leaders were selected before anyone knew how much change would take place this academic year. Meeting and producing content remotely. Distribution disruptions. Making decisions about what to do when your staffs are exposed to COVID-19. Figuring out how to tell stories without in-person interviews. Trying to keep advertisers interested. And so much more. They are rising to meet the challenges.

 

Brian Barisa

Brian Barisa

BRIAN BARISA – NewsWatch Ole Miss Manager

After four years of broadcast classes and production in high school, Brian Barisa was immediately intrigued when he toured the University of Mississippi and realized he could become involved with the Student Media Center as early as his freshman year.

Barisa – from Frisco, Texas – is a senior broadcast journalism student spending 2020 as NewsWatch Ole Miss station manager. And what a year it’s been.

Barisa started his manager stint in January. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he and his student staff had to quickly adapt and change some of the original plans for this year.

Normally, NewsWatch Ole Miss would be a half-hour live broadcast on cable Channel 99 five evenings a week.

“We have switched to a once-a-week format and mostly online-only, so it allows for a slower-paced take on the high-speed world of news,” Barisa said. “The new weekly format allows us to be a hub for weekly content and gives us new ways to experiment with new ideas for the show when things are back up and running normally.”

From staff member to manager, Barisa said he’s learned numerous lessons during his time at the SMC, but most importantly, he’s learned how to share the workload with his staff.

“I have had to learn how to lead, be a leader, and delegate work down,” Barisa said. “Being so used to having to do everything on my own made me more self-reliant, and I needed to learn how to lead and give people jobs to do.”

When not at the SMC, Barisa is working as the content coordinator for Ole Miss Esports, as well as playing Rainbow Six: Siege for the varsity team.

“Esports is a new market that has been steadily emerging across the country, especially since even in a world where COVID-19 has kept people indoors, Esports tournaments are still able to go on with strong viewership,” Barisa said.

After he graduates in May 2021, Barisa wants to be able to look back to see NewsWatch return as a daily show that remains successful and maintains viewership. For this year, though, Barisa said anyone interested in joining the SMC family should be ready for new challenges each day.

“Every day is a new experience, some are slow, some are crazy fast,” Barisa said. “Be ready to work and to work fast. It’s a big news year and it’s important to stay on top of everything going on.”

Barisa’s dream is to be a news producer in Dallas or to continue working in Esports after he graduates in May 2021.

 

Jesus Escobedo

Jesus Escobedo

JESUS ESCOBEDO – Rebel Radio Station Manager

Senior Jesus Escobedo has been on the Rebel Radio staff since 2018. The senior digital marketing major from Zacatecas, Mexico, isn’t letting COVID-19 ruin his year.

“The pandemic has certainly affected my plans for this semester,” Escobedo said. “I have had to go back to the drawing board and readjust to the new safety guidelines. With the time I have as station manager, I want to leave Rebel Radio in a place that everybody wants to join.”

Some of his goals for the year include producing new content for the weekends and implementing a new music hour block.

Escobedo, a student in the School of Business, found the Student Media Center after a friend encouraged him to apply for a marketing internship with the station. Now, he wants to encourage other students to take a look at what the SMC has to offer.

“I would say 100% do it,” Escobedo said. “The SMC is a great place to work and get experience for your future careers. A lot of students who have worked at the SMC have gone on to do great things in life.”

Escobedo started his duties as manager this summer, and Roy Frostenson, radio station adviser, said Escobedo has done a great job.

“Jesus is a true Rebel Radio veteran having previously been a DJ and then promotions/marketing director so I was thrilled when he got his chance to be station manager and he has not disappointed,” Frostenson said.  “He’s brought great diversity to our programming and his dedication and enthusiasm for the radio station is easy to see.”

Escobedo also serves as a social media ambassador for the university. After graduation in December, he plans to move to Texas or Chicago to work in the marketing field or with a music record label.

Over the last couple of years in the SMC, Escobedo says he has learned to be more of a leader and has many fond memories of working at Rebel Radio.

“My favorite thing about the SMC is that everybody is so welcoming,” Escobedo said. “My favorite memories would have to be getting to go on air in the booth and playing music for Hispanic Heritage Month and Black History Month.”

 

Asia Harden

Asia Harden

ASIA HARDEN – The Ole Miss Yearbook Editor-in-Chief

This year’s editor-in-chief for The Ole Miss yearbook is making history as only the second African American editor-in-chief since its first publication in 1897.

Asia Harden, a senior from Greenville, Mississippi, majoring in integrated marketing communications, is excited to lead the staff to create this year’s annual edition.

“I randomly found the Student Media Center website the summer before my freshman year, which led me to find the yearbook,” Harden said. “I tried out writing for The Daily Mississippian during freshman year, but yearbook is where my heart was so I decided to stick with it.”

Harden has not only the yearbook on her slate this year, but also serves the university campus as an orientation coordinator, a member of the Columns Society, and vice president of her sorority.

She has worked hard to hire a staff of editors, photographers, designers and writers while finding new ways to complete tasks, documenting this unusual school year.

“I was definitely expecting to be physically present in the SMC, working alongside my staff of editors, a lot more than I am, but luckily in this digital age, we’ve been able to stay on the same page as we work toward the finished book,” Harden said.

Atish Baidya, editorial director at the SMC, works with Harden.

“Asia’s dedication and enthusiasm toward this year’s The Ole Miss and her ability to handle all the uncertainty of the year so far speaks to her leadership and maturity,” Baidya said.

Many meetings for the yearbook staff have to take place through Zoom or over the phone, but that isn’t dampening Harden’s spirit or her plans to create a memorable book and experience for her staff. After graduation in May 2021, Harden wants to pursue graduate school, focusing on publishing.

“Book publishing is really my dream industry,” Harden said. “I’ve been obsessed with all things books, reading and writing since I was a kid, so I’d love to work in editorial or publicity for that.”

Distribution for the 2020 yearbooks was abruptly postponed spring semester. They arrived on campus in July, and Harden, a writer for the yearbook last year, helped the SMC staff this semester as they arranged for students to pick up their annuals or have them mailed. She hopes the 2021 The Ole Miss will have a normal distribution at the Student Union or Pavilion at the end of spring semester.

“My yearbook memories always revolve around distribution,” Harden said. “This year was a little different than usual but the feeling of holding a finished copy of the yearbook in your hand for the first time, and then sharing that joy with others, is second to none.”

 

Eliza Noe

Eliza Noe

ELIZA NOE – The Daily Mississippian Editor-in-Chief

Eliza Noe was impressed when a student editor from The Daily Mississippian spoke to her Honors 101 class.

“I was a little nervous to put myself out there, so my friend and I joined the staff together,” Noe said.

A native of Amory, Mississippi, Noe is a senior Honors College student majoring in journalism and minoring in art history. Noe started at the DM as an Arts and Culture writer her freshman year before moving up the ladder to become Managing Editor last year and this year’s Editor-in-Chief.

“I think it’s so beneficial to have served in all of these roles, so now I feel like I know each level’s perspectives and expectations,” Noe said. “It’s been a blast, and honestly, it’s flown by.”

While the late nights at the SMC with the other editors will be missed because of pandemic restrictions, Noe said the decision to produce only one print edition each week this semester has allowed the staff to expand its “Digital First” mentality by exploring and focusing on the growth of the online and social media community.

“Even though the pandemic was not what we were expecting, it’s given us an opportunity to meet where most of our audience is: online,” Noe said. “We are focusing on in-depth stories, an impactful front page and the growth of our online presence.”

SMC editorial director Atish Baidya noted: “Now more than ever, the work by Eliza and her staff at The Daily Mississippian is crucial to keeping the campus community informed. Eliza’s calm and strong leadership has been vital during these unprecedented times.”

Outside of working on The Daily Mississippian, Noe enjoys being around friends and family, even though that’s been more difficult because of the pandemic. She’s also involved with her sorority and the LuckyDay Scholarship program.

One of Noe’s favorite things about working at the SMC is the strong bond she’s made with the people she’s worked with, including the staff, faculty and student colleagues. She hopes to encourage younger staff members to grow as journalists, and that the work they do leads to growth at the university.

“Growth is the major goal I’m heading toward,” Noe said.

For those who might at first be nervous to join the SMC like Noe was, she said that students should push themselves to do it no matter what.

Noe’s advice: “Just do it. Send that email, send that social media DM, whatever. You’re always welcome somewhere, no matter your major or interest. It does seem a little intimidating, especially if you were like me with relatively no journalism experience, but the editors at the SMC love molding and shaping new storytellers to take over after we’re gone.”

Noe’s future plans are to find a job in reporting or attend graduate school. Her dream job would be to work at a publication like Rolling Stone.

 

Conner Platt

Conner Platt

CONNER PLATT – Advertising Sales Manager

The sales team of the Student Media Center works hard, building advertising revenue for the SMC platforms. This year, sophomore Conner Platt is leading the team.

Platt is a double major in risk management & insurance and finance from Biloxi, Mississippi. He found his way to the SMC following in the footsteps of his older brother, who worked on the student sales staff eight years ago and is now a marine insurance broker in New Orleans.

Platt started the year by working with his adviser to teach his team marketing and sales techniques.

“I really learned the ins and outs of advertising in my first year and was lucky enough to have the opportunity to be manager this year,” Platt said.  “I was hoping to be able to come back to school and have a normal sophomore year but unfortunately that hasn’t been able to happen. It has been very strange but I have been able to figure out everything online and am trying to make the most of this semester.”

Besides being a member of a fraternity, Platt focuses his time on his double major as well as the advertising team.

“Conner has really stepped up for us,” said Roy Frostenson, SMC assistant director for advertising. “He’s done a great job trying to drive sales and keep the sales team motivated in what’s been a tough business climate.  Conner has a lot of enthusiasm and is very organized and task oriented which is exactly what you want in a sales manager – he’s driven to be successful.”

Platt said that when he looks back on 2020-21, he wants to be able to see that he and his staff hit their sales goals. “Especially with the current circumstances, that is something I would be very proud to say,” he said.

Platt’s long-term career plans? “I hope to get into insurance immediately out of college and hope to one day open up my own marine insurance firm.”

By Lucy Burnam and MacKenzie Ross, School of Journalism and New Media graduate students and SMC alumni